Category Archives: Fulton News

Storm dumps about a foot in Fulton, Oswego area

By Debra J. Groom

It may have seemed like the end of the world on Wednesday, March 12.

But actually, it wasn’t even the worst March 12 the area has ever seen.

Weather observers in Fulton and Oswego tallied about a foot of snow for the area on Wednesday. Both Paul Cardinali in Fulton and William Gregway in Oswego said they have only estimates for snowfall because the wind was blowing so hard it was difficult to get a good reading.

“I have been doing this for 45 years,” Gregway said Thursday. “This was the most difficult day to try to get a measurement that I’ve ever seen. The wind was out of the North-Northeast and was gusting from 40 to 45 mph. I had drifts here where I’ve never had drifts before.”

Cardinali agreed.

“I shoveled off a couple of areas to check the snowfall early Wednesday,” he said. “Come afternoon, it was all over.”

Cardinali measured about 13 inches for Fulton while Gregway came up with about 10 inches in Oswego.

But Cardinali reminded everyone the storm of 1993 was also on March 12. He said Fulton tallied 20 inches on that day.

So perhaps this past Wednesday wasn’t really that bad.

Stone Soup Too comes to Fulton

With the need for food subsidy increasing and food pantries throughout Oswego County being hard pressed to meet the growing demand, the United Way of Greater Oswego County is doing its part to raise awareness of the food shortage in Oswego County and encourage the community to help fill the shelves of our area food pantries.

From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 20, the United Way of Greater Oswego County will hold its sixth annual Stone ‘Soup Too’ Luncheon in Fulton.

Hosted by Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo St., Fulton, the United Way’s ‘Stone Soup’ Too Luncheon will draw upon the agency’s theme of ‘It’s Our Community … and It’s Personal.’

The United Way invites community members to come together to break bread, warm their hearts, gather with friends, and enjoy a delicious lunch of ‘Stone Soup while helping to support Oswego County’s food pantries that are struggling to meet the increasing demand for their services.

“This is our sixth year for our Stone Soup Too luncheon,” said Lois Luber, resource development director for the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

“It is the effort of our volunteers and committee members, and most importantly the strong support we receive from the community who return year after year to enjoy great food and fellowship that makes our Stone Soup Too luncheon such a success,” she said.

To date, a number of caring local businesses have come forward to donate the food and beverages necessary for the Stone Soup Luncheon.

Soups will be provided by: Mimi’s Drive-In, cheeseburger soup; Blue Moon Grill, cream of broccoli; The Foursome Dinner, ministrone; and Tavern on the Lock, vegetable beef and barley.

Dunkin’ Donuts is donating “Boxes of Joe”; C’s Farms & Davis Bros. will be providing the salad fixings; Red Baron will provide rolls; Kathy’s Cakes and Joe’s Corner Market are donating cookies; Hudson’s Dairy is providing water, and cake will be provided by Springside at Seneca Hill.

Luber added there would be table arrangements featuring canned soups, courtesy of Struppler’s Shurfine Market, that will be donated to the food pantries following the luncheon. The Fulton Lions Club also has donated $500 for the purchase of food for our local food pantries.

In addition to the luncheon, those in attendance will have the opportunity to win a number of door prizes, including gifts from Blue Moon Grill, Cayuga Community College, Price Chopper and Unique Hair Shoppe.

The United Way’s “Stone Soup Too” Luncheon is open to the public. The United Way is accepting donations of $5 per person. All proceeds from the luncheon will be used to support area food pantries.

Attendees are also encouraged to please bring a donation of non-perishable food, as the United Way will be collecting donations for area food pantries including the Salvation Army of Oswego County and Catholic Charities of Oswego County.

“Our food pantries are really feeling a strain this year and it is becoming especially challenging for them as they try to meet the demand for food subsidy throughout Oswego County,” Luber said.  “The food collected, and the money raised at our ‘Stone Soup Too’ Luncheon will be greatly appreciated.”

Those unable to attend the luncheon but would like to donate food items should call Tim Archer, director of Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Emergency Services program, at 598-3980 for information on where to drop off non-perishable food donations throughout Oswego County.

For more information, call the United Way office at 593-1900.

Fulton girl leads all-star bowling team to state title

Mikayla Guernsey, right, with teammate Kate Ely.
Mikayla Guernsey, right,
with teammate Kate Ely.

By Ashley M. Casey

G. Ray Bodley High School senior Mikayla Guernsey led the Section III all-star girls’ bowling team to victory at the state title championship March 2 on Long Island.

