Category Archives: Featured Stories

Oswego Health to X-ray Halloween candy

Area ghosts, goblins and action figures can have their candy x-rayed on Halloween night by Oswego Health medical imaging personnel.

Three Oswego Health locations will be x-raying candy this year. Parents can bring their children to Oswego Hospital’s imaging department from 6 to 9 p.m. Please enter the main hospital doors off South Sixth Street and proceed to the medical imaging department, which is located just off the lobby.

Candy can also be x-rayed at both the Central Square and Fulton Medical Centers from 5 to 8 p.m. Parents using one of these facilities should enter the department through the urgent care center. The Central Square site is located at 3045 East Avenue in the village and the Fulton location is at 510 S. First St. in Fulton.

New York State Field Band Conference championship results

Three Oswego County field band are competing Sunday in the New York State Field Band State Championships.

So far, Phoenix has placed third(score of 80.45)  in the Small School 2 class and Central Square had come in sixth (score 82.85)  in the Large School 2 class.

We are still waiting for results from the Small School 1 class, which features Oswego.


UPDATE: Oswego came in fourth in Small School 1 class with a score of 85.15.

News in brief

A parking ban takes effect for the City of Fulton Nov. 1.

The city ordinance prohibits the parking of any motor vehicle in/on any city street or city parking lot from 1:30 to 5:30 a.m. from Nov. 1 to April 1.

The penalty for a violation of the all night parking ban is $15. Unpaid fines double every ten days. Vehicles may also be towed.


The Fulton Alliance Church invites  children in the community to the annual trunk and treat from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31.

It is a safe environment where children are able to walk to multiple car trunks collecting candy. For this or other events please call 593-6842 x103.

The church is located at 1044 State Route 48, 1/2 mi. south of the city line.


Oswego Trinity United Methodist Church at 45 E. Utica St. will host a free will dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday Nov. 3.

The menu includes roast turkey with all the trimmings,  dessert and beverage. We will be back in the downstairs level again.

As usual, donations accepted, but never expected.

For questions please contact the church office at 343-1715.


SUNY Oswego’s residence halls will provide “Safe Trick or Treat” for children in sixth grade or under accompanied by an adult, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3.

Families can look for balloons outside participating residence halls.

Children also can take part in a variety of Halloween games and activities that day from noon to 3 p.m. in the Campus Center.

Admission is two cans or boxed food donations per child. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

The SUNY Oswego chapter of Vega, the women’s honor society for juniors and seniors, sponsors the safe-Halloween events in cooperation with the Office of Residence Life and Housing.

For more information, call 312-2246 or email


An informational meeting for people interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents is set for 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday Nov. 5 at the Oswego County Department of Social Services office, 100 spring St., Mexico.

Oswego County also needs Hispanic foster parents. El Condado de Oswego necesita padres de crianza hispanos!

The Department of Social Services is looking for people who would like to become foster parents, particularly for children ages 8 and up who may have special needs for supervision. All children available for adoption through DSS have been in foster care for a period of time. The children are typically ages 10 and older and have special needs.

Attendance at the Nov. 5 informational meeting is required to enroll in the 10-week preparation program. Single and two-parent families may apply to foster or adopt. Both parents in a two-parent household must attend the training.

For more information, call Lois O’Connor at 963-5018 or Patricia Pennock at 963-5382 or e-mail


The All Saints Episcopal Church Tuesday Night Free Community Dinners have posted menus for November.

Meals are served 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 5: pulled pork sandwich, veggie and tater tots

Nov. 12: spaghetti and meatballs, salad and bread

Nov. 19: turkey dinner with all the trimmings

Nov. 26: frittata, salad and fruit


The Palermo United Methodist Church will hosting its chicken and biscuit dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 in the church dining room.

This will be the last dinner for the fall season. A family-style, all-you-can-eat dinner will include chicken and gravy, biscuits, mashed potatoes, salad, vegetable, dessert and beverage.

Takeout dinners are available and can be reserved by calling 598-4888.

The church is located on County Route 35 just off of State Route 3 in Palermo, just north of Palermo Center.


