Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gas Prices Keep Rising in Syracuse and Central New York

Gas prices are continuing to climb towards three dollars a gallon in the Syracuse and Central New York area. A gallon of gas currently costs around an average of $2.92 for regular, which is an eight cents increase from February.

While gas prices are higher than they were even a few months ago, Triple A's Diana Dibble says they won't rise above three dollars a gallon.

"We may see some continued upward pressure, but we are not anticipating any dramatic price increases barring anything unforeseen," says Dibble.

The worst gas prices were two years ago, when a gallon of gas cost around four dollars. Dibble says they won't be reaching those heights in the near future.

April is usually a popular vacation or travel time with Easter weekend coming up and many students having their spring break. Dibble says most people will still drive to their vacation destinations despite the rise in gas prices.

Drumlins Golf Pro Expects Big Turnout this Weekend

It was hardly ideal golfing weather today at Drumlins Golf Course. The first tee looked more like Onondaga Lake than a golf course.

“It’s soaked. We’re not running any carts today,” said club pro Sean Dadey from behind his desk at the empty pro shop.

You could probably count how many people were on the course today on one hand. But with temperatures expected to be in the upper 70s later this week, Dadey insists Drumlins won’t be quiet for long.

“This will definitely be our first big golf weekend,” the golf pro said. “We expect the West Golf Course to be very crowded starting mid-morning right through.”

Dadey says the public course should draw around 250 golfers on both Friday and Saturday and another 100 or so for Easter Sunday. He’s expecting the student presence to be particularly strong this weekend.

“St. Patrick’s Day Weekend, we had a lot of members on the course but the students were away on Spring Break so we didn’t have a lot of the students at that time. Based on [this weekend’s] forecast we expect student play to be up.”

Dadey recommended golfers get to the course early if they want to avoid a long wait.

“Come Friday and Saturday afternoon I’d expect a half an hour wait on the first tee,” he said.

CNY Red Cross Ready to Help Flooded New England

After three days of record-breaking rains, floods forced many New Englanders to evacuate their homes (above, from Rhode Island experienced its worst flooding in more than a century, prompting President Obama to issue an emergency declaration for the state.

Even with many displaced people in New England, the Red Cross has not yet asked for assistance from Central New York, Director of Public Support for the American Red Cross of Central New York Richard Blansett said. However, the chapter, which consists of Onondaga and Oswego counties, is prepared to help if needed.

"We have several hundred cots in storage and hundreds of blankets, should those be needed, should they ask for those," Blansett said.

The Central New York chapter has volunteers registered with the Disaster Services Human Resources Program who are ready to deploy to disaster areas to give aid, Blansett said.

Building Owner Still Confused by Demolition Decision

The owner of the building that partially collapsed in February watched today, as the last part of the building was being demolished. Anthony Tartaro says he is at the 900 block of North State Street every day to take pictures and video of the demolition. Ritter and Paratore Contracting, Inc. continued the demolition today.

“I have video of it all coming down and if you were to watch it, you would realize that this building wasn’t going to fall down,” Tartaro said. “They’ve been here another 5 or 6 days longer than they thought they were going to be here because that building was hard to take down. They had to wreck it down. That building wasn’t going anywhere.”

Tartaro says he spoke to engineers about the building’s stability, who said the 2-story part of the building was stable enough to stay and the fourth story and the back of the building were the only threats to Interstate 81 North.

The city and the state took away 35 years of hard work not only from him, but also from his 16-year-old daughter.

“They’ve taken away my daughter’s future,” he said. “It would have supported her all of her life.”

Tartaro says he thinks the city just wanted the property.

“I don’t know why they tore everything down. I think they wanted the land.”

Tartaro spoke with sadness, saying he didn’t have any say in the demolition decision and the cost is unnecessary.

“It’s a huge waste of money to the State of New York and the City of Syracuse,” he said.

Doc's Little Gem Diner Closing

Today is the last day Doc's Little Gem Diner will be in business. The diner's owner, Francis "Doc" Good, announced that he will be closing the restaurant after owning it for 12 and a half years. Good says that he needed to build onto the diner, but can not afford to do so.

"I need to put on additional space to handle more people, and nobody is willing to spend any time or money with me to make that happen," said Good.

Several of the restaurant's regulars went to Doc's today to get one last meal before the diner shuts its doors for good tonight at ten o'clock. During the lunch hour, a seat was nearly impossible to find. One of the regulars, Jerry Wichert, says he has been going to the diner since he was a child, and will be sad to see it close.

"I hate to see Doc go," said Wichert. "He's been a good guy, great guy."

Another one of the restaurant's regulars, Frank Madden, says that he goes to Doc's almost every day, and does not see why

"It's just a darn shame it's closing," said Madden. "Doesn't seem to be any real reason for it to do that either. I know the economy isn't great, but business isn't that bad around here either."

Once the doors close tonight, Good says he and his 16 employees will have a small party to commemorate the diner.

"Tonight we're going to bring out the ashtrays and smoke," said Good. "Once we close the doors at 10 o'clock, I can do anything I want so I'm going to bring out the ashtrays. And maybe a little kickapoo joy juice. We'll have a good time."

Team A Newscast 3/31

For my first time producing, I think today's newscast went really well. I expected there to be a lot of stress, beginning with the producer's meeting. I was worried because Allie didn't have a story idea cleared by the news director.

But, he turned out to be a kind man and sent her to State St. where she checked on the state of the demolished building by I-81. Allie spoke with the building's owner and received some pretty interesting sound bites from him. Suprisingly, this guy has been great to our class -- a sound bite machine.

Allie's situation was my first scare of the day, the second came when Professor Nicholson told me Erika had to report on a story in person. REPORTERS AREN'T ALLOWED TO DO PHONERS. That was my lesson of the day.

So I needed to find Erika a ride, which definitely proved to be a problem. We eventually got her out to Onondaga Lake, where she picked up some natural sound and a few pictures of what's going on out there as opposed to just a phone interview with someone from the DEC. Erika got back pretty late -- 3:30 which made me kind of nervous -- but she finished everything in 20 minutes.

As for my third reporter Jesse, he finished his interview early in the morning, which made my life a lot less stressful. He did a very interesting story on the weather and golf this weekend. He was done 45 minutes early and that definitely help calm me down. Jesse also did a great job voicing his piece this week.

My anchor Jess and I worked well together but we definitely could have communicated better. She did a great job voicing the newscast, considering she only read the script through once. But, we definitely struggled finding Jess something to do for her anc./act.

