Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bullhead Fishing Trip Pics

picnikfile_m0_-lN, originally uploaded by northsidepolice.

Pictures of the Bullhead Fishing Trip are now available on our Flickr site. Check 'em out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What One Person Can Do

A sixteen year old growing up in inner-city Pittsburgh in the mid-sixties, who is just about flunking out of school, passes by the doorway of an art studio. There, he sees a potter at work. He's drawn inside and the course of his life changes forever.

"I said to myself, if I could ever
bring that light into my neighborhood--
bring it to people who deserved it
as much as anybody else,
and who would respond to it
as wholeheartedly and
as creatively as anybody else--
then I was halfway home."

- Bill Strickland

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Tribute

Video by fivemumaw

“American Anthem”
words and music by Gene Scheer

Performed by Norah Jones

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Light Up the Night

"Starry Night" by futureancient

"Light Up The Night"

Picnic, Celebration and Awards Presentation

Tuesday, June 10


Longbranch Park

Music by the Corcoran Live Band

Displays by:

Syracuse Police Department
Syracuse Fire Department
Onondaga County Sheriff's Office

Neighborhood Watch Group Award Presentations

Info: 448-8762

by Neighborhood Watch Groups of Syracuse

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monster Jam

Saturday, May 31st, 2008
New York State Fairgrounds
Syracuse, New York

PIT PARTY* 3:00PM - 6:00PM

Tickets $12 - Includes Free *Pit Pass & Souvenir Book

Call Us! (315)471-3257 email

Support DARE!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Recruits Sworn In

Congratulations to each of the Syracuse Police Department's 29 new recruits who were sworn in yesterday morning.

We wish you all the best as you enter the Police Academy.

"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly."

-- Thomas Paine

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ask A Cop

Do you have a question for a police officer regarding a public safety matter? Email your question to me and I'll respond to it here on the blog.

Appropriate topics include:
  • Neighborhood or individual safety
  • How to become a police officer with the Syracuse Police Department
  • How to obtain a police report
  • How to file nuisance or other complaints, etc.
If you're on Blogger or Gmail, click on my profile, Officer Clarke, and email me. On Twitter, send a direct message to poclarke.

Questions and answers may be published here along with your handle, unless you specify otherwise.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Peace Officer's Memorial Day

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy designated this day as Peace Officers' Memorial Day, and this week as National Police Week. The flag of the United States is displayed at half-staff on all government buildings on this day annually.

The Syracuse Police Department safeguards the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Syracuse, New York. The men and women of the Syracuse Police Department continually provide a vital public service, preserving the rights and security of all citizens. On the occasion of National Police Week, we remind citizens to understand the responsibilities of the department, and members of the department to recognize their duty to serve the people.

Today, we honor the memory of these Syracuse Police Officers who, through their acts of courage, made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community:

Tuesday, August 1, 1893: Detective James A. Harvey
Sunday, June 12, 1921: Police Officer Ernest T. Griffin
Sunday, January 7, 1923: Police Officer Pierson C. Near
Tuesday, July 10, 1928: Police Officer George E. Caldwell
Thursday, June 13, 1929: Police Officer James Hannon
Sunday, September 22, 1935: Police Officer Michael English
Saturday, August 30, 1947: Police Officer John Jarmacz
Saturday, April 10, 1954: Police Officer James Michael Considine
Thursday, September 23, 1954: Police Officer Mercer E. Weiskotten
Tuesday, October 30, 1990: Police Officer Wallie Howard Jr.

Related story.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

"Aisha M", originally uploaded by mosleypasley.

"To one who bears the sweetest name,
And adds a lustre to the same,
Who shares my joys and cheers when sad,
The greatest friend I ever had,
Long life to her for there's no other,
Can take the place of my dear mother."

~ Anonymous

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What's In A Name?

"Under the Stars" by Simpologist

We've officially surpassed the 50 post mark.

It's high time we gave this blog a better name, wouldn't you agree?

"Northside Story" had potential...for a day.

The bubble burst when a search turned up a gansta rap group with the same name. For a moment, thoughts went to poclarke and northsidebloggr becoming san quen and lil dim. Ah, nnnn-o.

"Northside Story" did, however, turn lil dim into The Accidental SEO. The blog made the top 25 in Google, and that move probably tripled the hit counter. Tempting.

Then again, anyone googling "big bad norte" isn't gonna hang here much longer than the time it takes for poclarke to send a text.

So label me malo. Today we've got another new nombre, hombre.

u likey?

We may test out a few alternatives before it's official. Opinions and snarky remarks are welcome.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Raquette Lake Trip: Reviewing Challenge Course Skills

Photograph by Renee Gosselin

If you like climbing trees, swinging from ropes and walking across wires 30' in the air you would have loved this trip.

A handful of professionals, mostly teachers and Cortland College Grads, spent the weekend together reviewing their skills on the Camp Huntington Ropes Challenge Course. Skills tested included knot tying, course set up, belaying, gear retrieval and rescues.

