October 6, 2012

Varna Community Center Open House 1-3 tomorrow

Whether you live in Varna or are just interested in what happens at the Community Center, you're welcome to come to the open house event tomorrow, Sunday, October 7th, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. You'll be able to: Tour the Community...

Posted by simon at 12:39 PM

May 25, 2012

Discussing the Varna Master Plan

The Town of Dryden Planning Department returned to the Varna Community Center Wednesday with an update on the proposed master plan for the hamlet. Unlike last November's event, which was loosely structured and focused on what different parts of the...

Posted by simon at 5:04 PM

May 17, 2012

Varna Community Development Plan meeting May 23rd

It sounds like this is nearing completion: Public Meeting about the Final Varna Community Development Plan: The Town of Dryden invites you to the Varna Community Center on May 23 at 7:00PM to review the Final Varna Community Development Plan....

Posted by simon at 5:11 PM

April 13, 2012

Exploring Parke-Dabes Natural Area

I dropped our car off at Varna Auto Service for inspection this morning, and set out on a walk home by a different route. I walked up Route 366 to the driveway across from 1176 Dryden Road, and then turned...

Posted by simon at 11:13 AM

March 16, 2012

Meet FH Fox

The grafitti on the old railroad bridge in Varna is not universally loved, but it has been constant. If I mention the "FH Fox bridge", people in Tompkins County generally know what I'm talking about. Over the years, I put...

Posted by simon at 8:18 AM

November 3, 2011

Varna Master Plan presentation

I went to last night's presentation about the Varna Master Plan project to see what they'd come up with. I liked that they didn't actually have a presentation per se, but instead had maps, drawings, posters, and people to talk...

Posted by simon at 9:18 PM

November 2, 2011

Varna hamlet plan meeting tonight

There will be a meeting at the Varna Community Center (943 Dryden Road/Route 366) tonight from 7:00pm to 8:30pm to discuss the proposed Varna Master Plan. I haven't seen it yet, so I'm totally curious about what they've come up...

Posted by simon at 11:33 AM

October 8, 2011

Pancakes Sunday, bridge closure Tuesday

I'll be cooking tomorrow at the Varna Community Center, 943 Dryden Road, as we serve a pancake breakfast from 8:00am to noon. We'll have pancakes, french toast, bacon, sausages, potatoes, scrambled eggs, a fruit tray, cakes, orange juice, and, of...

Posted by simon at 8:00 AM

September 13, 2011

More on 5 Freese Road

The plateau expanded all summer, and the technicolor mailbox remains though its colors are more muted. I put in a FOIL request with the town for any new information since my last request, and got back two PDFs. The first...

Posted by simon at 7:32 AM

August 25, 2011

Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal

I am happy to report that the technicolor mailbox saga has come to an end for now. This morning, in Town of Ithaca Court, I accepted an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal which ends the trespassing violation charges developer Otis...

Posted by simon at 12:15 PM

August 20, 2011

Something over Varna

On my way back from the transfer station, I stopped by the side of the road to take a cell phone picture of the beautiful fog and sun over Varna and Mount Pleasant. No, it wasn't a nuclear blast. Nor...

Posted by simon at 8:17 AM

July 7, 2011

This utility pole lost

Or maybe it won, since the wires are still up, and I didn't notice a break in service. I'm not sure what happened to this utility pole along Route 366 in the 1100 block of Dryden Road. Anyone know? Remaining...

Posted by simon at 5:26 PM

June 25, 2011

Wednesday's Varna planning conversation

I only got to see a part of this, as Sungiva and Konrad had other plans and Angelika (who attends many fewer meetings than I do) had another meeting to attend. Sungiva was very interested in the ice cream social...

Posted by simon at 1:23 AM

June 18, 2011

Ice cream and Varna planning Tuesday

I was going to post about this based on the postcard that came last week, but this description from Varna Master Plan Advisory Committee member Jim Skaley says far more. The short version: Ice Cream Social at 6:30pm, Varna planning...

Posted by simon at 4:05 PM

June 6, 2011

Fire stopped in Varna

The Varna Volunteer Fire Company stopped a fire at 1015 Dryden Road Saturday, with the assistance of the Ithaca, Slaterville, and Etna fire companies, as well as the New York State Police. The scene after an initial knockdown looked like:...

Posted by simon at 7:43 AM

May 20, 2011

A visit from the State Police

Well, I didn't expect that. State Trooper R.K. Smith just stopped by my house to let me know that Otis Phillips wants to press trespassing charges against me for daring to open the technicolor mailbox. I'll keep you all posted...

Posted by simon at 12:11 PM

May 18, 2011

Past pain across the road

I like that there used to a railroad operating across 366 from me - I'm always interested in trains, and have a stack of books and models and assorted other bits from them. At the same time, I remember that...

Posted by simon at 7:03 PM

May 17, 2011

State Trooper honored for work on Varna thefts

This month's Office of the Month is State Trooper Seth Littlejohn. His investigation of a Varna burglary led to two arrests and the recovery of more than $1000 of stolen property taken from the Varna Community Association and Habitat for...

Posted by simon at 7:40 AM

May 14, 2011

Thin-skinned developers put my head in a box

A technicolor mailbox, at that, though it's only sort of "my head". 'Simon' inside the technicolor mailbox. If it wasn't for the "SIMON" scrawled across the forehead, I wouldn't have guessed that was for me, as the resemblance isn't particularly...

Posted by simon at 6:46 PM

May 5, 2011

Varna moratorium non-introduction

I still haven't found time to write this up - and it needs some detail - but here's the recording of the Dryden Town Board's discussion of the proposed moratorium in Varna (25.8MB, 25 minutes) and the draft local law...

Posted by simon at 7:49 AM

April 25, 2011

You can't touch this (technicolor mailbox remix)

This just gets funnier and funnier, though the joke's probably on me. I noticed that the Mount Varna technicolor mailbox had fallen over again, I guess from the winds on Saturday, and wondered what its next act would be. It's...

Posted by simon at 12:58 PM

April 20, 2011

Dryden is worth defending

Tonight was an amazing meeting - over a hundred people showed up, and over twenty spoke. The Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition presented 1594 signatures on their petition to ban hydrofracking in the Town. The Town passed a resolution calling for...

Posted by simon at 11:36 PM

April 18, 2011

Empty psychedelics

When I first saw the day-glo mailbox at 366 and Freese Road, I thought I was hallucinating. As it's stayed there, however, it's become clear that despite the colors, it's not a hallucination, but more a case of wearing a...

Posted by simon at 7:31 AM

April 9, 2011

Mount Varna gets a technicolor mailbox

First it was the teepee, and now this. I thought I was hallucinating when I drove through Varna today, but no, this mailbox does seem to be real, though wild enough for three pictures: Mount Varna mailbox from the east....

Posted by simon at 8:26 PM

April 5, 2011

Is Mount Varna stirring again?

Update: Here's the result of my FOIL request, as a set of PDF files. This one seems to be the key plan (3.4MB PDF), with more details here (1.7MB PDF). Volcanos rise and fall, and often make their neighbors unhappy....

Posted by simon at 6:55 AM

April 1, 2011

Roast beef dinner Saturday night

I can't say it more clearly than this: The Varna Community Center will serve a Roast Beef Dinner on Saturday, April 2nd from 4-7PM. The menu includes generous and tasty portions of Roast Beef, Tossed Salad, Baked Potato with sour...

