September 13, 2023

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PILOT NEGOTIATIONS Stop Between City & Cornell
5 REPUBLICANS RUN for Local Office
8-9 HOT TUNA’S Jordan Kaukonen
10 FREE / S E pt E mb ER 13, 2023 / V olum E X l III, N umb ER 55 / Our 51st Year Online @ ITHACA.COM

A Benefit for Tompkins Learning Partners

“Everyone who attends the Finger Lakes Crossword Competition, and who solves Adam’s puzzles, will have a terrific time.” -Will Shortz

ANNOUNCING the 11th Annual Finger Lakes Crossword Competition

Saturday, September 23, 2023

The Region’s Only Crossword Competition 23,

IN PERSON: 1:00-4:00 PM (Pre-Registrants arrive by 1:30)

Boynton Middle School Cafeteria, 1601 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca

INDIVIDUAL & TEAM PLAY: 2, 3, or 4 on a team

THREE LEVELS OF DIFFICULTY: Easier, Trickier, Tougher

ENTRY FEE: Pay whatever you are comfortable with

CHARITY FUNDRAISER: All profits support adult literacy

2 T he I T haca T I mes / s ep T ember 13 – 19, 2023
Information and Registration: TOMPKINS LEARNING PARTNERS: This event is a valuable fundraiser for Tompkins Learning Learning Partners. Since 1976, Tompkins Learning Partners has been providing tutoring services, free of charge, to local residents who need help reading, writing, or speaking English. Services are provided by dedicated volunteer tutors. | 607-277-6442 | 124 W. Bu alo St., Ithaca, NY 14850 Our Generous Donors Include: CAN’T MAKE IT IN PERSON? PLAY VIRTUALLY! SEE WEBSITE FOR DETAILS

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The Masks Are Back in Town

Cayuga Health System Reinstates Mask Mandate

In response to increases in the number of local cases of COVID-19, the Cayuga Health System (CHS) has announced that it will be bringing back “mandatory masking” starting on September 7.

The announcement stated that “masking will be required for staff, visitors, and patients in CHS healthcare facilities except for brief periods while eating and drinking.” It said they will “continue to conduct Universal COVID testing for all patients admitted to the hospital, in addition to testing for clinical purposes.”

Cayuga Health’s decision to reinstate mask mandates comes following an August 10 health alert from the Tompkins County Whole Health Department warning the community of a spike in COVID-19 community transmission levels. The spike has been attributed to a new subvariant of the virus known as “EG.5,” now the dominant strain in New York.

According to the alert, transmission levels in Tompkins County have reached three new cases per day. This time last year, transmission levels were only about one new case per day.

The alert stated that the increase reflects recent trends across New York State and the rest of the country. It continued stating

that “Hospitalization rates in Tompkins County have remained low, with four hospital admissions due to COVID-19 reported for August 9th, 2023.”

Additionally, the announcement stated, “The number of patients hospitalized with COVID has remained stable, and CHS considers it imperative to take proactive measures to maintain this stability.”

In response to the increase in COVID-19 transmission levels, Whole Health Commissioner Frank Kruppa said, “We can anticipate that with an increase of travel during the summer months and the return of students to our area, we will see a corresponding rise in COVID-19 cases in our community.”

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X Emercency Preparedness & Safety Fair

Tompkins County Emergency Response and Whole Health are partnering with the Shops at Ithaca Mall to host their second annual Emergency Preparedness & Safety Fair on Saturday, September 16th from 11am to 2pm.

The event is being held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, observed each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2023 theme is focused on the wellbeing of older adults.

“Older adults can face greater risks from extreme weather and other emergencies,

especially if they live alone, are low income, have a disability, or live in rural areas,” said Geoff Dunn, Community Preparedness Coordinator. “We will have a number of agencies and organizations on hand, including representatives from local police and fire departments, emergency medical services, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the National Weather Service.”

New this year will be CPR and first aid demonstrations, and a medivac helicopter on display.

Other highlights include Dave Ashton from Lite Rock 97.3 broadcasting from 11am-1pm, a Red Cross community

He continued, “The steps to reduce the risk of infection and prevent the spread of disease include limiting gatherings, wearing a high-quality mask indoors around others, seeking testing and staying home when feeling ill, and keeping current on your vaccination status. If you have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine series or a bivalent booster, please do so.”

Whole Health Medical Director Dr. William Klepack stated, “COVID-19 bivalent boosters remain free of cost and are readily available at pharmacies and healthcare providers. Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19 — it protects you and limits the spread of illness to your loved ones and others.”

VOL. XLIII / NO. 55 / September 13, 2023

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Visit our website at for more news, arts, sports and photos. Call us at 607-277-7000

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F r EE lan CE r S : 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


blood drive from 10am to 2pm (visit and a Citizen Preparedness Corps training at 10:30am (pre-registration required at www.prepare.

The Preparedness & Safety Fair will be set up both inside and outside the Shops at Ithaca Mall, and is free to attend. Mall General Manager Beth Tanner said,“We are delighted to again partner with Tompkins County, and hope people will take advantage of this opportunity to learn of the many resources available to keep their families and communities safe and prepared.”