We had a great idea to call a local meteorologist to talk about the weather, but it didn't end up working out. Jess also tried to do a story about the delayed budget, but couldn't get one of the state senators on the phone. So she finally ended up using some of Suntup's sound and doing a story on rising gas prices. Jess also did a decent job with the timing of the newscast, only getting cut off at the very last second when she was wrapping up.

The newscast definitely went well, but I'd only give it a B+. The writing could have definitely been tighter, but we did a great job juggling three reporters, and fitting them all into the newscast. I only had two copy stories in the first part of the newscast, which I found pretty surprising. Overall, it was definitely a learning experience, and it was actually fun.

Syracuse Heads to Louisville for Volleyball National Championships

The Syracuse Men's Volleyball Club is in Louisville, Kentucky today getting ready for the USA Volleyball National Championships tomorrow. The team practiced at 4:45 today. Syracuse scrimmaged against Cortland.

"I'd say practice went well, it was a great opportunity to test the Sport Court out, and beyond the normal practice, we also got a chance to scrimmage which gave us an even better workout than usual" Starting Outside Hitter Cayden Feifer said after practice today.

Tomorrow Syracuse starts tomorrow at 8 AM when they play Western Michigan. The other teams they'll play tomorrow are Santa Clara, West Virginia, and number one seed Iowa State.
Syracuse is the number two seed in the pool and the number 12 seed overall.

Hydroseed to Brighten Onondaga Lake Shore

If you're driving along Interstate 690 West, you may see a new addition to the landscape. Rows of manmade mounds line the shore of Onondaga Lake.

As Honeywell International moves into its third stage of the Onondaga Lake cleanup project, construction workers are building a barrier wall to keep contaminated ground water out of the lake. In order to make this wall, they have had to remove soil and transport it to the shore. The result is a line of large, brown mounds.
To make these mounds more aesthetic, construction workers have sprayed them with hydroseed, a mixture of seed and fertilizer.
The Syracuse region of the Department of Environmental Conservation says some people have been wondering whether these mounds have dangerous chemicals. Syracuse Regional Director of Environmental Conservation Ken Lynch says the mounds are safe.

"Prior to any work starting, we required Honeywell to establish an air monitoring program," he said. "None of that monitoring has indicated any levels of concern as far as public health goes."

Lynch says with spring underway, it shouldn't be long before vegetation will begin sprouting on top of the mounds and give drivers something a little brighter to look at.

Nanodays at the MOST aims to raise nanoscience awareness

While there were not many people at the MOST today for the NanoDays exhibit, organizer Betty Jones told those who stopped by her information booth why she thinks nanoscience is so important.

Jones describes nanoscience as the study of molecules on the atomic level and says engineers use these nanomaterials to make everything from ink to car bumpers.

Jones says nanoscience technology is expanding much faster than the government is putting regulations on it, which could be hazardous to our health.

"Nano is beginning to enter our ground water streams and our waste water streams and do we know if it's safe or not? No we don't, in fact, we are beginning to get indications that it is not safe," Jones said.

Nanomaterials can also be released into the air, and Jones says they get into the lungs and scar them just like asbestos does.

Jones says she encourages everyone to visit the MOST and learn about nanoscience and write to their local representatives about why they think nanoscience needs to be regulated".

NanoDays runs through Saturday and is free with the cost of museum admission.

Seniors in Fayetteville Reminisce on Village's Past

The Fayetteville Senior Center was founded in 1980, but today it went back in time way beyond then. Village Historian Barbara Rivette presented 'Just Yesterday' at the senior facility today, during which many audience members shared memories of the Fayetteville of the past.

One year in particular that came up frequently was 1969. "In some ways, 1969 was unusual because of the phone disruption. The other things that happened were part a continuing pattern where there are changes," Rivette said.

The phone disruption she refers to occurred in December 1969 when the Fayetteville Phone Station went on fire and burned down. During the slide show presentation, Rivette told how the village was without any sort of phone communication for about 24 hours until three manual switch boards were shipped from Michigan and retired switch board operators were brought in to work them again in a trailer. Eventually, high school kids and others were trained to operate them, asking those making phone calls for the phone numbers they were trying to dial.

Rivette's presentation focused on aspects of Fayetteville that everyone in some way or another can relate to. "It was mostly about things that they can see every day, places that they go by every day."

At one point, she mentioned Erie Canal State Park, which she says is the most used park in the state park system despite it being closed in the Governor's proposed budget plan. She declined to comment any further on the issue.

Team C Newscast 3/31

Today's Team C newscast went smoothly. Although some of our stories did not sound too great as story pitches, Emily and Natalie succeeded in producing interesting stories.

Our news stories worked well together. We started with the building being torn down, then went on to Emily's wrap about changes in Feyetteville, followed by stories about gas prices increasing and Obama's new oil drilling plan.

Our timing was really good for most of the newscast. We were exactly on time until three or so minutes in, when Natalie's in studio wrap took longer than expected. We came back from break with 35 seconds left and read the short weather and medium closing. We had about 4 or 5 seconds left at the end, so David could have read a medium weather.

David's pace throughout the newscast was really good and I thought he did very well, even with saying "signing off." I wrote most of the stories but Emily, Natalie and David were extremelly helpful with writing and editing stories for the news show.

I had one mistake in a story. I misunderstood Aaron about how long the Little Gem Diner was open vs. how long the current owner has owned the diner.

David and Natalie arrived in the classroom at 12:45 or shortly after and began working on their stories. Emily arrived slightly later after attending the speech. Both reporters spent most of the time working on their pieces and David was having some difficulties reaching someone on the phone. David wrote his intro, weather, and closing, but since he spent most of the day trying to finda phoner, I tried to write many of the stories myself, which led to very sloppy writing.

Other than the one mistake, I think my first time producing went smoothly.

Team B Newscast 3-31

I am very pleased with how the newscast turned out today. With Jake in Kentucky, I had to figure out how we were going to work him into the newscast over the phone. He called in a few minutes before the show and succesfully started his report when Ivory cued him. The most nerve-wracking part of the show went smoothly.

The timing of everything went well. We were on time up until Jake's report. Jake went a little bit over so I had to cut the "New Flights" story. We went straight to the commercial tease from Jake's report.

Coming back from break, we had 45 seconds for our kicker, weather, and close. I told Ivory to read the medium length weather, but since we had runoff time in the end she probably could have read the long version in retrospect.

Aaron's package sounded good and was timed appropriately. He got a few good sound bites from both the owner and a regular customer.

I wrote most of the stories and Aaron helped out with the weather since Ivory was having a little trouble getting a phoner. She finally got someone for her fishing story so it ended up working out in the end.

Ivory was very smooth with her delivery and emphasized all of the right words. Overall I am very pleased with how the newscast went.

