Category Archives: Featured Stories

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 tax.ny.gov 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.

Proposed 2014 county budget unveiled

Oswego County residents could see their taxes go up about 16 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation if the proposed 2014 county budget is adopted.

County Administrator Philip Church unveiled the proposed spending plan for 2014 at this week’s meeting of the legislature’s finance and personnel committee.

The proposed budget totals $197,408,657 and carries a real property tax levy (the amount to be raised by taxes) of $43,053,017. This falls within the limit of the state-mandated real property tax cap.

The proposal includes a tax rate of $7.26 per $1,000, up from $7.10 per $1,000 paid by taxpayers in 2013. Church said in his budget statement that the average Oswego County house is assessed for $94,500, so someone with this house would pay $15 more in county taxes in 2014 than in 2013.

Church said when he began putting the budget together, the tax levy (amount to be raised by taxes) was at about $48.5 million. But savings in social services costs, electricity and employee costs due to attrition and use of $5.5 million in unappropriated fund balance and reserves, he was able to pare it to $43,053,017.

He cautioned county legislators that pulling money out of fund balance and reserves must continue to slow and warned that pulling more out this year to create a 0 percent tax increase could cause problems.

“We’ve been through many lean years lately due to mandate increases and a poor economy, and as a result, our reserves and fund balance are decreasing,” said he in his budget message to the finance committee. “The annual operating budgets are not generating monies adequate to replace reserves and fund balance anymore. Add to this the unpredictable impact of Entergy’s tax certiorari, which could force the county to refund several million dollars to the company.”

Entergy, owner of the James FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Scriba, is challenging its assessment in court. If successful in its challenge, Entergy may be owned millions in back taxes from the county.

“The preservation of our fund balance and reserves is, therefore, imperative,” he said in the budget statement. “I strongly recommend that any further reductions identified by the legislature during the budget process be applied to lower our reliance on fund balance and reserves, rather than lower taxes.”

Church did say, though, that the $5.5 million being used in the 2014 budget is more than $1 million less than what was used in the 2013 budget, “thereby making important progress in the vital goal of reducing reliance on these declining sources.”

No one is getting raises in the proposed county budget except those in the Civil Service Employees Association union contract. There are no layoffs and no new positions being created. Eight positions are being eliminated, five were downgraded and 32 vacancies are being filled at lower salaries.

Here are positives and negatives in the proposed budget:

Positives:

** After tripling from $3.1 million in 2009 to $9.3 million in 2013, the county’s contribution to the NYS Pension System decreased slightly by $200,000.

** Medicaid is now capped at $25,614,052 and Medicaid transportation has decreased $1.65 million.

** CHiPs (highway) revenue increased more than $500,000.

** The Health Department decreased it net cost by $112,020, partially by the elimination of three positions.

** The Department of Social Services continues to implement improvements, including elimination of under-performing contracts, maximizing the productivity of the current workforce and remaining contracts. Despite significant increases in mandates services, the department’s draft budget lowers its net cost to taxpayers by more than $200,000.

Negatives:

** State mandates continue to rise in costs to local taxpayers.

** Foster care costs are increasing $600,000.

** Maintenance for the new emergency communications system is increasing $309,000 because it is the first full year on the contract.

** Health insurance for employees and retirees is going up $433,987.

** An increase in the county-paid chargeback allowed by the state for tuition payments to Cayuga Community College increased nearly 85 percent. This increased Oswego County’s community college budget from $3.8 million to $5.4 million.

The overall tax rate paid by taxpayers is down about 20 percent from 2005. The tax rate decreased from 2005 to 2008, then stayed the same for 2009, then went down again in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The rate increased from  $6.95 to $7.10 from 2912 to 2913.

The next step in the budget process is the legislature committees will review the budgets for their particular areas — for example, the public safety committee will review the sheriff’s department budget. Each committee can make recommendations for changes.

Then the finance and personnel committee will look over all recommendations and either approve them or deny them.

The full legislature must approve a final budget by Dec. 20.

 

Rachel’s Challenge against bullying comes to Fulton Junior High

By Oswego County BOCES

For the second year, Rachel’s Challenge was brought to the Fulton Junior High School for three presentations.

