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Russ Tarby

Stories by Russ

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: The first car to roll through the village: a Hupmobile!

The first automobile ever to roar down the muddy streets of the village was driven by Dr. Charles Schamu, a dentist who lived and worked on Third Street.

Village sewer tax reduced

Public hearings set April 13 to discuss village budget, noise concerns

If the Liverpool board of trustees approves its proposed budget for 2015-16 as expected, spending will increase by more than $70,000 and the tax rate will rise slightly, by 1.64 percent. On the other hand, the annual sewer-fund assessment will be reduced from $150 to $130 per year. “So it’ll be a wash for our taxpayers,” said Mayor Gary White.

Feedback wanted on modernizing local government

‘Consensus’ forum March 31 at Salina Town Hall

Most Central New Yorkers pay taxes to the federal government, the state, the county, their town, their village and their school district. All of those entities provide needed services, but there is some overlap and occasional duplication of services. In order to address such issues, a 19-member commission on local government modernization called Consensus has been formed and is now conducting public forums, including one at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, at Salina Town Hall.

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.

Tease photo

Dangerous duality: Wilson gives bravura performance in B’ville Theatre Guild’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’

When you see this musical based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” you’ll be impressed by the visual recreation of Victorian London, the pitch-perfect singing often rendered in tight harmonies and the rousing 14-piece pit band. What will most impress you, however, will be leading man Henry Wilson in the dual role of the gentle Dr. Jekyll and the violent Mr. Hyde.

Heavy ice and snow wreak havoc on village buildings

Winter may be winding down but not before doing some last-minute damage. At least four buildings in the village of Liverpool suffered roof damage over the past couple of weeks as temperatures rose and melting snow and ice became a hazard, according to village Codes Enforcement Officer Bill Reagan.

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.

Not your father’s regatta

USRowing Masters Regional Championships set to race June 28 on Onondaga Lake’s new seven-lane course

The second annual USRowing Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Masters Regional Championships hosted by the Syracuse Chargers Rowing Club Sunday, June 28, is unlikely to attract the same kind of crowd that flocked to the IRA races all those years ago.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: Heroic bouncer Lawrence Gabriel is an aspiring boxer

Lawrence Gabriel, the hero of McAvan’s shooting incident, has plenty of friends here in Liverpool. They were singin’ his praises down at The Cobblestone the day after he helped remove a man firing a handgun at McAvan’s Pub, 1217 W. Fayette St., in Syracuse, in the early morning hours of Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1.

Sound levels: Public hearing set April 13 to discuss village noise concerns

Have you ever had to call the cops to quell a loud party next door? How about that summer night when the guitar players turned their amps up to 10 at the nightclub down the street? Next month, the village of Liverpool’s board of trustees wants to hear your story. The trustees are considering possible changes to the village noise ordinance and have scheduled a public hearing on the matter for 7 p.m. April 13, at the Village Hall, 310 Sycamore St.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: New trapper in town, minus the fee

When all this snow starts to melt next month, the familiar odor of skunks will befoul our neighborhoods, and woodchucks will begin burrowing under porches and sheds. But take heart -- there’s a new trapper in town.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: L’pool jazzman organizes regional talent search

Opportunity comes knocking for singers, songwriters, composers and instrumentalists to polish their talents with a new, free music program. The Onondaga County Public Library MasterClass offers a workshop and a session for anyone 12 years old and older interested in getting feedback from local music professionals and performing at a finale concert.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: Neediest children, oldest adults deserve our help

They say you can judge a society’s worth by the way it treats its neediest children and its oldest adults. With its schools, playgrounds and parks and its clean and caring senior-citizen facilities, Liverpool measures up admirably.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: The Beatles will always be the best

Paul Davie grew up in the Southern Tier town of Sidney, but now that he’s grown up he lives in Liverpool. A longtime rock and roll musician who plays guitar, bass and harmonica, Davie settled here in 2006 because he’s obsessed with the Beatles, the British pop combo that hailed from Liverpool, England.

