Category Archives: Valley Viewpoints

Valley Viewpoints

Loves Fulton library

Congratulations to the residents of Fulton and the surrounding area for your wonderful library.

One of the historic Carnegie libraries, Fulton Public Library is a treasure that was built on the banks of the Oswego River. And, not only do you have a unique and beautiful building, the library has something to offer  almost every citizen.

Libraries are not just about books any more. Library services include access to computers, to databases and to downloadable books and audio books and to the collections of 64 other libraries in the interlibrary loan system.

Fulton Public Library offers programs that range from the celebration of local writers to the joy of children working together in an afterschool Lego club. If your family has history in the area, the Fulton library has cemetery and other recoreds prized by genealogists for research.

This is a story time for preschoolers and an outreach program to the senior housing centers. There are movie shows at the library and guest lectures.

Did you know that in 2013 local residents wrote remembrances of growing up in the area and published a book from a writing program at your library?

There is a lot happening at the library in Fulton, including job searches, tutoring and research. The community is connecting in ways that continually strengthen the very fabric of the area.

I believe libraries provide our best hope for the future because knowledge and information that is available to everyone is too dear to give up.

Noreen Patterson

Phoenix

A job well done

We had a very busy morning meeting with members of the Fulton VFW Post #569 and the Fulton American Legion at Mt. Adnah and St. Mary’s cemeteries in Fulton to help with the placement of flags upon the graves of our local veterans.

We had requested help from the students of Fulton Junior High and G. Ray Bodley High School boys’ lacrosse teams and the Fulton 13-14 indoor and travel boys’ soccer team.

We had about 50-plus students and parents and other Fultonians who met at 9 a.m. to volunteer time to this community event.

It was a wonderful experience to watch the students ranging in age from 13 to 18 years old listen to directions from the man in charge, Mr. John Young, and then begin to place flags, upright the usable flag holders and replace the broken flag holders as they walked the length and width of both cemeteries.

It was equally heartwarming to catch a glimpse of some of the students pausing for a moment and reading several of the headstones and then calling their friends over to show them a unique monument or read an epitaph.

I heard one boy mention, “wow this one was in WWI,”  and others mentioned that they were surprised to see so many people/couples who were married for over 50-plus years (as the years were listed on the individual monuments).

Several also paused to learn about the memorial garden at Mt. Adnah because it didn’t make sense to some of them as to why the stones were set up a little differently than the rest of the cemetery until one of the funeral director’s daughters explained how large caskets were not buried there, but instead smaller urns or containers of individuals who have chosen to be cremated and then buried.

What began as a community service effort turned into a life lesson for many participants. We also saw how the adults would stop for a moment and watch the reactions of the younger people when they saw a stone that may have said, for example, “Going Home,” or “Gone Fishing,”  or how the pictures etched on the stones told a story of a life once lived.

The history of the cemeteries did not go unnoticed as several boys also remarked about the large mausoleums dating back to the 1800s in Mt. Adnah and how they were awesome because they were made like a concrete shelter directly into the hillside.

We ended the morning with pizza and water provided by the Sugar Funeral Home, Inc. and Sugar and Scanlon Funeral Home. We thank the owner of Red Baron Pizza, Fulton and Mr. Wes Dean for going into work on a Sunday — a day off — to make pizzas for our volunteers.

When Mr. Dean learned that students were volunteering to help the local veterans groups he didn’t hesitate to change his plans and help provide lunch.

We at the Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., and Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home would like to publically thank our local veterans for having served our country and how they continue to serve our community.

We would also like to thank them on our behalf and the behalf of all of the participants of the flag placing. It was truly a wonderful experience and we enjoyed being a part of a small slice of your history.

As a bonus, the veterans  welcomed our help and extended an invitation for us to come back next year to help prepare cemeteries for Memorial Day.

Therefore, thank you all for a job well done.

Sugar and Scanlon

Funeral Home

Fulton

Don’t ask, don’t tell

That is the motto of the Oswego County Legislature.

It’s just a little bit different with them — it is more, ‘if you don’t ask we won’t tell.’ If you do ask, it is like you just committed a capital crime.

Let me explain in as few words as possible.

The last Infrastructure Committee meeting (that is the regular one not the special one), the committee chairman opened the meeting telling us that one item would be added to the agenda. It was a contract approval to change the electrical supplier for the waste treatment plant  on Route 481.

Among the first words out of the department head’s mouth were we are going to save money. He stated we have to change because we have gone through over half the money budgeted for electrical.

With that being said, I asked how much we are going to save. Not a good thing to do. The answer was, I’m not sure.  He gave us some paper work showing us estimated usage for the first 12 months in kwh. (Now that should have been a clue). He stated that it was a one-year contract, saying we would be paying close to 6 cents per kwh used.

It came time to vote. The vote came to me and I said “NO”. One of the other legislators yelled at me saying something like How can you vote NO on saving money? I said I can vote any way I please.

He said something. Then I said you know what, I’m changing my vote to abstain. He said you have to give a reason. I said fine. I don’t know enough about this to vote in favor of it or against it. Maybe you can look at something for five minutes and vote but I can’t.

