Oswego High grad designs winning Harborfest poster

Catherine Wells with her winning Harborfest poster design.
Catherine Wells with her winning Harborfest poster design.

The winner of the Harborfest poster design contest for 2014 is recent Oswego High School graduate Catherine Wells.

Each year, Harborfest has an elaborate poster design. Sometimes it goes with a theme, or there is a contest with guidelines.

In the most recent years, posters have been created by Oswego High School students in a computer graphics class taught by Melissa Martin.

They are given a description of what should be included in the Harborfest poster. This year the students were given ships and the lighthouse.

The winning design is chosen by Harborfest staff, and the overlay to turn it into the Harborfest poster is done by Step-One Creative.

Wells graduated from Oswego High School in 2013 and was senior class vice president and the National Honor Society president, as well as a member of Key Club, student council, and played soccer throughout high school.

She is attending Ithaca College where she is studying television-radio.

“Computer graphics my senior year was the first art class I’d taken,” said Wells. She went on to explain “it shows how great a teacher Mrs. Martin is — her students learn how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop in a short span of time, but are able to create awesome projects by the end of the year.”

Harborfest is July 24 through 27. Saturday night will feature fireworks by Grucci presented by Entergy Nuclear.

For more information, call Harborfest staff at 343-6858.

Health clinics for week of May 5

The Oswego County Health Department offers a variety of services to all residents of Oswego County, including preventive health services, certified home health care, long-term home health care, certified hospice, and a maternal and child health program.

Walk-in influenza clinics are held weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego for people age 19 and older. No appointment is needed; walk-ins are welcome.

Immunization clinics are held every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at 70 Bunner St., Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

Children’s flu vaccine is now available every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

The children’s flu vaccine is available at no cost to all children who qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program provided by the state Health Department. For those who do not qualify, the cost is $37 for the inactivated vaccine.

The health department accepts cash or checks for payment. The department does not accept credit or debit cards.

Patients with private insurance, Managed Medicaid, Managed Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicare Part B should bring their benefit cards with them to the immunization clinic.  No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

The following services will be offered during the week of May 5 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

  • Adult Influenza Clinic: Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., walk-in clinic.
  • Immunization Clinic: Tuesday, May 6, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., walk-in clinic.
  • Pregnancy Testing: Free pregnancy testing is available. Call 349-3391 to schedule an appointment.
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing and Treatment Services: Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.
  • HIV Counseling and Testing Service:  Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.
  • Pulaski Rabies Clinic: The health department will hold a rabies clinic for cats, dogs, and pet ferrets from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at the Oswego County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road, Pulaski. A $5 donation is suggested.

For more information about public health services offered by the county, contact the County Health Department, weekdays, phone 349-3547 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 3547.

For information on rabies clinics, call 349-3564.

Event planning courses at SUNY Oswego Metro Center

Employees tasked with planning the annual holiday party, volunteers or board members for nonprofit organizations helping with an annual event, small-business owners working on a project or parents planning a graduation party can attend SUNY Oswego’s Event Planning Program to learn about becoming more effective and efficient event planners.

The two-course program, offered at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center, 2 Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse, consists of two separate courses. The first course is 6 to 9 p.m. May 7 and 14; the second is 6 to 9 p.m. May 21 and 28.

Students who successfully complete both courses will earn a Certificate of Completion and one continuing education credit (CEU).

The program will provide key strategies for managing event logistics, critical planning techniques for negotiating contracts, tactics for dealing with sponsors and overall insight into the intricacies of event management.

“This is a fun, interactive program that provides participants with valuable information,” instructor Bill Motto said.

“A lot of people know a little bit about event planning; this program takes them a step further and lets them plan events that impress. Often times it’s the small things that make big impacts. It’s just the edge that a lot of people are looking for,” Motto said.

Participants may take one course for $199 or both for $349. Additional discounts are available for SUNY Oswego alumni, faculty, staff and current students. CSEA vouchers are accepted.

Course 1 provides an overview of event planning and presents critical planning, logistics, hospitality, negotiations and contracts. Course 2 focuses on risk management, marketing, financing, merchandising, economic impact and charitable events.

To register, or for more information, visit www.oswego.edu/eventplanning or call the SUNY Oswego Metro Center at 399-4100.


