When I was a kid in the 1950s and ’60s, we used to buy caramel-covered popcorn at the Karmelkorn Shoppe in downtown Syracuse. In 1986, Dairy Queen bought the franchise which had been founded in 1929 in Casper, Wyoming, by Bill O’Sullivan. A Karmelkorn Shoppe later opened at the Carousel Center mall. Now that the mall has morphed into Destiny USA, Karmelkorn’s no longer there. But the Kandied Kernel is.
Forty years ago we had no Twitter. No cell phones. No iPods. No email. Now that we have those things, and more, you might think it would be easier to stay in touch with all those folks you knew back in the day. But no, things have only grown more complicated. Joe Pirro, an alumnus of Liverpool High School Class of ’74, found out the hard way. He and a determined committee of 10 are planning a 40th reunion for this coming June. “In the early 1970s, computers were the size of tractor trailers,” Joe remembers. “The computers ran off punch cards. Flash forward to today when six out of 10 people own a smartphone.” Here are more of Joe’s thoughts on creating a catalyst for reconnecting:
Violent crimes rarely occur on schedule. They happen when they happen, and police need to be ready to respond at any time. That’s the way it was on a sunny Monday morning, Oct. 28, when two women were stabbed to death at 915 Second St. in the village of Liverpool. With one of his full-time officers returning from a training session that morning, Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris answered the call himself. Liverpool Mayor Gary White, a former deputy chief of the Syracuse Police Department, noted that “a double homicide here is highly unusual.” It’s also unusual for the chief of police to be the one personally pursuing the suspect, the mayor added.
Can you see Lee Harvey Oswald as a Frank Sinatra fan? If so, you’d probably enjoy Doug Brode’s new novel, “Patsy!” The 346-page book paints a decidedly different portrait of the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. While Warren Commission investigators found the 24-year-old Oswald a sullen, self-involved ne’er-do-well who listened to classical music rather than to saloon singers, Brode’s Oswald revels in the fantasy world of the silver screen. He’s fascinated by the macho man image adopted by Sinatra. He’s thrilled when – as a serviceman deployed overseas – he happens to meet John Wayne. All the while, this starry-eyed “Patsy” is being “run” by a shady CIA operative named George who manages Oswald’s intelligence career through the Marines, to his “defection” to Russia and all the way through to Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas.
Three of four voters neglected to cast ballots in Onondaga County on Election Day 2013. Voter apathy makes a mockery of the democratic system, as one-fourth of us determine who will lead all of us. We already know that one percent hold the majority of wealth and influence in this country, many people say, so why bother to vote.
Budget calls for $45,000 less in spending
The Van Buren Town Council unanimously approved a 2014 budget of $4.75 million at its monthly meeting on Nov. 6, at the Town Hall on Van Buren Road. Taxes will remain flat for property-owners within the village of Baldwinsville, while residents living outside of the village will see a slight decrease in their tax levies, according to Town Comptroller Greg Maxwell.
After the Syracuse Chiefs baseball club suffered significant financial losses last year, the board of directors replaced longtime General Manager John Simone in mid-October. The ballclub’s new GM, Jason Smorol, lives in Liverpool. Smorol, 44, and his family reside on Balsam Street here in the village. From 2002 to 2004, Smorol served as general manager of the Auburn Doubledays. Under his leadership the Single-A team’s attendance rose at Falcon Park while it won three division titles in the New York-Penn League. Syracuse is that much closer to The Show. It’s a Triple-A team playing in the International League, one level below the major leagues. Smorol recently managed accounts for Hilti Inc., a construction supply manufacturer, but he previously worked for minor-league ballclubs in Watertown, Batavia and Staten Island.
One of Liverpool’s most popular restaurants went dark temporarily the night of Oct. 30 as Heid’s shut down so that its staff could pay respects to owner John Parker. Parker, who has owned the hot dog hotspot since 1995, lost his battle with cancer Oct. 26.
Sheriff’s deputies, L’pool police chief pull suspect from Onondaga Lake after Second Street stabbings
Two women were stabbed to death at 915 Second St. in the village of Liverpool on Monday morning, Oct. 28. Sheriff Kevin Walsh identified the victims as Brandy Dallas, 24, and Samantha Rainwater, 30. The women and a handful of children had lived in the small, red Cape Cod-style home for less than a year. Dallas’s estranged husband, 26-year-old Justin A. Dallas of 119 Radisson Court, Syracuse, was charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Two Liverpool police officers put their heads together to gather enough evidence to charge a 24-year-old man with stealing from unlocked automobiles in the village.
