All posts by Andrew Henderson

Phoenix baseball tops Canastota in first round matchup

by Rob Tetro

The Phoenix varsity baseball team finished the regular season with an overall record of 8-8, which earned them the number-six seed in the Section III Class B playoffs.

In its opening round game Tuesday, Phoenix escaped with a 1-0 win over 11th seed Canastota to advance to the Sectional Quarterfinals.

The Firebirds were schedule to take on third seed Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Thursday. Phoenix struck the first blow when it took on Canastota.

Phoenix took a 1-0 lead during the bottom of the first inning. Despite having 5 and 1/2 innings to tie the game or possibly take the lead, Canastota came up empty.

Leading the way for Phoenix were Adam Thoryk and Emilio Tassone, who both had a hit. Justin Suttliffe added an RBI for the Firebirds.

On the mound, Tassone earned the win for Phoenix. Tassone finished with five strikeouts while allowing only five hits in six innings of play. In relief of Tassone, Thoryk allowed only one hit in one inning of action.

Thanks for the lake support

I want to thank all of the Lake Neatahwanta Committee members and others who donated not only food and supplies but also their time to make the chicken barbecue on May 11 a huge success.

The committee will continue to seek grants and donations and hope to see a clean lake become a reality.

Many thanks again to all who put their change and bills in the collection boxes.

Ed Williamson

Granby

LookingForRoom1

Fulton girls lacrosse falls to ES-M in sectional playoffs

Looking for room – Fulton’s Lane Perl makes a move on an East Syracuse-Minoa defender during Wednesdays’s Section III Class B first round game. Perl scored a goal in the 15-3 loss. –Valley News photo by Hal Henty
Looking for room – Fulton’s Lane Perl makes a move on an East Syracuse-Minoa defender during Wednesdays’s Section III Class B first round game. Perl scored a goal in the 15-3 loss.
–Valley News photo by Hal Henty

by Rob Tetro

The Fulton girls varsity lacrosse team earned a bid to the Section III Class B playoffs with a 7-9 overall record.

The Lady Raiders’ record earned them a sixth seed and a first-round game against number-three seed East Syracuse-Minoa Wednesday. East Syracuse-Minoa got off to a solid start while cruising to an impressive win over Fulton.

East Syracuse-Minoa dealt the Lady Raiders a blow during the first half of their May 22nd Sectional contest. East Syracuse-Minoa took an 8-0 lead into halftime. Unfortunately for The Lady Raiders, East Syracuse-Minoa’s lead only grew during the second half.

The number-three seed outscored Fulton by four goals en route to a 15-3 win over the Lady Raiders. Fulton was led by Kate Myers, who had two goals, and Lane Perl, who scored one goal. Keeper Kayla Pafami saved four shots on goal.

The Lady Raiders’ season concludes with a 7-10 overall record. Fulton bids farewell to Erica Knaub and Kate Rothrock, who spent this past season in the running to set a new school scoring record.

New gun laws

by Leon Archer

I don’t know how the majority of America’s citizens feel, because obviously I couldn’t have talked with them, but I know what I have been hearing from gun owners with whom I am actually acquainted and have spoken with about the recent spate of gun laws that have been passed, or are in the process of likely being passed — and they are not happy.

Some people might say to gun owners like myself, “Too bad, I’m glad that you aren’t happy about the laws and I hope the government makes it even tougher for you,” but they and the government are aiming their efforts and their barbs at the wrong people. I understand the intentions and the hopes of people and legislators who support more stringent gun laws while at the same time I feel sorry for them.

Why? Because not a single piece of legislation that has been passed in any state since the school shootings in Connecticut would prevent the same thing or something even worse from happening now or in the future in any place in the United States. At best, the laws will eventually make criminals out of law abiding citizens, and at worst, will make it easier for such massacres to take place. All laws, but especially gun laws, only constrain the honest person.

