Category Archives: Oswego News

Scrabble Fest to benefit Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County

In the game of Scrabble, the word literacy is worth 13 points. In real life, it’s priceless.

Friday, Sept. 20, Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County will hold its seventh annual Diane Falise Memorial Scrabble Fest.

One of Oswego County’s most entertaining fund-raisers, Scrabble Fest offers devotees of the game Scrabble the opportunity to enjoy an evening of friendly competition, and more.

“Scrabble Fest is much more than just another fund raiser,” said Meg Henderson, coordinator of OCO’s Literacy Volunteers Program.

“Scrabble Fest is also a way to raise awareness of LVOC and our efforts to combat the issue of illiteracy in Oswego County.  Currently, approximately 15-17 percent of the adult population of Oswego County cannot read above the 5th grade level,” she added.

“The majority of LVOC students are between the ages of 19 and 59, with the fastest growing age group entering the program being between 18 and 29,” Henderson continued. “It is an issue that needs to be addressed, as these individuals are unable to do what many of us take for granted such as reading newspapers, medication labels, recipes and most books.  LVOC offers the opportunity for them to gain the literary skills and computer skills necessary for daily activities and more.”

Operating under the auspices of Oswego County Opportunities, LVOC provides confidential tutoring services at no cost to the student.

Tutoring includes basic literacy (reading and writing), English literacy to improve English speaking, reading and writing skills, and some simple math and computer skills

Scheduled for Friday, Sept. 20, the Scrabble Fest will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Oswego Elks Lodge #271.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., welcome is at 6:15 p.m., and games begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. Teams of four will compete against each other in four 20-minute rounds.

Team scores will be tallied and the top three teams will be awarded prizes.

To add to the fun of the event, there will be prizes for the team and individual who bring in the most pledges.

“Whether you’re playing, or just rooting on your favorite team, Scrabble Fest is a great opportunity to get your friends, family or co-workers together for an evening of fun for a very worthwhile cause that may have a tremendously positive impact on a person’s life,” added Henderson.

In addition to the Scrabble  competition, Henderson said that there will be a silent auction featuring some great items donated by local merchants who support LVOC, and a 50/50 drawing.

Entry fee for a team of four is $100 and includes light refreshments. The cost for individuals wishing to attend but not compete in the event is $15 (this fee includes light refreshments).

All proceeds from Scrabble Fest will benefit LVOC.

Those seeking more information may call 342-8839 or visit

School districts and United Way kick off Stuff-A-Bus Campaign

Members of the Oswego County Teachers Association, Oswego County Civil Service Employees Association, Catholic Charities, Oswego County Opportunities and United Way have announced that the annual Stuff-A-Bus Campaign is underway.

Working in collaboration with United Way of Greater Oswego County, other area school districts, and more than a dozen business and organizations, the annual Stuff-A-Bus campaign collects donations of school supplies for distribution to less fortunate students throughout Oswego County.

Beginning in April Stuff-A-Bus Co-Chairperson, Jo Ann Conzone organized a gift basket in order to raise awareness of the Stuff-A-Bus campaign and to encourage donations of school supplies in the Oswego City School District.

Patti Perfetti was the winner of that basket. She is also in contact throughout the school year with the Roller Derby Oz Girls who are supporters of this much-needed venue.

The APW school district has purchased raffle tickets for a cruiser bike and is selling them at this time; OCO collects supplies from communities for this program, many other county school district do a variety of fund raisers.

Conzone said, “I am proud to say that last year’s county give away totaled over 8600 supplies given to 1600 Oswego County families.   We are very appreciative of the work that the unions and county organizations do to help make the Stuff-A-Bus campaign so successful.”

“Hundreds of families are grateful for the supplies they receive.  Of course this would not be possible without the support we receive from the businesses and organizations that host their own school supply collections and serve as official donation sites for the Stuff-A-Bus campaign,” said United Way of Greater Oswego County Executive Director Melanie Trexler.

The highlight of the “Stuff-A-Bus” campaign will be the special collection day Wednesday, Aug. 14 when school buses will be at the following sites from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to accept donations of school supplies from pens and pencils to notebooks and backpacks.

