All posts by Debbie Groom

Oswego Hospice reaches out to more veterans

Oswego County Hospice has obtained Level 2 for the We Honor Veterans program.

This program was developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs to better serve our veterans with life limiting illnesses.

Oswego County Hospice uses resources provided by the campaign to integrate the best practices for providing end-of-life care to veterans. By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s veterans, Oswego County Hospice is better able to assist veterans and their families toward a more peaceful and dignified death.

Betty Dunsmoor, facilitator of the We Honor Veteran sprogram in Oswego County, said it is the mission at Oswego County Hospice to provide end of life services to the men and women who have served our country that reside within the community.

Dunsmoor said achieving Level 2 of the four-level program means Hospice will be able to do more training, more outreach and more education with other agencies dealing with veterans.

Statistics show about 25 percent of those who die every year in the United States are veterans.

Anyone who would like more information about this program should call Dunsmoor at 349-3480.

Theater group donates to nursing fund

Members of the Oswego Players, a local theatrical group which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, have donated proceeds from their recent performances of Death in the OR to a fund that honors an exceptional Oswego Hospital nurse each year.

The play was written by local physician Dr. Michael Nupuf,  and is based upon the book written by Dr. John Fountain, who relocated from the area several years ago.

Each year, the nurses at Oswego Hospital select an outstanding peer for the annual award, which is named in memory of Jean Carpenter, a licensed practical nurse, who passed away several years ago. 

Royals boys’ homeschool soccer teams wins finals

By Abigail Winheld

The Royals boy’s soccer team finished off an excellent season this year by winning the finals.

On Oct. 26, the Royals played the last game against Corning Christian Academy. Although the temperature was rather cold, the Royals came ready to play.

In the first half, the Royals scored twice and CCA scored twice, making the score 2-2 at half time. At the start of the third quarter, Royals’ Tyler Bouldin made a goal making the score 3-2.

As the game moved along the Royals scored again making the final score 4-2.

This is the third time the Royals have won the finals and the second time in a row. The Royals won 10 games, lost two, and tied two this season.

This year the Royals had 10 players and four of them – Casen Lange, Matthew Wetmore, Tyler Bouldin, and Austin Hixon — are seniors.

Anyone interested in playing for the Royals homeschool girls’ and boys’ soccer, volleyball, or basketball teams contact John at .

Harborfest 2014 seeks performers

Harborfest 2014 is seeking performers for appearances at the 27th edition of the festival slated for July 24-27, 2014.

Artists of all types of music interested in appearing at Harborfest 2014 can obtain information and a Performer Application by logging onto the Harborfest website or at the Harborfest office, 41 Lake St., Oswego, weekdays during the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There is no application fee, but a clearly labeled CD and a press or information kit must accompany each application.

Applications must be completed and submitted with all requested information to the Harborfest office by no later than Jan. 10, 2014.

“Lizzie Borden” cast takes in opulence of Victorian age

Submitted by Oswego schools

Cast members of the upcoming Oswego High School Drama Club production of “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” recently took in the splendor of the Victorian Age at the Richardson-Bates House Museum at 135 E. Third St., Oswego.

Historical Society president Justin White and board of trustees member Peg McKinstry guided the student actors on a tour of the lavish home, tying in references to the world Lizzie Borden and her contemporaries populated in Fall River, MA circa 1892.

Drama Club adviser Robert Dumas and playwright-director Garrett Heater put the trip together to highlight various connections the two regions shared.

“Lizzie Borden’s father had the money to build a home like the Richardson-Bates House, but he was notoriously frugal with his money and instead resided with his two unmarried daughters, Emma and Lizzie, and his second wife, Abby, in a very modest home that was close to the heart of the city,” said Heater.

“Lizzie was friends with girls whose fathers built homes similar to the Richardson-Bates House in the fashionable part of town in Fall River, Mass., called ‘The Hill.’ Recorded testimonies cite how frustrated Emma and Lizzie were — being forced, they felt, to live beneath their station.”

