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.
Hot on the heels of a Gold-Rated performance at the recent Oneida Jazz Festival, the Liverpool High School Jazz Ensemble has a busy week coming up. At 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, the student musicians present their 16th annual Jumpin’ Jazz Jam featuring the Manhattan-based DIVA Jazz Orchestra, at the high-school auditorium at 4338 Wetzel Road. Then, at 7 p.m. Monday, June 3, they make their annual appearance to kick off the Liverpool Is The Place summer concert series at Johnson Park.
On 11 different occasions from January through May 21, the railroad crossing signal in the village of Liverpool has malfunctioned causing the traffic light at Heid’s Corner to hold a steady red stop-signal against southbound traffic on Oswego Street. The uninterrupted red light causes traffic to back up into the village and local police must step in to direct traffic.
Symphoria outlined its first-ever full season for 2013-14 at a press conference down city at the Mulroy Civic Center on May 15. Fifth District Legislator Kathy Rapp (R-Salina) spoke at the press confab, reflecting on how far Symphoria has come in the single year since the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra sputtered out of business and into bankruptcy.
Pete and George have been best friends forever.
Before I even started kindergarten, my family lived in Liverpool on Salina Street in an upstairs apartment rented by Mary Landers and squeezed between two thriving businesses, Steve’s tavern to the north and Irish Jack Murphy’s auto repair shop to the south. Jack was a master mechanic, but I knew, even as a 5-year-old, that he was much more than that. Jack was a champion race-car driver! On May 2 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Jack crossed his final finish line. He was 85 years old.
More than most civic groups, the Masons really respect and honor history. This weekend, the local lodge will celebrate some annals of its own. And as usual, the Masons will do it in style. The Liverpool-Syracuse Lodge No. 501 of Free & Accepted Masons will mark its 150th anniversary at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11, by erecting a four-foot-tall obelisk monument in front of its building at 608 Oswego St., across from Johnson Park in the village. New York State Grand Master James Sullivan is expected to attend.
Last month, my buddy Joe Romano gifted me with a quart of homemade maple syrup made from sap from old maple trees growing right here in the village. Actually, the syrup blends drippings from Liverpool silver maples and sugar maples down in DeRuyer, where Joe has a camp and a sugar shack. Anyhow, what you need to know is that the syrup’s sweet as sugar cane. A barely transparent chestnut brown, it pours evenly with consistency like soft honey. My pancakes never tasted so good! And it made me feel proud to know that this superlative confection comes from some of the same trees into which I’d carved my initials so many years ago.
In 1969, a sweet-voiced flower child from Queens, N.Y. named Melanie Safka performed a short solo set at the legendary Woodstock festival in the middle of a rainstorm. Now 66 years old and still going strong, Melanie will appear on Sunday, May 5, at the Catherine Cummings Theater, 16 Lincklaen St., in Cazenovia, following an opening set at 7:30 p.m. by Syracuse songwriter Larry Hoyt.
The crime occurred near Buffalo. The perp’s vehicle had been rented in Fulton. The suspect’s family lived in Syracuse. In spite of the disparate locales involved, Liverpool Police Officer Jerry Unger played a crucial role in cracking the case.
Central New York boasts a rich history of social activism, and the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) keeps that tradition alive. More than 300 ACTS members, honorees and supporters filled the ballroom at the Holiday Inn at Electronics Parkway on Thursday, April 25, at the group’s sixth annual spring banquet. “This is an incredible sight,” exclaimed Mark Spadafore as he gazed out at the crowd from the podium. “There are people from different communities, people from different races and people from different faith traditions. Everyone coming together like this shows us that we have power, and power can change things.”
Caz native Siobhan Fallon-Hogan rants and rambles about life as a sought-after actress
Whether you’re a member of her family or a member of her Film Talk audience, an evening with Siobhan Fallon-Hogan can be intense, uproarious and sometimes unsettling. Raised in Cazenovia before pursuing a successful career as one of Hollywood’s most versatile comic character actresses — the woman has an absolutely manic gift of gab. More than 180 film fans and students turned out April 16 at Le Moyne College’s Coyne Performing Arts Center to hear what the fast-talking Fallon had to say about her three decades in show business.
In August 2008 several Third Street residents appeared before the Liverpool Village Board to complain about skunks inundating the neighborhood. In April 2011 in two separate incidents, Liverpool Police officers shot and killed two skunks which had been behaving strangely in village yards in broad daylight. Last summer, two longtime Liverpool residents complained to the mayor and trustees that the odious infestation had become unbearable. Salina’s animal-nuisance wildlife trapper told one resident that he was “overwhelmed” by the extent of the skunk problem across the town and unable to prioritize village properties threatened by the pesky polecats.
After a brief public hearing on April 15, the Village of Liverpool Board of Trustees approved a 2013-14 budget of $2,306,565.32. The tax rate for village property-owners will stand at $12.25 per $1,000 of valuation, the same as it was for the 2012-13 cycle. In 2012-13, a home assessed at $100,000 received a village tax bill of $1,225. All properties in the village are also assessed a $150-per unit sewer rent charge.
A new gymnasium will open for business later this year on Old Liverpool Road. It’ll be located a stone’s throw from Onondaga Lake, but its name will pay homage to a faraway ocean. Pacific Health Club, Inc. of Oswego received approval from the town of Salina Planning Board to open a facility at 604 Old Liverpool Road, where the old Bresee Chevrolet and Burdick Chevrolet dealerships sold thousands of cars and trucks. In November 2011, town voters rejected a proposal that would’ve allowed the town itself to buy the property for a new town hall and town highway operations.
