Category Archives: Other News

County Household Hazardous Waste facility opens May 1

Are you wondering what to do with your child’s old chemistry set or that pail of expired pool chemicals?

Oswego County residents will be able to safely dispose of unwanted chemicals, pesticides, and other hazardous waste products beginning Wednesday, May 1 at the Oswego County Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility.

Located at the Bristol Hill Landfill, 3125 N.Y.S. Rte. 3, Volney, the facility will be open Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 to 11 a.m. from May through September.

The program is free to Oswego County residents and is sponsored by the Oswego County Legislature and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

“The household hazardous waste collection facility gives residents a convenient way to safely dispose of expired chemical products and unwanted hazardous wastes,” said Frank Visser, Oswego County solid waste director. “This method of household hazardous waste management has proven to be cost-effective and user-friendly. Materials are packaged and stored in a secure area until a sufficient amount has accumulated for shipping.”

Customers should pull their vehicle up to the side of the building, which is located between the transfer station and solid waste offices.

Drivers should remain in their vehicles and wait for materials to be unloaded by the solid waste department staff.

These items are accepted at the collection facility: Acids, adhesives, aerosols, airplane glue, antifreeze, auto batteries, light ballasts (non PCB), brake fluid, cements, charcoal lighters, chemistry sets, chlorine, cleaning fluids, compact fluorescent bulbs, corrosives, degreasers, dioxin pesticides, disinfectants, drain cleaners, dry gas, epoxies, fiberglass resins, and flea products.

Also, fluorescent light bulbs, furniture polish, hair removers, herbicides, hobby chemicals, inks, insecticides, lacquers, lighter fluids, lubricants, mercury containing devices, moth balls and flakes, nail polish and remover, and “no pest” strips.

Also, oil-based paints (no latex paints will be accepted), oven cleaners, paint removers and thinners, permanent solutions, pesticides, photo chemicals, pool chemicals, rat poisons, rubber cements, rug and upholstery cleaners, rust solvents, silvex pesticide, solvents, spot removers, tub and tile cleaners, turpentine, varnish, waste fuels, weed killers, wood preservatives, and wood stains.

Materials should be in their original containers and placed in sturdy cardboard boxes. Leaking containers should be wrapped in newspaper and placed in a clear plastic bag.

Dried latex paint, used motor oil, household batteries, cell phones, computers, electronic equipment, and appliances containing CFC refrigerant are accepted year-round at the transfer stations.

There is no charge for recycling electronic equipment such as computer monitors, microwave ovens, fax machines and televisions.

There is a fee to recycle appliances that contain CFC refrigerant.

Visser requests that, for safety reasons, people do not bring children or pets to the collection site. Smoking is prohibited in the unloading area.

The Solid Waste Department also accepts hazardous wastes from

Oswego County businesses that meet the regulatory requirements.

Business owners should contact the solid waste office to find out if they qualify and to obtain a cost estimate for disposal of materials.

Those seeking more information may call the Oswego County Solid Waste Office at 591-9200 or visit the Department of Solid Waste Web site at www.oswegocounty.com/dsw/index.html.

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Literacy Coalition holds book drive to benefit local youth

dv1940060Developing literacy skills in children at a young age is essential. Reading not only helps them succeed in school, it introduces them to a world of knowledge and imagination that they may enjoy for a lifetime.

To help promote literacy for local youth, the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is hosting a book drive for youth.

Now through Saturday, May 11, the agency is accepting donations of gently used books that would be of interest to toddlers through teens. The books will be distributed to during the Oswego Independence Day Parade and the Fulton Memorial Day Parade.

“Over the years we have given away hundreds of books to area youth,” said Melanie Trexler, executive director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County. “We are proud to be a part of The Literacy Coalition and are dedicated to helping our youth thrive by enhancing their learning experience.”

Jennifer Cook of Assemblyman Will Barclay’s office, chairperson for the book drive, echoed the importance of reading and the positive impact it has on a child’s future.

“By providing youth with books we are doing much more than promoting literacy — we are preparing children for kindergarten, increasing test scores and graduation rates, and helping our youth discover the joy of reading and the wonder of imagination,” said Cook.

Donations of gently used books for children and teens may be dropped off at the following locations:

• United Way Office, 1 S. First St., Fulton (Inside Community Bank).

• Greater Oswego-Fulton

Chamber of Commerce, 44 E. Bridge St. Oswego, and Suite 12, Canalview Mall, Fulton.

