Young drivers to hear about distracted driving

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Looking to educate young drivers and emphasize the importance of paying attention behind the wheel, several local agencies, service providers and educational institutions are collaborating to bring national speaker Jacy Good to the SUNY Oswego campus.

Good, a survivor of a crash caused by a distracted driver in 2008, will tell her story during the Regional Awareness Program for young drivers at 7 p.m. March 26 in the Hewitt Union ballroom.

The 10th annual program is free to the public and is sponsored by Oswego County BOCES, the Oswego County Traffic Safety Board, New York State University Police at Oswego and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

Good will speak about the accident that changed her life on her college graduation day. The car carrying her and her parents was struck head-on by a tractor trailer as the truck swerved to avoid a vehicle — whose driver was talking on his cellphone — making an illegal left turn through a red light.

The accident killed Good’s parents and left her badly injured, with a 10 percent chance of survival.

However, after multiple surgeries and physical therapy, Good beat the odds and has made it her mission to educate people about the dangers of cellphone use behind the wheel and to advocate for legislation to help crack down on distracted driving.

Billie Crandall Brady, coordinator of the Oswego County Traffic Safety Board, said Good’s story is a powerful one that will hopefully resonate with the audience at the RAP program.

“I’m hoping kids will walk away from the program with the ability to make better choices about who they get in the car with and they’ll speak up if their taxi driver is texting, if their friend is texting, if their mother is texting, I don’t care who it is,” Brady said. “Just hang up and drive. It’s very simple.”

Brady said students and young drivers aren’t the only demographic that makes reckless decisions behind the wheel. “It’s not just teenagers texting,” she said. “It’s adults too. So many people are guilty of either talking or texting or distracted in other ways. I encourage parents and adults to come to the event too.”

In addition to Good’s discussion, the program will offer police agency exhibits, student projects, and a STOP DWI display. The Phoenix Central School District Transportation Department will join he program talking about essential bus safety tips and guidelines.

Parking is free in campus lots 18 and 32, adjacent to Hewitt Union and Culkin Hall at the Route 104 entrance.

For more information, call Brady at 343-2344 ext. 22.

BOCES student carpenters hear about apprenticeships

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

George Baldwin, a representative from the Empire State Carpenters’ Apprenticeship Training Center, was on hand at the Construction Technology class at Oswego County BOCES recently where he shared carpentry career opportunities available through the apprenticeship program.

He praised the preparation students receive from participation in the BOCES career and technical education programs saying “this is a great feeder program to an apprenticeship.”

He explained to the students that an approved apprenticeship program will provide them with two things to prepare them for a career in carpentry:

1) on the job training and

2) related instruction, very similar to what the students get through a CTE program.

“If you like what you are doing here, you’re going to love the apprenticeship program,” Baldwin said, noting the apprenticeship programs are paid, full-time programs while the participants are training.

Baldwin also shared job market predictions for those interested in a career in carpentry. Recent expansion in the technology industry in New York state has increased the need for construction of new buildings that utilize “clean room” technology.

A “clean room” is 200 times more sterile than a hospital surgical suite and is necessary when producing high tech products such as cell phone and computer chips.

“There is so much work for carpenters in Upstate New York for the next 20 years,” he said.

Baldwin encouraged interested individuals to apply for the apprenticeship program and noted that students in a career and tech program are wanted for entrance into the apprenticeship because they have an aptitude for the field and have experience with the tools of the trade.

For more information about the Construction Technology program at Oswego County BOCES, contact Marla Berlin, Principal of Career and Technical Education at 963-4433.

Oswego UPK sets open house

Submitted by Oswego School District

An open house is set for 6 to 7 p.m. March 26 at all five Oswego school district elementary schools for children and parents to come learn about the district’s Pre-Kindergarten program.

Applications for the Oswego City School District Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program are now available.

Anyone who would like their child considered for the program can complete an application that is available at all elementary schools, or the Office of Curriculum and Instruction on the first floor of the Education Center.

