All posts by Colin Hogan

Lynch to retire from FCSD next year

Superintendent Bill Lynch speaks at a budget hearing earlier this year.
By Colin Hogan

Fulton City School District Superintendent Bill Lynch will be retiring from his position at the end of the 2015-16 school year, district officials confirmed Wednesday.
Lynch, who has served as superintendent for more than a decade, recently announced his plan to retire to the district’s staff via email. Board of Education President David Cordone said Wednesday that Lynch will continue in his role through the end of his current contract, which ends June 30, 2016.
Cordone, who has served on the board for most of Lynch’s tenure with the district, praised Lynch for the level of stability his leadership has provided over the last 11 years, noting that many districts struggle to keep superintendents in place for that long.
“We’re very fortunate to have had the same superintendent in place for that length of time. He really brought a level of stability to the district,” Cordone said. “We’ve appreciated his leadership.”
The board has begun putting wheels in motion to find Lynch’s successor, Cordone said. In an executive session Tuesday, board members reviewed qualifications of consulting firms recommended by the New York State School Boards Association that specialize in such matters. Cordone said the board has narrowed its list to three candidates, and will officially make its selection in a special meeting on Sept. 3.
Once a consultant is lined up, the board will begin tailoring a search and hiring plan that fits the district’s specific needs. Cordone called the act of hiring a superintendent “one of the most important decisions a school board makes,” and said the board plans remain transparent and seek community input through the process.
“Right now, we’re looking to fine tune and tailor a plan that looks at what the district and community need in the next superintendent,” Cordone said.
Cordone said once the plan has been worked out with the consultant, residents can expect to see an online survey posted on the district’s website that seeks input for the superintendent search. The board also intends to schedule either site-based or general public gatherings to hear feedback from the community, the details of which will be announced as the process unfolds, he said.
Cordone noted that, unlike neighboring Hannibal Central School District — which saw its superintendent retire this summer and had to find an  interim replacement within about month’s time — Fulton has the benefit of a full school year to work through the process.
“We’re fortunate that we will have the whole school year to work this out,” he said.
Lynch, who was away on vacation this week, was not reachable for comment as of press time Thursday.

Granby officials debate plow options

By Matthew Reitz

Officials in Granby are in disagreement on how to deal with the town’s aging fleet of snowplows.
Councilor Lori Blackburn expressed concern over the town’s lack of a viable backup vehicle in a work session Wednesday, and the board struggled to come up with a plan to address the issue.
At a previous meeting, officials discussed a snow truck analysis report prepared by DeLong Enterprises, which lead Town Supervisor Ed Williamson to suggest the town put two of its aging snowplows and a wood chipper on the website Auctions International. In the same meeting, the board began weighing options for a backup snowplow, including the possibility of renting a vehicle from the county.
Blackburn said she spoke with Oswego County Highway Superintendent Kurt Ospelt, and he told her that he couldn’t guarantee a truck would always be readily available to the town. She conveyed that the town should be looking to the county strictly in the case of an emergency, and should have its own backup truck.
“You can’t rent a snowplow from the county for the year or for the month,” Blackburn said. “The only option we have if one of our trucks break down is, if they have a vehicle available—because they serve 22 towns—then we could go up and get it.”
Blackburn said this wasn’t a viable option, because it could cause interruptions in snow removal that create hazardous road conditions and school delays.
“We’ll have a real mess on our hands if we don’t have a backup on site,” Blackburn said. “We can’t run a fleet without a backup.”
Councilor Matt Callen said he had “heard horror stories” about the town’s oldest truck and said they would need a new truck, or some other alternative, to get through the winter. Blackburn said the town could put a down payment on a new truck by moving forward with the sale of the two aging snow plows and delaying what she called “unnecessary” purchases of furniture for the town offices.
Williamson said the town should look into how much it would cost to make one of the two trucks it currently plans to sell operable. Blackburn said “it’s not fiscally responsible to invest in a vehicle that old and in that much disrepair.” Highway Superintendent Robert Phillips and Deputy Highway Superintendent Mike Longo appeared to agree with Blackburn’s assessment.
Councilor Brenda Frazier-Hartle said she wasn’t against purchasing a new truck, but stressed that she was against purchasing one this year. Williamson said there was no money in the budget for a new vehicle, and suggested “intelligently working it into the budget (next year).”
Longo said he received a quote for a new truck, which would cost the town $216,000 and could be bought with payments delayed until next year. Blackburn said the town could purchase a new truck now and work the cost into next year’s budget. She said that would give the town a safe, reliable fleet to get through the coming winter, and the necessary time to plan for the expense.
“This is absolutely reasonable and attainable,” Blackburn said. “We have to be forward thinking about this.”
The board unanimously approved the sale of the two aging trucks, but took no action on replacing them. Williamson asked Longo to bring a representative from the snowplow company to speak with the board next month to further explore the possibility of purchasing a vehicle and the financing options available.
Following the debate over the snowplows, the board discussed a project that will replace the floors, paint the walls and bring new furniture to two town offices at a cost of nearly $8,000.
Blackburn questioned whether the furniture for both offices was urgent.
“I don’t think we think the process through very well,” Blackburn said. “When you say we don’t have money, we have money—it’s what we choose to spend it on.”
Williamson said the money was coming out of the town’s buildings fund, and the costs are “way under budget.” A divided board hesitantly approved the project with Frazier-Hartle and Callen approving the measure, and Blackburn opposing it.

