All posts by admin

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.

‘Remarkable Women’ celebrates state’s difference-makers

Muriel Allerton among those profiled in new book

A new book co-edited by current and former State University College at Oswego faculty recounts the indelible niches the women of New York state have carved, from suffragist Susan B. Anthony to astronaut Eileen Collins, from abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman to actor, comedian and producer Lucille Ball.

In “Remarkable Women in New York State History,” a book of mini-biographies, dozens of less well-known women shine among the celebrated, thanks to having made significant differences in their communities — among them Oswego County’s Doris Allen, Muriel Allerton, Rosemary Nesbitt and Lida Penfield.

“We originally wanted the title to be ‘Women Making a Difference,’” said Marilynn Smiley, SUNY Oswego professor of music, who with Helen Engel, former Oswego adjunct in biological sciences, served as co-editors of the book and co-historians for the state’s branches of the American Association of University Women.

“We asked every (AAUW) branch in New York state to submit a brief bio of at least one woman in the community who really made a difference in some way,” Smiley said.

The outpouring that followed — edited to 145 mini-biographies from 85 authors in 32 branches of AAUW around the state — kept Smiley and Engel busy for more than four years, resulting in the 320-page work published in May by the History Press of Charleston, S.C.

The path to publication actually began seven years ago, when Smiley noticed at a regional AAUW conference that Pennsylvania’s branches had produced a similar work.

She and Engel began research on women in the Oswego area who would fit the difference-maker criteria.

“The amazing things these (New York) women did really needed to be recognized, and I’m so pleased that they have been,” Smiley said. “There is a sense of relief and of immense accomplishment” that it’s done, she added.

Inspirational work

The co-editors see “Remarkable Women in New York State History” as a reference book for libraries, historical societies and for museums dedicated to some of the famous women.

The biographies are presented alphabetically from Allen, a retired SUNY Oswego professor, actor and former local politician, to Rita Wright, a Cortland social worker.

But Smiley and Engel also view it as a potential source of knowledge and inspiration among a much broader range of women, students and others.

The authors hope the book helps convince young women “they can become leaders,” Smiley said.

“That even if they’re in an era when what they’re doing is very unusual – it’s amazing how recently women were allowed to go to college – that they could accomplish it. … Some women at the (AAUW) state convention said they were giving it to their daughters and granddaughters who were graduating from college,” she said.

Smiley and Engel acknowledge that as a reference work, there are significant gaps in the book.

For example, former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of the nation’s most famous women and a Chappaqua resident, is not included, because representatives of lower Hudson Valley branches of the AAUW chose less well-known women to write about.

Smiley said she shouldered one key gap herself, authoring a mini-bio of JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

In all, Smiley wrote 10 of the 145 biographies, and Engel, who did a great deal of the photo editing, wrote two.

Their writing focused largely on women who made a difference in the Oswego area.

Smiley, who has taught at SUNY Oswego for more than 50 years, said the late Lida Penfield, longtime English professor and local historian, helped form the state AAUW in the 1920s, at the request of the Cornell University president’s wife.

Penfield became the first president of the association’s Oswego branch after traveling to Cornell for meetings.

“Lida Penfield went there from Oswego, and I believe some other faculty members from here attended,” Smiley said.

“They were complaining because their salaries were so low,” Smiley said. “They were pleading for AAUW to make it known how low their salaries were. That’s been one of the missions of AAUW ever since: equal pay, as well as equal educational and research opportunities.”

All profits from the sale of “Remarkable Women of New York State History” go to the American Association of University Women in New York state, which owns the rights to the book.

The AAUW, founded in 1881, advocates for women and families, attempting to break down any barriers to engagement and advancement that remain at colleges and universities around the nation.

Dan Mahaney seeks re-election as highway chief

Dan Mahaney has announced his intention to seek another term as highway superintendent for the Town of Hannibal.

Mahaney’s mission has been to improve the safety of the town’s 56 miles of highways, while staying within the limits of a strict budget during tough economic times and obtaining grants to help offset taxpayer expense.

