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Jason Emerson

Stories by Jason

Superintendent search survey results released by school board

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.

School board reinstates lacrosse assistant coach positions

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 College files notice of appeal over fence permit issue

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.

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Got fresh, raw milk? Ju-Vindale Holsteins does, and is now licensed to sell it

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.

Nelson town tax rate to drop 5 percent in 2014

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.

Nelson town board resolves parking issue by Blue Canoe Grill in Erieville

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.

Town board approves final 2014 budget

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.

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Chamber of commerce elects new officers, celebrates local business at annual dinner

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.

Fenner town board approves final town budget

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.

Town to stop sale of hunting and fishing licenses

As of Jan. 1, 2014, the town of Cazenovia will no longer sell hunting and fishing licenses at the town offices.

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Friends of the Cazenovia Public Library have solid 2013, look forward to 2014

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.

L.L. Bean has ‘big plans’ for Cazenovia Outdoor Discovery School

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.

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Two village police officers awarded letters of citation

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.

Absentee ballots confirm Cazenovia ballot Proposition 2 passes

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.

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Court appearances for graffiti suspect, newlywed bar fighters postponed until December

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.

Tops mangers chase down ‘seafood bandit’ on foot

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.

Absentee ballots say Republicans sweep Fenner election

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.

Owera neighbors continue fight against winery at planning board public hearing

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.

Planning board: No event building for Owera without state approval

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.

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UPDATE: Cazenovia apparently approves both ballot propositions

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.

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Fenner election results will come down to absentee ballots

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.

DEC proposing new regulations to help control invasive species

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.

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Large community turnout at prayer vigil service for hospitalized Cazenovia boy

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.

Proposed ‘Farnham Street Kitchen’ zone change application withdrawn

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.

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Prayer vigil service tonight for hospitalized Cazenovia boy

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.

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Local residents hear election candidates, learn about ballot proposals

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.

Residents tell school board: Bring back lax assistant coaches

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.

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Third party candidates seek upset in Fenner town election

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.

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Red Apple gas station to upgrade Albany Street location

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.

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Where’s the wall?

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.

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State supreme court judge upholds ZBA decision regarding college fence construction

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.

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Tuvan throat singers to perform at Nelson Odeon on Nov. 1

The Nelson Odeon prides itself on being a concert venue that not only promotes local music but also brings respected regional, national and international acts to the Central New York area to play for music lovers and music discoverers alike. Next week, the Odeon presents what may be the most unique musical act to yet grace its stage: Alash, a trio of world-renowned Tuvan musicians and throat singers who can create multiple melodic pitches using only their voices.

Police making progress on ‘Exercise Stalker’ case

Cazenovia village police have received a large volume of information and leads regarding the so-called “Exercise Stalker” and are making progress in the case, and, because of all the publicity, there have been no recent sightings of the stalker, said Police Chief Michael Hayes.

School board to ask voter approval for $7.4 million capital project

The Cazenovia Central School District will present a referendum to district voters this December seeking permission to bond for a more than $7 million capital project to make necessary infrastructure repairs in all three district school buildings.

Fenner tax rate likely to drop for 15th consecutive year

The 2014 tax rate for the town of Fenner most likely will decrease for the 15th year in a row, said Town Supervisor Russ Carey at the board’s Oct. 9 public budget hearing. While the final tax rate will not be known until Madison County releases the final county sales tax disbursements for each town, the tax rate in Fenner likely will decrease by a few cents per $1,000 of assessed value, Carey said.

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Shave and a haircut … now in Caz

First village barber shop in 10 years opens in Town and Country Plaza

It’s been four weeks since Fred’s Barber Shop opened in the Tops plaza in Cazenovia — and Fred Hinderliter has been so busy he’s already thinking of increasing his business hours. “Men just feel more comfortable in a barber shop,” said Hinderliter, who opened up his shop inside Twisted Scissors salon at the beginning of September. “’Finally, there’s a barber shop in town’ — I’ve been hearing that a lot. Every week I’ve been doubling my clientele.”

Cazenovia preliminary town budget now available for public review

Modest tax increases included for town residents

The preliminary Cazenovia town budget, which was publicly released by the town board last week, contains higher expenditures from last year, mainly due to increases in town benefits and retirement spending, and offers modest tax increases for town residents.

Fenner tax rate drops for 15th consecutive year

The 2014 tax rate for the town of Fenner most likely will decrease for the 15th year in a row, said Town Supervisor Russ Carey at the board’s Oct. 9 public budget hearing. While the final tax rate will not be known until Madison County releases the final county sales tax disbursements for each town, the tax rate in Fenner likely will decrease by a few cents per $1,000 of assessed value, Carey said.

