tompkins county

Matt Richmond / WSKG

About a year ago, Claire Perez started trying to figure out why she doesn’t have broadband at her house in West Dryden.

Time Warner’s cable ends a half-mile down Perez’s busy road. She’s walked up and down the street, knocking on doors, finding out who has high-speed Internet and who doesn’t.

Perez and her neighbors beyond the end of the line do have access to a satellite service. But that has a daily cap on it, so Perez can’t stream long videos.

“I’m only .5 miles from these Time Warner connections on a major route, ten miles from Cornell University, and nobody can help me in the government get connected and every time I’ve gone to various things it’s like no, no, no,” says Perez.

Emma Jacobs / WRVO

Tompkins County legislator Carol Chock is spending a lot of time thinking about hydrofracking these days.

Witness her dining room table.  

It's covered in charts and documents related to drilling.  When she and her husband want to eat, they eek out a place to set their plates by pushing the mass of papers down to one end.

It's just one of the ways that Tompkins County is carefully preparing for the arrival of hydrofracking - even as many of its residents staunchly oppose it.

NathanaelB / Via Flickr

Yesterday we brought you a hard look at Ithaca’s employment numbers, and heard from the experts who think the region still needs more job opportunities.

Today in our series about Ithaca’s economy we look at one sector the city is hoping will create those jobs: new high-tech companies, spun out of Cornell University research.

Terrie Schweitzer / via Flickr

Ithaca looks really good on paper for an upstate city. In February, Tompkins County, where Ithaca is located, had the lowest unemployment in the state: six percent.

Compare that to statewide unemployment in February at nearly nine percent, or upstate New York as a whole at just under nine percent.

In fact, Ithaca has the lowest unemployment rate of any metro area in the state.

But there’s a more complicated picture behind the numbers for Ithaca and Tompkins County, which are dominated by their institutions of higher education.

Roo Reynolds / via Flickr

Governor Cuomo's proposals for dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis, unveiled in his State of the State address Wednesday, include the creation of ten regional economic councils covering the entire state.

The new bodies would coordinate economic development regionally. The idea is to have them build job creation plans and then compete against each other for $200 million in funding. Or as Cuomo said on Wednesday:

"Competition works. Let them come up with their best plans, compete against the other regions and we will fund the most creative plans."