Category Archives: No Feature

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25th = New 24th Congressional District: Buerkle-Maffei Rematch

In a new political landscape, some Central New York voters will see a rematch between U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-Onondaga Hill, and Democrat Dan Maffei of DeWitt for the recently redesigned 24th Congressional District. “It’s going to be a … Continue reading

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More Sunshine Through the Web on Government

More information about what’s discussed at government meetings could be at the public’s fingertips under a recent change to New York’s open meetings law. “The law catches up with technology,” said Roy Gutterman, journalism professor and director of the Tully … Continue reading

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The Homeless Get More Help Around Syracuse

Bright-colored blankets and sheets lay neatly folded at the foot of 24 beds in the overflow unit at the Rescue Mission. “We went to bunk beds this past winter and doubled from 12 to 24 beds,”  said Charley Rhodes, the … Continue reading

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What To Do About Hydrofracking’s Wastewater?

Millions of gallons of chemical wastewater are complicating the already-volatile debate over hydrofracking in New York. The unavoidly contaminated wastewater cannot be treated at normal sewage or water treatment facilities. Standard treatment facilities can remove bacteria and some toxic metals. … Continue reading

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Boomerang Children & College Debt Can Hit Families Hard

Young people are moving back home in record numbers — thanks to the bad economy and, for some college graduates, too much college debt. And that’s adding to pressures on the whole family. “Families may feel stressed to make ends … Continue reading

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Onondaga Lake Clean-Up Goes to the Bottom

The bottom of Onondaga Lake is being scraped to remove mercury and other chemicals in the next big phase of the lake’s cleanup. Dredging to take out the mercury will be a major environmental improvement, said Richard Smardon, an environmental … Continue reading

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For the Disabled, Access Again to State Parks

For disabled New Yorkers, the great outdoors is open again — partly because of a special, tax-supported program. “We get closer to nature and  have a greater appreciation for it,” said Keith Havis, site administrator at West Genesee Day Habilitation … Continue reading

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New Evaluations for Some Teachers in Troubled Schools

Some teachers will be evaluated differently in Syracuse city schools this year. That’s to meet a state requirement to keep $11.5 million in grants for struggling schools in the Syracuse City School District. “It was something that we needed to … Continue reading

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Murders Rise & Fall for City & County Over Decade

Six murders. That’s the number of murders in Syracuse in all of 2011, according to Syracuse Police. It compares to 15 murders in the city in 2010 — a drop of 60 percent. And it’s a decline that local officials … Continue reading

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TRAC Feeds Government Accountability by Opening Records

Break open tons of government documents. Distill them into nuggets of understandable data. Serve in neatly-packaged reports. That is the recipe TRAC — or Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse — has followed for 23 years to give the public a chance … Continue reading

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Controversial Bill Includes Women in Same-Sex Couples for Help Against Domestic Violence

Women in same-sex relationships could get help against domestic violence under a proposed change in a federal law. “Many same-sex couples cannot take advantage of programs because some states don’t allow them to be married,” said Kim Dill, the executive … Continue reading

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Civil Liberties & Security at Odds in Surveillance of Muslim Students

When Muslim students at Syracuse University were being watched by the government, the surveillance highlighted the ongoing conflicts between civil liberties and national security. “Nobody wants to be on anybody’s list,” said Tanweer Haq, the Islamic chaplain at Hendricks Chapel … Continue reading

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Tracking You Online: Privacy or Customer Service?

Google is watching you. And with recent changes in its privacy policy, Google has renewed a debate how Internet service providers like Google can collect and use the personal information routinely — and quietly — exposed on the web by … Continue reading

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Two Sides of Same Coin: Minimum Wage

For single mother Yaumara Rodriguez, a minimum-wage hike means the difference between paying for gas or giving her daughters some new clothes. “Gas is very expensive,” Rodriguez said. “It’s almost what I make in an hour.” For business owner Jerry … Continue reading

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To Feed a Family, Food Stamps Can Fall Short

For Tina Backus,  feeding her family on the $243 a month in food stamps is nearly impossible. “It’s really, really hard at the end of the month,”  said Backus, a single mom of four boys who can no longer work … Continue reading

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Biking Gets Better, Safer with a Plan

Syracuse’s bike plan is beginning to show its stripes. From East Genesee Street to South Salina Street, bright new white lines identify bike lanes. They are the result of the city’s plan for an interconnected bicycling network. They are also … Continue reading

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Making Syracuse a Work of Art

A giant serpent popping out of the concrete alongside a creek. A mural depicting people’s favorite aspects of Syracuse like snow-capped hills. A sculpture of a pair of bells to be rung to let go of lost love. Public art … Continue reading

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A Win for Towns vs States on Hydrofracking

When two upstate New York towns won recent court victories about banning hydracking, they also won early battles about what’s called “home rule.” And the court rulings could have larger implications about controversies that pit one level of government against … Continue reading

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Students Struggle with Repaying College Loans

More college students are failing to pay back their federal government loans. “The numbers show that people have had a hard time over the past couple of years with payments,” said Jane Glickman, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of … Continue reading

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Technology in Schools a Growing Trend and Question

For students and parents of Cazenovia School District, technology is an everyday tool. Parents track attendance and grades with the online system PowerSchool. In 2011, the school purchased 40 iPads with federal stimulus dollars. Teachers use smart boards — interactive … Continue reading

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Winter Choice: Salt in Water or Ice on Roads

Slippery, ice-coated roads — or more salt in the water table. Those are the trade-offs in the winter battle to keep roads open in Onondaga County and other snow-belt areas. “We constantly get calls from the public and environmentalists,” said … Continue reading

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Public Funding a Symphony Still Unclear

The future of a symphony orchestra in Syracuse is hanging by a tax-payer string. Two groups are now seeking government funding to create a new symphony orchestra after an earlier orchestra went bankrupt and a philharmonic orchestra failed. Meanwhile, some … Continue reading

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Scenes from New Hampshire primary 2012

Syracuse University graduate and undergraduate students spent Jan. 4-11 in New Hampshire. They were covering the primary for news outlets across the country. Here are some memorable moments from the trip.

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For WATD Radio, Some Memories of Primary

For the week of the New Hampshire primaries, three Newhouse broadcast journalism students — Matt Porter, Amanda Watkins, and Jared Kraham — covered the election for WATD Radio in Marshfield, Mass. This is their final report — a sample of … Continue reading

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Lessons from a New Hampshire Adventure

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 9, 2012) — This is one crazy place. Hordes of reporters swarm to New Hampshire for the first-in-the-nation primary. After four years of studying journalism and political science from the classroom, I’ve been thrown into real-world reporting. … Continue reading

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Scenes from Occupy New Hampshire

Democracywise reporter Ben Klein captured these scenes from the Occupy New Hampshire protest during Primary Week. (Ben Klein, a senior with dual majors in magazine journalism and political science at Syracuse University, is covering the New Hampshire primary for The … Continue reading

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Romney Wins New Hampshire Primary

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney handily won the New Hampshire primary, delivering his victory speech by 8:30 p.m. with 37 percent of the vote. “Tonight we made history,” Romney said in his victory speech, according to the Associated Press. “The … Continue reading

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No Political Exhaustion for N.H. Voters

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 9, 2012) — Primary fatigue is not a disease in New Hampshire. Despite the daily campaign events, despite the wall-to-wall posters and placards, despite the hordes of journalists, New Hampshire residents still relish their role in choosing … Continue reading

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Last Pitches for 2012 Primary Campaign

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 9, 2012) — In the countdown to Primary Day, theRepublican candidates are racing around the state making their final cases to voters. WATD’s Jared Kraham has the details. Candidates have … Continue reading

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Behind the Scenes with Press

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 7, 2012) — This is a glimpse behind the scenes into Manchester’s most frenetic club. It is open for one night only. Capacity is just over 700. On Friday, this club was packed with media from Denmark … Continue reading

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From Rochester to New Hampshire a Journey into a Culture

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 9, 2012) — When Greece-Arcardia ’82 high school sweethearts Bill and Jennifer Kretovic moved to New Hampshire in 1988, they made several engagements — and not just of the romantic kind. They got married. They moved into … Continue reading

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Missourians Occupy New Hampshire

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 9, 2012)–Michael Shaughnessy of Kansas City, Mo., is making a New Hampshire statement with his artwork. It is a circular bail of hay on top of his car with signs that say “We are the 99 percent.’” … Continue reading

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SU Alum a Player in NH Primary

HOLLIS, N.H. (Jan. 8, 2012) — “Money manager” Jim Luther knows New Hampshire politics, by way of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. “New Hampshire is the filter for the nation,” said Luther, a state senator in New … Continue reading

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Paladino to Campaign for Gingrich in New York; Others Take Advantage of NH’s Retail Politics

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan.7, 2012) — Political maverick Carl Paladino arrived from Buffalo, N.Y., in New Hampshire to start prepping for a new role as the Western New York campaign coordinator for the Newt Gingrich campaign. “I want to meet these … Continue reading

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Virginians Cultivate New Hampshire Politics

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 6, 2012)– For Richmond-native Britt Curley, this is — in the campaign’s slogan — “Newt Hampshire.” She’s excited, Curley said, to help Newt Gingrich try to win the GOP presidential nomination and beat President Barack Obama in … Continue reading

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Being a Neighbor is Good Politics for Romney

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 6, 2012) — For Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, being a neighbor to New Hampshire is mostly a good thing. Romney was governor of neighboring Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. And that accounts at least partially for … Continue reading

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A Good Haircut for a Good Cause

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 6, 2012)—A $400 hair cut is still on list of services at the Hair Biz Salon. The high-priced cut dates back to 2008 when then-Sen. John Edwardswas running for the … Continue reading

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Music of Note in New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 6, 2012) — Forget Jay-Z. Forget Alicia Keys. In New Hampshire, it’s all about The Super Secret Project and its anthem to New Hampshire pride, “The Granite State of Mind.” “I’ve done shows when an 80-year-old woman … Continue reading

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Globe Goes for Huntsman

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] NEWPORT, N.H. (Jan. 6, 2012) — The Boston Globe has endorsed Jon Huntsman in the Republican presidential race. WATD’s Jared Kraham is following the Huntsman campaign and has the details: “Ladies and gentlemen, … Continue reading

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What Makes New Hampshire Special?

TILTON, N.H. (Jan. 5, 2012)  — Margo Weeks likes to look presidential candidates in the eye and ask tough questions to determine whether she trusts them. In New Hampshire, she can do exactly that. “You really get a chance to … Continue reading

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Boundless Energy for a Democrat Running in New Hampshire

NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 5, 2012) — Bob Greene has the answer to the energy crisis. It’s cheap, available and it’s domestic. “It’s like uranium, only better. In almost every single aspect, it’s far better,” he said. Greene is running for … Continue reading

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What Makes New Hampshire Different

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 5, 2012) — People  taking a break at  Concord’s Barley House tavern, also known as Campaign Central, say their state deserves the honor it’s held for over almost 60 years. … Continue reading

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Young Voters Drawn to New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 5, 2012) — Just nine days after George Cox graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas this December, he joined Jon Huntsman’s campaign in Manchester, N.H. “Huntsman has foreign policy experience, business experience, a history of … Continue reading

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A Warm Welcome for Santorum

TILTON, N.H. (Jan. 5, 2012) — Rick Santorum rode his swell of popularity and media attention from Iowa through central New Hampshire Thursday afternoon. Santorum, who is campaigning as a staunch conservative, finished just 8 votes behind front-runner Mitt Romney … Continue reading

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Newport Booms With Politics

NEWPORT, N.H. (Jan. 5, 2012) — The Village of Newport isn’t much bigger than the Village of Manlius — unless  a presidential candidate is visiting. When a politician like Mitt Romney rolls into town, for example, Newport — normal  normal … Continue reading

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Iowa? New Hampshire Voters Make Up Their Own Minds

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 5, 2012) — Even after Iowa, many New Hampshire voters are still undecided on their presidential choice. A small random sampling on Thursday in Manchester found some New Hampshire voters were impressed by Rick Santorum, who came … Continue reading

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Santorum Aims for 1st Place

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] NORTHFIELD, N.H. (Jan. 5, 2012) — After coming in second in the Iowa caucuses,  Rick Santorum is getting a second look from New Hampshire voters this week.  WATD’s Amanda Watkins was in Northfield … Continue reading

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Blue Plate Special: Santorum

TILTON, N.H. (Jan. 5, 2012) — In the best tradition of diner politics, the Tilt’n Diner sees candidates come and go. Kyoko Cate, a waitress at the Tilt’n Diner, judges candidates by where they go in the diner. “My son, … Continue reading

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Elm Street: Where Politics and Business Meet

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 5, 2012) — Cupcakes for Newt Gingerich. Headquarters for most of the Republican presidential candidates. Sightings of just about all them. Those are all along Elm Street, an intersection of politics and business. In a snow flurry … Continue reading

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New Hampshire a Primary Culture

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 6, 2012) — On behalf of their fellow Americans, New Hampshire voters are getting up close, personal and tough with the Republican presidential candidates in pursuit of the state’s primary on Jan. 10. “New Hampshirites are acting … Continue reading

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Health Insurance Again a Question Mark for Millions

Anthony Masker has a health insurance plan called hope. “I guess I hope nothing severe happens,” said Masker, 50, of Syracuse. He works seven days a week driving a taxi. “I’m just trying to stay healthy.” Masker is among the … Continue reading

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Many Vets Face Quiet Struggles After Coming Home

Army Sergeant Rick Jones knew something was wrong when he did not want to go home to Dover, New Hampshire, to spend Thanksgiving with his family. “I really didn’t want to see, necessarily, my family.  I was gone for about … Continue reading

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Obesity a Growing Health Threat

For Allison Peacock, trying to maintain a healthy weight was like riding a roller coaster. “I would lose 60 pounds,” Peacock, 34, of Syracuse said. “Then I would gain 65.” Peacock, an emergency room social worker at Upstate University Hospital, … Continue reading

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Hydrofracking Yeilds Split View of Benefits & Dangers

Water contamination. Economic Strain. Corporate exploitation. Cheaper, cleaner alternative fuel. Jobs. Energy independence. Those are the two conflicting visions of the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing — or  hydrofracking — to capture natural gas from rocks underground. Against hydrofacking, environmental … Continue reading

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Food Stamps a Red-Tape Lifeline for the Hungry

For Deena Crowall, federal food stamps are a hassle—but a necessary one. “I wouldn’t want to say ‘bye’ to it,” said Crowall, 24, of the North Side of Syracuse. She needs the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, she said. It’s … Continue reading

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Students’ Debt a Drag on Future’s Dreams

Five percent: that’s how much student-loan debt has risen in just the last year. And with the continual increase in costs of tuition, the pressure of paying back loans is becoming overwhelming for many college students. “Of course I’m concerned. … Continue reading

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Learning English: Adult Immigrants & Refugees

“They want to be able to communicate. And they come and they have these ideas in their head like you and I. But they lack the ability to communicate with the people around them. And I don’t I know — … Continue reading

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Unemployment Hits The Young with More Challenges

For a job these days, Jose Marrero, 19, of the Westside of Syracuse, is considering the Navy. “I’ve always wanted to travel the world,” he said. “I just have to go.” Marrero is one of thousands of young people considered … Continue reading

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School Lunches Get New Menu & Concerns

Lose the tater tots. Keep the tomato paste-laden pizza. Those are among the changes for children’s school lunches recently proposed by the federal government. And they are at the heart of national and local concern about how to assure children … Continue reading

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High-Speed Rail Off the Tracks for Now

Imagine zipping from Syracuse east to Albany or west to Niagara Falls at 110 miles an hour. On a train. That’s the vision for high-speed rail through Central New York, as part of a national effort to expand and speed … Continue reading

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Veterans’ Face Challenges in Job Market

For many returning veterans, the next fight is to get a job. And the recession, say some veterans’ advocates, has hurt even those veterans who had been in the workforce. “Veterans were wearing ties and shirts,” said Gordon Sclar, a … Continue reading

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County District 6: Plochocki Win a “Dream”

Republican Mike Plochocki is the winner against Democrat Toby Shelley in the Onondaga County Legislature District 6 race. “It’s my first time running and it’s a redistricted district and in this district the number of Republicans and Democrats got closer … Continue reading

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County District 6: Shelley Loses for Dems

Democrat Toby Shelley lost out to Republican Mike Plochocki for the District 6 seat in the Onondaga County Legislature. “There’s nothing to say,” Shelley said on Tuesday night at Pensabene’s restaurant on State Fair Boulevard, after Onondaga Democrats chairperson Vita … Continue reading

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Common Council District 4: Bey Claims Seat for Dems over Green’s Hawkins

Democrat Khalid Bey has won the District 4 Common Council seat against Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins with a slim margin. “I’m good.  I’m satisfied.  Close, but a win nevertheless. It’s the win that we were after, and we were … Continue reading

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County District 4: Tassone Optimistic with Slim Lead

Republican incumbent Judy Tassone holds a small lead over Democrat David Stott in her re-election bid for District 4 of the Onondaga County Legislature. “I’m happy, but I’m not going to be happy until we get the final numbers,” Tassone … Continue reading

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County District 15: McMahon a Quiet Winner for GOP

Republican Ryan McMahon has won his first county legislature election for the open seat in District 15. “It’s been a long process,” McMahon said as he and his family gathered at his Strathmore-area home.  “This was a new race with … Continue reading

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County District 7: Liedka Cautiously Excited by Lead

By 133 votes, Republican Danny Liedka is the leader in the race for District 7 Onondaga County Legislature on Tuesday. Liedka expressed cautious excitement as he and friends gathered at Brad’s Extra Innings in East Syracuse. Until the absentee ballots are … Continue reading

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County District 8: In Losing, Corso Still Gave Voters a Choice

Republican Larry Corso has lost to Democrat Chris Ryan in the District 8 County Legislature race. “Well, you know, Chris is a good man. I wish him the very best. I met with him today, and I know he’ll be … Continue reading

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County District 4: Stott Behind by 31 Votes

In a too-close-to-call race, Democrat David Stott was behind by 31 votes for District 4 seat of the Onondaga County Legislature after a rematch against Republican incumbent Judy Tassone. “This race isn’t over yet,” Stott said as he gathered with … Continue reading

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County District 7: Dadey Trails by 133 Votes

In a squeaker, Democratic Party candidate Lorene Dadey trails slightly in the District 7 race for the Onondaga County Legislature against Republican Danny Liedka. “I am not happy,” said Dadey in an phone interview as the unofficial tally showed her … Continue reading

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County District 15: Democrat English Loses

Democrat Mark English has lost the District 15 county legislature seat to Common Councilor Ryan McMahon, R-Syracuse. English did not respond to interview requests as the votes came in on Tuesday night. Democrats had gathered at Pensabene Casa Grand restaurant … Continue reading

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County District 8: Ryan Wins for Dems

Democrat Chris Ryan has won the race for the Onondaga County legislator of District 8. “It’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of planning, a lot of time away from family,” said Ryan at the Onondaga County Democratic … Continue reading

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County District 4: Stott on Issues

Line-by-line budget reviews, more support for cultural resources and more support for Van Duyn nursing home highlight the stands on some key issues by Democrat David Stott in the District 4 race for the Onondaga County Legislature. Stott is challenging … Continue reading

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County District 4: Tassone on Issues

Fewer state mandates, lower county taxes and help from Upstate Medical University for the area’s elderly highlight the stands of Judy Tassone, R-Liverpool, on some key issues as she seeks re-election from District 4 in the Onondaga County Legislature. She … Continue reading

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County District 6: Shelley on Issues

Cutting costs, creating jobs and preserving Van Duyn nursing home highlight the stands of  Democrat Toby Shelley on some key issues as he seeks election from District 6 in the Onondaga County Legislature. Shelley, a deputy sheriff and road patrol … Continue reading

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County District 7: Dadey on Issues

Efficient county spending, more options for affordable housing and a closer look at the costs of Van Duyn nursing home are among the proposals on key issues from Lorene Dadey, the Democratic Party’s candidate for the District 7 seat in … Continue reading

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County District 7: Liedka on Issues

No tax increases, better quality of education and green jobs for the young, and state responsibility for the Van Duyn nursing home are the stands on some key issues for  Republican candidate Danny Liedka in the race for Onondaga County … Continue reading

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County District 8: Ryan on Issues

On the issues of taxes, young people and elderly care, Onondaga County Legislature candidate Chris Ryan calls for cutting costs. Ryan, 38, is the Democratic candidate for the District 8 seat in the Onondaga County Legislature in November’s election. He … Continue reading

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County District 8: Corso on Issues

Larry Corso, the Republican candidate for the Onondaga County Legislature’s District 8 open seat in the November election, declined to give his views to Democracywise on how to manage county taxes and how to keep the county-owned Van Duyn Home, a … Continue reading

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County District 15: English on Issues

Tax relief can solve many of the county’s problems, says Democratic candidate Mark English. English, a family-practice lawyer, is running for the Onondaga County Legislature for District 15.  He faces Ryan McMahon, R-Syracuse, who is serving his third term on the Syracuse … Continue reading

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County District 15: McMahon on Issues

Streamlining county services,  investing in cultural resources and support for Upstate Medical University control of Van Duyn nursing home are among the stands on key issues from Republican Ryan McMahon in the race for District 15 in the Onondaga County … Continue reading

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Common Council 4: Hawkins on Issues

A hiring hall for workers and employers, a progressive tax system and more state money are among the proposals from Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Common Council District 4, on some key issues. This is Hawkins’ 19th political run.  … Continue reading

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Common Council 4: Bey on Issues

More jobs in health care, a varied job market and tighter budget controls highlight the stands of  Khalid Bey, Democratic candidate for Common Council District 4, on some key issues. Bey’s opponent is Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, who has … Continue reading

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County District 4: $ for Stott

