What started as a discussion of the effectiveness of a district tardiness policy at the recent school board meeting turned into a philosophical debate on the responsibilities and limitations of the school district as academic law enforcement officer or surrogate parent to its students.At issue was the district’s year-old — and relatively controversial — requirement of a doctor’s note to verify “health appointment” excuses for high school student tardiness (what the school calls “health lates”). Students who fail to get a note are barred from participating in any extracurricular activities after school that day, both athletic and academic.
There are a lot of stuffed birds in the Cazenovia Public Library Museum collection. And while it was a popular hobby to have such an ornithological display in one’s home in the late 19th century, in Victorian times birds served another social function as well — fashion. Museum educators at the library recently decided to blend this Victorian-era interest in science and love of fashion into a new permanent exhibit recently installed in the museum called “Fashion Takes Flight.” It is an examination of how birds, and especially their feathers, were used in 19th century fashions — specifically hats and fans — how the millinery industry created and advertised the fashions and what it meant then and means today concerning natural preservation.
The Cazenovia Fourth of July fireworks show above the lake is the premier display in Central New York — and this year it will be even more spectacular. The Cazenovia Lions Club, which runs the fireworks display, is adding 23 of the largest size (five- and six-inch) shells to the middle of the show, said George Williams, chair of the Lions Club fireworks committee.
After receiving the results of a state-mandated building condition survey that showed a facilities improvement project of some kind will be necessary for the district in the immediate future, the Cazenovia Central School District administration and board of education are currently deciding the scope of the building project and whether the district will need to hold a public referendum to pay for the improvements.
Teachers send letter to school board opposing reduction of third grade sections from five to four
In the midst of overall declining enrollment, the size of the 2013-14 third grade class at Burton Street Elementary School has taken a sudden turn upward with an increase of at least five students. This unexpected influx, plus a previously-approved elimination of one section (classroom and teacher) from third grade, has caused concerns among teachers and district parents that third grade class sizes next year will be so large as to be detrimental to students and more challenging for teachers.
The Cazenovia Town Board has approved a resolution to change the current position of town clerk from an elected office to an appointed one. The change will not become town law unless and until town voters approve the action in a referendum scheduled to be on the ballot during the November town elections.
Cazenovia Class of 2013 celebrates graduation
The 138-member Class of 2013 graduated from Cazenovia High School on Saturday, June 22, amid temperate weather and blue skies, watched and celebrated by more than 1,000 family and friends. In keeping with district tradition, the school held its 82nd annual commencement ceremony on the tree-ringed front lawn of Cazenovia Middle School. “Be proud and continue to set high goals … never, ever give up on your dreams,” High School Principal Eric Schnabl told the graduates. “There will always be a little bit of blue and gold in each and every one of you.”
More than 100 people — many in suits, dresses and fashionable hats — spent the evening last Friday enjoying food and wine in the Lorenzo formal gardens, touring the mansion and supporting the Friends of Lorenzo for the group’s annual Garden Gala fundraiser. The non-profit group, which is dedicated to preserving the Lorenzo mansion and grounds, raised nearly $5,000 through attendance and raffle ticket sales.
The town of Nelson is looking into the possibility of approving a town road use agreement as a way to protect its roads from damage caused by heavy industrial trucking.
Absentee ballots bring the final vote difference to seven votes
Amy Mann and Fritz Koennecke have been elected to the Cazenovia Village Board of Trustees. Final results: Mann - 226; Koennecke - 205; Peggy Van Arnam 198. There were 21 absentee ballots. The results were officially certified by the Madison County Board of Elections at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Owera Vineyards cuts ribbon, opens facilities for business
The first and only winery in Madison County officially opened its doors and cut the ceremonial ribbon last week — and it is located on East Lake Road in Cazenovia. Owera Vineyards, owned by the Muserlian family and already producing award-winning wines, welcomed local and state politicians, business owners, friends and visitors on one of the few sunny days in recent weeks to inaugurate its new facilities.
Local opponents of the controversial business of natural gas exploration and drilling through hydraulic fracturing appeared at the Fenner and Nelson town board meetings last week to deliver petitions signed by more than 1,100 people demanding the towns outlaw hydrofracking.