The Raymond-Faulkner-Cook American Legion Post 858 in Cleveland is putting on a “Thirty-One Bingo for Clear Path” event from 2 to 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at the post.

Admission is $5, which covers the cost of hors d’oeuvres.

Thirty-One consultant Nicole Alman will host the event, which includes guests playing Bingo to win Thirty-One prizes.

Thirty-One is a company specializing in women’s totes, purses, thermal bags, stationery and accessories. The items are of high quality and can be returned within 90 days of purchase if unsatisfied unless the item is personalized.

Go to to learn more about Thirty-One and see their products.

Alman will have catalogs and order forms available at the event and 50 percent of her commission will be donated to Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango, an organization dedicated to helping military veterans and their families restore, reconnect and transition into their communities.

Questions about Thirty-One or the event may be directed to Alman at 657-8906.





The Pennellville United Methodist Church, 389 County Route 54 in Pennellville, will have a roast pork and dressing dinner at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9.

The menu will consist of roast pork, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, beans, coleslaw, rolls and butter.  You may choose from a wide selection of homemade pies and other desserts. Coffee, tea, cool aid and water will also be available.

Music will be provided while you wait to be seated.  The ladies from the church also have a variety of crafts and goodies for sale.  There is a large supply of used books available at reasonable prices.


The Lamson Grange #588 will feature its all-you-can-eat Belgian waffle breakfast from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at the grange on Fenner Road, Lysander.

The menu features made-to-order waffles with mixed berry topping, eggs, bacon, sausage, white and wheat toast, English muffins, jam, cereals, whipped topping, juice, coffee, tea and milk.


The Oswego County Legislature recently honored Barry Leemann for his many accomplishments during his tenure as Chairman of the Legislature.

Leemann created the county’s “Green Team” which has had a significant environmental and financial impact on Oswego County as a community and as a business. As a result, the county has reduced energy costs by more than $150,000 to date and has helped avoid the production of almost 630 tons of greenhouse gasses.


The New York League of Conservation Voters, which works to make environmental sustainability a top political and policy priority in New York state, has named state Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, a 2013 “Eco-Star” for her work on environmental initiatives in Albany.

The Eco-Star award is presented to those elected leaders who authored critical legislation, lobbied their colleagues and helped broker bipartisan, bicameral solutions to New York’s many environmental and energy challenges. State Senator Patty Ritchie, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, sponsored the Food Metrics Bill to strengthen New York’s local food economy.

In addition to authoring the Senate version of the bill, Ritchie played a pivotal role in negotiating a consensus version with the Assembly and then lobbied her colleagues to ensure final passage.

The Food Metrics Bill will require state agencies to establish a food procurement tracking system, enabling New York to understand how its food dollars are spent and unlocking the potential of state dollars to achieve multiple economic goals, including supporting upstate farms and food production.


The Alzheimer’s Association Central New York Chapter is presenting the Foundations of Dementia Care, a series of nine modules over four sessions, to professional caregivers in Central New York.

They are being offered: 8 a.m. Nov. 6, 13, 20 and 27, at SUNY Oswego Metro Center, 2 Clinton Square, Syracuse; and 8:30 a.m., May 21 and 28, and June 4 and 11, 2014, at the Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning In Retirement, SUNYIT Campus Center, 100 Seymour Road.

Modules include: About Dementia, Enhancing Mealtime, Improving Communications, Making Connections, Promoting Restraint-Free Care, Reducing Pain, Reducing Risk of Falls, Understanding Behavior, and Understanding Wandering. Modules are grouped into sessions of three to four hours in length.

Registration is $75 per person per session or $200 per person for the entire series, and can be completed online at or by phone at 472-4201 ext. 108 for Syracuse or 617-4025 ext 108 for Utica.



Melissa Carter of Hannibal has become an independent consultant with Tastefully Simple Inc., a national direct sales company featuring more than 60 easy-to-prepare foods.

As an independent business owner, Carter offers delicious food samples at home taste-testing parties, along with easy ideas for everyday meals, recipes, serving suggestions and fun.

All of Tastefully Simple’s products are open-and-enjoy or can be prepared by adding only one or two ingredients.

