Welcome to the quickest way to learn the week’s most important local news.
1 – Emergency meeting called for Buffalo Street Books
‘Emergency Meeting’ planned to try and save bookstore — The local Ithaca bookstore is struggling financially and has not been able to turn a profit since it converted to cooperative ownership in 2011.
“Though we have cut the yearly losses, the store continues to lose money every single year. Through cost-cutting measures, loans, ownership drives, and dedicated and creative management, we have continued to keep the store functioning. That is no longer possible,” a news release said.
The emergency meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at Buffalo Street Books in the DeWitt Mall, 215 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca.
2 – Don’t fall for the “college tax” scam, police warn
Ithaca police warn of false ‘College Tax’ phone scam – If someone calls claiming to be the IRS saying a “college tax” is owed, hang up. There are a number of red flags in these calls, such as callers threatening arrest if the “tax” is not paid or demanding the amount be paid using gift cards. Ithaca police say one victim spent more than six hours on the phone getting over 25 gift cards together from multiple stores to pay the “College Tax.”
The IRS will never call to threaten arrest or demand immediate payment or payment by specific means.
3 – Community continues hurricane relief efforts
More ways to help Puerto Rico and others struggling after hurricanes from Ithaca – Community members and groups have been hosting events and collecting donations to help people in hurricane-stricken areas, particularly Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida and Texas.
Tompkins County legislators also passed a resolution last week calling for immediate federal assistance for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
4 – No tax increase and other highlights in 2018 Ithaca city budget
12 things you need to know (for now) about Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick’s 2018 budget proposal — Mayor Svante Myrick presented his 2018 proposed budget to Ithaca’s Common Council on Wednesday.
In addition to no tax increase for homeowners, the People’s Budget may finally come to fruition, the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program may get a financial boost and odd-even parking may officially be eliminated in lieu of a new digital mass notification system.
Check out a few highlights from the budget or go straight to the source.
5 – Interesting property goes up for sale
Anyone want to buy a fraternity house? – There’s no shortage of unusual properties for sale in and around Tompkins County at the moment. The 134 year-old former Groton Community Church, a masonry chicken coop turned live/work space, and the latest, a former Cornell University fraternity house in Cayuga Heights.
Yes, relive all those college party memories with the purchase of the former Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity house at 306 Highland Road, just north of the city/village line. The property is listed at $1.4 million and includes 20 bedrooms, three open communal spaces, a commercial kitchen and parking.
6 – Books on bus brighten kids’ commute
Books on the bus keep kids engaged during commute — When most people step on the bus, swipe their pass and sit down, they tune out until they reach their stop. But one bus in Ithaca is transforming that daily transit into an engaging time for kids by supplying fun and educational books.
“When the books come out for the children, it’s not just I’m going from Point A to Point B time, it’s suddenly, it’s family time. Right then and there,” longtime TCAT driver Randall Turner said. “And then that instantly evolves into community time because anyone else on the bus — if they choose to read the books out loud and the child reads out loud or the parent reads out loud — people stop what they’re doing and look and observe this book reading.”
7 – Man sentenced after stealing nearly $40K from Cornell Store
Ithaca man sentenced after $39,000 theft at Cornell University Store — A former assistant manager at the Cornell Store was sentenced to three years of probation last week after stealing $39,000 from the store in August 2016. After closing, 34-year-old Nicholas Bennedum spray painted the security cameras before stealing cash from the vault, court records state.
8 – Restaurant with veggie bowls and smoothie bowls to open soon near Ithaca Commons
New plant-based eatery will bring veggie and smoothie bowls to Downtown Ithaca — A new, healthy eatery is opening soon in Downtown Ithaca. The fast casual restaurant will offer plant-based bowls, sweets and beverages.
The restaurant, Nikki Green, will be located on East State Street about a block from the Ithaca Commons. Owner Jacky Falkenberg said she has always been passionate about food and worked toward opening a restaurant throughout school at Cornell University. She recently graduated in the spring.
9 – Ithaca tech company awarded $9 million contract
Ithaca Tech Company Awarded $9M Contract, Expanding Operations for Next Era — The future is written in computer code. From autonomous cars to outer space exploration, and from smart devices to cancer-decoding computer programs, those scripts and applications play an ever bigger part in our lives, and the advancement of our knowledge and abilities.
But it’s not without risk. With their latest large contract, GrammaTech, a local cybersecurity firm, is set to expand its local employment, and put its skills and knowledge to use in safeguarding the cyber future.
10 – Stock up on books before winter! Annual fall book sale underway
Friends of the Library fall book sale kicks off Saturday with new circus-themed feature — Book readers, sniffers and lovers can rejoice this weekend as the fall Friends of the Library book sale kicks off with around 271,000 donated items to browse.
Volunteers spend months sorting books, games, DVDs and CDs into 80 categories for people to buy at the semiannual sale, which offers bargain prices for the items to help fund the Tompkins County Library, the Finger Lakes Library System, and other community organizations.
The book sale goes until Oct. 25. Check the website for additional information about discount days and times.
Featured image: T-shirts were strung across DeWitt Park last week as part of the Clothesline Project, a demonstration about domestic violence. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice