Two sides argue merits of planning board site plan approval for winery’s proposed new event center
Attorneys for the Town of Cazenovia, Owera Vineyards and East Lake Road neighbors of Owera Vineyards this week appeared before State Supreme Court Judge Dennis K. McDermott in Wampsville to argue whether the town planning board exceeded its authority in its February site plan approval for Owera’s proposed 6,300 square-foot permanent promotion and marketing facility.
CHS Class of 2015 celebrates commencement
It was an overcast day with the threat of rainstorms last Saturday, June 27, as the Cazenovia High School Class of 2015 celebrated its commencement inside the Cazenovia College gymnasium. Hundreds of family and friends of the graduating seniors, along with teachers and district staff, watched as the 146 candidates for graduation, dressed in their blue and white robes, each holding a white rose, received their awards, scholarships, general accolades and, of course, their high school diplomas.
A routine traffic stop on Albany Street turned into a drug arrest that netted nine different types of narcotics, as well as drug paraphernalia and weapons, by the Cazenovia Village Police Department.
It was a tight competition with many excellent entries but, in the end, only one photograph could be crowned winner of the first Stone Quarry Hill Art Park / Cazenovia Republican photo contest, “Casting Shadows: Sculptures and Spring.”
Cazenovia American Legion Post 88 holds “Flags of Our Heroes” commemoration event
On this Father’s Day just passed, more than 50 deceased military veterans from World War II, the majority from Cazenovia, were honored, along with their families, by the Cazenovia American Legion through the “Flags of Our Heroes” program, which is a subset of Honor Flight Syracuse.
After 18 years as second-in-command of the Cazenovia Central School District, Assistant Superintendent Bill Furlong has resigned his position in order to make a lateral job transfer to the North Colonie Central School District in Latham, N.Y. Furlong was appointed assistant superintendent of business for the North Colonie district at a special meeting of its Board of Education on June 1. His resignation was officially accepted by the Cazenovia Board of Education at its June 15 regular monthly meeting.
Business First, a Buffalo-based magazine that conducts annual evaluations of the top school districts throughout New York state, last week released its 2015 results — and named Cazenovia Central School District the third-best school district in all of the 431 Upstate New York school districts. Pittsford, a southeastern suburb of Rochester, ranked no. 1, followed by Fayetteville-Manlius at no. 2.
Cazenovia town highway crews last week began erecting a new salt storage shed and cold storage shed on Constine Bridge Road in the town as part of a $250,000 capital project. The new buildings will allow the town to store winter salt and seasonal town equipment in a covered structure.
The Cazenovia Town Board spent more than one hour last week hearing arguments for and against a proposal to create a new water district in and around the Seven Pines neighborhood.
Vogl, Tobey and Marris end collective 30 years of board service
The Cazenovia Board of Education handled some routine year-end matters at its June 15 monthly board meeting, but the real events of the night were a bevy of goodbyes given to departing teachers, administrators and school board members.
The Cazenovia village election occurred on Tuesday, June 16, and with none of the three candidates having any opponents, the incumbent mayor and two trustees were all reelected to their respective positions.
More than 100 members of Post 88 spent the past four months selling $10 raffle tickets for a chance to win a foursome of golf at one of 10 different golf courses in the Central New York area. On Wednesday, June 10, Post 88 members donated the money they raised — $7,500 — to the local veterans’ support organization, Clear Path for Veterans, in Chittenango.
After more than a decade of work to create a local park system connected through trails and walkways over the old Erie Canal, the ribbon was cut last weekend on the Butternut Creek Recreation and Nature Trail in DeWitt to celebrate the opening of the new wooden boardwalk.
Cazenovia funeral home director Brian Tait has had both his funeral directing license and the certificate of registration of the Tait Funeral Home revoked by the state department of health, and he must surrender both to the department in 60 days, a Department of Health spokesperson has verified.
Local residents driving down Route 92 in Cazenovia have seen for many weeks past an 11-acre swath of land by the intersection with West Lake Road shorn of trees and made into a large dirt field studded with golf flags. This is not the start of some new housing development or business track, but the location of the Cazenovia Golf Club’s new practice range.
On April 25, 2015, dozens of local World War II veterans flew to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II Memorial as part of the annual Honor Flight Syracuse program. Unfortunately, many veterans from the Cazenovia-Nelson-Fenner area have passed away without getting to see their memorial in the nation’s capital. So a new subgroup of Honor Flight, called “Flags of Our Heroes,” created a way to honor their fallen comrades and bring them to the memorial — in photographs.