Section III girls won over Section VI by 53 pins with a score of 5772. The boys’ Section III team came in third place behind Sections XI and VIII.

Guernsey, 17, averaged a score of 213.33 over six games at Babylon Lanes in West Babylon, N.Y. Hers was the highest average of the six girls on her team and of the whole girls’ championship.

Guernsey’s fellow Fultonian and all-star teammate, Kate Ely, a junior at G. Ray Bodley, averaged 158.50.

Another Fulton junior, Kyle Denson, averaged 174.16 with the Section III boys’ all-star team.

“It was really, really cool … getting to compete against other people we don’t usually compete against (and) meeting new people,” Guernsey said of the state championship.

“We knew we had a really good chance, but I didn’t think we were going to win,” she added. “I was surprised — we were very happy.”

As a graduating senior, Guernsey said she will miss her teammates and the “close bonding” they have shared over her high school career.

“We’re all close friends, so I’m going to miss that a lot,” she said.

Guernsey’s father, Mike Guernsey, said the Fulton bowling coach is Mike Tryniski of Lakeview Lanes.

Mikayla Guernsey, who has been bowling since age 5, said she plans to study accounting at Robert Morris University in Chicago, Illinois.

She said the school is known for its bowling program.

Spots for OCO Retro Bowl fundraiser filling up fast

Team slots are disappearing quickly for this year’s OCO Retro Bowl, the annual bowling tournament fundraiser to benefit Oswego County Opportunities.

Retro Bowl takes place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.

OCO holds this fundraiser every spring to help support its programs and services.

Registration is $100 per team (five bowlers).

Choice of flights is available on a first-come, first-served basis: Noon to 2:30 p.m. or 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Businesses and individuals are invited to donate door prizes for the raffles and silent auction, and major sponsors are being solicited as well.

“This year’s proceeds will focus on ‘filling the empty plates’ of those who lack the resources to provide healthy meals for themselves and their families. We’re focusing on ways to reduce and eliminate hunger in Oswego County,” said OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier.

“OCO is an anti-poverty agency, and it’s our mission to fight poverty in many forms — including the inability to afford or prepare nutritious meals,” she added.

The money supports existing services as well as help build financial resources for the community’s future.

Every level of support makes a difference, Cooper-Currier continued.

“At OCO, more than 90 cents of every dollar received goes right back out to help people. That’s much higher than the national average for nonprofits in the United States,” she said.

“You can give with confidence that your money is working hard to combat the forces of poverty and hunger close to home,” she said.

The 2014 OCO Retro Bowl is sponsored by “Making a Difference” Sponsor G&C Foods, and “Building Dreams” Sponsors NRG Oswego Harbor Power, LLC; Oswego County Federal Credit Union; POMCO; and the Walmart Foundation.

For registration or sponsor information, or to donate a door prize, contact OCO at 598-4717 or visit the agency’s website at oco.org.

A private, nonprofit agency, OCO’s many programs touch the lives of more than 30,000 Oswego County residents each year.

One of Oswego County’s largest employers, OCO employs more than 600 people and boasts a volunteer force of 1,200.

County to expand landfill

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County should see the expansion of its landfill begin sometime next summer.

Director of Solid Waste Frank Visser said planning has been going on for some time on how and when to expand the Bristol Hill Landfill in the town of Volney. He said the county is planning to add another 5.3 acres to the site, which should last the county 10 years.

The cost — $3.5 million. It is one of the biggest factors officials are considering in looking at aspects of the 2015 county budget.

“It costs so much because there are several layers of polyethylene and clay liners that go into the landfill,” Visser said. These liners are built so nothing put into the landfill would ever leak into the ground or groundwater in the area.

Visser said drawings for the expansion are “99 percent complete.” The proposal then has to be reviewed and approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

He said county officials hope to put the project out to bid by Feburary so a contractor can be selected by spring 2015.

“There is a very narrow construction season for this,” Visser said, notig the work cannot be done when it is wet. “We hope to do it next summer.”

The construction will take about three months, he said.

Visser said the landfill has been operated well and has been depositing solid waste on seven acres of land opened in 1996. “That’s phenomenal for a landfill,” he said.

The main reason so little solid waste is being dumped in the landfill is the county’s Energy Recovery Facility in Fulton. Nearly all household garbage is taken there to be burned instead of being dumped in the landfill.

Visser said most of what goes to the landfill is sludge, contaminated soil and construction and demolition debris —things that can’t be burned at the Energy Recovery Facility.

Visser said Oswego County residents are “average” recyclers. When asked what could be done to get people to recycle more, he said programs to increase recycling cost a lot of money to run.

