Food Ethics | A Jam in March

Like everyone else right now, I’ve been partially stuck inside practicing social distancing as part of our society’s duty to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. I say “partially” because luckily one can also socially distance while spending time outdoors, and Ithaca is the perfect place. After all, why not use this opportunity to explore the beautiful area surrounding Cornell and hike some new trails? On quite a few trails during my recent hikes in various nature preserves, I’ve noticed square or rectangular indentations in the ground nearby, sometimes lined with stone. Over a hundred years ago, these earthen depressions were the cellars of houses that are now long gone.

Costa Lambrou ’16, whose family runs Lambrou Real Estate and rents apartments to around 400 Cornell students, said a rent freeze would have to be accompanied by help for landlords.

Calls for Ithaca Rent Freeze Ramp Up; Mayor Supportive but Calls on Federal Government to Act

This post has been updated. 

With the COVID-19 outbreak requiring most New York State residents to stay home and stripping thousands of workers of their jobs, activists are calling for a rent freeze to protect Ithacans who have lost income. The Ithaca Tenants Union and a group of local activists is pressuring Ithaca’s mayor and Common Council members ahead of Wednesday’s council meeting. An online petition circulated by the ITU has over 4,300 signatures as of Monday afternoon. “With massive job losses already beginning now, how can we be expected to retroactively pay our rent when this crisis is over?” reads the petition, which demands Ithaca rents be “frozen by city legislative action immediately until the COVID-19 crisis passes.”

Genevieve Rand, a local organizer and a leader of the local push for a rent freeze, told The Sun that the issue is important to thousands of Ithacans, many of whom may have lost their income in the wake of COVID-19 closures. The campaign wrote a letter to Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 on March 22, calling on him to institute a rent freeze through the powers of the Common Council.


Countryside Amish Market

Teddy Matel ‘22 and I coasted down Cornell’s hills into Ithaca, the sun warming our backs and the wind chilling our faces. When we reached town, Teddy led us to Black Diamond Trail, an 8.4 mile stretch of stone dust, converted from an old railroad bed, that passes through a mix of woodlands and fields along the western shore of Cayuga Lake. The trail ended at Taughannock Falls State Park, a 750-acre park northwest of Ithaca near Trumansburg, and we jetted onto Route 96, the adjacent road. By this time, the sun was at its peak in the sky. After five miles down the shoulder of  Route 96, Teddy and I darted left, and we quickly found ourselves biking on a pebble road.