For campaign money, Democrat David Stott trails badly in the race for District 4 of the Onondaga County Legislature. As of Oct. 28, Stott had raised $10,119. That compares to $25,873 raised by incumbent Judy Tassone, R-Liverpool. The District 4 … Continue reading

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County District 4: $ for Tassone

Local businesses and politicians are chipping in dollars for Judy Tassone’s re-election campaign for the Onondaga County Legislature. As of Oct. 28, Tassone had raised $25,873. Of that, businesses and other politicians accounted for almost 34 percent.  That’s  according to reports … Continue reading

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County District 6: $ for Shelley

Neighbors, friends and labor unions are among the major sources of campaign funds for Toby Shelley as he seeks the Onondaga County Legislature’s District 6 seat. “You can’t physically knock on enough doors to win an election,”  Shelley said. But … Continue reading

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County District 6: $ for Plochocki

Family and friends are filling Mike Plochocki’s campaign piggy bank as he seeks the open seat for Onondaga County Legislature District 6. His brother and campaign manager, James Plochocki, donated the second largest amount among named donors— $600 — to … Continue reading

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County District 7: $ for Dadey

Democratic colleagues in DeWitt government are among the funders for Lorene Dadey’s campaign for the District 7 seat in the Onondaga County Legislature. Between July 15 and Oct. 24, at least four DeWitt officials gave a total of  $450 to Dadey, … Continue reading

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County District 7: $ for Liedka

For campaign cash, Republican Danny Liedka has outraised his opponent in the District 7 race for the Onondaga County Legislature. As of Oct. 29, Liedka has raised $15,374 — more than three times that of his opponent, according to campaign … Continue reading

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County District 8: $ for Ryan

Chris Ryan’s union connections, family members and political acquaintances are financing his campaign for the Onondaga County Legislature. “The main reason that people would want to contribute,” Ryan said, was because “they believe in you.” Ryan, 38, is the Democratic … Continue reading

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County District 8: $ for Corso

Ever since he started campaigning for  the Onondaga County Legislature’s District 8 open seat, Larry Corso has been pounding the pavement, door-knocking, handing out cards, shaking hands and making campaign signs. He’s not been raising campaign money. “I have no … Continue reading

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County District 15: $ for English

Unions and fellow Democrats are the major sources of campaign money for Mark English in the race for the Onondaga County Legislature seat in District 15. As of Oct. 28, English has raised $10,339, according to campaign finance reports filed … Continue reading

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County District 15: $ for McMahon

In the money race, Ryan McMahon, R-Syracuse,  has a big lead over his Democratic rival for the Onondaga County Legislature seat for District 15. McMahon, the Common Councilor for District 3 in the city, has raised almost slightly more than … Continue reading

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Common Council 4: $ for Hawkins

Almost a quarter of  Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins’ campaign money for the District 4 Common Council seat has come from his own pocket. As of Oct. 28, Hawkins had raised $8,612, according to campaign finance reports filed with the … Continue reading

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Common Council 4: $ for Bey

Small-business owners’ donations are a big part of keeping Khalid Bey’s campaign for Common Council District 4 running. As of Oct. 24, contributions from 16 small businesses account for 71 percent — or $5,455—of Bey’s fundraising, according to campaign finance … Continue reading

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Common Council 4: Hawkins for Green Party

For Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, the November election is a lifetime pattern. “Howie has been doing what he’s doing since he was like 14,” said Ursula Rozum, one of Hawkins’ campaign managers.  “He’s been very committed to social change … Continue reading

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Common Council 4: Bey for Dems

Longtime social activist. Familiar political figure. Author. Those are at the top of Khalid Bey’s resume as he seeks the Common Council seat from District 4 in the November election. He’s pitching himself as the candidate most of the district’s … Continue reading

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County District 4: Stott for Dems

Thirty inches of human waste helped David Stott get elected in 2007. “People had raw sewage backing up into their basements,” recalled  Stott, a Democrat from Salina. Old sewage pipelines caused wall-to-wall sewage to flood the homes on Floradale Road … Continue reading

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County District 4: Tassone for GOP

For Judy Tassone, questions come first. “I’ve got to know thoroughly what’s going on.  I will not vote on an issue if it’s pushed through – if someone is trying to push something through.  I want to know what is … Continue reading

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County District 6: Plochocki for GOP

When Mike Plochocki was a child, his grandparents told him he wouldn’t get elected to any political office. When he became a teenager, Plochocki recalled, his parents told him to stay away from a career in law and politics. So … Continue reading

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County District 6: Shelley for Dems

After reading six years’ worth of government minutes, Toby Shelley came to a conclusion. “A lot of the decisions with public safety weren’t the most informed,” said Shelley. That realization, he said, helped shape his decision to run for the … Continue reading

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County District 7: Dadey for Dems

For Lorene Dadey, her coffee shop has taught her about politics. “When you own a small business, every nickel counts,” Dadey said. “I think the same principle applies to government.” Dadey, 54, owner of the Sunshine Coffee Shop in East … Continue reading

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County District 7: Liedka for GOP

Danny Liedka banks on numbers. He started with a goal of 365. That’s how many doors he wants to knock on each week between now and Election Day. Now, he says, he’s up to 5,100. “I’ve never been outworked by … Continue reading

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County District 8: Larry Corso for GOP

As Larry Corso paints it, his politics are about his roots. Roots in the same neighborhood that his grandparents called home. Roots in the Marine Corps. Roots in Syracuse’s Polish community. “I went to school at Saint Lucy’s. I belong … Continue reading

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County District 8: Chris Ryan for Dems

Union man. Proud Irish-American Catholic. Heir to a political tradition. Those are the driving forces for Chris Ryan. “I’m passionate about workers’ rights and the need to earn a good wage and protect middle-class jobs,” said Ryan. Ryan, 38, is … Continue reading

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County District 15: English for Dems

Mark English sympathizes with the unemployed. He was once in their shoes. When he was 38 years old, English recalled, he lost his job as a foundry worker with what was then Crouse-Hines, a manufacturer of electrical products. He still … Continue reading

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County District 15: McMahon for GOP

As Ryan McMahon paints his political portrait, politics and community are the same. “It’s a piece of who we are,” as McMahon puts it. “It’s our heritage.” Ryan McMahon, 31, is serving his third term on the Common Council from … Continue reading

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Voting 101: How to Have a Voice in Democracy

For your voice to count in our democracy, you have to register to vote — and you have to actually vote. “The best way to see something actually get done is to vote,” said Ed Ryan, the Democratic commissioner for … Continue reading

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County Legislature Election Gets a Make-Over with New Faces

More women and more newcomers highlight voters’ choices for the Onondaga County Legislature in November. And the variety is good for public affairs, say political experts. “The more diversity you have in the legislature, the more ideas there are, the … Continue reading

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County-Wide View of Districts & Candidates: All 17 Up for Election

With all 17 seats in the newly redistricted Onondaga County Legislature on the ballot, voters will have a buffet of choices in the November election. Republicans remain in control of the legislature, with 11 seats to the Democrats’ six. But … Continue reading

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County Open Seats Give Voters New Choices

Voters in Onondaga County have some new choices for the county legislature this November. The races in five county districts are what’s called open seats.  That means the incumbents are not running for re-election.  One of the open seats has … Continue reading

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Top Three County Offices Uncontested: Mahoney, Fitzpatrick & Antonacci

Voters won’t have a choice for Onondaga County’s top three elected positions on the November ballot. County Executive Joanie Mahoney, District Attorney William Fitzpatrick and Robert Antonacci, the comptroller — all Republican incumbents— are unopposed for re-election. The election is … Continue reading

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Common Council Big Picture is Close-Up Politics

To fix their potholes and plow their streets, voters can choose among 13 Common Council candidates this November. Those include five district councilors and two councilors at-large. The Common Council election is up-close-and-personal politics for citizens, say political experts. It … Continue reading

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Common Council Roundup: All Seats Up for Election

For voters’ choices, the Common Council Election this November offers three incumbents, two challengers and two one open-seat contests. All five Common Council district seats are up for election. The incumbents are Democrats Pat Hogan of District 2, who is … Continue reading

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Councilors-at-Large: Two Dems & Two GOP Joy, Hudson, Rotondo & Schmeling

Voters will choose two candidates from a group of four running for the Syracuse Common Councilor-at-Large seats in November’s election. Two Democratic and two Republican candidates will be on the ballot Nov. 8. The Democrats are incumbent Kathleen Joy, a … Continue reading

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City Auditor Candidates: Kimatian and Masterpole

To keep a close eye on their money, city voters have two new choices for city auditor in the November election. The Democratic candidate is Martin Masterpole, now a member of the Onondaga County Legislature.  The Republican candidate is businessman … Continue reading

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Three Candidates Run for City Court Judge

Each day they decide who goes to jail and who walks free. They see to it that tenants are not unjustly evicted from their homes. They can start and end marriages.  And they tell you whether or not you’ll pay … Continue reading

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School Board to Get 4 New Faces; 7 Candidates Want the Jobs

Syracuse students will see four new members on their school board after the November election. Four of the seven education commission seats are up for election and none of the incumbents are running. Seven candidates want to fill the four … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

“People are having a hard time finding jobs.  I know students that have graduated and can’t find jobs in the field they were hoping to go into. I know several student teachers they go on for their master’s cause they … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

Click Here for Audio “Too much crime.  I try to get away from it in New York City and it happens everywhere.” (Moises Sanchez, 36, of Syracuse, manager of the Atrium Garage, unaffiliated with a political party) “More community involvement … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

Click Here for Audio “My boss is running for the school board, the city school board. So I hope he wins. Over the past couple of years, we just launched the Say Yes to Education program, which I would have … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

Click Here for Audio “Getting out of debt, wiser spending and more focus on eco-friendly stuff, I guess.” (Bryan Thomas, 26, of Syracuse, employed with the Syracuse University athletics department, Democrat) “They’re absolutely spending too much money on war. They … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

Click Here for Audio “We got to have some kind of a better medical plan than what we have now. It’s so expensive. I mean, prescriptions are so expensive. Doctors and hospitals, the cost of medical insurance — they’ve gone … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

Click Here for Audio “The economy is important to me because I have been unemployed for three years now.” (Elise Curry of Syracuse, 42, unemployed, registered with the Independence Party) “I work in the juvenile system. There’s a lot of … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

Click Here for Audio “You hear about oil — we drill offshore. We depend on other nations for supplying this stuff. We’ve got so much oil out West, that we wouldn’t hurt that supply. And it wouldn’t infringe on those … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

Click Here for Audio “Hopefully get us out of debt. Change things around with schools and stuff for kids. Definitely for other people that have kids that are struggling. Too many students in one classroom for one teacher. They’re cutting … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

Click Here for Audio “Give more jobs. Less testing for drugs when it comes to a job because that will help stop a lot of crime  — because people are getting tested, drug tested, and they’re not able to get … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

Click Here for Audio “We should worry about home more than foreign affairs. It seems like the last two presidents all they cared about was foreign affairs. I do think we should keep our troops over there, but less of … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

Click Here for Audio “We don’t have any industry left. Syracuse is going nowhere. The population’s declining. I have three kids and none of them are here.” (Ron Lagoe, 62, of Camillus, executive director, Hospital Executive Council, unaffiliated with a … Continue reading

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2010 Census Shows Changing Face of Syracuse

Syracuse has slowed its population drain. Since 2000, the city has lost only 1.5 percent of its population, according to the 2010 Census. That stops a three-decade trend of flight out of Syracuse. And it’s a triumph of public programs … Continue reading

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NPR: Cherished & Controversial

Amy Kremenek begins her morning with public radio. “I wake up with morning news on WAER,” said Kremenek, 41, a chief public affairs officer at the Onondaga Community College.  WAER is the public radio station in Syracuse, part of the … Continue reading

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CNY Professors’ Political $ Mostly Blue

When Malcolm Ingram chipped in $2,000 to help elect Democrats to Congress in 2010, he was part of a college tradition in Central New York. “I think it’s important, who’s running the country,” said Ingram, a drama professor at Syracuse … Continue reading

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Local GOP Looking to Brighter Future

After several years of financial struggles and fractured leadership, the Onondaga County Republican Committee is staking a claim on a better future. That’s thanks to new leadership, a united political front and a large contribution by a single donor, according … Continue reading

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For Children in Poverty, a Struggle for a Better Future

Four-year-old Carlos Lopez’s favorite food is tacos, but he can’t always have them. At the end of most months, when things like milk and bread run out, tacos are not high on the list priorities for his mother, Karrema Jones.  … Continue reading

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A Rainy-Day Clean-Up Plan

To help clean up Lake Onondaga, the county is trying to “Save the Rain.” “It will improve the water quality by preventing polluted water from getting into Onondaga Lake,” said BJ Adigun, project manager with CH2M Hill construction company. It … Continue reading

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Home-Style Care for the Elderly Delayed

A shift to more home-like nursing homes won’t happen any time soon for Onondaga County. Plans to build small residential-style Green Houses in Cicero have been canceled for   financial and planning reasons, Loretto, the largest local provider of long-term care, … Continue reading

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New Political Landscape for Gay Marriage in New York?

Gay-marriage advocates are taking hope for a new gay-marriage bill from a new governor, new coalitions, new strategies and new public attitudes. But opponents suggest the advocates are misreading the political landscape. “You see so many new stories spinning momentum … Continue reading

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Cyber-Bullying A Growing Threat & a Free-Speech Dilemma

One out of every five students has been a target of cyber-bullying. That jarring statistic is from the Cyberbullying Research Center, an online clearinghouse created by two scholars studying online behavior.  And it is one of sparks for state lawmakers … Continue reading

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Pioneering Political Women a CNY Tradition

In a region rich with feminist history, four recently elected women are following in some big political footsteps. In Central New York, U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-Onondaga Hill,  and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., represent voters in Congress. And Syracuse’s … Continue reading

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For Grassroots, $ Hard to Grow; Dems Give Time & Energy

Money is tight for the Onondaga County Democratic Committee leading in to the elections this November. As of late April 2010, the committee is $3,105 in debt, according to the most recent data from the New York State Board of … Continue reading

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Changing Lives by Saying Yes

For 18-year-old David Minney, the steppingstone into a private university is the Say Yes to Education Program. “It provided more incentive to continue my education,” said Minney. Minney is one of 80 students at Syracuse University and among 1,000 Syracuse … Continue reading

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William Fitzpatrick Interview

“When you say new blood that usually means there’s a greater level of enthusiasm. You’re not going to find anyone more enthusiastic than me – no matter how old I am.” “If anyone comes to me with a hypothetical case, … Continue reading

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District Attorney: Fitzpatrick for 6th Term

Click Here for Audio For the county’s top law-enforcement job, incumbent Republican William Fitzpatrick is the sole choice for voters as of early spring. Fitzpatrick has announced he is seeking his sixth term as district attorney.  If re-elected, he said … Continue reading

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County Legislature Districts To Get New Boundaries

Two must go. That’s how many representatives the Onondaga County Legislature will lose under a redesign — or redistricting — of the county’s legislative districts.  The reasons: Shifts in the county’s population revealed in the 2010 Census and a push … Continue reading

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County Executive: Mahoney Alone for Now

Click Here for Audio Voters so far have only one choice for county executive in Onondaga County: incumbent Republican Joanie Mahoney. As she seeks her second term,  Mahoney says she will mainly focus on creating jobs in the county. “We … Continue reading

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County Comptroller: Antonacci Seeks Re-Election

For the county’s top money manager, incumbent Robert Antonnacci is the only candidate expressing interest so far for the fall election. Antonacci, a Republican and resident of Salina, is seeking re-election as the Onondaga County comptroller.  “As an incumbent, I … Continue reading

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Education Commissioners: Four Seats to Fill in Fall

Syracuse students can look forward to fresh faces in the city’s education administration this fall. Four of the seven seats on the Syracuse City School District Board of Education will be up for election on Nov. 8. As of April … Continue reading

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City Auditor: Masterpole in the Race

For watching the city’s finances, voters so far have only one choice for city auditor in the November election. As of late March, the only candidate expressing interest in the office was County Legislator Marty Masterpole, D-Syracuse. He represents the … Continue reading

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Common Council District 4: Khalid Bey Only Potential Candidate Now

Voters so far have only one potential choice for the open seat for Common Council District 4 in November’s election. As of April 1, local author, businessman, and political organizer Khalid Bey is the only candidate to express interest to … Continue reading

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Common Council District 2: Hogan Runs Again

Voters in Common Council District 2 are limited so far in their choices at the voting booth in November. As of April 1, incumbent Pat Hogan D-Syracuse is running unopposed for the district’s Common Council seat. “I’m running again. My … Continue reading

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County Legislature: All Seats Up for Election

Voters will choose occupants for every seat in the Onondaga County Legislature on Nov. 8. But it’s not yet clear how many seats that will be. The county is being re-districted and is expecting to lose two districts — going … Continue reading

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At-Large Common Council: Four Early Choices for Voters

Four Democrats are now voters’ choices for two at-large common councilors’ seats in the November 2011 elections. They are the incumbent  Kathleen Joy, D-Eastwood; Pamela Hunter, who was recently appointed to the council; Helen Hudson, a long-time anti-gun advocate; and Julius Edwards, … Continue reading

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Common Council District 3: Incumbent McMahon Considers Run for County

Choices are uncertain for voters in Common Council District 3 for the November 2011 election. The incumbent, Ryan McMahon, R-Syracuse, is unsure whether he’ll seek re-election for a fourth term.  Instead, he said, he may run for a seat in … Continue reading

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Common Council District 5: Now One Choice — Incumbent Maroun

Voters so far have only once choice for Common Councilor in District 5: incumbent Nader Maroun, D-Syracuse. And as he seeks his second term, Maroun is promising to focus on the economy and education. “Challenges we face as elected officials … Continue reading

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Common Council District 1: Novice Candidate vs. Youngest Councilor

A political newcomer plans to challenge a one-term Republican incumbent for the District 1 Common Council seat in November. The newcomer is Robert Marks, 58, a substance abuse counselor who has submitted a letter of interest in the District 1 … Continue reading

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Ad Campaign for Gay & Lesbian Tourists on Hold

Budget limitations have stalled a specialized ad campaign in Onondaga County that would include the area’s first a gay-friendly tourism strategy. “Once our budget stabilizes we will be able to reach our to special interest and niche groups, including the … Continue reading

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Sculptor Takes His Art to the Streets

For Brendan Rose, the streets of Syracuse are his art gallery. “Having art in the urban fabric is critical,” says Rose, “for having a healthy, functioning urban environment.” Rose, 35, an adjunct industrial design professor at Syracuse University, is Syracuse’s … Continue reading

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For Teen Moms, Poverty Can Be A Trap

Ruth Williams was 17 when she became pregnant with the first of her four children. That year she dropped out of Corcoran High School, began taking Young Mothers Educational Development classes, got married and got her GED. She also began … Continue reading

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Budget Woes Threaten City School Sports

No new uniforms. Less travel. Shorter schedules. Fewer teams. Those are among the ways that Syracuse high schools may have to cope with athletic budget cuts, says a key athletic official. “We’ve had a number of meetings to come up … Continue reading

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Nanotech Center Still in the Works for Syracuse

The $28-million Syracuse venture into nanotechnology is still in the works despite state budget problems, say supporters. “We’re very pleased that our partners in Albany remain committed to this project and see its enormous potential for attracting new companies and … Continue reading

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Cultural Festivals Caught in Budget Crunches

Syracuse’s cultural festivals come with a hefty price tag. It takes $50,000 to run the three-day long Polish Festival. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade costs $30,000.  And $50,000 is the cost of the nine hours of the Latin American Festival. … Continue reading

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Project Sunshine Sheds Light on County Spending

A $450 round-trip flight to Toronto for an Onondaga County industrial development specialist. Meals for $213 during a three-day trip to Washington, D.C, for a county economic project manager. A travel bill totaling $5,048 over six days on a trip … Continue reading

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Centro Riders To Come In From the Cold

For Mary Sullivan, Centro’s downtown bus hub can’t come soon enough. It will be good, she says, to come in out of the cold. “Last week was really bad,” said Sullivan, 21, of North Syracuse and a housekeeper at the … Continue reading

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Landowners Sometimes Can’t Say No to Natural Gas Drilling

A natural gas drilling company can legally drill under your land — even without your permission. Under New York State law, if enough of your neighbors sign a lease with a company, that company has the right to drill under … Continue reading

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SUNY Schools Worry About $ Cuts from State

Higher student fees. Larger class sizes. Fewer classes to choose from. Fewer professors to teach them. These are some of the possible actions local state colleges say they may have to take if Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed state budget cuts … Continue reading

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Say Yes Supporters Hold Out Hope for Federal $

Despite threats to its federal funding, Say Yes to Education will survive in Syracuse, say local officials. “Budget cuts will not change anything.  We will adjust our fundraising strategies and continue moving forward,” said Susan Dutch, director of marketing and … Continue reading

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Natural Gas Drilling Worries Some in CNY

Some residents of rural Central New York say gas drilling companies are ruining their pristine environment. One of those people is lawyer Jane Welsh.  She is also a member of Citizens for Safe Energy, a group of concerned residents in … Continue reading

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New Faces of Poverty in Syracuse

Poverty is striking new and different people in Syracuse, say experts. “People who, two years ago, never would have been struggling are accessing Food Stamps simply to keep food on the table,” says Denise Harlow, CEO of the New York … Continue reading

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Controversial Video Gets Calm Reception in Syracuse

With a video of ants crawling over a crucifix, the Syracuse art community has joined a worldwide protest against censorship. “It’s been a really hard-fought battle to get work like this in public,” said Rose Viviano, director of ArtRage gallery. … Continue reading

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Alliances for Gay & Straight Students Offer Support