For more information about Tastefully Simple products, taste-testing parties or starting your own Tastefully Simple business, contact Melissa Carter at


Guitarist performs his original score to Japanese silent film

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Once upon a time, movies and live music went hand in hand.

Guitarist Alex de Grassi revives that tradition, performing his original score for the classic Japanese film “A Story of Floating Weeds” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in SUNY Oswego’s Waterman Theatre.

At the height of the silent film era, movies provided one of the largest sources of employment for musicians — including pianists, organists and orchestra players. That changed rapidly with the introduction of “talkies” in the 1920s.

Live music at the cinema languished from that period until a recent revival of interest.

In 2006, the New York Guitar Festival commissioned de Grassi to create and perform an original score for one of the best-known works of Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu. Further work on the score preceded its presentation at the 2009 Guitar Festival at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois.

In Oswego, de Grassi will perform his entire 90-minute score onstage as the black and white film plays on-screen.

“While some scenes are tightly scored, others are based on a rhythm or a short melodic fragment that allows improvisation,” de Grassi said. As a result, each performance of the interdisciplinary project is unique, he explained.

 Critically acclaimed

“A Story of Floating Weeds” is among the most successful and critically acclaimed films by the legendary Ozu, whose work was honored with a major retrospective at Film Forum in New York City this summer.

“Floating Weeds” is a familiar metaphor in Japanese prose and poetry and, in this 1934 film, it refers to a group of traveling actors who seem to drift aimlessly, carried by currents beyond their control.

The story revolves around the lovable ne’er-do-well character Kihachi, head of an itinerant Kabuki troupe visiting a small town where he had fathered a son years before. The son does not know that Kihachi is his father, but the leading lady of the troupe — Kihachi’s mistress — finds out and plots revenge.

The film comes to life with de Grassi’s score, based on a pentatonic — a scale of five notes — blues motif that suggests the sound of the koto, a Japanese harp-like instrument. Separate musical themes assigned to five central characters combine and clash as the drama unfolds and the characters’ lives intertwine.

The Wall Street Journal has called de Grassi’s playing “flawless,” and DownBeat magazine says, “His touch is as exquisite as his lyricism …” His solo recordings for the iconic Windham Hill label and his Grammy-nominated recording “The Water Garden” are considered classics of the solo steel-string guitar genre.

Detailed program information, video clips and ticket links for this and other performances of the Artswego Performing Arts Series are available online at

Tickets, priced at $18 ($5 for SUNY Oswego students), may be purchased at any SUNY Oswego box office, online at or by calling 315-312-2141.

Parking for this performance is included in the price of the ticket, and is available in the employee and commuter lots in front of and to the east of Culkin Hall.

This presentation is made possible by a grant from the Japan Foundation New York.

Fairley Elementary students travel to Sterling Nature Center

Second-graders at Fairley Elementary School ventured into Cayuga County on Oct. 17 to visit the Sterling Nature Center.

The nature center has more than 10 miles of hiking trails and two miles of lake shore.

Stephanie Griffin’s second-grade class started their day with a teacher-lead lakeside trail walk. Along the walk, students were asked to look and listen to nature sounds, and pick up three leaves to use later in a leaf rubbing session.

The second-graders kept a safe distance as Lake Ontario’s rolling waves crashed into the rock shoreline. Students learned that rocks near the water’s edge are smooth and flat, the perfect shape for skipping.

Other rocks found near the Great Lake contained fossils. Students were fascinated by two trees on the shore that had been overturned, roots exposed.

Before breaking for an outdoor bagged lunch under the pavilion, students toured the visitor’s center. Inside, they saw preserved animals, animals that they could find in their own backyards. Griffin’s students were particularly interested in the coyote and flying squirrel on display.

Second-graders also went on a nature walk with guide Jim D’Angelo. Students in Lisa Bailey’s class trekked down to the rookery, where the herons nest. Ducks, a beaver dam and a bald eagle were all spotted on the trail.

During the second session, Bailey had her class do leaf rubbings and habitat relay races. Each student picked a plastic animal toy, and had to categorize the animal into its natural habitat, either water, forest or field.

The leaf rubbings were done with crayons at the picnic tables. Students placed a leaf on the table, covered it with a sheet of paper, and used the side of a crayon to shade the leaves veins. They were then asked to write a sentence about its texture, or what tree the leaf came from.

