All posts by Nicole Reitz

Legislators irked over ‘gag order’

by Carol Thompson

Some Oswego County Legislators are angered over an e-mail message they received from County Administrator Phil Church in regard to the pending award of a contract for data imaging services for the office of the County Clerk.

During the July 25 meeting of the legislature’s Community and Consumer Affairs Committee, legislators voted to award the contract to Info Quick Solutions, Inc. of Liverpool — despite the company being one of the most costly and having the lowest score given by a panel appointed to review the five bidding vendors.

The committee first received the vendor information blindly with letters replacing company names. Prior to the names being revealed to legislators, County Clerk George Williams said he wanted IQS to receive the contract. He praised the service of IQS and referred to them as “our company.”

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Laughing Through Life: August 1, 2012

Andrew Henderson

As I write this, I am once again living the bachelor’s life.

I have Sportscenter on the TV, Cardinals game on the laptop, leftover garlic pizza in the fridge, and I might not be wearing any pants.

Do I have your attention now?

Okay, it’s not what you think. I might not be not not wearing any pants. But if I were to be not not wearing any pants — after I already said that I was not wearing them —  would I still be pantless?

I don’t know. Who’s on first?

Just for the record, I’m still married. My wife is spending this week as a camp counselor for a Christian youth camp near Rome.

So, for the first time in just over two years, I have six days to myself.

So, as I write this on Sunday, I am planning my week — you know, the things that I can do that I normally wouldn’t, or couldn’t, do.

Let’s see, I still have to work this week, so that means that I can’t stay up late every night and watch “manly” movies: “Transformers,” “Rambo,” “Star Wars,” “G.I. Joe,” “A-Team,” and the like.

Actually, my wife is pretty good at letting me watch action movies. It’s sort of like a trade-off. She will allow me to watch “X-Men” and “Thor” if I will watch “The Notebook” and “Bridget Jones Diary.”

I draw the line at “Anne of Green Gables,” however. Oh yeah, and “Little House on the Prairie,” too. No one will ever get me to watch those. I would rather run myself into a wall before I watch them. I would rather watch read a textbook on actuarial science than watch those two flicks. Go ahead, Google actuarial science.

Still, I know I’m in trouble when my wife wants to watch a movie with me and she has a pallet of tissues nearby.

Maybe I can see if any of my buddies are available to hang out, possibly go the shooting range and pop some rounds off. Maybe, we can hit the links for 9 or 18 holes. Or, I can fix something around the house. Ha! Yeah, right! Scratch that one of the list.

I could go see a baseball game, wash my truck, or check off some of my “honey-do” list she left me. This list includes watering the plants, cleaning the storage room, dusting and vacuuming, washing any dishes I dirty (hello, paper plates!), and paying the bills.

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


A Little Of This And A Little Of That: August 1, 2012

by Paul McKinney

A number of you have asked me, “What happened with your car insurance case?” Well, in a nutshell, the big guns, the money folks at the insurance agency won! Or did they?

I received a fax response from them, via my attorney, relating a case in which a judge ruled that one has the right to get reimbursed for the actual damages or the amount in diminished value. The claims manager then wrote that since I did not take their low-ball offer…well, let me quote from his letter…

“(The insurance agency) paid to repair his vehicle. No further offers of settlement will be made at this time as our company has complied with its obligations under New York law. As was relayed to Mr. McKinney, our original offer of $3,378.00 to settle this matter is now rescinded as he rejected this offer when we last communicated.”

So, in laymen’s terms, they win and I can go “pound salt.”

I was advised that I could pursue damages through the NYS court system. This would most probably result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs and two to three years of time. And I could still lose.

What would you have done? Right, that’s what I did. But, that’s Oay. I gave it the good fight.

Now, I have another human-interest story to share. And it’s personal. I have written about my Mom in previous articles. Talk about the all mighty dollar undermining personal safety…listen to this one:

On July 23, my mother, Helen Van DeWater, was released from the Oswego Hospital. This was preceded by a nine-day stay dealing with a severe intestinal infection. Mother is 94, in failing health, requires regulated oxygen 24 hours a day, and has recurring dementia. Her physician released her back to Michaud Health Facility recommending comfort care. Can’t get any clearer than that.

