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By Roy Hodge

Out of nowhere a couple of weeks ago, I thought of an old song that my mother sang to me over 50 years ago. It was a new song then, sung by Bing Crosby, and probably on the hit parade.

I clearly remember the song’s title: “Swinging on a Star,” and many of the words. When I remembered that song, I started singing it and I still am.

“Would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar and be better off than you are … ?”

The lyrics go on, asking if I would rather be a mule — an animal with long, funny ears; a pig — an animal with dirt on his face, whose shoes are a terrible disgrace; a fish — who won’t do anything but swim in a brook; or a monkey — they’re not all in the zoo — every day you see quite a few.

I think I remember my mother and myself singing that song during much of a trip to Ohio to visit relatives when I was about 6. I discovered that it’s one of those songs that all of a sudden you remember, and then you have a hard time getting it out of your mind.

For the rest of this column, pick up the print version of The Valley News. Call 598-6397 to subscribe.


Graduates receive theater awards

At the G. Ray Bodley High School Commencement Ceremony in June, theater awards were presented to two honor graduates, Amanda Trombly and Katelyn Caza.

Katelyn Caza, salutatorian, was the recipient of the Quirk’s Players Directors’ Award, which is presented to a graduating senior who displays dedication to the theater program at Bodley, sets high performance standards, inspires others to excel and serves as a role model for other members.

Amanda Trombly was the recipient of the William Quirk Memorial Award for Achievement in Theatre.

Presented in memory of William Quirk, a longtime English teacher and theater director at both Fulton High School and G. Ray Bodley High School, the Quirk Award is presented to the graduating senior who has made the greatest contribution to the theater program during his/her high school years.

Both young ladies have appeared in numerous productions with Quirk’s Players at G. Ray Bodley High School, beginning while in elementary school and continuing through their senior year of high school.

Trombly is starting her studies at Le Moyne College and Caza is joining the freshman class at Syracuse University.

Cortese to receive honorary degree at Shineman Center’s dedication

One highlight of the Oct. 4 dedication ceremony for State University College at Oswego’s Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation will be the award of an honorary doctorate to a seminal figure in the advancement of sustainability in higher education.

Anthony Cortese, who is internationally known for his work in this field, will receive an honorary doctor of science during the afternoon ceremony and will deliver brief remarks.

“It is most fitting that Dr. Cortese receive this distinctive honor from SUNY at a ceremony dedicating a science complex that we envisioned and built according to rigorous standards of environmental design and that will serve in educating new generations of students to advance the principles of sustainability,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley.

“Dr. Cortese has contributed greatly to the world’s awareness not only of the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also of the many technologies we possess or can develop to address this urgent issue, once we put our minds to it,” she said.

“Dr. Cortese is an inspiration to our faculty and students to develop innovative ways of advancing economic, social and environmental solutions that will enrich the lives of our citizens and the world,” Stanley said.

Cortese has researched climate change and other large system sustainability challenges for more than 30 years.

He is a senior fellow of Second Nature, the Boston-based advocacy organization committed to promoting sustainability through higher education, an organization he co-founded and headed as president for two decades.

He was the organizer of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, of which SUNY Oswego was a charter signatory in 2007.

Environmental scholar

The son of Italian immigrants, he received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Tufts University and a doctoral degree in environmental health from the Harvard School of Public Health. He served as commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and went on to become the first dean of environmental programs at Tufts University.

In 1990 at an international conference in Talloires, France, he organized the effort producing the internationally acclaimed Talloires Declaration of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future that galvanized higher education for sustainability worldwide.

He co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and the Higher Education Association Sustainability Consortium.

A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he has been a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, President Bill Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development’s Education Task Force and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow for Higher Education.

LEED Gold science complex

The Shineman Center where he will receive the honor is built to achieve LEED Gold certification.

The new science complex, which opened for classes Aug. 26, features the largest ground source geothermal system for heating and cooling in the state, banks of solar photovoltaic panels and sections of green roof, where plants grow to collect and filter rainwater and help insulate the building.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification program is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of environmentally friendly buildings.

The Shineman Center joins the college’s LEED Gold-certified complex of student townhouses, The Village, and the newly opened Rice Creek Field Station facility.

Little Utica church offers free luncheon for area seniors

Little Utica United Methodist Church will be holding a free senior luncheon in the church parlor for people in the community age 55 and older from noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 11.

This will be an opportunity for community members to have lunch and socialize with their neighbors.

The menu will include baked ziti, macaroni and cheese, Italian bread, tossed salad and gelatin salad. Punch, milk, tea and coffee, along with a variety of desserts, also will be served.

The next lunch is noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 9.

The church is located on Lamson Road, heading west off Route 48, just past the intersection of Lamson Road and East Mud Lake Road.

For more information, call the church at 678-2270 or visit the church’s website at

Volunteers needed to prepare taxes

The Central New York area, including Oswego County, needs new volunteers for the AARP Tax-Aide program.

In 2012, the program served more than 4,000 taxpayers at 19 locations.

The program will train volunteers in tax preparation.

For more information, contact Ellen Wahl, Oswego County district coordinator, at

Library offers workshops

In addition to the four-part Introduction to Computers workshop, the Oswego Public Library also is featuring Writing Cover Letters, Introduction to Microsoft Word, Advanced Pinterest, and Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book.

Times and dates are:

Writing Cover Letters, 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 14

Intoduction to Microsoft Word, 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 19

Advanced Pinterest, 10 a.m. to noon, Sept. 21

Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book, 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 28

The Library Learning Center is located on the lower level of the Oswego Public Library, and is open Monday through Saturday.

All programs are free and open to the public. Call the library at 341-5867 to register for workshops or for details.