Valley Viewpoints

Rule changes needed

The Fulton Softball Association needs some major rule changes.

Every team has to pay a $415 entry fee, $150 players fee and $375 umpire fees for a total of $940 for a 15-game season.

Now let’s look at what they get for their money, 1 and 1 count, mat ball, moved the bases back to 70 feet, 6 to 10 for arc (half the time you can’t throw more than 8 feet), limited home runs, 20 run rule after three innings or 10 run rule after five innings and 1 hour time limit.

These are the reasons why a lot of teams and players wanted me to run the league, because it is not fair to them. They pay all this money and don’t have a say about the rules, why not let them have a say on some of the rules.

They don’t even get to elect their own board members. I have seen a lot of games in the last few years that didn’t go more than 30 minutes, so now they paid $62.66 to pay that game when you divide $940 by 15.

Now you wonder why people quit playing the game.

The fees are too high and the rules only benefit the league.

I have played, coached and sponsored teams in this association for 33 years and seen this association go from being a great place to play to having no fun to play in anymore. Every team should be entitled to play at least 5 innings or an hour and 20 minutes if they ar not at the run rule.

If you want to speed the game up, get rid of the mat and call the game, there are a lot of batters who will take a talk because the mat is too short.

The game is so easy for umpires now and don’t take this wrong guys, because I have umpired a lot of games with your guys and respect every one of you for the job you do.

But the players deserve a lot more than what they are getting for their money. I will say this to you, Mr. Ostrander, that you wrote a letter of recommendation for hiring to the mayor when I worked seasonal for your department not too long ago, along with a lot of aldermen.

Now why all of a sudden the change in what you wrote? So if I can’t take you as a man of your word about  what you wrote in that letter, then what can people believe from you. I offered to run this league for nothing to relieve some of the stress on the businesses that sponsor teams and to bring back the sport. Instead, you hire someone to do it — let’s just keep spending unnessary money.

I am not all about money, I donate a lot of my time to this community. This was my way of giving back to this great sport that my dad and I have played for years.

I guess the only person who truly was a man of his word was Don Smith. He hired me as a scorekeeper, field manager and let me run the first ever fall league in Fulton. He saw the same thing in me that you saw when you wrote that letter.

So it’s not like I don’t have the experience to do the job. In order to be in control of the league, you have to come there and check it out. If someone calls you about the league, you call the president you hired.

Look where that has gotten this league, two years in a row of a couple of teams playing without paying any fees. as the head of the recreation department, you should come there to check up on things, just like you do with War Memorial and North Bay Campgrounds.

This way you know how things are being run and if there are any problems that can be handled differently. Instead let’s just keep chasing things to do out of Fulton, with all these high fees and poor management on your part.

Frank Allen

Former player, coach and sponsor

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Saving our part of the planet

I do not recall the date, but clearly remember the moment, when a couple of friends of mine approached me about investing in a company that was making “conversion” kits for the Volkswagen beetle.

These kits would turn your “slug-a-bug” game or in the case of a few in our group, their flower power car, into a dune buggy.

Now being the owner of a Dodge Challenger convertible and a cult follower of anything mopar, I was not interested. DUMB IDEA……needless to say; even though it was a fad of sorts these two went on to make a lot of money.

Investing in your future comes in many forms. Maybe you go after an education to secure a comfortable position that pays you well. You take on leadership and walk in shoes that put you in the crosshairs of the public eye.

You value family, friends, and the simple moments in life that the “busy” crowd chooses to never see. Whatever path(s) you choose to walk down, you have some control over your destiny.

All of those investments in life, good or bad, all of those choices you make daily, and all that shapes you will still put you into one group. We all share a responsibility to take care of our planet.

Now let me clarify, I am not a “tree hugger” don’t know a maple from an ash tree, still get confused over which plastic is recyclable and which type is not. I don’t care if you smoke, I don’t, yet get upset with the idiot who thinks they can flip their cigarette butt out of the car window and it bounces off my windshield.

I am fully aware of the roadside trash, the litter from fast food, the select few who feel that they do not have to make arrangements for trash removal and dump anywhere and those who feel it is easier to just throw things out of the car window.

I cannot change those who will not make an attempt to do what’s right. I cannot wrap myself around the concept of cleaning up the entire planet. Of what I am aware, is that we have some amazing areas right here in our own neighborhoods.

We have it all: forests, trails, lakes, streams, green space, recreational spots, sporting areas and so much more.

So as the legislative member who sits on the EMC Committee (Environmental Management Council) for the County of Oswego, I have finally decided that I am going to get off of my comfy chair sometime during Earth Week, and go out to join a group and pick up the trash and litter of those who do not care about our counties, towns, villages, and neighborhood assets.

My goal is to fill one trash bag. Depending on the spot, that could be a quick commitment, or maybe not.

Will it make a difference? In the big picture of things, nah, not so much. I will feel better for a couple of reasons: I will have engaged in something new for me and……well, if another 500 or 600 people in this county did the same, then maybe we kick the door open a little.

I will go with a group who can tell me, “No, wait, that is recyclable!”  Then maybe in the long run my goal will have to be modified to learn new information and have two bags — one for recyclables and one for trash.

If you would like to join in to help “clean up the earth” in Oswego County, EMC suggests you organize a group or join one to clean up a local park or green space.

You can call 343-4565 or visit www.co.oswego.ny.us/earthweek.html to sign up for an Earth Week cleanup project, or for more information.

James Karasek, 

Oswego County Legislator

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