All posts by Nicole Reitz


EPA research vessel cruises Lake Ontario

Pictured is the R/V Lake Guardian docked outside of the marine museum in Oswego. This week, researchers from Clarkson University, SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Oswego conducted research on Lake Ontario, studying chemical contaminants found in the lake’s food web.
Pictured is the R/V Lake Guardian docked outside of the marine museum in Oswego. This week, researchers from Clarkson University, SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Oswego conducted research on Lake Ontario, studying chemical contaminants found in the lake’s food web.

by Nicole Reitz

The R/V Lake Guardian, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s largest Great Lakes’ research and monitoring vessel, left from the Port City Wednesday for a four-day research voyage.

A crew of researchers will collect water and sediment samples from Lake Ontario in order to study chemical contaminants found in the lake’s food web.

The purpose of the cruise is to collect water, pelagic micro-fauna, benthic invertebrates and ambient aerosol samples for organic chemical analysis.

This survey is part of a Lake Ontario assessment of organics contaminant cycling. The survey will provide dissolved and particulate phase samples as well as atmospheric concentrations.

In 2011, the EPA awarded Clarkson University a $6.5 million five-year grant to continue a partnership with SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Oswego to conduct the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program. The funding is part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The EPA has had the Lake Guardian since 1991; prior to that, it was a personnel supply vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship has been modified for science research on the Great Lakes.

Operating from April to September, the Guardian has 13 full time crew members, including a chef, a stewardess, first mates, marine techs and engineers. Bob Christensen has been the captain of the Guardian since 1998.

The ship has a maximum capacity of 28 people and has sleeping quarters for those on board. With the ship in operation for 24 hours a day, at any given time, someone is sleeping before their next shift.

The Lake Guardian also has a lounge, a galley offering three meals a day, and a chemistry and biology lab. Researchers on the ship use state-of-the-art data collection techniques and instruments during the biannual spring and summer surveys.

A green lab is used to do chlorophyll analysis. The lab is also used to sort through samples, picking out the different species and freezing them so that Clarkson University can analyze the tissues.

The Lake Guardian is the only self-contained, non-polluting research ship on the Great Lakes. Operated by the EPA’s Chicago-based Great Lakes National Program Office, the ship conducts monitoring programs that sample the water, aquatic life, sediments, and air in order to assess the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Researchers can sample a chunk of the lake bottom by using sediment grabs. The grabs are capable of sampling the deepest spot of Lake Superior.

Beth Hinchey Malloy is one of the environmental research scientists on this excursion. She said that it is not uncommon for someone from the EPA office to be gone for a month at a time conducting research.

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.

YMCA to hold summer program for girls

This summer, the Fulton Family YMCA and the Youth 4 Youth Program are collaborating in order to bring a new program, Girls Rock, to young girls.

The Girls Rock program is designed for tween girls to learn values and positive behaviors, in order to make smarter life choices.

They will also explore their unique talents and interests. Girls who are involved with this program will build friendships, self-esteem, confidence and leadership skills through workshops, discussion groups and fun activities.

Girls Rock will be held at the Fulton Family YMCA Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for girls ages 11-14. Participants will do workshops to learn skills, go bowling, have snacks and lunch.

Workshops are different for each program day and will touch on many topics including, nutrition, fitness, body image, social media and much more.

This program is free to members and non-members but pre-registration is required. Those interested can register and receive a full list of workshops at the Fulton Family YMCA.

Girls Rock is an extension of our Youth for Youth program that focuses on adolescent health care, positive decision making and leadership. Youth 4 Youth is a community collaboration of Oswego County Opportunities, the Fulton City School District, Cayuga Community College and the Fulton Family YMCA.

This program is funded through the Department of Health.

Those seeking more information or to register may call the Fulton Family YMCA at 598-9622 or stop in at 715 West Broadway.

Lanigan is number one

by Rosemary A. Occhino, Board of Education

Once again, the students in the Fulton City School District collected pop-tabs for the Ronald McDonald House throughout the school year.

Each of the elementary schools contributed pounds of pop-tabs.  Lanigan Elementary collected in excess of 75 pounds and was the winner for this year.

As a  thank you, Ronald supplied me with 35 color photos that were autographed by him. Each teacher received a picture for his/her classroom. The gifts were presented at a recent Lift-Off Ceremony held in June.