Transportation for the field trip was paid for through a grant from Novelis. The Home and School Association also provided a portion of the cost.

New superintendent chosen in Oswego school district

Benjamin Halsey has been named the new Superintendent of Schools for the Oswego City School District.

Halsey, a distinguished leader with more than 20 years of experience in education, will be appointed at the special meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Halsey brings to the Oswego City School District nine years of experience as the Superintendent of the North Collins Central School District. Prior to his role of superintendent at North Collins, Halsey’s tenure in education includes experience as a building principal, assistant principal, athletic director and teacher.

The Oswego City School District Board of Education, on behalf of the community in which they serve, selected Halsey based on his demonstrated firsthand knowledge of the day to day operations of every department in a school district, including but not limited to finance, curriculum, and school law.

The board stated in his role as superintendent at North Collins, Halsey demonstrated the ability to make difficult decisions and stood for his convictions. He also demonstrated tremendous visionary skills and possesses the skills necessary to carry those out, bringing others alongside.

Additionally, he has some unique out of the box practices that the Oswego City School District Board of Education felt would bring the district and the community together through positive change.

Coupled with Halsey’s professional experience and demonstrated leadership abilities are resounding character virtues of integrity and humility. The virtues were echoed by Halsey’s professional references as well as from unsolicited sources and are qualities that the Board of Education believes the district will benefit greatly from.

The Board of Education said in a joint statement about the decision to appointment Halsey, “We look forward to his leadership, vision, and working with him for our community.”

Halsey will assume the duties of the superintendent for the Oswego City School District Dec. 2.

Gary Mix is the current Interim Superintendent of School, assuming the responsibilities following the retirement of William Crist in June 2013.

Barclay discusses state referenda to be voted on Nov. 5

When voters go to the polls Nov. 5, they will be asked whether to support a number of amendments to the State Constitution.

Recently, I talked about the casino referendum and the implications its passage will have on New York.

This week, I want to let readers know about five other referendums that will appear on the ballot.

All of these passed the State Legislature in order to be put in front of the public for a vote. Some matters I supported in the Legislature, while others I did not.

Civil Service Credits for Disabled Veterans

Our State Constitution allows veterans to receive additional credits on a civil service exam.

This is a one-time credit, according to our constitution. This amendment would enable veterans to receive additional credits if they become disabled.

For example, if a veteran was employed as a police officer, decided to return to military service in Afghanistan, and became disabled as a result of his or her service, the employee would be eligible to receive an additional credit as a disabled vet. I supported this in the Legislature and plan to do so at the polls.

Land Exchanges

Title disputes have a chance to be put to rest if the public supports the amendment to resolve claims between the state and private parties that own land in Hamilton County.

This constitutional amendment would allow the Legislature to settle 100-year-old disputes between the state and private parties over land in a state forest reserve. Owners of land in the Forest Preserve would receive clear title to the lands where they live and pay property taxes if this passes. I supported this in the Legislature as well.

Another land exchange amendment would enable NYCO Minerals, Inc., a private company, to continue its mining operations in Essex County. The company currently mines wollastonite, a rare white mineral used in ceramics, paints, plastics and other building products.

The Lewis Mine, which NYCO Minerals, Inc. uses, produces 60,000 tons of wollastoniate annually — 8 percent of the annual worldwide production.

The mine is approaching the end of its life cycle and its closure would mean the loss of nearly 100 full-time workers as well as tax revenue for the local economy.

Debt Limit Exclusion/Sewage Facilities

This amendment would enable municipalities to extend their debt limit for sewage treatment and related facilities until Jan. 1, 2024. I supported this in the Legislature.

Increasing Age Judges Can Serve

Currently, state Supreme Court judges must retire at 76. This amendment would increase the mandatory retirement age to 80. It would also increase the retirement age for judges of the Court of Appeals from 70 to 80. Also, it would prohibit the appointment of any person over the age of 70 to the Court of Appeals. I voted against this bill in the Legislature and plan to do so at the polls.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, contact my office by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, New York, by e-mail at or by calling 598-5185.