All posts by Nicole Reitz

SolarPower1

Leighton’s solar paintings featured in upcoming exhibition

Preparing for an exhibition to open Friday, July 12 at Oswego State Downtown, Oswego artist Bert Leighton displays “Such Joy” (2012), one of her watercolor artworks made utilizing the sun’s power to rapidly evaporate water. The exhibition will run through Sept. 14 at the SUNY Oswego store and gallery at the corner of West First and Bridge streets in Oswego.
Preparing for an exhibition to open Friday, July 12 at Oswego State Downtown, Oswego artist Bert Leighton displays “Such Joy” (2012), one of her watercolor artworks made utilizing the sun’s power to rapidly evaporate water. The exhibition will run through Sept. 14 at the SUNY Oswego store and gallery at the corner of West First and Bridge streets in Oswego.

The solar paintings of Oswego artist Bert Leighton will shine in a free exhibition July 12 to Sept. 14 at Oswego State Downtown.

An opening artist’s reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 12 at the SUNY Oswego store and gallery at the corner of West First and Bridge streets.

The exhibition, titled “It’s Only Natural,” will feature watercolor artwork Leighton calls solar painting, a technique she learned from others that harnesses the sun’s power to speedily evaporate water.

“These are created by laying watercolor paper in a large tray covered with a small amount of water,” said Michael Flanagan, assistant director of SUNY Oswego’s Tyler Art Gallery. “Then natural items such as twigs, leaves, vines and so on are arranged on the paper. Watercolor paint is dripped, poured and spattered over the natural objects. On a good sunny day when the tray is placed in direct sunlight, the water will evaporate in 6 to 10 hours leaving the images ‘painted by the sun’.”

Leighton showed her paintings at the View, formerly the Old Forge Art Center, in spring 2012. She has lived in Oswego most of her life, and is a 1949 graduate of SUNY Oswego. She was a founding member of the Oswego Art Guild in 1960.

Oswego State Downtown is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday during Oswego Farmers Market season, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Those seeking more information may call 216-4985.

MichelleKwan1

Lanigan school holds second grade ‘Biography Bonanza’

Makenzie Gardner portrayed accomplished United States figure skating champion Michelle Kwan during the Lanigan Elementary School Second Grade “Biography Bonanza.”
Makenzie Gardner portrayed accomplished United States figure skating champion Michelle Kwan during the Lanigan Elementary School Second Grade “Biography Bonanza.”

Some of the most famous and influential people in United States history gathered in one place last week: Lanigan Elementary School in the Fulton City School District. The gathering was a “Biography Bonanza,” featuring students in the school’s second grade classes.

Second grade students, as aligned with the Common Core State Standards, have been reading more works of fiction and learning about books that are categorized as biographies. Tied to this, the second grade teachers coordinated a “Biography Bonanza” event at the school.

Each second grade student selected a significant and influential person in American history to feature at the biography event. Students spent class time as well as time at home with the support of a family member researching their person and his/her’s historical significance. The students utilized resources from the school’s library as well as online educational resources to gather their information.

Each student also created a display and found or made coordinating props and in some cases a costume for the ‘bonanza.’

On the day of the “Biography Bonanza” students not only dressed as their biography subject, but also assumed their identity.

They introduced themselves to “bonanza” guests and shared facts about his/her’s life and historical significance, giving students an opportunity to practice their public speaking and communication skills.

Highlights from the event included Walt Disney, George Washington, Babe Ruth, Jackie Kennedy, Barack Obama and more.

Senator Ritchie reflects on 2013 legislative season

by Andrew Henderson 

The New York State 2013 legislative season is now in the books.

Senator Patty Ritchie recently offered some highlights of the legislation that was approved this season.

“As state senator, my top priority has been making Central and Northern New York a better place to live and work, and this year’s session continues our progress,” she said. “With the adoption of a middle class-friendly state budget, we once again held the line on state spending, and provided urgently needed tax relief for the middle class.”

The senator also noted that the state continued to invest in jobs by approving a third round of Regional Economic Development grants.

“We increased our commitment to public education with the largest school aid package in four years, one that was weighted to rural and upstate schools and provides $25 million more than last year in education aid to districts in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties,” she said.

Ritchie noted that agriculture was a top priority this legislative season.

“The state budget included key elements from my ‘Grown in New York’ plan, including restored funding for vital marketing and research programs from apples to dairy and maple,” she noted.

“The legislature adopted my bill to finally rein in runaway agriculture land tax assessments, and an innovative new plan to increase sales of locally grown foods, and the Senate advanced my ideas, like estate tax relief and Farm Savings Accounts, to help save family farms and encourage more young people to choose agriculture as a career,” she continued.

