All posts by Debbie Groom

Valley Viewpoints

Watch for motorcycles

Spring is finally here and that starts the motorcycle riding season. 

May is designated as Motorcycle Awareness Month throughout the state of New York. All bikers like to take this opportunity to ask all drivers to watch for us, to share the road and to be aware of us when you are making left-hand turns or when you are proceeding through intersections.

A good rule for safety when making a left-hand turn is to look left once, look right and look left again before making your move — this can prevent an accident.    

Drivers of every vehicle should be attentive to their surroundings, no texting, no talking on the phone while you are driving. 

Let’s all work together to make Oswego County a safe place to drive.

Thank you.

Sandy Mensch  Public Relations

Oswego County ABATE

American Bikers Aimed 

Toward Education

Don’t close transfer stations

Oswego County residents unite!

They want to close Pulaski, Hastings, Oswego and Hannibal transfer stations and only leave Volney open.

Call your legislator and tell him what a bad idea this is. Lines will be very long at Volney. Prices for private pickup will be very expensive or you will see trash on the side of the roads, trash burning or backyard dumping.

Have our legislators stop this with your call. 

Pass this message on.

Joyce Buscemi


Remember to vote May 20

Remember to Vote on Tuesday, May 20 !

I am writing to encourage all registered voters in the school district community to participate in the school budget vote and Board of Education elections.  

On Tuesday, May 20 registered voters in the Fulton City School District will be asked to vote on the 2014-15 school district budget. Members of the Board of Education approved a $67.4  million tentative budget at their April 23rd meeting.  

This budget, which was developed with input from a District Budget Committee and approved by the Board of Education, continues to provide and support quality educational programs, services and activities for our students.  

This budget also restores three primary grade elementary teachers and one special education teacher which were eliminated due to financial constraints over the past five years.   

The budget also restores funding to the athletics program and adds the opportunity to provide mental health services to elementary students through purchasing services through a community agency.    

The budget is a $2.1 million increase from the current year budget and represents a 3.2 percent budget increase.  The budget is supported by an increase of approximately $1.9 million in state aid, excluding building aid.  

It is noteworthy that New York state continues to withhold  $466,265  in foundation aid from our district through the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

The district is utilizing $2,040,000 in district fund balance to cover general expenses plus $750,000 from two reserve accounts to cover specific expenses for which the reserve accounts were established.  

Finally, a 1 percent increase in the local tax levy is anticipated, well below the district’s allowable School Tax Levy Limit increase of 3.2 percent.  

This spending plan supports district goals and the learning needs of all students, both high achieving and at risk. Specifically, all instructional programs and course levels are maintained, as are social and behavioral supports and services.  

The budget further covers costs for district transportation, the maintenance and upkeep of schools and facilities and staff salaries, benefits and retirement costs. 

The 2014-15 budget directs 75.1 percent of funds to student instruction, services and programs. Essentially almost all of the $2.1 million increase in the total budget is directed to the program portion of the budget, which focuses on student instruction and learning.  

The capital and debt portion of the budget makes up 15.1 percent, a reduction of $122,736, while administration is the remaining 10 percent, with an increase of $18,707.  

State aid will provide 62.1 percent of the revenue, with the local tax levy providing 29.9 percent and other revenues contributing 8 percent of support.

Voters will also cast ballots to elect four members to the Board of Education and consider a proposition to purchase two transportation vans.

Also on the ballot are two propositions from the Fulton Public Library: 1) to amend the Library Charter to become a School District Public Library  and increase the Library Tax to $350,000,  and 2) for the voters to elect the Library Board of Trustees.   

If you have questions about the budget, please contact Bill Lynch, Superintendent of Schools at 593-5510, Kathy Nichols, Business Administrator at 593-5505 or Betsy Conners at 593-5509.   

Information on the budget and the work of the District Budget Committee can be found at

William R. Lynch

Superintendent of Schools 

A parks thank-you

On behalf of the Friends of Fulton Parks, Inc., I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the community for their support of our recent projects. 

First, on April 27 we held a successful fundraiser at the Tavern on the Lock. Over 40 local businesses donated door and raffle prizes and over 125 chicken dinners were sold. 

All proceeds raised are designated to our two ongoing projects, the replacement of safety landing material in the city’s playgrounds and new equipment for the playground at Hulett Park. 

I’d also like to thank the many organizations, businesses and community members who volunteered their time during our Sparkle-a-Park cleanup efforts. 

Finally a special thank you to The Valley News for their sponsorship and cooperation in the park medallion hunt. 

All of these activities are meant to raise awareness of our park system and cosntinue to enhance their condition and appearance. 