To those interested in the unsolved hatchet murders of Andrew and Abigail Borden, for which Lizzie herself stood trial and received an acquittal, many point the finger at Andrew’s unwillingness to spend his money on conspicuous displays of wealth.

The architectural and fashionable aesthetics of Victorian society would have deemed excessive and foohardy by Andrew, who struggled his entire life to escape the poverty of his childhood.

Just as Oswego’s Kingsfords made the region synonymous with starch production, Andrew Borden’s savvy business dealings put him in control of three major textile mills in Fall River, once known to be the textile capital of America.

While Andrew’s colleagues ‘kept up appearances’ by building gorgeously embellished homes on “The Hill” and dressing their daughters in the latest fashionable attire, Andrew saw that his own daughters were comfortable without being ostentatious.

But the Borden girls surely did not understand why a potentially upper-class family such as theirs should have to settle for a middle-class existence.

“The Richardson-Bates House is stunning,” said Dumas. “There is so much artistic detail everywhere you look. What a remarkable asset to the Oswego community.”

Lizzie, whose friends’ homes would have resembled the Richardson-Bates House, certainly longed for a gilded mansion of her own.

“She eventually got it,” remarked trustee McKinstry, “but only after the murders occurred.” McKinstry said Lizzie bought a  sprawling home on French Street in Fall River once she and her sister Emma received deceased Andrew’s millions.

Lizzie decorated her new home with artistic precision, even installing decorative carved stone fireplaces featuring quotes from her favorite poet. She named the home Maplecroft.

The drama club actors also chatted with two members of the original cast. The play premiered in Syracuse in 2010 with Bernie Kaplan as Andrew Borden and Chuck Parsons as Lizzie’s maternal uncle John V. Morse.

“Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” will be presented at the Robinson-Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts at Oswego High School at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 16. Tickets are $10 at the door; call the Box Office at 341-2270 with any questions.

Phoenix girls’ soccer should improve next year

By Rob Tetro

The Phoenix girls’ varsity soccer team is losing only one senior now that this season has ended.

Phoenix girls’ varsity soccer Coach Bill Conklin, said Senior Haley Besaw led by the example of hustle. He feels Besaw will leave behind a void that will be hard to fill next season.

Conklin points out Besaw always gave a consistently solid effort on and off the field. He believes Besaw’s younger teammates will benefit from being around someone who has the impressive all around work ethic that she has.

The conclusion of the season marks the end of Conklin’s second season as coach of the Lady Firebirds. However, he credits Besaw for learning all that she did from the experience that she gained in such a short time span.

Conklin hopes every player he coaches can experience some of the all-around development that Besaw experienced during the last two seasons.

Conklin believes his young team will move on from this season ready to embrace a bright future. Phoenix this season won its first regular season game in five years, which is something the team continues to build on.

He also feels his team can hold its head up high after playing competitively against some very good teams.

With only one senior and two juniors this season, the remainder of the team consisted of seven eighth-graders and one seventh-grader, which meant younger players showed signs of development on an everyday basis.

With so much of this year’s team being so young, Conklin feels confident Phoenix girls’ soccer can develop into a stronger program in the coming years.

Looking ahead, Conklin is excited about the potential his young team is showing. He likes the idea of having the opportunity to coach some of these players from junior high on up.

The Lady Firebirds are expected to return 15 players on next years’ team. “With 15 returning players next year and 13 incoming eighth-graders, the Phoenix girls’ soccer team will be looking at a bright future.”, Conklin said.

Open mic night in Fulton Nov. 17

The “Arts in the heART” Gallery, CNY Arts Center’s downtown Fulton venue, is hosting an Open Mic Night for local artists at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17.

The gallery is at 47 S. First St., across from the city’s gazebo.

“We have over 25 local artists’ work on display,” said Bonnie McClellan, gallery director. “We also like to occasionally open the gallery to let artists from other genres present their work. We look forward to local writers, dancers, culinary artists and musicians to share.”