Property tax rates in the village of Liverpool will remain the same as last year if the Village Board of Trustees approves a proposed $2,328,210 budget for 2013-14. Village residents and business owners are invited to comment on the proposed budget at a public hearing set for 7:01 p.m. April 15, at the Village Hall, 310 Sycamore St. The budget will be available for review at the Village Hall starting on April 9, Sims said.
The Barking Gull becomes the baking gull in May after a state-of-the-art wood-fired pizza oven is installed. For the better part of a decade, the Barking Gull, at 116 S. Willow St., has operated exclusively as a venue for private parties, but it will finally open to the public this spring, said John Gormel, Liverpool’s most prominent tavernkeeper – the man with the mile-wide smile. The Gull will specialize in gourmet pizza, he added.
An unusually full agenda kept village of Liverpool trustees busy at their monthly meeting on March 18. The 22 agenda items included the unveiling of the proposed 2013-14 village budget, discussion of Johnson Park and discussion about property concerns. Later, the board entered into an executive session to talk about personnel issues. Village Clerk Mary Ellen Sims said the total tentative 2013-14 village general fund is set at $2,306,565.32, about $24,000 more than this year’s budget which came in at $2,282,663.10. The 2013-14 village sewer fund budget is $207,313, as compared to this year’s sewer fund budget of $253,305.
Things change faster than the speed of light here in the 21st century. We’ve heard plenty of talk about changing the Liverpool village election from June to November, but that won’t happen this year. No, that change will roll around at the somewhat slower speed of sound, no earlier than autumn 2014.
We all enjoy Ophelia’s Place in its incarnation as Café at 407. It’s easy to dig the scene — couches and recliners complement the usual table-and-chairs — and the menu features gourmet coffees and baked goods, healthy soups, salads and sandwiches spiced by live music three evenings a week. But let’s not lose sight of the original purpose of Ophelia’s Place. Established about a decade ago, the non-profit organization aims to empower individuals and families to redefine beauty and health. Ophelia’s Place Director Jodie Wilson-Dougherty keeps the effort focused on increasing self-esteem, improving body image and introducing alternatives to what she calls “dangerous desires for perfection.”
It may have been last century, but it wasn’t that many years ago when the Christmas season started on Thanksgiving. Then Santa Claus began appearing immediately after Halloween. And before long the malls all decked their halls the day after Labor Day… Now the same thing is happening to other — how shall we say it? — less-portentous holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day.
Rock’n’roll will forever be identified with passions of youth, but that doesn’t stop aging rockers from strummin’ and shakin.’
Former Liverpool High School band director Jim Spadafore will be honored as Music Educator of the Year this week at the Syracuse Area Music Awards show. Spadafore, who lives on Second Street in the village, will receive his special Sammy at the 2013 Sammys Hall of Fame Induction dinner, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, Upstairs at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 246 W. Willow St. at the corner of North Franklin Street, in downtown Syracuse.
Monica’s becoming a fixture on First Street. Also known as Mona Leah Ridgeway, she worked for several months at the deli counter at Nichols Supermarket up at 327 First. Now instead of serving cold cuts, she’s piercing body parts at Black Sea Tattoo & Piercing down on Lower First Street, not far from the ever-popular CNY Yoga Center. “It’s a great location — 105 First St. — because we’re getting business from the yoga people,” Monica said last week. Apparently, there’s a relationship between dharma and dermals.
Thanks to video technology, a man suspected of swiping three bottles of expensive vodka on Feb. 6, at Nichols Discount Liquor store in Liverpool, has been identified. An arrest warrant has been issued for Michael Bertrand, 55, who allegedly stole three bottles of Grey Goose vodka from the store at 301 First St. He can be seen on the store video recorded that Wednesday afternoon stuffing the bottles down his pants before stopping at the cash register to pay for an inexpensive liqueur bottle. The cost of the stolen bottles was about $125.
Bob Rotella was a real man-about-town. For more than 20 years I’d worked with Bob at WCNY-TV on Old Liverpool Road where I was a cameraman and he was engineer. Whenever something went wrong with my camera, Bob or one of his colleagues from Master Control would rush into the studio to fix it. Back in the 1970s, I’d run into Bob after work at Erie Boulevard East nightspots like Soo-Lin or Casa di Lisa where he enjoyed listening to jazz and rhythm & blues. Years later he became a fixture at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que which was co-founded in 1988 by his son, Mike Rotella.
Skaneateles native Greg Wanamaker will be presenting his chamber-music tribute to the late Libba Cotten at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse on Feb. 24.
Skilled cast fuels unstoppable ‘Streetcar’ at Shoppingtown
Tennessee Williams wrote “A Streetcar Named Desire” 66 years ago, but the play continues to transfix audiences with its unapologetic depiction of a family wracked by secrets and rocked by strife. Set in a lower-class New Orleans flat in the summer of 1947, “Streetcar” pits the “king of the castle,” Stanley Kowalski, against his visiting sister-in-law from Mississippi, Blanche DuBois.
When a young life ends abruptly because of illness, accident or murder, the tragedy of a life unlived haunts us all. Could there possibly be anything worse? Ask that question of Kristin Conway’s friends and family members. She had studied to become a medical assistant, but last fall her 28-year-old life essentially came to an end. But it didn’t. After a bone-crushing auto accident in which her brain stem was injured, Kristin fell into a coma. Neurosurgeons at Upstate University Hospital told the family that the young woman would never regain consciousness. Never.
A couple of guys from the northern end of the county here were honored by the Syracuse Chiefs at the ballclub’s 53rd annual Hot Stove Dinner and Silent Auction last Friday, at the Holiday Inn Convention Center on Electronics Parkway.