Senator honors “Women of Distinction”

Eighteen women from Oswego County were  honored Thursday May 1 by state Sen. Patricia Ritchie.

They are being named “Women of Distinction” through the New York State Senate’s yearly program to honor women who have made a difference, including teachers, activists, advocates and other change-makers.

All honorees were recognized at a special event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at  Watertown’s historic Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library.

The Women of Distinction program honors women’s history in the Empire State by recognizing outstanding leaders and everyday citizens from the present who are making a difference.

“Over the past several years I’ve been humbled to have been given the opportunity to recognize the amazing women of this region,” Ritchie said.

“From teachers who have inspired countless students to those who make it their life’s mission to help those in need, this group of women is truly dynamic,” she said.

Last year, 17 women from Central and Northern New York were honored. This year’s honorees are:

Oswego County

Stacy Austin-Root, Melissa Baker, Melanie Proper, Maureen McClain, Carol Gazitano, Tracy Henry, Amanda Capeling, Norene Cook and Sandy Delano — staff of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, Fulton, for all the work they do with children “to ensure that children who have suffered abuse are able to cope with their feelings, recover, and once again enjoy their childhood,” said nominator John DeRousie

Jane Backus, of Mexico, retired English teacher at Mexico High School, contributed to the design of the school’s Quest Program, served on the SUNY Oswego College Council for five years, editing the Mother Goose Nursery School newsletter, volunteering for the Mexico JROTC program and cooking for the Mexico Methodist Church “Monday Meal,” serving as a sacristan and lector at St. Anne, Mother of Mary Catholic Church and serves on Rep. Richard Hanna’s Military Academy Review Committee.

Karrie Damm, LMFT, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, Fulton, led the charge to open a satellite office of the center in Pulaski, active in the community, was once named one of the “Top 100 Most Inspiring Women” by Girl Scouts of America.

Michelle Hughes, of Pulaski, very active in the Pulaski community, a member of the Preservation and Restoration of Pulaski Committee, is a St. Baldrick’s Cancer Research Benefit volunteer and a volunteer for the Pulaski Academy and Central Schools. She also owns her own business,  “A Cut Above Full Service Salon,”.

Denise Simmons, of West Monroe, a mother of three often found exploring nature,  fishing in the North Country’s many rivers and streams and hunting in the deep wildernesses.

She volunteers with Baldwinsville Rod and Gun Club, Madison County Friends of the NRA, Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and has been involved with Central New York Friends of the NRA.

Roxanne Stewart, of Fulton, teacher, president of the resident council at Michaud Residential Health Services, “has become a tireless advocate, pushing for better living conditions for nursing facilities.”

The Rev. Brenda Weissenberg, of Central Square, involved with foster care program, she serves on the Board of Directors for Oswego County Foster Parents, Central Square Pop Warner, Hastings Mallory PTO, Parish Community Pre-School and the Fort Brewerton Chamber of Commerce.

The Rev. Meredith Williams, of Oswego, teacher who also assists in food drives, facilitates Art Club, Christian Club and is an active member of Positive Behavioral Interventions. She is an assistant pastor, provides security for the church and is the owner of Trinity Art Studio.

Susan Witmer, of Oswego, long-time volunteer with Oswego Rotary, Rural Health Network of Oswego County, and Emergency Planning Committee for Oswego County, United Way Cayuga Community College, Oswego County Humane Society, Youth Soccer League and High School Sports Boosters. She was instrumental in the “Stuff a Bus Bookmobile,” Stone Soup canned food drive, Ronald McDonald House collection and Salvation Army canned food drives.

Teresa Woolson, of Oswego, took the tragedy of losing her son to synthetic drugs use and turned it into a positive for the community, opening a nonprofit foundation, the Victor Orlando Woolson Foundation, created in her son’s memory that aims to assist and educate the public in an effort to make the community a safer place.

In addition, Teresa’s advocacy was also the catalyst behind comprehensive legislation addressing synthetic drugs in New York state. She also is involved in Bridges out of Poverty, COACH, Friends of the Oswego Public Library, WNET, Vineyard Church and other organization.

