Authorities seek public’s help in addressing winter challenges

By Matthew Reitz

A recent stretch of heavy snowfall and unrelenting cold temperatures is creating challenges for local emergency workers.
Fire crews across the area are dealing with longer response times as road conditions are slowing them down on their way to emergency scenes. They say, in addition to what they’re responding to, freezing temperatures and snow on the ground can create major issues at the scene.
Acting Fulton Fire Chief Paul Foster cited narrow roads, high snow banks and buried fire hydrants as some of the biggest challenges facing the department due to recent weather.
“If (residents) can make a path to a hydrant, that makes it that much easier on us,” Foster said.
In January, frozen hydrants “caused a substantial delay in combating a fire,” on Murray Street in Oswego, according to assistant chief Jon Chawgo of the Oswego Fire Department. Firefighters had to connect to six hydrants to find two that functioned properly.  Luckily, the first hydrant they connected to worked, but the fireman had to run 1,000 feet of hose down to West 1st Street to find a second hydrant.
Scriba Volunteer Fire Deparment Chief Kurt Wehrmann named hydrants as one of their biggest issue, as well.
“We can’t possibly get to (shoveling out) every hydrant in the area,” Wehrmann said.
Scriba has not seen an increase in call volume, but narrow driveways and poor road conditions have created challenges for them, Wehrmann said.
As snow banks grow and road widths narrow, side streets can be especially difficult for emergency vehicles to traverse.
“The (Oswego) DPW is doing the best job they can,” Chawgo said.  “Emergency parking bans enacted in Oswego in recent days should allow the DPW to clear more streets and improve the situation in the city.”
The Fulton Police Department is dealing with the “same challenges everyone else is,” according to Deputy Chief Thomas Abelgore.  Enforcing the overnight parking ban and keeping vehicles off the street is a pressing issue with current snow deposits, he said.
There have been “a lot of accidents caused by high snow banks,” according to Abelgore.  He urged people to “use a little more caution, and take their time,” when entering the roadways.  Abelgore also urged residents to be patient and stressed that the DPW is working with its limited resources to take the banks down.
Abelgore also called on residents “not to put snow in the roadway,” as it “creates hazards for cars passing through.”  On its Facebook page, the Fulton Police Department said, “there is a Fulton City Code that prohibits the placing of unsafe substances in the roadway, which includes snow.”  Residents can be ticketed for this offense, police say.
Foster also noted that the “wind chill has just been brutal.”  The cold temperatures sometimes drive people to seek auxiliary heat sources that can become a hazard if people aren’t careful.  Foster stressed that people need to use caution with plug-in heaters and be sure not to “forget it’s there or stack stuff on it.”
Foster has called on residents to “cooperate and help” as much as possible.

Burke’s warehouse roof collapses under snow

 

Under the weight of snow, the roof of Burke’s Home Center’s warehouse, pictured above both inside and outside, collapsed earlier this week.
Under the weight of snow, the roof of Burke’s Home Center’s warehouse, pictured here both inside and outside, collapsed earlier this week.

By Matthew Reitz

The roof of the Burke’s Home Center warehouse in Fulton collapsed earlier this week, but fortunately there were no injuries in the incident, according to store officials.
The building houses lumber, plywood and insulation behind the store at 65 North Second Street in Fulton.
According to owner Chuck Handley, the back half of the 25-year-old building gave way under the weight of the snow.
The walls and foundation of the building are still intact, but new trusses and a new metal roof will be needed to restore the structure. Handley said the building is insured. Burke's3
Employees planned to begin pulling out the contents of the building Thursday morning, according to Handley. The business will continue to operate as normal.
“We’re in pretty good shape up there,” Handley said, “anything we can’t do out of Fulton, we can deliver from Oswego.”
Handley said that a mid-April repair is likely.

Council makes changes to food truck permits following lively hearing

VendorHearning2
Councilors hear input on changes to the city’s policy for food truck vendors during an hour-and-a-half long public hearing Tuesday.

 

 

By Colin ­Hogan

VendorHearing1
Dingles Ice Cream truck owner Paul Cooper was one of many people to address the Common Council Thursday during a public hearing on mobile vendor permits.

