Category Archives: Columnists

Poetry Corner: ‘Crayola Sunrise’ by Jim Farfaglia

Crayola Sunrise

By Jim Farfaglia

Somebody’s been up early,

coloring with the orange, waking

the eastern corner of our sky.

They’ve added some yellow,

which brings to light

the promise of this new day.

Trading their black for blue,

they shaded a starkness into joy,

filling in spaces with possibility.

Up above, here and there,

they’ve drawn patches of white,

so dreams can float and ponder.

Then, off in the west

goes a silver star, a reminder

of where we’ve come from

and where it is we’re heading.

State Senate Report: Summer Reading Program

By state Sen. Patricia Ritchie

As the school year winds down, students are itching to get out of the classroom and dreaming of days spent having fun in the sun.

However, while the season might mean time off from school, it shouldn’t mean a break from the books.

It’s so important that throughout the summer months, students keep their minds sharp to avoid what’s commonly called “learning loss.” Helping to ensure students stay on track is the New York State Senate Summer Reading Program.   Continue reading

How to train kitties, puppies

Dear Porky,

I am planning on adopting a new kitten.  How do I go about litter training her?


Dear Linda,

Thanks so much for adopting.  We wish you many years of fun and happiness with your new companion.

Here are the steps for litter training a kitten:

1. Put litter in a litter pan and put it somewhere that the kitten can find it.  Period.  End of story.

Seriously, kittens are born with such a strong instinct to cover their eliminations that they begin to do it almost as soon as they can get up and walk around.

They may develop issues with using a litter pan because of illness or later behavioral problems but it has nothing to do with “training.”  So you can relax about that and concentrate on acquiring enough cat toys.

Dear Buddy,

I am planning on adopting a new puppy. How do I go about house breaking him?


Dear Joe,

Thanks so much for adopting.  We wish you many years of fun and happiness with your new companion.

Question. Why would you want to break your house??? Oh, you mean you want to HOUSE TRAIN your puppy!

Sorry to worry about semantics but breaking and training are really different concepts.

House training your new puppy can be relatively easy and very successful if you devote the appropriate amount of time and patience to the task.

Your first task will be to teach your puppy where you want him to eliminate (go to the bathroom) by accompanying him every time he goes outside. Select a specific area where you want him to go that is easy to get to. Your puppy will become familiar with this place as he recognizes his odor from previous eliminations. Make sure to energetically praise your puppy after he eliminates in the proper area. You may want to offer a treat to your puppy as soon as he finishes eliminating. You may want to use a word during these excursions  that he will associate with going potty.

Make sure to take your puppy outside for a bathroom break after eating, drinking, sleeping or playing, basically every time he does anything at first. Develop a schedule of mealtimes, play sessions, confinement periods (for sleeping or rest) and trips outside to the “bathroom” to adjust your puppy to a fairly predictable elimination schedule. Putting your puppy on a schedule will help him learn the routine of going potty outside much faster.  You cannot take him out too often at first, but you will begin to see behaviors on his part that signal his need to go out.  You have to pay attention.

Preventing accidents indoors is the most challenging part of house training your puppy. To avoid this, you need to constantly supervise your puppy. When you are not able to directly supervise your puppy, confine him to a small, safe area. This can be a room or a crate. Always take him outside to eliminate just before you confine him.

If you are leaving your puppy home alone every day for long periods, you may want to consider hiring a dog walker so there are no unexpected accidents. Teaching a puppy to eliminate on papers or puppy pads gives your puppy an extra confusing step. Successful house training requires frequent outdoor bathroom breaks. Figure an hour for each month of age and add an additional hour to the total to determine how long he can go without a break. For example, an 8-week-old puppy can stay in the crate for about three hours.

Every puppy that has been house trained has made a few mistakes, be prepared for them! Punishing your puppy is the least effective way to correct his behavior. When you catch your puppy in the act of eliminating indoors, you should correct him with a mild, startling distraction such as clapping. Immediately take him outside to finish eliminating. Correcting your puppy more than 30 seconds after elimination is ineffective because he will not understand why he is being corrected. Never rub your puppy’s nose in his mess – you will only teach him to be afraid of you.

If (and when) your puppy has accidents inside your home, he may continue to eliminate at the same spot if he can smell the odor from his previous mistake. He thinks its the indoor bathroom area!  Use an effective commercial product to remove urine and fecal odor from the spot so he is less likely to return to this area.

House training your puppy can be a rewarding and bonding experience for both you and your puppy, but it will require work and thoughtfulness on your part.  Are you sure you don’t want a cat?

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 Website is

The Sportsman’s World

By Leon Archer

I suspect every sportsman who has ever owned a trailer – boat, camper, utility, or whatever – has experienced the occasional times when the lights simply refuse to cooperate. 