Construction underway on Hannibal water extension

By Matthew Reitz

Crews have broken ground on the extension of a Water Service Area 3 in Hannibal, which will bring the service to about 70 more homes.
The project is being called Water Service Extension 4, and will cover the balance of Stock Road that is not currently serviced, Fowler Road and Sixty Six Road from Durbin Road to the other side of Dunham Road, according to Town Supervisor Ron Greenleaf.
Greenleaf announced at a recent meeting that the construction project was underway, with crews beginning to lay pipe and do what he called “pushes under the creeks,” where flexible pipe is needed as opposed to solid pipe.
“Our water project is going well,” Greenleaf said. “They were probably two weeks later than they said getting in here, but they’ll make that up in no time.”
The project is expected to be finished sometime this fall. Greenleaf estimated a mid-October completion.
“They have 100 days from last month,” Greenleaf said. “I really think they’re going to fly through on the main lines.”
He said the extension includes 22,000 feet of pipe, and will service approximately 79 additional parcels and 70 homes. Residents in the service area will have the option to hook in to the water service at their own cost. Voters approved the project in a referendum in 2013.
The entire project will cost approximately $1.457 million, according to Greenleaf. A $682,000 grant will come from the USDA Department of Rural Development, and the town will receive a low-interest loan for the remaining $775,000. Highlander Construction of Memphis, N.Y. is managing the installation.
Public hearing for
zoning laws set
The town board established a public hearing to discuss upcoming changes to the town’s zoning law before the September meeting, which will be held at 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 16. The board previously had a public hearing regarding its zoning laws in combination with a new set of regulations on dog boarding and breeding facilities, but Greenleaf said the it had to deal with the two issues separately.
“We have to separate them, and there’s some verbiage that needed to change,” Greenleaf said. The biggest change will take the responsibility of enforcement away from the planning board and place it with the code enforcement office.
Contention over
mileage payments
The board went into an executive session to discuss mileage claims made by the town’s dog control officer that one councilman deemed excessive.
Councilman George Ritchie brought the matter to the attention of the town board, and asked Greenleaf if mileage was paid from the town line or from the dog control officer’s home. Gary Thompson, a candidate for town council, has scrutinized past mileage claims and believes the dog control officer is improperly calculating mileage from her home in Scriba, rather than the town line.
Greenleaf said the board would discuss the issue in an upcoming workshop, and would likely set new, more specific regulations on how mileage is recorded and compensated.

