Category Archives: Featured Stories

Porky & Buddy tackle cat loneliness

Dear Porky,

My six year old female cat, Sophie, has been with me since she was a kitten.

Her best buddy, Squiggles, (He came with that name, sorry) passed away last year at the age of 19 and I don’t think that Sophie has really gotten over it?

Do cats “grieve?” As much as I adore her, I am just not home that much because I work during the day, and I worry that she is now bored and lonely.

Should I think about adopting another cat to keep her company?


Dear Alex,

Buddy and I are both so sorry about Squiggles, and we are certain that he did not know that his name was ludicrous. Trust me on this.

To answer your question, it doesn’t help much to worry about whether pets grieve.

The real question is, are they happy, and if not, what can you do about it?  So a couple of things to think about. Has Sophie’s behavior changed recently to make you think she is unhappy?

Is she gaining weight for lack of exercise? If not, and if she seems happy to see you and behaves appropriately when you are home together, then there may not be a problem.

Remember that cats sleep many hours per day and that is, in all likelihood, what she is doing while you are gone. So don’t let yourself be wracked by guilt over the fact that she is home alone. You probably have lots of other things to feel guilty about.

That said, there can be benefits to having more than one cat. Cats  can provide each other with exercise, social interaction, and mental stimulation.

Cats that have lots of opportunity to socialize and play with each other are less likely to be destructive (or just plain annoying).

For example, some single cats relentlessly  try to wake their owners during the night to play with  them. Two cats might still race  around the house at  night but at least they won’t expect their owner to get up and join them.

Another benefit of having two cats is that they will groom each other’s ears and coats, often getting at places they can’t reach on their own! And cats at peace with each other are just plain nice to watch.

But, and it’s a big BUT,  changing from a one cat to a multi-cat household is not always easy. Cats can take a very long time to learn to like each other.

You’ll need to consider such factors as age and sociability differences when choosing a new cat for your household.

A kitten or adolescent cat that has been around other older cats and that likes to  play may be a good choice for Sophie. She might turn into teenager herself.

Or maybe she can teach a bratty teenager how to behave. Whatever you decide, remember that it will probably take time.

Space is an absolute necessity for multiple-cat homes. Cats always need to have spots for hiding, so they can be alone and undisturbed whenever they feel the need.

You can never have too many cat perches (and toys and scratching posts) all over the house. Multiple litter boxes are also advisable, so that each cat can feel safe while eliminating.

The number of litter boxes should equal the number of cats you have, plus one. So, if you have two cats, you will need three boxes. Food and water can be placed in a common area, as cats seem to enjoy eating in groups.

Should you decide to make yours a multiple-feline household, please keep in mind that your cats are not likely to be best buddies immediately. There are no guarantees, and it’s always best to be cautious when introducing cats to each other.

The Humane Society had detailed instructions for how to do that. And if you are adopting a cat who has already lived in a group in a foster home, consider adopting one of his or her friends.

Introducing two friends to a new home can ease the transition, and you’ll be much more likely to make Sophie part of a happy sociable group. Plus you’ll be giving two needy cats their very own forever home.  What could be better than that?

Good luck and thanks for being such a caring owner.


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 located at 265 W. First St., Oswego. Phone 207-1070. Porky & Buddy are two former animals at the shelter who answers humans’ questions about animals.

Learn about youth services at Oswego County Youth Program Forum

Representatives from a number of Oswego County’s human services agencies will host an Oswego County Youth Program Forum Friday, Nov. 15 at the SUNY Oswego Phoenix Extension Site.

Sign-in begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program starting promptly at 9:00 a.m.

The program is open to anyone interested in learning about the many services and programs that are available to youth in Oswego County.

The forum will provide youth service providers with an opportunity to share information on their programs while learning about other youth programs that exist in Oswego County.

“The Youth Forum is an excellent example of our human services agencies working together to help achieve a common good … helping our youth and their families.

“This kind of collaboration truly demonstrates the Live United concept that we are all connected,” said Melanie Trezler, executive director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

Interim Director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Brian Chetney, co-chairperson of the event’s planning committee, said the format of the forum would allow for participants to select from a series of workshops where agency representatives will present a synopsis of their program.

