All posts by Nicole Reitz

RSVP to hold volunteer orientation July 19

SUNY Oswego’s RSVP will hold an orientation for prospective volunteers at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 19 at the Park Street United Methodist Church in Pulaski.

The session for interested adults who are retired, semi-retired or considering retirement will take place following the RSVP Osteo Bone Builders class from 10 to 11 a.m. at the church. Guest presenter will be Margaret Weigelt of Pulaski Public Library.

The RSVP Bone Builders Program relies upon weight training and balance exercises to protect against fractures caused by osteoporosis by increasing muscular strength, balance and bone density.

RSVP helps recruit and support volunteers for programs and organizations benefiting veterans and the environment, people needing tourism advice and tax-preparation assistance, among other options.

Part of a nationwide network of Senior Corps programs sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, RSVP locally is supported by the United Way and SUNY Oswego and headquartered in the college’s Office of Business and Community Relations.

To receive RSVP’s free Mature Living newsletter or for more information, call 312-2317 or email

Sheriff seeks more money for jail

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Correctional Facility continues to exceed its limits and Sheriff Reuel “Moe” Todd has once again requested funds to pay the expenses incurred due to the overcrowding problem.

Todd has asked for an additional $200,000 to pay the costs associated with transporting and housing inmates in out-of-county facilities. The sheriff’s department must bear the expense of the costs associated with the relocation of inmates.

Initially, $100,000 was adopted in this year’s budget, however, that amount was exhausted in the first quarter of the year.

At that time, a request was made to transfer $600,000 to cover the added expenses.

That led to an additional $200,000 allocated through the adoption of a resolution in March, according to a memorandum Todd presented to legislators.

The fund balance is not enough to cover the expenses incurred through the month of May.

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


Art Day Camp to be held July 16-20

The CNY Arts Center, which recently opened a new facility in State Street Methodist Church in Fulton, is offering a week long Arty Day Camp July 16-20. Children will choose from art, writing, dance, and theater classes for a week of learning and hands-on projects.

Morning classes will be followed by lunch and an afternoon of fun art projects for all ages.

Art students will have the opportunity to work with two instructors as classes and the morning schedule are divided by ages 7-12 and 13-18.

Marissa Hill, a graduate of G. Ray Bodley High School with an Advanced Regents Diploma in Studio Art and SUNY Oswego, summa cum laude, with a bachelor’s of fine art in studio art – illustration has studied printmaking, illustration, book arts, sculpture, drawing, painting, and photography.

She will guide students to make their own sketchbook to start and follow through the week with plant drawings, sculpting garbage monsters, painting skies, and printmaking: monsters in nature.

Bonnie McClellan will alternate with Hill to teach color theory through the work of Paul Klee, abstracts, and watercolor paint on book pages.

She will also teach students to paint without brushes, learn ink drawings and sketches, drawing beyond the stick figure, and painting with acrylics on wood.

McClellan recently rediscovered a passion for art and has honed her skills with oil and watercolor among other mediums.

“Sizzling summer sensations Writing Classes” will also boast the talents of two writers to lead students to explore writing concepts such as capturing ideas on paper and then developing written pieces with strong characters, rich details, and strong leads and endings; as well as nurturing the love of writing.

The class’s hard work will result in a finished piece of writing to keep and share with others. Instructor Jim Farfaglia, Writing Program coordinator for CNY Arts Center, is the author of “Country Boy,” a collection of poems chronicling his childhood. His poems appear weekly in The Valley News.

Karen Burke, assisting in the writing classes, is a local writer and teacher.

Dance classes are available with Jennica Vehrs, who will provide students with the opportunity to experience lyrical and contemporary and jazz dancing. Throughout the course of the week, students will learn and participate in stretches to improve flexibility, across-the-floor exercises to improve technique, and both a lyrical/contemporary routine, as well as a jazz routine, to implement the components of these dance styles.

Vehrs is a graduate of SUNY Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in childhood education. She is  pursuing a master’s in literacy and a substitute teacher for the Fulton and Hannibal Central School Districts.

Drama, improv, theatre games and props will be the order of the day for students interested in theater classes.

Students will be led through exercises to expand awareness of the physical environment, learn the who, what, where and why of acting, polish stage presence and discover the tools to create believable characters.

Classes will be taught by Nancy Fox, president of CNY Arts Center, who brings 30 years experience in professional and community theater as director, stage manager, writer, designer, teacher, student, and briefly as an actor.

Students can register for half day or full day programs. Fees apply for half-day morning instruction in art, writing, dance and theater.

