All posts by Debbie Groom

Porky and Buddy gives advice to teen who wants a dog

Dear Porky & Buddy,

Can you help me? I am 13 years old and I really, really, really want a dog, but my mom won’t allow it.

She says they are dirty and we can catch diseases from them and that she would end up taking care of it and blah, blah, blah.  What can I tell her to persuade her?



Dear Annie,

First of all, ditch the phrase “blah, blah, blah.” Then try this approach: “Ask not what your mother can do for you — ask what you can do for your mother.”

So . . . are your grades up to par?  Is your room clean?  Do you ever help around the house? Do you complain about it? Ditch the complaining.

Because, in fact, your mother is right.   If you have a dog it will be your parents’ ultimate responsibility, as the adults in the family, to make sure he is trained, fed properly, walked, taken to the vet, and licensed and to clean up or repair any damage that he might do in your house or the neighbor’s yard.

You are 13. You need to start acting like you are 23.

Make a pact with your Mom.  You will save up a certain sum of money to contribute toward the expenses of owning a dog. You will spend some time at the local shelter interacting with dogs (and not come home whining about how you want to adopt one immediately).

You will go to the library and check out some books about how to choose the right dog, how to care for a dog, how to train a dog, how to practice good hygiene  around a dog so you don’t catch any parasites or diseases. (It’s rare but it can happen.)

You will figure out what equipment your dog will need and what it will cost.  You will talk to a veterinarian about what she recommends for routine health care and the costs of vaccinations, office visits for check ups, and flea and heartworm medications.

Then, and only then, will you be ready to help your Mom (and Dad) with the responsibilities of caring for a new pet.

Will it work? We have no idea. Will it be worthwhile? Absolutely, because even if you still can’t persuade her, you will have impressed her with your maturity, you will have learned a lot, you will have had fun helping out with shelter dogs, and you will be ready for your own dog when you really are 23.

And if it does work then you and your Mom (and Dad) will experience both the joy and the awesome responsibility of having a dog in your life.

So good luck, either way!

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 Website is

Officials review county’s pressing healthcare issues

Healthcare professionals representing virtually every healthcare provider in Oswego County gathered recently at the American Foundry to review and discuss the most pressing health issues that exist in our county.

Facilitated by Danielle Wert, coordinator of the Rural Health Network of Oswego County, the event featured presentations from Dan Dey, chief executive officer of Northern Oswego County Health Services, Jiancheng Huang, public health director for the Oswego County Health Department, and Jeff Coakley, vice president for Strategic Services at Oswego Health.

Dey, who also serves as chair for the Rural Health Network’s advisory board, spoke of the role the Rural Health Network plays regarding health services in Oswego County.

“Sponsored by the state Department  of Health, the Rural Health Network of Oswego County is a collaboration of healthcare providers, human service agencies, health education services, and political leaders whose mission is to improve the quality, affordability, and availability of health care services in Oswego County by focusing key resources to address specific health care priorities and to strengthen the local health care system,” Dey said.

Dey said while Oswego County does have its challenges, the level of primary care providers and resources is one of the highest of any rural community in the country and the Rural Health Network is working to continue to retain and expose those resources.

Huang and Coakley echoed those remarks and outlined many of those challenges when they shared their respective health needs assessment results and community service plans.

According the results of the Oswego County Health Department’s health assessment, Oswego County’s risky health behaviors have resulted in higher than average rates than surrounding counties and the state for a number of health issues including; incidence of cancer, cancer related deaths, obesity, smoking, diabetes, and suicide.

All significant challenges, but Huang said they are challenges that can be met.

“Based on our physician to population ratio, doctors and other healthcare providers in Oswego County are working harder than those in other counties throughout the state,” Huang said.

“We and the other members of the Rural Health Network understand the challenges we are facing and are working to introduce new practices and programs,” he said. “Health is determined by where and how we live, work, study, and play.  We must establish initiatives with a goal of engaging community members and lowering the rate of risky health behaviors in Oswego County.”

One of these initiatives is the Oswego County Primary Care Collaborative, comprised of Oswego Health, Oswego County Opportunities, a nonprofit community action agency offering more than 50 human service programs, and Northern Oswego County Health Services.

Coakley said the collaborative is working to ensure that primary care services will remain available in Oswego County for the foreseeable future.

