Category Archives: Journalism Research

Hundreds stand in solidarity after Orlando shooting

June 14, 2016 – For Talk 1300

United as one, the LGBT community of the Capital Region and supporters came together today for a candlelit vigil to honor the victims and survivors of Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

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Community members come together to remember the lives lost.

The vigil in West Capitol Park outside the state Capitol was one of many held across the Capital Region and the nation. The speakers, and the many of the hundreds in attendance, recognized the strides toward equality and acceptance the LGBT community has made over the years, but acknowledged Sunday’s shooting brought home the unfathomable degree of hate that still exists.

“We are not afraid. We’re not deterred, we are not distracted,” said In Our Own Voices Board of Directors chairman, Dr. Robert Miller. “We stand sure-footed and determined to despair fear and to evidence love and compassion in every one of our actions.”

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Is This the Final End for the Commons Construction?

APRIL 2015

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Shoppers on the Commons find their way through the fences that surround the construction. (photo: Breana Cacciotti)

ITHACA – As the construction crew works behind tall, chain-linked fences through the middle of downtown Ithaca, college student Peter Westacott finds that the construction makes it complicated to browse the stores and enjoy the Commons.

Construction work on the Ithaca Commons began over two years ago with the original completion date of July 31, 2014. It has since been pushed back multiple times to the current completion estimate of Summer 2015.

Westacott said he only visits the Commons about once per month, only when he needs to.

“Right now with all the construction going on, the Commons is not a very inviting area to shop and hang out, and it’s just really difficult to navigate,” Westacott said.

Former Ithaca resident, Larissa Yost, said she continues to also visit the Commons at least once a month since she moved, and she is still waiting to see the old Commons come back to Ithaca.

“Before construction started the Commons was really pretty and had nice trees, a playground and an area for events, then they started tearing everything up and it just seems like it’s been an endless cycle of construction,” Yost said.

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Record Cold Weather Affects Farmers Market Produce

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Produce vendors at the Ithaca Farmers’ Market sell only locally grown fruits and vegetables.

By Breana Cacciotti

ITHACA – One week after the Ithaca Farmers Market returned to its outdoor Steamboat Landing location, Lisa, who asked for her last name not to be used, is back for her monthly trip to the market to buy produce. She has two reusable bags in her hands, filled with seasonal produce but she notices there isn’t as much produce compared to previous years.

“I’m sure it’s tough for farmers this time of year, especially with the cold winter we’ve had, some vendors don’t have the vegetables they might normally,” Lisa said.

According to the Northeast Regional Climate Center, this winter was colder than most on record. The Center found the Ithaca winter of 2014-2015 to have 25 days of below zero temperatures and February to be the coldest month recorded in the past 122 years.

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Food Waste Finds a New Home in Ithaca

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Ithaca College donates leftover produce and food from their dining halls at the end of each semester.

By Breana Cacciotti

ITHACA – Going through boxes of fresh produce and other food from Wegmans, Linda Storrer sorts out the bad food for compost and separates the rest for a local food pantry to pick up.

Most of the food taken by the food pantries may be close to the expiration date, or has a small fault that might cause shoppers to leave it on the shelves even though it is still good. After the food pantry receives the donated food, they serve it as soon as they can before it goes bad.

Storrer has been volunteering at Friendship Donations Network (FDN), an Ithaca non-profit that redistributes food that might otherwise go to waste, for almost four years.

Her passion for saving food first came when she was a mail carrier and began noticing how much people throw out every week.

“On garbage day, I would be appalled at the volume of stuff people would put out on their front curb,” Storrer said.

She explained that even though she knew not all of it was wasted food, she still wanted to make a difference.

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Ithaca Homeless Housing Programs Receive Grants

By Breana Cacciotti

Ithaca Police Department

Outside the Ithaca Police Department

ITHACA – With the below-average temperatures this winter, individuals experiencing homelessness in Ithaca have had to decide where to safely spend each night.

To aid the organizations that provide housing services to the homeless, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently awarded $1.8 billion in grants to Continuum of Care (CoC) programs throughout the United States to further contribute support in the fight to end homelessness.

In Tompkins County, four housing assistance organizations received these grants; the Chartwell House, Lakeview Mental Health Services, the Magnolia House and Tompkins Community Action Supportive Housing. The grants total $236,206 in aid money.

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