All posts by Colin Hogan

United Way helping Fulton youth succeed through CYO

United Way has touched the lives of countless families and individuals throughout Oswego County. Whether working to stop hunger, improving a community’s health and well-being, or helping children and youth succeed, the positive impact provided by United Way has made difference in lives of many.

While much of that impact is immediate and can easily be seen, there are some United Way programs that offer services that provide a positive impact that lasts a lifetime. For one Fulton resident it all began with a trip to Catholic Charities’ CYO Program.

When Mike Curtis was nine years old he learned from his friends that there was a place where he could go to have fun, meet new friends and best of all play basketball. The place, the Fulton CYO, soon became a favorite spot for him. He was soon going to CYO after school, evenings and Saturday mornings. The opportunity to play basketball and partake in the many other youth activities CYO offered was too much to pass up.

Investigator Michael Curtis with the Fulton City Police Department recently shared his story of the positive impact that the Fulton CYO Program had, and continues to have, on his life.  CYO is one of the 27 programs that received funding as result of the United Way’s Annual Campaign.  Pictured from left with Curtis are CYO participants Kiera Purdy, Alexa Halstead, Avery Nunez, Blake Tyler and Kamrin Ledger.
Investigator Michael Curtis with the Fulton City Police Department recently shared his story of the positive impact that the Fulton CYO Program had, and continues to have, on his life.  CYO is one of the 27 programs that received funding as result of the United Way’s Annual Campaign.  Pictured from left with Curtis are CYO participants Kiera Purdy, Alexa Halstead, Avery Nunez, Blake Tyler and Kamrin Ledger.

“I really looked forward to going to CYO. It was a big part of my life. I was still stopping in to play basketball some Saturday mornings when I was in my early 20s,” said Curtis.

In addition to basketball and the other activities, Curtis said that the all-night sleepovers were one of his fondest memories.

“They were great, especially around the holidays as there would be special holiday-themed activities,” Curtis said. “No really ever slept…we were having too much fun!”

While CYO provided Curtis with hours of fun, it also offered life lessons that would help shape his future.

“CYO taught me about discipline and responsibility. I remember having to stop at the front desk to sign in and CYO Director Jim Smiley explaining the proper conduct we were to display while we were at CYO. It was a privilege to be at CYO and he reminded us of that. It also taught me the value of hard work. I have vivid memories of painting those blue stairs that led to CYO when I was involved its summer work program. More importantly, it taught me how to build relationships. Life lessons like discipline and responsibility are only valuable when they can be passed on through strong relationships with family, friends and others, which is what I did,” explained Curtis.

As a 13-year member of the Fulton City Police Department, currently in the criminal investigation unit, Curtis has seen that the impact CYO had on his life is continuing to shape the lives of youth that visit CYO today.

“For many youth CYO is a respite from turmoil. It’s an alternative that offers healthy activities in a safe setting for those families that may not have the financial means to participate other wise.  The impact that CYO has on our community is invaluable. It has the ability to intervene in the life of high-risk youth and offers a chance to help break the cycle of generational struggles and negative behavior. CYO teaches youth how to build relationships in a stable environment that are predicated on positive behaviors. The results of which benefit the community as a whole now and in the future,” said Curtis.

Curtis’ reflection on his experience with CYO is just one of the many stories that could be shared by the thousands of youth and adults who have experienced all that CYO has to offer.  It paints a clear picture of how United Way and the programs it supports impact a community.

“Every experience in your life has a role in shaping you as a person, said Curtis. “CYO is a big part of why I am the person I am. I’ve heard people say why should I give to United Way. The answer is simple…results! We have a responsibility to support each other in our community. We need to give of our time, talent and finances if possible. One never knows when the tide may turn and it will be you in need of help, encouragement or even a life lesson. The impact that United Way has produces positive results that can help end hunger, assist our children and youth in succeeding, and improve the health and well-being of our county.

He continued, “for me the results are in the numbers: 42 years in the community, 21 years of marriage, 13 years with the Fulton City Police Department, three beautiful children, and one lovely wife.”

Michaud, St. Luke’s service workers reach tentative agreement with management

After nearly six months of negotiations, unionized service employees with Michaud Residential Health Services in Fulton and St. Luke’s Health Services in Oswego may have finally reached an agreement with their company.

Pictured are union workers from St. Luke's Health Services in Oswego and Michaud Residential Health Services in Fulton holding a non-stoppage picket outside St. Luke's in August. 
Pictured are union workers from St. Luke’s Health Services in Oswego and Michaud Residential Health Services in Fulton holding a non-stoppage picket outside St. Luke’s in August.

St. Luke’s officials announced Friday that “tentative contract agreements have been reached” with the service employees. The previous contract agreements had expired on July 31.

The service employees, represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU #1199) Upstate, include certified nursing assistants (CNAs), dietary workers and members of the groundskeeping staff.