“Previously, the three health partners collectively operated six primary care clinics,” Coakley said “During the past year, these centers transitioned to NOCHSI, which can operate them more efficiently and with financial stability.

“This collaboration was recognized as the Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year by the New York State Association for Rural Health at its annual meeting in September,” Coakley said. “In addition, individuals from the three partnering organizations were honored as Healthcare Workers of the Year.”

Moving forward, partners in the Rural Health Network will expand their efforts of developing partnerships, coordinating resources, implementing programs and informing and educating the public in an effort to lower the risky health behaviors and reduce the rate of chronic diseases in Oswego County.

“We are fortunate to have a very robust Rural Health Network in Oswego County.  We have 35 active network member organizations and 10 subcommittees that meet monthly,” Wert said.

“The network membership represents virtually every aspect of healthcare, and our members are committed to improving the delivery of and access to quality and affordable health care in Oswego County and contiguous areas,” she said.

For more information on the Rural Health Network, go to

Fulton Bantam hockey team placed third in tourney

Submitted by Anna Clarke

The Fulton Bantam hockey team, sponsored by Comfort Windows and Doors and Fulton Savings Bank, placed third their division in the John Abbott Memorial Tournament in Pulaski.

The Raiders fell to Salmon River 5-4 and Lysander 6-5 but tied Geneva 4-4 in the deciding game.

Fulton 4, Salmon River 5

The Storm had Fulton down by one early in the game. Seth Cooney responded with two goals in a row, Evan Beckwith and team captain Nolan Bonnie assisting, to give the Raiders a one-point lead at the close of the first period.

Salmon River came on strong in the second, netting three goals to bring their team ahead. Tyler Samson picked up a rebound from C.J. Hyland with less than a minute in the second period.

Cooney completed his hat trick, Nate Shaw assisting, tying the game at the start of the third stanza.

The Storm took advantage of a power play to score the game winner with 3:08 on the clock.

Adam Bleiweiss stopped 32 shots in net for Fulton.

Fulton 5, Lysander 6

Lysander was first to light up the scoreboard early in the first period. Beckwith responded with a goal, thanks to a passing play between Samson and Nick Dingman to draw even.

Lysander took the lead by one again only for Beckwith to close the period with his second goal of the game.

The Lighting opened the second period with two in a row.  The Raiders ended the period in another tie, first with Cooney accepting a pass from Samson and netting it, then with Shaw landing a shot, Richie King credited with the assist.

Again, Lysander pulled ahead minutes into the third stanza. Bonnie skated the puck in and scored his 15th goal of the season to tie. In the final seconds, Lysander won the game on a penalty shot.

Bleiweiss made 19 saves for the Raiders.

Fulton 4, Geneva 4

The Generals put one point on the board at the start of the first period.  Raider Will Rattray responded with a goal to tie, Bonnie assisting, before a second Geneva goal put them ahead by one.

Early in period two, Caleb Clarke picked up a rebound from Cooney to tie.  The Generals responded with one of their own, only for Bonnie to land a shot at the close of the period, Beckwith assisting.

A goal from Geneva gave them a one-point edge near the close of the game.  Cooney skated the puck in and roofed the shot to tie with 3:24 on the clock.

Bleiweiss turned aside 12 shots in net for Fulton.

Fairgrieve students honored for being honest

Fairgreive Elementary School Principal Jean Ciesla honored students for demonstrating honesty, the school’s February virtue of the month.

Honesty is the ability to be sincere, fair and truthful. The virtue award winners were honored during a recent Morning Express program at the school.

The students received a special “Virtue of the Month” pin to wear for the day and keep as a token of appreciation from the school.

Those honored were: Danielle Gober, Lloyd LaValley, Riley Stoutenger, Keaton Kelly, Olivia Nesbitt, Orissa Nelson, Ivy Szlamczynski, Ethan Weaver, Tiffany Bean, Alexis Durval, Myles VanDyke, Morena Fenty, Tristan Kent, Chad Mansfield, Andru Walts, Aeilistar Vincent, Benjamin Maliszewski, Shyanne Miller, Kaylee Mason, Alexander Cook, Nicholas Belrad and Chelsea Barker.

Fairgrieve students behave well

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Fairgrieve Elementary School Principal Jean Ciesla recognized 22 students during a special Morning Express ceremony for their exemplary behavior.

