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New York State Senate kicks off summer reading program

Summer reading is a great way to keep children academically sharp for the new school year. It can also be a fun and rewarding activity. That is why I am once again sponsoring the New York State Senate Summer Reading Program to encourage summer learning. The New York State Senate, in partnership with the New York State Library, offers this convenient online program, so families may enjoy the rewards of reading together.

Column: Here come the hops — again!

This column seems to be one about ancient knowledge. Two generations ago, everyone around Central New York knew about hops. Before long, I suspect, this will again be true.

The Book Beat: Page-to-screen

Have you seen a good book? Hollywood is always looking for the next hit and frequently turns to books. Adaptations to screen aren’t always successful, but they invariably generate interest in the source material. It may be difficult to decide whether to read the book before or after seeing the movie — there’s pros and cons either way — but that’s for you to decide. Here are some recent and soon-to-be released books to movies.

Beauty Lost and Found

Beauty has lost its shine, or so it would seem. While I don't have a particularly artistic nature, I have a deep appreciation and actual need for beauty. I crave beauty -- in art, music, fashion, nature and spirit. Would it be boring to be surrounded by beauty everywhere and all the time? Probably, but also, it would be nice not to have to look so hard to find it.

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Volunteer of the Month July 2015 Shana Fleischman – JOBSplus!

JOBSplus! is an Employment Program with Onondaga Community College in partnership with the Onondaga County Department of Social Services. JOBSplus! offers coursework and counseling to help job seekers get jobs and keep them. This is the sixth summer JOBSplus! will run its Summer Refugee Program which requires lots of volunteer tutors, and Shana Fleischman is one of them.

Editorial: Fight the burn

As you enjoy some fun in the sun this summer, it’s important to protect your body’s largest organ: the skin.

Déjà vu All Over Again – A review of “Terminator: Genisys”

Okay, I’m just going to come right out and say this. The CGI version of naked Arnold Schwarzenegger from 30 years ago is getting a little old. It’s time for this franchise to move on. But I suspect that as long as it’s making money, the Hollywood powers-that-be will green light yet another sequel even though this chapter effectively wraps up the storyline. Again.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Celebrating 30 years of Parks and Recreation Month

With summer now in full swing, it’s the perfect time to explore the beautiful landscapes and endless outdoor activities available to you right here in Central New York. And with this July marking 30 years of Parks and Recreation Month, there’s no better way to celebrate then by getting outside, enjoying fresh air and making memories with family and friends.

Column: Car mania

It is often said that Americans are obsessed with cars, and, if house design is any clue, the way garages dominate American homes, often out front, then it is true.

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Movie review: Pixar brings amazing things to life again in ‘Inside Out’

The folks over at Pixar Animation have an incredible imagination. And incredible pathos to boot. Who would think that, inside our brains, there is a gigantic facility manufacturing memories that is guided by emotions which in turn guide every move and thought we make?

Editorial:Graduates, live a good life

The latest group of high school seniors from our coverage area (Fayetteville-Manlius, Jamesville-DeWitt, East Syracuse-Minoa) have crossed the stage and become high school graduates, and the recent commencement ceremonies were as well done and moving as ever. It is difficult to know what to say to recent graduates when seeking to give them life advice, especially if one wants to avoid clichés and repetition. We’ve heard various messages given over the years, with some of the most meaningful being to live a life of purpose and responsibility.

Letters to the editor: July 1 edition

Letters to the editor: July 1 edition

Column: Mica mines in Northern New York

Micas are a group of common minerals that cleave into transparent, flexible sheets. In a rock sample, mica is often the shiny, almost metallic-looking stuff. Mica is common in many kinds of igneous and metamorphic rocks.

Column: Some advice on how to research colleges

The first step in planning a college campus visit is to research the institution. Once a college has you on campus they will wow you with impressive renovated dorm rooms, state-of-the- art athletic facilities and exotic meal options. While these amenities may be attractive, they are not why you are attending college. Taking a non-emotional look at a college is a smart start.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Property tax relief will make life more affordable for CNY families

This week marked the end of the state assembly’s legislative session. But before wrapping up, I helped make sure we took action to provide much-needed property tax relief for families throughout Central New York. This tax relief will help keep more of your hard-earned money where it belongs — in your pocket.