Other things can go wrong with the various trailers, but light problems probably make up 90 percent of all the frustrations. I have had my share of run-ins with lights that were intent on spoiling my day.  Continue reading

Jerry’s Journal: Mt. Adnah Scavenger Hunt

By Jerry Hogan Kasparek

Fast pitch revisited. 

Let’s rewind to two columns ago and Goldberg’s fast pitch softball team of 1955.

Carm Vescio Jr. called me and said he was batboy on another locally famous softball team, Vescio’s Construction, a company owned by his father, Carmen Vescio, Sr.

Carm Jr. was just a boy in the heyday of fast pitch, but he recalls that my late husband Mike Hogan played for Vescio’s All Stars and that “they traveled all over.”

He said the last name of Smokey, the pitcher I mention in that column, was Gabrowski and that Leo Love was another good pitcher they called in from the Syracuse area. (They were paid!)

He said he’s still amazed that “Booba” Tracy, one of Fulton’s most famous athletes, played ball with no glove on either hand! He also mentioned another great fast pitch player known as “Jughead” Milesky.

Don Smith called me as well. He was a close friend of Mike’s. He never played softball with him, however, but did play with Booba and he, too, marveled that Booba never wore a glove.

Don was introduced to fast pitch softball as a young man by “Bird” Smith, one of the older guys who invited him to join his team. “When’s Practice?” Don asked Bird.  “Practice?” Bird replied, “Just show up when it’s time to play.”

Don was a good ballplayer, too. He also has been a big fan of youth sports, is a very good writer on that subject, and I hope to interview him soon for a future column.

Let’s take a stroll through Mt. Adnah

There’s a ton of history on the headstones in our local cemeteries — names of veterans, of famous people who once were our elected officials, people who our streets are named after, names of firemen and policemen who served our citizens well — and names of dearly departed who always want to be remembered by what they put on their tombstones.

 If you read my last column you know that Mark Pollock was so impressed by what he saw and found while volunteering with some teenagers to place flags on the graves of veterans that he thought it was a good idea for teachers to take their students on a visit to our local cemeteries because of all the history they could find there.

Well, it turns out some teachers do just that!

Randy Dempsey, a fifth-grade teacher at Volney Elementary School for the past 11 years, called to say that it’s been a custom at his school for maybe 20 years or more, begun by teachers Jan Weldin, Kathy D’Ascoti and Alex Carter.

‘The Annual Fifth Grade Mt. Adnah Cemetery Visit’

This is the title of an assignment sheet that is passed out and instructs the kids, as they separate into groups, to try to find symbols on headstones and read the last name and dates as they appear on the stones and put them on a chart. “Happy Hunting,” they are also instructed.

Okay, Dear Readers, just in case you might want to do a little “hunting” yourself, here’s the list of symbols and what they stand for:

Arch — symbol of victory; Angel or Cherub — host that brings souls to heaven; Circle — eternity; Column (broken) — mortality; Cross — Christian symbol; Dog — fidelity; Dove with olive branch — soul had departed in the peace of God.

Flowers — condolence; Garland — victory in death; Hand pointing to Heaven — God’s hand; Hourglass — swiftness of time; Ivy — eternal life; Key — key to heaven;  Lamb — innocence; Lily — purity; Rainbow — reconciliation; Rose — condolence and shortness of life; Scroll — the paper of scriptures; Sickle — dying harvest; Sun — resurrection; Torches (upside down) — symbol of death; Tree trunk or limb — end of life cycle; Urn — dwelling place of the soul; Weeping Willow — earthly sorrow; Wheat — divine harvest; Skull — traditional symbol of death.

The students are asked to look for “A stone with the same last name as someone in your group, a stone with the same birthdate as someone in your group, a stone of someone who would be 100 years old if they were alive today, and a veteran’s stone, firefighter’s stone and a policeman’s stone.”

‘There is only one of each located in the cemetery.’

The children are also challenged to find the following:

1. The author of the Jameson Series. His name is Jones.

2. A stone that has trees, deer and a car on it.

3. A stone that has someone water skiing on it.

4. A stone with a coat of arms on it.

5. A stone with a fisherman and trap shooter on it.

6. A stone with a covered bridge on it.

7. A stone with a WWII plane on it.

8. A Deforest stone. What is the colorful picture on the bottom of this stone?

9. A stone that has a small Nestlé’s candy bar on the bottom of it.

10. A stone with a picture of a cottage street on it with both the American and British flags.

11. A stone that has a beer bottle on it and the words, “He liked his beer”.

12. A stone that has a Bingo card on it. (There’s more than one!)

I don’t have a list for St. Mary’s Cemetery, or Fairdale or Jacksonville, Dear Readers, or any of the other cemeteries in our area, but I bet there’s plenty of history you could find in any of them. Happy hunting!

Now here’s my caveat: 

Readers beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others share. Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up.

I hope you have fun reading my stuff. Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome.

You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!