May 10, 2023

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County Democratic Chair Calls for Investigation into Town of Caroline Anti-Zoning Campaign

The topic of zoning in the Town of Caroline has been a hot button issue for months and anti-zoning advocates have have recently come under re a er a video taken on February 11 surfaced on Facebook showing former Republican town council member Peter Hoyt advocating for anti-zoning Republicans to switch their party a liation to Democrat to trigger a Democratic primary in an attempt to get pro-zoning Democrats o the town council.

e Tompkins County Democratic Committee (TCDC) has noticed a slate of anti-

zoning candidates running as Democrats and an unusual hike in the number of newly-registered Democrats in that town. As a result, the chair of the County Democratic Committee has called for an investigation into a partyswitching campaign in the Town of Caroline.

To make matters even more suspicious, there are no Republican candidates for Town of Caroline o ces this year.

In the video Hoyt outlines a plan to trigger a June primary against pro-zoning candidates endorsed by the town Democratic committee.

Hoyt introduces the plan by saying, “I think you’re all aware that we’ve got a little DINO [Democrat In Name Only] thing.

3.4 Million New Yorkers Could Lose Medicaid Coverage when COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Ends on May 11

The COVID-19 public health emergency was declared on January 31, 2020 to protect the health and safety of the public by shielding millions of people from losing access to health care coverage and covering some upfront costs for COVID-19 related health expenses. However, the requirement that states keep people enrolled in Medicaid ended on April 1 and the rest

of the public health emergency protections are coming to an end on May 11.

For the past three years, enrollees in New York’s Medicaid Program, Child Health Insurance Program (CHP), Dual Special Needs Program (D-SNP), and Essential Plan (EP) programs have not had to go through a recerti cation process, ensuring continuous access to health insurance coverage.

In the coming months, 3.4 million Medicaid enrollees in

Many of us have jumped in already, myself included. e purpose of that is so we can vote in the Democratic primary.” Hoyt proceeds to direct attendees to a table to ll out change-of-registration cards, saying he’ll deliver them to the Board of Elections himself.

Following his request he says that those who choose to switch their party a liation “can always change back later,” and that come November they can vote for whoever they want regardless of party a liation.

Hoyt then explains that as newly registered Democrats, attendees can sign designating petitions for a slate of three anti-zoning candidates who will run as Democrats, thereby initiating a primary.

“I was hoping that we could start getting folks to sign [petitions] tonight, because we got a good crowd here,” Hoyt adds, but

Continued on Page 14


Starbucks workers protest union busting outside of East Seneca Street location in Downtown Ithaca. (Photo By: Ash Bailot)

New York State will have to determine if they still qualify for their current health plan and renew their coverage, or if they need to shop for new options.

According to a recent study released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), 70% of Medicaid bene ciaries are unaware of this recerti cation requirement. Meanwhile, the federal government estimates that 17% of Medicaid bene ciaries will lose their coverage because of it.


Before the pandemic, people enrolled in these programs would submit details on their annual income to con rm eligibility for health insurance coverage. When the pandemic started, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which enabled bene ciaries to receive continuous coverage without reporting changes in income or other eligibility criteria. When the public health emergency ends, enrollees will once again need to go through the recerti cation process to determine eligibility for coverage.

In addition to millions of New Yorkers potentially losing

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Help Distribute $700,000 In Opioid Settlement Funds In Tompkins County

The Tompkins County Opioid Task Force, a group appointed by the Legislature, is seeking community input on how best to use funds distributed to the County from recent Opioid Settlements.

A survey is now open through May 29 for community members to share input on how $700,000 can best be used in Tompkins County to address the issue of harm from opioids in the community.

The funds are being received following a settlement in 2022 between a group of state attorneys general and several large drug companies. The settlement is related to the role those drug companies played in the opioid crisis.

According to the CDC, the drug overdose epidemic continues to worsen in the United States. A majority of drug overdose deaths involve opioids. Locally, overdoses and drugrelated deaths have been on the rise, the

Tompkins County Whole Health Department publishes local data related to overdoses.

The Task Force will use the results of this community survey to solicit proposals from community organizations to address the opioid crisis in Tompkins County. It is expected that the funds will be granted to several community partners, ultimately funding new and/or innovative projects and interventions to curb harm from opioids in the community.


F REELANCERS : Barbara Adams, Stephen Burke, G. M Burns, Alyssa Denger, Jane Dieckmann, Charley Githler, Ross Haarstad, Steve Lawrence, Marjorie Olds, Henry Stark, Bryan VanCampen, and Arthur Whitman


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M AY 10–16, 2023 / T HE I THACA T IMES 3 VOL. XLIII / NO. 37 / May 10, 2023 Serving 47,125 readers weekly
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Public Sector Labor Unions Unite for Improved Wages and Benefits

Ithaca has become a hotspot for organized labor as public sector workers have pressured the city to increase their wages without reducing bene ts as many workers are struggling to keep up with rising costs of living in a city that has made the top ten list for most expensive places to live in New York State.

e average salary paid out by the city is $65,886 and the median home value is $282,000 with median rental prices reaching as high at $1,900 per month. As in ation continues to impact the economy, public sector workers in the city have seen prices continue to rise, but they haven’t been able to say the same thing when it comes to their wages.

As a result, public sector labor unions in Ithaca have united to form an organization called the Ithaca Public Workers Coalition in an e ort to put pressure on the city government to negotiate for increasing wages without reducing the bene ts provided to its workforce. is local labor movement is coming at just the right time as a 2022 Gallup Poll shows that 71 percent of Americans approve of unions, with 40 percent saying that unions are “extremely important.” Currently, unions have seen the highest level of nationwide support since 1965.

According to the coalition, the Department of Public Works (DPW) was recently able to settle a contract with the city which gave them increases in pay, but in order to come to the agreement the city required them to make concessions that resulted in reduced bene ts.

Additionally, the City Executive Association (CEA) and Ithaca Professional Fire ghters Association (IPFFA) have been working without a contract since 2021 and 2020 respectively as they are still in the process of negotiating a new contract to make salaries competitive with surrounding areas while preserving bene ts that the city is looking to reduce.

will allow us to meet the city at the bargaining table on a much more equal footing.”

Public workers have criticized the city in the past for bringing lawyers to the bargaining table, which labor unions have taken as the city refusing to negotiate with them in good faith. e reluctance of the city to stop the practice of bringing lawyers to the table likely resulted in local labor unions looking to partner with statewide unions for increased support. However, the coalition has said that the city moved in the right direction by changing their legal representation at the bargaining table.

ments all across the city. e coalition has said that “Citywide, departments still struggle to recruit and retain police o cers, re ghters, DPW workers and other important administrative workers and support sta .”

According to the coalition, these sta ng shortages have resulted in work that was previously done by public sector workers at Ithaca’s Wastewater Treatment Facility being taken over by private contractors. Hiring these private contractors has resulted in lower quality service at an increased cost for taxpayers.

e coalition has also expanded to include the Bangs Ambulance Workers United union, which was recently formed to respond to the needs of EMS workers in the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County. e new union is in the process of starting contract negotiations with the Bangs Ambulance Company.

In response to the Bangs Ambulance Workers union joining the coalition, Condzella said “Together we can accomplish a lot for our community, for public safety, and for our workers.”

e Public Workers Coalition has announced that the CEA has recently a liated itself with New York State United Teachers, which represents municipal employees, in an e ort to “strengthen their ability to negotiate with city hall.”

In response to this new partnership, CEA President Jeanne Grace said, “While our group of employees are subject experts in a wide range of elds, none of us are negotiation or labor law experts. A liating with NYSUT has provided us with resources that

President of the Ithaca Police Benevolent Association and spokesperson for the coalition has said he is proud of CEA members for coming tougher to advocate for themselves and all public sector workers in Ithaca. “ e CEA will now ght for fair wages and bene ts to ensure positions are lled, working conditions are safe, and the best possible services are being provided to our community,” Condzella said.

Public Sector workers in Ithaca have routinely complained about uncompetitive wages which has resulted in sta ng shortages in depart-

According to Condzella, the e orts of the coalition have already started to make a di erence as it has brought in support from the New York State AFL-CIO and the DPW was able to successfully negotiate a new contract. e CEA has begun to grow as a result of increased support. “We’re already starting to feel valued… we still have more work to do though,” Condzella siad. at additional work relates to continued e orts to negotiate contracts for the CEA and IPFFA, along with e orts by the PBA to negotiate another contract before their current collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of 2023.

4 T HE I THACA T IMES / M AY 10–16, 2023 N EWSLINE
“Finding four leaf clovers.” – Diane H. “Helping people nd their home.” – Havana J. “The ability to turn any sentence into a song.” – Chris W. “The ability to ride a horse backwards and bareback.” – Anne J. “Blowing bubbles o my tongue.”
– Lauryn G. City Executive Association President Jeanne Grace Ithaca PBA President and Workers Coalition spokesperson Tom Condzella
“Citywide, departments still struggle to recruit and retain police officers, firefighters, DPW workers and other important administrative workers and support staff.”
—The Public Workers Coalition

Common Council Approves Proposals Addressing Homelessness and Increasing Salary for Chief of Police

The Ithaca City Common Council voted to approve several proposals relating to addressing homelessness, updating the city’s equity and justice statement, and increasing the salary for the Chief of Police during their meeting that took place on May 3.

During the public comment period of the meeting, Ithaca residents addressed council members about the Home Together Tompkins Plan, which has been created by the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County. A majority of residents asked the council to not only endorse, but adopt the plan that would create a ‘Housing First’ model to address homelessness in the community.

A ‘Housing First’ model prioritizes giving people access to permanent supportive housing before tackling larger issues relating to mental health or substance use. e National Alliance to End Homelessness says, “ e Housing First approach views housing as the foundation for life improvement.”

Following public comment, the Common Council unanimously passed a resolution to endorse, but not adopt the Home Together Tompkins plan. Adopting the plan would have committed the city to implementing the plans recommendation, many of which fall outside the purview of the city according to City Attorney Ari Lavine.

e plan outlines nine priorities that are essential to addressing homelessness in the community without criminalizing the unhoused population.

1. A commitment to building 100 studio and 1-bedroom units of Permanent Supportive Housing

2. Low-barrier shelter that uses a trauma-informed approach to safety.

3. A “housing surge” strategy and byname list to better serve people living in unsheltered locations.

4. Mitigation funds for business owners and landlords.

5. Other incentives such as a shopping cart exchange and cash for trash program.

6. Low-barrier move-in packages and assistance for moving from homeless to housed.

7. ree enhanced, centralized housing navigator positions.

8. Paid board positions for people with lived experience to monitor and approve Home Together Tompkins.

9. Professional development opportunities for people with lived experience.

e entire 48 page plan can be found here: https://hsctc. org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/HomeTogether-Tompkins_Final.pdf

e Common Council also unanimously approved a resolution to release up to $73,700 from the $100,000 contingency fund that was set aside in the 2023 budget to address homelessness.

e resolution called for $60,000 of those funds to go towards leasing or renting a portable toilet and shower station that will be transported to the southwest part of the city on a weekly schedule that has yet to be determined. It’s also unclear who will take care of this facility, or how much sta ng costs would be. Additionally, the resolution called for $5,000 to replace and maintain a dumpster on the property and $8,700 for a fence around the city owned Brindley Street property in an e ort to prevent the re-establishment of campsites.

A number of residents who spoke at the meeting were skeptical of the city’s plan, saying that it indicates that the city could be moving towards criminalizing homelessness.

In response, Common Council member George McGonigal — who represents the area where the encampments are located — said “Ithaca is not criminalizing homelessness by providing people a place to take a shower and use the toilet.”

Common Council member Cynthia Brock who also represents the area where the encampments are located said that the council recognizes that housing is the solution to homelessness, but that it takes years to build and the city must take actions in the interim to improve quality of life for people living in the encampments.

Fourth Ward representative Jorge DeFendini expressed some skepticism about the city’s plan, but ultimately supported it because it would provide necessary amenities for people in need.

