Childcare coming to city meetings and other notes from Common Council

first_img Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] or 607-391-0328. More by Devon Magliozzi Your government news is made possible with support from: center_img Tagged: common council, giac, hate speech, intercity buses ITHACA, N.Y. – Starting in May, parents will be able to drop their kids off in a makeshift City Hall playroom while they participate in Ithaca’s city government. Common Council voted unanimously Wednesday, April 3 to launch a free child care program during five monthly meetings.The program will cover Common Council meetings, which take place the first Wednesday of the month, and meetings of the city’s four volunteer commissions – Public Safety and Information; Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources; Community Life; and Mobility, Accessibility, and Transportation – which meet each Monday.“It really does support the initial conversations we had about creating the commissions, making sure they are as inclusive and diverse as possible,” said Alderperson Deb Mohlenhoff, who introduced the measure.Mohlenhoff said members of two commissions have reached out about having trouble making meeting times due to child care needs, and at Monday’s Public Safety and Information meeting one commissioner’s 7-year-old sat patiently in the gallery through the two-hour session.Related: Voters will decide major Ithaca city structure shakeup in NovemberMembers of the public interested in attending meetings or volunteering on commissions will be able to use the service, as well as city staff and alderpersons.“We know it will be used,” Mohlenhoff said.Council member Laura Lewis agreed, remembering how years ago she’d drag her kids to City Hall where they’d sit on the floor with juice boxes and coloring books. “This is a service that I think is much needed,” Lewis said.The program will be staffed by teens who have experience providing drop-in child care at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center. At events ranging from the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast to community discussions, GIAC teens already help out with younger kids.With the new program, teens supervised by GIAC staff will entertain kids in City Hall’s second-floor conference room while meetings are underway upstairs. A supply of toys, books and snacks will be available.Mohlenhoff said Wednesday that after talking with GIAC’s deputy director Travis Brooks, she was confident implementation would be smooth. The city set aside $5,000 in the 2019 budget to launch the pilot program, which will pay for staffing and supplies through the end of the year.Mayor Svante Myrick welcomed the initiative as a way to invite more Ithacans with young kids into city government. “I wonder if there’s a program like this anywhere in the country,” Myrick said, adding, “I think there should be.”Cities including Pittsburgh and Bloomington, Indiana have launched similar initiatives, but efforts to welcome working families into the political process by offering child care are not widespread. Devon Magliozzi Council condemns hateCommon Council also unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday condemning violence and hate speech. The resolution, introduced by Alderperson Ducson Nguyen, notes a rise white supremacy and bigotry nationwide and points to FBI data showing an increase in hate crimes against Jewish and Muslim people and institutions.The resolution states, “Common Council will continue to advocate for strong gun safety laws in New York State and the United States; and, be it further resolved that the Common Council condemns acts and statements that are anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, racist, sexist, and of any form of bigotry; and, be it further resolved that Common Council commits to pursuing a policy agenda that affirms civil and human rights, and ensures that those targeted on the basis of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, or immigration status can turn to government without fear of recrimination.”Related: Local experts weigh in on combating a climate of hateNguyen said the immediate impetus for the statement was the March massacre at two New Zealand mosques, in which a white Australian man killed 50 worshippers and issued a white nationalist manifesto.Myrick echoed the need to speak out against acts of hate. “While it might seem so obvious to many of us, white nationalism and white supremacy are gaining speed, they’re gaining traction throughout the United States… things like this can’t go unanswered,” he said.Intercity buses will stay on Green StreetCouncil voted unanimously to extend the pilot program that has intercity buses picking up and dropping off passengers on East Green Street until August 2019. Buses began operating on Green Street in September 2018, after the privately owned West End depot they had long used closed. The Green Street stop is meant as a temporary fix, but Council has yet to come up with a feasible alternative.Related: Intercity buses to stop on Green Street starting at end of SeptemberRelated: OurBus sues City of Ithaca over intercity bus permittingThe pilot renewal came with strings attached for bus operators, which include Greyhound, New York Trailways, Coach USA/Shortline. Bus companies are not allowed to expand their operations while using the Green Street stop, need to notify the city ahead of time about additional routes on student arrival and departure days, and need to “provide accommodations for their passengers” by showing proof of an agreement allowing passengers to use nearby facilities.Several council members acknowledged constituents’ concerns about the downtown bus stop, including traffic, noise and safety issues. At the same time, in lieu of an immediate solution they said the resolution would help mitigate problems while keeping intercity buses running.Featured image: Toys from the Finger Lakes Toy Library (Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice) last_img read more

