Local News for Thursday, March 30, 2023

New York Names Communities to be Targeted for Climate Efforts

Over 1700 communities across New York State have been designated “disadvantaged” by the state’s Climate Justice Working Group. The list includes several in the Finger Lakes including the cities of Ithaca, Elmira, and Cortland. According to Gothamist, the communities are at the top of the list for funding to help reduce greenhouse gasses and develop clean energy and energy-efficiency programs. Communities were chosen based on a long list of criteria including emergency room visits due to asthma, poverty rates, and expected flood rates. The communities have been targeted as part of the New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act passed in 2019. The law’s goal is for the state to have a climate neutral economy by 2050.

Second Wind Cottages Expansion Gets a Second Chance

Second Wind Cottages announced it will not pursue its expansion plans in Newfield because of community opposition. The organization provides housing for people transitioning out of homelessness. In December Second Wind won over half a million in Community Recovery Funds to create additional “campsites.” However, the Town of Newfield’s board then voted to enact a 2-year moratorium against “campsites” effectively blocking progress on the project. In response, at its meeting last week, the Tompkins County legislature voted to allow Second Wind to submit a revised application. But the Ithaca Times reports the organization’s executive director, David Shapiro says they will not pursue the expansion out of concern that some of the community response is further stigmatizing the men who already live in the cottages.

Watkins Glen Schools Will Retire Senecas Team Name by June

Watkins Glen schools can no longer use the name Senecas for its sports teams.  The Odessa File reports that the decision was made by the state Education Department’s Indigenous Advisory Group. Following a decree in 2001, the education department ruled in December that all logos or nicknames referring to indigenous people should be changed because of their history of stereotyping and racism.  Watkins Glen recently removed most of its imagery relating to indigenous people. However, the district is one of about 60 in New York that has not yet changed the name of its sports team.

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