Kosher Meals on Wheels is Busy for Passover

There is a whole separate room at the Syracuse Jewish Family Service for products they will serve during the week of Passover.

"Matzah is served with every single meal which is not a normal thing," the Director of Dining Services, Cindy Blanchard, said.

The meals are served with the Kosher Meals on Wheels Program. This program takes place at Menorah Park year round, serving 20 homes a day. However, during Passover the program serves about 5 more homes a day than usual and Blanchard says the kitchen is much busier during this time.

"All the stuff we use the rest of the year has to be put away and new equiment comes out," Blanchard said. "All different food comes out and everything that we were using prior to that is not used again."

The reason for this is because the kitchen cannot use any bread products during Passover. They use separate dishes, silverware and pots and pans that are only used during this time of the year.

Although some volunteers and workers had off today for Passover, about a dozen kitchen staff members were still hard at work.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Syracuse Common Council voting to approve agreement with Air Canada

The Syracuse Common Council and the Hancock International Airport will vote on Monday to authorize a $170,000 marketing and advertising campaign with the City's Air Service Development program. This program will work with AirCanada who has teamed up with Hancock airport to provide direct flights from Syracuse to Toronto. Department of Aviation director Christine Reale says the campaign should begin before the first flight.

"We're not moving towards it, they are starting services here May 17th with direct service to Toronto."

The Syracuse Common Council met today to discuss the decision but the final vote will take place on Monday.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Syracuse Chamber of Commerce gets Text Happy

Basketball fans are coming to Syracuse this weekend to watch the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 at the Carrier Dome. The Syracuse Chamber of Commerce is trying to make sure that all the tourists leave Syracuse with a good impression of the city. Danica Bryant, the Director of Communications, says that they are trying something new to keep all the visitors up to date about what's going on in Syracuse. People can text 'DOME' to a number listed in the Syracuse travel guide. People who text the number receive updates about what's going on in Syracuse.

'Already today we've sent out about ten text messages like, "Good morning, sunny in Syracuse, don't forget your shades.", "there's free open basketball to watch at the Dome", Bryant say "so we're gonna be doing that all weekend long, which I think is unique, and people will remember that, and have a positive spin on Syracuse."

Bryant says that about 100 people have signed up so far, and she hopes that by the end of the weekend thousands of people will sign up for the service.

Team A Newscast: 4:00

This was the first time that I had been the producer for a newscast. Coming into it, I had a pretty good idea of what I was supposed to be doing, but was not necessarily always sure how to go about doing it. I pretty much figured out how to create a run down simply by trial and error and playing around with the ENPS Software. I was a little bit stressed coming into it at first considering that we were the four o'clock newscast which meant I was going to have less time to figure things out than I would have liked. I was glad, however, to have story ideas already from my two reporters the night before that they were going to cover.

Eric had told me that he wanted to do something involving Hillel and Andy Samberg. When he presented his idea to me, I told him that I thought it was a pretty good angle and if it was approved, to go for it. Once it was approved, I was pleased with the approach that he took on the story. I felt that it was timely and relevant considering that Andy Samberg was having a show later that night.

I was a little more nervous about Emily's story since it wasn't a traditional wrap. Emily wanted to do a live story from the home opener for the women's softball team. I liked the story idea, but admittedly was a little uneasy about doing a live wrap since no one in our class had done that to this point. However, I was also excited to be trying something new like this and giving it a try. With Ryan's help, we were able to get Emily on the phone and put her live on the air from the softball field. I thought her story came out good since she was not doing it in studio, although I would have liked less weather details of what it was like that day to be given since we were going to be going into the weather shortly after, but other than that, no complaints.

Coming into the day, I hadn't received any story ideas from Flavia about what her phoner was going to be. During the producer's meeting when we were throwing ideas out for phoners, I thought we had some good ones, and we were able to branch out from some of the ideas given to come up with another phoner idea about the Air Canada flights that will be coming into Syracuse. Flavia got ahold of Christina Reale at Hancock Airport and was able to get a good phone interview.

The timing aspect of this was the toughest part for me. For the most part, our time was pretty much right on up until Emily's piece. Her piece went a little bit over, which is understandable considering she was reporting from the softball field and not looking at the clock like I was, but other than that it went very smooth. We were able to get our kicker read, but did have to go to the short weather and goodbye to finish on time, which I thought Flavia did a good job of adjusting to.

Job Cuts Seem Pretty Ordinary for Maroun

What shocked me most about our newscast today: Common Councilor Nader Maroun seemed pretty unphased by the Syracuse City School District's decision to cut more than 200 jobs and close the Levy K-8 school.

I know he's the chair of the Common Council's education committee, but he didn't show much compassion for the people losing their jobs or the kids changing schools. He's known for awhile that these cuts needed to be made.

The city is losing about five percent of its staff and the Levy K-8 school. It's safe to say the school district wasn't in great shape before these cuts.

What's lost in all of this? The children. Not to sound cliche, but the kids are the ones who suffer the most. An entire school of kids needs to start all over again, at another overcrowded school.

As someone who has switched schools before, I can't even begin to tell you the social pressures that come with changing where you go to school. To think these kids have new teachers, classmates, and an entirely different setting is a scary thought.

I know the Levy school has a lot of kids who couldn't get into the school in their district, but it's still going to be a difficult transition. And Common Councilors like Maroun need to understand that.

It's easy to sit in City Hall for a 20 minute study session. Try switching schools or losing your job. And then you'll have a better understanding of what the people you represent are going through.

Ticket Sales for the Regionals at the Carrier Dome

While Syracuse is battling Butler in its Sweet 16 game at Salt Lake City tomorrow night, the East Regional games are being played at the Dome.

Despite college basketball powerhouses Kentucky and West Virginia being in the region, along with a local team in Cornell, ticket sales are not up to par. As of this afternoon, only around 27,000 tickets have been sold for games this weekend. For the regionals at the Dome in 2005, more than 31,000 tickets were sold.

Sports Information Director Susie Mehringer says SU's Sweet 16 game being at the same time as the games in Syracuse is not helping ticket sales.

"I think its had an effect," says Mehringer. "It's certainly not ideal. It's not what we would have chosen to happen, but we don't have any control over that. We just have to make do with what we have and do the best we can for the four teams we do have here."

Tickets are still on sale for fans that are interested in attending the games. Each person must buy a ticket package, which includes access to both Sweet 16 games tomorrow night and the Elite 8 game Saturday night.

Cornell is making its first ever Sweet 16 appearance, and its campus is only around an hour from Syracuse. Mehringer says she's hoping a lot of Big Red fans decide to come up and buy tickets since the school is not too far from the Dome.

