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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New York has highest tax burdens in the nation

Recent findings by the Tax Foundation, a Washington-based research organization, should serve as a reminder to the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo during this year’s budget negotiations that New York needs to decrease spending, reduce state mandates and cut property and income taxes.

LIBRARY FOCUS: Meet Lynda.com, BPL’s new online education service

March is for mud and making new friends, new commitments and new opportunities and today we are glad to announce a new opportunity for all our users.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Historic ethics reforms for Albany

Our residents rightfully expect a government that is honest and beyond reproach, and that their elected representatives are living up to the highest ethical standards. It is time to stop talking about ethics reform and make it happen.

LIBRARY FOCUS: Take a break from spring cleaning at the library

Welcome to mud season, when the ice curtains fall from the roof and the snow recedes enough to reveal the things lost and abandoned in the winter season. It’s time to open the curtains, dust the far recesses of our rooms and get ready for the challenges and delights of the next season. In the meantime, don’t forget the library is here to help you plan your projects and calm the fevered nerves of impatient gardeners and sportsmen.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: State’s 90-day email deletion policy raises questions

The Governor’s office announced in 2013 that it would use Microsoft Office365 -- an email and software management system to consolidate 27 agency email systems, improve access to applications, share calendars in a cloud-based system and save taxpayer dollars. Many aspects about the recently implemented system make sense and will hopefully improve inter-agency communication.

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Baldwinsville History Mystery: Do you know anything about this picture?

This circa-1909 photo shows the new north side location of George Peck’s coal and wood dealership. Although it is faint, the far left side of the photo gives a clue as to the location. The business would continue for another half a century under the ownership of several well known local entrepreneurs. Can you identify the location? Perhaps you know some of the successors.

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Baldwinsville History Mystery: Do you know anything about this picture?

Contact Editor Sarah Hall at editor@baldwinsvillemessenger.com or leave a message at 434-8889 ext. 310 with your guess by noon Sunday. If you are the first person to correctly identify an element in the photo, your name and guess will appear in next week’s Messenger, along with another History Mystery feature.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New York’s organ donation rate still low

Many people are under the assumption that if they sign the back of their driver’s license, then they are a registered organ donor. Signing the back of your license is a good first step, as this indicates your personal wishes, but in order to be listed as an organ donor in the state registry, residents must fill out either an online form through the Department of Motor Vehicles or print and mail a form to the Department of Health. Being registered allows health care officials to better assist those who are on the waiting list for an organ.

LIBRARY FOCUS: Making it through the month of March

March (and every other month) is for making here at the library. Want to explore something new? We give our patrons space, time and guidance on making everything from cards, quilts, kites and music to manuscripts and pysanki. Make some time this month to make your dreams come true at the library.

From the legislature: Syracuse Law offers new legal resource for local veterans

Syracuse University College of Law graduates Tom Caruso and Josh Keefe recently left Central New York to begin their careers as active duty judge advocates. Caruso is off to the Navy and Keefe to the Marine Corps, but they’ve left a remarkable legacy the legislature was proud to unanimously support. During their first year at Syracuse Law, Caruso and Keefe began what would turn into a three-and-a-half year journey to establish a legal clinic dedicated to the unique legal issues facing local veterans.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Legislature should decide on education proposals outside of budget

Last year, the state spent $22.3 billion on education. In 2012, combined with the local and federal share of education, New Yorkers spent $58.4 billion on public education. This is a 56 percent increase over what was spent on a combined basis in 2002.

LIBRARY FOCUS: BPL ventures into the world of Minecraft

The library has just purchased licenses for Minecraft.edu and loaded it onto our laptops. We are now looking at ways to make them available for regular gaming at the library. As part of our efforts we will be holding our first official Minecraft Shakedown cruise at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Danger of EEE returns

As we endure one of the harshest winters in memory and prepare for possibly more snow, it seems strange that I am writing about the mosquito-borne virus, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).  But with March 20, the beginning of spring, just a few weeks away, this important topic is indeed timely.

Not just KBR anymore: Baker revamps PTSA

The Baker High School PTSA would like to inform you of its shift in focus — in an attempt for continuous growth, we are proud to announce we’re no longer just KBR anymore.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Vaccines vital to public health

In the Central New York area, there have been two suspected cases of mumps in local schools this winter. These reports have understandably spurred discussions and concerns and accordingly it is important to know about New York’s vaccination requirements, childhood safety, and ways you can help protect your families from diseases that were once thought to be eradicated.

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