Gliding out on a wire 40' in the air to rescue someone dangling 10' below you is a feat that will get anyone's heart pumping.

Meeting new folks as I reviewed their skills was an enjoyable experience for me. It was an added bonus having two of my children attend the workshop. I was proud of their climbing abilities and they did a great job with their rescues. My son and daughter both climb like monkeys, I have no doubt they can now out climb me (oh to be 20 again).

After a long day on the Challenge Course we all enjoyed a social evening of Adventure Games, like "King Frog" and "Bang! Pop! Bang! Who's Dead?".

Another day of skills testing followed, and all attending left with a sense of accomplishment and some new friends. I am a bit sore but happy to be sleeping in my own bed.

Camp Huntington is one of the Great Camps in the Adirondacks. For more info, visit their website.

If you'd like to take your group on a Challenge Course visit my website.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sundries for Sunday

While you're out selecting a card and gift for Mother's Day, consider meeting the basic needs of a less privileged mom.

Pick up a few extra sundry items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, or soap. If you're so inclined, add something extra and unexpected that a woman would appreciate.Then drop the items off at any public library location across Onondaga County in the designated barrels.

These items will be collected through May 10 on behalf of the Interreligious Food Consortium's "Mother's Day Non-Food Drive". The IRC will package and distribute the items to their clients.

Sundries are essential but rarely included in other types of collections, and are costly for a needy person to purchase. Mothers are sometimes overlooked in the various outreaches to children, yet they're often the primary caregivers. These distributions of sundries to needy mom's are appreciated, and make them feel special.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Betts Library: A Good Bet

"Bright Red Tulip", originally uploaded by twg1942.

My recent post on Syracuse Libraries and WiFi Hotspots inspired an outing in search of the same, and open on a Sunday afternoon. Betts was the place.

A Pennsylvania bluestone patio with red tulips in bloom greets patrons entering the building from the rear parking lot. Nearby, a bench whispers an invitation to remain in the cozy courtyard and enjoy the garden awhile. This south side entrance at the intersection of the building's two wings appears to welcome patrons with open arms.

Just inside the doors, a cluster of upholstered '60's style arm chairs invites visitors to read one of the newspapers or magazine arranged neatly on racks. Straight ahead is one of three library staff persons ready to assist. Along the way are several carousels of DVD’s that cater to the typical library patron of today.

Built in 1963, Betts Library is a contemporary looking brick building with a floor plan that resembles a “T” with a tilted top. It was designed by Helen Gillespie Kotz, a Syracuse architect and partner in the firm, Gillespie and Granger, to replace the original structure built in 1949. During her career, Gillespie designed several other libraries in Syracuse and Central New York.

Inside, Betts resembles a modern lodge with high ceilings and exposed teak wood beams that wear a cedar stain. Walls of bluestone, natural materials and period furniture in solid beech evoke a Frank Lloyd Wright feeling. At either side of the “T” horizontal line, a pair of sleek stained glass transom windows add visual interest. The top portion of the eastern wall is trimmed in flagstone, with built-in bookshelves beneath. The lighting is excellent, thanks to a wall of picture windows that face the patio, and transoms that line the north side of the “T”. A fabulous Pennsylvania bluestone fireplace built into the southwest corner wall makes quite a statement.

The library was named after Frederick W. Betts, the first Trustee of the Library, whose framed photo hangs on the wall just inside the door. There is a plaque out front, but it could not be easily located among the plantings. No further historical information was available there. The Syracuse Newspapers and other sources indicate that Betts was the Chief Editorial writer for the Syracuse Herald and a minister of First Universalist Church who was active in the community. Well after Betts passed away, his wife gifted $10,000 to the library that bears his name. The interest still provides funds that help sustain it.

Betts is a great place to bring children. In front of the fireplace, a reading and learning area is designated just for them. Upholstered seating provides parents and kids with a comfortable place to read together. They can choose from an abundant selection of children’s books that are well organized and labeled on the rows and walls of cases and shelves. Several small round tables with pint sized chairs are arranged nearby, as well as a hub of four computer workstations reserved for children's use.

At least a dozen, newer technology Dell workstations with flat screen monitors are available. A staffer informed a patrons of their one hour limited use. Most of the desktop units are wisely arranged in the more shaded areas of the room, minimizing screen glare. Several workstations are labeled "15 minute express" for email or any other use people may have while on the run. These are dotted around the room. There is no contention for the computers today however, a steady stream of people has come in to use them. It's probably a different story after school.

Wireless internet access is available, and at least half of the six or seven tables of four have outlets beneath them, but they're difficult to see at first as they blend in with the carpeting. Grouping more tables near the large picture windows would allow visitors to take advantage of the natural light while enjoying an occasional glance of the patio garden. It’s a nice spot for people watching as well. On warm days, seating outdoors would be a plus.

The small number of tables available invites sharing during busy periods, which seems easily done in this comfortable space among neighborly people of all ages who came in and out to use the computers, drop off or check out books, or hang out and read for a while. One person came to receive computer instruction.

