Category Archives: Featured Stories

Fulton Lions hear talk about Lake Neatahwanta

Joe Fiumara, director of the Fulton Community Development Agency, made a presentation on behalf of the Lake Neatahwanta Revitalization Project at the Lions Club Nov. 14 meeting.

Also, Zac Merry was inducted as the newest member at the Fulton Lions Club.

Merry is a Fulton native and is a pharmacist at The Fulton Medicine Place, 360 W. First St. S., Fulton.

Lion Past President Frank Badagnani was his sponsor and Fulton Lions Past President Leo Chirello conducted the induction ceremony.

The Fulton Lions Club, also know for their Lions Loot Sweepstakes and annual Duck Derby, provides financial assistance for those in need of eyeglasses, eye exams and hearing aids to residents in the Greater Fulton area.

For further information on Fulton Lions, visit e-clubhouse.org/sites/fultonny/index.php. For more information on the revitalization project visit facebook.com/SaveLakeNeatahwanta.

Williams named program coordinator for Children’s Mental Health Services

Mary Margaret Pezzella-Pekow, executive director of Catholic Charities of Oswego County, has announced that Christine Williams has been named program coordinator for the agency’s Children’s Mental Health Services.

Williams, who previously served as a parent educator in Catholic Charities, will oversee the Family Education Partnership program as well as the Community Based Mentoring, and Keeping Kids Connected programs.

Williams said her passion for helping children and families helps her look forward to the challenge of growing these programs and serving as many youth and their families as possible.

“Having worked as a parent educator, I am very familiar with the need of our Children Mental Health Services and how successful they are,” she said. “I enjoy working with youth and helping them create stronger bonds with their families and their communities.”

In addition to her work as a parent educator, Williams has been a mentor with Catholic Charities’ Community Based Mentoring program.

The program matches youth between ages 8 and 17 with a mental health diagnosis with an adult mentor. The match is determined based on personalities, likes and dislikes, and other similarities.

“It’s a wonderful experience for both myself and my mentee. It’s an opportunity for youth to experience a different kind of family life and feel that they are a part of our family as well,” Williams said.

“Our Children’s Mental Health Services offer unique programs that makes families stronger, children stronger, and our community stronger. I am proud of these programs and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to oversee them and interact with the youth and their families they serve,” added Williams.

For more information on Catholic Charities’ Children’s Mental Health Services, call Christine Williams at 598-3980, extension 227, or visit the agency’s website at ccoswego.com.

OCO seeks donations for this year’s Blizzard Bags

Even though the grass is still green and the weather’s mild, members of Oswego County Opportunities’ (OCO) Nutrition Services already are planning for another winter season.

Each year, businesses, organizations and community members help OCO’s Nutrition Services prepare and distribute hundreds of “Blizzard Bags” to home delivered clients throughout Oswego County.

The “Blizzard Bags” program provides OCO’s clients with an emergency supply of food in the event that they are unable to receive their regular home-delivered meal due to inclement weather conditions.

Each “Blizzard Bag” is individually prepared and labeled and contains food and  a friendly note to brighten the recipient’s day and explain the purpose of the bag.

Last winter, more than 500 “Blizzard Bags” were delivered to OCO’s home-delivered meal clients with another 100 distributed to clients at OCO’s dining and activity sites.

With the “Blizzard Bag” project entering its eighth year, OCO’s Nutrition Services is looking forward to expanding the program and has begun soliciting donations and volunteers to ensure the program will be ready to go when the snow starts to fly.

“Our ‘Blizzard Bag’ program has been well received by both our clients and the community,” said volunteer coordinator Christine Parks.

“Thanks to the generous donations we receive from local grocery stores, concerned community members, service groups and our own OCO employees, we are able to ensure that our clients will have a nutritious meal on hand in the event that winter weather prevents the home delivery of their meal or if they are unable to visit one of our dining and activity sites,” she added.

Parks said they have already received support from the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of Oswego County.

“Many troops are returning this year to once again participate in our ‘Blizzard Bag’ project,” Park said. “Additionally, many elementary school students throughout Oswego County are decorating the bags, making cards and ornaments for inclusion in the ‘Blizzard Bags.’

“The students enjoy being a part of this community project. With all of this help from our community partners, this will be an awesome year for our home delivered clients,” said Parks.

OCO is accepting donations of food and paper bags for this year’s “Blizzard Bags.” Donation boxes can be found in the lobby OCO’s main office, at 239 Oneida St., Fulton, OCO’s Nutrition Services site at 5871 Scenic Ave. in Mexico, or at any of OCO’s eight Dining and Activity Centers.

