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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.

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.

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.

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.

Limp Lizard to expand

After nearly a year and a half more than a dozen meetings — some lasting as long as three hours each — on July 28 the village of Liverpool Planning Board unanimously approved plans to build a 38-seat back deck at the Limp Lizard Barbecue, 201 First St. and a 48-space parking lot behind that property to be shared by the White Water Pub, 110 S. Willow St.

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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.

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Howie Hawkins challenges Cuomo, Astorino in gubernatorial race

Howie Hawkins is hoping to change the political landscape of New York state. “If you do public polling, the majority is very progressive on economic issues, but they never get what they want,” Hawkins said. “A study just came out, the oligarchy study, looked at 1,799 federal issues. They went to the top 10 percent. Any time [the top 10 percent] wanted one thing and the 90 percent wanted the other, of course, they got their way on every issue there was conflict. This goes back to 1979. That tells you. They say, is this a democracy or a plutocracy or an oligarchy? And I think it is [an oligarchy] until we organize a party that can speak for the majority of the people. That’s been the thing that I think we need to do, what we’re trying to do.” That’s why Hawkins is running for governor, taking on the Democratic political establishment and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as well as his Republican challenger, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

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.

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.

LETTER: Thanks to Tassone for help in village initiatives

To the editor: On behalf of the village of Liverpool and the village board of trustees, I would like to publicly thank our county legislator, Judy Tassone, for her assistance with two recent initiatives in the village of Liverpool.

Trustee hopes streetscaping starts soon at North Syracuse Village Center

North Syracuse Village Trustee Gary Butterfield is anxious to get the Village Center’s streetscaping project underway. Earlier this year, the village received approximately $850,000 from Onondaga County’s Save the Rain Program to pay for the Village Center Streetscape Improvements. At their July 10 meeting, village trustees declined to approve specifications for the work which will focus on a half-mile stretch on Main Street from Fergerson Avenue north to Gertrude Street.

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