All posts by Debbie Groom

Judges named for business plan contest

The panel of judges has been secured for The Next Great Idea 2014 Oswego County Business Plan Competition, said Austin Wheelock, economic development specialist for Operation Oswego County and co-chair of Next Great Idea.

“The Next Great Idea is the result of business and community leaders joining together to launch a competition that encourages entrepreneurs to commit to new business development in Oswego County and offers a $25,000 prize to help make a dream come true,” Wheelock said.

Judges for the event are Jeff Grimshaw of the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations; Adam Gagas of Breakwall Asset Management; Kimberly Steele of the Steele Law Firm; Shane Broadwell of the Broadwell Hospitality Group; John Sharkey IV of Universal Metal; Sue Witmer of Cayuga Community College Fulton Campus; Mike Quenville of Pathfinder Bank; John Fitzgibbons, owner of the Fitzgibbons Agency; Atom Avery, local entrepreneur and owner of Avery Rental Properties & The Beacon Hotel; and Laurie O’Brien, owner of Port City Café & Red Sun Fire Roasting Co.

Judges were selected based on their local business knowledge and expertise in the fields of operations, management, financing, and entrepreneurship.

The first phase of the 2014 NGI Competition is underway and the deadline for submitting business concept proposals is April 11.

The entire competition will consist of three phases that will require semi-finalists selected from the first phase to develop full business plans and, in the third phase, finalists will make their “pitch” in person to the panel of judges.

This panel will determine which proposals will be selected to enter the subsequent phases culminating in the winner being chosen and honored at a luncheon Nov. 13.

Ideas that are not selected will receive written feedback from the judges of how to improve their proposals for the future.

The event web site, www.oswegocounty.org/NGI, includes an overview of the event, a competition timeline, guidelines, details on the $25,000 prize, sponsors, partners and contact information. In addition, the $25,000 can potentially be leveraged to borrow up to $250,000 in partnership with local banks, the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency, the cities of Oswego and Fulton community development offices, and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

SUNY Oswego students invited to participate in War of 1812 writing contest

SUNY Oswego students are invited to participate in the War of 1812 research paper competition in conjunction with the fourth annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium Friday, April 4 to Sunday, April 6.

The symposium will be held at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 26 E. First St., Oswego.

The contest involves SUNY Oswego students writing and presenting their findings on any aspect of the War of 1812. All SUNY Oswego students are welcome to participate.

Students interested in competing must follow the requirements for the contest. The topic of the paper must be on some aspect of the War of 1812. There is no length requirement for the papers, but they must be able to be presented for at least 10 minutes.

All papers must be submitted by Monday, March 24 and several papers will be chosen to be presented Friday evening, April 4 at the symposium. Students whose papers are chosen to be presented at the symposium will have the chance to win up to $150.

SUNY Oswego students who register with Richard Weyhing of the History Department a week prior, will have the registration fee covered to the symposium.

“Students are the future of our history. It’s superb the history department at SUNY Oswego took a leadership role in making Oswego a heritage tourism destination by engaging in cooperative programming with other community organizations,” said Paul Lear, superintendent of Fort Ontario State Historic Site and chair of the Oswego War of 1812 Steering Committee.

“While the action at the new Lake Ontario Conference Center during the 1812 Symposium won’t approach that at the Carrier Dome during basketball season, students and other attendees will rub elbows with the legends of history and be at center court for their often intense differences of opinions on the activities and actions of the armies, navies, and individuals who fought in our own backyard.”

Richard Weyhing, an assistant professor of history at SUNY Oswego, is coordinating the contest with SUNY Oswego students.

“This is going to be a great event that brings together SUNY Oswego students, the local community, and a slate of outside scholars to explore Oswego’s and New York’s place within the broader history of the War of 1812,” he said.

For more information regarding the contest or to submit your paper, please contact Weyhing at Richard.weyhing@oswego.edu

Hot air balloon fest coming to Oswego County

A hot air balloon festival is coming to Oswego County in June.

Hot air balloons will take to the skies over the Sandy Creek Fairgrounds June 6, 7 and 8 at the Oswego County Balloon Festival. The event opens at 3 p.m. Friday, June 6, and closes with music by Frostbit Blue Sunday night, June 8.

There also will be plenty of action on solid ground with music, a petting zoo, crafts and vendors.

At least 10 hot balloons in a variety of styles are scheduled to fly, with balloon launches Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday morning, and Saturday and Sunday nights, weather permitting. After the sun sets Saturday evening, spectators will be treated to the sight of glimmering hot air balloons in flight during the “balloon glow” from 9 to 10 p.m.

The event is being organized by All Over Events of Pulaski, NY.

