Welcome to the quickest way to learn the week’s most important local news.
1 – Green Street Garage site back up for discussion
Amid public outcry, Green Street Garage RFP reopened — In an unexpected turn of events, the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Green Street Garage was reopened last Thursday at the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency’s monthly meeting.
At the end of the RFP, only one proposal by Rimland-Peak. That proposal included a new parking garage, the retention of Cinemapolis, two apartment towers and conference space. However, there was some push back about the about the transparency and quality of the RFP process, so it was reopened. A second proposal appears to be in the works.
The Green Street site was also up for discussion at Ithaca Common Council on Wednesday, with a handful of local residents expressing concern about rents, gentrification of the area and the environmental consequences of large development projects.
2 – Ithaca Housing Authority goes smoke-free
No Smoking: Ithaca Housing Authority bans smoking on properties — Last week, Ithaca Housing Authority officially rolled out its new smoke-free policy for its properties, including Northside, Southview, Overlook Terrace family sites and Titus Towers. The policy prohibits smoking or vaping by tenants and anyone else in any apartment, common area or IHA outdoor areas unless otherwise designated.
The policy is intended to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and also reduce costs related to smoke damage in apartments.
3 – Stock up at biannual Friends of the Library Book Sale
Photo Gallery: Shelves packed and ready for biannual Friends of the Library Book Sale — The Friends of the Library Book Sale returns this weekend. The shelves are packed and ready for the thousands of shoppers that will come by to find new homes for all the donated books. Hundreds of thousands of books, games, CDs and other items will be sold over the course of the sale.
Every sale is a fresh start with a new stock of books and the culmination of a lot of work by many volunteers behind the scenes. The book sale is ongoing until May 22. This story takes a look at what goes on behind the scenes before the sale and highlights some interesting finds that have come through the sale.
4 – 12 new citizens welcomed to Tompkins County
12 people from nine countries welcomed into Tompkins County as U.S. citizens — It was a happy day in the Tompkins County Courthouse on Wednesday, as 12 people from nine countries became U.S. citizens.
For most, it was a long journey to get there. Damion Josephs, from Jamaica, said it took four years to get to the U.S.
“For me, this process began in 2010,” Josephs said. “It took me four years to get here. It’s the waiting process, which is the worst part, getting here was harder than the tests.”
5 – Dick Cheney speaks at Cornell University
Gallery: Dick Cheney gives talk at Cornell, punctuated by protest — At the invitation of student organization Cornell Republicans, Former Vice President Richard “Dick” Cheney spoke Tuesday to a full auditorium in Cornell University’s Kennedy Hall.
For a little over an hour, Cheney gave a speech and engaged in a question-and-answer session, wherein he talked United States foreign policy, President Donald Trump, and his personal history in politics, while immediately outside – and, at times, inside – a protest took place.
6 – ‘Truly transformative’ projects will overhaul airport, open up valuable waterfront space
‘Truly transformative’ projects will overhaul airport, open up valuable waterfront space — In major economic news for Tompkins County, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced $22 million in projects, backed by $14.2 million in state funding, that will drastically change the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport and Ithaca’s waterfront.
The funding will expand the airport with six gates, three new boarding bridges and a customs facility. As part of the package, the Department of Transportation will get a new facility by the airport, opening up valuable waterfront space.
“We’ve been waiting for this a very long time,” Tompkins County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson said.
7 — Rep. Tom Reed talks healthcare, guns and Farm Bill
Tom Reed discusses healthcare, guns and Farm Bill in Enfield town hall — During a packed town hall in Enfield on Thursday, Congressman Tom Reed addressed questions on healthcare, arming teachers, gun control and the Farm Bill.
The town hall was held in the Enfield Highway Department building, a more spacious venue than some of Reed’s past town halls in Tompkins County. Reed was met with disagreement on several issues Thursday evening — most strongly on healthcare — but found some common ground about not wanting to arm teachers.
For beginning-to-end coverage of the event, be sure to watch the full video of the town hall in Enfield.
8 – Trumansburg woman to compete on ‘Jeopardy!’
EpiPens are in short supply at Ithaca, regional pharmacies — A Trumansburg woman will compete in the “Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament” scheduled to air next week on NBC.
Rachel Niegelberg, a special education teacher at Watkins Glen Elementary, flew to Los Angeles in March to film the episode at Sony Studios. While Niegelberg’s episode is scheduled to air on Tuesday, the entire “Teachers Tournament” is set to begin on Monday. Niegelberg has been auditioning to get on “Jeopardy!” for nearly 10 years.
9 – Serial flasher sentenced to 6 years in prison
Serial flasher sentenced to 6 years in prison — Brooktondale resident Floyd Slater Jr., 26, who has been accused of flashing and harassing women on multiple occasions, has been sentenced to six years in prison for burglary and public lewdness.
Slater was convicted of second-degree attempted burglary and public lewdness. According to the district attorney’s office, in addition to serving six years in state prison, he will also have five years of post-release supervision.
10 – A conversation with Tompkins County’s poet laureate Zee Zahava ahead of Spring Writes Literary Festival
Tompkins County’s Poet Laureate Zee Zahava shares sage advice ahead of Spring Writes Literary Festival — Ahead of Spring Writes Literary Festival, taking place Thursday through Sunday, we sat down with Tompkins County Poet Laureate Zee Zahava to discuss the craft of writing.
“Being the poet laureate has given me a tremendous opportunity to take my work out of the studio and into venues in Ithaca,” Zahava said.
In our conversation, Zahava offered some sage advice about making space for writing in one’s own life.
Featured image: Tompkins County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson said the county has been waiting on these upgrades for a long time. (Alyvia Covert/The Ithaca Voice)