Category Archives: Featured Stories

News in brief

Two assemblymen and a state senator who represent Oswego County have been named to the New York Farm Bureau “Circle of Friends,.
They are: Sen. Patricia Ritchie, Assemblyman Robert Oaks and Assemblyman Will Barclay.
A total of 101 state legislators were named to the list for their support of New York agriculture and the Farm Bureau.
The “Circle of Friends” honor is based upon each legislator’s voting record on issues of agricultural importance as well as other evidence of legislative support, including sponsorship of bills that New York Farm Bureau has either supported or opposed during the most recent legislative session.
“The selected lawmakers from both the Assembly and Senate were chosen for their commitment to the hard working farm families in New York. Each friend has demonstrated that they understand the importance of agriculture to the people of their legislative district, and how farming significantly impacts the economy of this great state,” said Dean Norton, President of New York Farm Bureau.
The “Circle of Friends” is not an endorsement, and this distinction only recognizes the 2013 legislative session.


Thomas W. Schneider, president and chief executive officer of Pathfinder Bancorp, Inc., the mid-tier holding company of Pathfinder Bank, has announced the company has declared a cash dividend of 3 cents per share on the company’s common stock relating to the fiscal quarter ending Sept. 30.
The dividend will be paid Nov. 4, 2013.

********************** reports with fall underway, leaves across the country are coming into senescence, creating a vibrant landscape of reds, browns, oranges and yellows.
Entering the first week of October, much of the East has already seen slight to moderate color change. Some areas farther North, have begun to enter the peak of their season.
“It looks pretty certain that the cold temps in September brought out early and good color to the Northeast, including Pennsylvania,” Marc Abrams, professor of Forest Ecology and Physiology at Penn State University, said.
“The August drought and early frosts (in places) is a slight negative, but overall the cold temps prevailed,” Abrams said.
Temperatures from September through mid-October have a significant impact on the vibrance of the displays. Cold temperatures become very important during this time, what Abrams considers the “critical period.”
“The warm temps this week may delay the trees that have not yet turned but shouldn’t deter the ones that have,” Abrams said.


Are you new to Excel? Have you forgotten how to copy and paste?
The Oswego Public Library’s Learning Center will offer two Microsoft Office Assistance workshops from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 15 and 29.
Bring your Microsoft Office project into the lab and we’ll help.
In addition to our Microsoft Office Assistance, the Oswego Public Library’s Library Learning Center is offering “Job Hunting” help by appointment every Thursday in October from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Library Learning Center is located on the lower level of the Oswego Public Library, and is open Monday-Saturday.

Pray for the cure!
St. Joseph’s Church, 240 W. First St., Oswego, will host a prayer service at the church at 7 p.m. Oct. 16.
This service will be dedicated to praying for a cure for cancer.


The Oswego Jazz Project will perform with well-known trombonist Keith Jackson at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, in SUNY Oswego’s Sheldon Hall ballroom as part of the music department’s Focus on Faculty Series.
OJP, in its eighth year as SUNY Oswego’s jazz quartet-in-residence, features faculty members Robert Auler on piano, saxophonist Trevor Jorgensen, drummer Eric Schmitz and Oswego alumnus Max McKee on bass.
Jackson, music director of the West Virginia University School of Music, serves on his school’s faculty as professor of low brass. His performance credits include the Phoenix Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the West Virginia Symphony, the Crown Chamber Brass and the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, among others.
Tickets are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at or by calling 312-2141. Parking is included in the price of the ticket, and is available in the employee lots adjacent to and across from Sheldon Hall.

Dugway United Methodist Church is having a harvest dinner from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday Oct. 20 at the church on Route 104, Parish, two miles east of I-81 at Mexico.
The menu consists of scalloped potatoes, ham, squash, baked beans, cabbage salad, cranberry sauce, applesauce, homemade breads and pies, coffee, tea and lemonade.
Prices will be $7.50 for Adults, $6.50 for Seniors, $5.00 for Children 6-12, and Children under 6 for free. Family rates for 2 adults & 2 children over 5 is $20.00
The dinner benefits the United Methodist Women of Dugway United Methodist Church.


