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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Paid family leave good for families, the economy

Have you ever had to choose between caring for a loved one and working so you can pay the bills? It’s a painful decision that too many workers have had to make.

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Movie review: Heroes to the Rescue – A review of ‘The Finest Hours’

Okay, I have a bone to pick with Hollywood. Why is it that characters named Bernie are always either bad guys or butlers?

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Our View: Citizen feedback is crucial for Consensus government consolidation decisions

Last week, an independent commission to study the local governmental entities in Onondaga County, called Consensus, released its initial report and recommendations for potential consolidation. The commission stated that local governments are spending more than $100 million on redundant services and there is an opportunity to reduce government spending by nearly $20 million if services were consolidated at the county, city, town and village levels.

Column: Birthday plans

My brother and I were born 10 years apart, and this year we both achieve significant round numbers. At my suggestion, I thought we should take this plunge together. Why not? Conveniently, for planning purposes, both of our birthdays are in the summer.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Families keep more money with free tax help

Navigating the complex tax system can be overwhelming and stressful, making it easy to overlook hundreds or even thousands of dollars in potential credits and deductions. But right now, free assistance is available throughout Central New York to help guide hardworking families through tax season and ensure they get every penny they deserve.

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Our View: Project-based learning prepares students for the real world

We’ve all been there. Stuck in a classroom with a teacher lecturing on and on with slides and projections that don’t really grab the attention of a student with a wandering mind.

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Movie column: Coming soon to a theater near you

There are times when I enjoy the previews of movies more than I enjoy the movies themselves. But when it came to action, 2015 was a banner year on the big screen. Looking at the previews, 2016 is shaping up to be another bombastic annum. Here are a few of the titles I’m looking forward to in the coming months.

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Letter: DeWitt Community Library thanks generous donors

To the editor: The DeWitt Community Library is pleased to acknowledge the generosity of two prominent DeWitt families with long ties to the library.

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The Book Beat: Looking for some good nonfiction

Every so often, it’s worth taking a departure from reading fiction to explore books that inform, educate, and even entertain. Nonfiction gives every reader the opportunity to continue life-long learning and delve into topics they enjoy or broaden their scope of knowledge.

Column: The gas trap

Always given to worry, I often worry over things I actually know little about; consequently, I am led to wonder whether my lack of knowledge results in unnecessary anxiety, or if I knew more, would I realize I'm not worried enough? Good question!

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: This year’s state budget should invest in our future

Balancing a budget is never easy, but every family and household has to do it, and so too does the state. One of the most important responsibilities I have as your representative in the state Assembly is to help craft and pass a balanced state budget that meets the needs of our community. The budget isn’t just a spending plan; it’s a reflection of our priorities and a blueprint for achieving our shared goals.

In the Earth: Anomalies in the Garden

To say the least, our weather this fall and early winter has been unusual. There seems to have been less snow, more sun and unseasonably warmer temperatures.

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Our view: Sharpshooter program will be worth the expense

Last week, the Fayetteville Village Board voted to take on a white-tailed deer management program that would include the baiting and culling of deer by sharpshooters with silenced rifles, a change from the originally proposed program that would have used volunteer bowhunters.

Column: Leaping forward to the origins of months’ names

Having strayed off track in researching the ups and downs of Leap Year, we can now look “forward” to its more interesting in and outs. There is much to explore, such as why was the extra day added to February?

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The Book Beat: Top Reads of 2015

The year 2015 is behind us, but you might be interested to know what the top reads were — at least locally. According to circulation statistics at the DeWitt Community Library, the following books were the most read titles by local residents. How many did you read?