On Thursday, Oct. 3, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo will host, “Twilight at the Zoo Special Edition: A Life in the Wild with Jim Fowler.” The evening lecture begins at 6:30 p.m., and is sponsored by Mutual of Omaha.
At first, Melissa Lowell thought her son Nate was just tired. “This time last year [he started getting sick],” Melissa said. “It started off, he just had a cough. It was the end of the school year and he seemed fatigued. It was nothing out of the ordinary. I just figured it was because school was over. He was leaving a teacher he loved. He gets emotional with change, as any kid does.” But the cough didn’t go away. Nate, then 10, was complaining that he couldn’t breathe, couldn’t swallow. After a couple of weeks, Melissa and her husband Jimmy took him to an urgent care facility near their home in Herkimer County. He was diagnosed with asthma and given prednisone and an inhaler, which helped at first, but soon proved ineffective. A visit to Nate’s pediatrician July 3, 2012, suggested pneumonia.
The clean-up and improvement of Onondaga Lake continues to be a top priority this year. Many projects are underway as a result of the findings contained in the FOCUS Greater Syracuse study. The loop-the-lake trail continues to expand along the western shoreline, and improvements are being made to the existing trail and Onondaga Lake Park. Spring is in full swing, and with the great weather we have been having, it is wonderful to see the park full of bikers, walkers and children playing on the playground. One of the major findings in the FOCUS report was a desire to connect with the lake from an historical standpoint. Several people surveyed emphasized that they would like to see a cultural center, as well as historical markers and informational kiosks, along the lake.
It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that autism has risen to one in every 88 births in the United States. In order to raise awareness about the programs and services available to families affected by autism, the New York State Senate has commemorated April 2013 as Autism Awareness Month.
Up-and-comers in the Central New York music scene will compete for prizes as well as the coveted title of “Best Band” this weekend, and they’ll support a good cause at the same time. Stand Against Suicide will host its inaugural Battle of the Bands on Saturday, April 20, at the SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College. Doors open at 11 a.m. and bands begin competing at noon. Tickets are $7 for students and $12 for adults. Eighteen bands will compete for a chance at the title as well as prizes.
More than 20 years after losing her mother to cancer, Kristin Atkinson is channeling her grief into helping other women. Atkinson of Cicero, Kristin Johnson of Cicero and Tara Polcaro of North Syracuse started The Molly Project as a way to provide comfort to women affected by cancer and their families. Named after Atkinson’s late mother, The Molly Project got its start a year ago when Johnson’s sister called her, looking for a way to help a co-worker with cancer.
This year, for the first time, Ophelia’s Place has the opportunity to participate in one of Syracuse’s premiere charity events. The Syracuse Auto Dealers Association will host their 15th annual Charity Preview starting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. In 2012, the event raised $213,000, bringing the all-time total to more than $2 million. “The non-profits do not incur any cost associated with this, so it is a wonderful opportunity to use this event to help fill the gaps in our budget,” said Jodie Wilson-Dougherty, executive director of Ophelia’s Place. “Our time and energy are all in trying to sell tickets. SADA does all the work on logistics.”
The Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse has been selected to receive a $20,000 grant from the Central New York Community Foundation to purchase start-up equipment for a mobile spay/neuter clinic, which will move around to various city locations altering both dogs and cats belonging to low-income residents.
As we enter the New Year, many of us are pledging to get healthier — to lose weight, exercise more, eat more fruits and vegetables. But possibly the healthiest resolution, and one of the most enduring, is to quit smoking. But given that tobacco kills more people every year than alcohol, car accidents, cocaine, heroin, homicide, suicide, fire and AIDS combined, wouldn’t it be better never to start?
There’s a lot of conflict in education these days, but experts agree on one thing: something needs to change. “New York State has high academic standards and spends more money per student than any other state in the nation,” said a report by the New NY Education Reform Commission issued last week. “However, we are not seeing enough return on investment, especially for the large number of students from a background of poverty. New York lags far behind most states in graduation rates; only 74 percent of New York’s students graduate from high school, and only 35 percent are college ready.” That’s why Gov. Andrew Cuomo convened the the 25-member commission last April: to better prepare New York’s 2.7 million K through 12 students for the future. The commission issued its preliminary recommendations last week to mixed reviews.
I have always been proud to be a teacher, and I have always been proud of teachers. I have a button that says, “Teachers are my heroes.” It takes courage to teach. Teaching requires conviction. It requires self-confidence and a sense that one is doing the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. It requires people to do the right thing at the right time. It requires the resolve to stand up to the fact that we live in a society that is all too ready to assign blame to teachers when the artificial standards that society sets are not met. We are all too ready to declare that things need to be fixed, that we could do a better job, and that we could solve the problems of education. And now we must mourn the loss of six of our colleagues who died doing not what teachers do, but doing what heroes do.
State Sen. David Valesky (D-Oneida) has signed on as a co-sponsor to legislation introduced in the last legislative session that will allow those charged with animal abuse or neglect to be charged with a felony under New York State Penal Law. Currently, crimes against companion animals are legislated under New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.
When Stephanie Heath Higgins met Grace, she could barely hold up her head. The pit bull, at 7 or 8 years old, should have weighed around 60 pounds. But Grace weighed about 30. She was emaciated, dehydrated, suffering from an eye infection. She couldn’t walk. Her organs were shutting down. But Higgins loved her anyway.
On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed landmark legislation that would change the lives of the disabled nationwide. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.
Enable, which is also known as the United Cerebral Palsy and Handicapped Children's Association of Syracuse Inc., provides clinical, educational, personal and community services to people with disabilities all over Central New York. The agency serves more than 1,500 adults and children each year.