Storm dumps about a foot in Fulton, Oswego area

By Debra J. Groom

It may have seemed like the end of the world on Wednesday, March 12.

But actually, it wasn’t even the worst March 12 the area has ever seen.

Weather observers in Fulton and Oswego tallied about a foot of snow for the area on Wednesday. Both Paul Cardinali in Fulton and William Gregway in Oswego said they have only estimates for snowfall because the wind was blowing so hard it was difficult to get a good reading.

“I have been doing this for 45 years,” Gregway said Thursday. “This was the most difficult day to try to get a measurement that I’ve ever seen. The wind was out of the North-Northeast and was gusting from 40 to 45 mph. I had drifts here where I’ve never had drifts before.”

Cardinali agreed.

“I shoveled off a couple of areas to check the snowfall early Wednesday,” he said. “Come afternoon, it was all over.”

Cardinali measured about 13 inches for Fulton while Gregway came up with about 10 inches in Oswego.

But Cardinali reminded everyone the storm of 1993 was also on March 12. He said Fulton tallied 20 inches on that day.

So perhaps this past Wednesday wasn’t really that bad.

County to expand landfill

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County should see the expansion of its landfill begin sometime next summer.

Director of Solid Waste Frank Visser said planning has been going on for some time on how and when to expand the Bristol Hill Landfill in the town of Volney. He said the county is planning to add another 5.3 acres to the site, which should last the county 10 years.

The cost — $3.5 million. It is one of the biggest factors officials are considering in looking at aspects of the 2015 county budget.

“It costs so much because there are several layers of polyethylene and clay liners that go into the landfill,” Visser said. These liners are built so nothing put into the landfill would ever leak into the ground or groundwater in the area.

Visser said drawings for the expansion are “99 percent complete.” The proposal then has to be reviewed and approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

He said county officials hope to put the project out to bid by Feburary so a contractor can be selected by spring 2015.

“There is a very narrow construction season for this,” Visser said, notig the work cannot be done when it is wet. “We hope to do it next summer.”

The construction will take about three months, he said.

Visser said the landfill has been operated well and has been depositing solid waste on seven acres of land opened in 1996. “That’s phenomenal for a landfill,” he said.

The main reason so little solid waste is being dumped in the landfill is the county’s Energy Recovery Facility in Fulton. Nearly all household garbage is taken there to be burned instead of being dumped in the landfill.

Visser said most of what goes to the landfill is sludge, contaminated soil and construction and demolition debris —things that can’t be burned at the Energy Recovery Facility.

Visser said Oswego County residents are “average” recyclers. When asked what could be done to get people to recycle more, he said programs to increase recycling cost a lot of money to run.

Visser said the Bristol Hill Landfill opened in 1983with 17 acres. There have been five additions since then — the landfill now consists of 40 acres.

Seventeen of the 40 acres have been closed and 23 are still being used.

Visser said the landfill’s 2007 permit was modified to allow the county to expand higher than the 23 acres it is now using.

News in brief

Halters, saddles, clothes and much more will be for sale at bargain prices at the annual Oswego County 4-H Tack Sale from 10 a.m. to noon March 15 (today) at Central Square Middle School, Route 11.

The benefits of the sale support the 4-H educational horse programs held throughout Oswego County.

Anyone who loves a bargain and is looking for equine related items, this sale is for you.

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Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County will host a workshop to help new owners and veterans get acquainted with their sewing machines from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 18 at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, located on Main Street in Mexico.

During this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to clean, oil and maintain their personal appliance.  Attendees should bring their sewing machine with its manual, foot control, and attachments with them.

Workshop cost is $8 per person.  To register for this class or to learn more about Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, call 963-7286, ext. 301 by Thursday, March 13.

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Registration for Canal Clean Sweep events ends in two weeks.

If you haven’t done so already, please register your event by March 15.

The state Canal Corp. and Parks and Trails New York once again need your help for the annual Canal Clean Sweep.

Last year’s Clean Sweep resulted in more than 150 communities, civic groups, businesses and social clubs completing nearly 100 cleanup and beautification events along the Canal System and the Canalway Trail.

This year’s event will take place Friday-Sunday, April 25-27. Like last year, the 2014 Canal Clean Sweep will be held in recognition of Earth Day 2014, and in advance of the upcoming navigation season, the 190th consecutive season on the New York State Canal System.

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Residents are asked to help support Oswego High School’s Interact Club, which is gathering items to give to the Ronald McDonald House in Syracuse.

Items needed include household items such as Clorox wipes, 12-ounce hot cups with lips, glass cleaner, liquid hand soap, paper plates, microfiber dust loor mops, all-purpose spray cleaner and 40-gallon trash bags.