Rachel’s Challenge is a school assembly program that combines footage of the Columbine High School shooting with Rachel Scott’s inspiring drawings and writings in a campaign to quell bullying. Scott was among the students killed during the 1999 shooting in Colorado.

The presentation for eighth-graders focused on five new challenges for students.

Mike Walker of Rachel’s Challenge presented these guiding principles: leave a legacy of kindness, show compassion, practice pre-acceptance, learn from mistakes and forgive yourself and others.

The presentation didn’t end there. Later in the afternoon, 100 students were chosen for the Friends of Rachel Club. The FOR Club is a place for students to feel safe and comfortable. Students were chosen based on staff recommendations and student interest.

FOR Club is an extension of Rachel’s Challenge, and provides the opportunity to continue on with the message of kindness and compassion throughout the school year. Eighth grade English teacher Emily Paglia is the FOR Club Advisor.

As a result of last year’s program, students involved in FOR Club helped the SPCA and talked about animal cruelty, sent chickens and goats to third world countries, raised funds during Fall Fest and visited Seneca Hill Manor, delivering Christmas cards and valentines.

Principal Ryan Lanigan said that he’s seen the school’s culture change in a positive way since introducing Rachel’s Challenge last year. “This is their club,” said Lanigan.“We want students who want to take ownership to be a part of the decision making process.”

At the beginning of the one and a half hour afternoon session, Walker asked students how the presentation impacted them. A handful of students shared their stories on how they’ve overcome adversity. The message beneath each personal account was to find your true friends and that things will get better.

The Friends of Rachel Club students broke up into small groups to brainstorm project ideas for the upcoming year. Collectively it was decided that the first project would be to use the stairwells as a blank canvas for tracing student’s hands and filling them with kind words.

Rice Creek welcomes public back with “Celebrating Science” event

 Submitted by SUNY Oswego

After a year of construction on a new field station, SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek invites the public to a welcome-back afternoon of events titled “Celebrating Science at Rice Creek” on Saturday, Oct. 12, to highlight science research, programming and fun with nature at the popular 400-acre living laboratory.

Dozens of family-oriented events, rain or shine from noon to 5 p.m., will include the following: guided trail walks — highlighting such topics as plant identification, invasive species, nature photography and butterfly research; children’s walks and an investigation station; facility tours and collection displays; and faculty, staff, student and community expert talks, information and demonstrations, including a keynote presentation by plant ecology expert and SUNY Oswego biological sciences faculty member Dr. C. Eric Hellquist.

The free public program will include shuttle service to Rice Creek from the parking area at Fallbrook Recreation Center. Both Rice Creek, 1 mile south of the main SUNY Oswego campus, and Fallbrook, about 1.5 miles, are on Thompson Road, just west of the main college entrance off State Route 104.

Events running concurrently all afternoon will include hands-on demonstrations of amphibian research and the chemistry of plants, a visit to the observatory to use the telescope and learn about daytime astronomy, a giant-pumpkin display, tours of the new, 7,700-square-foot field station and self-guided tours that include the Ruth Sachidanandan Herb Garden, whose new sign will have been dedicated in a ceremony that morning.

From noon to 3 p.m., “Celebrating Science” will offer information about bird migration and ecology; an information table for the facility’s community support group, Rice Creek Associates; a 20-minute media presentation titled “Rice Creek Field Station: A Journey to the Future”; wildlife viewing and tables for children to explore nature, art and more.

Hellquist’s 3 p.m. Rice Creek Reflections presentation, titled “The Great Lakes Watershed: Botanical Crossroads of a Continent,” will discuss the lakes’ notable position in the study of plant ecology, including some species found nowhere else in the world. Great Lakes ecosystems are home to a variety of plants whose presence reflects ecological conditions related to the lakes themselves, geological context and changing climate over the past 100,000 years, the scientist noted.

For a complete list of the day’s events, including the schedule of topic-specific guided trail walks and talks, visit oswego.edu/ricecreek or call 312-6677.

 

FULTON FAMILIES: Four decades strong, the Pawlewicz family perseveres

Editor’s note: Today we run the first in our series of stories about Fulton Families. The series will tell the stories of families that have either lived in Fulton for ages or perhaps only a short while — but the common bond will be they love the city and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. If you know of a family we should highlight, please email Debbie Groom, Valley News managing editor, at dgroom@scotsmanmediagroup.com.