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s ep T ember 13 – 19, 2023 / T he I T haca T I mes 3
ON THE COVER: The Ithaca Times Fall Guide 2023. NEWSLINE ������������������������������������ 3-4 SPORTS �������������������������������������������� 5 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ������������ 6 GUEST OPINION ����������������������������� 7 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT �������������������� 10 DINING ������������������������������������������ 11 TIMES TABLE ��������������������������� 12-13 CLASSIFIED 14-16
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In response to an increase in local COVID-19 transmission rates the Cayuga Health System has announced that mask mandates will be making a return. (Photo: File)



Ithaca & Cornell Pause PILOT Negotiations over Contribution Disagreement

The City of Ithaca’s negotiations with Cornell to increase the university's payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) have stopped as of August 11. Both organizations have been unable to agree on what constitutes a fair contribution. The news was announced in a statement released by Mayor Laura Lewis on September 7.

The statement was released following increased public pressure for City Hall to be more transparent in their negotiations with Cornell.

In the statement, Mayor Lewis said that four negotiating sessions were held between April and August and that the Common Council was repeatedly briefed on the status of the discussions. It continued saying that since the negotiations have reached an impasse, Cornell is currently not committed to making any payment to the city in 2024.

“There is currently no payment at all scheduled from Cornell in 2024, representing a $1.6 million decline from Cornell’s 2023 contribution to the City,” the statement read.

The negotiations broke down after the City requested that Cornell increase its PILOT from $1.6 million to $8 million. Cornell responded by offering an increase to $3.15 million, which the City countered with a request for $5 million. According to the statement, “Cornell indicated that it would not offer any additional increase from the $3.15 million proposal and moved to end the discussions.”

The city came to the $8 million number by calculating that Cornell’s tax-exempt real estate holdings represent about 45% of the city’s assessed property value. If Cornell were not tax-exempt, it would owe the city $33 million in property taxes. The statement explained, “The City benchmarked its proposals across those negotiations against 25% of

approximately $33 million in property taxes that Cornell would pay were its property taxable, or roughly $8 million.”

According to the statement, “The City entered the process motivated by a core belief that despite the tremendous overall economic impact the university community brings to the region and the city, Cornell’s direct financial contributions to the City are fundamentally lacking and fail to demonstrate a commitment to the needs of Cornell’s host city.”

It continued, “Despite a good faith effort to negotiate an amount compatible with the City’s needs, Cornell ultimately failed to offer a financial commitment reflective of its leading role in the community…This is a lost opportunity for Cornell to invest in and garner the support of its community.”

Comparatively, every Ivy League university contributes much more to their communities than Cornell. For example, Yale significantly increased its contribution to the City of New Haven from $13.2 million annually in 2022 to over $24 million annually by year five of the agreement. Their total pledged contribution over six years will be $135.4 million.

In 2020, residents in Philadelphia successfully pressured UPENN to increase its PILOT to $10 million per year for the next ten years. Additionally, the University of Princeton is the highest taxpayer in Princeton, New Jersey. In 2021, the University of Princeton paid more than $9.8 million in taxes, including $6.2 million in voluntary tax payments for properties eligible for exemption.

According to the statement, “Cornell is unique among its peer institutions in its lack of support for its host municipality,”

The current agreement that saw Cornell contribute a $1.6 million PILOT to the City ends in June 2024. If an agreement is not reached by then, the city will need to plan for a 2024 budget without support from Cornell. According to the statement this “will start the 2024 budget process with a $1.6 million hole in the budget.”

In response to the Mayor’s statement, Cornell’s Vice President of University Relations, Joel Malina, released a statement saying, “Our proposal would more than double our voluntary contribution to the City of Ithaca and provide the city with immediate and significant new resources to advance critical initiatives for the benefit of the city and its residents.”

Molina continued, saying, “It deepens the university’s commitment to the city and is just one component of nearly $30 million in annual Cornell expenditures that directly benefit the city and its residents.” He added that the university continues “to engage with the city in the hope that we can reach an agreement over the coming weeks.”

According to an infographic provided by Molina, in 2023 Cornell spent $29,187,199 in support of “the City and its residents.” That number includes nearly $20 million that the university spends on its own public safety, street paving, snow removal and additional services that they say the city would “otherwise have to fund.” It also includes the proposed offer of a PILOT increase to $3.15 million which has not been agreed upon, $5.87 million in “community support” for things like TCAT and other local non-profits, as well as Cornell’s small contribution of $650,000 to the Ithaca City School District.

The infographic also says that Cornell indirectly contributes a total of $2.4 billion to the community as a result of “Cornell's local economic impact including student and visitor spending, payroll, construction, and more.”

