All posts by Ken Jackson

Ken Jackson

$4,683,125 for Syracuse Community Health Center as Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Nearly $400 Million In Federal Funding For 63 Community Health Centers Across New York State


Emergency Funding for CHCs Will Be Critical for Next Phase of Vaccinations in NYS

 Schumer, Gillibrand Successfully Fought for CHC Funding in American Rescue Plan

 HHS to Award Funding Starting in April

Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $396,801,375 in emergency federal funding for 63 community health centers (CHCs) across New York State. These funds, provided in the American Rescue Plan, will give New York’s CHCs the support needed to expand COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment for underserved populations. CHCs are on the frontline of health care in the United States, particularly in rural and underserved areas, and provide a critical health care safety net during times of crisis. Throughout the pandemic, these health centers have provided their communities with testing, tracing, vaccine preparedness, and other health services.

“New York’s Community Health Centers are a cornerstone of the state’s healthcare system and have been our frontline armor in the battle against COVID-19, especially in underserved and disadvantaged communities where COVID hit the hardest,” said Senator Schumer. “This critical federal investment, that I fought to secure in the American Rescue Plan, will help Community Health Centers maintain their vital operations, providing health care to those at high risk of contracting COVID-19, and continuing to administer vaccines to as many New Yorkers as possible.”

“In the midst of this global pandemic, people across New York are turning to Community Health Centers for affordable primary and preventative health care,” said Senator Gillibrand. “CHCs provide a wide-range of services to some of our most underserved populations and this funding will help address the pandemic challenge and the health disparities it has exacerbated within our communities and ensure these centers can continue providing quality care to every New York community. Due to strained financial resources, hundreds of these vital centers have been faced with closure when health care services are needed more than ever. I am proud to have fought and helped secured this funding in the American Rescue Plan, and I will continue fighting to provide CHCs with the critical resources they need to thrive.

Every American should have the security of knowing they have access to quality, affordable health care, especially as we face a pandemic that has exposed the disparities facing rural, minority, and lower- income communities,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden Administration is committed to getting help to those who need it most, and the communities hit hardest by COVID-19 will benefit from these critical investments.”

SCHC COVID 19 Testing May 9 2020

Earlier this year, Senator Gillibrand fought for billions in funding for CHCs and helped successfully secured $7.66 billion in the American Rescue Plan to help CHCS prepare for and respond to public health crises. CHCs provide affordable primary and preventative health care to the most vulnerable and underserved communities. Over 30 million patients, including almost 400,000 veterans and almost 9 million children, receive quality medical, dental, vision, and behavioral health care services from a CHC. CHCs employ over 250,000 full-time employees nationally, produce nearly $63.5 billion in economic activity, and save our health care system more than $24 billion per year (facts and figures prior to the pandemic). CHCs also help people access healthy food, safe housing, and affordable transportation. In the midst of the addiction epidemic, CHCs are well-positioned providers of substance use disorder and mental health treatment in communities. Services provided by CHCs help patients avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room and reduce health disparities in our communities.

Distribution of funding will begin in April through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). HRSA-funded health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that deliver affordable, accessible, quality, and cost-effective primary health care to high-need urban, rural, and frontier communities across the country. Health centers serve 1 in 5 people living in rural communities, and 1 in 11 people nationwide. More than 91% of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and nearly 63% are racial or ethnic minorities.

Specifically, this funding will

  • Deliver needed preventive and primary health care services to those at higher risk for COVID-19;
  • Expand CHC operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units.

 

Central New York
Recipient
City
County
Award Amount
East Hill Family Medical Inc
Auburn
Cayuga County
$1,575,500
Syracuse Community Health Center, Inc.
Syracuse
Onondaga County
$4,683,125
Upstate Family Health Center, Inc.
Utica
Oneida County
$1,296,000
Family Health Network of Central New York, Inc.
Homer
Cortland County
$2,687,000
Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc
Pulaski
Oswego County
$4,190,875

 


Losing My Religion


First of all, I haven’t given up on God,  “Losing my religion” is actually an old southern expression for being at the end of one’s rope, and the moment when politeness gives way to anger. And that’s how many feel about the “Quality of Life” in Syracuse. I’ve lost my religion, and my ability to be polite, especially when I have people bending my ear to the horror stories detailing conditions on their street, on their block and in their city. I’ve said it quietly and now, I’m saying it out loud, we have a tremendous quality of life problem in the city of Syracuse.