The different workshops will touch on a number of the youth services that are available. Additionally, there will be an information area where attendees may learn more about many of the other youth services offered in Oswego County.

“The Oswego County Youth Program Forum is an excellent opportunity for youth agencies to come together and discuss the different services they offer to youth and families in Oswego County. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to network and ask questions,” added Chetney.

For more information on the Oswego County Youth Program Forum, call Melanie Trexler at the United Way of Greater Oswego County 593-1900 ext.201 or at

Travis Spirit and Wine Garden celebrates grand opening

People throughout Hannibal showed up Saturday for the grand opening for Travis Spirit and Wine Garden on Auburn Street.

Owner Brenda Wilson dazzled attendees with wine tastings and food pairings, hors d’oeuvres and miniature cupcakes.

The new store, which offers wines from New York and throughout the world and various types of liquors, is in space adjacent to Travis Floral, which is run by Wilson’s dad, Jim Travis.

“We had this retail space open and the business was growing, so we decided to open the liquor store,” Wilson said.

Travis said the site now is more of a one-stop shop because people can stop in for a bottle of wine and then pop in the other shop for some flowers.

Travis Floral has been in business since 1945 and was started by Travis’s parents, Sela and Jennie Travis. He’s been running the shop since 1958.

Hours for Travis Spirit and Wine Garden are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Hours will change during the Christmas holiday season so Wilson said people can call to find out when the shop is open. The phone number is 564-6606.

Bukolt, Wilbur vying for district 21 in the Oswego County legislature

Incumbent Terry M. Wilbur and challenger Michael P. Bukolt are seeking the two-year seat on the Oswego County Legislature representing District 21.

Wilbur is on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines and Bukolt is on a local party line.

The legislator position pays $12,345 a year in 2013.

Here is some biographical information on each candidate and their answers to one question about the county.

Michael Bukolt

Age: 54

Address: 8482 State Route 104, Hannibal

How long have you lived in the district: more than 23 years

Education: Attended Clinton Community College and Onondaga Community College studying business management

Occupation: Between jobs but have been a northeastern regional sales manager for more than 25 years. Have more than 25 years of experience balancing budgets and developing programs for personnel

Community service: Democratic committee man, election inspector

Other elected offices: None


What is the biggest problem or issue facing Oswego County and how would you solve it?

I feel that some of the largest problems we have in the county are as follows:

Fiscal responsibility accountability to the voters, transparency and ethics.

I feel my experience in corporate America has made me uniquely qualified to handle budgets and do long-term and short-term strategic planning for our county

I am used to getting great results in whatever I do and I am able to pay attention to detail, enabling me to seek out local grants and scrutinize spending to insure the proper allocation of funds that are needed while cutting unnecessary expenditures thus optimizing taxpayer dollars.

Terry Wilbur

Age: 25

Address: 87 Fowler Road, Oswego

How long have you lived in the district you are running in: Whole life

Education: Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice; bachelor’s in political science

Occupation: Farm  employee; constituent liaison for New York state Assembly

Community service: Member- Hannibal Historical Society; secretary – Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Council; member – Oswego County Soil and Water Board; chairman- Oswego County Farm Land Protection Board; member- Oswego County Sportsmen Federation; member- New York State Association of Counties Task Force on Agriculture; president- Hannibal Central School Alumni Association; member- Cayuga Community College Alumni Board

Have you held any other political offices: Village trustee, Hannibal, three years.


What is the biggest problem or issue facing Oswego County and how would you solve it?

Two fold: cutting spending; and fighting for job growth.

Spending is always a concern and I wish more people would get involved in the budget process. Every year I fight to lessen the tax burden we all face and every year it seems more and more is shoved down upon us from the state.

Locally we do everything we can to provide needed services while controlling spending.

Along those same lines, growing the economy is job number one.  The best way for us to get out of this stagnant economy is to cut redundancy in government and allow the free market to work.

Whether it is agricultural jobs, retail, construction or manufacturing I am proud to partner with anyone willing to help provide good paying jobs for Oswego County residents.