4 T he I T haca T I mes / s ep T ember 13 – 19, 2023 N ewsline
“Outburst.” – Abby D. “Ghost in the graveyard, It’s like hide & seek.” – Beverly W. “Twister.” – Cora M. “Volleyball.” – Cala E. “Volleyball.” – Doreen W Cornell’s Vice President of University Relations, Joel Malina, says that Cornell already contributes enough to the City. (Photo: Cornell University) Mayor Laura Lewis is the fourth consecutive Mayor to ask Cornell University to increase its payment in lieu of taxes to the City. (Photo: File)
“Cornell ultimately failed to offer a financial commitment reflective of its leading role in the community…This is a lost opportunity for Cornell to invest in and garner the support of its community.”
— Mayor Laura Lewis

Bombers Bounce Back

Ithaca Football Comes Back to Even Their Record

Heading to Massachusetts to play Endicott College for the first time in program history, the Ithaca College Bombers had six hours on the bus to think about how to win on the Gulls’ home field and even their record at 1-1. It was a bit of an unfamiliar feeling, as the Bombers won 12 in a row last season before being dealt their first loss. The scenario was a familiar one in the sense that last week’s opener against Johns Hopkins was also a road game, and also against a first-time opponent.

That six-hour return trip did feel a little shorter given the Bombers pulled off a 20-17 come-from-behind win. It was a back-and-forth affair, and the visitors found themselves trailing by two scores (17-7) in the fourth quarter. Veteran quarterbacks are supposed to thrive in such situations, and it is safe to say that the wind was taken out of the Gulls’ sails when Ithaca’s A.J. Wingfield hit Sam Kline with a 23-yard completion on a third and 22 to keep that touchdown drive alive, and the pair’s connection paid off again with 2:06 to play when Wingfield hit Kline with a 30-yard strike to put the Bombers up 20-17.

From that point, it was up to Ithaca’s defense to stiffen up and preserve the lead. The D’s first order of business was, of course, to keep the hosts out of the end zone, and the second was to keep them out of field goal range. The defense did its job in the sense that they forced a 49-yard field goal attempt – no chip shot at any level – and when the kick went wide right, the Bombers had prevailed.

It was, from a statistical standpoint, a very evenly matched contest. Ithaca edged out Endicott in Total Yards (312289), in Passing Yards (133-105 and in Time of Possession (32:23-27:37). Kline would have a big receiving day, hauling in seven of Wingfield’s 16 completions for


Two Ithaca Police Officers were honored for saving the lives of multiple residents who were injured during recent stabbings during an event organized by the Ithaca Kiwanis Club on September 11.


Summer is almost over, it’ll be snowing before you know it. Cherish the warmth while it lasts.


TCPL will close Friday, September 15 through Monday, October 2. We plan to reopen on Tuesday, October 3. We are closing so the County can update our HVAC system to be more sustainable and to operate more effectively. No one will be allowed inside the library during the project, including staff. Patrons will not be able to browse our shelves or pick up holds at TCPL.


The No. 18 Ithaca College football team defeated the Endicott College Gulls 20-17 on September 9.

92 yards and that big touchdown, and on the defensive side of the ball, Ben Stola and Darren Brunner had ten tackles each. Tamir Rowser had three ig pass breakups and five tackles to contribute.

● ● ●

Football coached are often “Here and Now” types this time of year, as evidenced by my brief interaction with Bomber Head Coach Mike Toerper on Thursday. I was at I.C., working on a project with retired baseball coach George Valesente, and I encountered Toerper. I said, “Coach, maybe after you’ve been here 40 years I’ll do a project with you.” Mike said, “Yeah, maybe, but right now I’m thinking about the next 40 minutes.”

The Bombers will travel to Alfred University (1-1) for their third consecutive away game. Kickoff is scheduled for 1pm.

● ● ●

The USA Hockey’s 2023 Hall of Fame will induct five new members on December 6 in Boston, and the bio of one of those inductees reads, “... a native of Ithaca, New York.” Justifiably, the accolades and

awards and the recognition just keep piling up for Dustin Brown, and the numbers tell part of the story.

Brown spent 18 seasons in the NHL — all with the Los Angeles Kings — and in 2012 and again in 2014, Dustin hoisted the coveted Stanley Cup. He played in 1,296 regular –season games (the 7th most of any American-born player), and he racked up 712 points in 325 goals and 387 assists. Brown has five straight seasons during which he scored 20 goals and put up 50 points, and the scrappy team captain was never afraid of contact, as evidenced by the fact that he is the NHL’s all-time leader in hits. He also skated twice for the red, white and blue, helping the USA to a silver medal in the 2010 Olympics, and a fourthplace finish in 2014.

Brown’s brilliant-by-any-measure career was not defined merely by numbers, however, as the also won the NHL Foundation Player Award (given in recognition of his extensive charitable work) and the Mark Messier Leadership Award (for team leadership on and off the ice).

The USA Hockey HOF’s other inductees are Brian Burke (a hockey executive) Katie King-Crowley and Jamie Langenbrunner (players) and Brian Murphy (referee).

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.”


Are you concerned about the increase in local COVID-19 transmission rates?

31.6% No, I have no more patience for the pandemic.

68.4% Yes, I’m ready to mask up again.

Should the City reveal who was on their team negotiating for an increased PILOT from Cornell?