DeFendini said, “I personally have a lot of issues with how we’re approaching camping and sta ng in sanctioned or unsanctioned areas, and we’ll have conversations about that in the months to come…but in regards to providing amenities to support those who are unhoused, I absolutely think it’s a good thing to do.”

Following conversations about the city’s response to homelessness, Tompkins County Legislator Veronica Pillar addressed the Common Council about the County Legislature redirecting Community Recovery Funds initially granted to Second Wind Cottages. According to Pillar, a portion of the funds have been re-allocated to city

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After losing in the opening round of the Ivy Tournament, Cornell men’s lacrosse (11-3, 5-2 Ivy) has drawn the No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Red will be hosting Michigan (9-6, 5-3 Big Ten) in the rst round on Sunday, May 14 at 2:30 p.m.


For New Yorkers, living in one of the most expensive states in the country will make it even more di cult to reach their retirement aspirations. With increasing in ation and an uncertain economy, nancial literacy has never been more important. A new study by Prudential shows while 70% of Americans intend to retire, 42% do not think they have enough savings to do so.


The winners of the Mac N’ Cheese Bowl have been announced! The top spot for best Non-Meat Mac was Silo Food Truck. First place for best Meat-Mac was given to Antlers Restaurant with Scooter’s BBQ. The award for most creative Mac went to Towers Marketplace at Ithaca College and the Kid’s Choice Mac winner was Monks on the Commons.


Sixteen year-old Dennis “Maliq” Barnes, the high school senior in New Orleans who received scholarship o ers from 149 colleges and universities totaling $10 million has announced that he is taking his talents to Cornell University.

IF YOU CARE TO RESPOND to something in this column, or suggest your own praise or blame, write news@ithacatimes. com, with a subject head “U&D.”


Is the Ithaca City School District doing enough to address staffing shortages in the District?

5.0% Yes.

68.3% No.

26.7% Shortage are a nationwide trend. The district can’t do anything.

Do you think Starbucks is engaging in union-busting tactics?

Visit to submit your response.

M AY 10–16, 2023 / T HE I THACA T IMES 5 N EWSLINE
Common Council member George McGonigal
“Ithaca is not criminalizing homelessness by providing people a place to take a shower and use the toilet.”
—Common Council member George McGonigal
“It doesn’t feel right” to have to convince a potential Chief of Police that Reimagining Public Safety is a good thing by giving them extra money.”
—Common Council member Phoebe Brown

Media Misinformation about Cayuga Heights Elementary School Runs Amok

Recently, questions, assumptions and misinformation have been spread in Ithaca about why teachers are leaving schools (particularly Cayuga Heights Elementary School) and/or the Ithaca City School District. is misinformation creates harm and perpetuates racism. While it is true that teachers are leaving their schools at a higher rate than in the past, this is a nationwide phenomenon, for reasons exacerbated by the pandemic.

ere is a history in Ithaca of large teacher turnover when a new principal is appointed, especially if this leads to a change of culture. is happened in the 1980’s when Bob Navarro became principal at Belle Sherman Elementary where there was almost 100% turnover. Turnovers are neither disasters nor evidence of poor leadership. Teachers have con-

tractual rights to privacy and the reasons why individuals choose to leave aren’t always provided; if they are, they are held in con dence by the union and school administrators. Despite the demand for answers to why ICSD teachers have le , data is not being withheld, it is simply not available. In the absence of facts, people have responded with more questions and conjecture.

Principal Sahasrabudhe is one of ICSD’s most beloved and e ective educators and leaders. Ithaca has made a district-wide commitment to anti-racist, culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy, anti-marginalization curriculum, social-emotional learning and academic excellence through educational equity and inclusion. is wide vision is inspiring; the work of achieving it requires sustained, long-term investment in systemic change. It is not a zerosum game in which the quality of some children’s education and nurturance are

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Molinaro Votes with the extreme right-wing

It becomes clearer with each passing day that, on the most critical issues, freshman Representative Molinaro (NY19) can be counted on to vote with the extreme right-wing of his party. With his recent vote on Speaker McCarthy’s MAGA-dictated “Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023”, Molinaro has again thrown in his lot with the House GOP deadbeats who refuse to pass a clean bill authorizing the Treasury to pay America’s outstanding bills. He joins those who would hold hostage the credit standing of our country, threatening to crash the world economy –and potentially costing millions of American jobs–unless the Senate and White House agree to draconian budget cuts.

ese cuts reveal the radical agenda of the new Republican Party. In order to maintain the tax breaks they gave to billionaires just a few years ago, the GOP will slash healthcare for veterans, resulting in longer wait times for life-saving treatment and 30 million fewer outpatient visits. ey will take Meals on Wheels away from one million seniors. ey will cut nutrition assistance from low-income women, infants and children. ey will scale back Biden’s recently enacted programs to address the climate crisis, and replace them with new incentives for fossil fuel production. ey will shut down 125 air tra c control towers.

is is the hostage deal that Representative Molinaro voted for last week. His was the vote of a right-wing extremist, not the independent moderate he claims to be. I encourage him to instead support a clean bill raising the debt ceiling.

Unaffordable Waters Rising in Ithaca

Ithaca is una ordable for myriad reasons and if we don’t act quickly and collectively it’s going to get even worse. Along with hundreds of local residents I visited the open forum/info session at the IHS cafeteria on Wednesday, where representatives from FEMA, DEC, DPW and at least one insurance provider o ered a fuller sense of what is coming, ahem, downstream, because of the new ood maps. Flood insurance will be required for any property with a mortgage

loan. So whether you rent or own, if you live downtown—it’s likely you’re about to get soaked—even if the oods never come.

Naturally, I contacted my insurance provider to seek a quote, and they got back to me with a pretty scary number, (let’s just say it was dangerously close to what I pay for school taxes—and my rep only quoted what I owe on my mortgage which is fortunately only about 20% of my home’s assessed value.) To make matters worse, my agent thought the quote was likely inaccurate since it’s based on the current maps— not in the 100 year ood zone, but will be in the new maps. I can only imagine what the new rate will be!

But lest I leave you thinking of running for the hills, I want to share that the one (and possibly only) bright spot amid the otsam and jetsam of the chaotic cafeteria came in the person and presentation of our own DPW Superintendent— Michael orne—who commissioned a study and has produced a set of maps showing the signi cant impact that various mitigation e orts will make to help prevent ooding in downtown. ( ese e orts would include things like dredging the ood channel, building up ood walls, adding berms, etc.) Mike’s poster presentation was impressive, and his 4 pictures told quite a story. He was careful to say that the DPW maps aren’t precisely aligned with the new FEMA maps, they are mighty similar. Hopefully there’s a simple way to project the impact of “Mike’s Mitigation” onto the FEMA maps. I’d like to see that. But what I’d really like to see is our community coming together to take collective action—because whether the ood comes or not, we know for certain that the ood maps are coming. And when they are adopted the banks holding our mortgages will require us to carry extra insurance or call-in our loans. Mike has a decent plan, but is waiting on FEMA grants.

Sounds like a good plan, if we had implemented it ve years ago—before the new maps and the new costs get baked in.

So as for me and my house, I would prefer to spend my money on a solution, instead of a “ ngers crossed” ood insurance. I would like to propose a community-sponsored bond program that will function as a kind of self-insurance so we can fund this project ourselves and spread the costs of mitigation over several years. As painful as any of this is going to be, investing in ood protection is far better than spending our money on ood insurance that we’ll have to pay forever—or at least for the life of our loans. I’ll be the rst to admit that I’m not

6 T HE I THACA T IMES / M AY 10–16, 2023
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The Talk at

Yes, We Protected Choice In New York. But The Fight Isn’t Over.”

June 24, 2022 marked the end of an era in the United States of America.

Roe v. Wade was overturned by an extreme, conservative Supreme Court, putting a once-settled constitutional right under threat for millions of women. As a candidate running to represent the 52nd State Senate District, I was gutted by the news, but motivated to work even harder. I wanted one of my rst legislative votes as a State Senator to cement a woman’s right to choose in our State Constitution and on January 24, 2023 – exactly seven months a er that fateful day – that’s what I did.

With the recent ruling in Texas that invalidated the Food and Drug Administration’s 23-year-old approval of the abortion mifepristone, we nd reproductive rights under attack again. And while many assume that because New York is a pro-choice state, we are protected, the truth is this decision could have massive implications for women across the state.

As the representative of a mostly rural district, I believe our largest hurdle in achieving true reproductive freedom in our state is inaccessibility. While our laws protect a woman’s right to choose, for so many living in under-invested communities, the lack of access continues to restrict women in rural areas and communities of color. It is our obligation as legislators to not just protect the right to choose in our laws, but to do everything in our power to ensure every woman in our state has the means and the resources to exercise that right.

at is why, as Chairwoman of the Women’s Issues Committee, I’ve prioritized legislation that improves access to contraception and reproductive health care. at work starts by protecting the few facilities and institutions that cur-


smart enough to know how high to raise the levees, whether they’re dirt or dollars, but like our successful sidewalk funding plan, I would like to see a self-funded ood mitigation plan. A person could run—or paddle, or swim for mayor on this issue!

rently operate in underserved communities like mine. My bill, S3609A – which passed the Senate earlier this year –requires the consideration of reproductive health services and maternal health care during the Health Equity Assessment Process. As upstate hospitals merge, close, or get bought out by larger providers, we must make sure women continue to have access to their reproductive health care services. is bill ensures exactly that.

As the representative of a Senate District with ve major institutions of higher education, I understand that our colleges and universities play a major role in providing care. For many students, attending a university-run health clinic or hospital is the only real access they’ve had to medical care. I want to be sure reproductive health is included in that care. at’s why I introduced S4400, a bill that would require SUNY and CUNY schools to have at least one vending machine for emergency contraception. is will empower our students with the resources they need to make their own reproductive health choices.

My colleagues and I have worked hard to preserve New York’s reputation as a national leader in the ght to protect reproductive rights, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished thus far. But we cannot allow ourselves to forget that accessibility must be a priority as well. Far-right Republicans are working hard every day to limit a woman’s right to make decisions over their own bodies, so we must remain vigilant in our ght to defend those rights.

Senator Lea Webb served on the Binghamton City Council before being elected to represent the 52nd district of the NY State Senate, which includes Cortland County, Tompkins County, and part of Broome County.

(hint to candidates) If we continue delay, in ation and insurance will drive the costs even higher. So let’s use the time we have to invest in a solution instead of waiting for a federal grant or worse, a federal bail-out. If we dredge our inlet, build our berms and raise our oodwalls, then bailing out our city will hopefully be a non-issue.

How it All Began: Ithaca Free Clinic and Norbert McCloskey

(Back story from Beth Harrington, local do-gooder, member of the original planning group of the Ithaca Health Alliance, a visionary experiment, which changed our lives in this County:

Beth: “ e Ithaca Health Alliance planning group was very eclectic, with representation from almost every type of medical and holistic provider. ( is was my rst true introduction to alternative medical approaches.) We o en met in tiny cafes and businesses that I never knew existed. At the time the Clinic opened, we were one of only 3 free medical integrated clinics in the United States. is was a social justice venture that lasted and had a big impact.” (Beth Harrington remains on the board of IHA, now 18 years since the planning group started.)

Wikipedia: “In 1997, grass roots activists in Ithaca, New York organized by local innovator Paul Glover, began working with their community to address the issue of access to health care. Inspired by the examples of the Canadian national health care system as well as the collective approach to health care nancing among the Amish, an idea dubbed the “Ithaca Health Fund” was born.”

“By 2004, the Ithaca Health Fund was a well-known local alternative to health insurance. Members primarily resided in Ithaca and Tompkins County, but the Fund had fairly wide representation across the state of New York. In 2005, New York insurance regulations forced IHA to end their membership program.

e Ithaca Free Clinic was established in 2006 to address the loss of the program. IFC is open to the public, no membership is required to utilize Clinic services and all services are free. Today the IHA and its programs continue to operate with the same core mission and principles of its founders.”

Norbert McCloskey, executive director of the Ithaca Health Alliance (operator of the Ithaca Free Clinic) grew up in central Pennsylvania. e son of a teacher and nurse, Norbert came of age, married, and became a partner in a business in Bloomsburg, PA.