Those honored from the other two counties in Ritchie’s Senate district are:

St. Lawrence County

  • Ilene Burke
  • Virginia Davey
  • Kelly Glasgow
  • Imogene Wagner
  • Lila Youngs

Jefferson County

  • Joanne Lazore
  • Cari McAvoy
  • JoAnn Reed

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Beginning this week, The Valley News is going to make it easier to find the pancake breakfasts and chicken barbecues going on in the area.

Instead of these being listed under “News in Brief,” they will now be listed under this “Breakfast, lunch, dinner” headline. All food events will be listed here.

Here goes:


The First Congregational Church of New Haven is holding an eat-in or take-out dinner from noon until gone Saturday, May 3 (today).

Preorders are available to be picked up between noon and 2 p.m.

The dinner will contain ½ chicken, pulled pork, pasta salad, salt potatoes, roll and butter. Call 963-3118 and leave a message with your name, phone number and the number of dinners you want. You will receive a call back to confirm your order and to make arrangements for you to buy the tickets needed for your dinner(s).

The church is located at 4250 State Route 104 in New Haven. The church is just west of County Route 6.


Mt. Pleasant Grange at 2825 County Route 45 will have its waffle breakfast from 7:30 to 11 a.m., Saturday May 10.

Waffles will be topped with peach and served with the usual breakfast buffet and with sugar-free toppings. Takeouts will be available.

Also upstairs at the Grange, the Treasure Sale will be open from 8 to 11 a.m.


The Pennellville United Methodist Church, 389 County Route 54 in Pennellville will have its last dinner of the season at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 10.

The menu will consist of roast pork, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, beans, coleslaw, rolls and butter.  Attendees also can choose from a wide selection of pies and other desserts. Coffee, tea, cool aid and water will also be available.

The dinner is served family style. Music will be provided while you wait to be seated.  The ladies from the church also have a variety of crafts and goodies for sale.  There is a large supply of used books available at reasonable prices.

The next dinner will be Sept. 13.


Lamson Grange #588 will serve its all-you-can-eat Belgian waffle breakfast buffet featuring  made-to-order waffles with peach or warmed syrup  topping from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 10.

This buffet will also include eggs, bacon, sausage, white and wheat toast, English muffins, jam, cereals, whipped topping, juice, coffee, tea, and milk.

Lamson Grange is located at 9108 Fenner Road, Lysander, corner of Lamson Road and Fenner Road.


Trinity United Methodist Church in Oswego will have a chicken barbecue from noon until sold out Saturday, May 17.

The menu consists of a half barbecued chicken, salt potatoes, salad, rolls, baked beans, beverage and dessert. Attendees can eat in or take out.

Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 45 E. Utica St., corner of East fourth in Oswego.

Learn about Battle of Oswego May 10

Attack on Oswego – From an Old Print. Benson Lossing’s Fieldbook of the War of 1812.
Attack on Oswego – From an Old Print. Benson Lossing’s Fieldbook of the War of 1812.

On Saturday, May 10, Superintendent Paul Lear will lead a walking tour of the 1814 Battle of Oswego at Fort Ontario State Historic Site.

The tour will begin at 1:45 p.m. at the tunnel entrance of the old stone fort. It is free and open to the public. Appropriate footwear and clothing for cooler and windier conditions along the lake are recommended.

Lake Ontario was the main theater of action during the War of 1812, and Oswego was an important forwarding point on the waterborne supply route from New York City to the US Navy shipyard and port at Sackets Harbo.

On May 5 and 6, 1814, a British amphibious force from Kingston, Ontario attacked and captured Fort Ontario and Oswego after a two-day battle. During the walking tour event, Lear will discuss the individuals and units involved, what actions they took, and the results of the battle.

Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in  Oswego. For more information on Fort Ontario or the walking tour event, call Paul Lear at 343-4711, or email

Save time, money by visiting local DMVs

Submitted by Oswego County

Oswego County Clerk Michael C. Backus is encouraging local residents to save time and money by using one of the three local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices for their motor vehicle transactions.

Residents can renew their registrations at DMVs in Pulaski, Oswego and Fulton. Vehicle renewals can be mailed to the Oswego Motor Vehicle Office at 384 E. River Road, Oswego, 13126.

Backus notes that all motorcycle registrations expire April 30.

“When people mail their DMV renewals to the Oswego office, a portion of the fees collected by the DMV remains in Oswego County and helps hold the line on local property taxes,” said Backus.

​Backus said it’s important for local residents to know that if they mail their registration renewal to the Oswego DMV office, they must cover or cross out the postal bar code that is pre-printed on the DMV envelope.

“The envelopes that the DMV sends with the vehicle renewals are pre-printed with the Utica address bar code,” he said. “If the bar code isn’t covered or crossed out, the letter will be delivered to Utica, even if it has an Oswego address on it.”

Oswego County DMV offices are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and are located at 384 E. River Road, Oswego; 200 N. Second St., Fulton; and 2 Broad St., Pulaski.

For information call 349-8300; 591-9136; or 298-6521.

Nuke siren tests set for week of May 5

Submitted by Oswego County

Dale Currier, director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, says the system of emergency notification sirens surrounding the three nuclear power plants at Nine Mile Point are scheduled to be tested Monday, May 5, through Friday, May 9, between 4 and 8 p.m.

The test is a portion of the regular testing program of the Oswego County emergency alert system. This quarterly testing includes individual activation of each siren.

No response by the public is required during these tests. Should an actual event occur during the time of testing, the Emergency Alert System would be activated on radio and TV stations providing directions to members of the public.

The system of sirens and tone-alert weather radios in the 10-mile emergency planning zone surrounding the nuclear power plants at Nine Mile Point is designed to alert residents in the event of an emergency.

Tone-alert weather radios are provided to residences in the 10-mile zone that are out of hearing range of the sirens. A listing of residences eligible for tone-alert weather radios is on file at the Emergency Management Office, 200 N. Second St., Fulton.

During an emergency, the sirens would be sounded for three minutes to alert residents of the area to turn their radios or televisions to local Emergency Alert System (EAS) stations for further information and instructions.

EAS stations are listed in the 2014 “Public Emergency Response Information” calendar that was mailed to residents of the Emergency Planning Zone in January.

The calendar is available online at EAS stations are also listed in the yellow pages of local telephone directories.

Anyone who has questions concerning the upcoming siren tests or any aspect of emergency planning may contact the Oswego County Emergency Management Office at 591-9150 or (800) 962-2792.

Red Cross Club raises money in walk/run

As part of the Heroes for the American Red Cross Campaign, the Red Cross Club at SUNY Oswego held a Red Cross 5K Walk/Run out at the campus  March 29. The theme was “Be a Different Kind of Superhero.” Participants were asked to come dress up as their favorite superhero. The club raised $722.84, which included a 50/50 drawing and a bake sale. Pictured are: Lauren Madlin, president of the Red Cross Club; Danielle Hayden, manager of the Oswego County Red Cross; club members, Kaila Booth, Katie Pike, Allison Steel, Sarah Bonaker and Heather Robinson.
As part of the Heroes for the American Red Cross Campaign, the Red Cross Club at SUNY Oswego held a Red Cross 5K Walk/Run out at the campus March 29. The theme was “Be a Different Kind of Superhero.” Participants were asked to come dress up as their favorite superhero. The club raised $722.84, which included a 50/50 drawing and a bake sale. Pictured are: Lauren Madlin, president of the Red Cross Club; Danielle Hayden, manager of the Oswego County Red Cross; club members, Kaila Booth, Katie Pike, Allison Steel, Sarah Bonaker and Heather Robinson.

SUNY Oswego’s Moody receives national award

121010_moody-book_0005Submitted by SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego communication studies faculty member Dr. David Moody has received a national award for his work on African-American visual popular culture.