Sheraton Shuttles Transport NCAA Media

Just beyond the revolving door at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel is a bright blue sign that reads "Media Shuttle Loading." And just beyond the sign are two bright blue vans.

"I'm transporting the media to the Carrier Dome," says Sheraton employee Stanley Ames.

As the media hotel for this week's NCAA tournament, Sheraton employees have made special accommodations for the reporters staying there. Every 15 minutes, one of the two vans leaves for the Carrier Dome to help reporters transport their heavy equipment.

"They've been coming in with their computers and cameras, a lot of heavy stuff," says Ames. "I think this is convenient for them."

Sheraton Hotel General Manager David Heymann says it makes sense reporters stay at his hotel since it's the closest one to the Syracuse University campus.

"A lot of times they'll go back and forth to their rooms," Heymann says.

For Ames, this means a lot of driving.

"All this weekend it's going to be hectic, but that's alright." says Ames. "I'm meeting different people from different places so I like that."

Heymann says reporters have booked rooms through Sunday. Ames says the shuttles will continue leaving on fifteen minute intervals during the day until then.

Four Teams, Four Hotels

Four Syracuse hotels are hosting the four teams in the East Division of the NCAA tournament this week and are giving a warm welcome. Three hotels in Carrier Circle are showing their support of the tournament with welcome NCAA banners.

The Holiday Inn lobby is decorated with signs on the walls that read “Welcome Cornell Fans.” General Manager Roger Doty says the 203-room hotel is sold out for Thursday night when Cornell plays number one Kentucky.

“Because we’re a host hotel, we know that we’re going to have more of the (Cornell) fan base staying here,” he said.

Just a parking lot away from the Holiday Inn is the Doubletree hotel where the University of Washington team is staying. With the NCAA banner in front of the building, the March Madness spirit just kept getting bigger inside it. The automatic opening doors to the lobby had paint that reads “Welcome to Syracuse’s Hoop Celebration.”

The Embassy Suites at Carrier Circle has the NCAA banner hanging in the lobby along with West Virginia colors blue and yellow balloons.

The University of Kentucky’s basketball team is staying at the Genesee Grande hotel near the SU campus, but no NCAA banner is visible from the outside.

The host hotels are certainly giving support to their host teams, but although no orange was easily seen around these hotels, the Syracuse support hasn’t disappeared.

“We’re behind Syracuse 100%,” Doty said. “We still support Syracuse. All through the tournament, we’ve had the TVs on, we’ve been watching the games, and we’ve paid attention very closely. There are some die-hard fans that actually work at this hotel.”

New shirts hit Marshall Street

Syracuse University's Marshall Street attracted basketball fans today - students and locals alike. Stores like Shirt World and Manny's released new merchandise today for the Sweet 16 Tournament as well as shirts and hats for the NCAA East Regional Tournament being held in Syracuse.

Therese Nelligan and her daughter Nicole Crowe said they headed to Marshall Street for some pizza, but couldn't resist the Sweet 16 shirts after passing by.

"I am totally happy with my purchase. I've never felt better. It's a beautiful day and I have a Sweet 16 t-shirt," Nelligan said.

While her daughter disagrees, Nelligan swears she is not an impulse buyer and says the $19.99 shirt is worth it and will be a perfect gift for her eighth-grade son, who is celebrating a birthday soon.

Both Manny's and Shirt World say Sweet 16 and East Regional Tournament items won't be the only new merchandise in the stores this week. Both say shirts from the four teams playing in Syracuse for the East Regional Tournament are on the way.

Team D Newscast (4:30)

Today was my first time as a producer for a newscast and at first I wasn't as nervous or stressed as I thought I would be about it. However, when Tuesday night came around and none of my reporters had their stories approved, I started to feel the pressure. By Wednesday morning, only David had his story approved by the news director, but Jake and Simon still didn't have definite ideas. Despite this early setback, I am very happy with the way our newscast came out.

Jake came up with a last minute story during the production meeting. I told him what the best angle to take would be and he came back with the perfect story we needed to fill in our newscast, which centered mostly around the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament being played in the Dome this weekend. The story was about how businesses were being affected because of the teams and fans coming to Syracuse for the games. Jake did a great job live in studio reporting his wrap, too.

David did his wrap on what was happening at the Dome during the day and how ticket sales were for the tournament. He was in contact with me all morning and always gave me a heads up on any changes in the angle he was taking with his story.

Simon did a great job as anchor. He put in great effort with phoners, even though he was not having luck getting in contact with some of the places I told him to call. He eventually got a good interview about the Empire State Games and how they are starting again this summer after being cancelled last year. His pace was good and he rarely got flustered, except maybe one or two times when he fumbled over his words.

The beginning of the newscast was timed very well, only one or two seconds off. I'm not sure at what point exactly, but during one of the wraps time went over a little bit and we went into the break 20 seconds late, but I was not worried. I told Simon to read the kicker, a medium version of the weather and a quick closing. I also told him that if there was less then 15 seconds left when he got to the weather to read a quicker version. That was probably a mistake because the short version of the weather was about 3 seconds long, but Simon did a great job with the longer closing and was prepared to do so.

Even though I didn't have great contact with my team before today, I think we worked very well together while putting together and putting on the newscast today, when it mattered most. Jake and David have both produced newscasts before and helped me whenever I needed it and gave me advice about things they learned from producing. Simon also helped out a lot writing stories for the newscast and helping to edit the stories I wrote.

