All posts by Nicole Reitz

County officials to decide who administrates Medicaid program

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County officials have responded to a survey requested by the New York State Department of Health in regard to the state takeover of Medicaid administration.

The laws of 2012 authorizes the Department of Health to transfer responsibility for the administration of the Medicaid program from local social services districts over a period of six years (by March 31, 2018).

The Department of Health may accomplish the assumption of administrative responsibilities with state staff, contracted entities, and contracts with counties, according to information provided by the county.

The legislation requires the Department of Health to send a Statement of Interest to counties to elicit their interest and capacity to contract with the Department of Health to perform Medicaid administrative functions.

The Department of Health will determine the timing of the assumption of functions. The timing will be based on when the state has created the infrastructure (staff and systems) to take on the function.

The Department of Health will publish a timeline for assuming functions once the results of the Statement of Interest have been analyzed.

The timeline will be updated each year until 2018 or when full state assumption of Medicaid functions has been achieved, according to state officials.

Oswego County and the Department of Social Services have been invited to complete a survey of interest which should be submitted to the Department of Health by Sept. 10.

Those counties not submitting the survey will be assumed to have no desire to contract with the Department of Health.

According to the New York State Association of Counties, the state’s Medicaid program leads the nation when it comes to providing Medicaid for those who cannot afford to pay for medical care.

The program serves nearly five million residents and is rapidly growing and accounts for 40 percent of the total $136 billion State Budget.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

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New era begins for Fulton football program

by Rob Tetro

This Friday, Jeff Rothrock will man the sidelines as head coach of the Fulton varsity football team.

After 16 seasons working within the program, he is wasting little time making his presence felt.

The goals he has for his team are very simple but straight to the point. Rothrock said he wants his team to be both physically and mentally tougher than they had been in previous years. However, he doesn’t pull any punches.

“Ultimately, our goal is to be better in the win-loss column,” Rothrock said.

On paper, Fulton appeared to be an experienced team. However, once practice began, Rothrock said he soon found that his team lacked the experience he was hoping to see from them.

Though there are many juniors and seniors on the team, many sat behind a handful of seniors that were on the team a year ago.

As the regular season approaches, the Raiders appear to be smaller in terms of numbers. The slightly lower turnout allows Rothrock to set the foundation for the future of Fulton Football while allowing a notable amount of junior varsity players on the team as well.

This summer, Fulton’s conditioning program was as successful as its been in a long time, the coach said.

Rothrock mentioned that there were 15 to 20 players taking part in the four-night-a-week program throughout the summer.

Benefits of the conditioning program were noticed during the first day of practice. Coaches asked more of the players physically and most of the players were able to oblige.  Rothrock said he wants his team to strive to be better conditioned than any team they face.

The Raiders have not named any captains for the opening game as of press time.

This season, Fulton will not have just one set group of captains. Rather, the players have been informed of the criteria of which a captain will be named.

As the season goes on, Rothrock hopes that many players step up and meet the criteria he’s looking for in a captain.

The process of evaulation will be a season-long one. Once the season begins, they will most likely name captains on a week to week basis.

Rothrock suggested that it will be a positive sign, in general, if he is able to name an abundance of captains by seasons end.

This season, Fulton is determined to make up for some of the tough losses they have endured in recent years.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Poetry Corner: Polaroid

by Jim Farfaglia

Polaroid

 

I felt like royalty, owning one.

 

Like I alone had been chosen to decide

what was best forgotten

and what should instantly remain.

 

So I’d raise that black box with both hands,

look out at the world with a good eye

and press…

 

then out would slide a square of darkness,

all murky and mysterious,

untouchable ‘til it dried.

 

And I’d watch the world come into focus,

witnessing a moment already gone by,

believing it was all in my hands to capture it.

Valley Viewpoints: Stuff-A-Bus support

by William Crist, Superintendent of Schools Oswego City School District

Thanks to the tremendous outpouring of support we received from the community and the tireless effort of our many volunteers, the Annual Stuff-A-Bus Campaign, a partnership between Oswego County School Districts and United Way of Greater Oswego County, was a resounding success.

The donations of school supplies that we received from individuals and businesses, the work of the volunteers who sorted and distributed the school supplies, and the cooperation we received from businesses that graciously hosted a bus and served as an official drop site for school supplies is appreciated more than words can express.

The success of the Stuff-A-Bus Campaign would not have been possible if not for the collaborative efforts of the Fulton, Phoenix, Hannibal, Mexico, APW, Pulaski, Sandy Creek, Central Square, and Oswego school districts, the CSEA, and OCTA.

Their efforts, along with that or our many volunteers and Stuff-A-Bus committee co-chairpersons, JoAnn Conzone, and Melanie Trexler, executive director of United Way of Greater Oswego County, helped to put smiles on the faces of hundreds of children who as a result of the Stuff-A-Bus Campaign now have the school supplies they need for a successful start to the school year.

It was moving to see the expressions on the faces of the families that received school supplies for their children.  Their gratitude was immeasurable.

Thank you to the countless number of community members who donated school supplies and to the businesses that served as an official school supply collection site.

Your concern for the youth of Oswego County is greatly appreciated.

AndrewHenderson

Laughing Through Life: August 29, 2012

by Andrew Henderson

Stop me, if you heard this one before:

A young college co-ed came running in tears to her father. “Dad, you gave me some terrible financial advice!”

“I did? What did I tell you?” the dad said.