Visit to submit your response.

s ep T ember 13 – 19, 2023 / T he I T haca T I mes 5 Sports
N ext W eek ’s Q uestio N :
Sam Kline had a big receiving day in the Bombers’ win over Endicott. (Photo: Provided)


Response to “Two Groups Pushing Cornell to Contribute More to the Community”

“The City and Town have so much more leverage than Cornell. Cornell won’t leave Ithaca; they’ve spent too much on all their brick and mortar infrastructure here, and if they tried to sell it, they would only recover 50 cents on the dollar best case with interest rates high and commercial real estate tanking especially in NY state. Ithaca needs to push Cornell hard to pay at least 20x what they’re currently paying. All negotiations need to take place in public. When the agreement expires in 2024, Cornell must then pay school and property tax at the full rate just like everyone else right? I wish I could be at that negotiating table; I’d flip it over and then Cornell would have to pay the full amount.” — Richard

“ Can’t agree with Richard on this one. And, I’m no fan of Cornell’s lack of diversity of opinion and of its

political correctness. But, you can’t coerce Cornell. The City of Ithaca is negotiating only for itself. The Cornell community is much wider than that and much of Cornell’s property lies outside the City of Ithaca in Tompkins County. So, if Cornell decides to grant an increase, the money should go to Tompkins County, not just to the self-centered and free spending City. Also, any good negotiator will tell you negotiations should not be done in public which turns them into media circuses and is not suited to the give and take of negotiations.

It is state law that colleges and universities be tax exempt. Unfair? Not so. It is widely accepted that the costs of college level education are already too high. There are no free lunches and those who manage Cornell’s endowment must be aware that they have many competing claims on Cornell to balance. The students, the faculty and staff, the alumni, government entities, suppliers, etc. Cornell contributes so much to this community’s prosperity, employment, and sheer economic activity. And the “Cornell community” is much wider than the City of Ithaca. ICSD and Tompkins County are better candidates for Cornell support as they cover the area Cornell dominates more widely. Negotiations often turn on who has the most power to control the outcome. The reality is the City of Ithaca has relatively little

bargaining power compared to Cornell. City residents should be grateful to have Cornell, without it the City would be just another sleepy little upstate New York town.” — Henry

Response to “Cargill to Divest from Cayuga Salt Mine As Activists Demand its Closure”

“Are you against salt? Or, are you in favor of salt but against salt mining? Or, are you in favor of salt mining but against this particular salt mine? Or, are you ok with salt mining but only with better environmental protection? Or, are you ok with salt mining as long as it is done in some other country? Or, are you enamored of the rich history of this salt mine but opposed to salt mining in the current day? Also, are you opposed to companies trying to make a profit or against this salt mine in particular trying to make a profit? No answers in tradeoff free fantasy world of Ithaca Times.” —



“The Masks are Back in Town”

“Maybe I am typical in terms of feeling like the media provides incomplete or even misleading info on covid. Perhaps in contrast to how things are portrayed in this article,…

1- My household had all boosters and vaccines, wore masks, went to school from home etc etc. 4 of 5 of us got covid anyway and not from each other. Almost everyone we know got covid sooner or later. So what was the point? Were we less contagious to others? Maybe but almost everyone we know thinks or knows they got covid anyway.

2- Once the first version of covid subsided and the virus become “airborne” or “respiratory”, did masks (esp masks lacking an airtight seal) become close to useless - sort of like trying not to smell smoke in a room where someone is smoking? Hard to tell from media.

3- We know a lot of people but no one who died from covid. I have a habit of asking people if they know personally of covid deaths. Have only heard of very old and/or otherwise very sick people dying and of one extremely obese person person in their 40s — teacher of friend of my friend’s son.

Not saying not to address covid. Not an anti-vax person. Not a trump supporter. But I do feel we are being gaslit on covid.” — Steven

“Just because you do not know someone who died of Covid does not mean that it did not happen. I only know one, and that is enough, and the person was not old, and not sickly. I have known others that got it but did not die, but had financial hardships because of it. Why so many in your household got it, I do not know. Perhaps one or more of you were near someone who had it very early on. But more to the point, is this really such a hard burden on people? No.

At one point they were giving out the airtight M95 masks for free, and I got one.

Also, unless you missed it, this summer we had those days when the smoke from wildfires came down from Canada and masks were very helpful for that too.

You say you are not anti-vaxx and not a Trump supporter, so I am puzzled why you think we are being gaslit? Do you think this is a scheme from Big Mask to sell more masks? Again this is not a huge hardship. And for what it is worth, they come in handy in winter and help keep you warm.” — David

“Sort of misleading title — The masks are back in at the CHS, a specific health organization. The TC recommendation is just that. Some other health providers may very well ask that masks be worn by their patients, as well as some businesses. I plan to get the next booster when it comes out later this month to deal with the new variants and unless a specific provider/purveyor who I want to do business with asks, I won’t be wearing a mask. I did get covid and am thankful that I had all my vaccinations and boosters. I will honor the request of CHS when I go see my doctor there. There are lots of folks with various health issues who are deathly afraid of getting covid even after getting vaccinated. If they ask me to wear a mask when I’m with them, I will honor their need.” —

In Support of Kayla Matos

“Last fall I facilitated a 7-week workshop with the pre-teen group at Southside Community Center, where Kayla Matos is deputy director. I was able to observe her in action—whether with staff, parents, or the children, she was the epitome of grace under pressure.

