Category Archives: Featured Stories

Dear Porky & Buddy — How to keep a pet from running away

Dear Porky & Buddy,

Several years ago, (when I was young(er) and foolish(er), I got a beagle puppy. I named her Randy and she was a great dog, but after only about six months she ran off and although I tried really hard, I could never find her.

I felt terrible and stupid and vowed to never make that mistake again, but just recently I finally bought my own house with a nice fenced in yard and I think I am ready to try to be a better “pet parent” now.

But I still think about Randy and want to never have to go through that again. If I do lose my new dog, how should I go about finding her or him?

Jo

 

Dear Jo,

You’re jumping the gun (so to speak) a little.

Start out by taking some sensible precautions that will make it much less likely that your new best friend will end up wandering off to meet Randy.

First, do your research about what kind of dog you want to adopt. (Yes, we are absolutely assuming you will adopt.)

Beagles and other hounds and hound mixes are great dogs, but they are hunters and they easily wander off on the trail of something. If you are prepared for that, fine, but be truly prepared, or you might want to think instead about a breed or mixed breed with less of a wanderlust.

Second, it’s great that you have a fenced yard, but that is no substitute for good identification — a collar with your name and number stitched right in (not just a tag that is easily lost) and preferably a micro-chip that you keep registered.

It is also no substitute for spending time with your new friend. Dogs left in yards by themselves get bored and will sometimes try anything to get out and explore. Go exploring together instead. That’s why you want a dog, right?

Third, make sure your new dog is well trained and learns to come without hesitation when she or he is called, no matter how tempted to run after something interesting. There are a lot of other commands that are important, but, for safety, “Come” is the one that is fundamental.

You can find great instructions and advice for teaching that command from the ASPCA at http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/teaching-your-dog-come-when-called.

Next week, we’ll write again about what to do if your dog becomes lost in spite of your best efforts. But first you have some  homework to do. Have fun adopting!

Speaking of adopting, go to www.oswegohumane.org to see all of the Oswego County Humane Society’s great pets available for adoption.

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 is 207-1070. Email is ochscontact@hotmail.com. Website is  www.oswegohumane.org.

News in brief

As of April 30, 2014, The Valley News will only accept classified advertisements for the Wednesday and Saturday print editions.

We will no longer publish classifieds online. To submit a classified ad, call us at 598-6397 or visit our office at 67 S. Second St., Fulton.

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The Phoenix Public Library, 34 Elm St., Phoenix, will host an informative program on sweetened beverages presented by Debra A. Hunsbeger, Nutrition Program Educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County.

The program is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Wednesday, April 23 (today) in the Century Club Room.

What does it mean to “Rethink your drink?” Do you know what an empty calorie is?”

Attend this forum for a close look at nutritional labels, an activity involving sugar, some informational handouts and a discussion on empty calories.

Parents are encouraged to attend with their children.

This event is free and open to the public.

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The Pratt House Museum, at 177 S. First St., Fulton, is hosting a program from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 (today).

The speaker will be Mercedes Niess,  executive director of the H. Lee White Marine Museum in Oswego.

She will talk about the H. Lee White museum programming for this season, celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the lighthouse in Oswego and an art exhibit which will start at the Canal Museum in Syracuse, then move to Phoenix, then Fulton, and ending in Oswego.

Admission is free.

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Registration for kindergarten and pre-kindergarten is taking place April 24 at all four Fulton elementary schools.

Times for registration are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m.

Please bring the following information to the registration: an original birth certificate for the child (with the raised seal); up-to-date immunization record and proof of residency.

Children who turn 5 years old by Dec. 1 are eligible to register for kindergarten.

Those turning 4 years old by Dec. 1 can register for Universal Pre-Kindergarten.

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There will be early dismissal for Fulton school district students in grades pre-kindergarten through 6 on Friday April 25.

The students are being dismissed due to parent-teacher conferences being held that day.

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A fundraiser for the Fulton Jazz Festival is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday April 23 (today) at Under the Moon in Canal Landing, Fulton.

