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LIBRARY FOCUS: Take a break from spring cleaning at the library

Welcome to mud season, when the ice curtains fall from the roof and the snow recedes enough to reveal the things lost and abandoned in the winter season. It’s time to open the curtains, dust the far recesses of our rooms and get ready for the challenges and delights of the next season. In the meantime, don’t forget the library is here to help you plan your projects and calm the fevered nerves of impatient gardeners and sportsmen.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: State’s 90-day email deletion policy raises questions

The Governor’s office announced in 2013 that it would use Microsoft Office365 -- an email and software management system to consolidate 27 agency email systems, improve access to applications, share calendars in a cloud-based system and save taxpayer dollars. Many aspects about the recently implemented system make sense and will hopefully improve inter-agency communication.

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Baldwinsville History Mystery: Do you know anything about this picture?

This circa-1909 photo shows the new north side location of George Peck’s coal and wood dealership. Although it is faint, the far left side of the photo gives a clue as to the location. The business would continue for another half a century under the ownership of several well known local entrepreneurs. Can you identify the location? Perhaps you know some of the successors.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: Rap video an artistic statement or a terrorist threat?

In February, after this year’s Sammy nominees were announced and he wasn’t on the list, local rapper Jamie "Powder Jay" Cheeseman posted a video on YouTube, a rap song called “Ill Wishes.” In that performance, Powder Jay railed against the Sammys judges and allegedly threatened to burn down the Palace Theater and physically attack Nowak. The “Ill Wishes” video included an image of a pipe bomb.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Assembly’s budget puts students first

I helped craft a state Assembly Families First budget proposal, which would help expand opportunities for all of New York’s students, especially during a time when a college education is becoming increasingly difficult to afford.

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REMEMBERING CLAY: Coping with winter -- Then and now

In Clay, as in many other areas, we couldn’t believe the winter of 2014-15, especially February with no day above freezing and many nights below zero. We made sure we were stocked up on essentials when another snow storm was on its way: running to the store for bread and milk, making sure we had jugs of water in case the pipes froze, candles in case the electricity went out and in the country making sure our heating oil or gas tank was not getting low. But how did people cope with winter the 1800s in Clay?

NOPL news: Read a good movie

If you’ve ever watched a movie trailer for a film that was adapted from a book and thought to yourself, “I’m going to read that before the movie comes out,” then you’re not alone.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: School superintendent wants to hear from you on Monday

We should all give thanks for Dr. Mark Potter. A few years ago, the longtime Liverpool educator replaced Nick Johns as superintendent of the Liverpool Central School District, and he has been a breath of fresh air all the way around. I’ve even heard a few members of the teachers’ union praising Mark’s open-door policy, pleasant personality and transparent management style.

FROM THE LEGISLATURE: Burtis reflects on hist first month

My first month in the Onondaga County Legislature has been an exciting experience. I feel that serving at the town level certainly prepared me for public service; however, the issues that face the county are much more in-depth, and the decisions that are made impact a much larger constituency.

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Baldwinsville History Mystery: Do you know anything about this picture?

Contact Editor Sarah Hall at editor@baldwinsvillemessenger.com or leave a message at 434-8889 ext. 310 with your guess by noon Sunday. If you are the first person to correctly identify an element in the photo, your name and guess will appear in next week’s Messenger, along with another History Mystery feature.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New York’s organ donation rate still low

Many people are under the assumption that if they sign the back of their driver’s license, then they are a registered organ donor. Signing the back of your license is a good first step, as this indicates your personal wishes, but in order to be listed as an organ donor in the state registry, residents must fill out either an online form through the Department of Motor Vehicles or print and mail a form to the Department of Health. Being registered allows health care officials to better assist those who are on the waiting list for an organ.

LIBRARY FOCUS: Making it through the month of March

March (and every other month) is for making here at the library. Want to explore something new? We give our patrons space, time and guidance on making everything from cards, quilts, kites and music to manuscripts and pysanki. Make some time this month to make your dreams come true at the library.

From the legislature: Syracuse Law offers new legal resource for local veterans

Syracuse University College of Law graduates Tom Caruso and Josh Keefe recently left Central New York to begin their careers as active duty judge advocates. Caruso is off to the Navy and Keefe to the Marine Corps, but they’ve left a remarkable legacy the legislature was proud to unanimously support. During their first year at Syracuse Law, Caruso and Keefe began what would turn into a three-and-a-half year journey to establish a legal clinic dedicated to the unique legal issues facing local veterans.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Legislature should decide on education proposals outside of budget

Last year, the state spent $22.3 billion on education. In 2012, combined with the local and federal share of education, New Yorkers spent $58.4 billion on public education. This is a 56 percent increase over what was spent on a combined basis in 2002.

LIBRARY FOCUS: BPL ventures into the world of Minecraft

The library has just purchased licenses for Minecraft.edu and loaded it onto our laptops. We are now looking at ways to make them available for regular gaming at the library. As part of our efforts we will be holding our first official Minecraft Shakedown cruise at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8.