Despite new and innovative programs and processes planned for our city, for those who remain in some of our neighborhoods, confidence in the direction we are headed in is waning. While new and exciting things are being celebrated, bringing new residents and new wealth to the city, there are many of us who feel left behind.

Would you be my neighbor? “Click” on image to enlarge.

Anyone who has been to my home have seen the growing junkyard complete with multiple cars, trucks, assorted trailers and other items, reminiscent of TV’s Redd Foxx of Sanford and Son; a place selling junked items from his home.  From assorted lawn furniture gathered in piles, several trailers, to the rotting carpet jutting out of a busted attic window.

As I near the end of my mortgage I suddenly realize who’s going to invest in a dump? Who is going to want to see blight as the Bluebird sitting on their shoulder, every morning?

Living on the “wrong” side of West Genesee Street comes with its own set of problems. The conditions on what I’ve deemed the Coleman’s Pub side of W. Genesee Street, are far better. The homes are maintained, not a tinge of blight in the Tipperary Hill neighborhood. A stone’s throw away from Tipp Hill, merely 400 feet away from that neighborhood, across from Porter School, good golly Miss Molly; an unregistered, uninspected truck sitting there for well over a month, this is not uncommon. It’s like the bad part of the Wizard of Oz, we have everything except flying monkeys.

After 12 years and three different Mayoral administrations I’ve surmised that I live in a sanctioned slum.  Dealing with quality-of-life issues in this small area behind Brooklyn Pickle west is like bailing water out of the bowels of the Titanic.


Governor Cuomo Announces Pharmacies Can Now Vaccinate New Yorkers with Comorbidities

Pharmacies Can Also Vaccinate New Yorkers Over 60 Years of Age and Teachers

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced new guidance has been rolled out allowing pharmacies to vaccinate New Yorkers with comorbidities. Pharmacies were previously able to vaccinate New Yorkers over the age of 60 and teachers.

“New Yorkers with comorbidities are among our state’s most at-risk residents, and access to the COVID-19 vaccine protects this vulnerable population as we work to defeat the virus and establish the new normal,” Governor Cuomo said. “As New York receives more doses and more people receive the vaccine, we’re able to expand the population pharmacies can serve, and this is a commonsense step forward that will help make it easier to protect New Yorkers.”

New Yorkers with comorbidities or underlying health conditions can use the following to show they are eligible:

  • Doctor’s letter, or
  • Medical information evidencing comorbidity, or
  • Signed certification

New Yorkers age 16 and older with the following conditions are eligible for vaccines due to increased risk of moderate or severe illness or death from the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Pulmonary Disease, including but not limited to, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and 9/11 related pulmonary diseases
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities including Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, or hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including but not limited to solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, use of other immune weakening medicines, or other causes
  • Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2), Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or Thalassemia
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Neurologic conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia
  • Liver disease

On March 9, Governor Cuomo announced that with increased supply of the vaccine, restrictions concerning which segments of the eligible population specific providers can vaccinate will be relaxed to align with the expanded eligibility beginning March 17. Previously, certain types of providers were directed to focus their vaccination efforts on specific populations to ensure equitable vaccine distribution. For example, hospitals vaccinated health care workers, local health departments vaccinated essential workers and pharmacies vaccinated New Yorkers 65 years of age and older. As part of this effort, providers are being encouraged to vaccinate those New Yorkers most at risk, such as individuals 60 years of age and older and people with comorbidities and underlying health conditions. Today’s announcement further builds on those efforts.

New York State has continued to expand eligibility to the COVID-19 vaccine and establish mass vaccination sites and pop-up sites to distribute it. Governor Cuomo previously announced that beginning March 10, all New Yorkers 60 years of age and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine, while public facing essential workers from governmental and nonprofit entities became eligible beginning March 17. This expansion also includes public-facing essential building services workers.

On March 17, the Governor announced appointments are open at 10 new state-run mass vaccination sites across the state. On March 18, Governor Cuomo announced 16 community-based pop-up vaccination sites are coming online over the next week at churches, public housing developments and community centers. These sites are expected to vaccinate more than 4,500 people throughout the week.


