Category Archives: Valley Viewpoints

Membership campaign

by Michael A Szpak, Executive Director ARC of Oswego County

As a private, not-for-profit organization, ARC of Oswego County has been providing programs and services to children and adults with disabilities since 1953.

We provide ongoing service coordination for children; parent advocacy/training services; training and consultation to community based daycare and preschool programs, Medicaid Service Coordination, Senior Day Habilitation programs, guardianship, community recreational respite services for adults.

Our sister agency, Oswego Industries, provides pre-vocational and vocational training and supported employment to enable individuals to grow with dignity and achieve their highest level of independence and self-fulfillment.

Together, our programs and services create a comprehensive support system for Oswego County residents with disabilities; and to date, we have served thousands of individuals. We make a difference.

I’m pleased to announce the kick-off of ARC of Oswego County’s Annual Membership Campaign.

ARC of Oswego County is one of 42 countywide Chapters of NYSARC. NYSARC is also a not-for-profit statewide organization that provides support and advocacy for people with development disabilities.

With the inauguration of our Annual Membership Campaign, ARC of Oswego County invites you to consider becoming a part of our plans for the future.

By becoming a member, your generosity will allow you to share in our commitment to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities, and your annual membership plays an integral role in advocating for the rights of people with disabilities.

We are in the midst of rapid and radical changes in our field.  Federal and state funding mechanisms are changing as are the amounts that we receive for the programs and services we provide to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Now, more than ever, we must rely on our existing memberships and engage new members to join our cause as we navigate this ever changing political and fiscal environment.

By joining as a member, you contribute to ARC of Oswego County’s success in three important ways.

First, each name we add to our list of members increases our advocacy at the state and national levels, giving the ARC of Oswego County and the individuals and families we serve a more influential voice in legislative matters.

That has a direct impact on our federal and state funding.

Second, your membership contributions help to fund those items that government funding does not provide.

But most importantly, your membership is a statement that you believe in the importance of what the ARC of Oswego does and that you support our mission.

Please consider becoming a member today.

If you would like more information, please take a moment to call ARC of Oswego County at 598-3108. Your commitment matters. Your efforts matter.  Your membership matters.

This is your government

by Cheryl Holmes, Granby

Thursday, April 10 at 9 p.m., the taxpayer’s vote for county treasurer was stymied by a Republican legislature that is self-serving and out of touch with the lawful republic that our government was based on — a government for the people, by the people.

Incumbent legislators who presently own their own business would most likely not have hired Fred Beardsley to work for them. Those legislators that work for public, non-profit corporations, school districts or large companies, don’t care. They are in the habit of wasting money and all they want is more power to place key people into positions to enhance their ability to get re-elected, receive financial perks and advance socially.

Then there are the legislators who want to progress up the ladder of success just like Beardsley. They want the same as the others but they are also new and fearful of their job. They also want to get re-elected and keep building political favor.

These politicians don’t serve the Taxpayer, they woo, please and give the taxpayer free perks through slight of hand.

The politicians take your money and give it back to you through jobs and social programs after extracting their 30-percent share.

Seven legislators voted for the taxpayer and against Beardsley: Republicans Margaret Kastler and Shawn Doyle and Democrats Mike Kunzweiler, Doug Malone, Amy Tresidder, Dan Farfaglia, and Jacob Mulcahey. Republican Jim Karasak abstained because he was running for the treasurer’s position.

Fourteen Republican legislators voted for installing Beardsley: John Martino, Jack Proud, Dan LeClair, Robert Hayes, Linda Lockwood, Jack Brandt, Kevin Gardner, James Oldenburg, Shane Broadwell, Daniel Chalifoux, Terry Wilbur, Morris Sorbello, and Louella LeClair.

Beardsley was not present at the meeting to answer any questions.  The entire legislature was not allowed to question Mr. Beardsley.

Questions that were asked and that could not be answered by any one of the above voting for Mr. Beardsley were:

What is the candidate’s education? Did Beardsley graduate from high school?

Mr. Beardsley sold material to the Town of Hastings. The New York State comptroller reviewed Hastings Town records for years 1993 and 1994 and found Mr. Beardsley, the town supervisor, had a prohibited interest in a contract with the Town of Hastings. The town had purchased $6,728.00 in merchandise from Mr. Beardsley’s hardware store.

