All posts by Andrew Henderson

Oswego County launches free snowmobile trail app

The Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning has partnered with Mohawk Valley GIS and the Oswego County Snowmobile Association to offer a free trail app for riders in the snow blessed Tug Hill region.

The app contains interactive maps of 378 miles of snowmobile trails, public parking locations, 10 snowmobile clubs, 25 restaurants, 21 gas stations, 11 lodgings, and several more snowmobile-related and supporting businesses along the Oswego County trail system.

As of press time, 837 people had downloaded the app, which displays the rider’s current GPS location and trail data. Once it’s been loaded on a smart phone, the trails can be accessed at any time.

“Oswego County is blessed with a wide variety of natural resources that are enjoyed by thousands of visitors from around the world throughout the year,” said Dave Turner, director of the county Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

“Our annual snowfall (sometimes the highest this side of the Rockies) is near the top of the list of attractions here for outdoor enthusiasts. We were delighted to be selected as the model for this new service, and we hope that it will become the tool that helps create a safe and enjoyable experience for resident snowmobilers and wintertime visitors alike.”

Linda Rockwood, developer of the www.NYSnowmobileWebMap.com site and owner of Mohawk Valley GIS, approached the county more than a year ago and offered to develop the app as a pilot project.

“The timing was perfect, said Rockwood. “Oswego County wanted to include their trails in the interactive trail map website project, and we wanted to create a free app that featured the trails in one of our state’s more popular regions.”

As part of the joint promotional effort, sponsoring businesses in Oswego County were offered a discounted advertising package that includes the countywide paper trail map, web map, premium statewide and free trail apps, and GPS trail sets.

The Snowmobiling Oswego County app is available in both Apple’s appStore and Google’s Play store.

Bird decoys

bird decoys
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

It’s amazing how another year has flown; here we are past Christmas with New Year’s celebrations a couple days away, and to me at least, it hardly seems possible.

It has been a good year with great times spent with family, no really bad things happening to any of us, and Sweet Thing and I have been able to spend some time working on projects that we really enjoy.

She has been working away on quilts with her sisters once a week when we are in the area. I have been making a few decoys, catching some fish with my grandchildren and I had the pleasure of watching Nathaniel complete his first shore bird decoy in time to give it to his father and mother for Christmas.

Nathaniel and I have been learning together how to make shorebirds and I think he might be better than I am at it. He is a good learner and has been able to apply everything that

I have taught him and understands the rational for making decoys that will fool birds, while at the same time not looking like real birds frozen forever in wood.

We don’t make wooden birds with burnt in feathering or every single feather painted perfectly in place. Our birds are impressionistic and pattern painted.

All the old decoy makers made blocks that would fool wild birds long enough to get them into easy range for shooting. None of those old hunting decoys would fool any of us into believing they are real.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

County mails 2013 Public Emergency Response Information Calendars to residents

The 2013 edition of the Oswego County “Public Emergency Response Information” calendar has been mailed to residents in the 10-mile emergency planning zone near the nuclear power plants in Scriba, according to Terry Bennett, emergency services program coordinator of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office.

The calendar is a joint effort of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, Entergy, the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, and the New York State Office of Emergency Management.

It contains guidelines for public response to radiological and other types of emergencies for people that live within ten miles of Nine Mile Point.

The calendar features stunning photographs of landscape and outdoor scenes throughout Oswego County. Contributors for the 2013 calendar include Stephen Carolin, EllenLandphere, Fred Catella, Susan Altimonda, Mike Gilbert, Bob Kester, Celia Potter, Larry Jerrett, Vern Svereika, and Paul DiVita.

“The photos depict the beauty of the four seasons in Oswego County,” said Bennett. “We appreciate the talented photographers who allowed us to use their artwork.”

The calendar also includes a schedule for testing the county’s prompt notification system, including the sirens and tone-alert weather radios.

If a radiological emergency occurs, people should turn to an Oswego County Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio or television station for information.