More than 1,000 people stood in line, in groups, in the parking lot of the new Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango Tuesday waiting for the area’s newest tourist attraction to officially open its doors. Some people started lining up at 11 p.m. Monday night in order to be the first ones inside the casino.
The Kwik Fill Red Apple gas station on Albany Street has been closed and under construction for the past two weeks as crews work to revamp the station to make it not just more updated, but also more user friendly.
Burton Street Elementary School students, staff, parents and guests saw the unveiling of a new addition to the school’s sculpture garden last week — an original creation by local artists Dorothy Riester and David Harper.
Mayor, trustee races uncontested
The Cazenovia Village elections are set for Tuesday, June 16. Up for election are the mayor’s office and two seats on the board of trustees — all three races have incumbents running unopposed.
CPF honors local residents, public servants for community restoration efforts
Projects including the restoration of a commercial building on Lincklaen Street, a residence in New Woodstock and the Lakeland Park stone wall, and the institution of a community-wide climate action plan were the honorees last week at the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation’s annual meeting and awards ceremony.
Mehlbaum, Orbach, Parmalee to be next school board members
Cazenovia Central School District residents approved three ballot propositions, including the annual budget, by a 5-to-1 margin each and elected three new school board members during the annual budget vote on May 19.
Local hunters and anglers can now purchase their hunting and fishing licenses from the Cazenovia town clerk rather than traveling to other town offices or regional sporting goods stores. The town board last week unanimously approved (on a vote of 3-0 with two members absent) the resumption of the license sales by the town after a 16-month hiatus.
Will erect new state police barracks satellite office
The old town highway garage in New Woodstock — currently serving as a New York State Police satellite office — is about to be demolished, with a new building and garage, as well as extra public parking, to be constructed in its place. The project, announced by the town board in February, is expected to be completed by the end of summer.
Cazenovians, especially those who live on Cazenovia Lake, have noticed an unusually high number of dead and dying sunfish in and around the shores of the lake, which has caused many to wonder why and what is the cause. According to experts, it’s stress.
The Cazenovia Middle School orchestra and band traveled to Darien Lake amusement park last Saturday, May 16, to compete in the annual Darien Lake Music Festival, where they placed first and second, respectively, in their competition groups.
For the second time in two weeks, a major economic development project that will have a vast local and regional impact has broken ground in Cazenovia. This latest event, held Friday morning, May 15, in the Village Edge South area across from the Town and Country plaza on Route 20, was the official dedication ceremony for the new 80-room Hampton Inn and Suites hotel and conference center being built by Cazenovia Hospitality LLC.
More than 50 Cazenovia Central School District residents came out to the high school Wednesday night to meet and hear the issue positions of the four candidates seeking seats on the school board in the upcoming May 19 election. The four candidates — Jennifer Bradstreet, David Mehlbaum, Louis Orbach and Jennifer Parmalee — all participated in the forum, which was sponsored by the Cazenovia League of Women Voters and moderated by Anne Redfern.
The May 19 Cazenovia Board of Education election will feature four candidates running for three open seats. The candidates are David Mehlbaum, Louis Orbach, Jennifer Parmalee and Jennifer Bradstreet. The three highest vote-getters will be elected to the board. Each will serve a three-year term, beginning July 1. The Cazenovia Republican sent each candidate a questionnaire in order to publish a profile to inform potential voters of who they are and what they stand for, although not all candidates followed the template we provided.
Oenophiles in Cazenovia now have a second option in the village on where they can purchase their wine, as well as liquor, with last week’s official opening of J.S. Hight and Sons wine store at 58 Albany St.
Empire Farmstead Brewery breaks ground on Rippleton Road
The shovels were in the ground, the dignitaries were in place, the firkin was tapped — and after years of planning, discussions and municipal approvals, construction has begun on Empire Brewing Company’s farmstead brewery on Rippleton Road.
The Cazenovia Village Board of Trustees had a light and quick meeting last Monday, May 4, with no major items on the agenda. The board made a number of approvals and announcements.
Mark Papa has been recycling and repurposing defunct, discarded items for new home décor use before television shows like “American Pickers” made it popular. Sitting inside Industrial Loft, his shop at 53 Albany St. that opened in November 2014, he is surrounded by a cornucopia of his creations: An old industrial circular fan that is now a coffee table, a wooden door that has been turned into a bed headboard, an old vent in a barn copula has become a chandelier. For the past 20 years, Papa has been “climbing through barns, factories and abandon buildings” searching for that one of a kind piece that he can remake into something unique.
