Owner Nancy Muserlian tells commissioners the winery will undergo ‘major changes;’ hopes brides will cancel upcoming weddings
For the second time in just over four weeks, the New York State Liquor Authority has denied an application by Owera Vineyards for both its own liquor license and its ability to use third-party catering permits to provide food and alcohol at winery events. Like the authority’s first denial on Dec. 2, its commissioners specifically cited the numerous neighbor complaints and alleged deteriorating quality of life issues in the neighborhood as the reason for their denial; unlike the December decision, the authority’s Jan. 3 meeting was attended and addressed by Owera owner Nancy Muserlian and her attorney, as well as two of the winery’s East Lake Road neighbors.
Public hearing and special meeting of village board coming in January
The Economic Health and Heritage Committee has completed its draft design guidelines for the Village Edge South zone development, and intends to have a draft zoning amendment completed and ready for public presentation by early January.
Vacant town board seat to be filled by appointment on Jan. 13.
Three town officials were officially sworn-in to office on Thursday, Jan. 2, including the new town supervisor and the new town clerk.
The Cazenovia newlyweds who made headlines last September after they got into a bar fight and were arrested on their wedding night have been given 50 hours of community service and ordered to write a letter of apology to the Cazenovia Police Department as a consequence of their previous behavior.
Application ruled incomplete, asked to revise for January
Cazenovia College appeared before the village planning board last week to seek site plan approval once again for its proposed 1,420 linear feet fence spanning the edges of the Schneeweiss Athletic Complex. The appearance comes after months of legal wrangling between the college and the town over the fence, and is the result of a state supreme court judge’s decision that the college must go through a full site plan approval process. The application already hit a small bump, however, when the planning board determined during its Dec. 9 meeting that the college’s application was incomplete, and asked them to resubmit a full application in January.
So much new information has surfaced in the past two weeks, and so many new developments occurred, that the Cazenovia Town Planning Board voted unanimously Thursday, Dec. 19, to continue its public hearing on Owera Vineyards’ site plan review for the proposed new events building and probably hold off on any sort of vote on the proposal until February. The board’s decision came after nearly two hours of neighbor comments at a Dec. 19 special hearing during which it was revealed that Town Codes Enforcement Officer Roger Cook had issued a positive opinion on Owera’s adherence to town zoning laws and state Department of Agriculture and Markets rules, that Owera’s East Lake Road neighbors had appealed Cook’s determination to the town’s zoning board of appeals and that the neighbors had hired an attorney to represent their interests.
Alleged Cazenovia ‘exercise stalker’ Daryl T. Anthony will be home for Christmas. He is out of the Madison County Jail on bail and scheduled to return to Cazenovia Town Court on March 5. His case, in fact, was almost settled during his court appearance on Dec. 18, when the district attorney’s office offered Anthony a plea deal of 60 days in jail and three year’s probation, which would cover not only the one charge against him but any similar charges in the case in which he allegedly stalked 10 women in the town of Cazenovia. This deal was offered even though Anthony’s court-ordered mental competency exam had not taken place and was not scheduled to occur until mid-January.
Councilor retires after 40 years of town service
Nelson Town Board member Dean Coe has served his town for the past 40 years — and at the board’s Dec. 12 meeting, Coe’s last before his retirement, the board, past town supervisors, and Coe’s family and friends, all showed up to wish him a fond farewell.
Carey, Stoker say goodbye after decades of public service
Instead of informing people entering the town of Fenner that “town zoning laws are now in force,” Supervisor Russ Carey would like the town to erect new signs that are more welcoming to visitors. As such, at the board’s Dec. 11 regular meeting Carey has asked both the Fenner Town Board and the public to consider and submit suggestions for the possible look and wording of the new signs.
Dec. 20 designated as “Linda Mather Day”
This Friday, Dec. 20, has been designated by the Cazenovia Town Board as “Linda Mather Day” in honor of longtime Town Clerk Linda Mather, who retires at the end of this year. The announcement, along with a full proclamation in Mather’s honor, was made at the town board’s Dec. 9 regular monthly meeting, which was Mather’s last before her retirement.
After months of seeking, soliciting and waiting for at least one high school teacher to step forward and volunteer, the Cazenovia High School Academic Decathlon team now has two new advisors to help them through the 2013-14 competition year. With new advisors and a continued determination to return once again to the national competition — occurring in Hawaii this year — the team also has continued fundraising and seeking private sponsors to help pay the nearly $20,000 necessary to pay for the trip should they make it to the finals.