Some new changes to the city’s peddling and soliciting law had residents and city officials in a lively debate this week during an hour-and-a-half-long public hearing on the matter.
City officials had been discussing changes to the stipulations within food truck merchants’ permits after some local business owners complained last fall that the vendors pay only a yearly fee to the city and reap taxpayer-funded benefits.
Under the new policy, the mobile merchants will have to pay $250 more per year, now $1,000 up from $750, to operate in the city. Eligible hours of operation have expanded from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., though the time of year they’re allowed to operate under the permit was reduced to a nine-month span. If a vendor wants to work at an event outside of that span, he or she must pay an additional fee for a one-time special use permit. Vendors will also need to provide the Common Council with a comprehensive list of the items they serve.
Crystal English, owner of the Shannon’s Hot Dogs food truck which has operated at Bullhead Point for decades, said she thought a fee increase and some other policy changes were fair. However, she was displeased that the council began pursuing the changes to appease her complaining competitors.
One speaker, Brian Sweeney, showing support for English and other mobile vendors, said he didn’t feel it was fair for businesses who may be struggling to use the Common Council “as a weapon” against their competition.
Speaking on behalf of property-based merchants, Lakeview Lanes owner Mike Tryniski said, whether or not a fee increase is implemented, city officials need to do more to ensure fairness between tax-paying businesses and the mobile vendors with whom they compete.
“The world is based on buying property, building a business — a building — and opening your doors. And for that right, we pay taxes to the city that go to all the services that help the whole community,” he said.
Tryniski said businessmen like himself willingly pay those taxes, but find it unfair that they are going to support his food truck competitors, who operate on city property and, thus, have taxpayer resources covering a portion of their overhead. He also spoke out against the daily hours those vendors are allowed to keep.
“I pay for my own snow plowing. I pay for my own garbage. I pay for my own lawns to be mowed. I pay for upkeep on my parking lot. All of that is out of our pocket at the bowling center,” Tryniski said. “They don’t have those same costs, and they’re allowed to be there for unlimited hours. If it was just lunch, that would be fine, and that’s what you originally said would be the case. But now it’s turned into evenings, weekends, and they’re competing against businesses that pay a lot of money in taxes.”
Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. noted that, regardless of whether a vendor is operating at a place like Bullhead Point, the city would be plowing that parking lot and keeping up with the grounds, anyway.
Some attending the hearing agreed that there is an injustice to one merchant’s tax dollars being used to support its competitor. But many also felt that, because those vendor permits and locations are up for grabs to anyone, the system is already fair — a point raised by Councilor Tom Kenyon during Tryniski’s statements.
Tryniski felt that, rather than the fee, there should be a tax structure in place, or some other alternative, to ensure that mobile vendors pay a fair share for the city-funded services they receive.
One sentiment made by several speakers, including former Fulton Mayor Daryl Hayden, was that customers will visit the merchant of their choice, regardless of whether it is a property-based business or a mobile vendor, because they like the product being offered.
“If you have good food, they will come there. If you have a good product, they will come there. It doesn’t matter if they stay open 50 hours,” Hayden said.
Another point made by several both in attendance and on the council is that the vendors, particularly those at Bullhead Point, help draw visitors to Lake Neatahwanta.
The changes were ultimately approved by the council in a 5-1 vote, with Councilor Ryan Raponi as the lone dissenter. Raponi’s “nay” vote hinged on one item in the new policy — a grandfather clause that allows vendors to keep their place if they return to do business in the city for a certain number of years. He called the clause “favoritism” and said it even could be considered “unethical.”
Raponi felt the clause limits the city’s ability to cultivate competition among vendors. He said that, as someone who has been elected to represent that taxpayer’s interest, he believed the council should remove that item to allow for competitive bidding for those permits in the future.
“I know that we could make more money on those locations. We’re always blaming our revenue problems on the state or the county, saying ‘it’s not our fault,'” Raponi said. “But these little things that we can control (add up.)”

Grand effort reunites Fulton woman with her lost dog

Watson, a black chow chow from Fulton, was recently reunited with her owner after spending 12 days in the cold.
Watson, a black chow chow from Fulton, was recently reunited with her owner after spending 12 days in the cold.

By Nicole Shue

Watson, a black chow chow, was recently reunited with her family after missing for 12 days in freezing temperatures.
The dog went missing on Feb. 10 from its home on Whitcomb Road in Fulton. Watson’s owner had adopted the dog a few weeks prior from the Chow Chow Rescue of CNY.  As he was opening his front door to get his mail, Watson escaped.
The owner’s daughter, Cindy Stone, founder of the volunteer rescue group), began a search for the dog that lasted nearly two weeks.
With below-zero temperatures, the thought that Watson may not come home crossed Stone’s mind, but she remained positive. In January, she rescued a chow chow from Oneida Lake with a snowmobile.
Stone’s brother- and sister-in-law checked the live animal trap they had set for Watson every day, and a call was also sent out through a Pet Amber Alert messaging system, but there was still no sign of it.
Stone’s family also set up two trail cameras, meant for deer, on the Oswego River where there were sightings of her. However, with the continual snowfall, the cameras weren’t much help, Stone said.
“The neighbors where Watson was believed to be hiding out were phenomenal in letting us set up our trap and cameras on their property,” said Stone.
Through following her tracks, Stone knew that Watson was crossing the Oswego River and staying on the ice.
Stone called her friend Amy, who lives in Georgia, for her help. Amy, Watson’s breeder, flew to New York to help Stone in her efforts to find Watson.
Finally, on Feb. 22, they were able to rescue Watson. It was 20 degrees and sunny that day. Stone spotted Watson under a boathouse on the Oswego River just north of Aspen Cove. She was pacing in and out of the boathouse, nervous and scared. It took 20 minutes to trudge through the snow to get to the dog, Stone said.
Amy threw hot dogs to Watson to entice her to come out of the boathouse on her own. With Watson not cooperating, Amy then tried to loop a lead around the dog’s neck, but missed. Luckily it still caught Watson by the foot, and Amy pulled her to safety.
“Once she came out of the boathouse she was licking Amy’s face,” said Stone. “I was so excited and relived to see her. We were all happy she was a black dog on white snow.”
After being out in the elements for 12 days, Watson had only two little patches of frostbite on her top lip. Her left front paw had a cut from either a bite or stepping on a nail, Stone said. She had lost eight pounds, but was otherwise healthy.
For the time being, Watson is living at Stone’s home in Brewerton with her other chow chows. Watson, she describes, is “as sweet as pie,” adjusting well, and enjoys the company of other dogs.
The Chow Chow Rescue of CNY is a volunteer rescue group that is dedicated to finding homes for purebred chow chows. The rescue is run through the support of volunteers and foster homes. At any given time, the rescue has 35 to 50 dogs waiting for their forever homes.