 

The Pawlewicz family takes a portrait at their large Christmas every year. This is the 2011 family picture. Today, the clan numbers 53 — and counting.(Photo courtesy of Noretta and Bob Pawlewicz)
The Pawlewicz family takes a portrait at their large Christmas every year. This is the 2011 family picture. Today, the clan numbers 53 — and counting.
(Photo courtesy of Noretta and Bob Pawlewicz)

By Ashley M. Casey

Nearly every available square inch of wall space is covered in photographs at the home of Bob and Noretta Pawlewicz. With 10 children, 31 grandchildren, one great-grandchild — and counting — they need all the photo space they can get. Another grandchild is expected to arrive in December, and their second great-grandchild is due next April.

Of those 10 children, six have homes in or near Fulton. The other four remain in Upstate New York.

Although the Pawlewicz family is seemingly a fixture in Fulton history — perhaps you went to school with a Pawlewicz, or worked with one, or worshiped at the same church — Bob and Noretta, surprisingly, are not natives to the area. Bob hails from Syracuse; Noretta, from Cazenovia.

In the fall of 1969, with six children in tow and plans for more, the Pawlewiczes sold their house in Syracuse and began to search for something that could accommodate their family’s growth.

Bob worked at R.E. Dietz Company in Syracuse, so they drew a 45-minute radius on a map around the city and started hunting for a house.

“We wanted to go to the country but didn’t want my husband to have to drive more than 45 minutes to an hour,” Noretta said. She recalled packing up her brood and visiting potential houses all over Central New York.

Finally, the family settled in the massive house just outside the city on County Route 8, where Bob and Noretta still live today.

“The more we stayed, it was like we had lived here forever,” Noretta said. “The last half of our family was born here, so that’s all they knew.”

 

Proud family – Noretta and Bob Pawlewicz pose in front of one of the many family portraits displayed in their home.Valley News photo by Ashley M. Casey
Proud family – Noretta and Bob Pawlewicz pose in front of one of the many family portraits displayed in their home.
Valley News photo by Ashley M. Casey

Keeping the faith

The Pawlewiczes attended Holy Family Roman Catholic Church and sent their kids to Catholic school.

“Looking back, the school system was a big influence on my family, and the church,” Bob Pawlewicz said of his children’s Catholic education. “With these two things behind us, we make good citizens.”

Their children attest that family and faith are the two main pillars in their lives.

Dan Pawlewicz of Palermo is the ninth of Bob and Noretta’s children. He teaches physical education at Hannibal Central School District and is vice president of the Fulton school board.

He recalled the role that religion has played throughout his life: the late Father Joseph Champlin baptized him; performed communion, confirmation and marriage rites; and even baptized his and wife Julie’s four daughters, Alexis, Erica, Olivia and Abigail.

Julie Galvin — Pawlewicz No. 6 — and her husband, Pat, are striving to include the same spiritual education for their children, Patrick and Meghan. Julie is a special education teacher at Lanigan Elementary School.

“Faith and spirituality (were) a big part of our life,” Julie recalled. “We prayed together. My mother always said, ‘The family that prays together stays together.’ … I practice that with my own kids, and my husband has that same belief.”

Julie said that Pat, raised in Oswego, comes from a similarly large family with 11 children, so the parallels in their families’ structure have made it easy to align their views for raising their own kids.

“As a kid, I didn’t understand because I thought it was more of a job that my parents wanted me to do — go to church, say my prayers,” she said. Now, she sees the importance of the morals her parents instilled in her and her nine siblings. “I want my kids to see those same values.”

 

This photo was taken in 1969, the year the Pawlewicz family moved from Syracuse to Fulton. Top row: Lori, Bob, Debbie; bottom row: Bill, Julie, Sheri, and John.Photo courtesy of the Pawlewicz family
This photo was taken in 1969, the year the Pawlewicz family moved from Syracuse to Fulton. Top row: Lori, Bob, Debbie; bottom row: Bill, Julie, Sheri, and John.
Photo courtesy of the Pawlewicz family

Family first, then Fulton

“Our community is a source of who we are,” said Sheri Spencer, Bob and Noretta’s seventh child. Sheri is a therapist who lives in Clifton Park, N.Y.