“Hilltop,” the Dorothy Riester house and art studio in the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia, soon will be added to both the State and National Registers of Historic Places, according to an announcement from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. It was one of 33 properties the New York State Board for Historic Preservation last week recommended for inclusion to the two historic registers — and the only park in Madison County.
Judge orders mental competency exam before next court appearance
The man police suspect to be the Cazenovia “exercise stalker” has been arrested, arraigned and is currently in Madison County Jail. Daryl T. Anthony, 45, of Oneida, was taken into custody by Madison County Sheriff’s Office investigators on Tuesday, Dec. 10, and charged with one count of criminal nuisance in the second degree, a class B misdemeanor. Anthony was arraigned in Cazenovia Village Court before Acting Justice Patrick J. O’Sullivan and ordered held in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond bail.
After one arrest and months of no visible graffiti activity in the village of Cazenovia, someone spray-painted nine new graffiti pieces in the village during the Dec. 6 weekend: three large new pieces in the “Wall Street” alley between Kinney Drugs and Café Latte Da, two on the Lindenfeld Law Firm office at 11 Lincklaen St., one on the side of the U.S. Post Office on Lincklaen Street, one on a U.S. Postal Service mail truck, one on the window of the old gas station next to the defunct Napa building on Albany Street and one on the stop sign at the corner of Center and Albany Streets.
The Cazenovia Village Board of Trustees is moving toward holding a public referendum early next year in order to create a service award program for village firefighters which will, it is hoped, improve the fire department’s ability to recruit and retain new volunteers. While the program would be fully funded by the village — and village taxpayers — its cost of tens of thousands of dollars per year would be far less than the millions of dollars per year needed to fund a department staffed completely by professional firefighters, which could be necessitated by a lack of volunteers.
The Cazenovia Town Planning Board has requested an official, written opinion from the town codes enforcement officer on whether Owera Vineyards is violating town zoning laws by holding so many events at its East Lake Road location. The action was taken after — and apparently in response to — public comments from the winery’s neighbors at the board’s Dec. 5 meeting charging that Owera was operating its numerous events in violation of town zoning laws and the planning board therefore should not approve the winery’s proposed events building. The CEO’s report is due before Dec. 19, the day on which the board will hold a special meeting to continue its site plan review process of Owera’s building request.
Owera Vineyards will not be approved for the liquor license it wants, nor will it be given any more caterer’s permits for next year’s wedding events it plans to hold unless and until the numerous complaints and concerns of the winery’s neighbors over loud music and deteriorating quality of life are addressed and solved. This was the decision of the New York State Liquor Authority last week when it considered Owera’s liquor license application.
Most people in Cazenovia know Kurt Wheeler as the mayor, as a high school teacher, as head of Project Café and as a U.S. Marine Corps colonel. What people may not know is that Wheeler is also a writer, editor and historian and his second book, “Pathbreakers: U.S. Marine African American Officers in the Their Own Words,” was published earlier this year by the U.S. Marine Corps History Division.
Seasonal beer offered exclusively at Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles – Cazenovia-exclusive beer coming next year
Empire Brewing Company’s holiday seasonal beer, Dickens Christmas Ale, made exclusively to be sold in Skaneateles during its “Dickens Christmas” celebrations, was so popular in its inaugural year in 2012 that Empire is offering it again this year — and the beer-maker is already planning to create a Cazenovia-exclusive holiday beer in 2014 once the new Farmstead Brewery is built on Rippleton Road.
After reviewing the Cazenovia school district’s coaching roster and finding a lot of “breakage” — or newer coaches hired at a lesser salary than the coaches they replaced — the Cazenovia Board of Education last week decided there was enough budget savings found to allow them to reinstate the two boys lacrosse assistant coach positions that had been cut from the budget in the spring.
Cazenovia school district residents want their next superintendent to be experienced and inspirational, with integrity and strong leadership skills, according to the results of the recent community survey, which were discussed at the Nov. 20 board of education meeting by Jody Manning, OCM BOCES district superintendent, who is also heading of the Cazenovia CSD search for its next superintendent.