The event will include great music, food and fun.

Space is limited. Register by calling 343-7681 or going online to oswegofultonchamber.com

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The Granby Center Fire Department will have its annual free open house April 26.

There will be a vehicle extrication drill for the public to view and also a tour of the firehouse. Everyone is welcome.

The event, held in conjunction with the Fire Association of the State of New York’s RecruitNY event, is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1400 County Route 8.

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The Oswego Festival Chorus, conducted by SUNY Oswego assistant professor Mihoko Tsutsumi, will present its spring concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 28 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, West Seventh Street, Oswego.

Admission is by donation. The chorus will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s “Psalm 42,” featuring soloist Nancy James, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Rejoice O’ Virgin,” Ola Gjeilo’s “The Ground” and Moses Hogan’s “Ride On, King Jesus.”

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University Police at SUNY Oswego will have special patrols out looking for motorists who are not wearing their seat belts now through May 4.

The patrols are part of the nationwide “Buckle-Up Day and Night” campaign.

Motorists increase their chance of survival in a crash by 60 percent by wearing a seat belt and don’t have to worry about being stopped by the police or receiving a ticket.

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Oswego County BOCES Deaf and Hard of Hearing Club is hosting a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Kids Walk for Type 1 Diabetes at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 26 at the Mexico High School outdoor track.

There is a $5 fee for the walk, or $20 donation for a team of five. Registration opens at the track at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the walk.

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The Fun Fling 2014 Luau Tropical Paradise is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26 at St. Paul’s Church, Oswego.

Tropical fun for all ages, games, activities and prizes. Cake and variety booths will have a wheel for spinning. Treats will be available to eat in or take out.

A chicken barbecue will be offered and will include macaroni salad, salt potatoes, roll and dessert. Game tickets are 25 cents each, and each game will require 1-4 tickets. There also will be a drawing for prizes. Tickets are $1 each.

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The annual chicken barbecue sponsored By Friends of History in Fulton is at 11:30 a.m. until sold out Sunday May 4 at the Pavilion at Bullhead Point.

The barbecue benefits the John Wells Pratt House Museum, local history museum, at 177 S. First St., Fulton. Eat in or take out.

For advance sale tickets, call 598-4616.

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Palermo TOPS 758 will have a free open house for the public at 10 a.m. Tuesday May 6 at the Palermo Methodist Church on County Route 35.

Information will be shared about TOPS, weight loss and support.

For more informations, call Kristal at 676-7021.

Autism Family Fun Walk May 3 in Oswego

The Oswego County Autism Task Force is in full swing with activities to promote autism awareness this month.

The eighth annual Family Fun Walk for Autism will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3 at Leighton School and Wilber Field in Oswego.

People of all ages can enjoy inflatables, face painting, crafts and a bubble area. Several local agencies will also provide a variety of activities, along with an information area where people can learn about specific resources available in Oswego County.

For the sixth 6th year in a row, the Task Force is seeking nominations for the “Friend of Autism” award. A new twist to the nomination process this year is that award nominations can be submitted in any manner or form in which you choose, such as writing a letter, designing a poster, creating a powerpoint, writing a song or producing a video on YouTube.

There will be a booth available at the Family Fun Walk for those needing assistance with preparing a video. Award nominees must be an Oswego County community member (individual or group, team or agency) who lives or works in the county, who has made a positive impact on those living with autism.

Nominees cannot be a current Oswego County Autism Task Force member. All nominees will be honored at a reception in May, where the winner will be announced. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, May 8.

This year, the Task Force is holding a Team Spirit Banner Contest during the Fun Walk event. Show your team spirit by designing your own Autism Banner – be creative and have fun!

There will be a prize for the most creative banner.

This fun-filled day is a fundraiser for the Autism Task Force and will help offset the costs of activities the group puts on during the year. It is a free event and open to the public.