Governor Cuomo Announces More Than 7 Million Total COVID Vaccine Doses Administered Across New York State


Public Facing Essential Workers from Governmental and Nonprofit Entities Are Eligible for COVID Vaccine Beginning Today 

148,564 Doses Administered Across New York State in the Last 24 Hours       

More than 1 Million Doses Administered Over Past Seven Days       

Vaccine Dashboard Will Update Daily to Provide Updates on the State’s Vaccine Program; Go to ny.gov/vaccinetracker      

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than 7 million total COVID vaccine doses have been administered across the state. Beginning today, public facing essential workers from governmental and nonprofit entities are eligible for the vaccine. 148,564 doses have been administered across New York’s vast distribution network in the last 24 hours, and more than 1 million doses have been administered over the past seven days.

“New York’s ability to fight the COVID virus is only as strong as the state’s vaccination program, and that’s why we’re constantly expanding our distribution network and getting shots in arms across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “We’re opening new sites large and small and making sure the vaccine gets to underserved communities, and New Yorkers should practice safe behaviors until it’s available to a wider pool of people. New York is making progress on vaccinations and we’ll continue to push the envelope to reach more residents and their families.”

New York’s vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals still far exceed the supply coming from the federal government. Due to limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.

The ‘Am I Eligible’ screening tool has been updated for individuals with comorbidities and underlying conditions with new appointments released on a rolling basis over the next weeks. New Yorkers can use the following to show they are eligible:

  • Doctor’s letter, or
  • Medical information evidencing comorbidity, or
  • Signed certification

Vaccination program numbers below are for doses distributed and delivered to New York for the state’s vaccination program, and do not include those reserved for the federal government’s Long Term Care Facility program. A breakdown of the data based on numbers reported to New York State as of 1PM today is as follows.

Statewide Breakdown

  • Total doses administered – 7,003,834
  • Total doses administered over past 24 hours – 148,564
  • Total doses administered over past 7 days – 1,048,858
  • Percent of New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose – 23.5%
  • Percent of New Yorkers with completed vaccine series – 12.2%

 

People with at least one vaccine dose
People with complete vaccine series
Region
Cumulative
Total
Increase over past
24 hours
Cumulative
Total
Increase over past
24 hours
Capital Region
289,203
6,826
146,101
2,753
Central New York
256,716
3,947
144,059
4,396
Finger Lakes
297,015
6,451
152,862
2,019
Long Island
537,946
15,342
297,960
7,282
Mid-Hudson
450,439
10,897
225,898
3,905
Mohawk Valley
127,405
1,961
69,603
1,570
New York City
2,122,244
43,714
1,065,549
27,333
North Country
145,280
1,486
83,419
1,590
Southern Tier
158,940
3,360
85,485
2,046
Western New York
306,069
7,243
169,141
3,362
Statewide
4,691,257
101,227
2,440,077
56,256

 

 
               
1st doses fully delivered to New York Providers 
2nd doses fully delivered to New York Providers 
TOTAL
CUMULATIVE
Week 1
Doses arriving 12/14 – 12/20
163,650
0
163,650
163,650
Week 2
Doses arriving 12/21 – 12/27
452,125
0
452,125 
615,775
Week 3
Doses arriving 12/28 – 01/03
227,395
0
227,395
843,170
Week 4
Doses arriving 01/04 – 01/10
239,025
165,150
404,175
1,247,345
Week 5
Doses arriving 01/11 – 01/17
221,315
119,925
341,240
1,588,585
Week 6
Doses arriving
01/18- 01/24
250,400
462,395
712,795
2,301,380
Week 7
Doses arriving
01/25 – 01/31
260,150
239,525
499,675
2,801,055
Week 8
Doses arriving
02/01 – 02/07
321,850
220,720
542,570
3,343,625
Week 9
Doses arriving
02/8 – 02/14
320,000
244,500
564,500
3,908,125
Week 10
Doses arriving
2/15 – 2/21
356,990
265,525
622,515
4,530,640
Week 11
Doses arriving
2/22 – 2/28 
393,530
305,780
699,310
5,229,950
Week 12
Doses arriving
03/01 – 03/07 
1,020,660
290,500
1,311,160
6,541,110
Week 13 Doses arriving 03/08 – 03/14
455,365
339,790
795,155
7,336,265

New Yorkers seeking to determine eligibility and schedule an appointment at a state-run mass vaccination site, can visit the ‘Am I Eligible’ website. New Yorkers may also call their local health department, pharmacy, doctor, or hospital for additional information and to schedule appointments where vaccines are available.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker Dashboard is available to update New Yorkers on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The New York State Department of Health requires vaccinating facilities to report all COVID-19 vaccine administration data within 24 hours; the vaccine administration data on the dashboard is updated daily to reflect the most up-to-date metrics in the state’s vaccination effort.

