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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.

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.

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