Although she said she misses Fulton, she and her husband, David, have no plans to return to the city. But she will never forget how growing up in Fulton shaped her and her siblings.

“I am so blessed. I think, ‘Wow, we were so fortunate to have grown up in a community with so many resources,’” she said.

Bob and Noretta encouraged all their children to pursue sports and other activities in school and in the community.

Sheri recalled swimming at the Westside pool, participating in traditional Polish dancing and seeing “Grease” with the whole family at the old movie theater downtown.

As much as she loves Fulton, Sheri said that her parents taught her that “community is secondary — family is first.”

Her sister, Julie, said that their parents helped them “understand what it looked like to have a healthy relationship.” Julie recalled huge family dinners in which everyone could socialize and share their problems. The whole family — each person at a different age, a different mindset, a different stage in life — would offer a new perspective.

“It was an unspoken unity that we had at the dinner table that was very special,” Julie said.

 

Turning the tide

Although on the whole, the Pawlewiczes’ view of life in Fulton is very sunny, they are not ignorant of the problems in their beloved city. Fulton once made a name for itself as “The City the Great Depression Missed,” but the Pawlewiczes have seen industry decline in their more than 40 years here.

However, the problems they see here are indeed fixable, and not unique to Fulton.

“There are problems in this community just like anywhere else,” Noretta said. “You try to avoid those things, and correct where you can.”

Noretta said it offends her when people choose to leave Fulton instead of trying to make the community better.

“There are so many things that are positive if you just look for them,” she said. “I worked for the Fulton Community Development Agency for more than 20 years. … I had a taste of both sides of the fence. Like anything else, you have your good days and your bad days, but certainly the positives outweigh the negatives in the things I did for the community.

She added that Fulton offers its citizens many resources, such as Oswego County Opportunities and the YMCA.

Her husband stressed that if Fultonians want their city to improve, they must take an interest in the community and each other.

“They can’t just sit back and moan and groan about how things aren’t right. They have to make things right,” Bob said. “I’m a firm believer in the ripple effect: You do good things and they keep moving on to other people. … We have to see this as our city and make it a good city.”

Dan echoed his father’s “ripple effect” philosophy. He suggested that the people of Fulton volunteer in schools and community organizations.

“There’s hope. There’s promise. There’s a lot of good things in our community. I believe in our mayor, trying his hardest to do with what he’s got. I commend volunteers … trying to make it a better place,” he said. “It’s a new generation of people. Granted, you don’t have your ‘Nestlés,’ but there’s a lot of interesting things going on.”

“My parents have tied Fulton to good things and family,” Julie said. “Good things happen in Fulton.”

Julie said that she and Pat have never had a desire to leave Fulton.

“We just knew this is where our heart was, in the area closest to our family,” she said.

In addition to their extensive clan, the Pawlewiczes hold dear the Fulton community as a whole.

“It’s a very giving, caring community,” Noretta said. “Many of our kids have professions where they could work anywhere, but they’ve chosen to stay here. They grew up with a sense of belonging and loyalty.”

“There’s a lot of hard-working people here — lot of honest people,” Dan said. “I hope people have hope (and) do their part. … It’s a team approach.”

Fifty-plus members strong, the Pawlewicz team shows no sign of giving up on Fulton, and they hope their fellow Fultonians don’t either.

The 10th and youngest Pawlewicz, Jennifer, was born in 1973. Top row: Noretta and Bob; middle row: Bob Jr., Julie, John, Sheri, Bill; bottom row: Lori, Dan, Jennifer, Rick and Debbie.Photo courtesy of Noretta and Bob Pawlewicz
The 10th and youngest Pawlewicz, Jennifer, was born in 1973. Top row: Noretta and Bob; middle row: Bob Jr., Julie, John, Sheri, Bill; bottom row: Lori, Dan, Jennifer, Rick and Debbie.
Photo courtesy of Noretta and Bob Pawlewicz

Nothing to do? Check out our calendar for coming events

Here’s a list of calendar items coming up for the next few weeks:

Sat., 10/5
9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Scrapbooks for genealogy and regular reading, Volney Town Hall, County Route 3, Volney Center
9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fall rummage and bake sale, First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third St.
4:30 p.m., Palermo Harvest Dinner, Palermo United Methodist Church, 11 County Route 35, Palermo.
9 a.m. to 1 p.m., First United Church of Fulton rummage sale, 33 S. Third St., fulton.