Details of the tentative agreements were not available as of press time, as they were still pending final approval by both the St. Luke/Michaud Board of Directors and the union. Company spokesperson Greg Osetek told the Valley News the union would be voting on the agreement this week, and that the board is expected to evaluate the contract and make its decision some time in the next couple weeks.

“We are pleased that the work of all the parties involved in negotiations has resulted in tentative agreements,” said Osetek. “To continue to deliver the quality healthcare that St. Luke and Michaud are known for in our community, we need to be able to operate our not-for-profit affiliate organizations in a fiscally responsible manner. We believe these agreements allow us to accomplish this, and are fair and equitable for our hard-working employees.”

Calls to an SEIU #1199 spokesperson were unreturned.

In August, after a four-month stalemate in negotiations, the service employees, alongside union representatives and other supporters, held a non-stoppage picket outside St. Luke’s. There, workers spoke out against the company’s desire to eliminate their 15-minute shift overlap period, which would have cut down their weekly hours. In order to make up the difference in pay, workers were offered a total 4.3 percent raise in that contract – 3.3 percent of which was designed to supplement the time loss, while the remaining 1 percent would have served as their cost of living increase.

Most of those employees, who are paid hourly, would still have been considered full-time, and eligible for benefits accordingly.

Protesters called the wage increase unfair, and said residents’ care would suffer as a result of the time cut.

“The quality of care is going to decline. We’re not going to have as much time to take care of the residents,” said Eric Susino, a St. Luke’s employee. “They’re saying that they’re giving us a 4.3 percent raise, but 3.3 percent of it is just making up for the lost wages we would have had with the 15-minute loss of day. Only 1 percent of that is real money going into our pockets, and we don’t think that’s fair.”

If accepted, the new agreement would extend for the next three years, Osetek said.

Vernon C. Collett

 

Vernon C. Collett, Jr., 65, of Fulton passed away Thursday at the Syracuse VA Medical Center. Born in Syracuse, he lived in Fulton for several years. Vernon worked for Crucible Steel for 32 years, retiring in 2003.

He was a U. S. Marine Corps veteran and POW of the Vietnam War. Vernon was a life member and past commander of the Mattydale VFW Post 3146. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Norma L. Collett of Baldwinsville; his companion for the last three years, Ilene Pickering of Fulton; a brother, Don (Barb) Collett of Baldwinsville; three sisters, Patty (Dale) Butler of North Carolina, Sandra Yager of Oswego and Mary Collett of Fulton; several nieces, nephews and his faithful and loving cat, Bud. Burial with military honors was held Wednesday, Sept. 24 at Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Howlett Hill Road, Syracuse. A reception was held following the services at the Vernice Suttle American Legion Post 113, 8529 Smokey Hollow Rd., Baldwinsville. Foster Funeral Home, Fulton has care of arrangements.

 

Local authors to speak at Friends of Fulton Parks event

9-10 LocalWriters (1)
Pictured are Craig Abbott and Joe Abbate, co-authors of Craig’s autobiography “Classified Terminally Ill: My Story of Beating the Odds,” at Bullhead Point. Photo provided

Local writers Craig Abbott and Joe Abbate, co-authors of Craig’s autobiography “Classified Terminally Ill: My Story of Beating the Odds” will be speaking at a Call for Writers kick-off event on Sept.13 at 1 p.m. under the Bullhead Point Pavilion, state Route 3, Fulton. Craig will be discussing his connection to the playground at Hulett Park, known as the “C.V. Abbott Memorial Playground,” named after him when he was a baby and not expected to survive. The book chronicles Craig’s life from his birth to the present day as an author and public speaker. As an infant he was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type-1 and was anticipated to die before the age of two. He is now in his mid-20s.

The Friends of Fulton Parks is hosting this Call for Writers to author a portion of their upcoming book about Fulton’s city parks. The book will be filled with stories including that of C.V. Abbott, as well as residents’ answers to the question “Why are parks important?”

Editor Jim Farfaglia explains the purpose of the book.

“Just like where we went to school or worked or gathered in faith, our city parks were a part of our growing up. Gathering people’s stories about playing at a neighborhood park, working for the city in summer recreation programs and volunteering to keep the parks looking beautiful helps Fulton continue to be a great place to live,” Farfaglia said.

“We are writing a book celebrating the parks in the past and present, to revitalize them for the future,” said Friends of Fulton Parks board member Kelley Weaver.

Anthony Bellardino  

      9-10 BellardinoOB     

Anthony Bellardino, 94, of Oswego died Friday at his home peacefully surrounded by his family. He was born in Oswego the son of the late Luigi and Aniela (Wieliezko) Bellardino. Mr. Bellardino retired in 1980 from the New York Railroads, having worked for NY Central, Conrail, and Penn Central as a conductor and yard foreman for 42 years. He served in the United States Navy from 1943 until 1945 during WWII. Mr. Bellardino was a communicant of St. Joseph Church, St. Joseph Golden Age, Oswego Senior Citizen Group, the Polish Legion of American Veterans, Conservation Corp in Idaho and Selkirk, N.Y. He was very proud of the fact that he built a camp in the town of Orwell with his wife, and their five children.

