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LETTER: Fifth Gus Macker tournament a success

Well, we just wrapped up our fifth year of the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament held at Drivers Village, and what a weekend it was. The weather cooperated beautifully and that provided us with extremely large crowds which included at times three generations of family members. We also maintained a quality event for the 178 four-person teams that registered to participate. Our volunteers, 145 strong, the backbone of this event, put in almost 1,500 hours. These highly enthusiastic volunteers allow us to continue the Friends of the CanTeen’s ultimate mission of raising much needed funds to operate the CanTeen teen center.

E-Race Cancer Half-Marathon set for Sept. 13

Registration is now open

A new race is in the works and set to be held in the town of Lysander. “The E-Race Cancer Half Marathon and 5K started out as a desire to tie a running event into the Lysander Fall Festravaganza, set for the second Sunday in September,” said co-organizer Michelle Samoraj. “Saturday, the day prior to the Fall Festravaganza (Sept. 14), seemed like the perfect day to hold Baldwinsville’s only half marathon and 5K running event.”

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Going to the dogs

The 2014 Canine Carnival, held Aug. 10, was a rousing success. Now in its fifth year, it is the largest dog rescue event in New York State. With an increasing number of volunteer organizations, vendors, shows and adoptees, the outdoor event needed even more space this year and pulled up stakes for a move to Jamesville Beach County Park, where County Executive Joanie Mahoney kicked off the event, followed by a local pastor's prayer over the animals.

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North Area YMCA day camp encourages daily reading

The North Area Family YMCA on Wetzel Road is offering kids the full camp experience: swimming, arts and crafts, field trips… and reading? This year, the Y’s Camp Y-Noah, which serves kids who have completed kindergarten through sixth grade, has launched a new program to encourage literacy. In addition to traditional camp activities, the roughly 150 campers stop what they’re doing twice a day to read for 15 minutes.

Composting will help cut waste and promote a clean environment in Central New York

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency’s (OCRRA) Amboy compost site, where we discussed their efforts to cut waste in our community. After becoming a pilot location for food composting, OCRRA upgraded its facility at the Amboy site to compost over 9,000 tons of commercial and institutional food waste every year, generating 30,000 cubic yards of compost. Instead of filling up landfills and potentially harming our environment, the waste that makes this compost goes toward creating healthier, nutrient-rich soil to grow great local produce and cut greenhouse gas emissions. It can also help improve stormwater controls, keeping our community safe.

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You are what you eat?

Fayetteville woman raising awareness about food allergy walk; proceeds will go to research

From the time she was 11 months old, Lindsey Stoppacher’s oldest daughter, Harper, did not like the taste of peanuts.

Solarize Syracuse promotes solar power in Syracuse and surrounding areas

Recently, seven local organizations partnered together to create a grassroots solar power initiative called “Solarize Syracuse”. Its mission is to provide residences in the greater Syracuse area with solar power, saving both money and the planet.

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Local five-year-old offers lemonade stand to raise money for childhood cancer this Saturday

Five-year-old Morrisville resident Jeremiah Rutkowski was in the grocery store recently when he saw a little girl with no hair. Wondering why she decided to be hairless, he asked his mother, Brandy Rutkowski, about it. Brandy explained that the girl probably had cancer and that the medicine she has to take for the cancer makes her body weak and her hair fall out. When Jeremiah heard this, he wanted to help. The Rutkowskis decided to open a lemonade stand at their house on Route 20 in Morrisville this Saturday, Aug 16, in hopes that people who go to the Madison Bouckville Antique Show will stop by for a cup of lemonade and a snack of zucchini bread and/or lemon cupcake, and help Jeremiah in his quest to raise $300 for childhood cancer research.

Sea Scouts tented on Onondaga Yacht Club lawn

There’ve been plenty of friendly sailing excursions at the Onondaga Yacht Club this summer including a rare visit by nearly 30 young Sea Scouts from across the Northeast. They were here participating in the first-ever Erie Canal Flotilla Sea Scout Regatta Aug. 1 through 3, on Onondaga Lake.

Skanda Equine to host ‘Goat Daze’ this weekend

Skanda Equine will hold its Goat Daze fundraising event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at its farm at 4000 Mosley Road in Cazenovia. Activities will include running with the goats, an elf and troll house building workshop, a fishing derby for kids, a bouncy house, live music, face painting, a goat mask station and lots of animals to love.

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Cazenovia wine continues to receive accolades

Owera wins three medals at state fair, Wine Spectator magazine recognizes local restaurants

Wine producers and wine purveyors in Cazenovia have a history of receiving recognition and awards for their high quality products — and the trend shows no signs of stopping. In recent weeks, Cazenovia’s only winery received three medals at the 2014 New York State Fair and two village restaurants were recognized by Wine Spectator magazine for the quality of their wine lists.

Moonlight Medley: Music and Movie at Lorenzo on August 14

The Friends of Lorenzo and the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce are pleased to present a free night of entertainment on the front lawn of Lorenzo on Thursday, Aug. 14. So grab your lawn chairs and blankets, and plan to spend a nostalgic summer evening at the home of Cazenovia’s founder.

Guest column: A model TNR program at Casual Estates

We’ve written before about TNR, or trap-neuter-return, in dealing with feral cats. Feral or “community” cats are those cats that roam free and are frequently too wild (unsocialized) to adopt. If left alone, they reproduce, and the sheer numbers may make them a nuisance. With TNR, they are trapped humanely, neutered and vaccinated, and returned to the area they came from. An established colony will keep new, unaltered cats out, and because they can’t reproduce, the colony gradually gets smaller instead of quickly getting larger.

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Sharkey’s to host country music festival for Clear Path for Veterans

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.

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Madison County Highway Department removes three dozen trees on East Lake Road

Many Cazenovia residents were alarmed last week when Madison County Highway Department crews showed up on East Lake Road in front of Owera Vineyards and started strip-cutting trees of all sizes along the roadside. Some people were concerned at the loss of vegetation done with no public notification and no public explanation; East Lake Road neighbors feared that their controversy with Owera Vineyards had taken a new twist by the winery receiving special treatment by having its private/business viewshed improved using taxpayer dollars.