Marco Kaldi

Kaldi OBMarco Kaldi passed away unexpectedly on December 21 at his home in Bradenton, Fla. He was 52 years old. Marco was born in Paris, France and spent his young life in Milan, Italy. He came back to the U.S. when he was five and lived in New York City where he attended the United Nations School. He spent his high school years in the Boston area and joined the Navy upon graduation. He was stationed in Barbers Pointe, HI, where he was awarded a Humanitarian Service Medal. He attended Navy EOD School (Explosive Ordnance Detection) in Indian Head, MD and Airborne Training in Fort Benning, GA. His dreams of becoming a Navy Seal were dashed when he suffered severe injuries from a 50-foot fall while mountain climbing. He was medically discharged from the Navy. He spent many years working for EOD companies all over the world clearing the way for the military in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, especially during the time that the US was at war with these countries.
It was while he was stationed at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan that he found the opportunity to exercise the kindness in his heart when a fellow worker from Zimbabwe spoke of his paralyzed eight-year-old son. The worker was trying to save enough money to buy a powered wheelchair for his son. Marco contacted Hoveround Corporation, headquartered near where he lived in Sarasota, Fla. The owner and CEO of Hoveround was touched by the story and responded with the donation of a $9,000 powered, all-terrain wheelchair, shipping the chair to Zimbabwe – the first ever sent there. Marco even assisted with finding a freight carrier who would ship the chair from Sarasota to Zimbabwe and Marco’s company agreed to pay the $1,000 shipping charge.
He was the quintessential Mr. Fix-It, once owning a tile and marble store in Honolulu. He worked on the construction of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Maui and built houses on Oahu. He was always ready to lend a hand. He was a loving father, a compassionate husband and a devoted friend. He was a “giver.” The common theme expressed by his friends and family is “he would give you the shirt off his back.” His kindness and his sensitive nature will be missed by all those who loved him.
Marco is survived by his wife, Charlotte; his daughter, Serena of Honolulu, HI; his mother, Leita Bevacqua Kaldi Davis of Bradenton, Fla., his father, Mirko Mandich and sister, Silvia Mandich, both of Venice, Italy; his brother, Jude of Miami; his grandmother, Ruth Aluzzi of Fulton and several beloved aunts, uncles and cousins in the Fulton/Syracuse area; and a niece and nephew in Venice, Italy.
A memorial service will be held at the Sarasota (FL) Military Cemetery on January 14, 2015. Arrangements for a memorial service in the Syracuse area are still being planned.

Stanley R. Ottman

Ottman OBStanley R. Ottman, 89; of Phoenix died Friday at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse. He was born in Minetto, N.Y., to the late Roscoe and Anna (Savery) Ottman. He remained a lifetime resident of the area living in Oswego, Baldwinsville and Phoenix, N.Y. Mr. Ottman served in the Merchant Marine. He was past employed at A&P, Tops, Price Chopper, and Walmart in the management departments before retiring at 80 years old. Mr. Ottman was a member of the Lion’s Club, and the American Legion. He was a Volunteer Ambulance Driver for Baldwinsville Ambulance Corp. Mr. Ottman was predeceased by his children, Robert and Judith Ottman. He is survived by his wife of 69 years Josephine Ottman of Phoenix, eight children, Jo Ann Ottman of LaFayette, N.Y.; James Ottman of Oswego, N.Y.; Carol (William) Mosley of Tenn., Mary Jo (Daniel) McCarthy of N.M., Debra (Robert) Martin of Tenn., Stanley (Lisa) Ottman of North Syracuse, N.Y.; Mark (Ginny) Ottman of N.J.; Matthew (Diane) Ottman of N.M.; sister Adrienne DeGroff of Oswego, N.Y.; 11 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Funeral Services were held Tuesday at the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. 4th St. S., Oswego with Rev. John Carter officiating. Burial is in St. Paul’s Cemetery, Oswego. Donations may be made to Food Bank of CNY, 7066 Interstate Island Road, Syracuse, N.Y. 13209;

Fulton issues travel advisory

By the Fulton Police Department

The City of Fulton has issued a travel advisory effective at 2 p.m. today (January 5, 2014). Snow and gusting winds along with a forecast of significant snowfall this evening have created very hazardous driving conditions. Motorists are advised against any unnecessary travel. Vehicles will be towed if they become stuck or if they present a hazard.

