Blunt Belle Column
Donald Kruger, whose insight over the years has been irreplaceable, was known as the “Cazenovia Curmudgeon,” and would write eloquent rants about the town. I believe in the antiquity of the written word, as did he; I believe in newspaper opinion columns that have a free voice, as did he. So I will now be contributing a weekly column to the Cazenovia Republican written in his spirit — not to replace his legacy, but simply to honor his time and commitment.
I bet you think you know all about our beloved Disney animated princess movies, with their heroic endings and vanquished villains. But did you ever think of what happened to the villains after the “happily ever after?”
Project Café President Mimi Gabor gave a brief speech to welcome the approximately 100 community members who attended the 9/11 commemoration and candlelight vigil last week in Cannon Park. Her remarks are printed below with her permission.
‘The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics,’ by Daniel James Brown
“The Boys in the Boat” is the story of an eight-man University of Washington crew team that rose to national prominence and competed at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The book’s inspirational tale of college underdogs and athletic achievement is a story of personal transformation for its central figure, crewsman Joe Rantz, but also shows a wider view of American life during the Great Depression.
Graduation day June 2006 was truly a time for celebration for both parents and daughter. It represented a significant, hopeful and joyful milestone, marking the beginning of adulthood. On that joyful day in June 2006, could we possibly imagine it would all end in tragedy seven years later … as a victim of a drunk driver?
Just in time for summer, Twenty One Pilots released “Blurryface,” a fun, upbeat and easy listening album comprised of 14 songs with relatable and comical lyrics that are accompanied by mainly percussion and guitar instrumentals.
The Madison County Trout Unlimited Chapter 680 will begin monitoring Chittenango creek starting in March. A program instituted at the national level encourages chapters to be proactive on tracking changes in local streams. Much concern for the streams began when hydrofracking became more prevalent throughout the country. Other possible contamination sources are industrial, agricultural or unforeseen random events.
If you mentioned to Cazenovia resident David Shephard how cold it was at the start of this past February, he will point out that the start of February 1934 was even colder. In fact, the first two weeks of February 1934 were colder than 2015. Dave won't tell you this because he remembers that February, but it was a pretty important time in his life, nonetheless.
Cazenovia in the 1950s and 60s was a wonderland for kids. Its rich environment surely made it one of the best places in the country to spend your childhood.
On Jan. 30, I was privileged to help supervise 50 Cazenovia High School students who joined more than a dozen other local citizens at forum held by representatives of Governor Cuomo to present his budget and other proposals. The audience was respectful but intense. They asked hard questions, such as, “Why is there a ‘Gap Elimination Adjustment’ when there is no gap in the state budget, but rather a surplus?” to which they got few answers. More than two weeks later, we still haven’t gotten any answers, or even a response, to the questions that were posed both verbally and in writing. The message below is from my follow-up communication to the governor’s staff:
I have kicked off my seventh-annual Cell Phones For Soldiers collection drive to help our soldiers serving overseas stay connected with their loved ones back home, especially during the holidays. You can support this important cause by donating your gently-used mobile phones to any of my designated collection sites throughout Onondaga County and the city of Auburn.
Looking for that perfect gift? Books are always the right size. They’re simple to wrap and never go out of style. They’re also relatively easy on the wallet. My favorite Christmas presents are always books. I make sure my family knows what’s on my wish list. But I also like surprises. Here’s a list of books for a range of readers on your Christmas list. Recommended by Cazenovia Public Library staff, the selection includes fiction, non-fiction, young adult and children’s picture books.
As conflicts continue today and our armed forces face adversaries on multiple battlefields, I would ask if, in our current conflicts, on this Veteran’s Day we are fighting toward the altogether same insurgent “pyrrhic” victory with modest gains whose cumulative effect does not significantly change the strategic state of the current 12-year Afghanistan “siege”? Most importantly, a “victory” in which the cost (the loss of so many lives) far outweighs the benefit? I want to believe the cost was and is worth it, but history will be the judge.
This past summer, I traveled to Tanzania for two weeks with Projects Abroad. It was a truly life-changing experience. I was part of a program for students ages 16 to 19. We would be working at the Cradle of Love Baby Home and the Kilimani Primary School.
There are many exciting new initiatives taking shape this year. This is not an accident, but part of a conscious effort to choose a constructive, sustainable path for our community.