“You told me to put my money in that big bank and now that big bank is in trouble.”

“What are you talking about? That’s one of the largest banks in the state,” he said. “There must be some mistake.”

“I don’t think so,” she sniffed. “They just returned one of my checks with a note saying, ‘Insufficient Funds’.”

I read this joke recently on the Internet and I immediately thought about our local, state, and federal governments and their heroin-like addiction to spending money and what will happen if it continues.

My money. Your money. Your Uncle Bob’s money. They like to spend it — even when there are “insufficient funds.”

The dictionary defines addiction as a means “to devote or surrender oneself to something habitually or obsessively; behavior that impairs the performance of a vital function, a harmful development.”

According to one report, addiction causes you to lose your sense of balance and rationality.

Officials also say that beneath all addictions is a longing for immediate gratification — to feel good, powerful, worthy of admiration and problem-free — and an insistence on ignoring the long-range, self-destructive implications of the behavior.

Sound like a politician? It sure does to me.

This summer is almost over and my wife will be going back to teach at an area high school after having most of the summer off.

And with that, we recently sat down and went over our budget for the rest of the year.

My wife and I are of the Dave Ramsey mind-set when it comes to finances. In other words, we are cheap.

No, just kidding. Every dollar that we make each month is accounted for. Every dollar from my salary and her salary. Every nickel, every dime, and every cent.

It all goes into budget lines, such as grocery, mortgage, gasoline, tithes, gifts, insurance, entertainment, debt or retirement, and, of course, my favorite: the blow money line.

In essence, everything that we earn is earmarked for something. For example, after all the bills have been paid and after all the food is bought, whatever is left over goes toward the debt (if we have any), retirement, the college fund, or what I like to call “Andy’s Secret Vacation Trip To St. Louis To Watch The Cardinals” line. Shhh, my wife does not know of that line!

We do this because both my wife and I enjoy spending money. We really do. Who doesn’t? Probably one of the hardest things to do in this world is not to spend money.

If I give you $20, will you not spend it? Will you just keep it in your wallet or purse? I can guarantee you that if you give me a $20 bill that sucker will be spent faster than you can say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

To read the rest of the column, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Richard Wisowaty, resident of Hannibal

Richard J. Wisowaty, 63, of Hannibal, died Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.

He had worked at Crucible Steel in Solvay for 16 years. He enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Surviving are his wife of 20 years, Denise Calkins-Wisowaty of Hannibal; three daughters, Jodi (Bill) Serrano of Liverpool, Lynett (Mark) Greco of Phoenix, and Angela (Paul) Grimshaw of Fulton; seven grandchildren, Jesse (Karen) Eastman, Mitchell Eastman, Leah Greco, Meredith and Seth Grimshaw, Brendan Nichols and Jeromy Perry; four great-grandchildren; a brother, Kenneth (Carlene) Wisowaty of Pompey; and nephews and nieces. Calling hours were held Tuesday at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton. There were no services.

Light In The Darkness: August 29, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“Our Father…” The opening words to the prayer Jesus told His disciples to pray.” – Matthew 6:9

I begin by saying a word about what we have come to know as “The Lord’s Prayer.”

It was customary for every public teacher among the Jews of Jesus’ day to compose a prayer that would also embody the doctrines that teacher considered most important. The teacher then gave that prayer to his disciples for their own use.

Some of those prayers were of considerable length and contained great detail. Often when this was the case, an outline was made from that prayer, so that one could memorize the main points upon which to base his personal, spontaneous petition to God.

Thus, the outline was not the prayer itself, but the template for prayer. The prayer that Jesus gave to His disciples is one of these. It is the outline form of the prayer Jesus gave His disciples.

We were never intended to pray only the outline but rather to pray consistent with that outline; to flesh it out as it were.

Now to my main point. What a surprise it was to the disciples when they heard Jesus tell them to pray, “Our Father.” Nothing in the scriptures to that point referred to God as one who had or desired such an intimate relationship with mankind as to be called “Father.”

The name “Father,” as applied to God in the Old Testament, nearly always referred to God as the father of the nation of Israel and never by someone referring to Him as “my Father.”

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Valley Viewpoints: Running the race

by Wes Belcher of Fulton

A few weeks ago, the Fulton YMCA had the Caruana Race. This weekend, the YNCA held another fundraiser race.

In both races, members of the Fulton varsity cross country participated. Not because they were made to, they did so on their own.

In the Caruana race, our guys did quite well, taking first in the youth category and in the top three and four in the adult category.

This weekend, they took four of the top five places in the adult class. These runners were Kyle Loftus, first place; Bailey Lutz, second place; Jimmy Martin, third place; and Jake Belcher, fifth place.

Keep in mind they were running against accomplished adult runners.

The community turned out and there were older runners, older walkers, kids, moms, dads, firemen, policemen and all in all it was well attended in both the 5K and the 15K.

People were in their yards cheering these folks on, clapping and generally having a good time.

Too often, we (and I am guilty of this) see only the bad side of kids and our community in general. This was a chance to let these runners know we appreciate them and the YMCA. This was a well attended community event.

These kids run voluntarily four to six miles per day, lift weights, and are good clean representatives of our City. Mr. Carrol, the coach, is a great guy and the kids and adults love him. He is faithful to our city and our youth. All in all, a good clean activity for these kids, and adults also.

So…why has there been no media coverage? They give out medals at a small ceremony, but no news people in attendance. I think it is sad and disappointing that it goes uncovered. Good job to all involved.