Public Works crews are aggressively working to clear streets. Due to the travel advisory, cars should not be parked on the roadway. This will assist Public Works crews in clearing the snowfall which began to accumulate earlier this afternoon.

Pedestrians should stay off the roadways if sidewalks become impassable as road surfaces are treacherous.

The following areas may be used by residents for parking – those areas include Indian Point Landing (North First Street, off of Route 481 at the north city line), Bullhead Point (Route 3 West between the War Memorial and YMCA), and across from the former DPW Garage (Seward Street and North Fifth Street).

Fulton’s dredging to be re-bid in 2015

Pictured is a dredge operated by Groh Dredging and Marine Construction pulling silt from Lake Neatwahwanta in late August. Colin Hogan photo
Pictured is a dredge operated by Groh Dredging and Marine Construction pulling silt from Lake Neatwahwanta in late August.
Colin Hogan photo

By Colin Hogan
After only a couple months in the water, Fulton’s dredging efforts removed more than 20,000 cubic yards of silt from Lake Neatahwanta in 2014.
The city began dredging its portion of the 750-acre lake, which it shares with the Town of Granby, in late September after awarding the project to Illinois-based Groh Dredging and Marine Construction.
Local officials believe that by dredging silt from the lake, which has been closed to swimming and other recreational activities for years due to a high concentration of blue-green algae, they can restore the flow of the freshwater springs that feed it and help mitigate the algae’s growth.
In the two months of dredging Groh did during the fall, workers removed more than 20,000 cubic yards of silt, which comprised nearly two of the six outlined grids the city plans to clear, according to Mayor Ron Woodward Sr.
“The pretty much completed the first two grids we mapped out,” Woodward said. “We’re permitted to clear out six of them. They’re about 300-by-300-feet each.”
Woodward said that high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in the silt have also been contributing factors in the algae’s growth. He said the 20,000 square feet of silt that has already been removed was tested and showed high concentrations of both chemicals, and samples from the water where the dredging occurred are now showing the chemicals in lower concentrations.
“That leads me, at least, to believe that what we are doing is lowering the nitrogen and phosphorus,” Woodward said.
As of November 30, Groh had completed the work it was contracted to do. Now, the Lake Neatahwanta Revitalization Corporation — which administers Fulton’s portion of the project  — will have to put the dredging out for bid again to begin the next phase in 2015.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation prohibits dredging in the lake during fish spawning season, which it defines as April 1 through July 15. Woodward said Fulton will probably put the next phase of the project out for bid in late June in hopes of starting right after the end of spawning season.
Fulton and Granby have each received $200,000 in state funds for their dredging efforts, as well as numerous donations from the community. The city’s “One Yard at a Time for $12.89” campaign, in which residents are asked to contribute a minimum donation of $12.89 — the cost to dredge one cubic yard — has proven to be a successful fundraiser for the endeavor.
“We’re getting there. We’re always getting donations in. We get a lot of small ones, and they all help. More than that, though, they show the level of public interest,” Woodward said.
Woodward expects that, with the dredging currently done for the season, donations will be coming in slower, but he still believes people are interested in contributing to the next round.
“Of course this time of year (donations) will slow down. It seems to be best when you can actually see the dredge out there working,” Woodward said. “We had a tremendous amount of sight-seers down there (during the fall) watching them work. I spoke with a lot of them and they all seemed very happy to see something being done.”