Several events are advertised in the Betts newsletter. This month they include “Buying A Digital Camera?”, a Book Discussion Group, Family Movie Night and others. "Betts Beta Fish Story Time" takes place on Thursday mornings for children 2 – 5 accompanied by a caregiver.

Although cars move quickly along the busy intersection nearby, the Valley feels very much like a solid city neighborhood, especially at the library. Nearby homes, schools, playgrounds and churches are visible from the windows. Clearly, Betts served as a hub for many families who lived in the neighborhood during the baby boom and the decades that followed.

Perhaps the neighborhood feel is nowhere better depicted than in the quilting tradition that began years ago. According to the staff, the quilting thing began with one of the librarians who regularly brought in quilts for display. Appreciation for works of art has a legacy at Betts.

Elizabeth Girard was head librarian from 1949 to 1964. She came to Betts after working at the main branch of the former Syracuse Public Library located in the old Carnegie Library building on Montgomery Street. Ms. Gerard held a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University. Carnegie's combination library and museum provided opportunities for her to continue learning through the resources available and regular series of lunchtime lectures. Perhaps it was her enthusiasm for culture and community that had an influence on the redesign of the library so that it would include a place for lectures and exhibits. In any case, the display of handmade quilts grew into an annual event that takes place in Betts' adjoining auditorium.

This appreciation for quilting inspired the creation of the "Betts Library Quilt", a project initiated by Margaret Loomis. After quilting one square, she challenged other patrons to complete the work. It spawned a laissez-faire group of quilters to unite in 1985 in order to finish the quilt. One participant is the descendant of a Valley family with a long history: The Webster’s. Quilting became a thing for children too, as small displays of their paper and fabric quilts decorate one of the staff’s desks.

Betts is located at 4862 South Salina Street, just south of Seneca Turnpike (173). Support Betts next week as they hold their annual Book Sale.

For hours and other information, visit the Onondaga County Public Library web page on Betts Library.

Do you have any childhood memories of Betts or another library? Tell us about them in the comments.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Firearm Safety

"fanning and strutting...", originally uploaded by schooksonruss.

We remind all who own firearms to handle them safely and store them securely.

Anyone residing in a household where firearms are kept should be educated on the basics of gun safety. Project ChildSafe offers these tips.

Those interested in hands-on safety instruction may take a safety course. This is required to obtain a pistol permit in New York. In the fall, Hunter Safety Education includes a significant hands-on component on firearm safety. Courses will be available at locations across the area.

For the gun shy, there's always this alternative.

Keep on Giving, CNY: Adult/Teen Dialogue

"May Day Basket", originally uploaded by Barbara KB.

Congratulations to all the winners of "Oprah's Big Give CNY"! A large portion of the funds are going towards youth services, and we think that's great.

We're still seeking supporters for the "Adult/Teen Dialogue" that will engage youth with supportive Law Enforcement Officers (LEO's) in a dynamic learning environment.

The goal of this program is to teach and reinforce good values in young people, strengthening their internal compasses that can result in better life choices . As a tactic in our community policing strategy, investing in youth and equipping them with the capacity to make better decisions results in lower incidences of drug and alcohol abuse, delinquency, crime and other problems.

“Instilling Positive Values” is one of the key “developmental assets” or essential building blocks that research has shown has a positive impact on the lives of youth. These assets provide a foundation for kids as they grow. Good adult role models can provide young people with guidance as they put the values they’re learning into practice. Quality adult connections provide a safety net that is especially important during the teen years.

Depending on the resources received, up to four groups of 20 youth (up to 80) will have an opportunity to go through the program, along with four groups of 10 LEO's (up to 40) who will assume the role of “Asset Builders”. Young people living on the North side of Syracuse will be targeted as a priority, as will the officers who work in community policing and other capacities with youth and families. But any teen or officer who expresses an interest in participating is encouraged to contact us.

Each of four six hour programs will begin with a three hour “Teen Night Out”, where youth will be guided by facilitators in ice-breakers and skill building exercises. These fun and challenging group activities will prepare the youth to assume leadership roles as the session progresses.

In the next three hour session the following day, teens will practice what they learned by leading officer’s through an Adult/Teen Dialogue to build greater understanding and strengthen these relationships.

The primary outcome of this program is to reinforce the value of treating others with dignity and respect in participants, and show them how to put this into practice. By getting to know one another as individuals, discussing past experiences with each other and their perceptions, communicating effectively and other learning opportunities, participants will learn to value others as individuals, and treat them with dignity and respect.

We want to make this opportunity available to any interested and motivated young person who wants to be involved in a positive program that will give them a foundation for their short and long term development.

$1,750 will make that a reality for up to 40 city youth this year who will receive an experience that can make a positive impact on their lives. $3,500 will enable us to double the amount of participants.

Equipping young people with tools needed to make better decisions can result in a healthier community for all.

If you are interested in learning more or want to participate, please email us or call (315)471-3257.