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Summer rains chased eight bands from Johnson Park

This may not have been the wettest summer on record, but it sure seemed to rain every Monday and Wednesday. Those are the evenings on which free concerts are scheduled at Johnson Park. As the program director for Liverpool Is the place, a sub-committee of the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, I book those concerts and present the bands.

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Heading back to school: What’s new in your district this year?

It’s once again time for kids across Central New York to start getting ready to head back to school. Both Liverpool and North Syracuse students head back Thursday, Sept. 4. Both districts had some changes in store for students and staff; read on to find out what’s new.

LCSD issues ‘Parents Bill of Rights’

One of the major concerns expressed by parents with respect to the Common Core learning curriculum is the safety of student data. In order to address that concern, the Liverpool Central School District, along with districts statewide, has implemented a Parents Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security.

Take precautions against mosquitos

Every year, the Onondaga County Department of Health begins surveillance and control of the mosquito population in May. They monitor more than 20 traps across the county, testing mosquitoes for West Nile and EEE. EEE was identified in the Cicero Wildlife Management area in early July which prompted an aerial spraying on July 22 after obtaining the necessary approval from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This helped to reduce the mosquito count, but with the recent wet-weather, additional spraying throughout the neighborhoods surrounding the management area was authorized and the truck spraying occurred Aug. 17. This will continue to be monitored by the department of health.

Visit the Great New York State Fair on a budget during Special Fair Days

Here in Central New York, we have the benefit of being right next door to The Great New York State Fair, which brings a wide variety of attractions and events for the entire family and showcases the best products our state has to offer. This year, consider taking advantage of Special Fair Days that can enhance your experience at the fair and even save you money.

Café’s revamped kitchen inspires culinary creativity

During the second week of this month the Café at 407 at Ophelia’s Place was closed in order to install new state-of-the-art stoves and ovens. The popular coffee shop re-opened Aug. 11. The café is located at 407 Tulip St., in the village of Liverpool.

Gus Macker tournament a success

By all accounts, the Gus Macker event held Aug. 8 and 9 at Drivers Village was a huge success. It was the fifth year of what has become an annual event. It was well-organized and events proceeded like clockwork. There were 178 basketball teams that participated, many travelling from distant communities like Buffalo, the Southern Tier and the North Country.

LETTER: Fifth Gus Macker tournament a success

Well, we just wrapped up our fifth year of the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament held at Drivers Village, and what a weekend it was. The weather cooperated beautifully and that provided us with extremely large crowds which included at times three generations of family members. We also maintained a quality event for the 178 four-person teams that registered to participate. Our volunteers, 145 strong, the backbone of this event, put in almost 1,500 hours. These highly enthusiastic volunteers allow us to continue the Friends of the CanTeen’s ultimate mission of raising much needed funds to operate the CanTeen teen center.

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North Area YMCA day camp encourages daily reading

The North Area Family YMCA on Wetzel Road is offering kids the full camp experience: swimming, arts and crafts, field trips… and reading? This year, the Y’s Camp Y-Noah, which serves kids who have completed kindergarten through sixth grade, has launched a new program to encourage literacy. In addition to traditional camp activities, the roughly 150 campers stop what they’re doing twice a day to read for 15 minutes.

North Syracuse Village Center streetscaping specs approved

At their Aug. 14 meeting, North Syracuse village trustees approved specifications for the Village Center’s Streetscape Improvements project funded by $850,000 from Onondaga County’s Save the Rain Program. The trustees also extended the deadline for bids from contractors to Sept. 3.

Composting will help cut waste and promote a clean environment in Central New York

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency’s (OCRRA) Amboy compost site, where we discussed their efforts to cut waste in our community. After becoming a pilot location for food composting, OCRRA upgraded its facility at the Amboy site to compost over 9,000 tons of commercial and institutional food waste every year, generating 30,000 cubic yards of compost. Instead of filling up landfills and potentially harming our environment, the waste that makes this compost goes toward creating healthier, nutrient-rich soil to grow great local produce and cut greenhouse gas emissions. It can also help improve stormwater controls, keeping our community safe.

Sea Scouts tented on Onondaga Yacht Club lawn

There’ve been plenty of friendly sailing excursions at the Onondaga Yacht Club this summer including a rare visit by nearly 30 young Sea Scouts from across the Northeast. They were here participating in the first-ever Erie Canal Flotilla Sea Scout Regatta Aug. 1 through 3, on Onondaga Lake.

From the supervisor’s office: Town of Cicero resident communications

Whenever I’m speaking with residents, it is not uncommon to hear comments such as, “I never know what’s going on in the town,” or “Why doesn’t the town send us information?” Legitimate questions, I agree, and I am strongly committed to the town maintaining active involvement with residents. Although I would like to tell people that we mail newsletters to households, the budget just doesn’t support that. Instead, we rely on the Star-Review and on internet services that have no fee.

Tips to help make college more affordable

For many, higher education is the key to a bright, successful future. The college experience can open doors and create better opportunities for our kids. While preparing for college can be daunting for parents and students, New York State has many great programs to help make the process easier.