All posts by Debbie Groom

St. Patrick’s proclamation issued

Fulton Mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr. has proclaimed March 16, 2014, as a day of remembrance, celebration and recognition of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.  

Woodward presented the proclamation to Doug Malone and Jim Brannan, representatives of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Rev. Harold J. Flynn Division, Fulton.

St. Patrick’s Day events in Fulton will include a Mass at 4 p.m., Saturday, March 15, at Holy Trinity Church (309 Buffalo St.); a flag raising 11 a.m., Sunday, March 16, at the Fulton Municipal Building (141 S. First St.); and a St. Patrick’s Day Party from 2 to 8 p.m. March 16 at the Fulton Polish Home (153 W. First St.).

United Way seeks volunteers to decide where money is distributed

The United Way of Greater Oswego County would like to invite community members to be part of the agency’s program funding process by participating as a volunteer member of the United Way’s Community Investment Committee.

Comprised entirely of concerned community members, the United Way’s Community Investment Committee is responsible for evaluating various agency programs available in Oswego County and recommending to the United Way Board of Directors the funding support these programs should receive.

Participation in the United Way’s Community Investment Committee provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to learn more about their community and make critical decisions on how the money raised during the United Way’s Annual Campaign will be distributed to the county’s human services providers.

“The United Way addresses human service needs throughout Oswego County. It is of the utmost importance that the community is involved in this process,” said Kathy Fenlon, president of the United Way’s board of directors.

“Having volunteers from a broad cross section of the community is quite helpful as they all bring different knowledge and perspective to the process,” Fenlon said.

Volunteers will be asked to serve on one of five panels, each dealing with a specific field or services: emergency services; children and family services; health and special needs; senior services; and youth development.

Panel members will visit agencies that offer programs related to their specific field of service where they will receive a tour of the agency.

While the United Way’s program funding process does not begin until April, the United Way is recruiting volunteers now so the Community Investment Committee and the individual panels can be established and the volunteers can receive the training they need.

As a custodian of community contributions, United Way ensures those dollars are used in a cost efficient manner to fund effective, meaningful, unduplicated services.

“We provide our Community Investment Committee volunteers with a thorough overview of the principles and polices that are a part of our program funding process,” said United Way Executive Director Melanie Trexler.

“With those parameters in mind, their objective study and review of agency programs will help ensure that there will be an effective and well-balanced array of community services available in Oswego County,” she said.

Members are asked to invest about 15 hours of their time as they meet in April for training and then conduct agency tours and budget reviews throughout April and May.

“Volunteers learn about many of the services in Oswego County. They work together to make informed decisions, knowing that their input is important to the process,” Fenlon said. “It is a process that takes little time, but produces big results and provides volunteers with a real sense of accomplishment that many past volunteers have found rewarding.”

United Way Board of Directors member, Shawn Seale of Key Bank, and Debra Braden of Fulton Savings Bank, are co-chairs of the United Way’s Community Investment Committee.

For more information, or to volunteer, contact your United Way office at 593-1900, ext. 201.

Newton George Ward, Navy vet, owned Ward’s Service Station, sold Coca-Cola

Newton “Newt” George Ward, 87, passed away on Saturday, March 8, 2014, from complications of a recent surgery.

Newt was born in Lysander, NY on April 1, 1926. There was not a more appropriate day than April Fool’s Day for Newt to be brought in to this world. His constant humor and ability to make anyone laugh was undeniable.

Newt attended school in Fulton, NY.  He was a proud member of the Drum and Bugle Corp.

After falsifying his age, with his father’s permission, he joined the US Navy in 1942 at the age of 16. He served on the USS Abele and USS Hilarity, holding a rank of Motor Machinist Mate Third Class.

He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the American Theatre Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Medal and the Victory Medal during his service in the Navy. He received an honorable discharge March 25, 1946.

Throughout his life, Newt worked for various employers. One of his most memorable jobs was working as a salesman for Coca-Cola.

Newt loved to share with friends and family his success story of “outselling all route salesmen for the red Coca-Cola coolers” in 1954. In the small community of Fulton, 22 of the 23 service stations held Ward-sold red coolers for Coca-Cola. His gift of gab, work ethic and tenacity ensured his success in sales.

In addition, Newt operated the Mobil Gas Station, named Ward’s Service Station in Fulton, NY. He was always proud of the service he provided the Fulton community. He also enjoyed the flexibility this provided him to disappear for something very important, such as a good card game or exciting craps game.

Upon closing of Ward’s service station, Newt began his journey as a proud Teamster at Fiddler, the Oswego steam station and Nine Mile. He retired in 1991 as the Teamster steward.

Newt was a staunch union man and had no problems sharing his opinions on that issue. Shortly after retirement, Newt returned to the world of employment.

He was a truck driver for New Penn Golf Carts for several years. He not only knew where every diner was in New York, but where every golf course was as well.

At a young age, Newt had a passion for car racing. He was a frequent driver at The Oswego Speedway.

Newt’s impact on the local racing community still exists today. Driving the infamous polka dotted car, number 8, he won the Opening Night Feature at the Oswego Speedway in 1953.