Team B 4:10 Newscast

I knew producing was going to be a challenge ... and it was. As tough as it was though, I don't think my first stab at producing went too badly and at the end of the day ... I think I actually kind of enjoyed it.
I was somewhat relieved to be a producer this week because I think it's always a little tough being a reporter. Coming up with ideas isn't that hard but sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get people to be cooperative and there's always potential for interview plans to fall through at the last minute, which can be pretty scary.
That false sense of relief went away as soon as I woke up this morning though. My phone was going crazy. Text messages and calls every minute. I quickly realized, I wasn't dealing with one story like I would be if I was a reporter: I was doing four. I knew what Hannah and Erika were doing on Tuesday but I still didn't know what Jess and Merav were doing yet. Merav told me she wanted to do another story on the NCAAs coming to Syracuse. She wanted to take a Kentucky angle which was different from Erika's Sheraton Hotel and Hannah's Shirt World angles but I wondered if three stories on the Sweet 16/Elite 8 would be too many, so that got me a little bit nervous and I started to try and steer Merav towards a different phoner idea. Meanwhile people at Manny's and Shirt World weren't being very cooperative towards Hannah, something neither of us anticipated and that got me a little worried too. To top it off, Jess still wasn't sure what she was doing so she decided that she was going to go to the Common Council meeting. That was fine by me ... but she didn't have a car to get her there. After some pretty hectic phone tag I got Aaron to give Jess a ride. Aaron Ortega to the rescue again.
After the producer's meeting I got a pretty good idea of what copy stories I should write and I got to writing my rundown. I also got to see what the other news-teams were planning on doing for stories and I noticed that the other groups were putting a big emphasis on the NCAA Regionals. After seeing this I told Merav she'd be fine to do the phoner she had originally planned on doing.
I was really impressed by how Jess and Hannah fought through some adversity and ended up putting together some nice stories. I give Jess a lot of credit for pulling it together after receiving a lot of criticism from Professor Nicholson for not getting her Common Council story okayed by him earlier. I think it was a real important lesson for everyone to learn. You're going to get criticized in this business, pretty harshly sometimes. But you can't get down on yourself, you just need to learn from it and keep pushing through.
It was a huge help having Erika and Hannah, who had produced in past weeks, on the team with me to help me with the rundown and anything else I wasn't sure about. They even helped me write floaters when we were running a little short on time. I'm kind of a slow writer and as 4:10 approached I was definitely getting a little stressed so for them to give me a hand like that, I just really appreciated it.
Merav's phoner didn't go as smoothly as we thought it would because the Kentucky people weren't being particularly cooperative but she worked hard and eventually got a nice quote from someone at Hancock Airport. I thought she sounded very professional on the phone. She helped me edit a lot of the stories for the rundown too.
As for the newscast itself, I thought it went surprisingly well. Professor Nicholson's idea to drop the missing body story and keep the tease and the Connecticut Lottery kicker ended up being very good advice and we ended up being just about perfect for time. Merav did a nice job reading. Her speed was just about right and I don't remember her really stumbling over any words.
I'm not sure how great a job I did as a producer this first time but at least it's something I can draw some learning experiences from. I learned from Professor Nicholson that the rundown isn't something you just fill in at the end, you have to use it as a roadmap to guide the newscast.
It was definitely a team effort and definitely a lot of pressure. But you know what? I kind of liked the pressure and having all of that responsibility. I like the rush you get from working on a tight deadline and how satisfying it is when everything comes together at the end. I had a lot of fun today. Great job to everyone. Now ... let's get to the Final Four and do it again next week!

Team C 4:20 Newscast

Today was my first shot at being a producer, and honestly I thought I was going to crash and burn. But, my team and I worked so well together, and I really think our product came out pretty good.

I got in contact with Greg, Ivory, and Allie last night about story ideas, and Allie and Ivory got back to me quickly about their approved stories. Ivory went to the Common Council study session, and Allie went to the four hotels hosting teams for the NCAA East Regionals. Both kept me updated today while they were in the field. Allie and Ivory came back, finished quickly, which helped my stress level a lot. Allie's wrap was pre-recorded and ran a little long (about :45). She cut it down, and re-did her anchor intro to keep us on time. She kept me in the loop about all the changes, and gave Greg the appropriate scripts. It was a huge help to me as I was running around making sure all the stories were written and everyone had the scripts. Ivory did her wrap in studio and did a great job. It ran a little long, but in the end it worked out because we were light on time.

Greg did a fantastic job as anchor, and we worked together swimmingly. He helped in the writing of all the stories, and with the rundown. He initially tried a phoner with someone from WAER in Salt Lake City, but when Ivory came back with sound for two stories we decided to use one as an anchor act. We finished writing early enough for Greg to go through all his scripts, and I think that helped with our timing before the break and Greg with his reading.

We went into the break about 5 seconds over, and I told Greg to read the kicker, the longer version of the weather, and the short goodbye. But, we came out of the weather at 4:25:36 for some reason, and Greg had to do an extended goodbye. He improvised really well under the circumstances and we only had the music playing for about 4 seconds.

All in all, I think we had a fabulous team and put together a really good newscast. I probably should have pulled a floater because we were so light, but it was a learning experience. While reporting and anchoring, all 3 of my newscasts were heavy and we had to pull the kicker so I wasn't really ready for what to do if we needed more content. But, next time, I'll put in the floater. But again, I think this has been the best newscast I've been a part of and I'm looking forward to producing again.

Hancock Airport

Syracuse University is hosting the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament this weekend. Media personel and fans have arrived, and continue to arrive, for tomorrow's Sweet 16 matchups. Hancock Airport Director of Aviation Christina Reale says they have seen an increase in the number of people in the terminal buildings.

"There are more cars in the parking lot, more people waiting in the terminal at the car rental counter," Reale says.

There are no additional flights or charter planes from Washington, Kentucky or West Virginia and Hancock Airport does not have direct flights coming in from those destinations. Reale says spring break vacations could also be a factor in traveler increase at the airport. She says they cannot tell exactly how many people are arriving for the tournament because of spring break travelers and connecting flights.

Comedy Not Samberg's Only Appeal to S-U Students

"Saturday Night Live" cast member Andy Samberg (right, from, a favorite among college students, will be performing Wednesday night at Syracuse University's Goldstein Auditorium.

Samberg's popularity has come from digital shorts like "I'm on a Boat" throughout his five seasons on "SNL", but comedy is not his only appeal.

Samberg's Jewish faith connects him to Syracuse University's large Jewish population of 1,337 students, which is over eight percent of the student body and its second largest religious group.

The school's large Jewish population may have also factored into the student University Union's decision to bring in the Jewish Samberg, Hillel Coordinator of Programming Brian Small said.

"I think that everybody who was Jewish was a little bit extra proud that they were bringing in somebody who that they had an additional connection with, who they could identify with," Small said.

University Union has now brought Jewish comedians to the hill in back to back years, after Lewis Black performed a sold-out show at Goldstein last spring.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Team B: 4:10 Newscast

Being a producer was very different from being an anchor. I found both to be stressful, but the type of stress was very different. I thought our prep was pretty good, but that proved to not be the case. The only story that I originally thought we were going to do was Jessica's. She was one of the reporters, she went to Best Buy for a report on 3-D TVs. Her story was great, but it ran a bit over. That was an issue that I didn't think was going to be a problem, because I thought we were so light that we might actually need a floater, but we actually had to drop the kicker because we didn't have enough time.

Greg was the other reporter. When I went to bed Tuesday night, he was doing a story about Chase bank and something about how banks were changing, I wasn't really sure about the details, but it sounded interesting enough for him to do. Unfortunately, no bank would talk to him. To quote Greg, "Being a student reporter sucks."