Connecting with customers focus of May 1 meeting


When it comes to embracing products and services, To succeed as entrepreneurs, people must differentiate themselves and rise above the clutter to connect with customers and clients.

Susan Conklin will show how to find opportunities to connect with our customers and clients at the next Women’s Network for Entrepreneurial Training’s (WNET) monthly breakfast meeting at 8 a.m., Thursday, May 1, at the SUNY Oswego Phoenix Center in the Oswego County Industrial Park, Phoenix (exit 14, State Route 481).

This presentation focuses on using process mapping to identify opportunities to add value to your customers’ experience, by understanding how and when to effectively make contact.

Conklin is a university-level instructor, consultant, trainer and coach.

Owner of Concentric Personal and Professional Growth, she uses her 20 years of corporate experience managing people and projects to design and facilitate training programs that improve business performance.

The cost for each seminar is $12 for members and $15 for non-members.

The WNET annual (Sept. 2013-Aug.2014) membership cost is $25. Each seminar includes a light breakfast.

Pre-registration is required. Call Operation Oswego County, weekdays, at 343-1545, or via e-mail elivoti@oswegocounty.org.

Porky and Buddy: How to find a lost pet

Dear Jo and all of our readers,

Last week we offered some advice to Jo about precautions she could take to prevent her new dog becoming lost.

This week we want to talk about what to do if the worst case scenario happens and your dog comes up missing.

First, panic! Then get over that and start working.

(You might also want to feel guilty, but you don’t have time at first, so save that for later.)

There are many steps you can take to locate your missing dog. Swift action coupled with major neighborhood networking, will increase the odds. The key is to get the information out to as many people and places as you can.

So enlist the help of friends, family and neighbors in your search.

Knock on doors and talk to the people in your own neighborhood first. Cover at least a three-block radius, or if you are in a rural area, go to the nearest neighbors.

Hand out flyers with your pet’s picture on them, the date of loss and your phone number, and offer a reward..

Give copies of your flyers to veterinarians, groomers, trainers, pet stores, the post office, the grocery store and any place that gets neighborhood traffic and ask them to put them up. There is very good advice about how to turn your flyers into effective posters here.

Contact all of the Animal and Dog Control Officers, and all animal rescue groups, including the Oswego County Humane Society, in a 20-mile radius.

Visit the local shelters in person, bring a picture and ask to see their animals. Don’t give a description over the phone; descriptions can be misinterpreted. Go back every couple of days.

Don’t assume that your Animal or Dog Control Officer will be looking for you. Under New York Law, they are required to hold the pets they find for five business days to give you time to find them.

If your pet has no identification (or has lost it), the god control officers and animal control officers who may have found your pet have no resources to conduct a search for you but they do love to reunite pets with their owners. So keep contacting them.

Many local newspapers and shopping guides allow free “Lost and Found” ads. Also check the newspaper listings for Found Dogs and Cats. Some people look only in the local newspaper to locate an animal’s owner..

You can often register your pet online on services such as the online newspapers and Craig’slist and even upload a picture.

You should also search the “found” section of these same online services.  There are also online lost pet recovery services that charge a fee. One is petamberalert.com.

Do it all again and again …

Don’t give up. Lost pets have been found weeks, months, and occasionally years after they go missing. Good luck!

When you find your missing best friend, that is when you can indulge in guilty feelings, but you won’t want to because you are so relieved.

Speaking of guilt, the Oswego County Humane Society is always in need of dry cat and kitten food for its foster cats and for low income families in our county.

There will be a collection cart at the Fulton Price Chopper until May 4. Stop by to chat with Oswego County Humane Society volunteers and make a donation if you can.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, New York. Phone is 207-1070. Email is ochscontact@hotmail.com. Website is  oswegohumane.org.

Tidy up Fort Ontario May 3

Tidying up Fort Ontario is the focus of I Love My Park Day May 3.

I Love My Park Day is a statewide event to improve and enhance New York’s state parks and historic sites.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with work to start by 9 a.m. There will be assignments available for all ages and abilities.