Action called a procedural matter pending planning board review and approval
One month after a state supreme court judge ruled that Cazenovia College must undergo a full site plan review for its proposed fence project around the Schneeweiss Athletic Complex, the college is moving forward with getting its fence erected by preparing its submission to the village planning board. However, working under a court deadline and wanting to keep its options open, the college also last week filed a notice of appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York seeking redress for part of State Supreme Court Judge Donald F. Cerio, Jr.’s Oct. 22 decision.
The Cazenovia Beverage Trail has a new, although unofficial, location at which patrons can stop and get a homemade drink — but this drink is non-alcoholic. It is, in fact, milk. Fresh, raw milk is an up-and-coming commodity in terms of local production and local consumption in this age of “buy local,” and Ju-Vindale Holsteins, located at 2074 Ballina Road, recently became the second dairy in Cazenovia and one of the few in Madison County to become licensed by the state to sell directly to the public the fresh, raw milk its cows produce.
After four months of discussions, public hearings, investigations, surveys and unresolved votes, the Nelson Town Board last week approved a new local law to prohibit parking along the north side of a portion of North Lake Road in Erieville by the Blue Canoe Grill. The law also included a sunset clause stating that after work improving the north side culvert on that same stretch of road is completed next summer, the board will review the parking situation and could possibly reopen parking along the north side if it feels public safety would not be endangered by doing so.
The Nelson Town Board last week unanimously approved the final 2014 town budget, and although the budget did exceed the state tax levy cap by more than $9,000, it also came in with a 5 percent reduction in the town tax rate.
Cazenovia town residents will see their town tax rates increase slightly in 2014, now that the town board has approved the final 2014 town budget.
Nearly 100 members of the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce and guests filled the downstairs rooms of the Lincklaen House for the chamber’s annual dinner meeting last Tuesday, Nov. 12. Outgoing GCACC President Gene Gissin gave brief remarks on the state of the chamber during 2013 and mentioned many of the new businesses that have joined the chamber’s ranks this year.
Tax rate to decrease by approximately 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value
Due to a higher-than-expected amount of Madison County sales tax revenue for 2013, the final 2014 tax rate for the town of Fenner will decrease by 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, town Supervisor Russ Carey said at the town board’s Nov. 13 regular monthly meeting.
As of Jan. 1, 2014, the town of Cazenovia will no longer sell hunting and fishing licenses at the town offices.
The Friends of the Cazenovia Public Library had a good year in 2013 with solid book sales and consistent numbers in membership and donations; they helped the library undertake major new projects in online newspaper access and a new literacy program that will reach across the county, and will continue their support with a $10,000 donation for 2014.
Snowshoeing classes expected to begin this winter
L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School in Cazenovia, which started offering kayaking classes in June out of Lakeland Park, turned out to be so successful this year that the company plans to continue its offerings this winter with snowshoeing as well as more classes next summer, Trustee Jim Joseph told the village board at its Nov. 4 meeting.
Cazenovia Village Police Department Sgt. Karen Zaleski and Officer Chad Chapman both received letters of citation last Monday, Nov. 4, at the regular monthly meeting of the village board of trustees for actions they took during this past year that showed outstanding professional performance as they carried out their duties.
With the absentee ballots now counted by the Madison County Board of Elections, it is verified that both of the Cazenovia ballot proposals were approved by town voters.
Both the Manlius teen arrested for a village graffiti incident and the Cazenovia couple arrested on their wedding night after allegedly being involved in a bar fight and then resisting arrest have had their village court appearances, initially scheduled for Nov. 6, postponed until December 18.
The Tops store manager and meat department manager last week chased down on foot a man who grabbed more than $200 worth of seafood and ran out of the store.
After a close election night lead of only a handful of votes, the Republican candidates for town supervisor and town board in Fenner have maintained their leads and apparently been elected by the voters.
Practically the entire East Lake Road neighborhood by Owera Vineyards attended a town planning board public hearing last week concerning Owera’s proposal to build an events building. The neighbors showed up to not only oppose the winery’s proposed new building but also to demand an audit of the winery’s books to determine whether or not it has been holding its numerous weddings and events in violation of the state Department of Agriculture and Markets law.
After a nearly two-hour meeting and public hearing last week, the Cazenovia Town Planning Board told Owera Vineyards owner Peter Muserlian that it will not approve his request to build a new events building on his East Lake Road property unless and until the state Department of Agriculture and Markets makes a determination that the building — and the numerous proposed, year-round events that will be held inside it — actually have anything to do with farming and with promoting Owera’s wines, as the state DAM laws say they must.
