Experts blame lack of contested races in Onondaga County, voter apathy
Only about 25 percent of voters cast their ballots during the local elections, according to Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny.
Seven decades since war’s end, stories of women vets often untold
Seventy years ago this past summer, World War II came to an end. Some 16.1 million Americans served in the war between Dec. 1, 1941, and Dec. 31, 1946. Often forgotten among that number are 350,000 women, all volunteers who signed up to join the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and Nurse Corps after 1942.
Liverpool family raising money for autism therapy dog
Logen Hustedt wants a dog. It might not sound like such a noteworthy thing, a little boy wanting a dog. But Logen isn’t an ordinary little boy, and he’s not looking for an ordinary dog.
In the wake of the tragedy, Rev. Randy Czyz said his church, Word of Life Assembly of God, located at 12 E. Oneida St., Baldwinsville, has received threats from people who assume it is associated with the Word of Life Church in New Hartford, where a teen was beaten to death last week. “We’ve been getting harassing threats and some pretty foul language. People are very upset, and I understand why they’re upset,” Czyz said. “I’m upset, too, but I’m trying to clear the air.” He said he and the other staffers at the church have received threats of bodily harm. He wanted to make sure people were aware that the Baldwinsville house of worship is in no way associated with the New Hartford church.
Some 86 percent of the nation’s high schools start before 8:30 a.m. That means that during the winter months, the majority of U.S. high schoolers head to school while it’s still dark outside. They’re getting up in the predawn hours to get ready, and most are doing it after getting much less than the recommended eight to nine hours of sleep.
Rigney to run for Onondaga County Clerk
DeWitt Town Councilor Kerin Rigney has received the Democrat nomination to run for Onondaga County Clerk following the resignation of Sandy Schepp, of Manlius, who resigned on Sept. 21 after being appointed as Onondaga County Commissioner of Jurors.
John Sharon is hoping the fourth time’s the charm. Sharon, an attorney from DeWitt, has announced that he will once again be seeking the 128th Assembly seat this November. The seat was vacated in June when Assemblyman Sam Robert was appointed as commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
Ten years after storm, OSC is still rebuilding lives
Out of that determination, Operation Southern Comfort (OSC) was born. The group became a mission of St. Joseph the Worker Church in Liverpool, which affords it nonprofit status and the ability to get tax-deductible contributions and administrative support. Since that first trip, OSC has made more than 40 trips to the Gulf Coast. All trips are funded by traveler contributions; each volunteer is asked to pay $280 for their own expenses, room and board. Local contributions pay for construction materials. Volunteers have worked on personal homes, churches, community facilities and public parks. OSC participants have also planted trees in the area in an effort to lessen the impact of any future storms.
Inaugural event raises funds for low-cost legal services
Too often, people who can’t afford a lawyer don’t get their needs met in the legal system. Fortunately, there are resources out there that can help. In Syracuse, people below a certain income threshold who need an attorney for any reason, be it for a civil or a criminal matter, can turn to either the Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society or the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County.
Food Bank of CNY’s Food $en$e program offers grocery packages for $15.50
Linda Davis and her husband don’t get out much. “If Phoenix and Baldwinsville fell off the map, I’d be gone,” Davis said. “I really don’t leave the area.” The couple is also on a fixed income. That’s why, for the last 20 years, they’ve taken advantage of the Food Bank of Central New York’s Food $en$e program, a monthly food distribution program for individuals and families who want help stretching their monthly food budget, like the Davises. Once a month, people who want to participate sign up at the host site near their home, pre-paying $15.50 in cash or food stamps for the food package. Later in the month, when the food package is ready to be picked up, the customers return to the same site for their delivery.
Race to benefit Alexa’s Friends Fund at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital
Alexa Bolton knows how important a soft, fluffy towel can be.
Dream Factory of Syracuse to host annual kickball tournament fundraiser
To help make a dream come true for a chronically ill child, all you have to do is play a game of kickball. The Dream Factory of Syracuse is hosting its fourth annual Kicks for Kids Kickball Tournament Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Syracuse Kickball Park on Oswego Road in Liverpool. The co-ed tournament, which begins at 10 a.m., lasts all day and features food, games and live entertainment (donated by RMD Premier DJ Ryno), as well as raffles, a silent auction, a dunk tank and a bounce house for kids.
BOE announces vacancy in the 128th
Sam Roberts is no longer the assemblyman for the 128th district.