Sun., 10/6
11:30 a.m., Friends of History in Fulton chicken barbecue, Pavilion, Bullhead Point, Fulton.
10 a.m., New Life Band performs at Gods Vision Christian Church, Hannibal.

Mon., 10/7
7 p.m., Phoenix school board of education.
1 p.m., Fulton CROP Hunger Walk, Fulton.

Tues., 10/8
Noon to 1 p.m., live online information session on SUNY Oswego’s MBA programs.

Wed., 10/9
Noon to 2 p.m., senior citizen lunch for those age 55 and up, Little Utica United Methodist Church.
11 a.m., senior health and wellness fair, sponsored by state Sen. Patricia Ritchie, Fulton War Memorial.

Thurs., 10/10
7 p.m., Schroeppel town board meeting.

Fri., 10/11
5:30 p.m., potluck covered dish birthday supper, Phoenix Senior Citizen club, town building on County Route 57A
2 to 9 p.m., photography event for church members and the community, Palermo United Methodist Church, sign up for an appointment at www.appt.lifetouch.com
5 p.m., fish dinner, Masonic Hall, Main Street, Phoenix

Sat., 10/12
4 p.m., roast port and dressing dinner, Pennellville United Methodist Church, County Route 54. Crafts for sale also.
8 to 11:30 a.m., all-you-can-eat Belgian waffle breakfast, Lamson Grange #588, 9108 Fenner Road, Lysander.
1 to 4 p.m., open house, St. Francis Commons assisted living residence, Oswego.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hannibal American Legion Auxiliary craft show.
Noon, registration for United Way Walk-A-Thon, outside Lanigan Hall at SUNY Oswego. Walk begins at 1 p.m.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., photography event for church members and the community, Palermo United Methodist Church. Sign up for appointment at www.appt.lifetouch.com
4:30 p.m., turkey and biscuit dinner, Oswego Center United Methodist Church, County Route 7, Oswego

Sun., 10/13
1 to 4 p.m., open house, St. Francis Commons assisted living residence, Oswego.

Mon., 10/14
6:30 p.m., meeting, Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court #833, Holy Trinity Church, 309 buffalo St., Fulton.

Tues., 10/15
7 p.m., Phoenix village board meeting, Sweet Memorial Building.

Wed., 10/16
6:30 p.m., wellness discussion, “Protection from Colds and the Flu,” First United Church of Fulton, 33, S. Third St., Fulton.

Thurs., 10/17
4:30 to 5:30 p.m., live online information session on SUNY Oswego’s MBA programs.
7 p.m., second annual Desserts for a Cure, Oswego Alliance Community Building on Thompson Road. Money raised goes to making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

Fri., 10/18
6:30 p.m., Anthony Joseph Swingtet at Under the Moon, below Blue Moon Grill, Fulton.
6:30 p.m., Oswego County Harvest Dinner, American Foundry, Oswego.

Sun., 10/20
Noon to 4 p.m., benefit for Ryan Barry and his family, Oasis Room, Thunder Island, Granby. Ryan was paralyzed in an accident at Casowasco camp this summer. For information, call Jan Rebeor at 593-1930.
11:30 a.m., chicken barbecue, Cody Fire Department Station 2

News in Brief

A panel discussion of the deliberate sinking of historic ships with ties to the Great Lakes Seaway Trail waters of the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie has been added to the Oct. 5 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar at SUNY Oswego in Oswego, NY.

Sarah Tichonuk, a nautical archaeologist with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, Vt., will join Dive Captain Dale Currier and New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White for the panel and open discussion at the 9am to 1pm event.

The practice of deliberately sinking ships from significant military to commercial vessels creates artificial reefs suitable for recreational divers, diver training programs, and tourism promoters.