Valley News 2014 Year in Review

A look back on some of the biggest stories the Valley News reported in 2014

Lake Neatahwanta dredging begins
After decades of dormancy, 2014 became the year officials in both Fulton and Granby put plans to revitalize Lake Neatahwanta into action.
Like dozens of other upstate New York lakes, the former recreational haven has fallen victim to high levels of cynobacteria, better known as blue-green algae. Local officials say that between eight and 12 feet of silt built up around the lake’s basin over the years, blocking the freshwater springs that feed it. By dredging that silt, they say they can restore the water’s flow rate and temperature to prior levels in order to mitigate the algae’s growth.
Although both municipalities’ lake committees received equal amounts of state funding to start dredging, they each chose different approaches. Fulton, which has already begun, brought in a contractor from Illinois and began pulling silt from the lake in late August. Granby opted to have its own dredging barge built, which arrived in October and will be operated by volunteers. The machine is currently garaged for the winter, but town officials say they plan to start using it was soon as possible this coming year. Pending weather conditions, they hope to begin some of the work prior to the start of fish spawning season, April 1 through July 15, during which time the state Department of Environmental Conservation prohibits dredging.
Both municipalities hope to continue to fund their dredging efforts through community donations. The committee overseeing Granby’s efforts has coordinated with several local business to keep donation jars available. Fulton’s committee has found success with its “One Yard at a Time for $12.89” campaign, in which residents are asked to make a minimum contribution of $12.89 — the cost of dredging one cubic yard — toward the project.
Fulton and Granby have both received permits from the DEC allowing them to continue dredging for up to 10 years.
Fulton grapples with fiscal stress
After the state comptroller’s office announced that Fulton was suffering from moderate fiscal stress in late 2013, city officials said they hoped 2014 would be the year the city confronted its financial woes.
At the request of the common council and Mayor Ron Woodward Sr., the state’s financial restructuring board for local governments conducted a comprehensive review of Fulton’s finances and, in July, issued a series of recommendations for the city. Topping the list was that the city develop and implement more shared services with the county and other local municipal governments, like the towns of Volney and Granby.
The restructuring board’s report also said the city should continue working to restore the former Nestle plant to “shovel ready” status for future investors. The site has already attracted the interest of supermarket chain ALDI Inc. However, in its current state, the site would need a lot of work before it could be developed.
While progress on that site has been stagnant, two other Fulton industrial facilities announced small expansions later in the year. In December, city officials gave the green light for Universal Metal Works to add 20,000 square feet to its facility, about half of which will be used by the company to streamline its processes. The other half will be leased to neighboring plastics manufacturer Davis-Standard, which is relocating some of its New Jersey operations to Fulton.
The restructuring board also noted that Fulton’s police and fire department costs run significantly higher than the average for other upstate New York cities — an issue that would carry over to the city’s budget hearings in December.
Fulton adopts $15.7 million budget
In December, an evening of lively debate accompanied the adoption of Fulton’s $15.7 million budget for 2015.
Despite an overall increase in spending, city officials maintained the same property tax rate from 2014 of $19.662 per $1,000 of assessed value. The budget reflected spending cuts across several departments, and eliminated more than $200,000 in personnel costs by consolidating positions and re-hiring retirees on a part-time basis.
However, city officials still took heat from some concerned residents over police and fire department spending. The constant refrain among three critics of the budget that night was that a city Fulton’s size shouldn’t need 35-person police and fire departments, and could get by with around 24 people in each.
City officials disagreed that the departments could get by with only 24 officers. Others attending the budget hearing voiced their support for the size of the police and fire departments, citing an increase of crime over the years. Despite one critic’s request that the common council table the budget and look for further public safety cuts, the council unanimously adopted the budget that night.
Teenagers sentenced for Granby stabbing death, burglary
Three area teenagers were sentenced in December for a February murder and burglary, in Granby.
The victim, Anthony Miller, had previously provided a home for one of the teenagers, Glenwood Carr Jr., 16, and his father when the Carrs found themselves homeless.
Carr, who claimed Miller owed him money, pitched the idea of stealing money from Miller’s mobile home to his friends Michael Celi, 17, of Baldwinsville, and Zachary Scott, 19, of Van Buren.
When the boys arrived at Miller’s home in Granby, Celi fatally stabbed Miller, and the teenagers collected cash and marijuana from his home. Carr and Celi were sentenced to 17-and-a-half years to life and 20 years in prison, respectively, for murder. Scott was sentenced to 18-and-a-half years with five years of post-release supervision for burglary.
School district absorbs Fulton Public Library
Continued cuts in city funding since 2007 left the Fulton Public Library struggling to keep its doors open in 2014. Over that time, the library’s annual funding from the city fell from $210,000 to $50,000.
In March, library officials went to the Fulton City School District Board of Education, proposing that the facility become school district public library, wherein it would draw its financial support from the school district’s tax base, rather than just the city’s.
FCSD Superintendent Bill Lynch said at the time that the school district wouldn’t be taking over the library’s operations, and that this arrangement merely leaves the school district as a “middleman” for the library’s finances, collecting the tax revenue and turning it over the library board.