Posted by simon at 12:01 PM

March 11, 2011

Varna Planning - current status

(An update of my January report.) Concerns about the possible impact of large-scale development (likely Stephen Lucente's Varna II) on the Varna Master Plan work that's just getting underway are apparently not enough for the Town Board to be willing...

Posted by simon at 6:04 AM

March 10, 2011

Pocket Moratorium in Varna

I'm still trying to figure out what happened during last night's discussion of a moratorium on Varna development. That's not because the conversation wasn't clear, but because the decisions reached make a confusing situation even more tangled. The Board's choice...

Posted by simon at 7:25 AM

March 8, 2011

More on Varna moratorium, growth

This morning's Ithaca Journal examines prospects for a moratorium on development in Varna while the Master Plan is underway. Yesterday, I reported a bit on the residents' petition. What's new here is some perspective from Dryden Planning Director Dan Kwasnowski:...

Posted by simon at 6:51 AM

March 7, 2011

Petition for Varna moratorium

I reported about a month ago that the Town of Dryden is getting ready to develop a Varna Master Plan over the next few months, spending about $70,000 to address one of the most criticized aspects of the proposed zoning....

Posted by simon at 6:50 AM

January 29, 2011

"He doesn't take care of his properties"

and that's a good thing, or so I keep hearing from too many people whose judgement I didn't think was otherwise broken. If you talk with residents of Varna or just people who drive through regularly, the decaying appearance of...

Posted by simon at 6:31 AM

January 28, 2011

Varna Planning - current status

Update: new version of this story available. At both the Town Board and Planning Board meetings this week, Planning Director Dan Kwasnowski expressed concerns about the possible impact of large-scale development (likely Stephen Lucente's Varna II) on the Varna Master...

Posted by simon at 7:27 PM

January 17, 2011

Hamlet populations, 1895

Posted by simon at 6:59 AM

January 12, 2011

Dryden school budget; gas drilling conversations

I think most folks figured that this would be an even worse year than last for school budgets, and sure enough, Dryden is looking at a difficult year: "The district will have to cut more than $1.8 million [from $32.9...

Posted by simon at 12:23 PM

January 10, 2011

TC3 older students scholarship available

The Ithaca Journal reports that applications are due March 1st for a $5000 scholarship at TC3 available to students over 25 years old. Need something to do in the cold? The Varna United Methodist Church can warm you up Tuesday...

Posted by simon at 7:43 AM

December 7, 2010

ZBA meets for six minutes, defers action on Varna II

Driving to Town Hall took longer than the meeting did. After Henry Slater, Dryden's retiring Zoning Officer, thanked the Zoning Board of Appeals and they thanked him (with applause from the crowd), Attorney Kristin Gutenberger asked the ZBA not to...

Posted by simon at 8:31 PM

December 4, 2010

Pellet gun, pornography, Varna, more

There are lots of Dryden pieces in the Ithaca Journal over the last few days. On the dark side, there's a Dryden student in trouble for bringing a pellet gun to school. A Dryden man was arrested on child pornography...

Posted by simon at 12:00 PM

December 3, 2010

Varna master plan getting started

Tuesday night's meeting at the Varna Community focused mostly on developing a plan for Varna, not Lucente's Varna II proposal, though there was some of that. Environmental Planner Dan Kwasnowski and consultant Michael Welti of Behan Planning Associates led the...

Posted by simon at 7:54 AM

December 1, 2010

Where is Varna, anyway?

There's a meeting at the Varna Community Center tonight to discuss a "Master Plan for Varna," but there's kind of a challenge in that very idea. Varna is a hamlet, and hamlets in this part of New York State are...

Posted by simon at 6:53 AM

November 30, 2010

Lucente appealing Varna II to ZBA December 7th

Steve Lucente apparently didn't like the rejection the Town gave his application for a 260-unit development in Varna, and is appealing it to the the Town's Zoning Board of Appeals. They'll be meeting December 7th at 7:30pm at Dryden Town...

Posted by simon at 12:39 PM

November 29, 2010

Varna planning meeting Wednesday

Three pretty different announcements tell a similar story. As the Town of Dryden site puts it: There will be a special Planning Board meeting on December 1st at the Varna Community Center to discuss the initial plan for creating a...

Posted by simon at 8:11 AM

November 19, 2010

Amphibians and reptiles in Varna Saturday

If juggling isn't your thing, you can check out amphibians and reptiles at the Varna Community Center from 2:00pm to 4:00pm instead: Tomorrow (Saturday), the Cornell Herpetological Society will be at the Varna Community Center from 2-4PM with live exhibits...

Posted by simon at 3:50 PM

September 2, 2010

Varna II application bounces

Last we'd officially heard, there'd be news about Steve Lucente's proposed Varna II (or whatever he'll call it) project in "two to three weeks". That was about six weeks ago. I hadn't seen anything new from Lucente, but apparently he...

Posted by simon at 12:00 PM

August 30, 2010

The curse of water and sewer

When I was buying my house, there was a small problem. The mortgage folks wanted a water test, and we hadn't done one. Why hadn't we done one? Because although the house has a well, it only goes to the...

Posted by simon at 8:45 PM

August 28, 2010

Why would you want to ban the corner grocery?

The closer I look at Dryden zoning - both the existing zoning and the proposed zoning - the more I wonder about the value of zoning. I recognize that it's a compromise, meant to keep people with no interest in...

Posted by simon at 7:47 PM

VVFC honors former Chief Ted Szymanski

I've noticed for a few years that the flags on fire stations and at the State Police are sometimes at half staff when the rest of the flags in the area are flying normally. This week, I got to know...

Posted by simon at 9:59 AM

August 27, 2010

Varna Fire Company bunkhouse ready for use

The Varna Volunteer Fire Company has built a new bunkhouse, a building neatly hidden behind their station that lets them provide housing to up to eight fire personnel who will be ready to respond to calls quickly. VVFC bunkhouse ready...

Posted by simon at 7:08 AM

July 21, 2010

A different approach to zoning Varna

While I've been marveling at the awfulness of the broad hamlet zoning proposed in the second draft of the law, Jim Skaley's been developing a proposal that does more than say "revert back to the first draft." Skaley saw the...

Posted by simon at 8:14 AM

July 20, 2010

Many changes to the hamlet and commercial zoning

In an earlier post, I wrote that: The hamlet zoning density blasted up from a little over four to as much as ten units per acre, while still specifying, well, little vision for what a hamlet should look like. They...

Posted by simon at 12:44 PM

Varna 20-20

Varna residents came together a few times over the last few weeks to outline a vision for the hamlet. This document is the result of the June 21st meeting, and was sent out to all participants. It's a worthy addition...

Posted by simon at 7:35 AM

New Varna II news in "two to three weeks"

This morning's Journal finally notices the Varna development conversations of the last few months. The biggest news in it is that there's a possible date by which we might learn something new about the evolving proposal. Well, not exactly a...

Posted by simon at 7:15 AM

July 19, 2010

Past planning in Varna

I just had a very strange conversation that started with a complaint that Varna residents hadn't spent enough time discussing the future of the hamlet. That shocked me almost as much as someone else's claim that dense development was what...

Posted by simon at 12:07 PM

July 15, 2010

VVFC, others clean arson site

The Varna Volunteer Fire Company helped organize a cleanup at the burned Bryan Bangs house, clearing the debris and wreckage from this weekend's arson. In other news, the Varna Community Sale Day will be this Saturday, July 17th, from 8:00am...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

July 8, 2010

First Impressions of last night's Varna meeting

Last night's meeting at the Varna Community Center to discuss Stephen Lucente's plans for development was one of the strangest meetings I've ever attended. I don't think it was just the heat. A few of the highlights, from my definitely...