The Dugway United Methodist Church is putting on a hunger walk at 10 a.m. Oct. 19.
There will be refreshments afterwards. Benefits will go to the local food pantries.



The Valley News is seeking events for December and in the coming New Year to be the primary photo displays on the cover of Wednesday editions.
Any organization, school, church or group that knows of a special event coming up, please e-mail that information to Managing Editor Debra J. Groom at
Include the name of the group, when the event is, what the event is and a contact name and phone number for the organization or group.
The photos are booked through Dec. 4 but we are looking for events that are occurring Dec. 4 and after.

The Century Club is now taking orders for its annual nut sale to raise money for the Phoenix Public Library.

Orders will be taken through Oct. 16. Nuts being sold include walnuts, pecans, cashews and chocolate-covered nuts.
To place an order, call a Century Club member of stop at the Phoenix Public Library on elm Street. For more information, call library at 695-4355 or the Century Club fundraising chairperson at 695-2232.

The Woodland Hallooween Festival is scheduled for 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday Oct. 27 at the Amboy 4-H Environmental Center.
Creatures of all ages will delight in the afternoon of free and fun family activities.  An adult must accompany all children for this special event.
Woodland Halloween Festival includes children’s games, crafts, face painting, campfire program, light refreshments and a trick and treat trail at dusk. Along this trail, trick and treat’ers will meet and greet friendly forest critters. The trick and treat trail will be open only between 6-7 p.m. The last group will leave the trailhead at 6:45.
Woodland Halloween Festival will be held rain or shine. Participants should dress to stay warm and to ward off the spirit of chill, and bring a flashlight. This is a free public program.
The Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center is located at 748 State Route 183, one mile south of Williamstown.

The Fulton Dining and Activity Center is having its annual candlelight dinner Oct. 24 in the community room in the Fulton Municipal Building.
Doors open at 11 a.m. With lunch served at noon. The fee will be collected at the door. There will be entertainment and door prizes.
Seating is limited to call Eileen for reservations at 592-3408. The deadline is Oct. 18.

The Fulton Gauchos alumni is having a chicken barbecue from noon until sold out Saturday, Oct. 5 at Chester’s Neighborhood Bar., West Broadway, Fulton.
Menu includes a half chicken, macaroni salad, baked beans, salt potatoes, roll and butter and soda. Free movie coupons from Family Video will be available.
Tickets for the barbecue can be purchased at Red Baron, Chester’s or from any Gauchos member.


Foster Funeral Home, with sites in Fulton and Hannibal, has renewed its membership in the Lofty Oaks Association, a New Hampshire organization dedicated to reforestation and conservation efforts in New York state.
Foster arranges to have a tree planted for every service is performs to provide a living memorial in honor of the deceased and to renew forests in New York. The trees are planted in the spring and fall.
After each service, close family members and friends are informed that a memorial tree has been arranged for by Paul E. Foster. When the tree has been planted, the designated people in the family will receive a certificate of planting suitable for framing at home.

Main Street Wine & Spirits at 600 Main St., Fair Haven is hosting its second annual wine tasting to benefit breast cancer research and awareness programs.
The tasting will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday Oct. 5 (today). Stop by to sample The Purple Cowboy, a red blend from California, Washington Hills Late Harvest Riesling from Washington and some Chardonnay and Merlot from France.
The wines featured in this tasting all donate to various research, support foundations and awareness programs as well.  A percentage of the profits from the sales of these wines for the entire month of October will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  Donations are welcomed.

Oct. 30 is the deadline to file applications to take a number of Civil Service tests in Oswego County.
The tests are: Caseworkers Aide and Caseworkers Aide Spanish speaking; Community Service Worker; Planning Technician; Principal Account Clerk (schools); and Senior Account Clerk.
All the tests are being given Dec. 7.
Applications and further information are available at the Oswego County Department of Personnel, County Office Building, 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego, 349-8209 or at


There is a chicken barbecue benefit for Cody firefighter Andy Lawson and his family from 11:30 a.m. until sold out Oct. 20 at Cody Station 2, Wilcox Road.