New Yorkers who suspect fraud in the vaccine distribution process can now call 833-VAX-SCAM (833-829-7226) toll-free or email the state Department of Health at STOPVAXFRAUD@health.ny.gov. Hotline staff will route complaints to the appropriate investigative agencies to ensure New Yorkers are not being taken advantage of as the State works to vaccinate the entire eligible population.


“Syracuse Police Reform & Reinvention Plan” is Approved by the Common Council: Mayor and Police Chief Respond


Statement by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Chief Kenton Buckner on the Common Council’s approval of the Syracuse Police Reform & Reinvention Plan

Commitment by the Syracuse Common Council, Mayor Walsh and the Syracuse Police Department to implement substantive change that is transparent and accountable to the people of Syracuse

 The voluminous 261-page report includes details and methodology on how to change policing in our community

This past year has been tumultuous to say the least, COVID-19, the campaign for Social Justice and the Presidential Elections created an environment where anything could happen, and it did. Multiple stakeholders spent their time in an aggressive over 30 day initiative to bring attention to Police policies. Sparked by the death of George Floyd, how civilians are policed has matured into a global effort.

Directives from the Governor to all law enforcement agencies to review their policies; local governments on the city and county level have begun to implement these new initiatives. Those requiring legislative approval were before the Syracuse Common Council for their review on behalf of city residents. That approval came yesterday March 15, 2021.

Community Mobilization

On June 12, 2020, community organizers, advocates and activists issued a statement urging the passage of the Syracuse Right to Know Act and other reforms as part of the People’s Agenda for Police Reform.

The People’s Agenda included nine (9) items. The coalition seeking these reforms included the following members:

  • Last Chance for Change
  • Black Lives Matter, Syracuse
  • CuseYouthBLM
  • Raha Syracuse
  • Syracuse Chapter of the National Action Network
  • Syracuse-Onondaga NAACP
  • William Herbert Johnson Bar Association of Central New York
  • Central New York Chapter of the NYCLU
  • Syracuse Peace Council
  • Syracuse Cultural Workers
  • CNY Solidarity
  • Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS)
  • Black Leadership Coalition
  • Syracuse Police Accountability and Reform Coalition (SPAARC)
  • Syracuse Clergy

The voluminous 261-page report includes details, methodology and legislation on how to change policing in our community.  In addition, there are statewide directives as ordered by the Governor; every law enforcement agency in the state are reviewing their tactics.  An independently produced study includes “Contacts with Syracuse Police Citizens’ Assessments” as reported to the Syracuse Police by The John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety, Inc.

Information is included with detail in the full report issued by the Mayor’s Office and the collaborative partners. “Click” Here Full Report Link

The document is a collaborative effort, representing the work of many people representing a broad spectrum of the community. This included the commitment by the Syracuse Common Council, Mayor Walsh and the Syracuse Police Chief to implement substantive change that is transparent and accountable to the people of Syracuse.

Executive Summary speaks to “A National Movement”

As stated in the report summary, A National Movement. “The murder of George Floyd touched every corner of our community. Like other communities, City of Syracuse residents mobilized and organized Black Lives Matter protests. In addition, individuals and organizations sought changes to governance policies, practices and procedures that upheld inequitable outcomes or fostered exclusive environments contributing to the social and the economic oppression of Black people and other people of color. Government officials responded with urgency and strategic focus to address and implement comprehensive police reform. On the national level, H.R.7120 – George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 20201 was introduced to Congress on June 8, 2020 and passed in the House of Representatives on June 25, 2020. The bill was received in the Senate on June 29, 2020 and remains there to date. On the state level, New York State lawmakers passed a ten-item legislative package. A summary of the legislation can be found in Appendix M2 . In Syracuse, we are listening and we are acting.”

Syracuse Police Reform and Reinvention Plan March 2021 table of contents

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh upon the Common Council’s approval of the Syracuse Police Reform & Reinvention Plan said, “Today, the Common Council unanimously approved the Syracuse Police Reform & Reinvention Plan which has been reviewed and commented on by residents and stakeholders. I thank the Common Council for their partnership in holding public hearings, providing input, and in moving this plan and our city forward. I also thank the community for their engagement and input on how we continue strengthening and improving police accountability and response.