We lost two prominent players in the local entertainment scene recently. Liverpool musician, teacher and concert coordinator George Miller, who lived in Liverpool his entire life, died Oct. 6. He was 76 years old. And comedian Big Mike Goss died Oct. 3. He was 60 years old.
Ever wonder what the rest of Central New York thinks of Liverpool? The Syracuse New Times’ “Best of Syracuse” edition gives us a pretty good idea. Published on Oct. 2, the list of favorite places and performers includes a baker’s dozen “best” with roots in Liverpool.
While all of Liverpool awaits the long-promised opening of the Barking Gull at 116 S. Willow St., on the basin block down at the corner of Lake Drive, the still-dark Gull has already drawn competition. The Gormel family — paterfamilias John, wife Linda and sons Adam and Josh, who already own The Retreat and The Cobblestone — plan to specialize in wood-fired gourmet pizza pies at the Barking Gull. Last week, however, a successful Italian eatery – Francesca’s Cucina, 545 N. Salina St.in Syracuse’s Little Italy neighborhood – announced that it was taking over the spot recently vacated by Juanita’s Mexican Kitchen at 207 Oswego St. (it still looks like Old Liverpool Road to me). Anyhow, that same location previously housed a Ponderosa Steakhouse and Wisteria Chinese buffet. Now Francesca’s Pizza & Italian Kitchen plans to open there by Dec. 1. It’ll be operated by Gary Angeloro and family.
If your house could talk, what secrets would it tell? Liverpool Village Historian Dorianne Elitharp Gutierrez and retired architect Jennifer Gruenberg want to know. The two women are compiling an “Atlas of Historic Liverpool Structures.”
Up-and-coming actress Kitty Doupe shines as a bewitching West Indian maid
Anything can happen in “Any Number Can Die.” Owls hoot, thunder howls, lights flicker and lives are lost due to gunshots, poison, hanging and stabbing. But don’t let that constant violence spoil your evening at the theater. It’s all in good fun, as the stage play soundly satirizes every murder mystery you’ve ever read or seen. The campy comedy by Vermont’s prolific and playful playwright, Fred Carmichael, is being staged through Oct. 13 by the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild.
After 119 years, the Liverpool Historical Society has given up the ghost. Established in 1894 by local teacher Anna O’Neill, the LHS disbanded in September. The society had its roots in the Chautauqua movement, an adult-education crusade spawned at Lake Chautauqua in the Southwestern corner of the Empire State. The movement, spurred by its most popular speaker William Jennings Bryant, became immensely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the early 1890s, O’Neill had apparently attended lectures at Chautauqua and spread its gospel to Liverpool where she created historical society to encourage self-education among women. Members were required to present short programs on topics regarding local history.
At its Sept. 23 meeting, the Liverpool Planning Board continued its discussion of proposed development at the Limp Lizard Bar & Grill, 201 First St. Liverpool Properties LLC, a firm created by prominent Liverpool businessman Val Lamont, who owns the Limp Lizard and White Water Pub properties, applied for permission earlier this year to add a deck at Limp Lizard.
On Labor Day, Patrick J. Oneill from Massena left his 2-year-old black Labrador locked inside a vehicle parked at the State Fair. Temperatures hovered at a hundred degrees. More than four hours passed. Concerned fairgoers and a State Trooper made a valiant effort to save the animal, a female named Ali, but their first aid came too late. Oneill, 66, was charged with animal cruelty and failure to provide sustenance, a misdemeanor under the Agriculture & Markets laws. Turns out he was already accused of mistreating 22 horses he owned in Massena.
The Liverpool Planning Board wants the village to consider retaining ownership of at least one of two village-owned pieces of property on the basin block. Bounded by lower First Street, South Willow Street and Lake Drive, the block is the site of ongoing development.
For many years, 207 Oswego St. — which looks more like Old Liverpool Road to me — was the site of Ponderosa Steakhouse. Whenever my brother and his family visited from the West Coast, they’d enjoy digging deeply into Ponderosa’s all-you-can-eat buffet. A few years later, it became Wisteria, a Chinese restaurant, and in 2009 Juanita’s Mexican Kitchen relocated in from Syracuse’s North Side. Later that same year, another venerable North Side business, Squadrito Foods, moved into a storefront on the west side of the building.