Town clerk proposition, however, could change with absentee votes
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cazenovia voters apparently approved two ballot propositions in last night's vote, saying a definite yes to changing the town supervisor term of office from two years to four years, and a likely yes to changing the town clerk from an elected position to an appointed one. The town clerk proposition approval, however, only passed by 35 votes at the ballot box, and there are 61 absentee ballots waiting to be counted by the county board of elections, and 23 more absentee ballots that can still be received by Monday, Nov. 11.
The expectedly close Fenner elections for town supervisor and two town board seats came out closer than most anticipated, with only nine votes separating the two candidates for supervisor and not even two dozen votes separating the four town council candidates. With 25 absentee ballots out, the unofficial outcome on Tuesday night could change next week when absentee ballots are counted.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation, in coordination with the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, has announced it is proposing new regulations to help control invasive species, including aquatic invasive species, and will accept public comments until Dec. 23.
Local 10-year-old continues to improve after falling down a well on Oct. 26
Approximately 200 members of the Cazenovia community attended a prayer service and candlelight vigil last week for Charlie Thompson, the 10-year-old boy who remains in stable but critical condition in Golisano Children’s Hospital after falling down a well on Oct. 26. Family, friends and supporters of Charlie of all ages — including many of his classmates and teachers from Cazenovia Middle School — turned out to the service, which was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia and led by Thompson family friend Rev. Ethan Worthington, Cazenovia regional minister for Eastern Hills Bible Church in Manlius.
Neighbor opposition kills bakery idea at 8 Farnham St.
The controversial proposal to rezone a Farnham Street house in order to create two food-related businesses at the location has died — neighborhood opposition has caused 8 Farnham St. owner Susan Light to withdraw her application from the village planning board and take her business idea to a different location.
Local 10-year-old who fell down a well last week continues to improve
Family, friends and supporters of 10-year-old Charlie Thompson will hold a prayer service and candlelight vigil from 6 to 6:30 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia, located at 27 Albany St.
More than 50 people attend League of Women voters “Meet the Candidates” night
Extra chairs had to be brought out at the Cazenovia Public Library community room last Wednesday, as more than 50 people attended the “Meet the Candidates” event hosted by the League of Women Voters. Candidates for town and county offices each explained their experience and positions, while a panel of town officials discussed the two town ballot proposals facing Cazenovia voters on Nov. 5.
Coaches, parents, former players lobby to return funding to cut positions
More than 50 people crowded the high school auditorium last week, all with one purpose: To urge the Cazenovia board of education to return the funding it previously cut to pay for varsity and junior varsity lacrosse assistant coaches. Without these coaches, funding advocates declared, the sport is not only dangerous for the players but could be disastrous for the district’s highly lauded lacrosse program.
Three Fenner residents from three different political affiliations have joined together and created a third-party ticket to challenge the major party candidates and multi-term incumbents in this year’s Fenner town elections — and they feel the atmosphere is ripe for an election upset.
New islands will allow better car accessibility at the gas pumps than currently available
Seeking to upgrade its equipment and retain its competitive business edge in Cazenovia, Red Apple gas station has begun the permit process to undertake a construction program to upgrade its gas pumps, gas tanks and station canopy at its Albany Street location. The changes, if approved and allowed by the village planning board, will make the gas station more environmentally friendly, more aesthetically pleasing and, perhaps most important for its customers, more spacious and accessible for cars in between its gas pumps.
Reconstruction of Lakeland Park stone wall in progress, expected completion next spring
About 150 feet of the Lakeland Park stone wall fronting Forman Street (state routes 13 and 20) is gone — it has been dismantled and the stones moved back into the park while a local contractor works to repair and reconstruct a portion of the historic wall that had become so unsteady as to be hazardous.The project, which the village board approved in August and is expected to be completed next spring, will not only shore up the base of the wall and to make the structure more secure, it will also create a new gated entrance to the park by Carpenter’s Barn, which will help make the park and the barn more user-friendly to the community.
A New York State Supreme Court judge has sided with the village of Cazenovia and refused to overturn the village zoning board’s April decision to require full site plan review for a proposed perimeter fence around Cazenovia College’s athletic complex rather than issuing a simple building permit.