All posts by Debbie Groom

National Labor Relations Board finds Novelis violated labor laws at Oswego plant

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) charged aluminum producer Novelis with violating labor laws in its response to workers’ efforts to organize a union at its Oswego, facility.

Novelis, which also has other unfair labor practice charges pending before the NLRB related to its interference in the effort to unionize its 600 hourly workers, is charged with illegally threatening job loss, plant closure, wage reductions and with providing benefits to employees in order to dissuade them from voting to join the USW. 

In addition, the company is accused of manipulating documents to make it appear that the union was behind a plan to rescind those benefits.

USW District 4 Director John Shinn said Novelis has engaged in clear-cut, illegal, union-busting behavior.  

“It’s unfortunate that it has come to this, but this company has proven that it will stop at nothing to keep workers from gaining a voice on the job,” Shinn said. “The workers and their families deserve better than this, and the best way for them to improve the situation is through collective action.”
“The USW would never deprive hard-working people of the benefits they deserve,” Shinn said. “We believe the actions we’ve taken are the best way to achieve the goal of a better workplace and better community for all.”

USW attorney Brad Manzolillo said that, due to the particularly outrageous behavior of Novelis management, the NLRB may ultimately compel Novelis to recognize the USW as the bargaining representative of Novelis-Oswego employees without holding a new election. 

“The NLRB only seeks these orders when an employer’s illegal conduct is so egregious and extreme that it makes it impossible to have a fair election,” Manzolillo said. “Despite the claims Novelis has made to the contrary, this is far from a ‘typical’ case. Novelis has committed extremely serious violations, and the board is seeking the strongest remedies available to it under the law.”

The USW also represents workers at Novelis plants in Indiana, West Virginia and Ontario. The Oswego workers sought to unionize after the company imposed unilateral benefit cuts. The union fell just 14 votes short in a February election despite unprecedented interference by Novelis. 
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments and agencies.

Summer jobs available for youths

Submitted by Oswego County

Oswego County Youth  Works is available to help students ages 16 to 20 find summer work.

The Oswego County Youth Works Program is recruiting for the 2014 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). The program runs from July 7 to Aug. 15 — most will work  25 hours per week.

Orientations have already been scheduled and the search has begun for interested youth throughout Oswego County.

SYEP is a grant-funded summer employment program intended to provide county youth with paid work experience and valuable job readiness skills in order to help build a foundation for entering the workforce.

Youth who participate  not only earn money, but also build a resume, accrue professional references and acquire both soft and hard work skills.

Since SYEP is considered a needs-based program, certain income eligibility guidelines must be met to participate.

For example, a family of four could earn up to $47,700 and still potentially be eligible. There are a limited number for placements this year reserved for youths up to age 24, who meet specific eligibility guidelines.

Each youth’s eligibility will be determined one-on-one when they attend an orientation session. If the youth is determined to be eligible they will be invited to a Work Readiness Workshop, where they will learn more about the expectations of the world of work.

For more information on the SYEP Program, contact a Youth Works team member at 591-9000 or visit their website at www.yourcareerconnection.org.

The SYEP program is coordinated by Oswego County Workforce New York. The One-Stop Center is located at 200 N. Second St. (Route 481) in Fulton.

Oswego High School inducts new Honor Society members

Oswego High School’s National Honor Society held induction ceremonies recently.

As families, friends and faculty, along with some members of the Board of Education, gathered at the Robinson-Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts, nearly 33 Oswego High School students were inducted.

Addressing the students and audience, Oswego Superintendent of Schools Benjamin Halsey congratulated the newest inductees and expressed appreciation to family, teachers and community for the support  provided over the years. 

He reminded the students they are leaders, but with that comes responsibility. He recognized them for scholarship, leadership, service and character which are the four pillars of the Oswego chapter of the National Honor Society.

“Inductees, your accomplishments, coupled with your commitment and characters makes us all very proud. I encourage you to take time to reflect upon your journey to this point,” Hartwell said.

“Your accomplishments are a compilation of many years of education and certainly a proud day for all of us,” said Oswego High Principal Brian Hartwell.

“It is vital, however, to remember that the first teachers you ever had are your parents who have devoted their lives to you. They were your first teachers and your teachers for life,” Hartwell said.

Chapter had a key part in the ceremony as President Madison Collins, Vice President Allison Moshier, along with Secretary Mallory Gordon were joined on stage by Treasurer Kerrigan Cummins.

 The officers introduced the newest inductees.

 Included as the newest members of the National Honor Society were Ana Alcasid, Victoria Armet, Jenna Ballard, Katie Bradshaw, Trevor Bradshaw, Ayla Busch, Michaela Callen, Amber Canbek, Jordan Crapser, Sean Dain, Maia Delaney, Clare Donovan, Olivia Dowdle, Olivia Flint, Jacob Gerber, Alexander Haessig and Evan James.