Many people balk at the idea of paying a hefty surcharge at the ATM. But what if a portion of that surcharge went to a good cause? That’s the idea behind ATMs for Good, a project of Syracuse ATM. Kathryn Bolster, who owns Syracuse ATM, said she thought of the program as a way to bring more meaning to her work.
BOE announces vacancy in the 128th
Sam Roberts is no longer the assemblyman for the 128th district. Roberts, who was first elected to the seat in 2010, was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. He was confirmed by the state senate last week just before the end of the state legislative session.
The Patience Project seeks homes for longtime shelter dogs
No one had even looked at Duke for more than a year. The 3-year-old Rottweiler-shepherd mix had sat in the kennels at CNY Veterinary Services in Clay since he was 6 months old. His chances for adoption looked grim. Then Duke’s photo was featured on Facebook on a page dedicated to dogs like him who have spent months or even years in shelters. The Patience Project’s picture was shared on one page after another and ultimately made its way to Gerry Ioannone in Rochester.
As many as 20 percent of pregnant women women are affected by perinatal depression
In an attempt to raise awareness about PPD, Crouse’s Spirit of Women program, which is led by Kowaleski, is hosting the Climb with Crouse from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, May 24, on the 2K Serengeti Trail at Green Lakes State Park in Fayetteville.
Our schools are losing money every year — and New York state is taking it from them.
AAGS raises enough to start construction on low-cost clinic
The Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse has met its fundraising goal and can now proceed with the construction of a high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic.
Cicero deputy supervisor will take over for Corl
Cicero Deputy Supervisor Tim Burtis has been selected to replace Jim Corl as the Onondaga County Third District legislator.
Walsh leaves office after 20 years as sheriff
Kevin Walsh always wanted to be a police officer. “I always wanted to be a cop, from the time I was very young,” the retiring Onondaga County Sheriff said. “Sarto Major, who was the sheriff from the late 1950s to the early ‘60s, went to the same church I went to in Skaneateles. My father and he were friends. I used to see him from time to time going out on some sort of an emergency, and that kind of engendered a desire to be involved.” But that doesn’t mean he always wanted the sheriff’s position. “It probably wasn’t until my later years [that I wanted that position],” he said. “The opportunities were there and the timing was right.”
Third district representative taking job in Onondaga County Family Court
Onondaga County Legislator Jim Corl has announced he is stepping down from his seat.
Congressman-elect shares his thoughts about his coming term
On Nov. 4, voters in the 24th Congressional District sent a resounding message: they no longer wanted Dan Maffei to represent them. Maffei, a Democrat, lost to Republican challenger John Katko, a former U.S. Attorney, by a margin of 73,317 votes to 55,268. Katko said he wasn’t necessarily surprised by the victory. “We were going door-to-door for the last couple of weeks of the campaign … and we were getting a pretty good response,” he said. “I just felt the momentum, so I wasn’t surprised that we won.”
Placing a child for adoption is heartbreaking, but sometimes the best choice for the child
Carrie Howard was thrilled when she found out she was pregnant. “I always wanted to be a mom,” Howard said. “I was living with my boyfriend and his family. I was 20 years old and was very excited when I found out.” But things quickly went downhill. “My boyfriend didn't want to be a father,” Howard said. “I ended up having to move out and back in with family. My family was supportive, but they were unwilling to have a newborn in the home. I found myself at a crossroads where I had no job, no home, no license or car, not really anything to offer a child.” So Howard, a Liverpool native, decided to place her unborn child for adoption.
Starting Friday, Nov. 14, Central New Yorkers can visit Onondaga Lake Park and take in one of the biggest light shows in the Northeast. Lights on the Lake kicks off its 25th anniversary season next week. The event draws somewhere around 35,000 cars each year.
Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci has failed in his attempt to become the state’s next comptroller. Antonacci, a Republican, earned 55,155 votes in Onondaga County to Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli’s 66,602. Statewide, Antonacci said he earned more than a million and a half votes, setting a record for an Onondaga County candidate.
DeWitt Police Chief Gene Conway has beaten out Toby Shelley for the Onondaga County Sheriff’s seat. Conway, who earned 66,569 votes to Shelley’s 58,829, said he was honored to have been chosen by the people of Onondaga County.
Neither John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) nor Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) had an opponent this election season. The lack of opposition allowed both state senators to coast easily back to the state legislature, earning 65,967 and 35,515 votes, respectively.
