All posts by Andrew Henderson

Conservatives endorse Republicans and Democrats for fall elections

by Andrew Henderson

The Oswego County Conservative Party and Chairman Ron Greenleaf have announced its slate of candidates for the fall elections.

For the Oswego County Legislature, the Conservatives have endorsed a mix of Republicans and Democrats, including Margaret A Kastler for District 1, Milferd Potter for District 2, Shawn Doyle for District 3, Ron Sakonyi for District 5, Daniel LeClair for District 8, and Linda Lockwood for District 11.

The party has also endorsed Kevin Gardner for District 13, Bradley T. Coe for District 14, Shane Broadwell for District 17, Michael Kunzwiler for District 18, Marie Schadt for District 19, Terry Wilbur for District 21, James Karasek for District 22, Morris Sorbello Jr. for District 23, Daniel T. Farfaglia for District 24, and Frank Castiglia Jr. for District 25.

There will be two primaries: In District 20 between Joseph Susino and Douglas Malone and in District 12 between Richard P. Kline and John Brandt.

Kurt Ferris, who has also been endorsed by the Democrats, has received the Conservative line for Oswego County treasurer.

The party endorsed one candidate in the City of Fulton. Former Fulton Common Council Tom Kenyon is seeking a return to the First Ward seat. In the City of Oswego, Conservatives have endorsed Shawn P. Walker for Fourth Ward and Lee B. Walker for Fifth Ward.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or call 598-6397 to subscribe

More Fulton history

by Jerry Kasperek

E-mails have flown back and forth between Marion Murphy Stanton and I that happily jogged each other’s memories, thanks to Mary Runeari and her writings in my last column.

Mary worked at Frawley’s luncheonette on East Broadway as a teenager and discovered that the “neat gentleman” who came in to get his coffee cup refilled each morning was none other than Mr. Murphy, who owned Murphy’s Gift Shop next door.

In later years, Mary became active with the American Field Service along with Mr. Murphy’s wife, Marie. The Murphy’s had two daughters, Eleanor (Vaynor) and Marion (Stanton) and one son Richard.

Eleanor and Marion still live in our community but Mary had lost track of Richard.

In case you don’t remember, Dear Readers, Murphy’s Gift Shop was on East Broadway, on the north side of the street, in the block between South First and South Second Streets (S. Second is now Route 481).

“John Finnocchario had his barber shop next door,” Marion wrote, “and the Victory Grill was on the corner, with Mr. Scanlon’s liquor store next door to the east. Mrs. Percival and later the Courbats lived in the little house, and after Quade’s came the Sealright Bowling Alley and the — I think — the Commodore Restaurant. Mr. Jonietz Texaco station was on the corner.

Marion continued, “I remember Mary working at Frawley’s (later Kanaley’s and Guilfoyle’s) and it was always a lot of fun when she was on! Not that the other staff wasn’t great too…We’ll share her recollections with our brother Richard who lives in Rochester,” she said.


To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or call 598-6397 to subscribe


Second annual Arty Day Camp to be held July 15-19

Creative works – Children enjoy creating works of art at CNY Art’s Center Arty Day Camp. The second annual camp is accepting students for July 15-19 and August 19-23. Children can choose from art, writing, dance or theater.
Creative works – Children enjoy creating works of art at CNY Art’s Center Arty Day Camp. The second annual camp is accepting students for July 15-19 and August 19-23. Children can choose from art, writing, dance or theater.

CNY Arts Center’s second annual Arty Day Camp will run July 15-19 and Aug. 19-23 at the State Street Methodist Church in Fulton.

The camp will offer students a choice of art, writing, dance and theatre classes along with lunch and afternoon group art projects from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Art classes with Kendra Matott and Ken Blount will deliver unusual art lessons. Matott, CNY Arts Center’s studio arts coordinator has a love of magic and fantasy and creates a variety of classes and workshops, including storytime art to different ways to draw, including drawing with your feet.

Blount has pioneered a textured, collage art technique which he will share with art students during the week.

Students will disassemble objects before turning them into unique pieces of art.

His work is on exhibit along with Kendra’s at CNY Arts Center’s Arts in the HeART gallery at 47 S. First St., Fulton.

Writing classes boast the talents of a professional writer leading students to explore writing concepts and nurture the love of writing.