 Also inducted were  John Khamis, Sydnie LeRoy, Roman Madlangbayan, Mariah Metcalf, Natasha Mezza, Brooke Morrisseau, Kyra O’Gorman, Emily Oldenburg, Elaina Rando, Kristie Reitz, Claire Richardson, Kelly Skinner, Kelci Somers, Mark Taormina, Christopher Van Gorder and Monica Wilson.

Hartwell praised the academic achievements of the students and stated “our community and eventually your nation will look to you and those like you to lead us deeper into the 21st Century. 

“The commitment and character that you have demonstrated will serve you well as you continue your journey,” he said.

News in Brief

 

A public hearing is scheduled at Granby Town Hall at 7:30 p.m. Thursday May 22 concerning the construction of a new dealership for Fred Raynor Ford.

All of those who want to be heard in favor of the site plan for the dealership or opposed to the site plan should attend.

Raynor proposes building a new Ford dealership of about 21,376 square feet on about five acres at 1867 State Route 3 in the town of Granby.

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Businesses, attractions and citizens across Oswego County are encouraged to take advantage of a free hospitality training session from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, May 19. 

Hosted by the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 56 E. First St., Oswego, the half-day program is designed to increase the tourism and hospitality knowledge of front-line staff of Oswego County businesses and attractions.

The program begins with a one-hour overview of the region, including points of interest, upcoming events and activities, and local resources of information. 

Following a short break there will be guided tours of the new Lake Ontario Conference Center expansion. After the tours, keynote speaker Lynn “Spike” Herzig of Geneva will give a presentation on hospitality training and the visitor experience.

There is no charge to attend. To register, visit www.oswegocountytap.com or call the Oswego County Tourism Office weekdays at 349-8322. 

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The Oswego Valley ATV Club will host a Best Hand Ride May 17.

The event will be open to the public. Only registered and insured ATVs will be allowed on trails — no dirt bikes. Please bring your registration and insurance card with you. 

Registrations are from 9 to 11 a.m. at  Dad’s Diner parking lot, corner of State Route 3 and Route 104 in Hannibal, or TC’s Place, Route 34, Cato. 

At registration, participants will receive a map with all the stops marked on it. 

If you would like more information on the ride or the club, visit  www.oswegovalleyatvclub.com or on Face book @ Oswego Valley ATV. 

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A boating safety course is being offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday May 17 by the The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 24 in Oswego.

The course is being held at the Sandy Pond Sportsman Association, County Route 15, Sandy Creek.

Those completing the course will receive a Boating Safety Certificate. The cost is $35 and pre-registration is required by calling 598-7854.

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The annual plant sale put on by the Onondaga County master Gardeners is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 17 at Beaver Lake Nature Center. 

Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase herbs, perennials, vegetables, trees and shrubs. There will also be a free workshop on proper care for garden tools.

Beaver Lake Nature Center, an Onondaga County Park, is located at 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, three miles west of Baldwinsville off of Route 370. Admission is $4 per vehicle. 

For more information, call the Nature Center at 638-2519 or visit www.OnondagaCountyParks.com.

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The Perry House, later the Perry Inn, located on top of Perry Hill, Route 104 west in Fruit Valley will be the topic of the May Oswego Town Historical Society meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday May 21.

Dr. and Mrs. Michael Nupuf, present owners of the historic home, will present the program, at the Oswego Town Hall, 2320 County Route 7.  

The home is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, having been built by Eleazer Perry Jr. in 1814. Perry’s father, Eleazer, Sr., was the first Oswego Town Supervisor in 1818.

Other residents before the Nupufs were Colonel Ward and the Fred Peckham family.

The public is invited to attend this inprogram. For more information, call Town Historian George R. DeMass at 420-0000.

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Granby Center United Methodist Church on County Route 3 is opening a senior program called Senior Moments beginning May 21.

The program will run every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon. All seniors are invited to get together for refreshments, fun, games and company.

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The Oswego Veteran of the Year dinner for former Oswego Councilor John M. Canale will be held at the Ancient Order of Hibernians located at One Munn Street Oswego at 6 p.m. Saturday May 24. 

Canale’s dinner will start with a social hour at 6 p.m. with dinner to be served at 7 p.m. Several guest dignitaries have been invited.  

For more information and tickets for the event, call Dave Rice at 591-5195 or Jim Fitzgerald at 342-1586. 

Canale is a survivor of the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.

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The Fulton Veterans’ Council will host a Memorial Day ceremony starting at 9 a.m. Monday, May 26, at St. Mary’s cemetery and continuing on to different memorials. 

A complimentary luncheon will follow at the Fulton VFW.  The public is encouraged to attend.