• Fulton School District Office,  167 S. Fourth St., Fulton.

• Assemblyman Will Barclay’s Office, 200 N. Second St., Fulton.

• Sen. Patty Ritchie’s Office, 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego.

• Eastern Shore Associates

Main Office, Cayuga Street, Fulton.

• Cayuga Community College,

Fulton Campus.

• Minetto Fire Department.

• Oswego City School District Office, East First Street, Oswego.

Arrangements for pick-up can be made for donations of large quantities of books. Those seeking more information on the book drive may call the United Way office at 593-1900.

Comprised of more than 36 local organizations, the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is focused on improving literacy in Oswego County by addressing literacy needs of people of all ages.

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Operation Safe Stop set for April 18

78493857It is estimated that every day in New York State alone, 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass stopped school buses.

It is not only illegal, but extremely unsafe, to pass a school bus with their red lights flashing, whether approaching from the front or from the rear of the bus.

Flashing lights signal that a bus is stopped for either loading or discharging students.

April 18, law enforcement personnel from across the state will participate in Operation Safe Start.

Officers will patrol in marked and unmarked vehicles and officers will be onboard buses in select areas that have a history of illegal passing complaints, watching for violators.

Police will ticket those drivers who pass stopped school buses and violations will be reported to a central command post where final figures will be available to state and local officials as well as to the media.

Penalties for passing a stopped school bus include a $250 to $400 fine, five points on a license and up to 30 days in jail for a first offense and significantly higher penalties for subsequent offenses.

Operation Safe Start seeks to promote school bus safety through education and enforcement efforts.

The project is cooperatively supported by the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the New York State Education Department, and many other state, county, and local law enforcement agencies and organizations.

It is through these cooperative efforts of the many traffic safety partners and their continued commitment to protecting school children and educating the motoring public of the dangers association with passing stopped school buses, that helps make Operation Safe Start a success.

Last year’s Operation Safe Stop enforcement results reported 1,316 tickets issued for passing a stopped school bus along with 1,201 other moving violations.

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BOCES Deaf/Hard of Hearing Club welcomes Dan Farfaglia

Oswego County BOCES Deaf/Hard of Hearing Club Member Char Purchas from the Mexico Academy and Central School District introduces special guest Daniel Farfaglia during a recent club meeting. Purchas invited Farfaglia to speak to a group of her peers and parents about closed captioning devices that enable movie-goers who are deaf or hearing impaired to enjoy an evening at the cinema.
Oswego County BOCES Deaf/Hard of Hearing Club Member Char Purchase from the Mexico Academy and Central School District introduces special guest Daniel Farfaglia during a recent club meeting. Purchas invited Farfaglia to speak to a group of her peers and parents about closed captioning devices that enable movie-goers who are deaf or hearing impaired to enjoy an evening at the cinema.

If a person is deaf or hearing impaired, taking in a movie at the local cinema may not be the most ideal way to spend an evening.

Many deaf and hearing impaired movie-goers, such as the members of the Oswego County BOCES Deaf/Hard of Hearing Club, find that closed-captioned showings are offered at non-peak hours or are not offered for every movie in the theater, limiting their movie selection.

That is until club member Char Purchase from the Mexico Academy and Central School District introduced her fellow club members to Daniel Farfaglia at a recent meeting.

Purchase invited Farfaglia to speak to the group about new closed captioning glasses that allow a deaf or hearing-impaired person such as himself to read captioning during a movie.

A product of SONY, Farfaglia explained how the glasses stream the movie’s dialogue onto the lenses and that the glasses are currently available at Regal theaters in the central New York area.

The Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing Club is in its third year at OCB. OCB staff members consisting of teachers of the deaf, interpreters, speech/language therapists, counselors, and audiologists provide professional support during club meetings and special guests, such as Farfaglia, are invited to share essential resources and information to support the growth and independence of youth who are deaf or hearing impaired.

The club provides student-members with an opportunity to socialize with their peers, organize outreach projects that benefit their local communities, and participate in fun and educational-based learning activities.

For parent-members, the club gives them an opportunity to engage in open conversations about the joys, successes, and challenges of raising a child who is deaf and/or hard of hearing.

County’s high schools invited to local GENIUS environmental competition

SUNY Oswego has launched an Oswego County branch of the college’s global GENIUS Olympiad competition for local high school student projects aimed at highlighting or solving environmental issues.