The comptroller also found in April 1998 to March 1999 a prohibited interest in certain contracts with the town for $18,464.28 in purchases at Beardsley’s Hardware Store.

The result being all accounts were closed except for the emergency highway account and it being capped at $600 per year as long as Beardsley remained in office.

The town was prohibited from purchasing merchandise from the Beardsley hardware store.

There were questions about bonding Mr. Beardsley as county treasurer that could not be answered. Can Beardsley be bonded?

When Mr. Beardsley left the chairmanship of the county Republican committee in 2011, the funds were severely depleted thousands of dollars were gone.

There was no reason to fill the county treasurer’s position for a period of seven months.

Legislator Margaret Kastler stood and told the legislature that she had spoken to the deputy treasurer Mark See many months previous to the Thursday meeting about handling the office of Treasury until the November of 2013 elections when a new treasurer could be elected by the people. See said there was no problem accepting that responsibility.

Santa Clause is a nice guy.  Would you as a voter put Santa Clause in office and operating your cash register if he had these credentials and this background?

This community has got to wake up and pay attention. Call your legislator. You cannot allow other people to vote for you.  These people are short circuiting our government process and they are cutting the voter – taxpayer out of fair representation.   This has to stop. Do yourself a favor investigate your representative before you vote in November?

Town vehicle clarification

by Jane Crego, Fulton

I guess I need to clarify my position on personal use of Granby Town vehicles because some readers didn’t quite understand my issue.

First of all, I was not referring to the Granby town employees taking home the big plow trucks to start plowing early before they get to work.

I was referring to them taking home a pickup truck that should only be used on very small roads and not on major highways — nor are they used on two-lane roads or to clear up emergency routes as the reader seemed to think.

Also, the reader who responded indicated that some places get two feet of snow where others get two inches. I get the two feet of snow. The employees who are taking home the plow pickup trucks are doing so because they choose to not use their own cars to get to work.

Also the employee who I am referring to is not the town highway superintendent, but an hourly employee who may or may not be insured. If this person has an accident while driving a truck that belongs to the town, our taxpayer dollars are paying for the costs.

Incidentally, there have been two incidents this year where town employees have damaged other traveler’s vehicles simply because of inattention.

Perhaps in Clay, it’s okay to use taxpayers dollars to fund personal use of town equipment and vehicles, but I pay enough in taxes in Granby that I don’t want to pay extra for something that is not directly benefitting the town or town citizens.

Bake sale success

by George and Carol Darling, Volunteers Oswego County Humane Society

As volunteers for the Oswego County Humane Society, we would like to thank all who made our recent pie sale a great success.

We appreciate the Fulton Tractor Supply Store for allowing us to hold out fund-raiser at their location. The management and staff have always been welcoming and very supportive of our efforts.

Of course, we thank our bakers. They gave generously of their time and talent to provide us with baked goods. And a special thank you to all who purchased our baked goods.

One hundred percent of the profits are used to support the activities and programs of the Oswego County Humane Society.

A world without the press

by William Fruce, Fulton

In everyday life, our press gathers information, conducts interviews, and takes pictures to communicate events happening in our world.

What would happen if the newspaper and our news media did not exist or was eliminated?

Newspapers, news channels, and the internet help express the events that occur each day. The press covers political news, and foreign affairs.

Social news covers topics such as homicides and natural disasters, and the latest developments in science and technology.

The Internet brings news to a greater number of people worldwide.  We hear news every day. The reason that we are able to hear the news so quickly is because of the press.

The press is similar to having a ball in a game. Without the ball, the players would not be able to play. These two things are closely related because the press is the ball that gives the news to the people.

Without the press, our knowledge of other countries and foreign affairs would be limited to what you would hear and would be full of inaccuracies and biased statements.

The press alerts us when a natural or man-made disaster occurs. There would be manipulation and lies without the press. The press brings the news to us in a factual way.

Freedom of speech is an important right that gives the press the ability to deliver news to society in a truthful and factual manor.

Our government seems to be encroaching on our rights. We the citizens of The United States of America need to uphold our first amendment for the benefit of our society.