Food items needed include:

Oatmeal packets

Ramen noodles/soup packets

Cereal bars

Small packaged crackers

Small packaged cookies

Small juice bottles/juice boxes

Hot cocoa packets

Tea bags

Hard candies

Microwave dish or packets

Fruit and pudding cups

Small can soups

OCO is also accepting donations of pet food so that they can offer pet “Blizzard Bags” for their clients who have pets.

For more information on donating items or volunteering to assist with OCO’s “Blizzard Bag” program, call Parks at 598-4712, extension 1807, or visit oco.org.

It’s time to ring bells for the Salvation Army

Oswego Mayor Thomas Gillen recently proclaimed Nov. 15 through Dec. 24 to be Salvation Army Kettle Fund Drive Season.

The proclamation noted all funds raised will be returned to Oswego County people in need throughout the year for clothing, housing assistance, groceries and hot meals from the soup kitchen each week in Oswego and Fulton.

The Christmas kettle campaign provides about one-third of the county corps’ annual budget. The goal this year is to raise $110,000.

Additional funds come from the Army’s mail appeal, donations for specific programs like the soup kitchen, and grants such as the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Many individuals, businesses, and organizations contribute gifts in kind of food and clothing.

Major James Purvis, corps officer, said there is a great need for kettle volunteers.  There are more than 20 kettle locations in Central Square, Fulton, Hannibal, Oswego, Phoenix, Pulaski and Sandy Creek.

The kettles are in place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Most kettle locations are outdoors, but there are indoor kettles available in Fulton, Mexico and Oswego. Anyone wishing to volunteer at a kettle may call 343-6491, or stop at the office at 73 W. Second St., Oswego from 1 and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Customer service topic of upcoming Women’s Network program

Kelly Sullivan, of Core Skills, True Impact, will show business owners how to attract and retain customers at the 8 a.m. Dec. 5 Women’s Network for Entrepreneurial Training’s (WNET) monthly breakfast meeting at the SUNY Oswego Phoenix Center in the Oswego County Industrial Park, Phoenix.

In this workshop, attendees will learn strategies for creating a relationship with customers that will keep them coming back. Sullivan will show those at the workshop how to dazzle customers with excellent customer service.

Sullivan is a strategic consultant, trainer and catalyst for change. In business since 1996, she has worked with manufacturers, universities, service-sector businesses and non-profit organizations to help them harness the potential of their people.

A certified facilitator and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, Sullivan has helped organizations develop employees, build skills, execute strategy, enhance leadership capability, improve collaboration and cultivate customer relationships.

Through networking, presentations and information sharing, the Women’s Network for Entrepreneurial Training provides professional development and personal growth for women business owners.

The cost for each seminar is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. Pre-registration is required by calling Operation Oswego County, weekdays, at 343-1545, or via e-mail elivoti@oswegocounty.org. Payments may also be made via Credit Card on our website.

For more information about WNET, visit http://www.oswegocounty.org/WNET/index.html.

Follow us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/WomensNetworkforEntrepreneurialTraining.

State Senate Report, by state Sen. Patty Ritchie

How does hundreds of extra dollars in your pocket each year sound?

If you’re a homeowner, that’s what you could be receiving through the state’s STAR program, which provides 2.6 million homeowners in New York state — including nearly 85,000 in our region — with savings on their school property tax bills each year.

Recently, dozens of people in the Central and Northern New York region re-registered for the program through my STAR workshops, held in Pulaski, Watertown and Gouverneur. Made possible with the help of local assessors, these events helped those who currently receive Basic STAR re-register for the benefit.

A new state law mandates re-registering to streamline administration of the program and help prevent fraud. The requirement does not affect senior homeowners enrolled in Enhanced STAR.

The Basic STAR exemption is available for owner-occupied, primary residences where the combined income of resident owners and their spouses is $500,000 or less. Married couples with multiple residences are only eligible to receive one Basic STAR exemption.

I’ve been working hard to spread the word about re-registering for this money-saving program, and as a result, more than 1,100 homeowners have clicked through my website to reapply online for Basic STAR.  But, state officials say more than 20,000 Basic STAR enrollees in our region still need to re-register.

Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a warning regarding deceptive STAR program solicitations. State officials said companies have been sending letters to homeowners offering to help them apply for their Basic STAR exemption in exchange for the first year’s tax savings.