Mr. Bellardino was predeceased by his wife Mary Meade Bellardino; sons-in-law Ernest Chiarella, Alfred Schwankl; grandson Joey Fenske; granddaughter-in-law Natalie Schwankl; and his sisters Helen Castiglia, Philomena Proppe, and Louise Ardiuni. He is survived by his children Steven (Sam) Bellardino of Boston, Anthony (Donna) Bellardino of New Haven, Antionette Chiarella of Minetto, Christine Schanwkl of Pa., Lorraine (Charles) Fenske of Oswego; sisters Janette Mulcahey of Minetto, Susie (Frank) Fox of Granby, Mary Tremack of Oswego, Nellie Roach of S.D.; 12 grandchildren Lisa (Andrew), Gary (Nicole), Mary Beth (Sean), Christopher, Lisa (Randy) Charles, Travis (Heather), Steward (Melissa), Clinton, Anthony, Alexander, and Angela; 21 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be Friday Sept. 12  at 9 a.m. in St. Joseph Church. Burial will be in Minetto Cemetery. Calling hours will be Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. Fourth St., Oswego. Family requests in lieu of flowers contributions may be made to friends of Oswego County Hospice.

Robert Baker         

9-10 BakerOB

Robert Baker, 81, of Granby died Friday in the Oswego Hospital. Mr. Baker was born in Oswego the son of the late Leighton and Dorothy (LeFlemme) Baker. He was an operating engineer at Nine Mile I and II, and the Steam Station, before going to work for the Town of Oswego Highway Department. He is survived by his children Larry (Karen) Baker of Oswego, Cheryl Baker of Oswego, Roberta (Richard) Caprin of Arizona, Renee Ecker of Fla., Benjamin Baker of Fla., and his siblings Jerry Baker of Oswego, Ella Shatraw of Oswego, Clifford Baker of Calif., Charles Baker of Mass., John Baker of Mass., Kay Baker of Mass., nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his siblings Helen Reedy, Ada Baker, Mary Smith, Sonny, Ralph, Sam and Roy Baker. Private burial will be in Fairdale Cemetery. Calling hours were Monday at the Sugar and Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. Fourth St. Oswego.

Bernice Caprin Rowe

Bernice Caprin Rowe, 52, of Fulton died Wednesday at University Hospital, Syracuse after a short illness. Bernice was born in Fulton to the late Raymond and Mary Evelyn (Samson) Caprin.  She had remained a lifetime resident of Fulton.  Bernice retired after 14 years with Staff King, Oswego where she worked as a home health aide. She enjoyed being an active member of the Elk’s BPOE Lodge #830, Fulton and the Fulton VFW Auxiliary. She also loved bowling. Bernice is survived by her boyfriend of 15 years Jonne Harvey of Fulton; children Raelyn (Russ) Rowe of Fulton, Clinton Rowe, Jr., of Fulton, Michael (Shelby) Rowe of Fulton and step-daughter Sarah Harvey of West Monroe, N.Y.; ex-husband Clinton Rowe Sr. of Fulton; siblings Christine (Tim) Bartlett of Parish, Raymond (Debbie) Caprin of Hannibal, Beth (Rick) Nixdorf of Florida; four grandchildren Landon, Damien, Conner and Kaydence; and several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.  Funeral Services were held Tuesday at Holy Trinity Church, Fulton, where a mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Rev. Jerome Amaechi. Burial was in Fairdale Cemetery, Hannibal, N.Y.  Calling hours were Monday at the Sugar Funeral Home Inc., 224 W. Second St., S. Fulton.

DOT: Broadway Bridge work to be complete by end of September

DSCN0305

The rehabilitation of the Broadway Bridge in Fulton should be wrapping up by the end of September, according to the state Department of Transportation

The estimated $12.2 million project, which began a little more than two years ago, was originally expected to be finished by the end of 2013. Transportation department officials say once it’s complete, the rehabilitated bridge, coupled with improvements made to the intersection of state routes 3 and 481 in 2012, will ensure an easy flow of traffic through the city for years to come.

On Friday, DOT spokesperson Gene Cilento said construction should be done by Sept. 30.

The project has entailed replacing the bridge’s entire super-structure, including the steel support beams and concrete deck. Significant repairs its sub-structure, such as the concrete piers and abutments, have also been made. Other parts of the project include the replacement of the short arch span on the bridge’s west side with a pre-cast box unit, new curbing and sidewalks, and a new decorative railing.

When the work is complete, the rehabilitated bridge will consist of two 12-foot travel lanes with two-foot shoulders in each direction, and six-foot-wide sidewalks on each side.

Work still to be done, as of Friday, included curbing and sidewalk installations on the south side of the bridge and the approaches; paving; painting road markings; the removal of the temporary walkways; setting and cleaning the drainage structures; and laying topsoil and grass seed on the embankments and roadside, Cilento said.

According to the DOT, the cost of the project remains mostly on-budget, totaling $12,273,371.