Category Archives: Featured Stories

Doctor knows benefits of New Vision program

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

A passion for health care and helping others, which was ignited during observational rotations as an Oswego County BOCES New Vision Allied Health student, has transformed into a successful career in the medical field for Pennellville native Jerry Emmons.

The 30-year-old director for emergency services at Oswego Hospital said his experience in New Vision created a solid foundation for his future.

“There’s no other way to see so many different parts of medicine as you do in New Vision,” he said. “It was an investment on the part of my school district, but I’m so glad that I had that opportunity.

“I met a lot of interesting people, a lot of professionals that I would work with later on in my career  … So much of what I did after school came out of the New Vision Program,” he said.

From 2000 to 2001, Emmons was enrolled in the BOCES-run program, which provides Oswego County students the opportunity to enhance their college applications by experiencing various health care settings.

“You would go … out on the (surgical) floor with the nurses, various doctors’ offices, primary care offices that were affiliated with the hospital, local cardiologists’ offices, there was a nursing home experiences … a little bit of everything,” he said.

While Emmons experienced every aspect of the health care field, he said a ride-along with Menter Ambulance was a life-changing opportunity that he was able to experience thanks to New Vision.

“I had never been on the ambulance before and I had no exposure to EMS, but I loved it,” he recalled. “It was just a chance encounter. After that, I was hooked.”

With an interest in emergency medicine, Emmons took the knowledge he gained through New Vision and pursued a biological sciences degree from Cornell University — spending school vacations and breaks as a paramedic with Menter, where he now serves as medical director.

Emmons earned his medical degree from Upstate Medical University in 2009.

After completing his residency there, he decided that home is where the heart is.

“I decided that I really wanted to be in this community. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to go to a big city,” Emmons said.

He began his tenure as the director for emergency services at Oswego Hospital Jan. 3, overseeing a department that treats nearly 25,000 people per year.

From student to teacher, Emmons now provides instruction to New Vision Allied Health students during their rotations through the Oswego Healthcare System.

“Definitely if we have an interesting case or if we’re going to do a procedure, I’ll ask them to come in for that,” Emmons said of today’s New Vision students.

“It is very rewarding. When I’m teaching them I’m telling them, ‘Look, this program is really worthwhile if health care is something you want to do, this is definitely a good foot in the door,’” he said. “It’s also valuable to those who discover that healthcare is not what they are interested in — sometimes rotations are the only way to know.”

While New Visions does serve as a “sneak peek” into the medical field, the success of the program has been much more than a preview for students like Emmons.

The Oswego County BOCES Career and Technical Education Department offers three New Vision programs for high school seniors: Allied Health, Specialized Careers and Law and Government.

Each program provides a balance between classroom instruction and hands-on work in the career field.

For more information, visit oswegoboces.org or call 963-4255.

Fulton wrestlers strive for sectional, state supremacy

By Rob Tetro

The Fulton varsity wrestling team comes into the 2013-14 season with great expectations.

Varsity wrestling coach Chris Stalker said the Red Raiders are hard at work preparing to make a run at both a Section 3 Championship and The Class B State Championship.

However, Stalker is aware of the winning tradition associated with Fulton wrestling. In fact, he suggests the best way to respect the Red Raiders winning tradition is to duplicate it.

“We always want to be one of the top 10 teams in all of New York state,” Stalker said.

Fulton will have its work cut out for it to accomplish those goals. Only a few wrestlers return from last season’s team. For the most part, the Red Raiders are a young and inexperienced squad.

In preparation for the upcoming season, wrestlers have been allowed and encouraged to take part in the morning lift sessions available to them four days a week before school.

Fulton also has a wrestling club in which the school’s wrestlers can participate. The wrestling club is an open mat workout available to The Red Raiders 3 days a week.

Currently, Fulton is in good physical condition, but Stalker said there is room for improvement. On top of the morning workout sessions and the wrestling club, the Red Raiders practice usually lasts 2 to 2 ½ hours.

Stalker said recentl practices have gotten more and more intense. Aided by an additional 30 minutes of conditioning development, the wrestlers are showing they are physical capable of handling more intense practices.

The Red Raiders have not yet named team captains for the upcoming season. The criteria Stalker uses for naming a captain is based on leadership, commitment and initiative.

A wrestler Stalker is considering naming a captain is someone who leads both verbally and with action and makes the most out of every practice — a wrestler who takes advantage of the opportunities that the morning lift sessions and the wrestling club offer is also someone who could be named a captain.

As Stalker assess his teams’ schedule, two opponents immediately stand out —   Phoenix and Baldwinsville. Stalker considers those teams to be two of the top teams in all of Section 3.

The Red Raiders will be looking to avenge losses to both schools from last season.

Interestingly enough, Stalker feels his teams’ inexperience can be considered a strength. Thus far, Stalker’s young team has shown development as a result of a lot of hard work and enthusiasm.

Child Advocacy Center names three new board members

Karrie Damm, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, has announced the agency recently welcomed three new members to its board of directors.

Mary Helen Park, a retiree from the Oswego City School District Technology Department, has served as a volunteer for McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center in Onondaga County and Prevent Child Abuse NY in Albany.