Castiglia, LeClair face off for 25th district county legislature seat

Incumbent Louella LeClair and Frank Castiglia Jr. are seeking the two-year seat on the Oswego County Legislature representing District 25.

LeClair is on the Republican and Independence lines and Castiglia is on the Democratic, Conservative and Other (local party) line.

The legislator position pays $12,345 in 2013.

Here is some biographical information on each candidate and their answers to one question about the county.

Frank Castiglia

Age: 66

Address : 372 S.7th St., Fulton

How long in 25th District: Don’t know how long in the 25th district has been in place, but I’ve lived here for 25 years

How long in Fulton: 56 years

Education: Bachelor of science in business education

Occupations: Mid-80s worked for Stratford Business School in Syracuse, working my way from business teacher to placement director to program coordinator and finally director of education. Then went to UTC (Carrier Corp) in Syracuse, starting out as a production supervisor and retiring as a material control  supervisor. I am now semi-retired  working for the Fulton City School District as a special needs bus driver.

Elected Jobs: None

Community Service: I am a Third Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus; volunteer at Holy Trinity Parish Bingo on Friday. nights. I also usher at the 8:30 Mass on Sunday.

What is the biggest problem facing Oswego County and how would you solve it?

One of the problems  I see at the county level is the lack of cooperation between the cities, towns, villages and the county, with the use of resources and the lack of inter-municipal agreements between governing bodies that could save taxpayers money.

If I’m elected it will be by the taxpayers in the 25th district in the City of Fulton, not Oswego County. Therefore I will make sure the money the taxpayers send  to the Oswego County treasurer is being used resourcefully and not wasted.

I will make sure I do everything possible to keep Oswego County taxpayers money in Oswego County. I will also work very hard to put into effect a program that will require all people receiving financial or aid provided by the government to undergo drug testing (at the state’s expense) and also have an attendance requirement for their school-age children. I feel that education is the key to reducing their dependence on government financial aid.

I feel that fixing the big problems facing Oswego County can and must be fixed at the Senate (Sen. Patty Richie) and assembly (Assemblyman William Barclay) level. We at the legislature level can only ask for their help.

For far too long the taxpayers in the 25th district have been lacking representation in the county. They need and deserve a public servant, not a politician.

Louella LeClair

Age: 66

Address:  509 Pratt St., Fulton

How long have you lived in the 25th district? How long in Fulton? I purchased my home in 1984  I was born and raised in Fulton’s 25th district

Education: Graduated from Fulton High School Class of 1964.  Attended Rochester Business Institute.  Recently graduated from New York State Association of Counties Dennis Pellitier Institute in conjunction with Cornell University

Occupations:  I have worked my entire career in advertising sales.  I have worked in both print and online sales

Elected positions and how long at each:  Oswego County Legislator first elected in November 2009

Community service: Cub Scout leader, Girl Scout leader, former member and founder of  Fulton’s Women of the Moose, worked on all fundraisers of Fulton’s DAV (Disables American Veterans). vice president and former member of Theta Sigma Chi (women’s sorority dedicated to raising money for community service), Connection (day-long symposium dedicated to women issues at SUNY Oswego), board member Central NY Regional Planning, board member Fulton Housing, TAC ( Oswego County Tourism Advisory Council),  Cornell Cooperative Extension ex-officio board member, Operation Oswego County, member Trinity Parish and taught church school at Holy Family, Eucharistic minister, former communications director for Immaculate Conception Church, bazaar and festival worker, greeter and store worker Golder Son.

What is the biggest problem facing Oswego County and how would you solve it? 

One main problem facing our county is unfunded mandates from New York state.

As a member of the New York State Association of Counties, collectively we have worked with other counties to push for legislation to alleviate or lower these mandates.

This alone will lower taxes, attract business and make Oswego County a more desirable place to live.

Jobs will always be a priority. Working with local agencies (Operation Oswego County and Regional Planning) helping to bring and expand local business.  Tourism and Agribusiness has brought many jobs to Oswego County.

I encourage entrepreneurship and always look for ways to cut red tape.

Area restaurants help Oswego County Hospice

In recognition of National Hospice Month in November, four Oswego County restaurants are joining with the Friends of Oswego County Hospice to support the Hospice Program in Oswego County.