Posted by simon at 8:08 AM

July 2, 2010

Planning Board Minutes Relevant to the Varna II Proposal

I mentioned earlier that I really like having public meeting minutes available on the town website. Among those minutes are Planning Board minutes. Much as I like having minutes available, sometimes it's easier to gather pieces about one subject into...

Posted by simon at 5:11 PM

June 30, 2010

Tompkins Weekly on Varna development

Reporter Nick Babel was at last Monday's meeting about development in Varna. The resulting article gets to a lot of the points raised, though most of the details come out quoted to me, and not to the many people who...

Posted by simon at 2:01 PM

June 22, 2010

Varna discusses its future

Last night, around 40 residents of Varna (and the Dryden Town Supervisor) gave up a gorgeous evening and came together to discuss what the future of the hamlet might look like. The meeting was preparation for a July 7th meeting...

Posted by simon at 6:49 PM

June 21, 2010


Here's the text of the mailing sent out about tonight's discussion of a vision for Varna: CHANGE IS COMING READ THIS LETTER & COME TO A MEETING FOR VARNA RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS MONDAY JUNE 21 7 P.M THIS IS...

Posted by simon at 6:46 AM

June 17, 2010

Business comes from the road

Recent planning conversations, notably the 13/366 Corridor Study, the draft Dryden zoning, and more recent discussions of Varna, seem to suggest that popularly requested businesses - grocery stores, pharmacies, the ever-popular dream of a 24-hour diner, and similar retail -...

Posted by simon at 11:08 PM

April 26, 2010

Another vision for Varna: The Varna Community and Commercial Revitalization Plan

Back in 1999 and 2000, the Varna Community Association was looking ahead to how their hamlet should look, setting concrete goals that described their hopes. As I mentioned earlier, some parts of that plan have only just recently come to...

Posted by simon at 11:15 PM

April 22, 2010

Varna speeds and Mt. Varna height both decline

I was marveling today about running across the following pieces in a 1999 Varna Community Association revitalization proposal: Another area at the corner of Freese Rd and Rt 366 has been used for dumping fill and wood chips. The owner...

Posted by simon at 8:07 PM

April 20, 2010

One vision for Varna: The 2005 Comprehensive Plan

One of the strangest things anyone has said to me in the conversations about the proposed Varna II development is "Haven't you read the comprehensive plan? It's all there." I was too startled to really respond about just how wrong...

Posted by simon at 5:32 PM

March 23, 2010

Zoning discussed in Varna

Last night's public workshop on the amended zoning law was almost as busy as the one held January in Dryden, with some familiar faces but also a lot of new people. Settling in at the Varna zoning meeting. Opponents of...

Posted by simon at 7:57 AM

February 20, 2010

Where would Varna II go?

I've had a few people ask me where exactly these 260 units would go, so I pulled out some aerial photos from April 2005 that show the site. I wasn't so good with the camera that I got the entire...

Posted by simon at 10:37 AM

February 19, 2010

Is 260 units legal?

I was reviewing the old Varna II environmental impact statement, created by Lucente Development for an earlier iteration of this project in 2000. I was a little startled to find, on page 22 of Volume I, this statement: "[Section 803.5...

Posted by simon at 1:55 PM

New Varna II much denser than earlier proposal

Ten years ago, Varna residents fought hard against a 170-unit proposal. Last night, Stephen Lucente unveiled a a 260-unit proposal for the same area, apparently indifferent to the work of the project's neighbors and other Town residents that had gone...

Posted by simon at 7:34 AM

February 18, 2010

260 units over Varna?

Developer Stephen Lucente and his engineer Lawrence Fabbroni came to the Dryden Planning Board to have an initial conversation about their proposal for building a new development on the southern hillside above Varna along Route 366, running behind the existing...

Posted by simon at 9:35 PM

December 17, 2009

Slow down in Varna

I've not yet seen signs go up, but I've heard that the New York State Department of Transportation is giving the residents of Varna a brake - lowering the speed limit from 40 miles per hour to 30 miles per...

Posted by simon at 8:25 AM

October 24, 2009

Seasonal flu clinic in Varna Wednesday

An earlier clinic was canceled because of lack of vaccine, but they seem to have it again: Tompkins County Health Department received a new supply of seasonal flu vaccine. They have scheduled a vaccination clinic for next Wed. (Oct 28)...

Posted by simon at 12:56 PM

October 23, 2009

Mt. Varna flattening begins

I heard last night that the Town had finally ordered an end to the ever-growing pile local residents call "Mount Varna", at the intersection of Route 366, Freese Road, and Mount Pleasant Road. It had grown over the years from...

Posted by simon at 12:29 PM

May 7, 2009

Varna Community Association meeting Monday

It's not quite as tasty as a pancake breakfast, but the Varna Community Association needs residents to come to its annual meeting on Monday, May 11th at 7:00pm. The meeting is at the community center, 943 Dryden Road, and will...

Posted by simon at 2:57 PM

September 15, 2008

Reviewing Town of Dryden NYSEG bills

You pay the heat and lights for your own home, but do you ever wonder about the share of your tax dollars that go to pay for your share of government bills? Are they closing the windows, turning off the...

Posted by simon at 6:43 PM

June 27, 2008

Traffic meeting in Varna Monday night

Concerned about the impact of traffic on Route 366? I am. Here's a chance to talk about it. Later this month, residents will have a chance to learn about findings of a transportation study of the Route 13/366 corridor, as...

Posted by simon at 9:12 AM

May 17, 2008

Getting to Nodal Development in Dryden

[Update: I no longer think this is a good idea. See the category listing for more information on why. This piece in particular is a concise summary.] [This is long - it's a complex subject and a couple of years...

Posted by simon at 4:32 PM

April 19, 2008

Varna firefighter honored; truck route controversy

The County Legislature honored Will Hine of Varna as the county's Distinguished Youth for April. Hine, 19, responded to more than half, nearly 200, of the company's calls. (The Journal's Wednesday editorial also supported a federal tax break for volunteer...

Posted by simon at 7:15 AM

February 25, 2008

A calmer take on reptiles

This morning's Journal goes for cute photos of reptiles with children at Saturday's Varna event rather than my scaremongering "lizard that ate Varna." Oh well - they're a bit more accurate. There's also a piece on water quality in the...

Posted by simon at 12:27 PM

February 23, 2008

Reptile invasion

A crowd of reptiles and their amphibian allies descended on Varna this afternoon: The lizard that ate Varna. Fortunately, they were in the care of the Cornell Herpetological Society, and were there to educate and entertain. Gecko hanging out. Angelika...

Posted by simon at 4:34 PM

February 20, 2008

Amphibians, reptiles, to visit Varna Saturday

Now here's a good way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon! Amphibians and Reptiles are coming to the Varna Community Center on February 23 The Cornell Herpetological Club will be coming to the Varna Community Center on Saturday, February 23rd...

Posted by simon at 8:33 AM

January 22, 2008

Roc Day in Varna

Wow, am I behind! Angelika visited the Black Sheep Handspinners Guild's annual Roc Day event in Varna on Saturday the 12th, returning with lots of pictures of the event. It looks like everyone had a great time! Spinning at Roc...

Posted by simon at 7:56 PM

January 21, 2008

Methodist Church needs repairs

This week's Dryden Courier is overwhelmingly loaded with Dryden news. If you have a chance, I'd encourage you to buy a copy, since I can only get so much in here. (Rite Aid and the Mobil usually have it in...

