Weekly top reads: Auburn school board meeting, Skaneateles native in Hollywood, Moravia crash
The Citizen staff
The Citizen's top 10 most-read stories of the week.
Helicopter called to scene of serious accident in Cayuga County town of Moravia
A helicopter was sent to a truck crash in Moravia Tuesday that left the driver trapped in the wreckage.
A flatbed tractor trailer hauling construction materials flipped over at the intersection of Route 38 and Toll Gate Hill Road at about 11:30 a.m.
Fire and ambulance crews from Moravia, Locke, Southern Cayuga and Owasco were called to assist.
Officials requested two large powerful tow trucks be sent to the scene as quickly as possible as first responders worked to free the victim from what was described as "heavy entrapment" inside the crushed cab of the truck.
A helicopter from Mercy Flight landed just after noon in an open space at the entrance to Fillmore Glen State Park. The truck driver was removed from the wreck at about 12:10 p.m. and flown from the scene shortly afterward.
The truck was reported to have been turning onto northbound Route 38 from Toll Gate Hill Road but failed to negotiate the turn.
Three arrested for Auburn store fight, including owner
The Auburn Police Department has arrested three people in connection with a fight at downtown convenience store All-American Mart in May, including the owner of the store, which has since closed.
Zachary Pelosi-Dahl, 29, of Camillus, who opened the store in June 2020, was arrested over the past week along with Charles Williams Jr., 44, of Auburn, and Camille A. Racona, 31, of Auburn.
According to a news release from APD, a group of people gathered at the 31 Loop Road store at about 8 p.m. May 19 to confront Pelosi-Dahl "in regards to an issue surrounding another individual." The confrontation then escalated from verbal to physical, primarily between the store owner and Williams. Pepper spray, tasers, knives and batons are alleged to have been used, police said.
As a result, Pelosi-Dahl sustained a laceration on his head and Williams sustained a stab wound that was treated at Upstate University Hospital. A third unidentified person was also injured.
Pelosi-Dahl damaged a vehicle in the parking lot while leaving the scene, police said. About 20 cruisers from APD, the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office and the New York State Police responded, as well as the Auburn Fire Department and two ambulances. While searching the All-American Mart, police located metal knuckle knives for sale and more than 10,000 untaxed cigarettes.
The fight and subsequent search of the store led police to charge Pelosi-Dahl with three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, one count of second-degree criminal mischief and one count of possession of 10,000 or more unstamped cigarettes, all felonies. He turned himself into police Tuesday, APD said, and was released on his own recognizance after being arraigned.
Williams was arrested on July 14 on the felony charges of second-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and the misdemeanor of fifth-degree conspiracy. He was arraigned and remanded to the Cayuga County Jail. Racona, who was part of the group of people that confronted Pelosi-Dahl with Williams, was also arrested on July 14 on the felony charge of fourth-degree grand larceny for allegedly possessing and operating a stolen motor vehicle. She was released on an appearance ticket.
APD asks anyone with further information on the fight to contact Detective Nicholas Atkins at (315) 255-4703 or the department at (315) 253-3231. Callers may remain anonymous.
'An absolute nuisance'
The fight was the culmination of what neighboring businesses say was an undesirable atmosphere at All-American Mart since Pelosi-Dahl opened the store last summer.
Hours after the fight happened, Year of the Dragon Tattoo next-door posted on Facebook that the convenience store was "an absolute nuisance."
"Us and a lot of our clients have seen the activities going on: fights, dirty hypodermic needles laying around, abundance of trash deliberately thrown throughout the parking lot. Hit and runs in the parking lot," said the post, which has since been deleted. Year of the Dragon did not respond to a request for comment by The Citizen.
Joseph Catalfano, who owns the building that contains the 31 Loop Road space as well as upstairs business Quality Rental Purchase and Sales, told The Citizen on July 7 that he and Pelosi-Dahl came to a "mutual decision" shortly after the fight that the All-American Mart should close due to "the groups of people who were hanging around, or coming quickly and leaving," he said.
"We don't like to have that element around the building," he said.
Despite the atmosphere there, police were not called to the store often, Catalfano said.
APD Capt. Kyle Platt confirmed that, saying there have been 12 calls to 31 Loop Road since 2018. But several of them were traffic stops and motor vehicle accidents in the vicinity, he added.