Desperate for a story idea, Greg decided to go to the Syracuse Common Council Meeting, but he originally couldn't find a car to get there. Eventually, he found one, and got some great sound. His decision to get sound from two different councillors saved the entire newscast.

Natalie was the only one who's story was up in the air at 12:45. We had a lot of good ideas, but all of them feel though. It was incredibly frustrating. About twenty minutes before the newscasts, three failed ideas later, we decided to use the other councillor that Greg interviewed for Natalie's ACT. We were still under a ridiculous time crunch, because we had twenty minutes to find sound, write the story, and get the scripts out.

On top of that, the only computer that ENPS would allow to edit the rundown and scripts was mine, so we had to work on one story at a time, which made us go even slower.

I had a minor freak out during this period, but it was a planned freak out to light a fire under Natalie so she would hurry up.

When the newscast came, we had our script and sound, I thought we were golden. But of course we weren't. As the newscast continued, we were pretty good on time when Natalie got to an ACT I had written. Much to my horror, the script was not finished. While stressing about everyone else, I had neglected to finish one of my stories. Both Natalie and Ryan did a great job improvising and not making the story look like a complete disaster, but my heart dropped into my stomach, because I was incredibly disappointed with myself for being the chink in the newscast that we had all worked so hard on.

When it was all said and done, I breathed a few times, got some stir fry and thought about the newscast a few times. I actually had enjoyed myself. I think for the first time, I did a fantastic job leading my team. Since I am naturally disorganized, the details aspect of the newscast was not as tight as it needs to be. But I think the next time around, I will get that part, and hope to do a great newscast without any mishaps next time I produce.
before class, informing me of their story ideas. The help from them is what made my job as a producer so much easier.

Syracuse organizations lack volunteers

New York State ranked last in the Corporation of National and Community Service's most recent survey. Only 19% of residents in New York are volunteers. Because of the current economic crisis and the influx of demand for community service organizations, this lack of volunteers can be detrimental.

Jeffrey Banta is the Volunteers Director at the Meals on Wheels of Syracuse. Because of the recent decline in volunteers, Banta has currently been working on programs to recruit new members to volunteer.

"Currently I'm working with local churches, youth groups and families to get the message out," said Banta. "Most families like to volunteer during the holidays or breaks, but we need to more volunteers during regular hours."

Banta says the Syracuse location of Meals on Wheels has about 70 volunteers a week to deliver over 3,000 meals to Syracuse residents. He says he believes even volunteering once a week would make a difference.

"You don't need to come in every day, or even every or day or every week," says Banta. "I think if people have a positive experience the first time, they will come back again."

Big East Tournament Leads to a Increase in Restaurant Business

While the SU men's basketball team is scoring points on the court, the restaurants in downtown Syracuse are cashing in off the court.

All 12 restaurants I spoke to said they expect to have an increase in customers when the Orange is playing in the Big East Tournament.

Dinosaur Barbeque is known for having long waits. Director of Operational Support Lindsay Amorese says she expects the restaurant to have 10 to 15 percent more people when SU is playing a game in the tournament.

While Dinosaur Barbeque has always had large crowds when Syracuse has played in the Big East Tournament, Amorese anticipates more people this year because of the Orange's special regular season.

"I think this year because the team's been doing so well that really kind of lets everyone ride the wave to support them," says Amorese. "I think this year will be bigger than the years previous."

Many restaurants could have more customers during the games, but Amorese thinks her restaurant will be busier at a different time. She told me she expects the most people to stop by after the game to celebrate if Syracuse wins.

Seals Doesn't Want City to Hand Out Blank Check

Common Councilor Matt Rayo says he’s thinking about the problems the closing of I-81 could create for the Carrier Dome during March Madness. But, Common Councilor Thomas Seals’s mind is far from basketball.

He says he is more concerned with putting all his support behind Mayor Stephanie Miner. Miner says the city won’t pay to take the building down or clean up the mess. It is, instead, the state’s responsibility.

"I'm supporting her and her stand in her conversation with the state 100 percent," Seals said at the Common Council study session Wednesday. "We're not signing a blank check for the state".

Rayo and Seals say the negotiations between the city and state are on-going, but their support is fully behind Miner. The Department of Transportation did not return calls about its plans for the building or the clean up.

Team A: 4:00 Newscast

As an anchor for the past two weeks, I thought being producer would be a little more stressful. The preparation started out well, however, and this set a nice tone for the newscast. My team included Alyssa as anchor, and Flavia and David as reporters. All of them responded to my e-mails well before class, informing me of their story ideas. The help from them is what made my job as a producer so much easier.

Constructing the rundown was the hardest part as producer. I had never made a rundown before, but I liked that I had to almost figure it out myself, instead of just been given step-by-step directions. Alyssa helped me a little with deciding which stories should go where and how long each should be. Erika and I also worked together and helped each other out with our rundowns. This reassured me because I didn't feel like I was the only person producing for the first time.

All my teammates wrote their scripts timely and being the first newscast of the day, I felt a little more pressure to get things done on time than the previous weeks.

The actual newscast went really well. Alyssa and David read their scripts very clearly and timely. Going into the break, we were perfectly on time: 4:04:00. Alyssa's pace was excellent and David and Flavia's stories were great too. The only thing I noticed we did wrong, (which Professor Nicholson pointed out to us afterward), was that after the weather, we had time left to do two floaters, but I guess the floaters are supposed to be read before the break. We didn't know that.

I think this was the best newscast I have experienced so far. My teammates and I worked together very well, and I felt that this week wasn't as stressful as the others.

I really enjoyed being a producer. I liked the feeling of making the core decisions of the newscast and I felt that my job was very important. Producing has never really interested me, but I am learning that I like being off-air as much as on-air. I don't think I would feel this way, though, if my team hadn't been so great.

"Going into Business" Seminar

The Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce hosted a "Going into Business" workshop today. The workshop is for people who are either business owners or are considering starting a business. Approximately 30 people attended the seminar, which representatives say is more than the usual attendance. The seminar is held six times year.

The seminar was conducted by members of the SCORE organization. SCORE is a nationwide, non-profit business made up of 11,000 volunteers in 400 cities. The organizations tag line is "counselors to America's small businesses." The Syracuse branch of SCORE has about 60 volunteers who are either retired or still active business executives and managers. These volunteers are lawyers, bankers, accountants, finance and marketing people.

Joe Pagano is a representative of SCORE. He says more people are looking to open their own businesses because of the economic condition. People may have lost their jobs or are looking for a second way of making some money. Pagano says this seminar they had many people walk in to the workshop, which he said was "unique."

