All posts by Debbie Groom

Forum on school finance canceled

Due to the severe weather conditions expected across Central New York, tonight’s scheduled community forum at West Genesee High School, “Our Kids, Our Schools… Our Future!,’’ has been CANCELED.

The event, coordinated by the Central New York School Boards Association and Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES and Oswego County BOCES, will not be rescheduled.

Even though the community forum has been canceled, CNYSBA is calling on its members to write, email or phone their state legislators over the next two weeks to continue to push for the full repeal of the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

This is the second time the program was canceled due to bad weather.


Phillips senior VP at Pathfinder Bank

Daniel Phillips has been named senior vice president and chief information officer at Pathfinder Bank, said Thomas W. Schneider, president and chief executive officer.

“We are pleased to announce Dan’s promotion to senior vice president,” Schneider said. “He has provided Pathfinder Bank with years of experience in financial information technology, and his leadership, ability to execute and strategic thinking have been driving forces to help advance our bank.”

As a member of the bank’s senior management team, Phillips will oversee all areas of technology and information systems, as it relates to the bank’s strategic technology plan and overall strategic plan.

He will also continue to oversee the bank’s eCommerce and IT Departments.

Phillips has been with Pathfinder Bank for 15 years and in the financial information technology industry for 25 years.

A 1987 graduate of Le Moyne College in Syracuse with a bachelor of science in business administration, Phillips resides in Oswego and has two children, Eric and Taite.

He is active with the Alumni Association Board and Advancement Committee at Le Moyne College, and is a Pathfinder Bank Money Smart Educator for the  “Keeping Safe in an Electronic World” curriculum.

Pathfinder Bank is a New York state chartered savings bank headquartered in Osweg. Deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The bank has eight full-service offices located in Oswego, Fulton, Mexico, Lacona, Central Square, and Cicero. The company reported total assets of $503.8 million and total shareholders’ equity of $42.7 million for the period ending Dec. 31, 2013.

Poetry Corner

After an Adirondack Snowstorm,
by Jim Farfaglia

The world is black and white again;


even a mountain range of fir trees

softly darkens

and every branch, bush and boulder

gently hold

a million  flakes, so quietly balanced,

like life here

where a telephone wire’s sole purpose

is to guide me

on the pathway of my peaceful heart.

Jay Ungar, Molly Mason come to Oswego Music Hall March 22

Jay Ungar and Molly Mason will bring their consummate musicianship, warmth and wit, and clear love of music that has delighted audiences world wide to Oswego’s Music Hall at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 22.

Ungar and Mason have become one of the most celebrated duos in the American acoustic music scene.

They have been heard on Ntaional Public Radio programs like A Prairie Home Companion, or soundtracks from movies such as Brothers Keepers, or the haunting music composed and performed for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary The Civil War.

Their powerful melody, Ashokan Farewell, went on to win a Grammy and an Emmy nomination, took on a life of its own, and is played by fiddlers and classical musicians and worldwide.

“Jay Ungar and Molly Mason play music from the heart which reminds us of the best in all of us” — Ken Burns, producer of PBS’ The Civil War

Ungar and Mason make music that is simple and overwhelming . . . joyful and full of feeling . . . an apotheosis of American traditional music” — Garrison Keillor, host and creator of A Prairie Home Companion

Another critic raves about Jay and Molly, saying that they “complement each other like a finely crafted fiddle and bow.”

How fortunate that these musicians met each other — with their enormous talent on violin, mandolin, guitar, banjo, and piano.

He was a Brooklyn kid, and she grew up in Washington State. He was raised on pop music of the 1940s and ‘50s.  She liked traditional fiddle music and ‘30s and ‘40s tunes.

He hung our in Greenwich Village coffeehouses and roamed North Carolina and Tennessee, seeking out traditional musicians. She played gigs on the West Coast and loved swing and jazz. But meet they did — by chance — at a rural New York club in the 1970s.

Their careers intertwined a bit, and, a little after Ungar began his Ashokan Fiddle & Dance camps in the Catskills (a center for fiddlers, guitarists, mandolin players, percussionists, dancers, dance callers and instructors), Mason signed on as a partner.

Their early band, Fiddle Fever, recorded two classic LPs, now available on CD as The Best of Fiddle Fever (Flying Fish Records). Many recordings and collaborations later, married since 1991, they are still an artistic force.

One example from 2002: Jay and Molly produced, arranged and performed on A Song of Home, a collaborative recording for RCA, with flutist Sir James Galway, mandolinist Peter Ostroushko and bassist Steve Rust.

Check out some of their music on

The concert venue is the McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake St., Oswego. Tickets can be purchased on line at or at the river’s end bookstore, 19 W. Bridge St., Oswego.

Holders of tickets purchased before 1 p.m. on the day of the concert will have preferred seating. After 1 p.m., seating will be general admission.

Ticket prices for this event are $18 if purchased in advance and $22 at the door.   Children 12 and under are half-price; under 5 is free.

The Music Hall’s next concert, April 5, will feature Run Boy Run, a five-piece band that thrives on the tension between music of the traditional Appalachian South and our 21st century.

For more information call 342-1733 or access the Music Hall website:

Arts Center Artist of the Month

The Arts in the heART Gallery has selected Sharon Vita to be March’s artist of the month.

This talented artist has many different facets of her work. She is a well established artist out of Onondaga County who has sold many pieces of her work, and has explored and expanded her ability to work with many different media.

Some of her work on display at the gallery at 47 S. First St., Fulton consists of oils, acrylics, water colors, mixed media and collage. She has a lot of variety to offer with her selected pieces on display.

Her subjects include landscapes, still life, abstract and realism to name a few.  This artist and many more are available for viewing at the gallery, which is open Tuesday through Saturday.