December 5, 2012


Good vibrations

WarmBob Ellis/staff photographer
With temperature in the upper 60s, Bill Burns of Cortland rides his unicycle Tuesday afternoon past the Water Works on Broadway. Burns, who says he has lost 30 pounds since he began riding his unicycle, rides to and from work in the city.

Staff Reporter

Unseasonably warm temperatures Tuesday brought people outdoors to enjoy some sunshine and mild weather.
Temperatures reached the upper 60s.
“This is very unusual for this time of year, and it’s the second year in a row we’ve had weather like this in the weeks leading up to Christmas,” said Sarah Kleefeld, a Homer resident who brought her 4-year-old son Phineas and dog Lily out to play at Beaudry Park in Cortland. “It actually kind of worries me about the long-term, but hey, it’s great. I’m not complaining.”
Beaudry Park, off Scammell Street, was buzzing with the sounds of children happily climbing monkey bars and roaring down slides.
Caitlin Sherwood, 23, brought her two daughters — 3-year-old Ryliegh and 13-month-old Isabella — to the park to meet up with some friends and use up some of the energy the children possess.
Ryliegh was running between the swings and slides when she stopped and decided she wanted to comment.
“I am enjoying this and I love those slides,” she said. “I love being outside.”
Sherwood said that because Ryliegh has epilepsy, she is often unable to play outside in either hot or cold temperatures, as it is a risk to her condition. She said Tuesday was the perfect weather for her daughter to go outside and do what she loves.
“There are a lot of things she is unable to do, so I feel that giving her this time is just great for her,” Sherwood said. “It’s so beautiful out, and seeing her smile makes it all worth it.
“I spoke with a friend in Oswego today and she said they have snow sticking to the ground there. It makes it even more special that it’s December and we can still see the green grass.”
Geoff Tyrell, a Virgil resident, brought his 4-year-old son to Beaudry Park to eat lunch and play.
He said afterward, he is going to head home and hang up more outside Christmas lights while it is still warm out.
“We’re also going to stack some wood and prepare, because we all know this weather isn’t going to last,” he said. “This is Central New York, after all.”
Temperatures dropped back down into the upper 30s today and highs are expected to remain in the mid to upper 40s through the middle of next week.
At Walden Oaks Country Club in South Cortland, the parking lot was packed with cars. Employee Robbie Phelps said that at 1:30 p.m., there were at least 60 people on the course and even more were expected.
“It has been crazy busy all day,” he said. “I haven’t had much down time, which is weird for it being December.”
Ken Smith was one of the many to play 18 holes. The retired maintenance worker said he usually heads down to Virginia to visit his daughter around this time of year to get in a few rounds.
This year, he said he does not have to.
“Over the last five years, this is the second or third time I’ve been able to play this course in December,” he said. “It’s wonderful, and you have to enjoy it while it lasts.”
Inside, Cathi Bernardo, bar and restaurant manager and wife to club pro Marcus Bernardo, said there was more business than normal.
Sitting at the bar were four retired men who traveled from Moravia to get in a round and drink some beers.
“It’s December and we can still enjoy good friends, good beer and a good round of golf,” said Joe Gentilcore. “I don’t think you can beat that.”

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