All posts by Debbie Groom

Seniors hear tips on not getting scammed

Todd speaks to residents at Bishop's Commons.
Todd speaks to residents at Bishop’s Commons.

Residents at Bishop’s Commons welcomed Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd who presented tips to help seniors avoid falling victim to “scams” or consumer fraud.

“There are many aggressive and creative ways con artists use to attempt to steal your money and obtain personal information, whether it is through a telephone conversation or an e-mail,” warned  Todd.

The Internet alone accounts for billions of dollars in fraudulent activity each year. One of the biggest crimes involves identity theft, usually when an unsuspecting victim provides their name and social security number.

The sheriff warned that consumer fraud is not just happening in other places, but has occurred right here in Oswego County.

“If you receive a phone call where the caller is asking you for personal information,” Todd said, “just hang up; don’t confirm your name or social security number”.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to avoid giving out personal information over the phone or by responding to emails from unfamiliar sources.

Porky and Buddy discuss sick, dirty, smelly pets at a store

Dear Porky and Buddy,

I was out shopping a few days ago with my granddaughters who are nuts (in a good way) about animals.

So, on a whim really, I took them into a pet store to see the puppies for sale. I would never actually buy a puppy from a pet store because I know about the problem of puppy mills, but I thought it would be fun for them.

Boy, was I wrong!  There were 10 puppies in a pen in the store. They looked terrible, as though they all had colds or something with runny crusted eyes and runny noses and the pen was dirty and stinky.

I had no idea what to do, so I just hustled my granddaughters out of the store and told them we should not be around sick animals.

But what should I have done about the puppies? I keep thinking about them.

Irene

Dear Irene,

New York State has what is known as the Puppy Lemon Law.

Under Article 35-D of the General Business Law, if you purchase a sick dog or cat and a veterinarian certifies the animal as unfit within 14 days of a sale, you  have the right to a refund, exchange or reimbursement of veterinary costs up to the cost of the pet.

You are not a purchaser, thank goodness, but the Department of Agriculture and Markets regulates pet dealers and takes complaints about observations of unhealthy conditions at pet stores and other pet dealers even if you did not purchase.

You can find the online complaint form right here:  http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/petdealercomplain.html

There is also a printable form here that you can download and mail in: http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/AI/small_animals/webcomplaintform0808.pdf

The New York State Attorney General also had an Animal Protection Initiative and takes and investigates complaints about pet stores and pet dealers. You can call toll free, (888) 697-3444.

The law is designed to safeguard the public and to ensure the humane treatment of dogs and cats by requiring pet dealers to guarantee the good health of any such animal sold by a pet dealer to a consumer.

A pet dealer is a pet store or breeder who engages in the sale of more than nine dogs or cats a year for profit to the public. Dealers must post a notice of consumer rights in a manner clearly visible, and at the time of sale, must also provide written notice of the same to the consumer.

Under “Article 26-A of the Agriculture and Markets Law pertaining to the licensing of pet dealers, they are also required to provide appropriate veterinary care to their “merchandise,” something that this pet store was apparently not doing.

You can find out the details of the Pet Lemon Law and the laws and regulations pertaining to the care of animals by pet dealers at http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/AI/small_animals.html

Irene, we really encourage you to make your observation known to both agencies by filing and calling. Concerned animal lovers like you are the best defense against sub-standard conditions leading to  unhealthy pets in pet stores.

And if you would like to adopt a healthy pet that has received great vet care, go to www.oswegohumane.org.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office is at 265 W. First St., Oswego. Phone is 207-1070. Email is ochscontact@hotmail.com. Visit the website at www.oswegohumane.org.

Hazardous waste collection site opens May 3

Submitted by Oswego County

Oswego County residents will be able to safely dispose of unwanted chemicals, pesticides and other hazardous waste products beginning Saturday, May 3, at the Oswego County Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility.

Located at the Bristol Hill Landfill, 3125 State Route 3, Volney, the facility will be open Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 to 11 a.m. from May through September.

Managed by the Oswego County Department of Solid Waste, the program is free to Oswego County residents.

The household hazardous waste disposal program is sponsored by the Oswego County Legislature and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

“The household hazardous waste collection facility gives residents a convenient way to safely dispose of expired chemical products and unwanted hazardous wastes,” said Frank Visser, Oswego County Solid Waste Director.

“This method of household hazardous waste management has proven to be cost-effective and user-friendly. Materials are packaged and stored in a secure area until a sufficient amount has accumulated for shipping,” Visser said.

Customers should pull their vehicle up to the side of the building, which is located between the transfer station and solid waste offices.

Drivers should remain in their vehicles and wait for materials to be unloaded by the solid waste department staff.

These items are accepted at the collection facility:

Adhesives, aerosols, antifreeze, auto batteries, light ballasts (non PCB), brake fluid, cements, degreasers, disinfectants, dry gas, flea products, fluorescent bulbs, gasoline, hobby chemicals, household cleaners, insect repellants,  lacquers, lighter fluids and  lubricants.

