Shifty’s: A local Syracuse favorite

Shifty’s Bar, off of Burnet Avenue, is a beloved Syracuse institution. Opened in 1969, it boasts live music five nights a week, award-winning chicken wings and has garnered a loyal following. Shifty’s checks off many of the dive bar conventions along with some more premium accoutrements.

Chapter 4: The Adventures of Frankie

The color of envy

Frankie wiped the grease off an open end wrench before dropping it in the toolbox. He’d catch the dickens if his father found any of his tools dirty. With the tool box back in its proper place in the basement, he was ready to give his hodge-podge of a bicycle another try.

Chapter 5: The Adventures of Frankie

Spring break

“FRANCIS, RONNIE, GET IN HERE!” Frankie’s father yelled out the front door. The two kids were taking their sweet time wandering over from Scrawny’s house. When they finally walked through the door, inside Frankie’s parents were sitting in the living room looking as though they were ready to chew them out for something or other. For the life of him, Frankie couldn’t figure what they had done wrong.

Sauced with Michael Cross: Stein’s reveals successes and shortfalls

Stein’s, located in Camillus, is a bit of a mixed bag of successes and shortfalls.

Chapter 3: The Adventures of Frankie

Skinny dipping

Paulette kicked a pine cone down the wooded path along the river. This was the shortcut to her best friend’s house. Rita the redhead lived on the wrong side of the tracks in one of the ramshackle shanties on the thin strip of land between the banks of the river and the railroad tracks. Paulette, Frankie and Scrawny Ronnie’s neighborhood wasn’t exactly upscale either; the big expensive McMansions were on the other side of the river.

SCOTTLAND: My journey to becoming a mom

It’s 6:30 a.m. Aside from the clicking sound my keyboard makes when I type, the house is quiet. A different quiet than it was just a half a year ago. Then, it was just my husband and me. Now, there are four of us. Our son, who is 6, and our daughter, 12, have another hour of sleep before they have to wake up for school. The morning will become brighter.

Chapter 2: The Adventures of Frankie

Fired up

“Yo Scrawny, get the net, I got a big one!” “You’re stuck on the bottom.” Ronnie dropped the net and picked up his fishing pole. Frankie shot a disgusted look at his friend as he stretched for the net, giving up when he realized there was nothing tugging on the other end of his line. Scrawny Ronnie laughed when he pulled up a water logged stick covered in scum from the bottom of the river. Fresh out of bait, Frankie dropped his poll and started kicking over rocks in search of worms.

Barclay: Libraries see increased use; NOVELny provides access to safe internet research

Library use has increased across the state. According to some of New York State Library’s latest statistics, visits to public libraries increased by seven million from 113 million to 120 million from 2007 to 2009. The number of items borrowed — books, ebooks, movies, magazines and more — has increased by more than 11 percent.

SCOTTLAND: For better or worse a matter of perspective

For years, my mom used to work at Craven Crawford Elementary School as a teacher aide. For years, it was a school filled with caring and warmth, and in later years, became a haven for many children who did not have good home lives. For years, my mom and many other wonderful staff would lift up the broken spirited with their kind and compassionate words. Seeing the good in some of the worst troublemakers undoubtedly made an impact. And for years, after these troubled students long left CCE, their faces would and still light up when they recognize Mrs. Z at the store or somewhere out in public.

Chapter 1: The Adventures of Frankie

'Dear John'

“Great practice coach,” Frankie said as he slid his baseball glove over the end of his handlebars. His dad would kill him if he wasn’t polite to the coach. Respecting your elders was probably his number one rule. Especially when that elder was doing something out of the kindness of his heart, like coaching Little League for free.

Column: Here's to Suds Factory River Grill

Syracuse Suds Factory’s venture in Baldwinsville, the Suds Factory River Grill is a mostly successful premium addition to the village’s bar soaked downtown. The warm upstairs is decorated in a basic Nantucket Nautical and anchored by a cozy hearth-like brick enclosed fireplace. There is nothing quite so nice as a roaring fire at your back while you're enjoying a fine drink and meal.

Barclay: Stronger penalties for child abusers needed

According to the most recent statistics I could find, in 2012, more than 600,000 children in the United States and Puerto Rico were victims of child abuse and more than 1,500 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. Even more tragic, these are only reported cases of abuse and neglect. It is estimated that the actual number of abuse cases is three times greater. No matter how many cases of child abuse and neglect there are, any child abuse is too much and we must do more as a community and a nation to prevent it.

DeFrancisco: Preventing child abuse

April is proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month in the State of New York — a time to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of child abuse and how we, as a society, can help make a difference.

Barclay: SAFE Act repeal dies in assembly

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) released the following statement today following the Majority’s decision to stop efforts to repeal the SAFE Act.

COLUMN: Pizza Man Pub captures hometown spirit

The origin of the word “pub” comes from public house, fundamental to the cultures of England and other European countries and later New England. Indeed, the public house was often the heart of the community.