Mahaney said that for the past few years he has had the opportunity to work with an excellent highway team: rebuilding, resurfacing and improving the drainage of all the town roads.

“We have come a long way, but it’s a never ending process with Central New York’s weather conditions,” he said.

Before becoming highway superintendent, Mahaney was a councilor for seven years and also served as deputy town supervisor. He served as liaison between the Highway Department and Town Board.

He served many years on the Oswego County Solid Waste Management Advisory Board and also has prior experience as chairman of the town Planning Board.

He has attended the Cornell Local Roads Highway School for nine consecutive years, has intensive training in emergency management, has more than 30 years of mechanical and electrical maintenance experience and served as a union steward for Local 43.

Dan and his wife of 39 years are both lifelong residents of Hannibal. They participate in many school and community functions and enjoy donating their time to help local organizations.

“I would be honored to serve the people of Hannibal for another term,” Mahaney stated.

Simpson runs for highway chief

Sean Simpson, a fresh face in the town of Hannibal, is a candidate for the town highway superintendent.

Although he is a relatively new resident, he is confident he would have a positive impact as the new superintendent. Simpson said he is committed to meeting the roadway and travel needs of Hannibal’s residents.

Simpson grew up in Fulton. His qualifications began during his time in the city.

In Fulton, Simpson worked for the Police Department for several years. Additionally, he owned and operated a snowplowing business for 10 years.

He is extremely familiar with the treacherous weather conditions that plague Oswego County for much of the year, as well as their subsequent impact on the roadway conditions and the lives of residents.

Simpson also has worked in the construction business for 30 years and has been involved in all facets of the business, including roadwork.

He has worked in both union and non-union construction throughout his career.  For the past 18 years, Simpson has worked through the Laborers Locals 214 and 633 and has served as a union steward for the past 22 months.

This position has allowed him to understand the unique perspectives of both management and employees.

In addition, he has a class A license and a pesticide license. As an avid driver, Simpson said he has taken the time to drive all of Hannibal’s roads and has seen first-hand many needs for improvement.

He said he would work diligently to make Hannibal’s roadways safe and enjoyable to travel upon.

In and Around Hannibal

Rita Hooper 


Ah the kids are back to school and life is back to normal … we can go back to work knowing our children are safe and sound, being educated in a safe school and getting lunch and maybe breakfast.

We are once again free to clean out the closets and hang the clothes out without interference. We can even enjoy meeting the “girls” for lunch.

But that is not the case for a number of women in this county and throughout the nation.

As most of my faithful readers know, I was away for three weeks this past June on a mission trip to Appalachia in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Appalachia is a large geographic area running along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania to Georgia.

While there, we visited food pantries and community centers, a children’s hospital and orphanage; we met with people involved in repairing homes — volunteers and lawyers who work on a volunteer basis to help the poor.

Wherever we went, we heard about the sequester cuts and how they were hurting people, especially those least able to take care of themselves. Among those, children, elderly, disabled and the working poor.

Plenty of primary races in county Sept. 10

By Debra J. Groom

The primary election is set for noon to 9 p.m Sept. 10.

There are a number of primaries in Oswego County, from county legislature seats to town council members and highway superintendents. Parties having primaries are Republican, Conservative and Independence.

Here is the list of primaries:

County Legislature 

District 5, Constantia districts 1 to 4, Republican primary, Ronald E. Sakonyi; Roy Reehil

District 12, Hastings district 5 and Schroeppel districts 4 and 5, Republican, John W. Brandt; Richard P. Kline

District 12, Hastings district 5 and Schroeppel districts 4 and 5, Conservative, John W. Brandt; Richard P. Kline

District 14, Scriba districts 3, 4 and 6 and Volney district 2, Republican, Bradley T. Coe; Stephen M. Walpole

District 20, Oswego town, Conservative, Douglas Malone; Joseph Susino.


Councilor Ward 1, Republican, Bradley J. Warner; Thomas G. Kenyon

Councilor Ward 4, Republican, James R. Myers; Mark Sherman

Councilor Ward 4, Independence, James R. Myers; Ralph Stacy Jr.

