All posts by Nicole Reitz

Legislators reject vacancy rules

by Carol Thompson

Members of the Oswego County Legislature’s Finance and Personnel Committee rejected a plan Tuesday that would require a 90-day waiting period to fill vacant county positions.

Legislators had several objections to the policy, including one that would grant autonomy to the county administrator.

The policy stated that the county administrator may solely represent the vacancy committee, if necessary. Kunzwiler said he was not comfortable with the administrator having the sole authority.

He made a motion that the clause be struck and Legislator Dan Chalifoux provided a second. The vacancy committee is comprised of the legislature chairman, the personnel director and the administrator.

Legislator Bob Hayes raised the concern that the 90-day waiting period could result in overtime costs as others pick up the additional job duties caused from the vacancy.

Personnel Director Carol Alnutt said that the longer waiting period forces department heads to take a look at the need for positions.

Legislator Jack Proud said he would be comfortable with a 60-day wait. Legislator Art Ospelt, who chairs the committee, noted that the policy currently specifies a 60-day wait.

 To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.

Carmelo Restuccio, World War II veteran

Carmelo “Carmen” Restuccio, 88, of Phoenix, died Friday, Aug. 31, 2012 at the Francis House.

He was born in Oswego where he was raised and educated. Mr. Restuccio was a World War II Army veteran. He retired from General Electric in Liverpool.

His memberships include past president of the General Electric Retirees Club and Life Member of the Phoenix VFW Post #5540.

He is predeceased by two sisters and two brothers.

Surviving is his wife of 31 years, Linda A. (Moore) Restuccio of Phoenix.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at the Maurer Funeral Home, Moyers Corners, Baldwinsville.

The Rite of Committal and burial followed in Our Lady of Peace Cemetery, Baldwinsville. Calling hours were held Monday at the funeral home.

Contributions may be made to the Francis House, 108 Michaels Ave. Syracuse, NY 13208.


A Little Of This And A Little Of That: September 8, 2012

by Paul McKinney

“Life turns on a dime,” they say. How often do we hear this when we are smacked upside the head with a reality check? It stirs our soul.

We are reminded that life is fragile. In deed, the road traveled is marked by unexpected curves and twists.

Driving is not always a pleasant task as we find ourselves trying to avoid the obvious bumps and unknowingly hitting the unexplainable ruts that mark the way.

Sometimes we take an active part in the game of life, making plans and feeling content when all seems to be going along the way we think it should. Someone said to me once, “If you want to see God laugh, tell him your plans.”

Other times we can’t help but feel like pawns on the game board.

Are we just observers? If so, who is in control?  And why is there a constant vale of the unknown?

I was sitting on the deck sipping my second cup of hazelnut coffee. It had been an emotional five days and I could feel the tension slowly slipping away as I rocked away my sadness.

I was thinking about my Mom and how blessed we were to have her with us all those 94 years.

She raised a wonderful family that now numbered in the 40s, kept active in her community, and was loved dearly by those around her. What a great life she had led.

Suddenly, my neighbor Rich appeared at the side gate. As soon as Millie and Mia saw him, they charged for him, knowing that his fist was full of those yummy dog treats they love so much.

His first words to me were, “Gee, we are so sorry about your Mom. Sheila and I were away and just heard the sad news.”

Just then Sheila joined us on the deck and we started to talk about the last few days.

When I asked how their trip to Boston had gone, the conversation took an unexpected turn as Rich got quiet and lowered his head. It was obvious that both he and Sheila were visibly upset by something.

His voiced cracked as he said quietly, “I want to tell you something, but I don’t know if I can.”

It’s strange how our minds work when someone says these words. I waited then Sheila added, “Yes, this is very hard.”

Rich carefully took out a tissue from his pocket, and after wiping away a few tears, he began to tell their story:

“We were enjoying our leisurely ride home across Route 2 in northern Massachusetts.

“Our journey took us from Cape Ann just north of Boston to Williamstown on the western end of the state.

“Gosh, it was a beautiful sunny day. We had the top down and were taking in the beautiful scenery along the winding road way.

“Suddenly the traffic slowed as cars began to pile up along the road ahead of us. From that point on, the line began a slow crawl. I don’t think we ever reached 20 miles per hour.

“As we inched our way down the winding road, we finally approached a straightaway. We could see the distant lights of a state trooper car leading the procession of cars right behind.”

I said to Sheila, ‘There must have been an accident. I can see an emergency vehicle right behind the trooper car.’

 To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.

Fulton tennis team comes up short against Homer

by Rob Tetro

The Fulton girls varsity tennis team trailed Homer by a 3-0 score following singles play Wednesday. It seemed as if the Lady Raiders were in for a long afternoon. However, Fulton didn’t quit.

The Lady Raiders battled valiantly in doubles play to get back into the contest. Unfortunately for Fulton, Homer’s early lead proved to be too much to overcome as the Lady Trojans came away with a 4-3 win.

Homer was impressive during singles play. Laura Dart defeated Fulton’s Kassidy Kearns 6-1, 6-1. Rachel McNeil defeated Fulton’s Katelyn Billings 6-0, 6-0 and  Carly Dove defeated Fulton’s Jasmine Denson 6-2, 6-0.

Fulton made things interesting during doubles play. Fulton’s Anna Guernsey and Julia Ludington defeated Homer’s Rachel Murray and Sarah Wilsey 7-5, 6-3. Fulton’s Sophia Giovannetti and Maureen McCann defeated Homer’s Lydia Brown and Katie Mercer, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Fulton’s Audrey Proto and Krista Vann defeated Homer’s Maddie Jennings and Ana Shore, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6.

In what proved to be the clincher for Homer, Sarah McNamara and Shannon Spencer defeated Fulton’s Savannah Bray and Casey Shannon 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.


