Sanity Fair

Planning for a Crude Awakening

Emergency management responders appear when disaster strikes, and some are stepping up their game

Dan Wears was in his first week on the job as head of emergency services for Syracuse University when two train cars overturned within walking distance of the Carrier Dome. One car was loaded with propane. The Dome was about to open its doors to tens of thousands of fans attending a football game against South Florida.



Tipping Point

It used to be that tips were reserved for servers; now they are expected in even the smallest coffee and ice cream shops

The begging jars are everywhere. You can’t order a cup of coffee, an ice cream cone or a sandwich without seeing a tip jar, usually colorfully decorated, adorned with clever phrases all designed to cajole me to part with some change. “Alms for the pour,” seen at Freedom of Espresso in Armory Square, is my most recent favorite.



Begging the Questions

What is the “correct” response to have when a homeless person comes begging?

We’ve all been there. Sitting at the red light that won’t change, watching the guy with the sign, trying to figure out what to do about the homeless man begging for a few coins. He’s a veteran, says the sign. He hasn’t eaten in days, says the sign. He’s out of work, out of luck, out of options.



Toby Shelley’s Conservative Context

Toby Shelley will be running to hold office next fall against Joanie Mahoney.

Syracuse New Times editor-in-chief Larry Dietrich has one general rule about covering political contests. Larry's Law goes like this: “Nobody pays attention to politics until Labor Day.”



Blurred Lines

Return of the black middle class

After Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney received the endorsement of the Alliance Network, a city-based African-American advocacy group, she was grateful. But she also thought to herself, “They’re not asking enough.”



Redefining Patriotism for Fed Phone Snoopers

It is long past time to let this monstrous invasion of our privacy die.

If you have the time to visit the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, as more than a million people do every year, in the same exhibit with the famous bell you’ll find an enlarged copy of a Daguerrotype photo of a group of abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass. The early image captures Douglass while attending an anti-slavery convention in the year 1850.



Black and White and Dead All Over

Have black people discovered the secret of eternal life?

People always complain that the media doesn’t report on good news. Always so negative, is the common complaint. So you want to hear the good news? Black people don’t die any more in Syracuse and Onondaga County. At least not very often. I learned this from reading the obituary pages of The Post- Standard, our local thrice-weekly publication.



Moonlighting Becomes Them

Lay off the side work.

If you would be willing to take a job that paid $79,500 a year, involved no heavy lifting and meant you could work indoors most days (except for the occasional groundbreaking ceremony), please raise your hand. I see a lot of hands going up, and I haven’t even told you about the juicy perks such as the per diem that covers food and lodging, or the extra pay you get for serving on a committee (comfy chairs provided).



Say Yes: Still a Good Idea

What we need now is a recommitment to Say Yes

(Read Part 1 - CLICK HERE)



Say Maybe to Education

Sadly, our kids have gotten used to broken promises.

When you make a promise to a child, it’s got to be a sure thing.