County Committee, Ward 3 District 1, Republican, Timothy Crandell; Jeffrey Kinney; Mark Sherman


Supervisor, Republican, Carl Anson Jr.; David Aaron Walter

Council member, Republican, Randy Mattison; Lonny Mattison; Richard Mullin; Nancy Sheeley


Council member, Republican, Susan D. Halbritter; Bruce E. Stone; Edmund J. Lescenski

Council member, Independence, Susan D. Halbritter; Bruce E. Stone; Lawrence C. Rayder

Highway superintendent, Republican, Jonathon E. Granger; Franklyn Sampson; John Perkins III


Town clerk, Republican, Doreen Macklen; Paulette Skinner

Council member, Republican, Jimmy J. Walker; Dale McNitt; James Macklen


Council member, Conservative, Eric Clothier; Mike French; Brenda Frazier Hartle


Justice, Republican, Jack Beckwith Jr.; Edward Lewis; Eugene Hafner

Justice, Conservative, Jack Beckwith Jr.; Edward Lewis; Eugene Hafner

Highway superintendent, Republican, George Ritchie; Sean Simpson

Highway superintendent, Conservative, George Ritchie; Sean Simpson; Daniel Mahaney


Highway superintendent, Republican, Robert Clark; Linwood Woody Hall


Justice, Republican, Jon Moretti; Douglas Horton


Town clerk, Conservative, Mary Ann Phillips; Kelly I. Reader

Sandy Creek 

Highway superintendent, Republican, Tim Crast; Michael Kastler Jr.

Mayor (only for village of Sandy Creek district 3), Republican, Steven J. Washburn; Grant J. Rohrmoser


Supervisor, Republican, Patrick J. Nugent; Lynett Greco

Council member, Republican, Timothy J. Dunnigan; Suzanne M. Duquette; Stephen Hutchins


Highway superintendent, Republican, Roger S. Myers; Michael J. Barry

What’s Happening at CNY Arts Center?

September’s off and running with our third annual outdoor Arts Market 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 14 with nearly 50 vendors in the old Nestle parking lot.

Shoppers will find original handmade art, crafts, vintage items, yard sale treasures, Christmas gifts and a great shopping experience with plenty of room to stroll among the vendors in Fulton’s largest outdoor market.

Drama Club for seventh- and eighth- graders begins Sept. 16, meeting Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Arts Center.

This great new activity is free and open to all seventh- and eighth-grade students in the area regardless of school or home school affiliation. A commitment to the entire 10 weeks is the only requirement.

This group will work throughout the fall to develop a new theater group for teens with a production scheduled for mid-November. The club will meet at CNY Arts Center at State Street United Methodist Church.

Auditions for the Christmas production of Little Women will take place 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 19, from noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 21 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Arts Center.

Ages 15 and older are invited to audition for the beloved classic, which will premiere Dec. 13 to 22.  For more information about the production, visit

Kids Onstage for all kids ages 7 to 18 will start Sept. 21 and meet from 5 to 7 p.m. for eight Saturdays at the Arts Center.

This drama class will develop skills and techniques for stage presence, creative problem solving, team building, and character development.

Children who complete Kids Onstage classes will be allowed to audition for the spring all youth production. Kids Onscreen will start in early October. This is the great film class where kids develop a short script that is filmed and edited by the class instructor.

More new classes on tap for the fall include sewing classes for all skill levels,  popular culinary adventures, a writing critique workshop and capturing memories in story and in collage; story time art, oil painting, pumpkin carving and more all take place at the center in the church.

Get all the latest news and updates at Students are reminded to pre-register for all classes and workshops to avoid missing out.

Classes and workshops charge a modest fee. Visit for more information or call 592-3373 for details and updates.

Remember, we bring all arts for all ages at two separate locations. Classes, Writer’s Café, Author Spotlight, live theater and Arty Camp are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State Street United Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton.

Arts in the HeART Gallery is located at 47 S. First St. in downtown Fulton across from the gazebo for local artists who want to display their artistry. Artists can apply for gallery space online at