All posts by Debbie Groom

Poetry Corner, by Jim Farfaglia

We Move On      By Jim Farfaglia


Luckily, I caught a glimpse

as the four or five of you

traveled my yard’s wooded edges,

playing follow the leader;

one foot—scratching, scratching—

after the other,

thin necks probing the unknown,

beaks pecking out an uncharted path.

For a moment, I admired your bellies,

so full from a bountiful season,

and your feathers with mysterious markings.

But, true to your nature, you did not stay:

Called to where life leads,

you took your mystery with you,

leaving behind a lesson about searching,

about moving on.

CNY Book Award finalists named

The YMCA’s Downtown Writers Center has released the list of finalists for the 2013 CNY Book Awards, a series of prizes honoring the best writers from the Central New York region.

The finalists in each category — poetry, fiction and non-fiction — were selected by independent judges, who are also charged with naming a winner in each category.

Poetry Finalists: Sarah C. Harwell, for Sit Down, Traveler

Stephen Kuusisto, for Letters to Borges

Melissa Tuckey, for Tenuous Chapel

Poetry Judge: KateLynn Hibbard, author of Sweet Weight

Fiction Finalists: Patrick Lawler, for Rescuers of Skydivers Search Among the Clouds

Jennifer Pashley, for The Conjurer

Shawn Goodman, for Kindness for Weakness

Fiction Judge: Mike Czyniejewski, author of Elephants in Our Bedroom

Non-Fiction Finalists: Kathy O’Connell, for Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities

Mark Monmonier, for Lake Effect

Paul Kocak, for World Serious

Non-Fiction Judge: Sonja Livingston, author of Ghostbread

Tuckey and Goodwin are from Ithaca and the rest of the finalists are from Onondaga County. Officials said there were numerous entries from Oswego County.

The winners of the CNY Book Awards will be announced live at this year’s Awards Reception to be held at 6:15 p.m. Dec. 5 at the La Casita Cultural Center.

The event is a fundraiser for the YMCA’s Downtown Writers Center.

For tickets, contact Arts Branch of the YMCA Executive Director Phil Memmer at 474-6851 x328, or by email at

Local filmmakers to screen film

Local independent filmmakers are planning to screen their first film at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 at the McCrobie building, 41 Lake St., Oswego.

The event is free and open to the public. After the screening, there will be a Q&A session with refreshments and a chance to talk to the producers.

The film, “Paths”, was created this summer by a group of Oswego High School graduates from the class of 2012. The producers, Taylor Braun, Michael Gill, and Jane Coty, along with a team of actors, writers, and stylists, started working on the film this past spring and are ready to display their final product to the public.

Braun, the director for “Paths,” writes on the website for the film,, “Paths is about taking chances and not letting an opportunity pass you by. … Taking advantage of these moments is crucial to the turns our lives take as it unfolds.”

Also available on the website is the film’s trailer, exclusive content and bios for all those involved in the film.

What’s Happening at the CNY Arts Center?

Ben and the Magic Paintbrush will be presented at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23.

The production is open to the public with a Pay-What-You-Can donation to help support the program. The cast of six includes children ages 7 to 11, including veterans Ben Norton, Kyra Baker, Griffin Marriner, Charlie Stoutenger and newcomers Sophie Neveu, and Meli Preston.

The story revolves around Megan and Ben, who are orphaned siblings alone in the world. She earns pennies as a human statue — painted silver — while her little sister draws marvelous portraits with only a stubby pencil.

One fateful day, her artwork catches the eye of the malicious Mrs. Crawley, who has a scheme to make millions with a magic paintbrush.

When she captures Ben and puts her to work, it’s up to Megan and her new friend Pierre to help her escape, discovering the value of kindness and bravery along the way. This is an enchanting story from olden times that comes to life in this modern fairy tale.

The day before at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, the debut of the CNY Arts Center Drama Club takes place including skits and individual monologues.

This also is open to the public with a Pay-What-You-Can donation to help support the program. The Drama Club will return in January for 12 weeks with a full production planned for April.

Painters can try their skills with “Oil Painting Made Easy” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today, Nov. 13. The class, led by Joe Glavin, will include instruction on recreating a favorite image in oil paints while perfecting techniques of blending and control.

The owner of Studio 51, Joe Galvin’s artistry is on display at Arts in the HeART Gallery in downtown Fulton.

Ready to go it alone but just need the tools? “How to…” follows from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 14.

Students will learn how to make your own canvases (regular, beveled edge or floating) and also will learn how to matte and frame your artwork, including wooden frames and how to make an old frame new. You’ll be a painting pro in no time.

Culinary artist Diane Sokolowski makes decorating fun and easy with “Thanksgiving Treats” 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 16. Each student will learn candy construction making turkeys, pilgrim hats, and more in addition to decorating cupcakes and cookies. Pre-registration is required for this class at

Students are reminded to pre-register for all classes and workshops to avoid missing out. Classes and workshops charge a modest fee.  Visit  for all the latest details and updates or call 592-3373.

All classes are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State Street Methodist Church, 357 State St, Fulton unless otherwise noted.