Mary Homer owns a bridal consultant business in Cicero. She says she came to the workshop to learn how to take her business to the next level. She wants to learn how to better market her business and how to get the attention of her target audience.

Faytema Scott is a Syracuse resident who wants to open her own mail order catalogue business. She says she currently has a day-to-day job, but it is not safisfying her. She is here to get the basics of how to open her own business. Scott says she belives her business can prosper even with the bad economy. "I believe that if i start small and work with that i will have growth eventually," Scott said.

CNY Marks World Kidney Day with Free Screenings

Thursday is World Kidney Day, which will try to raise awareness about the importance of our kidneys. The National Kidney Foundation of Central New York will be holding free Kidney Early Evaulation Program screenings in its Syracuse office on 731 James St. (above right)

Kidney disease has increased 116 percent in New York over the last decade, Program Director Laura Squadrito said. This is because rising obesity rates have led to its biggest risk factors, high blood pressure and Diabetes. However, screenings can help delay or prevent the disease.

"We can identify those who are at risk, we can identify those that may develop kidney disease in the future and get them to take the proper life style changes and the proper steps of treatment," Squadrito said.

More than 60 people are already registered for the free screenings, and walk-ins are welcome from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Youngest Member of Common Council Says I-81 Needs to Reopen Before NCAA Tournament

At today's Common Council study session, Matt Rayo (above) sat quietly as he and his fellow Common Councilors unanimously passed motions for next week's meeting. Rayo seems uninterested but that's just his laid back demeanor.

When Rayo starts talking, you realize this job means something to him. He might have been elected the youngest Common Councilor because of his Democratic opponent's big mistake, but Rayo seems to know this city.

And he says he's concerned about the closed section of I-81 reopening in time for March Madness.

The Carrier Dome is scheduled to host the Sweet Sixteen and the Elite Eight, starting on Thursday, March 25th. The first game tips of at 7:10 p.m., right after rush hour. Rayo says people are going to have a tough time getting to the game.

"We're expecting a lot of visitors in the next few weeks for the NCAA tournament," Rayo said at City Hall today. "We can't have I-81 closed any longer than it has been."

According to the Department of Transportation, the closed section of 1-81 affects more than 100,000 drivers everyday. Rayo says people commuting from downtown Syracuse to the suburbs are going face traffic jams and longer commutes on that Thursday.

But, Rayo says he supports Mayor Stephanie Miner's refusal to sign a blank check to fix the problem.

"Obviously, there's been a lot of back and forth between the city and the state," Rayo said. "I'm happy to see the Mayor is taking steps to get it done. I do think we'll get it done in a timely manner."

Apartments at New Park Point Apartments Filling up Fast

With temperatures reaching the mid 50s again today in Syracuse, it looks as though winter is just about done. Construction on the Park Point apartments isn’t though. General Manager Marybeth Gayne says she doesn’t expect construction on the building to conclude until around August 1st. She says the daily beeping and buzzing of construction equipment hasn’t discouraged students from applying for leases for this fall though.

“Things have been very busy and we’ve taken quite a few applications but we still do have apartments left,” Gayne said on the phone today. She says that those few open apartments are going quick though and that it would be “only a matter of time” before the five-story building would be filled to its capacity. Gaynes also mentioned that the apartments, located on the corner of Comstock Avenue and Marshall Street, would be open for students to preview beginning in April.

Construction began last September and should draw to a close just before the beginning of next school year at Syracuse. Gaynes says students should be able to begin moving in on August 15th.

(The photo shown above is an artistic rendering of what the Park Point apartments are expected to look like after construction is completed. You can find the photograph here.)

Team D 4:30 Newscast

While the 4:30 Team D Newscast encountered a few problems with getting into contact with while possible interviewees, the newscast was very calm and organized.

One issue we dealt with was anchor Aaron Ortega’s foner. Aaron called at least five different people – all for different stories and he either went right to voicemail or was never called back. It wasn’t until around 3:45 that someone was finally willing to answer Aaron’s questions. He ended up writing a really solid story under a very tight time constraint and I think he did a really nice job staying cool under pressure.

As far as reporters go, Eric Silverman and Merav Savir did great jobs keeping me up to date on whatever it was that they were doing. Each told me their story ideas before the deadline I had given them and whether or not their ideas had been approved. Throughout the entire day they were constantly calling and texting me the status of their stories. They both employed excellent communication skills and it put me at ease knowing both of them knew what they were doing.

During the actual newscast, everything was very calm and went off without a hitch. The one issue we did end up having was not correctly naming all of our sound clips for Ryan, but the problem was easily corrected before the newscast. Aaron did a nice job keeping true to the pace we had timed out beforehand. Eric did an in-studio wrap and read it very well. It was obvious he had practiced a lot and felt very comfortable with his story. The whole newscast we only ever strayed away from our cumulative time by five seconds. For the most part, we were perfectly on time and did not need to cut anything. We went out about seven seconds under because we did not include the current weather in the forecast, but the goodbyes only sounded a bit rushed.

Overall Team D worked very well together and I think this was evident in our newscast. We printed scripts with twenty minutes to spare and Aaron had the chance to read everything over at least once before the broadcast. I am proud of what was produced today.

Team C 4:20 Newscast

I was very pleased with how Team C's newscast turned out today. Although I was nervous about producing, I felt confident throughout the class that everything would turn out. In the end, nothing exploded or caught on fire. We ended on time and had some very thoughtful and interesting stories along the way.

The hardest part was completing the rundown. Today was a rather slow news day, so choosing the top story was difficult. I was originally going to lead with Emily Knox's story on the donation collections for soldiers, but later switched it to the Interstate 81 update. I think it was the right decision because it was more timely and connected to the following copy story on tomorrow's Big East game.

I am very proud of all of my reporters. They were great with communication - I knew where they were and what they were doing throughout the day. All of the stories were well put together. The only thing that was stressful regarding the reporters was the time crunch at the end. Two of the stories weren't even in the rundown until three minutes before we had to be outside of the studio. But like I said, nothing exploded, nothing caught on fire.

Emily was especially great today. She got her story done right away and was able to help me out. She produced the last two weeks and answered all of my questions. She helped me write out a SOT, Jesse time and Simon and Ivory save their stories.

Jesse did a solid job as an anchor. Anchoring is nerve-wrecking and although he said he was a little nervous, he read well. I was glad he was able to time out the stories beforehand.

Regarding timing, I decided to throw out the kicker at the last minute because we were fifteen seconds over going into the commercial. The kicker was funny, but it's the kicker. Today, it served its purpose well (as in being able to be kicked out). We finished with three seconds to spare and Jesse did a great job of staying calm despite having to cut the story.

