Valentine’s Day Storm Video: The Weather Channel in Syracuse

Here’s a compilation I created of the Weather Channel‘s Jim Cantore reporting from Syracuse during the Valentine’s Day Storm of 2007. It really shows Syracuse knows how to handle snow. It’s also the first time I created a flash movie for my website. Enjoy!

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Last Friday there was a pretty strong wind storm that knocked out power a lot of places across Upstate New York. Fortunately my power only went out for about 15 seconds. However, check out how far the lawn chair on my front porch traveled (red circle):

The winds reached 64mph (103 km/h) at the Syracuse’s airport. Downtown, a window of One Lincoln Center blew out and fell 12 floors. One woman barely escaped injury:

Read more:

  • Strong winds blow across Central New York News 10 Now
  • Violent windstorm in CNY Syracuse Post-Standard
  • Distaste for Your Professor? Better Keep it to Yourself

    Let’s say you don’t like one of your professors this semester. Shouldn’t you be able to give him or her a review online? Apparently Syracuse University doesn’t think so.
    The Daily Orange‘s big story yesterday was about four SU freshmen, who, after apparently feeling their writing instructor didn’t “know what she’s doing ever,” started a Facebook group centered around this opinion.
    For my readers who haven’t heard about Facebook, it’s just like MySpace, Friendster, Orkut, hi5, etc., except that it requires a college email address, and the required email addresses have been mostly limited to the U.S., although the U.K. and Mexico are now being invaded as well. More than 80 percent of American college students are members.
    Anyway, so these girls started a group on this social network entitled “Clearly [instructor’s first name] doesn’t know what she’s doing ever.” As far as the article informed me, there was no threatening terminology to be found anywhere in this group. Besides the four founding members, there were approximately fifteen other students in the group.
    To make a long story short, the instructor found out about this group and complained, which eventually led to these four students being placed on disciplinary probation until November of this year. One of them transfered out. Apparently SU has secretly made it a code of conduct violation to publicly criticize professors.
    I find this highly alarming. Unfortunately my generation, unlike the one before it, is too passive to do anything about it. This incident differs from most of the hundreds of Facebook news stories that you can find online as it does not involve college administrators using Facebook to catch underage drinkers or to find out about potentially rowdy parties ahead of time. I was alarmed by this story because I feel punishment for non-treatening criticism is just plain wrong.
    Apparently things are done a little different at the University of Louisville. There a Facebook group dedicated to criticizing a professor helped lead to the professor being let go. [Read more]
    Read the Daily Orange article


    homicide.jpgLast Friday night (actually Saturday morning), I was driving home from Fayetteville, the Syracuse suburb where I work. I had worked until about 10:15 and then went to Pizzeria Uno across the parking lot. I left there around 12:35, and around 12:55 I was standing at the traffic light at the corner of Coumbus Ave. and East Fayette Street. This is about one mile from where I live.
    There’s a bar there called Club DC, and as I was waiting at that traffic light, I suddenly saw about a dozen people streaming out of it, over to a parking lot across the street. The traffic light turned green, and I slowly drove forward, where I noticed they were helping a man lying in the parking lot, very close to the street. I thought he was just lying there from over-consumption of alcohol or something else, and I continued driving home.
    Two mornings later, while sitting in the break room at Target and reading the newspaper, an article about Syracuse’s first homicide of the year caught my eye. I was shocked to read that that man that I had seen lying on the ground was the victim. He had died at University Hospital shortly after I had seen him.
    Read more

    Is Syracuse Neverland? Part II

    Ski lift, meet University Hill!

    There is no place in the world that I have lived in that has such an insane amount of ideas for bettering the life of its citizens than Syracuse. At least once a month, a new, big idea comes out, claiming not to be just a vision, but also being feasible.
    Most of these ideas over the past few years have been in relation to the DestiNY USA Project, an entertainment, hotel, and research project that has now reached an estimated cost of nearly ten billion dollars. It was first proposed April 30, 2000, but, save for a “groundbreaking,” no construction has happened yet. A good point to be made though is that billions of dollars need a lot of raising, which requires a lot of planning, so there is still a good amount of hope in this project.
    In fact, DestiNY USA developers The Pyramid Companies keep the public excited by constantly adding features to the project at a periodical rate. Besides the local news stations and the local newspaper no media outlets really care anymore. In fact, the last article many out-of-town papers published was about a quickly-dismissed rumor that the project was dead, which occurred nearly two years ago. They actually published the dead rumor, not its correction around three days later.
    But Syracuse remains hopeful that something besides snowfall amounts and a great college basketball program will set it apart from the rest of the country. Help comes from numerous little, often non-descriptive “unveilings of plans,” which “keep the dream alive.”
    Besides entertainment complexes, hotels, and technology parks, there is another favorite topic of dreaming: Transportation
    It was a craze started by DestiNY USA’s plans, which have included a monorail from the beginning. This monorail would run from Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport to Syracuse University, via DestiNY’s structures, Alliance Bank Stadium, the bus and train station, and Downtown. Estimated cost: $750 million. Later Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) was also added for parking lot connectivity.
    This past Sunday, The Post-Standard featured a plan by millionaire Tom McDonald which appears to much cheaper to build and efficient for Syracuse’s size: A gondola line. There’s already even a name for it, S.C.A.T, short for Salt City Aerial Transit. Its cost: About $5 million for the first segment, which would run from Syracuse University to Downtown, about a third of its route to the bus and train station. And, like a ski lift, its gondolas would be only a short distance apart, which would mean no more waiting for that infrequent CENTRO bus or OnTrack train. Furthermore, because gondolas cost very little to operate, this system could run all day and night.
    This is the most viable idea yet. McDonald says he can raise the $5 million easily, and that only thing he would from the government is permission to put up the system. This bypasses the major blocker to most of the above-mentioned visionary projects: Taxes. DestiNY, for example, wants tax breaks, which has led to long battles between the Onondaga County and city, two government levels which never seem to be able to agree.

    Proposed route of the system

    A similar system is installed in Morgantown, West Virginia which has a pretty sucessful rail-based PRT system which has small units as well. Morgantown only has 27,000 people and a university with only about 6,000 more students than SU. It was built in the 70s and is pretty expensive to operate because of its heated rail, a problem the gondola system wouldn’t have. It has about 15,000 daily riders.
    I just hope something new is built around here soon… I’m bored!
    Further reading:
    DestiNY USA
    Post Standard: Will Gondolas Link SU and Downtown?
    Wikipedia: Destiny USA
    Wikipedia: CENTRO
    Wikipedia: Morgantown PRT
    Wikipedia: OnTrack

    Is Syracuse Neverland?

    Today I read a quite funny article by Jeff Kramer, who writes a weekly humor column in the Post-Standard. This week he compared Syracuse to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, and managed to find over a dozen similarities.
    Is Syracuse just another Neverland?
    This past week Syracuse Police began teaming up with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police to crack down on crime in Syracuse’s worst neighborhoods, which has gotten horribly ridiculous.
    Hardly a day passes without reading or hearing about shootings. Today I got to read about five people being injured Saturday in two separate shootings:

    “Three teens were shot just after 2:30 p.m. when a shooter walked through a convenience store parking lot, firing off shot after shot in a spray that went in several directions.” –The Post-Standard

    Wonderful… And the closest-to-home incident in the past few months was last month’s discovery of a body in the park at the end of my block.
    Body found in Thornden Park

    Thornden Park