It is my understanding that the Oswego Hospital contacted Oswego County Opportunities on the same day to arrange for appropriate medical transportation. The hospital requested that she be transported by Mentor Ambulance in that she:

• Is in a tenuous physical condition,

• Suffers with significant altered mental health,

• Requires regulated oxygen dependence that she cannot maintain herself.

The hospital then contacted Mentor Ambulance to alert them that OCO would be calling to schedule her pick-up. The hospital also requested that OCO confirm the arrival time. OCO failed to call the hospital back.

When the hospital did not receive this confirmation, they again called OCO and were told that Mom would be transported by bus/van and that they needed to stop by Michaud to get her wheel chair and oxygen. OCO was again informed that this was not acceptable because she needed transportation with trained medical personnel.

OCO did not contact the hospital again. Instead, mother was picked up by the OCO driver, placed in her wheel chair and driven by bus/van back to Fulton unattended.

I was at Michaud waiting for her arrival having been told by the hospital that Mentors were transporting her as recommended by her doctor and the hospital.

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

Victoria Vazquez, Fulton resident

Victoria A Vazquez, 54, of Fulton, died Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at University Hospital.

Born in Buffalo, she had lived in the Fulton area for more than 20 years. She was a communicant of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Fulton.  She was predeceased by her mother, Rose Vazquez, who died in 2001.  She is survived by her daughter,  Anna Maria Diaz of Syracuse; her father, Fernando Vazquez Sr. of Oswego; brothers, Fernando Vazquez, Jr. of South Granby and Victor Vazquez of Oswego; and two grandchildren, Amber and Michael.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fulton.  Burial was in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Oswego. Calling hours were held Monday at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton.


Several big plays propel Shock to another win in Fulton

by Rob Tetro

When the Syracuse Shock took on Watertown a week ago, it took the Shock all of about 10 seconds to set the tone for the entire game. When Syracuse took on Amsterdam this past Saturday in Fulton, the beginning of the game was simliar.

The Shock didn’t score 10 seconds into the game but thanks to an athletic run by DeWayne Gordon, Syracuse struck early, which set the tone for an 56-0 win over Amsterdam.

After receiving the opening kickoff, it took all of about 50 seconds for the Shock to get onto the scoreboard. With 14:11 left in the first quarter, Gordon gave Syracuse a 6-0 lead following a 60-yard touchdown run off a pitch to the left side of the field.

Despite trying to mix upthe Shock Defense with quick passes and handoffs, Amsterdam was quickly forced to punt.

The Shock coaching staff appeared to outsmart the Amsterdam coaches during its second offensive possession of the game.

After a handful of plays where the Shock attempted to apply its run-first offensive game plan with quarterback T.J. Sheard under center, Syracuse coaches caught Amsterdam off guard when they quickly brought Sheard out in the shotgun in a spread formation. Sheard took the snap and found Tyrone Burke Jr. on a bubble screen. Burke out ran Amsterdam defenders the remaining 35 yards to make the score 12-0 with 8:53 left in the first quarter.

While attempting to return the ensuing kickoff, Amsterdam fumbled the ball back to Syracuse at midfield. Three plays after the fumble, the Shock caught a break following a questionable call. Sheard went back to throw to Burke.

The ball went one way and Burke went the other. However, there was enough physical contact against Burke to warrant a pass interference call and an automatic first down.

A few plays later, Tyler Gage gave Syracuse a 20-0 lead with 5:08 left in the first quarter. Gage scored off a play-action pass from Sheard from 25 yards out.

Amsterdam took on a more multiple offensive approach during its second drive of the game. It attempted to attack the Shock Defense with their quarterback working more under center. The adjustment worked to no avail as Jaquan Williams intercepted an Amsterdam pass a few plays into the drive.

Following Williams’ interception and solid return, the Shock were near the Amsterdam 10-yard line with 3:54 left in the first quarter.