Canale’s, The Blue Moon Grill, Arena’s Eis House, and Ruby Tuesday in Oswego will all be donating a portion of one day’s sale to the Friends of  Oswego County Hospice.

“We are grateful to all of these restaurants for supporting Hospice again this year,” said Debbie Bishop, executive director of the Friends of Hospice.

Blue Moon will kick off these “Hospice-tality Days” on Monday, Nov. 4 during lunch and dinner. Canale’s is the host for lunch and dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Ruby Tuesday will host lunch and dinner Thursday, Nov. 14. Arena’s Eis House is hosting on Nov. 19 during dinner. All of the events are dine in or take out.

Canale’s and Ruby Tuesday require a coupon be presented at their events. Call the Friends of Hospice office at 343-5223 or email to get your coupon.

Money raised through the “Hospice-tality Day” events support Oswego County Hospice patients and their families.

News in brief

The Friends of History In Fulton, N. Y., Inc. will hold its fifth annual Celebrations Evening at the Fulton Polish Home at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1.

The Fulton Community Band will entertain and the fifth presentation of the Elma J Smith award will be made to Fulton Savings Bank.

The award is presented to an individual, organization or business that makes distinguished and long-term contributions to Fulton history in one or more of the following areas: public education, writing, research, exhibits, historic preservation, promotion of Fulton’s history, service to the museum or philanthropy.

Past recipients of the award are Glenn W, Clark, Marian M. Stanton, Fulton Polish Home, Carrie R. Butler, Rosemary K. Cook and Alec Seymour.

GB Catering will cater the dinner, which will feature Italian foods. There will be 50/50 drawings and gift basket and lottery raffles throughout the evening.

Call the Friends of History at 598-4616 for reservations.


The Veterans Day ceremony in Fulton is planned for 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at Veterans Park across from Fulton City Hall.

Veterans will be honored for their sacrifices and service to the United States. Refreshments will be served prior to the ceremony in City Hall.

After the ceremony, there will be a luncheon at the Fulton Elks Lodge, 57 Pierce Drive.


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County will be holding a class on Draft Dodgers from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the extension office in Mexico.

These homemade draft dodgers will help keep indoor temperatures up and fuel bills down.

They are simply fashioned from knit fabric, and filled with rice, which makes them pliable enough to tuck tightly into nooks and corners. This hands-on program is open to all, an adult must accompany youth.

Participants will need to bring imagination and minimum crafting and sewing skills. Your $8 registration fee includes your pattern and supplies.

Pre–registration is required by Friday, Nov. 8. by calling Cooperative Extension of Oswego County at 963-7286, Ext 302.


State Sen. Patricia Ricthie, R-Oswegatchie, is calling on state Education Commissioner John King to host  a “Common Core” community meeting in the Northern and Central New York region.

The commissioner recently resumed community meetings focused on hearing the concerns parents and educators have with the Common Core curriculum across the state — with no stops in Oswego, Jefferson or St. Lawrence Counties.

“I’m urging the commissioner not to overlook the concerns of parents and educators in Northern and Central New York and to add another session here so they will have the opportunity to speak up, just as others across the state have,” Ritchie said.


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County is putting on its 5th Annual Oswego County Holiday Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 as part of the “Christmas in Mexico” festivities.

The community is encouraged to visit the market at the Mexico VFW and find great holiday gifts, decorations and food from local farmers. There is no better way to support the local economy than buying local.

In addition to finding these local goods, customers have the opportunity to speak directly with the agricultural producers present at the market.

For more information. call Lynnette Wright at 963-7286 ext 203 or visit the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County website at

Salvation Army Kettle Drive kicks off Nov. 15

The Oswego County Salvation Army will be kicking off its Red Kettle fundraising campaign Friday, Nov. 15.

The bells will be ringing Monday through Saturday until Dec. 24. The goal this year is $110,000.

There is an ever increasing need in our county for the services provided by the Salvation Army. The success of the campaign depends upon you.

Volunteers are needed to ring the bell.  Groups, organizations and individual volunteers can call 207-3367 or email oswegocountysalarmy@ to get scheduled at one of the many locations throughout the county.