When Norbert’s business was sold in 2000 to a Fortune 500 Company, he and his wife Anne retired and began the life of nomadic grandparents, spending time savoring and caring for their 11 grandchildren in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York.

In 2012 when daughter Sarah and son-in-law Jay both received promotions at Cornell. Sarah announced that she must begin travel in her new position, and a new baby was on the way! Norbert said, “We could come and help out for 6 months.” For the next 3 ½ years Norbert and Anne cared for their grandchildren in Ithaca. When it was time for their little Ithacans to go to preschool, the McCloskeys realized they were in love with Ithaca. “We had never lived in a place like Ithaca, where the community o ered so much.”

In early 2016, former Tompkins County Administrator Scott Heyman suggested to Norbert that his experience as a former nonpro t executive made him a good candidate to become the rst, full-time executive director for IHA. Now, over 7 years later, Norbert exclaims that the spirit behind the original plan to pool money and help each other, putting the needs of the membership rst, is same spirit that drives the mission of the colorful project he leads. Since 2006, the Ithaca Free Clinic has surged ahead, even serving as a model option in the federal A ordable Care Act!

Norbert: “ e Ithaca Free Clinic has successfully integrated western medicine with alternative, holistic therapies, so that we can support and treat the whole individual. When IFC rst opened, it was one of only three medically integrated free clinics in the U.S., meaning that visitors are treated by both conventional and complementary healthcare professionals. A physician and a registered nurse are always on duty, with alternative providers onsite when available.”

“Several current providers are founding members of IFC. Dr. Robert J. Biermann, our longest serving medical provider, has regularly volunteered for 9 years. Volunteer Doctors, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants,

from page 6 Continued on Page 14

Workers Shout Union Busting as Starbucks Closes Two More Ithaca Locations

When Ithaca became the rst city in the country to successfully unionize every Starbucks location in April 2022 as part of Starbucks Workers United’s (SBWU) nationwide unionization e ort, Starbucks retaliated by closing its most popular store in the city — located in Collegetown — and ring a handful of union organizers. On May 5, the corporation retaliated against union organizers again by closing two more Starbucks locations in the city on Meadow Street and East Seneca Street.

Now the only place Ithacans can get a taste of the new Starbucks Oleato — which tastes as bad as union-busting — is at the last remaining location in the city inside of the nearby Barnes & Noble.

is move comes weeks a er Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Shultz testi ed in front of Congress to address allegations that the corporation has engaged in union busting tactics. It also comes a week a er a Hu ngton Post article revealed internal conversations from Starbucks leadership suggesting that the corporation closed the Collegetown location in response to negative press coverage.

Starbucks has denied that negative press coverage led to the closure of the Collegetown location. Instead, the corporation fell back on claims that the location was closed due to maintenance issues such as an over owing grease trap. However, workers have said that the grease trap has been an issue for years and action was only taken to close the storefront following a strike by union members that attracted nationwide attention.

“ ey didn’t care [before]. ey cared all of a sudden now when we’re making national news,” said Kolya Vitek, a barista and Starbucks Workers United member who participated in the strike.

Local Starbucks barista Ellamae Robinson has worked at the Meadow Street location in Ithaca since January and recently told the Ithaca Times that corporate representatives arrived at the storefront and

forced workers to leave around 6 p.m. on May 5. ey also noti ed employees that all Starbucks locations in Ithaca will be closing as of May 26.

“ is is a result of the union presence in Ithaca,” Robinson said.

According to Robinson, the corporate representatives told workers that the store would be closing due to decreased sales and understa ng. However, Robinson says that the store is “sta ed to run with limited operation times” and that it has also “had better sales than a lot of the stores in our area for the past year.”

Robinson also said that the move to shutdown the remaining two locations came as workers at the Meadow Street location were debating about holding another vote to decide whether or not they would keep the union. “Personally, I think that our store on Meadow Street wouldn’t

8 T HE I THACA T IMES / M AY 10–16, 2023
Starbucks workers and their supporters protest Starbucks union busting tactics outside of Ithaca’s East Seneca Street location (Photo by: Ash Bailot) Labor experts say that the success of Starbucks Workers United represents the start of a new labor movement that has led to an increase in organizing nationwide. (Photo by: Ash Bailot)

keep the union. I think that a lot of us don’t understand what it is,” Robinson said.

Robinson has said that much of the sta at the Meadow Street location have been hired more recently and don’t have connections to the sta members who originally voted to unionize. “A lot of the people that started the union are no longer there,” Robinson said.

at stands in contrast to the mindset of workers at the Commons location, who are “very pro union.” Robinson continued saying that “because we wouldn’t necessarily keep [the union] and the Commons location would, it would not look good to just close the Commons location down.”

Robinson says that it’s her opinion that Starbucks is making these moves to get rid of the union and reopen the locations with a fresh start in the coming years, since the corporation still owns the properties the locations are on.

Another employee at the Meadow Street location named Quinn said that they weren’t given any notice of the closure before it was announced on May 6. In addition, they said that they were told to reach out to union representatives about severance pay, but that Starbucks could potentially include a “no strike clause” that would prohibit workers from participating in strikes if they wanted to receive severance pay.

Quinn said that workers at the Meadow Street location “haven’t been actively participating in strikes as of recently” and that “fear of retaliation is de nitely a big factor for what workers are choosing to do from this point forward.”

In response to news regarding the closing of the last two remaining Starbucks locations in Ithaca, Tompkins County Legis-

lator Veronica Pillar tweeted, “Starbucks is tripling down their union-busting in Ithaca by announcing the shutdown of all Ithaca stores.” Pillar’s tweet links to a GoFundMe campaign to support the workers who are losing their jobs in retaliation for union organizing. e most recent move will see an additional 40 workers lose employment.

Ithaca Common Council member Jorge DeFendini — who represents the city’s Fourth Ward — has also responded to the news saying, “ is is criminal and disgusting. Starbucks was ordered by the federal government to reopen its store and rehire red workers, and while dragging their feet on that, they plan to re everyone and press the reset button. It’s obvious union busting and it should not be tolerated.”

Ithaca Common Council member Ducson Nguyen — who represents the city’s Second Ward — called the closing of the last two Starbucks locations “reprehensible” and “likely illegal.”

Nguyen continued saying “Like many locals I prefer getting co ee at Gimme, Press Café, Alley Cat, Nothing Nowhere, but plenty of people did frequent Starbucks and more importantly, our friends and neighbors are the workers a ected. ey fought for those jobs and labor rights.”

New York State Assemblymember Anna Kelles released a statement in response to Starbucks most recent action saying, “it was a point of pride for most of Ithaca that all of the three Starbucks locations employed unionized workers and that Ithaca was the rst city in the country to have fully unionized Starbucks cafes.”

Kelles continued saying that she is “appalled by the consistently and blatantly anti-union actions of this multi-billion dollar

corporation” and that she “appreciates the courage and fortitude of those that have fought and are still ghting for labor representation here for more than one year.”

Kelles concluded her statement saying that she “stands in solidarity with workers who chose to unionize, and will ght for accountability from corporations like Starbucks.”

Students at Cornell University have also started a campaign to pressure the institution to stop selling Starbucks products in Cornell Dining Halls and cafès by calling on University President Martha Pollack and Dining Director Paul Muscente to withdraw from the ‘Proudly Serving Starbucks Program’.

A statement in support of the campaign signed by students, faculty and community members said that “by selling Starbucks products…Cornell is actively using students’ tuition to support rampant unionbusting.” e statement continues saying, “If Starbucks wants out of Ithaca, Ithaca wants nothing to do with Starbucks.”

e National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has agreed with previous complaints that Starbucks engaged in union busting tactics and released an in-depth complaint against Starbucks in November 2022 saying that the board “found merit in the union’s claim” that the Collegetown location was closed in retaliation for union organizing. e NLRB ruled that the location had to be reopened and red workers had to be rehired, but they gave no timeline for that to happen. As a result Starbucks has been dragging their feet as they rethink their options in the city.

Starbucks Workers United Organizing Director Jaz Brisack has said that SBWU has led another unfair labor practice com-

plaint with the NLRB against Starbucks in response to the recent closings. However, those complaints will not be reviewed by the NLRB before the Meadow Street and East Seneca Street locations are set to close on May 26.

e last two remaining Starbucks locations in the city are closing along with 16 additional locations nationwide — the majority of which are unionized. Local Starbucks workers, many of whom are a liated with SBWU, are in the process of planning protests that will be held to increase public awareness of Starbucks union-busting tactics as the May 26 shutdowns approach.

Starbucks Workers United represents 300 locations accounting for nearly 7,000 workers across the country. According to data from the NLRB, the union has won roughly 80 percent of its union votes.

Labor experts have called Starbucks workers unionizing campaign the start of a new labor movement that has inspired workers at other retail giants like Trader Joe’s and Home Depot to take similar actions. Data from the NLRB shows that the number of union election petitions led with the board between October 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 were up 58% compared to the rst three quarters of Fiscal Year 2021.

e NLRB has issued 39 o cial complaints against Starbucks, encompassing over 1,400 alleged violations of federal labor law. e allegations accuse the company’s management of ring union organizers, slashing hours, and illegally threatening to deny pay raises and other bene ts to unionized stores.

Starbucks has still yet to reach a single contract agreement with any of the unionized stores.

M AY 10–16, 2023 / T HE I THACA T IMES 9
Starbucks workers say that fear of corporate retaliation is playing a role in what workers choose to do moving forward. (Photo by: Ash Bailot) Despite the Starbucks Workers union success, the corporation has yet to reach a single contract agreement with any of the unionized stores. (Photo by: Ash Bailot)

From IHS to IC to Captain

Homegrown Bombers Baseball Captain Leads Team to Playoffs

It seems like about a year ago that my friend Nancy “ e Queen of Aerobics”

Cool approached me – even more ebullient than usual – and told me, “I am so excited! My grandson, Gil, just committed to play baseball at Ithaca College. I can't wait to see him play there!”

Actually, a look at the Bombers' roster reminds me that my conversation with Nancy took place in 2019, and Ithaca College senior Gil Merod is wrapping up a very solid career as the Bombers' workhorse catcher. Well... maybe not.

I love watching young players come up through the local developmental pipeline – Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth leagues - represent the Little Red at Ithaca High, and then take their talents to play at the collegiate level. When they stay local, and friends and family and former coaches

can take in a lot of games, that's even better.

Right a er the Bombers pulled out a best-of-three series against RPI – coming from behind to take the decisive third game and punch their ticket to the Liberty League tournament – Gil was asked if that was exciting, he replied, “Yeah, well, I would have liked to have seen us win it in two!”

A er fall ball last October, the Bombers took a vote on who the team would select as a captain, and Gil scooped up every vote. Asked about his leadership style, Gil re ected: “I have never been that 'Fire 'em up' guy in the team huddle. I am more of a one-on-one guy – I like to pull a teammate aside and have a conversation. I'd rather try to show leadership on the eld.”

Last year, as the Bombers were heading into tournament play, and Merod was preparing to play another few dozen games for the Elmira Pioneers, in a summer league

that draws some high-level college players. Gil was experiencing that familiar con ict faced by many players – especially catchers – and he explained that while he loved his time behind the plate, he was hoping the team would bring in another catcher, as his body was really feeling it a er carrying most of the load for the Bombers. Knowing he will have a lifetime to complain about sore knees, Gill dug in and played virtually non-stop from March through August... then he started fall ball at Ithaca College. is summer will be di erent, Merod said. “I will be taking a break this sum-

mer,” he o ered. “Make a little money, see what it feels like to be a functional adult. At this point, it feels right to step back, but if I feel like a big part of me is missing, I can re-evaluate.”

How, I asked, will he re-evaluate if he’s a senior?

Gil clari ed that while he is indeed a senior academically, he does have some remaining eligibility. ere are several options in front of him – like attending Ithaca College's Park School of Commu-

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on Page 19
Ithaca High grad Gil Merod takes his cut as a leader on the Bomber roster.


