Migrating geese focus of SUNY Oswego Quest Day presentation

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Two SUNY Oswego students and a biological sciences faculty member are studying whether changing weather patterns affect the migratory paths and ecological relationships of Canada geese from northern Quebec.

They will share findings April 9 during the college’s annual Quest day.

Junior biology major Jeffrey Benjamin and junior meteorology and applied mathematics major Tyler Pelle have worked since last fall on the project with SUNY Oswego zoologist, ornithology specialist and faculty member Michael Schummer, in cooperation with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

They are using high-end, temperature-sensing remote wildlife cameras for their study.

“We have to know what makes them migrate before we can determine what could change their patterns,” Schummer said of the geese. “What types of weather variables influence the behaviors of these geese?”

Benjamin has pored over thousands of photos of geese at the Junius Ponds Unique Area northwest of Waterloo, while Pelle has painstakingly correlated the cameras’ temperature data with that of the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center, known for its ground-based, airborne and satellite snowfall analyses.

At the college’s Quest symposium April 9, the students will make two presentations — one focused on abundance and foraging patterns as a function of temperature of what is known as the Atlantic Population of Canada geese, the other on reliability of the cameras’ own weather data.

“I find more and more that if you are interested in waterfowl, you’ll need to consult with a meteorologist or a climatologist,” Schummer said. “It’s really fun, because it’s two different languages that have to meld together.”

Quest is the college’s daylong celebration of scholarship and creativity on campus. The young scientists’ project with Schummer benefited from a grant provided by the college’s Scholarly and Creative Activity Committee.

 Publications possible

Benjamin said the Reconyx PC 900 professional wildlife cameras went up at the Junius Ponds location in October and came down when the ponds froze over in January.

In the interim, the DEC-owned instruments took a photo every hour during daylight hours. At peak during the migration, the week of Dec. 6, Benjamin counted more than 1,000 birds on the pond each day.

Pelle and Benjamin also tracked the geese’s daily foraging flights and other movements, determined types and amounts of precipitation and tracked daily average temperature.

While both students are headed back to remount the cameras this spring, it will be Benjamin who carries the project forward this fall.

“I think that with another year’s worth of data, there’s capability to get this published in a regional journal, if not in a bird journal, and possibly presented at a regional conference,” he said.

Schummer, who with the assistance of graduate students has previously studied mallards’ migratory behavior in relation to climatic factors, agreed.

“My goal always with students is to present locally, regionally and internationally if you can, and to follow up with a peer-reviewed article,” he said. “I expect to keep these guys busy. It’s in their best interests — it really helps them if they go on to do master’s degrees.”

Visit www.oswego.edu/quest for more information, including times and locations for presentations.

Aldi’s wants to come to Fulton

By Ashley M. Casey

The supermarket chain Aldi Inc. has requested a special use permit from the city of Fulton to begin building a store on the former Nestlé site on the corner of Fay and South Fourth streets.

The Common Council approved a resolution to set a public hearing April 15 for the special use permit.

Mayor Ron Woodward told The Valley News Aldi and the site’s owner, Carbonstead LLC, approached the city about a month ago about the proposed construction. The property falls under the Manufacturing M-1 district and would need to be re-zoned as Commercial C-2.

According to Aldi’s special use permit application, the store will be 17,651 square feet.

Aldi is a German supermarket chain that operates 1,200 stores in the United States and 9,235 stores globally.

The public hearing will be held at the next Common Council meeting — 7 p.m., April 15, in the Common Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 141 S. First St. Continue reading

Phoenix 8th-grade hoops has memorable season

By Rob Tetro

The Phoenix girls’ eighth-grade basketball team came into the season losing three players to the Lady Firebirds junior varsity and varsity teams.

But coach Jen Mainville was able to bring an advanced seventh-grade player to the team.

As the season began, the Lady Firebirds had several goals. One was to develop into a well-balanced, focused and confident team despite the lineup changes they experienced.

Mainville said her team rose to the challenge. They became a team that displayed great chemistry on and off the court en route to an undefeated season.

Phoenix wanted to be a team able to score in transition. They proved to be a smart team with athletic players who were able to rebound, made a quick pass and move up the court at asolid pace.

Mainville said the most memorable moment of the season came when her team got a rebound, made the quick pass and went on to execute textbook transition basketball.

