All posts by Debbie Groom

The first Maple Weekend is this coming weekend

By Debra J. Groom

This coming Saturday and Sunday are the days to get out and visit area maple syrup producers.

It’s the first of two Maple Weekends, in which many producers open their operations so visitors can see how maple syrup is produced. Many also have pancake breakfasts so folks can taste that sweet nectar of the maple tree and have products people can buy.

So far this season, the weather hasn’t been ideal. There were a few days a couple of weeks ago that were warm enough for the sap to run. But then it got cold again.

“We’re scared,” said Kim Enders, who runs Red Schoolhouse Maple in Palermo. “We just boiled for the first time yesterday (Thursday March 13) but we didn’t make any syrup. We haven’t been able to get a string of good days in a row to get sap.”

Maple producers need temperatures during the day in the 40s and lows in the 20s to get a good sap flow. It has just been too darn cold for the sap to flow for a good number of consecutive days.

The temperatures for this week are OK for a four-day stretch in Onondaga County, but cooler in Oswego County, which means it is iffy how much sap will flow this week.

Some producers, like Timothy Whitens who runs Willow Creek Farm of just outside Fulton in the town of Granby, said he did get enough sap to make syrup in late February when there were four days of 40 degree temperatures.

“That first weekend, I made about 75 gallons, mostly medium amber,” Whitens said. “The sap ran again Monday and Tuesday (March 10 and 11) and I was able to make more.”

Feb. 19-23 all had temperatures of 40 or higher during the day and cold nights. But on Feb. 24, it got brutally cold again and shut off the taps.

While the temperatures this year have be too cold, in 2012, it was the opposite problem.

The weather during maple season began fine in January. But by early February, temperatures rose into the 50s. In mid-March, when sap should still be flowing and syrup would normally still be made, temperatures hit near 70.

Cornell University officials said the average temperature for the first 50 days of winter in Central New York is usually 24 degrees. In 2012, it was 32 degrees, the second warmest since 1950.

Anothr problem for maple producers in the Tug Hill area has been the amount of snow. Helen Thomas, executive director of the New York State Maple Producers Association, said with more than 300 inches of snow in some places, producers were having a difficult time getting to their lines and taps.

Enders said she hopes to have enough maple products to sell and offer for tasting during Maple Weekend. Red Schoolhouse Maple is open both days of the weekends, March 22 and 23 and March 29 and 30, and offers pancake breakfast, tours of the sugarbush and boiling area and tastings.

Whitens is open only Sunday, March 23 and March 30, and offers tours.

Maple Weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Go to http://www.nysmaple.com/mapleweekend/ or www.mapleweekend.com for more information.

Fulton hockey overcomes adjustments

By Rob Tetro

Scholastic hockey season has ended and the Fulton team and coach Todd Terpening are reflecting on what happened in 2014.

Terpening said his team struggled to close out games this season and ended with a 2-18-1 record. Despite its struggles, Fulton’s seniors refused to give up.

In the six or seven tight games the Red Raiders had this season, it was the efforts of their seniors which allowed Fulton opportunities to clinch wins.

Terpening said the determination his seniors showed this season made them positive role models for Fulton’s younger players

“I hope that the underclassmen can take from the Seniors is to never give up no matter how bad things may look!” Terpening said.

With the conclusion of the season, Fulton says goodbye to four seniors: Eric Forderkonz, Matt Billion, Seth Delisle and Brandon Ladd.

As Forderkonz, Billion, DeLisle and Ladd move on to the next stage of their lives, Terpening hopes they do so understanding the importance of being prepared to work hard with dedication, no matter what a situation presents them. He feels his four seniors showed up for every practice and game ready to leave it all on the ice.

Terpening said the work ethic these athletes have shown will benefit them down the road, whether it’s in college or in the workforce.

Despite the teams’ record, he also hopes that the experience of playing high school hockey was a positive one for his seniors.

This season, the Red Raiders overcame the adjustments that came with welcoming nine new players from three other school districts. However, Terpening said the future is bright for his relatively young team. In fact, he suggests that it may not be very long until his team is stronger and more unified.

“I am very excited about the team that we have returning next year!” Terpening said.

The nine players from three different school districts who joined the Fulton varsity hockey team this season are: Landon VanAlstine, Bryce Phillips and Nicholas Meyer from Red Creek; Stanley Kubis, Eric Forderkonz, Austin Forte, Rocco Cannata and Seth Cooney from Central Square; and Spencer Evans from Phoenix.

Phoenix hoops finish successful season

By Rob Tetro

The Phoenix boys’ varsity basketball team recently concluded its season with an 11-8 record and having earned a second place finish in league play.

