Valley Viewpoints

Today’s letters: Noreen Patterson loves the Fulton Library, Eileen Lutz invites you to the Fulton Dining and Activity Center, the Friends of History and local funeral homes say thanks, and Frank Castiglia calls out the Legislature.

Loves Fulton library

Congratulations to the residents of Fulton and the surrounding area for your wonderful library.

One of the historic Carnegie libraries, Fulton Public Library is a treasure that was built on the banks of the Oswego River. And, not only do you have a unique and beautiful building, the library has something to offer  almost every citizen.

Libraries are not just about books any more. Library services include access to computers, to databases and to downloadable books and audio books and to the collections of 64 other libraries throughout the interlibrary loan system.

Fulton Public Library offers programs that range from the celebration of local writers to the joy of children working together in an afterschool Lego club. If your family has history in the area, the Fulton library has cemetery and other recoreds prized by genealogists for research.

This is a story time for preschoolers and an outreach program to the senior housing centers. There are movie shows at the library and guest lectures.

Did you know that in 2013 local residents wrote remembrances of growing up in the area and published a book from a writing program at your library?

There is a lot happening at the library in Fulton, including job searches, tutoring and research. The community is connecting in ways that continually strengthen the very fabric of the area.

I believe libraries provide our best hope for the future because knowledge and information that is available to absolutely everyone is too dear to give up.

Noreen Patterson
Phoenix

Enjoy food, company, games

Now that the snow is gone … and hopefully not returning any time soon, I think it’s a fine time to get out and take a walk, or a car ride and come on in and see what the Fulton Dining and Activity Center is all about.

We are a great group of folks that like to enjoy each others company. Why sit home alone when you can get out and socialize and have a hot delicious meal at the same time?

We enjoy a lot of different activities like Bingo, cards and Wii Bowling. Sometimes we have a special speaker to talk about keeping our body and minds healthy.

Getting together with other people does the body good …… We also enjoy movies, crafts and trivia — sometimes we dabble in jewelry making.

We do offer a bus that will pick you up at your door , and you can partake in a little  shopping at one of our fine local grocery stores before they bring you to the center for lunch. The bus runs on Friday’s and you will need to sign up ahead.

I would like to remind the community the Fulton Center is located at the Fulton Municipal Building, in the sunny community room, and runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Anyone 60 and up is welcome!

If you’re interested in doing a little volunteer work and or would like to help with some of the activities , please do not hesitate to call and offer your services. We are always looking to keep things fresh.

Please make lunch reservations 24 hours in advance by calling Eileen at 593-8083.

Eileen Lutz
Fulton

Friends ‘thank you’

The Friends of History held their spring chicken barbecue May 04, 2014.

We want to thank everyone  that helped make it a success, in spite of the weather.  Along with the chicken we held a 50/50 drawing and we are pleased to announce that the winner was Tom Shcimeff.

Thanks  to everyone and we’ll see you in October !

Friends of History
Fulton

A job well done

We had a very busy morning meeting with members of the Fulton VFW Post #569 and the Fulton American Legion at Mt. Adnah and St. Mary’s cemeteries in Fulton to help with the placement of flags upon the graves of our local veterans.

We had requested help from the students of Fulton Junior High and G. Ray Bodley High School boys’ lacrosse teams and the Fulton 13-14 indoor and travel boys’ soccer team.

We had about 50-plus students and parents with additional adult Fultonians who met at 9 a.m. to volunteer their time to this community event.

It was a wonderful experience to watch the students ranging in age from 13 to 18 years old listen to directions from the man in charge, Mr. John Young, and then began to place flags, upright the usable flag holders and replace the broken flag holders as they walked the length and width of both cemeteries in a systematic way.

It was equally heartwarming to catch a glimpse of some of the students pausing for a moment and reading several of the headstones and then calling their friends over to show them a unique monument or read a heartfelt message in the epitaph.

I heard one boy mention, “wow this one was in WWI,”  and others mentioned that they were surprised to see so many people/couples who were married for over 50-plus years (as the years were listed on the individual monuments).

Several also paused to learn about the memorial garden at Mt. Adnah because it didn’t make sense to some of them as to why the stones were set up a little differently than the rest of the cemetery until one of the funeral director’s daughters explained how large caskets were not buried there, but instead smaller urns or containers of individuals who have chosen to be cremated and then buried.