The new science competition among students from area high schools will take place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 17 in the Campus Center arena, concurrent with Quest, the college’s day to celebrate the scholarly and creative activities of students, faculty and staff.

“It’s very exciting, and the winning school will receive a $2,000 stipend to do a sustainability project at their school,” said Tammy Elowsky, assistant director of the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations, helping organize the fledgling competition for the Civic Engagement Coalition at the college.

The winning student or two-student team in the Oswego County competition will receive an automatic entry for the 2013 global GENIUS finals, June 16 to 21 at the college, Elowsky said.

Students and their projects from G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton and Paul V. Moore High School in Central Square are among early entrants for the local GENIUS competition.

Elowsky said that initially she spoke with Fehmi Damkaci, the foudner of GENIUS and associate provost for graduate studies at the college, about putting together a traditional science fair to encourage young minds toward further education.

“How do we keep students studying here, perhaps staying here?” wondered Elowsky. “By getting them interested in and thinking about college.”

Damkaci suggested she consider organizing a local GENIUS competition.

The GENIUS Olympiad, now in its third year, invites high school students from around the world to compete for finalist spots each June in a juried exhibition and weeklong series of educational events.

Nearly 300 finalists, accompanied by 139 mentors, participated in 2012 from 49 countries and 30 states.

Elowsky, who began working at the college a year ago, recalled being impressed last year when she toured the GENIUS exhibition and spoke with students.

“I was blown away by how intelligent these high school students are,” Elowsky said.  “It really started me thinking.”

The local competitors will set up their new exhibition in the midst of the annual Sustainability Fair, which also takes place on Quest day.

Among the high school entries are “The Effects of the Round Goby on Local Fish Populations,” “The Footprint of a Domestic Cat” and “How Economic Status Influences Environmental Views.”

“Everything at the Sustainability Fair will be going on around us,” Elowsky said. “The (energy-saving) cars will be right behind us. So the students will get a lot of exposure.”

Parking is free April 17 for visitors to Quest, whose hundreds of talks, panel discussions, demonstrations and concurrent events, such as the local GENIUS competition and the Sustainability Fair and Symposium, will take place largely in the Campus Center and nearby Lanigan and Snygg halls.

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Bald eagle sightings along the Oswego River

Several bald eagles have been sighted in recent weeks along the Oswego River on State Route 48 between Minetto and Oswego. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed bald eagles from the list of Threatened and Endangered Species in 2007 but they are still listed as threatened on the New York State Endangered species list.
Several bald eagles have been sighted in recent weeks along the Oswego River on State Route 48 between Minetto and Oswego. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed bald eagles from the list of Threatened and Endangered Species in 2007 but they are still listed as threatened on the New York State Endangered species list.

Sightings of bald eagles have been reported along the Oswego River recently. Several have been spotted in the Minetto area starting by Gray Road to just before the Midway Drive-In.

“Bald eagles are known for congregating near areas with open water and Oswego County has several pristine natural areas, such as the Salmon River corridor, that attract our national bird,” said David Turner, director of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed bald eagles from the list of Threatened and Endangered Species in 2007 but they are still listed as threatened on the New York State Endangered species list.

“In the 1960s, there was one nest reported, and as of now there have been 130 to 140 nests reported,” said ornithologist Gerry Smith, former president of the Onondaga Chapter of the National Audubon Society.

“There are more bald eagles in our parts of the world, which includes Lake Ontario and the Oswego River area, than there has been for at least a century or possibly more.”

“The bald eagle population continues to increase, therefore sightings of them will increase along with the number of birds seen at one time,” said NYS Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Lori Severino.

“They typically nest in mature trees in forested areas near the shorelines of large wetland complexes, rivers, lakes or oceans.”

The breeding season of the bald eagle starts in January, and eggs are laid in late February to early April. The eggs hatch after being incubated for 35 days. The young eaglets remain with their parents through the end of summer.

It takes five years for the birds to mature to the point where they develop the familiar white head and tail of our national symbol.

Bald eagles are resourceful feeders who hunt fish, waterfowl, shorebirds, small mammals and reptiles.

They will also search for deer carcasses in the winter.

The best time to see the bald eagles is in the early morning, even before sunrise, when they are looking for food in the open waters.