Posted by simon at 2:24 PM

January 9, 2008

Spinning Saturday in Varna

If you're interested in spinning yarn, or just want to see what it looks like, the Black Sheep Handspinners Guild will be having its annual "Roc Day" at the Varna Community Center, 943 Dryden Road, this Saturday, January 12th. It...

Posted by simon at 5:48 PM

August 25, 2007

Dump truck overturns in Varna

It looks like there was a lot more excitement than is good on Mount Pleasant Road yesterday, as a gravel truck overturned when it went off the road into the old railroad bed. The driver kept the truck from crashing...

Posted by simon at 11:46 PM

August 22, 2007

Vegetables across the road

I wrote earlier about The Orchid Place's building a garden for squash. They've had a sign up for a few weeks, advertising veggies for sale, and over the past few weeks I've gotten to try a few tomatoes, cucumbers, and...

Posted by simon at 5:04 PM

August 21, 2007

Blood drive in Varna Friday

County Legislator Martha Robertson just sent me a note with a reminder that the American Red Cross will be holding a blood drive Friday at the Varna Community Center (map) from 1:00pm to 6:00pm....

Posted by simon at 7:17 PM

August 8, 2007

Injured kitten on 366

I dropped my car off at Varna Auto Service this morning, and Angelika and I were going to walk home with Sprocket. (Spring isn't feeling well.) We had walked up across the street from the Methodist Church when we noticed...

Posted by simon at 9:02 PM

July 11, 2007

Varna Fire Company tour, Town Board meeting

Need something exciting to do tonight? The Varna Volunteer Fire Company will be having a tour of their building (14 Turkey Hill Road) and equipment tonight at 6:30pm, followed by a Town Board meeting at 7:00pm. The Journal writes about...

Posted by simon at 12:25 PM

May 12, 2007

Is strengthening Varna possible?

I've criticized the Route 13/366 Corridor Study for ignoring the existing Varna node in favor of looking further east, around NYSEG. Based on conversations I had at their April presentation, it seems pretty clear that the planners automatically removed all...

Posted by simon at 12:04 PM

April 28, 2007

Cornell t-GEIS study looks at roads

Back on the 18th of April, the Cornell Transportation-General Environmental Impact Study (t-GEIS) held an open house event much like the one they held in May. While the one in May started with a clean slate of maps, this one...

Posted by simon at 4:24 PM

March 10, 2007

Project Dryden Child event today

The Project Dryden Child fundraiser event will be today from noon to 4:00pm at Neptune Hose Company, 26 North Street, Dryden (map). Sponsored by the Varna Community Association's New Moms Group, the event is raising money to help the little...

Posted by simon at 8:26 AM

February 1, 2007

Project Dryden Child event March 10th

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on planning for a fundraiser to benefit the child abused earlier this month who is still at Upstate Medical Center and his family. The New Moms Support Group and Varna Community Association are sponsoring the...

Posted by simon at 8:05 AM

December 22, 2006

Grants coming in to schools, Village of Dryden

This week's Dryden Courier has a picture of the snowless, and likely to stay snowless, Main Street in the Village of Dryden. The village may not be getting snow, but it's getting money through a Community Block Development Grant for...

Posted by simon at 9:42 AM

November 2, 2006

Examining Old 13

Posted by simon at 5:32 PM

May 25, 2006

How much land does Cornell own?

One of the interesting features of the County's presentation on Natural Features Focus Areas was the maps for their Education and Research sections in various areas. I'd always known that Cornell owned lots of land in the areas around Varna...

Posted by simon at 7:44 AM

February 4, 2006

Development on 366

Posted by simon at 10:16 AM

December 30, 2005

Christmas in Varna

The Our Towns section of this morning's Ithaca Journal has a few more pictures from the Christmas Eve celebration in Varna. There are three brief mentions of Dryden elsewhere in the paper: A review of 2005 public safety in Tompkins...

Posted by simon at 6:09 PM

December 26, 2005

Christmas Eve candles in Varna

This morning's Ithaca Journal vists the Varna United Methodist Church for its candelight Christmas Eve service, talking with attendees and giving a sense of the community. The print edition includes a review of 2005, noting the renovations to Dryden elementary...

Posted by simon at 12:11 PM

August 18, 2005

Work on Varna railbed

The Comprehensive Plan definitely gives priority to the old railbeds for use as trails, with a vision of connection Dryden Lake to Dryden (done), Dryden to Freeville (in progress), Freeville to Varna, and Varna to the East Ithaca Recreation way....

Posted by simon at 8:32 AM

August 10, 2005

Youth Conservation Corps at work

There's all kinds of Dryden news in this morning's Ithaca Journal. They have a story on the Dryden Youth Conservation Corps' work on trails in the area, including a bridge at 4-H Acres, signs at the O.D. von Engeln Preserve...

Posted by simon at 7:29 AM

July 29, 2005

Varna Fire Company BBQ Saturday

The Varna Volunteer Fire Company will be having a chicken barbecue tomorrow, Saturday, at their station on Turkey Hill Road (map). As the sign says, chicken will be available from 11am to gone....

Posted by simon at 11:54 PM

July 23, 2005

Democrats clean up 366

It was a perfect morning for a highway cleanup, with clear skies and comfortable temperatures. Around ten Democrats helped clean up Route 366 between Varna and the Route 13 intersection, working in small groups to clean up debris. Signs of...

Posted by simon at 12:28 PM

July 19, 2005

Speed enforcement on 366

I've noticed more (needed) traffic stops along Route 366, but now the Sheriff's Department has set up their radar sign just down the road. It's good to see a reminder for people of their speed, beyond the easily ignored speedometer....

Posted by simon at 9:49 PM

July 17, 2005

Comprehensive Plan debated at public hearing

Thursday night's public hearing on the proposed Town Comprehensive Plan demonstrated residents' concerns and hopes for these guidelines for future development in the Town of Dryden. The first speaker, after Supervisor Steve Trumbull had opened the hearing, noting that this...

Posted by simon at 10:35 PM

July 2, 2005

Varna expands

New York State makes it very difficult for cities and villages to expand, requiring complex annexation processes, as the Ithaca Journal discussed yesterday in relation to the City and Town of Ithaca. On the other hand, hamlets, which aren't incorporated,...

Posted by simon at 5:12 PM

June 3, 2005

Varna, Bulgaria, meets Varna, NY

One of the wilder things about the World Wide Web is that it's genuinely World Wide. This isn't always helpful - doing a Google search on "Varna" brings up a lot about Varna, Bulgaria. Sometimes it gets more interesting, though!...

Posted by simon at 12:35 PM

May 28, 2005

Varna Fire Company Barbecue in progress

If you're lucky enough to be reading this before 3:00pm, or whenever they run out of chicken, the Varna Volunteer Fire Company is having a barbecue at their station. Barbecuing at the Varna Volunteer Fire Company. This barbecue is a...

Posted by simon at 1:17 PM

May 20, 2005

New sign for Varna Volunteer Fire Company

If you've driven Turkey Hill Road recently, you may have noticed that the Varna Volunteer Fire Company has a new sign up. New Varna Volunteer Fire Company sign. April calls for Varna Volunteer Fire Company....

Posted by simon at 8:25 AM

May 12, 2005

Flyer on Ithaca schools forum at Varna

Some mornings, the news conveniently comes to my mailbox. I found this flier (61KB PDF) outside just now. Whether you agree or disagree with the perspectives here, I'm delighted to see people bringing candidates to the area and encouraging serious...

