Trumansburg asks residents to weigh in on its plans for the future

first_imgTRUMANSBURG, N.Y. — The Village of Trumansburg has existed in some form for over 225 years. Village leaders are hoping residents can spare an evening next month to figure out what the next chapter in the village’s long history should look like.Trumansburg has come a long way since Hermon Camp, the “Overlord of Tompkins County”, controlled the hamlet with an iron fist. In its halcyon days, it was a mill town for the nearby farmers of Ulysses and Covert, a place to sell and buy wares, to worship and to socialize, a hub of activity in its little corner of the world.The village, incorporated in 1872, took on a more industrial flavor as the farms merged or shut down and modest factories began to spring up, though never on a large scale. As Ithaca grew in prominence and size to its southeast, Trumansburg increasingly found itself in the city’s sphere of influence.The village itself never had the suburban appeal that the cul-de-sacs and of Ithaca town did, nor were there enough rural commuter homesteads to let its old bones thrive; towards the end of the twentieth century, it stagnated, a cozy but careworn place to get gas or pick up a few quick groceries at the Shur-Fine just outside village lines.In the past 15 years, with the renewed interest in urban cores both big and small, the old and dated has become the new hot dish. With the coming of Grassroots, unique restaurants, eclectic stores and renewed interest from tourists and locals alike, the village has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, with all the blessings and curses that go with it. Some people react to the moniker “Little Ithaca” with amusement; to others, it’s about as offensive as an f-bomb in church.Trumansburg finds itself at a crossroads. Housing costs are on the rise, making affordability a major concern. The village is increasingly a tourism hub of the Finger Lakes; should be that be encouraged or downplayed? Trumansburg is surrounded by and includes some farmland and natural land; what if these are eyed by development? Is uncultivated, natural land preferable to working farms? If development happens along some of the parking lots and underused spaces on Main Street, what should development there look like? Auto-centric, or a pedestrian-friendly main drag?It’s lot of food for thought, and generally, no two minds will think alike to all the questions. That’s why the village would like to hear from residents as it seeks to update its Comprehensive Plan and zoning code. The plan was last updated over a decade ago and is in need of revision, as goals have changed, certain issues have been addressed and mitigated, and new issues have arisen.“The Villages’ first Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2008. Now, more than a decade later, we are revisiting the plan, celebrating what we have accomplished, uncovering what work that is left to do, and understanding how our communal vision for the future has evolved over the years,” said Village Trustee and Comprehensive Plan Revision Committee Chair Ben Darfler. Your Economy & Development news is made possible with support from: Brian Crandall “Personally, I’m hoping this process creates a robust community conversation about how we ensure Trumansburg remains vibrant, welcoming, and sustainable as we move into the 2020s and beyond,” said Darfler. “We want to devise a comprehensive plan that works with today’s shifting economic and social realities rather than playing defense. We have a lot to be grateful for in Trumansburg and to keep those aspects that we cherish we need to keep shifting with the times.”In the next few years, the village is likely to see a number of substantial changes. After years of discussion and debate, the Crescent Way/Village Grove project by INHS and local businesswoman Claudia Brenner is nearly approved. If built, it will bring dozens of new homes and apartments to the village during the early 2020s, the largest development in many years. Meanwhile, a possible cultural and performing arts center, housing and other uses at the new GrassRoots property could expand the boundaries of the village for the first time in over a century. For a village of 1,800, these are big considerations, as are projects like the ongoing school renovations and ever-growing concerns about environmental sustainability in a village where the typical building is over a hundred years old.Work on updating the Comprehensive Plan has been ongoing since last year, when a Request for Proposal was issued to find qualified planning consultants interested in helping the village through the process. In February 2019, the village selected Environmental Design and Research D.P.C. (EDR), of Syracuse to assist in the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning revision, including community feedback, drafting new zoning and planning language, and making sure the village is communicating in plans and property use legalese what the community sees as its overall social, physical and environmental goals in the years ahead.“The intent of the meeting is to introduce the community to the project that is currently underway. We will review the basics of comprehensive planning and zoning, what the committee has been working on so far, and ask for feedback on a new draft vision statement and input on the strengths and limitations of the Village as well as opportunities and challenges facing the Village,” said Darfler.According to a press release provided by the village government, there will be three public meetings. At the first meeting, “(t)he Comprehensive Plan Update Committee and project consultants from Environmental Design & Research will present an overview of the project. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts on issues and opportunities in the Village. The Comprehensive Plan is a crucial foundation for future decision-making and for leveraging external revenue sources such as grants for Village improvements. The Project Committee seeks input and feedback from all interested residents.”For those looking to hear what the village has to say, and contribute their own two cents (or rather, two dollars, 225 years of inflation will do that), the public meeting with the project team will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Trumansburg Fire Department at 74 West Main Street.More information about the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning revision can be found on the village’s website here. center_img Your government news is made possible with support from: Tagged: ben darfler, Community Announcements, Environmental Design and Research D.P.C., planning and economic development, trumansburg, zoning Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at [email protected] More by Brian Crandall last_img read more