Only positive comments on the library proposition were voiced during the school district’s budget hearing in early May, and on May 20, FSCD voters approved the measure 766 to 288.
The library officially became a district-wide entity in July.
FCSD approves more capital projects
Fulton City School District voters approved a $4.4 million capital project in 2014 to upgrade two elementary schools as the district continued work on its $8.8 million 2012 capital project of upgrades on two separate elementary schools.
The district board of education approved an increase of more than $2 million in its budget for 2014-15, a move that also restored four teaching positions that were previously cut.
Earlier in 2014, a mix of veterans and incumbents were elected to the FCSD Board of Education, with incumbents David Cordone and Barbara Hubbard and newcomers Robert Briggs and Timothy Crandell being elected to terms.
Teen’s life meets tragic end days before graduation
Tragedy struck the community on June 17 when 18-year-old Dylan Blair of Fulton was killed in a car accident.
It was just before 5 p.m. that day when the soon-to-graduate G. Ray Bodley High School senior was in a head-on collision with another vehicle on state Route 3 in Granby. He was pronounced dead at the scene, just 11 days before he was to receive his diploma.
Blair’s death sent a shockwave through the community. His classmates quickly organized their own memorial ceremony to honor him, which was held two days after his death.
Blair’s tragic end loomed heavily during the 2014 GRB graduation ceremony, where hundreds in the audience gave a standing ovation when his name was called out. Family and friends of Blair accepted the diploma on his behalf, and speakers throughout the ceremony shared remarks on the beloved young man.
During the summer, multiple benefits were held to help Blair’s family meet their funeral costs. After one held at the Fulton Polish Home in September, friends of the family said they hope to establish a scholarship fund in Blair’s name for future GRB graduates.
Fulton woman’s gratitude for first responders reaches White House
After losing everything but her life to a house fire in June 2013, Fulton’s Beverly Belton resolved to devote herself to honoring our nation’s first responders.
On the day of the fire, Belton had just settled in for a bath when Fulton Police Officers Michael Blasczienski and Brian Dumas kicked in the door to rescue her. She wasn’t even aware there was a fire.
Following months of advocacy with local state and federal representatives, the 72-year-old woman felt like she hadn’t gotten very far. A bill for a National First Responders Day that she supported, which was co-sponsored by Congressman Dan Maffei, D-Onondaga, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, but continued to languish in committee reviews.
It felt like all hope was lost until June 1, 2014, when Belton got a big surprise from her mail carrier. It was an envelope from The White House, and it contained a proclamation from President Barak Obama establishing a time period for honoring all first responders in the United States.
In September, a special event was held at the Fulton Municipal Building to honor Belton’s achievement. The event was attended by representatives from local, state and federal offices, as well as a number of local first responders.
CCC celebrates 20 years in Fulton, new arts partnership
It was a banner year for Cayuga Community College’s Fulton campus.
In 2014, the college marked its 20th anniversary in the Fulton community, and rounded out the year by announcing a merger with the CNY Arts Center.
The school, which currently has approximately 1,100 students enrolled, began in 1994 by offering liberal arts classes in rented classrooms in downtown Fulton. After a couple moves, it settled in its current location within River Glen Plaza in 2012.
On April 23, local dignitaries joined the college’s administrators, faculty and staff in a big anniversary celebration, during which CCC Interim President Greg DeCinque said he would like to rely on community partnerships and collaborations to make the campus a cultural, community and fitness education center.
A few months later, the CNY Arts Center in Fulton announced that it had established a new partnership with CCC, and would be relocating its operations to the CCC Fulton campus. Officials on both sides of the merger said it would help “bring the community to the college.”
After moving into the new location in early December, CNY Arts Center Director Nancy Fox said the center was benefiting greatly from the college’s facilities, and announced a slew of new and revived events it plans to host this year.
Katko ousts Maffei, county elects family court judge
Republican candidate John Katko topped Democratic incumbent Congressman Dan Maffei in November in the race to represent New York’s 24th Congressional District. Katko won by 103,800 to 71,042, defeating Maffei in Oswego County, as well as the rest of the counties in the district.
During the campaign, Katko promised to use his seat in Congress to address student loans, deregulate small business, and enhance the dredging of the Port of Oswego to increase traffic.
James Eby was elected in November to be the second Oswego County Family Court Judge, a new position recently created by the state legislature.
Eby, a Republican, won the election 16,254 to 10,786 against Democrat Lou Anne Rucynski Coleman.
Carol Wood remains found, Heidi Allen search reopens
Two prominent missing person cases in Oswego County again came to the forefront in 2014, with officials finding the car and remains of one missing woman, while alleged new suspects emerged in the case of a different missing woman.
In mid-June, local law enforcement officials pulled the wreckage of the car driven by 30-year-old Carol Wood the night she disappeared after leaving an Oswego bar.
Wood disappeared Aug. 4, 1996 and had not been seen since. Her remains were found in the car, pulled from the Oswego River in Fulton. An autopsy was unable to determine a cause of death.
In the case of the 1994 disappearance of New Haven teenager Heidi Allen, newly discovered evidence led to a legal battle over the conviction of Gary Thibodeau, the man currently serving time for Allen’s kidnapping.
The search for Allen reopened over the summer after new allegations surfaced that people other than Thibodeau have admitted multiple times being involved in the kidnapping. Search and rescue teams looked through wooded areas in Mexico, though they found no sign of the missing woman.

