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Sabrina Hesford, project coordinator of the Cayuga County Health Department’s Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play Program, has invested a multitude of hours over years of work to make this program noticed by the public and appreciated by the community. The Creating Healthy Places coalition blends various groups with the goal of enticing people to get out and move around whether it be on foot, running or walking, bicycle-riding, sports — any way to get exercise. Just this spring, my family and I experienced riding our bikes from Port Byron to Weedsport and back, which was the perfect first outing on the trails. They were wide, graveled nicely, and safe to travel on. Thank you to Sabrina, her colleagues and the Cayuga County Legislature for their investment in the entire program. Thank you also to the Auburn City Council members for their support of a resolution of the Complete Streets policy. This is an effective collaboration of an ongoing city-county project that brings significant value to the quality of life in this community. This project is ongoing to provide resources for everyone to improve healthy activities so that the activities become a way of life. Please contact the Cayuga County Health Department for more information at (315) 253-1569 and or modelhealthychoices.com.

Speaking of exercise and safety, we need to address crosswalks again. The city has been busy highlighting crosswalks in many locations with red and white paint to help drivers notice them. Regardless of the color of the crosswalk, the need to stop is the same everywhere. People need to slow down when they drive in general, especially in downtown Auburn, and do not text or partake in other distractions behind the wheel. Don’t be a creeper: Come to a complete stop as a person crosses, and don’t inch up on them as they cross. Pedestrians also need to be alert about crossing any street. Never assume that vehicles will stop and stay aware of your surroundings while on all streets. The fact that a person was severely injured while in the crosswalk on Genesee Street near the post office in July says that we all need to do better while walking and driving in Auburn.

The new shop 3 Leaf Tea has just opened its doors at 25 E. Genesee St. this week, and is a neighbor of Angelo’s Pizza. Owner Luciana Torous has created an inviting, comfortable shop that offers an impressive selection of tea in many formats: traditional hot tea of every description, iced tea, infused drinks, hot chocolate and made-in-house tea blends. The open hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Treat yourself to a place where tea is the focus, rather than coffee! Luciana can be reached at (315) 255-1022 and or threeleaftea.com.

The Underground has opened at 144 Genesee St. in the East Hill Family Medical building. A new dance floor has been installed in the main dining room area, complete with a DJ booth. The bar area is now serving Starbucks coffee, tea and Rosalie’s baked goods from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daily lunch specials will soon be available and a pool table and dartboard offer a break in the day’s activities to relax and sharpen your skills. A night club will be open Thursdays for adults, Fridays for high school students and Saturdays for adults, and is always an alcohol-free establishment regardless of age. There will be a DJ in the booth on Friday and Saturdays. The space is available for booking private parties, special events and meetings; not-for-profits are encouraged to reserve the space as needed. We welcome Mike Henty and Ministro Ministries and look forward to working with him. Call (315) 406-0000 for information.

These two new businesses nicely round out downtown offerings and provide alternative food and drink in quiet, inviting atmospheres, and BID appreciates their investments in downtown Auburn.

NYSEG continues to offer business customers who utilize less than an average of 110 kilowatts per month a free energy assessment and up to 70 percent of the cost of recommended equipment upgrades. Upgrades can include replacement of fluorescent fixtures, changing incandescent bulbs, upgrading exit signs to LED signs and several additional items. For a complete list and information, call NYSEG at (877) 359-9814 or visit nyseg.com.

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Connie Reilley is the executive director of the Auburn Business Improvement District (BID). Call (315) 252-7874 or visit the office next door to Cervo’s News.

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I'm the features editor for The Citizen and auburnpub.com, and have been here since 2006. I also cover local arts and culture, business, food and drink, and more.