The Lawson family recently lost everything in a trailer fire. In addition to the chicken dinner, there will be door prizes and raffles. Takeout dinners also will be available.

Call ahead to play an order at 593-8977.


The John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix is presenting its fall drama production at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 and 2

The play will be presented at the high school.


The United Methodist women of the Red Creek Westbury United Methodist Church will conduct their annual SERRV Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 2 at the church.

Visitors will be able to pick up Christmas gifts for family and friends and enjoy lunch at the Holy Cow Cafe.

Proceeds from the bazaar go to the major mission project to support the the Folts Foundation, Westside Ministry, Pines of Peace Home, Matthew House, Church World Service, Doctors Without Borders, The Heifer Projects, Care Net of Wayne County, Gateway-Longview, Christian Mission Camp, Red Bird Mission, The Jambo Jipya School in Kenya and the farmers and artisans of SERRV.

Oswego County BOCES teacher has project information published

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

What began as a project examining nonverbal communication etiquette has culminated in acknowledgment for the Oswego County BOCES teacher who spearheaded the effort.

Looking to bridge the communication gap between local businesses and hearing or speech-impaired customers, Tammy Seymour, a BOCES teacher of the deaf for 27 years, launched the project in December 2011 with four of her students at Mexico High School.

As part of the venture, students Cody Cowen, Joshua LaCelle, Brianna Gillett and Char Purchas visited more than 40 businesses in the Mexico community, speaking to employees, managers and business owners to learn how businesses are serving the deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired population.

Each business that participated in the project was asked to complete a brief survey and describe an experience when an employee felt frustrated because of a communication breakdown with a customer. All responses were documented and compiled by the students.

“This was meaningful to my students,” Seymour said. “All of the students had experienced communication hiccups when frequenting businesses, so they were eager to participate in hopes of making a difference.”

Not only was the project meaningful for the participating students and businesses, but it was significant for Seymour as well, as the project was documented and published in a book by Dayna Laur released earlier this year.

“Authentic Learning Experiences: A Real-World Approach to Project-Based Learning” incorporates Common Core Learning Standards and documents ways to engage students in critical thinking by teaching skills such as research and collaboration to improve student learning.

Seymour’s contribution, a two-page synopsis of her project with her students in Mexico, details how the assignment helped students transform and become more confident individuals. Seymour said the transformation was evident as the students strengthened their communication skills and revisited businesses for different phases of the project.

Through the project, students created a nonverbal communication brochure that detailed some of the methods in which deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired  people communicate, including American Sign Language, gestures, finger spelling or texting.

Other phases of the project included the creation of a DVD in which students acted out some of the correct and incorrect ways to communicate with a customer who is deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired;  the creation of an “I love you” American Sign Language symbol into a notepad for each participating business, which provided the necessary tools to help a deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired people engage in conversation; and the creation of a personalized “Kit to Go” for each business that participated in the project.

“The students learned their strengths and supported one another,” Seymour noted. “As we revisited some of the businesses, we witnessed change … It was a positive experience for everyone … When I visited some of the stores (once the project ended), it was great to see that the businesses had followed through with some of the suggestions we made to make communication easier.”

The publication of Seymour’s work was just the icing on the cake, capping off a months-long project that had a communitywide impact.




Shineman Center at SUNY Oswego officially dedicated

SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley on Friday Oct. 4 officially dedicated the $118 million, 230,000-square-foot building in the name of the late Dr. Shineman, the founding chair of the college’s chemistry department.

The ceremony, complete with officials in full academic regalia, was proper for one of the largest newly-constructed buildings on campus in years.

The dedication ceremony was in the Shineman Center’s Nucleus atrium, with nearly 300 in attendance, including project staff, faculty and students.