Anyone with questions may call 341-2013. An application form is also available online at www.oswego.org.

Screening will be held in April so please send in applications as soon as possible.

The program is designed for children who were born between Dec. 2, 2009 and Dec. 1, 2010 and is offered at no cost to children who are selected by lottery, said Cathleen Chamberlain, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

The UPK teachers and staff strive to create a warm and nurturing environment for the four year olds. The goals of the program are to meet the individual needs of 4-year-old children in the areas of social, academic, language, emotional and physical development. This prepares them to successfully enter kindergarten the following year.

Sessions are available at all five elementary schools. The program runs in conjunction with the regular school district calendar.

 

Meals, math on menu at Fairgrieve

Meals and math were served up at Fairgrieve Elementary School’s Lunch and Learn March 11 in the cafeteria.

Third-graders displayed their math prowess during a brain gym exercise, which got their bodies and their minds moving.

Elementary Academic Intervention Services teacher Kristine Kaufman said the activity helps bolster the students’ memorization skills when it comes to math facts.

“The students are expected to master multiplication and division by the end of third grade,” Kaufman said. “Brain gym helps with repetition and memory.”

After the brain gym exercise, students sat down with their parents and guardians to review number operations and number bonds.

The Lunch and Learn program is spearheaded by school/home liaison Ariana Suhr and was designed to give parents an up-close glimpse at the new curriculum implemented as part of the Common Core Learning Standards.

News in Brief

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The 50th annual Oswego County Numismatic Association Coin and Collectible Show will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 30 in the Fulton Municipal Building.

Free admission and free parking are available.

There will be a 50/50 drawing and attendees can bring items to the show to ask questions about them to club members.

There will be many dealers on hand with coins, stamps, postcards, pocket watches, jewelry, sports cards and other collectibles.

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A number of events are coming up at the Sterling Nature Center.

At 1 p.m. March 22 (today), there will be a Signs of Spring Walk. Join Interpretive Naturalist Jim D’Angelo for an early spring hike in search of the signs of spring. We will search for the winter aconite blooms in the gardens as well as the first wildflowers of spring.

It is also time to meet and greet some of the migratory birds including a check on the great blue heron rookery to welcome back the herons as they continue their courtship and start nesting.

There will be a Board Game Extravaganza from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday April 5. In honor of International Tabletop Day, this program is open to the public and board games will be provided or you can bring your own. This is a great opportunity to have fun with your friends and to try a game you haven’t played before all while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Sterling Nature Center.

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The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter is sponsoring a Zumbathon from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday March 26 at the Hannibal Village Tavern.

Zumba with Faye Beckwith and Noelle Salmonsen to raise money for this association that helps patients with this debillitating muscular disease.

For more information, call 564-5479 or 564-5266.

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The fun of Karaoke will be offered from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29 at First United Church, 33 S. Third St., Fulton.

Charles Ramsey will once again provide us with his great sound equipment.  Hundreds of songs will be available for individuals to make their selections.  Free soda and popcorn will be provided.

Everyone is welcome. This event is sponsored by Children and Families Team of The Open Doors Neighborhood Center (ODNC) of the First United Church. First United is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

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The New Haven Senior Citizens will meet at noon March 31 at the Congregational Church for a covered dish luncheon.

Lunch will be followed by a brief meeting, and a program by Ken Richards who will talk about some of his travels.

All seniors are welcome.

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The Finishing Trades Institute of Western and Central New York (Oswego) will conduct a recruitment from March 25 to Feb. 24 for four painter, decorator and paperhanger apprentices, said state Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera.

Note openings listed for apprentices represent the total number for both the Central and North Country regions.  This program’s jurisdiction includes the counties of Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and St. Lawrence.

Applications can be obtained from 28 W. Bridge St., Oswego, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month, excluding legal holidays, during the recruitment period.

