Jul 31, 2012 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
A cloudless sky and a cooling breeze made for a perfect day for a boat ride on Tuesday, July 24, as the Emita II set sail on Onondaga Lake.
Departing the dock from Dutchman’s Landing on Seneca River, Capt. Dan Wiles guided the double-decked tour boat past Kline Island and into the center of Onondaga Lake.
Hosted by the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, the casual cruise drew 48 passengers as four crew members took drink orders and answered questions about Mid-Lakes Navigation, Co. Ltd., which owns the Emita II, 65 feet long and 22 feet wide.
Six knots = seven mph
Powered by a Detroit Diesel 8V71 engine, the refitted Casco Bay ferry chugged along at six knots (approximately seven miles per hour) as the passengers viewed Onondaga Lake Park from a fresh perspective. The park is just more than three miles long, but when seen from 200 yards offshore it looks huge.
Some 85 percent of the shoreline of Onondaga Lake is public property, Wiles pointed out as he related a few facts, figures and bits of history over the boat’s sound system. The park itself was constructed during the Great Depression by the federal Works Project Administration.
Long polluted by the errant dumping of human sewage and cancer-causing chemicals, the lake is slowly undergoing a renaissance. In fact, a 24-hour-a-day dredging operation helmed by Honeywell International, Inc. was set to begin on July 30.
“I predict people will be swimming at the north end of the lake within the next five years,” Wiles told his passengers. He’s a little less confident in plans to extend a bicycle trail to loop the entire lake. “But eventually they’ll figure it out,” he said.
Roberts seeks re-election
Among the passengers on the Emita II’s upper deck last week were Liverpool Chamber President Dennis Hebert and state Assemblyman Sam Roberts. Hebert, who’s also a village trustee, is a Republican while Roberts is a Democrat. There was, however, no on-board politicking.
“I have a boat that I dock at the [OLP] marina,” Roberts said. “So I’m in Liverpool a lot.”
Roberts, a freshman member of the state legislature’s lower house, will run for re-election in November. He’s being opposed again by Republican Bill Sharon, a Syracuse attorney.
Because of redistricting, Roberts and Sharon will run in the new 128th Assembly District, which includes parts of Syracuse and the towns of Salina, DeWitt and Onondaga.
Two years ago, Roberts rolled over Sharon, Conservative Party candidate Christina Fadden Fitch (who lives in Liverpool) and the Green Party’s Michael Donnelly to win an open seat vacated by longtime incumbent Democrat Joan Christensen. In that race for the 119th Assembly District seat, Roberts buried Sharon by taking 51 percent of the vote to the Republican’s 27 percent.
Like the title of the old Hank Williams tune, Bill Knowlton is a “Ramblin’ Man.”
The retired Air Force officer who lives in Liverpool up on Meyers Road will host his 40th Bluegrass Ramble Picnic from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, at Dwyer Memorial Park, on Little York Lake, near Preble.
His annual picnic staged beneath a large tent features nearly 20 performers and bands such as the Salmon River Boys, the Delaney Brothers, the Atkinson Family, and Diamond Someday showcasing Liverpool’s own Dick DeNeve on Dobro and songwriter Shirley Stevens.
Admission is free, and food and beverages will be available for sale.
Knowlton – a member of the Syracuse Area Music Awards Hall of Fame – presents his “Bluegrass Ramble” radio show every Sunday from 9 p.m. to midnight WCNY-FM 91.3 and online at wcny.org.
New biz news
The Bombay Thai is now open at the former Subway and KFC location, at 702 Old Liverpool Road; 457-4466. The buffet luncheon goes for $7.95.
In the village, there’s a new new-age shop at 101 First St. Pure Wellness has hours by appointment only; 451-2522. Pure Wellness replaces the homeopathic center called Entirely You.