What began as a community service effort/project turned into a life lesson for many of those who participated. We also saw how the adults would stop for a moment and watch the reactions of the younger people when they saw a stone that may have said, for example, “Going Home,” or “Gone Fishing,”  or how the pictures etched on the stones told a story of a life once lived.

The history of the cemeteries did not go unnoticed as several boys also remarked about the large mausoleums dating back to the 1800s in Mt. Adnah and how they were awesome because they were made like a concrete shelter directly into the hillside.

We ended the morning with pizza and water provided by the Sugar Funeral Home, Inc. and Sugar and Scanlon Funeral Home. We would like to thank the owner of Red Baron Pizza, Fulton and Mr. Wes Dean for going into work on a Sunday — a day off — to make the sheet pizzas for our volunteers.

When Mr. Dean learned that students were volunteering to help the local veterans groups he didn’t hesitate to change his plans and help provide lunch.

We at the Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., and Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home would like to publically thank our local veterans for having served our country and how they continue to serve our community.

We would also like to thank them on our behalf and the behalf of all of the participants of the flag placing, because it was truly a wonderful experience and we enjoyed being a part of a small slice of your history.

As a bonus, the veterans present welcomed our help and extended an invitation for us to come back next year to help prepare our cemeteries for Memorial Day.

Therefore, thank you all for a job well done.

Sugar and Scanlon Funeral Home
Fulton

Don’t ask, don’t tell

That is the motto of the Oswego County Legislature.

It’s just a little bit different with them — it is more, If you don’t ask we won’t tell. If you do ask, it is like you just committed a capital crime.

Let me explain if I can in as few words as possible.

The last Infrastructure Committee meeting (that is the regular one not the special one), the committee chairman opened the meeting telling us that one item would be added to the agenda. It was a contract approval to change the electrical supplier for the waste treatment plant  on Route 481.

Among the first words out of the department head’s mouth were, we are going to save money. He stated we have to change because we have gone through over half the money budgeted for electrical supply.

With that being said, I asked how much we are going to save. Not a good thing to do. The answer was, I’m not sure.  He gave us some paper work showing us estimated usage for the first 12 months in kWh. (Now that should have been a clue). He stated that it was a one-year contract, saying we would be paying close to 6 cents per kWh used.

It came time to vote. The vote came to me and I said “NO”. One of the other legislators yelled at me saying something like How can you vote NO on saving money? I said I can vote any way I please.

He said something. Then I said you know what I’m changing my vote to abstain. He said you have to give a reason. I said fine. I don’t know enough about this to vote in favor of it or against it. Maybe you can look at something for five minutes and vote on it but I can’t.

I took the paperwork home that night and after reading it a little bit closer I read where it went from 2014 to 2016. The next day in the Health Committee meeting I asked the young lady that had taken notes of the Infrastructure meeting if it fact Mr. Visser had said that the contract was for one year or two years. She said he had said it was for one year. Why she asked. I then read her what the contract said. She then said, yeah that is two years.

The next day I called the person representing the new company trying to sell us an electrical contract. I asked him if what I had in front of me was a one-year or a two-year contract. He said it was a two-year contract.

I then called the person in our purchasing department. I asked him if he knew that this was a two-year contract, not a one-year contract. He said no. What makes me say that. I said that I didn’t take advance math. but if I subtract 2014 from 2016 I get two.

He then looked at the proposal in front of him and he said you’re right Frank.

I said this was not presented to us properly it should have been presented showing how much we paid last year and how much we should pay this year under the new plan. It wasn’t and therefore I can’t support it.

Now we may very well save some money, but with penalties for over use and possible penalties for under use, it is in doubt.

Well low and behold. They held a special meeting on a day I couldn’t attend and they passed it changing it to a two-year contract vote.

Now I would say that each and every one of these legislators had a field day when Nancy Pelosi  said, “We have to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it.” Most people put it a different way. They said vote now and read it later.

This in fact is what the Republican caucus in the Oswego County Legislature seems to have done here and most of the time.

So again it comes down to “Don’t Ask and We Won’t Tell,” but if you do ask, we may not be able to tell.

Now you know why the county is heading straight to the Blue Boy.

Frank Castiglia Jr.
Fulton
Oswego County Legislator
25th district

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