With the blessing from school district officials, a local advocacy group is aiming to strengthen support for gay and lesbian students in Syracuse public high schools this spring. Their method is what are called “gay-straight alliances” — student groups or … Continue reading

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Near Westside Gets Help for Entrepreneurs

Aspiring businesses in Syracuse’s Westside Community will get a jump-start, thanks to a new program to help entrepreneurs. “We’re projecting the creation of five new businesses and 10 new jobs here in the first two years,” said Michael Short, deputy … Continue reading

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GPS Upgrade to Speed Up Air Travel

Click Here for Audio Reducing flight delays is the goal of a program to update air traffic-control technology at Syracuse Hancock International Airport and others nationwide. The Federal Aviation Administration wants to replace old radar systems with upgraded GPS technology … Continue reading

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Unity for Diverse Students at Cicero-North High School

After Daniel Ciciarelli’s first Umoja meeting, he was hooked. A football teammate had invited him to the after-school club at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. At the meeting, Cicarelli recalled, club members talked about their struggles as minorities, about their different … Continue reading

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Lobbyists Crusade for Causes & Clients

Syracuse has a new champion in Albany’s legislative halls — and his name is Dan McNally. “I’m working to be sure our city has a presence and a voice on a large stage,” said McNally in a phone interview from … Continue reading

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Some For-Profit Schools Fight New Federal Regs

How for-profit colleges operate is at the heart of a bitter fight between the colleges’  trade association and the federal government. Last fall, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it will apply 13 new rules to regulate for-profit schools. … Continue reading

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Snow Effect on Transportation? Slow, Slow, Slow

Getting around has slowed down in Central New York’s bad weather. Highway traffic slowed to a crawl and many drivers have collided with each other or the ditch. Some buses made detours, leaving many bus-riders waiting in the cold. Amtrak … Continue reading

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Empire State Winter Games Win, with Help of Three Fans

For young New York athletes, the Empire State Winter Gameswill continue— thanks to the fundraising efforts of three life-long fans. “We were looking at the loss to the young athletes of New York State and what this event means to … Continue reading

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Helping Parents Help Students

Wanted:  More Parents. “Parent involvement to me is day-to-day engagement,” says Richard Strong, president of the Syracuse City school board and father of two children in city schools. The Syracuse City School District is hoping to attract more parents’ attention … Continue reading

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Voices

Click Here for Audio “Ratify this healthcare system, which I don’t understand. I know you can probably go online and find out more about it, but they’re not really telling people what it covers, doesn’t cover. Places I worked for, … Continue reading

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Voices

Click Here for Audio “I am engaged to a woman, so right now we are jumping through hoops trying to figure out where we can be married and what we can pull off.  A lot of the friends I have … Continue reading

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Voices

“I mean it’d be nice if poor people weren’t quite as poor. And if everybody was a little happier, it’d be nice.” (Jeremiah Clifford, 30, of Syracuse, unaffiliated with a political party) “I’m hoping that the new government will find … Continue reading

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Voices

Click Here for Audio “I believe in affordable healthcare for everybody. I believe in protecting our environment. I believe that the government is responsible for that.” (Abigail Scaduto, 30, of Tipperary Hill neighborhood, works at the Museum of Science and … Continue reading

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Voices

Click Here for Audio “It’d be nice to see a time when people are not taxed unduly and we’re reaching a point where the average individual is paying more than 50 percent of their income in taxes. At this point, … Continue reading

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Voices

Click Here for Audio “When it comes to politics,  there’s two places that get hit really hard — the young and the old. The young people because they don’t have a voice — they’re not allowed to have a voice. … Continue reading

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Voices

“More funding for public libraries. More funding for schools.” (Christine Richie, under 30, of Kirkville, full-time clerk at Beauchamp Public Library “The four public high schools in Syracuse, in the city, are in the lowest ten percent of the state … Continue reading

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Voices

Click Here for Audio “All this money that a lot of these people are making, why can’t somebody take some cuts? Why can’t the government take some of these cuts on the Republican side and the Democrat side? Just don’t … Continue reading

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Voices

Click Here for Audio “I would like the government to stop spending and start getting people jobs and helping the handicapped. I’d rather see them spend it on things they know is going to work. I don’t want them spending … Continue reading

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Voices

“Employment.  It affects everybody.  When there isn’t enough money out there, everybody feels it.” (Maurice Kroho, owner of Student Choice, Marshall Street) “I think healthcare can definitely be improved.  I’m going into healthcare as a career and I think there … Continue reading

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Voices

Click Here for Audio “That they spend within their means, attack the deficit, that they create a business environment where people would be hired for getting jobs and that they retain or increase their credibility.” (Ray Rudolph, 58, of Manlius, … Continue reading

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Voices

Click Here for Audio “I care about people living on the streets. I care very much about homeless people and politically, Republicans don’t seem to care a damn about these people, how they’re going to get medical. As long as … Continue reading

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Voices

Click Here for Audio “Definitely national healthcare. There’s a lot of deaths that can be avoided. A lot of young deaths, a lot of people who can’t afford health insurance. There should be a safety net in place. People should … Continue reading

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Nancy Austin: “Mom” for Military Students at Newhouse

Nancy Austin spent the Friday after Thanksgiving weekend doing an annual ritual: She wrapped up packages and shipped them off to 15 of her “children” who are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and South Korea. “I still care,” said Austin, deputy … Continue reading

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Libertarians Counting Their Successes

They’re on a roll, say New York Libertarians. The party tripled its number of votes for governor in the November 2010 election. But its mission to secure a ballot line isn’t over yet. “We don’t know what the final count’s … Continue reading

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OCC Copes with Budget Cuts

Slide: “Coming soon SRC Arena” and has the Onondaga Community College logo on it.   “The college is looking at sort of entrepreneurial efforts where we could generate our own revenue.” (Kim Court, assistant to the vice president for public … Continue reading

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Wi-Fi in Federal Buildings? Why Not?

Wi-Fi can be coming to a federal building near you — maybe as soon as December 2013. “It’s an integral part of our lives,” said Carlo Moneti,  project leader of the Syracuse Municipal Broadband Initiative .  “It becomes a basic … Continue reading

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For Women Veterans, VA Expands Services

Women veterans are a growing population as patients at Veterans Administration hospitals, say those who work with them. “The VA system has been working very hard to try to provide services to tailor to the needs of female veterans,” said … Continue reading

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For LGBT Elderly, Sage Advocates for Change

Isolation. Neglect. Fear. These are some of the challenges faced by gay senior citizens in addition to the usual trials of old age, say advocates of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual — or LGBT—elderly care. “LGBT older people are less … Continue reading

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Boxing Hall of Fame Draws Tourists, Not State $ This Year

For the little village of Canastota, the International Boxing Hall of Fame is a big deal that brings in big money. But this, that big boost to Canastota is with no help from the state government. “There isn’t any state … Continue reading

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Education in Jail Helps to Stay Out of Jail

[Anchor intro: Inmates at the Onondaga County Justice Center have a chance to get education before they are released. Democracywise’s Marie Claudet reports jail can be a lot like school — a school where the people in charge hope alumni … Continue reading

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No Kid Left Out of Health Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

For single mom Anne Goldstein, scrambling for thousands of dollars to pay for her daughter’s hospital stay was a challenge. “When my 12-year-old daughter was hospitalized for an asthma attack,” recalled Goldstein of Syracuse, “the insurance claim submitted for the … Continue reading

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Somali Bantu: A Learning Community

Sheikhnoor Adan feels privileged to have the opportunity to receive an education that his ancestors did not have. “Most of our parents right now are not able to spell their names,” Adan said. Adan, 23, came as a refugee to … Continue reading

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Homeless Shelters See Growing Need

Almost every bed is filled every night at three Onondaga County shelters — and demand for them will go up after the holidays, say those who work with the homeless. “If there is a bed open in the afternoon, it’s … Continue reading

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Arts & Cultural Programs Get $

For some arts and cultural programs, Santa Claus this year is the Cultural Resources Trust. The Trust has voted to restore 90 percent of funding to 10 groups that were cut entirely from the Onondaga County budget for next year. … Continue reading

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Religious Displays Get Protection from New Law

Just in time for the Christmas season, vandalizing cemeteries or religious displays outside of a place of worship is now a felony in New York. “It always seems like around the holiday time, either the baby Jesus gets stolen or … Continue reading

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Safety Reminders for Holiday Flyers

With the holiday travel season picking up speed, Hancock International Airport is telling travelers to pay attention to what they try to bring on the plane. “Be aware of what you can and can’t get through the security screening,” said … Continue reading

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Tan Tax No Brake on Bronzing

Local tanning salons aren’t getting burned as badly as they had expected under a new federally mandated 10-percent tan tax. “We were very nervous,” said Khris Contini, owner of Hakuna Matata Tanning Salon in Syracuse, summing up a common view … Continue reading

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Center Creates New Americans

Grateful. That’s the way Jai Subedi describes his feeling towards the Center for New Americans. “They give our future,” Subedi said. “They did everything, whatever we need at the beginning because our English wasn’t enough to communicate with everybody.” Subedi … Continue reading

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Food-Safety Overhaul Lingering in Congress

The food we eat will be getting closer inspections to avoid salmonella,  e coli and other life-threatening contaminants — if Congress manages to pass a food-safety bill. With the new bill, the Food and Drug Administration would be able to … Continue reading

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The Meaning of Home

Click Here for Audio “Being surrounded by your family. And making the adjustments to come here. Sometimes it’s hard.  But thank God for places like this and the places they’re getting ready for us if we go there.” (Dorothy Jones, … Continue reading

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New Idea for Caring for the Elderly: Home

Caring for the elderly should be more home-like, say advocates for a different kind of nursing home. Now, say the advocates, nursing homes are large-scale operations that try to increase economic and service efficiency by collecting large numbers of elderly … Continue reading

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Rudolph Teaches Art to Special Audience

Teaching the arts to children is a special mission, says the head of the local arts council. “Our role is to provide cultural vibrancy and vitality to a community, starting with its children,” said Stephen Butler, head of the Cultural … Continue reading

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Historic Church Under Renovation

At 711 E. Fayette Street in Syracuse, a deteriorating white building sits boarded-up with few signs of life. It looks like any other abandoned building in the city. But its history sets it apart. The church is considered to be … Continue reading

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A New Ice Age Ready at Sunnycrest Rink

The ice is likely to be hot once again this year for Sunnycrest Ice Rink. After last year’s extensive renovations, the rink will be even more popular this season, predicted Mike Behnke, president of the Sunnycrest Park Association, a citizen-member … Continue reading

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Farmers Caught in State Budget Crunch

[Anchor intro: Some New York farmers say they are getting short-changed by state government. Democracywise reporter Robert Lowrey tells us about one farm program that has lost most of its funding, leaving 64 farms in New York asking where their … Continue reading

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Adult Children Get New Insurance Protection

For Carrie Kreis, health insurance for her 22-year-old-son is no longer a worry. Thanks to the health care overhaul, her son Joseph can now be insured on his parents policy until the age of 26. “Without this law, his options … Continue reading

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Surveillance Cameras Raise Concern for Immigrants

Reassurance that immigrants will not be persecuted. That is the Spanish Action League’s concern about surveillance cameras in the Near West Side. “We don’t want herds of police in the community just because somebody doesn’t have a work permit up … Continue reading

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Syracuse Draws More Tourists

[Anchor intro: Nationally,  the poor economy has hurt tourism. But in Syracuse, tourism is increasing.  Democracywise reporter Crystal Barkely tells us why.] In the past year, Syracuse has been able to keep draw more tourists — despite the weak economy. … Continue reading

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Holiday Decorations Okay for Public Money

Taxpayer money spent on lighting the city Christmas tree and put up secular holiday decorations is okay under the First Amendment, says a major supporter of the separation of church and state. “A Christmas tree is secular, but the nativity … Continue reading

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Women Rule! Three Hold Top Local Public Offices

The political glass ceiling has shattered in Onondaga County, with women occupying the three most powerful public offices. “I don’t know how you can explain it, except maybe at this moment in time there are more female candidates,” said Joanie … Continue reading

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New Rules Aim to Help Students Get “Gainful Employment,” Especially for those at For-Profit Schools

For-profit schools are under the microscope as the Department of Education sets the definition for “gainful employment.” “This goes directly to the heart of their business model,” said Kevin Kinser, a professor and senior researcher for the Institute for Global … Continue reading

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For Inmates, Jail Ministry Lends an Ear and a Voice

“I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, you visited me.” Matthew 25:36. With those few words hanging on its wall, Jail Ministry tells a lot about its … Continue reading

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Render Unto Ceasar? Taxes Unclear on Business in Former Church

St. Johns1 Sherkat from Democracywise on Vimeo.   [Anchor intro: After months of sitting empty, St. John the Evangelist Church will have a new tenant in the spring. Brennan’s Stained Glass Studio is moving into the vacant church in March … Continue reading

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Landmark Theatre to Return to Glory Days

The ultimate escapism for a 1920’s movie-goer in Syracuse is now receiving a modern makeover. The Landmark Theatre on Salina Street is undergoing a $16 million renovation to transform the 82-year-old ornate movie palace into one of the city’s premiere … Continue reading

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Digital-Age Campaign Tools Go Social

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube — all the social media tools of the digital age are now campaign tools for politicians. No surprise there, says Bob McClure, a political scientist at Syracuse University specializing in American politics and mass communication.  “Every new … Continue reading

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Veterans Get Education as Thank-You from Taxpayers

Matt Jensen joined the Army after Sept. 11, 2001, for two reasons: Fight the terrorists. And get a college education. Now, after year as an infantryman in Iraq,  Jensen is a student at Onondaga Community College.  His veterans’ benefits from … Continue reading

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Outsourcing Jail Health Care Draws Concerns

As health care in Onondaga County’s jails goes private, concerns about employees’ new working conditions and inmates’ care are rising. “We looked into the records of the companies that provide correctional healthcare around the country and in New York State … Continue reading

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Ad Campaign Promotes Ethics & Values Without Religion

“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent,” says I Timothy, Chapter 2, Verse 12 of the New International Version … Continue reading

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Financial Aid Gets Cheaper for Taxpayers, Easier for Students

No more banks in the student-loan loop. “It’s a big change for us, for students and for families,” said Kaye DeVesty, director of Syracuse University’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs. Now, students will borrow or get grants directly … Continue reading

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A Line Gives Time for the Greens

Howie Hawkins and the Green Party can now put their names on the line in New York state. In the November 2010 elections, Hawkins racked up 57,011 votes in his run for governor — not enough to put him in … Continue reading

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Budget Cuts Bench Freshmen Across CNY

Freshmen athletes are losing to budget cuts at school districts across Central New York. For many CNY freshmen, said David Penafeather, coach of three Baldwinsville sports teams, the effect is harsh:  “Unless you’re the star athlete, or you play football … Continue reading

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A Colder Winter for Some Families Without HEAP

HEAP1 Duggan from Democracywise on Vimeo. [Anchor intro: Some local families are facing the risk of less help with their winter heating bills as the federal government cuts spending. The families get help through a program called the Home Energy … Continue reading

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Federal $ Means Things Are Looking Up for Hancock Airport

A make-over is in the works for Hancock International Airport. Syracuse has won a $500,000 federal grant for Hancock International Airport to help bring low-costs airlines to Syracuse. “The grant is really geared towards communities that have airports that need … Continue reading

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25th Congressional District: Maffei Ahead for Dems on Election Night; Concedes Later

Dan Maffei conceded to Ann Marie Buerkle November 23rd after three weeks of ballot inspections and recounts. The vote difference stands at 561 votes, less than three-tenths of 1 percent.  In tight race, Rep. Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt, was leading his … Continue reading

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25th Congressional District: Buerkle Trailing for GOP; Wins later

Buerkle won the 25th Congressional district Nov. 23 when Dan Maffei conceded the race after three weeks of ballot inspections and recounts. Buerkle won by 561 votes, less than three-tenths of 1 percent. Republican challenger Ann Marie Buerkle has moved … Continue reading

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50th Senate District: Joy Loses for Dems

Democrat Kathleen Joy has lost the race for the 50th state Senate District seat against the 18-year incumbent, Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse. “I don’t want to hear would’a, could’a, should’a- it’s what are we going to do next,” Joy told … Continue reading

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50th Senate District: DeFrancisco Wins for GOP

Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco of Syracuse gets to keep his seat in the New York state senate for another two years. As of  11:20 p.m. and with all of District’s votes accounted for, DeFrancisco unofficially defeated Democrat challenger Kathleen … Continue reading

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49th Senate District: Valesky Holds On For Dems

State Sen. Dave Valesky, D-Oneida, defeated the Republican candidate Andrew Russo for the 49th state Senate District seat. “We did it,” Valesky said, as he was greeted with roaring applause from the crowd at the Democratic Party election-night gather at … Continue reading

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49th Senate District: Russo Off-Key for GOP

Republican challenger Andrew Russo has lost his first bid for elected office in the 49th state Senate District race. “We did everything we could and if we had to run this campaign all over again we would have done the … Continue reading

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121st Assembly District: Miller Holds Slim Lead for GOP

Don Miller won the 121st Assembly race Nov. 19 when incumbent, Al Stirpe conceded the race. Miller led by 953 votes. The winner is still unclear in the race for the 121st Assembly District seat. Vying for the seat are … Continue reading

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121st Assembly District: Stirpe Trailing in Tight Race

Incumbent Al Stirpe conceded the race to Don Miller Nov. 19.  He trailed by 953 votes. The race for the 121st state Assembly District remained too close to call Tuesday night. Democratic incumbent Al Stirpe was in a virtual deadheat … Continue reading

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120th Assembly District: Magnarelli Returns for Dems

Incumbent Bill Magnarelli, D-Syracuse, is the winner against Republican challenger Rick Guy in the 120th Assembly District race. “I think the people of my district knew my record,” said Magnarelli as Democrats cheered him on Tuesday night at the Holiday … Continue reading

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120th Assembly District: Guy Loses for GOP

Republican Rick Guy has lost the Syracuse 120th District Assembly race to incumbent Bill Magnarelli, D-Syracuse. As of 12 a.m., with 100 percent of the votes counted, Magnarelli  had 17,938 or 63 percent of the vote to  10,520 or 37 … Continue reading

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119th Assembly District: Roberts Wins for Dems

With a comfortable lead, Democrat Sam Roberts has won the 119th Assembly District seat. “It’s not about me, It’s about us.” said Roberts told a crowd in the Holiday Inn in Liverpool where Democrats gathered for Election Night.  “We are … Continue reading

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119th Assembly District: Sharon Comes in 2nd for GOP

Republican candidate John Sharon lost the race for 119th state Assembly District seat to Democrat Sam Roberts on Tuesday. After hours spent at the Republican Party headquarters at the Doubletree Hotel in East Syracuse, Sharon approached the podium with the … Continue reading

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119th Assembly District: Fitch Marks Loss with Friends Among Conservative Party

Conservative candidate Christina Fadden Fitch has lost the election for the 119th State Assembly District seat. “I’m feeling at peace,” said Fitch, as she and supporters in the Conservative Party gathered to watch Election Night results at Pastime Athletic Club … Continue reading

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For Sheriff: Challengers Not Successful, Again

The challengers for Onondaga County sheriff came up short on Tuesday. Democrat Joe Price and Toby Shelley, running on the Working Families Party line, finished far behind Republican incumbent Kevin Walsh. From the Ivory Room at Barbagallo’s restaurant in East … Continue reading

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For Sheriff: Walsh Wins Again

A win in Tuesday night’s election puts Republican Kevin Walsh on his way to becoming the longest-serving sheriff in Onondaga County history. “I’m glad it’s over,” Walsh said of the election season after his win. Walsh joined the party in … Continue reading

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Democracy in Action

Democracy in Action is a special project by professors and student-journalists of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Students will capture vignettes from the polls on Election Day in Syracuse and the surrounding suburbs. Click here for the … Continue reading

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Election 2010 a Green Moment for Hawkins in Gov’s Race

(This is a Democracywise special profile of Syracuse resident Howie Hawkins in his 2010 run as the Green Party candidate for governor.) For Green Party veteran, Howie Hawkins, each year feels like “two steps forward and one step back.” Hawkins … Continue reading

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$ for 25th Congressional District: Dan Maffei

The big lead in the money race goes to Rep. Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt, in the 25th Congressional District. His campaign has raised more than $2.7 million as of Oct. 13,  according to the Federal Elections Commission. That’s about five times … Continue reading

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$ for 25th Congressional District: Ann Marie Buerkle

In the money race, Republican Ann Marie Buerkle trails badly against the incumbent Democrat in the 25th Congressional District race. As of Oct. 13, Buerkle had raised $551,804, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That … Continue reading

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$ for 50th Senate District: John DeFrancisco

(This story was updated Oct. 31, 2010, with information from an interview with state Sen. John DeFrancisco.) For his political money, state Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, gets the majority from businesses, lawyers and political action committees in his campaign to … Continue reading

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$ for 50th Senate District: Kathleen Joy

When it comes to contributions, Democrat Kathleen Joy turns mostly to individuals in  Onondaga County for her campaign for the 50th state Senate District seat. That’s common for a challenger, said Kristi Andersen, a political scientist at Syracuse University.  “I … Continue reading

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$ for 49th Senate District: Dave Valesky

In campaign money, state Sen. Dave Valesky, D-Oneida, maintains a strong fundraising lead in the race for 49th state Senate District. But in October, his Republican challenger Andrew Russo, a political novice and concert pianist from Jamesville, was closing the … Continue reading

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$ for 49th Senate District: Andrew Russo

For his campaign money, Republican Andrew Russo counts on individual donors and his party’s big checkbook in the 49th state Senate District race. Individual donations account for half of Russo’s campaign funds. And his largest single contributor is the New … Continue reading

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$ for 121st Assembly District: Al Stirpe

