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Painter Maureen Lemko loves local landmarks

They may not be many, but the five oil paintings that comprise Maureen Lemko’s ongoing exhibit are certainly memorable. The artist colorfully depicts a quintet of familiar scenes in her work hanging through April at the Liverpool Public Library lobby. All artists aspire to show us our world through a new pair of eyes, and Maureen succeeds as she brings a fresh perspective to Old First, the village’s iconic burnt umber brick edifice. Other local landmarks Lemko rendered include Liverpool United Methodist’s famous purple door, an old willow basket barn, Liverpool Cemetery and Baldwinsville’s Abbott Farms.

Dinner memorializes Cicero couple while raising money for St. Jude

For Dominic and Patricia Rossi, life was about family, community and service. “I am biased, but I feel my parents were great people,” said their son, Joe Rossi. “They put family first, they gave back to their community through service, they stood up for what they believed in and they weren't afraid to get their hands dirty.” That dedication to serving the community in which they lived —Cicero — has been reflected in the way that community remembers the Rossis nearly two decades after both passed away. There’s a street in town called Rossi Court, named after Dominic, and a garden in front of NOPL @ Brewerton planted in Patricia’s memory. In addition, Joe Rossi holds a fundraiser dinner every year that serves a dual purpose: it memorializes his parents while raising money for an important cause close to their hearts.

In spring a young man’s fancy turns to…baseball!

Ready or not, here comes baseball. Syracuse Chiefs groundskeeper John Stewart and his crew worked overtime last week scraping ice out of the dugouts at NBT Bank Stadium, where the local International League entry hopes to open its season at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 3. The top farm club of the Washington Nationals, the Chiefs will face New York Yankees Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, who remain in town for games at 5 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 474-7833; syracusechiefs.com.

Next year, where will village put its piles of snow?

After that withering winter, especially that season-ending two-day blizzard March 12 and 13, most of us would like to forget about snow for the next six months or so. But Bill Asmus can’t afford to forget. He’s already worried about winter 2014-15. The superintendent of the village Department of Public Works since 1996, Bill needs to find a place to dump all the snow his crews plow from our streets and sidewalks.

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WCNY-FM offers special radio service for blind and visually impaired

For more than three decades, WCNY-FM has been serving the blind and visually-impaired residents of Central New York with a special radio service called READ-OUT.

Dick Powell shines on Cinefest’s silver screen

Every March, the Syracuse Cinephile Society’s annual Cinefest draws hundreds of vintage film fans from around the world to little ol’ Liverpool. The attendees view rare movies, most of them shot during the first half of the 20th century.

OCC to host business conference

Onondaga Community College is more than just an asset for students seeking an associate’s degree in one of the numerous programs they offer. OCC is home to the NYS Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC provides one-on-one advisement to start up and existing businesses. OCC staff at the SBDC consists of small business advisors who can advise an entrepreneur on making their business a success. The SBDC works with businesses of all varieties; home based, e-commerce, manufacturing firms — small to large. Services provided by the SBDC are free and confidential. Additionally, the SBDC partners with statewide agencies which provide a strong network of support. Some of the support the SBDC can assist with is business plan development, small business start-ups, organizational structures, exporting, cost analysis, marketing, financial management, financing strategies, training programs, business expansion, selling a business and research.

Library director to retire

On March 6, Liverpool Public Library Executive Director Jean Armour Polly announced to her staff that she would retire 30 days later, on April 6. Polly, 61, was appointed director in July 2009. Prior to that, from 2002 to ’09, she was assistant director of the library in charge of its systems and technology department. She previously worked at the library from 1976 to 1992, when she left to pursue Internet-related projects and write books.

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Local artist blooms in Baldwinsville

When you walk into Baldwinsville’s Canal Walk Cafe, you’re surrounded by the talents of local artists in a variety of media: culinary, crafting and paintings just to name a few. What you may not know is that one of those artists responsible for the eclectic and eye-catching decor is also involved in dishing up your palate’s preference. Meet your server, Jackie Colello, a gifted painter whose passion involves another kind of palette: color.

Two-fingered typist became our best writer

Marylee Manson Armour knew how to turn a phrase. She was one of Liverpool’s most gifted writers ever. Her crowning achievement was a book about a Fourth Lake mail-boat captain, “Heartwood: The Adirondack Homestead Life of W. Don Burnap.” Marylee died Feb. 20 at age 89, but she had continued journaling up into her 87th year, this time in the form of a blog. Her favorite topics were nature, spirituality and homespun Hoosier humor. Born in Terre Haute, Ind., Marylee had resided in Liverpool since 1947, spending summers at the family camp at Fourth Lake.

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As testing regulations increase, more and more parents choose to homeschool their children

As controversies over Common Core and mandated standardized tests become more and more prevalent, many parents are choosing a new option in educating their children: homeschooling. Once the sole province of the very religious, homeschooling is becoming more popular every day, with a growth rate of 7 to 15 percent per year. Nationwide, about 2 million children learn at home instead of in a brick-and-mortar school, up from about 1 million in 2003. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 88 percent of U.S. homeschool parents express concern about the school environment, citing drugs, negative peer pressure and general safety.

Music meant the world to Mike Casale

Born with spina bifida in 1949, Mike Casale spent his entire 64 years wearing various contraptions designed to hold his body upright to offset the effects of the congenital spinal disorder. A naturally affable fella, Mike often commented frankly on his disability. “I’m 64 years old, 4-foot-3, and I use a cane,” he said, but he never complained about it and never let it hold him back. A talented bass guitarist who lived in Liverpool, Mike became of the most recognizable entertainers in Central New York. He made his initial mark on the local music scene from 1970 to 1985 as one-half of the duo Neighborhood Friends alongside six-string guitarist Gary Sprague.

Limp Lizard hosts feral feast on Sunday

The Limp Lizard BBQ specializes in Southern-style delicacies such as pulled pork, barbecued chicken, catfish, ribs and jambalaya. And no, despite the business’s name, the cooks there never grill iguana. This Sunday afternoon, however, one of the Limp Lizard’s regular customers, Joe Romano, will host a wild game dinner at the little bar and restaurant at 201 First St. There’s no lizard meat on his menu, but Romano will prepare plenty of venison, pheasant, duck, wild turkey and fish. Romano, who lives in Liverpool, is a 21st-century Renaissance man. A talented sculptor and carpenter with a shop on North Cypress Street and a home on Hickory Street, Romano’s also a gifted gastronome. For instance, he makes his own maple syrup and his own homemade wine, although I’m sure he’s careful not to mix them.

Local high school students memorize monologues for competition

Two local high-school students will be among 19 contestants in the 26th annual Shakespeare Competition from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 1, at Archbold Theatre at Syracuse Stage. The public-speaking contest conducted by the Syracuse branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States will commemorating William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.

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LMS orchestra composes piece for upcoming Symphoria concert

Over the last few weeks, members of the Liverpool Middle Orchestra have been hard at work composing an ode to nature. As part of Symphoria’s educational outreach program, the seventh and eighth grade musicians from LMS were asked to think about the sounds they hear in nature and write an eight-measure phrase using the New York State School Music Association’s Level 1 and 2 sight-reading guidelines. Once the phrases were compiled, the students sight-read each one and selected two themes — one written by LMS seventh-grader Zoyie Baldwin and the other by eighth-grader Catrina Tulowiecki — to use as the foundation for their own musical composition.

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