Registration is available online at

CNY Arts Center is also designated as a Summer Meal Site to offer free lunches to community children 18 and under during the week of Arty Day Camp. Children who attend the lunch will be included in afternoon art projects at no charge. Children in the afternoon program should also pre-register at


No business: Clerk’s office came to a halt due to computer glitch

by Carol Thompson

For two business days, visitors to the Oswego County Clerk’s office were turned away due to a computer system shut-down that has left legislators angered and employees left with nothing to do.

“I am concerned that Oswego County has been unable to serve the public from the County Clerk’s office for two days,” Legislator Amy Tresidder said. “I am disappointed that I was not contacted regarding the situation.”

The computer system failure came at a time when the county is seeking to award a contract to a vendor to provide data imaging services to the clerk’s office. Attempts to award the contract have been shrouded in controversy for the past 18 months.

The current vendor, Info Quick Solutions, Inc. of Liverpool has been providing the service on a month-to-month basis until a provider is selected. There are reportedly eight companies vying for the contract.

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

Valley Viewpoints: Dedicated board member

by Bob and Sandy Weston of Fulton

We would like to commend assistant editor Nicole Reitz and The Valley News for the article that appeared Saturday, June 30 on the 21-year service on the Fulton School Board by Robbin Griffin. The article was well written and it was so good to hear Robbin’s responses.

We have known Robbin for a number of years and have always admired her hard work, dedication, leadership qualities and experience that she has provided the Fulton community by way of the school board.

She has never shied away from the many challenges that continually impact our educational system.

Serving on the school board is very demanding, time consuming and often a thankless job, but we are fortunate to have an outstanding board that works very hard to make sure that our students receive the very best education possible.

We know that even though Robbin will no longer be a member of the board, the work she has done over the last 21- years leaves a strong foundation to build on.

Whatever Robbin chooses to do, she will continue to be involved in her community. We wish her well and if you see her out and about, thank her for a job well done.


District attorney salary increase will go for final vote next week

by Carol Thompson

A state mandated salary increase for Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes is slated to be voted on when the full legislature meets July 12.

It’s an issue, however, that the county has little say.

For the county to be in compliance with a state court system compensation mandate, Oakes will receive a raise of $20,000 raise this year as well as a retroactive pay.

Oakes’ salary will increase from $119,800 to $140,300 to bring his compensation into compliance with a new state mandate. The money for the raise is fully funded through state aid and is retroactive to March 29.

While the salary increase is covered by the state this year and through March 2013, legislators are concerned with the local cost beginning April 2013.

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said he was frustrated with state mandates and he, as with others, are concerned how the county will pay the increase after next year. The state has not promised the money beyond this year.

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

County redistricting begins

by Carol Thompson

The redistricting committee for the Oswego County Legislature met for the first time Tuesday.

The five Republican, one Democrat committee mapped out a plan for redrawing legislative district lines.

There are several districts that have either too many or too few residents.

Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 fall within the appropriate population range.

Districts 7 (Mexico), 8 (Palermo), 9 (Central Square) and 10 (Phoenix) are over the allowed population variance and 11 and 12 are within the allowance.

Districts 13 (Mexico) and 14 (Oswego) are under the allowed variance and Districts 15 and 16 are within the appropriate population range. District 17 (Oswego) is under the allowed variance and Districts 18 and 19 are within the allowance. The population of District 20 (Town of Oswego) is over the allowance and Districts 21 (Hannibal), 22 (Fulton and Granby) and 23 (Granby) are under the allowed variance.

Districts 24 and 25 are within the appropriate range.

Legislator Jim Oldenburg, who represents District 14, has the lowest population at 4,322 while Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley, who represents District 9, has the highest at 5,635. The average population per district should be 4,884.

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

Nancy Haney, worked at Lee Memorial

Nancy Gritzer Haney died peacefully Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at the age of 72 with loved ones by her side.

She was born April 22, 1940 in Johnstown, Pa., a daughter to the late Michael and Anna Krizansky Gritzer. After graduation from high school, she married Thomas P. Haney and they lived in New Jersey where she worked as an executive secretary and as a realtor before moving to Fulton.

While in Fulton, she worked for many years at A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital as the Director of Volunteer Services.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband of 37 years, Thomas P. Haney, and two sisters, Shirley Demyan and Evelyn Thomas.

She is survived by her son, Sean Patrick Haney; a brother-in-law, George Thomas; four sisters-in-law, Agnes Naugle, Virginia Witherow, Roberta Vasbinder and Rosemary Zimmerman as well as several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held Monday, July 2 at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton.

Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 7, East Syracuse, NY 13057-0007 or to the American Red Cross, Onondaga-Oswego Chapter, 220 Herald Place, Syracuse, NY 13202.