All posts by Andrew Henderson

Marcellus hands Phoenix first loss of the season

Loose ball – Phoenix’s Christopher Vaverchak knocks the ball away from Syracuse Academy of Science’s Nakis Johnson during a recent game. Also pictured are Firebirds Kyle Huniford (20) and Girolamo Mammolito (32). Vaverchak scored 17 points, but Phoenix lost 70-60. –Valley News photo by Hal Henty
Loose ball – Phoenix’s Christopher Vaverchak knocks the ball away from Syracuse Academy of Science’s Nakis Johnson during a recent game. Also pictured are Firebirds Kyle Huniford (20) and Girolamo Mammolito (32). Vaverchak scored 17 points, but Phoenix lost 70-60.
–Valley News photo by Hal Henty

by Rob Tetro

The Phoenix boys varsity basketball team lost its first game of the season when it took on Marcellus Dec. 18.

Following a decent start, Marcellus jumped out to an early lead. Unfortunately for the Firebirds, they were never really able to overcome the early deficit as Marcellus cruised to a 62-47 win.

Phoenix was led by Chris Vaverchak, who scored 19 points. Dylan Doupe added eight points and Zach Sisera finished with five points.
Avery Chisolm and Richard Howington chipped in four points each while Kyle Huniford, Bryan Murray and Bryce Plante combined to score seven points for The Firebirds.

Fulton ice hockey

The Fulton varsity hockey team is still winless as the season nears its halfway point.

During their last four games, Fulton has given up an average of eight goals a game while only scoring an average of a goal in each of those games.

The Red Raiders lost their sixth and seventh games of the season when they took on Whitesboro Dec. 11th and Christian Brothers Academy and Jamesville-DeWitt Dec. 14.
Whitesboro jumped out to three goal lead during the first period and didn’t look back when they took on the Red Raiders.

During the second period, Whitesboro added three more goals. Whitesboro scored four goals during the third period to cap off a 10-0 win.

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

State funding awarded to seven county projects

by Andrew Henderson

Seven Oswego County municipalities, businesses, and not-for-profit agencies have been awarded state funding through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council program.

Central New York and Northern New York were named “Top Performers” — taking home prizes of $93.8 million for 73 projects and $90.2 million for 82 projects respectively.

“Once again, we are showing that Central and Northern New York communities are ready to grow,” said Senator Patty Ritchie. “We have the good ideas, a trained and enthusiastic workforce and now, the needed investment and support of state government to continue to make our plans a reality and keep creating the jobs we need to revitalize our economy.

“I have been proud to work with Governor Cuomo on ideas and initiatives that will help our state grow and create more — and better — jobs,” added Ritchie.  “This is just one more example of how by working together we are creating a brighter future for New York and the people who live here.”

Ten Regional Economic Development Councils, comprised of experts and stakeholders with backgrounds in business, academia and local government and non-governmental organizations, were created last year to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions.

In 2011, $785 million was up for grabs by 10 regions.  Central and Northern New York received more than $200 million in funding for presenting “best plans” for growth. The funding awarded last week will help both regions continue those plans.

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

Oswego County officials mourn loss of Art Ospelt

Art Ospelt
Art Ospelt

Oswego County officials are mourning the loss of a colleague who gave more than four decades of public service to Oswego County residents.

Arthur Ospelt, District 12 legislator and vice chairman of the legislature, died Dec. 18.

Ospelt served in several leadership roles in town and county government. He is remembered as a strong and visionary leader who took great pride in the people and resources of Oswego County.

“His heart and soul were truly devoted to Oswego County,” said Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley. “Art truly was a larger than life presence in Oswego County. His knowledge of the county and his dedication to it was immeasurable. His accomplishments will continue to benefit our citizens for generations to come.”

Ospelt is best known for the development of Oswego County’s comprehensive solid waste management system.

When New York State began to close town dumps across the state, under Ospelt’s leadership, Oswego County took a proactive position and offered to implement a centralized county-owned solid waste system.

The county took over the locally operated Silk Road landfill from the municipalities of Fulton, Granby, Volney and Phoenix.

In 1975, the county opened the first solid waste transfer stations in Hastings, Pulaski and Oswego. All were located on active dumps that were closed by the county.

The county began the process of developing a new county landfill in 1976. Following a number of permit applications, public hearings, and lawsuits, the county was issued a construction permit and began building the Bristol Hill Landfill in Volney in 1982. The new state-of-the-art landfill opened in September 1983.

Having suffered through the sometimes painful trials and tribulations of siting the county’s first landfill, Ospelt quickly recognized the advantage of prolonging its projected life. It was this quest that led him to propose the construction of an Energy Recovery Facility in 1979.

The resource recovery facility was constructed on N.Y.S. Route 481 north of Fulton, and by late 1985, the facility was converting vast quantities of potential landfill materials into steam and electricity that could now be sold to third party users.

A few years later, under Ospelt’s leadership, Oswego County implemented one of the first voluntary recycling programs in New York State.
Soon after, the county began a feasibility study for a materials recovery facility to process and sell recyclable materials. Separate recycling drop-off centers were built at the Pulaski, Hastings and Oswego transfer stations. Mandatory recycling was enacted in 1992 and the Materials Recovery Facility opened for business the same year.

“Art’s efforts to minimize the amount of materials that go into the landfill have likely extended the potential life of the facility by as much as five times the original estimates,” said Beardsley. “As a result, Oswego County has received several awards and international recognition for the solid waste system and energy recovery facility, which will serve our residents for years to come.