Liverpool to apply for historic status for graveyard

If the National Register of Historic Places adds Liverpool’s Village Cemetery to its rolls, the 169-year-old graveyard could become eligible for state renovation funds.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: Federal investigators trap Albany’s Silver fox

Former Cicero Assemblyman Michael Bragman sure looks good in retrospect.  Bragman’s nemesis, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was arrested on federal corruption charges Jan. 22.

Lamont to the rescue

Early this year longtime Liverpool landlord and businessman Val Lamont acquired the house at 107 Lake Drive that had been declared an unsafe structure Dec. 1 by the village board of trustees.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: Heroin rears its ugly head right here in the village

Are we trying to close the barn door after the horse has bolted? Liverpool Police Officer Jerry Unger thinks so. Heroin abuse, he said, has hit the village with a vengeance.

Nancy harmonizes with Hammond B-3

Thirty years ago, Syracuse Area Music Awards Hall of Famer Nancy Kelly honed her vocals accompanied by a variety of Hammond organists at Jewel’s, a salt-and-mostly-pepper nightclub on Philadelphia’s Broad Street. When she returned to CNY, she worked more often with pianists. One of them was Dino Losito.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: Major meltdown lands Syracuse cop in village court

Talk about a meltdown! Ty Cogan could give the Wicked Witch of the West a run for her money. At about 8:25 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, Liverpool Police Officer Todd Creller, one of Onondaga County’s top traffic cops, stopped Cogan, an off-duty Syracuse policeman who lives in Liverpool. Cogan was drunk, according to Creller — “slobbering” drunk, the resultant police paperwork would say.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: Bud Bennett’s charmed life darkened by scandal

Russ Tarby shares memories of Bud Bennett.

Fund established to repair Salina Town Hall

After 80 years, the brick building which houses Salina Town Hall at 201 School Road often needs some mending here, some patching there.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: A Christmas kindness recalled four decades later

Whenever Dolores Gleason thinks of Butternut Street — one of the primary roads running through Syracuse’s North Side — she thinks of a kind lady who brought Christmas to life for the struggling Gleason family 40 years ago.

Church merger on the horizon

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton to link with St. Stephen’s in Phoenix

Because of dwindling congregations, decreasing Mass attendance and a persistent shortage of priests, Catholic churches in the Diocese of Syracuse continue to consolidate. Baldwinsville’s St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church will link up with St. Stephen’s Church in Phoenix “upon the next pastoral opening at St. Stephen’s,” according to the Most Rev. Robert Cunningham, Bishop of Syracuse.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: Betty Gilmore made Liverpool a better place

Betty Gilmore’s roots ran all the way back to the 1720s, when her British ancestors established a trading post at what would eventually become known as Fort Oswego. Later in the 17th century, her people would help found the town of Pompey and, in the 18th century, the town of Elbridge, both here in Onondaga County. Betty continued her family’s tradition of community-building during her long life which ended Dec. 5 at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center. She was 95. Betty will be buried at the Liverpool Village Cemetery.

Morris cited for bravery

L’pool police chief receives Sheriff’s award recognizing his 2013 arrest of a double murderer

Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris received a Sheriff’s Award for Bravery Monday, Dec. 8, in recognition of his Oct. 28, 2013 arrest of double murder suspect Justin Dallas, 26, of Syracuse.

LIVIN' IN LIVERPOOL: Readers and eaters can’t get enough comfort food

Several readers stopped me out and about to chat about my Nov. 4 column about comfort food. Seems they can’t get enough.

Liverpool village board declares home ‘unsafe’

Sets Dec. 15 deadline for chimney removal

At a special Dec. 1 meeting, the Liverpool Village Board of Trustees declared the house at 107 Lake Drive “an unsafe structure” and gave 81-year-old homeowner Estelle Linehan until Dec. 15 to remove or repair her deteriorating chimney or face possible demolition of the entire structure.

Looking forward to Skä·noñh — Great Law of Peace Center

After going dark for more than three years, the old French Fort’s fixing to rekindle its fires more brightly than ever. The facility, which has been known as Saint Marie Among the Iroquois for the past two decades, will now be known as Skä·noñh — Great Law of Peace Center thanks to a joint effort by the Onondaga Historical Association, Onondaga County, the Onondaga Nation and local colleges.