According to the senator, highlights of 2013 Senate session included:

• Helping New York’s middle class by maintaining middle class tax rates that are the lowest in 60 years and approving $350 Family Tax Relief rebates that will begin in 2014.

Also, there was record investment in STAR property tax relief program and the state cut electric bills by phasing out of the 2009 energy surcharge.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Fulton employees’ golf tournament benefits Catholic Charities

Members of the Planning Committee for the City of Fulton Employees fourth annual golf tournament meet with at Catholic Charities to discuss details for the event. Proceeds from this year’s tournament will be used to support Catholic Charities CYO and Emergency Services programs.  From left are Catholic Charities Community Services Supervisor Helen Hoefer, Fulton City employee Tom Schimpff, Catholic Charities Executive Director Mary Margaret Pezzella-Pekow, and Fulton City employee Mark Cole.  Absent from photo are committee members Dan Davenport, Frank Veschio, Dave Perry, Mark Birkhead, and Angela Cole.
Members of the Planning Committee for the City of Fulton Employees fourth annual golf tournament meet with at Catholic Charities to discuss details for the event. Proceeds from this year’s tournament will be used to support Catholic Charities CYO and Emergency Services programs. From left are Catholic Charities Community Services Supervisor Helen Hoefer, Fulton City employee Tom Schimpff, Catholic Charities Executive Director Mary Margaret Pezzella-Pekow, and Fulton City employee Mark Cole. Absent from photo are committee members Dan Davenport, Frank Veschio, Dave Perry, Mark Birkhead, and Angela Cole.

When members of the planning committee for the City of Fulton Employees Annual Golf Tournament met to work on the details for this year’s tournament, they wanted to ensure that the proceeds would be used to help youth and families in the Fulton.

To achieve that goal, they have chosen Catholic Charities of Oswego County as the beneficiary of their fourth annual golf tournament.

A native of Fulton, committee member and Department of Sanitation employee Mark Cole said he is well aware of the services Catholic Charities offers.

Cole and his family have been longtime supporters of Catholic Charities Emergency Services program having sponsored families during the holidays and, as a boy, he spent much of his time at the CYO program.

“Many of us have ties to CYO,” said Cole. “I started attending CYO when I was 10 years old and went there everyday after school throughout my teens.  I had a lot of fun and met a lot of new friends.

“We want to make sure the money from this year’s tournament helped kids in our community and supporting CYO is the perfect way to do that,” he added.

Scheduled for Saturday, July 27, the golf tournament will be held at Emerald Crest Golf Course, Route 3 in Palermo.

Open to the public, the tournament will get underway with a shotgun start at 9 a.m.

Committee member Tom Schimpff said that this year’s tournament promises to be the best ever.

“There will be plenty of on course games, including longest drive, closest to the pin, and putting contests; plus a 50 50 drawing, door prizes, shirts for each golfer, and a complete dinner following the tournament featuring appetizers, prime rib, chicken, seafood and all the fixings from Tavern on the Lock,” said Schrimpff.

All proceeds from the tournament will be donated to Catholic Charities in support of the CYO program.

Additionally, the committee has announced that it will be doing something special for Catholic Charities Emergency Services.

“This year’s teams with the lowest score overall, lowest score mixed team, and highest score will be recognized in a special way,” said Cole. “Their entry fees will be donated in their name and used to sponsor a family during the holiday season through Catholic Charities Emergency Services program.”

A limited number of openings for teams are still available and will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

Those seeking more information or to register a team may call Tom Schimpff at 430-4899 or Mark Cole at 402-6151. 

County prepares tax fight with Entergy Nuclear

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature passed several resolutions during Thursday’s session that involve a tax certiorari litigation with the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant owned by Entergy.

The county, Town of Scriba and Mexico Academy and Central School district have been unable to negotiate a tax agreement with Entergy following a one-year good-faith agreement that had been previously approved.

Legislators were told by those involved in the process on the county level that the new agreement would come easily.

That didn’t happen and now the parties will head to court.

The three taxing jurisdictions will retain Hacker Murphy, LLP to defend the litigation. The firm will bill the county every 30 days for their services at a rate of $285 per hour for attorney fees and a cost of $260 per hour for the senior associate and $175 per hour for the paralegal.

During the June 13 meeting, the legislature also agreed to hire George Sansoucy, PE to perform as appraisal at a cost just shy of $1 million.  The costs will be shared by the taxing jurisdictions.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Hysteria

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

I have written very little in regard to NY SAFE, Andrew Cuomo’s gun control legislation. I say Andrew Cuomo’s, because the rank and file of New Yorkers had no say nor input into its creation or passage. It was ill-advised and ill-conceived, and in spite of Cuomo’s claim that the majority of New York Residents are in favor of it, the law has been ill-received. At least 52 of the 62 counties of New York State have passed resolutions stating their opposition to the act, most asking for the law to be repealed. Sheriffs claim they will not enforce NY SAFE, and some County DA’s say they will not prosecute NY SAFE cases. That hardly indicates the rousing support the governor claimed his law has.