Applications can be obtained and submitted only during these open recruitment sessions.

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The annual Bodley’s Got Talent showcase will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 9 at  G. Ray Bodley High School.

Vice Principal Will Greene and teachers Ami LaDuc and Daniel Mainville will serve as judges.

The cost is $4 per person, and the community is invited to attend. Profits raised by the H.O.P.E. Club will be split between a local organization (ARISE), a national organization (Make-A-Wish Foundation) and an international organization (Volunteer for Peace).

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Little Utica United Methodist Church will be holding a free senior luncheon in the church parlor for persons in the community age 55 and older from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10.

This will be an opportunity for community members to have lunch and socialize with their neighbors.

The menu will include vegetable beef soup, broccoli and cheese soup, tuna and egg salad sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, chips and pickles.

A variety of desserts along with punch, milk, tea and coffee will be served.

Little Utica United Methodist Church is located on Lamson Road, heading west off Route 48, just past the intersection of Lamson Road and East Mud Lake Road.

For more information, call the church at 678-2270 or visit the church’s website at www.littleuticaumc.org or their Facebook page.

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The 50th reunion of the Class of 1964 from Fulton High School will be held Aug. 15, 16 and 17.

The reunion committee is trying to locate the following classmates: James Kevin Howard, Kathleen Pyzdrowski Stevens, Becky Burns, Cheryl Travet, Jean Furlong Cole, Gary Weldin and Patricia Rondomanski Quinn.

To provide contact information, call or email Sharon Wardhaugh Flood at 593-7401 or sflood@twcny.rr.com

Celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring with a snowshoe program at the Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 23.

If a person can walk, they can easily learn to snowshoe. An environmental educator will give a brief clinic on snowshoe technique and then lead participants for a short wander through the mixed woods and wetlands.

After the program, hot chocolate or tea will be served.  There cost is $3 per person. Family rate is $12 and children under 3 are free. Snowshoes are provided free.

These programs are designed for individuals, not organized groups. Call the Oswego County 4-H Program at 963-7286, extension 401 to arrange a group program.

Amboy 4-H Environmental Educational Center is located on Route 183, between Routes 13 and 69 in eastern Oswego County.

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The Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District is now accepting orders for the 43rd Annual Spring Tree and Shrub Sale.

The district is offering for sale 39 varieties of hardwood and evergreen trees, shrubs and ground covers.

The trees selected for this year’s program may be planted to serve a variety of purposes, which include timber, Christmas trees, improving wildlife habitat, windbreaks, screens or borders and increasing the aesthetics of your property.

To obtain an order form, contact the Soil and Water District at 592-9663. The form can also be printed directly from the web at oswegosoilandwater.com and mailed to Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District at 3105 State Route 3, Fulton, NY 13069.

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The Minetto United Methodist Church will host a free dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 23.

The menu will be ziti and meatballs, vegetable and dessert. Donations are not expected but will be accepted.

A collection shed is available in the parking lot at the back of the church for usable clothing items that can be recycled. Acceptable items include: all clothing, shoes, sneakers, purses, blankets, sheets, pillowcases, drapes, and stuffed toys.

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A stuffed pork chop dinner is set for noon to whenever sold out Sunday March 23 at the Hannibal American Legion Auxiliary Post 1552 on Rochester Street. A full menu is being offered and takeouts are available.

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The deadline to apply to take the Civil Service test for purchasing clerk is March 26.

The pay rate for the position is $14.67 an hour. Candidates must be legal residents of Oswego County for a minimum of four months immediately preceding the date of the test, which is May 3.

Applications and further information area available at the Department of Personnel, County Office Building, 46 E.e. Bridge St., Oswego or by calling 349-8209 or going to oswegocounty.com/personnel/openings.html

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A chicken barbecue to raise money for the Oswego High School girls’ softball team is set for 11:30 a.m., Sunday March 30 at Gibby’s Inn in Oswego.