If I lived in Ward 1, Kayla Matos would have my vote for Common Council.” —

6 T he I T haca T I mes / s ep T ember 13 – 19, 2023 The Talk at

Not Living Up to Other Ivy’s Cornell should follow the example of other schools & make voluntary tax payments for tax-free properties

Margherita Fabrizio is an Ithaca city resident and Democratic nominee for the Ithaca Common Council, 5th Ward, 4-year seat. Ithaca’s financial burden related to its enormous amount of tax-exempt property is not unique. Universities and colleges throughout the country are some of the largest property owners in countless cities and towns. Many communities have waged long, public efforts for a more equitable partnership in the form of a PILOT or payment in lieu of taxes.

The PILOT rather than the MOU recognizes the university’s responsibility to contribute toward services

and amenities it and its thousands of students, faculty and staff rely on. A Payment in Lieu of Taxes means the university knows it enjoys tax-free status and also acknowledges the financial cost of running a city and keeping it affordable and vibrant. It would acknowledge that taxpayers can’t make up Ithaca’s gap of $32M created by large amounts of tax-free Cornell property. Cornell’s city property exempted from taxes totals more than $2.7 billion.

PILOT agreements typically range from 2-6 years, rather than Ithaca’s expiring 20-year-long MOU.

Some states, like New Hampshire,

allow taxation of campus buildings not strictly educational in their mission. Dartmouth, for example, is required to pay taxes on all dormitories, dining rooms, and kitchens with assessed values above $150,000. This accounts for $6.2M to Hanover.

NYS municipalities could organize for a legislative solution like this: a tax on residence halls, dining halls, cafes, stores, hotels, summer camp facilities, etc. –campus operations that are non- academic, profit-making centers.

What would this look like for Cornell? By rough estimates, Cornell receives over $100 million/year in undergraduate residence hall fees. The standard formula for valuing rental property (taking into account expenses and capital improvements) would be 8x the annual rent. If you apply our current city tax rate to that number, a voluntary payment to the city for just residence halls would be $10 million. Add another $4.7 million for the county, and $14 million for the Ithaca City School District just based on undergraduate facilities alone.

Even without taxing legislation in place, Cornell could follow the example of some schools who are making volun-

tary tax payments for tax-free properties.

Yale pays real estate taxes – over $5 million– on all its non-academic property. They also recently made a new six-year commitment of $135 million to New Haven.

For decades, Princeton has voluntarily paid taxes on properties that were eligible for exemption from taxes under state law. They also recently made a $14.6 million commitment to Princeton Public Schools over the next 5 years.

In contrast, Cornell does not pay taxes on property that falls into the non-academic category, and they recently gifted a mere $650,000 to the Ithaca City School District, equating to 0.4% of ICSD’s annual budget.

A contribution of $10 million to the city would recognize some of the campus buildings which enjoy tax-free status, though are not strictly educational, and in fact, are also profit-making.

It’s important to note that none of these agreements referenced came without massive efforts and broad community support. All interested in joining with the Fair Share Campaign can reach out to fairsharecampaign@

Exploring Ithaca’s spectacular landscape with her trusty pal, Tasha, gives Loretta great scenery and even better company. Whether she’s hiking to the heart of the gorge or just taking in the falls, she always enjoys the natural beauty of the area.

Living on the 105-acre campus of Kendal at Ithaca not only keeps Loretta connected to the places and companions she loves, but the care she may need someday. And, from here, the story just keeps getting better.

Come for a visit and tell us your story. Call 877-891-7709 or go to to learn more.

s ep T ember 13 – 19, 2023 / T he I T haca T I mes 7 GUEST OPINION
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Republican Candidates Announce Campaigns for Local Office

Two Republicans have launched campaigns for local office in the City of Ithaca, which the Democratic Party has long dominated.

Janis Kelly will run for Mayor against Democratic Mayoral candidate and current Fifth Ward Alderperson Robert Cantelmo. Zach Winn will run for the First Ward’s two-year term against current Second Ward Alderperson and Solidarity Slate member Phoebe Brown.

Kelly works as a medical journalist and previously ran for Mayor in 2011. She has lived in Ithaca since attending Cornell University in the late 1960s, where Kelly has said she was a founding member of the university's first gay student group. Kelly has been a familiar face in City Hall recently, as she has appeared before Common Council during the public comment portion of the last several meetings to speak out against Ithaca declaring itself a sanctuary city for transgender youth.

Winn is a local conservative activist and citizen journalist who writes about crime under the alias “Chip Daily” on He was raised in Ithaca and works in the food service industry. Winn previously ran a campaign for Mayor as a Republican in 2022 and is currently the cochair of the City of Ithaca Republican Committee. He has been a controversial figure in local politics recently and received a hefty amount of backlash after setting a Black Lives Matter flag on fire on the Commons during pro-police protests in 2020.

Ithaca has been a stronghold for liberals and leftists for decades, effectively making any Republican campaign for local office an automatic longshot. Voter enrollment data

from the New York State Board of Elections shows that as of February 2023, 70% of voters in the City of Ithaca are Democrats, while just 6% are Republicans. As a result, Ithaca has not elected a Republican Mayor since Bill Shaw was elected 42 years ago in 1981. Despite the unfavorable odds, Janis Kelly and Zach Winn are running to win.

