Alleged Drug Dealers’ Arrests May Curb Local Trade

The recent arrests of three local men associated with a cocaine-trafficking ring will make a “significant dent” on the drug trade in Tompkins County, District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson told The Ithaca Journal last Tuesday. Curtis Echols of Rochester, said to be the ring’s leader, along with his sons, Curtis McCool and Darrell L. Bailey, have been charged on about 30 counts of drug trafficking.
According to The Journal, Echols allegedly distributed cocaine to both Bailey and McCool, in addition to Kelly Keefe, an Ithaca resident who was arrested on charges of alleged ties to a cocaine ring two weeks ago.

TCAT and Workers’ Union Reach Deal

Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit announced early Friday morning that it had reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers over contracts for its workers. The deal was the result of 17 consecutive hours of negotiations. Though the agreement — which specifies the salaries and benefits of all TCAT drivers and mechanics — still has to be formalized by the United Auto Workers on October 5, workers will continue to work under old contract conditions until the vote.

City of Ithaca Considers Banning Smoking in Many Outdoor Areas

25,500 deaths in New York State every year are attributed smoking, according to the City of Ithaca’s Resolution: Support for Tobacco-Free Zones and Other Voluntary Steps to Reduce Smoking.
Citing this statistic as one reason to support tobacco-free zones, the Ithaca Common Council’s En­vironment and Neighborhood Quality Committee considered legislation in July 2007 for smoke-free outdoor public spaces.
Currently, a subcommittee of the Community and Organ­izational Issues Committee is considering setting smoking restrictions on several public spaces, including playgrounds, city-owned parks, the area within 25 feet of public building entrances and — most recently — the “inner T” of the Commons.

Collegetown Vision Committee Approves Master Plan

The Collegetown Vision Implementation Committee, in its final meeting before an indefinite hiatus, has begun to conclude a master plan that has been a year in the making. Since the moratorium on Collegetown construction went into effect last year to enable consultants to formulate the Collegetown Master Plan, the CVIC — under the direction of Mary Tomlan ’71 (D-3rd Ward) and Svante Myrick ’09 (D-4th Ward) — has been hard at work guiding the planning process.
The result is a master plan that will likely steer the future development of Collegetown. Residents hope that it will improve issues of pedestrian transportation, add mixed-use developments, provide for student parking and open up public spaces.

City of Ithaca Pledges to Overhaul Contaminated Gun Factory Site

On May 30, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced a final resolution for the Ithaca Gun Factory Site, closing a long and precarious chapter in the City of Ithaca’s history. However, many Ithacans feel the future of the site may still be up in the air.
The DEC — in cooperation with Mayor Carolyn Peterson, the City of Ithaca, developers Frost Travis, owner Wally Diehl and a previous pledge by the state — has authored a plan to dissolve the old Ithaca Gun Factory, which has been left stagnating above the rushing waters of Ithaca Falls for the past 125 years.