Wilma S. Rondomanski

Rondomanski OBWilma S. Rondomanski, 94, who had been a lifelong resident of Fulton, N.Y., passed suddenly at her home at Linden Ponds in Hingham, Mass., on December 26, 2014. She had been a resident of the senior living community since 2008.
Wilma graduated from Fulton High School and went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University where she met her husband, Chet. Together they raised their five daughters in their former home on West First Street, South in Fulton. She had an engaging personality and was occasionally outspoken but always sincere.
While her career was her dedication to her family, Wilma’s avocation was in business and sales — a trait followed by her daughters.  In early years, she worked part-time at her family’s business, Stanley Candy & Tobacco Co., and later was co-publisher and advertising sales representative of The Fulton Patriot for many years with her brother, Joseph. The Fulton Patriot survived until recently as one of the state’s oldest weekly newspapers.
Wilma was prominent in local and state Republican politics for nearly two decades, serving as vice chair of the Oswego County Republican Committee and representing the county as a member of the New York State Republican Committee.
She was an avid Syracuse University athletics fan and for years she and her husband were active members of the University Club and the SU Orange Pack. They were also members of the Oswego Country Club for years.
Wilma was a lifelong communicant of Holy Family-St. Michael’s Church where she was a member of the Altar Rosary Society. While in Fulton, she was active in the Fulton Women’s Club, the Friends of History in Fulton, and as a member of the A. L. Lee Memorial Hospital Auxiliary where she was a longtime volunteer at the snack bar. She also enjoyed supporting ethnic traditions within the activities of the Fulton Polish Home.
In recent years she looked forward to spending time visiting her daughters and vacationing with their families in Florida and on Cape Cod. Wilma also became an avid bridge player and enjoyed her many new friends at Linden Ponds.
She was predeceased by her husband Chester in 1999 and brother Joseph Swiatlowski in 2008.  She is survived by her five daughters, Kasia (Joel) Bulkley of Jupiter, Fla., Frances (Gay) Pomeroy of Dewitt, N.Y., Carol Hughes of Dover, Mass., Patricia (Bill) Quinn of Hingham, Mass., and Anne (Karl) Rohrmeier of Bellport, N.Y.; 11 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a niece, Alicia Calagiovanni of Syracuse.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m Friday, Jan. 2, at The Church of the Resurrection, Hingham, Mass. Interment will be in the spring at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fulton, N.Y.
At the request of the family, contributions in her memory may be made to the Friends of History in Fulton, 177 South First St, Fulton, NY 13069 or to the Polish Home Scholarship Fund, 153 West First St., Fulton, NY 13069. Pyne Keohane Funeral Home may be contacted for directions or further information, 1-781-335-0045 or