We have many other exciting activities planned and look forward to the continued support of the community. Thank you.

David B. Guyer

President, Friends of 

Fulton Parks Inc.

Oswego County Youth Court seeks new members

The Oswego Youth Court program will hold a training program for new members from July 14 to 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Oswego City Hall.

Students in grades 7 through 12 are eligible to apply for the Youth Court training.

Applications can be obtained at any Oswego County school district guidance office, at the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, or by going online to

Completed applications should be mailed to Oswego Youth Court, c/o Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, 70 Bunner St., Oswego, 13126.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday July 9.

The Oswego Youth Court Program is a Family Court diversion program designed to create a “new pathway” for troubled youth.

Youth Court hears real cases of youthful offenders who are referred by local law enforcement agencies or schools for first time minor offenses. Offenders are then sentenced by their peers.

“Students are trained to be judges, defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys and court clerks. Members conduct hearings related to their cases and decide on the outcome and punishment for each case,” said Dawn Metott, city youth coordinator for the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. “This program provides a valuable experience for its members.”

“This experience was one of the best I have ever had,” said Matthew McLaughlin, an Oswego City Youth Court member. “You get to experience real cases and have a chance to help out your community. This program helped me improve my public speaking skills and writing skills.”

Oswego Youth Courts are sponsored by the City of Oswego, the County of Oswego, the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, and the Office of Children and Family Services.

For more information about the Oswego Youth Court program, contact Dawn Metott, by calling 349-3575 or email

Fulton Memorial Day Salute schedule set

The 33rd annual Fulton Memorial Day Salute celebration on Saturday, May 24 will be held at the Fulton Community Center on West Broadway.

As in the past years, the event will feature the biggest and the best Saturday morning parade, local music groups, a great food court, drinks, rides and fireworks. All entertainment is offered free to the public.

The theme is “SHOWING GRATITUDE TO OUR VETERANS.”  Jim Weinhold, honored 2014 Veteran of the Year, will serve as the Grand Marshal of the Saturday parade.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. and will feature about 10 bands, including the City of Syracuse Highland Pipe Band, The Central New York Fire and Police Band, The Island Band, the Central Square Middle School Marching Band, The Original Yanks Drum & Bugle Corp and Naples High School Marching Band.

At noon, parade bands will be featured in the Community Center on the Fulton Savings Bank Stage. Awards will be given for winning parade entries.

At 2 p.m., on the Fulton Savings Bank Stage, CNY Arts Center will entertain children and adults alike with a talent show.  At 4, Brass Exchange, a high energy horn band, will round out a not-to-be missed Saturday afternoon. At 7, Memorial Day Salute presents “The Custom Taylor Band,” Central New York’s premier Top 40 country music band, on our stage. The evening concludes with fireworks over the lake at 9:30.

Local team results from the Tully Spring Invitational track meet

Boys’ and girls’ track and field teams from Hannibal, Phoenix, Mexico and Pulaski took part in the Tully Spring Invitational April 21.

The Hannibal girls’ varsity track and field team had an impressive day. The Lady Warriors came away with first place finishes in several events. Continue reading

Oswego County health clinics for the week of May 19

Submitted by Oswego County

The Oswego County Health Department offers a variety of services to all residents of Oswego County, including preventive health services, certified home health care, long-term home health care, certified hospice, and a maternal and child health program.  Continue reading

Possibility Scholars start scientific careers debt free

Presenting research -- SUNY Oswego Possibility Scholar K.C. VerHage, right, discusses his summer research on the bog buck moth with chemistry faculty member Fehmi Damkaci. One of the first recipients of Oswego’s competitive Possibility Scholarships, VerHage is scheduled to graduate May 17. Possibility Scholarships offer a debt-free education in science-related disciplines to talented but financially disadvantaged students.
Presenting research — SUNY Oswego Possibility Scholar K.C. VerHage, right, discusses his summer research on the bog buck moth with chemistry faculty member Fehmi Damkaci. One of the first recipients of Oswego’s competitive Possibility Scholarships, VerHage is scheduled to graduate May 17. Possibility Scholarships offer a debt-free education in science-related disciplines to talented but financially disadvantaged students.

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Advancing understanding of how microbes can help clean up soil after an oil spill, identifying effective methods to survey and track mammal populations, and developing a user-friendly online education platform are just some of the ways the first recipients of SUNY Oswego’s Possibility Scholarship, all from Syracuse, are making a difference in the world.

 Nicole VanDeuson, a zoology major; K.C. VerHage, a biology and psychology major; and Sean Willson, a computer science major, are set to graduate May 17 at the 9 a.m. ceremony of the college’s 153rd Commencement.

Continue reading

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

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.