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Votes on Aubertine are expected today
The two candidates in last year’s race for the 48th Senate District will face each other again today as the state Senate takes up the nomination of Darrel Aubertine as agriculture commissioner. Aubertine, a Democrat, lost his seat to Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, who now chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Aubertine’s nomination to head the Department of Agriculture and Markets — which oversees the New York State Fair — in January. Ritchie’s committee will oversee Aubertine’s first confirmation hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, will vote on the nomination at 11 a.m. The full Senate is expected to vote at 3 p.m.
ESM reveals which 26.2 jobs face layoffs
the board March 21. Since then, the state Legislature approved a budget that restored almost $530,000 in state aid to ESM. By Elizabeth Doran The district is still seeing a Staff writer 13.43 percent decrease in state The East Syracuse Minoa aid, a loss of about $3 million, Board of Education on Monin the 2011-12 budget, but the day night adopted a revised restoration of some aid helped proposed 2011-12 budget, save nearly five positions. which calls for fewer layoffs ESM also is using some of and a further reduction in the the restored aid to lower the tax levy increase than original- tax levy increase to 1.89 perly proposed. cent, instead of the 1.93 perThe revised budget calls for cent increase first proposed. laying off 26.2 positions rather This year’s tax levy increase was 2.01 percent. than the 31 suggested when the superintendent first pres‘‘We are glad for it, but it ented the tentative budget to wasn’t a lot of money,’’ said
Tuesday, April 5, 2011 THE POST-STANDARD
Board of Education adopts budget with fewer cuts than initially proposed.
ESM Superintendent Donna DeSiato. ‘‘This year has been a tremendous challenge. We continue to look at every possible way we can save money.’’ The proposed budget to go before the voters is $71,801,068, down $213,724 from the current budget of $72,014,792. The district is actually cutting about 42 positions, with 26.2 of those being reduced through layoffs, and the rest through attrition. DeSiato presented a list of positions to be cut under the proposed budget. The district didn’t release specifics on the cuts prior to this. DeSiato said
it’s important to remember these are real people who are affected, not just positions. There will be 12.5 instructional posts cut: an elementary teacher, a 0.5 high school librarian, two middle school teachers, a K-12 physical education teacher, a K-12 reading teacher and seven pre-K to 12 teaching assistants. At the noninstructional level, 13.7 positions are eliminated under the proposed budget. These are a bus aide, copy aide, driver messenger, information aide, two library aides, a teacher’s aide, 1.7 typists, two duplicating machine operators, a graphics technician, one technology PC sup-
port and one transportation parts/inventory. These cuts are based on enrollment reductions, restructuring or program needs. Superintendent Donna DeSiato has said the cuts would have been more widespread if it weren’t for the wage freeze and other concessions made by administrators, teachers and custodial staff. Those concessions saved about $700,000, she said. A middle-school summer program also is being restored under the revised spending plan, DeSiato said. A public hearing on the budget will be held 6 p.m. May 9.
Woman accused over prescription drugs
A second person has been charged in an Oswego Police investigation of illegal prescription drug trafficking, police said. Tina L. Lucas, 38, of 143 Weller Road, Volney, was charged Friday with single counts of second-, thirdand fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, police said. She also was charged with three counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. All are felonies. Lucas was arraigned in Volney town court and ordered held without bail at the Oswego County Correctional Facility pending a return to court next Monday. Richard D. Timian Jr., 42, of the same address, was charged Friday with six attempted-drug-possession counts, all felonies, as the result of the investigation. The charges followed a search of the home last week during which police seized more than 650 pills, including Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Methadone, $2,000 in cash, and items to transport and distribute drugs, police said.
Police target texting drivers
Campaign of zero tolerance for distracted driving is Friday through April 16.
By Douglass Dowty
PRECIOUS DIXIE, 8, holds a sign showing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while sitting next to her mother, Connie Edwards, both of Syracuse, at a rally to defend education and demand economic justice Monday at Dr. Martin Luther King School in Syracuse. Monday was the 43rd anniversary of the day King was assassinated. In his final speech he proclaimed that ‘‘without economic justice there can be no civil rights.’’ See a video at syracuse.com/videos.
Mike Greenlar / The Post-Standard
A Call to Create Opportunities
Students, parents, teachers and others gathered Monday to mark the 43rd anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s death with a demand for better economic and educational opportunities. The rally was held at Dr. King Elementary School on East Raynor Avenue in Syracuse, and speakers included the school’s principal, Patricia FloydEchols, and Helen Hudson, co-founder of the local chapter for Mothers Against Gun Violence. The rally’s goal was to call for more local jobs and better funding for city schools to fight the high dropout rates, said David Van Arsdale, a rally organizer and professor at Onondaga Community College. ‘‘We have to create a better community that can sustain its residents,’’ Van Arsdale said. Throughout Central New York, prounion rallies also took place along roadsides Monday to support unionized government workers in Wisconsin and Ohio. Gabe Rosetti, of Elbridge, the business manager for Laborers Local 633, said the rallies were held on the anniversary of King’s death, because King wanted to see a strong middle class and working class.
