Debate over disease continues

Julianna Martin faced a difficult task Monday afternoon.

When Martin returned home, she found a shopping catalog, packed with the latest in holiday coupons, sales and sample fragrances.

For most people, flipping through this catalog is an afterthought, but for Martin, the sample perfumes smell anything but sweet. Any type of fragrance makes Martin sick.

“You take in a little perfume, the next thing you know, you can’t read or write,” said Martin, 25, a third-year graduate student at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. “It can go anywhere from stomach problems to brain fog.”

Martin is among an increasing number of activists who believe fragrances, commonly believed to be the cause of some rashes and a potential trigger of asthma, are also the cause of headaches, muscle pain and nausea.

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Windmill may be coming soon to Scriba

Alcan Aluminum Corp. will apply for a building permit sometime next week to construct the largest windmill in the United States in the town of Scriba, a Scriba official said Thursday.

General Electric will build the 3.6-megawatt turbine on Alcan-owned property in Scriba, said James Wellington, Scriba planning board chairman. It will be 500 feet tall in a wooded area 1,800 feet from Lake Ontario’s shoreline.

The Scriba Planning Board approved the site plan last Wednesday, but Alcan still needs the building permit to proceed, Wellington said.

“It’s great for the environment,” Wellington said. “It uses no fuel. The wind generates the electricity.”

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AG not taking action on proposed sewage treatment plant

The New York State Attorney General’s office will not take any legal action against Onondaga County for working on a proposed sewage treatment plant near Midland Avenue, a state official said Friday.

Officials at the Attorney General’s regional office in Syracuse met with several local organizations including the Partnership for Onondaga Creek, Syracuse United Neighbors and the Syracuse University Student Environmental Action Coalition, Thursday, as part of an effort from to force Onondaga County to delay plans for a regional treatment plant on the city’s South Side.

The organizations questioned the legality of Onondaga County’s proposed plan. Some the legal issues revolve around the city of Syracuse, which owns roughly half the land needed to build the $54 million plant. The proposed plant aims to stop raw sewage from flowing into Onondaga Creek when excessive rainfall or snowmelt backs up the sewer system.

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Onondaga decides future of recycling

An Onondaga County recycling agency will make a recommendation to the county legislature in the next few weeks concerning the future of recycling, a county official said Thursday.

The Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, also known as OCRRA, heard testimony from more than 10 agencies concerning separating recyclable materials, in a meeting conducted Wednesday, said OCRRA spokesman Andy Brigham.

The testimony centered around two-stream recycling – the separation of papers from other recyclable materials – as opposed to single-stream recycling – which mixes paper in with everything else, according to a release from Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

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Testimony heard concerning the future of recycling

An Onondaga County recycling agency will make a recommendation to the county legislature in the next few weeks concerning the future of recycling, a county official said Thursday.

The Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, also known as OCRRA, heard testimony from more than 10 agencies concerning separating recyclable materials, in a meeting conducted Wednesday, said OCRRA spokesman Andy Brigham.

The testimony centered around two-stream recycling – the separation of papers from other recyclable materials – as opposed to single-stream recycling – which mixes paper in with everything else, according to a release from Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

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Attorney General’s office learns about environmental issues

The New York State Attorney General’s office is taking a more active role in Central New York’s environmental issues, a state official said Thursday.

Peter Lehner, chief of the attorney general’s Environmental Protection Bureau, met with more than 20 people representing environmental agencies from Central New York last Wednesday, said Winthrop Thurlow, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Syracuse Regional Office.

“We really heard a whole range of issues,” Thurlow said. “We wanted to hear from theses groups about what’s important to them and also provide information that the attorney general’s office has been doing.”

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Syracuse giving away free mulch

Don’t buy mulch. The city of Syracuse is giving it away for free.

That’s the message Deputy Department of Public Works Commissioner Jeff Wright wants to convey.

This year, the city’s DPW estimates it will process more than 80,000 cubic yards of mulch consisting of leaves, grass clippings, broken tree branches and any other excess yard waste, Wright said. Instead of throwing the mulch out, the city has opted to give it away.

“We’ve been giving it away for 10 years,” Wright said. “Mostly we have a few businesses and some residents that take it.”

The mulch is available, free of charge, for pickup at the city’s DPW site on City Crossroads Drive. Local businesses such as golf courses and landscapers take a majority of the mulch, but the city has set aside a separate pile for residents, who take more than 400 cubic yards a week, Wright said.

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