Catalfano also told The Citizen July 7 that he would like to replace the All-American Mart with a "nice, quiet tenant." Since then, local wellness business Crystal Clear Life Coaching has announced that it will open a coaching center at the space. Prior to the convenience store, it was occupied by The Good Shepherds Brewing Co., which moved to the corner of Genesee and William streets in 2018.
Auburn school board meeting goes from silent protest to shouting match
With a few exceptions, Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education meetings have attracted few if any members of the public over the last few years.
But since a district budget hearing in mid-May, residents have been turning out in increasing numbers to air out a variety of concerns. Those include the process involved in a possible renaming of the high school that was later paused by the board, concerns that board members were using their positions to implement their personal and political agendas, and complaints that the board has not taken school bullying seriously enough.
On Tuesday, with the agenda including the election of a board president and vice president for the 2021-22 fiscal year, the high school library was packed for the board's regular meeting. By the time it was over, people were shouting and extra police officers had arrived.
Board members Ian Phillips and Dr. Eli Hernandez were voted to those respective roles at the beginning of the meeting. After the board moved through its routine agenda, the time came for the public to be heard portion, a change from the normal routine of taking public comments toward the start of meetings. Auburn district Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo said one reason for moving public comment to the end of the meeting is that often, residents speak and then leave, but he said he would be available at the end of the meeting to answer specific questions.
Parent Rachel Czyz, who ran for a school board seat earlier this year, was the first person scheduled to speak. She introduced herself at the library's podium, and then said nothing. Instead, she and the other people lined with her held up folders with messages written on them such as "Accountability," "Transparency NOW," "YOU ARE NOT LISTENING" "We will be watching!" "Every child MATTERS" and "STOP HARASSING US."
This group, which included adults and students, stood in silence with their makeshift signs for over a minute before people in the back of the room, began humming the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which is often called the "Black National Anthem." One person in the crowd said they felt the humming was inappropriate. Another questioned how it was inappropriate, while others, including parent Michele Rivoli, interjected that the people humming needed to stop.
A woman in the group, who did not identify herself, spoke up to say her daughter had been attacked two days prior at a district bathroom. With her voice cutting through the room, she said her daughter had been bullied for years without anything being done.
As Czyz's time to speak expired, Rivoli then took to the microphone and spoke up, asking the board members to read the signs displayed, and saying the group would appreciate it if the board president didn't roll his eyes while the group was speaking. Rivoli then said the board uses "bully tactics" and addressed Phillips directly. Another voice chimed in with "Do you guys really care at all?"
"We can't engage when you bring individuals into it. I'd be happy to have a discussion when we close this meeting," Phillips said. He and Rivoli then spoke back and forth, and as another voice in the crowd spoke up, Phillips asked that one person speak at a time, noting there was a limited amount of time for public comments. Rivoli replied that the board extended time for people to speak in January, when various students and adults advocated for the high school name change at a virtual meeting.
"You extended the time when everybody was here supporting what your agenda was. In this particular case, you have intentionally tried to create a situation because you don't want to hear what we have to say. That's why we're trying not to talk," Rivoli said, using her folder to point at the board. "Because you don't hear us, because you don't care. It gets in the way of your own personal and political agendas. We've had enough, and we will be taking our concerns to the (state education) commissioner."
Following a pause, another voice spoke out in the crowd, and Rivoli said she would speak for that person. Phillips said she couldn't do that, and shouting filled the room until parent Elizabeth A. Cuddy took the microphone and moved to the podium.
Cuddy said "this is not about the name change" and that many more people beyond those at the meetings have concerns.
"There are people who are afraid to come out and show their face and speak because they're afraid their children will be retaliated (against,) they're afraid they won't be employed by the district," she continued. "There are many, many more people, so please, I promise you, it is not just the people who show up to the meetings. There are many, many people intimidated."
Judy Garrett, a district employee, next came to the podium and defended Phillips and what he has done for the district, noting his efforts to advocate for more state aid. One person then asked Garrett if she was on the list to speak, which prompted more shouting.
"Order! This is a really, really bad example for our children," Phillips said, which prompted some claps from the audience. Rivoli shouted that Phillips was a bad example.
Phillips then said the 15 minutes set aside for public comments was up, and added that "we would love to extend the time, but we're not going to do it when people are shouting with each other," saying he would talk to people about their concerns. As Rivoli shouted that their group didn't need to be lectured, the board voted to adjourn the meeting.