The Syracuse Police Reform & Reinvention Plan and process is ongoing – we are not done. Our work will be implemented with transparency and involve the partnership of the community we serve. Chief Buckner and the members of the Syracuse Police Department have been implementing changes since the Chief arrived and they are implementing more changes each day. We know that what we do together today will have a lasting impact on the city and its residents.”

Mayor Walsh’s statement was followed by Chief Kenton Buckner who added, “Over the past several months, the Syracuse Police Department has worked with internal and external stakeholders to draft a reform plan for our agency. This endeavor comes on the heels of a national and local call from citizens for police departments to implement reform efforts into their agencies. This included but is not limited to changes to policy, training, delivery of services, and accountability. With this in mind, SPD will continue our efforts by delivering on the promises made during this process.”

This is not the end, but just a beginning of a process designed to change how policing is done in Syracuse, NY. A culmination of efforts included not only the Police Department, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Syracuse Common Council President Helen Hudson, Khalid Bey and Democratic Progressives on the Common Council.

These efforts began decades ago, with former Syracuse Common Councilor Charles Anderson who led the charge, pushing the legislation for police accountability. This isn’t new to many of the community-based groups that coalesced into a force. A force that harnessed the frustration and at times out right anger at how policing is done, not just in Syracuse, but in our nation as a whole. That process which began decades ago as a legislative baby, is now all grown up, and has teeth.


People are Exhausted: COVID-19 Pandemic, Police and The Presidential Election

A review of the year 2020 was dark, the only ray of hope was the Presidential Election, the people were going to speak.  However, even that enthusiasm was dampened by the former President refusing to concede. 2020 was the Summer of our discontent, as protests and disease dominated the news for an entire year.  At one point I was asked, “why don’t you just post that Covid-19 stuff where we can see it if we want to”.  Along with deniers, those who wanted to deny what was going on even as the death count increased. ‘Rona made a beeline towards those with comorbidities, hitting the African American community hard, for example if you have underlying health issues you may be more susceptible to contracting Covid-19, and possibly dying.

These disparities were evident in the numbers reported from places like Chicago that recorded record numbers of Black residents were contracting the disease when compared to the white community. These healthcare disparities are duplicated in communities across America.

Being in jobs that are low wage or requiring public contact made the Black Community an easy target. If you work in fast food, hospitality, restaurants, bus driving, maintenance, etc., you are not able to stay home, you have to work, and risk being exposed.

George Floyd

George Floyd’s death in front of the world triggered the largest global response to address aggressive police action ever. Apparently, the United States isn’t the only place in the world where people of color feel oppressed. In Syracuse, for a period of 30 days people took to the streets in the middle of the pandemic to let their voices be heard. As a result, state and local governments took a look at Law Enforcement in their localities, some made major changes. Other municipalities have changes on the drawing board for future implementation.

Police assaulting a Black man on video. Not new, but his time, not unlike footage shown of innocent protestors being beaten and fire hosed on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7th 1964; the George Floyd video was that, “Pettus Bridge” moment for this generation, the response resonated and simmered all summer long.

Presidential Election 2020 Trump Supporters “We” were robbed!

If that wasn’t enough, handling the constant campaign of lies from the President of the United States created an electoral civil war. The traditional “Bully Pulpit” of the Presidency was used to divide instead of uniting. Telling supporters early on that if he did not win it would be due to massive voter fraud. He lost and you know the rest. Attempting to disqualify millions of votes from predominantly Black areas ignited the dry kindling of racism.  These attitudes were no longer cloaked, these election result deniers threatened our existence as a democracy. They are actually believing “We” as in their cause, were robbed!

Exhaustion

So, as I poured through the columns and stories written in 2020 I came away with the feeling of exhaustion. We’ve been on some type of pause in one form or another for a year. No parades, no movies, no large festivals, recreational activities cancelled, gyms closed. Families have had to distance from each other as healthcare authorities were advising against visiting grandma.

Many of us lost loved ones due to Covid-19 or some other cause, but 2020 was a year of great personal loss for so many people. As President Biden points out so often, “There are empty chairs at the table.”

