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Guest column: A model TNR program at Casual Estates

We’ve written before about TNR, or trap-neuter-return, in dealing with feral cats. Feral or “community” cats are those cats that roam free and are frequently too wild (unsocialized) to adopt. If left alone, they reproduce, and the sheer numbers may make them a nuisance. With TNR, they are trapped humanely, neutered and vaccinated, and returned to the area they came from. An established colony will keep new, unaltered cats out, and because they can’t reproduce, the colony gradually gets smaller instead of quickly getting larger.

On the campaign trail: Maffei releases first TV ad

Congressman Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) has released his first television campaign ad, sparking sharp criticism from the opposition. Maffei’s ad, a 30-second spot entitled “Hard Work,” features the congressman visiting with small businessmen and –women, chatting with senior citizens and posing with his family. The ad asserts that Maffei, too, is sick of Congressional gridlock and perks and is working hard to get rid of them.

Rat Packer rolled strikes at Flamingo Bowl

The village welcomed the swingin’ Sixties because George Tortorelli knew how to swing. The former boxer who lived in Liverpool on Tulip Street near the cemetery had become a musician, a bass player who excelled as a bandleader and master of ceremonies. Using the stage name George Orelli, he worked at all of Central New York’s top nightclubs, from Andre’s Tic Toc Club down city to Three Rivers Inn north of here where he accompanied touring stars such as Connie Francis, Louis Armstrong and Jimmy Durante.

The state fair is a Central New York tradition

Some of my fondest summer memories are of time spent at the New York State Fair, and each year, I look forward to making new memories with my family. In fact, my 89-year-old mother-in-law still goes to the fair every day. For her, the tradition is what’s important. While the fair has certainly stayed true to its roots, there is always something new to see, hear or taste. That’s why I’ll be heading down to the Great New York State Fair from Aug. 21 to Sept. 1. I invite you to join me. The iconic fair provides an opportunity for all of us to revisit old memories and make new ones as we celebrate “Summer’s Best in Show” — this year’s theme.

First Street’s newest biz caters to furry friends

First Street is going to the dogs. And cats. But seriously, folks, a new business called Furrever Friends celebrated its grand opening Saturday, July 26, at the corner of First and Tulip streets. Owner Odean Dyer is anxious to meet your pets and improve their lives with healthy foods, cool accessories and professional groomings.

Tease photo

Celebrate Central New York’s rich history

In our busy lives, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we live in an area that is steeped in culture, history and beauty. From Central New York’s participation in the Underground Railroad, to contributions to our nation’s industrial history with the Franklin Automobile Company and the Syracuse China company, and our stunning natural surroundings, it’s important that we take the time to appreciate our community’s heritage.

Help stop the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses

Yes, it’s that time again: time for mosquito spraying and time to keep ourselves protected from mosquito bites. Our community is a great place to live, but we do need to be diligent about mosquito protection. We all know the basics, but as vice chair of the county legislature’s Health Committee, one of my accountabilities is to keep you fully apprised of county efforts to minimize our exposure to mosquitoes and of current preventatives against mosquito bites.

Let’s volunteer and make a difference in our community

In a world where everyone feels pressed for time, scheduling in a bit of volunteer work may seem impossible. In fact, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service New York was ranked last in the nation for the number of its residents who have volunteered. The reality, though, is that it really doesn’t take much to give back to our communities through volunteer work. The positive impact we can make is even greater than we realize. Not to mention, it’s a great way to meet new people and pick up a few new skills.

Keep town of Clay safe and looking good

Here are some short reminders from Supervisor Damian Ulatowski to help you spruce up your property and enjoy a safe and happy summer.

Upside-down flag at American Diner signals distress

According to the United States Flag Code approved by Congress in July 1976, “The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” Well, there’s nothing dangerous about eating home fries and hash browns at the American Diner, 214 Oswego St., so why is its Stars and Stripes hanging upside down?

Syracuse Chiefs provide family fun this summer

July is Park and Recreation Month, making it the perfect time to get out and experience all our community has to offer. This year’s theme is “OUT is IN,” and there are many ways that you and your family can step outside and spend quality time together — without breaking the bank — right here in Central New York.

On the campaign trail: Katko named Republican ‘Young Gun’

Congressional candidate John Katko has earned the status of “Young Gun” from the National Republican Congressional Committee after reaching the third and final tier of the group’s recruitment program. Founded in the 2007-08 election cycle by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Young Guns program provides financial support to candidates in races across the country.

Bringing the Swing Era into the 21st century

The future of the Bear Cat Jass Band may be a bit cloudy right now, but one thing’s clear as day: the hot octet will swing with abandon at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 14, at Johnson Park.

Eighth annual Lifesavers Blood Drive is July 15

Summer is in full swing, and it is more important than ever to donate blood. Blood donations often drop during the summer while schools are out and people are traveling to visit family and friends. In order to raise awareness and help prevent shortages, I’ll be hosting my annual Lifesavers Blood Drive along with the American Red Cross on Tuesday, July 15.

On the Campaign Trail: Katko calls out Maffei; Kessner backpedals on primary

At a press conference on July 2, Republican Congressional candidate John Katko criticized Democratic opponent Dan Maffei, the incumbent representative for the 24th Congressional District, for his grandiose infrastructure plan as well as his vote against a House measure that encourages oil drilling within the U.S.