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Cazenovia student-athletes compete in regional Special Olympics

Seven student-athletes from Burton Street Elementary School took to the athletic fields last week to participate in track and field competitions in this year’s Madison-Oneida BOCES Special Olympics Autumn Games at Canastota High School. Sage Byrnes, Kodi Callahan, Ian Decker, Zach Streeter, Connor Wilcox, Connor Zampetti and Anna Linck joined 250 other athletes from nine other districts in Madison and Oneida counties to compete in track and field events including the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter dash, shot put, running and standing long jump and a softball throw. The event also includes Adaptive Games for athletes not able to compete in traditional events.

Owera Vineyards proposes permanent events building to planning board

Faced with mounting neighborhood complaints and pending legal action for noise violations from the town, the owners of Owera Vineyards on East Lake Road last week presented a proposal to the town planning board to build a permanent events building on the winery land to replace the temporary tent structure currently in place.

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Syracuse Honor Flight volunteers tear down government road block, cross barrier

Shutdown won’t deter local veterans’ visit to DC memorials

Volunteers and vets with Honor Flight Syracuse tore down a roadblock at the Iwo Jima Memorial and crossed the barrier at the Lincoln Memorial during their trip to Washington on Saturday, Oct. 5, refusing to let a government shutdown bar them from visiting national memorials to themselves, their comrades and their military branches of service.

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Cazenovia Tops gas station opens next week

The new Tops gas station, which will offer discounted fuel prices to Tops customers, is set to open in the Cazenovia Town and Country Plaza on Wednesday, Oct. 9. In addition to discounted gas, the convenience store on site will also offer lunch and breakfast food and deals, lottery tickets, alcohol and tobacco products, as well as the typical convenience store items.

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Local artists seeks serenity through her artwork

Walking into Common Grounds coffeehouse during the past few weeks, patrons may have noticed the vibrant, eye-catching paintings displayed on the walls. The works depicting people and animals are strong with bold colors and offer a feeling of fluid movement in their curving, swirling lines.

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Cazenovia College officially names new ‘Jephson Campus’ on Albany Street

More than 100 people showed up last Saturday, Sept. 28, for the official naming ceremony of Cazenovia College’s new “Jephson Campus” at 10 Albany St. The event was held in honor and recognition of the recent $1 million commitment from the Jephson Educational Trusts to the college as part of the college’s ongoing, multi-million-dollar campus improvement campaign. The Trusts’ donation will go toward the planned refurbishment and expansion of the college’s studio-arts facilities on the site previously known as South Campus.

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Republicans offer ‘common sense’ platform in upcoming Fenner town election

Fenner is not a one-issue town, and the upcoming town elections should be less about hydrofracking and more about sensible, accountable government that continues to improve town services, keeps taxes low, remembers the town’s agricultural base and welcomes new businesses. This is the platform of the Republican candidates for Fenner supervisor and town board — two longtime public servants and one political newcomer who believe their business and political experiences, along with a common sense approach to governing, will best represent the town they love.

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Caz teen an ‘iron woman’ who swims with sharks

Meerae Firkins, a 10th grader in Cazenovia High School, spent the end of her summer this year on a scuba diving trip in the Bahamas where she made 25 dives in five days, swam with sharks, explored a shipwreck and won an award for creating the best underwater video on her ship.

Monforte: Tentative town budget includes ‘significant’ tax increase

The tentative Cazenovia town budget was officially submitted this past Monday, Sept. 30, to the town clerk, and town residents may not be happy with its contents. “We are looking at a substantial increase in taxes” ranging from 15 to 30 percent for the 2014 fiscal year, said town Supervisor Ralph Monforte, who is also town budget officer.

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Lincklaen Street parking lot dedicated

Former Trustee Peggy Van Arnam cuts ribbon on ‘Peggy’s Lot’

The sign is up, the ribbon is cut and the new village parking lot on Lincklaen Street has been officially dedicated by its namesake and prime creator, former Trustee Peggy Van Arnam. Mayor Kurt Wheeler officially unveiled the sign naming the lot “Peggy’s Lot” during a ceremony last Friday, Sept. 27.

School board debates teacher hiring policy

The Cazenovia Board of Education last week filled the fifth grade teaching position in the middle school that was added the week before school started — but not until the board had a lengthy discussion over district hiring policies and whether or not the board itself should get involved in selecting position candidates. Such a change — the board currently only approves or rejects new hires put forth by the superintendent after being selected by a committee — would fundamentally alter the hiring policy and give the board a responsibility that is currently held only by the superintendent.

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Village police make six arrests with 29 charges in Tops larceny case

Seven people — all Morrisville College students — were arrested and more than two dozen criminal charges issued last week when Cazenovia village police closed out a months-long investigation into a series of thefts at Tops grocery store in Cazenovia.

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