Chiefs predict more fireworks on and off the field

New Syracuse Chiefs General Manager Jason Smorol, who lives in Liverpool, delivered a Rockne-like pep talk at the annual shareholders’ meeting last Tuesday, Nov. 18, at NBT Bank Stadium.

Trucks and trailers targeted

In response to resident complaints about commercial vehicles and trailers parked on village streets, Liverpool’s Board of Trustees plan to amend the village code to allow police to ticket such vehicles. The board conducted a public hearing on Nov. 17 to consider the code change.

Gunshots at Covered Bridge Apts.

Detectives believe victim targeted, incident not random

Two gunshots were reportedly heard by witnesses at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Covered Bridge Apartments, at 850 Vine St., just outside the village of Liverpool.

Meteorologist Carrie Cheevers actually loves lake effect

Well, we’ve endured the first lake effect snowfall of the year. A few inches blanketed lawns and landscapes from Oswego to Ithaca after flakes began falling at noon Friday, Nov. 14, and continued on and off for a couple days. The unusual mid-day squall was offset by intermittent appearances of blue skies and sunshine, as though Mother Nature couldn’t quite make up her mind.

Village codes enforcement officer declares Lake Drive home ‘uninhabitable’

A home at 107 Lake Drive owned by longtime Liverpool resident Estelle Linehan was inspected on Friday, Oct. 31, by village Codes Enforcement Officer Bill Reagan who found the house uninhabitable.

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B’ville Theatre Guild’s ‘Young Frankenstein’ captures lightning in a bottle

Electrifying performances breathe laughable life into the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild’s presentation of Mel Brooks’ punny parody of “Frankenstein,” the 1930s-era fright-film franchise. Directed by the Heather Jensen and produced by Jay Burris, the monstrous musical “Young Frankenstein” showcases three of Central NY’s best performers, Henry Wilson, Leila Dean and Josh Taylor.

LPD officers commended

Three Liverpool police officers who subdued a man who had threatened to kill a policeman in the village were honored with commendations at the Oct. 20 meeting of the Village Board of Trustees.

New Zogg owner devoted to democracy in Thailand

We haven’t even met him yet, but we already know that the new owner of Liverpool’s historic Zogg Building is one of Thailand’s most outspoken proponents of democracy in his troubled country of 66 million people This past August, Liverpool Community Church, which has owned the former A.V. Zogg Building for 11 years, sold it for $1.1 million to Dr. Pramote Nakornthab, a retired professor of political science from Cornell University.

Nichols now flies with Eagle Newspapers

As summer’s heat lingered through August, Nichols Supermarket installed five dozen six-foot-high swinging-door beverage coolers. The new glass doors not only look spiffy, they allow you to get a good look at the groceries before you open the door and grab ’em. As a bonus for store owner Mike Hennigan, the coolers actually save energy! And here’s some more news about Nichols. Around the same time the swinging doors swung open, the supermarket started printing its weekly flyer at Eagle Newspapers, the same company that publishes the Star-Review.

Recalling Syracuse’s Stratocaster master

When Dan Elliott reminisces about Syracuse’s History of Rock’n’Roll at Liverpool Library this week, I hope he’ll tell the story of guitarist Ron Lauback, who influenced the formation of rock bands like Elliott’s own Monterays. Ron was born on Sept. 11, 1942 in Syracuse, to George and Helen Lauback. His mom, Helen, taught music teacher in the 1940s in the East Syracuse school district, and so young Ron was exposed to jazz, classical and pop music as a child. Ron’s first musical instrument was a ukulele.

Gendercide a brutal method of social control in China

Just as the Nazi genocide resulted in the wholesale murder of millions of innocent Jews, Gypsies, Poles and homosexuals, gendercide now takes millions of female lives in the country of China. Government-ordered abortions of female fetuses are enforced by Family-Planning Police who routinely arrest pregnant women on the street and deliver them to abortionists.