This led to his love for NASCAR racing, always cheering for Dale Earnhardt Jr. In addition, Newt truly enjoyed a game of chance, whether it involved football, cards, horses or dice. Those who were able to join him at a casino could admire his ability to brave the odds – sometimes with success, sometimes not.

Knowing that so many of his friends and family supported Syracuse Athletics and the Yankee Baseball Club, he religiously watched every SU basketball and football game and NY Yankee game, always cheering for the opposing team.  The sole purpose of this was to be the first to mention an SU or Yankee loss to their fans.

Newt could always be heard repeating some of his famous lines such as “This isn’t my first rodeo,”  “Darlene Who?” or pointing to his head stating “What do you think?  This is just for holding a hat”?

Many moons ago, he was known to be in a bar stating, “When Newt Ward drinks, everybody drinks, which led to drinks being poured for all in the place, then when he finished his drink he said “When Newt Ward pays, everybody pays.”

We have been told he then had to quickly exit the bar.

Newt could also be found at Mimi’s Diner for breakfast nearly every morning.  He found one of the advantages of aging was the ability to flirt with the waitresses without being charged with harassment.

He always had a way to make whoever was waiting on him believe she was his favorite. The family would like to thank each and every waitress at Mimi’s for all of the joy and laughter they brought to him and taking care of him like he was their dad.

Newt had a lifelong love for chocolate and ice cream. He would always pick an extra large banana split over any nutritional meal. His family and friends could always plan on a nightly trip to Carvels, Byrne Dairy or The Big Dipper.

His wit, stories and sense of humor were unparalleled. This could often be verified by some of his closest friends, Randy Perry, Norm (Sparky) Bovay, Fred Bevacqua, Dick Clark and Gerry Allen.

Newt lived his life on his own terms.  He lived large, loved large and left a large legacy behind.

Newt is predeceased by his parents, Newton Nutting Ward and Genevieve (Horr) Ward, his brothers Jack and Elmer and his sister Blanche (Ward) Brewer.

Newt is survived by his wife Ann (Anabel) Ward; children, Deborah (Dick Campbell) Ely, and Connie Ward both of Fulton, Steve (Sue) Ward of Albany, Dan (Sandy) Shue, Shelly (Randy) Allen and Tammy (Blake) Bednarz; sister Rhoda Brown; and former wife, Barbara Stowell Nastasi, all of Fulton. He is also survived by his grandchildren Matthew, Brittany, Jocelyn, Christina, Jessica, Valentina, Kimberly, Courtney, Anna and Blake; niece, Judy (Bud) Young; nephews, Jim Mangano and Randy Brown. He also leaves behind his beloved dog, Chuck.

His family is very thankful for the love and care he received from the staff of St. Luke Rehabilitation Facility, St. Francis Living Facility and St. Joseph’s Hospital Staff on Unit 2-5 and Unit 1-8.

Calling hours are from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 12 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton, NY. Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 13, at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton.

If Newt has touched your life and you would like to share a memory at his funeral service please let one of his children know.

Contributions in memory of Mr. Ward may be made to the animal rescue organization, Paws Across Oswego County, 2035 County Route 1, Oswego, NY 13126.

Faculty, staff unions at CCC form new group

Faculty and staff at Cayuga Community College have united to form a new organization called United Cayuga Professionals.

Group officials say this organization was formed to facilitate transparency and clear communications within the college, while working on positive initiatives to bolster the work and learning environment for all at the Auburn and Fulton campuses.

United Cayuga Professionals combines members from the four unions which represent workers at the college, including the Faculty Association, the Administrative Professionals Group, the Educational Support Professionals, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 932-C .

Organizers say the need for the group grew out of the frustrations experienced after the college struggled with a budget deficit last spring, which led to the College’s Board of Trustees declaring a state of financial exigency, staff reductions, and the resignation of the CCC president.

They say the primary mission of United Cayuga Professionals is to promote a unified voice representing all workers to the college’s administration, Board of Trustees and the community.

“Our intention is to get all the employees of the college working together as a larger unit to make a better place for our students and for our employees,” said Doug Brill, one of the founding members of United Cayuga Professionals and a member of the Administrative Professionals Group.

“Our first full group meeting was a way for many workers to begin healing,” said United Cayuga Professionals founding member Professor Dia Carabajal.

“We suddenly found ourselves in a crisis, no one knew who to be upset with, so we’re hoping this group will help us build relationships that would stand if we face a crisis again,” Carabajal said.

“As a member of the Educational Support Professionals group and the United Cayuga Professionals committee, I would like to see the members of the four unions work together to become more of a solid unified workforce here at the college,” said Patricia Hamberger, senior typist.

“Morale issues are also on the forefront of everyone’s mind as well.  I have always been proud to be an employee here and would like to feel that way again,” she said.

“I think the four unions working together only makes sense and will be beneficial for the college,” said Henry D’Amato, mechanic and a founding member representing the Mechanics and Custodial Unit.

Already the group has experienced success.