Shineman’s wife, Dr. Barbara Palmer Shineman, professor emerita of education at SUNY Oswego, spoke on behalf of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation. She heads the foundation and made a $5 million gift — the largest cash philanthropic gift in SUNY Oswego’s 150-year history — for the construction of the building.

Also during the ceremony, Dr. Marshall A. Lichtman, a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees, conferred an honorary doctorate on sustainability pioneer Dr. Anthony Cortese.

Former State Sen. Jim Wright, an effective supporter of the new complex, also was honored.

After the ceremony, tours highlighted specialized laboratories and equipment, planetarium, greenhouse and sustainable attributes of the building. These include the state’s largest geothermal installation.

From the marvels of a state-of-the-art planetarium to the breathtaking view from the meteorology observation deck, SUNY Oswego’s $118 million Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation drew the oohs and aahs of hundreds of community and campus visitors at a recent open house.

Those touring the Shineman Center saw demonstrations of such equipment as a scanning electron microscope, a greenhouse with variable-ecosystem growth chambers and an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer.

They visited laboratories including quantum physics, human-computer interaction, microscopy and zoology.

Besides the planetarium, popular stops included a display of student research in the Nucleus atrium, a robotics demonstration and the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Center.

The 230,000-square-foot building, which opened for classes Aug. 26, took nearly 10 years to plan, design and build, including the past three years of construction employing 350 workers.

Richard Shineman not only was founder of the chemistry department at SUNY Oswego, he was a leading force in developing the science facilities used at the college for at least 50 years.

Don’t forget to register to vote

The Oswego County Board of Elections reminds residents that Oct. 11 is the last date new voter registrations can be filed in person in order to vote in the Nov. 5 general election.
New registrations sent in the mail must be postmarked by Oct. 11 and received by Oct. 16.
The Board of Elections office will be open extra hours on the following dates for those who wish to receive absentee ballot applications or file paperwork:
9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 22
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24
9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 26.
9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29.
9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31.
9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 2..
The Board of Elections is located at 185 E. Seneca St., Oswego. Regular office hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information, call 349-8350, or 349-8351 or visit

SUNY Oswego hosts Walk-A-Thon for United Way

SUNY Oswego is hosting its 22nd annual United Way Walk-A-Thon Oct. 12 on campus.

Each year it is sponsored by Auxiliary Services and is now coordinated by VEGA, a women’s honor society.

All proceeds of the walk will go to United Way of Greater Oswego County and will ultimately benefit various programs within the community.

The 5K walk will take place Saturday, Oct. 12. The $5 registration fee for the walk will be a direct donation to the United Way.

Registration will take place right before the walk at noon in front of Lanigan Hall. There are no pre-registrations.

The first 150 participants to register will receive a free T-shirt.

The walk will circle campus, passing Sheldon Hall during its 100th anniversary year, and the newly opened Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation.

At the end of the walk, there will be a drawing for prizes. Supporters who are unable to participate, but wish to contribute, can do so by making a donation online at

“United Way of Greater Oswego County applauds SUNY Oswego students and staff in their volunteer efforts to support the community. Their commitment to the walk-a-thon event has helped to raise awareness of local human needs and the programs that address them,” Lois Luber, resource development director at United Way of Greater Oswego County said.

United Way of Greater Oswego County raises funds from the community each year for specific programs that help thousands of people right here in Oswego County.

United Way of Greater Oswego County, located on South First Street in Oswego, is part of a national network of 1,300 United Ways. Additional information is available at

OCO Health Services Open House Oct. 10 in Fulton, Oswego

Anyone looking to learn more about the changing face of healthcare should attend the Oswego County Opportunities health Services Open House from 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 10.

In recognition of National Health Service Corps’ Corps Community Day OCO’s Open House will offer community members the opportunity to meet OCO’s health services staff and tour the agency’s Fulton Center at 522 S. Fourth St., Suite 400 and OCO’s Oswego Center at 10 George Street, Suite 100.