Food items needed are peanut butter, coffee, individual Jello cups and bags of chips, pasta sauce, canned soup, ready to cook pasta, boxed macaroni and cheese, cake and muffins mixes, individual pudding cups and bags of pretzels.

Micellaneous items needed include BIC razors, printer paper, pens, onesies and large Lego blocks.

Items will be collected until March 21 at the office for Fitzgibbons Real Estate, 44 E. Bridge St., Suite 1, Oswego.

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Students in the Fulton City School district will have early dismissal on March 20.

Grades seven through 12 will dismissed at 10:30 a.m. and morning pre-kindergarten through grade six will dismissed at 11:15 a.m. There will be no afternoon UPK classes.

The staff will spend the remainder of the day working on implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards.

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There will be a Nu 2 U yard and bake sale at Trinity United Methodist Church  at the end of March.

The sale is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday March 21 and 22 and Friday March 28 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday March 29.

The bake sale will be only on March 21 and 22.

Anyone who wants to donate items for the sale may do so on or after March 17 from 9:30 a.m. to noon or call the church to make other arrangements.

Televisions and computers will not be accepted.

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Little Utica United Methodist Church is holding an All You Can Eat breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 22 at the church on Lamson Road.

The menu consists of pancakes, scrambled eggs, French toast bake, link sausage, bacon and fried potatoes. Beverages will include coffee, tea, milk and orange juice.

Cost will be $6 for adults, kids 12 and  under $3. All proceeds will support their mission and ministry to the community.

For more information, call the church at 678-2270 or visit the church’s website at www.littleuticaumc.org.

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A roast beef dinner is being put on from 4:30 to 7 p.m. March 22 at the Red Creek Westbury United Methodist Church on Church Street, Red Creek.

The menu includes road beef, mashed potatoes, mixed garden vegetables, rolls, beverages and cakes.

Takeouts will be available.

Money raised will help the church with its effort to restore its stained glass windows.

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The Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District is now accepting orders for the 43rd Annual Spring Tree and Shrub Sale.

The district is offering for sale 39 varieties of hardwood and evergreen trees, shrubs and ground covers.

The trees selected for this year’s program may be planted to serve a variety of purposes, which include timber, Christmas trees, improving wildlife habitat, windbreaks, screens or borders and increasing the aesthetics of your property.

Whether you are interested in attracting wildlife, beautifying your yard, or planting trees for future generations to enjoy, this sale has what you’re looking for.

To obtain an order form, contact the Soil and Water District at 592-9663. The form can also be printed directly from the web at www.oswegosoilandwater.com and mailed to Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District at 3105 State Route 3, Fulton, NY 13069.

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The public will have the opportunity to learn about the state of Lake Ontario fisheries at public meetings in Monroe, Niagara, and Oswego counties in March.

“Lake Ontario anglers continue to experience outstanding fishing on Lake Ontario and its tributaries,” said state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens.

“DEC’s goal is to support the Governor’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative by growing Lake Ontario’s high-quality angling opportunities and associated economic benefits,” Martens said.

“The State of Lake Ontario meetings provide an excellent opportunity for individuals interested in the lake to interact with the scientists who study its fisheries,” he said.

The Oswego County meeting will be from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday March 18 at the DEC Training Academy, 24 County Route 2A, Pulaski (the former Portly Angler Motel).

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The Oswego Lions Club will hold their 16th Annual Wine and Beer Tasting with Silent Auction from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 21.

Pre-sale tickets are available at Cakes Galore or from any Lions Club member.

For more information, contact Karen Hammon at 342-0043.

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If you’ve ever wanted to publish something yourself, then come to one of the introductory workshops offered at the Fulton Public Library.

ePublishing is cheap, fun, and easy to do. On Saturday, March 22, the library will offer two ePublishing workshops.  At 10 a.m., we will cover Kindle Direct Publishing, and the slightly more customizable CreateSpace.  Other publishing venues such as Lucidpress and ISSUU will also be showcased, time permitting.

At 12:30 p.m., Apple iBooks Author will be offered for those who use Apple Computers. Please bring your own device for a hands-on experience.

This free software will help you create the most breathtaking, interactive publications imaginable. The software is so intuitive that by the end of the workshop, you will feel comfortable creating your own publication fit for the iTunes Bookstore.

Both workshops are led by David Ghidiu, an instructional designer at Monroe Community College in Rochester. His specialties include online learning and electronic publishing.

Seating is limited; call 592-5159 to reserve your seat.

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The Minetto United Methodist Church will host a free dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 23.

The menu will be ziti and meatballs, vegetable and dessert. Donations are not expected but will be accepted.

A collection shed is available in the parking lot at the back of the church for usable clothing items that can be recycled. Acceptable items include: all clothing, shoes, sneakers, purses, blankets, sheets, pillowcases, drapes, and stuffed toys.