As her players move on to the next level of the Phoenix girls’ basketball program, Mainville feels her team will bring three key characteristics to those teams.

Her players displayed and succeeded this season because of the love they have for the game and their determination to improve. Most importantly, Mainville said  her players will continue to succeed at the next level because of the pride with which they play.

Oswego County unemployment rate in double digits

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County’s unemployment rate remains in double digits for February 2014.

Although the rate is down from a year ago, it is still one of the highest in the state.

In February 2013, the jobless rate was 11.7 percent, while in February 2014, it was 10 percent.

The February 2014 rate of 10 percent is up from the January 2014 rate of 9.7 percent.

All unemployment rates in Central New York counties for February 2014 are down from a year ago.

Chris White, speaking for the state Labor Department, said Oswego County has been hit harder than other counties with losses in the manufacturing sector.

“But officials and other companies there are working much harder to get more manufacturing jobs into the county,” he said.

The lowest jobless rate in the state for February is Tompkins County at 4.9 percent. The highest is the Bronx at 12 percent.

The highest rates after the Bronx are Lewis County at 10.9 percent, Jefferson at 10.5 percent, Orleans at 10.2 percent and Hamilton and Oswego at 10 percent.

A report issued by the state Labor Department shows Oswego County lose about 500 jobs in manufacturing, financial activities and natural resources-construction in the 12 months ending in February 2014.

The county gained more than 1,000 jobs in that 12-month period in leisure and hospitality and about 500 jobs in trade, transportaion and utilities.

Some of the expanding or growing businesses mentioned in the labor report are Sunoco, Oswego REcycling, Fulton Cos., K&N Foods, Champlain Valley Specialty, Novelis, Teti Bakery, F.W. Webb Co. and Little Luke’s Day Care.

The unemployment rate in Oswego County was at its lowest point in April through December 2013. It went up to 9.7 percent in January 2014 and now again to 10 percent in February 2014.

New state budget includes enhancements for anglers, hunters

The new state budget for 2014-15 just passed this week by the legislature and signed by the governor includes some money to help hunters and anglers.

Here are some of the items in the budget:

** $4 Million for New York State Hatcheries and Continued Efforts to Stock NY’s Waterways. The money will be used to address critical infrastructure repair needs in the state’s fish hatchery system.

Specifically, DEC will make repairs to hatcheries, including boiler replacements at Chautauqua Hatchery in Western New York and Oneida Hatchery in the Mohawk Valley, and rearing pond (raceway) repairs at several DEC hatcheries. Building repair and improvement projects are also in the works for Caledonia Hatchery in the Finger Lakes, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2014.

In addition, DEC plans to purchase 16 new fish stocking trucks with fish life support systems that are essential for the safe delivery of stocked fish.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) operates 12 fish hatcheries in New York and plans to stock more than 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in more than 309 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,900 miles of streams across the state this spring.

A list of all waters scheduled to be stocked this spring can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30465.html.

** Reduced Price Fishing Licenses, Free Fishing Promotions. Fees will be reduced for seven-day fishing licenses, from $31 to $28 for non-residents and $13 to $12 for residents. There also will be an increase in the number of authorized statewide free fishing days to eight from two and authorization for DEC to offer 10 days of promotional prices for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses.

These reduced prices build upon efforts last year, which saw successfully streamlined fishing and hunting licenses, reduced fees, and made fishing licenses valid for one year from the date of purchase.

** $6 Million for Access to Fishing and Other Recreational Opportunities will allow for 50 new access projects involving 380,000 acres for fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing, bird watching and other forms of recreational activities throughout the state.

The vast majority of these new access sites will provide new or improved access to fishing opportunities, with new trails to fishing sites, fishing platforms, boat launches, improved signage, and new and improved parking.

** Expanded Adventure License Offers involves discounted Adventure Plates to existing lifetime fishing licenses holders and access to the plates to annual license holders.

Anglers, both new and existing license holders, will now be able to choose from licenses plates featuring trout, striped bass and walleye: http://licensecenter.ny.gov.

** Boating and Fishing Access Upgrades Underway at facilities on Forge Pond in Suffolk County, the Mohawk River in Schenectady County, Great Sacandaga Lake in Saratoga County and Lower Saranac Lake in Franklin County.

New access projects to be completed in 2014 include a new boat launch on Round Lake in Saratoga County and installation of a fishing pier on Green Lake in Greene County. The state has invested more than $2.8 million on boat launch improvements during the past three years.