Kelly and Winn have focused their campaigns on addressing local issues like increasing crime and homelessness, which they say stem from the encampments on


West End known

as the “Jungle.” In an effort to reduce crime and homelessness, another priority of their campaigns is increasing support for the Ithaca Police Department (IPD), which has suffered from staffing shortages for years.

In the late 1990s, IPD had more than 80 officers, but the department currently has just 38 officers, according to the Ithaca Police Benevolent Association (PBA). Kelly and Winn have blamed issues at IPD on Ithaca’s Reimagining Public Safety plan.

In a recent interview, Winn said that reimagining public safety “had such a negative impact on law enforcement, staffing, and morale; it's the number one issue that has affected the amount of crime going on in this community.”

Winn told the Ithaca Times that one of his top priorities, if elected, would involve a “total repudiation of former mayor Myricks conduct in office as it relates to Reimagining Public Safety, with the specific goal of reversing the damage that was done by his GQ article and ending the nation-

8 T he I T haca T I mes / s ep T ember 13 – 19, 2023
Janis Kelly is running for Mayor as a Republican against current Fifth Ward Alderperson Robert Cantelmo. (Photo: File) Zach Winn is running as a Republican to represent the First Ward’s two-year term on the Common Council. He says his vision for Ithaca is much different than his Democratic opponent Phoebe Brown. (Photo: File)
“Reimagining public safety “had such a negative impact on law enforcement, staffing, and morale; it's the number one issue that has affected the amount of crime going on in this community.”
— Zach Winn
“We want to live together as neighbors, not be set against each other as competing interest groups, used as guinea pigs for outside programs, or exploited as a backdrop for feel-good political theatrics.”
— Janis Kelly

al negative reputation the police department has garnered with law enforcement.” In addition, he said that he would call for “A forensic audit of City Hall finances going back until former mayor Myrick took office. Myrick claimed he routinely used discretionary funds without council approval.” Winn added, “City Controller Steve Thayer said he didn't know what the mayor was talking about.”

During the sparsely attended “Take Back Ithaca” campaign launch event at the Eagles Club on September 3, Kelly said, “We start this campaign by listening to you, not to political operatives from outside the City.” She continued, “Many Ithacans sense that the City is in trouble. We can make Ithaca peaceful and safe again if we work together as neighbors. Local government policies should be centered on the City.”

Kelly added, “We want to live together as neighbors, not be set against each other as competing interest groups, used as guinea pigs for outside programs, or exploited as a backdrop for feel-good political theatrics.”

Similarly to Kelly’s disdain for what she considers outside political operatives, Winn has said that organizations like the Solidarity Slate are hurting the city. According to Winn, “members of the solidarity fleet are committed to advancing their philosophies and beliefs using their role on the council, regardless of the consequences

for the community, the citizens or the effect that it had on everyday life.”

He added, “I have equated it to a parasite devouring the Democratic Party from within…this is an openly Marxist communist organization that does not believe in rent, private property, prisons, or the police.”

Winn has routinely attacked Solidarity Slate members Jorge DeFendini and Phoebe Brown — who were elected to the Common Council in 2021 — for calling to “redirect funds for the Ithaca Police Department budget.”

Winn has said, “I believe Phoebe’s vision and my vision for what Ithaca needs are completely different.” If elected, Winn says he “would work for an increase to IPD's budget that is at least as much as inflation, not the 5% currently being offered in the proposed contract between the police union and the city.”

Kelly has told the Ithaca Times that The most important issues the city needs to address are public safety, infrastructure (including flood risk), and housing.

“The ‘defund the police’ policies pushed by the politically fashionable and by outside consultants have resulted in throwing the most vulnerable people in our community — those who live or hang out in The Jungle — to the wolves,” Kelly said. She continued, “The primary job of the government is to keep us safe, and the current

City of Ithaca administration has failed to do that.”

Kelly continued, “Public safety means that each of us deserves to live free from fear of being attacked, robbed, harassed, or otherwise victimized by the criminal or crazy. That requires a police force that is well-resourced, well-trained, well-supervised, and held accountable.” She added, “It also requires an expansion in mental health and drug abuse services, which Tompkins County is responsible for and is pursuing.”

According to Kelly, “When violence is involved, trusting your safety to bureaucrats and social workers does not work.”

She continued, “Downtown areas that are less affluent and most racially diverse are being hurt the worst by thefts, assaults, drug dealing, and public disorder. It is time to prioritize the hard-working and lawabiding over the criminal and predatory.”

Additionally, Kelly says that infrastructure issues include the risk of flood damage in the City and the potential cost to homeowners of flood insurance, as well as the deterioration of roads, bridges, sidewalks, and other structures. She says that the deterioration of the city’s infrastructure resulted from “the failure of the Myrick/Lewis administration and Common Council to re-establish the Board of Public Works required by the City Charter.”

Regarding Ithaca’s housing issues, Kelly said the City’s crisis is reflective of nationwide shortages but that it’s “worsened by Ithaca’s byzantine structure of regulatory requirements, boards and committees.”