We wished each other Happy New Year on January 1st  hoping that we left the bad Karma of 2020 behind, then on January 6th  the attack on the US Capital occurred. It’s going to be a long year…


NYS Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker Responds to Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Request to Use Second Vaccine Doses as First Doses

“Most importantly, and definitively, the CDC, which is now headed by President Biden’s team, does not recommend using second doses for first doses. I am in regular contact with the CDC, including as recently as this morning, on this topic when they affirmed their opposition to using second doses as first doses now.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker today responded to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s request to use second COVID vaccine doses as first doses.

The full text of Dr. Zucker’s letter to the Mayor is available below:

February 4, 2021

To Mayor de Blasio,

I am in receipt of your letter of February 3rd asking for State Department of Health approval to use second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as first doses.

As you may know, and as I am sure your Health Commissioner has advised you, the use of second COVID-19 vaccine doses for first doses is a topic being discussed by top national and international health experts.

There are some health officials who advocate for use of second doses as first doses.

These experts will point out that their recommendation is premised upon a federally secured increase in vaccine production which would be required to meet the additional dosage demands in the coming weeks. There are also health experts that adamantly oppose the use of second doses as first doses because they believe there is inadequate production to manage the surge it would create. There is even a school of thought that suggests the delay between first doses and second doses has given rise to the viral variant strains that have surfaced. Clearly the medical community is of mixed opinion on the matter.

Most importantly, and definitively, the CDC, which is now headed by President Biden’s team, does not recommend using second doses for first doses. I am in regular contact with the CDC, including as recently as this morning, on this topic when they affirmed their opposition to using second doses as first doses now.  The CDC has information that we do not have. The CDC has intimate knowledge of the future vaccine production schedule as it is federally controlled and their opinion is informed by national and international medical professionals researching the virus.

Governor Cuomo has already said that if the CDC does recommend using second doses for first doses he is ready, willing and able to administer a state-wide program that will do just that. If the CDC does reach a point where they recommend the use of second doses it is fair to assume the CDC will also recommend protections that would need to be put in place to make sure second doses are available on a timely basis. Your suggestion that a “brief delay” of people receiving second doses would be acceptable however it does raise a caution flag. People have worked very hard to get a vaccination appointment and there is much public anxiety that second doses will not be available on their appointment date. While the science on whether a “brief delay” would impact full immunity is open and disputed, I do believe it would create undue anxiety to tell people who have scheduled appointments that those appointments are being shifted even for a “brief delay.” As you know the vaccination process and supply has not instilled a high level of public confidence. Even postponing appointments due to the recent snow storm caused concern, I believe it is important that all scheduled appointments be honored.

I would ask New York City and all other local jurisdictions to continue their focus on vaccinating their 1B essential workforce and priority hospital workers and addressing the low performing hospitals. The differential in the hospital staff vaccination rate can be as high as 50 percent. We must do better. We have been working with private hospitals which have increased their performance and would ask for your attention to the public hospitals under your control on this matter. We know that if there is a variant that causes an increased infection rate, hospital capacity will once again become a pressing issue and those hospitals with a lower percentage of vaccinated staff will most probably be the first to fail.

Governor Cuomo, as you know, has been very aggressive in procuring increased vaccine supply and vaccination implementation. If the CDC does in fact recommend usage of the second dose as a first dose, I can assure you New York will set the national model.

Sincerely,

Dr. Howard A. Zucker, M.D., J.D.
Commission of Health


Affordable Downtown Living Upstairs from Salt City Market


Salt City Market features 26 brand new apartments, all just an elevator ride above the food hall 

Built by a recently formed non-profit under the Allyn Family Foundation called, Syracuse Urban Partnership, once complete the foundation will occupy space on the second floor. Floors 3-5 will be dedicated to mixed-income housing. There’s also a Community Room that can accommodate social activities or any event.

The project is commitment to affordability with a belief that no more than 30% of your annual income should go toward housing, Salt City Market’s housing component offers financial rental assistance for individuals based on their annual income. While developers are building high rent luxury apartments in downtown Syracuse, Syracuse Urban Partnership is creating an economically diverse ecosystem, the entire building is interactive.

Salt City Market: Restaurant “Food Hall” Concept Opens Friday January 29th in Downtown Syracuse

According to their website, “Nowhere else in Syracuse can you live directly above a full-service grocery store, coffee shop, bar, and your choice of 10 cuisines from around the world.  You’ll never worry about what to do for dinner again!”