— Staff report
Child protection forums begin today
A series of four community forums sponsored by the Oswego County Child Protection Advisory Council kicks off today. The council wants public input on child protection issues in Oswego County. The first forum will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lura Sharp Elementary School cafeteria, Lake Street, Pulaski. The council has adopted the theme ‘‘Our County, Our Children, Our Future, Our Responsibility.’’ Today’s meeting will be hosted by Marshall Marshall, chairman of the Child Protection Advisory Council and superintendent of the Pulaski school district, and Stewart Amell, superintendent of the Sandy Creek school district. Additional community forums have been scheduled for April 13 at the Scriba Town Justice Center; April 28 at the Fulton Municipal Building, 141 S. First St., Fulton; and May 3 at Millard Hawk Primary School cafeteria, Central Square. For information, email email@example.com or call the Department of Social Services at 963-5435.
POST-STANDARD ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
He engineers futures with encouragement
Peter Plumley is honored for his work bringing youth, science together.
By Lorenzo Arguello
Grant fights housing discrimination in CNY
The Fair Housing Council of Central New York Inc. has won a $323,870 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help combat housing discrimination in a six-county region. The grant was part of more than $40 million awarded nationwide.
— Staff reports
Peter Plumley has a vivid memory of when he was 6 years old and traveled to Chicago with his father to visit The Museum of Science and Industry. ‘‘It was like it happened yesterday, in my mind,’’ he said. Plumley, 60, can recall looking through the periscope of a German U-boat on display in the museum. The visit was part of Plumley’s lifelong love of learning and discovery. As a child, he always participated in his school’s science fair. Growing up on a farm near Schenectady, Plumley’s projects ranged from dissecting a cow’s head to examining the growth of corn. As an adult, he’s worked for more than two decades to instill this same love of learning in kids. Plumley is being honored with a 2011 Post-Standard Achievement Award for work as director of the Greater Syracuse Scholastic Science Fair,
PETER PLUMLEY is the director of the Greater Syracuse Scholastic Science Fair and is exhibits project manager at The MOST. Plumley has been recognized for his work with a Post-Standard Achievement Award. The science fair was held last month at Solvay High School.
Michelle Gabel / The Post-Standard
as exhibits project manager at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology and as leader of a number other activities. His work at the MOST includes hosting science competitions for kids. ‘‘He just puts kids first like no one I’ve ever seen before,’’ said Thomas Frawley, a retired
high school technology teacher from Fulton who has worked closely with Plumley on numerous youth engineering and building competitions. Plumley’s efforts to help young people gain an interest in science have included a ‘‘build ’em and bust ’em’’
PLUMLEY, PAGE A-4
Age: 60. Hometown: LaFayette. Honored for: Organizing the Greater Syracuse Scholastic Science Fair, other science competitions and other activities.
As the last distracted-driving blitz kicks off this week in Syracuse, local and statewide officials pledged to keep up the enforcement long after the special campaign ends. ‘‘What you do in that split second can change your life and the lives of others forever,’’ said Michael Fleischer, director of the state Thruway Authority. Fleischer was among nearly 20 state officials and law enforcement officers who attended a news event Monday at Syracuse’s Public Safety Building to launch the last citywide enforcement detail. Three previous campaigns have resulted in about 7,000 people charged with texting or phoning while driving, said state police Maj. Donald DePass. A $300,000 federal grant paid for agencies across Onondaga County to offer overtime to officers for the special enforcement details. ‘‘Understand, there will be a zero tolerance policy,’’ DePass said. ‘‘No excuses, no exceptions. We will continue to do enforcement until everyone gets it.’’ Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler pointed out that those ticketed for distracted driving face fines of $100 or more and two points on their license. Points can increase insurance rates. ‘‘If you haven’t gotten the message yet, think about your pocketbooks, too,’’ Fowler said. ‘‘We’re going to continue to ticket you.’’ A White Plains woman shared her story of losing her parents due to a distracted driver in her native Pennsylvania. Jacy Good, 24, said she was driving home with her parents from college graduation in Allentown, Pa., when an 18-year-old ran a red light while talking on a cellphone. An 18-wheel truck swerved to avoid the distracted driver and crashed head-on into her vehicle, killing Good’s parents, she said. Good suffered broken bones to every part of her body, brain injuries, a lacerated liver and other injuries. Unable to work, she now speaks to people about the dangers of distracted driving. Pennsylvania has no state law against phoning while driving. Good said people have called it ‘‘unenforceable.’’ ‘‘Syracuse is an awesome demonstration that it is enforceable,’’ she said. The Syracuse distracteddriving campaign is scheduled to begin Friday and end April 16.
Contact Douglass Dowty at firstname.lastname@example.org or 470-6070.