Criminals and terrorists, domestic or alien, could care less about our precious laws. Adding more laws only makes life tougher for the honest person; the criminals and terrorists could care less, or perhaps might be cheered by them as they only make their life and their nefarious activities that much safer and easier.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News

Fulton school budget approved by voters

by Nicole Reitz

The Fulton City School District’s $65.3 million budget received approval from voters Tuesday. The 2013-2014 school budget passed with an unofficial count of 381 to 200 votes.

In addition to the passing of the budget, incumbent board member David Carvey and newcomer Christine Plath were also elected for three year terms. In the unofficial count, Carvey received 489 votes while Plath received 469 votes. Plath will replace Brian Hotaling, whose term expires on June 30. Carvey has already served two years on the board of education.

There was a smaller voter turn out than in years past, but Superintendent Bill Lynch said he is pleased with the outcome and number of voters in favor of the budget. The budget set out what it meant to accomplish.

Since the budget was first introduced, the goal has been to maintain and grow learning opportunities for students of the district. With no staff reductions or cuts to programming, the board feels that this budget achieves that.

Despite a modest tax increase, the 2013-2014 budget relies less on the reserve balance, which puts the district in a positive position for next year, said Lynch.

Since the vote passed, there is no need for the board of education to adopt a contingency budget.

Conflict-of-interest? Another questionable bid surfaces in county

by Carol Thompson

For the third time in less than a year, a vendor competing for business in Oswego County has protested the manner in which county officials conduct the bidding process.

And, as in the past, there appears to be a relationship between the favored vendor and a county official.

The most recent complaint involves a bid for HVAC maintenance for the county’s facilities. During the Nov. 27 meeting of the legislature’s Infrastructure and Facilities Committee, a bid award was made to Postler and Jaeckle, the third lowest bidder.

Legislator John (Jay) Martino made the motion to award the bid to Postler and Jaeckel, with Legislator David Holst providing a second to the motion. EMCOR submitted a bid in the amount of $78,887, making the company the lowest bidder. Van Hook Services came in as the second lowest with a bid of $79,423. Postler and Jaeckle submitted a proposal for $82,980.

Although EMCOR and Van Hook were the lowest bidders, the committee rejected the bids claiming, “The reference checks and known past performance of these firms indicate that neither would perform adequately.” There was nothing in the file to indicate that the companies had been vetted.

Building and Grounds Director Bill Malone and then-purchasing director Fred Maxon recommended Postler and Jaeckle receive the bid award based on the past performance of the low bidders.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News

James Ambuske Sr., Union Local #520 president

James M. Ambuske Sr., 86, of Fulton, died May 23, 2013 at Michaud Residential Health Services, Fulton.

He was born in Salamanca, N.Y. to the late Frank and Helen (Bielfelt) Ambuske. Mr. Ambuske has been a resident of Fulton for 65 years. He was past employed with North End Paper Mill, Fulton and he retired after 36 years of employment with CCA/Jefferson Smurfit, Fulton where he also served as president of the Union Local #520.

Mr. Ambuske was a life member of the Fulton Polish Home.

He was pre-deceased by six siblings, Fred (Margie) Ambuske, Frank (Harriet) Ambuske, Dolores (Jim) Hill, Barbara (Huey) Newark, Anna (Dick) Guard, and Betty (David) Griffin; and son-in-law, Bernard Scout.

Mr. Ambuske is survived by his wife of 65 years, Alberta Weske Ambuske of Fulton; six children, Regina Scout of Fulton, James (Joyce) Ambuske Jr. of Fulton, Helen (Mike) Speck of Fulton, Colleen Ambuske of Fulton, Michael (Amy) Ambuske of Fulton, and  Karen (Bill) Fisher of Fulton; two brothers, Mark (Mary) Ambuske of Salamanca, N.Y. and Phillip (Joyce) Ambuske of Salamanca, N.Y.; six grandchildren, Amanda (Randy Lyttle) Scout, Brian Ambuske, Priscilla Ambuske, Josh (Ashley Sizemore) Speck,  Max Ambuske,  Megan (Bryant) Acquaro; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Holy Trinity Church, Fulton where a mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Rev. Robert Stephenson. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fulton.

