Category Archives: Phoenix News


Summer concerts continue at Phoenix’s Henley Park

Elvis at the park – Tom Gilbo (Elvis) gives sash to women in the audience at the Tom Gilbo & The Blue Suedes Concert. Summer concerts are continuing along side the Oswego River Canal in Henley Park in Phoenix.
Elvis at the park – Tom Gilbo (Elvis) gives sash to women in the audience at the Tom Gilbo & The Blue Suedes Concert. Summer concerts are continuing along side the Oswego River Canal in Henley Park in Phoenix.

Summer concerts are continuing along side the Oswego River Canal in Henley Park in Phoenix.

This year, the Town of Schroeppel is joining forces with the Village of Phoenix, which also received funding, to promote a concert series that includes both Monday and Friday nights for the months of July and August.

The goal for all involved is to encourage a greater appreciation of arts and culture in the area.  This is done by promoting, supporting and celebrating arts and culture locally.

By popular request, this summer’s Monday night concert series will feature a variety of music, especially country and oldies.

The concerts will take place at Henley Park, on State Street in Phoenix, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The remaining concert schedule is as follows:

• July 22 – Susan Taylor Trio (variety)

• July 29 – Weekend Pass (country)

• Aug. 5 – DeSantis Trio (variety)

• Aug. 12 –  The Custom Taylor Trio (Popular current country)

• Aug. 19 – Phoenix Community Concert Band

The Village of Phoenix’s grant from CNY Arts for the “Friday Nights of Fun” concert series, will feature a variety of musical styles performed by some of the most talented musicians in Central New York, and it will be held on Friday nights at 6 p.m. at Henley Park as follows:

• July 19 – Stone River Band

• July 26 – Vote for Pete

• Aug. 2 – Hendry Band

• Aug. 9 – Western Swing

• Aug. 16 – Clean Slate

• Aug. 23 – Nite Life

The rain location for all of  the concerts, except the Phoenix Community Band, will be at the Phoenix fire station (Route 57).

The Phoenix Community Band concert will be canceled in the event of bad weather.



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.

Phoenix receives grant funds to continue Friday night concert series

The Village of Phoenix has been awarded $975.00 from CNY Arts, formerly the Cultural Resources Council, under the 2013 Community Arts Grants Program.

Community Arts Grants provide support for arts and cultural projects to community-based organizations, groups, collectives, and artists in Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego counties that meet certain criteria.

Funds are provided by the State and Local Partnership Program of the New York State Council on the Arts through its Decentralization initiative.

“The Village of Phoenix is very excited to receive another grant for the Friday Nights of Fun concert series,” said Mayor Anthony Fratto. “Due to the overwhelming support for this program, we have expanded this year’s concert series to include seven performances by some of Central New York’s most talented musicians.

“One of our many goals of the Village of Phoenix is to enhance the quality of life for our residents and visitors,” Fratto aded. “We accomplish this goal by generating and supporting cultural experiences, such as the concerts in Henley Park.”

The Village of Phoenix will use the grant funds to continue the Friday Nights of Fun Concert Series, which was started in 2012.

The concert schedule has been finalized and will feature performances by Flat Face and the Shemp-dells July 12, Stone River Band July 19, Vote for Pete July 26, Hendry Aug. 2, Western Swing Aug. 9, Clean Slate Aug. 16 and Nite Life Aug. 23.

All performances will be held at Henley Park and begin at 6 p.m.

In addition to funding from CNY Arts, the continuation of this concert series would not be possible without the financial contributions of the Village of Phoenix, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Michelle’s Baskets and Bows, Dunn and Sgromo Engineers, Gingersnap Bakery, Leon Vickery, Inc/Vickery Insurance and KL Consulting Services, along with many generous donations from members of the community.

The Town of Schroeppel has also received a grant from CNY Arts for the Monday Night concert series that will be held in Henley Park.

The concert schedule is as follows: July 15 – Joe Whiting, July 22 – Susan Taylor Trio, July 29 – Weekend Pass, Aug. 5 – DeSantis Trio, Aug. 12 –  The Custom Taylor Trio, and Aug. 19 – Phoenix Community Concert Band.

The rain location for both the Monday and Friday night concerts will be at the Phoenix Fire Station.

The Phoenix Community Band performance will be cancelled if the weather is bad.


Top two students in Phoenix

Top Firebirds – Zach Manzer and Kyle Fisk, seniors at John C Birdlebough High School, have been named valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2013. –Valley News photo by Nicole Reitz
Top Firebirds – Zach Manzer and Kyle Fisk, seniors at John C Birdlebough High School, have been named valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2013.
–Valley News photo by Nicole Reitz

by Nicole Reitz

Zach Manzer and Kyle Fisk, seniors at John C Birdlebough High School, have been named valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2013.

