All posts by Nicole Reitz

School Board Notebook: July 14, 2012

by Nicole Reitz

The Fulton Board of Education has a new president.

David Cordone was elected as president. He replaces Robbin Griffin, who lost her school-board seat in the May election.

Fred Cavalier was also elected as the new board clerk. He replaces clerk Brian Hotaling.

Rosemary Occhino will remain on as the board’s vice president.

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Audience member attendance might have been at an all time low during Tuesday’s meeting.

The low attendance sparked an idea from board member Dan Pawlewicz. He suggested moving the board meetings to the city’s six schools.

“Offering a different venue could allow principals to show of their school,” said Pawlewicz.

Hotaling was open to the idea, but questioned if moving the meetings would be more work than an opportunity.

“It’s not a bad idea, I don’t know if the timing it perfect for it,” said Hotaling. “I’d like to hear from principals to see if they would be interested in hosting us.”

Changing the location of the twice-monthly meeting is something that the Fulton board has never done before, but is a common practice in other schools, such as Hannibal Central School District.

Pawlewicz’s concern is that the community is not attending board meetings not because of a lack of interest, but an intimidation factor.

“I know people won’t get into this building, people are afraid of it,” said Pawlewicz.

Superintendent Billy Lynch noted that a change in environment could mean more work for the schools’ principals.

The district’s portable sound system would also need to be set up. “It would give the board the opportunity to interact with that school community,” said Lynch.

The board approved the meeting schedule for 2012-2013, but will further discuss the possibility of holding meetings outside of the Fulton Education Center.

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During the regular business meeting, the board approved resolutions that highlighted the careers of 13 retiring staff members.

They include Katherine Biss, Melanie Bock, Kathleen Kinney, Stephen Kush, Patricia Lok, Mike Schroeder, Elaine McIntyre, Kathleen Rossi, Deborah Walbereger, Dave Wilson, Diane Wilson, Georgia Wood and Lynn Swayze.

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

Shirley Allen, retired from GE

Shirley M. Allen, 83, of Fulton, died July 10, 2012 at University Hospital.

She was born in Solvay to Oscar and Edith (Olmstead) Cole. Mrs. Allen retired in 1990 from General Electric after 43 years.

She was a member and volunteer of the First United Church, Fulton.  Mrs. Allen was an avid reader, and she also enjoyed crossword puzzles.

Mrs. Allen was pre-deceased by her grandson, Kenneth E. Stoutenger, who died in 1989, and her husband of 57 years, Erwin Allen, who died in 2007.

She is survived by her four children, Richard (Alice) Allen of Fulton, Diane (Mike) Stoutenger of Texas, and Martin (Diane) Allen and Rodger (Tyran) Allen, both of Fulton; three siblings, Barbara Shoemaker of Homer, Thelma Chapman of Marcellus, and Frederick “George” Cole of Camden; six grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be held tomorrow, July 15 at 3 p.m. at the First United Church with Rev. David Nethercott officiating. Burial will be held privately.

Contributions may be made to the Friends of Oswego County Hospice, PO Box 102 Oswego, NY 13126 or First United Church 33 S. 3rd St., Fulton, NY 13069.

Sugar Funeral Home, Fulton has care of the arrangements.

Wal-MartDonation

Wal-Mart assists lake effort

Granby Wal-Mart Manager Mike Hardesty presents a check to Ed Williamson, chairman of the Lake Committee for the Cleanup of Lake Neatahwanta and Granby Town supervisor. The money from Wal-Mart will be used to create a plan to help diminish the cause of the phosphorus-filled lake.

by Andrew Henderson

Wal-Mart donated $2,000 earlier this week to the Lake Committee for the Cleanup of Lake Neatahwanta.

The committee is currently raising funds and lobbying state and federal officials for money to dredge the lake, which is filled with high-levels of phosphorus and most likely contains blue-green algae.

Committee Chairman Ed Williamson, who is also the Granby Town supervisor, said Tuesday that the money from Wal-Mart will be used to create a plan to diminish the cause of the problem.

The lake is fed by three streams, including Sheldon Creek, which is said to be the cause of 70 percent of the sediment that lies on the lake bottom.

“We have to stop it in order to fix it,” said Williamson. “There is no use dredging the lake if the problem still exists.”

Williamson noted that many farms surrounding the lake are not as active as before, which could help with the problem.