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Mother Earth Baby will host a Healthy Baby Expo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 26 at the Lake Ontario Conference Center in Oswego.

This fun family event is ideal for new and expecting moms and for children of all ages with a focus on health and wellness for young children and their families.

The event is free and the first 100 registered to participate will receive a swag bag full of goodies.

Additionally, the event will feature fun family and child activities, raffles and door prizes from over 50 participating sponsors, free samples, product demonstrations, and more!

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A committee working to add to the New York State Fair’s daily parade is seeking input from the public as it designs a State Fair float to serve as the centerpiece of a reinvigorated event.

Designs and ideas for the float are being solicited by the committee, which is being headed up by a member of the State Fair Advisory Board.

The committee has reached out to some school and community groups to solicit design ideas. Any individual or group is welcome to submit design sketches.

Sketches received by April 1 will receive consideration. Those involved in creating a winning sketch will receive recognition during the parade along with admission to the Fair and parking passes.

Submissions can be sent to nysfair.entry@gmail.com.  More information about the requirements for submissions can be found at www.nysfair.org/contact-us/parade/.

THE SPORTSMAN’S WORLD: The Art of Worming

By Leon Archer

When I was a kid, I learned to capture, care for and use fish worms.

The capturing and the using I enjoyed, but the caring for worms could be a bit of a pain. I learned early on that you couldn’t just gather a bunch of night crawlers and leave them in a bucket with a few leaves and expect that they were going to live happily ever after.

Nothing smells worse than a container full of dead worms. By trial and error, I learned to keep both the worms and my long-suffering parents happy; I learned the art of worming.

The art of worming consists of two distinct, yet vitally connected parts. The first part is the catching and caring for the worms. The second part is using the worms most efficiently for fishing.

I can’t prove it, but I firmly believe that the number one bait of fishermen, at least in Upstate New York, is the lowly worm. That’s probably why we kids called them fish worms.

More refined folks called them angle worms for the same reason. As long as they were available, they caught just about every kind of fish a kid wanted to fish for.

I even went so far one year as to nurse a few of them along in our basement until the ice was safe for fishing. I thought they might just be the magic bullet on hard water, but although they caught fish, they were no better than the minnows and jigs that we used.

The effort was hardly worth the returns, but other times of the year they were easy to procure and deadly on the fish.

Now when I say worms, there were two main types that I used for everything, night crawlers and what I call rain worms. I majored in night crawlers, but I didn’t ignore the smaller rain worms.

Night crawlers were easy to catch every spring, requiring only a flashlight, digital dexterity, and knees and a back that could stand an hour or two being bent over. On a good wet spring night, I could pick up 200 to 800 worms. It all depended on how wet I was getting and how soon my body started grumbling about the abuse.

I had several large, leaf filled boxes in the basement of our home. Each one was capable of holding up to a thousand worms safely for a long time, but in reality they came and went on a regular basis. I sold night crawlers and my father and I used plenty of them as well.

It wasn’t quite as simple as dumping them in and taking them out; there were certain chores connected with worm ranching.

After a few weeks, the remaining old leaves and worm castings had to be removed and new leaves put in the boxes. The removed residue was great for the family garden, but if left too long in the boxes before being replaced, it became toxic to the inmates.

If maintained properly, the worms were happy and my parents were happy.

It was extremely important to remove any dead worms or even those that did not act very lively. Usually dying worms would come to the surface of the leaves, but not always, so as I took worms out for sale or use, I was constantly on watch for the dead or dying.

When I did change the leaves in a box, I counted the worms into a bucket, allowing me to keep track of my inventory, before returning them to their refurbished home.

When picking up night crawlers, inevitably some will be broken as they are pulled from their burrows. Usually I dropped them back on the ground where most of them would survive if they got back underground. The others ended up feeding the robins the next morning.

If I knew we would be fishing in the next day or so, I would keep them, but sort them out when I got home. It was very unwise to try to keep them with the other worms. I tried to never put a damaged worm in the boxes; it was just asking for trouble down the road.