For his campaign bankroll, Assemblyman Al Stirpe, D-North Syracuse, gets the most from his party. Stirpe, D-North Syracuse, has received $81,700 from the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee, according to reports filed with the New York State Board of Elections.  That’s … Continue reading

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$ for 121st Assembly District: Donald Miller

Small contributions add up to the biggest money for Republican Don Miller in his campaign for the 121st state Assembly District seat. With his fundraising, Miller describes himself as running “a typical challenger race,” with most of his money coming … Continue reading

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$ for 120th Assembly District: William Magnarelli

To fill his re-election bank account, Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, D-Syracuse, is raking in more money this year than in his campaigns over the last decade for the 120th state Assembly District. That’s not surprising, given the anxiety by political parties … Continue reading

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$ for 120th Assembly District: Rick Guy

In the money race, Republican challenger Rick Guy trails badly in the 120th state Assembly District race. As of Oct. 19, Guy, a lawyer who lives in Syracuse, had raised $40,675 for his campaign, according to the campaign finance database … Continue reading

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$ for 119th Assembly District: John Sharon

Individual donors and law firms in Onondaga County are the two biggest money sources for Republican John Sharon’s campaign in the 119th state Assembly District race. As of Oct. 22, Sharon had raised slightly more than $14,000 from individuals and … Continue reading

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$ for 119th Assembly District: Christina Fitch

For her political money, Christina Fadden Fitch connects mostly with individual donors who see her as a grassroots candidate in the 119th state Assembly District’s race. “She’s not a politician.  She’s not from a good ol’ boys club, the country … Continue reading

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$ for 119th Assembly District: Sam Roberts

To fill his political money pockets, Democrat Sam Roberts, candidate for the 119th  state Assembly District, can count on his labor union backers, former political acquaintances and New York residents. That’s a typical pattern of support for candidates from Roberts’ … Continue reading

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$ for Sheriff: Toby Shelley

For the fundraising race, challenger Toby Shelley of the Working Families Party is far behind incumbent Kevin Walsh for Onondaga County sheriff. Shelley’s campaign had $2,487 on hand, according to the New York State Board of Election’s  database, as of … Continue reading

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$ for Sheriff: Joe Price

In the money race for Onondaga County sheriff,  Democrat Joe Price is short on cash. Price has $657 on hand for his campaign, according to fundraising reports filed at the end of September with the New York State Board of … Continue reading

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$ for Sherrif: Kevin Walsh

The largest donor to Sheriff  Kevin Walsh’s re-election campaign is crossing party lines to give Walsh money. Wayman Henson, owner of Henson’s Automotive in Syracuse, has given $6,900 to the Committee to Elect Kevin Walsh this year. Walsh is a … Continue reading

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25th Congressional District: Incumbent Dan Maffei for Dems

As Democrat Dan Maffei tells it, his political career was nearly an accident. “I was a walk-on,” Maffei said. “You know how people get drafted for sports in college? Well, that wasn’t me.” Maffei, D-DeWitt, is running for re-election for … Continue reading

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25th Congressional District: Challenger Anne Marie Buerkle for GOP

Nurse. Lawyer. Businesswoman. Political and social activist. As she campaigns for Congress, Republican challenger Anne Marie Buerkle of Syracuse stresses her multi-faceted career and concerns. She especially emphasizes her early career in health care. “When you go into nursing, it … Continue reading

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50th Senate District: Incumbent John DeFrancisco for GOP

(This story was updated Oct. 31, 2010, with information from an interview with state Sen. John DeFrancisco.) When it comes to politics, state Sen. John DeFrancisco is with the band. Just listen to New York jazz artist Joe Whiting of … Continue reading

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50th Senate District: Kathleen Joy Challenges for Dems

Politics has been a part of Kathleen Joy’s life from the moment she was born. Her grandfather was the mayor of Fredonia, a small town in western New York, and her mother was pregnant with Joy while going door-to-door campaigning … Continue reading

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49th Senate District: Incumbent Dave Valesky for Dems

When it comes to change in Albany, state Senator Dave Valesky acknowledgs the need for more. “Reform as a process,” said Valesky, “is never fully complete.” Valesky , D- Oneida, is up for his third term as senator from the … Continue reading

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49th Senate District: Andrew Russo Challenges for GOP

49th Senate District: Andrew Russo Challenges for GOP-Marie Claudet from Democracywise on Vimeo. As Andrew Russo sees it, his race for the state Senate is another step in his homecoming to Central New York. “I started to see people that … Continue reading

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121st Assembly District: Incumbent Al Stirpe for Dems

For Al Stirpe, the driving force this election is economic investment. “During these really difficult economic times we have to make sure that we continue to invest in very strategic areas. So that when the recession is gone we’re in … Continue reading

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121st Assembly District: Donald Miller for GOP

For the first time, Don Miller is stepping from behind the scenes to center stage in politics. “I never had any intention of running for public office, but that changed when I had a family, started working, and raising kids,” … Continue reading

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120th Assembly District: William Magnarelli for Dems

For Bill Magnarelli, the Veterans Day parade means a lot. After all, he recalls, he created it three years ago when almost no one showed up for the traditional remembrance.  As a member of the Army Reserves for six years, … Continue reading

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120th Assembly District: Rick Guy for GOP

To Rick Guy, it’s all about the taxes. “You can’t have more business if you keep spending more money,” said Guy in an interview with The Post-Standard. “Every dollar you spend means another dollar in taxes.” Guy is the Republican … Continue reading

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119th Assembly District: Sam Roberts for Dems

To Sam Roberts, politics is a lesson from childhood. His mother was a poll inspector for the Democratic Party.  Roberts remembers his mother working the machines on Election Day and how his parents taught him the importance of voting. “I … Continue reading

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119th Assembly District: Christina Fadden Fitch for Conservative Party

For Christina Fadden Fitch, running for office gives her a chance to connect with others. “It’s not about how many hands you shake.  It’s having some sort of meaningful interaction,” said Fitch. Fitch, 46, is the Conservative Party candidate running … Continue reading

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119th Assembly District: John Sharon for GOP

For John Sharon, political inspiration started at home. “I have three children growing up in this area, and that’s really what motivated me,” Sharon said. Sharon, a lawyer in the Onondaga County Attorney’s Office, is the Republican candidate in the … Continue reading

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Sheriff: Toby Shelley for Working Families

Toby Shelley wears a lot of hats and uniforms. There’s his flannel shirt and jeans for work on his family farm in Otisco. There’s his military fatigues and helmet for his service in the Air National Guard. Finally, there’s his … Continue reading

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Sheriff: Joe Price on Dems ballot line

A teenaged Joe Price had just gotten his driver’s license and was “hot roddin’” around when a state trooper pulled him over. “Even though I was, you know, 16, you know, a kid, this gentlemen, the trooper, approached the car … Continue reading

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Sheriff: Incumbent Kevin Walsh for GOP

A framed, hand-written letter on his desk reminds Sheriff Kevin Walsh of why his job matters. “Frankly, I don’t even remember that specific case,” Walsh admits. “But whatever I did she says turned her life around.” Walsh, a Republican, is … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “A problem is kids dropping out of school because they can’t pay for it. Obviously right now people are in a financial crunch who wouldn’t be under typical circumstances. There has to be a way that … Continue reading

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How to Register to Vote

To register to vote, deadlines are looming. Oct. 8 is the deadline for those who want to vote in the Nov. 2 election, according to the Web site of the Onondaga County Board of Elections.  Mail-in registration forms must be … Continue reading

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New Voting Machines: Goodbye, Lever

Voters should not expect to pull a lever in voting booths on Nov. 2. New machines are replacing the old ones. And now voters will fill in circles on ballots, which will be digitally counted. Residents who voted in the … Continue reading

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Governor: Dem Cuomo vs Paladino for GOP &… Hawkins for Green; Redlich for Libertarians; Davis for Anti-Prohibition

Click Here for Audio Click audio for more insights from SU political science professor Jeffrey Stonecash, Mark Dunlea of Howie Hawkin’s campaign and SU political science professor, Kristi Anderson. For governor, voters have five choices in November: Democrat Andrew Cuomo, … Continue reading

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Senior Senator: Schumer for Dems; Townsend for GOP

For voters’ choices for the state’s senior senator, incumbent Democrat Chuck Schumer will face Republican businessman Jay Townsend in the November general election. In the Sept. 14 Republican primary, Townsend beat retired CIA officer Gary Berntsen for the party’s nomination. … Continue reading

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Junior Senator: Dems’ Gillibrand vs DioGuardi for GOP

For their junior senator’s seat, New York voters have incumbent Democrat Kristen Gillibrand against Republican challenger Joe DioGuardi on the November ballot. Gillibrand and DioGuardi won their parties’ primaries on Sept. 14.  In the Democratic Primary, Gillibrand beat challenger Gail … Continue reading

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Attorney General: Schneiderman for Dems; Donovan for GOP

For the state’s top law enforcement officer, voters will choose between a Democratic state senator from Manhattan and a Republican district attorney from Staten Island in the November election. For the Democrats, the attorney general candidate is state Sen. Eric … Continue reading

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23rd Congressional District: Dem Owens vs Doheny for GOP & Hoffman for Conservative Party

Hoffman withdrew from the 23rd Congressional District race, Oct. 6. His name will still appear on the Conservative Party ballot but he encouraged all of his supporters to vote for the Republican nominee, Matt Doheny, who he officially endorsed Oct. 6. … Continue reading

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24th Congressional District: Arcuri for Dems vs Hanna for GOP

In a political replay, voters’ choices in the 24th Congressional District are  Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-Utica, and Republican challenger Richard Hanna. The general election is Nov. 2. Control of the House is up for grabs. Democrats now have 258 seats … Continue reading

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25th Congressional District: Dem Maffei vs Buerkle for GOP

Voters in the 25th Congressional District voters will choose between Rep. Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt, and Republican challenger Ann Marie Buerkle in November. In his bid for a second term, Maffei is stressing Democratic changes from the Bush Administration as an … Continue reading

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49th Senate District: Valesky vs Russo

A musician who’s a political outsider and a three-term incumbent. Those are voters’ choices in the 49th state Senate District in November. The incumbent is state Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida. He is being challenged by Republican Andrew Russo, a concert … Continue reading

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50th state Senate District: DeFrancisco for GOP vs Joy for Dems

(This story was updated Oct. 31, 2010, with information from an interview with state Sen. John DeFrancisco.) Voters’ choices in the 50th state Senate District are between incumbent Republican John DeFrancisco and Democratic challenger Kathleen Joy. DeFrancisco has been in … Continue reading

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119th Assembly District: Roberts for Dems; Sharon for GOP; Fitch for Conservatives; Donnelly for Greens

Click Here for Audio (Click audio for more insights from SU political scientist Grant Reeher) Voters will have four candidates to choose from in the 119th state Assembly District in November. Democratic candidate Sam Roberts will compete against Republican John … Continue reading

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120th Assembly District: Magnarelli for Dems, Guy for GOP

Democrat  Bill Magnarelli, the 12-year incumbent, faces Republican Rick Guy, a former Syracuse Common Councilor, for the 120th state Assembly Distrtict seat in November. Neither Magnarelli nor Guy faced challengers for their party’s nominations in the Sept. 14 primaries. The … Continue reading

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121st Assembly District: Stirpe for Dems & Miller for GOP

Democratic incumbent Al Stirpe and Republican challenger Don Miller will be voters’ choices for New York’s 121st state Assembly seat in November. Neither of candidates faced challengers from within their parties. The general election is Nov. 2. The 121st state … Continue reading

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Sheriff: Walsh vs Price & Shelley

For sheriff, voters’ choices in November are among incumbent Republican Kevin Walsh and two of his deputies, Democrat Joe Price and Toby Shelley for the Working Families Party. In the primary elections on Sept. 14, Walsh beat a third deputy, … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “More so in the New York area I guess wish they would lower the taxes. I mean it’s ridiculous. Especially the tobacco taxes they have. I lived down south for a little while. Cigarette prices are … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “They’ve got to lower the taxes and keep our jobs here. People are just leaving because there’s no work. I think number two, less government spending. I think we spend way, way too much. Too much … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “Natural gas drilling in the Adirondack — it concerns New York state. Making recycling mandatory for all New Yorkers, I think it is important. Alternative energy.  Why I feel strongly, because I feel we are at … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “All my family are self-employed blue-collar workers and pretty much my family is out of jobs. So — we need the self-employed small business people to be able to get back on track, make some money, … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “More funding for buses. Better education for kids. More jobs —everybody wants jobs. There is a lot of things out there that need to be done. I’m sure jobs would be the number one issue for … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “Job creation. Anyway to get these people back to work would make me feel a little more secure knowing everyone out there had a job, had health insurance — I  wouldn’t have to worry and nor … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “I think they should do more to take control of the abandoned buildings that are in the city. That makes the city look absolutely horrible — in some of these areas where people have just moved … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “All of our industry has gone away from here. No one who has worked in industry, in a factory for 30 years, has any other skills to do anything else and there’s nowhere for them to … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “My main concern is the crime that is going up in the city. The government needs to do more cracking down on drug dealers and things like that. Also, there are a lot of sex offenders … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “Basically taxes, taxes, and taxes in New York state. There are too many taxes — sales tax. When you run a business, it’s like there’s no break. If the government had a program which, where they … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “What are people saying about healthcare, health insurance for small companies or self-employed businesspeople? What are they going to do to try and uplift the education system…things like that would help me decide who I would … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “I’d like them to back up on the taxes for one thing. All of these ridiculous taxes they are making up, next thing you know they’ll be taxing you to breathe. And people can’t afford it. … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

“I don’t know if it’s possible for the politicians to do something about the Carousel Center, which is just a building that’s been built and the addition anyways. And there’s nothing being done with it. And a lot of the … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

Click Here for Audio “No money for people you see on the street.  These are veterans…Sometimes used to be taxpayers.  There should be help for people like that.  I’m a taxpayer.  It’s hard when you can’t help someone that you … Continue reading

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Voters Voices: Election 2010

“I just wish people were less concerned about what the president is doing, instead of us as a country are doing. I feel like they’re like, ‘Oh,  I don’t like Obama,’ for this and this. I don’t like what’s happening … Continue reading

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The $: Meyer, R, for County District 3

For campaign dollars, Republican William “Bill” Meyer, the 20-year incumbent, is trailing his challenger for the District 3 seat in the Onondaga County Legislature. Democrat Ed Szczesniak has raised almost twice as much campaign money as Meyer, according to campaign … Continue reading

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County District 3: Democrat Ed Szczesniak, the Challenger

Service. Leadership. Integrity. Change. Ed Szczesniak uses those four words to describe his campaign for Onondaga County Legislature. “My life’s story is contained in those four words,” Szczesniak said. Szczesniak, a veteran of Democratic politics from Cicero, is running for … Continue reading

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County District 3: Republican Bill Meyer, the Incumbent

Tattered civil war flags lay forgotten in the Onondaga County courthouse basement — until one person brought back to life the frayed pieces of cloth. Kathleen Rapp, the Republican floor leader for the County Legislature, says fellow Republican Bill Meyer … Continue reading

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For County District 2: Democrat Donna Marsh O’Connor

Growing up, Donna Marsh O’Connor was going to be a writer. She never wanted to go into politics. “It was the last thing I thought I would do,” said O’Connor. “I always thought I would be writing and teaching.” She … Continue reading

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For Country District 2: Republican John Dougherty

“Fiscal conservative” is how John Dougherty describes himself. And, he says, that’s the quality he would bring to Onondaga County government. “The county doesn’t seem to have much accountability for the way that they spend money,” said Dougherty. “It would … Continue reading

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The $: Miner, D, for Mayor

In the run for the money, Democrat Stephanie Miner is in the lead for Syracuse mayor. As of Oct. 23, Miner has raised $564,118, according to campaign reports filed by the New York State Board of Elections. Miner, who has … Continue reading

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The $: Kimatian, R, for Mayor

For Ellen Eagen, an $8,000 contribution to her father, Steve Kimatian, for his mayoral campaign was also an investment in her family’s future. “If Syracuse can become the vibrant city that I think it has the potential to be, there’s … Continue reading

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The $: Jennings, Conservative Party, for Mayor

Companies in the construction business and his connections in the Christian community are among the major sources of campaign funds for Otis Jennings as he seeks the mayor’s office. As of Oct. 23, companies in the construction business had contributed … Continue reading

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The $: Denno, D, for Common Council At-Large

Lance Denno expects $72 may be his only expense in the race for Syracuse Councilor At-Large. “Quite frankly, I don’t think that a lot of advertising is going to make a weak candidate strong, and I don’t think less advertising … Continue reading

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The $: Villarreal, R, for Common Councilor At-Large

The big spender and big fundraiser in the At-Large Common Council race is Republican Fanny Villarreal. As of Oct. 30, Villarreal had raised $12,660 and spent $20,740, according to campaign finance disclosure reports filed with the New York State Board … Continue reading

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The $: Kessner, D, for Common Council At-Large

For a chunk of her campaign money, Jean Kessner can thank Eleanor Roosevelt. As of Oct. 23, Kessner had raised $8,526 in her campaign for an At-Large seat on the Syracuse Common Council. Of that money, $1,000 came from the … Continue reading

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The $: Rayo, R, for Common Council District 1

With $75, Nancy Coye of Syracuse changed her long-standing attitude toward political donations. Coye, 62,  had never donated to a political campaign. This time, Matt Rayo, a local candidate with a family connection, changed her mind. “He’s a friend of … Continue reading

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The $: Heagerty, D, for Common Council District 1

To fill his political coffers, Michael Heagerty is relying on loans in his re-election campaign for the District 1 seat on the Common Council. This is unusual for an incumbent candidate but it’s not unheard of,  said Jeffrey Stonecash, a … Continue reading

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The $: Szczesniak, D, for County District 3

In campaign cash, Democratic challenger Ed Szczesniak is running ahead in the District 3 race of the Onondaga County Legislature. Szczesniak has raised $26,799 since Jan. 1, according to reports filed with the New York State Board of Elections. His … Continue reading

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The $: O’Connor, D, for County District 2

To raise political money, Donna Marsh O’Connor turns to pizza, wings and wine. For example, there is her homestyle wine-tasting fundraiser and her meetings for pizza and wings at Coolican’s Bar in Clay. That brings together contributors like her family, … Continue reading

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The $: Dougherty, R, for County District 2

In the money race, Republican John Dougherty is in the lead for the District 2 seat in the Onondaga County Legislature. Dougherty has raised twice as much in campaign donations as has his Democratic opponent Carol Marsh O’Connor, according to … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Kimatian a Bit Too Optimistic on Curfew Challenges

The Proposal: a safety and crime proposal Title: A constitutional curfew for juveniles From: From Republican mayoral candidate Steve Kimatian Type: Press release Location: News conference at the Northeast Community Center Date: Aug. 25, 2009 URL: http://74.125.113.132/search?q=%20cache:cT80gT4FuFkJ:www.steveforsyracuse.com/web/news-and-multimedia/news SUMMARY: In a … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Miner Gets Much Credit for Say Yes $

The Statement: On “Say Yes to Education” From: Democratic mayoral candidate Stephanie Miner Type: a description of her accomplishments as a Common Councilor on her Web site. URL: http://www.minerformayor.com/page/meet-stephanie What She Says:  In her issues plan Miner says: “I drafted, … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Kimatian Banking on Land Bank

The Proposal: A “land bank” program to help renovate vacant property in the city From: Republican mayoral candidate Steve Kimatian originally proposed the land bank. Type: Kimatian TV interview on News10Now and his proposal on his campaign Web site Date: … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Miner on Destiny – Would Be Right If…

The Statement: Criticism of the city’s tax breaks for Destiny USA project From: Stephanie Miner, Democratic mayoral candidate Type: Interview Date: August 2009 interview with the Syracuse New Times URL: http://www.syracusenewtimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3498&Itemid=147 What She Says: During her eight years on the … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Jennings A Bit of Overstatement on Crime; Violence Against Immigrants More Visible in the News

The Statement: Concern over violence against immigrants Title: “Republican Mayoral Candidate Announces Crime Platform” From: Otis Jennings, running for mayor as the Conservative Party candidate. Type: Press Release from Jennings’s Web site Date: Aug. 31, 2009 URL:  http://www.otisjennings.com/2009/08/31/1102/ What It … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Miner Right on Homeowners’ Insurance

The Proposal: a public-safety plan from Democratic mayoral candidate Stephanie Miner Title: Stephanie Miner’s 50-Point Plan for a 21st Century City called “RENEWING the PROMISE of SYRACUSE” (under Section Three: Public Safety, Strategy #21, Pg. 26) From: From Stephanie Miner, … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Kimatian Overly Optimistic about Curfew & Safety

The Proposal:  A curfew plan to reduce juvenile crime and protect youngsters From: Steve Kimatian, the Republican candidate for mayor Type: Press releases and interview Date: Aug. 18, 2009, on News 10 Now and Aug. 25, 2009 URL: http://www.steveforsyracuse.com/web/news-and-multimedia/radio.html and … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Jennings Accurate on School Portrait

The Statement: education proposals from mayoral candidate Otis Jennings From: Otis Jennings, Conservative Party Type: part of a press conference posted on his campaign Web site Date:  Aug. 18, 2009 URL:  http://www.otisjennings.com/issues-2/ SUMMARY:  The Web page contains the education proposals … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Kimatian on the Money in Small Biz Economic Role

The Statement: an economic proposal with praise for small businesses From: Steve Kimatian, the Republican mayoral candidate Type: Interview Date: Aug. 18, 2009. Place: Interview with News10Now URL: http://news10now.com/cny-news-1013-content/480114/steve-kimatian–r– SUMMARY: In an interview on his economic proposals, Steve Kimatian praised … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Miner Confusing But Accurate on STAR Role