In addition to reviewing award submissions and planning for the Family Fun Walk, the Task Force is offering the Brianna Cahill Scholarship to qualifying graduating seniors who are planning post-secondary education or vocational school this fall.

Scholarship winners must be a student in an Oswego County public high school, along with the following criteria: our application must be completed by the student. The recipient must be accepted to a post-secondary or vocational school. The recipient must be currently diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. All scholarship applications must be received by the autism task force by May 1 for final review.

For more information, call Theresa Familo at 598-7672. All submissions can be sent to Familo at Parents of Special Children, Inc., 2 B Tower Drive, Fulton, NY, 13069, by their stated deadlines.

Evening college fair set for April 28

The Oswego County Counselors Association (OsCCA) in conjunction with SUNY Oswego conducting an evening college fair from 6 to 8 p.m. April 28 in the SUNY Oswego Campus Center.

Lisa Roman, Oswego High School counselor and president of the Oswego County Counselors Association, said she is “excited to partner with SUNY Oswego to offer our families in Oswego County an opportunity to talk with college admissions representatives. “

“We are hoping that providing an evening college fair in Oswego County will encourage students and their parents to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about colleges of interest,” she said.

Every October, the Oswego County Counselors Association organizes a daytime college fair for students hosted by Cayuga Community College.

Each high school in Oswego County buses students to Cayuga Community College’s Fulton campus, where college representatives meet with interested students.

However, this spring event hosted at SUNY Oswego will be the first evening college fair in the immediate Oswego County area.

Dan Griffin, director of admissions at Oswego State, feels the timing is right for students beginning their college search.

“Now more than ever higher education is a family affair,” he said.  “Hosting this event in the evening will hopefully provide the opportunity for families to begin the process together.”

To that end, all age groups are welcome to attend.

More than 60 colleges and universities are expected to be in attendance at College Night April 28, with college admissions representatives available to answer questions from students and their families.

In addition, two 30-minute information sessions will be offered giving advice on how to navigate the college application process, and a financial aid table will be staffed by SUNY Oswego financial aid experts.

For more information, including the latest list of participating colleges, visit www.oswego.edu/collegenight.

View from the Assembly

By state Assemblyman Will Barclay

Library use has increased across the state.

According to some of New York State Library’s latest statistics, visits to public libraries increased by seven million from 113 million to 120 million from 2007 to 2009.

The number of items borrowed — books, ebooks, movies, magazines and more — has increased by more than 11 percent.

National Library Week is celebrated in April. This year’s theme is “Lives Change @ Your Library.”

The Assembly commemorated the week (April 13-19) with a resolution, which I was happy to sponsor. I’m an advocate for libraries and believe their presence is an important component to any community.

This year’s enacted state budget provided $86.6 million for libraries across the state. Thankfully, we were able to prevent cuts to libraries as the governor had proposed and instead, the Legislature slightly increased funding from last year by $1 million.

Libraries are an important part of both urban and rural communities and I was pleased funding was increased even if by a relatively small amount.

Historically, libraries have always been important to literacy, but they are also the leading digital literacy educators in New York and are the number one point of Internet access for those who do not have Internet access at home.

To meet the demand of New Yorkers seeking Internet access, including job seekers, libraries have responded by increasing the number of publicly-available Internet-connected computers by more than 28 percent, to more than 17,000 computers.

There are a number of resources available through libraries. I wanted to highlight one in particular that is provided by New York State Library called NOVELny.

It’s an electronic resource access project that enables residents across New York State to have online access to the full text of journals, newspapers and other references for free. It’s funded in part from federal dollars to libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) of 2013.

Users can access databases that maintain a warehouse of business highlights and journals, encyclopedias, elementary level periodicals, general periodicals, health references, and newspaper articles.

For example, a subject search in the eLibrary Elementary, one of the many searchable databases accessible through NOVELny, retrieves child-safe articles published in encyclopedias or magazines that are age appropriate.

Articles can be read in their entirety by the user. Users may also opt to have the article read aloud with a computer-enabled reader called ReadSpeaker.