We bring all arts for all ages at two separate locations. Classes, Writer’s Café, Author Spotlight, live theatre, and Arty Camp, are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State Street Methodist Church, 357 State St, Fulton. Please use the Park Street entrance.

Arts in the HeART Gallery is located at 47 S. First St. in downtown Fulton across from the gazebo for local artists who want to display their artistry.

There are monthly artist meet-ups and on the third Thursday of each month there is a Happy Hour which takes place at the gallery.

In addition, artists can apply for gallery space online at

Teashop Mystery Series comes to Oswego Public Library Nov. 14

Tasty Reads at the Oswego Public Library will feature the “Teashop Mystery Series” by Laura Childs at 6 p.m. Thursday Nov. 14.

Anyone who enjoys novels that include culinary references and recipes will enjoy this series. A discussion of the book series will be led by Carol Fitzsimmons.

Haven’t read any of the books? No problem! Join us to get some insights and a jump on delving into this excellent series.

The discussion will be followed by a reception featuring tea and finger foods made using recipes from the books.

The full series of books is available for checkout through the North Country library system.

For more information, contact Carol Fitzsimmons at 561-1039 or email

The Oswego Public Library is located at 120 E. Second St.,  Oswego. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Oswego Public Library and is free and open to the public.

2 SUNY Oswego students put on thesis exhibition

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Two SUNY Oswego master’s candidates in graphic arts will open an MA Thesis Exhibition titled “Instill” on Friday, Nov. 22, in Tyler Art Gallery on campus.

Bachelor of fine arts candidates will open a companion display, and participate in the free public artists’ reception that day from 5 to 7 p.m. at the gallery. Bachelor of arts degree recipients also will hold an exhibition in a gallery in Room 201 and elsewhere around Tyler Hall. The free exhibitions will run through Dec. 13.

For his part in “Instill,” Jeffrey Newell of Liverpool will display more than 15 large prints of black-and-white portraits and one film.

“The portraits capture human beings in an unsuspecting state while their faces are at rest, while the film shows natural processes put in motion from a unique perspective,” Newell said.

Justin Mastrangelo, a native of Savannah, explores digital culture through the lens of design. His work presents personal, public and professional design, with an emphasis on image and language relationships.

Bachelor of fine arts candidates, each choosing a concentration in a studio art or in graphic design, include Amanda Auwarter of Binghamton, Stephanie Barkley of Syracuse, Rachel Brennan of Binghamton, Breanna Busch of East Aurora, Shelby Demers of Syracuse, Gracie Dreher of Troupsburg, Joshua Garguilo of Clifton Park, Anne Greco of West Islip, Joseph Ostrom of Sterling, Corbin Roberts of Liverpool, Colin Sixt of Rochester, Rebecca Townsend of Greene, Roddy Wahl of Binghamton, Zachary Wilson of Binghamton and John Woodworth of Hudson Falls.

SUNY Oswego’s undergraduate studio art disciplines include ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

MA and BFA candidates need to display their work as part of degree requirements; the Bachelor of Arts Exhibition is voluntary.

Tyler Art Gallery is open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Parking for those without a current campus parking sticker is $1; see for more information.

‘Weighty’ learning at Fairley Elementary

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Using a scale to measure 1 kilogram of rice into Ziploc bags, students in Deb Kenney’s third-grade class at Fairley Elementary School learned about partitioning, decomposing and illustrating various problems during a lesson Nov. 7.

“This is one of many hands-on activities in the Common Core math modules that supports our students’ concrete understanding that will be the foundation of future learning,” said Lynnette DePoint, Hannibal school district’s kindergarten through eighth-grade mathematics coach.

Students were divided into small groups tasked with measuring 1 kilogram of rice. Once they completed that, they had to illustrate their thought process on a worksheet.

“When you’re illustrating your answers, you’re explaining it to somebody who wasn’t here to see what you did,” Kenney said. “You have to illustrate and explain every little step.”

As part of the project, students divided the bag into 10 equal parts using a 10-frame diagram so they could visually examine the weight and consider the impact that adding or subtracting a partition would have on the sum.

“(The lesson helps) solidify their understanding of metric weight and the relationship between a kilogram and a single gram,” DePoint said.

For students, Thursday’s hands-on activity proved to be effective, as third-grader Alexis Hull noted the biggest lesson she took away from the module.

“I learned that 1,000 grams equals 1 kilogram,” Hull explained, saying it was a bit difficult to get the bag to weigh exactly 1 kilogram.

Hull said the activity was a different way of learning and challenging at times, but “it was fun.”

Reflections Hair Salon donates to OCO Services to Aid Families

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Reflections Hair Salon, 608 S. Fourth St., Fulton recently donated  $1,300 of hair products to Oswego County Opportunities Services to Aid Families Program for distribution to program clients.

Services to Aid Families provides crisis intervention and support to local survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other related crimes, such as stalking. The program offers many services, which include 24-hour Abuse and Assault Hotline, 365 days a year; victim advocacy; counseling; information and referral to community resources; and temporary housing for women and children who are escaping domestic violence or experiencing a crisis.

To volunteer for the program or make a donation, call 342-1544.