Please know if you’re a homeowner, you can reapply on your own for free.

If you still need to re-register, you can find a link to do so on my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.  You can also call the special STAR hotline at (518) 457-2036.  Representatives will be available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Jerry’s Journal

The night the lights went out: 

How many people remember that night of the Northeast Power Failure?

Mary Ann Cartner does. With her permission, I share with you now her personal account of that very scary event:

“It was a dark, cold and rain-stormy night in Buffalo, New York on November 9, 1965. I was expecting my first child and was home alone as my husband was working the night shift.

“I lay on the couch covered with an afghan while listening to a Canadian radio station. The music playing was soothing and I started to doze off when suddenly it sounded as though the music was playing on a warped record.

“The lights went out. The room was silent except for the sound of heavy raindrops on the parlor windows. There was total darkness and I thought a fuse blew, but I had no flashlight so I couldn’t take the chance to get to the basement.

“I eventually found the way to my bedroom and was happy that we had a gas space heater to keep me warm until the power finally came back on. My son was born two days later on Nov. 11, 1965.”

I thank Mary Ann for her memory-sharing and for suggesting a website about the ‘Power Failure” that, according to the New York Times, not only snarled the Northeast, but left 800,000 caught in subways in NYC, tied up auto traffic, left the city groping in the dark, and lasted for 13 hours.

“The snarl at rush hour in New York City spread into nine northeastern states and two provinces of southeastern Canada. Some 80,000 square miles, in which perhaps 25 million people live and work,” the reporter Peter Kihss wrote.

The lights and the power went out first at 5:17 p.m. somewhere along the Niagara frontier of New York state and spread outward from there. “The tripping of automatic switches hurled the blackout eastward across the state” and all over the northeast… “It was like a pattern of falling dominoes,” he said.

While some people wondered if sabotage was the cause, that idea was dismissed by the government and soon after President Lyndon Johnson called for a study of the power failure and a task force was formed.

 In Popular Culture: 

With my curiosity wetted by Mary Ann’s email and the write up in the New York Times, I googled Wikipedia (the free online encyclopedia) to learn what the study showed.

“The cause of the failure was human error,” it basically said, and that “a lack of voltage and current monitoring was a contributing factor to the blackout.”

That discounts the sabotage notion but, if you’re a fan of UFO sightings, this is what the section of Wikipedia entitled “In Popular Culture” has to say about an idea that continues to float around even today:

“When no cause for the blackout was immediately apparent, several UFO writers (including John G. Fuller, in his book Incident at Exeter) postulated that the blackout was caused by UFOs. This was evident by numerous sightings of UFOs near Syracuse prior to the blackout.”

Well, Dear Reader, I don’t know much about UFOs in and around Syracuse or anywhere else, but I do know that Mary Ann’s recollection is sure to prompt a lot of memories for many of you out there.

Do you remember what were you doing that dark night 48 years ago? (PS: not every place in the Northeast had a long blackout because they had their power plant.)

Sunrise, sunset:

As it has become the custom over the years — my mother used to do it and before her my grandmother — I will be hosting several of my family members to sit down to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings with Ed and me on Thanksgiving Day.

Actually, everyone — men and women and children — help out with the food, the table setting up and the cleaning up afterward. I couldn’t do it other wise.

As I tell my kids, I want to do it as long as I can. When I can’t, I say, they will have to take over at one of their houses!

My mother’s been gone a year and I miss her. My grandmother’s been gone several years and I still miss her. That’s how it goes, years fly by and people you love come and go.

That’s why, as I grow older, I have become more aware of this “sunrise, sunset” thing they sing about in “Fiddler on the Roof”.

We humans sure do fiddle a lot of our life away, spending too much of our time on things that don’t really count.

Why aren’t we grateful for the goodness in our lives instead of dwelling on all the bad things we have no control over? Who cares if So and So does such and such? Aren’t they struggling with how to get through this life like everybody else is?

Watching the news on TV and seeing so much misery in this world makes me wonder what the heck I have to complain about.

Sure, I have my share of old age aches and pains, but who doesn’t? And sure, my house is not quite as tidy as it used to be, but who’s to judge?

And if I sit in my recliner with my feet up and rest a little more than I used to, so what?  I have it good. That’s all there is to it. I hope you do, too. Happy Bird-day, everyone.

Now, here’s my caveat: Reader beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share. Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up.

I hope you have fun reading my stuff. Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome.