Founding member E. Bruce Walter says CCC’s Board of Trustees has agreed to have a representative from each union participate on the search committee for a new college president.

They also hosted a guest speaker in December. Robert Freeman, executive director of the New York Department of State’s Committee on Open Government, gave a presentation to the group on open meeting laws and the Freedom of Information Act.

“We’re committed to learning together so we can help facilitate open and clear communication among all of the College’s constituents and the College’s Board of Trustees,” said Carabajal.

Nine Mile 2 down again

Nine Mile Point Unit 2 automatically shut down at about 4:30 p.m. Monday when a worker inadvertently contacted a highly sensitive plant component. All safety systems responded as designed and the plant went offline as expected, safely and without incident.

This issue is unrelated to last week’s shutdown, which was caused by an electrical equipment failure.

Nine Mile Point’s reactor protection system uses highly sensitive equipment to monitor a host of plant conditions and components, constantly looking for signs of a potential issue. When an anomaly is identified, the system is designed to automatically shut down the reactor. 

Station operators informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and state officials of the issue. The temporary shutdown does not present a risk to public health and safety and is not expected to impact electrical service to homes and businesses in the region. 

Nine Mile Point 1 and 2 are owned and run by Constellation Energy Nuclear Group.

Nine Mile 2 back on line

Constellation Energy Nuclear Group’s Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station Unit 2 is back online and achieved 100 percent yesterday afternoon.

Station personnel completed necessary repairs and post-maintenance testing in order to return the unit to service.

The plant had been safely shutdown on Tuesday due to an on-site electrical component failure on the non-nuclear side of the plant.

OPINION: It’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

By Debra J. Groom

I was reading through some things on my desk and came across a notice that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

I thought I would toss in my few cents on this subject in hopes of getting a bunch of Oswego County residents off their keisters to get their colons checked out.

The best screening available for colon cancer is the colonoscopy. Yeah, I know, the dreaded colonoscopy. There may be a few of you reading this saying to yourself “Hey, no one is going to put a scope up, well, you know where.”

But listen. It really isn’t that bad. And if it can save you from dying from colon cancer, I’d say, go for it.

I have had five colonoscopies. Colon cancer and colon problems run in my family. Both of my grandfathers had colon cancer. One died from it (back in 1944, before there were the tests and treatments we have today). The other was cured, but he lived with a colostomy for the rest of his life.

My mother had problems with benign colon polyps and my sister has had colon difficulties too. So you can bet your bottom I don’t miss a colonoscopy.

The Centers for Disease Control says colon cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women in the United States. It also is the second-leading cause of death from cancer for men and women combined in the United States.

In 2010 (the most recent year numbers are available), 131,607 people in the United States were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, including 67,700 men and 63,907 women.

A total of 52,045 people in the United States died from colorectal cancer, including 27,073 men and 24,972 women.

But here is the most important statement from CDC:

“Screening can find precancerous polyps — abnormal growths in the colon or rectum — so that they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure. About nine out of every 10 people whose colorectal cancers are found early and treated appropriately are still alive five years later.”

Are you convinced yet?

Well, while the colonoscopy sounds yucky, it really isn’t that bad.

You spend the day before on a liquid diet, which leads to ravenous hunger. But hey, it’s only one day.

You drink some bad-tasting stuff the night before the procedure that makes you spend much of the next few hours on the porcelain throne. But you have to clean out that colon so the doctor can get some clean, pretty pictures.

That part — called the prep — is actually the worst part. And think about it, isn’t it worth it to go through a few hours of discomfort to live to a ripe old age with your colon in tact?

The test itself, I have found, is a breeze. I have always been totally knocked out by the anesthesia — I’ve never felt a thing. After, you lay in the recovery room for a bit, talk to your doctor to see what they found and then off you go. Most people can eat a regular meal not too long after the test is over.

Even with my extensive family history, I have this done only once every five years.

Of course, people should always mention any symptoms they have to their doctors immediately. The CDC lists the symptoms as blood in or on your stool (bowel movement, stomach pain, aches, cramps that don’t go away and losing weight when you don’t know why.

So if you have any symptoms or you’re over 50 and just want to be checked out, celebrate this month by see a gastroenterologist and having a colonoscopy.

I think that’s a small price to pay for life.

Fulton man charged with making meth

A 37-year-old Fulton man was arrested by Oswego police March 4 for a felony count of manufacturing methamphetamine in the third degree.

Ronald E. Recore, of 107 Highland St., Fulton, also was charged with a misdemeanor county of petit larceny for allegedly stealing a Rite Aid brand instant cold compress from the MidTown Plaza earlier in the day.

Oswego police said instant cold compresses contain ammonium nitrate, an ingredient used in the “one pot” method of making methamphetamine.

Recore was arrested after a car he was in was stopped by Oswego Police on East Ninth Street. As a safety precaution, East Ninth Street between East Bridge Street and East Cayuga Street was closed off to all traffic while Oswego City Fire Department stood by on scene.

Recore was being held in jail pending his arraignment. The investigation is continuing and further arrests are likely.

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