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CCC unveils new student orientation

Cayuga Community College will hold four fall 2013 orientation sessions for new and transfer students and their families this month at its campuses in Auburn and Fulton.

For Fulton Campus students, the orientation program will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 22 and from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 29 at 11 River Glen Drive.

For Auburn Campus students, the orientation will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 23 and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 30 at 197 Franklin St.

“Orientation is important to get students acquainted with the overall college environment and assist them adjust to academic life,” said Norm Lee, director of student activities and orientation director. “Studies have shown that those students who attend college orientation programs are more likely to succeed at the institution than others who don’t attend, which could indirectly affect attrition levels.”

All participants will receive an introduction to the people and services at Cayuga, and will receive guidance on a range of issues, including how to use the online student portal, how to choose classes, how to understand financial aid and what to expect from the college experience. They also will have the opportunity to obtain their college identification cards.

“Students will gain valuable knowledge on all the campus resources and services available to them at Cayuga that will help them be successful at the College,” Lee said. “They will also have the opportunity to meet some of Cayuga’s faculty and staff and interact with fellow students.”

Lunch will be provided to all students who pre-register. To register, visit

Special sessions will be held on veteran services, the nursing program and various degree programs.

The College also developed an online “encore orientation” so students can review the information presented at orientation or follow up on something they might have missed. That information can be accessed by visiting

CCC crafts plan to support troubled students

For months, Cayuga Community College faculty members within the Centers for Student Engagement and Academic Advisement have been working to formalize a process to address the needs of at-risk and distressed students. The result of their work is the creation of the Behavioral Intervention Team.

The team draws on the expertise of several faculty and staff members to help serve students who are exhibiting signs of distress, including financial, personal, physical, emotional or academic concerns.

These signs can range from unresolved financial aid issues to romantic relationship difficulties to withdrawing from campus and social activities to aggressive behavior in class.

“At Cayuga, faculty and staff members often get to know students on an individual basis,” said Julie White, director of the Centers for Student Engagement and Academic Advisement. “Because of these close ties, they recognize when an individual might be calling out for help through changes in his or her behavior. The employees are our frontline in identifying these students so that we can intervene and get the students connected to the assistance they might need.”

To help with this process, the team has created an online form that employees can fill out to refer students who might need additional support.

Once a referral is received, the team collects and reviews the facts, then determines the level of risk based on a nationally recognized assessment tool. Based on that assessment, the team develops a plan of action.

“Our students have many stresses placed on them, as many are trying to balance family, work and school with limited financial means,” White said. “Others may not have adequate access to health care or social services. We’re hoping that with the help of college employees, the team can intervene earlier to work with distressed students, get them through whatever crisis they’re facing, and back on track toward a successful future.”

CSEA lawsuits charge layoffs unconstitutional

CSEA has filed federal lawsuits against the state Thruway Authority and Canal Corp., charging that last spring’s layoff of union members working at the agencies was unconstitutional.

The suits claim the state violated CSEA-represented employees’ constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process and equal protection of the law when it let go CSEA-represented workers while sparing all management employees and political appointees.

“The fact that only union members were targeted proves the layoffs were meant to punish them,” said CSEA president Danny Donohue. “If the layoffs were truly financially necessary, wouldn’t it make sense to get rid of at least one highly paid manager or appointee?”

The CSEA lawsuits quote statements made at a Thruway Authority and Canal Corp. board meeting, held seven days before the layoffs took place, that the agencies were “in solid shape financially” and “doing very well this year.”

The union contends that management used the layoffs to try to unfairly influence the outcome of negotiations by attempting to pressure union representatives to succumb to management demands. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s negotiator, Joseph Bress, is representing the Thruway and Canal management at the bargaining table.

Poetry Corner

Camp Nurse

By Jim Farfaglia


Looking back

she must’ve been fresh out of college,

sporting a camp T-shirt and shorts

– no starched whites and cap for her –

as she checked each of us in

with her free-flowing smile.


At the first campfire

I found out she liked to sing,

and to my restless ears

she had the sweetest contralto,

offering Baez and Dylan

over flickering flames…


Which is why,

more than a few nights that season,

I faked illness right around bedtime.

She’d check my temperature,

run through her questions,

then – like the wise nurse she was becoming –

she’d offer the perfect remedy

in song.

Light In The Darkness: Walk By Faith, Not By Sight

By Pastor David M. Grey

Mount Pleasant United
Methodist Church

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

               Genesis 1:31-2:3

In my last column I referred to the first verse in Genesis, which reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” I then pointed out that at its very heart, Biblical faith is simply the act of believing what God has said. In the passage that follows that first verse in scripture, we read the order in which God created everything culminating in the verses cited above.

God says that He created everything in six days, even stressing the fact that each one of those days began in the morning and concluded at evening. Why do so many doubt that this is true? Even among Christians, we find many going to great lengths to show that the word “day” means something other than a 24-hour day as we know it.

For the rest of this column, pick up the print version of The Valley News.

St. Stephen fest set Aug. 11

St. Stephen’s Church in Oswego is holding its annual Parish Festival Aug. 11.

The festivities will begin at noon and last until 7 p.m. on the church grounds at 140 Niagara St. The event will take place rain or shine.

Traditional Polish foods, including kielbasa, glombki and three varieties of pierogi, will be available starting at noon. Picnic foods and light and adult refreshments also will be available.

A variety of games of skill and chance will take place for young and old alike. Highlights include the famous “Baked Goods” booth, which offers far more than the usual cakes and the popular “Beautiful Baskets” raffle, which consists of chances to win themed baskets. Lots of activities are planned for children to enjoy.

Music continues to be a special part of the St. Stephen’s Parish Festival, and this year DJ Bob Hagney will be spinning the tunes from noon until 2 p.m.

Live music provided by The New Direction from Buffalo will follow. The New Direction will play polkas and other popular tunes until 6 p.m.

BOCES students have a ‘blast’

Student scientists on the Blue Team at Stepping Stones Day Program designed and launched water bottle rockets as part of their summer unit on force and motion. This fun experiment demonstrated how a build up in pressure can launch a rocket.

Each student created a rocket using a recycled bottle, heavy gauge cardboard, duct tape, water and a cork. The rockets were decorated and personalized by each student prior to flight.

A miniature launch pad was made of snap blocks, and a bicycle pump was used to set the rockets into flight.

Through the demonstration, students also witnessed how air pressure can build inside a bottle. When air pushes on the water inside the bottle, it creates enough pressure to push the cork out.

The rockets “flew” when the water rushed out toward the ground and the bottle pushed upward into the air.

The successful rocket launches supported Isaac Newton’s theory of motion, which states, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Summer Sunset concert tonight

The sixth concert in the Oswego Summer Sunset Concert Series will be 7 tonight, Aug. 7, at Breitbeck Park in Oswego.

These concerts are provided free to the public by the City of Oswego and the Musicians Union of Oswego County.

The Concert Band, under the direction of Kevin Upcraft, will perform several selections.

They include: March from the movie 1941, selections from “Phantom of the Opera,” “Chillers and Thrillers,” “Liberty Bell,” “State Fair,” “The Sting,” “The Great Escape,” “West Side Story,” Hollywood Milestones, “Les Miserables” and Sinatra in Concert.

This week’s concert and the following two August performances will begin a half hour earlier than usual, at 7 p.m., to allow the audience to enjoy the beautiful Oswego sunsets.

The public is invited to bring lawn chairs or relax in the car.