The apartments very attractive with all of the amenities downtown dwellers are looking for; stainless steel appliances, large windows, in unit washer and dryer. In addition to being well appointed, there are 6 different configurations of apartments to choose from. Rents for one- and two-bedroom units range from $700 to $1,900 based on the size of the unit and your annual income. Take an Apartments Virtual Tour.


Salt City Market: Restaurant “Food Hall” Concept Opens Friday January 29th in Downtown Syracuse


Salt City Market adds something new to downtown: a true cultural crossroads where people from diverse backgrounds and economic means can come shop and socialize.

Immediately upon walking into Salt City Market you are visually whisked away into an assortment of colorful signs, each representing a different restaurant. The highly anticipated Salt City Market’s preparing to open January 29, 11am – 9 pm with the most diverse assortment of food you can find under one roof in Syracuse. Setup with 10 vendors the space is similar to what you’d see at a casino, mall or (gasp) Wegmans, Dewitt. You will have access to an array of culinary experiences that makes this a festival of nations for food.

Sleyrow Mason’s “Soulutions”

Salt City Market is about food, culture and helping people build financial security by doing what they love. According to Salt City Market leaders, “Picture a bustling market in downtown Syracuse: stalls with merchants selling beautiful foods from around the world, a grocery store, café, bar, events, play space and the opportunity to live and work above it. That’s what we’re building a place where everyone feels like they belong.”

They didn’t simply build out the bricks and mortar with a concept of placing individual food vendors under one roof. The project went into the guts of starting a restaurant – equipment.  Salt City Market supplies each stall with plumbing/electrical, hood, Ansul, oven, griddle, grill or fryer (if requested), refrigeration, 3-bay sink, prep tables and POS (Point of Sale). These expenses alone are enough to stop any business dream.

Vendors were also assisted in building relationships with financial institutions. Pathfinder Bank’s Calvin Corridors was singled out as being instrumental in working with Salt City Market restaurants for needed financing.

Firecracker Thai Kitchen

Below the restaurants, out of sight contains storage areas for each vendor. Each has access to their own dry storage area in addition to allotted individually sanctioned space in a large walk-in cooler. Salt City Coffee & Bar (Café/bar) has a unique set-up, Kegs leading to taps are located directly below, providing easy access. The result of this design is visual on the first floor as vendors have a clutter free selling space, cooking is visible to the consumer. You can watch as your food is being prepared.

Firas Hashim owner of Baghdad Restaurant said, “I like this style it’s open for the customers, you can see the Chwarma, chicken, and gyro, everything is made fresh.” He also shared that his food will be special because of the spices he uses, outlining how there may be several ways of seasoning food based on the region. That’s why he believes Baghdad Restaurant will be well received by the customers, “this is different from anything you’ve tasted in Syracuse”.

Miss Prissy’s Dreamer Glen

Dreamer Glen, owner of Miss Prissy’s Soul Food reflected on what inspired her to start this venture, “My grandmother inspired me, my grandmother was an avid cook, people loved what she cooked and when she cooked people were happy. I learned everything that I know from her, she was my inspiration. When she passed away it was up to me to keep the family meals going, my mom and my aunts, that’s what we do.

What drew her to City Market? Ms. Glen continues, “The opportunity presented itself, and for black and brown people especially women in the city of Syracuse things can be very hard. Access to funding, access to financing and the Salt City Market was a competitive process. And the end result was this, so I said, ‘why not give it a go and see what happens’. We competed with some of the best, of the best. And here we are, it’s wonderful, so I would say that access to funding and capital made it difficult. I’ve been catering for 17 years but never able to have a brick & mortar. It’s exciting to be able to do that under the auspices of Syracuse Urban Partnership and the Allyn Foundation. Making these opportunities available for us, we have some skin in the game also. But it’s a great partnership.”

Meg O’Connell, Dave Allyn and Maarten Jacobs

According to the Syracuse Urban Partnership, “Salt City Market adds something new to downtown: a true cultural crossroads where people from diverse backgrounds and economic means can come shop and socialize. We feel that the best way to create such a space is by: Helping incubate small food businesses. Creating a mixed-use space with everything from a grocery store to play space for kids to an evening cocktail lounge; in addition to weekly events series designed for and by our community.”