Penny Halstead, administrative assistant with OCO Health and Nutrition, said representatives from OCO Health Services will be at both locations to answer questions, and provide information on health services and programs such as: WIC; family and individual health insurance plans; Migrant Services, Outreach and Education; and Cancer Services which includes free cancer screenings for cervical, breast and colorectal cancer.

The Nation Health Service Corps (NHSC) focuses on building healthy communities that are designated in medically underserved areas with limited access to care.  To achieve this goal the NHSC offers financial support to primary care providers in underserved communities. It makes it attractive for healthcare providers to practice underserved communities.

“Over the years we have had many healthcare providers on our staff who have benefited from NHSC support, including several of our current staff members.  Their commitment provides access to quality healthcare and makes for a healthier community.  We are proud to be a part of Community Corps Day and to celebrate our providers,” said Halstead.

For more information on the Health Services Open House at OCO’s Fulton and Oswego Centers, contact Penny Halstead at 315-592-0721, or visit the OCO website at

OCO, Inc is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 80 separate locations.  For more information, visit


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Anthony Joseph Swingtet performs Oct. 18 at Under the Moon

The Anthony Joseph Swingtet will be the first featured performer Oct. 18 at Under the Moon.

The band will perform from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. as Under The Moon launches “Under The Moon: Where The Stars Come Out” live cabaret entertainment and dining, said co-owners Bill and Karen Hubel.

Under the Moon is located directly beneath Blue Moon Grill, also owned by the Hubels, in Fulton’s Canal Landing.

“We will have a full bar and table service featuring our special Tapas menu,” said Bill Hubel. “There is no cover charge and reservations are welcome, but not necessary.

“We anticipate a very enthusiastic response to this opportunity to enjoy soft, intimate live music in Under The Moon’s warm ambiance,” he said.

The Anthony Joseph Swingtet has become especially popular among jazz enthusiasts who appreciate the refreshing new energy the group brings to various classic jazz standards and ballads that have stood the test of time.

The group was among the featured performers at the 2013 Fulton Jazz Festival and they appeared Under The Moon as part of two benefit performances that preceded the Fulton Jazz Festival.

The Swingtet’s 2007 CD was recorded as a trio and received a 2008 SAMMY Award nomination.

The Swingtet performers for Under The Moon are: Anthony Joseph, clarinet and vocals; Bill Palange, trombone; Tom Bronzetti, guitar; and Dave Welsch, acoustic bass.

The group provides the listener with a ‘swingin’ sound that is smooth, sweet, and in the groove. Usually performing as a small combo (trio, quartet or quintet), the group has been described as providing a ‘chamber music-like jazz setting, creating a pleasant atmosphere that is comfortable for the listener to enjoy the music.’

It is also quite obvious that the band genuinely enjoys performing and will naturally develop a friendly rapport with their audience.

“Tony Joseph is a master at connecting with his audience through both music and conversation,” Bill Hubel said.

For more information, contact Karen or Bill Hubel at 598-4770.

Fulton Common Council discusses domestic violence, campaign signs, STAR registration

By Ashley M. Casey


Fulton mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr. has proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. He presented the proclamation to representatives from Oswego County Opportunities’ Services to Aid Families Education program at the Oct. 1 Common Council meeting.

“[I] urge all citizens to observe this month by becoming aware of the tragedy of domestic violence, supporting those who are working toward its end and participating in community efforts,” Woodward’s proclamation read.

Meredith Needham, SAF Education program manager, and Sara Gozzi, SAF educator, accepted the proclamation on behalf of OCO.

A few council members spoke on the urgency of the issue of domestic violence in the community.

“It hits close to home,” said Fifth Ward councilor and council president Norman “Jay” Foster. He told the council and meeting attendees that his aunt had suffered abuse at the hands of her husband. “In my ward there’s a lot of issues with (this). You get out there and try to see what’s going on. It’s all about quality of life for the neighbors.”