Jack Fisher found inspiration in the Sunshine State. “The idea for the Liverpool Clock Campaign started several years ago when a town clock was erected near the house my wife, Kay, and I own in Jupiter, Fla.,” said Fisher, the president of John E. Fisher Construction Company on Wetzel Road in Clay. “When we came home for the summer to Syracuse, I noticed a similar clock in the village of East Syracuse and decided to try to get support around a beautiful monument like this for the village of Liverpool.” Last month, a two-sided “Howard Street” clock was erected on a brick foundation at Washington Park Point at the intersection of Oswego and First streets, facing Heid’s Corner. Manufactured by the Verdin Clock Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, the Victorian-style clock was installed by a Fisher Construction crew.
On Sunday afternoon, Aug. 18, the ashes of music legend Richie Havens were scattered across the field where the Woodstock Festival took place in 1969, now the site of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. The Day of Song and Remembrance Honoring Richie Havens was produced by my friend, Frank Malfitano, the founder and artistic director of the Syracuse Jazz Festival. The memorial celebration was free and open to the public. More than 1,000 fans, family members and friends attended, according to the Associated Press.
At the village board’s monthly meeting on Aug. 19, Trustee Nick Kochan volunteered to lay the groundwork for a tree commission to assess the village’s arboriculture. Once in place, the commission would involve village residents in efforts to inventory the village’s trees and identify their various species. Kochan models the plan after learning how the village of Fayetteville benefits from its tree commission “I hope that residents would bring some fresh vision and input to the process,” Kochan said. He also suggested that Cornell Cooperative Extension could contribute to the commission’s endeavors. Kochan’s first task is to address the village planning board regarding the commission. “I think it’s a great idea,” said Mayor Gary White. “We do consult an arborist, and we already have a little bit of a [tree] replacement program in effect.” But a commission, he said, could offer a more well-rounded approach. “Having a tree commission could help us stretch our dollars when it comes to getting grants and so forth,” Kochan said.
Banjos, fiddles, guitars and mandolins can be fun, but 31-year-old North Syracusan Matt Kielecki is deadly serious about his work building and repairing stringed musical instruments. Boasting a wealth of experience that would be the envy of many a luthier twice his age, Kielecki (pronounced Kah-LEK-e) now offers his services at the Family Music Center, 914 Old Liverpool Road. He previously worked for American Music & Sound, was the national guitar tech for Fernandez Guitars and managed quality control for Kaysound Imports which services thousands of retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The new biographical feature film about Jackie Robinson declined to depict the infamous incident in which Syracuse Chiefs ballplayers taunted the black baseball pioneer by throwing a black cat onto the playing field. For decades, legend had it that the incident occurred at Syracuse’s MacArthur Stadium, but historical evidence indicates otherwise.
For Jenni Schaefer, denial was a way of life. For years, she thought of herself as “almost anorexic.” Eventually, after studying biochemistry at Texas A&M University before moving to Nashville to play music, she was suffering the effects of a full-blown eating disorder, which she called Ed. That “almost anorexic” label was just a dodge, she realized, a devious self-sabotage. Her courageous chronicle of her journey, “Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too,” became a breakthrough best-seller. Schaefer emerged as a leading light in the recovery movement.
American Diner owner Mike Tassone is not one to keep his opinions to himself. His diner’s menu spices its fare with quips and comments decrying the evils of too much government. Last week, a red-lettered sign went up outside the building’s west wall facing the railroad tracks where they cross Old Liverpool Road: “Repeal NYS S.A.F.E. Act “Honor the Second Amendment. “scopeNY.org.”
Time flies when you’re having fun. Just ask the Liverpool Elks. One of the area’s most active fraternal orders will celebrate a quarter-century of Music Fests when the band plugs in at noon on Sunday, Aug. 11, at the club on Cold Springs Road. Four of Central New York’s best rock bands — The Fulton Chain Gang, Soul Mine, Kat Tale and Mood Swing — will perform one after another through 6 p.m.
The new president of the Liverpool Public Library Board of Trustees is Natalie Scavone and the new vice president is Tim Dodge. Scavone works as principal of alternative education at Cayuga-Onondaga Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Auburn, and Dodge is director of research and media relations at Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. Dodge is also a published author. Scavone and Dodge take over this month for the outgoing president, Mark Spadafore, and the vice president, George Alessio, who both stepped down from their executive positions after many years of service but remain as members of the board. Joe Spado Sr. continues as the board’s secretary and Larry Dunstone continues as financial advisor. The other library board member is the former village mayor, Marlene Ward.
