Headlines for Tuesday September 13th, 2022

The Cliff Street Retreat Proposal—planned for 407 Cliff Street in Ithaca—is seeking financial support from the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency. According to the Ithaca Voice the plan seeks to redevelop the former Incodema industrial facility into a mix of smaller retail, residential, office, and hospitality spaces. Because the project is intended to serve as a contribution to Ithaca’s tourist and residential spaces, developers are hoping to receive tax abatements, exemptions, and breaks from the IDA. Developers have pointed to rising interest rates, inflation, and subsequent increases in project cost as primary reasons for requesting tax breaks. 

The IDA’s Uniform Tax Exemption Policy allows for certain projects to be granted incentives if endorsed by the local community. A third party financial firm estimates that the project could benefit local payroll and tax revenue by 6.47 million over the next 10 years. Formal votes will occur in October. 

The New York state Board of Regents is scheduled to vote this week on regulations for material taught in private schools. The new rules will ensure that private schools teach basic math, science, history, and English. The ruling has become especially controversial among members of the Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities. Schools in those communities–known as yashivas—typically withhold secular teachings in an effort to remain consistent with their Jewish beliefs. The rulings would affect all private schools, not just traditionally Jewish ones. 

Investigations by the New York Times have found that more than 50,000 children were “systematically denied a decent education” in yeshivas. Many former Yeshiva graduates have claimed that the unregulated education standards have made it harder to succeed in larger society. The state has warned schools of a potential loss of public funding if they fail to adhere to state-wide academic policies. 

The Tompkins County Health Department is holding its annual fall rabies clinic for residents with household pets. The first clinic is set to open on Thursday, September 29th. The vaccines are free, and pre-registration can be made on the Tompkins County website

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