Aspire Cannabis Dispensary Coming to Ithaca

The City of Ithaca is gaining another dispensary this year called Aspire, a not-for-pro t owned by Challenge Workforce Solutions, which is an Ithaca based non-pro t agency formed in 1968 that helps individuals with disabilities and other barriers gain employment.

In November 2022, New York State’s Cannabis Control Board granted 36 conditional adultuse retail dispensary (CUARD) licenses, only eight of which were awarded to non-pro t organizations. ese 36 were chosen out of a pool of 903 applicants. e approvals happened through the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which will grant a total of 175 licenses, and up to 25 will go to non-pro t applicants.

Ashley Burke, President of Aspire, said there is not a complete opening timeline available yet because Aspire’s design and build out plan is still being completed.

Burke said Challenge Workforce Solutions focus for over 50 years has been to help people with disabilities get entry level skills to get and retain a job.

“I think that's really important for people's mental health [to have a job], and satisfaction, you know, just their overall quality of life,” Burke said. “Having a job gives them the resources to have decent housing and provide for all their needs, but also that gives people a social experience. I think having a job is just really rewarding for people and gives them that opportunity to be a part of the community and also to earn bene ts and pay and gain really overall satisfaction.”

Burke said the organization went through an intense application process to gain their license.

“It's really exciting,” Burke said. “We were pretty surprised that we were one of the rst groups. We've done a lot of networking, we've met a lot of people, and everybody's been really helpful along the entire process, so we think that that's been really bene cial in getting us to where we are today.”

Currently, there are seven legal New York dispensaries opened, according to the state's dispensary location veri cation tool. Included is William Jane Corporation, which is located on 119-121 E State Street in Ithaca, NY. William Jane Corporation became the rst conditional adult-use dispensary in Ithaca a er it opened the third week of March this year. Other dispensaries currently opened are located in New York City, Binghamton, Jamaica and Schenectady.

Nora Marcus-Hecht, lifelong Tompkins County resident, said she is excited for Ithaca to gain dispensaries because it ensures consumers are getting safe products.

“I'm really excited about it,” Marcus-Hecht said. “I think it's really great. Ithaca has always just been a very accepting place about marijuana use. And I think having that legality and having a safe space where people can buy their marijuana is just incredible.”

To be eligible, applicants were required to “either have had a cannabis conviction themselves, or be the family member of someone who has, and have owned a pro table business. Nonpro ts were eligible if they had a history of serving cur-

Aspire Cannabis Dispensary Coming to Ithaca Business Briefs

rent or formerly incarcerated individuals, including creating vocational opportunities for them; have at least one justice involved board member; at least ve full time employees; and have operated a social enterprise that had net assets to pro t for at least two years,” according to the New York State Webpage.

e Seeding Opportunity Initiative also granted Adult-Use Cultivator Licenses to hemp farmers that will sell their products at the state's approved dispensaries. Aspire will be collaborating with farms like: Florist Farms, Head & Heal, Blotter,Ithaca Organics and Hip Crop NY. rough these brands, Aspire will sell ower, pre-rolls, vapes, tinctures, concentrates, gummies and rosin and hash, according to their April 10 press release.

Marcus-Hecht noted that despite most of the Ithaca commu-

nity being accepting of cannabis use, society's demonization of the drug makes it impossible to avoid the negative stigma that comes with weed.

“I think having it legalized de nitely helps,” Marcus-Hecht said. “But I don't see that stigma really leaving.”

A March 2021 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that in 2018 there were around 32,000 people incarcerated because of cannabis.

Burke said this opportunity has allowed her to hear stories of those impacted by the war on drugs and mass incarceration.

“I've been to conferences and heard people speak and, you know, just hearing some of the stories behind all of this, it really is a great time to be involved,” Burke said. “And you know, we're just really excited about it.”

M AY 10–16, 2023 / T HE I THACA T IMES 11
Head & Heal Blotter will also be supplying product to the Aspire Dispensary (Photo by: Head & Heal, Blotter) Florist Farms will be one of the many local suppliers of fine cannabis product at the Aspire Dispensary. (Photo by: Florist Farms)

Business Briefs

IAED Welcomes Kellea Bauda as Director of Business Services

IAED is pleased to announce a new hire. Kellea Bauda began Monday as Director of Business Services. In her new role, Bauda is responsible for cultivating and maintaining relationships with businesses, entrepreneurs, and referral partners; providing technical, nancial, and site location assistance; managing IAED’s Revolving Loan Fund; and aiding administration of the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA).

IAED President Heather McDaniel shared, “Kellea is a great addition to IAED. She has a strong background in nance and lending and her customer

relationship skills are unmatched.” McDaniel added, “I am con dent she will do great things for businesses throughout Ithaca and Tompkins County.”

Bauda brings over 17 years of banking experience to her new role. Her most previous work focused on business relationships and commercial lending. She also has a background in engaging U.S. Treasury products to streamline business nances by managing cash, investments, and other nancial assets. Bauda formerly served as VP, Business Banking for Chemung Canal Trust Company and Citizens Bank. She has also worked for Bank of America, Citi nancial, and First Niagara/ Key Bank.

Bauda graduated from SUNY Cortland with a degree in International Studies and Sociology. She is also a 2019 Leadership Tompkins graduate and has served on boards or committees of the YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County, United Way of Tompkins County, Lansing Youth Services Commission, and Racker. Bauda can be reached at kelleab@

Brandmint Promotes Alexis Smullen to Account Executive

ITHACA,NY, April 18, 2023— Brandmint, an advertising agency with o ces in Rochester and Ithaca, NY, specializing in creative and marketing technology, has announced the promotion of Alexis Smullen to Account Executive. In her new role, Smullen will manage client accounts, develop and implement integrated marketing strategies, and oversee operations at the Ithaca o ce.

Brandmint has fifteen employees and offers various communications services to its diversified clientele. Smullen earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Minnesota at Duluth and joined Brandmint in February 2022 as Marketing Assistant & Content Coordinator, later becoming Marketing Specialist and Account Manager. Before joining Brandmint, Smullen held roles with Cornell University and Zynex Medical.

On Smullen’s promotion, Brandmint President Louie Maier shared, “Alexis deeply embodies our values at Brandmint, which is evident in her interactions with our clients, partners, and team. She constantly exceeds expectations and provides delight. She is a true asset and an emerging leader and I look forward to watching her grow professionally and personally in her new role with Brandmint.”

Smullen resides in Ithaca with her two cats, Luna and Jasper, and is active in the community serving on the Marketing Committee of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

Maier added, “I am so proud of our exceptional and dedicated team at Brandmint, which enables us to provide the utmost quality of service to our clients. We continue to grow, learn, and expand,

and I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2023 holds for Brandmint!”

New East Coast-specific Broccoli Variety Shows Promise

The Cornell University-led Eastern Broccoli Project, which built a broccoli industry on the East Coast worth an estimated $120 million over the last 13 years, has produced a promising new broccoli variety in partnership with Bejo Seeds, a Geneva, New York-based seed company. e new broccoli variety, now undergoing commercial trials, is believed to produce good, high-quality yields – even under the stress of hot East Coast summers.

Tompkins Financial Corp. Announces

Chief Financial and Chief Operating Officer Francis M. Fetsko to Retire

ITHACA, NY (May 3, 2023) – e Board of Directors of Tompkins Financial Corp. today announced that Francis M. Fetsko has communicated his plans to retire as chief nancial o cer and chief operating ocer of Tompkins Financial Corp. in the fall of 2023, a er twenty-seven years of service to the company. While Fetsko will step back from his current role in the fall, he has agreed to remain with the company in a part-time capacity, as director of strategy development, through the end of 2024. e com-

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Kellea Bauda Francis M. Fetsko

pany will undertake a succession planning process to identify the best candidate to ll Fetsko’s role upon his retirement, which may include both internal and external candidates.

Fetsko joined Tompkins Financial in 1996 and has served as chief nancial ofcer since 2000, assuming the additional role of chief operating o cer in 2012 overseeing company-wide operations and technology. He is an executive vice president of the bank holding company, Tompkins Financial Corp., and a member of its senior leadership team.

In keeping with the values of the company and his personal commitment to community service, Fetsko sits on a number of civic and nonpro t boards.

e Ithaca resident is chair of the advisory board for the Kania School of Management at the University of Scranton, a board member of Ithaca-based Racker, an organization dedicated to supporting people with disabilities, and is past president of the YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County.

“Frank’s exceptional leadership and business acumen through times of economic change have been instrumental to our continued success as a high performing company,” said Tompkins Financial Corp. chair omas Rochon. “I would like to thank him personally, and on behalf of the board, for his contributions to Tompkins Financial Corp. which leave us wellpositioned for the future.”

Steve Romaine, president & CEO, of Tompkins Financial Corp. added, “Frank has led with integrity, vision and a deep sense of caring over his almost three decades with Tompkins. He has been a supportive colleague and mentor to his many team members, always willing to lend his expertise, wisdom and strategic perspective to enrich those around him and Tompkins as a whole. I am grateful for the value and continuity that Frank will bring to our company in his part-time transitional role as director of strategic development. I wish him well in his retirement as he spends time with family and friends and enjoys his many varied interests.”

“I have enjoyed a wonderful career at Tompkins and am pleased to have the opportunity to serve the company in a new capacity upon stepping down from my current role. I am grateful, not only for the opportunity to serve the company, but for the many colleagues and friends I have made along the way. I have been truly fortunate to spend so much of my life at a place that

shares my personal values and commitment to the community,” Fetsko said.

United Way of Tompkins County Announces Michael Ramos as President & CEO

Ithaca, NY –United Way of Tompkins County’s Board Chair, Scott Keenan, announces the appointment of UWTC President & CEO, Michael Ramos, e ective May 15, 2023. Ramos has previously served as Executive Director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle since 2008 and is re-locating to Tompkins County with this appointment. Keenan states, “Michael is a proven leader and has led meaningful change within the communities he has served. For decades he has been leading with passion, courage, humility, and a collaborative mind-set. We have the utmost condence in Michael’s leadership and his ability to foster positive change within UWTC and beyond. Michael’s life work has proven that he will work collaboratively towards positive impacts with a focus on the well-being of our Tompkins County communities.”

Ramos brings with him an extensive background in non-pro t leadership, as well as a focus on social justice and antiracism, having served as Social Justice Director for the Church Council of Greater Seattle previous to his appointment as Executive Director of that organization. He has also been heavily involved in other non-pro ts in King County, having served on boards and committees such as the Regional Homelessness Authority, A ordable Housing Committee, Pandemic & Racism Advisory Group, Committee to End Homelessness, and Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, among others.

Ramos shared, “I am thrilled to join the team at United Way! I look forward to coming alongside the amazing work of sta , board, and community to create pathways so that all people may thrive in Tompkins County. Together, we can continue to serve as both catalyst for transformational impact and bridge for community-based organizations to ourish through collaborative partnership.”

e Board of Directors of the United Way of Tompkins County extends its deepest gratitude to Gail Belokur, who has served as Interim CEO since August 2022, and to the rest of the UWTC sta . eir unwaver-

ing commitment to United Way’s mission is an invaluable asset to our community.

United Way of Tompkins County will announce opportunities for the community to welcome Ramos in the near future.

Kick-off for electric mobility access project slated for May 16

Community stakeholders are invited to the kick o of Ithaca Electric Transportation Access (IETA), a project aimed at building a network of clean, electric transportation options to the city’s disadvantaged neighborhoods.

e event, structured as an informational meeting, is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tues., May 16, at Coltivare, 235 S. Cayuga St. It will be hosted by TCAT, the project’s manager, and its partners to include: Unbroken Promise Initiative (UPI); Ithaca Carshare; Ithaca Bikeshare; 211 Tompkins; the City of Ithaca; GoIthaca; Downtown Ithaca Alliance; and Golden Aspen Consulting of Ithaca.

e IETA plan includes the deployment of on-demand transit services provided by TCAT and UPI in the city’s West End, West Hill, and the Ithaca Flats. e project also includes electric carsharing and electric bike sharing, along with sidewalk repairs, and the installation of EV charging infrastructure in the prioritized areas.

