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1 – Cayuga Heights considers zoning revisions that would restrict AirBnB

Cayuga Heights zoning revisions spur protest — Tightening property use laws in Cayuga Heights have incited anger among residents and property owners in Ithaca’s patrician suburb.

Under the new law, short-term rentals (less than 30 days) would be limited to no more than 14 nights per year, and only after multiple sets of paperwork have been filed with the county and village for each stay. While the new code makes Airbnb legal, the trade-off is that it imposes multiple regulatory actions and explicitly limits its use.

2 – Ithaca man taken by ICE sentenced

Ithaca man taken by ICE sentenced to time served – A man who was taken into custody by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was sentenced Friday for having a fake green card after he entered and worked in the United States illegally.

José Guzman-Lopez, 32, has been in custody for about six months when Judge Thomas McAvoy sentenced him to time-served. Guzman-Lopez pleaded guilty to possession of a counterfeit alien registration card on July 29.

3 – Odd/even parking gets shake up with launch of new Tompkins alert system

Tompkins launches system to send important alerts directly to residents; how to sign up —  Tompkins County has officially rolled out a new mass notification system that will send important news and updates directly to the fingertips of residents in every municipality in the county.

A second headline along with this news is that the City of Ithaca has suspended regulations of odd/even parking — a city rule often a headache to residents that accrues about $150,000 in traffic fines for the city every year. Unfortunately, residents can’t forget odd/even parking altogether, as plowing will still need to happen, but instead of the regulation being in effect all winter, it will be turned on as needed.

Check out the story for details on how to sign up.

From left, Legislature Chair Mike Lane and Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick introduce Swift911. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice

4 – Man charged with Newfield homicide takes stand

Newfield homicide: Defendant takes stand saying robbery, murder is not what happened — Defendant Roy Clements Jr. took the stand Thursday where he adamantly denied killing a Newfield man last December and said that it was not a robbery that took place the morning Camden Rundell died, but a business deal.

Clements is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and fourth-degree degree conspiracy. Prosecutors say Clements murdered Rundell while laying on top of him, restraining him while three other people stole marijuana plants from his home. But Clements has maintained his innocence.

Earlier in the week, the defense called a medical examiner who offered a different perspective on how Rundell might have died.

Missed an update in the case? Visit this page for past updates.

Roy Clements Jr. Jolene Almendarez/Ithaca Voice

5 – Documents obtained detail investigation into claims of discrimination by director of Office of Human Rights

Digging into the investigation and removal of Tompkins Office of Human Rights director – Several weeks ago, Karen Baer was abruptly placed on unpaid leave and charged with insubordination among other things, which could result in her being fired. She has been accused of creating a “dysfunctional environment” after refusing to comply with an investigation into claims of discrimination she made against the county.

The Ithaca Voice has obtained the results of the investigation into Baer’s claims.

Karen Baer, director of the Tompkins County Office of Human Rights. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice

6 – Myrick breaks tie vote and opposes historic landmarking for Chacona Block

Myrick breaks tie vote, opposes Collegetown historic landmarking for Chacona Block — In a down-to-the-wire vote Wednesday, city of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick voted against historic landmark designation for Collegetown’s Chacona Block, the century-old home to neighborhood mainstays Collegetown Bagels and Rulloff’s Restaurant.

The Chacona Block, a 3.5 story building located at 411-415 College Avenue, had garnered significant attention both in favor of historic landmarking and against landmarking.

7 – Ithaca temporarily stops in-fill development on South Hill

Ithaca South Hill overlay passes in 9-1 vote — During a nearly two-and-a-half hour public comment period, people’s sentiments about student housing on South Hill rang the same: something had to be done about the influx of student-centric infill housing that allows students to crowd into neighborhoods, amplifying the impacts of bad behavior from some of them.

In a 9-1 vote, most of Common Council decide to address those concerns by putting a temporary stopper on infill development in low density areas.

The overlay will create a temporary pause on the situation until city officials can analyze the area and create a South Hill neighborhood plan that addresses these concerns on a more permanent basis. Creating a draft for the plan is scheduled to take place next year.

Local resident Kenn Young (seated) addresses the Planning and Economic Development Committee on Aug. 9 about South Hill development. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice

8 – Local officials encourage ‘yes’ vote on Constitutional Convention

Local officials encourage affirmative vote on Constitutional Convention — Tompkins County officials met Thursday morning around a table in the Tompkins County Legislative Chambers, encouraging voters to check ‘yes’ this Tuesday on the ballot proposition which would authorize a Constitutional Convention.

If it goes unapproved on Tuesday, the chance to authorize the Constitutional Convention will not return for another 20 years, giving people the chance to amend different parts of the state constitution.

From left, Legislators Martha Robertson, Mike Lane and Rich John. Alyvia Covert/Ithaca Voice

9 – Tompkins considers suing opioid manufacturers

Tompkins considers joining litigation against opioid manufacturers — Tompkins County is considering joining other New York counties in suing opioid manufacturers. Local officials say the action would be a way to recover damages from companies that contribute to local costs associated with drug addiction.

A resolution discussed Wednesday at the Government Operations Committee places blame for the opioid epidemic on manufacturers, distributors and promoters because they have deliberately misled doctors and patients about the addictive nature of opioids and prescription painkillers, misrepresent the dangers of opioids and market them in a way that promotes addiction.

Members of the committee unanimously supported the resolution Wednesday. It will move on to the full Tompkins County Legislature and is on the agenda Nov. 9.

10 – Police search for suspects involved in Ithaca armed robbery

Ithaca residents robbed at gunpoint, police say — Ithaca police are searching for suspects that reportedly robbed residents at gunpoint in their Plain Street apartment.

At about 10:40 p.m. Saturday, police responded to an apartment on  the 100 block of North Plain Street due to multiple calls about shots fired.

Two victims told police that two men wearing masks and carrying long guns had forced their way into the apartment. One victim said they were struck in the head with the butt end of a gun.

Featured image: Shirley Collado is inaugurated as Ithaca College’s ninth president Nov. 4. 


Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.