“As county legislator, superintendent of Public Works, and as county administrator, Art always had the ability to see the big picture and look for the best solution for Oswego County residents,” continued Beardsley.

“He made sure that Oswego County roads were in excellent condition. Our snow removal programs are second-to-none, with the best crews and equipment anywhere. He was instrumental in the development and maintenance of the county airport and served for many years on the county industrial development agency board. He was a kind and caring person, with a great sense of humor that smoothed over many a debate on the floor of the legislature.”

Ospelt was first elected supervisor of the Town of Schroeppel, serving from 1970 to 1990. When the Board of Supervisors transitioned into the County Legislature, Ospelt served as chairman of the Legislature in 1976 and 1977.

He resigned as legislator in 1977 when he was appointed superintendent of highways and later superintendent of public works, a position he held until 1990.

In 1990, Ospelt was appointed Oswego County administrator, a position he held until his retirement in 1996. After a four-year retirement, he returned to his passion of serving the public and was elected legislator from District 12 in Pennellville, a position he served from 2000 until his death.

Duane C. Farrell, Navy veteran

Duane C. Farrell, 86, of Fulton, died Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 at home.

Born in Wilmington, N.Y., he had resided in Fulton since 1971. He retired in 1988 from Local 747 as a carpenter where he worked for many years. He had also worked overseas as general foreman and supervisor in East Pakistan, Vietnam, Iran and had made two trips to Africa.

He was a Navy veteran serving from 1944 to 1946. He loved to restore antique cars. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Surviving are his wife, the former Jean Fetkiw; son, Scot (Jeanne) Farrell of Oswego; daughter, Tia (Jeff) Preston of Lake Placid; three grandchildren, Melissa (Donald) Herbert, Aaron Farrell and Keir Demars; and two great-grandchildren, Morgan and Zachary Herbert.

There are no calling hours or services. Contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice in Duane’s memory.

Foster Funeral Home was in care of arrangement.

Carmella Bifera, Former Fulton resident

Carmella Bifera, 99, formerly of Fulton, died peacefully Dec. 23, 2012 at Albany County Nursing Home, Albany.

Mrs. Bifera was born in Fulton to the late Vincent and Gidia (Vecchio) Di Bernardo. She was a homemaker and she loved to sew, read and she was an avid gardener while raising her family.

Later, Mrs. Bifera was employed with Birds Eye Foods, Fulton.  She was a member of the Fulton Alliance Church, Fulton.

Mrs. Bifera was pre-deceased by her husband, John Bifera in 1975, and two brothers, Jack and Joseph DiBernardo.

She is survived by her sons,  Frank (Lisa) Bifera of Albany and John (Joanne) Bifera of Fulton; three daughters, Marie Miller of Virginia, Hilda Scaccia of Georgia, and Christine Bifera of Virgina; two sisters, Kay Dickquist and Rose Pannofino of Fulton; nine grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and three nephews.

Funeral services and calling hours will be held privately.  Burial will be held in the spring at Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton.  Donations may be made to the Fulton Alliance Church, State Route 48, Fulton, NY 13069.

Sugar Funeral Home, Fulton was in care of the arrangements.

December 31st

by Jim Farfaglia

The days of our year
have been collected,
each placed in a sack
we have labeled 2012.

This bag has grown fat –
filled with April’s blossoms,
August’s dog days,
October’s tumble-leaves.

Now, near the year’s end,
time slows to a standstill,
the sack offering one last chance
to remember and reflect…

until we arrive at today,
the year bundled complete,
and we fall into slumber – awakening
to the empty sack of a new year.

Remember the children

As a parent who has suffered the loss of a child, I truly cannot say I know what the parents of the Newtown children that lost their lives are going through.

How horrific to have your child ripped away from you by someone that only public opinion will probably give you a definition of.

Where does a child look for protection? It is not them who have created this world that we live in. How are we going to protect them now? What are we going to do to protect them?

Pretty big question when you think about it; what is going to keep our children safe when they are not with us, their guardians?

I can hear it now, everybody’s opinions on what they are going to do about it, with no avail. This time of despair for the people involved with the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy has opened everyones eyes, whether it be to the point of fighting back tears every time it is on the news, or just in passing conversation.

I feel that if you have an opinion, please voice it; it may be the only way to save our children now and in the future. This problem needs to be rectified so that parents and children can feel safe.

Take time to remember Jesus Christ, who died for all of us (Luke 22:19b), and take time to remember all of the precious little souls that will never be forgotten and will forever be in our hearts and in our Father’s house (John 14:1-4).

Only through faith we can all find some kind of peace.

Linda Parkhurst

Emily Cali, Owned Cali’s Casa Nova

OBITS-CaliEmilyEmily M. Cali, 90, a resident of Fulton, died Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 in Oswego Hospital.

Mrs. Cali was born in Bronx, the daughter of the late Frank and Emily (Kistner) Ptacek.

Mrs. Cali with her late husband Rosario “Ray” Cali, and Vincent and Barbara Cali owned and operated Cali’s Casa Nova in Fulton, and Rosario “Ray” and Emily owned and operated Cali’s Mini Italia in Granby.

She was an avid attendee of morning mass at Holy Family and Holy Trinity Churches.

She is survived by her children, Raymond (Barbara) Cali of Fulton, Patricia (Douglas) Hart of Fulton, Linda (David) Brown of Rochester, and Michael (Sandra) Cali of Fulton; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Friday at the Sugar Funeral Home, Fulton and at Holy Trinity Church, Fulton. Entombment will be All Saints Mausoleum, Oswego.

Calling hours were held Thursday at the funeral home.

Contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.