“Our goal is to level the playing eld, to provide opportunities and improve the quality of life for those who are underserved – and that includes folks within the community who do not have vehicles - folks who live in places that a 40-foot bus can’t get to, folks that do not have the same access as other community members,” said IETA Project Manager Stephanie Freese of TCAT. “We want to make this happen with a eet of smaller electric vehicles for on-demand - and a shared eet of electric carshare vehicles and electric bicycles distributed throughout the community.”

ose encouraged to attend the May 16 event include West End, West Hill and Flats residents, non-pro t administrators and representatives from local labor organizations and businesses. e event is family-friendly and will include food provided by Coltivare with mac & cheese, ham and cheese sliders, fruit, green salad, gluten free salad and non-alcoholic drinks.

e project is supported by a $7 million award from the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in partnership with the NYS Department of Public Service (DPS) and the NYS Department

of Environmental Conservation (DEC). e prize was awarded in November 2022 under the program’s Electric Mobility Challenge, to provide funding to projects that demonstrate electric mobility options that solve underserved community needs.

Help Us Find Ithaca’s Newest Businesses

Thepandemic and post-pandemic period has le us with some retail vacancies. While we are heartbroken to see businesses close or leave, we also realize that this also creates an opportunity for new entrepreneurs and businesses. is is where you, the public, can help. In your travels around upstate New York, help us look for and identify successful businesses that might also be a good t for our Ithaca marketplace. Many of you visit surrounding communities here in upstate New York. Keep an eye out for businesses that appear to be well managed and well patronized.

What makes a strong retail candidate for Downtown Ithaca? We look for businesses with street appeal, with solid products and goods, that would bene t our marketplace. We look for owners who are younger in heart and/or age, and for whom multiple locations may be worth the e ort. We never seek to relocate anybody, but instead, have the business create a branch location in Downtown Ithaca. e types of businesses we seek vary from year to year. Currently, we would love to see more apparel stores, particularly for women and children. We seek a footwear store, as well as more home goods opportunities. We are also very interested in nding family entertainment businesses that would translate to our marketplace. We are always careful to seek out businesses that di erentiate from our existing shops. While we cannot and do not, control who rents in Ithaca, we can have control over who we seek out.

When you travel and you experience an independent retail store that you think might be a welcome addition to Downtown Ithaca, simply jot down the name, address, and any other distinguishing characteristics and send this information to us at the DIA ( If you are the gregarious type, talk with the owner/manager and tell them that they’d make a great t for Downtown Ithaca. en collect their contact information and relay it to the DIA.

BUSINESS BRIEFS continued from page 12
Michael Ramos Gary Ferguson

sacri ced in order to include and nurture others.

Principal Sahasrabudhe has contributed decades of work as an outstanding elementary school teacher. She serves as a strong member of the Equity Inclusion Leadership Council (EILC) and its Cultural Competency working group; as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA), she was instrumental in designing the ground-breaking professional development strands for educators to earn micro-credentials in Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and cultural competency; Ms. Sahasrabudhe was the leader of the district’s Equity Teams for two years and mentored them through their PD and portfolio assessment in family engagement strategies, writing anti-marginalization curriculum, and integrating identity development into their classroom practice.

is leadership exempli es the district’s mandate to become an anti-racist school which, by de nition, requires change. e criticism by a small group of


continued from page 5

organizations such as Beverly J. Martin Families Together and the Finger Lakes Reuse Center. Pillar also said that the county would be discussing the Home Together Tompkins plan next month.

Next the Common Council discussed updating its equity and justice statement that was last updated on December 2, 1998. e measure passed by a margin of 9-1.

e Council then moved on to discuss a measure to increase the starting salary for the Chief of Police from $132,552 to $150,000 — with an additional $50,000 sign-on bonus that would be paid out over three years. e increase comes as a recommendation from Public Sector Search and Consulting, the search rm that has been hired by the city to help nd the next Chief of Police.

Mayor Laura Lewis reminded council members that the mea-

white parents and teachers that has been directed at the principal, a woman of color, focuses on her leadership, which is pointedly anti-racist and based in restorative practice. If a stance is anti- antiracist, it is by logic, racist. It is clear that some of the white adults are not comfortable with changes to “their community” school.

We, the undersigned, are members of the Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council (EILC), which has been in existence since 2007. We are representatives from many community organizations, and higher education, as well as parents, teachers and sta from the ICSD. e purpose of the EILC is to ensure that all children and families are having their educational needs met in an equitable way. We write this letter to point out the misrepresentation by the media and also to celebrate the great strides toward educational equity underway at CHES.

We ask community members to be more discerning stakeholders as they learn about changes in the school district.

ere is an important election coming up for the Board of Education on May 16th. As the EILC, we strongly encourage stakeholders to exercise your power and vote to support equity for all.

sure wouldn’t automatically set the salary to $150,000 but that it provides the city with the exibility to set the salary anywhere between $132,552 to $150,000.

Common Council member Phoebe Brown expressed skepticism about the proposal. Brown said that “it doesn’t feel right” to have to convince a potential Chief of Police that Reimagining Public Safety is a good thing by giving them extra money.

e Director for Human Resources for the City of Ithaca, Schelley Michell-Nunn, responded to Brown’s comments saying that “the intent of the language is recognizing that in order to bring about reform, it takes a certain skill, and we have to attract individuals who have that track record.” Nunn continued saying that “we’re also trying to attract someone to an organization that has some very serious issues…so we’re trying to incentivize the right person to take the job.”

A er some debate, the proposal to increase the salary of the Chief of Police ultimately passed by a margin of 8-2.


continued from page 7

Optometrists, Herbalists, Acupuncturists, Chiropractors examine, treat patients, and refer patients to these available modalities. Dentists, Psychologists, Doulas, Massage erapists, and Medical Specialists provide services for free or at discount for Clinic patients. Many undergraduate and graduate students at Ithaca College and Cornell provide invaluable volunteer support.”

“Every day at the IFC is di erent. We manage a huge caseload with minimal bureaucracy, so that funding raised is utilized to support clients. ree full-time sta (including me) and one part-time sta juggle all the paperwork, scheduling, reception, coordination of appointments for 600-plus patients who visit each year.”

Last month the Ithaca Free Clinic hosted an All-Children’s Lions Club Vision Clinic, with special support from the amazing Ithaca Lions Club and member Dr. Ted Bryant, much loved Optometrist. Norbert added: “With support of the ESSILOR company, we can provide stylish, well-built eye wear at no cost…


continued from page 3

“under New York State election law, you can’t even start signing until the 28th of February. And I’ve looked into it, it’s not worth trying to fudge it.” He asks attendees to provide their names and addresses on a sign-up sheet, “So we can come to your house and get the signatures for the three candidates.”

Since these comments were made, a total of 74 non-Democratic Caroline voters enrolled as Democrats during the reregistration period, from January 15 through February 14. Tompkins County Democratic Committee Chair Linda Homann has said that this is “an exceptionally large change of party a liation rarely seen in the past.”

A total of 140 Caroline Democrats, including 53 newly-enrolled members, signed petitions for the anti-zoning candidates. A Caroline resident who submitted an anonymous news tip to the Ithaca Times

One family recently con ded this was the rst time their child had ever had a muchneeded pair of glasses!”

Norbert: “Contributions to the Ithaca Free Clinic are essential for the IFC to continue providing medical and related services. When you contribute to the Ithaca Free Clinic, you become a partner, investing in your own community.”

So, Norbert McCloskey, who agreed to help with the grandchildren for 6 months in 2012, is now beginning his 8th year as IHA’s executive director. “It’s an incredible amount of work to provide essential care for uninsured and underinsured neighbors, in this rich country where so many people have no other available medical care. But success stories buoy us up. I love this Clinic and the people with whom I serve, and the clients we serve…We welcome anyone who comes into the Clinic. Patients tell us they feel respected, cared for and safe. Norbert adds: “ e Clinic does not turn anyone away. Regardless of your circumstances, who you are or where you come from, if you have no health insurance, no problem! e Free Clinic is here to help!”

For more information about the Ithaca Free Clinic visit

said that the intent of the party switching campaign is to force through anti-zoning candidates “by manipulating the voter rolls to force a primary and bank on low turnout from actual Democrats.” e source continued saying that they were told about the campaign by a lifelong Republican who said that they switched their party a liation to Democrat

ney and the chair of the Tompkins County Republican Committee to look into the matter.

“ is is a grossly undemocratic tactic aimed at confusing voters,” Ho mann says. “Our party and our candidates stand for a set of values and beliefs. We welcome anyone who shares those values and beliefs. But we are o ended by those who present themselves as Democrats while adhering to the values and beliefs of another organization. We urge Town of Caroline Democrats to vote for the candidates who have been endorsed by the town Democratic committee in the upcoming primary.”

earlier this year. “ e gist I got from them was ‘look at me, I’m a Democrat now, wink wink nudge nudge,’” the source said.

Citing New York State Election Law § 17-102(4) and (5), Homann says encouraging people to change parties in order to swing a primary is a violation of election law that can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor. She has asked the Tompkins County District Attor-

e Town of Caroline Democratic Committee has endorsed three incumbents: Mark Witmer for Town Supervisor and Kate Kelley-Mackenzie and Tim Murray for Town Council; citing their experience and hard work. All three support continued consideration of zoning for the town.

If a primary is held, early voting will begin June 19, with Primary Election Day on June 27.

14 T HE I THACA T IMES / M AY 10–16, 2023
GUEST OPINION continued from page 6
“This is a grossly undemocratic tactic aimed at confusing voters.”
—Tompkins County Democratic Committee Chair Linda Hoffmann

Cornell Welcomes the World to Mayfest

International Chamber Music Festival on Campus May 19-23

Mayfest, Cornell’s International Chamber Music Festival opens on Friday, May 19, o ering ve concerts at Cornell University venues, complete with outstanding performers, some local, mostly from abroad. e founders and artistic directors, Xak Bjerken and Miri Yampolsky, from Cornell’s music department and with established international performing careers and musical friends everywhere, have been organizing and presenting this festival since 2008.

Returning this year are famed soprano Dawn Upshaw, along with her wife, Nikki Divall, ex-principal violist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra; local and equally famed period instrument pioneer, who put Cornell’s music department on the map, pianist Malcolm Bilson; cellist Steven Doane from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, who guest-teaches all over the world, here for the third time; Israeli-born Guy Ben-Ziony, principal violist of the Basel Sinfonietta and assistant principal with the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin, on his third visit; amazing young clarinetist Moran Katz, winner of multiple prizes and competitions, who lled in at the last minute in 2022; and Xak and Miri’s son, Misha, part of a group of young local musicians in the 2017 Mayfest, back to play in two programs. A recent graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC), he plans to continue his studies there.

Newcomers include cellist Ariel Tushinsky and violinist Roi Shiloah, who along with BenZiony have made music with Miri since they were teenagers in Israel. ey all studied with the same teachers and their mentor (now age 98) still comes to every concert they perform there. Playing violin is Russian-born Maria


Cornell International Chamber Music Festival

May 19-23

Cornell University concert halls

Free parking on the Sage Lot (o Campus Road) and at Moakley House on Warren Road.for Barnes and Sage Chapel concerts

Ioudenitch, at present on the NEC faculty and performing the Marlboro Music Festival in November. Her father is a good friend of Miri’s. And baritone Jean Bernard Cerin, a native of Haiti, recently appointed director of vocal studies at Cornell, will be performing.

According to the artistic directors, perhaps half of the music was suggested by the performers themselves and in joint consultations with everyone reachable by phone. Consideration is given to balancing of styles and choosing repertory where certain performers can shine. It’s also about sharing joy and promoting a sense of celebration and community. Among well-known composers, we will hear Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms and also Rachmanino (this year being the 150th anniversary of his birth).