Moody, who has taught since 2010 in the broadcasting and mass communication program, earned the Harry Shaw Award on April 18 for outstanding contributions to the field of African-American popular-culture research at the annual conference of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association in Chicago.

“Professor Moody’s work on film and popular visual culture has inspired students and colleagues alike,” the PCA/ACA said in its award citation for Moody, an active member of the organization and presenter at conferences.

“His presence has enlivened our sessions and helped us to chart a direction for future research efforts,” the citation states.

In 2012, Moody published “Political Melodies in the Pews? The Voice of the Black Christian Rapper in the Twenty-first Century Church,” and is nearing publication of a book on black identity in film and television.

His Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University was in American culture studies with emphasis in critical studies in film, media and culture.

At the PCA/ACA conference, Moody presented “Does Sarah Jane Really Have a Color Complex? Black Identity and Self-Esteem: Critique of the Film ‘Imitation of Life,’” a 1959 film, by Douglas Sirk, based on a Fanny Hurst novel that explored issues such as racial prejudice and light-skinned African Americans of that era “passing for white.”

‘Remarkable contribution’

Fritz Messere, dean of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts, said Moody is highly deserving of the PCA/ACA award.

The dean cited Moody’s scholarship, his leadership of the college’s Voices of Diversity program and his efforts in raising the profile of the college’s Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit as its lead organizer the past three years, among many other contributions.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Moody on staff,” Messere said. “He is making a remarkable contribution to his field and a remarkable contribution to our understanding and perspective of the importance of black history and culture.”

Jennifer Knapp, chair of communication studies, said that as the Harry Shaw Award recipient, Moody now has the opportunity to “shine an even brighter spotlight on his meaningful contributions to the discipline.”

“Our department is lucky to have a scholar so well-regarded, and who is at the forefront of the intersection between popular culture and African-American culture,” Knapp said.

At SUNY Oswego, Moody — with more than 20 years of experience in Cleveland and Cincinnati television and radio — has taught “Minorities in Film and Television,” “Programs, Programming and Effects” and “Broadcast Sales,” among other courses.

The PCA/ACA award is named for Harry Shaw, who established the African-American culture section of the organization.

Foundation plans first fundraiser

Board members of the VOW Foundation met with Assemblyman Will Barclay, center, during their recent trip to Albany. From left Sarah Gauger, Angela Coville, Barclay, Teresa Woolson and Bonnie Caza. They were lobbying for synthetic drug legislation.
Board members of the VOW Foundation met with Assemblyman Will Barclay, center, during their recent trip to Albany. From left Sarah Gauger, Angela Coville, Barclay, Teresa Woolson and Bonnie Caza. They were lobbying for synthetic drug legislation.

The newly created nonprofit charitable organization, The Victor Orlando Woolson Foundation, Inc. (VOW Foundation) will be holding its first fundraiser from noon to 5 p.m. May 17 at Lighthouse Lanes in Oswego.

“We are starting out small and simple with a chicken barbecue at Lighthouse Lanes in Oswego,” said foundation President Teresa Woolson.

This first fundraiser will be a chicken dinner take-out event. Dinners will include half chicken, salt potatoes, baked beans and a roll — packaged for pick-up.

Free delivery will be available for three or more dinners purchased in the Oswego/Scriba area.

Tickets are $10 and all proceeds will go to the VOW Foundation to be used for education and advocating about synthetic drugs.

Woolson began the foundation and named it for her son who died after using synthetic drugs he bought at a store in Oswego.

Four members of the VOW Foundation Board of Directors recently made a trip to Albany in March to advocate for the proposed legislation regarding Synthetic Drugs, A.6971/S.5401.

Woolson said synthetic drugs continue to be a problem in Oswego County and more educational events are being planned for this year.

For tickets call Woolson at 402-6119 or event chair Karen Perwitz, at 315-256-3455. The VOW Foundation can be found at or

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