Category Archives: Valley Viewpoints

Valley Viewpoints: Driver training

by Tim Farrell of Fulton

The death of a New York State Trooper was prominent in the news recently. The office died as a result of a single vehicle accident while pursuing a speeding vehicle.

It was reported that the officer was driving an SUV (a Chevrolet Tahoe). This is the second Trooper in approximately two years who has died in a similar manner, while driving the same type of vehicle, in pursuit of a speeding vehicle.

My personal feeling is that SUV’s are not an appropriate platform to use as a chase vehicle. There may be unusual circumstances that would warrant the use of SUVs; but certainly, routine speed enforcement is not one of them.

The Chevrolet Tahoe, like all SUVs, has a very high center of gravity, which makes a rollover a risky possibility while driving at speed.

SUVs are also quite heavy as compared to the typical law enforcement cruiser, which creates braking distance issues as well.

Anyone who has driven a high-heavy vehicle has probably noticed that his or her perception of speed and safety is quite different from the feeling they get from driving a car and usually a false sense of security is derived.

Driver training is another aspect that must be considered when thinking about the tragic loss of police officers while in pursuit.

I’m sure that the state gives our Troopers what they consider to be adequate driver training, though I suspect it is not.

 To read the rest of the letter to the editor, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Valley Viewpoints: No walking fee

by Frank Castiglia of Fulton

Do you remember when we had a beautiful downtown, you could swim for free, go fishing for free and go for a walk or even drive around North Bay for free. They are all gone like yesterday.

That’s right, I did say walk around North Bay for free is gone. About two weeks ago, I was told by my wife that a notice was in The Valley News saying that for a small fee you can walk from Bullhead Point into and around North Bay campground. I checked to see what the small fee is to walk into North Bay. It is $20, but that is for the season. Now, this fee is for everyone taxpayer or not.

Let’s take a real good look at this. A few years ago, the city officials were bragging about the completion of the walking trail leading from Bullhead Point to North Bay and how nice it was. Now the last time I checked, North Bay campgrounds is leased in the City Hall of Fulton by Granby. The walking trail was made by city workers. The money for the lease comes from tax dollars. The money to make the trail came from tax dollars (be it federal or state).

So, why should I or any other homeowner taxpayer from the City of Fulton have to pay a dime to walk, fish, or ride a bike or drive a car through North Bay Campgrounds.

Now I think I know the reason why, but I will go to Tuesday, June 5 common council meeting to find out why.

To read the rest of the Letter to the Editor, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Valley Viewpoints: Small-town library

by Jack Pope, President of the Board of Trustees at the Hannibal Free Library

The Hannibal Free Library Board of Trustees would like to thank the voters in the Hannibal Central School District for their support.

The affirmative vote in favor of the small library levy we requested indicates to us that the Hannibal community realizes the value of the Hannibal Free Library and understands that our expenses, like everyone else’s, continue to increase from year to year.

The board of trustees and our very dedicated library staff work very hard to provide excellent library service at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayers.

We believe that Hannibal has one of the best small-town libraries in the North Country Library System region and we intend to continue to provide the very best library service possible.

The very much appreciated support from the community will help us do so.

Valley Viewpoints: Shock in Fulton

by Bob Weston of Fulton

Fulton high school athletic director Chris Ells announced recently that Syracuse Shock, a semi-pro football team, will be having its home games played at the Fulton Athletic Complex.

Residents of the Fulton community got their first look at the team at the Memorial Day Parade.

At the present time, nine home games have been booked with the first two to be held June 9 against the South Buffalo Celtics and June 16 against the Monroe County Sting. Both games will begin 7 p.m.

The concession stand will be manned by the Fulton Athletic Booster Club.

I urge sports enthusiasts to come out and support the team as they demonstrate their skills and talents at a semi-pro level.

See you at the game.

Valley Viewpoints: Generosity

by Dennis and Lynn Lyons of Fulton

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We could say those words a thousand times and it still would never be enough.

From the very first day of the fire January 15 to this very moment, we have been blessed by the outpouring of our family, our friends, students, work associates and even friends of our extended family who we don’t even know.