EDITOR’S NOTE: William Fruce, a Fulton resident, is a ninth-grade student at Christian Brothers Academy. This letter was part of a school writing assignment.

April 22 is Earth Day

by Richard Drosse, Oswego County Environmental Management Council

The Oswego County Environmental Management Council is inviting individuals, schools, and groups to participate in Oswego County’s Earth Week, April 19-28.

In conjunction with this, the NYS Canal Corporation and Parks & Trails NY have designated April 19, 21, and 22 for Canal Clean Sweep. Any interested groups or towns wanting to help maintain the beauty and keep our Oswego Canal Corridor may contact Eli at canalsweep@ptny.org or (518) 434-1583.

As with other counties, Oswego County has invasive plants, which can choke out or kill native species, causing environmental and economic harm.

The most problematic plants are the Giant Hogweed, Swallow-wort, Japanese Knotweed and the Water Chestnut.

Of particular importance at this time, a destructive invasive beetle known as the Emerald Ash Borer has moved into New York State, killing ash trees. So far the Ash Borer has been found in areas west of Cayuga County and southeast New York, near Albany and further south.
The beetle infests and kills North American ash species including green, white, black and blue ash. Adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk.

Oswego county Soil & Water Conservation District can be contacted about the Ash Borer and other invasives at 592-9663 or 3105 Route 3, Fulton.

The Oswego County Department of Solid Waste web site at www.co.oswego.ny.us/dsw.shtml has information about what can be brought to the Solid Waste Facilities.

Oswego County would like to acknowledge groups and organizations for their efforts. An information and a participation form can be obtained from the Earth Week web site.

Trash bags will be available upon request through the cooperation of Oswego County Building and Grounds.

Collection of litter should be arranged with local towns, villages, and cities. Roadside litter collections turned over to municipalities for Earth Week and year round can be disposed of with no tipping fee, courtesy of Oswego County Solid Waste.

A limited number of safety vests are available for those groups or individuals working roadside cleanups.

A limited number of work gloves, if needed, will be available through a contribution from Novelis Corporation.

To help with a grant program for schools and youth groups, Novelis asks that participates donate any recyclable aluminum cans collected to the “Cans for the Community Program.” Local redemption centers will credit these cans towards the Community Program.

Thank you for your help and participation with this special countywide event.

Another side to the story

by Ruth Dattler, Clay

There was a Valley Viewpoint regarding drivers taking plows to their residences. Here’s another opinion on this.

Plow trucks need drivers as these trucks can’t drive themselves if drivers can’t get to them.

Snow squalls off Lake Ontario can drop two inches in one area and maybe two feet a mile away.

Road plowers are out in all kinds of weather day and night, often sacrificing holidays, so fire trucks and ambulances can have access to homes and businesses.

They’re concerned for people’s protection and I commend them for having immediate access to plows so people can get to work or, better yet, to their homes if they are from them.

You might do well taking your concerns to Mother Nature.

Stone Soup success

by Lois Luber, United Way of Greater Oswego County

I extend a heartfelt thank you to all those who lent their support to the United Way’s fourth annual Stone Soup Too Luncheon graciously hosted by Holy Trinity Parish in Fulton.

From the large amount of people who attended, to the many businesses and organizations that helped make the event possible, our Stone Soup Too Luncheon was a perfect example of the United Way’s mantra: “It’s Our Community…and It’s Personal” as the community came together to show their support for the United Way and help our area food pantries.

Our Stone Soup Luncheon would not have been possible if not for the efforts of our committee members; Catherine Trowbridge, City of Fulton; Helen Hoefer and George Timmins of Catholic Charities of Oswego County; Steve Chirello, Chirello Advertising; Karen Hubel, Blue Moon Grill; Lori Lyons and Michele Sherman of the Walmart Supercenter in Granby; Jo-Lynn Phillips and Stephanie Budd of OCO; Sue Witmer of Cayuga Community College Fulton Campus; Jan Rebeor, and our volunteers.

Thanks to the support we received from community members who attended, the generous donations of $500 from the Fulton Lions Club and $100 from the Fulton Sunrise Rotary, our fifth Annual Stone Soup Too Luncheon raised $1,125 for food pantries in Oswego County.