Spider Rybaak has been fishing the waters of Central New York for half a century, and fishing heavily in Oneida Lake for the past 15 years; he is an angler, a teacher and a writer; and he has recently parlayed his trio of skills into his latest book, “Fishing Oneida Lake.”
Ever since she studied merchandising and design in college, Karen Eldridge had a goal to open her own women’s clothing store. In 2005, that dream became a reality when she opened the doors of Isabella at 61 Albany St. in Cazenovia. That grand opening was 10 years ago this month, and during that time Isabella has remained in the same location, selling its unique, quality items with a smile. And the business is still going strong.
The McDowell Insurance Agency, formerly located in the White Lilacs building at 9 Albany St., has a new location at 133 Albany St., next to Buyea's Hardware store. The firm, which offers a full range of insurance and financial services, made its move down Albany Street on Dec. 1, after White Lilacs changed owners.
Eleven Cazenovia High School students from grades eight through 12 strutted their stuff before a sold-out crowd last Friday, April 24, for the sixth annual Mr. Caz Pageant. In the end, only one could walk away with the crown — and that was senior Danny Phillips.
The Cazenovia Board of Education last week received the first “reading” of the proposed revision to the district’s religious release time policy for students who attend religious education during the school day. The changes in the policy do not effect whether or not the program will continue to exist — it must under state law — but rather how it is administered and how it ensures that all students in the district receive “appropriate educational opportunities” throughout the school day.
Two families who live on Ledyard Avenue have filed suit in state supreme court against the village of Cazenovia, claiming that the Western Gateway rezoning law approved in September 2014 was illegal spot zoning that is inconsistent with the village comprehensive plan and should therefore be annulled.
District stays within tax levy limit, maintain all programs
The Cazenovia Board of Education last night approved the proposed 2015-16 district budget of $26,858,858. The budget represents an increase of $362,904 or 1.37 percent from last year, and assumes a tax levy increase of 2.04 percent which is at, but does not exceed, the district’s tax levy limit for 2015-16. The budget maintains all existing academic, athletic and extracurricular programs as well as all existing class sizes.
The Cazenovia Town Board last week voted once again offer its benthic mat rental program to lakefront property owners for the 2015 season to continue its efforts to manage excessive weed growth in Cazenovia Lake.
After decades gathering dust in the New Woodstock Town Highway Garage, an antique horse-drawn snow scoop, once used to remove snow from the streets and sidewalks of Cazenovia, has been donated to the Madison County Historical Society.
More than 100 people gathered on a warm, sunny spring morning in Lakeland Park this past Saturday for the Cazenovia Tree Commission’s annual Arbor Day celebration and tree planting ceremony. Members of the commission were present to explain the history and significance of Arbor Day as well as to talk about the future of Lakeland Park and its trees; the five middle school members of the Earth Club helped honor the day by reading the official Arbor Day proclamation and Burton Street Elementary School students sang the song “This Pretty Planet.”
More than one dozen members of Project Café, along with a few members of the Cazenovia community, spent an hour on Sunday, April 19, walking village streets picking up winter garbage.
The nature of communities is that they are often in a constant state of flux. Businesses change and adapt, close and move, while new businesses come in to offer something different to the local market and hope their business model works. In Cazenovia during the past eight months, there has been a great deal of change to the local business community with shops closing or moving locations, and others coming in to take over the newly vacant store fronts. Whether such change is, or will be, positive or negative remains to be seen — but many local officials and business owners see potential in what is happening, although they also see a need to change and adapt to certain realities of the marketplace and the needs of customers.
Cazenovia’s sole winery, Owera Vineyards, added recently to its ever-growing list of awards and accolades by bringing home five medals from the 2015 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.
Four stops signs in the town of Fenner and the main entrance door into the Fenner town office building were vandalized with spray-painted swastika signs recently, an action that will cost town taxpayers around $400 to fix.
The Cazenovia school district administration team has decided to change its policy for students who opt-out of grades 3 through 8 math, science and ELA state assessment tests this month. Instead of sitting at their desks for 90 minutes staring into space each day for the six days of the testing, students not taking the tests now will be allowed to read quietly at their desks.
Also announces 6 percent increase in village water rates
The Cazenovia Village Board unanimously adopted its tentative 2015 budget last week and, although tax rates for the coming year will decrease, village assessments this year have increased after last year’s property revaluation, which means the average homeowner will see a slight rise in their taxes.
State Police in Morrisville have arrested three teenagers and charged them with criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and trespassing in connection to the February incident in which a Cazenovia High School teacher found two homemade bombs outside of her house.