Tourism training session set for May 19 in Oswego

In an effort to increase the tourism and hospitality knowledge of Oswego County’s front-line employees, a free four-hour training program is being offered at the Lake Ontario Conference Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday May 19.

This training is offered at no cost to participants. Early registration is encouraged.

The program will begin with a one hour familiarization presentation consisting of key facts of the region, points of interest, upcoming events and activities, as well as local resources for more information.

Following a short break there will be guided tours of the new Lake Ontario Conference Center expansion.

After the brief tours, keynote speaker Lynn “Spike” Herzig, from the Herzig Group in Geneva, will give a two-hour presentation covering hospitality training and the quality of the visitor’s experience.

“Our goal with this program is to educate our frontline employees and to encourage cross business promotion. This not only gives a better experience to our county’s visitors but it also supports our locally owned businesses and points of interest in our communities,” said Christopher Jones, of Cre8 Studios and Broadwell Hospitality Group.

“Most people don’t know that you can rent a bike in downtown Oswego and if your front line employees don’t know that then they can’t sell it,” he said. “You can’t promote what you haven’t experienced for yourself which is why this is not just an educational program but an incentive program as well.”

Businesses are encouraged to register employees who are in direct contact with the public. As a participant in the May program employees will become ‘Tourism Ambassadors’ and will receive a designation lapel pin, card as well as opportunities to tour sites and receive discounts from local businesses so they can share their own experiences with visitors.

Businesses that pariticpate or have employees attend will receive a certificate of participation.

The training program is presented through the cooperative efforts of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, Cre8 Studios, Broadwell Hospitality Group, the Oswego History Collaborative and the Herzig Group.

Red Cross thanks its ‘heroes’

Nine Mile Point Community Council members Lisa Doran and Jill Lyon selling tickets for a prize drawing to support this year’s Heroes campaign for the American Red Cross.
Nine Mile Point Community Council members Lisa Doran and Jill Lyon selling tickets for a prize drawing to support this year’s Heroes campaign
for the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross and its chapter in Oswego  are in the midst of the Heroes for the American Red Cross Campaign.

The fundraising effort is on now and runs through May 30.

One of the ‘heroes’ for the local chapter is Exelon Generation. The company has partnered again this year to be the presenting sponsor for the Heroes for the American Red Cross Campaign.

The campaign is a grassroots fundraising effort that encourages individuals or organizations and businesses in the community to become “heroes” by raising $1,000 or more for the American Red Cross.

In addition to its sponsorship, Exelon will also be selling tickets for a drawing to win its lottery board.

All proceeds will go directly to supporting the services the Red Cross provides in the community.

“Exelon Generation, the operator of Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Oswego, proudly invests in organizations, like the American Red Cross, that improve the quality of life in our communities and protect the basic needs of individuals,” said Jill Lyon, spokeswoman for Nine Mile One and Two.

“We’d like to commend the American Red Cross for the work they do to bring us together here and their efforts to help those in need every day,” she said.

If you are interested in being a hero, contact Oswego County Manager, Danielle Hayden, at 343-0967.

You may also visit the Red Cross online at www.crowdrise.com/oswegocounty to make a donation to the fundraising campaign.

Oswego County Clerk going to Russia

4-19_OSbackusOswego County Clerk Michael C. Backus will visit Russia for 12 days in May as part of an international exchange program organized by the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) and sponsored by the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The American Council of Young Political Leaders manages political exchanges for young American political leaders between the ages of 25 and 40.

The program is designed to reflect the broad diversity of the United States and includes equal numbers of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Backus is the youngest county clerk in New York state and the Oswego County Republican Committee chair.

He was invited to participate in a seven-member delegation that will leave from Washington, D.C. for Moscow on May 8.

“I am honored to receive this invitation,” said Backus. “As a delegate to Russia, I will be provided with the unique opportunity to meet with elected officials at the national, regional and local levels, as well as policy makers, business, and community leaders, and Russian alumni who travelled to the US on an ACYPL program.”

