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Team registration opens for Scrabble Fest

The first team, Sheldon Scrabble Scholars, has registered for Scrabble Fest 2013. The seventh annual Diane Falise Memorial Scrabble Fest, a benefit for Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County, will take place 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Oswego Elks Lodge 271.

“Scrabble Fest is much more than just another fundraiser,” said Meg Henderson, coordinator of Oswego County Opportunities’ Literacy Volunteers program.

The fun, fast-paced competition draws teams from all over the county, Henderson noted.

Teams consist of four players who work together to create words during three turns in each of the four 20-minute rounds of play. Team scores will be tallied and the top three teams will be awarded prizes. To add to the fun, there will be prizes for the most pledges raised and for team spirit. There will be a silent auction featuring donations by local merchants, a 50/50 raffle and a lottery ticket drawing.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., welcome is at 6:15 p.m. and games begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.

Entry fee is $100 per team and includes light refreshments. The cost for spectators is $15 (this fee includes light refreshments). Cash bar will be available.

For more information on Literacy Voluneers or to register a team, call 342-8839 or visit lvoswego.org or oco.org.

Literacy Volunteers provides free confidential tutoring, which includes basic literacy (reading and writing), English literacy to improve English speaking, reading and writing skills, and simple math and computer skills.

Light In The Darkness

By Pastor David Grey

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” — Genesis 1:1

I have long marveled at the wisdom of God expressed in this brief opening verse of the Bible. He states the truth and leaves it there, offering no lengthy argument. He offers no list of supporting proofs. Indeed, what higher proof could be possible than the Word of the Living Creator, Himself? He simply says, “In the beginning I created everything” and the reader must take that at face value. And, in fact, the reader’s response to that statement demonstrates whether he or she has faith or does not.

For the rest of the story, read the Valley News Saturday edition.

Jerry’s Journal

By Jerry Kasperek

Did you ever watch hummingbirds come to feed? Ours come one by one, all sizes and all colors – red, green and blue – to sip the sweet sugary syrup Ed makes for their bird feeder. Some of our hummingbirds perch, yes, actually perch their tiny selves on a nearby shepherd’s crook as if to wait for their turn at the feeder. I never saw a hummingbird perch until last summer when I did a double-take to see one actually sitting there.

Such sweet little things, I thought. Or not! The little devils dive bomb one another trying to get to the feeder before the other one does!

For the rest of the story, read the Valley News Saturday edition.

Hodgepodge: A Tribute to Muriel Allerton

Muriel Allerton, 93, one of Fulton’s most popular and respected citizens, died July 25 following an extended illness. She was a community icon, one of its most active and enthusiastic residents.

In 2010, she was welcomed to Albany by then Senator Darrel Aubertine and honored as a New York State Senate Woman of Distinction for years of exemplary service to her community. Sen. Aubertine said, “Muriel came to Central New York close to 50 years ago and over that time has certainly made her presence known. She truly is a woman of distinction and a pioneer in this community as the first woman mayor of Fulton. She is the type of person who makes friends for life shopping at the corner store and can convey a wealth of experience in the advice she gives.”

For the rest of the story, read the Valley News Saturday edition.

Allerton memorial update

A memorial service for Muriel Allerton will be held at a later date at the family’s convenience, perhaps in September. The service will take place at State Street United Methodist Church in Fulton, said the Rev. Jeff Hodge of Baldwinsville United Methodist Church. Hodge will participate in the service. Burial will be private. Foster Funeral Home, Fulton, has care of arrangements.

Baker in training at Discovery Day Care

Baker in training – Alaina Hubbell, a school-age child at Discovery Day Care in Phoenix, is pretending to make a cookie with homemade play dough.  Alaina is acting out a familiar role, as she has seen her mother baking at home.  Discovery Day Care is enrolling preschool and school age students in the fall.  Call 695-4838 for a tour. Discovery Day Care is a program of Oswego County Opportunities Education Services.  For more information, visit OCO’s website at www.oco.org.
Baker in training – Alaina Hubbell, a school-age child at Discovery Day Care in Phoenix, is pretending to make a cookie with homemade play dough. Alaina is acting out a familiar role, as she has seen her mother baking at home. Discovery Day Care is enrolling preschool and school age students in the fall. Call 695-4838 for a tour. Discovery Day Care is a program of Oswego County Opportunities Education Services. For more information, visit OCO’s website at www.oco.org.