Users can create and save a list of articles they like or may want to reference for research as well. Genealogy may also be researched through NOVELny.

To find out more, visit http://novelnewyork.org/databases.php.

According to the New York State Library, NOVELny provides a minimum of $35 in resources for every $1 of LSTA funding through statewide purchase of electronic information, now freely available. It’s a vast database but even more will be added beginning in July.

We need to continue to invest in our libraries, especially considering how much library use has increased in recent years.

I sponsor legislation that would amend the education law and enable libraries to utilize state aid to install broadband services. Given recent statistics of how much Internet use has increased at libraries, this is important, and especially important to Upstate and rural communities.

Currently, under the Public Library Construction Grant Program, $14 million is appropriated annually for construction, acquisition, renovation or rehabilitation of public libraries.

Excluded from this grant is aid for the purpose of installing broadband services. My bill would allow for libraries to access these funds for broadband installation.

I will continue to advocate for this legislation, A7680, moving forward.

If you have any questions or comments or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, contact my office by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by calling 598-5185.

Fort Ontario clean up set for May 3

Saturday, May 3 marks the third annual I LOVE MY PARK Day at Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Oswego.

I Love My Park Day is a statewide event to improve and enhance New York’s state parks and historic sites, bringing visibility to the entire state park system and its needs.

Volunteers from across the state will participate in cleanup, improvement and beautification events at New York state parks and historic sites.

Last year, Fort Ontario had one of the highest turnouts across the state with at least 80 volunteers showing up on I LOVE MY PARK DAY to help ready the fort for the 2013 season.

Coordinators are looking forward to doubling that number in 2014.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with work to start by 9 a.m. There will be assignments available for all ages and abilities.

General projects scheduled for I LOVE MY PARK Day include:

** Readying buildings for the 2014 season – sweeping, dusting, mopping and returning exhibits to buildings from winter storage

** Painting – the  exterior of Officer Quarters’ privy as well as the fort’s many benches

** Landscaping/clean-up -– trimming of hedges and bushes inside old fort, weeding and mulching flowerbeds in parking lots, cleaning up sticks, branches, and winter debris throughout the grounds, edging  sidewalks and pulling young weeds that grow among the stonework of the old fort.

In addition to these yearly tasks, the support garnered from I LOVE MY PARK Day 2013 has prompted organizers to plan three larger scale projects this year.

Cuts in both staffing and budgets in recent years have resulted in an overgrowth on the bluff overlooking Lake Ontario, which threatens to completely occlude views of the lake.

With enough volunteers on May 3, officials hope significant clearing can be done that will benefit literally thousands of people who use the grounds of Fort Ontario annually.

The second large scale project planned for the event is straightening headstones in the Post Cemetery. Many of the stones in the historic cemetery are leaning and in danger of falling over.

As this little cemetery is also visited by thousands of people per year, this small improvement will impact visitors throughout the entire year.

Finally, a replacement entry sign for Fort Ontario has been received over the winter and what better time to install it than on I LOVE MY PARK Day? Not only will the new sign and framework be erected, a new flower bed at its base is being designed to enhance the entrance to the fort’s main parking lot.

Everyone is needed on at Fort Ontario on I LOVE MY PARK Day. Scout troops, youth groups, sports teams, school clubs and civic organizations are all definitely welcome.

Bringing your own tools is highly encouraged although only hand tools are allowed (no power tools). Volunteers are advised to wear appropriate footwear, sunglasses and hats when working outside and consider wearing an extra layer of warmth as it is usually slightly cooler on the shore of Lake Ontario.

Feel free to bring your own water and snack, although a light lunch will be provided through our faithful sponsor Marks Pizzeria of Oswego.

In addition to volunteers, organizers are also looking for area businesses and individuals interested in donating supplies and/or tools to help make Fort Ontario’s third I LOVE MY PARK Day event a rousing success.

Kindness will be acknowledged by recognizing you as an official sponsor of the event. Individuals with expertise or backgrounds in forestry, landscaping or cemetery preservation willing to help lead project teams are also needed.