Mayfest opens in Barnes Hall (7:30 p.m.) with soprano Dawn Upshaw singing “ e Heavenly Life,” an arrangement of the nal movement of Mahler’s fourth symphony, with clarinet Katz and piano Yampolsky. en comes the “String Quartet in A minor, op. 35,” by rather unfamiliar Russian composer Anton Arensky, with an unusual setup of violin, viola and two cellos, played by Shiloah, Ben-Ziony, Doane and Tushinsky. Miri heard it last year in Israel performed by everyone here (except American cellist Doane) and sat through every rehearsal because it was “just so exquisite.” A er intermission comes an exciting modern “Song Set” by composer Kurt Weill of “ e reepenny Opera” fame and composer-arranger Marc Blitzstein, who did the English adaption of Weill’s work. e vocalists, both terri c, are Upshaw and Cerin. An all-time favorite closes the concert, Schubert’s piano quintet called the “Trout” — so-named because the fourth movement uses as its theme Schubert’s song of the same name. Miri presented it in 2017 with young local players, including her son, Misha. is time, the two are joined by Ioudenitch, violin; Divall, viola; and Tushinsky, cello. is is surely an audience-pleaser.

Here are more highlights of the festival:

• Program II (Barnes Hall, 7:30 p.m.) features Chopin’s cello sonata, op. 65, and a violin sonata by Fauré, played by Shiloah and Yampolsky. Miri rst heard it when Shiloah played it when both were probably 15 or 16; she never forgot how it was played and wants to repeat what she remembered. e “Duo Concertante” for violin and double bass by Penderecki, played by Misha Bjerken and classmate Isabella Gorman, is followed by a Robert Schumann trio, with Ioudenitch, Tushinsky, and Yampolsky.

• Program III (Moakley House, 3 p.m.) opens with selections by Mendelssohn, his sister Fanny Hensel and Brahms played by

Bilson. e G minor Mozart string quintet, K. 516, will be performed by Shiloah, Ioudenitch, Divall, Ben-Ziony, Tushinsky. en smaller pieces by Robert and Clara Schumann and songs by Alban Berg, with Dawn and Xak, the G minor piano quartet by Fauré played by Ioudenitch, Ben-Ziony, Doane, Bjerken.

• Program IV (Sage Chapel, 7:30 p.m.; a free show) features contemplative music: “Lament” by Frank Bridge with Divall, Ben-Ziony; an Arvo Pärt work with Upshaw, Divall, Ioudenitch; and the “Quartet for the End of Time,” by Olivier Messiaen, written during his imprisonment by the Nazis and using the only instruments available, hence violin, clarinet, cello, and piano (Shiloah, Katz, Tushinsky, Bjerken). e chapel will be darkened and “candlelit” during the concert.

• Program V (Barnes Hall, 7:30 p.m.) presents the Schubert Sonatina no. 3 with Ioudenitch and Yampolsky; Brahms piano quartet in C minor op. 60, played by Shiloah, Ben-Ziony, Doane and Yampolsky; Rachmanino songs with Upshaw, Divall and Bjerken; and closing with Schoenberg’s special “Trans gured Night” — it has a special story, to be read before listening — with violins Shiloah and Ioudenitch, violas Ben-Ziony and Divall, cellos Tushinsky and Doane.

is year’s Mayfest brings families of performers (Xak and Miri and their son, Misha; Upshaw and Divall); of composers (the Schumanns, the Mendelssohn brother and sister), not to mention the loving and caring relationships of the participants, who are here to share special experiences with their audiences and with each other. As Miri says, the message in today’s cruel and o en unfair world is love and forgiveness, delivered in beautiful music. “ is will move us and the world around us forward.”

Arts & Entertainment

M AY 10–16, 2023 / T HE I THACA T IMES 15
Soprano Dawn Upshaw opens Mayfest singing “The Heavenly Life,” an arrangement of the final movement of Mahler’s fourth symphony, with clarinet Katz and piano Yampolsky.


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Indigo Girl

Amy Ray Goes Country With Her Own Band

If you missed the sold-out Indigo Girls show at the State Theatre of Ithaca or saw it and want more, Indigo’s Amy Ray is bringing the Amy Ray Band to the Center for the Arts of Homer for a gig on Sunday, May 14th at 8 p.m.

Amy Ray spoke to the Ithaca Times about early Ithaca shows, COVID-19 and working with other musical partners.

IT: Do you remember the early Ithaca shows with Indigo Girls?

AR: Oh, yeah. I mean, we’ve played in Ithaca so much. One of my dad’s cousins and his wife lived there for a long time, so I always hung out with them during the day… Good times.

IT: e Haunt is no longer with us. I think COVID killed it.

AR: Okay, wow. Crazy. Yeah, COVID really changed the landscape a lot.

IT: How was your COVID time?

AR: It was like everyone else’s, probably. In some ways, there was a long rest period that probably a lot of people needed. And in other ways, it was just hard to see everything happening, the su ering and what have you. It was, like, a lot. But I fared pretty well because I live in the woods and have a lot of space anyway.

IT: What do you get to do with the Amy Ray Band that you can’t do with the Indigo Girls?

AR: Well, I can do whatever I want with the Indigo Girls. You know, it’s not so much about that as it just… I started doing solo stu back in 2000. And at that point, I was playing more with, like, a punk band. And it just wasn’t what we do. [laughs] And I started doing more country stu , and this band has been together around 10 years. And we play more, like, country music. I mean, I could take these songs to Emily [Saliers] and she’d be great at it. I like collaborating with di erent people and I also like the independent scene a lot. I like playing in small venues and driving the van around and unloading and loading yourself and the process. I’ve always re-

ally liked that. So this allows me to have a whole di erent cosmos.

IT: ere’s pros and cons to long-term relationships.

AR: Yeah, Emily and I have been playing together since we were 15, and we’ve known each other since we were 10. I’m 59 now, so it’s a long time consistently playing together.

IT: at’s deep stu .

AR: And so one of the things that’s helped us maintain a partnership is the side projects that we do and the ability to kind of have our own space in our songwriting as well as other endeavors and not have it threaten the other person. [Emily] is working on a couple of musicals right now, developing them with other people, and I do the solo thing. So we just have other interests, but we are touring all the time as Indigo Girls and putting stu out. So it’s still very much relevant and part of who I am. It is all part of the same big picture; it’s just different collaborators and di erent venues. When I do solo stu , I’m really handson, and I’m advancing the shows and booking the travel and driving the van. [laughs] It’s a way to feel that experience and it really informs what I’m feeling in the Indigo Girls, too. Because I appreciate things more, and technical things, too. It’s just more knowledge.

Amy Ray Band

May 14th at 8 p.m.

The Center for the Arts of Homer 72 South Main Street Homer, New York

16 T HE I THACA T IMES / M AY 10–16, 2023
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Amy Ray of Indigo Girls speaks on the importance of having side projects while in a long-term musical partnership.

Girls Coming of Age

Different Takes In “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret” and “Polite Society”

You probably know Abby Ryder Fortson best as Scott Lang’s daughter Cassie in “Ant-Man” (2015) and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018). She proves she’s the real deal in writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig’s a ectionate, empathetic adaptation of Judy Blume’s 1970 YA novel “Are You ere God? It’s Me, Margaret.”

Fremon Craig doesn’t update Blume’s story, keeping it set in 1970. is is good. I can’t see the narrative working at all in the age of smart phones and social media. As the lm opens, Margaret (Fortson) comes home to New York City only to learn from her mother (Rachel McAdams) and father (Benny Safdie) that he has accepted a promotion, and the whole family will be moving to New Jersey just in time for the start of sixth grade. Just as Margaret comes to term with the move, she has to deal with a new school, new kids, new friends and all kinds of new challenges. She falls into a secret girls’ club where every girl is obsessed with the mysteries of cute boys, training bras and the intricacies of impending puberty.

Fortson is blessed with wonderfully expressive eyes, and as Margaret struggles to deal with her new life and the prospect of new friends, Fortson nds a million

ways to look morti ed. I admired the lm because it deals honestly with Margaret’s struggle to understand religion without becoming a tract. By the time the lm fades to black to the tune of Cat Stevens’ “ e Wind,” I wept. e movie takes you back to the 13-year-old kid you used to be, that age when you found out that your friends and your parents were human and fallible, when everything that happened to you seemed so epic. e story has a lot of painful, truthful things to say about the nature of friendship. e only aspect that bugged me is lazy song selection. We know from the beginning that we’re in 1970, yet we get too many needle drops on the soundtrack that we’ve heard too many times in too many movies and TV shows. Let’s face it — “Pulp Fiction” (1994) owns Dusty Spring eld’s “Son of a Preacher Man” and should never be heard in another movie ever again. And frankly, I never need to hear Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” again in any context.

● ● ●

One of the many pleasures to be had watching writer-director Nida Manzoor’s debut comedy “Polite Society” (Focus Features-Working Title Films-Parkville Pictures, 2023, 104 min.) is seeing a whole slew of new faces in front of and behind the camera. It’s the rst lm for Manzoor. One of the ick’s stars, Priya Kansara comes to the table with UK TV and soap opera work on her resume.

be a stuntperson, and Lena, the older sister, records endless Ria audition pieces on her phone. Lena wants to be an artist but is having some frustration getting what she wants on the canvas. When Lena gets engaged to the seemingly perfect young doctor Salim (Akshay Khanna), Ria sees her sister throwing away her artistic dreams to settle for dull domesticity. Plus, something seems o about Salim and his family. Ria makes it her mission to foil the relationship — and impending

(Focus Features-Working Title Films-Parkville Pictures, 2023, 104 min.) playing at Cinemapolis.

nuptials — at any cost. With the help of her loyal school chums Clara (Seraphina Beh) and Alba (Ella Bruccoleri), the three teens set out on their own impossible mission.

“Polite Society” is a delightful crossover. It mixes Bollywood musical rhythms with “ e Matrix” (1999). Manzoor showcases the vibrant Indian culture in the heart of modern-day London. It’s a distinctly femaledriven narrative that allows all of the characters to be seen with all their foibles, aws and good qualities. All the crazy balletic battling in “Polite Society” makes you wonder why there wasn’t any mixed martial arts in Jane Austen’s novels. e story allows plenty of room for unexpected twists and turns.

Continued on Page 19


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You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and “Polite Society” take two different takes on the coming-of-age genre.
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Stage It’s


Families, Race Collide in Intense Syracuse Stage Drama

Family ties are seldom simple, and Syracuse Stage’s latest production, a world premiere, explores just how labyrinthine they can be. “Tender Rain,” written by Syracuse’s resident playwright Karl Bass and directed by Rodney Hudson, is set in the small-town South of the 1950s, where a middle-aged white banker is having what we’d now call a midlife crisis.

I can’t recall what this distress was seen as back then (when I was a naïve young white girl in a segregated Southern town), but I know the male code was generally to submerge emotions and above all maintain a sense of control. And Bass’s Milton Millard does exactly that: He avoids his unhappy, hypochondriacal wife, Dolores, as much as he can; distractedly carries on an a air with a garrulous hairdresser, Mary; and nds comfort only when being ministered to by Ruthie, the now-elderly Black woman who was his second mother.

e drama unfolds from these four central gures, whose present con icts stretch back a generation or two. Moments from their past come to life onstage, tracing youth and passion, social taboos and survival skills. e play’s intense second act reveals several surprises that are disturbing, and not entirely unanticipated. But the characters’ extensive interconnections are sometimes so convoluted that it’s a challenge to follow them. (A family history chart, like that projected in Tom Stoppard’s “Leopoldstadt,” would be welcome.)

“Tender Rain” has a surfeit of plot, perhaps better suited to a multi-generational novel than a play. And key points are at times lost in rapid or too so -spoken dialogue.

e scenes, both past and present, serve ultimately to bring Milton (and consequently all those whose lives he touches) into a new place: His escapism runs its course; he

faces feelings and buried past truths. ere is for him a kind of rebirth, a redemption — symbolized by the cleansing rainfall — the tender rain — that he’s drenched in. at single line of rainfall, which occurs more than once, is impressive, especially as Milton walks through it gratefully. e stage itself, by Se Hyun Oh, lit by Dawn Chiang, is otherwise maximum minimalism: a few open wooden frames suggesting furniture. In contrast, the rear projections are a curious mix of old black and white photos and colorful elds. And completing the stretch from abstract to speci c, Tracy Dorman’s excellent costumes are perfectly period, from Milton’s uncomfortable starched white shirt to Mary’s bou ant oral skirts and pristine gloves.

e chief e ect of the spare set is to put the focus on the actors, and among them, dramatically as well as thematically, Milton dominates. He’s played with complexity and power by Brian Dykstra (familiar to Ithaca audiences for his work at the Kitchen eatre). An old-school masculinist, Milton’s not a likeable gure, but we come to appreciate his struggle.

