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State audit finds lapses at New York mental health agency

State audit finds lapses at New York mental health agency
New York state’s Office of Mental Health isn’t complying with a state law requiring that a parent or guardian be informed whenever a patient is injured or mistreated in a state-regulated institution, according to a state audit released Friday. The report from auditors in the office of Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli examined eight mental health facilities to check compliance with the 2007 law,... more

Cuomo says polarizing right and left are pandering to their political bases

Cuomo says polarizing right and left are pandering to their political bases
The heat wave isn’t just the temperature. Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a radio interview on Friday decried what he said is “super heated” rhetoric on both political extremes. That places a burden on officeholders to achieve tangible accomplishments to satisfy a restive electorate, he said. “It’s a real function of this political environment,” Cuomo said in an interview on WXXI... more

Cayuga Lake hit with 33 toxic algae blooms; none reported yet on Seneca, Canandaigua, or Owasco

Cayuga Lake hit with 33 toxic algae blooms; none reported yet on Seneca, Canandaigua, or Owasco
In the opening days of the toxic algae season that is expected to intensify and stretch into early October, Cayuga Lake has taken a wide early lead in dangerous blooms spotted in the Finger Lakes. While Seneca, Canandaigua and Skaneateles lakes, among others, have been spared — so far — Cayuga has already confirmed 33 reports of harmful algal blooms... more

THE DEBRIEF: Future of the Depot, Musselman, and War with Con Ed (podcast)

THE DEBRIEF: Discussing the latest headlines in the Finger Lakes (podcast)
This week on The Debrief Podcast, Josh Durso is joined by Jackie Augustine and Ted Baker to discuss the week’s biggest headlines. The trio will discuss the latest on the waste-elimination efforts in Ontario County; the future of a galvanizing plant at the former Seneca Army Depot; a recently-filled Geneva City Council seat; the latest in Seneca Falls; Gov. Andrew... more

New York’s climate plan will drive big changes, if it works

New York’s climate plan will drive big changes, if it works
Solar panels on every roof. Parking meters that double as car chargers. Wind turbines towering above farm fields and ocean waves. Cars, home furnaces and factories converted to run on electricity from renewable sources. A new law signed Thursday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sets the nation’s most aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions and is intended to drive... more

‘VIOLATED PUBLIC TRUST’: NYS prison system investigator accused of falsifying records in over 50 cases

‘VIOLATED PUBLIC TRUST’: NYS prison system investigator accused of falsifying records in over 50 cases
New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro announced the arrest of a former prison system senior investigator who falsified evidence handling records on one occasion and likely falsified or caused to be falsified evidence handling records in up to 52 other criminal cases at prisons throughout northern New York State. Additionally, the Inspector General released a report on the investigation... more

New York education commissioner resigning after 4 years

New York education commissioner resigning after 4 years
New York state’s top education official is resigning. Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia told the Board of Regents at its meeting Monday she is resigning Aug. 31. Elia was appointed in 2015. She says it was an honor to serve the students and teachers of New York for four years. An education department spokesman said Elia will pursue another, unspecified professional... more

SUNDAY CONVERSATION: Discussing safety, viability of vaccines after NY ends religious exemptions

SUNDAY CONVERSATION: Discussing safety, viability of vaccines after NY ends religious exemptions
Vaccines are complicated. Recently, there have been a lot of questions about them. When New York State ended religious exemptions for vaccinations – doctors began getting even more questions about their safety, viability to protect, and the ramifications for those who decide to not vaccinate their children. This week a conversation with Dr. Grace Freier and Nurse Christina Redding. The... more

New York wants to improve your drinking water

New York wants to improve your drinking water
New York is moving forward with a strict limit on certain contaminants in drinking water following a string of incidents that have left some communities in the state without a viable source of drinking water in recent years. The state’s Department of Health agreed this week to adopt lower thresholds for three drinking water containments – PFOA, PFOS and 1,4-dioxane... more

New labor law could change the face of agriculture across NYS

New labor law could change the face of agriculture across NYS
Wednesday was the last day for planting this year’s cabbage crop at Hemdale Farms in Seneca Castle. Farm owner Dale Hemminger hopes it won’t be one of his last seasons for the crop that relies on a team of Mexican workers. Sold for sauerkraut, egg rolls and the salad market, cabbage is a mainstay of Hemdale’s dairy/greenhouse operation founded more... more

NY expands racial bias law to include hairstyles, traits

NY expands racial bias law to include hairstyles, traits
New York State has expanded laws against racial bias to include hairstyles and hair texture. The bill aims to ensure no employee can be fired or passed over for a job because of racially biased criticism of their hair. The change to the state’s human rights law, approved by lawmakers this year, was signed into law Friday by Democratic Gov.... more

Effort to temporarily block religious exemptions law for vaccines denied

Effort to temporarily block religious exemptions law for vaccines denied
A state Supreme Court justice in Albany on Friday denied an effort to temporarily block a law that ends the religious exemption for vaccinations, attorney Michael Sussman wrote in a post on Facebook. Sussman, along with longtime anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, announced a lawsuit this week that challenged the law, approved last month amid a measles outbreak of more... more

New York, Charter reach settlement over broadband vows

New York, Charter reach settlement over broadband vows
New York regulators have approved a settlement with Charter Communications resolving a dispute over rural broadband. The state's Public Service Commission endorsed the deal Thursday. Under the terms, Charter must follow through on promises to provide broadband to 145,000 upstate customers — an investment estimated to exceed $600 million — and pay the state $12 million for other broadband projects.... more

Parents sue NYS after religious exemptions for vaccinations ended

Parents sue NYS after religious exemptions for vaccinations ended
A group of parents is suing New York state in an effort to reinstate a religious exemption to vaccine mandates. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., argue that state lawmakers violated the religious rights of parents when they repealed the exemption last month in the face of the nation’s worst measles outbreak in decades. Kennedy joined... more
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