Other enhancements for sportsmen include:

** Authorization of crossbow hunting, except on Long Island and Westchester County, for hunters 14 years of age or older for small game, and for big game throughout firearms seasons and during portions of archery season

** Debut of Lifetime Empire Passport, which offers visitors to state parks the option of paying a one-time fee to experience all that New York Parks have to offer throughout their lifetime

** Launched new Adventure Licenses to holders of lifetime hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, as well Parks’ Lifetime Empire Passport and NY Safe Boating certificates, whereby a person can consolidate his or her paper licenses onto one document

** Streamlined access to sporting licenses at http://licensecenter.ny.gov to easily purchase and print fishing licenses online from a home computer. License holders also can order new Adventure Licenses and Adventure plates from the website.

Fulton teams receive Scholar/Athlete awards

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has recognized the seven varsity winter athletic teams in the Fulton City School District.

The association presented Scholar/Athlete Team Awards to the following teams: Girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball, girls’ bowling, ice hockey, boys’ indoor track, girls’ indoor track, and boys’ swimming.

To receive the NYSPHSAA’s scholar distinction, the team average must be 90 percent or higher during the season.

3 achieve first-degree black belts

Three students at Oswego’s Taeskwondo America recently received their first degree black belts during the 2013 Winter Black Belt Test Feb. 1 and 2 at Oswego High School.

Caitlin Lilly, Madison Malone and Kiara Barton tested for their first degree black belt and Assistant Instructor Bernadet Pryor tested for her third degree black belt.

Kiara Barton is 8 years old and the daughter of Jell Barton of Oswego. Kiara is a third-grade student at Fitzhugh Park Elementary in Oswego and is also involved in competitive dance and figure skating.

Kiara says her Taekwondo training has been a great place to learn self-defense and build self confidence, but also  make friends and just have fun.

Madison Malone, 12, is daughter of Julie Malone, and a sixth-grader at Fitzhugh Park Elementary. Madison said she enjoys krafting, riding her bike, swimming and sleeping when she’s not doing Taekwondo.

Madison says being involved in the Taekwondo school has provided her with a place where she’s learned self-control, respect and self defense, while at the same time, she’s had fun and made new friends.

Caitie Lilly, 11, is a sixth-grader at Kingsford Park Elementary in Oswego and is the daughter of Dawn and Marty Lilly of Oswego. Caitie is also involved in Girl
Scouts, plays basketball with the St. Paul Youth Basketball Leprechaun League and is also on the St. Paul’s Travel Team.

Caitlyn also finds time to play an instrument in the Kingsford Park Concert Band and is also a member of the student council. Miss Lilly says her Taekwondo training has been fun but it has also helped her build her self confidence.

Every four months, black belts from the Central and Northern New York Taekwondo schools gather and are provided the opportunity to further their advancement and training as black belts.

Once a student obtains a black belt, continued advancement as a black belt is accomplished by “Tip Testing.”

Each student tests his or her skills and knowledge of their Taekwondo curriculum and in turn earns a corresponding “colored tip” (a colored band affixed to a student’s belt indicating their level of achievement). The colored bands, in order, are yellow, green, blue, red, and brown.

A black belt student “Tip Tests” every six months, and after three years, and six “Tip Tests” later, a student is eligible to “Dan Test” — Fifth Dan is considered “Master” level.

Advancement beyond “Master Instructor” is achieved by one’s dedication and involvement in the art of Taekwondo and is at the discretion of an organization’s Grand Master.

In order to be eligible to test for first degree black belt, a student must study and train for a minimum of three years and demonstrate a proficiency in and knowledge of several Poomses (or forms), and numerous self defense, sparring and board breaking techniques.

Taekwondo training places a strong emphasis on respect, personal development and achievement, both physically and emotionally.  Both adults and children immediately benefit from the structure and energy Taekwondo offers, challenging each and every student to be their best and always demonstrate respect towards others.

Taekwondo America students train under Grand Master Sam Kim and Master Sung C. Kim of Rochester. Grand Master Sam Kim is one of the highest ranking black belts in the United States and his Taekwondo involvement as a Grand Master is recognized world wide.

For further information call Leo Pryor, head instructor at Taekwondo America, 135 E. Bridge St., Oswego, at 342-2470 or visit the website at www.oswegotkdamerica.com.

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