The Tompkins County Public Library will be distributing free COVID self test kits next Tuesday and Thursday outside the library’s front entrance on Green Street. Distributions will be open from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. and again from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M both days. The library will offer up to 6 test kits per household. Kits cannot be reserved, and will only be distributed while supplies last. For more information visit the library website at TCPL.org
Ithaca Starbucks employees have begun a union drive at the city's three Starbucks locations. According to WRVO, the effort has begun collecting “authorization cards” from employees at the Collegetown, Commons, and Meadow Street locations. The movement was inspired by a similar drive in Buffalo that succeeded last month in voting to form a union. The drive must get 30 percent of workers to sign “authorization cards” saying they would like to form a union. This would trigger an election, conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, that would allow workers to vote yes or no on forming a union.
Ithaca’s first “sticker store” has opened on West State and Martin Luther King Jr. Street. According to the Ithaca Voice, “sticker stores” are a work around New York’s current marijuana laws. Currently, it is legal to own, possess, and consume marijuana in New York State. But the state’s regulatory agencies have yet to set up the process for creating new dispensaries, meaning it is not yet legal to sell. However, it is legal to give as a gift. Sticker stores sell stickers, and other memorabilia, and as a gift offer marijuana along with it. The Voice spoke with Acting Ithaca Police Chief John Joly, who said, in his interpretation, the stores are illegal, pointing out that possession of more than three ounces of marijuana is still against the law. However, Joly acknowledged New York’s laws do create a legal gray area.
Yesterday, a New York State Judge ruled that the state's mask mandate would remain in effect, putting a stay on the ruling of a Nassau County judge who found the mandate violated the state constitution. According to the New York Times, Appeals Court Judge Robert J. Miller ruled the mandate will remain in effect temporarily as the state appeals the earlier decision. The initial ruling by Nassau County judge Thomas Radamaker caused confusion amongst New York parents as at least 13 school districts claimed masks were no longer required in school, while the State Department of Education insisted the school mandate was still in effect.