Posted by simon at 12:19 PM

May 11, 2005

Ithaca schools events in Varna tonight, Friday

The Varna Community Center (map) will be hosting two Ithaca City School District-related events tonight and Friday. Tonight, Wednesday the 11th from 6:00pm to 7:30pm, Caroline Elementary School Principal Alaine Troisi will be at a "Meet the Principal" event with...

Posted by simon at 8:33 AM

April 24, 2005

Monkey Run mystery

While I was assembling the presentation for last Sunday's Varna Then and Now session, I went through a lot of maps of the area over time. One of the largest changes I noticed in those maps was the 19th century...

Posted by simon at 7:50 AM

April 18, 2005

Farewell to The Boxcar

While it may have been an eyesore recently, it was once a popular restaurant and it was certainly an interesting building. I took some pictures of The Boxcar back in 2003 and speculated on its future. Its future seems to...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

April 16, 2005

Varna barbecue date changes

If you're hungry for the summer delights of chicken barbecue, you may be happy to hear that the Varna Community Association has moved its barbecue up from May 7th to April 30th, with serving starting at 2:00pm at the Varna...

Posted by simon at 8:21 AM

April 13, 2005

Furry neighbors across the street

While I don't love having Route 366 in front of my house, it's been nice to know that the forested property on the other side of 366 is Cornell Plantations nature preserve. Between that and the massive amounts of fill...

Posted by simon at 8:45 AM

April 10, 2005

Varna: Then and Now

The Dryden Town Historical Society talked me into leading a presentation on Varna, which will be held next Sunday from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the Varna Community Center (map), and I'm hoping it will be similar to an event they...

Posted by simon at 5:15 PM

Flying over Dryden

My friend Jeff is a flight instructor whose house overlooks the Village of Dryden, with a clear view all the way to the airport. As a flight instructor, he gets to spend lots of time in the air, but not...

Posted by simon at 1:02 PM

April 8, 2005

Pancakes Sunday morning in Varna

The Varna Community Association will be having a pancake breakfast at the Varna Community Center (map) on Sunday, April 10th from 8:00am to noon. $5.00 ($4.50 for seniors, $3.50 for children) gets you all the pancakes, bacon, ham, eggs, fresh...

Posted by simon at 9:26 AM

March 23, 2005

ICSD redistricts Varna children to Caroline

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the Ithaca City School District voted 6-2 last night to implement a plan moving 23 students in Varna from Cayuga Heights Elementary School to Caroline. I need to take a look when new maps...

Posted by simon at 8:49 AM

March 15, 2005

Varna children shifted to Caroline under ICSD redistricting plans

It looks like I was wrong when I said that only the easternmost edge of Varna would be affected by Ithaca elementary school redistricting. Admittedly I was quoting the Ithaca Journal and the ICSD's maps weren't very clear, but it's...

Posted by simon at 12:01 PM

March 12, 2005

Varna pancake breakfast tomorrow

The Varna Community Association will be having a pancake breakfast at the Varna Community Center (map) tomorrow from 8am-noon. $5.00 ($4.50 for seniors, $3.50 for children) gets you all the pancakes, bacon, ham, eggs, fresh fruit, coffee cake, and french...

Posted by simon at 10:20 AM

March 10, 2005

Wind power on Mount Pleasant?

This morning's Ithaca Journal includes a first look at Cornell's plans to put up to eight wind turbines on Mount Pleasant, near its current observatory. Cornell is "still in the study phase of this," and has put "a 50-meter weather...

Posted by simon at 8:53 AM

March 9, 2005

'Ger' sighted in Varna

I'm curious where this is, but there's a Mongolian-made 'ger' (also called a yurt) somewhere near Varna. It looks and sounds pretty stunning....

Posted by simon at 1:36 AM

February 8, 2005

Profile of TC coordinator, ICSD redistricting

This morning's Ithaca Journal includes a profile of TC3 multicultural coordinator Jean D'Arc Kakusu Campbell, exploring how a man born in the Democratic Republic of Congo came to Dryden "to make TC3 a place that embraces and celebrates every culture."...

Posted by simon at 7:27 AM

January 9, 2005

Walking in a winter wonderland

I walked from my house to the Varna Community Center today, to meet friends for a fine pancake breakfast there. I brought my camera along, and got a nice set of pictures. Trees covered in snow along Route 366....

Posted by simon at 7:21 PM

Rock Day celebrates spinning

The Black Sheep Handspinners Guild celebrated Rock Day yesterday at the Varna Community Center. Vendors, speakers, and visitors braved sloppy winter weather to gather, and there were supplies of all kinds, spinning wheels, projects in progress, skeins of yarn, and...

Posted by simon at 10:17 AM

December 19, 2004

Varna holiday party

After his visit to Dryden a few weeks ago, Santa came to the Varna Community Center for a holiday party Friday. Santa arrived at the center in style, towed by a tractor in a decorated cart. John Tottey put on...

Posted by simon at 12:19 PM

December 12, 2004

Emergency services issues at December Town Board meeting

I had a few questions after Friday's Ithaca Journal article on fire company news, which says: Stelick and Michaels have long served as town liaisons to the emergency service providers and have found themselves wishing they had permanent, experienced staff...

Posted by simon at 5:33 PM

December 10, 2004

Varna pancake breakfast, holiday party

The Varna Community Association has two events planned for the next week, both at the Varna Community Center (map). There will be a pancake breakfast on Sunday the 12th from 8:00am to noon. It's $5.00 for adults, $4.50 for seniors....

Posted by simon at 12:50 PM

December 5, 2004

Possible park-and-ride near NYSEG

On Tuesday, I went to a subcommittee meeting of the Ithaca Tompkins County Transportation Committee (ITCTC) that discussed the possibility of building park-and-rides around the county to reduce the number of cars driving into Cornell University every day. They discussed...

Posted by simon at 9:50 AM

November 26, 2004

Varna cleanup in progress

After an article earlier this week that mentioned the uncertain status of a gas spill at Varna Auto Works, the Journal has an update that talks with the owners about the status of the cleanup. Varna Auto is investing over...

Posted by simon at 8:28 AM

October 31, 2004

Varna Halloween Fun

On Friday night, the Varna Community Center was overrun with bats, witches, knights, football players, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, bumblebees, and many more, as the Varna Community Association held a Halloween party. Halloween party at Varna Community Center...

Posted by simon at 8:20 AM

October 25, 2004

Missing pumpkin arch

A nine-foot tall inflated lit arch with pumpkins along its sides was stolen from the Varna Community Center on Saturday night between 11pm and morning. There's a $25 reward for its safe return, and the sheriff has been contacted. If...

Posted by simon at 12:46 PM

October 3, 2004

Monkey Run, nature preserve

I went for a hike today with friends down the south side of the old Monkey Run Road (coming off Route 366 above Varna) and then west along a trail above Fall Creek that went through the nature preserve to...

Posted by simon at 5:53 PM

September 30, 2004

Varna BBQ Saturday, Dryden opinions

Dryden news today is light, peaking with an announcement that the Varna Community Association will be selling chicken halves for $4 each on Saturday, starting at noon at the Varna Community Center (map). In county news, legislators voted themselves a...

Posted by simon at 10:46 AM

September 11, 2004

Volunteer and/or eat at Varna pancake breakfast tomorrow

The Varna Community Association will be having a pancake breakfast at the Varna Community Center (map) tomorrow from 8am-noon. $6.00 gets you all the pancakes, bacon, eggs, and french toast you like. They're also looking for volunteers - call Tracey...