The three candidates for trustee for the June 18 village election explained to voters who they were, where they stood on the issues and why people should vote for them at the June 11 candidate forum held by the League of Women Voters. Incumbents Amy Weber Mann and Peggy Van Arnam, both seeking reelection, and challenger Fritz Koennecke, Jr., current president of the Cazenovia Board of Education, spent 70 minutes before a crowd of about 30 people answering questions on topics such as what Caz will look like in 10 years and how the village should get there, what should happen to the Riverside Drive property, how can the village have a better relationship with Cazenovia College, should the new Lincklaen Street parking lot be paid or free and whether or not the village should consolidate with the town.
Farmstead brewery project now continues forward with site plan and architectural review
The Cazenovia village board unanimously agreed on June 11 to change the zoning of Empire Brewing Company’s land on Route 13 from a residential to a Planned Development District, and also to amend the village code to allow the milling of flour, feed or grain in the village. Both actions allow Empire to move forward with its project to build a farmstead brewery in the village of Cazenovia.
The Cazenovia Village Board officially approved its contract with L.L. Bean to establish the outdoor apparel company’s use of Cazenovia Lake and Lakeland Park for its newest Outdoor Discovery School. The approval came two days after the green L.L. Bean trailer full of kayaks was parked near the north wall by the public swimming area in Lakeland Park, and five days before the new school begins kayaking excursions on the lake.
The new public parking lot at 22 Lincklaen St. will likely charge money for parking, the village board revealed at a special meeting last week.
Lakeside residents interested in renting lake weed prevention mats to clear lanes from their docks to the middle of the lake may now do so from the town. The benthic mat rental program, approved by the town board May 13, has received final department of environmental conservation approval and is now ready to go, said Town Councilor Bill Zupan.
Awards, recent successes and future goals offered at annual CPF meeting
Cazenovia landscape architect Don Ferlow received the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation’s top award for environmental preservation at the organization’s May 23 annual meeting. The award was one of four given out that night in front of an audience of about 70 CPF members and supporters. The group also elected new members and a new board of directors, reviewed their 2012 successes and achievements and laid out plans for 2013.
The Cazenovia Village Board of Trustees has scheduled a special public hearing for 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, to serve as the final discussion concerning Empire Brewing Company’s requested zone change application on its Route 13 land before the board votes.
Increasing cost of the program, especially travel, may force its discontinuance
The Cazenovia High School Academic Decathlon team advisor told the school board at its last meeting that the high costs of the program, coupled with the financial straits of the district, may not allow the program to continue in Cazenovia unless actions are taken to help fund the team. The large and last-minute fundraising the club did this year to be able to attend the national competition in Minnesota took a huge toll on the students and the advisors, and was not something that could be expected to occur every year.
Lakeland Park chosen for company's newest Outdoor Discovery School
Less than two weeks after discussions began, it’s official: L.L. Bean has chosen Cazenovia Lake as the location of its latest “Outdoor Discovery School.” “The eagle has landed,” Trustee Jim Joseph, who coordinated the deal for the village, said into his cell phone Saturday afternoon, June 1, as he and other village board members watched the green L.L. Bean trailer full of kayaks back into place near the public swimming area in Lakeland Park.
College seeks to overturn ZBA decision requiring full site plan review
Cazenovia College has filed suit in New York State Supreme Court asking a judge to overturn the village zoning board’s April decision to require full site plan review for a proposed perimeter fence around the college’s athletic complex rather than issuing a simple building permit. The argument, which has been ongoing for nearly one year, has become and passionate — and sometimes personal — issue between the college, its neighbors, the village zoning enforcement officer and the village government, with accusations of unneighborly conduct, acting in bad faith, mendacity, incompetence and even illegalities being asserted.
L.L. Bean, one of the largest outdoor apparel and equipment companies in the world, is currently looking at three potential locations in Central New York to host one of its Outdoor Discovery Schools — and Cazenovia Lake is on the list. The potential school is coming to CNY as part of L.L. Bean's Fayetteville store conversation from outlet to retail.