Four seniors also wrapped up their hoops career at Phoenix. As Nick Tassone, Emilio Tassone, Bryce Plante, Jeff Sawyer and Brandon Wood depart, they do so having made their impact felt on the Phoenix boys’ basketball program.

Coach Jim Rose sais his four seniors worked hard to improve from game to game and season to season. After failing to qualify for Sectional playoffs last season, the seniors and their work ethic were on display this season.

In fact, the work ethic seemed to have trickled down to the team’s younger players.The Firebirds worked hard to improve throughout the season, which put them in position to win more games than a year ago en route to returning to during the Sectional playoffs.

With Nick and Emilio Tassone, Plante and Sawyer set to graduate, Rose hopes they move from their participation in the Phoenix boys’ varsity basketball program having learned the importance of responsibility and hard work in a team setting.

Rose said a successful unit is one that is cohesive, which allows that unit to work together for common goals.

Phoenix accomplished many goals this season.Rose is proud his seniors will be able to move on after being a part of a team that succeeded while working together in a family atmosphere.

Rose also hopes his younger players move on from this season having learned as much from the seniors work ethic and dedication as it seems they have. This season, they were able to see firsthand how hard work and dedication during both the in-season and off-season can benefit a team.

He also hopes his returning players quickly regroup and renew or expand their determination with the expectation of building on the success from this season.

Looking ahead, two starters will be returning for the Firebirds next season. The team will also feature two key bench players from this year’s team.

Strong leadership will be expected from Zach Sisera next year as a senior. Also as a senior, Connor Haney will be looking to improve at the center position next season.

Walker Connoly and Shaun Turner came off the bench last season, but will be looked upon to fill the voids left behind that this year’s group of seniors. Rose hopes to see the trend of hard work, dedication and improvement trickling down to the program’a younger players continuing.

He said having players who work hard and have the success to show for it will be great examples for new players who lack basketball experience at the varsity level.

Poetry Corner

March Madness, by Jim Farfaglia

 

Somebody above missed the message

that winter’s officially done;

the white stuff keeps fallin’,

the big trucks keep plowin’

and nobody’s having much fun.

 

We’ve had enough of skiing,

of sledding and cute snowmen;

still the temperature ain’t risin’,

and golfers are agonizin’

over when they’ll see green grass again.

 

I’d be happy to deliver the word

if I could just find Mr. Sun.

It sure would be pleasin’,

if we had a new season;

here’s hoping he sends the right one!

Willy Wonka Jr. on stage again this week

 

More performances of ‘Willy Wonka Jr.’ are being presented this week.

The play is being staged at 7:30 p.m. March 21 and 3 p.m. March 22 and 23. CNY Arts Center presents the children’s musical as part of its Kids Onstage program at 357 State St. Methodist Church, in Fulton (use the Park Street entrance).

For tickets and reservations visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 592-3373.

Illustration class exhibits its work

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Students in a SUNY Oswego illustration class will display their artwork beginning Saturday, March 29, at Oswego State Downtown.

An opening reception will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. that day at the downtown branch of the College Store at West First and Bridge streets in Oswego. The exhibition will run through April 19.

The display, “Traditional Illustration by Oswego Students,” began as a pair of assignments in instructor Judith Ann Benedict’s introductory class in illustration last fall. The students worked on portraits of historical figures and came up with endings to a graphic novel.

Benedict said for the historical figures, students “were encouraged to look beyond a likeness and include indications of personality, etc., in their finished work.”

For the graphic novel assignment, each student worked from the same story to illustrate the ending in nine to 15 panels, using a color palette restricted to black, white-grays and reds.

The course’s goal was to acquaint students with creative techniques, technical processes and business aspects commonly used in illustration, Benedict said.

Oswego State Downtown is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 216-4985 or email thestore@oswego.edu.

Salon specialist, cancer survivor, gives back to others fighting cancer

Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program Partnership has a new community partner to help clients whom are diagnosed with cancer.

Liz Lucas, an ovarian cancer survivor, wants to help others that are faced with a cancer diagnosis and the treatment side effects.

“I will help anyone I can regardless of their type of cancer!  I want to give something back now after my journey with cancer,” said Lucas.

Lucas, a salon specialist at Hair We Are on 201 Academy St., Fulton, is volunteering her specialties and offering free hair cuts, make up applications; including how to draw on eyebrows and eyelashes during chemotherapy treatments, wig fitting and/or finding wigs online.

“I have learned so much throughout my journey and I know how challenging every day can be during cancer treatment.  I want our community to know that I am there for them and I am willing to assist them with anyway I can,” says Lucas.

OCO’s Cancer Services Program is funded by the New York State Department of Health and the Susan G Komen of CNY Foundation and offers free cancer screenings including clinical breast exams, mammograms, pap/pelvic exams and colon cancer screenings for community members that do not have health insurance and are between the ages of 40-64.