You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email JHogan@aol.com. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

A-choo! A-choo!  And may God Bless You!

The sneeze – that sudden outburst from within that lets everyone around know that you are alive and well.

“Where,” you may sometimes wonder, “did that come from?”

My dictionaries are for the most part in agreement as to the definition of “sneeze.”

From Webster’s Scholastic Dictionary: “To emit air through the nose (and mouth) by a kind of involuntary convulsive effort.”

From The Random House College Dic-tionary the primary definition is quite the same. A second explanation is for the term, “nothing to sneeze at.” “Informal, to treat with contempt. Scorn (usually in negative construction):  ‘That sum of money is nothing to sneeze at.’”

Sneezing has been linked to sudden exposure to bright lights, a sudden drop in temperature, a breeze of cold air, a particularly full stomach or a viral infection.  There are sneezes to fit every person – every personality.

Some medical authorities think there are sneezing patterns, that is, in the number of times we sneeze and in the particular way we do it. This may be hereditary and vary in different families.

I seem to remember my mother sneezing only once at a time but making quite a production of it, finishing up with a scream that scared the wits out of everyone nearby.

I don’t remember my father sneezing.  If he did he may have done it quietly into a handkerchief, but in my memory he more often used his handkerchief to clean a spot off of his shirt, to put a quick shine on his shoes, and for various other reasons, but almost never to blow his nose or quell a sneeze.

I fondly remember my Uncle Les. At least once during every time we saw him, while in conversation with my father or someone else, he would go through all the motions of getting ready to sneeze.

His face would get bright red, he would get excited, bend over, make some loud noises as if he was going to sneeze violently. But instead of sneezing he would laugh hysterically and pound his knees. And that was our entertainment for that visit.

Unlike my father, I do sneeze – often four at a time. Recently, I have had bursts of up to 15 sneezes spread over a few minutes.

The nose is the proper channel for the air we live by, and our brain is so constructed that when anything interferes with that channel we breathe it out violently through the nose, and that is a sneeze.

Sneezing cannot occur during sleep; however, sufficient external stimulants may cause a person to wake from their sleep for the purpose of sneezing.

Sneezes move fast

In case you don’t know as much about the mighty sneeze as you should, read on.

*Sneezes travel at about 100 miles per hour.

*Exercise can make you sneeze.

*The longest sneezing spree is 978 days, a record set by Donna Griffith of Worcestershire, England.

*Sunshine may make you sneeze.

*The custom of saying “God Bless You” when someone sneezes was adopted by the Christian world from Pagan practices.

There’s more:

*It is good to sneeze while reading.

*It is lucky to sneeze while beginning an argument.

*It is lucky to sneeze while going to bed.

*If anyone looks at you when you want to sneeze you can’t do it.

There have been suggestions of how to cure sneezing.

One suggestion is to shoot off a revolver or anything to produce sudden fright.  It might be a lot less scary if you follow the second suggestion, which is to press your upper lip hard while reciting the alphabet backwards. I’ll get you started: zyxw.

Sometimes a sneeze can be stopped when we feel it coming by pressing on the nose, halfway down, just where the bone ends.

The following superstitious lines are still widely believed:

“Sneeze on Monday, sneeze for danger.

“Sneeze on Tuesday, kiss a stranger.

“Sneeze on Wednesday, receive a letter.

“Sneeze on Thursday, something better.

“Sneeze on Friday, sneeze for sorrow.

“Sneeze on Saturday, see your lover tomorrow.

“Sneeze on Sunday, your safety seek, or the devil will have you for the rest of the week.”

And, finally, this from A. A. Milne’s “Now We Are Six”: Sneezles

Christopher Robin had wheezles and sneezles,

They bundled him into his bed.

They gave him what goes with a cold in the nose,

And some  more  for  a  cold  in  the head. . .

All together now – “Ah – ah – ah-Chooooooooo!

I hope you covered your mouth and nose and tried to get away from innocent bystanders.

“Gesundheit!”  (And, by the way, I discovered some of the above information in Claudia De Lys’s fascinating book, “8,414 Strange and Fascinating Super- stitions”.

“Oh, No!” Colton

We sent our great grandson, Colton, a photo of our Halloween pumpkin sitting on our deck covered with four inches of snow.

When Colton, who is two and lives in North Carolina, saw it he said to his mommy, Courtney, who is our granddaughter, “Oh, no, there is snow on that pumpkin; where’s his coat?”

                                 . . . Roy Hodge