Manzer, son of Alan and Janice Manzer, has a weighted grade point average of 103.8. He has taken many advanced placement courses in his high school career, including AP American History, European History, Chemistry, Biology and Physics.

He is also a member of the National Honor Society, and a member of the track and field and cross country teams.

Manzer will attend the University at Buffalo for chemical engineering. He received the Provost scholarship from the college and wants to continue track and field at a collegiate level. The University at Buffalo is a Division 1 school and track and field at this level would be a time commitment.

“I love doing track, exercising and staying in shape,” said Manzer, who joked about keeping the freshman 15 at bay.

Manzer chose the University at Buffalo because he wanted to attend an accredited engineering school without having to go out of state.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News

Phoenix softball team splits games to begin season

by Rob Tetro

The Phoenix varsity softball team won against Chittenango but lost to Bishop Ludden to begin the season.

The Lady Firebirds held on for a hard fought win against Chittenango April 8.

Unfortunately for Phoenix, there was a role reversal when it took on Bishop Ludden April 15. Despite the Lady Firebirds’ best efforts, Bishop Ludden escaped with the win.

After three scoreless innings, Phoenix jumped out to a 7-1 lead during the bottom of the fourth inning of its game against Chittenango.

Chittenango scored two runs during the top of the sixth inning to cut the Lady Firebirds’ lead down to four runs at 7-3.

Phoenix quickly struck back. The Lady Firebirds scored another run during the bottom of the inning to bring their lead back to five runs at 8-3.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Banzai program comes to Phoenix schools

by Nicole Reitz

As part of National Financial Literacy Month, Empower Federal Credit Union has partnered with the award-winning financial literacy program Banzai.

Due to donations by Empower FCU, Banzai, an online-based program, will be offered free to students and teachers in the Phoenix Central School District.

Empower is sponsoring 96 schools, including Phoenix, reaching over 64,500 students.

National Financial Literacy Month is recognized in April in an effort to highlight the importance of how money works in the world, while also teaching people how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits for a lifetime of well-being.

Debbie DuFour, who teaches business at JCB High School, has started using Banzai in her Small Business Management class, which is comprised of mostly juniors and seniors. She has also used the program in her account course.

DuFour instructs a unit on financial literacy and has students follow up with a simulation using Banzai. Students are then graded for completing the simulation.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can also subscribe by calling the office at 598-6397 or clicking on the link on our homepage

Phoenix school budget draft eliminates programs

by Nicole Reitz

The Phoenix Central School District presented the first draft of next school year’s budget last Monday.

The proposed budget eliminates programs and increases the tax levy in an attempt to close a projected $1.6 million budget gap.

Under a plan presented by Karl Seckner, the district’s business administrator, property owners in Phoenix would experience a 1.6-percent tax levy increase. A 4.45 percent tax levy is allowable without a super majority vote.

With program cuts and reserve spending, another $1.3 million would be trimmed from the proposed $42.7 million budget.

Phoenix’s expenditures are projected to raise to 3.6 percent — more than five times than its state aid.

“I don’t know how many more years we can continue to cut the state aid and still have quality programs for our students,” said Superintendent Judy Belfield.

Seckner advised the board of education to consider eliminating the $100,000 minor project fund and $77,000 for the Oasis Summer Reading Program. The reading program runs for 16 sessions and enrolls 100 students during summer recess.

Board members discussed the effectiveness of the reading program and whether the elimination would, in the long run, cost the school more money in extra supports for those students.

“Do you want to lose the program or do you want to lose a teacher? Because that $77,000 is a teacher,” said Seckner.

With seven teachers filing for retirement, the district will save $514,000 through attrition. Of those teachers, the board would only consider replacing two positions: an instructional specialist and a high school physics teacher.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Barbershop group to perform at library

The Phoenix Public Library will present Roger Wells and members of the Barbershop Harmony Society Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m.

Wells will give a short presentation on the art of singing in barbershop harmony followed by a 15-minute performance by the quartet. Wells will be available for questions after the presentation. Light refreshments will be served.

The library will hold a presentation by Toni McEniry from ARISE Thursday, March 28 at 2 p.m. in the Century Club Room.

ARISE has received funding from Central New York Affiliate Susan G. Komen for the Cure to promote education and awareness on breast cancer.

The presentation by McEniry focuses on self-breast examinations, clinical examinations and mammograms. The goal is to reach underserved women and uninsured women, a population that is growing as the economic recession continues.

This program from ARISE is to insure that more women receive preventive screening and follow-up breast health care, when needed, by providing one on one support to overcome barriers.

Those seeking more information may call McEniry at 671-2991.

These programs are free and open to the public. Those seeking more information may call the library at 695-4355.