Rain worms are a different story. Because of their smaller size and very pale pinkish color, they were the very best worms for fishing for small brook trout. They were tougher and stayed on the hook better than a night crawler, which made them a pretty good bait for pan fish that could often rip a piece of night crawler off the hook without paying any penalty.

There were many times when a rain worm would do a better job than a night crawler.

I usually picked rain worms up off driveways, roads and sidewalks early in the morning. I also dug them. They are found in much larger numbers than night crawlers when digging worms.

I never tried to keep any great number of them, but they did very well in smaller containers with soil in the bottom and a layer of leaves over that.

Fishing with live worms is an art as well; one size does not fit all. Worm fishing for pan fish and small trout was the easiest; simple and straight forward, small worms and small hooks but larger species each had their own likes and dislikes when it came to worms. Big night crawlers became the go to bait, but how it was hooked made a difference.

A number 2 hook baited with a whole night crawler was our basic bait for bullheads. We wadded it up on the hook in small folds, going in and out the length of the worm. If much was left hanging off, the bullheads would just tear it loose and be gone. Rock bass were always eager to take a similar bait. Black bass, on the other hand wanted the worm loose and flowing, so we hooked them once or twice near the collar band of the worm. With walleyes, we hooked the worm as near to the head end as was feasible.

Rainbow and brown trout were the fussiest. The worm needed to look natural and whole. Part of a worm was usually ignored, and a worm bunched up on the hook like one was fishing for bullheads was a no starter right from the get go.

Most of my worm fishing for larger trout was done in the spring or after a heavy rain in the summer. High roily water increased one’s odds considerably. I almost always used a single snelled number 6 hook below a willow leaf or Dixie spinner.

The spinner caught the fish’s attention in the cloudy water, and as they homed in on it they would grab the night crawler. It was a deadly combination.

Even today, my favorite bait is the lowly earthworm. I still catch them and use them successfully. I know it is still cold and the snow cover is tenacious, but before long it will be time to start harvesting those wonderful night crawlers, and when that happens, spring fishing will be close behind.

Time for the art of worming.

Trout, salmon season opens April 1 in NYS

The opening of trout and salmon season in New York state is just 10 days away.

The 2014 trout and salmon fishing season opens April 1 and New Yorkers can now purchase and print a fishing license from their home computers by visiting http://licensecenter.ny.gov in order to be ready to enjoy New York’s great outdoor fishing opportunities on opening day.

Lifetime fishing licenses also are available.

“New York offers some of the best fishing in the country,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

“As part of the state’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative, fishing license fees have been reduced and licenses can be easily purchased and printed online from home. Now anglers don’t have to wait until fishing season to get ready. I encourage New Yorkers to go online, buy their licenses and look forward to a great fishing season,” Cuomo said.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said the DEC is stocking rivers, lakes and streams to provide “ample opportunities for anglers to reel in a great catch.”

Fishing licenses, which are required for persons age 16 and older to fish in New York’s fresh water lakes and rivers, may also be purchased by phone at (866) 933-2257.

Anglers who purchase by phone will receive a confirmation number to use immediately as proof of holding a license until their actual license is received in the mail.

Whether fishing trout, salmon, bass, walleye or sunfish, New York provides outstanding fishing opportunities. For a wealth of helpful information on suggested fishing locations in various DEC regions and tips for beginning anglers, visit the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html.

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

DEC’s website also provides specific locations on streams where DEC has purchased fishing rights easements. Maps showing PFR easements are available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9924.html

In addition to the many trout stocked by DEC, anglers are reminded that many waters support one or more species of wild trout that are also available to add to the enjoyment of a fishing trip.

Anglers are also encouraged to contact a DEC Regional Office if they have questions about fishing opportunities within a specific region. DEC Region and Regional Office Information is available by gonig to http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/50230.html

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