They will be held at:

• Wal-Mart on Route 49 in Central Square;

• Wal-Mart on Route 104 in Oswego;

• Wal-Mart on Route 3 in Granby;

• Kinney Drugs at 3318 Main Street in Mexico;

• Kinney Drugs at 3873 Rome Road in Pulaski;

• Kinney Drugs at 17 South First Street in Fulton;

• The Hannibal Village Market IGA, Route 3 in Hannibal; and

• Fulton Savings Bank parking lot, Route 57 in Phoenix.

Those seeking more information on the Stuff-A-Bus campaign may call the United Way office at 593-1900 or the Oswego City School District Superintendent’s Office at 341-2001.

Oswego school board prepares for New Year

Kathleen Allen and Samuel Tripp were elected as Oswego Board of Education officers for the upcoming year.

During the annual reorganizational meeting, Allen became the new president of the board while Tripp will serve as the vice president for the 2013-2014 year.

Other appointments during the reorganizational portion of the meeting were approved for King & King P.C. (Architect of Records), William Foley (Clerk of the Board of Education, Clerk of the School District, Records Retention and Disposition Officer, Records Access Officer), John Edwards (District Treasurer), and Joyce Galletta (Deputy District Treasurer and Tax Collector).

Also, Michael Riley (Reserve Internal Claims Auditor), Peter Myles (School District Purchasing Agent and Title 9 Compliance Officer), Benefit Consulting Group (Health Insurance Consultant Services), Dermody, Burke & Brown CPA, LLC (Internal Auditor), Syracuse Newspapers (Official District Newspaper), Oswego Daily News (Official Media Website) and official bank depositories J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank, Key Bank, Community Bank and NBT Bank.

Raymond Wager CPA, P.C. was named the independent auditor for the district and the law firm of Ferrara, Fiorenza, Larrison, Barrett and Reitz P.C. was named as the attorney for the Oswego City School District Board of Education as well as for the school district.

During the regular meeting the board acted on several resolutions relating to school district business.

Approval was given for six to twelve Oswego Middle School seventh graders to participate in the Baja California Sur Island Ecology Program at Espirtu Santo Island, off LaPaz, Mexico during Spring break.

The board also approved the posting o several positions including a regular substitute English teacher, registered substitute Mathematics teacher, school bus driver, part-time school bus attendant, custodians, custodial workers and girls’ junior varsity soccer coach.

Christine Babcock was appointed as a temporary part-time typist while Marilyn Rhinewald was approved as a Data Processing Department typist.

Under finance the Board of Education approved a series of cooperative bids will Oswego County BOCES.

During the “Items from the Board” portion of the meeting board member Lynda Sereno announced she was resigning from the board. However, she retracted that decision and will continue to serve.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Oswego Board of Education will be Tuesday, July 23 with the public portion of the session slated to be conducted beginning at 6 p.m.

Outdoor Channel host promotes Wear It!

Campaign Brookfield Renewable Energy Group announced a new strategic partnership with veteran professional bass angler and Outdoor Channel series television host Joe Thomas to promote the Wear It! Campaign.

The Wear It! initiative raises public awareness about responsible and safe recreation on or near water, and the importance of wearing a life jacket.

“Brookfield first collaborated with Joe in 2012 for its Fish with a Pro sweepstakes, part of the Wear It! Oswego campaign,” said Shannon Ames, Brookfield’s director of community and stakeholder relations.“Joe follows many of the same common-sense safety tips Brookfield encourages when he’s fishing or hunting. We believe through this partnership, Joe and Brookfield can maximize our reach to more effectively convey the importance of the Wear It! water safety campaign.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity to really help make a difference,” said Thomas. “Having fished professionally for close to 30 years I understand the importance of water safety which starts simply by wearing a life jacket.”

The 2013 season of Thomas’ Outdoor Channel series Stihl’s Reel in the Outdoors begins in July and will feature special public service announcements made possible by Brookfield. The PSAs will remind viewers to always wear a life jacket when recreating on and around the water.

In addition, Thomas will also make personal appearances at select Brookfield hydroelectric generating facilities in 2013 and 2014 to promote the Wear It! initiative.