The Statement: from the Web site of mayoral candidate Stephanie Miner From: Stephanie Miner, the Democratic and Working Families candidate URL: (http://www.minerformayor.com/page/meet-stephanie ) SUMMARY: On her Web site, Miner takes credit for drafting and passing STAR  Exemption program legislation to … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Jennings Makes Good Call on After-School Programs

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] The Statement: from ACTS Mayoral Forum From: Otis Jennings, Conservative Party Type: Response to a question at a candidate forum Date: Sept. 9, 2009, Hopps Memorial Church in Syracuse SUMMARY: Jennings is responding … Continue reading

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Two for the Bench: Candidates for Onondaga County Court Judge

A ten-year incumbent judge and a challenger are on the ballot for Onondaga County Court judge in November. The Onondaga County Court judge’s main job is to preside over trials in serious felony cases, such as a charges of murder, … Continue reading

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Common Council Has Field of Choices for Voters

For city voters, the November election offers choices in almost all the Syracuse Common Council races. All eight Syracuse Common Council seats are up for election. Of those, six are contested. The election is Nov. 3. “We have very competitive … Continue reading

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Third Parties Bring Variety to Elections, Democracy

When Kristi Andersen first ran for public office in her town of Cazenovia in 2005, she decided she needed an endorsement from a third party to solidify her candidacy. So Andersen, a Syracuse University political science professor, simply created her … Continue reading

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New Voting Machines Give the Disabled More Options

For some disabled voters in Onondaga County, casting their ballots will get much easier in this November’s election. New voting systems specially designed for the disabled will replace some of the old lever-style voting machines for the election on Nov. … Continue reading

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Dems Gaining Ground for County Legislature

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Many county voters will have a choice of candidates when they cast their ballots for the Onondaga County Legislature races this November. The choices come from a growing trend of competition between Republicans … Continue reading

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Education Commission Candidates Hope to Make the Grade with Voters

School children in Syracuse will get three new education commissioners this November. Three of the seven seats on the school board are up for election. The candidates are Democrats Monique Wright-Williams, Patricia Body, Richard Strong, Republican Blase Parus, and incumbent … Continue reading

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Away on Election Day? Vote by Absentee Ballot

Nov. 3 will be a fine day to vote. But some Onondaga County voters can’t get to the polls that day. They’re sick. Or they’re handicapped. Or they’re going out of the county on Election Day. Or they’re in the … Continue reading

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GOP Newcomer for Mayor: Steve Kimatian; Jennings Stays in Race for Conservative Party

Political novice Steve Kimatian is the Republican candidate for mayor in November. “That’s the great thing about the democratic process. You can do everything you know how to do to win but you can’t roll the ball over the goal … Continue reading

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Stephanie Miner the Dems Choice for Mayor

Stephanie Miner will be the Democratic mayoral candidate when voters turn out for the November election in Syracuse. “I have never felt more satisfied about where are than today,” Miner told a group of elated supporters who gathered at Nibsy’s … Continue reading

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Order at the Polls: Election Inspectors Serve Democracy

For more than 30 years, Nina Haley has watched thousands of eager voters cast their ballots on Election Day. She’s especially energized by one group of voters. “It actually excites me the most to see a young voter come in,” … Continue reading

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Power Without a Vote: Common Council President

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Bea Gonzalez has yet to cast a single vote in eight years as president of the Syracuse Common Council. “The one time there was a tie,” she recalls, “I was on vacation.” Breaking … Continue reading

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First Step Toward the Polls: How to Register to Vote

You can still take your first step for democracy in Onondaga County by registering to vote in the general election on Nov. 3. Here’s why some central New Yorkers say that’s important: Jim Lynch, 41, of Dewitt, teacher, votes because … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices ’09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “My main concern about Syracuse is the gaps in education, the learning gaps that there are in the schools close to the university, and how the city itself and the university don’t really … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices ’09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “I’m definitely supporting Stephanie Miner. I just think she’s the smartest one and I’ve read her platform online. I think she’s thought through what the city needs, and I’m very impressed by her … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices ’09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “All of the malls are losing stores and if the malls are losing stores, then you know that everywhere else is losing jobs.  Factories have been closing down, so I think it would … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices ’09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “I’m concerned about the escalating costs of different city services. (Morgan McDole of Syracuse, 31, firefighter, Democrat) “Well, I think for this area I think taxes are important. I think the spending in … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices ’09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “As far as community, I’m real big on community. As far as fixing things and getting things done—schools, I have a daughter that’s in school. And also, somebody’s who for cutting a lot … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices ’09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “I would like to see a lot of activities for like a certain age group — I  would say 16-18 and even older people.  There’s not a lot of things for them to … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices ’09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “Phil Dwarfman, 67. I’m a computer systems analyst. I’m paying very high taxes. They’re spending my money and it’s not their money so they don’t care what they spend it on. There are … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices ’09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “Healthcare for the elderly — seniors — because we’re all going to get old someday and we’re going to be in their shoes, so hopefully we’ll set it up right so we’re all … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices ’09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “I live in a nice neighborhood. On the other hand it’s surrounded by neighborhoods where things aren’t as nice. Violence in the city is a real scary thing. I mean young children shooting … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices ’09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “Home taxes. School taxes. The things just keep going up and up and up. We need to figure out another way to reduce the budget.” (Joe Schultz, 40, of Fabius, social worker, Democrat) … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices 09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “‘Say Yes’ is one of the best programs in the state of the New York. I know several kids who are taking advantage of it from my neighborhood. They’re going to SU actually, … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices ’09

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “I would personally love to see them take 81 down, but that’s probably not a city issue. I think it’s really important that we maintain the quality of our public schools. I see … Continue reading

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District 3: Republican Meyer Runs to Keep Seat

Bill Meyer remembers waking up to find a parking ticket on his beat-up ‘64 Chevy Malibu. It was that cold November morning that he realized he wanted to get into politics. “I didn’t think giving me the ticket was the … Continue reading

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District 3 Race ’09: Szczesniak Is Challenger for Dems

Lieutenant colonel in the army. Long-time veteran of Democratic politics in Onondaga County. A resume of management experience. “I have a range of experience to look at things from different perspectives,” said Ed Szczesniak. “All of my experiences have taught … Continue reading

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Mayor’s Race ’09: Miner Follows Family Tradition for Dems

A presidential bag of peanuts brought Stephanie Miner into politics. In 1976, when she was six years old, Miner recalls, she went to a political party with her maternal grandmother, Betty Cooney.  Cooney, then a Democratic ward chair in Syracuse, … Continue reading

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Mayor’s Race ’09: Davis Follows Faith for Dems’ Challenge

For Alfonso Davis, running for mayor of Syracuse is a leap of faith. The decision came to him, he recalls, sitting in his hotel room at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. “I was getting dressed on a Tuesday morning … Continue reading

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Mayor’s Race ’09: Kimatian Challenges for GOP Nomination

In 1980, Steve Kimatian, then a lawyer, lost the race for Maryland’s state legislature. “It was tough losing. It was the type of campaign which was very street oriented. It was door to door, street by street, and voter by … Continue reading

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Mayor’s Race ’09: Nicoletti Returns to Democratic Politics

In a return to politics, Democrat Joe Nicoletti is aiming for Syracuse’s top job as mayor. “I’m more seasoned and prepared. I have a complete plan for a better Syracuse,” Nicoletti said. Nicoletti is one of five candidates running for … Continue reading

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Issue: The Uninsured Get Renewed Attention

Imagine not being able to get the proper medicine for allergies. Or think about not being able to get an MRI if you get hurt doing routine repairs around the house. Or picture your child not getting the proper care … Continue reading

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Issue: Education Gap Still Hurts Students

For too many students, the education gap remains stubbornly wide. “We know that there is an overwhelming achievement gap between urban and suburban school districts,” said Cynthia Kirby, vice president of the Syracuse school board. “There are more children in … Continue reading

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Issue: Medicare in Poor Financial Health

Every time Betty Coyle of Syracuse needs to have surgery or has to pay doctor’s bill, she has something to rely upon. “Medicare just really takes care of everything for me,” Coyle said.  “I haven’t had any problems with it.” … Continue reading

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Issue: Obesity Becoming an Epidemic

Symptoms: Too many couch potatoes. Too many potato chips. Not enough exercise. Diagnosis: An obesity epidemic. “It’s a big concern,” says Rachel Murphy, a registered dietician with the Onondaga County Health Department. “We certainly have a lot of work to … Continue reading

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Issue: Foreclosures Set Records

Local homeowners are facing foreclosure at record rates, as the economy continues to falter. But, despite those record home foreclosures, Syracuse fares better than much of the country. “Syracuse wasn’t exempt. But we didn’t have a catastrophe either,” said David … Continue reading

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Tax Credit Helps Many, Especially in Hard Times

Tax time can pay off big time for some Central New Yorkers. “One lady walked out of here with $11,500 more than she expected,” said Elaine Fartwell, the tax program coordinator for P.E.A.C.E. Inc., which stands for People’s Equal Action … Continue reading

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Issue: Stem-Cell Research Renewed — Along with Ethical Qualms, Debate

Alzheimer’s. Diabetes. Cancer. Gone. Non-existent. All of them. “In theory, stem cells literally have the ability to cure diseases without side effects,” said Peter Brink, a stem-cell researcher at Stony Brook University on Long Island, N.Y. Brink and other researchers … Continue reading

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Empire State Games: No Home Fields

The Empire State Games has lost its host site and now has nowhere to play. The group organizing the venues for the games — the Hudson Valley Local Organizing Committee — has told New York state that it will not … Continue reading

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Human Rights Commission Shines a Light on Discrimination

In the fight against discrimination, the front line is often the desk of Bridget Owens. “I’m the primary person who takes complaints from people who feel they have been discriminated against or treated unfairly in Onondaga County,” Owens said. Owens … Continue reading

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Homeless Get Shelter, Aid with HUD Grant

Homeless people in Onondaga County will benefit from a $6.8 million federal grant for programs serving the homeless, say advocates for the homeless and county officials. “This will be good for the community” said Tony Discenza, who heads the Syracuse … Continue reading

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College $ Grows in Stimulus Package

College students will get more financial aid from the federal government, thanks to the recently enacted economic stimulus package. But the increased government support won’t solve all the students’ college-money troubles, caution some local financial aid officers and government officials. … Continue reading

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National Action Network: Trying to Spark Social Change

Going into its second year, a branch of the National Action Network is trying to establish itself as a sparkplug for social activism in the Syracuse area. “As a community, we can be complacent and sometimes we just allow things … Continue reading

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Sacred Lands on Nations’ Wish List

Before most religious ceremonies, Marla Antone can be found in the frozen foods section of her local supermarket. “We have to use frozen berries now because they don’t grow anywhere on our land,” Antone said. Antone, of Cato, is a … Continue reading

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Schools’ Green Renovations Still in the Works

For school children, Syracuse is still planning to turn some of its schools green. “People always think the goal of ‘go green’ has something to do with recycling,” said Martin Walls, communications manager of Syracuse Center of Excellence in environmental and energy … Continue reading

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Shared Works Program Helps Companies Avoid Lay-Offs

Cheryl Saunders of Cazenovia does not like seeing her employees get laid off. That is why she is a big supporter of the state Labor Department’s Shared Works program. “I’m a huge fan of the program and have been for … Continue reading

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Travel Warnings Make Students Alert; But Many Still Go Abroad for Spring Break

Dangerous countries will be destinations for some Spring Break travelers from Syracuse University, despite warnings from the federal government. “I am nervous about this trip,” said Racquel Clarke, a junior newspaper and international relations major at SU, who will spend … Continue reading

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Empire State Games Bench Senior Athletes for $ Woes

For the first time in 15 years, the Thompsons will miss the games they love. Gene, 71, and Judy, 68, from Kirkville, N.Y.,  compete in the ping-pong, track and field and golf divisions of the Empire State Games senior division. … Continue reading

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Hard Times for Serving the Poor

Christmas was a sign that things were getting worse: 2,800 people showed up for dinner and gifts at The Salvation Army. “We helped 300 more families than we expected,” said Lynn Hy, The Salvation Army’s marketing events manager. The Salvation … Continue reading

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Help for First-Time Home Buyers from the Feds

For first-time homebuyers, an $8,000 federal tax credit is good — but not good enough. That’s the reaction of Syracuse-Area real estate brokers to the recently enacted federal stimulus package. The $8,000 tax credit is a cut from a $15,000 … Continue reading

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Somali-Bantu Community Bonds & Learns for Future

For Haji Adan, every Saturday morning is an investment in the future. “We felt like we needed to do something for our children,” says Adan. He is talking about the Somali-Bantu Community Association’s effort in Syracuse to teach their children … Continue reading

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I-81 & Air Quality: A Research Project

To breathe easier, Syracuse should consider replacing the elevated portions of Interstate-81 downtown, say a group of environmental researchers. “The transportation on I-81, such as mobiles and trucks, has an impact on the air pollution,” said K. Max Zhang, assistant … Continue reading

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Hunger: Another Effect of the Bad Economy

Hunger threatens more Onondaga County families as the economy falters, say county officials and advocates for food programs. “We’re going to see a ripple effect,” said Mary Beth Frey, executive director of The Samaritan Center, which serves warm meals for … Continue reading

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Schools Get Fed $

For Syracuse school children, the federal government is easing the effects of state budget cuts. “The stimulus funding definitely helps the students because we will be able to retain more teachers and keep programs for the students,” said Neil Driscoll, … Continue reading

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HIV/AIDS Patients Caught in State Budget Crunch

For those living HIV and AIDS, the state’s budget crisis threatens to reduce important services such as free meals, mental health counseling, and programs that help them stay on their medicine, say advocates of the services. The 11 HIV/AIDS organizations … Continue reading

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Chaplains Keep the Faith — In Prison

Every Tuesday evening, the Rev. Joe Burton transforms Jamesville prison into a church. “I’m here,” said Burton, “to tell them about love.” Burton, also a pastor at St. Lukes Missionary Baptist Church in Syracuse, is one of three chaplains independently … Continue reading

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$ Cuts Keep Student Athletes At Home

Athletes from Jamesville-DeWitt won’t be taking any big trips in 2009 — unless someone else is footing the bill Take, for example, the J-D boys’ basketball team’s trip to New York City in late January. The team played Lincoln High … Continue reading

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Reflections on the New President

“Because it’s history. I mean I could say I watched it on TV, but I can never say that I didn’t go because it was too cold, you know? Nothing a jacket and a little snuggling up to a couple … Continue reading

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Reflections on the New President

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “I’m excited about our new president, and I have great hope and I think that it’s a new chapter of American life. It’s a new threshold that we have stepped over. It doesn’t … Continue reading

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Reflections on the New President

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “I like how he said if we lend a hand, don’t clench your fist. And he was talking to foreign nations saying, we’re here to help everyone. If we lend a hand, just … Continue reading

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Reflections on the New President

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “I was really excited that Obama was elected. It was a no-brainer in my mind who to vote for because we definitely need change and I think that he will bring change as … Continue reading

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Reflections on the New President

“Yeah, we’re an interracial couple and I think it’s amazing. I don’t know about her but I think it’s absolutely amazing that this is going on. I’ve come down, skipped class.” (Erick Sasso, 19, Syracuse University sophomore majoring in visual … Continue reading

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Reflections on the New President

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “His policies don’t – as for me, an 18- year-old female from Connecticut in college, doesn’t resonate within me as a demographic, but as part of America as a whole — me, as … Continue reading

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Reflections on the New President

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “Everything I’ve seen about him is too good to be true. I mean, here’s somebody — I’m almost cynical. I figure they’re gonna find out he’s a pedophile next week or something. It’s … Continue reading

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Reflections on the New President

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “Danielle Roberts, I’m 21, and I’m a full-time college student.  Well, it was very legendary, monumentous (sic) — it was just a beautiful occasion.  It instills in me a faith of hope that … Continue reading

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Issue: Obama’s Plan for the Uninsured

When it comes to health insurance, more Americans are falling through the cracks. “It’s the 47-million-person question,” says Deborah Freund, a healthcare expert at the Center for Policy Research of Syracuse University. Consider these statistics: Nationally, 45.7 million people were … Continue reading

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Issue: Renewable Energy

Wind power. Solar energy. Water power. Those are some of the renewable resources at the center of the ongoing debate about the nation’s energy. Renewable energy comes from natural resources that never run out — like radiation from the sun. … Continue reading

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Issue: Unemployment

[Anchor intro: As if losing your job wasn’t enough, finding a new one is getting even harder. The pool of Americans looking for a job is growing by the day as the economy heads further into a recession. Democracywise reporter … Continue reading

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Election 08: A Time to Celebrate

In almost another world, 62 years ago James Matthews went to a movie theatre in Jefferson City, Missouri. He was an 18-year-old freshman at Lincoln University. He quietly found a seat and sat down. Above his head was a sign. … Continue reading

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Issue: Home Foreclosures

With home foreclosures, the Syracuse area is luckier than many. But the area still has a sharp increase in homes lost to foreclosure, reflecting the nation’s growing economic problems and the burst of the housing bubble. A Democracywise study of … Continue reading

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Issue: Gun Control

Gun sales have skyrocketed across the nation since Democrat Barack Obama was elected president in November. Many gun owners fear the new president will seek new restrictions on gun ownership. But Rick Taggert, owner of Alpha Omega Firearms, in Syracuse … Continue reading

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Issue: Bankruptcies

Filing for bankruptcy. As the economy worsens, more and more Americans are taking the drastic step of bankruptcy to try to recover from their financial hardships. The poor state of the economy has caused the number of personal bankruptcy filings … Continue reading

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Issue: Long-term Care & Medicaid

Norma Harwzinske just got home from the hospital. Her husband, Stanley, has Alzheimer’s disease. He fell and broke his hip at Van Duyn Home and Hospital and she was in the waiting room during his surgery. “He fell on Halloween … Continue reading

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Issue: Stem-Cell Research

Andrea Viczian wants to cure blindness. In her lab at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Viczian is trying to find a way to change embryonic stem cells from mice into specific cells that are lost when a person loses his or … Continue reading

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Issue: Organizing Labor

The problems facing Social Security are everyone’s problems. That’s view of John Palmer, formerly one of the two trustees appointed by the president to oversee Social Security and former dean of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. And the local concerns reflect … Continue reading

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Issue: Help for the Uninsured

Just last year, Ramon Rolle couldn’t find anyone to help him care for his bad leg. “I’d go to the doctor’s office and get turned down at the receptionist. They’d say, ‘Got no insurance? C-Ya,’” he recalls. Rolle was then … Continue reading

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Issue: Social Security

Nationally, almost 50 million beneficiaries receive money from Social Security—and 86,760 in Onondaga County. The beneficiaries are at the heart of Social Security’s political dilemma. The program, born out of the Great Depression, now faces a serious financial crunch. Consider … Continue reading

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Issue: No Child Left Behind

For school children, the tests required by federal law remain controversial. That law is called No Child Left Behind. And one reason for the controversy is variation among states as they follow the law’s mandates. John Yinger specializes in education … Continue reading

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Issue: Outsourcing Jobs

To David Harris, outsourcing comes down to two factors: Mobility and cost. “If the job can be moved, and the prices are cheap enough to make them worth moving,” said Harris, an economics professor at Syracuse University, “then bye-bye job.” … Continue reading

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Issue: Same-Sex Marriage

The one-of-a-kind, interwoven gold wedding band is lost somewhere in Mark Braiman’s backyard in Cazenovia. It slipped off his finger two years ago when Braiman and his spouse were mulching fallen tree branches. And after two summers of fruitless searching … Continue reading

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Issue: $ Crunch for College Students

Higher college tuition and the national economic meltdown are threatening to keep more young people out of college. To cover the extra cost, for example, students at Syracuse University, a private college, are increasingly looking at loans and grants to … Continue reading

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Vote08: Some Democracywise reporters on Election Night

Posted in Fall 2008, No Feature | Comments Off on Vote08: Some Democracywise reporters on Election Night

Vote08: Democracy in Action – Scenes from the Polls

Free coffee, ice cream and doughnuts were on offer for voters on Tuesday. But for many at the polls, the taste was for democracy. Here are a few scenes from around Onondaga County this Election Day: *** At Jamesville-DeWitt Middle … Continue reading

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Vote08: And the Dems Go Wild!

