TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The Newfield Central School district boy’s basketball team was honored at the May 17 Tompkins County Legislature meeting after its triumph at the Class C State Championships in March.

Tompkins County Legislature Chair Shawna Black gave the proclamation, addressing the team in attendance and saying, “The Newfield and Tompkins County community recognizes the teamwork, resiliency and commitment demonstrated in the 2021–22 season by the players, coaches and families in these challenging times. On behalf of all Tompkins County legislators, we’d like to formally recognize the Newfield Central High School varsity boys basketball team for their outstanding dedication and achievements.”

Coach Michael Nembhard thanked the legislature for its recognition and support. “I’m just so grateful for these guys and for the program, for the support of the community and parents and I’m still in the clouds right now,” he said.

Mental health proclamation

Black read the proclamation recognizing that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and wellbeing, and that research shows that specific tools can be utilized to better handle mental health challenges and conditions. “With early and effective treatment, those individuals with mental health conditions can recover and lead full productive lives.”

“We call upon the citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses and schools in Tompkins County, to recommit our community to increasing awareness and understanding of mental health the steps our citizens can take to protect their mental health and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental health conditions,” she said before proclaiming May 2022 as Mental Health Awareness Month in Tompkins County.

Frank Kruppa accepted the proclamation and thanked the legislature, saying that the need for Mental Health Awareness Month is ever present. “We’re asking everyone to recommit themselves to helping us bring to bear what’s necessary so folks can live their best life, especially those dealing with mental health issues,” he said.

Public comment

Diane Cohen attended the meeting to announce the first-ever New York State Reuse Summit, which will take place in Tompkins County on June 16, 2022, to discuss material management systems that create living wage jobs and benefit the local economies. The summit is organized by Center for Sustainable Community Solutions at Syracuse University and has support from Finger Lakes Reuse and Circularity, Reuse and Zero Waste Development (CR0WD), an active group in Tompkins County.

Other resolutions and reports

  • A budget adjustment was discussed, amended and approved unanimously for the Perinatal and Infant Community Health Collaborative grant.
  • Another resolution was passed to establish regulations and fees for rental car companies located at the Ithaca International Airport.
  • Dan Klein reported on the Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee meeting that occurred on May 16 and The Ithaca Designated Encampment Site (TIDES) program and homeless assessment that were the topics of discussion. Construction for the TIDES program is estimated to cost $1.5 million plus $1 million annually for operations, and Klein said that it’s not yet clear who would be footing the bill, but that Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca will need to determine how the costs will be handled.

Zoë Freer-Hessler is the digital editor/reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Joining in November 2021, she has covered a wide range of topics related to local news. She can be reached at,...