His distraction, Mary Honeycutt, a “cosmetologist” as she says, is clearly not of his class; and in small towns, the limited eld somehow always yields the most nuanced and invidious social divisions. Mary wants more of Milton, and of life, and she oversteps repeatedly, prying and probing. Jenny

Continued on Page 19

18 T HE I THACA T IMES / M AY 10–16, 2023
Milton Millard finds comfort in the ministrations of his caretaker Ruthie in the Syracuse Stage production of “Tender Rain”.
“Tender Rain,”
by Kyle Bass, directed by Rodney Hudson. With Brian Dykstra, LeeAnne Hutchison, and Marjorie Johnson. Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, through May 21. Performances at 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays.

Strassburg renders her as unsympathetic, with a grating voice and a manner so irritating we wonder why Milton lasted this long.

As his long-su ering wife, Dolores, LeeAnn Hutchison moves from sickly and grieving to articulate and prepossessing. It’s an engaging performance, but the range of her personality and its shi s, as scripted, seems o .

Something about the four main character types is too close to an actual ’50s drama (or melodrama); the classism and


continued from page 17

sexism remain unexamined, so unobserved we’re not sure what new perspective this narrative hopes to o er. And even the play’s approach to its central racial themes feels dated: Marjorie Johnson is formidable as Ruthie, whose complex relation to Milton’s family encompassed playmate, nanny, surrogate mother, midwife, and even abortionist. But her role suggests what’s now considered “the Magical Negro” trope. With her unwavering faith in God, Ruthie is the spiritual center of Milton’s world, and she nourishes, guides, admonishes, and nally redeems him — she is the total caretaker of the white man at this story’s center. Yes,

I’ll spoil one, so if you don’t want to know, stop reading now. Salim’s mother Raheela, played by Nimra Bucha, sees Ria’s suspicions a mile away and turns out to be an action badass in her own right. “Polite Society” is a fantastic showcase for a movie full of talented relative unknowns.

Recommended: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is playing at Cinemapolis and Regal Stadium 14, “How to Blow Up a Pipeline” available on Amazon Prime and iTunes.


continued from page 3

health care coverage, Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa has said that when the public health emergency ends, “ nancial payment for all COVID-19 expenses related to health care will no longer be covered and we will shi back to our pre-existing systems where they will be co-pays and those without insurance could face added costs.”

he loves and respects her above all others, but the individual that Ruthie might be is lost in her theatrical representation as Black savior.

Because they’re so brie y sketched, the other actors in minor roles — Eric Lockett, Devereau Chumrau, Niall Powderly — o er glimpses of authenticity we can’t quite see in the three central women, who are nally weighted down by their types. A er the play ends, it’s Dykstra’s erce commitment to Milton’s anguish that still resonates.

Barbara Adams, a regional theatre and arts writer, teaches writing at Ithaca College.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, it will take a year to fully realize the impact of Medicaid disenrollments and the end of covering COVID-19 related health expenses will see increased costs for testing for those with insurance.

Uninsured people in most states have already been paying full price for testing, so not much will change for them. However, New York was among 15 states that provided uninsured people with free testing but this measure will come to an end on May 11.

nications as a grad student, and suiting up for the Bombers again - or transferring and charting a di erent course.

In any case, Gil is aware that when the time comes, it will be an adjustment. “I do know it will be tough,” he stated. “In many ways, my baseball career has been a main connection with my parents, as they have helped me navigate the various challenges and obstacles I have faced.”

e (by some de nitions) senior knows that this is no time to get too wrapped up in sentimentality, as there are tasks at hand. e Bombers will be the No. 4 seed in the Liberty League Tournament and will play No. 1 Rochester at 1 p.m. on ursday. No. 2 Skidmore and No. 3 RIT will play in the other contest as part of the double elimination championship.

In Merod's words, “ e amount of talent we have is head and shoulders above what we had last year. We have found our most productive o ensive lineup – one through nine are all hitting over .300 –and our pitching sta can be dominant at times. It was encouraging to see us come back in Game ree and win it. It's nice to see it ow.”

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TENDER RAIN continued from page 18
SPORTS continued from page 10



5/11 Thursday

Michael “Mijail” Martinez & The Cantina Ramblers | 5:30 p.m. | South Hill Cider, 550 Sandbank Road

Singer Songwriter Series with Rachel Beverly | 6 p.m. | Atwater Vineyards, 5055 State Route 414 | Free Nahko | 8 p.m. | Deep Dive Ithaca, 415 Old Taughannock Blvd

5/12 Friday

Friday Night Music - Cielle on Solid Ground | 6 p.m. | Hopshire Farms and Brewery, 1771 Dryden Rd

5/13 Saturday

Deep Audio Groove Freeze and Priest Saturday Sessions Electronic Music | 4 p.m. | Bernie Milton Pavilion, Center Commons

Nate Gross Band - Artistic Expression | 5 p.m. | Trout Ponds Park , 44 Spring St. | Free

FRIGHT: Hair Raising Rock and Roll! | 6 p.m. | The L, 116 Breesport Rd | $23.00 - $39.00

5/14 Sunday

Jazz Guitar Brunch with Dennis Winge | 10:30 a.m. | Antlers Restaurant, 1159 Dryden Rd. | Free

5/15 Monday

Mondays with MAQ | 5:30 p.m. | South Hill Cider, 550 Sandbank Road


Wonder Monday - Michael Decatur

| The Downstairs, 121 EW. M.L.K. Jr. St.


5/11 Thursday

Student chamber music recital: CU

Music | 3 p.m. | Barnes Hall, 129 Ho Plaza | Free

Jazz Repertory Ensemble: CU

Music | 7 p.m. | Klarman Hall, 232 Feeney Way | Free

5/12 Friday

Cornell Center for Historical

Keyboards Salon: Roger Moseley and Ariana Kim | 5 p.m. | A.D. White House, 121 Presidents Dr | Free

Steve Daniels & Special Guests-

Nightingale JAZZ Bene t Concert |

6 p.m. | Center for the Arts of Homer

Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers

Spring Concert 2023 | 7 p.m. | Ithaca College Ford Hall, Whalen Center for Music | Free

5/13 Saturday

OSFL’s Season Finale and Closing Concert of the Schumann Festival | 7 p.m. | Clemens Center, 207 Clemens Center Parkway | $10.00 - $50.00

Mezzo-Soprano Lindsey Weissman | 7 p.m. | Christ Episcopal Church, 1392 Main Street | Free

Cayuga Chamber Orchestra:

Finale! | 7:30 p.m. | Ford Hall, Ithaca College, 953 Danby Rd | $12.00$38.00

The 2023 Chopin Masterclasses: Recital I | 8 p.m. | Barnes Hall, 129 Ho Plaza | Free

5/14 Sunday

Cornell Concert Series Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at Bailey Hall | 3 p.m. | Bailey Hall | $29.00$39.00

Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble Mother’s Day Concert | 4 p.m. | First Unitarian Society of Ithaca Church, 306 N Aurora Street | $10.00 - $25.00

The 2023 Chopin Masterclasses: Recital II | 8 p.m. | Barnes Hall, 129 Ho Plaza | Free Amy Ray Band | 8 p.m. | Center for the Arts of Homer, 72 S Main St

5/16 Tuesday

Sold Out - Richard Thompson | 8 p.m. | Center for the Arts of Homer, 72 S Main St


ComedyFLOPs Presents All You Can Eat Improv | 7 p.m., 5/10 Wednesday | The Downstairs, 121 W. State St | ComedyFLOPs presents All You Can Eat Improv, a live, entirely made-up show based on your suggestions. We do our shows in support of local non-pro t organizations so join us for laughs and music as we raise money to support a local organization. $5.00 suggested donation. | $5.00

Cornell Swing Dance: CU Music | 7 p.m., 5/12 Friday | Lincoln Hall B20, 256 Feeney Way | Swing Dance hosted by the Graduate Swing Dance Society and the Jazz Ensemble, directed by Paul Merrill. Dance instruction at 7pm with live music at 8pm from the library of such bands as Chick Webb, Count Basie, Glen Miller, Les Brown, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman. Donations taken at the door. | Free

Cornell University, featuring a diverse range of printmaking techniques. | Free


Ford Hall, Ithaca College| DCJS are so excited to present a concert full of some of their standard repertoire, as well as some additional spirituals and gospel favorites, and some fantastic new pieces. A free concert - come see the amazing talent the group has to o er! (Photo: Provided)

Bees Knees Burlesque Academy Presents... | 7:30 p.m., 5/12 Friday | Cortland Repertory Theater Downtown, 24 Port Watson St | Who Framed Roger Rabbit Burlesque Show. 18+ | $25.00

Performance Art Workshop

Series: Getting Jiggy With It | 4 p.m., 5/16 Tuesday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | Have you ever wanted your own theme song when you enter a room? In this workshop, you’ll learn to walk the walk and talk the talk!

Bene t My State Variety Hour | 6 p.m., 5/17 Wednesday | State Theatre of Ithaca, 107 West State St | Featuring Sam Nelson of X AMBASSADORS, Richie Stearns and Friends, The Ithaca Ballet, Running To Places, Galumpha, Southside Community Center’s CUMEP & more | $25.00


Visit the Exhibit Hall | 10 a.m., 5/10 Wednesday | The History Center in Tompkins County, 401 East State Street | Walk through local stories and discover the history of Tompkins County Open Hours Our Exhibit Hall is open Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm throughout the year.

Time, Art, Love, Money : 45 years of work by Steve Carver | 11 a.m., 5/10 Wednesday | corners gallery, 409 East Upland Rd | TIME, ART, LOVE, MONEY is a sampling of over four decades of work produced by painter and illustrator Steve Carver.

I See You 2023 | Ithaca College and Cornell University Printmakers | 1 p.m., 5/10 Wednesday | The Ink Shop, 330 E. MLK/State St | I See You 2023 showcases the talent of printmaking students from Ithaca College and

Johnson Museum: Illuminated Letters | 3:30 p.m., 5/10 Wednesday | New eld Public Library, 198 Main Street | Explore one-of-a-kind Medieval hand-written illuminated manuscripts from 1100 to 1600 and design your own letterforms! Weds, 5/10 3:30 pm. Info: 607-564-3594, new | Free Bubbletrees and the Forest Fantasia | 12 p.m., 5/11 Thursday | State of the Art Gallery, 120 West State Street | Daniel McPheters is showing his Bubbletrees and the Forest Fanatasia show lled with intriguing images of trees and forests at State of the Art Gallery. | Free Young Adult Art Open Hour | 4 p.m., 5/11 Thursday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | TCPL is inviting Teens 13+ and Young adults 19 - 24 to a weekly open arts hour in the Makerspace.

World Collage Day Party | 5:30 p.m., 5/11 Thursday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | Join artists, art centers, museums, galleries, schools, and communities across the world to celebrate World Collage Day.

McNeil Gallery Exhibition: “Painters Painting Painters” | 9 a.m., 5/12 Friday | McNeil Gallery 17-29 Main St. 1st oor hallway | Description A new exhibit “Painters Painting Painters: A Portrait Exhibit” is on display at the McNeil Gallery. | Free Michael Sampson’s “Figure Sessions” | 5 p.m., 5/12 Friday | The Gallery at South Hill, 950 Danby Road | “Figure Sessions” is a collection of paintings done over the last two years working directly from the model. | Free

Entre Sombras / Between Seams

| 1 p.m., 5/13 Saturday | The Cherry Gallery, 102 Cherry St | Entre Sombras / Between Seams is the newest Cherry Gallery installation, come view these wonderful works at the Gallery on Saturday and Sunday afternoons!

Clay and metal teen after school

| 4:30 p.m., 5/17 Wednesday | Metal Smithery, 950 Danby Road | Join us for the exciting after school program for middle and high schoolers at The Clay School and The Metal Smithery!

