By Josh Brokaw The Ithaca Police Department will again be going shopping for SWAT team tactical equipment with federal funds. Common Council’s City Administration committee recommended accepting a $100,000 grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security at its Wednesday, June 21 meeting. “[T]his funding is provided to improve and develop tactical team capabilities through equipment, training, exercise, and planning projects that support counter terrorism missions in your jurisdiction,” reads the letter from John Melville, commissioner of New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services,…Continue Reading “Shopping List: Ithaca Police Adding SWAT Equipment”

Reed Steberger, Democratic candidate for the 4th district of the Tompkins County legislature, representing portions of downtown Ithaca and Collegetown, joined Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers on WRFI News on June 20 for a 14-minute interview. Steberger is challenging Rich John, the incumbent in District 4, in the Democratic primary. On the question of affordable housing, Steberger offered up an idea recently put forward by the county Office of Human Rights: “One of the biggest things we can do right away, is pursue a local law…Continue Reading “Listen: Tompkins County Legislature Candidate Reed Steberger”

The Tompkins County planning department released a draft version of the proposed county Housing Strategy this afternoon, June 15. The county legislature’s committee on planning, development and environmental quality will review the draft strategy at a public meeting on June 20 at 4 p.m. in the legislature chambers, 121 E. Court St. The idea is to make a recommendation on the final strategy for a vote by the full legislature by sometime in July. Read this TruthSayers story if you’re interested in some of the…Continue Reading “Tompkins County Housing Strategy, For Your Review”

By Josh Brokaw Construction on the Harold’s Square building is finally close to starting on the south side of the Ithaca Commons, so it seems, after four-plus years of public starts and stops. Developer David Lubin, of Horseheads’ “L Properties,” and the “Harold’s Holdings LLC” entity set up to build the 12-story building, received a 10-year tax abatement from the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency on June 8, one of the final hurdles to the project. Lubin appeared at the May city planning board meeting,…Continue Reading “Harold’s Square On Its Way: Tax Break Granted Over Vocal Opposition”

Mike Koplinka-Loehr, Democratic candidate for the 6th district of the Tompkins County legislature, joined Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers on WRFI News on June 13 for a 14-minute sitdown interview. “It’s fascinating, some of the biggest issues, county-wide, most of them are in Lansing,” Koplinka-Loehr said. “The power plant, the airport may be expanding, the salt mine  be putting in a shaft, we have some of the hardest challenges and pressures regarding economic development in rural areas. Most of the assets Tompkins County is looking for…Continue Reading “Listening Pleasure: Tompkins County Legislature Candidate Mike Koplinka-Loehr”

Do you want to know what your local government is doing? Here are your opportunities in Tompkins County this week. If you would like to help TruthSayers cover more issues that matter, if you are at a meeting, be a reporter. Send us recordings, photographs, or notes, and TruthSayers will publish them while crediting you. Email josh.brokaw@truthsayers.org with stories and tips. Let’s put every government action we can on the public record. Hyperlinks go to the meeting agenda for further information, if available. County meetings…Continue Reading “All of Your Tompkins County Government Happenings This Week”

Over Ithaca Festival weekend, TruthSayers hosted an Interactive Mobile Newsroom experience. This interactive mobile newsroom could also be called a “table covered in typewriters,” with the TruthSayers staff – that is, everyone who wants to tell truth about the world around us- filling up 30-plus pages with thoughts and varied typewritten experiments throughout the weekend. Many of our staff had not used a typewriter before; others hadn’t pecked at a mechanical writing machine for many moons. The results begin with a call that “raine or…Continue Reading “Type Your Truth Results: Ithaca Festival Edition”

Gimme! Coffee Baristas Organizing for Power in Service Work

Update, June 1: According to a release from the Tompkins County Workers’ Center, baristas at Gimme! Coffee voted  16 yes, 1 no, in favor of organizing a union with Workers United Rochester. The Gimme! baristas are now part of Workers United Local 2833, which also included unionized workers at the Ithaca Health Alliance. By Josh Brokaw Gimme! Coffee baristas are voting today, May 31, on whether they should form a union. Baristas at Gimme!’s four Tompkins County locations are exercising their right to organize after…Continue Reading “Gimme! Coffee Baristas Organizing for Power in Service Work”

The Tompkins County government is asking for comments from citizens on a new document that will guide efforts to increase the number and quality of housing units within the county. By May 31, questions and comments about the new Tompkins County housing strategy should be directed to the Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability, whether in writing at 121 East Court Street, Ithaca, NY 14850, via phone at (607) 274-5560, or by email at planning@tompkins-co.org. What is a “housing strategy,” you ask? Tompkins County…Continue Reading “Housing Tompkins County: Make Your Voice Heard”

By Josh Brokaw About 40,000 AT&T Mobility workers are planning on going out on strike for three days starting at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 19, if their contract demands are not met. The workers include those represented by Communications Workers of America District 1 at AT&T Mobility corporate-owned stores in Ithaca, Horseheads, Vestal, Johnson City, and three in Onondaga County. About 21,000 workers across 36 states in retail stores are planning on striking, along with 19,000 landline and DirecTV workers in California, Nevada, and…Continue Reading “AT&T Workers Planning Weekend Strike Across New York, U.S.”