Geraldine Phyllis Moulton

Moulton, GeraldineGerry Moulton, 84, of Fulton, died Friday, February 20, 2015 at Morningstar Care Center. Born in Fulton, Gerry had lived in Phoenix and Seattle, Wa., before returning to Fulton. She was a teacher assistant at Cherry Street School in Phoenix where she taught remedial reading. She was a communicant of Holy Family Church in Fulton. One of Gerry’s greatest joys was volunteering for Michaud Nursing Home, Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army all in Fulton. She was predeceased by her husband, Sidney J. Moulton who died in 1993.
Surviving are a daughter, Lisa (Thomas) Bowers of Fulton; sisters, Charlene Neyhart, Cindy Lindenberg and Marlene Martin; a brother, Loren Rivers; a grandson, Zachary Brooks; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Foster Funeral Home, Fulton, has care of the arrangements.

Dorothy “Dot” Longley

Longley, Dorothy M.Dorothy “Dot” Longley, 91 of Fulton passed away Tuesday, Feb. 24 at St. Francis Commons in Oswego. A native of Bethel, Dot had retired as the office manager from Longley Brothers Dodge after more than 25 years. She and her husband, Earl, were avid round and square dancers and traveled nationwide. She was a member of Fulton Women’s Club and an active member of State Street United Methodist Church. Dot enjoyed growing flowers, especially African violets. She was predeceased by her brother, Paul Garrett. Dot will be greatly missed and forever loved by her husband of 72 years, Earl H. Longley; children, Carol Sanzotta and Dennis (Nan) Longley; grandchildren, Kristie Valenze, Russell Perkins, Amanda Gentry and Douglas Longley; eight great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.  Calling hours will be 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at State Street United Methodist Church. A service will follow at 12:30 p.m. at the church, 357 State St., Fulton.  Contributions may be made to American Heart Association, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241 or Alzheimer’s Association, 441 W. Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, 13204.

Earl A. Hotaling

Earl A. Hotaling, 50, of Fulton passed away Tuesday, Feb. 24 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. Born October 9, 1964 in Oswego, he had resided in Fulton all his life.
His favorite pastimes were hunting, fishing and camping. Earl was predeceased by his father, Earl W., who passed away October 24, 2007; paternal grandmother, Sara I. Hotaling; maternal grandmother, Sarah F. Bower and maternal grandfather, Joseph E. Bower. His memory will be forever cherished by his wife of 23 years Anne; his children, Stephanie A., Christine E. and Daniel J.; his mother and stepfather Sharlene J. and Jan H. Poyneer; his brother, Brian L. (Kathy) Hotaling and many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours and a service were held Friday, February 27 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. Should family and friends desire, donations may be made to St. Joseph’s Hospital Wound Care Center, 4206 Medical Center Drive, Fayetteville N.Y. 13066.

Daniel “Cord” Marino

MarinoDaniel J. “Cord” Marino, 65, of Oswego died Tuesday February 24, 2015 in the Oswego Hospital.
Cord was born in Oswego the son of the late Anthony and Eunice (Kandt) Marino. Cord worked with the Laborers Local #214, and # 633 until his retirement in 2005. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, and mostly spending time with his family and friends vacationing in Florida with the “click.” Cord is survived by his wife of 45 years Brenda (Conzone) Marino; their children Melissa (Brian Bordon) Marino Clary, Michelle (Bob) Garafolo, Daniel “Michael” Marino all of Oswego; his loving grandchildren Morgan, Megan, Cameron, Lauren, Lacey, and Grace. In addition he is survived by his brothers Robert (Sherry) Marino, Tom (Bonnie) Marino, and sisters Toni Lee Rio, and Kathy (Ronald) Hyde, all of Oswego.
Funeral services were Friday at the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home and St. Joseph Church. Burial will be in St. Peter’s Cemetery.

Your hometown. Your news.