Larry F. Sedner, 56, of Fulton passed away Sunday July 5, 2015. Born in Oswego to the late Carl and Adah Henry Sedner, he had lived most of his life in the Fulton area. He is predeceased by two siblings, Kenny Sedner and Pam Kenyon. Larry is survived by his siblings, Dennis M. (Linda) Henry, Linda Sherman, Mary Ann (Moe) Mulvaney, Terry J. Sedner and Holly L. (Jim) Manford and several nieces and nephews. There are no calling hours or services. Foster Funeral Home, Fulton has care of arrangements.
George F. Matthews Jr., 81, of Fulton died Wednesday July 8, 2015 in St. Luke Health Services, Oswego. He was born in Oswego the son of the late George and Zelma (Blake) Matthews. He worked with the Painter’s Local # 31 Oswego. Mr. Matthews served in the United States Army from 1953 until 1955. He was a former member of the VFW, Elks, American Legion, and the Polish Home. He loved all sports, especially baseball and the New York Yankees. He is survived by his daughters Becky (William) McCarron of Pa., Amy Matthews of Pa., Sarah (David) Soutar of Elmira, and siblings Sharon (John) Huddleston of Alexandria Bay, Mary (Dan) Parrish of Baldwinsville, Frances (Gary) Oakley of Hannibal, Michelle (Walt) Dingman of Alexandria Bay, Kevin Crary of Watertown, Tim Matthews of Fla., Mark Matthews of Fulton, Patrick (Janet) Matthews of Oswego, David Matthews of Baldwinsville, Michael Matthews of Baldwinsville, Judy House of Baldwinsville, and Connie Bertollini of Baldwinsville, and several grandchildren. Graveside services will be Friday, July 17, 2015 at noon in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fulton. The arrangements are in the care of the Sugar Funeral Home 224 W. 2nd St. Fulton.
John Waloven, 91, of Fulton passed away Friday, June 26 at Oswego Hospital, Oswego N.Y. He was born in Fulton, N.Y. to the late Dennis and Magda (Yacura) Waloven. Mr. Waloven has remained a lifetime resident of Fulton. He was a United States Veteran having served in the Army from 1943-1945. Mr. Waloven retired in 1986 from Sealright Co., after 43 years of service. He was a lifetime member of the Fulton VFW and a past communicant of Holy Family Church, Fulton. Mr. Waloven enjoyed performing with his accordion for residents of the local nursing homes. He was a past communicant and council member of Our Lady of the Rosary, Hannibal. He and his wife Shirley were avid volunteers and successfully chaired Our Lady of the Rosary Chicken and Biscuit Dinner Committee for several years. They were also longtime communicants of Holy Trinity Church, Fulton and most recently Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Minetto. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Shirley Waloven of Fulton; three children John Waloven Jr. of Oswego, Gregory Waloven of Hannibal, Christopher Waloven of Hannibal; five stepchildren Michael Elhage of LA., Mark Elhage of Baldwinsville, N.Y., Christine Hunter of Kingston, Ontario, Joanne Weldin of Fulton, Linda Johnson of N.C.; son-in-law Daniel Jurenko; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Mr. Waloven was pre-deceased by his first wife Ann Waloven in 1977; his daughters Patricia Nappi in 1997, and Ann Jurenko in 2010; stepson Gerard Elhage; three siblings Frank Waloven, Michael Waloven and Torra Waloven. Funeral Services were held June 30 at Holy Trinity Church, Fulton with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by Rev. James Schultz. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fulton. Calling hours were conducted June 29 at the Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., 224 W. 2nd St. S. Fulton. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations may be made to Oswego County Catholic Charities 365 West 1st St. Fulton, NY 13069.
By Colin Hogan
Fulton school officials will be bringing in an outside consultant to assist the district in its study on class size and staffing equity at its four elementary schools.
Last month, the board authorized a study to determine the best approach to confronting an imbalance in enrollment numbers across the elementary schools, which in turn affects class sizes and, potentially, staffing efficiency.