NXIVM founder, actress indicted on sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy charges

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — NXIVM’s founder and an actress who was a member of his self-help group were indicted Friday on sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy charges related to what prosecutors say is a secret society within the group.Keith Raniere, also known as “Vanguard” to members within NXIVM, and Allison Mack, who is best known for her role on the TV series “Smallville,” were both indicted by a grand jury on charges arising from Raniere and Mack’s alleged roles in a secret society within NXIVM. According to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue, Mack recruited women into what they believed was a “female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere”. Prosecutors say many of the female victims were branded and forced to participate in sex acts with Raniere.Mack was arrested Friday and will be arraigned Friday before United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak. Raniere was arrested in March on a federal complaint and is currently being held without bond at a detention center in Brooklyn. He is also expected to appear in court on Friday afternoonAccording to the U.S. State Attorney’s Office, Raniere was deported by Mexican authorities after he was found outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in a luxury villa last month. Two days later, he appeared before a judge at a federal courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas.“As alleged in the complaint, Keith Raniere created a secret society of women whom he had sex with and branded with his initials, coercing them with the threat of releasing their highly personal information and taking their assets,” Donoghue said in a statement released in March.NXIVM is a secretive self-help organization based in Albany, New York, that was founded by Raniere and Nancy Salzman. It touts itself as a “professional coaching company” and its website says it offers “Executive Success Programs,” or “ESP,” in New York, California, Canada, Mexico and elsewhere.In a statement posted on the homepage of the group’s website, “In response to the allegations against our founder, Keith Raniere, we are currently working with the authorities to demonstrate his innocence and true character. We strongly believe the justice system will prevail in bringing the truth to light. We are saddened by the reports perpetuated by the media and their apparent disregard for ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ yet we will continue to honor the same principles on which our company was founded. It is during the times of greatest adversity that integrity, humanity and compassion are hardest, and needed most”ABC News’ “20/20” did an extensive report on NXIVM last year, including interviews with several former members, including Sarah Edmondson, who said she was a member of the group for over a decade.Edmondson told ABC News and said in a complaint to the New York State Department of Health that after attending NXIVM seminars for more than a decade, she was approached about an opportunity to join a secret sorority. Then, one night she said she and five other women were summoned to a house in the Albany area, where they thought they were going to get a tattoo but once there, found out she and the other women were going to be branded.“It was a horror movie,” she told “20/20.” “It was the most inhumane, horrific way to treat anybody. But the most horrific thing is that it’s women doing it to women.”Edmondson said each of the women would lie down naked and then was branded with a cauterizing device, without any anesthesia. When it was her turn, Edmondson said the pain felt “worse than childbirth.”As outlined in the Department of Justice press release, the complaint, which was unsealed last month, alleges that “in 2015, Raniere created a secret society within Nxivm called ‘DOS,’ which loosely translated to ‘Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,’ or ‘The Vow.’ DOS operated with levels of women ‘slaves’ headed by ‘masters.’ Slaves were expected to recruit slaves of their own (thus becoming masters themselves), who in turn owed service not only to their own masters but also to masters above them in the DOS pyramid. Raniere stood alone at the top of the pyramid. Other than the (sic) Raniere, all members of DOS were women.”In a letter Donoghue submitted to the judge in Texas requesting that bail be denied, he asserts that Raniere has had more than 50 DOS slaves under him, many of whom were recruited from within NXIVM’s ranks.“As alleged, Keith Raniere displayed a disgusting abuse of power in his efforts to denigrate and manipulate women he considered his sex slaves,” FBI’s New York Field Office Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement in March. “He allegedly participated in horrifying acts of branding and burning them, with the cooperation of other women operating within this unorthodox pyramid scheme. These serious crimes against humanity are not only shocking, but disconcerting, to say the least, and we are putting an end to this torture today.”After reports started surfacing about DOS last year, a letter was posted on the NXIVM website, in which Raniere said, “The picture being painted in the media is not how I know our community and friends to be, nor how I experience it myself. However, as an organization and as individuals, we felt it was imperative that we hire experts to ensure there is no merit to the allegations.“Additionally, I feel it is important to clarify the sorority is not part of NXIVM and that I am not associated with the group,” the statement continued. “I firmly support one’s right to freedom of expression, so what the sorority or any other social group chooses to do is not our business so long as there is no abuse. Our experts, a forensic psychiatrist of international repute, psychologists and ex-law enforcement, say members of the sorority are thriving, healthy, happy, better off, and haven’t been coerced. Furthermore, the sorority is proud of what they created and want to share their story. I am confident they will be addressing you very soon.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more