Projects scheduled include:

Readying buildings – sweeping, dusting, mopping and returning exhibits to buildings from storage;

Painting – exterior of Officer Quarters’ privy as well as the fort’s many benches; and

Landscaping/clean-up –trimming of hedges and bushes inside the old fort, weeding and mulching flowerbeds in parking lots, cleaning up sticks, branches, and winter debris throughout the grounds, edging  sidewalks and pulling young weeds that grow among the stonework of the old fort.

Those interested in volunteering for any of Fort Ontario’s I LOVE MY PARK DAY projects may pre-register at www.ptny.org/ilovemypark, or by emailing Jenny Emmons, event coordinator, at jenny.emmons@parks.ny.gov or calling 343-4711.

Valley Viewpoints: Difficult choices for Oswego schools

This time of year, which is a season of fresh air, new growth, and our emergence from winter hibernation has also become “budget season” for public schools.   

Financial plans for public schools are built on a delicate balance between reasonable expenditures, and revenue from state aid and taxes.  The balance produces an academic and extra-curricular program in well maintained facilities that a community can support and be proud of.

When that balance is not struck and expenditures do not match your revenue, the difficult task begins. In the nine years I have served as a superintendent of schools, I have to say this season has proven to be the most difficult.

In finding balance with the proposed budget for the 2014-2015 school year, the district leaders and members of the board of education have worked diligently to craft a spending plan that is efficient yet supportive of our educational mission.

On April 23, the school board approved a spending plan of $79.9 million that is reflective of a 2 percent increase over this year’s spending plan.

Because our revenue is not balanced with our current expenditures, we had to make reductions of over $2 million. This task was difficult and we relied on close analysis of every department, building and program within the district.

In the end, we realized we are heavy on staffing for a district with declining enrollment and we had excessive costs in many areas that could be reduced.

The result is a reduction in staffing of over 27 positions and a reduction of over $500,000 in departmental expenses.

These decisions were difficult, but necessary. Our focus was to have reductions in areas that will have little or no impact to our students.

I believe that when students return in September they will have very little if any impact to their experience. Cuts and reductions were made based first and foremost on enrollment, and we used attrition to eliminate 12 of the 27 staffing reductions.

By following this guide, we were able to reduce our budget, protect our programs and craft a proposed budget that makes us a more efficient organization while still providing an academic and extra-curricular program of which the Oswego community can be proud.

Over the next several weeks, as your Superintendent of Schools, I will be presenting the budget to various groups and answering questions to inform our community of the budget proposal.

On May 20 the community will be asked to vote on this proposal.  I would be happy to speak with you or your organization as well and I welcome your feedback as we go through this process.

Thank you for your support of our students and school district and I hope you enjoy the spring season as it is intended.

Ben Halsey
Oswego City School District
Superintendent of Schools

State Senate Report

By state Sen. Patricia Ritchie

From camping and hiking to picnics and water sports, New York state parks provide the perfect venue for almost any outdoor activity.

Because our parks are such important natural resources, it’s so important that we protect them and keep them pristine.

That’s the goal of the third annual  “I Love My Park Day,” a statewide event taking place on May 3rd that aims to improve and enhance New York’s state parks and historic sites.

Through I Love My Park Day, thousands of volunteers from across the state will head out to beautify participating parks and historic sites by doing things such as cleaning up lands and beaches, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habits and working on other improvement projects.

There are more than 80 I Love my Park Day events taking place across New York State this year. To register to volunteer at a park or historic site near you, visit the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s website at www.nysparks.com.

If you’re someone who enjoys the outdoors and frequents our state’s many parks and historic sites, you’ll be pleased to know that the new state budget makes key investments that will help to protect and enhance New York’s natural resources as well as support important environmental initiatives that create jobs, boost tourism and benefit communities across our state.

Contained in the new spending plan is a $9 million increase to the Environmental Protection Fund, bringing the total funding to $162 million which will help to protect open spaces, restore historic sites, control invasive species, create and enhance parks as well as support numerous other projects related to the environment.

In addition, the new state budget also includes an additional $132.5 million in NY Works funding for improvements to parks and historic sites and environmental resiliency efforts.

While the state budget goes a long way to support our state’s parks and historic sites, there’s a lot more that can be done — and you can lend a hand. By volunteering at I Love My Park Day, you can help to preserve and beautify these important resources for future generations.

Editor’s Note: One of the clean-up events will be at Fort Ontario State Historic Site in Oswego. See story below.

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