February 12, 2007

City News

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Illness Shuts Down Lansing Schools
Schools in nearby Lansing were closed Friday in attempt to beat a wave of illness tearing through the schools. Thursday, 180 of the 400 students at Lansing Middle School were absent and school officials sent home eight more. Most students and staff have suffered from flu-like symptoms and strep throat. The superintendent canceled after-school activities through today for kindergarten through eighth grade students. Even though school was closed, staff came in Friday to wipe the desks down with disinfectant.

County Legislature Discusses Raising Tobacco Buying Age
County Legislator Nathan Shinagawa ’05 (D-4th Ward) is leading the Health and Human Services Committee’s efforts to draft a local law that would raise the legal age for buying tobacco to 19. Shinagawa said he was inspired to lead the effort after meeting with the teen-led anti-smoking group Reality Check in Tompkins County, which is led by Common Council Member Gayraud Townsend ’05 (D-4th Ward). The effort is in its infancy — other legislators and even anti-tobacco activists expressed concerns that raising the purchasing age would not have an effect on teen smoking.

Water Main Bursts Close Bird Lab
Town of Ithaca water tanks lost more than a million gallons of water Thursday when four water mains broke in Ithaca and Lansing. Officials closed the Cornell Lab of Ornithology because water pressure was insufficient for the fire sprinkler system to operate properly in the event of an emergency. Experts blamed the prohibitively cold weather, but also said that poor water main placement can cause the bursts. When mains are laid over a large rock, the rock can act as a fulcrum as the ground contracts and expands in reaction to the weather.

Ithaca Schools Make Energy, Sustainability a Priority
The Ithaca City School District’s Board of Education passed a resolution Tuesday committing the district to energy efficiency and sustainability. It will emphasize sustainable building design at every available opportunity.
— Compiled by David Wittenberg