According to Kelly, “As Mayor, I would recruit a core Housing Crisis Taskforce that would include residents, developers, landlords, tenants, trades unions, builders, and designers to take on this project. I would also support ending the current practice that lets developers gain approval by prom-

ising to include a certain number of inexpensive apartments, then buy their way out of the deal by paying $5,000 per unit into the housing fund so they can charge market rates.”

In a rare moment of bipartisan agreement with even their most leftist rivals, Kelly and Winn have both said that Cornell University should be contributing more to the city. According to Kelly, “The $1.5 million the University donates to the City every year is a fragment of what taxes would be if Cornell's property were taxable.” She added, “School taxes are about half the tax burden for our residents and could be much lower if Cornell gave more than $600,000 per year to the ICSD.”

Winn has said, “Cornell is sitting on an ocean of money while basic city services, which Cornell's students and faculty utilize on a daily basis, fall apart.” He continued, “The only thing Cornell hates worse than spending money is bad PR. The city needs to take a hard line against Cornell and begin an aggressive campaign to publicly criticize the university until it comes up with enough money to allow the city to continue to function.”

Additionally, both Kelly and Winn have advocated for improving TCAT service by expanding the Route 14 bus service to allow West Hill residents to return home from work after 11 p.m. According to Winn, “The current TCAT schedule has the final Route 14 bus departing at either 8 or 9 PM. Buses servicing East Hill and the student population, like the 90, run as late as 1:46 PM. There is only one bus that services East Hill, the 14. This is inequitable.”

Kelly has also said that if elected Mayor, she “would mobilize support for revising and expanding service on [Route 14] and work with TCAT to obtain the money needed to support that change.

s ep T ember 13 – 19, 2023 / T he I T haca T I mes 9
The City of Ithaca has not elected a Republican Mayor since Bill Shaw was elected 42 years ago in 1981. According to Board of Elections data, 70% of Ithaca voters are Democrats, while only 6% are Republicans. (Photo: File) Kelly and Winn have both made increasing support for the Ithaca Police Department important parts of their campaigns. Winn says that Reimagining Public Safety has had horrible impacts on police moral. (Photo: File)
“The primary job of the government is to keep us safe, and the current City of Ithaca administration has failed to do that.”
— Janis Kelly

Arts & Entertainment


Hot Tuna’s Jorma Kaukonen Talks About Playing for 65 Years

Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady played onstage for the first time in 1958, and many hundreds of gigs and years later, Kaukonen and Casady will bring Hot Tuna’s “Final Electric Run” to the State Theatre on September 18.

Jorma Kaukonen spoke to the Ithaca Times about the tour, Hot Tuna’s song catalog and guitars.

IT: So, this is it�

JK: No. This is just the last electric tour.

IT: What led you to that decision?

JK: Well, I got a lot of reasons. We tour acoustically all the time, and I play acoustic shows all the time. It was…it just seemed time to put the electric thing to bed. Not that I don’t like it, because I love when someone comes to listen to us play, but honestly, I’m starting to age out of the whole thing. I’m gonna be 83 years old this year. I mean, I’m not gonna stop playing, and if I get the chance to play electric with someone else, I probably will, but to take

the organization that it requires us to do electric and rehearsals and stuff, we’re just giving it a rest. There’s always a gray area that we can’t talk about too much, but you never know.

IT: As you’re winding up, what kind of material are you favoring?

JK: Obviously, Jack [Casady] and I are pals, we’ve been in the game a long time. We have a lot of stuff to look at. We’re gonna cull some chestnuts we haven’t played for years, and actually get together and rehearse. You know, one of the things that makes it a little difficult — and don’t get me wrong, I’m not cryin’ the blues here, I really have nothing to complain about — but Jack lives in L.A., Joseph lives in upstate New York, I live in Southeast Ohio. And everybody’s got individual lives. So to get together and do the rehearsals that we need to do… We’ve been lazy, but we’re not lazy for this thing.

I remember saying stupid things like [clears throat], “If you need to rehearse a lot, you’re not playing with the right guys.” But as I’ve actually grown up into an adult, I realize that

if you wanna be good, you gotta rehearse. So we’re putting our thinking caps on, and I’m entertaining suggestions from Jack and some other people.

IT: Any titles you could lay on us?

JK: No, can’t do that. Sorry.

IT: How about guitars?

JK: We have the fingerpicking stuff and the string-bending rock n’ roll stuff. For the string-bending stuff, I’m going to be using a [Gibson] Firebird. I’ll also have my Gibson Les Paul just in case I need it, but I really love the Firebird for that vintage Hot Tuna stuff. For the fingerpicking, I’ll be using the Chet Atkins SST, that’s a ’93. The Firebird is a ’91. The Les Paul, I’ve had for about four or five years.

Hot Tuna’s “Final Electric Run”

8 p.m. Mon. Sept. 18 State Theatre, Ithaca 107 W State St.

10 T he I T haca T I mes / s ep T ember 13 – 19, 2023
More than 65 years later Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady are still making music together. (Photo: Erik Kabik Photography/ MediaPunch)

Not Just Take-Out Taste of Thai Express Also Provides a Satisfying Dine-in Experience

I’ve always thought of Taste of Thai Express as the one restaurant in Ithaca that has the most misleading name: when it opened for business, I thought it must be a grab-and-go establishment or a place you’d phone in an order and pick it up later. What else could the “Express” mean? I later learned that it’s a full scale dine-in restaurant. Based on personal observation, it also seems to do a strong call in/take out business.

