NYS Fair

John Smith/WAER News

New York Farmers are generally celebrated at the New York State Fair.  But today some of those farmers made a call from the fairgrounds to end tariffs and a trade war they say is hurting them and local economies. 

Johanna Fox-Bossard of Barbland Dairy Farm in Fabius says she’s losing up to  $3000 dollars a day due to tariffs on cheese and would like to see more open markets.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Anyone who goes to the New York State Fair knows there’s no shortage of food, games, rides, shows, music, and other activities.  There’s also no lack of elected officials or candidates seeking office.  Friday was no exception, as senator Kirsten Gillibrand stopped by the wine seminar room in the horticulture building, probably much to the surprise of the other guests.

"Thank you all so much.  Let's have our wine tasting!"

Kevin Fitzpatrick / WAER News

Kids at the state fair Thursday got to imagine themselves as New York’s farmers of tomorrow.   As part of agriculture career day, young scientists performed hands-on experiments on local produce, and then set out on a scavenger hunt to learn about the ways the vital and expansive industry is advancing across the state. 


Scott Willis / WAER News

The New York State Fair is officially underway for its 13-day run, and with it comes a few more changes in amenities and programming to improve the experience for fairgoers.  Spokesperson Dave Bullard says there’s the most obvious addition…

"When people walk out into the center of the fairgrounds, they're going to see something they haven't seen before.  They'er going to see this massive building...90 feet tall at the peak, 440 feet long.  It's a big, big building, and it's really going to be special for our non-fair business going forward."

Gabrielle Caracciolo / WAER News

Attending large events such as the New York State Fair can be a challenge to test one’s memory to navigate through the new midway versus the more familiar areas.  Loretto is reaching out to people on Senior Day to give fairgoers an opportunity to sign-up for memory health assessments with Clarity Clinical Research and to increase community awareness.  Clarity Research Specialist Lisa Sonneborn says efforts to increase education are helping New York’s memory care to stand out.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  Visitors arriving at the new main gate of the state fair Thursday afternoon might have spotted about 20 people holding signs denouncing an executive order issued by Governor Cuomo in June that they say supports Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights.  Ariel Gold is campaign organizer with Code Pink Women for Peace, and happened to get the governor’s ear as he left the fairgrounds.

"I said to the governor you need to rescind your executive order creating a blacklist for those boycotting Israel, and I told him the reasons why we boycott."

Scott Willis / WAER News

Members of a wide-range of labor unions gathered at the state fairgrounds for an annual rally that celebrated their accomplishments…as well as a different kind of support and leadership.  There was a strong showing from  teachers at this year’s rally, ranging from members of the Syracuse Teachers Association to United University Professions.  

  But the keynote speech came from the resident of New York State United Teachers, representing 600,000 members in education, health care, and human services.  Karen McGee took the helm of NYSUT as the first woman president in April 2014.   She made the trip to Syracuse from Harrison in Westchester county, where she’s been an elementary school teacher for 30 years. 

"You seen the bumper stickers on the car.  Union: the folks that brought you the weekend.  You're damn right we brought you the weekend and the 40 hour work week, and fought against exploiting children in the workplace."

McGee says today, they’re fighting for fair wages for the working poor, including the $15 an hour wage for fast food workers.  She says they’re fighting against overtime abuse and wage theft.  The only other person to make remarks at Monday's rally was someone who on the surface might seem like an unlikely supporter of labor.  But Republican Congressmember John Katko heaped plenty of praise on unionized workers past and present, and committed to fix something that has generated much concern among teachers, parents, and children.

  "I'm fighting every day to try and undo the mess that common core has become," he said to a cheering crowd.  "You deserve to teach how you want to teach.  You can't teach a kid in the city of Syracuse the same way you teach them in Fayetteville-Manlius.  It's time they recognize that," he said to more applause and cheers.  "I'm with you, I don't care what party I'm with because I understand labor is the backbone of Central New York."

Katko says he broke with his party to side with labor in his opposition to the Trade Promotion Authority, which congress approved earlier this summer.  He says the TPA amounts to another NAFTA, draining good jobs from upstate in favor of cheaper labor overseas.  

John Smith / WAER News

  Piled-on ice cream scoops, some secret ingredients or two, and then… mix it up with milk.  The New York State Fair marked the 37th annual Dairy Day Monday.  Members of the media competed this morning with their one-of-a-kind milkshakes. Rising Country Music Singer Lindsay James was teamed up with local DJ Skip Clark.

"All around, I actually would drink our shake.  Skip, don't you think you would drink the shake?"

"The shake was awesome," Clark said.

"It tasted great," James concurred.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Nearly 100 Central New Yorkers  crowded into the Empire Room at the state fairgrounds Friday to take the oath of allegiance to become citizens of the United States.   They originate from  40 countries...from Bangladesh and Iran to New Zealand and Vietnam.  19-year-old Michael Malinowski of Syracuse came to the U.S.from Poland when he was 12.  He says he’ll always have a place in his heart for his homeland, but is proud to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather who was with him Friday.  

John Smith, WAER News

Dozens teachers and their supporters wore black t-shirts on the first day of the State Fair on Thursday with a pretty direct message for the Governor… “Call Out Cuomo.” The only problem was, he wasn’t there to see it firsthand. However, he did send Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul who acknowledged the teachers when asked by the media.    

Pages