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New York farm workers are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Cuomo administration was criticized for not including them among other groups of   essential workers who became eligible weeks ago.

The state and local health departments are coordinating pop-up clinics at farms to bring the vaccines directly to farm workers.

Mary Jo Dudley, director of the Cornell farmworker program, says designated migrant health centers, such as Finger Lakes Community Health, will also be part of the effort.

Anna Shvets

Studies show that close to 100 million tons of food goes to waste in the U.S. each year. A state program on the RIT campus has developed a toolkit to help reduce food waste in municipalities throughout the state.

Charles Ruffing is the director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I). He says the toolkit provides strategies to design and implement a food waste recycling program.

A Hilton elementary school principal is accused of sexually abusing students.  

An expert advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided Wednesday it needed more time to consider whether to recommend to resume administering the COVID-19 vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson.

James Brown / WXXI News

An anonymous letter made public Wednesday said that Monroe Community Hospital is a hostile work environment. 

The letter was released during a news conference by the Monroe County Legislature’s Black and Asian Caucus. When asked how many complaints there are, Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell would not say.

Karen DeWitt/WXXI News

State lawmakers, along with restaurant owners and their workers, are pressing for a two-year extension of takeout alcoholic beverages. They said the practice -- authorized at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic -- has allowed the businesses to keep their doors open and avoid some layoffs.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in one of hundreds of executive orders issued in 2020, allowed alcoholic drinks to be ordered and delivered along with takeout food. 

With the federal pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over rare but potentially fatal blood clots, the Department of Veterans Affairs is halting their use of the vaccine based on FDA and Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

The Finger Lakes VA system administered nearly 1,000 J&J vaccines. That included pop-up clinics in Rochester for veterans at risk of homelessness. 

Max Schulte/WXXI News

The Monroe County Board of Ethics would be compelled to investigate accusations of sexual harassment in county government and publicly identify employees guilty of such behavior under new legislation proposed by County Executive Adam Bello and Democratic legislators.

A virtual rally for a bill to allow terminally ill New Yorkers to end their lives featured former public radio talk show host Diane Rehm. She is among many advocating for the Aid in Dying Act.

Which spaces or places in Rochester matter to you? It's a question University of Rochester students and staff will ask as part of a new art project called Blank Placard Dance. The performance builds on an original activism project that emerged in San Francisco in the 1960s. Through dance, Rochester performers hope to map local areas community members deem important when it comes to activism. Participants say the project blurs the boundaries of public intervention and dance performance.

We preview it with our guests:

  • Missy Pfohl Smith, director of the Program of Dance and Movement and the Institute for the Performing Arts at the University of Rochester
  • Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp, senior lecturer in dance, and director of Blank Placard Restaged at the University of Rochester
  • Catherine Ramsey, University of Rochester student organizer 
  • Almeta Whitis, community storyteller

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Check out all the virtual and in-person events on the CITY event calendar you can be a part of!

Across the Universe with Jeff Spevak

Megan Leigh Barnard

Hanif Abdurraqib left Connecticut in the spring of 2017, after a painful breakup. Now he was back in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. A wounded writer. Perfect. Anger and bitterness have filled many, many library shelves.

Except, it was too easy to be bitter, he says. “I don’t really write well when I’m bitter. And so I needed to figure out something for myself that served my writing.”

News from NPR

The world is going to need more batteries. A lot more batteries.

Every major automaker is preparing to pivot from gas and diesel cars to electric and hybrid ones. Ford F-150s and Kia crossovers, Volkswagen hatchbacks and BMW sedans: They'll all plug in instead of fill up. It's a remarkable transformation that will change the way we drive and shake up world energy markets.

CNN. ABC News. The New York Times. Fox News.

Those are the publishers of four of the five most popular Facebook posts of articles about the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine this week. They're ranked 2-5 in total interactions, according to data from the tracking tool Crowdtangle.

Number one however, isn't from a news organization. Or a government official. Or a public health expert.

Members of Congress on Thursday will hear for the first time public testimony from the U.S. Capitol Police inspector general that will detail the most extensive findings yet in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The inspector general, Michael Bolton, will tell a congressional committee in prepared remarks that the agency must pivot from its reactionary role as a police department to one that works in a protection posture to deal with rising threats to the Capitol.

For months, stories swirled around a prominent Muslim civil rights leader, alleging secret marriages, bullying, sexual harassment.

Then, late last year, some of the allegations against 34-year-old Hassan Shibly burst into public view. In a video posted on GoFundMe, Shibly's estranged wife, mother of their three children, looked directly into the camera and begged for help. She said her abusive husband had cut her off financially.

More news from NPR

Arts & Life

The Cinema Theater to show movies again

Apr 13, 2021
David Andreatta / CITY

Not long after the operators of the Cinema Theater announced in February that Rochester's oldest movie house would close for good, the marquee began flashing a mysterious message that suggested a second showing: “The Cinema Theater Will Return.”

Now, new operators, spouses Kristina Dinino-Jeffords and Damon Jeffords, say they are delivering on the marquee’s cryptic promise.

Joan Marcus/Hamilton National Tour

The Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s elusive 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons have once again disappeared -- and reappeared -- in the course of one press release.

The city’s marquee theater organization, presenting hit Broadway shows, announced on Tuesday morning a once-again reworked schedule that pushes the remains of both seasons back to a fall restart, including the return of “Hamilton” in late 2022.

Catherine Rafferty

One of the final acts of John Borek, one of many acts of his life, was to send 5-foot-tall cardboard cutouts of chocolate rabbits to friends in celebration of Easter, one of his favorite holidays.

Borek, a man of many hats known for his zany theatrics and serious commitment to the Rochester arts and cultural scene, died Saturday. He was 71 and had been ill with leukemia.

He was many things to many people in the city.

More arts & life stories

From the Inclusion Desk

Center for Disability Rights

A two-day COVID-19 vaccination clinic in downtown Rochester is providing Moderna shots for people with disabilities through a partnership with the Center for Disability Rights, AcuteKids pediatric urgent care, and Monroe County. 

The clinic is expected to vaccinate 60 people in a vulnerable population; according to the National Institutes of Health, people with developmental and intellectual disabilities have been harder hit by the pandemic's effects.

Center for Disability Rights

While additional funding for home-based services was excluded from the first two coronavirus relief bills, people with disabilities and their families will finally see some relief in the new stimulus package.

The package includes $350 billion in aid to states and localities to provide services to people with disabilities. 

provided photo

It's been tough for a lot of people to get  a COVID-19 vaccine - with challenges like finding out where it’s available and getting an appointment and even determining whether you are eligible to get the shot.

Having a disability can make the process even more complex.

Autism Nature Trail

A mile-long Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park is expected to open to the public later this year. It’s a project that has been over a half-decade in the making.

Back in 2016, the Humphrey Nature Center opened as a year-round facility that focused on providing educational opportunities. 

New York State Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Erik Kulleseid said Letchworth’s Autism Nature Trail is, in many ways, an offshoot of their most recent nature center.

More stories from the Inclusion Desk

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