Backus will be representing New York state along with Oswego County while in Russia.  He plans to share information about Oswego County fishing and manufacturing, along with state tourism opportunities like the Baseball Hall of Fame.

SUNY Oswego, Le Moyne College and Syracuse University will also be topics of discussion for Backus as he plans to also promote Central New York as a leader in higher education.

“ACYPL and our program partner in Russia, the Youth Public Chamber, will work together to design a unique exchange for this delegation,” said Libby Rosenbaum, vice president of programs and communications.

“Delegates are provided with opportunities to strengthen their personal leadership and public diplomacy skills and enhance their understanding of international relations,” she said.

The American Council of Young Political Leaders was founded in 1966 as a way to promote cooperation and understanding around the world.

Program alumni include Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and more than 40 current members of the House of Representatives.

Oswego city residents: Keep cars off the grass

The City of Oswego has adopted a Neighborhood Quality of Life Committee to improve living conditions throughout the city.

One of the committee’s efforts is to improve the off-street parking conditions particularly as it pertains to the use of public space for parking as well as parking on lawns and grass.

A vehicle observed parked on the lawn within the first 25 feet of the property line in the front yard of a residence violates Section 280-55 (B) of the City of Oswego Zoning Ordinance.

This parking must cease immediately.

A Special Permit is required for Front Yard Parking. Should you wish to apply for a Special Permit, call the Zoning Office (342-8157) on the third floor of City Hall.

Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the issuance of an appearance ticket for Oswego City Court.

A vehicle observed parked on the grass between the curb and sidewalk or between the sidewalk and property line in public space at a residence violates Section 257-26 (D)(2) of the City Code.

This parking must cease immediately.

Failure to comply with this requirement will result in violation tickets issued by the Parking Attendant of the Oswego Police Department.

‘Take Care’ celebrates 1 year on the air

“Take Care,” an award-winning program, debuted a year ago on WRVO Public Media as a new half-hour locally produced health and wellness program.

Hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen have hosted 50 distinct shows since then with regional and national experts on a variety of topics.

From developments in disease research to advances in nutrition to dissecting popular health myths, “Take Care” has supplied its listeners with intelligent and useful health information.

Over the past year, listeners have heard from doctors and experts at the Mayo Clinic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Cleveland Clinic, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and more.

Many of the guests have written best-selling novels or have written extensively on their topics – like Gretchen Reynolds, health blogger for the New York Times.

Some “Take Care” guests are considered world experts in their field. These include:

  • Charles Hennekens, the first to discover that aspirin prevents a first heart attack, reduces mortality when given during a heart attack, and benefits a wide range of heart attack survivors;
  • Dr. Norman Kaplan, who wrote the text book on hypertension; and
  • Dr. Lynn Schuchter, who is at the forefront of research into melanoma.

These are just some of the people behind the vast knowledge base “Take Care” has established thus far.

Whether it’s basic information to help you understand a diagnosis or an in-depth look at the science behind food packaging, “Take Care” provides interesting and engaging information to a broad listener base.

Rapp and Lowen ask the right questions to help you pursue a healthy lifestyle.

“Asking specific questions of a guest who’s the leading authority in his or her field — and getting lengthy, detailed answers — that’s something a brief news story doesn’t have time for,” Lowen said.

“Listeners have wondered how we’re able to get top national experts on the show. The answer’s simple. They’re passionate about their work, about treating and preventing disease, and they want to educate the average health care consumer,” Lowen said.

“They’re excited by the opportunity to speak at length, and that’s what ‘Take Care’ is — a give-and-take that brings complex medical and health issues down to a conversational level that everybody can understand,” she said.

“Take Care” airs each Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and is also available for playback or download on the WRVO website.

Podcasts of “Take Care” are also available on iTunes.