Jubilant Democrats danced, chanted and pumped their fists on Election Night in Onondaga County. “We’re taking back our country, as a party!” proclaimed Diane Dwire, chairwoman of the  Onondaga County Democratic Committee, to a raucous crowd at the Election Night … Continue reading

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Vote08: College GOPers Learn Lesson in Stoicism

The College Republicans didn’t cheer as the election results rolled in Tuesday night. They didn’t cry. They just stood in stony-faced silence, arms crossed. “We got our asses kicked tonight,” said Nick Johnson, chairman of College Republicans. As of 11 … Continue reading

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Vote08: Joy for Dems

To the joy of local Democrats, Senator Barack Obama claimed the presidency on Tuesday night. The unofficial results showed Obama collecting 334 electoral votes — far more than the 270 needed to win the presidency, according to The Post-Standard. Republican … Continue reading

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Vote08: Stirpe Wins for 121st Assembly District

As part of a Democratic sweep, Al Stirpe will return for a second term as 121st District Assemblyman. After the results came in Tuesday night, Stirpe thanked his supporters as Democrats celebrated at a gathering in Liverpool. “We’re going to … Continue reading

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Vote08: Christensen Back for 119th Assembly Distict

In a landslide victory, Democratic incumbent Joan Christensen has won her tenth term for the 119th state Assembly District. “I want to say thank you to all of you who voted.” Christensen said at the Onondaga County Democratic Party’s celebration … Continue reading

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Vote08: Magnarelli Wins Again for 120th Assembly

In an easy victory, Democrat Bill Magnarelli has won his fifth term as assemblyman for the New York state 120th District. “I’m feeling very good. I think it’s going to be a great night for Democrats.” (Bill Magnarelli, Democrat, 120th … Continue reading

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Vote08: For Howie Hawkins, No. 14 Is Not The Charm in 25th CD

For the 14th time, Howie Hawkins’ bid for public office bit the dust Tuesday. Hawkins, the Green Populist for Congress in New York’s 25th District, received about three percent of the vote, or 8,769 ballots, according to an unofficial tally … Continue reading

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Vote08: Sweetland Gets Credit for Good Campaign in 25th CD Loss

For Republican Dale Sweetland, the night turned into a bad dream. Sweetland lost in the 25th District Congressional race to Democrat Dan Maffei. But other Republicans also gave credit to the juggernaut campaign of Democratic presidential contender — and unofficial … Continue reading

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Vote08: DiStefano Gets GOP Praise for 49th Senate District Run

Despite his apparent loss, Republican candidate James DiStefano won praise from his party for the race in the 49th state Senate District. “He worked extremely hard. He was up against a very good candidate. He was out there campaigning; it’s … Continue reading

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Vote08: Valesky Again for 49th Senate District

In a clear victory, Democrat David Valesky won his third term as state senator in the 49th District. “We’re not done with change, we’re not finished with reform,” said Valesky from the Democrats’ party in Liverpool on Tuesday night. He … Continue reading

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Vote08: DeFrancisco Wins 50th Senate District

In an overwhelming victory, Republican state Senator John DeFrancisco gets another two years in Albany. Before his unofficial victory on Tuesday, DeFrancisco was optimistic about getting another term. “I feel good. We ran a good campaign and I think we’ve … Continue reading

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Vote08: Few Problems at Polls

An Election Day mostly untarnished by major problems made the voting quick and painless for many Onondaga County voters Tuesday. “Easy going, very nice.” (Abbey DiPlasido, Syracuse University senior) “It was very smooth sailing.” (Amaury Rivas, Syracuse University freshman) “It … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: Waits to Vote Not Expected to Be Long

You probably won’t have a long to wait to cast your ballot on Election Day. That’s the prediction from local election officials — even though they’re expecting large numbers of voters at the polls. . The Onondaga County Board of … Continue reading

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Magnarelli Builds on Family Tradition

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Thirteen years ago, William Magnarelli had an epiphany at a Christmas party. The revelation came to him after a former Syracuse Carrier Corporation employee bent Magnarelli’s ear about losing his job. “It got … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: How to Find Your Polling Place

[Anchor intro: So, where do you go on Tuesday — Election Day —to cast that ballot? Well, Onondaga County has 203 polling places. And how do you find out which one is yours? Democracywise’s Racquel Asa gives us a how … Continue reading

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Stirpe Stays Hungry for Politics in 121st Assembly District

Al Stirpe has been knocking on a lot of doors in the past few months. He hopes the grassroots support will get him a second shot in the State Assembly. Stirpe is the Democratic candidate for the 121st District Assembly … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: Good Weather = Good Turnout

Expect pleasant weather when you go to the polls on Tuesday. “As of today, the weather for next Tuesday in Central New York looks partly sunny and mild with high temperatures near 60 degrees Fahrenheit,” said local meteorologist Kevin Williams … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: Dems to Party in Liverpool

If you’re looking for a Democrat on Tuesday night, you’ll probably find him or her in Liverpool. You can find the Onondaga County Democrats and most of the county’s Democratic candidates in there. The Onondaga County Democratic Committee will be … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: College GOPers Pitch in for Sweetland

For Election Day, the College Republicans of Syracuse University will be eyeing the 25th Congressional race to see some results of their labor. “Every weekend beginning in September we’ve either done precinct-walking or call banks.  This weekend, we are walking … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: The Do-Nots of Politically Incorrect Behavior

Something you should NOT do on Election Day: Do not ask to take off whole work day. According to New York state election law – you’re only allowed 2 hours. Here’s the word from Ed Ryan, Democratic commissioner, Onondaga County … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: Sweetland Has Full Plate

Dale Sweetland looks to gain a few pounds during Tuesday’s election and the final minutes before it. “On Tuesday, he’ll start his day at the Dunbar breakfast in Syracuse at 7:30 a.m. He’ll make his way to the spaghetti supper … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: GOP Prepping for Last-Minute Campaigning

Rallying for a final push, Onondaga County Republican Party will be campaigning until the last possible minute on Election Day. “We’re focusing on getting people out to vote,” said Carole Marsh, executive administrative assistant of the Onondaga County Republican Committee, … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: Venerable Voting Machines on Duty

Tried and tested voting machines will be the mainstay at Onondaga County polling places on Election Day. “Some of these lever machines are thirty or forty years old. They’re no longer even manufactured.” (Edward Ryan, Democratic commissioner of Onondaga County … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: Look 4 Young Dems @ Different Parties

Two groups of young Democrats from Syracuse University will party separately on Election Night. First, the venerable College Democrats: President Abby DiPlacido says some of the group will be at Democrat Dan Maffei’s headquarters in downtown Syracuse. Maffei is running … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: Get a Ride to the Polls

No car? No bus pass? No problem. To help voters across Onondaga County, several organizations are teaming up to offer rides to polling places throughout the greater Syracuse area. “We find that sometimes students or the elderly can’t always get … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: Prepared for a Tie

It’s a pretty big “What if…?” Maybe not in the case of the 50th Senate District, where incumbent Republican John DeFrancisco is being challenged by an un-Google-able Carol Mulcahy. But in the case of the race between Republican John McCain … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: New Voters Need I.D.; Others Probably Not

First-time voters in the state of New York will need identification next Tuesday. Everyone else can just show up. If you have voted in the past, you do not have to bring any identification, both state and local Board of … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: Where to Get News

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] It’s election night: NBC is turning the Rockefeller Center ice rink into a giant electoral map. CBS has unpacked a wall’s worth of interactive touch screens. CNN is set to conduct live interviews … Continue reading

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Election Day Toolkit: Kids Welcome at Polls

Voters with children don’t have to leave their kids behind on Election Day this Tuesday. “You can bring your kids into the election booth with you,” said Joan Johnson, co-president of the Syracuse-area League of Women Voters. “In fact, I … Continue reading

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Obama: Christian Identity

In a religion-and-politics twist, the Christian identity of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama has been doubted, examined and challenged during the election season. Obama himself has repeatedly stressed his faith. “I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus … Continue reading

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Knapp Taps Local Roots for 121st Assembly Race

Under blue skies and surrounded by apples, Republican Dave Knapp looks at ease. He’s at the LaFayette Apple Festival, sporting a blue shirt that reads “Dave Knapp for Assembly.” To many at the festival, he’s a familiar figure with deep … Continue reading

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Maffei Runs for Return to Congress: This Time As Elected Rep.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Dan Maffei is a self-described nerd. He has a DVD collection of old television shows like “Star Trek” and “MASH” and “The Rockford Files.” He’s currently reading two books at once, both historical … Continue reading

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Syracuse Gives the $ for Magnarelli

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] For his big money in politics, Democratic Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli gets the most contributions from individuals and the city of Syracuse. In four months alone, Magnarelli collected $63,500dollars. That’s the findings from Magnarelli’s … Continue reading

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College Students Give Time Instead of Dollars

Despite his popularity among young voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama isn’t getting much obvious financial support from students in Onondaga County. Sen. Obama (D-Ill.) is running against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the Nov. 4 election. In a recent … Continue reading

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For 10th Term, Christensen Spending Most $ Ever

In a big-bucks election season, Democratic incumbent Joan Christensen is spending more than she’s raised to keep her seat in the 119th State Assembly District. Since Jan. 1, 2008, Christensen has spent $23,275.99 on her re-election campaign, according to reports … Continue reading

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Maffei Breaks $ Record for 25th Congressional District

In the money race, Democrat Dan Maffei, has already won for the 25th Congressional District. Maffei has broken the district’s record for campaign contributions with $2 million — out raising Republican nominee Dale Sweetland by well over $1.5 million. Sweetland’s … Continue reading

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Educators Chip in $ for Obama

William Banks’ first donation to a political campaign was a big one: $2,300. In May, Banks gave that to Democrat Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. It’s one of the largest single campaign contributions to Obama from Onondaga County this year. To … Continue reading

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For 119th Assembly Race, Fitch Bankrolls Own Campaign

Out of her own pocket, Republican Christina Fadden Fitch is bankrolling her run for the 119th District Assembly. So far, Fitch has raised only $650, according to campaign finance reports filed with the New York State Board of Elections. She … Continue reading

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Stirpe Gets $ from Dems Party

The top political dollars for Democratic Assemblyman Al Stirpe are coming from his own party. That’s a hefty $214,000 from the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee, according to campaign finance reports filed with the New York State Board of Elections. The … Continue reading

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For Obama, SU Employees Chip in $

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] When it comes to dollars, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is cashing in with Syracuse University donors. For his campaign, SU workers — staff members, faculty, and administrators— have contributed $46,000, according to … Continue reading

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Third Parties: Different Voices in Democracy

[Anchor Intro: Dark horses. Rabblerousers. Dissenting voices. Spoilers. These are roles that third parties usually play in our politics. With the election looming, Democracywise reporter Leigh Paynter explores our local third parties and their influence.] Syracuse is home to an … Continue reading

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DeFrancisco Taps $ for 50th NY Senate Re-Election

When it comes to tapping into the big bucks to run a campaign, Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco of the 50th Senate District turns to political action committees, contributions from corporations and individuals in Onondaga County, as well as unions … Continue reading

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DiStefano Banks on Frugal Record to Take 49th NY Senate

When it comes to serving constituents as a DeWitt town supervisor, James DiStefano had a simple trademark: The telephone call. “There’s absolutely no one who called who didn’t get a call back once, or twice, or three times,” he said. … Continue reading

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Sweetland Aims from Farm to Congress in 25th District Race

Republican Dale Sweetland says he wants to represent the 25th Congressional District because he feels Congress isn’t doing enough for people in the district. “I believe Congress has lost its compass over many, many years. Not just this Congress. They … Continue reading

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McCain’s Military Past Shapes Foreign Policy Views

When President Ronald Reagan wanted to keep American forces in Lebanon for 18 more months, newly minted Republican Congressman John McCain – Navy veteran, son and grandson of admirals, prisoner of war – had a one-word answer: No. “He’s a … Continue reading

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Christensen Pursues 10th Term for 119th Assembly District

Tireless. Fearless. But above all — friendly and familiar. That’s how friends and coworkers describe Assemblywoman Joan Christensen, the Democratic incumbent of the 119th Assembly District. “She’s just very willing to serve,” Diane Dwire, a friend and president of the … Continue reading

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Obama’s Illinois Days Shape His Presidential Views

For Democrat Barack Obama, the call for “change” is at least a 13-year-old mantra. “The political debate is now so skewed,” Obama told the Chicago Reader in 1995, while campaigning for Illinois Senate. “People are hungry for community; they miss … Continue reading

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Fitch Runs with Praise for 119th Assembly District

For an upstart candidate, Christina Fadden Fitch is gaining an impressive list of endorsements for the 119th Assembly District seat. “Energetically reform-minded candidate,” as The Post-Standard put it in its endorsement. And that theme echoes from across a broad range … Continue reading

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Hawkins Gets More Respect for No. 14 Run

For Howie Hawkins, the political glass ceiling is showing some cracks. “I have a chance to win,” said Hawkins, the enduring Green candidate for elected office in the Syracuse area. This time, he’s running as the Green Populist candidate for … Continue reading

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Joe Biden: Profile in Orange

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Not a star student — but a loyal Orangeman. That’s how one of his former professors describes Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden. Thomas Marone is a professor at Syracuse University’s College of … Continue reading

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Valesky Runs on Record for 49th NY Senate

When Democratic state Sen. David Valesky voted to cap taxes supporting education this summer, he broke with one of his strong support-groups. “I have been very supportive of education issues,” Valesky said in a recent phone interview. “These are the … Continue reading

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DeFrancisco Brings Home the Bacon in NY 50th Senate Race

More money for Syracuse-area projects. That’s a main theme in the re-election campaign for Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco from the 50th Senate District. Or, as he puts it in his campaign slogan: “DeFrancisco Delivers.” “I don’t think you can … Continue reading

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Valesky in the $ for Return to NY 49th Senate District

Labor unions and other political figures are the largest contributors in Democratic state Sen. David Valesky’s fund-raising for the 49th Senate District race. “The people that donate to our campaign are the people that are already engaged in the system,” … Continue reading

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DiStefano Trails in $ for 49th NY Senate Race

One hundred dollars. That’s about .2 percent of the money Republican James DiStefano has raised in his campaign for the New York State Senate seat in the 49th District. But for Herbert Silvestri, it’s a big political message. “I’m not … Continue reading

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Sweetland’s $ Gets Boost from Real Estate Industry

The booster for Republican Dale Sweetland’ campaign for Congress is the Syracuse-area real estate industry. It has donated more to his campaign than any other industry, according to analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C. The group … Continue reading

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McCain Leads in $ from Onondaga County

For campaign dollars, Republican presidential candidate John McCain enjoys something in the greater Syracuse area that he doesn’t most other places: A lead over Democratic candidate Barack Obama in donations from individuals. The Center for Responsive Politics, in Washington, D.C.,  … Continue reading

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For Green Populist Hawkins, Money Isn’t the Issue

When it comes to money, Howie Hawkins just can’t compete. “It puts me at a disadvantage,” said Hawkins. He is the perennial third-party candidate now running as the Green Populist candidate for the 25th Congressional District. “I’m doing OK in … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Maffei Ad Right on Job Losses, Not on Why; NCC News Shows the Facts Too

The AD: Title: “Investing in Our People” From: Paid by Friends of Dan Maffei URL: http://www.maffeiforcongress.com/Multimedia/AdSpots/ What it says: Dan Maffei is the Democrat running to succeed retiring Congressman Jim Walsh, a Republican, in the 25th Congressional District. His opponents … Continue reading

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Third Parties Offer Different Voices in Politics

(Anchor Intro) Dark horses. Rabblerousers. Dissenting voices. Spoilers. These are roles that third parties usually play in our politics. With the election looming, Democracywise reporter Leigh Paynter explores our local third parties and their influence. Syracuse is home to an … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Obama Ad Paints Accurate Picture of Economy

The Ad: From: Barack Obama Democratic presidential candidate Type: TV advertisement Date: September 16th, 2008 URL: The Television Ad What it says: The TV ad contains just Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama sitting down and talking about his plan. The … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Maffei Paints Incomplete Picture of Job Losses

The Statement: Title: Dan Maffei’s Job-Creation Plan From: Democratic congressional candidate Dan Maffei, running in the 25th Congressional district. His opponents are Republican Dale Sweetland and Green Populist candidate Howie Hawkins. They are running to succeed retiring Republican Jim Walsh. … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: McCain Attack Off the $ on Obama Tax Plan

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] The Ad: Title: “Recipe” From: Republican presidential candidate John McCain Type: Attack ad against Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. When/Where: Aug. 8, 2008, as a radio ad on YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iDkg_clAsI What It … Continue reading

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NY Senate on Verge of Going Democratic

For the first time in more than 40 years, Democrats are poised to take control of the New York state Senate and most of the state’s government. “There are a lot of indicators that it could be a very good … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Maffei Slightly Over-Optimistic For Wind-Power Jobs

The statements: On his Web site, Democratic congressional candidate Dan Maffei praises the Spanish energy company Iberdrola as an example of a creator of new, high-quality jobs for Central New York. Title: “My Job Creation Plan” and “Candidates take starkly … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Obama Ad Makes Weak Link on McCain’s Health Care Views

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Anchor Intro: A health-care plan headed for a Wall Street-like disaster. That’s what Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says in a recent ad about Republican candidate John McCain’s health care proposal. Reporter Torie … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Dems Group Gets Much Wrong on Sweetland

The Ad: Title: “Dale Sweetland Has It Backwards” From: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Type: Attack ad against Republican Dale Sweetland. Sweetland is running against Democrat Dan Maffei and Howie Hawkins of the Green Populist Party to succeed Republican Jim … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Sweetland Overdoes Criticism of Crop Insurance

The Statement: Sweetland remarks From: Dale Sweetland, Republican candidate for 25th Congressional District. His opponents are Democrat Dan Maffei and Green Populist candidate Howie Hawkins. They running to succeed Republican Jim Walsh, who is retiring. Type: Comment made at public … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: McCain Misleads on Obama Ties to Fannie and Freddie

The Statement: speech by Republican presidential candidate John McCain Title: “Our Financial Markets” From: McCain campaign Type: Stump Speech Date: Speech delivered Sept. 19, 2008 in Green Bay, Wis., to members of the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce URL: http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/News/Speeches/9a604256-0519-46e6-a1ce-e70798b39ec2.htm … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Sweetland & Medicaid, a Bit Too Much Credit

The Statement: press release from Dale Sweetland’s campaign Title: “Sweetland’s Medicaid Fraud Initiative Saves County Taxpayers $2 Million in 7 Months” From: Republican Dale Sweetland’s campaign for 25th Congressional District in New York State. Sweetland’s opponents are Democrat Dan Maffei … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Obama Ad Wrong On McCain’s Social Security Views

The Ad: Title: “Social Security” From: The Obama/Biden Campaign, Democratic ticket Type: Attack Ad on Republican candidate John McCain’s views on Social Security Date: Released Sept. 18, 2008 URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV9GZUtCgPc What It Says: The ad attacks Republican presidential candidate John … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Obama Ad Just Opinions About McCain’s “Honor”

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] The Ad: Title “Honor” From: Obama/Biden Campaign, Democratic Party Type: attack ad against Republican candidate John McCain Date: Sept. 15, 2008 URL: http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/stateupdates/gG5q24 What It Says: The ad opens with a clip of … Continue reading

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Fact-Check: Obama Ad Mostly Accurate on McCain’s View of Equal Pay for Women

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] The Ad: Title: “Equal Pay” From: Barack Obama, Democratic presidential candidate Type: Attack ad on Republican presidential candidate John McCain Date: Sept. 16, 2008 URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2G7ZDgVSvM What it Says: “Today, many women work … Continue reading

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Health Care Remains Election Issue

Rob Sturges, a Syracuse University graduate student, does not have health insurance, so he didn’t go to see a doctor after he broke his finger last year. “You know it hurt for a while. But I didn’t know if it … Continue reading

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Young People Tuning In to Election Excitement

Nicole Thur can’t wait for Nov. 4. “I’m really just excited to vote,” said Nicole Thur, a senior at Syracuse University. “I just missed being able to vote in the 2004 election and to finally have the opportunity to vote … Continue reading

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In 49th NY Senate, Valesky vs. DiStefano; In 50th NY Senate, DeFrancisco vs. Mulcahy

Sens. David Valesky and John DeFrancisco are up for re-election in the 49th and 50th Senate Districts surrounding Syracuse. And if history repeats itself, they have a good chance of returning to Albany. Incumbents, like Valesky and DeFrancisco, win re-election … Continue reading

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For U.S. Senate, Dems on a Roll

[audiohttp://democracywise.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Story3A-Senate-Story-Kineke2.mp3] Two seats. That’s the Democrats’ slimmest of slim majorities in the United States Senate. But many political signs suggest that will change with this election. Political scientist Danny Hayes of Syracuse University says Democrats will benefit from Republican scandals, … Continue reading

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VP’s Job Spelled Out by Constitution, Filled Out by Tradition

When John Adams was vice president from 1797 to 1801, he called his position “the most insignificant office.” Soon after Jack Garner accepted his vice presidential nomination in 1932, he said “The vice presidency isn’t worth a pitcher of warm … Continue reading

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Race Remains a Question in Election Influence

White and male. That’s how presidential candidates usually look. And that’s one of the reasons Barack Obama’s nomination by the Democratic Party marks a historic moment in American history. But experts disagree on whether the color of Obama’s skin will … Continue reading

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Dems Aim for Bigger Majority in Congress

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for election this fall. Now, Democrats are in control of the House. They reclaimed the majority in the 2006 elections. They hold 236 … Continue reading

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Democrats Gain Ground in Suburbs; Party’s Enrollment Up

For the first time in as long as they can remember, Democrats in DeWitt — a Syracuse suburb of about 25,000 — are celebrating a big change. “The town of DeWitt just went blue,” Diane Dwire, chairwoman of the Onondaga … Continue reading

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Gender Less Important Than Policies, Experts Say; Palin Not A Sure Vote-Getter Among Women

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Anchor Intro: After Senator Hillary Clinton of New York lost the Democratic presidential nomination, the campaign looked like it would be an all-male event. But then Republican John McCain brought a woman back … Continue reading

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NY Assembly Likely to Go Even More Blue

With voters choosing all their state Assembly members this fall, Democrats are likely to tighten their grip on state government in Albany, say political experts. “The Democrats’ lock on the Assembly is so huge that there’s no way, even in … Continue reading

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Students’ Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “My boyfriend is too lazy to register to vote, so I went to the student center and got applications and started to hand them out to my friends and filled it out for … Continue reading

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How To Register to Vote: Deadlines Loom

Red-letter days for would-be voters are fast approaching. There are two deadlines — Oct. 10 and Oct. 24 — for registering to vote. Citizens can register to vote in Onondaga County in two ways: by filling out a mail-in voter … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “My name is Luke Rob Gorz, I’m 21 years old, and I’m a Republican. Well, obviously, the economy is Number One. Number Two is taxes… and Number Three, the welfare of the country … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

“I would say healthcare. There are a lot of people out there who are temporarily out of jobs. Like where I work now, a lot temps are there. The health insurance we have right now isn’t always an option.” (Brenda … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “More recently I’ve been looking at the front page more than the sports page a little bit. It’s getting more interesting. That’s for sure.” (Arthur Kenny, 70, speech pathologist, of Jamesville-Dewitt) “I vote … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “I have a 5-year-old son, so…what’s the U.S. going to be like when he is 40 years old? I want it to be a good place for him to live — and all … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “It was always the right thing to do when you were 18. When I was 18, you could drink, you could vote, you could serve your country, so that’s what we did.” (Mark … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

Counter clockwise from top left: George Cannellos, Terry Burke, Dan Murphy, Patricia Moore, Jeff Keida [Audio clip: view full post to listen] “To get everything back to normal, like it was when Clinton was here somewhat.” (George Cannellos, 82, of … Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2008, No Feature | Comments Off on Voters’ Voices

Voters’ Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “The country’s messed up. We just need a whole new- just start all over again. And I don’t think one person, ‘Bama — anybody other than Jesus Christ — can do it in … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

“I see it as a lot of government being more people telling me how to think rather than allowing me total free will.   Whereas conservatives believe in less government.  And I kind of want the national government to only do … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “What I really want to hear is the voice of integrity from the politicians, and I’d love to hear a presidential campaign person — a candidate — say, ‘I can’t do it alone.’” … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “I’m not sure that the next generation, which is our children, are going to have the kind of retirement that we have, which is stable — and that’s what I’m concerned about.” (Jane … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “Obama…. His education policies have convinced me. He seems to actually support teachers — wherein a lot of the time it’s not about supporting teachers. It’s about, ‘Let’s create some tests and hopefully … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “Abortion, the economy, and the war in Iraq.” (John Crisafulli, 26, SU grad student, Democrat, voting for Barack Obama) “War. I don’t like that. Some of my family is over there. That and … Continue reading

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Voters’ Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] “The war in Iraq, that’s another one. Health insurance is a big one, that’s probably the biggest. It’s getting so expensive that people can’t afford health insurance anymore. Doctor’s, there’s not enough of … Continue reading

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In 124th State Assembly Race: Barclay Alone?