Exemplary behavior is celebrated at the school with monthly Expectation Expert Awards. One student from each classroom, kindergarten through grade six, is selected each month for being outstanding role models of the school’s follow behavioral expectations: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe and Be A Problem Solver.

The Fairgrieve Elementary School Expectation Experts for the month of March are: kindergartners Benjamin Renfrew, Dominic Harris and Chloe Calkins.

First-graders Jayliana Padua, Brianna Bartlett and Liam Crandall

Second-graders Dawson Krause, Hanna Cook, Ethan Baker and Dominick Riedell

Third-graders Kiara Pittman, Dykel Ruscitto and Konner Moody

Fourth-graders Aidehn Welling, Noel Allen and Kaden Reynnells

Fifth-graders Nathaniel Searor, Jacob Russell and Jacob Rheaume

Sixth-graders students Brayden McGraw, Noah Allen, and Hannah Bort.

The students were each given a Fairgrieve Elementary School Expectation Expert Award and pencil to commemorate their achievement.

Mr. Pulaski contest raises money for good causes

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

From swimwear to formal wear, 10 Pulaski High School boys showcased their beauty, talents and interview skills on Feb. 28 as they vied for the distinction of Mr. Pulaski.

In front of a panel of judges (Pulaski school district teachers and faculty), the teens danced, sang, did karate and entertained a packed auditorium for the 12th annual event, which resulted in a title crown for Devon Bice.

Other contestants included runner-up Justin Crowl, third-place finisher Jacob Nicholson, and fourth-place finisher James Booth.

Rounding out the field were Max Lowery, Ashton Hanley, Josh Mason, Nick Visco, Ethan Jackson and Jacob Atkinson.

While there were plenty of laughs during the light-hearted event, it served as much more than a show. The charity event was designed to raise money for the Darcy Hilton Scholarship.

Hilton was a graduate of Pulaski schools who passed away due to cystic fibrosis. The scholarship was created in her honor.

Her nephew, Hunter Hilton, a former Mr. Pulaski contestant and one of the judges for the Feb. 28 event, said the annual competition helps unite the community while keeping Darcy’s memory alive.

“She was an amazing person, she always had a smile on her face,” her nephew recalled. “It’s amazing to see this kind of support – it’s breathtaking.”

In addition to the Hilton scholarship, this year’s event also raised money for the Don’t Skip a Beat Campaign, which was spearheaded by Pulaski senior Jimmy Carnes as a way to help students afford lifeguard training courses. Carnes is a past winner of Mr. Pulaski and served as the emcee for this year’s show.

Thanks to the support of those who attended the show, both Carnes’ campaign and the Hilton scholarship benefited in a big way, according to event coordinator and teacher Jill Truax. “We raised over $3,000, with a few donations yet to come in,” she said. “That is the best we have ever done at the event.”

Money also was raised from admission as well as an auction, which created fun-spirited bidding wars for the contestants.

Oswego Middle School lists honor rolls

Oswego Middle School Principal Mary Beth Fierro has announced second-quarter honor roll for her seventh- and eighth-grade students.

Seventh and Eighth Grade High Honor Roll

Cameron Adams Jr., Jea Adams, Alyssa Adner, Madeline Armet, Nickolas Back, Andrew Baker, Jade Ballard, Adeline Benjamin, Liam Benjamin, Tia Bevacqua, Emily Bradshaw, Jenna Bradshaw, Michaela Bradshaw, Samual Broadwell, Janie Brooks, Nicholas Brown, Grace Bruns, Nolan Busch, Brianna Bush, Crissa Cabanlig, Monica Cahill, Nolan Callahan, Andrew Caprin, Alec Caroccio and Joan Carroll.

Also: Joel Caster, Alyssa Cheeley, Claudia Chetney, Allison Choate, Melissa Chun, Gillian Clark, Christian Clary, Joshua Clyne, Christopher Colasurdo, Lateisha Colon, Dakota Contryman, Jared Crisafulli, Zachery Crossman, Reese Davis, Kaleya Dawley, Danielle DelConte, Stephen Demong Jr., Lauren Devinny, Anthony DiBlasi, Tiffany Ditton, Jack Dodds, Abigail Douglas and Jillian Dowdle.