“Take Care” marks the fourth collaboration of co-hosts/co-producers Rapp and Lowen, who previously co-hosted and produced the award-winning women’s issues program “Women’s Voices” from 1998-2006, first on WAER-FM, then on Time Warner Channel 13 and WCNY-TV.

 

Open burning banned now

Oswego County Fire Coordinator Donald Forbes reminds county residents of the annual statewide ban on all open burning.

The ban took effect March 16 and will remain in effect through May 14, during the high fire-risk period.

The ban makes it illegal to use a burn barrel or open pits as a means for incinerating trash. The burning of leaves is also banned in New York state.

Agricultural burns are allowed and there are certain circumstances when controlled burns, with a written permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation are permissible.

“The risk of brush fires is most prevalent at this time of year due to the lack of green vegetation, abundance of available fuels such as dry grass and leaves, warmer temperatures, and wind,” said Forbes.

On-site burning of limbs and branches between May 14 and the following March 15 in any town with a total population less than 20,000 is permissible, however, individual municipalities can pass ordinances that are stricter than, and not inconsistent with, the open fires regulations.

Forbes encourages residents to check with their local authorities to find out if local law requires a permit or prohibits open fires.

State regulation prohibits all open burning except for the following:

• Campfires less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width or diameter

• Small cooking fires

• Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires

• Fires cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished

• Only charcoal or clean, dry, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned

Violators of the open burning state regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense.

Additional information can be obtained on the NYSDEC website located at http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/80920.html. To report open burning, call the DEC at (800) 847-7332.

Baby seat check April 26 in Oswego

Oswego County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Todd Delmar (left) and Deputy Andrew Bucher will take part in the next child passenger safety seat check from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 26 at the Best Western Conference Center, 26 E. First St., Oswego. The deputies are nationally trained and certified in child passenger safety and will join the New York State Police, Oswego Police Department, Oswego County Health Department and Oswego County Traffic Safety Board technicians to ensure parents’ questions are answered and their children are riding as safely as possible. The event is free and no appointment is necessary.
Oswego County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Todd Delmar (left) and Deputy Andrew Bucher will take part in the next child passenger safety seat check from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 26 at the Best Western Conference Center, 26 E. First St., Oswego. The deputies are nationally trained and certified in child passenger safety and will join the New York State Police, Oswego Police Department, Oswego County Health Department and Oswego County Traffic Safety Board technicians to ensure parents’ questions are answered and their children are riding as safely as possible. The event is free and no appointment is necessary.

Sheriff warns of home repair cons

The onset of spring brings thoughts of making home improvements and repairs.

“But, watch out for dishonest home repair firms,” warns Oswego County Sheriff Reuel A. Todd.

The sheriff offers some tips on how you can avoid fraudulent home improvement and repair schemes:

  • Be leery of offers to do an expensive job for an unusually low price. Once you sign the contract, you learn why — they never deliver the service.
  • Be suspicious of high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Shop around. Ask friends, neighbors, or co-workers for references. Always get several estimates for every repair job and compare the prices and terms. Check to see if there is a charge for estimates before asking for one to be done.
  • Before choosing a firm, ask the firm for references and check them out. When you find people you trust, stick with them.
  • Check the identification of all “inspectors.”
  • Call the local Consumer Affairs Office or Better Business Bureau to check the company’s reputation before you authorize any work to be done.
  • Pay by check, never with cash. Arrange to make payments in installments, one-third at the beginning of the job, one-third when the work is nearly completed, and one-third after the job is done.

“Sometimes you might not know you’ve been cheated until it’s too late,” Todd said.  “If you don’t report fraud, you’re only helping the crooks; that’s just what they want.”

The sheriff stresses to report any and all fraud you’ve been a victim of by contacting the sheriff’s office or your local police.

If you’re a victim of fraud, they want to know about it. In addition, contact your local district attorney or the state Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Division.

“If we all take special precautions,”  Todd concluded, “we can all outsmart the dishonest people.”

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