A couple of plays later, Fullback James Chaplin scored on a counter run from a yard out. Following Champlin’s score, the Shock converted the two-point attempt Sheard took the snap the pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage but caught by Syracuse linemen John Toper, who plowed his way into the endzone for the extra two points.

The Shock now lead 28-0 with 2:33 left in the first quarter.

During the final moments of the first quarter, Amsterdam got solid field position following a solid kickoff return, which was aided by a personal foul penalty against the Shock. Despite the solid field position, Amsterdam was forced to punt.

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

Valley Viewpoints: Fulton vs. Granby

by Rose Anthony of Granby

I have always informed you on what is happening in Granby. Please read this very carefully and take an interest in it.

The City of Fulton wants to annex its Sewer Treatment Plant from the Town of Granby. Just because the city is hurting, why should the Town of Granby suffer? Yes, I mean suffer financially.

If the City of Fulton succeeds and takes the Sewer Treatment Plant, they want to make it tax exempt. If that happens, then the Fulton City School District will lose $78,824.14 in tax money — not to mention the other county, fire department and highway taxes.

It all falls on us, the taxpayers, in the end. The Town of Granby, years ago, was the highest tax town to live in. We, in Granby, have come a long way and can finally “see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

What I am asking each and every person in the Town of Granby is to come Monday, Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. to the Fulton Municipal Building.

The Fulton Common Council and the Granby Town Board are having an open public meeting where the public can speak.

Although the Town of Granby has an attorney representing us, it would be great for the people to come forward and speak.

I am asking all of you to attend, speak your minds, and be there behind our Granby town board 100 percent against annexing.

Kenny Loggins took center stage Friday evening during the 25th annual Harborfest celebration as thousands of people descended on Breitbeck park to hear the 64-year old music legend belt out tunes from the 1970s and 1980s.

Loggins ignites Harborfest crowd

Kenny Loggins took center stage Friday evening during the 25th annual Harborfest celebration as thousands of people descended on Breitbeck park to hear the 64-year old music legend belt out tunes from the 1970s and 1980s.

by Carol Thompson

Kenny Loggins took center stage Friday evening during the 25th annual Harborfest celebration as thousands of people descended on Breitbeck park to hear the 64-year old music legend belt out tunes from the 1970s and 1980s.

The opening act for Loggins was his own band, Blue Sky Riders featuring Georgia Middleman, Gary Burr and Loggins. The crowd was not as large for the opening act, however, began to fill in as the time approached for Loggins to take the stage under his own billing.

Loggins continually engaged the audience as he alternated between rock music and softer ballads such as “Return to Pooh Corner.”  His hit song “Footloose” from the movie of the same name, had concert goers on their feet, dancing and clapping. The performance of “Whenever I call you friend” mellowed the audience, many of whom sang along.

Loggins engaged the audience with his hit song “Celebrate Me Home,” having everyone sing the chorus to mimic the sound of his original cut that included gospel singers.

Loggins was popular in the 1970s as he teamed with Jim Messina. As Loggins and Messina, the duo recorded songs such as “Danny’s Song” and “Your Mama Don’t Dance.”

Loggins and Messina split in 1976 and Loggins launched a solo career, winning a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal in 1980 for the song “This is it.”

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

Light In The Darkness: August 1, 2012

by Pastor David Gray

“These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” — John 20:31

The most elemental definition of Biblical faith is “Believing what God says.” We find this in Genesis when God says that Abraham “believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”

However, Scripture makes it clear that there is much more to the word believe than the mere acknowledgment that something is true.

In 1 John, we read that there are certain characteristics that mark those who truly believe and confess that Jesus is the Christ. Together, they help us understand what the Bible means when it uses the word. They are helpful in examining ourselves to see whether we are truly in the faith. They also serve as a warning to those who say that they believe but continue to live in their old pattern.

The first is that those who are born of God keep his commandments. “We know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.”

Second, those who are born of God walk as Christ walked. “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way he walked.”

Third, those who are born of God love others. “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.”

Fourth, those who are born of God don’t love the world. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

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