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FROM THE LEGISLATURE: Why I voted against the Lakeview Amphitheater

Recently, the legislature was asked to approve funding for the Lakeview Amphitheater. Over the past several months, I have raised numerous concerns regarding the impact on local residents with regard to sound and traffic, the economic viability of an outdoor amphitheater in Central New York, the uncertainty of the revenue from Turning Stone and the risks and additional costs associated with building on the waste beds.

NOPL news: Tech help for your new gadgets

If you’re giving a tech gift this holiday, be sure include the gift of tech help, too. When you stop into any NOPL location you can pick up a coupon to give with your technology gifts that entitles the recipient to a free one-on-one tech session at the library with their new device.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: Betty Gilmore made Liverpool a better place

Betty Gilmore’s roots ran all the way back to the 1720s, when her British ancestors established a trading post at what would eventually become known as Fort Oswego. Later in the 17th century, her people would help found the town of Pompey and, in the 18th century, the town of Elbridge, both here in Onondaga County. Betty continued her family’s tradition of community-building during her long life which ended Dec. 5 at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center. She was 95. Betty will be buried at the Liverpool Village Cemetery.

REMEMBERING CLAY: German Christmas traditions in Clay

Since Germans from the Palatinate of Europe were not only the founding fathers of Clay, but also formed the first congregation which became Immanuel Lutheran Church, I did some research on Christmas in Germany and how it influenced the way we celebrate Christmas in America.

FROM THE LEGISLATURE: County legislature authorizes necessary sewer improvements

As a member of the Environmental Protection Committee at the legislature, I receive quarterly updates on the lake improvement project, as well as various projects taking place across the county to mitigate stormwater infiltration in to our sewers. Surprisingly, most of our water treatment and sewer infrastructure is more than four decades old. Investments to the infrastructure that is underground has paled in comparison to the infrastructure that we see every day — our roads and bridges.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: Readers and eaters can’t get enough comfort food

Several readers stopped me out and about to chat about my Nov. 4 column about comfort food. Seems they can’t get enough.

From the state senate: Support Cell Phones for Soldiers

I have kicked off my seventh-annual Cell Phones For Soldiers collection drive to help our soldiers serving overseas stay connected with their loved ones back home, especially during the holidays. You can support this important cause by donating your gently-used mobile phones to any of my designated collection sites throughout Onondaga County and the city of Auburn. 

Looking forward to Skä·noñh — Great Law of Peace Center

After going dark for more than three years, the old French Fort’s fixing to rekindle its fires more brightly than ever. The facility, which has been known as Saint Marie Among the Iroquois for the past two decades, will now be known as Skä·noñh — Great Law of Peace Center thanks to a joint effort by the Onondaga Historical Association, Onondaga County, the Onondaga Nation and local colleges.

Chiefs predict more fireworks on and off the field

New Syracuse Chiefs General Manager Jason Smorol, who lives in Liverpool, delivered a Rockne-like pep talk at the annual shareholders’ meeting last Tuesday, Nov. 18, at NBT Bank Stadium.

One-on-one help for your new tech toys

If your holiday wish list includes a new tablet, e-reader or mp3 player, then you’re going to want to add a one-on-one tech session NOPL to your list, too. Not only can we help you learn to use your new device, but we can show you how you can borrow e-books, audiobooks and magazines, stream music, television shows and movies, and even download songs — all with your library card.

Supporting our veterans

Last week, we saw many celebrations and ceremonies to honor our veterans and those currently serving in our military. I had the pleasure to participate in the Cicero American Legion’s open house on Veterans Day and was honored to speak with many local veterans. They have done so much for us and deserve our respect and support.

Meteorologist Carrie Cheevers actually loves lake effect

Well, we’ve endured the first lake effect snowfall of the year. A few inches blanketed lawns and landscapes from Oswego to Ithaca after flakes began falling at noon Friday, Nov. 14, and continued on and off for a couple days. The unusual mid-day squall was offset by intermittent appearances of blue skies and sunshine, as though Mother Nature couldn’t quite make up her mind.

Get your flu vaccine

Have you had your flu vaccination yet? You’re going to get one, right? We’re enjoying unseasonably warm weather, the fall colors are beautiful and the flu is far from our minds, but the truth is, the flu season is here; now is the time to act. Those beautiful fall colors are our first reminder to protect ourselves from the flu, and the flu vaccine is the best way to get that protection. Public health officials recommend the flu vaccine for everyone over the age of six months. I realize that many people equate the flu with the common cold, but that’s not true. The flu is serious; it can put you in the hospital and is a killer. Every year thousands die from the flu.

New Zogg owner devoted to democracy in Thailand

We haven’t even met him yet, but we already know that the new owner of Liverpool’s historic Zogg Building is one of Thailand’s most outspoken proponents of democracy in his troubled country of 66 million people This past August, Liverpool Community Church, which has owned the former A.V. Zogg Building for 11 years, sold it for $1.1 million to Dr. Pramote Nakornthab, a retired professor of political science from Cornell University.

Onondaga County budget cuts taxes

This year marks my fifth working on the budget as an Onondaga County legislator. In that time, the economy made a dramatic downward turn, and has shown signs recently of a slight recovery. Fortunately, our county has been able to weather the economic changes fairly well. As I spent the past few weeks combing through the 2015 budget from the county executive, I am pleased to share the budget as presented proposed to keep the property tax levy flat, and even reduced spending by $6 million. In dollars and cents, that is a proposed tax rate of $5.17 per $1,000, a new historic low for our county.

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