Discovery Day Care students enjoy a healthy picnic

Dining al fresco – Matthew Files, Alaina Hubbell and Blake Hoyt, students at the Discovery Day Care in Phoenix, are enjoying the weather by having a healthy lunch outside.  Discovery Day Care has openings in the preschool and school age rooms. For a tour, call 695-4838. Discovery Day Care is a program of Oswego County Opportunities Education Services.  For more information, visit OCO’s website at www.oco.org.
Dining al fresco – Matthew Files, Alaina Hubbell and Blake Hoyt, students at the Discovery Day Care in Phoenix, are enjoying the weather by having a healthy lunch outside. Discovery Day Care has openings in the preschool and school age rooms. For a tour, call 695-4838. Discovery Day Care is a program of Oswego County Opportunities Education Services. For more information, visit OCO’s website at www.oco.org.

Valley Viewpoints: Hannibal road fiasco; Goodbye to beloved community members

Shame on county in road fiasco

I attended a meeting held by an Oswego County committee on the road that was built by the county without the proper permits and without notifying the people living with in the area that the road was to be constructed. I was very disappointed listening to the county officials speak as all I got out of it was “Gee, we’re sorry.” I guess there were some things that were not handled correctly. (County Administrator Phil) Church said we will work on doing a better job next time. Is there going to be a next time?

I for one am not sure that the base of the road was fully dug out, or was it just covered up for use by the county or Faye and Jack Beckwith in the near future? I believe that the county needs to prove to the taxpayers that the road was removed totally. This can be done by core samples taken every 50 feet on the road they wrongfully built that will prove it was dug out and restored to the way it was before they chose to put it in without town and state permits.

The (state Department of Environmental Conservation) gave them an OK to mine the sand. That contract is good for five more years. Does this mean that they are going to try again? There are four privately owned sand pits under contract by Oswego County at this time. They did admit there was a sand pit offered several years ago (same connecting sand pit). What went wrong there? Beckwith’s price was not a cheaper offer.

Admitted by the county in the media, the cost was $40,000 plus to build and remove the illegal road. Kevin Gardner, legislator, made a statement at the meeting that cost was only $10,000 dollars because the equipment used belonged to the county. Wow. I guess he forgot that it was Oswego county taxpayers who bought that equipment and fuel! Another statement made in the media was by (Kurt) Ospelt, county highway superintendent. Asked if he had any comments, he replied, “It was a lie.”

What? Church seemed to say that this type of contract had not been done in a while, therefore they maybe weren’t up to date on the issues. For me that is no excuse. When we elect you as a legislator we believe if an issue comes up that you are not totally clear on you find your laws and agreements, read and understand them before you move forward on any issue.

After what I saw and have read, it looks like the taxpayers need to get rid of some of these legislators and employees who have been there for years and still do not know their jobs! There are still too many unanswered questions on this and more with the way the county is handling things.

–Sandra Blanchard, Fulton

Goodbye to 2 great people

Each of us is unique, special and important in our own way. When we enter this world there are certain standards, goals, objectives and perhaps a way of life that are expected of us, some of which we may be able to achieve. Some of us lead quiet lives while others live in the public arena. Regardless of our station in life, we all have a contribution to make whether it be a good parent, a good provider, a good student, a good role model, a good friend, caring for other people or just by living the golden rule.

Our community was saddened this past week by the passing of two individuals who had a great impact on so many of our lives.

On Wednesday, July 24, an outstanding cardiologist, Dr. Jayakumar Thotambilu – “Dr. Jay,” passed away suddenly. He was a very caring man who seemed to be everyone’s heart doctor. Those of us who were his patients were fortunate to have his special kind of skilled professionalism and care that was extended in a confident and friendly way. Dr. Jay will be greatly missed.

On Thursday, July 25, former Fulton mayor Muriel Allerton, at 93 years of age, passed away. Muriel was a woman of determination who loved others and her community and did her best to enhance the life of others. She did so by involving herself in many organizations, committees and a wide range of issues. Muriel and her husband, Joe, attended numerous functions and activities to show their support of an individual or an organization’s hard work.

There is no right time to leave this earth and no explanation of when and how it will happen, so we should live our lives the best we can by loving our families, doing the best we can to help others in need, understanding that not everyone thinks or looks alike and not being judgmental, knowing that each family has its own situation to deal with. Dr. Jay and Muriel chose very diverse pathways but each contributed to the betterment of our community. We, as individuals and as a community, are better off for having had them in our lives.

–Bob and Sandy Weston, Fulton