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A country barn dance is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 17 at the Phoenix fire barn on Main Street.

Music is by “American Eagle Band,” “Barry Newman and Gray Hound Band” and “Jesse Derringer.” All proceeds benefit the Morgan Family Tired of Cancer Relay for Life team.

There will be 50.50 drawings and door prizes. Food and non-alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase.

Call Madalyn Morgan at 695-4654 for more information.

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Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center has announced its second program in the Nature Inspires Series, Finding Your Words in Nature. 

Jim Farfaglia, local writer from Fulton, will lead this writing class at the Amboy facility at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 8. 

Farfaglia is a former teacher and camp director. He grew up and still resides in rural Oswego County.

He has published two books of poems: Country Boy, a testimonial to his farming family and rural roots, and People, Places & Things: The Powerful Nouns of My Life. 

He is also the co-author of Camp Hollis: The Origins of Oswego County’s Children’s Camp and the editor of Harvest and I Live As a Cloud, two collections of children’s writing.  

Farfaglia’s poems are featured in The Valley News’ weekly column, “Poetry Corner.” 

During Finding Your Words in Nature, participants will explore the beautiful Amboy grounds, walking the trails and seeing the natural world as its gets ready to enter full summer. Emphasis will be on using all the senses to inspire the attendees to write. 

The class will include several writing prompts that are stimulated by what is sensed in nature. No previous writing experiences is necessary.

Finding Your Words in Nature is being held at the Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center located on State Route 183 in eastern Oswego County. The fee for this  workshop is $3 per person.  to register for this program, call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County 4-H Program at 963-7286 ext. 401.  

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Local resident Wendi Starusnak will discuss her first novel, “Detached,” from 6 to 8 p.m. June 16 at the Phoenix Public Library.

Starusnak will discuss the book, answer questions and will sign and sell copies. Refreshments will be served.

“Detached” contains mature content and subject matter and is not recommended for those under the age of 18.

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The Oswego County Fair is seeking local talent for the fair, which runs July 2 through 6.

While the fair features several established bands and singers, the fair also hopes to promote some new groups by offering a chance to them to perform on the small bandstand near the midway.

Anyone interested in performing at the fair should call Anne Gibbs at 298-5686.

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The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, a division of SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations is now accepting registrations for a six-week workshop in Lacona on falls prevention called “Six Steps to Better Balance.”

At 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, the North Country Christian Church in Lacona will host an informational demonstration of the program.  

“Six Steps to Better Balance” is scheduled to begin on May 21 at the church, 49 Salisbury St., and will continue through June 25. It will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. each Wednesday and will be taught by RSVP volunteers Carol Simpson and Rachel Brooks.

The workshops cover how to help prevent falls and reduce injuries if a fall occurs. Participants will learn activities that are fun to do, such as the “Jiggle Wiggle” and “10 Martini Slump,” designed to reduce not only falls, but also the fear of falling.  

A major component of the program is improved balance.  

To sign up, call Carol at 343-5614. Class size is limited and a modest fee is charged to help cover class materials.  

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An informal gathering of published and aspiring poets will begin in June in Fulton.

The group will meet from noon to 2 p.m. the third Thursday of June, July, August and September on the shore of Lake Neatahwanta, near the hot dog stand and restaurant under the covered pavilion.

For more information, call 342-3282 and leave a message.

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A member of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office will give a talk on the “History of the Oswego County Jails” at 1 p.m. June 7 at the Oswego library, 120 E. Second St., Oswego. 

Admission is free.

This new jail built in 1888 was on East Second and Schuyler streets in Oswego. It costs $30,000 to build, but lasted only 21 years as a jail.  

The speaker will talk about why the jail had such a short tenure.

Another jail was built on East River Road in 1908 at a cost of $85,000. In 1962 there was a daily average of only 38 inmates. Then there was a jail farm comprised of 85 acres. All inmates of the jail were required to work on the farm.    

There will be two display boards created by Volney Town Historian Florence MacDougall on the “History of the Jails” at the Oswego library for the month of June.

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The Town of Volney History Center is hosting an open house and scrapbook corner from 1 to 4 p.m. June 8.

More than 30 scrapbooks have been indexed and cross-referenced by name and subject (obituary, wedding and such) are available for genealogy research and general reading.    

This event is in conjunction with the NYS Path through History project designated weekends of June 7-8 and 14-15 to promote and celebrate heritage and cultural tourism.     

For further information contact Florence McDougall, town historian, at 593-2293 or historian006@gmail.com      

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Applications are now being accepted for new, landmark conservation initiatives created by the 2014 Farm Bill. 

The programs will provide up to $386 million to help farmers restore wetlands, protect working agriculture lands, support outdoor recreation activities, and boost the economy.