People in the 10-mile emergency planning zone who might need special assistance are asked to fill out and return the detachable, postage-paid postcard on the back cover of the calendar.

Residents in the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone that have not received a calendar by Dec. 28 are asked to call the Oswego County Emergency Management Office at 591-9150 or 1-800-962-2792.

Oswego County to hold organizational meeting Jan. 3

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature will hold its annual organizational meeting Jan. 3 at 2 p.m.

At that time, the legislature will elect a chairman and vice chairman. The majority and minority leaders will be named as well.

The legislature will also elect a legislature clerk and designate the officials banks and newspapers for 2013.

Legislator Shane Broadwell, who was appointed to replace Legislator Mary Flett, will begin his term as an elected official. Flett died in August and her seat was on the November ballot.

Broadwell ran unopposed and will serve through the end of 2013.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Barbara Whitmer, Worked at Nestle

Barbara J. Diamond Whitmer, 56, of Fulton, died Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.

She was a life resident of the Fulton area and had worked at Wal-Mart. She had previously worked at Nestle Co. in Fulton.

She enjoyed reading, cooking, cake decorating and the time spent with family and friends.

She was predeceased by her father, Charles Diamond.

She is survived by her husband, Daniel Whitmer; her mother, Alice Diamond; siblings, Lois Groat, Susan Mastro, Gail Patterson, Charles Diamond, Joyce Geble, Joan Diamond,  Janet Busch; as well as Daniel’s family, several nieces, nephews and cousins.  Calling hours were held Friday at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton.

BOCES students participate in outreach project

Generosity project – Oswego County BOCES students and staff members display the fleece tie-blankets that they created as part of a generosity community outreach project to benefit Oswego County Opportunities’ Program to Assist the Teenage Homeless or PATH Program. Above, left to right are: OCB School Counselor Jo Ann Smegelsky, Richard Preeman, Cody Holmquist, Oswego County Opportunities PATH Program representative Karen Merrill, Matthew Snyder, James Baldwin, Connor Caughy and OCB Teacher Marian Becker.
Generosity project – Oswego County BOCES students and staff members display the fleece tie-blankets that they created as part of a generosity community outreach project to benefit Oswego County Opportunities’ Program to Assist the Teenage Homeless or PATH Program. Above, left to right are: OCB School Counselor Jo Ann Smegelsky, Richard Preeman, Cody Holmquist, Oswego County Opportunities PATH Program representative Karen Merrill, Matthew Snyder, James Baldwin, Connor Caughy and OCB Teacher Marian Becker.

“The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Those words, made famous by Mahatma Gandhi, characterize a recent community outreach project where students at Oswego County BOCES experienced the true spirit of generosity.

The project was a cooperative effort between OCB School Counselor Jo Ann Smegelsky and students in Marian Becker’s and Joanne St. Gelais’ classrooms to create fleece tie-blankets for homeless teens in Oswego County.

In preparation for the project, students researched generosity and were asked to write their own definition for the word.
Connor Cauchy from Ms. Becker’s class defined generosity as “more than an item or article of clothing, it is the friends you can make by giving your friendship to them.”

In addition the students were asked to give their interpretation of many notorious quotes about selflessness and giving including this statement by Helen Keller: “Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain.”

Generosity is one of the four central values of the Circle of Courage youth empowered model adopted by Special Education classrooms at OCB. The other values are independence, belonging, and mastery.

As part of the Circle of Courage philosophy students participate in curriculum-enriched ABLE time each school day. Standing for Actions Building Life Experience, ABLE time gives students an opportunity to engage in collaborative projects and build relationships while demonstrating personal responsibility.

It was during their ABLE time that the students in Ms. Becker’s and Ms. St. Gelais’ classrooms made the fleece tie-blankets.

The finished blankets were donated to Oswego County Opportunities for distribution to the Program to Assist the Teenage Homeless or PATH, which provides services to assist homeless youth in becoming self-sufficient.

Karen Merrill from the PATH program stopped by the school to accept the donation and thank the students for their hard work, kindness and generosity.