Heritage Foundation to offer appraisal service, consignment booth

Ever wonder what your prized family heirlooms might be worth? You will have the opportunity to find out at the Heritage Foundation of Oswego County’s Annual Antique Show & Sale.

The event, the Heritage Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year, will be held Harborfest weekend July 27-28.

The show will be held indoors at the Oswego YMCA Armory at the corner of West First and West Utica streets.

Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., attendees will have the opportunity to bring in their treasured antiques and have them professionally appraised.

“We are honored to be able to provide this valuable resource to Oswego,” said committee Chairperson Austin Wheelock. “Mr. Edward Becker Jr. of Colony Shop Antiques & Art in Fayetteville is a certified appraiser with almost 40 years of experience whose expertise includes Asian, European, and American antiques, American and European furniture, as well as paintings, sculpture, and other artwork.

“Our attendees will appreciate the wealth of knowledge and unique insight on the world of antiques and art that Mr. Becker has to offer.”

Appraisals will have a per item charge. Proceeds of the appraisals will be donated by Becker to the Heritage Foundation of Oswego County.

The antique show will also feature a special Heritage Foundation booth offering consigned or donated antiques and collectibles.

“The antique show is a great opportunity to sell these items with Heritage Foundation doing the work and the owner getting paid,” Wheelock said. “It’s a wonderful experience for those who may not otherwise participate in antique shows.”

The antique show will be open Saturday, July 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The show is within walking distance of the Harborfest activities or attendees can take the trolley to the front entrance.

There is limited adjacent free parking for antique show visitors.

Those interested in more information on consigning items or reserving a vendor booth may contact Wheelock at 532-1277 or leave a message at the Heritage Foundation of Oswego County office at 315-342-3354.


Leighton sixth graders recognized for academic achievements

Special awards – Frederick Leighton Elementary School sixth graders received the New York State Awards from the Comptroller’s and Attorney General’s Office.Triple “C” Awards as Jillian Dowdle (left) and Lara Kanbur) while Huckabee Fitzgerald received the Attorney General recognition. They were joined by Principal Julie Burger.
Special awards – Frederick Leighton Elementary School sixth graders received the New York State Awards from the Comptroller’s and Attorney General’s Office.Triple “C” Awards as Jillian Dowdle (left) and Lara Kanbur) while Huckabee Fitzgerald received the Attorney General recognition. They were joined by Principal Julie Burger.

As the school year wound down, the Frederick Leighton Elementary School recognized numerous students, including all of the sixth graders who advanced to continue their academic career at the Oswego Middle School.

Annually, School Principal Julie Burger distributed numerous awards as the students prepare for the next step of their education.

This year, the New York State Comptroller’s Award was presented to Huckabee Fitzgerald. Meanwhile, the Triple “C” Awards, from the New York State Attorney General, recognizing character, courage and commitments were presented to Lara Kanbur and Jillian Dowdle.

Several students were recognized for their dedication to education and as a result earned recognition from the President’s Education Awards Program. Students earning “Outstanding Academic Excellence” certificates included Shae Carter, Melissa Chun, Dakota Contryman, Jillian Dowdle, Sofia Loayza, Andrew Mosbo, Austin Mason, Caitlyn Murphy and Dylan Reitz. Receiving “Outstanding Academic Achievement” certificates were Samuel Allen, Janie Brooks, Alyssa Cheeley, Kaitlyn Kelly, Lara Kanbur and Thomas Wallace.

Burger congratulated all students for their accomplishments and wished them well on their continuing education years in the Oswego City School District.

Sixth graders from Laurel Artz’ class included Samuel Allen, Mitchell Barton, Joey Caron, Alyssa Cheeley, Robert Clark, Dylan Czuprynski, Hayley Domicolo, Jillian Dowdle, Huckabee Fitzgerald, Daniel Gosselin, Lara Kanbur, Corey McHenry, Heavenly Noel, Kay-Lee O’Brien, Madison Roach and Thomas Wallace.

From Carolyn Dehm’s class were Dakota Brown, Christopher Fox, Katrina Green, Stephen Greene, Amber Hammond, Matthew Hibbert, Austin Mason, Caitlyn Murphy, Nicholas Neider, Dylan Reitz, Nickolas Smith, Scott Sullivan, Christion Valazquez, Taylor Vickery and Drew Youngman.