The new programs are the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program and the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program. 

Both programs have application deadlines in early June for fiscal 2014 funding. 

More information can be obtained at the local USDA service center, the VPA-HIP website, or grants.gov.

 

SUNY Oswego wraps up grandparent program with casino night

St. Luke resident Margaret Buske, left, places her bet at roulette during “Casino Night” hosted by the SUNY Oswego Adopt-A-Grandparent Program. SUNY Oswego senior Thomas Graniero, right, was among a group of students who acted as dealers for a number of games during the event. “Casino Night” was the last event of the semester for the Adopt-A-Grandparent Program at St. Luke. The program is an important and rewarding inter-generational experience for St. Luke residents and college students alike.
St. Luke resident Margaret Buske, left, places her bet at roulette during “Casino Night” hosted by the SUNY Oswego Adopt-A-Grandparent Program. SUNY Oswego senior Thomas Graniero, right, was among a group of students who acted as dealers for a number of games during the event. “Casino Night” was the last event of the semester for the Adopt-A-Grandparent Program at St. Luke. The program is an important and rewarding inter-generational experience for St. Luke residents and college students alike.

Students from the SUNY Oswego Adopt-A-Grandparent Program hosted a “Casino Night” for residents at St. Luke Health Services.

The evening featured a variety of games of chance, ranging from casino favorites like roulette, black Jack and keno to name a few.

Adopt-A-Grandparent Program students acting as the dealers ran the games. Music by KTC Entertainment, made for a special evening.

Continue reading

2 men arrested stemming from weekend heroin overdoses

Two arrests have been made as a result of the investigation into three suspected heroin overdoses that occurred during the early morning hours of Saturday May 10, Oswego Police said.

On May 10, members of the Oswego City Police Departments Anti-Crime Team arrested Brian T. Tumolo, 21, of Manorville,  and charged him with criminal sale of a controlled substance third degree, a felony.

Polcie say that on May 9 and 10 in the city of Oswego, Tumolo knowingly and unlawfully sold heroin to two individuals, one being Gabriel A. Gonzalez. Police also said those two individuals are suspected to have ultimately overdosed on the heroin.

Both of those individuals were treated at the Oswego Hospital and released.

Oswego City Police additionally seized 40 bags of heroin that Tumolo allegedly possessed with the intent to sell.

Tumolo was arraigned in Oswego City Court and sent to the Oswego County Correctional Facility in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bail bond. He will be back in court May 27.

During the early evening hours of Monday May 12, members of the Anti-Crime Team also arrested Gabriel A. Gonzalez, 22, of Bridgeport, Conn. He was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance third degree, a felony.

Police say on May 9,  Gonzalez knowingly and unlawfully sold heroin he allegedly received from Tumolo, to an individual within the city of Oswego. That individual was located on the SUNY Oswego campus and ultimately died from what is preliminarily believed to be a heroin overdose.

Gonzalez is being held pending his arraignment in Oswego City Court.

Throughout this investigation the Oswego City Police Department worked closely with the University Police at SUNY Oswego.

As always, Oswego City Police are asking anyone with information regarding this or any other illegal drug activity to contact them at 342-2283. Individuals wishing to remain anonymous may also contact the Oswego City Police Departments tip line at 342-8131, or email crimewatch@oswegony.org

 

 

 

Hannibal school budget vote May 20

By Debra J. Groom

Residents of the Hannibal school district will go the polls May 20 to vote on a $30,092,500 budget for the 2014-15 school year.

This proposed budget is up 4.4 percent ($1,268,300)  from the current year’s spending plan of $28,824,200.

The amount to be raised by taxes — the tax levy — is up 0.75 of a percent or $48,623. Nearly 80 percent of the total budget is state aid. Continue reading

1 SUNY Oswego student dead from heroin overdose

A SUNY Oswego student died overnight from a heroin overdose, according to local police.

Oswego City Police and University Police at SUNY Oswego are investigating three suspected heroin overdoses that occurred overnight, two in the city of Oswego and one on the college
campus.
All three victims are students at SUNY Oswego. The campus victim died. The other two were treated and are recovering at Oswego Hospital.

Relatives of all of the involved students have been
notified.

Oswego City Police and University Police are working together to determine the circumstances surrounding the incidents.

While the investigation continues, both police departments are cautioning everyone regarding the potential that heroin circulating in the area in extremely lethal.

SUNY Oswego issued the following message via the NY Alert messaging system around 8:15 a.m. Saturday: “Danger: Oswego heroin may be lethal. One person is dead; two are hospitalized. Please
beware! Please call police with any information.”

Anyone with information about these incidents, should call SUNY Oswego Police or Oswego City Police at the following number:
Oswego City Police: 343-1212
SUNY Oswego Police: 312-5555