Also: Colin Dowling, Megan Durval, Emilee Ekman, Alexander Emmons, Janelle Flack, Vanessa Flint, Maria Foti, Eryn French, Alecia Fuentes, Laurin Furlong, Mariah Galletta, Samantha Gardner, Nathaniel Gazda, Alexys Geers, Alyson Geers, Bailey Glennen, Jessica Godden, Kaitlyn Grant, Sophia Greene, Sophia Griffiths, Kaitlyn Gunther, Paige Hammond and  Faith Hannock.

Also: Mikayla Hardesty, Caitlyn Harpst, Zachary Haynes, Kieran Henrie, Alison Hibbert, Grace Hibbert, Katheryne Hibbert-Nelson, Madison Hill, Nicklas Holland, Leah Horn, Jarreau Hoskins, Hayleigh Hough, Rose Huang, Dawson Izyk, Alexis James, Dain Jerred, Tyler Johnson, Lauren Jones and Lara Kanbur.

Also: Kaitlyn Kelly, Spencer Kielb, Mya Kinder, Johnathan King, Lily Kingsley, Willow-Su Knapp, Derek Kohut, Kyle Kon, Sheyenne Lacey, McKenzie LaDue, Taylor LaDue, Alyssa Lapetino, Addison Lee, Alyssa Lee, Madison LeRoy, Eleanor Lisec, Kelly Lizotte, Sofia Loayza, Dillon Lopes, Matthew Mace, Elyse Maniccia, Elizabeth Martin, Austin Mason, James May, Julia May, Brookelle Mazzoli, Margo McBrearty and Liberty McCracken/

Also: Turner McElroy, Alaina McMahon, Benjamin McPherson, Clarissa Miller, Derek Morgia, Drake Morgia, Andrew Mosbo, Leah Mullen, Emilee Munger, Cody Murray, Alex Myers, Alexander Osetek, Dieonte Parker, Allison Pasco, Alexis Pero, Joseph Perras, Ivy Perry, Laurel Plunkett, Sofia Proano, Jason Proud, Deepi Pryor, Alexa Quesnell, Breeanna Race, Olivia Rando and Payton Reese.

Also: Abigail Reith, Dylan Reitz, Leanna Restani, Dane Richardson, Cassandra Romeo, Cole Ross, Isabella Sabatini, Lauren Samson, Jarod Sawyer, Katherine Shene, Logan Shepardson, Kennedy Shurtleff, Kristen Skinner, Katie Smith, Tessa Smith, Dylan Sobrino, Zachary Sova, Benjamin Stevens, Keyara Storrs, Christopher Sugar, Madalynn Swan and Matthew Taormina.

Also: Leah Taylor, Madelaine Taylor, Sydney-Yu Terpening, Ryan Tharrett, Joshua Thomas, Keegan Thompson, Reagan Thompson, Abhijit Tripathi, Julianne Verceles, Nicholas Victory, Catherine Volkomer, Samuel Waldron, Mattie Wallace, Halle Wells, Alexander Wetzel, Hannah Wise, Samuel Woods and Drew Youngman.

Seventh and Eighth Grade Honor Roll

Jason Abbott, Samuel Allen, Emily Alnutt, Scott Alton, Colton Avery, Griffin Axtell, Zachary Azzarelli, Allison Beckwith, Jacob Bellardini, Randy Bills, Kevin Blum, Michael Borer, Laura Bornheimer, Mary Bornheimer, Tegan Boyzuck, Noah Brancato, Dakota Brown, Donovan Brown, Steven Buck, Madison Bullard, Lauren Bush, Sierra Buske, Griffin Calabro, Tyler Calverase, Shae Carter and Zachary Cary.

Also: Sarah Casaletta, Abigayle Christian, Zoe Clark, Allyssa Copeland, Madelyne Cortright, Dominick Cullen, Tatyana Cummins, Maddison Dashnau, Thomas Davies, Brandon Davis, Noah Davis, Shelby Davis, Kyle Decker, Zoey Devoid, Nelson DiGregorio II, Nathaniel Distin, Kyle Dodge, Hayley Domicolo, Abigail Donahue, Daniel Doviak, Kayla Drosihn, Isabel Dunning and Jasmine Durham.

Also: Tyler Eckert, Mackenzie Endres, Alexa Fadden, Samantha Falcetti, Gabriel Fenzl, Dominic Ferlito, Huckabee Fitzgerald, Marissa Forger, Makayla Fragale, Cameron Garafolo, Matthew Gill, Fredrick Gonzalez, Daniel Gosselin, Nicholas Gray, Stephen Greene III, Evan Groff, Madeline Gunther, Amber Hammond, Nicholas Hanna, Noah Hardter, Jordan Hare, Jacob Harrington and Matthew Hibbert.