Mary Slimmer, retired from the Oswego City School District after 25 years, has written many eclectic articles for newspapers and recently completed her first novel for young adults.

This adventuresome story follows a group of elementary school friends through some challenging and scary events.

“The characters in the book are fictional,” said Slimmer, “but they were inspired by the many children I worked with over the years.”

She has also been recently published in a book of poetry.

Dance classes with Jennica Vehrs will provide students with the opportunity to experience lyrical/contemporary and jazz dancing.

Throughout the course of the week, students will learn and participate in stretches to improve flexibility, across-the-floor exercises to improve technique, and both a lyrical/contemporary routine as well as a jazz routine to implement the components of these dance styles.

Vehrs recently completed her master’s in literacy from SUNY Oswego where she also holds a bachelor’s degree in childhood education.

Drama, improv, theatre games and props will be the order of the day for students interested in theater classes.

Students will be led through exercises to expand awareness of the physical environment, learn the “who, what, where and why” of acting, polish stage presence and discover the tools to create believable characters!

Classes will be taught by Adam Schmidtmann, who recently portrayed the role of Fred in CNY Arts Center’s production of “Helen Keller.”

Schmidtmann began working with CNY Arts Center as stage manager for “Yes, Virginia, The Musical” and was co-director of Kids Onstage production of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

He will be co-teaching Kids Onstage again this fall.

Students will receive morning instructions with these professionals followed by lunch, which is provided, then group activities.

Fees apply for instruction in art, writing, dance and theater and scholarships are available made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.

Registration is available online at

CNY Arts Center is also designated as a Summer Meal Site to offer free lunches to community children 18 and under during the week of ARTY Day Camp.

Children who attend the lunch will be included in afternoon art projects at no charge. Children in the afternoon program should also pre-register at

Those seeking more information may visit the web site or call the center at 592-3373.

Friday Night Lights III this Friday in Fulton

The annual Friday Night Lights Takedown Tournament is set for Friday, July 12 at the Fulton High School Athletic Complex.

In its third year, the tournament has become a major summer sports event for Fulton and Central New York Wrestling enthusiasts.

The 2011 and 2012 events both drew more than 325 competitors and hundreds of fans from central and upstate New York.

This year, in addition to wrestlers from all over New York, a group of 18 wrestlers from Canada have signed up. They are from the Team Impact Wrestling Club in Mississauga, Ontario.

The Team Impact Wrestling Club is recognized as one of 14 national training centres in Canada is an affiliated club with the Ontario Amateur Wrestling Association, and the Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association.

The Friday Night Lights DJ will start spinning tunes to wrestle by at 6 p.m. when the five to six year olds start the competition on all seven mats simultaneously.

It continues until the event’s conclusion with the competition for post-graduates and old timers.

Fulton Hoboes

by Roy Hodge

Do you remember the Fulton Hoboes? I do, and if not for any other reason, every once in a while when I come across a photo of the group when son Jeff was a member.

In my memory, the Hoboes were an important part of the Cracker Barrel Fair, which was a fixture in Fulton for many years, and were still strutting their stuff during Riverfest celebrations in the late 80s and 90s.

From Hodgepodge, August 15, 1989:

Wasn’t Riverfest wonderful?

“On Saturday I sat on the front porch of The Fulton Patriot building for three hours and along with many other Festival goers soaked in the soothing Dixieland strains of the Hanover Squares, a talented six-some of musicians from the Syracuse area.

“The afternoon’s musical program had been underway a few minutes when the city’s esteemed group of fanatical funsters, The Fulton Hoboes, showed up to partake of the entertainment. I guess the Hoboes had sent an advance man to scout the premises and as soon as the announcement was made that there was food and drink inside the Hoboes trooped in, en masse.

“Hanover Squares drummer Dick Jones, who is always quick with appropriate commentary, noted: ‘That must be the paper’s staff.’

“Funny? Yes, but…Two of the hoboes actually are (in real life, as they say), members of The Patriot’s staff.

“If my recollection of Fulton clowning history is coming back to me properly as I type this, I can tell you that the Fulton Hoboes were formed somewhere around 25 years ago. They originally got together as part of the programs at the First Methodist Church annual talent show. The group became well known to the public after Fulton’s Cracker Barrel Fairs were started in 1966.