Cazenovia lakeside residents soon may be able to rent from the town specialty mats designed to contain and kill lake weeds — both invasive and native — on their property in Cazenovia Lake. The board unanimously approved at its May 13 meeting a resolution to establish a benthic mat rental program for the town, as well as a resolution setting the rules and regulations for the program.
About 650 Cazenovia Central School District voters turned out Tuesday, May 21, and approved the district’s $26.4 million 2013-14 budget proposal, two ballot propositions and elected two board of education members.
Cazenovia community members eager to know whether the village board of trustees will or will not approve a zone change for the proposed brewery on Route 13 must wait another two weeks for the decision. After a two-hour special meeting Monday, May 20, the trustees chose to hold off on its vote until its next regular monthly meeting on Monday, June 3.
The Cazenovia Town Board last week approved a series of resolutions aimed at making town government more effective by extending the term of office for town supervisor, making the town clerk position appointed rather than elected and abolishing the town tax collector position.
One week of artistic exploration and one of scientific exploration being offered
Lorenzo’s annual Rippleton Schoolhouse summer camp, where boys and girls ages eight through 12 experience a week of 19th century school days, is expanding to two weeks this year with one week focused on artistic creations and one week on scientific exploration. The camp will run two non-consecutive weeks, one at the beginning and one at the end of July.
Mary Kate Lonergan to teach at FM for better sense of job security
Mary Kate Lonergan, the Cazenovia High School social studies teacher whose announced layoff at the beginning of 2013 caused such a community outcry that the school board recently shifted money from the district reserve funds to maintain her position, has resigned in order to take a job at Fayetteville-Manlius High School.
The village planning board has recommended that Empire Brewing Company’s application for a zone change on its Route 13 property from residential to light industrial/agricultural use be approved with conditions by the village board of trustees. If the trustees accept the recommendation and vote for approval, the brewery project — after more than two years of work — will move forward rather than be stopped in its tracks.
Local health club offers same location, same prices and many original members from a decade ago
Caz Fitness has been in the same location, with the same membership prices, for the past decade. This month, the local business that offers workout machines, yoga, boot camp and personal training classes celebrates its 10-year anniversary with giveaways for free classes and even free six-month memberships.
Juniors and seniors at Cazenovia High School received a scary dose of reality last week as local emergency organizations and members of the high school’s Students Against Drunk Driving chapter staged a Mock DWI event on the school grounds.
Cazenovia Artisans celebrating horse power through horse-made art
Cazenovia Artisans last week began its first-ever fundraising endeavor with a three-week celebration of horses in fine art and craft. While all members of the cooperative gallery and shop have some sort of horse-related art for sale during May, the centerpiece of the “HorsePower” event is a special “Moneigh” exhibit of paintings created by champion race horses, with all funds raised through their sales to go to ReRun race horse rescue organization.
In an otherwise light monthly meeting, the Nelson Town Board accepted the resignation of the town zoning board of appeals chair, appointed an interim ZBA chair and made other appointments to both the ZBA and the town planning board.
The latest update on village plans to convert 22 Lincklaen St. from a house to a parking lot is that the lot and the house are getting prepped for construction to begin, and the trustees are moving closer to a decision on whether the lot should have paid or free parking.
Four-hour meeting adjourns with agreement but no approval vote
The village planning board will recommend that Empire Brewing Company’s application for a zone change on its Route 13 property from residential to light industrial/agricultural use be approved with conditions by the village board of trustees, the planning board members agreed at their May 13 meeting. The exact conditions for the approval, however, have not been finalized, and the board’s vote to officially approve its recommendation will not occur until Thursday, May 16.
The Fenner Town Board has to decide what to do about a building at the corner of Nelson and Peterboro roads that had a garage addition built more than a decade ago without a permit — yet the addition still stands. A previous agreement between the town and the building owner, Jim Christenson, stated the illegal addition would be removed by June 2008 and Christenson placed $2,000 in an escrow account for the town to use should he renege. The addition was not removed, and the owner recently applied for a variance from the zoning board of appeals to allow him to keep the building as it currently is.