Visser said the Bristol Hill Landfill opened in 1983with 17 acres. There have been five additions since then — the landfill now consists of 40 acres.

Seventeen of the 40 acres have been closed and 23 are still being used.

Visser said the landfill’s 2007 permit was modified to allow the county to expand higher than the 23 acres it is now using.

Fulton administrators present first budget draft

By Ashley M. Casey

Fulton City School District administrators presented the first draft of the 2014-15 school budget at the March 11 board of education meeting.

The budget is expected to increase by 2.66 percent to $66,992,685 from the 2013-14 total of $65,259,100. The first draft projects a 1 percent local tax levy increase.

Superintendent Bill Lynch said there is a $1,280,378 shortfall in revenue. Lynch said he is hoping local legislators can lobby for additional aid from New York state to bridge the gap, rather than increasing the tax levy.

Lynch said the district is aiming for a “status quo budget” to maintain current student programs and services and only increasing to cover costs.

“Our mission is educating our students and supporting our staff … and the lion’s share of the budget goes to support that,” Lynch said,

The board will review a second draft of the budget at the April 8 meeting.

Construction update

Director of Facilities, Operations and Transportation Jerry Seguin updated the board on the various renovations across the district.

As part of the 2012 capital project, the district is renovating several classrooms, information technology infrastructure, heating and air conditioning, and computer labs in Volney and Fairgrieve elementary schools.

Over the summer, the district will replace the roofs at Volney and G. Ray Bodley High School, as well as the Education Center’s stage curtains and lighting.

As for the recently approved 2014-15 capital project, Seguin said the district has submitted a proposal for the Lanigan Elementary School gym floor and lockset replacement projects. These repairs are expected to take place over the summer.

The Granby Elementary School roof is expected to be replaced during the summer of 2015.

Technology update

Director of Technology Stephanie Maturo reported on several advancements Fulton schools have made on the technology front. The district has spent $987,524.56 on technology this school year alone.

Maturo said one of the main achievements was increasing the number of interactive whiteboards in core area classrooms to 217. In 2011, the district had only 32 interactive white boards.

Maturo said she has ordered more mobile technology carts for the schools.

“We’re really trying to shift the idea from a computer lab being a static place that you go to something being integrated (in the classroom),” Maturo said.

She also said the district successfully used the SchoolMessenger phone and email alert system for the Feb. 27 early dismissal.

“Even though some of the parents received (the alert) multiple times, dismissal went a lot more smoothly with less calls in to the buildings,” said Executive Director of Instruction and Assessment Betsy Conners.

The district has seen a huge uptick in activity on its two wireless networks. An average of 759 mobile-ready devices (such as laptops, tablets and smartphones) access the networks per week, and 2,680 such devices are in use this year. In 2011, only about 1,600 devices used the network.

Maturo said the district’s technology goals for the next school year are to install wireless networks at Fairgrieve and Volney, update software, prepare the network for computer-based assessments and introduce Schoology, a learning management system to improve “flipped” classroom-based learning.

Other business

  • As part of Music in Our Schools Month, musicians from Carrie Foster’s fifth-grade band performed “A Little Bit of Swing” for the board.
    Music teacher Debra Farden said 1,100 Fulton students will be performing at various music events in March.
    Volney principal Lisa Garofalo then led the fifth-graders in singing “Happy Birthday” to Farden and Foster, as they both recently celebrated birthdays.
  • Longtime board member Rosemary Occhino-Pilawa announced her resignation from the board, effective March 31. She cited her planned move from Fulton as the reason for her resignation. Occhino-Pilawa began serving in 2009.
  • The next regular school board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. March 25 at Fairgrieve Elementary School.

Snow emergency declared in Fulton

The City of Fulton has declared a SNOW EMERGENCY effective at 3 p.m. (March 12).

Snow and gusting winds along with a forecast of significant snowfall this evening have created very hazardous driving conditions. Motorists are advised against any unnecessary travel. Vehicles will be towed if they become stuck or if they present a hazard.

Public Works crews are aggressively working to clear streets. Due to the SNOW EMERGENCY, cars should not be parked on the roadway. This will assist Public Works crews in clearing the snowfall which began to accumulate earlier this afternoon.

Pedestrians should stay off the roadways if sidewalks become impassable as road surfaces are treacherous.

The following areas may be used by residents for SNOW EMERGENCY PARKING – those areas include Indian Point Landing (North First Street, off of Route 481 at the north city line)A and Bullhead Point (Route 3 West between the War Memorial and YMCA)