Local News for Tuesday, January 24, 2023

New York Says More Must be Done to Protect Bees

A state audit of the 2016 Pollination Protection Plan found that more action is needed to protect bees and other pollinators from disease, parasites, and pesticides. The plan, created in 2016 by the joint efforts of the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and the DEC, was aimed to address the rapid loss of pollinators throughout the state. According to the Times Union, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said the departments must improve their registration of apiaries and inspect them more often. He said they also need to develop better procedures to inspect shipments of honeybees from out of state. The departments have confirmed they will follow the recommendations of the Comptroller. 

Ithaca Scrambles to Find Missing Meeting Minutes

The City of Ithaca is working to find minutes that are missing for many city meetings since 2020. In order to remain compliant with New York State’s Open Meetings Law, proper records must be displayed to the public within 14 days of a meeting. According to the Ithaca Voice, minutes are missing for Common Council meetings as well as those from many committees. Mayor Laura Lewis said the minutes were missing due to pandemic-related disruptions and staffing shortages that “strained many city functions.” She said the Clerk’s Office is working on making the missing records accessible. Video recordings of all the city’s public meetings are—and have been—available at the city’s YouTube channel

Performing Arts Coalition Seeks Public Funding

The Ithaca Voice reports that Ithaca’s State Theatre has joined a coalition of 12 other performance arts organizations across New York to push for more government funding and support. The coalition, known as Alive Downtowns!, cites the ongoing financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which significantly shrank audiences for the performing arts and is pushing for $20 million in state support. They say performing arts theaters have “great public benefit to the citizens of the state” and point out that the state supports zoos, aquariums, and public television but not theaters.

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