American Diner now serves entrees and opinions

Jenn works as a waitress at the American Diner along the railroad tracks at 214 Oswego St., but Friday afternoon she served a welcome side of good news along with the daily specials. The bright-eyed bespectacled brunette clearly has a flair for marketing. “I don’t know if you’ve heard,” she hinted to each customer as he finished his meal, “but we’re now open for dinner Monday through Friday.”

Personal ‘Project’ — Director dedicates ‘Laramie Project’ to his late brother

theater review

In early-July, as Justin Polly prepared to direct “The Laramie Project” for CNY Playhouse, he learned that his troubled 26-year-old brother, Christian, had gone missing outside of the city where he lived and worked, Jackson Hole, Wyo. On Sept. 4 — a week before the play opened at Shoppingtown Mall — Christian’s decomposing body was found by construction workers at the base of Snow King Mountain. In his director’s note, Justin Polly likened his brother’s untimely death to that of Matthew Shepard, the 21-year-old murder victim who is the subject of the play.

L’pool Village Board also updated on roadwork, recent police incident

At the Aug. 18 meeting of the Liverpool Village Board, Mary Rhea, of 204 Brow St., cited five problems she wanted the trustees to address.

Training, patience and stealth add up to avert tragedy

In 2011, according to data collected by criminologist Jim Fisher, a former FBI agent, police officers in the United States shot 1,146 people, killing 607. About 25 percent of those killed were suffering mental illness or emotional disturbance. In New York state alone, 49 persons were shot by police, including 23 fatally. The mortal danger swings both ways. That same year, 73 police officers were shot to death in the line of duty. Last week, three Liverpool police officers faced death on Sycamore Street when they were confronted by a 43-year-old man who had openly threatened to “take out” a village cop. A witness said the man appeared to be armed with a handgun.

Zogg Building sold

One of Liverpool’s most historic buildings, the A.V. Zogg Building at 800 Fourth St., has been sold by its current owner, the Liverpool Community Church. On Wednesday, Sept. 10, Joe Frega, chairman of the church’s Exit Committee, informed village officials that the new owner was in no rush to make changes to the former high school building.

Brass Inc. brings horn-driven rock to Carnegie Café

Trumpeter Brian Burke blows hot and sings cool. Burke and his band, Brass Inc., will bring its energetic funk-rock  to the Carnegie Café at the Maplewood Inn, 400 Seventh North St., starting at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12.

Now that school’s in session, L’pool police chief urges motorists to be aware

While Liverpool’s elementary and middle school students learn reading, writing and ’rithmetic, village Police Chief Don Morris urges local motorists to bone up on safe driving. Liverpool Central School District began its 2014-15 school year on Sept. 4, and the village has a school speed zone on Second Street at the Liverpool Elementary School entrance.  The speed limit in the school zone is 20 MPH on school days from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Tobacco-addiction therapist abandons plan for 101½  Birch St.

After being confronted by more than three dozen neighbors at an Aug. 25 public hearing on her application for a special permit to operate a home-based business, Wellness on the Lake, at 101 ½ Birch St., tobacco treatment specialist Janet Marie Urban withdrew her application, according to Liverpool’s deputy village clerk, Sandra Callahan.

New Liverpool library director hired

On Sept. 3 after conducting a nationwide search and interviewing three candidates, the Liverpool Public Library Board of Trustees chose the library’s new executive director. He’s Syracuse native Daniel Golden, who recently served as assistant director at the Onondaga Free Library on West Seneca Turnpike, south of downtown Syracuse. “We have extended an offer to an individual for the director’s position,” LPL Board President Tim Dodge wrote in an email last week. Dodge declined to identify the successful candidate, but reliable sources said that Golden will accept the appointment.

We’re still learning hard lessons from 9/11

Sometimes it takes a while before it all sinks in. Now, on the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, maybe we can finally reflect upon the horror and try to learn something from the tragedy. At Nichol’s deli counter a couple weeks ago I bumped into Donna Marsh O’Connor – the former Liverpool Central School District Board of Education member. We chatted about her work, teaching writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University, and about her husband’s book-in-progress.

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