The dining room is surrounded by large picture windows, however views of Meadow Street and the adjacent Dunkin’ Donuts are thankfully obscured by growing plants and tall bamboo shoots.

After months of passing it on Meadow Street, I finally ventured inside to discover strong offerings of Thai food (modified for American tastes) in the major categories of Thai Style Fried Rice, Noodles, Asian Style Wok Stir-Fry, and Curries.

If you’re not familiar with the relative heat of curries, yellow is the mildest, and is offered here with a rather ordinary combination of potatoes, carrots, and onions. Next up the list is Massaman Curry which is sweet and has the same veggies with the addition of some Indian-influenced spices, tamarind, and cinnamon. Panang curry, the next hottest, is a version of hot red curry with cumin and coriander and some Thai herbs simmered with red and green peppers and served on shredded green cabbage. The Red Curry dish earns a two-pepper icon because of its red Thai chili paste. It’s cooked in sweet coconut milk with some bamboo shoots. The most heat comes with the Green Curry dish which is too hot for me.

Many of the dishes are offered without a protein with small up charges for chicken, pork, tofu, vegetables, shrimp, mock chicken, and seafood.

One of my favorite appetizers is Fresh Rolls, which are different from their more familiar deep fried Vegetarian Spring Roll cousins. These are prepared in ultrathin rice paper wraps and the

three per order are filled with tofu ($7) or shrimp ($7.50). The balance of the filling includes shredded Romaine lettuce, Thai basil, mint, bean sprouts, shaved carrots, and vermicelli noodles. They’re served with a ramekin of Hoisin chili garlic sauce for dipping, and crushed peanuts. They’re tender to chew into and very tasty.

If you order an entrée, you’ll receive a complementary small bowl of Tom Yum soup: a Thai slightly hot, (from roasted chili’s) and sour broth with lemon grass, a generous piece of tofu, a slice of fresh carrot, and button mushrooms. Nice touch.

The other traditional Thai soup, Tom Kha, is made with a creamy coconut base and straw mushrooms and Thai herbs.

The basic Thai main course which many readers will be familiar with, is Pad Thai. It can be found in the Noodles section and is among the best tasting Pad Thai’s I’ve had. Rice noodles are stir-fried with tofu kan, egg, bean sprouts, and chives mixed with a flavorful tamarind-based sauce and crushed peanuts and lime. (if you’re not familiar with tofu kan it’s tofu flour blended with water and pressed into a very firm block.)

I’ve also enjoyed Ginger Delight under the Asian Wok Stir-Fry section however I can’t discern any ginger. The dish contains lots of mushrooms and onions. The mushrooms include, shitake and black fungus, and the Spanish onions are cooked perfectly, al dente just to the point where they become translucent. There’s also a large mound of rice on the plate. I do wish, since the dish has “ginger” in its name, the cooks would include more discernable ginger in the dish.

I usually order chicken as my protein with the Pad Thai and the Ginger stir-fry and, since we’re not offered knives in a Thai restaurant, I think the kitchen staff should cut the chicken pieces a bit smaller.

A few salad entrées ($10.75-$12.95) are on offer and the menu descriptions make them sound interesting and creative.

Alcoholic beverages are not offered so I usually enjoy a tall glass of Thai Iced Tea ($3.50). It’s quite sweet with cream, (or perhaps sweet, condensed milk?) floating on top.

The food at Taste of Thai Express is consistently well prepared and the prices are reasonable with all main courses priced under $17.

Tid Bits

Lunch is served seven days a week from 11-3 with dinner from 3 to 9 PM. You can order dinner size portions, at a slight hike in portion size and price, at lunch time but not lunch size portions and prices after 3 PM. I find the lunch portions large and satisfying. Spicy dishes are identified by pepper icons and can be adjusted on most dishes.

Taste of Thai Express

209 S. Meadow St. Ithaca

Every day 11-9 (607) 272-8424

F all a r T s p rev I ew / s ep T ember 13 – 19, 2023 / T he I T haca T I mes 11 Rebate requires purchase of qualifying items between September 11, 2 2023 and December 1, 2023 from a participating Lennox dealer Contact your local participating Lennox dealer for promotion details. Qualifying items must be installed by December 8, 2023. Financing offer available September 11,2023 to December 1, 2023. All applications are subject to credit review and approval. Not all applicants will qualify Complete terms and conditions and Truth in Lending disclosures will be set forth in the Retail Installment contract which you should review carefully Conditions apply See for complete terms and conditions. Copyright 2023 Lennox Industries Inc. Lennox dealers are independently owned and operated businesses On the Lennox Ultimate Comfort System: Rebates up to $1,500 OR no interest for 6 months OR Rebates up to $1,200 AND no interest for 6 months Dining
Taste of Thai express is thriving in a competitive Thai food market. (Photo: Provided) Owner Ying Balakula can bring the heat — or not — to a variety of Thai dishes at reasonable prices at Taste of Thai Express. (Photo: Provided)