February 26, 2007

City News

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Dept. of Environmental Conservation Awards Tompkins County $900,000
Tompkins County will receive nearly $900,000 in grants for water quality improvement projects from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, according to the Ithaca Journal.

Six projects — overseen by the Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District and Tompkins County Planning Department — will be funded by the money.

The money will be allocated to a Stormwater Management Program, will help implement a comprehensive, county-wide stream buffer program, will help control erosion and improve aquatic habitats in Enfield Creek, and will be used to construct rock structures that will reduce erosion in Six Mile Creek, among other projects.

New Entrance for Commons Discussed in Report
The Commons’ Entrances Design Report, an overview of the Common’s entrances and other suggested changes, was accepted by a vote by the City of Ithaca Common Council. The report looks at possible additions to the planned changes to the clock towers at the entrances to the Commons, according to an article in the Ithaca Times.

Ideas for conceptual schemes include arches and retrofitting the current towers. In a survey in the report, many respondents favored the possibility of a more neutral or a more 19th-century design. The conclusion of the report states that the committee has “no preferences for either a new design for the three entrances or the retrofit option.”

The committee made a note of the fact that the current clock mechanisms are very old and have out-of-date technology. The report also said that the current clocks use 1970s mechanical parts, which become more rare and more expensive each year.

Gay-friendly Minister Appointed at First Baptist Church in Ithaca
Richard Rose was recently named a minister at the First Baptist Church of Ithaca, which is a member of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists.

Rose assumed his role on Feb. 4.

About 10 or 12 members of First Baptist identify as transgender, along with heterosexuals, gays, lesbians and bisexuals, Rose said in an Ithaca Journal article.

Welcoming and Affirming Baptist churches are rare in New York state: according to Rose, only about five or six out of 400 Baptists churches in New York are identified as such.