Calling hours will be conducted Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., 224 W. Second St. S. Fulton.

Contributions may be made to St. Mary’s School of the Deaf, 2253 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214.

Fulton Service Clubs offer the Meaning of Memorial Day

The theme for this year’s Memorial Day Salute Parade is “America, United We Stand.”

Many area individuals, organizations, businesses and industries will try to develop their interpretation of this theme in the vehicles or floats they will enter in the parade today, May 25.

The Fulton Memorial Day Salute is a two-day event that is 32 years old this year, started and carried on by the four Fulton Service Clubs. The present service clubs working on this year’s events are the Fulton Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, and the Sunrise Rotary clubs.

The four service clubs have always been assisted by the Fulton Veterans Council in promoting and putting on this event. In years past, the Optimist and the Fulton JayCees were participants. These two clubs have since disbanded.

Several of the men and women who work on the Memorial Day Salute Steering Committee are veterans.

Organizers offered the meaning of Memorial Day: “As we enter the 13 year of the 21st century, our thoughts are with the men and women who protected our freedoms for the 237 years America has existed.

“During the last century, we had many conflicts. World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and The Gulf War come to mind. All in all, over 625,000 brave Americans have died fighting in a U.S. uniform during the 20th century.

“In this century, we have experienced two conflicts, one touching our shores on September 11, 2001, which have lead to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. We must keep these brave men and women, who are serving on active duty, in our thoughts and prayers as we experience this Memorial Day.

“How did Memorial Day come to be? The actual birthplace of Memorial Day is the nearby village of Waterloo. Shortly after the Civil War ended, a Waterloo druggist named Henry Welles collaborated with Union General John B. Murray to organize a local tribute for the war dead. The program included processions to and from the cemeteries, military music, speeches, wreaths, crosses, and bouquets.

“Of all the early such remembrances, Waterloo’s 1866 program most closely resembled Memorial Days to come. The pristine village of about 5,300 located only 40 miles from Fulton, in central New York’s Finger Lakes region, still follows its original Memorial Day model. “

In 1966, when Lyndon B. Johnson was President, he proclaimed Waterloo to be the official birthplace of Memorial Day. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Memorial Day, Waterloo opened to the public a 22 room Memorial Day Museum. Waterloo has the glory of officially holding the ‘first’ Memorial Day Program, but in reality, over two dozen communities in both the north and the south have claimed to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.

“The Memorial Day Salute Committee is very aware of the program they are offering to the community. We have never treated it as a celebration, but a program designed to raise the community’s awareness of the importance of this day of remembrance.

“The Fulton Veterans Council has a more traditional program on the Monday (the official Memorial Day) of Memorial Day weekend in which they visit the cemeteries and place American flags on all known veteran’s graves, and honor the deceased veterans at the various monuments around our city. Flowers are set out and a wreath is thrown in the Oswego River to honor those who have died at sea.

“Recently, it was published that the World War II veterans are dying at the rate of nearly 1,000 a day. These men and women are at least 83 years old and most are older. Many newspapers mark the obituaries of veterans with an American flag. This is a very nice thing to do.

“Many years ago, before 1966, Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day. This name comes from the fact that by the end of May, even in our northern climate, the flowers were in bloom and it was time to decorate the cemeteries.

“While the high death rate of the American Civil War (1860-65) was the initial reason for starting Memorial Day, this should not be the only reason for this holiday. Today, we should remember our deceased loved ones no matter if they are veterans or not.

“The Fulton Service Clubs and the Fulton Veteran’s Council have established Fulton’s way to remember this most important holiday. In the fall of each year, all of the Veterans’ organizations in the Fulton area choose a Veteran of the Year. This person is the Grand Marshall of the Memorial Day Parade. This year’s Grand Marshall is World War II veteran, Alfred Myhill.”