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WAER News Round up: August 8-12

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Tarryn Mento
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WAER News
A graphic of a notebook paper listing top stories for the week of August 8-12, 2022: Monkeypox reaches Onondaga; new council district maps; protecting Syracuse's weather; equitable rebuild to I-81, and; Spotted Lanternfly.

This week aw the first case of monkeypox confirmed in Onondaga County, but Executive Ryan McMahon downplayed the risk to the public. At the state level, leaders of the Democratic-controlled legislature and the governor are proposing that a court reconvene the state’s redistricting commission. Back in Syracuse, the city's redistricting group presented their final map for approval. Here's a look at these top stories and others from the last week.

1. McMahon says Onondaga's first monkeypox case not a major public threat

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John Smith
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WAER New
Public Health Spokesperson Stacey Fontana and County Executive Ryan McMahon holding a press conference, Aug. 10, 2022.

Health officials are responding to the area's first reported case of monkeypox. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said those potentially exposed have already been identified.

2. Hochul, legislative leaders want to reassemble deadlocked redistricting commission

A court ruled that New York’s Assembly districts will need to be redrawn for elections in 2024.
Vaughn Golden
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WSKG
A court ruled that New York’s Assembly districts will need to be redrawn for elections in 2024.

Leaders of the Democratic-controlled state legislature and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul are proposing that a court reconvene the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission. A court will decide how to redraw state Assembly districts for 2024 elections.

3. Common Council begins to review Syracuse's redrawn district map

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Scott Willis
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WAER News
Syracuse Common Councilors Michael Greene, Jennifer Schultz, and Redistricting Commissioners Molly Lizzio and John Hamblin speak at a public meeting, Aug. 9, 2022.

More than a year’s worth of work by Syracuse’s independent redistricting commission came under scrutiny Tuesday evening as the city's common councilors consider the redrawn map. Redistricting Commissioner Molly Lizzio said she and her 14 fellow commissioners are proud of the final product.

4. Skaneateles Lake water preservation efforts get boost from new state grant

Andy Zepp, Finger Lakes Land Trust executive director, stands on a bridge that stretches over a tributary of Skaneateles Lake.
Tarryn Mento
/
WAER News
Andy Zepp, Finger Lakes Land Trust executive director, stands on a bridge that stretches over a tributary of Skaneateles Lake.

The Finger Lakes Land Trust received a grant from the state and plan on using to regulate private property near the source of Syracuse's drinking water.

5. Inflation Reduction Act is largest climate bill ever but concerns over fossil fuel investment remain

Mountain Wind Power wind turbines in Uinta County, Wyoming.
CGP Grey
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Wikimedia Commons
Mountain Wind Power wind turbines in Uinta County, Wyoming.

Despite the strides that the U.S. Senate-approved bill has made, the fossil fuel payoffs may hinder its progress, and environmentalists express doubt over the bill's promises for the future.

6. With I-81 to come down, Syracuse focuses on an equitable redesign

Interstate 81
Maxwell Mimaroglu
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The intersection of Interstate 81 and East Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY. April 11, 2022.

The city is planning for a Syracuse without the elevated I-81 highway, and the infrastructure update is part of a national movement to redesign cities equitably.

7. More than half of surveyed county governments take too long to respond to records requests

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WAER File Photo
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WXXI News
The New York State capitol building in Albany, New York.

The latest Freedom of Information Law requests sent to county governments by the New York Coalition for Open Government, Inc. revealed only 61% responded within five days, the time period required by the law.

8. New York officials: Spotted Lanternfly in Broome, Tompkins counties

An adult spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) on a wooden rail. Early October. Southeastern Pennsylvania, USA.
Walthery
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Wikimedia Commons
An adult spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) on a wooden rail. Early October. Southeastern Pennsylvania, USA.

New York state has different strategies when it comes to combatting the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive species from Asia first found in Pennsylvania in 2014. For downstate residents, particularly in the New York City Area, people are urged to kill the pest if they see one.