Edmund Okoniewski, U.S. veteran

Edmund R. “Eddie O” Okoniewski died Aug. 31, 2012 at the age of 87. He was a veteran.

He was predeceased by his wife, Helen S. (Gadawski) Okoniewski.

Surviving are daughters, Lisa (Herman Parker) Okoniewski and Karen Okoniewski; grandchild, Suzanne Parker; sister-in-law Arlene Okoniewski; and nieces and nephews.

He was also predeceased by two sisters and one brother.

Calling hours were held Thursday and Friday at the (Tonawanda Chapel) Amigone Funeral Home.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Amelia Church.

Valley Viewpoints: Soccer leadership

by  Chris Hansen of Fulton

A sure sign of fall is the start of Fulton Youth Soccer. The season kicks off its first games today and goes until Oct. 20.

We will be losing three longtime supporters and board members at the end of the season, Sheila Carvey, Dia Barrow, and Tony Pafumi.

Sheila has been the president of the organization for three years and works year round on soccer issues from uniforms to field layout to our field of dreams project.

I will miss her leadership and charismatic way of keeping a meeting running on point. Both Tony and Dia have been helming their positions as travel team coordinator and secretary for a few years and will be missed.

So with their sad departures, we have a need to fill three board positions. We will not be taking a new person and putting them into an officer position right off the bat.

We are fortunate to have members willing to step into the higher roles but need folks for other positions. I have been with the board for almost two years now and can honestly say that we would not put a new member into a role that is above their ability.

Many people think that committing to the soccer board is overly time consuming and that is not true.

We meet one Sunday a month for and hour or so and discuss our individual tasks and use e-mail to communicate other smaller things.

As an age group coordinator, I spend time before each season putting together teams, getting coaches and fielding phone calls.

We also ask that board members spend some time in the snack bar helping out and fielding questions as they come up.

I have really enjoyed my time on the board. My children have been playing soccer here for nine years and I like seeing all that goes into making it work.

There’s much more going on behind the scenes than I could have imagined and it’s because of people like Sheila, Dia and Tony that keep it running.

So if you see them on the field, tell them thanks for their help or just good bye; let them know we appreciate all they do for our kids.

Leon Archer

The Sportsman’s World: September 8, 2012

Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

There were few things in my adolescent life that I looked forward to with greater anticipation than the day when I could begin hunting.

By the time I was 13, I already had years of fishing experience under my belt and I had just started finding girls interesting, but my hunting experience was composed of harassing starlings and English sparrows with my Daisy BB gun and following my brother around while he was hunting.

I got to carry the game he shot and I jumped on the brush piles to scare out rabbits for him. It was all great fun, but man, how I yearned for the day when I could carry something besides a BB gun.

The time finally came in 1955. I got my hunter training, which took about two hours, and I purchased my junior hunting license. I did pretty well on rabbits, but grouse had the odds on their side.

The one game animal that I could harvest nearly at will was the grey squirrel. Squirrels were plentiful and once they were treed, they were in great peril. I sometimes hunted them with a 22 caliber rifle, but usually I had a shotgun in my hands instead. In either case, squirrels were not hard to bring down out of the tree tops.

My daily bag often consisted of one or two cotton tail rabbits, three or four squirrels, and on a good day, an unlucky grouse.

I had grown to love my mother’s southern fried rabbit and squirrel and by the time I started hunting, my brother was in college, so I became the major provider of game for the family table.

During the fall and winter, it would have been unusual not to have a game dinner once a week and of all the small game my mother cooked, squirrel was far and away my favorite, even if the pieces were smaller.

By the time I was 18, I had become much more proficient at locating grouse with a load of number 6’s, rabbits were not much challenge since I had my beagle, Hy-flyte Lindy, and squirrels had become mere targets of opportunity.

I had taken a good friend and trapping buddy, Larry Smith, under my hunting wing. His dad was not a hunter, so I sort of became a mentor for Larry and he got the opportunity to bring down most of the squirrels as we scoured the outdoors for game.

I enjoyed those hours we had together in the field immensely. Even today I count Larry as one of my closer friends.

I know that there are a lot of people — mostly non hunters —  who don’t consider squirrels as anything but a cute little critter that raids their bird feeder and gets squashed on city streets almost as often as ‘possums, but they are so much more.

Squirrels fed our distant ancestors when other food was scarce and in colonial Kentucky, gun makers created the highly accurate squirrel rifle.

Squirrels have planted whole forests as they buried and then lost track of uncounted acorns and other nuts. The squirrel may not have been as impressive as the buffalo, but their numbers were much greater throughout the history of our country.

Today, in America, praise the Lord, we seldom face starvation or want and we don’t need the squirrel to take the edge off our hunger, but he still remains a very popular game animal.

 To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.

Ammonia to be removed from Birds Eye plant

by Andrew Henderson

Pinnacle Foods, the owner of the closed Birds Eye plant in Fulton, was scheduled to remove the ammonia from the facility sometime this week.

The company originally planned to remove the ammonia at the end of September, but a gas leak last week forced the company to speed up the process.

“They agreed to keep it until the end of September because there is a prospective buyer from out of the country and they wanted it in,” said Woodward. “They were going to remove it by the end of the week.

Last Thursday night, an undetermined amount of ammonia leaked from a 1.25-inch return pipe of the refrigeration system. The leak was located, isolated and contained by on-site maintenance.

The leak, however, led to a precautionary evacuation of several residents in the area of Jerome and Gansvoort streets

The Fulton Fire Department, the Oswego County Hazardous Materials Team, the Oswego County Health Department and the State Department of Environmental Conservation Spill Response also responded to the scene.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.