Several people began yelling over each other at this point. A man in the crowd starting yelling at Hernandez, who got out of his chair and walked into the crowd. He and the man confronted each other, as concerns such as critical race theory came up. The man repeatedly said "You're dismissed" to Hernandez. Other verbal confrontations continued until school resource officer William Morrissey of the Auburn Police Department raised his voice to say that the meeting was over. The yelling dissipated somewhat and people started leaving the library.
By that point additional APD officers had arrived at the school, with around seven to eight patrol vehicles in the parking lot. Some officers were in the lobby while others were in the lot.
According to APD call records, Dia Carabajal called police at about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday to report what the call log classified as a fight at the high school. Carabajal, who was at the meeting and is a former school board member and former city councilor, is now the chair for the Cayuga County Democratic Committee. Phillips held that position for six years before he resigned from the role last month and soon declared his intention to seek the board presidency.
School resource officers have been present at school board meetings since May as crowds have become larger. But that will change.
Roger Anthony, APD deputy chief, said in an interview with The Citizen Wednesday that the department doesn't feel it is appropriate for SROs to be at those meetings and doesn't plan on having SROs at board meetings in that capacity in the future.
Road patrol officers would be at meetings if requested, but Anthony said the APD doesn't feel SROs should be at board meetings.
"The school board is an elected body. If they're having political issues, that's not what the purpose of SROs are. Our SROs are there for the kids, for school security, for mentorship, for building relationships, and that's where we will place them," Anthony said.
Former Auburn priest accused of sexual abuse
A priest active in Auburn in the 1960s has been accused of sexually abusing children in a new lawsuit.
The Rev. John Merklinger, who was the priest at St. Alphonsus Church on East Genesee Street from July 1962 until his retirement in June 1969, is accused of sexually abusing the plaintiff in the lawsuit when he was 8 years old. The plaintiff filed the complaint anonymously, through the New York Child Victims Act, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in April.
The complaint goes on to accuse Merklinger of abusing "numerous children" during his tenure as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.
According to the complaint, Merklinger began abusing the plaintiff in 1967, when he was a student at St. Alphonsus. The abuse continued for about two years. The plaintiff was a "heavier child who had speech issues," the complaint says, making him more vulnerable. The plaintiff believes Merklinger recognized this and befriended the child for that reason.
Over the next two years, Merklinger is accused of groping the plaintiff, fondling his penis and forcing him to masturbate the priest. Merklinger used a rope to bind the plaintiff, the complaint says, and would blindfold him during some acts of sexual abuse. The alleged abuse repeatedly occurred on the grounds of St. Alphonsus, while Merklinger was wearing clerical clothing.
Merklinger's abuse of the plaintiff was witnessed by another priest at the church, the complaint says, but no action was taken. St. Alphonsus Parish is the defendant in the lawsuit.
"At all relevant times, the Defendant knew or should have known that Father Merklinger was unfit, dangerous, and a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the minors entrusted to (him)," the complaint says. "The Defendant knew that Father Merklinger was using his status and position to identify, recruit, groom and sexually assault vulnerable children."
The Rochester diocese is also accused of condoning Merklinger's abuse, throughout his tenure, and reassigning him to other parishes to conceal it.
The plaintiff, who is being represented by Herman Law in New York City, seeks a jury trial and judgment for compensatory and punitive damages. He alleges that St. Alphonsus Parish is responsible for him suffering "severe and permanent psychological, emotional and physical injuries, shame, humiliation, and the inability to lead a normal life."
Merklinger was among 176 names of New York state Catholic clergy members listed in a media release Thursday as being newly accused of sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act. The release was sent by firm Jeff Anderson & Associates. According to the firm, it is unknown whether Merklinger is still alive. He has not previously been accused of sexual abuse.
Signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019, the Child Victims Act extended the statute of limitations for criminal and civil action against child sexual abusers. Victims may now sue their abusers anytime before the victim's 55th birthday, but a temporary "look back" window allows victims of any age to sue their abusers. The window expires on Aug. 13.