Apartments are currently being rented upstairs from Salt City Market at affordable rates read more about it : Affordable Downtown Living Upstairs from City Market

The Allyn Family Foundation and the Syracuse Urban Partnership have created a project that if successful will become the envy of those working to bring positive energy and economic diversity into a beleaguered urban area. This must be the most wholistic approach to economic empowerment ever implemented in Syracuse. The only conundrum left is which food to select, for your first visit to Salt City Market which opens January 29th  

Salt City Market is the embodiment Mayor Walsh’s vision – “a growing city that embraces diversity and creates opportunity for all”  As stated at the groundbreaking for the project, “this investment, the Allyn Foundation would not have made without Ben Walsh as Mayor. ”

Salt City Market

Regional and International Cuisines from Talented, Driven Entrepreneurs

 

Salt City Market Vendors

 

 

 


Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State Vaccination Program


As all of Week 6 Allocation Arrives, as of 11AM today, New York’s Health Care Distribution Sites Have Administered 88% of First Doses Received from Federal Government

Vaccine Dashboard Will Update Daily to Provide Updates on the State’s Vaccine Program; Go to ny.gov/vaccinetracker

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the state’s vaccination program. The total week 6 federal allocation of vaccine delivery to providers will be complete today. Delivery of the week 7 allocation from the federal government does not begin until the middle of this week. As of 11am today, New York’s health care distribution sites have received 1,304,050 first doses and administered 88 percent or 1,144,070 first dose vaccinations.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

“As our week six allocation finishes arriving to providers today, New York has already administered 88 percent of its first doses, demonstrating once again that the problem we face is lack of supply from the federal government,” Governor Cuomo said. “We have the operational capacity to do over 100,000 doses a day — we just need the dosages. In the meantime, the state will continue working around the clock to get shots into arms quickly, and providers must continue administering to their assigned priority populations in order to ensure equity of distribution during this time of limited supply.”

New York’s vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals far exceed the vaccine supply coming from the federal government. While the federal government has increased eligibility for the vaccine to include 7 million New Yorkers, the federal supply of vaccines has actually decreased. Due to limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.

Vaccination program numbers are for doses distributed and delivered to New York for the state’s vaccination program, and do not include those reserved for the federal government’s Long Term Care Facility program. A breakdown of the data based on numbers reported to New York State as of 11AM today is as follows:

Statewide Breakdown

  • First Doses Received – 1,304,050
  • First Doses Administered – 1,144,070
  • Second Doses Received – 564,600
  • Second Doses Administered – 139,929
Region
1st doses received
1st doses administered
% of Doses Administered/Received
Capital Region
83,840
74,380
89%
Central New York
74,040
72,447
98%
Finger Lakes
80,150
76,141
95%
Long Island
149,370
144,508
97%
Mid-Hudson
123,150
100,677
82%
Mohawk Valley
36,970
25,403
69%
New York City
589,275
499,101
85%
North Country
36,745
28,468
77%
Southern Tier
38,250
34,486
90%
Western New York
92,260
88,459
96%
TOTAL
1,304,050
1,144,070
88%
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Doses arriving 12/14 – 12/20
Doses arriving 12/21 – 12/27
Doses arriving 12/28 – 01/03
Doses arriving 01/04 – 01/10
Doses arriving 01/11 – 01/17
Doses arriving 01/18-
01/24
1st doses fully delivered to New York for Healthcare Distribution Sites
90,675
392,025
201,500
160,050
209,400
250,400
2nd doses fully delivered to New York for Healthcare Distribution Sites
0
0
0
90,675
45,825
428,100
TOTAL
90,675
392,025
201,500
250,725
255,225
678,500
CUMULATIVE
482,700
684,200
934,925
1,190,150
1,868,650

To date, New York’s health care distribution sites have administered 88 percent of first doses received from the federal government but due to the federal government’s limited allocation, appointments have filled up quickly. New Yorkers seeking to determine eligibility and schedule an appointment at a state-run mass vaccination site, can visit the ‘Am I Eligible’ website. New Yorkers may also call their local health department, pharmacy, doctor or hospital for additional information and to schedule appointments where vaccines are available.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker Dashboard is available to update New Yorkers on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The New York State Department of Health requires vaccinating facilities to report all COVID-19 vaccine administration data within 24 hours; the vaccine administration data on the dashboard is updated daily to reflect the most up-to-date metrics in the state’s vaccination effort.