Thomas Robert Seawell

Thomas SeawellThomas Robert Seawell passed away August 28, 2015, in his home in Sterling, N.Y.
He was born March 17, 1936, in Baltimore, Md., to Robert James Seawell and Cynthia Edith Bass. He spent his childhood in Columbia, S.C., and moved to St Louis in 1948. He received his art education at Washington University, St. Louis and Texas Christian University. He taught for two years at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark. In 1963 he was hired by SUNY Oswego to establish a fine art printmaking program for the art department. He taught there until his retirement in 1992. During his tenure at Oswego, he was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, the SUNY system’s highest form of recognition for teaching. In 1992 he moved to Commerce, Texas where his wife, Barbara Frey, teaches ceramics at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Thereafter, they spent the academic year in Texas and summers in Sterling, N.Y. From 1992 through spring 2014, he taught screen printing and beginning printmaking classes as an adjunct instructor at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Thomas Seawell is particularly well known for his screen prints and collagraphs and has been recognized as one of the earliest practitioners of the collagraph medium.  His work is defined by a variety of noteworthy series including Family Album, States and Provinces, The Streets, Empty Centers, Variations on Themes of Jacques Callot, the Art Doors project, and a series of images of stock exchanges and trading floors commissioned by Geldermann, Inc. of Chicago.
Thomas Seawell’s work can be found in many public, private and corporate art collections. His work is archived in the Artist Printmaker Research Collection at The Museum of Texas Tech University.
During his long career as an artist and teacher, Thomas Seawell demonstrated an unwavering passion for art and love for teaching. He has touched many lives through the art he has created and has inspired numerous students in their quest to become artists and teachers of art. He will be remembered for his zest for life, his devotion to art, his love of music and travel, his wide repertoire of great stories, and his sense of humor and wit.
Thomas Seawell is survived by his wife, Barbara Louise Frey of Commerce, Texas, and their son, Jay Turner Frey Seawell of Washington, D.C. He is survived by three sons from his previous marriage to Eva Jo Bradford: James Bradford Seawell of Cambridge, Mass.; Lee Thomas Seawell of Syracuse, N.Y.; and Gustin Charles Seawell of St Louis, Mo. He is also survived by his dear sister, Nancy Jo Brown of Longmont, Colo., and nieces Cindy Poinsett, Cara Frihauf, Jana Schulder, and nephew David Brown.
The Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home of Oswego, N.Y. has care of the arrangements. There will not be a funeral. A memorial will be scheduled for a future date. Share condolences at www.sugarscanlonfuneralhome.

Mary G. Earle

Mary G. Earle, 83, of Phoenix, N.Y., passed away at Pontiac Nursing Home, Oswego, N.Y. on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Born in the town of Volney to her late parents, Pearl (Mac Intyre) and John C. Gillespie on May 30,1932, she was high school graduate, then completed one year of college.
Mary was an active member of Phoenix United Methodist Church. She was a choir member and soloist, liturgist, communion steward and served on the board of trustees.
Mary was active in the Order of the Eastern Star Chapter 172, Phoenix.  As a past matron, she was selected as a grand representative for the Manitoba, Canada conference. She was also a baker. Mary’s famous bread pudding was offered at the dinners at the Masonic Temple in Phoenix. She also made delicious pies and cakes.
Mary was an LPN and worked at Michaud Nursing Home, Fulton, the Pontiac Nursing Home, Oswego, and as a private duty nurse.
She was predeceased by her husband, Gerald William Earle on May 8, 1996, three sisters and one brother. Surviving are her two sons, Donald C. (Harriet M.) Earle of Addison, N.Y., and Grover W. ( Faith) Earle of Pulaski; two sisters, her twin, Marjorie
Strine of N. Chili, N.Y., and Laura Stock of Baldwinsville; her six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Services are on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 at 2 p.m. in Phoenix United Methodist Church, 49 Jefferson St., Phoenix, N.Y.  The Rev. Michaela St. Marie will officiate the funeral service.  Calling hours are from noon to 2 p.m. in the church prior to the funeral. Burial will follow the service in the Phoenix Rural Cemetery, 126 Chestnut St., Phoenix, NY 13135. Contributions to: Phoenix United Methodist Church in her memory. Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, Phoenix, NY has charge of arrangements.