Merklinger is not the first priest active in Auburn to be accused of sexually abusing children. Others include the Rev. Conrad Sundholm, who served at St. Mary's from 1965 to 1971 and Holy Family and St. Aloysius (now Vineyard Church) from 1982 to 1999. He was accused of abusing a child at a church in Irondequoit in the mid-1970s. Most recently, the Rev. Dennis Shaw was removed from Holy Family by the Rochester diocese in 2010, after serving there for five years, due to an allegation of sexual abuse of two boys in the late 1970s and early 1980s at a church in Rochester.
The total number of Catholic clergy members accused of sexual abuse is uncertain, but estimates range from 4,700 to 6,400. The church has paid more than $3 billion in settlements to victims.
A city resident faces multiple felony charges in connection with a domestic incident that included an intentionally set house fire, the Auburn Police Department said.
The APD and Auburn Fire Department responded to a fire at 35 Kensington Ave. around 2:25 p.m. Saturday, July 17, and established a perimeter because they thought the suspect was still inside. Smoke was coming from the structure when responders arrived at the scene.
Police later determined that the suspect had fled the scene and was picked up later on Cross Street.
The APD said an investigation determined that the fire was an arson connected with a domestic incident at the Kensington Avenue property.
Police charged Charles E. McEneany, 36, transient, Auburn, with second-degree strangulation, a class D felony, and third-degree arson, a class E felony.
Charles E. McEneany, 36, transient, Auburn, was charged July 17 with second-degree strangulation and third-degree arson.
Police requested that anyone with additional information about the incident to contact Detective Nicholas Atkins at (315) 255-4703 or (315) 253-3231. Calls can be anonymous.
McEneany was arraigned in the Cayuga County Centralized Arraignment Part Court and remains in custody at Cayuga County Jail as of Monday morning.
The house on Kensington Avenue sustained minor smoke and flame damage, the Auburn Fire Department said.
Shouting ends meeting as Phillips, Hernandez elected to Auburn school board leadership posts
AUBURN — During a contentious meeting that ended with a police presence, the Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education's leadership for the 2021-22 school year was decided.
Ian Phillips and Dr. Eli Hernandez were voted by the board as the nine-member body's president and vice president, respectively, at a packed meeting Tuesday night.
Phillips and Joseph Sheppard, who was president for the last year, both pursued the post during the board's reorganization meeting earlier this month. Each received four votes, since board member William Andre wasn't present. The decision on the president and vice president roles was pushed back until every board member could be present.
The leadership elections were at the top of the agenda for Tuesday's meeting at the Auburn High School Library. Salvatore "Sam" Giangreco nominated Sheppard, and Danielle Wood nominated Phillips.
Phillips received votes from Wood, William Andre, Hernandez, Dr. Rhoda Overstreet-Wilson and himself. Sheppard got votes from Giangreco, Matteo Bartolotta, Jeff Gasper and himself. With a 5-4 advantage, Philips secured the presidency. As Phillips walked to district clerk Michelle Major to be sworn in, a voice from the crowd could be heard saying "Are you kidding me?" After Phillips was sworn in, a group of around four to five people clapped.
For the vice presidency, Hernandez, the incumbent, was nominated by Phillips. Gasper was nominated by Bartolotta. Votes for Hernandez came from Phillips, Andre, Overstreet-Wilson, Wood and himself, while Gasper was picked by Bartolotta, Giangreco, Sheppard and himself. Hernandez was first elected to the board in 2011 and was most recently reelected in 2020.
The board meeting, which was filled with so many people that some audience members had to stand in various spots in the library, ended with public comments. Audience members, some yelling across the room, had concerns ranging from bullying to board member conduct.
Some board members and audience members confronted and shouted at each other even after the meeting had adjourned, with a school resource officer eventually yelling that the meeting was over. Around seven to eight police cars were in the high school parking lot after the meeting ended, with some officers in the building and others in the parking lot.
In other news
• An Auburn official will be switching over to a new administrator role within the district.
The board approved Sarah Cupelli, Auburn's assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, for the position of assistant superintendent of personnel.
According to the agenda for Tuesday's meeting, Cupelli will start in the personnel post on July 21, with an end set for midnight July 20, 2026. Auburn Enlarged City School District Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo said earlier this month that Cupelli would be recommended for the personnel role and a listing for her curriculum and instruction job was posted.
Cupelli, who was the principal of Bellevue Elementary School in the Syracuse City School District before joining Auburn, was approved for the curriculum and instruction seat by the Auburn board in January 2020.