Grab your blankets and lawn chairs. The feeling of a drive-in movie will be in full effect both this week and next, as CNY & Syracuse FunFlicks will show two animated motion pictures on a 30-foot inflatable screen at the amphitheater at Johnson Park. The initial outdoor movie night with CNY & Syracuse FunFlicks was scheduled for Tuesday, July 23, with a dusk showing of “Wreck-it Ralph,” in which video-game characters take over an arcade at night. In case of rain, the movie would roll on Thursday, July 25.
Bounded by lower First Street, South Willow Street and Lake Drive, the block that is already home to four restaurants will soon see significant development. The former site of an Oswego Canal basin, the block is zoned for mixed-use, both residential and commercial. Its commercial residents include the Limp Lizard Barbecue, 201 First St., appeThaizing, 105 First St., the White Water Pub, 110 S. Willow St., and the Barking Gull at the corner of South Willow and Lake Drive.
The congregation of the Liverpool Community Church, which has occupied the historic Zogg building for 10 years, has decided to sell the property. The 85-year-old brick building stands at 800 Fourth St. in the village of Liverpool. Originally constructed in 1928 to become home to the junior and senior high schools, the structure’s adjacent ball fields stretch two blocks north to Sixth Street. The entire property is bounded by Birch, Fourth, Hickory and Sixth streets in the center of the village.
My Aunt Kate Tarbe died last week at age 93. Her late husband, my Uncle Walt Tarbe, spelled his last name with an E instead of a Y. His older brother, my Uncle Joe Tarbe, also spelled it that way while the younger brothers, my Uncle Ed Tarby and my dad, Russ, spelled it with a Y. Confusing, huh?
After having tabled a June 24 review of a revised site plan submitted by Liverpool Properties LLC, the village planning board examined the updated drawings at a special meeting on July 10 at the Village Hall. The plan calls for renovations on the property leased by Limp Lizard Barbecue at 201 First St., Liverpool Properties, owned by prominent local businessman Val Lamont, plans to construct a deck and a 49-space parking lot behind the Limp Lizard’s existing structure. The parking lot would be shared by the White Water Pub which also leases property from Lamont on the south side of the block at 110 S. Willow St.
Despite oppressive heat, continual rainfall and spotty participation, “Mark Wednesday” marches on under the direction of the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. The sidewalk-sale promotion kicked of June 26 and continues from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays through Aug. 14.
For the past couple of weeks we’ve shared some ideas about the Liverpool Clock Campaign which aims to erect a Victorian-style timepiece at Washington Park Point at the intersection of Oswego and First streets. The brainchild of local businessman Jack Fisher, the clock campaign raised nearly $30,000 of its needed $35,000, and on June 17, village trustees voted unanimously in favor of making up the difference. They scraped up five grand from a federal “multi-modal” grant administered through New York state and designed to improve transportation around and about Washington Park. Mayor Gary White explained that the village would draw the money from $29,000 remaining from the original $305,677 grant awarded 12 years ago. Regardless of the mayor’s found-money explanation, some village residents have labeled the trustees’ action as irresponsible, frivolous, in essence a waste of money.
They’re at it again. Yes, those kids from Baker High’s Class of ’11 continue to create untold terrors. Last year, director-screenwriter Matthew Lipke and company released their first feature-length movie, “Whiskey Hollow,” which explored the bloody legends of Baldwinsville’s Whiskey Hollow Road. This year, Lipke Productions expands its horror horizons with “A Demon in My View,” a psychological thriller inspired by the life and writings of Edgar Allan Poe. The movie stars Erin Lynn Doyle, also from the Class of ’11, who co-wrote and produced “Demon” with Lipke.
Phil Christy’s best memories of attending Liverpool High School in 1937 focus on the good times. Sure, the nation had yet to fully recover from the Great Depression, but there was still fun to be had. “We danced and danced and danced,” Phil said June 23 at the Class of ’37 reunion at Carnegie’s Pier 57. We danced to the ‘Tiger Rag.’ We did the dipsy-doodle.” “It was no dipsy doodle,” chimed in his wife, the former Maggie Wackerle, who also graduated from Liverpool in ’37. Maggie’s right, of course. The popular dances of the day were jitterbugs like the Lindy Hop. The music was played by guys like Benny Goodman and Bunny Berigan. “We were good dancers, but of course, all the kids danced in those days,” Phil recalled. “I wish kids these days would dance like that.”