Her experience with child abuse prevention and her passion for protecting children made the opportunity to serve on the CAC’s board of directors very appealing.

“Reports of child abuse in the news bother me and made me want to get involved in its prevention,” Park said. “I had read several articles about the CAC and was impressed with their efforts. The CAC does a tremendous job supporting children of abuse as well as providing outreach programs for prevention.

“With the increasing numbers of abuse and neglect in our area, I feel there is much more to be done to protect children.  With my primary interest being prevention, the CAC is a perfect fit for me,” said Park.

Allison Nelson, a lawyer in private practice with the Nelson Law Firm, has prosecuted neglect and abuse cases in Oswego County for much of her career.

Upon establishing the Nelson Law Firm two and half years ago, she began representing and providing legal services to the Oswego County Department of Social Services.

“As my firm handles all neglect/abuse cases for Oswego County, I am very aware of the work that the CAC does,” Nelson said. “It is important for children who have been abused to disclose this information in a child-friendly site and as few times as possible.

“The CAC provides a one-stop location where interviews and physical examinations of children can occur in a location that is child-friendly and provides a location for those children to receive counseling after experiencing a trauma such as child abuse,” Nelson said. “I am ecstatic about being a member of the CAC board of directors. The CAC is something I hold near and dear to my heart and I look forward to offering my expertise and helping to enhance the CAC.”

John Zanewych of Big John Sales, discovered the CAC when he attended a function of the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce held at the CAC offices. When he heard the CAC was interested in adding new board members, he knew he wanted to be involved.

“Prior to the meeting I was not aware of the CAC and the work that they do,” said Zanewych. “Child abuse is far too prevalent. It is a vast problem that needs to be addressed.

“The CAC does wonderful work and I am happy to be able to help them in any way I can. Additionally, as a board member for the Chamber of Commerce, as well as the CAC, my hope is that we may develop a synchronicity between the chamber, its members, and the CAC that may lead to increased awareness and bigger and better events that benefit the CAC and the businesses it partners with.” he said. “This is an exciting adventure. I have already been named co-chairperson of the fundraising committee and I am looking forward to being a CAC board member.”

“We are fortunate to add these talented individuals to our board of directors,” said Damm. “They bring with them a wide range of skill sets and experiences that will undoubtedly prove beneficial to CAC and help us focused on our goal of eliminating child abuse in Oswego County.”

Located at 301 Beech St. in Fulton, the CAC of Oswego County is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides a safe, child-friendly site for the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse.

The CAC also has a satellite office located at 4822 Salina St., Pulaski.

For more information on the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, call 592-4453.

Events needed for Wednesday cover photos

The Valley News is seeking events coming up during the end of December and beginning of January for cover photos for our Wednesday editions.

If you have an event coming up within a week or two after the following dates, please call Debbie Groom, managing editor, at 598-6397 or email her at editor@valleynewsonline.com to line up a cover photo for your event.

The dates are: Dec. 18; Dec. 24; Jan. 8; and Jan. 22.

 

 

 

 

SUNY Oswego visiting professor tells stories of minorities in politics

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Miriam Jiménez of the SUNY Oswego political science faculty published her first book last month, using a database she built from scratch and years of research to construct a micro-political model for the rise of ethnic minorities in Congress.

The book is full of their stories and creative electoral strategies.

Published by Routledge of New York and London, “Inventive Politicians and Ethnic Ascent in American Politics: The Uphill Elections of Italians and Mexicans to the U.S. Congress” began as Jiménez’ quest for her dissertation in political science at City University of New York’s Graduate Center.

The author reconstructs the tales of ethnic minority politicians in Congress, from Italian-American Fiorello La Guardia’s breaking through the Tammany Hall machine in 1916 to such pioneering Mexican-American politicians of the 1960s as Edward Roybal and on to the rise of Latinos as pan-ethnic identifiers, including Loretta Sanchez in the 1990s.

Jiménez, a visiting assistant professor at Oswego through 2013-14, scoured archives and primary sources, periodicals and scattered studies of ethnic experiences for the kind of intimate detail she knew could move her away from traditional models.

She detailed a process of different and uneven stages of ethnic ascent to Congress, starting from marginalization, grudging acceptance, isolated victories and, ultimately, origin-blind acceptance.

Data on the history of ethnic minorities in Congress did not exist, so she built the dataset herself, painstakingly assembling the names — some of them Anglicized — of more than 150 ethnic House and Senate members from 1880 to 2012.

She used a wide variety of sources to reconstruct the tales, resourceful strategies, successes and failures of Italian-Americans and Mexican-Americans in congressional politics.

“I wanted to re-conceptualize how ethnic politicians gain access to the process,” Jiménez said.

“I took an interdisciplinary approach.,” she said. “My sister, a historian, talked to me about micro-history, changing the lens to look at individuals in their historical context rather than starting with the idea of ethnic minorities as homogeneous or with simplistic analyses of registration and voting patterns of an ethnic group.”

‘New insights’

Peer reviewers of the work praised her for breaking new ground.