Also: mercury containing devices, oil-based paints (no latex paints will be accepted), paint removers and thinners, pesticides, pool chemicals, rat poisons, rug and upholstery cleaners, solvents, turpentine, varnish, weed killers, and wood stains.

A complete list of materials is listed on the solid waste department web site at www.oswegocounty.com/dsw/hhw.html.

Materials should be in their original containers and placed in sturdy cardboard boxes. Leaking containers should be wrapped in newspaper and placed in a clear plastic bag.

Dried latex paint, used motor oil, household batteries, cell phones, computers, electronic equipment, and appliances containing CFC refrigerant are accepted year-round at the transfer stations.

There is no charge for recycling electronic equipment such as computer monitors, microwave ovens, fax machines and televisions. There is a $15 fee to recycle appliances that contain CFC refrigerant.

Visser requests that, for safety reasons, people do not bring children or pets to the collection site. Smoking is prohibited in the unloading area.

When lines are long, cars may be turned away so that materials can be processed prior to facility closing.

The Solid Waste Department also accepts hazardous wastes from Oswego County businesses that meet the regulatory requirements. Business owners should contact the Solid Waste Office to find out if they qualify and to obtain a cost estimate for disposal of materials.

For more information, call the Oswego County Solid Waste Office at 591-9200, or visit the Department of Solid Waste Web site at http://www.oswegocounty.com/dsw/index.html

County Health Department clinics for week of April 21

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.

Walk-in influenza clinics are held weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego for people age 19 and older. No appointment is needed; walk-ins are welcome.

Children’s flu vaccine is now available every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

The children’s flu vaccine is available at no cost to all children who qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program provided by the New York State Department of Health. For those who do not qualify, the cost is $37 for the inactivated vaccine.

The health department accepts cash or checks for payment. The department does not accept credit or debit cards. Patients with private insurance, Managed Medicaid, Managed Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicare Part B should bring their benefit cards with them to the immunization clinic.  No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

The following services will be offered during the week of April 21 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

OSWEGO:

** Adult Influenza Clinic: Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., walk-in clinic.

** Immunization Clinic: Tuesday, April 22, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., walk-in clinic.

** Pregnancy Testing: Free pregnancy testing is available. Call 349-3391 to schedule an appointment.

** Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing and Treatment Services: Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.

** HIV Counseling and Testing Service:  Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.

Immunization clinics are held every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at 70 Bunner St., Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

For more information about public health services, contact the County Health Department, weekdays, phone 349-3547 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 3547. For information on rabies clinics, call 349-3564.

SOS Fest comes to Hannibal July 18, 19 and 20

The fourth annual SOS FEST (Save Our Students) three-day Christian music festival is planned for Rochester Street, Hannibal July 18, 19 and 20.

There will more than 15 bands sure to please all musical tastes. There will also be mission displays, food booths, crafts, art work, merchandise displays, workshops, free waterslides and on site camping.

Tickets are only $10 per day, Sunday free or a full-event pas for $25.

Go to www.itickets.com to obtain tickets.

Churches, youth groups, nonprofit organizations, booster club, Scout troops and more are welcome to have a free booth to raise money and awareness of your cause.

Call  Erik at 564-6133 for details. Space is limited.

Friday will be a night of Christian Rock starting at 6 p.m. with “The 7 Thunders” from Long Island followed by “Silversyde,” a female fronted band from Ohio.

Then Wes Aarum from the Chapel in Buffalo will deliver a powerful message. The night will be closed out with national recording artists “Seventh Day Slumber” from Texas.

Saturday starts with a time of worship at 10 a.m. with Kris Mays from Utica. There will be workshops on disaster relief, women’s issues, men’s groups, youth leader discussion, mission work, etc.

Music will begin at 3 p.m. with “The Sent Forth” from CNY, then “Second Story” from Fulton, “Against The Slate” from Pennsylvania, “Lights Of Day” from Ohio, “Riverside Confession” from Binghamton, “The Life Band” from Rome with Jonnie Nickles, speaker David Hayner, and from Belfast, Ireland, Bluetree will close out the night. (Bluetree wrote and recorded “God Of This City”, the number 1 Christian worship song in 2009!)

On Sunday, worship begins at 10 a.m. with The New Life Band from Herkimer with Hannibal’s own Adam on drums. Tthe message will be from Aaron from Blutree followed by a worship jam session.

At 3 p.m., Hannibal’s Concert in the Park will start with several bands including “The 10th Mountain Division” Army band from fort drum!

Poetry Corner

Muck Farm Moment, by Jim Farfaglia

I love to drive by them in spring,

black soil waking my winter eyes

weary from landscapes of white.

 

Oh, how their richness stretches far,

how they open  with such promise

and foretell a bountiful season.