Catherine Kelly’s sixth graders advancing included Janie Brooks, Griffin Calabro, Alexzandra Conzone, Mariah Cooper, Benny Derosa, Cameron Garafolo, Kaitlyn Kelly, Crystal King, Sofia Loayza, Katelinn McGuinness, Andrew Mosbo, Daniel Murphy, Javen Syke, Dylan Sobrino, Liam Tovey and Alexander Whiteside.

Moving on from Heather Lewis’ class were Marcus Barton, Joseph Burton, Melissa Chun, Dakota Contryman, Dominick Cullen, Bailey Elkin, Mackenzie Endres, Jacob Gibbs, Mary Guynup, Tatyana Jimenez, Aaliyah Moldonado-Cappetta, Sarah Marino, Carson Martin, Evan Reitz and Emily Sanders.

Summer Sunset Concert Series continues in Oswego

The third concert in the Oswego Summer Sunset Concert Series will be held Wednesday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Breitbeck Park in Oswego.

These concerts are provided free to the public by the City of Oswego and the Musicians Union of Oswego County. The 17-piece jazz ensemble, under the direction of Stan Gosek, will be performing this week.

Popular selections from all eras of Big Band music will be featured. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.


Oswego Independence parade and celebration set for tomorrow

Memorable moments – The tradition of the Oswego Independence Parade has been around for 50 years and created many memorable moments. Pictured is one favorite from years past, the late Len Ponzi, riding down the parade route in his Lake Shore Plumbing shower. The 50th Annual Oswego Independence parade will be held tomorrow, July 7 beginning at 1 p.m from. the Oswego High School and ending at the East Seventh Street tunnel at Fort Ontario.
Memorable moments – The tradition of the Oswego Independence Parade has been around for 50 years and created many memorable moments. Pictured is one favorite from years past, the late Len Ponzi, riding down the parade route in his Lake Shore Plumbing shower. The 50th Annual Oswego Independence parade will be held tomorrow, July 7 beginning at 1 p.m from. the Oswego High School and ending at the East Seventh Street tunnel at Fort Ontario.

When the Oswego Independence Parade steps off at 1 p.m. tomorrow, July 7 from the corner of Liberty and West Mohawk streets, it will be the 50th time the Oswego tradition has brought a sense of patriotism and celebration to the city streets.

While Oswego had hosted many parades on different occasions, it was during the early 1960s that friends and fellow Jaycee members Bill Greene and Bill Gregway decided that Oswego needed a bigger celebration for the nation’s birthday than just a fireworks display.

Thus, the tradition of the Oswego Independence Day Parade was born. The original parade had a budget of approximately $600 and started by the Oswego Hospital, traveling East to Fort Ontario.

Through the years, the Jaycees and Jayncees evolved the parade to an increased route and a celebration that included a drum corps show, originally held at Fort Ontario, then later moved to Wilbur Field at Leighton Elementary School.

When the local Jaycees group disbanded, several local service organizations stepped in to keep the tradition alive, and eventually the City of Oswego asked the local chamber of commerce to take over organizing the event.

For over 30 years, local businessman Jim Bushey and a group of volunteers spent countless hours designing, constructing and decorating floats. This year, Bushey plans to reconstruct a float he still has parts of in storage.

The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce Independence Celebration Committee decided the most fitting way to celebrate the 50th installment of the parade was to invite the people who worked to bring the parade together over these many decades to be honored as the grand marshalls.

All members of the Jaycees, Jayncees, civic groups, chamber members and all volunteers are welcome to participate. Grand marshalls can choose to walk the parade route or ride on trolleys provided by Allen Chase Enterprises.

Those seeking to participate are asked to gather at the corner of Liberty and W. Mohawk streets by the Oswego High School by 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 7.

Following the parade, NBT Bank will be sponsoring the annual Independence Celebration Concert. The Oswego High School Jazz Band will take the stage at Breitbeck Park at 7 p.m., followed by the Oswego City Band, which will play from 8:30 p.m. through the fireworks display, which begins at 9:45 p.m. over the Oswego Harbor. There will be food vendors and Good Times of Oswego will have several bounce houses available in the park during the concert.