The study will delve into what options the district has for striking a balance among those class sizes, such as a building realignment — which would adjust which grade levels are taught at each elementary school — or by redrawing the catchment areas, which are the boundaries that outline the households that are assigned to a particular school.
However, the board “isn’t just looking to make a big change,” vice president Dan Pawlewicz was quick to point out during discussion on the matter Tuesday. Board members said they want to make sure they’ve considered every aspect of what a building realignment or changing catchment areas would entail before a decision is reached.
“I would really like to take our time in doing this because once we reach a decision there’s no going back,” said board member Christine Plath.
Should the district eventually decide to pursue a realignment, one of the most likely outcomes would be to consolidate grade levels at sister schools (schools that are on the same side of the river). This would likely result in having one school for grades K-3 and one for grades 4-6 on each side of the river.
Board member Barbara Hubbard said pursuing that kind of solution would bring about several changes in the way those buildings and their staffs operate, all of which the board would need to carefully examine.
“If — and this is a big ‘if’ — we went to a primary/intermediate model on each side of the river there are just so many little pieces of the puzzle that we would have to consider to make that happen,” Hubbard said.
Factors like whether certain buildings would have enough kindergarten-sized classrooms, whether buildings have enough primary classrooms that include bathrooms, special area schedules, teachers’ schedules and moving arrangements were just some of the concerns Hubbard raised.
Hubbard also wondered if redrawing the catchment areas could feasibly be done in a way that would ensure enrollment numbers stay balanced in the future.
“If we did change our catchment areas I would be curious to know the number of students that would be involved, and the feasibility of those being able to sustain themselves over time,” Hubbard said.
Both Plath and board President David Cordone have said they are leery of a realignment adding another building-to-building transition in students’ K-12 experience.
“I know one thing, an extra transition is not advantageous for students,” Plath said.
Cordone said he will “making sure that we’re involving the community” in the decision-making process. He said the board would like to establish a Citizens Advisory Committee comprised of parents, staff, students and other community stakeholders to assist in the process.
Board members said Tuesday that they would like to bring in a consultant to help conduct the study. Superintendent Bill Lynch agreed to research possible candidates and provide the board with a list of names from which to choose..
The district plans to conduct the study over the course of the 2015-16 school year.
By Matthew Reitz
Granby officials discussed a proposal for painting and repairs at local cemeteries, the status of an impending water service project, and a plan to evaluate the town’s heavy duty truck fleet at the town meeting last week.
The town received a proposal to repair and paint the fences at Merritt Road, Granby Center and Lewis cemeteries. The work would include repairing the stone wall at Lewis Cemetery and repairing or replacing the steps at Granby Center Cemetery. The cost of the proposed projects is expected to be $1,800 for Granby Center, $1,100 for Lewis and $1,200 for Merritt.
Rhonda Nipper, a cemetery records clerk in the town, said it has been years since the town has done anything with the cemeteries and urged the board to move forward with the projects.
“The town has done nothing with the cemeteries in years,” Nipper said. She said the time has come for the town to do something with the cemeteries and noted that it has money available for the projects.
“Every year we put money in the budget and it never gets done,” Nipper said.
Councilor Eric Clothier said the cemeteries had been in need of repair for some time, but he was apprehensive about moving forward when the board had seen only one proposal regarding the projects.
Councilor Lori Blackburn was concerned that if the board didn’t take action it would be another month closer to winter before the project was authorized. Blackburn made a motion that the town start by approving the work at Granby Center Cemetery and move forward one cemetery at a time. The board unanimously agreed.
The board gave an update on the Water Service Area 6A project, for which the DEC recently posted notice of a complete application. The town is now awaiting a funding letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the water service area before it can put the project out for bid. Documents have already been sent to the town from the USDA regarding another anticipated water service area. According to Town Supervisor Ed Williamson, the town will not proceed with Water Service Area 7 until after it has secured funding for the 6A endeavor.
A petition from residents on Lakeshore Road was presented to the board outlining their desire to be added to one of the town’s water districts. The residents requested that water service be expanded to their homes as soon as possible. Williamson said the board would review the petition, but said it would likely be a matter of years before water service could actually be installed along that road.
