I love Central New York and the Syracuse area. I love the lake and I love the life and I love the air and I love the size. I wouldn’t mind it being a bit larger because it’s possible that then it could sustain some things that we’ve had issues with, regardless of state issues.

Since the state saw fit to ignore my 5 ideas to address the financial crisis I figure that our politicians really aren’t the way to go. Trying to get real things completed is beyond me, and pretty much beyond them as well. Therefore, it’s probably time for some pipe dreams, some that might come to fruition by sheer luck. Hey, nothing wrong with dreaming big, right? So here we go:

1. Syracuse basketball wins the NCAA championship and not a single network mentions “BF”. You know who BF is, and luckily we haven’t heard anything about it or him in the last couple of weeks. But it’s coming. Instead, let’s pull for our local Orange team to run the gamut, maybe lose only 2 games all year if they must, and make that mad dash to the championship game. If a team this talented that plays 10 players can’t get it done, we’ll have to go back to the “one top guy with lots of help” mode again.

2. The Syracuse Symphony comes back and is totally self sustaining. Last February I called the closing of the symphony and I wasn’t happy about it. They started their fund raising too late, by about 3 years. What do we have now? I’m not actually sure to tell you the truth, but I think we still at least have the Syracuse Opera. We had a world class symphony, and I hope we get one back, and soon.

3. DestinyNY actually opens and someone decides to make it look less like a prison. I took my first walk through the upgraded facility last week and I’m less than impressed. It needs to be more than just bigger; it needs to be inviting. If I’m going to be doing all that walking, I need something to keep my attention more than a bunch of stores I’m not going into. The outside… ugh. And while I’m shooting for the moon, can’t we get a Ruth Chris Steakhouse in there?

4. Expand the Empire Zone program to help more small businesses get their start. One of the concerns people keep having about DestinyNY is that Carousel Center seems to have lots of empty store fronts. Have y’all taken a look at strip malls across our area?

Here in the Liverpool/Clay area even thriving businesses have had problems staying open for one reason or another. This kind of blight needs some attention. The way I see it, having small businesses open with consumers helps the tax base a heck of a lot more than leaving those spaces empty trying to collect too much tax from them. If you don’t believe that one ask the city of Syracuse how it feels now that there’s finally some real positive activity on the Near West Side.

Yeah, Empire Zone is done, but it needs to be brought back and revamped in some fashion and expanded beyond the types of businesses and locations allowed before.

5. This one is more personal. We as a collective group needs to start networking better with each other if we’re going to make this entire area as great as I feel it already is for real. There can’t be a divide between folks that work at Syracuse University and the rest of the city. There can’t be a divide between Syracuse and the surrounding suburbs.

Things like Syracuse First, tweetups, 40 Below and Prime Over 40 and the like really needs to find ways to not only sustain themselves but interact from time to time. More local chambers of commerce need to get together to network, and Centerstate CEO needs to embrace local chambers more, as well as small businesses like it did back in the early 2000’s.

Whew, I’m tired. I know others will have their wish list, but these are my top 5; I think I’ve covered a lot. Come on y’all, let’s get this done. And, of course, go Orange!


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