“We also welcome those who want to enjoy what the artists will share,” she said. “It is perfectly fine to just come and take in local artists providing the entertainment.”

“We anticipate another great response to this Open Mic night,” added Nancy Fox, CNY Art Center’s director. “The talent of our local talents continues to inspire and amaze me. And our own Culinary Arts teacher, Diane Sokolowski, will be presenting a food demonstration and will provide free refreshments. Come join the fun!”

To register to present your art at the gallery, call CNY Arts Center’s Writing Arts Coordinator, Jim Farfaglia, who is organizing the evening’s event. Farfaglia can be reached at 402-2297 or email at

For more information about this and other events happening at the CNY Arts Center or the Arts in the heART Gallery, call 598-ARTS or at access them on the web at or

Student athletes honored for fall sports

By Rob Tetro

A number of high school senior student -athletes were honored recently for excelling in fall sports.

They are:

Phoenix — football, Billy Ostrander, Austin Furco, Dylan Doupe, Zach Young, Ashton Morrison, Trevor Ferens, Derick Powell, Michael Mironti, Tyler Sahm, Daniel Taylor, Billy Stone, Bobby Reynolds, Sage Dygert,  Ralph Casillo, Tyler Hanna, Nick Tassone; boys’ soccer, Andy Padula, Bryce Plante, Ryan Pinzer, Trevor Wells; volleyball, Kaitlyn Clapp and Paige Recore; girls’ tennis, Kimberly Holbrook and Alex Wilson

Also: girls’ soccer, Haley Besaw; boys’ cross country, Anthony Brienza,  Michael Girard, Eric Hillpot, Michael Leach, Jason Nipper, Brian Stafford, Dylan Switzer; girls’ cross country, Meghan Lentz, Nichole Marr, Destiny Teel, Haylie Virginia; golf, Kyle Andrews, Dylan Borza, Codie Corso, Sebastian Czyz, Austin Dristle

Hannibal — football, Lander Ezama, Trevor Alton, Dallas DeNise, Tim Webber, Greg Hadcock, Zach Janes, Dustin Ouellette, Dennis Spaulding, Joshua Darrow, Brandon Wolfe, Christian Knox, Trevor Stiles, Sean Lange, Patrick Sullivan, Charlie McCraith; girls’ soccer, Kaylee Esposito, Devin Sorell, Erin Sly, Gabby Griffin, Marissa Renne; volleyball, Samantha Bowers, Ketevan Chapiashvili, Brittany Clark, Marina Esanu, Ashley McKenzie, Page McKenzie, Carolina Nicol, Jessica Stauring, Carolyn Thompson; girls’ cross country, Hunter Beckwith, Malana Scott, Natasha Waloven; boys’ cross country, Zane Pointon, Ben Raymond, Ben Slate

Fulton — football, Connor Aldasch, Mark Pollock, Seth DeLisle, Solano Sanchez, Seth Britton, James Bailey, Liam Roberge; boys’ soccer, Anthony Anderson, Carlos Feliciano, Derek Prosser, Paul Reynoso, Carson Vono, Jeff Waldron, Jeremy Langdon, Hector Marroquin, Udiel Jimenez, Logan Carvey; girls’ soccer, Lena Pawlewicz, Christine Hotaling, Amelia Coakley, Julia Lee, Meriah Dishaw, Sarah Halstead; volleyball, Monica Falanga, Sami Miller, Keisha Pierce, Jordyn Stone; girls’ tennis, Savannah Bray, Fabiane DaSilva, Sophia Giovannetti, Anna Guernsey, Miki Iijima, Kassidy Kearns, Julia Ludington, Maureen McCann, Taylor Rose, Casey Shannon; golf, Connor Goss, Daniel Shatrau, Jacob Strauss; boys cross country, Chase Halstead, Michael Holcomb, Jimmy Martin, Tevin Simard