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Oswego AmeriCorps members recognized across Oswego County

AmeriCorps members Ian Mumpton (left) and Peter Sterbak are familiar faces at Fort Ontario State Historic Site. They are among the many AmeriCorps members who serve at sponsoring organizations across Oswego County.
AmeriCorps members Ian Mumpton (left) and Peter Sterbak are familiar faces at Fort Ontario State Historic Site. They are among the many AmeriCorps members who serve at sponsoring organizations across Oswego County.

Several organizations across Oswego County recognized the works of AmeriCorps members during AmeriCorps Week, March 9 through 15.

The annual event provides an opportunity to salute AmeriCorps members for their impact on the lives of children they serve and to thank community partners who make AmeriCorps possible.

At Fort Ontario State Historic Site, two AmeriCorps members funded by the Friends of Fort Ontario are familiar faces providing children’s programming and living history projects.

“Our AmeriCorps members have always been an invaluable asset,” said Paul Lear, superintendent of Fort Ontario State Historic Site. “Their enthusiasm, creativity and hard work have enabled us to share the story of the past with new audiences.”

Ian Mumpton is currently serving his third term of service. “Serving with AmeriCorps at Fort Ontario gives me the unique opportunity to positively impact people of all ages and backgrounds, both in my immediate community and from much further afield,” said Mumpton.

Peter Sterbak is serving his fourth term — the maximum allowed. He has found that “being an AmeriCorps member has been an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s great to see just what an important impact history can make here and now.”

“AmeriCorps members in Oswego County certainly fulfill the national motto of ‘Getting Things Done,’” said Kathy Andolina, Oswego County AmeriCorps program coordinator with the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. “In the past program year, members mentored 170 youth for an hour a week during the school year and provided classroom assistance to 1,100 students, more than 5,300 youth participated in fitness activities, more than 2,900 youth participated in nutrition activities, and 956 youth and adult volunteers contributed 5,600 hours of service to their community.”

Members serving this program year in the Oswego County AmeriCorps Program are Kayleigh Adsitt, Leighton Elementary School; Morgan Batchelor, Mexico Elementary School; Jennifer Blanchard, Oswego Public Library; Jamie Colvin, Oswego Community Christian School; Katelyn Cusimano, Hannibal High School; and Michael DeMassey, APW Elementary School.

Also, Jessie Joss, APW Elementary School; Kathryn Justus, Fulton Public Library; Barbara Kelly, Palermo Elementary School; Anne Knutson, Hannibal High School; Aaron Lehman, APW Elementary School; Matthew McLaughlin, Oswego Youth Court; Kelly Mayer, Leighton Elementary School; Ian Mumpton, Fort Ontario; Melissa Parkhurst, Mexico Elementary School; and Niki Raymond, Palermo Elementary School.

Also, Sara Sheffield, Oswego YMCA; Joseph Shepard, APW Elementary School; John Snow Jr., Hannibal High School; Nicole Snyder, Fulton Family YMCA; Peter Sterbak, Fort Ontario;  Rachel Verdoliva, New Haven Elementary School; Gabrielle Vono, Lanigan Elementary School; and Karen Wing, New Haven Elementary School.

AmeriCorps is a national service program that provides opportunities for more than 85,000 Americans to give back to their community and country each year.

Since 1994, more than 775,000 AmeriCorps members have given one billion hours of service, mobilizing tens of millions of volunteers, and impacting the lives of countless citizens.

Legislature chairman delivers state of the county address

by Carol Thompson

Fiscal challenges lie ahead for the Oswego County Legislature in part because of the state’s unfunded mandates.

That’s the message Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley delivered in his State of the County address last Thursday.

“Dealing with this dilemma will require many difficult decisions and bipartisan support, and recognition that the state must stop this practice,” Beardsley said.

“It is now my fear that the ongoing practice by the state of creating mandated programs and services with no funding stream attached is going to drive us to the point where we have to consider cutting services that our constituents have come to enjoy so we can operate mandated programs that may not necessarily be among our most needed or desired.

Beardsley encouraged the legislature to work together.

“To my colleagues here in the legislature, I continue to have faith that we can set our political differences aside and that together, we can accomplish our task of providing the people of Oswego County with an efficient, effective, and friendly government,” he said.

Both Republicans and the Democrats worked in harmony to pass an acceptable 2013 budget, however, the Democrats now allege that promises were broken.

One of those promises was to begin making cuts at the first of the year. Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said that it has yet to happen.

Kunzwiler said that he respects the olive branch that he agrees everyone must work together.

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