I took the paperwork home that night and after reading it a little bit closer I read where it went from 2014 to 2016. The next day in the Health Committee meeting I asked the young lady that had taken notes of the Infrastructure meeting if it fact Mr. Visser had said that the contract was for one year or two years. She said he had said it was for one year. Why she asked. I then read her what the contract said. She then said, yeah that is two years.

The next day I called the person representing the new company trying to sell us an electrical contract. I asked him if what I had in front of me was a one-year or a two-year contract. He said it was a two-year contract.

I then called the person in our purchasing department. I asked him if he knew that this was a two-year contract, not a one-year contract. He said no. What makes me say that. I said that I didn’t take advance math. but if I subtract 2014 from 2016 I get two.

He then looked at the proposal in front of him and he said you’re right Frank.

I said this was not presented to us properly it should have been presented showing how much we paid last year and how much we should pay this year under the new plan. It wasn’t and therefore I can’t support it.

Now we may very well save some money, but with penalties for over use and possible penalties for under use, it is in doubt.

Well low and behold, they held a special meeting on a day I couldn’t attend and passed it changing it to a two-year contract.

Now I would say that each and every one of these legislators had a field day when Nancy Pelosi  said, “We have to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it.” Most people put it a different way. They said vote now, read it later.

This in fact is what the Republican caucus in the Oswego County Legislature seems to have done here and most of the time.

So again it comes down to “Don’t Ask and We Won’t Tell,” but if you do ask, we may not be able to tell.

Now you know why the county is heading straight to the Blue Boy.

Frank Castiglia Jr.

Fulton

Oswego County

Legislator 25th district

Valley Viewpoints

Watch for motorcycles

Spring is finally here and that starts the motorcycle riding season. 

May is designated as Motorcycle Awareness Month throughout the state of New York. All bikers like to take this opportunity to ask all drivers to watch for us, to share the road and to be aware of us when you are making left-hand turns or when you are proceeding through intersections.

A good rule for safety when making a left-hand turn is to look left once, look right and look left again before making your move — this can prevent an accident.    

Drivers of every vehicle should be attentive to their surroundings, no texting, no talking on the phone while you are driving. 

Let’s all work together to make Oswego County a safe place to drive.

Thank you.

Sandy Mensch  Public Relations

Oswego County ABATE

American Bikers Aimed 

Toward Education

Don’t close transfer stations

Oswego County residents unite!

They want to close Pulaski, Hastings, Oswego and Hannibal transfer stations and only leave Volney open.

Call your legislator and tell him what a bad idea this is. Lines will be very long at Volney. Prices for private pickup will be very expensive or you will see trash on the side of the roads, trash burning or backyard dumping.

Have our legislators stop this with your call. 

Pass this message on.

Joyce Buscemi

Fulton

Remember to vote May 20

Remember to Vote on Tuesday, May 20 !

I am writing to encourage all registered voters in the school district community to participate in the school budget vote and Board of Education elections.  

On Tuesday, May 20 registered voters in the Fulton City School District will be asked to vote on the 2014-15 school district budget. Members of the Board of Education approved a $67.4  million tentative budget at their April 23rd meeting.  

This budget, which was developed with input from a District Budget Committee and approved by the Board of Education, continues to provide and support quality educational programs, services and activities for our students.  

This budget also restores three primary grade elementary teachers and one special education teacher which were eliminated due to financial constraints over the past five years.   

The budget also restores funding to the athletics program and adds the opportunity to provide mental health services to elementary students through purchasing services through a community agency.    

The budget is a $2.1 million increase from the current year budget and represents a 3.2 percent budget increase.  The budget is supported by an increase of approximately $1.9 million in state aid, excluding building aid.  

It is noteworthy that New York state continues to withhold  $466,265  in foundation aid from our district through the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

The district is utilizing $2,040,000 in district fund balance to cover general expenses plus $750,000 from two reserve accounts to cover specific expenses for which the reserve accounts were established.  

Finally, a 1 percent increase in the local tax levy is anticipated, well below the district’s allowable School Tax Levy Limit increase of 3.2 percent.  

This spending plan supports district goals and the learning needs of all students, both high achieving and at risk. Specifically, all instructional programs and course levels are maintained, as are social and behavioral supports and services.  

The budget further covers costs for district transportation, the maintenance and upkeep of schools and facilities and staff salaries, benefits and retirement costs. 

The 2014-15 budget directs 75.1 percent of funds to student instruction, services and programs. Essentially almost all of the $2.1 million increase in the total budget is directed to the program portion of the budget, which focuses on student instruction and learning.  

The capital and debt portion of the budget makes up 15.1 percent, a reduction of $122,736, while administration is the remaining 10 percent, with an increase of $18,707.  

State aid will provide 62.1 percent of the revenue, with the local tax levy providing 29.9 percent and other revenues contributing 8 percent of support.

Voters will also cast ballots to elect four members to the Board of Education and consider a proposition to purchase two transportation vans.

Also on the ballot are two propositions from the Fulton Public Library: 1) to amend the Library Charter to become a School District Public Library  and increase the Library Tax to $350,000,  and 2) for the voters to elect the Library Board of Trustees.   