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

Shock falls to Monroe County Sting

by Rob Tetro

The maturation process continued for the Syracuse Shock football team when it took on the Monroe County Sting last Saturday.

Despite an impressive effort from running back DeWayne Gordon, the Monroe County Sting came away with a 30-20 win over the Shock.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Sting outscored the Shock by four points to take a 10-6 lead into halftime. During the third quarter, the Sting added another touchdown which put them up by 11 points. However, the Shock didn’t go quietly into the night.

Syracuse outscored the Sting by a point during the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Shock, The Sting’s lead proved to be insurmountable as Monroe County came away with the 10-point win.

Shock qaurterback T.J. Sheard completed 13 out of 31 passes for 146 yards with two touchdowns but three interceptions. Gordon ran for 130 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown.

Sheard, James Chaplin and Will Carter combined to run for 41 yards on 14 carries.

Wide receiver Tyrone Burke, Jr. is proving to be a solid offensive weapon for the Shock. Burke caught nine passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Gage and Derek Serino combined for four catches for 53 yards.

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

Campaign check lists clerk’s phone number

by Carol Thompson

A check drawn on the account of New York State Senator Patty Ritchie’s campaign fund lists the telephone number of the St. Lawrence County Clerk’s office, something that Ritchie’s press spokesperson Sarah Compo said was simply a mistake.

The “Friends of Patty Ritchie” campaign fund account has imprinted the telephone number 3125-379-2237, which is the number of the St. Lawrence County Clerk’s office, along with the address P.O. Box 626, Canton, N.Y. 13617.

Community Bank, where the account is held, is located in Ogdensburg.

Ritchie is the former St. Lawrence County Clerk and served as the clerk during her campaign two years ago.

“We’re aware of this and obviously it’s a mistake,” Compo said Tuesday, adding it’s “an honest mistake.”

Compo said the matter will be rectified.

St. Lawrence County Administrator Karen St. Hilaire said she will see to it that the telephone number is removed from the checks and had initiated the steps to do so.

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

Senator Patty Ritchie recently visited the Oswego County Soil & Water Office on Route 3 in Volney to make the announcement that free larvicide treatments will be available to homeowners in Oswego County. The treatments are a preventive measure against EEE and are to be used in standing water around the home or farm. Ritchie is pictured with Legislator Fred Beardsley, Inga Back, acting Oswego County Public Health Director Inga Back, and John DeHollander, manager of the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Free larvicide treatments available

Senator Patty Ritchie recently visited the Oswego County Soil & Water Office on Route 3 in Volney to make the announcement that free larvicide treatments will be available to homeowners in Oswego County. The treatments are a preventive measure against EEE and are to be used in standing water around the home or farm. Ritchie is pictured with Legislator Fred Beardsley, Inga Back, acting Oswego County Public Health Director Inga Back, and John DeHollander, manager of the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District.

by Nicole Reitz

Senator Patty Ritchie announced at a news conference Tuesday the availability of a new tool to help combat the spread of the EEE virus.

Free samples of larvicide treatments are available to 2,700 homeowners in six counties who have been impacted by EEE, including Oswego County.

The free treatments, packets of a locally produced larvicide, can be used to treat standing water. The product can be used in small pools, ornamental ponds, bird baths and more.

The treatment is available to homeowners through a partnership with the Soil and Water Conservation District offices. Local residents can pick them up at the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District office, which is located at 3105 N.Y.S. Rte. 3 in Volney. The  office is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The larvicide program is a part of a broader effort to educate the public and help prevent EEE. Since there is not yet a vaccine for EEE, the best form of protection is to avoid getting bit.

Residents are advised of using insect repellent when going outdoors and be aware of peak mosquito hours. For many species of mosquitos, dawn and dusk are peak biting times.

During these times of day, wear protective clothing or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times. Also examine your home for tears and holes in window and door screens. Intact screen windows and doors can keep mosquitos from entering the home.

Farmers should especially take special precautions to avoid the breeding of mosquitoes. Farmers should ask their veterinarian about vaccinating their horses. Dozens of horses have succumbed to the virus in the six counties included in the prevention program.

While EEE is a mosquito-born virus that mostly affects horses and other livestock, it has killed five people in Oswego and Onondaga counties since 1971. The latest death is that of four-year-old Maggie Sue Wilcox of New Haven.

Ritchie said that the EEE virus is a state priority.