Some residents also commented on ongoing concerns regarding the gravel mine on county Route 85.
Williamson said he and resident Christine Bassett had delivered letters to residents in the vicinity of the mine who may be having problems with their well water. Williamson said the letters instructed residents on how the county can help them get their wells tested. The letters were in response to concerns over potential contaminants and impurities that arose after some residents noticed discoloration of their water. He told Bassett and the board that the letters were getting people’s attention.
“I know that people are picking the letters out of their mailboxes because they’ve been calling the county already,” Williamson said.
Resident Lynn Lyons also addressed the board about dumping that may be occurring at the mine. Lyons said she recently saw a truck going into the pit filled with road surfacing material. After contacting the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Lyons discovered that a permit had been issued in September 2013 for dumping at the mine site. She asked Williamson if he had been notified and had knowledge of the dumping.
“I wasn’t notified of anything,” Williamson said. “I received nothing.”
The board also unanimously agreed to move forward with an evaluation of the town’s six heavy duty trucks. Williamson said the evaluation would make sure that the town’s trucks were ready for the winter season. The evaluation will cost the town $1,350.
By Colin Hogan
Participants in this year’s Treasure Fulton Parks Medallion Hunt flocked to Rowlee Beach Park off Sharp’s Pond last weekend to celebrate another successful contest.
The contest, which is designed to get local residents more acquainted with the 14 beautiful parks the city offers, gives participants a chance to search for a medallion and other little treasures that have been hidden within those parks, and then redeem their findings for prizes. It is coordinated each year by Friends of Fulton Parks. This year’s event was co-sponsored by The Valley News and Par-K Chrysler Jeep in Fulton.
The headlining item participants hunt for each year is the Friends of Fulton Parks Medallion. Using clues published in the Valley News and Oswego County Advertiser, hunters scour the parks trying to be the first to locate the medallion, which this year came with a $250 shopping spree at local businesses.
This year’s hunt for the medallion lasted only moments after it began on June 24, with 22-year-old Michelle Cavalier of Fulton finding the medallion at eye level on the trunk of a tree in Rowlee Beach Park at around 7 a.m.
She was able to locate it using the first clue, which published only moments earlier on valleynewsonline.com: “’I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree’—Joyce Kilmer. Swing to the left or picnic to the right. Don’t get stumped, choose the right path.”
Cavalier said that was the third place she had looked, after having scoured Foster and Patrick parks that morning. She was able to locate the medallion without the help of the second clue, which was to be published Saturday, June 27 and would have read: “Ducks and fish swim in this park, but people no longer do. Go for the fences… not over them.”
Luckily for everyone else, the event included several other hidden items to find over the following few days, for which FOFP provides various prizes.
Four letter tiles — P, A, R and K, each about the size of a quarter — were hidden throughout the parks. There were no clues for this hunt, but those who found them would each receive a $25 gift card to a local merchant. The tiles were found by Kelly Caza (P), Alan Baker (A), Amanda Hollenback (R) and Jeremy Laws Jr. (K).
The event also included several special stones hidden in a different park each day of the hunt. Clues on which park the stones could be found in were published each day of the event on valleynewsonline.com, with more than 20 winners redeeming them for park prizes last weekend.
Kelley Weaver of Friends of Fulton Parks called this year’s event “a big success” and thanked all those who participated. The event is slated for next year around the same time. See future editions of the Valley News for more information.
Petitions to run on major party lines in November’s election were due last week, providing a first glimpse into how this year’s city, county and town races will look.
Candidates interested in seeking their political party’s nomination are required by New York state election law to gather signatures of 5 percent of enrolled voters of that party in the district in which they will run.
In cases where multiple candidates have filed petitions for the same position under the same party, a primary will be held on Sept. 10 to determine who will represent the party on the ballot in the November general election.
Candidates who wish to still appear on the ballot will have a chance to gather signatures for an independent party line until Aug. 18.
In Oswego County government, District Attorney Gregory S. Oakes faces a challenge this year from West Monroe attorney Michael R. McAndrew.
In the county Legislature, 13 of the 25 districts saw only one person file petitions to seek office.
