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Sept. 11 turned a journalism professor into a playwright; ‘The Guys’ opens Aug. 29 at ShoppingTown

Anne Nelson, the director of International Programs for the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, had never written a play.

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Volunteer of the Month: August 2014

Betty Stark, Court Appointed Special Advocates

According to the national Court Appointed Special Advocates website, “every day in this country, 1,900 children become victims of abuse or neglect, and four of them will die. Every day! Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is a network of 951 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. Last year there were 75,000 CASA volunteers. For many abused children, a CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives.

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Something fishy in East Syracuse

Fish FINatics specializes in freshwater and saltwater fish care

Many people believe that every kid should have a dog. Chris Fowler, co-owner of Fish FINatics pet store in East Syracuse, believes that every kid should have a fish.

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Jazzing it up

Roger DeVore broadcasts ‘real, old-time jazz’ every week out of East Syracuse

Roger DeVore can remember hearing live jazz bands at his uncles' houses as well as many jazz records at his family’s home when he was just 5 years old, growing up in Ridgewood, New Jersey in the 1940s. His interest in the genre grew stronger as he got older, and he began visiting New York City nightclubs when he was as young as 16 to listen to the different jazz musicians who performed there.

Folk Strings back on the hill

Acoustic quartet stretches the definition of “folk” music

When they first got together in 1992, the founding members of Folk Strings realized that they had a lot in common.

Israel's ‘king of the blues’ to play at the JCC of Syracuse

Blues guitarist Lazer Lloyd will perform an intimate solo concert on Monday, Aug. 25 to focus on healing and inspiration for Israel, as part of a special dinner and music event at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. The RSVP-only event will begin with a kosher meal at 5 p.m. and Lloyd will perform at 5:30 p.m. Seating will start promptly at 4:45 p.m.

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Going to the dogs

The 2014 Canine Carnival, held Aug. 10, was a rousing success. Now in its fifth year, it is the largest dog rescue event in New York State. With an increasing number of volunteer organizations, vendors, shows and adoptees, the outdoor event needed even more space this year and pulled up stakes for a move to Jamesville Beach County Park, where County Executive Joanie Mahoney kicked off the event, followed by a local pastor's prayer over the animals.

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You are what you eat?

Fayetteville woman raising awareness about food allergy walk; proceeds will go to research

From the time she was 11 months old, Lindsey Stoppacher’s oldest daughter, Harper, did not like the taste of peanuts.

Solarize Syracuse promotes solar power in Syracuse and surrounding areas

Recently, seven local organizations partnered together to create a grassroots solar power initiative called “Solarize Syracuse”. Its mission is to provide residences in the greater Syracuse area with solar power, saving both money and the planet.

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Sharkey’s to host country music festival for Clear Path for Veterans

Too often, veterans returning home from combat zones aren’t getting the support they need. That’s especially true if they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an often silent disability triggered by a traumatic event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. While PTSD can happen to anyone who has experienced trauma, it’s particularly common in veterans; while it occurs in approximately 7 to 8 percent of the general population, 11 to 20 percent of Afghanistan or Iraq vets, 10 percent of Gulf War vets and 30 percent of Vietnam vets suffer from PTSD. In order to support these veterans, a group of volunteers has organized a benefit called the Victory for Vets Country Music Festival to take place Aug. 16 at Sharkey’s in Liverpool. The proceeds from the event will go to Clear Path for Veterans, a nonprofit based in Chittenango that provides support for returning veterans, including peer-to-peer support, classes, service dogs and more.

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Bruin Recycling and Sen. DeFrancisco present check for Flags and Flowers for Veterans

DeFrancisco’s e-cycling event raises $1,000 for local charity

On July 28, at East Syracuse Village Hall, State Sen. John A. DeFrancisco joined Jon Nappa, of Bruin Recycling, and Alice Kim, of Time Warner Cable, to present a $1,000 check to Flags and Flowers for the Veterans. The donation was generated through an electronics recycling event, held this past June in East Syracuse, that DeFrancisco sponsored along with Time Warner Cable and Bruin Recycling.

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Syracuse Crunch raises funds for Red Cross Disaster Relief

Donation sparked by Smithfield tornado and East Syracuse storm damage

In the wake of the tornado and severe storms that hit Central New York on July 8, the Syracuse Crunch recently raised more than $1,000 for the American Red Cross through a jersey auction fundraiser. The money raised will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which will be used to help provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance for victims of future disasters.

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Taste of Cazenovia to be held at Willow Bank Yacht Club

More sponsors, increased participants scheduled for this year’s annual event

The gourmand, the oenophile, the epicurean, the zymurgist — whatever the label for people who love good food and drink, they all will be happy on Sept. 9, when the annual Taste of Cazenovia event returns. This year, for the first time ever, the event will be held at the Willow Bank Yacht Club.

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Salon and local non-profit team up to provide free wigs to cancer patients

During the early years of Rose Ruggiero’s career as a hairstylist, she worked at a salon that required its employees to take part in community service. And during those years of employment, Ruggiero dedicated hours of her time to cutting wigs for patients at no charge.

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Manlius gazebo recreated to look almost identical to 1880s version

In the 1880s, when Manlius was compiled of dirt roads, a small gazebo was built at the corner of Academy Street and East Seneca Turnpike. The gazebo remained standing for more than 130 years, but eventually needed many repairs. This summer, the tattered, worn-down gazebo has been rebuilt to look similar to the old one, but stronger and more stable.

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