If you have questions about the budget, please contact Bill Lynch, Superintendent of Schools at 593-5510, Kathy Nichols, Business Administrator at 593-5505 or Betsy Conners at 593-5509.   

Information on the budget and the work of the District Budget Committee can be found at   www.fulton.cnyric.org.

William R. Lynch

Superintendent of Schools 

A parks thank-you

On behalf of the Friends of Fulton Parks, Inc., I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the community for their support of our recent projects. 

First, on April 27 we held a successful fundraiser at the Tavern on the Lock. Over 40 local businesses donated door and raffle prizes and over 125 chicken dinners were sold. 

All proceeds raised are designated to our two ongoing projects, the replacement of safety landing material in the city’s playgrounds and new equipment for the playground at Hulett Park. 

I’d also like to thank the many organizations, businesses and community members who volunteered their time during our Sparkle-a-Park cleanup efforts. 

Finally a special thank you to The Valley News for their sponsorship and cooperation in the park medallion hunt. 

All of these activities are meant to raise awareness of our park system and cosntinue to enhance their condition and appearance. 

We have many other exciting activities planned and look forward to the continued support of the community. Thank you.

David B. Guyer

President, Friends of 

Fulton Parks Inc.

Valley Viewpoints: Honor nursing home residents

To the Editor:

National Nursing Home Week, which begins on Mother’s Day May 11 and runs through May 17, honors the residents and patients currently in skilled nursing and rehabilitation care centers across the nation with special activities and events.

Sponsored each year since 1967 by the American Health Care Association, this year’s Nationa Nursing Home Week’s theme is “Living the Aloha Spirit.

In Hawaii, by “Living the Aloha Spirit,” a person shows love and respect to others and joyfully shares life to create a better world. Care centers strive daily to attain this ideal for all individuals in their care by focusing on person-centered care and continuous improvement.

This special week is also about people giving care. Caregivers often form meaningful, enduring relationships with residents and families that are beneficial to everyone – to the resident and to the caregivers who often consider each other “family.”

These workers help residents overcome the daily struggles associated with age, rehabilitation and disability.

 Nursing Home Week can be a time to reflect on the many challenges that society faces to ensure elderly parents and others are able to access the quality services they need in a skilled nursing care center.

Some of the national issues that one day may impede such access include: federal reductions in Medicare payments; limitations on therapy services, such as physical therapy; and government Medicaid payments that are on average $24.26 below the cost of providing care.

Most importantly for the week of May 11–17, National Nursing Home Wee is a great time to visit a loved one, friend, acquaintance or veteran. Take some time with the family to reach out and let a care center resident or patient know that you are thinking about them by visiting.

If you can’t do that, then make a phone call, send a card, flowers, or even an email. This special attention will surely help someone catch that “Aloha Spirit.”

Richard J. Herrick
President and CEO
New York State Health Facilities Association
Albany

Valley Viewpoints: Step up for youth soccer

To the Editor:

Fulton Youth Soccer has started its 36 consecutive year of play.

We had some sour weather early on, but we pushed through and are off to a great start. This year we had a situation arise that we have never encountered before and I want to explain the reason for that.

Starting last year we put a cap on the number of players each team can have.  We set that number at twice the number of players on the field, plus a goalie.

Continue reading

Valley Viewpoints: Pierce questions library vote

To the Editor:

The May 20 school budget vote will include a proposition regarding the Fulton Public Library.

With this proposition, the library trustees are asking to change the library to a “School District Public Library.” They are also asking voters to approve an annual budget of $350,000 a year for five years, which totals $1.75 million.

This proposition can be very misleading if not read completely before voting on it. Continue reading

Valley Viewpoints

Girl Scout thank-you

Thank you for saying Yes to Girl Scouts!

Thank you for opening your hearts and wallets to Girl Scouts who asked you to buy cookies and support their Cookie Program goals.

Your simple business transaction with a Girl Scout is helping her to build a lifetime of real world skills including money management, decision making, goal setting, business ethics and communications.

All funds earned stay local. Each troop determines how to spend their cookie profits and many will travel and experience camp together. And they’ll be investing in the community.

Troops use cookie dollars to complete community service projects like planting gardens. Individually, Girl Scouts decide how to spend their own cookie proceeds.

This summer, many Girl Scouts will pay their way to camp using cookie earnings.

Because you said yes, Girl Scouts from throughout the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways sold 1,809,755 boxes of cookies!

Thank you for understanding the value of investing in Girl Scouts and knowing your purchase is an investment in a girl’s future.

Can a box of cookies change the world? We think so. According to the Girl Scout Alumnae Impact Study, 70 percent of professional women are Girl Scout alums. Girl Scouts matter to our community, our country and indeed the world.

Girl Scouting works because of selfless volunteers. Thank you to the Girl Scout families and volunteers who dedicated countless hours making the Cookie Program an overwhelming success. Together, we will get her there.

Again, thank you for your support. By saying yes to Girl Scout cookies you are giving girls the opportunity to learn, grow and become leaders who can change the world.

Because that’s what Girl Scouting is – a place where girls gain courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place.

Pam Hyland

CEO

Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, Inc.