Voters in the 124th state Assembly District so far have only one option: their incumbent William A. Barclay (R-Pulaski). Barclay, 38, was nominated May 1 by the Onondaga County Republican Party to run again for the assembly seat he has … Continue reading

Posted in No Feature, Spring 2008 | Comments Off on In 124th State Assembly Race: Barclay Alone?

In 25th Congressional Race: Maffei vs. Sweetland… And Maybe More

[Update: On May 1st, the Onondaga County Republican Party nominated Dale Sweetland as its choice for the 25th Congressional District. Sweetland received 94 percent of the vote, with Assemblyman Bob Oaks coming in second with 5 percent. On May 6, … Continue reading

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SU Explains Endowment to Congress

[INTRO: College tuition is getting attention from Congress. The Senate Finance Committee has asked 136 colleges and universities to explain their endowment spending and financial aid. Syracuse University was on that list and Democracywise reporter Beth Croughan tells us just … Continue reading

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In 23rd Congressional Race: Candidates’ Stands on Issues

Where the three candidates stand on New York’s top-three issues: John McHugh (Republican, incumbent) The Economy: McHugh supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent and is opposed to any tax increases for government programs. On extending the soon-to-expire Bush tax … Continue reading

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In 23rd Congressional Race: McHugh vs. Rookie and Ex-Opponent

Saying they are fed up with the federal government, a political rookie and a familiar opponent will challenge a veteran congressman for New York’s 23rd Congressional District this fall. The rookie is Michael Oot, a lawyer from Stockbridge who is … Continue reading

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In 24th Congressional Race: Arcuri vs. Hanna & Gorton

A freshman Democratic incumbent from Utica. Two Republicans: An Oneida County businessman and a self-employed handyman from Garrattsville. Those are shaping up as choices for voters in the 24th Congressional District for the November 2008 election. The freshman Democrat is … Continue reading

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In 121st State Assembly Race: Stirpe vs. Knapp

Voters in the 121st state Assembly District will choose between incumbent Democrat Al Stirpe and Republican LaFayette town councillor David Knapp in the election this year. The election is on Nov. 4, 2008. Stirpe is running for his second term … Continue reading

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115th’s Townsend on the Issues

Here’s a look at the views of  Assemblyman David Townsend, R-Oneida, on issues affecting the 115th district: The Economy:  “The state of Florida has 18 million citizens and $60 billion in their budget.  New York has 19 million citizens and … Continue reading

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In 50th State Senate: Still Sweet Music for DeFrancisco

A saxophone-playing senator is still bringing music to Syracuse after 16 years in office. Republican John DeFrancisco is running for his ninth term as state senator in the 50th District this November. As of late April, DeFrancisco is unopposed for … Continue reading

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In 119th State Assembly Race: Christensen Again Dominates

(Editor’s Note: On May 1, 2008, anti-abortion activist Christina Fitch of Liverpool won the designation of the Onondaga County Republican Party.) The choice for voters in the 119th state Assembly District is — once again — shaped by 18-year incumbent … Continue reading

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In 120th State Assembly Race: Veteran Magnarelli for Dems; GOP Potential Candidate with a Different Voice

(Editor’s note: On May 1, 2008, veteran Republican Kristen Rounds, long-time chair of the 3rd Ward, won the designation of the Onondaga County Republican Party over Peter Gay, who had been the only openly declared candidate when this story was … Continue reading

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In 115th State Assembly Race: Townsend Alone

A veteran Republican Assemblyman is likely to be the only choice for voters in the 115th District. David R. Townsend, R-Oneida, has no challenger as of late April for state Assemblyman of the 115th District. He has held the seat … Continue reading

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Understanding Builds Bridges Out of Poverty

Treating her patients who are poor takes more than just medicine, says pediatrician Maritza Alvarado. “We need to understand our clients better,” said Alvarado. Alvarado is one of the 3,000 local graduates of a national educational program called Bridges out … Continue reading

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Exhaustion Wins on the Campaign Trail

Mornings that start at 5 a.m. in the Midwest and nights that end past midnight in the South. Constant travel. A day off here or there — if the next stop is across the country and if there’s an overnight … Continue reading

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Drop-Out Rate Rising For Syracuse School District

The high school drop-out rate is on the rise for the Syracuse City School District. “It’s a very serious problem,” said Steve Gramet, director of pupil services at the school district office. “Too many students don’t graduate,” he added. About … Continue reading

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SU Chips in $ to Presidential Candidates

Employees of Syracuse University are making their contributions to democracy this presidential election cycle—to the tune of at least $19,000. And 32 of at least 35 contributions made by employees of Syracuse since Jan. 1, 2007, have gone to Democratic … Continue reading

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Stirpe Fundraising for 121st Assembly Re-Election

For $200, Robert Diflorio made a contribution to democracy. A frequent donor, Diflorio donated the money to the first-time legislator Al Stirpe of the 121st Assembly District. “I wanted to help him,” said Diflorio, who is a registered Democrat and … Continue reading

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Giving the Green: Political $ from CNY Universities

With their dollars, college professors, administrators and staff around Central New York are funding presidential candidates to the tune of at least $62,694 in the last two years. That’s according to a search of campaign finance reports filed with the … Continue reading

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Primary Color for Clinton: Green $ Pours in after NY Win

A treasure chest has opened in Onondaga County for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton since she won New York’s primary election in February. After the Feb. 5 primary, donors in the county gave $27, 618 during the rest of the month, … Continue reading

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Arcuri Taps Unions, NYC & Hometown for Re-Election $

For his political treasure chest, U.S. Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-Utica) can count on labor unions, New York City and his hometown of Utica. That’s typical for Democratic politicians, said Jeff Stonecash, a professor of political science at Syracuse University. Politicians, … Continue reading

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Democrat Maffei in the Money for House 25th District

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] democrat=”” dan=”” maffei=”” is=”” running=”” again=”” for=”” congress=”” from=”” the=”” 25=””>25th District around Syracuse. Democracywise reporter Beth Croughan tells us just how much money Maffei has — and where some of his contributions … Continue reading

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Rep. Walsh’s Unspent Political Money: What to Do?

[Half-a-million dollars in the bank but no election to spend it on. Congressman Jim Walsh will have to find another way to cash in his campaign donations when he steps down next year. Shelly Schwartz of Democracywise tells us how … Continue reading

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Financial Aid Opens SU Doors for Many

A federal loan. Work-study. An engineering grant. A university grant. With all of that financial aid — about $20,000 worth a year —Andrew DiOrio is able to complete his sophomore year at Syracuse University. “Without financial aid I wouldn’t be … Continue reading

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What To Do About Metal Bats in Youth Baseball? Little League Says They’re Safe

Aluminum baseball bats continue to raise concerns for some in youth baseball leagues. But the Little League — the largest of youth leagues — says the metal bats are as safe as wooden bats. Some parents, coaches and league administrators … Continue reading

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Weak Economy Hurts College Students; SU to Aim for More Financial Aid

[Intro: Higher college costs and a weak economy — that’s a double whammy for Syracuse University. Democracywise reporter Beth Croughan tells us how S-U is trying to make sure people can still afford the hefty 32,000-dollar price tag for next … Continue reading

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Going Green: Buildings, Jobs, the Economy

Green fever is rising in Syracuse. Take, for example, CDH Energy Corp. It’s a Cazenovia-based company that evaluates energy systems. It’s spearheading a project to design energy-efficient homes on Syracuse’s Near West Side. And the company is doing that with … Continue reading

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Syracuse Schools Still Behind on No Child Left Behind Law

For the sixth consecutive year, the Syracuse City School District remains on the state’s list of low-performing districts. All four Syracuse high schools are designated as “schools requiring academic progress,” according to the list released on March 25 by the … Continue reading

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Abandoned Buildings Hurt South Side; But Neighborhood Gets Help

[Like a disease, hundreds of abandoned buildings slowly rot away and infect Syracuse neighborhoods with a lot of problems. People have been abandoning their homes and businesses for decades. Shelly Schwartz of Democracywise explains how vacant buildings harm neighborhoods and … Continue reading

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Rebuilding South Side: Out of Their Own Pockets

[Bringing neighborhoods back to life. That’s the mission of community groups renovating abandoned buildings. Many are doing this without the help of government money. Shelly Schwartz of Democracywise explains how community members are restoring the streets they call home without … Continue reading

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Tax-Free Homes — Almost

[Buy a house for a buck. That’s what Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll is proposing to entice people to fix up abandoned buildings. Shelly Schwartz of Democracywise tells us what the mayor and others say about how this deal aims to … Continue reading

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Chiefs Still in Debt to County

With nearly $500,000 owed to taxpayers, Onondaga County is not yet collecting any of the debt from the Syracuse Chiefs. But the minor-league baseball team will have to pay up in the future, says at least one county official. “It’s … Continue reading

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No More Solitary Confinement for Mentally Ill in Prison

For prisoners suffering from mental illness, solitary confinement is no longer legal in New York. New York state passed the “SHU bill” on Jan. 15. That’s legislation requiring the Department of Correctional Services to conduct mental health assessments on all … Continue reading

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Using the First Amendment: Mary Fetchet, a Profile in Citizenship

When the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center building and took the life of Mary Fetchet’s 24-year-old son, her life priorities changed “It changed my life dramatically,” said Mary Fetchet in a phone interview. “I felt as though … Continue reading

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Water for Syracuse to Get Even Cleaner — & a Little More Costly

Water rates are likely to go up in Syracuse within the next couple of years, say city officials. This is because of new regulations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The E.P.A. is requiring the city to treat its drinking … Continue reading

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School Budget Cuts Means Fewer Jobs Filled

Job cuts will combat the budget problem of the Syracuse City School District, says the district’s superintendent. These cuts of 75 jobs will be done through attrition and not layoffs, Superintendent Daniel G. Lowengard said. “To make the revenues and … Continue reading

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Connective Corridor: What Will It Do?

[INTRO: With millions of taxpayer dollars, Syracuse University is working with the city to develop what’s called the “Connective Corridor.” The city and university see this project as an economic necessity. But Democracywise reporter Beth Croughan tells us why some … Continue reading

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Onondaga Lake Getting Cleaner

Onondaga Lake is no longer Syracuse’s sewer. That’s the result of Onondaga County having completed more than two-thirds of its court-ordered projects to stop municipal sewage from polluting the lake, say government and other experts. “Onondaga Lake is beginning to … Continue reading

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New Lobbying Law’s Effects Unclear

Money, influence and power. These were the targets of an eight-month old law in which Congress aimed to curb the $1.47 billion lobbying industry. So far, at least one lobbyist, Benjamin Lieber of the Carmen Group in Washington, D.C., does … Continue reading

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Liverpool Voters Reject $ for Football Stadium; Other Projects Get the Blame

Friday-night football lost on the ballot Wednesday as Liverpool Central School District residents headed to the polls. That’s the effect on the Liverpool High School’s Warriors as voters rejected a $44.5 million proposal that included funding for a new $6.3 … Continue reading

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Home Sweet Home for Clinton

New York was good to Sen. Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. In her home state, Clinton won big, bringing in 57 percent of the statewide unofficial vote, compared to 40 percent for Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. Onondaga County … Continue reading

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McCain Gets Boost & Win with CNY Help

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] [Senator John McCain of Arizona has broken away from the pack in the Republican presidential race. After Super Tuesday, McCain has gone from “the comeback kid” to the likely Republican nominee. Shelly Schwartz … Continue reading

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Romney Too Far from Home to Win in NY

Mitt Romney won the Republican nomination in his home state of Massachusetts. But that momentum didn’t translate to New York voters. Romney lost the New York State primary Tuesday. He received about 30 percent of the votes. Sen. John McCain … Continue reading

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Doing the Math: It’s All About the Delegates

In the race for all-important numbers of delegates, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton were the big winners in New York’s presidential primaries Tuesday. In the winner-take-all race for the GOP, McCain is the unofficial … Continue reading

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Voter Turnout Good in NY; Campaigns Getting Much Attention

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] [Voters flocked to the polls in New York and 23 other states Tuesday to cast ballots in presidential primaries. Democracywise reporter Beth Croughan takes an early look at voter turnout. ] Even before … Continue reading

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Obama Loses NY Vote; Supporters Celebrate Delegates to Convention

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois lost big time to Sen. Hillary Clinton in her home state of New York in the Democratic presidential primary Tuesday. But for local Obama delegates and campaign volunteers, downplayed the loss in votes. Obama still … Continue reading

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Problems? Sure But It’s the Spirit That Counts at the Polls

Elections inspector Claire McGrheh ruffled through piles of paper, searching for a few more envelopes. “They didn’t give me enough!” she says. Meanwhile, several voters waited behind her at the table, clutching ballots. McGrheh, one of four elections inspectors at … Continue reading

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Some of the Scorecard for Clinton & McCain Comes from New York Wins

With little suspense, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York won her home state’s Democratic primary and Sen. John McCain of Arizona was the Republican winner Tuesday. On the Super Tuesday, a virtual national primary day, 24 states went to poll, … Continue reading

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Giuliani Barely Registers with New Yorkers; McCain Wins State’s GOP Primary

With homestater Rudy Giuliani out of the race, Sen. John McCain of Arizona made a clean sweep across New York in the Super Tuesday Republican presidential primary. Statewide, with 96 percent of precincts reporting, McCain had 51 percent of the … Continue reading

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Even Out, Edwards Still Gets Votes of Die-Hard Supporters

John Edwards grabbed enough votes for third place in Tuesday’s New York primary, despite dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination for president last week. And Edwards’ die-hard supporters turned out in 21 other states holding Democratic primaries … Continue reading

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Iraq War Brings Different Plans from Clinton & Obama

The Iraq war is a top issue for many New Yorkers and other voters in the presidential primary on Tuesday. Some voters, like members of the Syracuse Peace Council, want the troops home from Iraq immediately. The American invasion, says … Continue reading

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Students Get Interested in Voting — Finally!

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] [College students are turning out in record numbers to vote for presidential candidates this year. Democracywise reporter Beth Croughan tells us about one group of college students and their new-found interest in politics. … Continue reading

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McCain & Romney Offer Iraq War Strategies for GOP Primary Tuesday

With the Iraq war much on voters’ minds, Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain offer slightly different choices of war strategy in Tuesday’s primary. McCain, senator of Arizona, was a POW in Vietnam. He has been a steadfast … Continue reading

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Change vs Experience Too Simple for New York Voters With Clinton & Obama as Choices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] [Experience or change? New York Democrats must decide in Tuesday’s primary election between Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Shelly Schwartz of Democracywise tells us how two simple words have fueled … Continue reading

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Obama Inspires Some SU Students On War & Change

Student supporters of Sen. Barack Obama have been campaigning persistently on Syracuse University’s campus ahead of New York primary election Tuesday, riding a wave of youth support for Obama across the nation. “The student vote is resonating with Sen. Obama,” … Continue reading

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Education Gets Attention from Voters & Candidates

As a graduate student at Syracuse University, Terri Neal will choose her presidential candidate with a keen eye to a big issue: the high cost of college. “I’m concerned that the price of tuition keeps jumping every year by six … Continue reading

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Opinion Polls a Poor Guide for How to Vote

Don’t trust opinion polls in deciding how to vote on Tuesday. That’s the advice from political scientists and pollsters alike: The polls can be wrong. “It’s a teaser, it’s titillating. We all like to try to predict the future, but … Continue reading

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Gas Prices On Voters’ Minds for Tuesday’s Primary; Front-runners Focus on Energy Plans

The rising price of gasoline is a driving force in the presidential primary Tuesday. “The prices are too, too high,” said Margaret Asaju of Syracuse’s east side. She, like many other voters in Onondaga County, sees the effect of the … Continue reading

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Health Care Plans from Clinton & Obama

Getting health care is a costly crisis for a growing number of Americans. And that has made health care a major issue as voters cast their ballots in Tuesday’s presidential primaries. Consider these health care statistics: The families of 61.6 … Continue reading

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Meet the New Hampshire Class of ’08

In a decades-old tradition, 13 Newhouse students covered the New Hampshire primaries for 2008. For the first time, the primaries were outside of the usual semester time-frame. So the students did what journalists do: They gave up holidays and rest … Continue reading

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Supporters Celebrate Clinton Win in NH

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 8)—Hillary Clinton supporters had something to celebrate Tuesday night with an unexpected win in the New Hampshire Democrat primary. Clinton, a New York state senator won the primary with 39 percent of the vote, after a tight … Continue reading

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Kids Vote Too in NH

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 8) – At a polling booth in Manchester, Nicky Lito exercised his voting right by choosing the former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as the Republican presidential nominee. Nicky is 8 years old. “I voted for Mike Huckabee,” … Continue reading

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Scenes from NH Primary Day

Concord New Hampshire West Congressional Church (Ward 2) 9:00 AM It’s game time. The polls are open and voters have started casting their ballots bright and early in New Hampshire on Tuesday. In Concord, Abigail Lange, a homemaker and community … Continue reading

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Peace Bus Is on the Road Again…& Again…& Again

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] CONCORD, N.H. (Jan.7) INTRO: For 50,000 miles, the Peace Bus has been on the road. WATD News reporter Beth Croughan tells us about the Peace Bus and its journey in New Hampshire. Jim … Continue reading

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Voices from NH Primary Week ’08

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] For the week of the New Hampshire primaries, three Newhouse broadcast journalism students — Shelly Schwartz, Beth Croughan and Joyce Ogirri — covered the election for WATD Radio in Marshfield, Mass. This is … Continue reading

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Clinton Defies Polls in NH

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] NASHUA, NH (Jan, 8th) INTRO: The polls aren’t always right. Senator Hillary Clinton upset Senator Barack Obama in New Hampshire. WATD News reporter Beth Croughan tells us why the unexpected winner was the … Continue reading

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Promise of ‘Change’ Not Enough for Obama

NASHUA, N.H. (Jan.8) — His vibrant call for “change” wasn’t enough for voters to give Sen. Barack Obama the Democratic presidential nomination in the New Hampshire Primary on Tuesday. Obama, senator from Illinois, finished second in a duel with Hillary … Continue reading

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Romney Takes ‘Silver’ in NH Race

BEDFORD, N.H. (Jan. 8) Republican Mitt Romney has lost the New Hampshire presidential primary. He conceded defeat with images of Olympic medals for first and second place. He took second — the silver medal. [“There have been three races. So … Continue reading

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One New Yorker Wins in NH; the Other Loses

CONCORD N.H. (Jan. 8) —Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York staged a comeback in New Hampshire by defeating Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in a tight race Tuesday night. “I felt like we all spoke from our hearts and I … Continue reading

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McCain Heads to Michigan a Winner

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 9) [“Mac is back” for now. Arizona Senator John McCain clinched first place in New Hampshire’s primary last night after a fourth place finish in Iowa just last week. WATD’s … Continue reading

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Two “Comeback” Kids in this NH Primary: McCain & Clinton Win

NASHUA, N.H. — Republican John McCain, senator from Arizona, and Democrat Hillary Clinton, senator from New York, won their parties’ nominations for president in the New Hampshire primaries on Tuesday. “Tonight,” McCain told a cheering crowd, “we sure showed them … Continue reading

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Clinton and McCain Winners in NH

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 8) — In an extremely tight race, Sen. Hillary Clinton has a slim victory over Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. At 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the projected results for the Democratic race had Clinton … Continue reading

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Mac is Back: McCain Wins in NH

NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 8) — John McCain blew away his competitors Tuesday night as he won the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary. “Tonight we sure showed them what a comeback looks like,” McCain, a senator from Arizona, said. In the … Continue reading

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Edwards Pledges to Stay in Race

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 8) — After a third-place finish in Tuesday’s primary here, John Edwards vowed he would soldier on in his quest to win the Democratic nomination for president. “I want to be clear to the 99 percent of … Continue reading

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Clinton Keeps Hope Alive Against Obama

ANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan 8) — The race between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama remained tight late Tuesday night, with Clinton in the lead. As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, The Associated Press had called the race as a win for … Continue reading

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Edwards Hangs in Race at 3rd Place

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Spirits remained high at Democrat John Edwards’ primary night party, in spite of a third-place finish. “I am in this race until we have actually restored the American dream,” Edwards said on Tuesday night in his concession … Continue reading

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Another Man from Hope

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] CONCORD, N.H. (Jan.8) — Mike Huckabee is spending his last day in New Hampshire visiting polling stations and thanking voters.  Richard Zussman was with Huckabee most of today and say Huckabee is campaigning … Continue reading

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Huckabee Learns Politics Arkansas-Style

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] CONCORD, N.H. (Jan.8) — Voters are heading to cast their ballots today in New Hampshire.  Richard Zussman tells us that Mike Huckabee’s Arkansas experience has prepared him for tonight and onwards. NAT SOUND … Continue reading

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Independent Streak Alive & Well

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan.8)—Vote for the person, not the party. That’s the sense Scott Daniels gets from the voters of New Hampshire. “They take it seriously. They like to be independent and not be influenced by anything other than what they … Continue reading

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Finally, Voters Get Their Say

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan.8)- Outside of the Brookside Congregational Church, John Knieriem and Bob Conway don’t mind standing in the icy parking lot to chat. The topic: today’s election for the presidential candidates from both parties in New Hampshire. “Who do … Continue reading

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Groups Share Limelight with Candidates

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 7) – In the election excitement, groups with a special cause try to be heard. “We are not trying to support any particular candidate,” Emily Adler said. She represented Appalachian Voice at Republican Sen. John McCain’s rally … Continue reading

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RI Duo Get NH Political Spirit

ROCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 8) — With voters at the polls today, Robert Tingle of Westerly, R.I., and Scott Bill Hirst of Ashaway, R.I., are seeing the results of their hard work. “We’re up here to do whatever we can to … Continue reading

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Teens Gain Their Political Voices

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Concord, N.H. (Jan. 7) Katie Perry began her journey into politics when her mother took her to the voting booths at the age of 7. Now at the age of 20, she is … Continue reading

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For $400, Candidates Get Groomed for a Good Cause

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 7) [Remember that 400 hundred dollar haircut for John Edwards? Well, now a lot of the candidates are paying the same price. WATD’s Election 2008 Reporter Shelly Schwartz tells us … Continue reading

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Republicans on the March to Primary Day

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 6) – With primary day looming, the leading Republicancandidates for president scrambled to gather last-minute converts. “My friends, I’m asking for your vote,” Republican John McCain, senator of Arizona, said at one of his rallies on Monday. … Continue reading

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Clinton Stakes Claim on Ability to Change Politics

OVER N.H. (Jan. 7) — With only hours until voting starts, New York Democrat Hillary Clinton intensified her self-portrait on Monday as the change agent who also has experience. “I have what I believe to be the advantage of years … Continue reading

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Edwards in Marathon to Primary Day

NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 7) — A relentless John Edwards made his final plea to New Hampshire voters with a 36-hour bus marathon leading up to Tuesday’s primary. “While everybody else goes to high-glamour events and goes to bed tonight, I’m … Continue reading

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Campaigns Push Themes: Change or Experience?