Over our two-year competition, the school district collected over one million tabs, weighing over 1,000 pounds and giving Ronald McDonald  Charities over $600 to assist families with life threatening illnesses by providing  housing and food, while their child is hospitalized.

According to the math, 1,276 pop-tabs equal one pound and for each pound they gain 60 cents.  It takes many, many tabs to donate over $600.

Congratulations everyone…both  students and families, for a job well done!

Please continue to collect pop-tabs from beverage, soup, and pet food  cans. We will collect again during the school year 2013-2014.

Chestnut Street and Curtis Street

JerrsJournal6-22by Jerry Kasperek

Let me set the scene for what I am about to discuss: Chestnut Street and Curtis Street are a block apart and run parallel to each other and both end up at the high school, which means that entire area must have been farmland long ago when Dick Candee lived there by the lake.

“Did your phone ring off the hook after your last column came out?” Mary West wanted to know as she reminded me that Candee’s old homestead was at the end of Cedar Street and not Chestnut Street.

She also said she remembers the home of the Kush family being the last one on Chestnut Street and that there was a cow pasture next to it.

A couple of days after I had the conversation with Mary, I bumped into Tony Gorea, who said he read the column as well and told me  that grew up on Chestnut Street and remembers an old man up the street who raised goats.

Then there was Henry Hudson, who stopped me in my tracks when he said: “You forgot the pigs!”

“What pigs?” I asked.

”The ones I took care of when I was a kid,” he said.

It seems his father, Dan Hudson, was a long-ago dairy farmer who made and sold ice cream. In fact, Hudson’s was the only ice cream maker in our entire area.

You could find Hudson’s ice cream in almost every store and every restaurant in town and beyond, Henry said.

The problem was, however, that skim milk was the by-product and there was a big surplus.

So one summer Mr. Hudson devised a plan to get rid of his skim milk by feeding it to the pigs, and he ordered 250 baby pigs and had them shipped in by railroad.

From the railroad car, the piglets were loaded onto trucks out on Route 176 — at the Curtis Street junction — and were taken to Candee’s farm over by the lake.

Henry’s father had rented the land from Mr. Candee; they were great friends, Henry said. A fence had been installed before the little pigs arrived. It went from about where the high school would someday be, down the hill where the athletic complex would be and stretched out a bit from there.

The pen was kind of three-sided affair with the lake making up the fourth side. “Only one pig tried to swim away,” Henry said.  (This writer didn’t dare ask what happened to it!)

Henry was only 16 or 17 that year he spent his summer lugging milk cans full of skim milk to feed the little pigs. That was their mainstay diet, skim milk, day in and day out!

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.

Gary Mix chosen as Oswego interim superintendent of schools

Gary Mix has been appointed as the Oswego City School District interim superintendent of schools

The Oswego Board of Education unanimously approved the appointment at the June 18 regular meeting.

Mix said, “I am very pleased and excited to become a part of the Oswego City School District educational community. My approach to my responsibilities will not be to be a ‘placeholder” or to keep the superintendent’s seat ‘warm’ for the next superintendent. I want to contribute to implementation of effective practices that enhance outstanding student performance as well as a common vision for the future of our district.”

In his previous positions, Mix has provided the momentum for improvement.

He said, “During the course of my tenure as superintendent of schools in Pembroke, we were successful in establishing a team approach that allowed our students performance to consistently and significantly improve. With everyone working together we were able to move from being in the bottom third of Genesee County to be ranked as the highest performing school district in our three-county area.”

Continuing he noted, “As an educational team we were able to establish a tight and consistent focus on our prioritized action plan that resulted in success being earned and celebrated by students, parents, faculty, staff, administration, Board of Education and community members.”

There will be priorities that Mix will be focusing on.

He explained, “I will be seeking input to ensure that we have correctly identified the most urgent needs. I believe that well intentioned people, working together can develop solutions to most challenges and issues.”

He also noted, “After reviewing considerable data on the district, some areas that I anticipate having discussions about would be academic procedures that might have an impact on four-year graduation rates and sub-group categories on state assessments. But to be clear these are topics that most school districts review and discuss on an annual basis. We want a mindset that we are never satisfied and that we are continually striving for excellence.”

Christopher Todd, Oswego BOCES district superintendent, has been assisting the Oswego Board of Education with a search for a new superintendent.

The effort is currently underway to proceed with seeking a replacement for current Superintendent of Schools William Crist.

It is anticipated that the applications will be submitted by August 30th and the board will move forward.