Student Film Screening | 5 p.m., 5/12 Friday | Cornell University, 144 East Ave | A screening of student’s work and PMA Ph.D. candidate Waylon Wilson’s documentary Tuscarora Beadwork.


120 E. Green St., Ithaca

May 12-18 Contact Cinemapolis for showtimes. New lms listed rst.* (Additional lms not announced as of presstime, please contact Cinemapolis for more info.)

Book Club: The Next Chapter* | Four best friends take their book club to Italy for the fun girls trip they never had. When things go o the rails and secrets are revealed, their relaxing vacation turns into a once-in-alifetime cross-country adventure.| 108 mins PG-13

Special Events

TRAMPOLINE: Freedom | 5/11

Thursday | The Downstairs, 121 W. M.L.K. Jr. St. | Show up. Sign up. Tell a 5-minute personal story, without notes, based on this month’s theme: “FREEEEDOM” and be judged by your peers.

Spring Writes - Reading/Discussion: On the Outskirts of Genre | 5:15 p.m., 5/13 Saturday | Bu alo Street Books, 215 North Cayuga Street | Register one time for all Spring Writes events here ! | $27.00

Spring Writes with Jennifer Savran Kelly & Richard Mirabella | 5/13 Saturday | The Downstairs, 121 W. M.L.K. Jr. St. | Jennifer Savran Kelly & Richard Mirabella reading and conversation for Spring Writes Literary Festival On the Outskirts of Genre Writing and Publishing Queer Debutes in Upstate New York 5:15Spring Writes - Show and Tell: The Craft of Revising | 2:30 p.m., 5/14 Sunday | Bu alo Street Books, 215 North Cayuga Street | Register one time for all Spring Writes events here ! Writers Sorayya Khan, Leslie Daniels and Amy Reading will o er a glimpse into their revision process on this show and tell craft panel. | $19.95


MAY 12TH & 13TH AT 7:30PM

Cortland Repertory Downtown, 24 Port Watson St., Cortland | CRT Downtown proudly hosts a new production from Cortland’s own Bees Knees Burlesque Academy titled “Who Framed Jessica Rabbit?” An 18+ show. (Photo: Provided)

20 T HE I THACA T IMES / M AY 10–16, 2023

building fun! Each session we’ll have a challenge & a game.

Clay and metal teen after school | 4:30 p.m., 5/17 Wednesday | Metal Smithery, 950 Danby Road | Join us for the exciting after school program for middle and high schoolers at The Clay School and The Metal Smithery!


One-on-One Tech Help | 12 p.m., 5/10 Wednesday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | Book a librarian or volunteer technology tutor for help with digital downloads, such as borrowing eBooks, or basic computer questions.

Virtual Mid-Day Mindfulness

Meditation | 12:15 p.m., 5/10

Cortland YMCA/BorgWarner

Mother’s Day 5K | 9 a.m., 5/13

Saturday | Durkee Park | The Cortland County Family YMCA’s presents their annual Mother’s Day 5K road race sponsored by McNeil & Company.

Citizen Preparedness Training

| 10 a.m., 5/13 Saturday | En eld Community Center, 162 En eld Main Rd | A key component of the training is the distribution of NYS Disaster Preparedness Kits to attendees (one per family). The training is o ered free of charge, but all participants must register in advance at: www.prepare.

Sunday Morning Meditation | 9 a.m., 5/14 Sunday | Foundation of Light, 391 Turkey Hill Road | Sunday morning meditation, free and open to all.

Spring Writes - Group Reading:

Join Six Local Writers | 3:45 p.m., 5/14 Sunday | Bu alo Street Books, 215 North Cayuga Street | Register one time for all Spring Writes events here ! | $9.99


Poetry Open Mic | 6 p.m., 5/12 Friday | Ithaca Community School of Music and Arts, 330 East State Street | Read your own poetry or a poem from a favorite artist, or come to listen and stay updated on literary events and happenings at our monthly open mic. We feature poets on occasion.

Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library Spring Book Sale | 10 a.m., 5/13 Saturday | Regina C. Lennox Building, 509 Esty Street | The sale is ready for you. | Free

YA Book Club reads Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo | 4:30 p.m., 5/15 Monday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | Join us this month to discuss Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malindo Lo, which won the Stonewall, National, and Asian/Paci c American Book Awards for Youth Literature.

Jumpstart your Creativity! | 11:30 a.m., 5/16 Tuesday | Ulysses

Philomathic Library, 74 E Main Street | Trumansburg author Rebecca Barry will help you nd your creative spark in this three-session writing workshop series! Call to register - 607-387-5623 | Free Book to Film Club | 5:30 p.m., 5/16 Tuesday | Montour Falls Library, 406 W Main St | Book titles will be available to checkout from the library and some DVDs; places to stream movies are listed above. Read and watch on your own, then visit us online and/or in-person to discuss. | Free Comic Book Club Meeting: General Body Meeting | 7 p.m., 5/16 Tuesday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | Seen any good action-adventure movies lately?  Read any good comic strips or books, either online or on paper?  Want to help design a business card for the Comic Book Club of Ithaca? Come join us for a fun survey of the current pop-culture fan world! | Free


Preschool Story Time | 10:30 a.m., 5/11 Thursday | Cortland Free Library, 32 Church St | Stories, songs, and activities with a di erent theme each week. All ages are welcome but this

program is designed for children ages 3-5 yrs. Registration is recommended for each child.

Tyke Tales Story Time | 11 a.m., 5/11 Thursday | Lodi Whittier Library, 8484 S Main St, | Join us for Story Hour! Snacks, crafts, stories...we can’t wait to see you! | Free Spring Baby Storytime | 10:30 a.m., 5/12 Friday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | Caregivers and their babies are invited to join Cassie for songs, rhymes, movement and books at the park next to the Henry St. John Building at 301 S. Geneva St.

TCPL AAPI Craft and Play: Jianzi | 4 p.m., 5/12 Friday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | In celebration of AAPI month, TCPL is o ering a free Jianzi craft and play event for families and youth ages 7 - 14. What is Jianzi? It is one of the earliest forms of soccer/football.

Lego Club | 10 a.m., 5/13 Saturday | Ulysses Philomathic Library, 74 E Main Street | Drop in and show o your building skills at this open Lego build. For children of all ages. | Free Second Saturday Family Fun | 10:30 a.m., 5/13 Saturday | Cortland Free Library, 32 Church St | Join us as we read stories, listen to music,



play games and eat snacks.  Program geared to ages 3-8 yrs.

Puppet Show with Dusty and Dott | 10:30 a.m., 5/16 Tuesday | New eld Public Library, 198 Main Street | Family Storytime hosts Dott & talking dog Dusty--read together, games, dance & humor! . 607-564-3594 | Free Baby/Toddler Time | 10:30 a.m., 5/16 Tuesday | Cortland Free Library, 32 Church St | Rhymes, stories, and songs designed for children from birth to age 2 and their caregivers. Registration is recommended for each child.

LEGO Build Night for Families | 5 p.m., 5/16 Tuesday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | TCPL is inviting families to a weekly LEGO build night! Buckets of LEGO will be provided for participants to borrow for their builds.

Spanish Storytime | 4 p.m., 5/17 Wednesday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | Children of all ages and their caregivers are welcome to join us for Spanish storytime - songs, rhymes, stories, and crafts - completely in Spanish!

Lego Club | 4 p.m., 5/17 Wednesday | Cortland Free Library, 32 Church St | Registration is required each month. Please sign up for one day only. Come join our Lego club & have some

Wednesday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | This is a 30-minute meditation session led by Anna Salamone RN, LCSW, certi ed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher.

Bridge Club of Ithaca | 10 a.m., 5/11

Thursday | Bridge Club of Ithaca, 16 Cinema Drive | Bridge Club of Ithaca o ers casual play with instruction for players at all levels Fridays 9:30-12pm at the Club, 16 Cinema Drive ($5 fee) | $5.00 - $7.00

Healthy Cooking Basics | 5:30 p.m., 5/11 Thursday | Cornell Cooperative Extension | Join SNAP-Ed for FREE cooking classes covering the basics of cooking and healthy eating. Each week will focus on di erent topics to simplify nutritious eating. | Free Habitat for Humanity Women

Build Weekend & Homebuyer Application Event! | 8:30 a.m., 5/12

Friday | Hancock Street Plaza parking lot on Third Street in Ithaca , Hancock & Third Street | Habitat for Humanity

Women Build Weekend & Homebuyer Application Event! | $0.00 - $30.00

80s Prom Fundraiser for REACH

Medical | 8 p.m., 5/12 Friday | Deep Dive, Deep Dive 415 Old Taughannock Boulevard | REACH stands for Respectful, Equitable, Accessible, and Compassionate Healthcare for All. Join us on May 12th for our rst REACH Medical 80s Prom! Dress in your 80s best and come support local harm reduction. | $15.00


Ithaca Chess Club | 12 p.m., 5/14 Sunday | DeWitt Mall, 215 N. Cayuga St | The Ithaca Chess Club meets every Sunday from 12 noon to 4 pm, at the Dewitt Mall ( rst oor above the shops, o ce area). The club is free and open to everyone, all ages and all skill levels. Play other chess lovers, and get free chess instruction. Details at the club website: IthacaChessClub. com. | Free

Ebook Basics | 10 a.m., 5/15 Monday | Southworth Library | Learn about the LIBBY program and app to download ebooks and audiobooks from the library. We have over 35,000 items available for free use with a valid library card. The classes are free and require no computer experience. Register by calling the library at 607844-4782. | Free

Estate Planning Council of Tompkins County | 11 a.m., 5/16 Tuesday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | Location Information Tompkins County Public Library 101 East Green Street Ithaca, NY 14850

Steps to Homeownership with Visions Federal Credit Union | 5:30 p.m., 5/16 Tuesday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street | May 1, 2023 is New Homeowners Day. To celebrate, please join us for a for a presentation where we can show you all the events you will encounter on your own journey towards homeownership.


Center for the Arts of Homer, 72 S Main St, Homer | Bummed about the second postponement of the Indigo Girls show at the State? This might be as close as you can get until October. One half of the legendary duo brings her band to Homer this week in support of her solo

M AY 10–16, 2023 / T HE I THACA T IMES 21
CORNELL CONCERT SERIESROCHESTER PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Hall, Cornell University | Join the Cornell Concert Series this Mother’s day! Join RPO for a lively program directed by Andreas Delfs (pictured), including pieces from Chabrier’s España, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and soloist cello-virtuoso, Zlatomir Fung! (Photo: Provided) RAY BAND album that celebrates her Southern heritage. (Photo: Provided)


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OCM BOCES Career and Technical program has an opening for a Construction Technology Instructor at the Cortlandville Campus in Cortland, NY. The CTE Construction Technology program prepares 11th & 12th grade students in the areas of: carpentry, drywall, painting, framing, roofing, floor installation, door and window installation, blueprint reading, siding, electrical wiring, plumbing, proper tool use, and OSHA safety training in conjunction with professionalism, communication, problem solving and teamwork. NYS teaching certification, or willingness to obtain teaching certification, is required. Experience in a related field is necessary. Register and apply at: For more information, visit our website at EOE



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OCM BOCES Career and Technical program has an opening for a Construction Technology Instructor at the Cortlandville Campus in Cortland, NY. e CTE Construction Technology program prepares 11th & 12th grade students in the areas of: carpentry, drywall, painting, framing, roo ng, oor installation, door and window installation, blueprint reading, siding, electrical wiring, plumbing, proper tool use, and OSHA safety training in conjunction with professionalism, communication, problem solving and teamwork. NYS teaching certi cation, or willingness to obtain teaching certi cation, is required. Experience in a related eld is necessary. Register and apply at:

Algebra I & II, Geometry, Earth Science, Living Environment, Chemistry, Social Studies 7-11, Participation in Government, Economics, Physical Education, Special Education 7-12, Media Specialist, Spanish, and Health

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Sites are at the following locations: Wellwood Middle Cortland Jr. Sr. High School, Cicero-North Syracuse

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22 T HE I THACA T IMES / M AY 10–16, 2023
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