Posted by simon at 12:44 PM

August 21, 2004

Events today

If you're looking for something to do today, I know of at least two events worth visiting: Varna is having a collection of yard sales from 9am to 3pm. I helped set up last night at the Varna Community Center,...

Posted by simon at 8:22 AM

August 20, 2004

Reaching the Ithaca line

My photographic trek from Route 13 to the Town of Ithaca line along Route 366 has come to its end. After the last few houses and the fields, only two buildings remain, both on the border between the Town of...

Posted by simon at 8:15 AM

August 17, 2004

Community yard sale in Varna, upstate taxes

This morning's Ithaca Journal notes a community yard sale that will be held in Varna on Saturday, August 21st. There will be tables at the Varna Community Center (map) and maps for other local yard sales will be available. There's...

Posted by simon at 8:53 AM

August 15, 2004

Fields along Dryden Road

As I get closer to the Dryden/Ithaca boundary, one parcel really stands out. It's 45 acres of Cornell fields, actively farmed. It's large enough to build a community on it, and it's convenient to Cornell and not far from East...

Posted by simon at 1:29 PM

August 14, 2004

Approaching the Ithaca line

I've almost reached the end of my photos of buildings along Route 366, as the 800 block is the last block in the Town of Dryden. 810 Dryden Road (map) 804 Dryden Road (map) 802 Dryden Road, University Cycles (map)...

Posted by simon at 9:31 AM

August 11, 2004

Along the hill, across from Cornell fields

It's been over a month since I posted pictures of buildings along Route 366, and we're almost to the Town of Ithaca line. Here are three more houses up the hill from Varna, continuing past the last set. 826 Dryden...

Posted by simon at 5:05 PM

July 4, 2004

Up the hill toward Cornell

Continuing west from the houses east of Forest Home Road, the road slopes up substantially. On the south side, a Lifestyle Properties complex, Eastgate Apartments, is set into the hill, while on the north side a group of houses appears...

Posted by simon at 9:37 AM

June 14, 2004

Moving through Varna

It's been a few weeks since I posted my last set of Varna pictures, and it's time to push west. After the Varna Inn area, there's a bit of a break, with an empty lot on the north side of...

Posted by simon at 12:40 PM

June 7, 2004

Plantation Inn revived

I had an excellent lunch today at the Plantation Inn, just up Route 366 from my house. I mentioned a while ago that the place was for sale. It sold quickly, it seems, and it's seen a new coat of...

Posted by simon at 2:17 PM

June 1, 2004

Varna Auto and Inn

West of the Varna Community Center and a few houses, Varna Auto and the Varna Inn share 933 Dryden Road. 933 Dryden Road, Varna Auto (map) 933 Dryden Road, Varna Inn (map) Across the way is a bus stop. Bus...

Posted by simon at 6:18 PM

May 27, 2004

Work in progress at Freese Road

While the Freese Road bridge is open again, there's still work being done on the sewer pump on the south side of the bridge. Sewer work gets closer to completion at Freese Road bridge. There was mention at a Town...

Posted by simon at 5:12 PM

May 23, 2004

West of the Varna Community Center

These three houses appear as you go west from the Varna Community Center. 940 Dryden Road (map) 939 Dryden Road (map) 936 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 12:52 PM

May 13, 2004

Freese Road bridge reopens

The Freese Road bridge, which was closed on March 29th, finally reopened last night. Bridge open at Freese Road Work appears to continue on the sewer pump on the south side of the bridge. Sewer work continues at Freese Road...

Posted by simon at 5:10 PM

May 11, 2004

Around the Varna Community Center

Continuing west from the previous set of houses, we finally reach the Varna Community Center. 945 Dryden Road, Bell's Auto Care (map) 944 Dryden Road (map) 943 Dryden Road, Varna Community Center (map) The picture of the Varna Community Center...

Posted by simon at 5:32 PM

May 10, 2004

Freese Road bridge

David Weinstein, who lives on Freese Road along the north side of Fall Creek, sent this telling of the Freese Road bridge's history and current functions. The Freese Road Bridge in Varna was built in 1920, replacing an earlier wrought-iron...

Posted by simon at 7:44 AM

May 9, 2004

Approaching the Community Center

I'll be heading to the Varna Community Center (map) in a few minutes to work on this morning's pancake breakfast. Getting there, I'll be passing the last set of houses pictured here, and then these. 953 Dryden Road (map) 952...

Posted by simon at 7:03 AM

May 6, 2004

Central Varna

Two of the last few Varna buildings we looked at shared an address and that pattern continues for the next one. 957 Dryden Road (map) 957 Dryden Road, C 956 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 5:26 PM

May 4, 2004

West of the church

Continuing west from Varna United Methodist Church there are these four buildings. 962 Dryden Road (map) 960 Dryden Road (map) 959 Dryden Road (map) 959 Dryden Road, house 2 (map) The last two buildings apparently share the number 959 across...

Posted by simon at 6:05 PM

May 2, 2004

Coming up to the church

Continuing west through Varna from the last set of houses, the next three buildings bring us to Varna United Methodist Church. 967 Dryden Road (map) 966 Dryden Road (map) 965 Dryden Road, Varna United Methodist Church (map)...

Posted by simon at 12:29 PM

May 1, 2004

Varna BBQ overwhelmed; first sell-out in six years

After six years of declining barbecue chicken sales, the Varna Community Association's barbecue today was overwhelmed by people seeking chicken for take-out. The VCA prepared three hundred half-chickens, all of which were sold to customers some of whom were made...

Posted by simon at 7:03 PM

April 30, 2004

Varna BBQ tomorrow

I'll be barbecuing chicken along with a lot of other people tomorrow, May 1st, at the Great May Chicken Barbecue at the Varna Community Center (map). $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for seniors, or $3.50 for children under 12 gets a...

Posted by simon at 8:09 AM

April 28, 2004

More houses in Varna

Continuing west from the last few houses, these houses are next. 975 Dryden Road (map) 974 (or 976?) Dryden Road (map) 973 Dryden Road (map) 972 Dryden Road (map) As mentioned in an earlier story, the last two of these...

Posted by simon at 8:58 AM

April 26, 2004

Busy day at Freese Road bridge

There was a lot going on at the closed Freese Road bridge today, with NYSEG doing electrical work to support the replacement sewer pump on the south side of the bridge, and Tompkins County working on the north side of...

Posted by simon at 5:03 PM

April 25, 2004

More houses people drive by

Just west of the houses on the Mt.Pleasant/Freese Road corner are these three houses. 979 Dryden Road (map) 978 Dryden Road (map) 977 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 9:52 AM

April 23, 2004

Greater Varna

In an earlier entry, I calculated how many people lived in the Varna hamlet as defined by the Draft Comprehensive Plan. I was curious about how many people a larger picture of Varna might include, and so I came up...

Posted by simon at 5:56 PM

April 22, 2004

Two memorable houses

The houses on the western corners of the Mount Pleasant Road-Freese Road-Route 366 intersection are quite distinctive, though very different. 981 Dryden Road (map) 980 Dryden Road (map) 980 Dryden Road also seems to be the only house along 366...

Posted by simon at 9:29 PM

April 18, 2004

Freese Road, Mt. Pleasant Road, and 366

Just west of Autoworks is an intersection that isn't much fun to drive through. I've mostly been focusing on houses, but felt this intersection (map) important enough - by virtue of being dangerous - that it was worth taking some...

Posted by simon at 11:47 AM

April 16, 2004

Businesses at Mount Pleasant Road

Just west of the apartments and shops with the vast parking lot are two businesses. The first is apparently a tile business, and the second is Autoworks. 989 Dryden Road (map) 987 Dryden Road, Autoworks (map)...