Todd has worked with Mix in the past and has the utmost respect for his colleague.

He said, “Gary has had great successes and his focus will be on academics. In conversation and decision-making Gary will always have the students first. What is best for the students will be his focus point.”

Oswego Board of Education member Lynda Sereno is looking forward to the continued search for a new superintendent. However, she is extremely satisfied with the new interim who will be leading the district.

“We are fortunate to have Gary Mix, a retired superintendent, still involved at various levels in public education, and who throughout his career has demonstrated transformational leadership skills to support our on-going efforts to bring Oswego back to a district of excellence,” she said.

Sereno noted that the process is moving forward.

“By hiring an interim superintendent, it allows the board of education and stakeholders time to seek out an outstanding educational leader to fill the position of Superintendent of Schools here in Oswego.”

Most recently, Mix has been involved in professional project work involving the New York State Professional Performance Review for Superintendents and principals of the 22 component school districts for Genesee Valley Project Partnership.

Previously he served for 10 years as superintendent of schools for the Pembroke Central School District in Corfu, was principal at Albion High School, a junior-senior high school principal at Mt. Morris as well several other educational positions.

Mix will commence his duties in the Oswego City School District Tuesday, July 2.

Tim Conners serves as special guest for golf tournament

by Andrew Henderson

Fulton resident and cancer survivor Tim Conners experienced a dream day earlier this week amongst New England celebrities and athletes at the fifth annual Joe Andruzzi & Friends Golf Tournament.

Conners attended the event, held at the Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth, Mass., at the request of Joe Andruzzi, three-time Super Bowl champion and 10-year NFL veteran, who founded the organization following his own successful cancer battle.

Conners was on-hand to serve as the Foundation’s special guest speaker.

April 3, 2010, Conners was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and began his first chemotherapy treatment on the very same day.

A star athlete and football player, Conners soon lost his vision and was required to spend a year in isolation as his immune system recovered.

During his speech to a star-studded room of more than 200 attendees, he spoke of his personal battle and his grueling journey to recovery.

Conners has since recovered from the disease and will graduate from high school today.

The Joe Andruzzi Foundation has recognized Conners as one of their “(Up)Beat” heroes — one who is an inspiration and is grateful for all that he has in his life, though much was taken from him. The foundation’s approach to the fight against cancer is not only to beat cancer, but to (Up)Beat it — to approach the disease with a positive attitude and a sense of humor.”

Lanigan student rallies his school to help a family in need

A tragic incident a few months ago triggered a chain reaction of support for a local family in need.

Lanigan Elementary School fourth-grade student Noah Horning watched as seven fire departments worked to save his neighbor’s home earlier this year.

The family escaped the fire safely, but lost everything.

Noah knew there was something he could do to help the family and he knew just who could help him – the students and staff at his school.

He spoke to the neighbors following their tragedy to ask what items they are in desperate need of. Then, with his principal’s approval, he sent a letter home with each student at his school asking for toiletry and non-perishable food donations as well as clothing for the family’s young daughter.

Also included in Noah’s letter home was helpful fire safety reminders and precautions that each Lanigan family can take to stay safe including developing and practicing a fire safety plan and escape route.

The response to Noah’s letter was overwhelming and hundreds of donations poured into the school to support the neighboring family in need.

With help from his classroom teacher Shannon Higgins and the Lanigan Elementary School School-Home Liaison Tammy Sheldon, Noah boxed up the donations and personally delivered them to the family during the last week of school.

In and Around Hannibal: June 22, 2013

Rita Hooper 


Folks I have an early (self-imposed) deadline this week, so the lead will be short.  Reading once again from Grace Hawkin’s hand-written booklet on Hannibal:

“The stage routes between Oswego and Auburn and Oswego and Rochester passed through Hannibal where horses were changed; it being a regular and popular stopping place.”

That leads me back to Sturge’s book on Hannibal to see what else I can learn about the stage coach.

“Later the mail was carried by a stage coach which ran from Hannibal to Fulton. It also carried passengers and did errands for a nominal fee.  Everyone had either to come or send to the post office for his mail. This brought many people to South Hannibal both morning and night.  The stage coach, known as the Star Route, was contracted for a year at a time.

“It was generally hauled with a lively team of horses at a stiff trot.  They had two cow bells strapped to the neck yoke so people would hear them coming.  Of course, that was not always necessary as some drivers would make more noise than the bells.”