Other presenters on the 9 a.m. To 1 p.m. program include Christopher Nicholson, designer of the remotely-operated underwater vessel used by National Geographic to film the wrecks of the War of 1812 schooners in Lake Ontario. National Weather Service Forecaster Bob Hamilton will present information on the historic weather conditions that influenced the Revolutionary War wreck of the HMS Ontario and will share his recent research into the 1913 White Hurricane on the Great Lakes.
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It is the time of year to return to the woodland and join its spirits in a Halloween celebration.

Woodland Halloween Festival will be held at the Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. 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. Activities will be moved indoors with inclement weather. 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.

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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.

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The First United Church of Fulton is having its annual fall rummage sale from 10 a.m. To 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 and 9 a.m. To 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at the church at 33 S. Third St., Fulton.

A $3 bag sale will take place Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. The basement boutique will be open both days.

The sale will include winter clothing, shoes, books, household items, jewelry, toys, collectibles and other items. Light lunch foods and bake sale items also will be available for purchase.

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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.

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Partnership for Success in the Fulton school district is putting on a forum titled “What Does it Really Mean to be College and Career Ready? from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 at Fulton Junior High School.

Presenters will be Superintendent William Lynch and Executive Director of Instruction and Assessment Elizabeth Conners.

Child care and refreshment will be available. For more information, call 593-5509.

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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.

 

 

 

 

Reopening celebration at Rice Creek Field Station Oct. 3

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego’s renewed Rice Creek Field Station, set among nearly 400 forever-wild acres south of campus, showcases its commitment to the natural world, utilizing such features as solar power, a state-of-the-art heating-cooling system, green construction materials and rain gardens to demonstrate conservation in practice.

“We want to be a good example for the community, to show that it is possible to do things in a sustainable way,” said Lucina Hernandez, biological sciences faculty member and director of Rice Creek.

Rooftop photovoltaic solar panels — the solar array is about the same size as the one to rise soon atop the college’s new Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation — will supply an estimated 40 percent of the power the 7,700-square-foot building needs.

Rice Creek’s high-efficiency, variable-volume-refrigerant system enables heating and cooling to go on in different parts of the building simultaneously. Super-insulated foam and high-performance windows help reduce energy consumption by about 30 percent compared with buildings of standard consumption.

With parking at a premium, at only nine spaces adjacent to the new field station, encouraging alternative means of transportation comes naturally to Rice Creek as well.

“There are few parking spaces, and that was not by chance,” Hernandez said. “We need people to realistically think about saving energy.”

Hernandez pointed out that a Centro shuttle delivers students to Rice Creek’s doorstep five days a week. The field station also encourages visitors to carpool and bicycle.

Retaining rainwater

SUNY Oswego chemistry faculty member Casey Raymond, who worked closely with Facilities Design and Construction coordinator Allen Bradberry on Rice Creek and the Shineman Center, pointed to bio-retention landscaped swales adjacent to the new headquarters as an example of concern for nearby wetlands.

“They help with storm-water management, allowing rain to run off the building, percolate among the swales’ hardy plants and naturally filter into the groundwater” instead of flowing directly into the pond, Raymond said.

Hernandez said several faculty members have enthusiastically embraced the new $5.5 million field station and its surroundings, holding classes this semester either in the building or on the grounds in plant, wetlands and waterfowl ecology, ichthyology (fish-related zoology) and behavioral biology, as well as field research projects.

Inside the field station, a terracotta lattice shades the two large and one small research laboratories from the sun, while energy-efficient windows and shades keep out heat and allow in light, decreasing the need for powered lighting.

“With the new building here, professors know we are very accessible,” Hernandez said. “The students see the advantages to coming here. More students want to take classes here.”

Diann Jackson, the field station’s assistant director coordinating educational programming, said the renewed field station opens up new interdisciplinary potential. For example, she is working with technology education to start a sustainability project for science and technology students modernizing the design and structure of Rice Creek’s compost bin.

Rice Creek Field Station resumed its naturalists’ public programming on Saturday, Sept. 7, and plans to announce more programs for the community, with a new emphasis on sharing faculty and student research and techniques with the public.

“We are not isolated here,” Hernandez said. “We do science for the service of the public.”

Rice Creek Field Station will have its formal reopening celebration at 3 p.m.  Thursday, Oct. 3.