Noise, odor, visual, archeology and traffic impacts all determined minimal
The Cazenovia Village Board Monday night heard the results of five professional studies that determined the proposed Empire Brewing Company farmstead brewery in Cazenovia will have minimal to zero impact on surrounding noise, odor, visual aesthetics, archaeological and traffic considerations. In addition, Empire owner David Katleski informed the board that he has altered the tentative building specifications to make the brewery smaller, shorter, better screened from neighbors and more visually pleasing — all in response to the numerous neighbor and community concerns voiced in recent weeks. "This is not as functional for us as a brewery, [but] we are willing to do this” to address community concerns, Katleski said of the architectural modifications during a village board public hearing on May 6.
A new parking lot entrance to Tops plaza off Route 20 is scheduled to open this week, and the current entrance will be closed as part of the overall parking lot redesign that has been ongoing for the past few weeks. In addition to the new entrance, the lot will get new light posts, a redesign of all the parking spaces and a new Tops gas station at the former location of the Kimberly’s ice cream building.
Cazenovia native Tom Eschen received the A Brohman Roth Newcomer Award at the Syracuse Press Club annual awards dinner last Saturday, May 4.
The Cazenovia Baseball Softball Association celebrated its Opening Day last Saturday, May 4, at the Burton Street fields. The event began with a parade of the two softball teams and the eight baseball teams — all players from grades three through six — from the elementary school to the fields, led by a Cazenovia Fire Department truck.
The political parties have chosen their candidates and the upcoming election for Cazenovia village trustee will be a contested race between two current incumbents and the outgoing president of the Cazenovia board of education. Current Mayor Kurt Wheeler will run unopposed for a second term.
Strong public support for high school social studies teacher saves job
The Cazenovia Board of Education increased this year’s budget by nearly $70,000 last night, specifically to prevent the proposed layoff of a popular high school social studies teacher who for months has had a multitude of public support urging the board to save her job. The money to pay for her retention will come out of the district’s fund balance reserve account and will not necessitate an increase in the proposed tax rate or an overriding of the state tax levy cap.
Eleventh hour donations put fundraising over the top
The Cazenovia High School Academic Decathlon Team will be able to travel to Minnesota to compete in the national AD competition this week, thanks to their own effective fundraising work and numerous donations from local residents, but especially because of two major donations received last week from two community groups.
If Cazenovia College wants to build a six-foot-high chain link fence around its athletic complex in the heart of the village, a simple building permit application is insufficient and the college must undertake the full site plan review and approval process through the village planning board. This was the decision of the village zoning board of appeals last week in response to the college’s appeal of a previous ruling to the same effect by the village zoning enforcement officer, whom the college felt exceeded his authority as ZEO.
The Cazenovia High School gym was filled with contraptions, cords and cables last Saturday, April 13, as more than 35 high school students from Cazenovia and Chittenango competed in the third annual GHD engineering challenge. The event was the culmination of eight weeks of work researching, designing, presenting, constructing and, finally, bench testing prototype designs for devices that would test the principles of heating a three-room structure and maintain the heat inside at a certain temperature.
Planning board and zoning boards can now have alternate members, land use and zoning regulation changes still under consideration
What was expected to be a short meeting lasted nearly two hours last week as the Nelson Town Board held a public hearing, addressed two new town laws, considered the findings of its Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan and discussed how best to spend an extra $30,000 in highway department funding unexpectedly delivered to local governments from the state budget.
Fenner town residents will be visited in coming weeks by the town dog control officer, who will be canvassing the town to verify all dogs are licensed and vaccinated. Owners with unlicensed dogs will be subject to a licensing late fee.
A two-car accident at the intersection of Oxbow Road and West Milestrip Road in Fenner Tuesday night sent four people to the hospital, all with non-life threatening injuries, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorizes request for qualifications from architectural and preservation firms
The next step in plans to renovate and preserve the Gothic Cottage for use as the town municipal offices took place this week when the town board authorized the supervisor to put out a call for architectural firms interested in working on the project.