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Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County is offering the 2014 edition of the Spring Dairy Managers Meeting from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, March 24 at the Oswego County Federal Credit Union Community Room, located at 5828 Scenic Ave. (Route 3) in Mexico.

The cost is $15 and includes lunch.

From milk quality to profitability to robotic milking systems, this wide-ranging program will offer practical ideas for dairy farmers to stay afloat in the tough times and capitalize when milk prices are good.

Pre-registration is required and must be done by March 20. To register, call Brenda at 963-7286 and send payment to Oswego CCE, 3288 Main St., Mexico, NY 13114.

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Applications will be accepted until March 26 for the Civil Service test for purchasing clerk.

The pay rate for the position is $14.67 an hour. Candidates must be legal residents of Oswego County for a minimum of four months immediately preceding the date of the test, which is May 3.

Applications and further information area available at the Department of Personnel, County Office Building, 46 e. Bridge St., Oswego or by calling 349-8209 or going to www.oswegocounty.com/personnel/openings.html

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Little Utica United Methodist Church and the EJ Thomas United Methodist Men are holding their second annual Lunch and Movie event Saturday, March 29.

Lunch will be served at noon followed by a family-friendly Christian movie.

The menu consists of all comfort foods including baked beans, macaroni and cheese, chili, chicken soup, chili-cheese and regular hot dogs. Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches will also be served along with punch, milk, tea and coffee and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Cost will be $5 for adults, kids 12 and under $3. All proceeds will support their mission to provide children’s camper scholarships.

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The 50th annual Oswego County Numismatic Association Coin and Collectible Show will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 30 in the Fulton Municipal Building.

Free admission and free parking are available.

There will be a 50/50 drawing and attendees can bring items to the show to ask questions about them to club members.

There will be many dealers on hand with coins, stamps, postcards, pocket watches, jewelry, sports cards and other collectibles.

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Beaver Lake Nature Center is gearing up for its maple sugaring and pancake breakfasts in March.

A visit to Beaver Lake Nature Center’s demonstration sugarbush can be done from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays in March.

Every Saturday in March, from 9 a.m. to noon, the public can enjoy a hearty pancake breakfast, which also includes sausage and juice or fresh brewed coffee. Visitors, including groups, are served and seated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Do you know a child that has an interest in learning how to sew and does not know where to go for classes?

If the answer to this question is yes, then Oswego County 4-H is the solution. It is conducting a series of workshops, Learn to Sew, which will teach children ages 8 to 19 how to sew with a sewing machine and by hand.

The classes will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, Wednesday, April 16 and Thursday, April 17 at the Oswego County Cooperative Extension office in Mexico.

Each day participants will go home with a finished project: potholder, pillowcase, and decorative initial shaped pillow.

The program fee is $24 per child and covers all sewing supplies including sewing machines. Individuals can bring their own sewing machines if they choose.

To register for Learn to Sew or for more details, call the Oswego County 4-H Office at 963-7286, ext. 302 or email Mary Matteson at mmm65@cornell.edu by Thursday, April 10.

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Seasoned business equipment service technician James Rasmussen announced that Rasmussen Business Equipment, 296 E. Second St.,  Oswego, is now open for business.

Rasmussen Business Equipment specializes in the service and maintenance of high quality copiers, printers and fax machines.

Rasmussen, who has more than 23 years of experience in the business machine world, also holds certifications in the repair of more than 50 different types of business machines.

In addition to service and repair, Rasmussen Business Equipment also sells new copiers and printers as well as off-lease copiers.

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The Hannibal Fire Co. will have breakfast with the Easter Bunny from 8 to 11 a.m., Sunday March 30 at the fire station on Oswego Street.

There will be free pictures with the Easter Bunny provided By C. Perkins Photography from 9 to 11 a.m. The fire company will be serving pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries toast, sausage gravy, biscuits and beverages.

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BJ’s Outdoor Power Equipment Inc will have its 20th anniversary celebration from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 4.

There will be cake, drinks and exclusive promotions.

The company has been in business at 3649 State Route 3 in Palermo for 20 years  focusing on quality outdoor power equipment like Ferris mowers, Branson tractors and Snapper mowers and snow blowers.

The company can be reached at 598-5636.

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There are two caregiver support groups run in Oswego County by the Alzheimer’s Association.

They are:

** 7 p.m. the fourth Monday at Divine Mercy Parish Center (St. Michael’s), 592 S. Main St. in Central Square. Call Gail Lauricella at 676-7533 for information.

** 7 p.m. the fourth Wednesday at The Manor at Seneca Hill, 20 Manor Dr., Minetto. Call Dianne Morrisette at 349-5341 for information.