Posted by simon at 6:05 PM

April 15, 2004

Just inside Varna

After the sign for Varna, there are a modern house on the left followed by apartments with offices and laundromat set well back from the road. 999 Dryden Road (map) 993 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 5:56 PM

April 13, 2004

Entering Varna

Moving past the driveway for Cornell's experimental fields, the next building is apartments. 1015 Dryden Road (map) At 1013 Dryden Road, there are a front and a back building. 1013 Dryden Road, front building (map) 1013 Dryden Road, rear building...

Posted by simon at 5:37 PM

April 11, 2004

Infrastructure issues

A lot of Thursday night's Town Board meeting was spent on infrastructure issues, ranging from sewer issues to cell phone towers to roads. The meeting included two public hearings on sewer districts, one affecting the area north of the Village...

Posted by simon at 7:52 PM

April 9, 2004

Just past the bridge

Moving toward Varna along Route 366 past the F.H. Fox bridge, the next few properties aren't the usual houses and businesses. Instead, there's an odd building with two fire hydrants. I asked Highway Superintendent Jack Bush what it was last...

Posted by simon at 5:47 PM

April 6, 2004

F.H. Fox was born in '23

Posted by simon at 11:32 PM

Bridge out

The detour signs on Hanshaw Road, Route 13, and Route 366 are up because of work being done on the bridge over Fall Creek on Freese Road in Varna. There's good reason for the detour. Bridge work at Freese Road...

Posted by simon at 5:06 PM

April 4, 2004

Apartment complexes

Posted by simon at 2:54 PM

April 2, 2004

Near the Embassy Inn

Continuing down 366 from the last few houses pictured, we come to the Embassy Inn and the buildings near it. Embassy Inn, 1083 Dryden Road (map) Embassy Inn sign Unnumbered house next to Embassy Inn 1082 Dryden Road (map) If...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

March 30, 2004

Turkey Hill and Monkey Run

Moving toward Varna from the last set of buildings, 1101 Dryden Road is the last house in the 1100 block, though it looks like it's on Turkey Hill Road. 2 Monkey Run Road, though it isn't precisely on 366, looks...

Posted by simon at 6:42 PM

March 20, 2004

Getting closer to Varna

The last few houses pictured cluster around Oak Brook Drive, and then the houses get sparser, more generally hidden. 1124 Dryden Road (map) 1113 Dryden Road (map) 1102 Dryden Road (map) That bring us to the intersection with Turkey Hill...

Posted by simon at 9:39 PM

March 19, 2004

Planning Board meets, modifies Draft Comprehensive Plan

This month's Planning Board meeting had a quorum, unlike last month's meeting, and was able to move forward with changes to the plan, though only two members of the public (myself included) were in attendance. Four planning board members, Dryden's...

Posted by simon at 12:07 PM

Cayuga Trails Club hike Sunday

The Cayuga Trails Club will be hiking on Sunday at 1pm, starting from the Liddel Laboratory on Freese Road, between Varna and Hanshaw Road. It's a "Walk, look, and learn" hike, and contact information is available on their site. This...

Posted by simon at 10:03 AM

March 14, 2004

Highway discussions at Town Board meeting

Thursday's Town Board meeting had a relative brief highway session, though what there was was interesting. During citizens' privilege, Peggy Walbridge asked what the status was of the proposed work on Hunt Hill and Genung Roads. Highway Superintendent Jack Bush...

Posted by simon at 4:13 PM

March 9, 2004

Missed a building on 366

In my last entry on buildings along 366, I skipped this one, at 1131 Dryden Road. 1131 Dryden Road, Servicemaster (map) I've given some photos of businesses names reflecting the business, which pulls them out of the main address listing....

Posted by simon at 10:18 PM

March 7, 2004

More buildings on 366

It's cold and wet tonight, but it was a lovely sunny day when I took these. 1132 Dryden Road (map) 1129 Dryden Road (map) 1128 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 6:54 PM

February 28, 2004

More places people drive by

It's been a few weeks since the last photos of Route 366 buildings. Continuing toward Varna, here are a few more, near the Oakbrook Drive intersection. Pro-Lawn, at Intersection of 366 with Oakbrook Drive (map) 1140 A and B Dryden...

Posted by simon at 9:50 AM

February 25, 2004

Traffic calming meeting in Varna

Last night's meeting on "Speed Control on Rural Roads" at the Varna Community Center was very different from a similar meeting in West Danby, but brought up lots of issues specific to the Town of Dryden, especially Varna, Etna, and...

Posted by simon at 5:20 PM

February 22, 2004

Hamlet density

Yesterday's article explored the population of Varna and Etna, but even though it's interesting to know that downtown Varna's population is larger than Freeville's (679 to 505), the numbers needed to evaluate the statements about density in the Draft Comprehensive...

Posted by simon at 10:50 AM

February 21, 2004

Hamlet census

This week's sort-of Planning Board meeting on the Draft Comprehensive Plan's impact on Etna and Varna left me wondering about how many people actually live in the hamlets and what we data was available about them. In particular, the rental/owner-occupied...

Posted by simon at 3:54 PM

February 20, 2004

Not quite a Planning Board meeting on Varna, Etna

Last night's meeting for "discussing revisions to the Draft Comprehensive Plan" wasn't precisely a Planning Board meeting, as only two members of the board were there (four are necessary for action), and only six people were in the audience, including...

Posted by simon at 3:23 PM

Fire in Varna

The Ithaca Journal reports that a fire caused by a fireplace at 10 Freese Road destroyed a mobile home. No one was injured, and two dogs were rescued....

Posted by simon at 8:40 AM

February 19, 2004

Varna's history, to 1897

Since the Town Planning Board will be looking at Varna's future tonight, it seemed like an appropriate day to post George Goodrich's history of its past. (I'm still typing in Etna's chapter.) In a first, I've scanned in the pictures...

Posted by simon at 8:51 AM

February 18, 2004

Planning Board to discuss Varna, Etna on 19th

The Town of Dryden Comprehensive Plan page now indicates that: The Planning Board will be discussing revisions to the Draft Comprehensive Plan over the next several meetings. Public comments have been summarized into the topic areas listed below. This list...

Posted by simon at 8:02 PM

February 15, 2004

Businesses on 366

Posted by simon at 9:48 AM

February 7, 2004

VCA pancake breakfast tomorrow

The Varna Community Association (VCA) is hosting a pancake breakfast tomorrow from 8am to noon at the Varna Community Center (map). $6.00 gets you all the pancakes, bacon, eggs, and french toast you like....

Posted by simon at 9:45 AM

February 4, 2004

More houses people drive by

Moving from The Antlers toward Varna, here are three more houses on Route 366. 1154 Dryden Road (map) 1150 Dryden Road (map) 1149 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 2:56 PM

February 3, 2004

More Varna properties for sale

While driving through Varna the other day, I noticed a house with a Century 21 sign in front of it. I was curious how much it cost relative to the rental properties I'd noticed last month, so I looked it...

Posted by simon at 8:58 AM

February 2, 2004

A restaurant people drive to

Continuing down Route 366, we come to an area which mixes commercial and residential development. The first sign of this is The Antlers, a restaurant which seems to stay very busy. The Antlers, 1159 Dryden Road (map) I'm especially partial...