If you are interested in supporting Fort Ontario’s I LOVE MY PARK Day in either of these two ways, call  Ron Healt at 343-4711 or email him at ronald.healt@parks.ny.gov.

Those interested in volunteering for any of Fort Ontario’s I LOVE MY PARK DAY projects may pre-register for the event at  www.ptny.org/ilovemypark, or by emailing Jenny Emmons, event coordinator, at jenny.emmons@parks.ny.gov  or calling 343-4711.

State Senate Report

By state Sen. Patricia Ritchie

If you’re like me, you’ve had a teacher in your life who has made a significant, lasting impression on you.

Whether he or she taught you your ABCs or impressed upon you some of life’s bigger lessons, like being kind to others, many of us have teachers to thank for the people we have become.

In an effort to recognize teachers who go above and beyond to help their students succeed, I will once again be honoring educators with my “Golden Apple” Award for Teaching Excellence.

Last year, I was able to honor more than 40 educators from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties with this special program. This year, I am excited to recognize a new group of teachers for their dedication and commitment to helping others learn.

Teachers residing in the area I represent — Oswego, Jefferson and part of St. Lawrence County — are eligible for this award. Nomination forms can be found on my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov, or you can request that one be mailed to you by calling 782-3418.

All nominations must be received by May 9. All nominees will be recognized at a special ceremony taking place on May 30.

I know how important a quality education is, and I know how hard our educators work to ensure every student succeeds.  That’s why I’ve been working hard to support our region’s schools as well as our teachers.

Recently, the newly-enacted state budget provided $20 million in new funding for schools in the region I represent. This is the largest hike in five years, and nearly three times the increase proposed in January by the governor for Northern and Central New York schools.

It was once said, that a great teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart. I’ve met many of those teachers through my “Golden Apple” award program, and know there are countless others out there.

If you know a teacher who is impacting young lives by enabling students to achieve success, I encourage you to nominate him or her for this special honor.

 

Fulton ups fines for rental violations

By Ashley M. Casey

Fulton landlords will have to be a little more diligent in caring for their properties.

The Fulton Common Council amended the law concerning housing maintenance and rental permits to include steeper fines for property owners who skip out on inspections and a $500 fee to renew a revoked rental permit.

“It adds fees to multiple inspections and ‘no-shows’ to help offset our costs and entice owners to come into compliance in a more timely manner,” Brace Tallents of the code enforcement office told The Valley News. “We think that the $500 per unit fee will provide some incentive to the owners to pay a little more attention to their properties.”

The law amends the City Charter’s Subsection C 152(J), “Housing maintenance; rental permits.” The fee for a rental permit is $30 per unit, which includes one code inspection and one follow-up re-inspection to correct any code violations.

That fee doubles to $60 for a second re-inspection, and increases by $30 for each subsequent re-inspection, up to $180 for a sixth re-inspection. If a unit is occupied, the cutoff is the third re-inspection and the code enforcement officer files charges against the property owner.

There are also cancellation and “no-show” fees: $25 if the owner fails to appear within 15 minutes of a scheduled inspection, $25 if the owner cancels within 24 hours of the inspection and $35 for a second cancellation.

“This is not going to hurt landlords that take care of their properties,” Fourth Ward Councilor Jim Myers said. “This is basically recouping our costs for landlords that don’t fix up their properties in a timely manner.”

Fulton resident Dennis Merlino asked the council about “checks and balances” in terms of this amendment’s financial incentive to the city.

“What mechanisms does the city have in place to prevent this from being abused?” Merlino asked.

Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. said the fees mainly act as a deterrent to delinquent landlords and the city spends a lot of time in court battling with such property owners.

“We’re not going to waste our time … on people who don’t want to do simple housing maintenance,” Woodward said.

Tallents said property owners usually have 30 days to correct code violations. Woodward said landlords who are making improvements or need more time to correct violations can apply for an administrative hearing through the code enforcement office without incurring extra penalties.