Welcome to the quickest way to learn the week’s most important local news.
1 – Local groups monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms
Taughannock closed for weekend due to suspected Harmful Algal Bloom — Harmful algal blooms have become a concern again for Cayuga Lake. Though there have been no confirmed toxic blooms in the southern part of the lake yet, there are a number of suspicious blooms.
HABs are a bacteria that is usually visually identifiable. It can look like blue or green paint on the water. People are advised to steer clear of the toxic bacteria, which is harmful to people and pets.
For more information on HABs and a map that gives live updates on testing, visit CSI’s Harmful Algal Bloom information page.
2 – Have extra produce? Drop it off at Neighborhood Food Hubs
Have extra produce? Donate it at local Neighborhood Food Hubs — Gardeners and Tompkins County residents that have a surplus of produce can drop off extra produce at Neighborhood Food Hubs. The hubs will be stationed across Tompkins County for local residents to drop off extra vegetables, fruit and eggs. The excess food that may have gone in the compost bin will instead turn into meals for people in need.
The Neighborhood Food Hubs are coordinated by the Friendship Donations Network, a local food rescue organization that provides food donations to community organizations, free meal programs, food pantries and other distribution centers.
For more details about the program and a schedule, visit friendshipdonations.org/hubs.
3 – An update on Downtown Ithaca construction
Gallery: Downtown Ithaca’s Summer of Cranes — It’s not a typical sight in an Upstate New York city, let alone a smaller one that has its share of contentious development debates and stern opposition. Yet, they stand tall against the summer breezes; the construction cranes that dot Downtown Ithaca, along with a bevy of smaller projects as reinvestment continues in Ithaca’s urban core.
Here is an update on projects going on around Downtown Ithaca. View the gallery here.
4 – Backyard chickens once again up for debate
Backyard chickens debate clucks again at city hall — The chicken ordinance has flocked back to City Hall’s chambers, and it has city councilors clucking. The previous law was actually a two-year pilot project, and it technically expired in May though the city hasn’t turned away interested chicken owners. The city has decided that, excluding the occasional email of chickens on the loose on the Fall Creek listserve, the community benefits have been generally positive, and is moving to make the chicken law permanent which would allow for a maximum of four hens per 3,000 square feet of space.
According to Ithaca City Clerk Julie Holcomb, 13 permits have been issued. However, plenty of people have been getting chickens without getting a permit, though the city has only had complaint filed during the two-year pilot, and has never issued a fine for illegal chicken occupancy. “The police don’t want to be the chicken police, they have other things to do.”
5 – New flight destinations coming to Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport
American Airlines to offer new flights from Ithaca to Charlotte — American Airlines announced Thursday that direct flights will now be offered from the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport to the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport beginning in December.
The service is scheduled to begin Saturday, Dec. 22 and will run one flight per week every Saturday. The flight is expected to depart Ithaca at 11:42 a.m. and arrive in Charlotte by 1:47 p.m.
6 – Magic will return to Ithaca in October
‘Magic will come to Ithaca in October’: Ithaca’s Wizarding Weekend will mix magic, science and fantasy — Though Warner Bros. has been cracking down on local Harry Potter fan festivals around the country, it is not putting a damper Ithaca’s Wizarding Weekend. Instead, festival director Darlynne Overbaugh said this year’s celebration of magic, science and fantasy will be bigger than ever.
Managing Editor Kelsey O’Connor spoke with Overbaugh to find out how the festival, which will go from Oct. 26 to 28, is growing this year.
7 — Construction in Collegetown will lead to detours for drivers and TCAT routes
College Avenue construction will detour drivers and TCAT routes — Construction on the 100 block of College Avenue beginning Monday will cause detours for travelers. The project to install new water and sewer lines will begin at 7:30 a.m. Monday at 118 College Ave. between Bool and Mitchell streets. Work is expected to continue until 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The excavation to install new water service will take place across both lanes of College Avenue, so the 100 block will be closed to through traffic during work hours. There will be local access only from either end of the street at the Dryden or Mitchell street intersections.
There will be detour signs posted and drivers should use an alternative route, such as Eddy or Mitchell streets. For more information, visit the city’s webpage.
8 — GrassRoots Festival returns this weekend
VIDEO: GrassRoots Festival returns with packed lineup of music and activities — The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance is returning this week for its 27th year. The four-day festival brings music from around the world to Trumansburg.
This year, the festival will take place from July 19 to July 22 and feature more than 70 bands, from local artists to world-renowned acts. There are also workshops, kids activities and many local vendors. Music and performances take place on four stages, with Ithaca Underground once again curating the local music showcase in the cabaret tent.
For more information about GrassRoots, including the schedule, full lineup of bands and other activities, visit www.grassrootsfest.org.
9 — How cows are helping power Ithaca
Waste to Watts: How cows help power Ithaca — Cornell University is not letting cow waste, well, go to waste by converting it into clean bedding for its dairy cows and a power source for the City of Ithaca.
At the Cornell Teaching Dairy Barn, as part of the work of keeping the 200 dairy cows fed, cared for and milked, a worker in a Bobcat scraped muck from the stalls into the “manure reception pit,” which holds a sloppy mixture of sand and manure.
Before long, the sand-manure mixture in the pit is processed and separated. More than 95 percent of the sand is reused for bedding and the separated liquid manure is transported to the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility, where it is used for power.
10 — Looking ahead: Stormy weather
Weather: A dark and stormy night expected — If you’re going to be out tonight or tomorrow morning, bring the umbrella and be on the lookout for flooded streets – the cold front that will end our latest summer broiler will tap into the deep layer of moisture and create a potential flash flooding threat.