CONCORD, NH (Jan. 7)- Change? Or experience? Those are the choices that the presidential candidates from both parties are pitching to New Hampshire voters in the closing hours before the primaries on Tuesday. “I think it’s time for change, but … Continue reading

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A Challenge to Arkansas: Make a Better Burger?

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] CONCORD, N.H. (Jan.7) — This morning the Barley House became home to a new culinary creation—The Huckaburger.  Richard Zussman lays out the recipe. The Barley House in Concord, New Hampshire, calls itself the … Continue reading

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Two Spouses on War & Health Care: Kucinich & Gravel

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 5) — For Elizabeth Kucinich and Whitney Stewart Gravel, health care and the Iraq war gave chances to support their husbands Saturday. “I am so happy I married a man who believes in universal healthcare,” said Elizabeth … Continue reading

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Arkansas Travelers in New Home After Fire

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] CONCORD, N.H. (Jan.6) — Some Arkansas Travelers are in new living quarters after a hotel fire in Nashua, New Hampshire.  Richard Zussman tells us these Hillary Clinton supporters are still in good spirits … Continue reading

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Ron Paul, for the Independent-Minded

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 6) — Kevin Whitbeck’s car is covered in stickers supporting Republican presidential nomination candidate Ron Paul, a congressman from Texas. “This is my first presidential election and I feel I need to make a stand,” said Whitbeck, … Continue reading

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McCain Draws Protestors

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] SALEM, N.H. (Jan. 7) [Where presidential candidates go, protestors follow in a final effort to sway voters. WATD’s Election 2008 Reporter Shelly Schwartz tells us how a town hall meeting with Republican presidential … Continue reading

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Romney: Mr. Fixit for Washington

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] NASHUA, N.H. (Jan.7) INTRO: With the clock ticking down to Primary Day, presidential candidates are promising big change to New Hampshire voters, WATD News reporter Beth Croughan tells us about Mitt Romney’s final … Continue reading

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‘Huckaburger’ Makes the Menu in NH

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 7) — Try the Huckaburger. That’s the latest political entrée at The Barley House, a restaurant right across from the state capitol and famous for its gourmet hamburgers. This one is named for Republican presidential candidate Mike … Continue reading

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From Lowell, “Grunts” Do Their Political Duty

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 6) — Some answered phones. Some knocked on doors. Others hoisted signs on snowy street corners. And some made sure the campaign bus was stocked with extra doughnuts. “We’re really all grunts here,” as Richard Beinecke so … Continue reading

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McCain Promises Help for Vets

SALEM N.H. (Jan. 6) — With a six-point lead in the latest Concord Monitor poll,  Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., sought to boost his presidential bid on Sunday by links to veterans and talk of military experience. “My first priority is … Continue reading

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Clinton Stresses Change — With Experience

NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 6) — With two days left until the primary, Democrat Hillary Clinton is working to sell herself as the candidate both of change and of experience. “We want a president who can go to work on the … Continue reading

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Obama Takes Advantage of Iowa “Bounce”

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 4): He has the “bounce” of Iowa. Democrat Barack Obama  goes into Tuesday’s primary already benefiting from his first-place victory in the Iowa caucuses. Independent and undecided New Hampshire voters already felt more comfortable settling on Obama … Continue reading

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NH Residents Take Primary Chaos in Stride

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 6) — The double-parking. The street traffic. The fliers. The “Honk 4 Huckabee” signs. None of it bothers local residents all that much. “Most people are pretty respectful,” said Jim Lupien, “except when you get 10 fliers” … Continue reading

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Clinton Makes Grand Entry to NH

NASHUA, N.H.(Jan. 4) — The airport-hangar welcome for Sen. Hillary Clinton was a portrait of patriotism: Giant American flags adorned the white-washed walls and shiny windows. More giant American flags sparkled on Clinton’s campaign bus.Smaller American flags wafted back and … Continue reading

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Edwards Rallies Troops As He Arrives in NH

Manchester, N.H. (Jan. 4) [“We want Elizabeth! We want John! We want to see them! On the White House lawn!”] (Sound of supporters) With fiery chants, supporters welcomed Democrat John Edwards to New Hampshire’s presidential race on Friday. Steelworkers. Shipyard … Continue reading

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And Now Come the Protestors

SALEM, N.H. (Jan. 6) —  Power to the people. In a surprising twist, protestors lined the walkway outside Woodbury School in Salem, Sunday afternoon. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, held a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, where he has … Continue reading

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Indian-Americans Attract Presidential Candidates

NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 5) — Presidential candidates court the votes of Americans of Indian origin. “If you don’t vote for me on Tuesday — shame on you!” former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, a Democratic candidate for presidency told a gathering … Continue reading

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Edwards & Obama Team Up Against Clinton

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 6) — John Edwards and Barack Obama joined forces Saturday night, pouncing on Hillary Clinton and marketing themselves as the only two “agents of change” in the Democratic campaign. In a heated debate, Edwards and Obama remained … Continue reading

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Global Warming Activists Show Off for Candidates

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 5) — Santa Claus. A polar bear. The Statue of Liberty. Oh, and then there’s the snowman. Their cause? Stopping global warming. “It doesn’t just go away,” said Zo Tobi, a volunteer with the Carbon Coalition who … Continue reading

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Republicans Spar Over Immigration

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 6) [Immigration was one of the hot topics among Republican presidential candidates in last night’s debate in Manchester. The debates were sponsored by Facebook, ABC News and WMUR at Saint … Continue reading

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College President Pitches Huckabee’s Education Plan

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] CONCORD, N.H.  (Jan.5) — Mike Huckabee is getting reinforcement in New Hampshire from a friend and former colleague from Arkansas.  Richard Zussman tells us about an education expert who will be helping the … Continue reading

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Huckabee’s Press Secretary On the Road

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] CONCORD, N.H.  (Jan.4) — Mike Huckabee has launched his New Hampshire campaign a day after his victory in the Iowa caucuses. Richard Zussman tells us Huckabee comes into New Hampshire with help from … Continue reading

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Catching the Spin at the Debates

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 6) Spin room. Spin Doctors. Spin the images. It’s a tradition at debates like the ones here at St. Anselm College Saturday night. After the candidates leave the stage, their … Continue reading

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Democrats All Lay Claim to Change In New Hampshire Debate

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 6) Intro – Democrats tangled over who can bring the most change to America in their debate in Manchester on Saturday night. WATD News reporter Beth Croughan tells us how … Continue reading

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Dems Welcome Rallies Show Contrasts of Styles

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan.4) — The top three Democratic presidential contenders blew into cold weather and warm welcomes in New Hampshire on Friday for the next round of campaigning. Just hours earlier in Iowa, Barack Obama had bested fellow Democrats John … Continue reading

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Huckabee & Norris, the NH Rock Stars

LONDONDERRY, N.H. (Jan. 5) — An event for local Londonderry charities Saturday morning turned into a rock concert and media frenzy when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) took the stage. But in an unusual twist, Huckabee didn’t campaign for … Continue reading

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Wanted: Young Voters

CONCORD, N.H (Jan. 5) — This election, the presidential contenders are looking for action from a special group of voters: the young. “I feel like it’s more power to us,” said Joshua Sawyer, an 18-year-old from Northfield, N.H. “We’re the … Continue reading

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They’re Voiceless in NH Debates

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 5) — Do not pay attention to these presidential candidates. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. Former Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. They do not have a chance of winning their party’s … Continue reading

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Edwards Casts Himself as Underdog in NH

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan.5) — Presidential hopeful John Edwards has been storming through New Hampshire since his arrival Friday, pleading his case as an underdog ready to lead the nation. “I was an underdog in Iowa, you saw what happened there,” … Continue reading

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Chicago Students Get an Education In New Hampshire Politics

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 5) From Chicago, 60 students from 12 high schools come to New Hampshire to volunteer on all the presidential campaigns. Sharhonda Dawson runs the extracurricular program called “Elections and Actions.” [“Elections and Actions is basically a philosophy … Continue reading

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Dodd Closes Shop in New Hampshire

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 4) — The door was locked. The office was deserted. The lights were out. Welcome to the headquarters of the now-abandoned presidential campaign of Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. He dropped out of the race for the Democratic … Continue reading

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Candidates Arrive in Style

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 4) — The Democratic presidential candidates landed in New Hampshire Friday morning with personal flair. Front-runners John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Iowa caucus winner Barack Obama each organized rallies, letting supporters know they are prepared to battle … Continue reading

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Democratic Contenders Launch NH Bid

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 4) — The Democrats are here. With Iowa behind them, candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination arrived in New Hampshire on Friday for the last few days of campaigning leading up to the state’s primary on Tuesday, … Continue reading

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Clinton to “Clean Up” After Bush

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] [In New Hampshire, presidential candidates are arriving from Iowa following last night’s caucuses. Senator Hillary Clinton finished a close third in Iowa, and she arrived in New Hampshire this morning looking for victory. … Continue reading

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Arkansans on the Road for Hillary

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] CONCORD, N.H. — Senator Hillary Clinton is getting some help from one of her old home states.  Richard Zussman tells us Arkansans are traveling across the country to New Hampshire to help the former … Continue reading

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Obama Gets Warm Welcome

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] INTRO: After last night’s win in Iowa, Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama came to New Hampshire to begin his campaign for the January 8th primary. WATD reporter Beth Croughan tells us about the … Continue reading

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The Big 3 Dems Come to Town

CONCORD, N. H. –Now for Round 2. John Edwards, America’s newest middleman, is fighting for the middle class. “I am not the candidate of glitz. I am not the candidate of glamour. I am the candidate of the people’s America,” … Continue reading

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Scenes from the NH Campaign Trail

CONCORD, N.H. — Get personal. That’s the message to the presidential candidates from New Hampshire voters. The rest of the country settles for seeing candidates on the television screen. But here in Concord’s coffee shops — yep, presidential contenders still … Continue reading

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How to Make NH Political Statements

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Political fashions are everywhere.  The State House in Concord has the famous “Button Wall.” While at The Barley House tavern, the fad is autographed barstools. Let’s start with those buttons. Virginia Drew runs … Continue reading

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Iowa vs. New Hampshire: Two States of Mind & Politics

CONCORD, N.H. — The regulars at the Brown Bag Deli drank their coffee huddled in a tight corner on Thursday morning. The rest of the small sandwich shop, which can comfortably hold 15, was packed with about 50 John McCain … Continue reading

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From Connecticut’s Lieberman to Arizona’s McCain: Support in New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. – Forget Chris Dodd. The other Connecticut Senator — the one who’s not running for president — is campaigning for someone else. Sen. Joe Lieberman, once a Democrat and now an Independent Democrat, has crossed state and party … Continue reading

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Unions Push for Edwards in NH

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 4) — Health care is bringing scores of union workers to New Hampshire to campaign for Democrat John Edwards. The main union support comes from the Service Employees International Union. About 30 members packed a hotel meeting … Continue reading

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Worcester Volunteers Head for NH

CONCORD, N.H. — They’re packing their bags with extra sweaters. They’re bringing along students. They’re making a family event out of politics. They’re the political volunteers from Worcester County volunteers heading here for the nation’s first presidential primary on Jan. … Continue reading

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Ron Paul: Loud & Clear in NH

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] From the sights and sounds in Concord, New Hampshire, Ron Paul supporters are overpowering other campaigns. [“Ron Paul Revolution.” “ Give us back our constitution.” “ Ron Paul Revolution.! “Give us back our … Continue reading

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Now It’s New Hampshire’s Turn

CONCORD, N.H. — Forget Iowa. The real excitement starts here today, as New Hampshire voters take their turn in the national spotlight. Take, for example, Cy Wheeler of Concord. He was expecting his candidate — Democrat Barack Obama, senator from … Continue reading

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Undecided Voters Hold Key to NH Primary

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE — As the presidential election moves here today, many New Hampshire voters remain undecided about the candidates. “I am a registered Democrat, and I will vote a Democrat,” Maura Willing said, who is a homemaker. “But I … Continue reading

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From Rochester to New Hampshire: Politics on the Road

CONCORD, N.H. — For Scott Cathy, the move from Churchville-Chili to New Hampshire has one big consolation: Primary week. “It’s what I enjoy about living in New Hampshire. Regardless of your political beliefs, you get everything,” Cathy said in a … Continue reading

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Coffee and Politics: Perfect Match in New Hampshire

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] [“I’ll have a small peppermint mocha.”] Beep beep beep. Ching Ching. (Sound of Cash Register) Along with the caffeine at New Hampshire coffee shops, customers also get a big helping of politics. Take … Continue reading

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Volunteers Lay New Hampshire Groundwork for Huckabee

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Former Governor Mike Huckabee’s campaign office in New Hampshire is getting prepared for Huckabee’s arrival here tomorrow. Richard Zussman tells us Huckabee volunteers in New Hampshire are excited for the primary to get … Continue reading

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Immigration Remains Volatile Issue in ’08 Campaign

Immigration is a volatile political issue for the 2008 presidential contenders. Controversy surrounds immigration: Illegal immigrants, for example, face accusations that they unfairly take jobs away from Americans. They can be exploited by employers and have no protections. And the … Continue reading

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Money Problems Means Some Chilren ARE Left Behind

Not enough money. That’s a big problem for the big goals of the No Child Left Behind legislation. The federal government passed the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 to fight inequality in education. The law set a national … Continue reading

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Fear for the Uninsured Fuels Political Debate

Fear of illness. Fear of injury. Fear of debt Those fears are all too familiar to the 47 million Americans and more than 50,000 Onondaga County residents without medical insurance. Consider these statistics: Nationally, 15 percent of Americans — about … Continue reading

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Wanted: More Doctors; And Some Solutions Offered

Some pregnant women in Central New York are having a harder time finding a doctor to deliver their babies. It’s part of the national physician shortage. Here’s a closer look at how the shortage will affect local physicians and patients: … Continue reading

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Lightcap Loses 12th District But Relished the Race

Democratic candidate Victoria Lightcap is the unofficial loser for the 12th District seat in the Onondaga County Legislature on Tuesday.  She lost to Republican Bob DeMore, but Lightcap called the race a good sign for her. “I think that he … Continue reading

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Joy Returns as Common Councilor at-Large

Democrat Kathleen Joy is celebrating her re-election to the Syracuse Common Council. She was second in the unofficial vote totals behind fellow Democrat Bill Ryan — but that still puts her back in City Hall as a councilor-at-large. She’s okay … Continue reading

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Heagerty Takes First District for Dems

In the race for the Common Council seat from the First District, Democrat Michael Heagerty has won. He defeated Republican Albert Julian and Conservative candidate Kurt Schmelling. According to WTVH-TV, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Heagerty received 67 … Continue reading

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Magnarelli Loses County Exec Race; Returns to State Assembly

Democrat Bill Magnarelli conceded his loss in the race for Onondaga County executive Tuesday night. With 100 percent of the vote in, the unofficial tally was 68,183 votes for his opponent Republican Joanie Mahoney and 42,144 votes for Magnarelli, according … Continue reading

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Hawkins Loses No. 14 But He’s Not Blue for the Greens

Howie Hawkins has run and lost campaigns for public office 13 times in the past 14 years. His losing streak continued Tuesday, when he failed to win a seat on the Syracuse Common Council as an at-large councilor. But he … Continue reading

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Mahoney Wins County Executive

In a landslide victory, Republican Joanie Mahoney became the new Onondaga County executive Tuesday night. “I’m humbled and honored to be standing here tonight as your next county executive,” Mahoney told a raucous, chanting crowd at the Republicans’ election-night party … Continue reading

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Buckel Wins 7th District

After an aggressive campaign, Democrat Tom Buckel will join the Onondaga County legislature from District 7. “We did an awful lot of campaigning,” Buckel said in a phone interview from his car enroute to Democratic headquarters Tuesday evening. “We think … Continue reading

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Ryan Wins Councilor-at-Large Seat

In what is shaping up to be a large victory for the Democrats, Bill Ryan is headed back to the Syracuse Common Council as an at-large councilor. With 100 percent of the vote counted, Ryan and fellow Democrat Kathleen Joy … Continue reading

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Julian Loses 1st District Common Council Seat

In a rare open contest for the Common Council, the Republican candidate Al Julian has lost his campaign for the First District seat. The unofficial winner, according to Channel 5, is Democrat Michael Heagerty. Shortly after 11 p.m., Julian offered … Continue reading

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DiBlasi Loses 7th District Seat

Republican incumbent Jim DiBlasi has lost to Democrat Tom Buckel for the 7th District seat in the Onondaga County Legislature.  DiBlasi has represented District 7 since 1999. “I wasn’t expecting this. I thought this year with the way races were … Continue reading

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DeMore Wins 12th District

Republican Bob DeMore has won the 12th District seat in the Onondaga County Legislature. “I feel really good. I worked really hard. I went to over 3,000 homes and I enjoyed the experience. I look forward to being in the … Continue reading

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Mahoney Calls for Consolidation To End Government Waste

Onondaga County has 177 drainage districts, 188 street-lighting districts, 35 fire- protection districts and 20 garbage districts. That’s too much government repetition, says Joanie Mahoney, the Republican candidate for  Onondaga County executive. She joins a long-standing but so far unsuccessful … Continue reading

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Mahoney’s Fundraising for County Exec

For her political money, Republican Joanie Mahoney is tapping local donors, some businesses and her own bank account. Mahoney is running for Onondaga County executive against Democrat Bill Magnarelli in the Nov. 6 election. The two hope to succeed Nick … Continue reading

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Parties United With Endorsements From Sweetland & Ryan

The choices are simpler now in the race for Onondaga County executive. Both of the losers in the Republican and Democratic primaries have decided to endorse their parties’ winners. For the Republicans, Dale Sweetland decided on October 10 to endorse … Continue reading

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DeMore Praises Shared Services For Local Government

Shared government services makes sense and saves money, says Republican candidate Bob DeMore. He is running for the 12th District seat in the Onondaga County Legislature. “Consolidation makes sense where people want to do it. It’s a direction to move … Continue reading

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Hawkins Proposes Anti-Poverty Plan For Common Council

Howie Hawkins knows how it feels to live in poverty. “There have been times when I was unemployed and couldn’t pay my bills,” Hawkins said. “And this city’s not going to go anywhere unless it deals with those who are … Continue reading

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Even Losing Is Costly in Politics

Even losing is expensive in the race for Onondaga County executive. Just ask Democrat Ed Ryan and Republican Dale Sweetland. Ryan, for example, raised $142,432 before losing the Democratic nomination to Bill Magnarelli in the primary on Sept. 18. And … Continue reading

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Mahoney Pitches Education Plan

Education would be a top priority in her county government administration, promises Joanie Mahoney, the Republican candidate for Onondaga County executive. “I want this community to be a real opportunity for our children,” Mahoney said at a recent debate. She … Continue reading

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