Betty Schoolcraft Irwin King

King OBBetty Schoolcraft Irwin King, beloved and loving wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away on Saturday December 27, 2014.  A resident of Baldwinsville, N.Y., and Sun City Center, Fla. She was born on May 20, 1940 to her late parents, Aletha (Conine) and Kenneth M. Schoolcraft.
Betty was a graduate of Hannibal High School and SUNY Oswego, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.  She took several courses at Syracuse University to pursue a PhD.
Betty was a teacher at Jordan Elbridge system, Ramsdell School in Jordan for 29 years, retiring in 1997. More recently, she had been a teacher of students at OCC, town of Onondaga, as well as in Limanowa, Poland.
As a member of the First Congregational Church, UCC, Betty served as a deaconess, a cabinet member and on other church related committees. She was also a member of the DAR; Topics Club, Phoenix; the Red Hats Society, Baldwinsville, NYS Retired Teachers Assoc.; and Pi Gamma Mu, which is a national social science honor society.
Her other interests include her family, sewing and traveling. She had seen 29 countries and 44 of the 50 states in the U. S. Betty enjoyed reading, music, acted as a soloist at many churches, and sang at over 50 weddings.
Survivors include her husband of 29 years, Danton L. King; her daughters and their husbands, Renee (Paul) Fernandes of Liverpool,  Rhonda (Menelaos) Georgiadis of Fulton, Kathleen (James) Snizek of Liverpool, and Alison (Jack) Meade of Camillus; six grandchildren, Gregory and Magda Georgiadis, Natalie and Brandon Fernandes, and William and Samuel Meade; four brothers, David (Judy) Schoolcraft of Syracuse, Fred (Vivian) Schoolcraft and H. James (Patricia) Schoolcraft all of Liverpool, Steven (Theresa) Schoolcraft of Baldwinsville; two sisters, Carol (Robert) Bernys of Sanford, Fla., and Victoria Crismond of Casselberry, Fla.; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Calling hours were Tuesday and Wednesday in the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, 431 Main St., Phoenix, N.Y. Services were held Wednesday in the First Congregational UCC, at 43 Bridge St., Phoenix, NY 13135. Burial will be in Pine Plains Cemetery, Henry Clay Blvd., Clay, N.Y.
Contributions in Betty’s memory may be sent to: American Cancer Society; the SPCA; Wounded Warriors Project; or First Congregational UCC

Elnora J. Matthews

Matthews OBElnora J. “Nora” Matthews, 62, of Fair Haven passed away Tuesday surrounded by her family following a brief illness. She was born in Syracuse, a daughter to the late William J. and Elizabeth J. Crossin and lived most of her life in the Red Creek and Fair Haven area. Nora worked at Alcan for 24 years, before her retirement in 2004 and then went to work part-time for Novelis for the past nine years. She enjoyed sewing and spending time with her grandchildren. In addition to her parents, Nora was predeceased by her husband, Corwynn “Red” Matthews, who died April 10, 2010. Nora is survived by two daughters, Lenora J. Perkins of Cabool, Mo., and Rachel (Frederick) Whitt of Martville; three grandchildren, Nicholas (Samantha) Perkins, Joshua (Heaven) Perkins and Frederick Whitt, Jr.; three sisters, Elizabeth A. “Cibbie” (Robert) Fillingham of Martville, Melody Ibbs of Wolcott; and Wilma Sherman of Red Creek; an aunt, Enola Hart of Syracuse as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. Calling hours are noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, January 3, 2015 with services to follow at Foster Funeral Home, 837 Cayuga St., Hannibal. Burial will be in Springbrook Cemetery. Contributions in memory of Nora may be made to the Upstate Cancer Center, 750 East Adams St., Syracuse, NY 13210.

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