“Miriam Jiménez’ innovative micro-political approach in this book yields new insights that turn some of the axioms of common wisdom on their head,” wrote Richard Alba, sociology professor and expert in ethnicity and ethnic identity at the CUNY Graduate Center. “As a result, the book breathes freshness into a comparison of Italians and Mexicans that has become a bit stale in the hands of others.”

Louis DeSipio, a political science professor with expertise in Latino politics and immigration at University of California-Irvine, wrote, in part, “Jiménez’ study carefully assesses not just the ethnic candidates who sought election to Congress and how they positioned themselves among co-ethnics, but also the critical role of changing political environments and institutional relationships to ensure their election to office. This book adds to our understanding of the likely future electoral influence of today’s immigrant-ethnic populations.”

Jiménez, understanding that the primary audiences for her book likely will include political scientists, politicians and students of ethnic political incorporation, said she also consciously tried to invite interested readers from the general public with her writing style and storytelling.

 Compelling stories

“The book is full of stories and against-all-odds case studies,” she said.

For example, Jiménez said, the story of how Fiorello La Guardia, a former congressman from and three-term mayor of New York City, ascended politically is dramatic and compelling.

“You really have to understand the context of the times in which he lived — Tammany Hall, kingmakers, party-centered politics — to realize what political marvels he achieved,” Jiménez said. “He campaigned like crazy, he understood the electorate and spoke their language — he was, in fact, multilingual and he used those languages. Inventiveness, energy, mercurial character — La Guardia always exceeded expectations.”

Edward Roybal beat an incumbent in 1962 to become the first Mexican-American elected to Congress in California in nearly 100 years. To accomplish it, he put together a multiracial coalition, spoke for the powerless and actively supported President John F. Kennedy through Viva Kennedy clubs. He stayed in Congress for 30 years and is credited with inspiring many Latinos to become politically involved.

Hannibal football players receive honors

By Rob Tetro

Eleven Hannibal varsity football players earned Class C-West All League Honors for the 2013 season.

Eight of those players were named to first and second offensive and defensive teams, while the remaining three Hannibal football players earned honorable mention honors.

Senior running back Tim Webber, senior quarterback Trevor Alton and senior kicker Lander Ezama were named to the Class C-West, Offensive All-League First Team. While junior defensive end Nate Welling earned First Team, All-League Defensive Honors.

Junior tight end Austin Mattison and freshman wide receiver Conor McNeil were named to the Class C-West, Offensive All-League Second Team. Senior linebackers Christian Knox and Greg Hadcock came away with Second Team, All-League Defensive Honors. Charlie McCraith, Devon Weldin and Jake Whitcomb were given honorable mention acknowledgement.

Fulton wrestling shows more depth

By Rob Tetro

When talking to Fulton Junior Varsity Wrestling Coach Jeff Waldron, he suggests that the Fulton wrestling program is as strong as it’s ever been.

This season, Fulton’s varsity and junior varsity teams will have a combined 70 athletes. Waldron will coach 55 of those wrestlers on the JV squad.

But, just a few years ago, the Red Raiders lacked the depth they have this season. Three years ago, Fulton’s JV team was barely able to provide an athlete for each weight class.

Waldron’s athletes come into the season having had a very productive offseason. His team took part in clinics, wrestling tournaments and a weight lifting program. A year ago, the junior varsity team lost only one of the dual meets they participated in.

They ended the season by winning The Martin Luther King Duals in Penfield. Waldron said this event is considered one of the most challenging dual tournaments New York state has to offer.

To qualify for The Martin Luther King Duals, a team not only has to be able to fill a lineup but they must have a competitive record as well.

Recently, G. Ray Bodley High School has allowed athletes to enter the weight rooms before school to obtain the head start they need on their daily fitness. During one of last week’s early morning workouts, 28 wrestlers were in the weight room continuing their preparation for the upcoming season.

While looking at the program from top to bottom, Waldron is excited about the amount of younger wrestlers they being developed. With only 18 out of the 55 varsity and junior varsity wrestlers being juniors or seniors, Waldron looks to the future with optimism.

He feels both teams will be able to go to events this season with the mindset that they can win each one. Waldron also believes if a varsity wrestler is unable to perform, his wrestlers will be more than ready to fill the void.

“I expect that if a varsity wrestler cannot perform for any reason, such as an injury, the JV guy in his weight class can step up and do the job.”, Waldron said.

Palermo woman chosen to have artwork displayed in senator’s office

A budding watercolor painter from Palermo was selected to have her artwork grace the office of state Sen. Patricia Ritchie through her “Senator Patty Ritchie Celebrates Local Artists” program, an initiative organized to highlight local talent from Central and Northern New York.

Nearly two dozen artists have been featured through the program, which showcases local artists from the region with free public displays of artwork in the senator’s district offices in Oswego, Watertown and Ogdensburg.

“From painters to photographers, our region is home to so many individuals with a broad range of talents,” Ritchie said. “I’m so pleased to be able to celebrate their creativity and draw attention to those who are creating works of art right here in our backyard.”

Phyllis DiSalvo of Palermo, who began watercolor painting in 2008, has her work exhibited now in Ritchie’s office at 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego. DiSalvo continues to grow as an artist by learning new techniques using different types of media.