Pamela Joan Bonney

BonneyPamela Joan Bonney of West Henrietta passed away Aug. 21, 2015.  She is survived by her daughters, Amanda (Scott) Dingman, Nichola (George) Rodriguez and Denise Bonney; beloved grandchildren, Josh and Abby Dingman, Alexander and Zachary Rodriguez; siblings, Roy (Gillian) Ford, Nina (Cedric) Paine; several nieces and many dear friends. Pam was always an ambitious woman illustrated by her degrees in math and physics.  She was never afraid of hard work and was committed to being a lifelong learner. She worked with computers from the 1970s in punch card days right up to the high tech times of her retirement. Her job at Burger Middle School allowed her to combine her three loves of learning, technology and helping people. Outside of work she filled her life with family, gardening and theater. She will be dearly missed by family and friends.
Friends may call at Jennings, Nulton & Mattle Funeral Home, 1704 Penfield Road, Penfield, Saturday Sept. 5 from 2-4 p.m. with a time for sharing memories at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Seneca Park Zoo or a favorite charity of the donor’s choice.

Vivian M. Wardhaugh

Wardhaugh, Vivian M.Vivian M. Wardhaugh, 99, formerly of Fulton passed away Friday, August 28 at St. Luke Health Services in Oswego. She was born in Ira, the daughter of the late Oliver and Goldia Guernsey Weston. Vivian was a resident of Fulton for more than 60 years and was previously employed by Nestle and Sealright. She was a member of State Street United Methodist Church and had previously been a member of its choir for 30 years. Vivian was a 50-year member and three-time past president of the local, county and 5th District V.F.W. Auxiliaries. She was a charter member and past president of the Fulton M.O.C. #48, past officer of the Fulton Merton R. Kemp, Jr. Marine Corps League Auxiliary and a member of the Fulton B.P.O.E. #830 Elks Auxiliary. She was also a past member of the Fulton Women’s Chorus, a chaperone and booster for Fulton Gauchos and a Cub Scout den mother and Girl Scout leader. She was predeceased by her husband, Oliver Wardhaugh; daughter, Shirley Wose; brother, Charles Weston and a sister, Mary Stitch. Vivian is survived by her daughter, Sharon (Larry) Flood of Fulton; son, Charles (Debbie) Wardhaugh of Fulton; son-in-law, Forest Wose of Maryland; 10 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services are 10 a.m. Wednesday at State Street United Methodist Church, Fulton. Burial will be in Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton. Calling hours were Tuesday, Sept. 1 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay Street, Fulton. Contributions may be made to State Street United Methodist Church, 357 State Street, Fulton, 13069 or St. Luke Health Services, 299 E. River Rd., Oswego, 13126.

Noreen “Mickey” Naramore

Naramore, NoreenNoreen “Mickey” Naramore, 72, of Hannibal, passed on Tuesday, August 25 at Oswego Hospital surrounded by her loving family. She enjoyed knitting and socializing with friends. Mickey will be greatly missed by her loving husband, David Naramore; children, Laura Denery, Allen Battles, Richard Parkhurst, Jr., Edward Parkhurst and Kelly Rollins; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sister, Raelene Rupe and brother, Raymond Nichols, Jr. A celebration of life was held Saturday, Aug. 29 at Boog’s, 1218 county Route 3, Hannibal. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Mickey may be made to the Syracuse VA, Voluntary Services, 800 Irving Ave., Syracuse 13210. Foster Funeral Home, Fulton, has care of arrangements.