 

Soon, farmers will draw their tractors

back and forth, back and forth,

breaking open that promise

 

and planting it with hope;

trusting sun and rain and time

to reward their months of toil.

 

One day, their dreams come true

in a green, glorious goodness—

something we can only imagine

 

when we drive by each spring.

Phoenix track ready to begin season

By Rob Tetro
The Phoenix boys’ varsity track and field team is ready to participate in what is expected to be another competitive year in the OHSL Liberty League.
The Firebirds main goal is to have another competitive season in league play. Coach Keith Walberger said the OSHL Liberty League could be wide open this season and he expects Solvay to be the team to beat.
However, like Phoenix, Westhill and Marcellus are also expected to have solid teams and 2014 will be Cazenovia’s first year in the league. Walberger said nothing will be handed to the Firebirds this season. Phoenix expects to be challenged in every event of every meet they take part in.
The Firebirds’ seniors will play pivotal roles for the team this season. However, Walberger mentions his team also consists of many freshmen and sophomores with a lot of potential.
He credits his younger athletes for the attention and respect they have given to their experienced teammates. In fact, the desire and enthusiasm they have displayed already appears to be paying off. Walberger is encouraged by how quickly his younger athletes have been showing signs of development.
Many of Walberger’s athletes were members of the Phoenix varsity indoor track team this winter. His other athletes took part in other fall and/or winter sports. For the most part, the Firebirds were in decent physical condition when practices began in early March. However, nearly every athlete faced the challenge of redeveloping their event related skills and endurance levels to prepare for the upcoming season. Walberger said the adjustment was much easier for his experienced athletes. As anticipated, newer athletes had a harder time grasping what needed to be done to be physically prepared for the their events.
Seniors Dylan Switzer, Eric Hillpot, Mike Leach, Mike Girard and Anthony Brienza will serve as team captains for Phoenix this season. Walberger said he has never named this many captains in his tenure at the helm of the Firebirds track and field program and said athletes he selects to be captains have to be influential people both in competition and in the classroom.
Walberger said a captain is someone who sets an example other athletes want to duplicate. He mentions a captain is someone who leads by example in terms of work ethic on the track and in the classroom. Walberger also suggests someone who proudly represents Phoenix at local social functions will also be given leadership consideration.
Walberger said his five captains personify these qualities.
Phoenix enters the season with an abundance of strengths. Andy Padula is striving to remain among the best in Section 3 in the pole vault. After a solid performance in the Sectional Meet last season, Padula has put in a lot of hard work with a pole vault coach and is ready to make the most of his senior season. Walberger said expectations are high for high jumpers Eric Hillpot and Shaun Turner this season. They will be expected to be strong leadership figures for their event as well. The Firebirds will feature many talented new high jumpers in 2014.
In addition to being a premier pole vaulter, Andy Padula should have another solid season in the long jump and triple jump.

Boys’ tennis returns to Phoenix

By Rob Tetro

For the first time in many years, Phoenix will have a boys’ varsity tennis team.
Led by former Hannibal varsity tennis coach Chris Gould, the Firebirds have a couple of goals for the upcoming season. On the court, Phoenix wants to develop into a fundamentally sound team throughout the season. Off the court, the Firebirds hope to generate interest in the sport within the community.
As the start of practice neared, Phoenix actively participated in preseason activates that prepared them for short distance sprints they would be doing when practices began in early March. Gould said many of his players also took part in fall or winter sports and were in decent physical condition when practices began.
Currently, the Firebirds physical conditioning is on par with where Gould them expects them to be as competition begins. During the final days leading up to its first event of the season, Phoenix was able to focus on physically preparing to hit balls. Gould suggests it’s a positive sign if his team has the ability to handle an increasing amount of repetitions.
The Firebirds have not named captains as of yet.

Looking ahead to the schedule that awaits Phoenix, Gould has highlighted the opponents from rural school districts. He feels his team has an opportunity to be competitive against teams who have programs and budget support similar to Phoenix. But in addition to rural schools, the Firebirds also will have to face teams from suburban school districts well.

Gould said he expects Manlius Pebble Hill to have another strong season, while Christian Brothers Academy and Westhill are in for solid seasons as well.

Returning to varsity competition after an extended hiatus could be a tall order for Phoenix or any other scholastic varsity team in its shoes. The Firebirds take the court as an inexperienced team. For the most part, the team lacks experience at the varsity level. They also have a limited understanding of the fundamentals of the game, which includes proper stroke mechanics.

Phoenix is striving to create interest in its tennis program within the community but sometimes the only way to do so is to show signs of life. However, Gould points out that his team doesn’t take the court without a few notable strengths.

He feels that his team is very enthusiastic, determined to improve and displays a willingness to both listen and learn. The Firebirds are expected to take the lumps that come with being a program returning to the scholastic sports scene. Inexperience aside, Gould strongly feels the strengths his team brings to the table will help them show the potential needed to set the foundation for a solid future.