Jeff Evener, who was previously Auburn's assistant superintendent for personnel and operations, resigned earlier this month to be the assistant superintendent for curriculum for the Homer Central School District.
Simmons: Another reason behind the restaurant labor shortage
Here is a story that I believe needs attention. In the hospitality world, the labor pool has continued to shrink for the last 10 years. Everyone thinks it is something new and strictly attached to the people who are on unemployment. I believe that is not the correct answer to this problem, but it is the easiest one.
The sector of the labor market in our industry that is almost non-existent anymore is the high school kids. Back when I turned 14 years old, I got my working papers and have worked ever since, so 49 years. All of my friends also worked; a lot of us were dishwashers at various Auburn restaurants and all of us have gone on to have a very successful life.
In my view what has changed are a couple of major things. First is the fact that sports activities have taken over a lot of high school kids' time, especially during the summer. Back in the 1970s, if I recall correctly, coaches couldn’t have access to their players during the off seasons. We all played baseball all summer in Babe Ruth or American Legion ball or on a playground basketball team. Today there is a camp for every sport locally that usually last several weeks. Then there are the leagues that kids are playing in and the travel teams they are playing with and the out-of-town and state camps kids are attending.
The second factor is "the parents.” No longer do they encourage their children to get a part-time job and see what’s its like to have your own money that you worked for, instead of just doling out the dollars. So what happens when these kids don’t get the college scholarship the parents were hoping for because of the aforementioned activities and lack of a parental push. These kids at 17 and 18 years of age can make a jump shot, cradle a lacrosse ball and throw it 80 miles an hour or hit a baseball/softball over the fence, but they are not prepared for the workforce in case Plan A doesn’t happen.
So it would be interesting to see just how many of the 300-plus Auburn High School graduates are a member or have contributed to the work force in Auburn.
I have personally been affected at my two places of business. I have had to close because of inadequate staffing. Our patrons expect and deserve a certain level of service when they step through our doors, and if I feel we cannot deliver this, I would rather be closed. So keep that in mind when you are looking for a reservation at a local favorite restaurant and it is closed that night.
My wife and myself raised five children in Auburn they all played sports, and also worked at least a couple nights a week. Many of you know my children as they chose to stay living right here in Auburn. They all have a full-time job and help to contribute to the vitality of this community. Please don’t turn a blind eye to this or possibly think, who is he to tell us our kids should get a job. I am not saying that, I am just bringing it to your attention as it is critical to the hospitality sector's survival.
Thank you for listening. God bless you all.
Joe Biden at CNN town hall: Father-in-law offered me Auburn restaurant
Instead of becoming a U.S. senator, vice president and now president, Joe Biden could've been an Auburn restaurateur.
Biden shared the story during his appearance at a CNN town hall meeting in Cincinnati on Wednesday.
"My father-in-law ... had a restaurant that was in a town called Auburn, about 20,000 people, which was at a flagship 24-hour-a-day restaurant ... and he offered it to me, which I would have been making five times what I would in law school to try to keep me in Syracuse," Biden said.
Biden was referring to Robert Hunter, who owned Hunter Dinerant on Genesee Street in Auburn. Biden, who attended Syracuse University law school, married Hunter's daughter, Neilia. Neilia Hunter Biden was killed in a car crash in 1972.
What discouraged Biden from entering the restaurant business was spending time in the Hunters' home when they received phone calls about an employee not showing up for work.
While he opted for a political career, Biden has made return trips to central New York and the diner that was once owned by his late father-in-law. In 2014, he attended his niece's wedding at St. Mary's Church in Auburn. After the ceremony, he stopped at Hunter Dinerant for a chocolate milkshake and posed for photos with customers and staff.
The anecdote was part of Biden's response to a question from John Lanni, who co-owns the Thunderdome Restaurant Group. Lanni described his business's struggles in hiring more workers — a problem that's affecting many in the restaurant industry.
Lanni asked Biden if his administration plans to provide incentives to those who haven't returned to work. The president noted that billions were spent to provide assistance to restaurants through either the Paycheck Protection Program or the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. But he also addressed another factor that could be contributing to the shortage — that people who once worked in food service may have decided that they no longer want to work in the industry and are pursuing other opportunities.