As the village planning board meeting came to a close on June 24, Chairman Joe Ostuni Jr. pointed out that a local business had painted a noticeable new sign along South Willow Street. The owners of appeThaizing, a Southeast Asian restaurant which opened a year ago at 105 First St., emblazoned their back wall along South Willow with the words “Thai cuisine” in three-foot-high purple letters.
Liverpool’s trustees figured it was about time that the village contributed some money to the Liverpool Clock Campaign spearheaded by local businessman Jack Fisher. When Fisher’s year-long fund-raising effort came up $5,000 short of its $35,000 goal to erect a Victorian-style timepiece at the eastern end of Washington Park, at their June 17 meeting the trustees voted unanimously in favor of making up the difference with village taxpayer dollars.
Last year, CSX railroad informed the village of Liverpool that the crossing at Old Liverpool Road adjacent to Heid’s was scheduled for renovation. That work is now set for the weekend of July 13 and 14. At the village board of trustees meeting on June 17, Mayor Gary White reported that he’d recently attended a meeting with CSX officials who informed him of their plans. “That railroad crossing will be completely replaced,” White said.
Liverpool Mayor Gary White and two trustees, Bob Gaetano and Dennis Hebert, were returned to office in the June 18 village election, at the Village Hall on Sycamore Street. Meanwhile, in North Syracuse, two trustees ran unopposed to regain their seats. Gary Butterfield, owner of Butterfield Construction, and Alfred “Fred” Fergerson, owner of Fergerson Funeral Home and a seventh-generation village resident, gained 86 votes each. There were two write-in candidates for trustee. Butterfield is a Republican while Fergerson is not enrolled in a party.
After four decades of hauling heavy trays of delicious food to hungry patrons at The Retreat, waitress Cindy Crooks is calling it a day at the end of this month.
Liverpool resident Mark Spadafore was honored as Towns Democrat of the Year by the Onondaga County Democratic Committee at its annual awards dinner June 13, at the Oncenter in downtown Syracuse.
Parishioners at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church will gather Saturday afternoon to help out one of their own, the young and lovely Sarah Wansart who faces a lengthy recovery after being hospitalized with a serious MRSA infection. The daughter of St. Joe’s parish council member Jane Wansart, Sarah has been hospitalized for more than a month after developing complications. “Like her mother, Sarah is an energetic and compassionate person dedicated to serving others,” noted the parish music director, Eileen Brody. Besides serving on the parish council, Jane Wansart sings in the church choir under Brody’s leadership.
Want to see Old Glory waving in the wind like you’ve never seen her before? Liverpool residents and visitors can celebrate Flag Day on Friday, June 14, by driving past Immediate Mail Services (IMS), at 245 Commerce Blvd. The Star-Spangled Banner flying there is one of the largest U.S. flags on display in Central New York. With a width (or hoist) of 24 feet and a length (or fly) of 35 feet, the IMS flag stands as one of the most impressive spectacles in Liverpool.
A dark cave. In the middle, a caldron boiling. Thunder. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble That Bill Shakespeare certainly had a way with words! The Liverpool Is The Place Committee apparently has a soft spot for The Bard. The committee, which brings you two dozen free concerts every summer at Johnson Park, is trying something new this year. At 7 p.m. on Fathers’ Day, Sunday, June 16, LITP has engaged Syracuse’s Redhouse Arts Center to present a one-hour adapted version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, “Macbeth,” at Johnson Park. The performance is designed for all ages, and admission is free. Considered one of Shakespeare’s darkest tragedies, “Macbeth” was originally staged circa 1607 in London. Set in Scotland, the action boils over with blood and betrayal as Lord Macbeth kills his king to fulfill his own lust for power. Wracked with guilt, Lady Macbeth leads her lord down a maelstrom of madness and death.
Last summer three village residents complained about skunks to the board of trustees. The town of Salina trapper was “overwhelmed,” said one resident, and was not responding to calls from villagers plagued by the malodorous black-and-white weasels. Not so, now say the trustees. In April, trustees approved a 2013-14 village budget of $2,306,565, but it failed to fund the hiring of a village trapper as the board had informally agreed to do on Aug. 20, 2012.
The Salina Democratic Committee has designated two candidates for town council, one for supervisor, one for town justice and one for county legislature.
At least a dozen Syracuse Area Music Award-winners will perform this summer as part of the annual Liverpool Is The Place concert series. All concerts are free and take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday evenings at Johnson Park, at the corner of Oswego and Vine streets, in Liverpool’s central business district.