In addition the program offers diagnostic services and has a treatment program for men and women that are diagnosed with breast, cervical, colon or prostate cancer.

“I am ecstatic to continue to increase the resources we have available to our community and applaud Liz for her efforts to share her experience with others,” said Cancer Services Program Coordinator, Carolyn Handville.  “Feeling good about yourself and being confident is a key component when fighting this disease and I cannot thank Liz enough for offering her services to others.”

For more information on the many cancer screenings available through the Cancer Services Program Partnership, or to make an appointment, contact Carolyn Handville at 592-0830.  Don’t wait, early detection saves lives!

Helping senior citizens to be fed

Oswego County Opportunities’ Nutrition Services is asking Oswego County residents to be a part of its annual March for Meals campaign by being a part of the many events that they will be hosting during the month of March.

OCO’s annual March for Meals campaign helps to raise the awareness of senior hunger in Oswego County and serves as a fundraiser to help support the agency’s Home Delivered Meal Service.

To celebrate their March for Meals Campaign, OCO Nutrition Services has planned the following community events:

** Wednesday, March 19 (today), Fundraiser from 4 to 9 p.m., at the Bake Shop Eatery, 3281 Main St, Mexico. A total of 15 percent of all proceeds will be donated to OCO’s Nutrition Services to support the Meals on Wheels program.

** Wednesday, March 19 (today), Mayors For Meals Day. To raise awareness and to encourage action at the local level, Oswego County dignitaries will participate in the campaign by delivering meals to homebound seniors or by serving meals at one of OCO’s eight senior Dining and Activity Centers.

** Date to be announced, Pinewood Derby, at the Sandy Creek Dining and Activity Center from 11 a.m. to noon. Judy Parker, center manager, has invited special guests and local dignitaries to build and race pinewood derby “meal delivery vans” to see which guest can deliver the meals the fastest on the derby track.

Lunch will be served at the center after the race. Reservations are requested. For more information and to make reservations contact Judy Parker at 298-5020 or via e-mail at jparker@oco.org

** Meals on Wheels Collection Vans.  Look for donation boxes shaped as delivery vans at senior centers and in local places of business for the month of March. All donations will be used to support Meals on Wheels participants and to provide special events at OCO’s Senior Dining and Activity Centers.

“In this tough economy, the food and human contact we provide to seniors in this community is needed more than ever,” said Bridget Dolbear, program services coordinator with OCO Nutrition Services..

“We need community members to come out and support our March For Meals events. Their support will help us continue feeding senior citizens in our community.  Our clients are counting on us. We can’t let them down,” she said.

The Meals On Wheels Association of America created the March For Meals campaign in 2002 to raise awareness about senior hunger.

‘We Are Meals On Wheels, so no senior goes hungry’ is the continuing slogan for the campaign. Senior citizens across the country go hungry every day and one in seven seniors is threatened by hunger.

The older population is increasing at a staggering high rate with an increase of more than 20 million senior citizens from this decade alone. The goal of Nutrition Services and other Meals on Wheels programs is to end senior hunger by 2020 and you can help.

The OCO’s Meals on Wheels program delivers around 1,000 meals each day to homebound seniors. There are no un-served areas in the county.

Typically, the Meals on Wheels driver is the only person that the homebound participants see for days at a time.

“Our participants have said that it makes them feel better to have someone check on them and they enjoy the conversations as much as the meals,” said Distribution Supervisor Allen Wert.

While the program does have nine paid employee routes, Wert said it is the volunteers that are the driving force behind the Meals on Wheels program.

“We have 19 volunteer routes for our home delivered meals. Our program relies heavily on the assistance we receive from our volunteers. We couldn’t do it without them,” said Wert.

If anyone is interested in delivering meals or helping out at one of our Dining and Activity Centers please call us at 598-4712, we would love to hear from you.”

In addition to the Meals on Wheels program, OCO Nutrition Services has eight senior Dining and Activity Centers located in Constantia, Fulton, Hannibal, Mexico, Oswego, Parish, Phoenix and Sandy Creek. The centers feed about 100 senior citizens daily and offer fun activities and friendly conversations.

Dolbear said updates on OCO’s March for Meals campaign as well as photos from the events and activities at OCO’s Dining and Activity Centers would be on the agency’s Facebook page at OCO Senior Centers.  “I encourage community members to like us on Facebook.  Our goal is to have 300 likes by the end of March!”

For more information on the March for Meals campaign and to learn how you can help put an end to senior hunger, contact Bridget Dolbear at OCO Senior Nutrition Services, 598-4712, ext. 1813 or via e-mail at bdolbear@oco.org.