The district attorney serves for a term of four years and county legislators are re-elected every two years.
In the City of Fulton, Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. has been the only candidate to submit petitions for the upcoming mayoral election.
In the Common Council, multiple candidates filed to run in the Second, Third and Fifth Wards. The First, Fourth and Sixth Wards are all being sought by their incumbents, with no challengers yet appearing.
Below are those who filed petitions in the Valley News subscriber area.
Editor’s note: * indicates incumbents.
City of Fulton
Ronald L. Woodward Sr.*: Republican.
Thomas G. Kenyon*: Conservative.
Ernesto Garcia: Democratic.
David B. Ritchie: Conservative.
Timothy J. Crandell: Republican, Conservative.
Donald R. Patrick Jr.: Democratic.
James R. Myers*: Republican.
Daniel W. Cunningham: Conservative.
Norman J. Foster*: Republican.
Lawrence E. Macner*: Democrat.
Town of Granby
Stephen R. Abraham: Democratic.
Edward A. Williamson*: Republican, Conservative.
Francis S. Doyle III: Republican, Conservative.
Lynn M. Lyons: Democratic.
Melissa J. Fortier: Republican.
Superintendent of Highways
Robert M. Collins: Republican.
Robert M. Phillips Jr. *: Democratic.
Jeffrey L. Richards: Conservative, Independence.
Town of Hannibal
Ronald K. Greenleaf Sr.: Conservative.
Denise J. Hafner: Republican, Conservative.
Margaret L. Shepard: Republican, Conservative.
Mark A. Otis: Conservative.
Richard F. Shoults: Republican.
Gary D. Thompson Jr.: Republican, Conservative.
Superintendent of Highways
George H. Ritchie Sr.: Republican, Independence, Conservative.
Town of Mexico
David J. Anderson*: Republican.
Elizabeth Dishaw*: Republican.
Larry J. Barber: Republican.
Russell B. Patrick: Republican.
Superintendent of Highways
Kenneth W. Dingman: Republican.
Charles E. Fortier*: Republican.
Russell L. Marsden Jr.: Republican.
James L. Gracey: Republican.
Town of Minetto
David J. Domicolo: Republican.
Jennifer A. Allen*: Republican.
Sean P. Haney: Republican
Michael J. Paestella: Republican.
Andrew J. Wallace*: Republican.
Superintendent of Highways
Keith J. Moody: Republican.
Dominick A. Yacco: Republican.
Kenneth G. Auyer*: Republican, Conservative.
Town of Scriba
Kenneth E. Burdick*: Republican.
Kelly M. Lagoe: Conservative.
Kelly A. Rhinehart Harris: Republican.
James E. Sheldon: Republican.
Superintendent of Highways
Michael J. Barry: Democratic, Republican.
Roger S. Myers*: Republican, Conservative, Independence.
Douglas G. Crouse*: Republican.
Town of Volney
Dennis C. Lockwood*: Republican.
Barbara A. MacEwen*: Republican.
Garry L. Stanard: Republican.
Steven S. Wilcox: Conservative.
Edward T. Wavle*: Republican
Superintendent of Highways
Roger A. Dunsmoor*: Republican, Conservative.
Patricia D. Kerfien*: Republican.
Sandra L. Austin*: Republican, Conservative.
Gregory S. Oakes*: Republican, Independence, Conservative.
Michael R. McAndrew: Democratic, Working Families.
Margaret Kastler*: Republican, Independence, Conservative.
Neil J. Cheny: Democratic.
Milferd H. Potter*: Republican, Conservative.
Herbert Yerdon: Democratic.
Shawn Patrick Doyle*: Republican, Conservative.
David M. Holst*: Republican, Conservative.
Roy E. Reehil*: Republican.
John J. Martino*: Republican.
John E. Proud*: Republican.
Daniel L. LeClair*: Republican, Independence, Conservative.
Jay F. Elhage: Republican.
James S. Weatherup*: Republican, Independence
Robert J. Hayes*: Republican, Independence.
Rodney E. Trask: Republican.