“Original members of that group of clowners included Chubby Scaringi, Jan Peacock, Barbara Phelps, and Betty McGraw, with Shirlee Collins and Norma Owens also logging plenty of duty in the early years.

“Among my fondest memories, I recall the first years of the Cracker Barrel Fair when a certain little kid, who happened to share my last name among other things, fell in love with the Hoboes and tagged them relentlessly around the fairgrounds all during the fair. After about three years of that one of the Hoboes finally said, ’Listen kid, if you’re going to hang around with us you’re going to have to wear a funny hat and a red nose.’

“That little kid grew up to be Hobo Jeff, the tall skinny member of today’s version of the Fulton Hoboes.


To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or call 598-6397 to subscribe


Hannibal’s SOS Fest to feature national bands

by Andrew Henderson

The SOS Fest, a three-day music festival, will be held July 19 through July 21 at the Hannibal Firemans Field on Rochester Street.

The musical lineup features bands from all over the country,  including many national acts. There will also be speakers, food booths, free waterslides, craft booths, and many display booths.

The festival begins Friday, July 19 at 7 p.m. with “Second Story” from Fulton and “The Sent Forth” from Central New York. The bands will be followed by well known speaker Wes Aarum from Buffalo.

The night will end with national recording artists, “The Brothers McClurg,” from the Buffalo area. There is a cost for Friday night.

Music resumes Saturday evening at 5 p.m. with “The Good Fight” from Mexico, “Mollys Way” from Utica, “The 7 Thunders” from Long Island, “Against the Slate” from Pennsylvania, “Life Band” with Jonnie Nickles from Rome, national recording artist Grant Woell from Michigan and national recording artist, “Everyday Sunday” from Ohio.

In between bands, there will be several other special guest speakers and singers. There is a cost for Saturday as well.


To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or call 598-6397 to subscribe

Largest group graduates from Oswego County Drug Treatment Court

by Nicole Reitz

Twenty-two participants have successfully completed the Oswego County Drug Treatment Court — the largest graduating class since the program began in August of 1999.

“Tomorrow is a fresh opportunity to make it better,” said Drug Court graduate Tracie Ormsby.

Drug Court is structured to give non-violent offenders with a history of substance abuse a second chance at life outside of prison.

Those who are accepted into the treatment court program receive intensive supervision and monitoring by the court and are also required to complete addiction treatment programs.

Those selected for the alternative to incarceration program are required to stay in drug court for a minimum of one year.

In the first four months, people in drug court are required to go to weekly court sessions. After those four months, they must appear in court every two weeks and so on. Some must make payments towards restitution.

Drug court members also need to complete 25 hours of community service. In order to get to graduation, participants must also have a significant amount of clean and sober time under their belt. In their speeches at Friday’s ceremony, several people mentioned their sobriety date.

Although these 22 people made it through the program, not everyone does.

Program administrator David Guyer said that the completion rate is between 50 and 55 percent, which is in line with the state and national average for drug court programs.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or call 598-6397 to subscribe


Fulton Library offers children’s writing program

“What Do Your Words Say About You?” is the latest class for young writers being offered by the Fulton Public Library.

For youth ages 8-13, the week-long program will feature engaging activities for those who love to write and want to improve their skills.

The program will take place at the library from July 29 through Aug. 2 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. daily.

Instructors for the class are Karen Burke and Jim Farfaglia.

Burke is a former teacher from the Oswego City School District and Farfaglia is retired from the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. Both have spent recent years developing their own writing as well as sharing their ideas with others by leading classes.

“We are happy to have Karen and Jim back to provide programming for young writers,” said Betty Maute, director of the Fulton Public Library.

Burke said. “Writing, teaching and working with young people is a winning trio for me. I’m excited about the opportunity to spark interest in young writers and to enjoy the enthusiasm that young people bring to a new experience.”

Farfaglia said, “It is always a pleasure to work with young people who love to write. Karen and I are planning an interactive program, with lots of activities to stir creative minds and inspire good writing.”

There is no fee for this program. A snack will be served each day. There is a limited number of slots available for the class and those interested should call 315-592-5159.

Once registered, participants will have their name put in a lottery. The class will be selected randomly from all names submitted.