I went to Albany a couple weeks ago with other sportsmen on a bus chartered by the Onondaga Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. A thousand or more people gathered outside the Capitol Building to protest the law after speaking to legislators, voicing their complaint personally. Cuomo refuses to recognize that his NY SAFE Act is very unpopular across the state. His only comment is that the law might need a little tweaking. No Governor Cuomo, this law needs to be repealed. You are not our king, you are our servant.

I don’t believe that there are very many people who were not horrified, touched and saddened by the shootings at Newtown, CT. I can’t imagine what it was like for the families affected, and I would love to find a reasonable way to prevent such a thing from ever happening again, but nothing that has been put into law or proposed for legislation would have prevented what took place or will stop a similar event from happening again.  Bad people do bad things, and bad people will always find a way to get a gun or build a bomb. Laws mean nothing to them. The threat of mortal punishment is irrelevant to them.

The first and second amendments were not put into the U.S. Constitution by our founding fathers without good reason. Bad reasoning today should not be allowed to infringe on them, but grieving people, toadying politicians, and foolish do-gooders are all too ready to give away our precious, hard won rights. The Constitution is greater and more important than all the tragedies that some people would use as an excuse to emasculate it. The day that is no longer true will be the day that all that is America will die.

Hysteria, such as followed on the heels of Newtown, has never produced anything good in our history, but it has brought about incredibly evil things, and it has stripped people of their civil rights. Remember the Japanese people on the west coast who were taken out of their homes and put into concentration camps after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor? They had done nothing wrong, they were intensely patriotic Americans, their men and their boys volunteered in record numbers for the armed forces, and they suffered horrible casualties. AND yet, to complete the shameless travesty, they were never properly compensated for the loss of property that had been seized by “loyal” Americans when they were incarcerated, all because of hysteria and all for nothing gained. It is not the only time the Constitution has been contravened, but I will let it rest at that. You get the picture.

The present demands by the hysterical for Infringing on rights guaranteed by the first and second amendments, singularly or in combination, is not being well-received by a significant segment of the nation’s population, and the perpetrators are incapable of conceiving why this is so. The great outpouring of sympathy and support the grieving people in Newtown received is now rapidly dissipating, and an undercurrent of anger and disgust is growing among citizens who can be fiercely protective of their own civil rights.

Hysteria is like a disease. It spreads and becomes an epidemic, infecting the unprotected. Strong medicine is often the only way to combat a serious, life threatening disease, and waiting too long may lead to death. The present hysteria over guns and “gun control” is producing outrageous laws, many of which will eventually end up in front of the Supreme Court unless they are repealed by cooler heads, which is likely to happen as legislators and governors who voted for them get voted out of office. That would be pretty effective medicine. Unfortunately, as so often happens, this epidemic is having its greatest effect on children and their minds, and worst of all, it’s taking place in schools where they should be safe and secure. Unfortunately the disease is being encouraged and spread by teachers and administrators.

I just want to establish that I have always had a great deal of respect for public school teachers, and the role they have played in our nation. I have always believed that overall they were a force for good in our society. But due to recent national events, my confidence in educators and our educational system has been badly eroded.

Teachers aren’t gods, and schools are not courts; they should not have the power to strip away a person’s civil rights, be he child or adult. They should not be in the business of harassing innocent children, trying to make them out to be terrorists or potential mass murderers for the most ridiculous of reasons. It is time the rest of us say enough is enough already.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Snowfall in June

RoyHodge_WEBby Roy Hodge

I was talking among a group of people recently when the topic of conversation turned to the weather — not unusual, I guess.

It was a hot day and we started with stories of hot summer weather — violent thunderstorms and summers with days on end of hot, sultry temperatures and steamy, sleepless nights.

We remembered certain storms. A couple of us recalled the time when Hurricane Hazel hit the area — that was back in the early 1950s. Unfortunately, I was one of those with a good memory.

After a few minutes, the talk inevitably turned to winter and snow. After all, at least one person in that group had lived in Fulton during the winter months of past years, and most of us had some vivid memories.

We all had memories of snow — lots of snow — of shoveling for hours and then going back to the beginning and doing it all over again, of sitting in the house while the snow piled up over the windows, of enjoying playing in deep snow, of building forts and castles of snow, and on and on.

One person thought that he remembered hearing about snow in the area long after winter was supposedly over — like in June, he thought.

Sparked by that, I remembered my father telling me about a very unusual snowfall when he was young. He was sure that it may have been in June.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.