Also: Katherine Hill, Brianna Hoefer, Eric Hoefer, Timothy Hubbard II, Akira Huber, Quinn Jacobs, Hermes Jimenez Jr., Monique Jones, Joseph Kelly, Crystal King, Tara Kirwan, Hannah Koster, Krista Kraft, Abby Lagoe, John Lee, John Liberty, Connor Loadwick, Joshua Losurdo, Keith Loughrey and Evan Lupien.

Also: Aaliyah Maldonado-Cappetta, Robert McCarthy, Michael McConnell, Mickayla McMahon, Shaleen McMahon, Margaret McSweeney, Cassondra Monroy, Bradley Morrisseau, Justin Mull, Caitlyn Murphy, Daniel Murray, Nathaniel Murteza, Gavin Neuland, Heavenly Noel, Andrew Noyes, Aidan Osmun, Taylor Palmer, Breonna Parrott and Derek Pascuzzi.

Also: Maria Pelkey, Sean Pepe, Logan Pepper, Savannah Pero, Dominic Perrone, Trinity Perry, Cameron Peterson, David Pfeifer, Jonathan Plyler, Kaylee Polmanteer, Gregory Poston, Connor Pratt, Ethan Proud, Jessica Pullen, Derek Putnam, Marina Regan, Dale Reynolds, Jasiah Rios, Kaitlyn Romeo, Zackary Rousselle, Hannah Rowley, Abigail Roy, Kaileigh Roy, Katterina Ruotolo and Emily Sanders.

Also: Nicholas Searor, Kateri Senke, Jacob Sharkey, Nicolas Shoults, Caroline Sincavage, Cameron Smith, Hannah St. John, Tyler Steinbach, Alexis Sterio, Christian Talamo, McKinley Thompson, Isabella Thorpe, Maya Tonkin, Liam Tovey, Skylar Trapasso, Shawn Victory, Vlad Volkov, Kieran Vollmer, Griffin Vrooman, Eric Wallace, Skylar Wallace, Thomas Wallace, Tyler Wallace, Jacob Ward, Adam Weller, Bailey Whalen, Lindsey White, Alexander Whiteside, Trent Wilkinson, Rhiannon Winslow, Caitlin Wisniewski, Ryan Wood and  Eric Young.

Apply now for Oswego UPK program

Submitted by Oswego City Schools

The Oswego City School District is gearing up to welcome next year’s class of pre-kindergarten students!

Applications for the Oswego City School District Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program are now available. The program is designed for children who were born between Dec. 2, 2009 and Dec. 1, 2010 and is offered at no cost to children who are selected by lottery, said Cathleen Chamberlain, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

The UPK teachers and staff strive to create a warm and nurturing environment for all our four year olds. The goals of the program are to meet the individual needs of 4-year-old children in the areas of social, academic, language, emotional and physical development.

This prepares them to successfully enter kindergarten the following year.   The UPK teachers and District work closely together to deliver the best first educational experiences for your children.

Sessions will be available at the five elementary schools: Charles E. Riley, Fitzhugh Park, Frederick Leighton, Kingsford Park and Minetto. The program runs in conjunction with the regular school district calendar.

“There will be a maximum of 18 students in each class and the classes will be taught by a certified teacher and teaching assistant,” said Chamberlain.

Morning and afternoon sessions are available. The program runs from 9 to 11:30 a.m. for the morning session and 12:45 to 3:15 p.m. for the afternoon session.

Partial transportation will be offered for all four year olds. Students attending the morning session will be provided transportation to school and parents would be responsible for transportation home at 11:30 a.m.

In the afternoon session, parents are expected to transport their child to school at 12:45 p.m. and the school will transport the child home at 3:35 p.m.

An open house will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. March 26 at all elementary schools. Children are welcome to accompany parents, but are not required to attend.

This is an opportunity for everyone to see the classroom and learn more about the UPK program.

Anyone who would like their child considered for the program can complete an application — applications are available at all elementary schools, or the Office of Curriculum and Instruction on the first floor of the Education Center.

Questions? Call 341-2013. An application form is also available online at

Screening will be held in April, so send in applications as soon as possible.