Third Ward councilor Peter Franco also attested to the local effects of domestic violence. He commended the work of OCO’s SAF program employees.

“I was a police officer for a few years before I became a councilor, and domestic violence was really our biggest issue,” Franco said. “I want to thank (Needham and Gozzi) for doing what you do — it takes a lot.”

After the meeting, Needham and Gozzi said that SAF will be offering support throughout the county for communities to create their own campaigns against domestic violence.

“We’ve talked a lot about community change and how we can get it out to the community,” said Gozzi. “The leadership (in the county) is supportive of ending domestic violence.”

Needham said that SAF has reached out to City Hall in Oswego to light their building purple on Oct. 10 to raise awareness of the issue. “Silent witness” displays in Fulton and Pulaski include a shadow figure of a woman with information about domestic violence, surrounded by purple flags to represent the people SAF served in 2012.

Gozzi said that SAF is working with Oswego County pizzerias to put information about domestic violence on pizza box tops.

Needham said that providing communities with the tools to create their own campaigns would be more effective than SAF simply stepping in and doing all the work.

“It’s letting communities change themselves,” she said.

SAF is asking all Oswego County residents to wear purple Oct. 10 in solidarity with survivors of domestic violence.

“(The goal is to) get everyone in the community to say, ‘I know domestic violence exists, and I’m not okay with it,’” Needham said.

STAR registration explained

The council welcomed Kris Nuñez and Kay Kearney from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) to present on the new STAR registration process.

Under new state legislation, Basic STAR recipients are encouraged to register this year with DTF either online or by phone. This is to eliminate intentional and unintentional fraud and to make sure only

qualified homeowners receive STAR exemptions. Basic STAR recipients will not have to re-register every year after this application for 2014.

In August, homeowners should have received in the mail a packet containing property information, instructions on how to register and a unique STAR code. Visit and click on “Register for STAR” to register. You may also look up your STAR code on this website. Call 518-457-2036 with any questions or to register by phone. The deadline is Dec. 31.

The new legislation does not apply to senior citizens who receive Enhanced STAR benefits.They must continue to register with their local assessor.

VanBuren revamp contractor announced

The city has selected a contractor for minor repairs and painting of the VanBuren Park tennis courts. On the recommendation of recreation superintendent Barry Ostrander, the council unanimously voted for the low bidder E-Z Paving, which bid $25,900 for the job.

The other bidders were Nagle Athletic Services and Super Seal Sealcoating Co. Bids were accepted until 2 p.m. Sept. 20 and then read publicly at 2:15 p.m. that day.

Issues around town

A public hearing was held regarding the zone change on the block surrounded by Highland Street, South Third Street, East Broadway and Park Street. The block, which contains 14 residences, was changed from R-2, Residential, to R-1A, Residential, which allows single-family residences on smaller parcels of land.

There were no objections from the public or the council.

“I’m very encouraged by doing this,” said Foster. “It’s a good, healthy move to make … to promote better neighborhoods.”

Frank Castiglia Jr., who is running for county legislator in the 25th District, used the public forum to express a complaint about excessive campaign signs on city property.

“If it was my way, I’d say just put one of each candidate per block,” Castiglia said. “Yard signs put on city-owned property is a little bit annoying because if they have to do mowing, they have to move the signs.”

Woodward said that any signs found on city-owned property were removed.

“We throw them away,” he said. “They’re not supposed to be there.” Woodward stressed that signs were allowed on city right-of-way areas because that is public right-of-way as well.

Castiglia also asked about the city’s use of bond anticipation notes. Woodward explained that these are short-term bonds that must be paid off within five years, or within the useful life of the object they are used to purchase. Police cars, for example, are considered to have a three-year useful life by New York state. If not paid within that period, the bond goes to long-term or permanent financing.

Woodward said the city’s current bond anticipation notes are being used for equipment and vehicle purchases, as well as asbestos encapsulation and water damage repair at the fire department and municipal building.