All of you have come to support us in every unconceivable manor, yet all was given without any expectations or obligation to be returned.

We can tell you all without hesitation, that we are 1000 percent positive that we would not have been able to face each day with the insurmountable decisions that had to be made, if we did not have the support of our family and friends beside us every step of the way.

Without question, this has been a “life altering experience” for all of us. Our family lost an awful lot on that cold Sunday morning, some of which can never be replaced. But, we’ve gained something in return. It’s something that will never be forgotten in the compassion, the generosity and the sheer kindness shown to us by this small community.

So we would like to say with the utmost humility to everyone who has lent a helping hand, given a donation or has just kept us in their thoughts, your generosity is felt whole heartily and is appreciated beyond words. So once again…

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Valley Viewpoints: Bring back the dance floor


 by Stacey K. Lachut of VolneyI would like to start by saying how proud I am for Fulton’s Memorial Day weekend festivities. It reminds me of the small town that I grew up in years ago in Greenbelt, Md. However, I have a small bone to pick with the Memorial Day Salute Committee.

My husband, children, and I have lived in Volney since 1999 (husband Mike was born and raised here) and we have supported the Celebration Weekend in one way shape or form, i.e., being in the parade, going to the parade, the Carnival, or the War Memorial Entertainment.

The entertainment has always been the highlight of my weekend — with the exception of the last four or five years when the MDS committee started blocking off the front of the stage.

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Valley Viewpoints: No records found in Oswego

 by George M. Clark of Oswego

The United States of America and the State of New York brought an action against the City of Oswego for violating federal and state environmental laws relative to the City’s wastewater system.

As a result of this suit, August 5, 2010, a 77-page “Consent Decree” was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.

The decree specified a number of sites, in the city, that would have to be upgraded in order to prevent any further violations; the city would also pay $99,000.00 in fines.

It was signed by numerous state and federal officials with Mayor Randolph Bateman being the sole signer for the city.

Quoting from a regional print media article about outgoing Mayor Bateman’s accomplishments: “…probably the biggest project during his tenure was signing a consent decree with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the federal Environmental Protection Agency…”

Non-compliance with the decree could find the city back in federal court exposing taxpayers to additional costly fines.

With this in mind, Oswego’s officials included the position of assistant city engineer in the 2011 budget.

An individual, qualifying for the position would require the experience and credentials to properly oversee the implementation of the Consent Decree. Bateman decided not to fill this position leaving this important task in the hands of City Engineer Anthony Leotta.

In the Decree, Section VII Reporting; Paragraph 28 Quarterly Reporting; (b) (i) states that “for work performed by a private contractor, an inspection report by City utilities personnel of the completed project and certification by the City Engineer that the specified work has been completed; and (ii). For work performed by City personnel, a copy of the work order for the project verified by the City Engineer as having been completed.”

March 30, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Law, I filed a request with the City of Oswego’s records access officer (city clerk) to inspect these certificates for work that had been completed under the Consent Decree.

This request was denied April 5, 2012. The reason given by the city clerk was that: “No such record exists.”

Valley Viewpoints: ‘Knit Picking’

by Rose Anthony of Fulton

Forty-five years ago, I met a gentleman, Carmen Vescio, who rented me a tavern in Granby.

April 26, 1967, I signed a lease. I have been in one of the toughest businesses for 45 years. I consider myself a very good business person. I was on the town board in Granby for 15 years. I decided to give it up and give another person a chance to represent the people. Those 15 years I gave 100 percent to each and every person in Granby for their benefits.

Today I still go to every monthly meeting. When I see something to question at the meeting, I question, not for my benefit, but for all the people in Granby.

I questioned Lori Blackburn and her insurance because I thought it should be questioned and people the taxpayers pay for it.

Last month a person got up before the council and said, “When is the knit picking going to stop?” Its not “knit picking” in my book to question how our tax dollars are spent.

In my book, when a person turns into the Bowens Corner church to vote, the people selling baked goods at the polls should be stopped because people coming in may be told not to vote for this person.

Do you know how many years they have been doing this? They no longer are allowed to sell at voting. This is “knit picking” looking out for your own benefit.

To read the rest of the Letter to the Editor, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397