"People are looking to make more money and to bargain," Biden said. "And so I think your business and the tourist business is really going to be in a bind for a little while."
There are proposals to provide more assistance to restaurants struggling to recover amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One plan would add $60 billion to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. That bill has bipartisan support in Congress.
The legislation would give financial help to restaurants, but it wouldn't address the labor shortage. Some business owners argue that certain benefits, namely enhanced unemployment payments, are allowing individuals capable of working to stay at home and earn more money.
Biden doesn't think the unemployment benefits had that effect, but even if it did, he noted that they are ending soon. The additional payments will expire in September.
'The next step': Skaneateles native busy in Hollywood after mayoral bid
At this time six months ago, Zack Ford was writing campaign letters.
Now, the Skaneateles native is busier than ever writing screenplays.
Ford, who ran for mayor of the village in March, moved to Beverly Hills about a month after losing the election to trustee Mary Sennett.
There, living in Hollywood for the first time in his life, Ford has focused on his screenwriting career — and it's never been busier.
Among his projects is "Watcher," a horror movie about a woman who suspects she's being surveilled through the window of her new apartment in Bucharest by a serial killer called the Headhunter. The movie was filmed in Romania in the spring, and has been in postproduction for about six weeks, Ford told The Citizen during a phone interview July 9. It stars Maika Monroe ("It Follows"), Karl Glusman ("Nocturnal Animals") and Burn Gorman ("Enola Holmes"), is directed by Chloe Okuno and is co-produced by Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Spooky Pictures.
Ford detailed how he sold the spec (unsolicited) script for "Watcher" after years of effort in an essay in Script Magazine in February.
"For several years I worked in a barbaric frenzy: writing new screenplays, calling, sending, waiting, fretting, failing to make a sale, and repeating it all over again," he wrote. "The occasional kind words I received from producers were crusts of bread and sips of water that kept me on my path. I was told to 'keep them coming.'"
Along with "Watcher," Ford has been hired to rewrite two horror screenplays for "major Hollywood producers," he said, declining further comment because there are details of the projects that have yet to be finalized. Ford also has an original screenplay about an insane chimpanzee that terrorizes a small town, "The Rage," that Gerardo Naranjo ("Miss Bala") is attached to direct.
A decade after graduating from New York University and selling his first screenplay shortly afterward, Skaneateles native Zack Ford said he fi…
The Skaneateles native believes he's taken his screenwriting career of 16 years to the next level in Hollywood, he told The Citizen, and indeed that's why he moved there. He flew out from central New York in April following his second COVID-19 vaccination shot, planning a few weeks of vacation while couch surfing at the homes of friends. Then, he ended up signing a lease.
While the move wasn't planned, Ford said, he felt prepared for it. The son of filmmaker Lisa Ford, he credits one of his mother's screenplays with motivating him to follow her career path when he was 12 years old. After graduating from Skaneateles High School in 2001 he attended New York University, where he wrote and sold the screenplay for his first film, "Scar," in 2005. The pioneering 3D slasher film debuted at the Cannes Film Market and made the cover of horror magazine Fangoria. Ford's next feature, "Girls Night Out," was shot in Skaneateles on a budget of $25,000.
Ford continued working on the East Coast, veering into advertising and founding a production company, Barbaric Media. In hindsight, though, he had reached his artistic ceiling here.
"I grinded it out and got my chops in New York City for 16 years, and broke through there," he said. "And my decision to come to Los Angeles was predicated on that. It was the next step."
Screenplays aren't all that Ford is writing in Hollywood. He's also working on a memoir that will cover his mayoral campaign and activism in Skaneateles, such as his June 2020 effort to encourage the village to fly the LGBTQIA pride flag at its offices. Ford believes creative people can only benefit from becoming involved in their communities — but for him, there's more at stake than inspiration.
Citing "rampant corruption" in his hometown and overdevelopment "destroying" Skaneateles Lake, Ford said he plans on running for mayor of the village of Skaneateles again in 2025.
“Though I’m now living the life of a Hollywood screenwriter," he said, "I will never stop fighting for justice in my hometown of Skaneateles."
Gallery: Protesters plant Pride flag at Skaneateles village office in defiance of order
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Ormie King: Faded photos of Auburn's playground summers
Here are some snapshots of the summertime fun we used to have at the playgrounds in the good old days! Have a great week everyone! — Ormie