Richard Walberger: Democrat:
Linda Lockwood*: Republican, Conservative.
Richard P. Kline*: Democratic, Republican, Conservative.
John W. Brandt: Republican, Independence.
Kevin L. Gardner*: Republican.
Stephen M. Walpole*: Republican, Independence.
Jacob A. Mulcahey*: Democratic.
James B. Scanlon: Republican, Independence, Conservative.
Thomas B. Drumm: Democratic.
Shane E. Broadwell*: Republican, Independence.
Kelvin (Chip) Kio: Republican, Independence.
Heather D. Del Conte: Democratic, Conservative.
Marie C. Schadt*: Democratic, Conservative.
Joseph L. Susino: Republican, Conservative.
Tim M. Stahl: Republican, Independence, Conservative.
Laura J. Brazak: Democratic.
Terry M. Wilbur*: Republican, Independence.
Jack M. Beckwith: Republican, Independence, Conservative.
Joseph C. Blanchard: Democratic, Working Families.
James L. Karasek*: Republican, Independence, Conservative.
James A. Rice: Democratic
Morris Sorbello Jr. *: Republican, Conservative.
*Daniel T. Farfaglia*: Democratic, Conservative.
Peter E. Holmes: Republican, Independence.
Frank Castiglia Jr. *: Democratic, Conservative.
Louella F. LeClair: Republican, Independence.
By Matthew Reitz
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that maple syrup production in New York state reached its highest level in 70 years, allowing the state to retain its standing as the second-highest producer of fresh maple syrup in America. Local maple producers say they experienced a jump in production, despite a challenging winter.
“Once again, New York’s maple syrup industry is thriving and breaking records in spite of tough conditions,” Cuomo stated in a release.
New York state managed to produce more than 601,000 gallons of syrup from the more than 2.3 million taps across the state this season — the most in recent history. Timothy Whitens, a producer from Willow Creek Farm in Granby, said Cuomo’s announcement was “a pretty good parallel” to his production season.
“I had my best season ever,” Whitens said.
Whitens said he added about 600 taps this year, which also helped boost his production to about 1,025 gallons, up from 890 gallons last year.
Kim Enders of Red Schoolhouse Maple in Palermo said she also had a good season despite the difficult winter. Enders said the number of days she was able to make syrup was reduced due to the weather, but “when the sap did run it ran hard.”
“We had some really good days,” Enders said.
According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the amount of maple syrup produced in New York state increased over 10 percent from 2014 and almost 5 percent from the previous modern production record set in 2013. New York state remains the nation’s second-ranked producer of maple syrup, increasing its lead over third-ranked Maine by nearly 50,000 gallons. Vermont remains the nation’s top producing state.
This year’s production was the highest since 1944, which was the last year before the beginning of a long drop-off in the number of tree taps and the yield of syrup per tap in New York. State officials say the resurgence began in 2008 as vacuum pumping systems began to replace the hanging buckets and metal tree taps that had been used in maple syrup farming for centuries.
The New York State Maple Producers Association estimates that 60 percent of maple farms, including most of the larger farms with more than 500 taps, are now using vacuum systems to collect raw sap. The modern vacuum system is easier for producers to maintain, they say, which has helped increase production per tap.
Enders said about half of Oswego County’s producers use the vacuum systems to collect sap, and “there’s no comparison” between the vacuum systems and traditional methods. Whitens, who changed to the vacuum system in 2009, said it “saves a lot of energy and gives a good yield.”
New York’s brutal winter this past year included sustained stretches of low temperatures and heavy snow — conditions that made production particularly difficult, local producers said. As a result of the harsh weather, the USDA estimates that the average maple syrup collecting season in 2015 was just 26 days. By comparison, the previous record from 2014 was reached in an estimated 40-day-long season.
“This was pretty much a four-week season,” Whitens said. He said “the flows were slightly better than last year,” which allowed for a strong harvest, but he typically has a six- to eight-week-long season.
Helen Thomas, executive director of the New York State Maple Producers Association, said the organization was “pleasantly surprised and very pleased” to see a production record come out of such a short, difficult season.