I remember being told by Ernie Adamy that his home had a one time been a stop on the stage coach and that evidence of tiny rooms, nicely white-washed at one time, was present when they bought the place on Ct. Rt. 21.

Do you remember the term Star Route? I never heard of it until I was in college and my roommate lived on a Star Route in Ticonderoga. Then I heard it again when I visited the U.S. Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. For your further knowledge, I researched a little in Wikipedia to find that:

“Prior to 1845, transportation of inland mail, other than by railroad or steamboat, was given to bidders who offered stage or coach service.

“This was abolished by act of Congress on March 3, 1845, which provided that the postmaster-general should lease all such contracts to the lowest bidder who tendered sufficient guarantee of faithful performance, without any conditions, except to provide for due celerity, certainty and security of transportation. These bids became known as “celerity, certainty and security bids” and were designated on the route registers by three stars (***), thus becoming known as “star routes.”

During the 1870s fraud and corruption raised it’s ugly head and scandals broke out regarding the bidding for the routes – you can research that on your own!

Star Routes ended in 1970 and were replace by Highway Delivery Contracts. In 2000, that program was replaced with Contract Delivery Services (CDS).

Hope all of that has sparked some memories or whetted your appetite for some research on your own!

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Hannibal Senior Citizens will be meeting at noon for dinner. This week’s menu features glazed meatloaf, mashed potatoes, carrots, orange juice Monday; egg salad sandwich, seasonal salad, fruit cup, gelatin Wednesday; and chicken, creamed potatoes, mixed vegetables, orange juice Friday.

Activities are Wii bowling Monday, bingo Wednesday, and dominoes and Scrabble “Words with Friends” Saturday.

Come early for coffee and news or to work on the jigsaw puzzle or  cards. Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation at 564-5471.

The Jammers will meet at the American Legion at 7 p.m. Monday night.

The Hannibal Resource Center has changed its hours. The center will no longer be open Thursday nights. They will continue to be open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m, and will now be open Wednesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. The center is located at Our Lady of the Rosary.

Don’t forget to stop by the Library and pick up a ticket for the Kids Just Want to Have Fun summer raffle basket, which includes a $25 Michael’s gift card, sidewalk chalk marker, and lots of backyard and/or beach fun items.

We’ve had some pretty good weather for ducks haven’t we?  In fact they are getting so big, that the Dollars for Scholars have decided to float them down 9 Mile Creek in Hannibal Sunday, July 7 following the Concert in the Park.

The folks would greatly appreciate you buying a duck before the floating takes place.  Contact someone from Dollars for Scholars, Louie Gilbert and the Prossers; come to mind or stop by the Village Market Saturday and Sunday mornings and pick out the one you want. I think the ducks brought in enough funds for 13 scholarships this year.

If you or your family have benefitted from Dollars from Scholars, buy a couple of ducks — it’s a great way to say “Thank you!”

The Concert in the Park will be held at the Hannibal Firemen’s Field located on Rochester Street in the Village of Hannibalon July 7. This event is sponsored by the Hannibal Historical society and the Village of Hannibal.

Beginning at 1:30 p.m, there will be softball games at the site. The concert will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a performance with the local band Anybody’s Guess, followed by the Fulton Community Band’s Dixie Land group and lastly the Fulton Community Band.

The entire event has free parking and admission and the concert will be held rain or shine as it will be under cover. There will be concession stands offering food and drink manned by local organizations.

The Red Cross will be on hand offer free blood pressure readings. Also, the Dollars for Scholars will have raffle tickets for the annual Duck Derby.

By the way, summer reading at the library for children begins Tuesday, July 9. The sessions are on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 to 11 a.m. for six weeks. This years theme is “Dig into Reading.”

The  Sterling Valley Community Church will be having an ice cream social Saturday, July 13 starting at 5 p.m. There will be food, including hot dogs, hamburgers, soda, ice cream and  cake, popcorn and cotton candy.  There will be a bake sale and  lots of  things for kids to do.  The highlight of the evening will be music by the  blue grass band  “Different Brothers.”

Your church  or youth group can still have a booth at the SOS Fest July 19-21 at the Hannibal Fireman’s Field in Hannibal.  Sell food, have a bake sale, set up games, activities, mission display, etc, your group keeps all your money. Non-profit mission booths are free! Crafters and vendors pay only a small fee.

This is the largest three-day music festival of its kind in New York State. Over a dozen bands and speakers with free water slide and free jump house.

Those seeking more details may visit