The reason why we ended up needing to kick the kicker was because the copy story I wrote on the Prius accident was too long. We were under ten seconds half an hour before going into the studio, so I actually ended up adding more information to the story right before we went in. What I learned is that sometimes shorter stories go a longer way - no pun intended. With such a fast newscast, it's important to write tight rather than add words because you are worried about being under. If you are under, well, that's why floaters are there.

As I walked out of class today, I was happy. Producing was exciting and I really felt like I was in a newsroom. We all worked together, sharing flash drives and story ideas to produce four great newscasts. Greg Shillinglaw shared a story with me and I was very thankful for his help. And throughout the day, Allie and I worked together as we embarked on the path of producing for the first time together. All in all, I'm excited to produce again.

West Genesee Boys Ice Hockey Prepare for State Semifinals

(Picture Credit:

The West Genesee Wildcats were undefeated and ranked number one after regular season play this year. After their regular season success, they must now prepare to play in the New York State semi-final game against the number two ranked Suffern Mounties this weekend.

This will be the Wildcats third consecutive appearance in the "frozen four", but their last two had disappointing endings. In 2008 they lost in the state finals and in 2009 they lost in the semis.

Wildcats coach Frank Colabufo said that although the team has not played Suffern yet this season, they are prepared to go up against them and will continue to focus on their regular style of play.

"Once you get to Utica, anyone can win. Everybody's good at Utica," Colabufo said. "We're just going to enjoy our last week together and take our best shot when we get there."

The game starts at 12:30 p.m at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The winner will play in the finals on Sunday.

Students collect donations for airport's military courtesy room

Soldiers flying into Syracuse should expect an especially warm welcoming as they arrive at Hancock International Airport. This week, Gillette Road Middle School's Military Support Group is sponsoring Treats 4 Troops, collecting prepackaged goods to be placed in the Gregory J. Harris Military Courtesy Room at the airport.

The student organization set up a table at the school's main entrance, which is also near the cafeteria, and collected snacks, drinks, etc. as well as monetary donations throughout the day's lunch periods. They had already collected three boxes full of donations as of early Wednesday. But they're not just looking for food items.

"To look for the big picture, Wii games would be really great," said Libby Thomas, the group's advisor and a teaching assistant at Gillette. "You have to imagine a soldier, male or female, being at the airport, waiting for bus to come and get them and the bus is coming from Fort Drum and they want to get back to their family in Fort Drum on their base and they have to wait, or they have to spend the night, or the weather's bad, and if we can provide them with something comfortable, something to do, something that they don't have to pay for, you know we've helped them out, so anything along those lines."

Group members consist of 5th-7th graders who either have relatives who are veterans or are currently serving in the military, or are sympathetic and supportive of those who do know someone in the service, according to Thomas.

"My grandpa was in the military and then he died just last year and he was a vet and it made me want to do it," said David Hollis, a 5th grader.

The group is looking forward to their annual end-of-year patriotic celebration, U.S.A. Day, which includes still displays and display vehicles that pay tribute to all U.S. Armed Forces. It takes place on Flag Day, June 14th.

New Dinosaur BBQ Restaurant Opening in Troy

Dinosaur Barbeque has announced plans to open a new location in Troy, New York. Dinosaur Barbeque already has restaurants in Syracuse, Rochester and New York City. According to the Director of Operational Support for Dinosaur Barbeque, Lindsay Amorese, the new restaurant will be very similar to the locations already in operation.

"As far as the restaurant itself, it will be a similar vibe. None of the restaurants are exactly the same, but as far as the operations go, the same focuses will be put on the food obviously, the service, and the whole experience of being there," said Amorese.

While the vibe and experience may be the same, Amorese said that the new restaurant in Troy will be larger than the Syracuse restaurant which will allow for private parties right in the restaurant. At the Syracuse location, private rooms are upstairs and more separate from the restaurant. Also, the new Dinosaur Barbeque will be the first location to have a parking lot specifically for the restaurant.

Amorese added that although no more immediate expansion is expected, she does think that more expansion is a possibility.

"It's definitely a possibility," said Amorese. "It's not something we're committing to or putting any deadlines on ourselves, but if the opportunity arises and it feels like it's right, then yeah absolutely."

3D TV Era is Here

Soon there will be footballs thrown through living rooms and avatars battling on your coffee table. Of course, not literally but the 3D era has finally arrived with Panasonic, Sony and Samsung on the journey.

Best Buy in DeWitt recieved their first 3D TV this morning. Costing about $2,700 dollars, the 55 inch TV requires specific 3D glasses. The glasses connect through a sensor to the TV and turns the 3D effect on. You will not experience the 3D effects if you do not have the glasses. They are sold separately for about $200.

Best Buy Home Theater Specialist, Mike Gottleib, says he has high hopes for 3D TV and thinks it will catch on when more 3D content is available.

ESPN has already announced the launching of their own 3D channel which will broadcast live at the FIFA World Cup in June.

A Blu-Ray player is required for 3D movies but as far as TV programs in 3D, those are in the works now that the TV is out.

Construction Equipment on Display at the Fairgrounds

The New York State Fairgrounds is currently featuring the Central New York Hard Hat Expo. Vendors from all parts of the construction industry are displaying their products for potential consumers to buy, and for competitors to see where they stand in the industry. Show Manager Bruce Button expects upwards of 10,000 people to attend over today and Thursday.

"It’s really the only major construction equipment show in the whole northeast," said Button, "so anybody this time of year when they make buying decisions know that they can come to one place to see all major lines of equipment.”

There are two full buildings at the fairgrounds filled with heavy machinery, trucks, and other construction equipment. The expo ran from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today, and will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. Admission is free.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

SU students safe in Chile

Karl Doll finally received a call from his girlfriend at 9 pm on Saturday. She is studying abroad in Santiago, Chile, about 200 miles from central Chile where the earthquake hit last Friday.

Twenty-two Syracuse University students arrived in Chile just a week before the 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Concepcion, Chile. Keeta Koalska, Dolls girlfriend, said windows were blown in and some walls crumbled down. "I was woken up by the shaking but it was just an after shock," said Koalski.

Doll says that Koalska told him the host families that the students are staying with are getting their homes back together, putting things back on the shelves.

Assistant Director of SU Abroad, Carrie Abbott has been in contact with the Santiago program every day getting the latest updates. "We were contacted right away on Friday that our students were safe," she said.

Abbott said the students weren't effected dramatically by the earthquake but thinks it's a great experience for them.

Classes and orientation programs are on time and in session. "Students are taking in what happened but are moving on," Abbott said.