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Students talk about their hopes for Joseph Biden’s education talk at Syracuse University

September 9th, 2009

by John Mariani

More than an hour and a half before the forum was to begin, the line of spectators to see Vice President Joe Biden and his all-star education panel extended from the metal detector at the entrance of Goldstein Auditorium, through the lobby of Schine Student Center and out the door.

It included Grace Castaneda, a Syracuse University freshman from Corpus Christi, Texas. “My parents supported President Obama and Vice President Biden. It’s pretty cool to see something they were a part of,” Castaneda said.

It also would be cool if the panelists talked about how to help college students get their education, she said.

David Vermilya, co-director of the The Town Shop youth center in Camillus, was escorting several teenagers from the center. They got their tickets courtesy of Rep. Dan Maffei, whom Vermilya said wanted teens from his district to attend the forum. Dan Nolan, now a Maffei aide, is a Town Shop alumnus, Vermilya said.

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Town Shop Vacation

September 7th, 2009

After a busy and successful summer schedule that filled the calendar right up to the doorstep of Labor Day weekend, the Town Shop will be mostly shut down from September 8 to October 5 (reopens 4pm) so that staff can vacate, recreate, and rejuvenate. There will be some activities in September… Seva every Wednesday (Samaritan Center) at 3pm, Chenango Colorscape Arts Fest September 12 and possibly 13, kayak down Onondaga Creek on Sunday, October 4 (an urban adventure). Contact Cheryl or David at 635-6495 if interested. A rich and robust autumn schedule will be posted soon and will include more seva opportunities (Samaritan Center and Sunshine Horse Rescue), dodgeball, Town Shop overnight, “Eating our way around the world” (Chinese), apple picking, autumn hiking along the Finger Lakes trail and Chimney Bluffs, more kayak trips, and a weekend trip to the Big Apple (NYC). Stay Tuned!


Former Town Shop participant and longtime friend Travis Sky Ingersoll has been busy. A few years ago he bought a home in Philadelphia, married Mindy Massaro (Director of International Studies at LaSalle University) this past July, has acquired two masters degrees and is close to earning his PHD from Widener University, and has created an online business that raises money for worthwhile youth development programs. Check it out, and start to peruse your own book collection. Later this year the Town Shop may organize a book drive as a fundraiser.