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Cicero unveils first draft of 2015 budget

The town of Cicero has released the preliminary draft of the 2015 town budget, it was announced at the town board’s Sept. 24 meeting. Town Supervisor Jessica Zambrano said the budget was “hot off the press” — Town

On the campaign trail: DeJoseph will have a ballot line

Judge Brian DeJoseph has earned the Conservative Party nomination in his bid for reelection to the New York State Supreme Court. DeJoseph’s name will appear on Row C this year along with other highly qualified Conservative candidates. This position will appear on ballots in Onondaga, Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and Herkimer counties.

L’pool Village Board also updated on roadwork, recent police incident

At the Aug. 18 meeting of the Liverpool Village Board, Mary Rhea, of 204 Brow St., cited five problems she wanted the trustees to address.

Landfill debt will impact Salina’s 2015 budget

The time has come for Salina residents to start paying back the debts incurred for remediation of the town landfill.

On the campaign trail: Maffei agrees to debates

During the 2012 season, Rep. Dan Maffei participated in just two debate. He's upping that number this time around. The Democratic incumbent running for the 24th Congressional District has announced a series of debates and joint appearances with Republican challenger John Katko. Four debates will be televised by local stations, and two will be broadcast on public radio.

On the campaign trail: First responders endorse Maffei

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) announced last week that he had earned the endorsement of local public safety officials in his campaign to keep his seat in the 24th Congressional District. Several first responders joined Maffei at a press conference to announce their support for the incumbent, who is running against former federal prosecutor John Katko of Camillus.

Three dozen residents attend public hearing on therapist’s plan for Birch St. home

It’s a gorgeous three-level, 14-room home at the base of Birch Street facing Onondaga Lake Park. Since it was constructed by Liverpool businessman Val Lamont two decades ago, the house has remained vacant. Lamont initially planned to move his family into the mini-mansion at 101½ Birch St., but when his late wife, Victoria, decided against it, he put it on the market for more than $500,000. Known by many as “the Christmas Tree house” because a holiday fir stands year-round in one of the home’s many expansive windows, the property attracted interest but no serious offers. Now a potential buyer, Janet Marie Urban of Nedrow, says she’ll purchase the house if she can secure a special permit from the village to allow her to operate a home-based business there. A tobacco treatment specialist, Urban’s permit application is presently under review by the Village Planning Board.

Village police get grants

At the Aug. 18 meeting of the Village of Liverpool Board of Trustees, Police Chief Don Morris updated the board about recent grants and donations he has secured, totaling more than $17,500. Grants received from the State Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program have equipped each LPD vehicle with digital cameras, binoculars and flashlights. The funds also paid for the installation of a license plate reader on the department’s new patrol car and for enhancement of security at the Village Hall, at 310 Sycamore St., where police headquarters is located.

On the campaign trail: Katko responds to allegations: ‘I was the victim of a crime’

Republican Congressional candidate John Katko is fighting back against accusations of wrongdoing relating to a gun crime that took place in April of 2000. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Katko purchased a personal firearm to protect the safety of his family in late 1999. On April 3, 2000, Katko and his wife attended an event at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on the city’s west side. He left the gun, loaded, out of view in his car. While Katko was inside the church, someone broke into his car and stole a duffel bag, which contained the gun.

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.

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.

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