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

RoyHodge

Hodgepodge: July 14, 2012

by Roy Hodge

In the middle of a period of intense summer heat here, I am to bring you just enough Fulton winter weather and snow information to perhaps cool you off a little but not so much that you have to get your snow shovel out of the basement.

Here is something I wrote in February of 1994 when Fulton was in the middle of a typical winter, and I was wondering if it would ever end:

I know that I am not alone but at this point of time I feel like a refugee of a winter that will never end.

My snow shovel became a wasted pile of wood and plastic about 100 inches of snow ago.

There is a path between my house and car but it is now about two feet higher than the top step of my porch.

I now have to stick two fingers into the middle finger space in one of my gloves because the finger next to that has a big hole in it.

My car doesn’t have one of those electronic voices but if it did I know it would be saying to me, “Go back inside, stupid, it’s 20 below zero out here.”

I don’t know what to do; my nose is running, but everything else refuses to.

I am so embarrassed to sit down in front of people and put plastic bags over my feet so I can get my boots on.

With all the snow we have piled up there could be a couple of very tall people alongside all those Christmas trees in our snow piles.

My snow brush has lost so many bristles that my toothbrush would do a better job clearing my windshield.

I am trying to think of clever answers that can be repeated in a family newspaper for all those people who keep asking, “Cold enough for you?”

I think I would finally appreciate the long johns that I used to hate receiving from my grandmother every Christmas of my youth.

Does anyone really care that Oswego or Syracuse may have received more snow than Fulton?  (For the record though, I’m sure neither one of them have.)

There is enough salt on my car to keep a large herd of cows happy all summer long. (Do cows still lick those things?)

Why, in the middle of a nasty winter, do we have to tolerate Punxsutawney Phil? Why doesn’t someone put him in a cave where there are no shadows?

I would also like to find a special place for the news commentator who reminds us that in past years we have received an accumulation of snow in April, May, and yes, even June.

Do I care that there are 34 more days until the official beginning of spring? (That translates into about 816 hours, or 48,960 minutes or about three to four more feet of snow.)

Yes, I am a refugee of winter.

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

Leon Archer

The Sportsman’s World: July 14, 2012

Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

When we left the Nushagak River and the city of Dillingham behind us, the number of returning king salmon was way under the minimum escapement requirement for the river — and the limits had been lowered.

The red salmon run was also well below the numbers that Fish & Game wanted to see. By last weekend, the king numbers had started to come up enough that it was projected that the minimum number would be reached, and by mid-week at least 70,000 kings were in the river with more coming. That’s really good news.

This year, most rivers in Alaska were shut down for king salmon, because the runs were so weak. That led to a lot more fishermen showing up on the Nushagak. Famed rivers such as the Kenai were not even open to catch and release as a measure to protect the returning stocks. There is growing concern about what is happening to king salmon and to a slightly lesser degree over the other salmon.

There was a two-page article in the Anchorage newspaper while we were in Alaska that delved into the developing problem and possible causes. It was interesting to me that none of the causes posed as a reason for disappointing runs was sport fishing.

Probably the reason sport fishing was not listed as a culprit is that sport fishing is the most easily controlled and monitored consumptive activity affecting the salmon stocks.

Conversely, controlling sport fishing has the least effect on the number of salmon reaching the spawning grounds each year.

Cut out all sport fishing and unless the run is extremely emaciated, the numbers reaching the spawning grounds would not  look much different. Clamping down on sport fishing is a last resort to protect what’s left of lagging run.

Beyond the hand wringing and bewilderment, there are some things to look at. According to the newspaper article, there are indications, or perhaps guesses, that ocean conditions may be a big factor in the poor salmon showing all over Alaska.

That includes ocean temperatures that have changed on feeding grounds, affecting the number and type of prey species, and also stressing the metabolisms of the salmon.

The article also mentioned that the cod and Pollack trawlers were destroying ever increasing numbers of high seas salmon. A few years ago, the numbers caught in the trawlers was 30,000 to 40,000, but according to the article, this past year the number was 130,000 thousand salmon wasted as by-catch.

You see, it is illegal for the trawlers to keep salmon even though they are dead, but there is no way to keep them from being scooped up in the huge dragging nets used for cod and Pollack.

All those salmon are discarded, dead, as by-catch. There is a movement to limit the total by-catch of salmon by the trawling fleet to not more than fifty thousand fish, or perhaps an even lower number.

Once they have reached that number, the cod and Pollack fishing season would end.

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