Posted by simon at 12:08 PM

January 26, 2004

More buildings on Route 366

It's been a while since I last posted house photos. Here are two more. 1168 Dryden Road (map) 1166 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 6:30 PM

January 24, 2004

Visiting the Varna Volunteer Fire Company, Part II

On January 20, I sat down with Duane Testut, the Varna Volunteer Fire Company's treasurer, to talk about how our fire protection taxes are being spent. He'd seen my earlier post about the fire tax levy climbing 31.8% this year,...

Posted by simon at 7:47 AM

January 21, 2004

Visiting the Varna Volunteer Fire Company, Part I

I visited the Varna Volunteer Fire Company yesterday to talk about where our fire tax money, particularly the recent 31.8% fire tax levy increase, is going. I still need to make sure I'm clear on what some of the conversation...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

January 19, 2004

More rental sites

Last week I noted that some rental properties in Varna were for sale, and Kimball Real Estate's site had a lot of information on them. Looking around further, I found some other rental agencies with a fair amount of information...

Posted by simon at 6:14 PM

January 15, 2004

More houses people drive by

They look slightly different (and colder) this morning. 1171 Dryden Road (map) 1169 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 8:53 AM

January 12, 2004

Weather station, in weather

I suspect that the keepers of the weather station on Game Farm Road are happy about the automated instruments which collect the data these days. Game Farm Road weather station (map)...

Posted by simon at 5:59 PM

Apartment buildings for sale in Varna

I noticed a few weeks ago that several houses in Varna had for sale signs on them, all from Christopher George Real Estate, which tends to focus on Ithaca rental properties. Christopher George don't seem to have a web site,...

Posted by simon at 12:40 AM

January 9, 2004

Houses on a warmer day

It was at least 50 degrees when I took these pictures. Can't say I'd want to be taking them today, as my weather gizmo tells me it's zero degrees outside. 1175 Dryden Road (map) 1174 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 12:21 PM

January 4, 2004

More along 366

I managed yesterday to complete taking photos of all the houses and businesses along Route 366 between the Route 13/366 intersection and the Town of Ithaca line. I probably won't go walking along the road with my camera again until...

Posted by simon at 5:02 PM

December 31, 2003

The Robertsons

Robertson Cemetery appears to be named for Captain George Robertson and his family. Robertson was the first permanent settler, the first town supervisor, and seems to have been a rather benevolent man as well, according to George Goodrich....

Posted by simon at 10:18 AM

December 26, 2003

Continuing toward Varna

Two more houses along Route 366. This time the lack of snow is appropriate to the current view, though these pictures are from November. 1200 Dryden Road (map) 1199 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 4:48 PM

December 21, 2003

More houses

These are three more houses along Dryden Road/366. Yes, I took the pictures before the snow (which now feels like a permanent feature) arrived. 1207 Dryden Road (map) 1204 Dryden Road (map) 1203 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 10:26 AM

December 19, 2003

Draft Comprehensive Plan Informational Meeting

I made it to last night's informational meeting on the Town's Draft Comprehensive Plan, held at the Dryden Town Hall. (The hearing on annexation was at the Village Hall, at the same time, and there was a bit of confusion.)...

Posted by simon at 12:49 PM

December 13, 2003

Yet more houses

This weblog looks a bit bleak without pictures, so here are a few more houses and a view off the side of the road. 1214 Dryden Road (map) View near 1214 Dryden Road 1211 Dryden Road (map) 1211B Dryden Road...

Posted by simon at 11:10 AM

December 10, 2003

Report on Comprehensive Plan session in Varna

I couldn't make it, but I'm happy to read that three dozen people showed up for the Varna informational meeting on the Dryden Draft Comprehensive Plan. It sounds like the tough questions about increasing density in Varna while having no...

Posted by simon at 9:43 AM

December 9, 2003

Comprehensive Plan Meeting tonight - Varna

There is a public information session about the Draft Comprehensive Plan at the Varna Community Center (map) tonight from 7 to 9 PM. Unfortunately, I can't make it, being a couple of hundred miles away. The counter on the page...

Posted by simon at 8:06 AM

December 4, 2003

A few more houses

Continuing along Dryden Road/Route 366, there are houses on both sides of the road, some close to the road and others nestled in the hillside. 1222 Dryden Road (map) 1217 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 8:46 AM

December 1, 2003

Density and Water

The Draft Comprehensive Plan makes some suggestions based on water and sewer systems that leave me wondering whether water and sewer are a blessing or a curse for a community. Given the taste of the water from the (barely functioning)...

Posted by simon at 8:41 AM

November 30, 2003

Rental and Owner-Occupied Housing

In reading the Town of Dryden Draft Comprehensive Plan, I'm growing more and more concerned about things that I'm not seeing discussed, in particular the balance between rental units and owner-occupied housing. The plan notes on page 40 that: In...

Posted by simon at 11:18 AM

November 28, 2003

More houses people drive by

I've noticed that since taking these photos I'm much more aware of the houses along Dryden Road. They have individual character, and aren't just scenery. I notice when things change, and I don't think I'm as prone to speeding either....

Posted by simon at 10:04 AM

November 23, 2003

Disappearing state highways

While looking through the Cornell Plantations Path Guide, I noticed the Cayuga Trails Club's 1971 Cayuga Trail map in the back. Though it clearly wasn't the focus on the map, two small labels stood out: "Ellis Hollow Rd. NY 393"...

Posted by simon at 9:14 AM

November 22, 2003

Next house down

Continuing down 366 toward Varna, we come to another house, this one with a fine spruce in front. 1233 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 10:48 PM

November 20, 2003

House and a turnaround

Continuing toward Varna, we have a house shrouded by woods opposite an empty lot used as a turnaround. 1237 Dryden Road (map) Turnaround (map)...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

November 18, 2003

Heading toward Varna

Since I reached Route 13 with the lovely picture of the Exxon station, it's time (for now) to head down 366 the other way, through Varna. Here are the next two houses on 366 heading west. 1251 Dryden Road (map)...

Posted by simon at 8:00 PM

November 17, 2003

Missed a hidden business

Posted by simon at 9:27 AM

November 11, 2003

Plants and the Plantation

Continuing our walking tour up 366, we have a greenhouse and a bar. 1279 Dryden Road, Saunders' Greenhouse (map) We've done pretty well with Saunders' plants, though I think we put some in hostile territory. They also sell model railroads...

Posted by simon at 8:57 AM

November 10, 2003

Railroad Drinking

The Boxcar, an old bar and restaurant long since closed, sits rusting just down the street from me. Someone seemed to be using a chainsaw in the course of repairing it last week, and hopefully that went well. My father-in-law...

Posted by simon at 8:50 AM

November 9, 2003

Outer Varna

I spent the morning working at the Varna Community Center's pancake breakfast, serving pancakes, french toast, and coffee to a fair number of people. I've never really done anything like that before, but it went pretty well. (I think I...

Posted by simon at 2:14 PM

November 8, 2003

People drive by - a few more houses

Just a few last pictures of houses on 366, before I get to the writing I'm doing for the rest of the day. Heading northeast on 366 (toward Route 13), the next two houses are: 1265 Dryden Road (map) and:...

Posted by simon at 9:20 AM

November 7, 2003

People drive by - across the street

The view out from our house is mostly forest, an odd corner of property owned by Cornell. It seems to be attached to a nature preserve, which bodes well for its future. This is a view of across the street...

Posted by simon at 12:26 PM

People drive by - 1259 Dryden Road

I live on a rural highway, New York State Route 366. It's a 45mph zone, largely used by commuters going to and from Cornell University and downtown Ithaca, with lots of gravel and concrete trucks going by during the day....

Posted by simon at 10:34 AM