Notre Dame News: Things to know

first_imgBiden, Boehner receive prestigious Laetare Medal amid outcry The Laetare Medal is considered one of the most prestigious awards for American Catholics. The 2016 medal was jointly awarded to Vice President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner, a gesture by University President Fr. John Jenkins to encourage bipartisan dialogue. The award sparked an outcry among students, alumni and conservative groups, who criticized the decision to award the pro-choice Vice President and the pro-death-penalty Speaker. Both politicians attended the 2016 commencement ceremony and received the medal. Obama speaks to 2009 graduates, 2016 election winner will be invited to 2017 commencement The University invites each newly-elected President of the United States to give the Commencement address the spring after inauguration. In 2009, President Barack Obama accepted the invitation, instigating a nationwide wave of criticism of the decision to invite a politician who was pro-choice and supported stem-cell research. Obama spoke at commencement and addressed the criticisms directly, encouraging people to find commonalities amid moral disagreements. As the 2016 election approaches, the University is again expected to invite whomever is elected. University in national spotlight over sexual assault cases In 2015, CNN released a documentary, “The Hunting Ground,” which examined how colleges and universities mishandle sexual assault cases. Featuring Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, the documentary highlighted multiple cases where the University and the College failed to respond to reports by Saint Mary’s students who accused Notre Dame students of sexual assault. The documentary inspired activism by students, faculty and alumni to urge the College and the University to change their practices regarding sexual assault. University involved in legal battles In 2012, the University sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, seeking an exemption from the Obamacare requirement that employers provide contraceptive access. The suit and its appeals were ultimately unsuccessful. In 2015, ESPN sued the University for access to police records on student athletes accused of crimes. An appellate court sided with ESPN, saying NDSP was a public agency subject to open records laws, but it is unclear which records the network will get and when. As a result of the suit, a bill was introduced in the Indiana state legislature intended to clarify open records laws, but was vetoed by Gov. Mike Pence. First official LGBT student organization formed2013 saw the first meetings of PrismND, Notre Dame’s first official organization for LGBT students. Students had been attempting to start such an organization for decades, and after a months-long review of resources for the LGBT community at Notre Dame, resulting in a pastoral plan, PrismND was approved. Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, who built ND for 50 years, dies in 2015 During Hesburgh’s 30-year presidency, women were admitted to the University and laypeople to the board of trustees, and Notre Dame’s national profile rose. The Holy Cross priest, who was photographed arm-in-arm with Martin Luther King, Jr. and said a Mass in the then-Soviet Union, was a campus institution — students considered it an honor to visit his office on the 14th floor of the library named after him. When he died at 97, U.S. presidents and Nobel Prize winners offered condolences. He left a legacy of civil rights activism and academic freedom in Catholic education, as well as a premier Catholic research university.  Football team goes to 2013 national championship  After years of mediocre football at Notre Dame Stadium, the storyline changed dramatically in 2012, when the Irish posted a perfect regular season en route to a BCS National Championship Game loss to Alabama. A lights-out defense, led by Heisman Trophy runner-up linebacker Manti Te’o, propelled the Irish to the title game, but Notre Dame failed to mount a challenge in South Florida, falling 42-14 to the Crimson Tide on the season’s biggest stage. University starts new construction projectsThe past several years saw much construction and renovation. Campus Crossroads, a $400-million project that added academic departments and student spaces to the football stadium, began in 2014 and is scheduled to be completed in 2017. In 2015, Hesburgh Library began a renovation which gave several floors a more open plan. Two new dorm buildings, Flaherty and Dunne Halls, were built, as was McCourtney Hall, a research building. Jenkins Hall, which will house the Keough School of Global Affairs, is slated to open in Fall 2017.  New college created for the first time in decadesIn 2014, the University announced the creation of the Keough School of Global Affairs, which will offer academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students, work with Notre Dame’s centers abroad and other internationally-focused institutes and offer a new Masters in Global Affairs. Changes proposed for Notre Dame Core Curriculum Every 10 years, the University reviews its Core Curriculum, the set of courses that every student must take. The process began in 2014, briefly sparking fears that the University theology requirement would be reduced or eliminated. A Core Curriculum committee solicited ideas and feedback from the Notre Dame community and in November 2015 released its recommendations, proposing a revision that would reduce the total number of core courses and require students to take classes in broader categories such as “quantitative analysis” and “aesthetic analysis,” as opposed to math or fine arts. A final report will be presented to University administration this semester. University decides to admit undocumented students In 2013, the University admitted and gave financial aid to undocumented students for the first time, following an admissions policy revision that considered undocumented applicants domestic, not international, students. The University was following guidelines from the Obama administration, which as an executive order had given undocumented people under a certain age the opportunity to defer deportation, opening up the possibility of higher education for many. PE course replaced with Moreau First-Year Experience For decades, Notre Dame required its freshmen to pass a swim test or take swimming lessons, as well as complete a physical education course. For the incoming class of 2019 those requirements were eliminated to some controversy. The replacement was the Moreau First-Year Experience, a one-credit class that addressed aspects of wellness, cultural competence and student life. Tags: Construction, Core Curriculum, football, Fr. Ted, Freshman Orientation 2016, Hesburgh, Keough school, Laetare Medal, lawsuit, Moreau First Year Experience, news, Obama, PrismND, sexual assault, Things to know, undocumented studentslast_img read more

Retail Trading spaces

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