Longtime Judge Brian DeJoseph will return to the New York State Supreme Court bench, having beaten Republican challenger Robert O’Leary by a margin of 76,907 votes to 46,540.
Democratic incumbent Sam Roberts has once again beaten back a challenge from Republican John Sharon.
Incumbent Assemblyman Al Stirpe has beaten back challenger Rob DeMarco by a margin of 22,308 to 19,772.
Republican John Katko has ousted Dan Maffei from the 24th Congressional District seat. Katko claimed victory on Election Night by a margin of more than 18,000 votes. Though Maffei had obtained a court order impounding absentee and military ballots, it’s unlikely they’ll change Tuesday night’s outcome.
Michael Iannettoni had been charged with driving while intoxicated five times when he killed Vincent Russo. Iannettoni had four previous convictions for DWI and was awaiting sentencing on a fifth when he struck Russo’s car on Buckley Road in Liverpool on Jan. 9, 2011. Russo, 82, of Liverpool, was on his way to Mass. Iannettoni was drunk. Russo died three days later. Iannettoni was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide, first- and second-degree vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, crossing a double solid line and failure to keep right. He was sentenced to eight and a third to 25 years in prison. But for Russo’s family, it wasn’t enough; they believed he never should have been on the road that night in the first place, given his dangerous history. With the help of State Sen. John DeFrancisco, the Russo family pushed forward a law that would increase penalties for those with repeat drunk driving offenses.
In the hopes of both improving graduation rates, the New York State Board of Regents last week approved a plan to add flexibility to its graduation requirements. On Monday, Oct. 20, the Board of Regents agreed to create a 4+1 pathway option, which would allow students to opt out of one of the social studies exams currently required for graduation. Instead, they could take a "comparatively rigorous" assessment in career/technical education (CTE), science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the humanities, foreign languages or the arts.
For too long, New York’s system for drawing electoral maps has been broken. Under current legislation, members of the New York State Legislature draw the lines for legislative and congressional districts. Those lines are redrawn every 10 years by a committee made up of sitting legislators. That means that the people responsible for drawing the lines are the very people who benefit from how the lines are drawn.
Inmates at the Onondaga County Justice Center can now be assured that any pets they leave behind while incarcerated will be taken care of.
Republican Congressional candidate John Katko has received the backing of Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.
For three years, Stand Against Suicide has been working to end the stigma associated with mental illness. In order to help further that mission, the Elbridge-based nonprofit holds a walk every year at the Syracuse Inner Harbor. This year’s event will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18; registration begins at 10 a.m. The event also includes music, raffles, face painting and other
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.
For too long, we’ve been doing education the same way — and it’s doing our students a disservice. At least, that’s what the administrators at Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES believe. And they’re trying to address the problem by introducing a new kind of instruction in Central New York. OCM BOCES held an official grand opening for its new Innovation Tech high school Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the facility at the Lee G. Peters Career Training Center in Liverpool. Classes began Sept. 3.
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.
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.
For the sixth year, some 800 teal-clad runners and walkers will take to the streets to raise awareness for ovarian cancer. The Teal Ribbon Run/Walk benefits Hope for Heather, a Liverpool-based organization dedicated to helping women with ovarian cancer and raising awareness about the devastating disease. The nonprofit was started by Frieda Weeks to honor the memory of her daughter, Heather. In November of 2008, Heather lost her battle with an aggressive form of colon cancer. But before her passing, she worked for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, making it her mission to eradicate the disease. After her death, her mother started Hope for Heather to carry on that mission.
Every year in early September, Chittenango Creek in Bridgeport gets clogged with brightly colored ducks. It’s not some new kind of invasive species; this particular invasion is temporary. These ducks, made of colored plastic, are part of the Bridgeport Food Pantry’s annual “Don’t Duck Hunger” duck race, which raises money to support the pantry’s mission. The event typically raises about $25,000.
Cat rescuers, animal advocates and veterinarians, along with other animal lovers, will gather on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Genesee Grand Hotel in Syracuse to discuss issues surrounding cats as part of the Humane Society of the United States’ symposium, “Rethiniking the Cat.” The free, day-long event, co-sponsored by PetSmart Charities, will provide training in two tracks: “adoptable” cats (i.e., shelter cats and rescues) and “community” cats (the feral cat population).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Congressional candidate John Katko has earned the status of “Young Gun” from the National Republican Congressional Committee after reaching the third and final tier of the group’s recruitment program. Founded in the 2007-08 election cycle by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Young Guns program provides financial support to candidates in races across the country.