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B'ville Mayor attempts to change gaming laws

After complaints regarding gambling and non-gambling playing times at Canton Woods Senior Center were brought to the attention of Baldwinsville Mayor Joe Saraceni, he reviewed the center's policy and New York State gaming laws to determine a solution. What he found created an up-roar in the senior citizen community of Baldwinsville.

According to gaming laws, it is not illegal to gamble in the capacity which senior citizens were engaging. The problem lies with the establishment where the gambling was being conducted. For this reason, officials had to put an end to gambling at the center.

"It would be illegal for me to know you were gambling in our facility and not do something about it," Saraceni told seniors at recent board meeting. "I get no pleasure telling people twice my age that they can't play poker for nickels, dimes and quarters."

John Brooks, a senior that frequents Canton Woods, told officials that attendance at the center has gone down since the seniors were told they couldn't gamble. He and several other seniors expressed their aversion to the law.

To resolve the issue, Saraceni recently met with Assemblyman William Magnarelli to discuss crafting legislation that would allow seniors to participate in some gaming at facilities like Canton Woods Senior Center.

"They already make provisions in the law," Saraceni said, referring to events such as casino nights.

Saraceni said the assemblyman was looking into the issue, adding that a senator was also needed to cosponsor the bill.

"This is something we are going to work through," Saraceni said, adding he would keep his communication with Assemblyman Magnarelli available to seniors through reports to Ruth Troy, the director of Canton Woods Senior Center.

In other senior center "news," a rumor that the village was going to turn the senior center into a teen center was also raised at the board meeting, and quickly given no merit. "I would like to see more teens at the center," Joe said adding he believed seniors could be good mentors to the teen visitors, but had no intention of turning the senior center into a teen center. "I'm an advocate of Canton Woods Senior Center."

$300K for Seneca Knolls

Van Buren officials recently elected to take $300,000 in county sales tax money for 2010 to apply towards drainage and road improvements in the Seneca Knolls development within the town. The money will be applied to next year's drainage phase, a detention basin and Department of Public Works (DPW) expenditures for road and pavement work.

In addition, Ed Parks, the superintendent of the Van Buren DPW, said the lawns and driveways of residences along Rufus Circle and Walker Drive, where drainage work has been completed and roads have been paved, will be completed soon.

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