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Mark's Journal
mhaithaca
It looks like the shutdown won't last much longer, but I'm glad to see New York keeping at least THESE jobs and this major tourism/economic engine operating today. I admit I have mixed feelings about using state funds to operate a "non-essential" federal facility when other useful operations are shuttered, but there's no question it pays for itself and then some.

Read my article: Despite government shutdown, Statue of Liberty open today with New York’s help
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mhaithaca
Spoiler alert: Probably.

Dr. Shirley Collado, new president of Ithaca College, has a sexual assault conviction in her past. It's not clear who brought this to the attention of student journalists at The Ithacan, but they wrote it up earlier this week as though it were news.

Dr. Shirley ColladoThe thing is, it's "old news," since a) she fully discussed the incident in her past (in which she pleaded nolo contendere, or no contest, to the charge, and did not admit guilt) during the presidential search process, and b) the topic was brought up when she was introduced to the campus community last winter.

In other words, we all knew about this. Or, the info was there for those who needed it, even if many hadn't noticed.

But some of the reaction asks the rhetorical question, "Would this be handled differently if this were a white male executive instead of a woman of color?" In an ideal world, of course not, but especially in the current climate, it wouldn't surprise me if the Ithaca College board of trustees would've been a lot more reticent to issue their strong statement of support.

Are some people reacting the other way, giving her less of a benefit of the doubt because she's a woman, or because she's of Latina heritage? I think that's some of the reaction to the board support, in fact.

My take on the story is that there's no "there" there. Had she tried to hide this part of her past, or brushed it off entirely as lies, my reaction would be very different. But during the search, she talked about it, explained it, and let the search committee decide how to handle it. They were satisfied. We should be, too.
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mhaithaca
The last time the Buffalo Bills were in the playoffs, there was no Facebook. There was no Twitter. There wasn't even LiveJournal. We all sat on our couches watching our 13-inch Zeniths.

OK, I guess the Bills made the playoffs in the 1999 season, so they were in the playoffs in early 2000, and LiveJournal launched in early 1999. But I wasn't using it yet. Were you?

Let's Go Buffalo!
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mhaithaca
My boss is leaving on vacation starting tomorrow, and told us we should feel free to leave early on Friday... and it was up to us to define early. I said, "Wednesday?"

Meantime, Odd-Even Parking is suspended in Ithaca. Again. For now.
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mhaithaca
It's good to treat your kids equally, but I've got a friend on Facebook who's admonishing her friends for not liking photos of her twins in equal proportion. She makes it sound as though one of the twins isn't as cute, and the other one gets more likes when they're in separate photos.

Sounds to me like she should worry less about the number of likes and more about not giving her kids a complex by fixating on this!
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mhaithaca
Last year, the Ithaca Police Department made a young man with cancer an honorary police officer, and this morning, I was privileged to be there when Officer Colin became Ithaca's youngest police sergeant in a great promotion ceremony.

Colin is really inspiring, and has always wanted to be a police officer so he can help people. He says all of us should have one job: "Make the world a better place."

He's got another big surgery coming up on Friday -- what he calls a "major appointment" as opposed to the less traumatic visits to hospitals and oncologists for checkups and followups. A rockstar brain surgeon, or what Colin's dad Ian calls one of the best of the Jedi Council, as if he had learned from Obi Wan, will be going into Colin's skull to remove more tumor, which has recently been growing again. It's Colin's seventh craniotomy. Ugh.

There's not much prospect for Colin to be cured, but giving him more time, and better quality of life for now, is worth the effort. The growing tumor has really been affecting his brain, which affects his ability to move and, even more frustrating for him, it seems, to talk. We're hoping he'll be a little better able to express himself after the surgery.
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mhaithaca
I'm pretty lucky that I have friends who are happy to take care of my dogs so I can get out of town once in a while! Unless everything falls apart, I should be able to get to my cousins' house for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.

If I weren't able to do that, there are a lot of good options for Thanksgiving in Ithaca, a couple of them even free.
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mhaithaca
I was about four years into my WVBR radio career, and had a pretty good idea of what the radio station could do, when Ithaca Police Department investigator Michael Padula died in the line of duty. It was also a year after I'd helped Mayor Alan Cohen get elected, and once the funeral had been scheduled, I immediately reached out to him to see if there was a way we could help broadcast it to those who couldn't attend.

We used to do a lot of remote broadcasts, and I was involved with quite a few, but I think this was the most important. Mayor Cohen and (acting?) Chief Barnes helped make the arrangements, and I set up outside St. Catherine of Siena with the equipment to broadcast the funeral on the radio. Hundreds of law enforcement officers and other emergency responders from all over the state and beyond were there, as was Governor George Pataki.

I was able to make it to the ceremony when the Badge of Honor Association came to dedicate a memorial to Investigator Padula at the site of his death, three years ago, but couldn't be at today's wreath laying ceremony at Ithaca's Calvary Cemetery.

A sad footnote to the story is that Inv. Padula's son Michael just died of cancer this summer.
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mhaithaca
I haven't talked about it a lot, but I've been casually driving for Lyft for about a month, partly to inform the long article I've been writing about ridesharing services reaching Ithaca.

Mostly, it's been fine. Nothing too weird. The most noteworthy ride was late Saturday night, after I'd taken lots of music photos downtown and turned the Lyft Driver app on, on a whim, as I headed back to my car.

Read more...Collapse )

I'm probably going to be doing LESS driving for Lyft in my new car, since I don't want to use up limited lease miles. (I had a LOT of miles left on the lease that just ended.) But there's definitely demand.

If you want to try driving for Lyft, in Ithaca or elsewhere, use my first link and we'll both get bonuses up to $200 depending on how much you drive!

If you want to try riding, use the second link for a $10 credit on your first ride, and I'll get a $10 bonus.

DRIVE for Lyft: http://www.lyft.com/drivers/MARK31636
RIDE with Lyft: http://www.lyft.com/i/MARK31636
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mhaithaca
Those handheld chip credit card readers that servers bring to your table or bartenders or baristas hand you across the counter in Europe almost all now support Apple Pay, and nearly all of these people had NO IDEA it would work when I waved my phone at it. The ones in the hotel cafe in Copenhagen were ASTONISHED, and thought it was the COOLEST THING EVER.
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