David LaClair Sr., Korean War vet, retired from General Electric

David LaClair Sr., 78, of Fulton, died Friday April 18 at Morning Star Care Center, Oswego.

Mr. LaClair was born in Fulton to the late Edmund and Angeline (McNally) LaClair.  He remained a life resident of Fulton.

Mr. LaClair was a United States veteran having served in the Air Force during the Korean War. He retired from General Electric after 30 years of service.

He was pre-deceased by his daughter Kathryn LaClair and grandson David Earl.

Mr. LaClair is survived by his wife of 55 years, Jean LaClair of Fulton; three children, Tammy (Daniel) Bullard, Jane LaClair, and David (Kelly) LaClair Jr., all of Fulton; sister Beatrice LaClair of Liverpool; seven grandchildren; and nine great grandchildren.

Mr. LaClair’s final wish was to donate his body to science. His gift was made to the Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY.

There will be a funeral service at the convenience of the family.  The Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., 224 W. Second St. S., Fulton has care of the arrangements.

SUNY Oswego ‘green’

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

In time for Earth Day, the Princeton Review recognized SUNY Oswego as one of the 332 most environmentally responsible colleges in North America.

The education services company profiles Oswego in the fifth annual edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges.”

A charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, Oswego offers an interdisciplinary academic program in sustainability studies and designs all new facilities to meet at least the silver rating of the U.S. Green Building Council standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

The college’s residential complex of buildings known as the Village achieved LEED Gold certification. The new Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation and Rice Creek Field Station facility are designed to achieve a comparable standard.

Green features at the Shineman Center include the state’s largest geothermal-well installation, which will reduce the building’s energy costs and carbon emissions, as well as green roofs, solar panel arrays, rain gardens to collect storm-water runoff, water bottle filling stations, bike storage, showers and lockers for bicycle commuters, plus systems for monitoring water and energy use.

The guide calls Oswego an “upstate New York green stronghold (that) combines a rich institutional commitment to the environment with a thriving student enthusiasm towards sustainable endeavors.”

It highlights the college’s Rice Creek Field Station for encouraging sustainability-related research and notes students can join numerous groups such as Students for Global Change and the “Go Green Team.”

It adds Oswego participates in a car-sharing program, offers free or reduced-price bus passes, bike sharing and a free campus shuttle, and has a formal sustainability committee.

In addition, the college has a fully staffed sustainability office.

The Princeton Review partnered with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council to compile the guide. They selected colleges based on a survey conducted in 2013 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges to measure the schools’ commitment to the environment and to sustainability.

The survey included questions on the schools’ course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

Rob Franek, the Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher, noted the survey findings indicate significant interest among college applicants in attending environmentally responsible colleges.

“Among 10,116 college applicants who participated in our 2014 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey,’ 61 percent said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school,” he said.

The free guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide and www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide. Support from the U.S. Green Building Council and United Technologies Corp. helped make the guide a free resource.

Autism Family Fun Walk May 3 in Oswego

The Oswego County Autism Task Force is in full swing with activities to promote autism awareness this month.

The eighth annual Family Fun Walk for Autism will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3 at Leighton School and Wilber Field in Oswego.

People of all ages can enjoy inflatables, face painting, crafts and a bubble area. Several local agencies will also provide a variety of activities, along with an information area where people can learn about specific resources available in Oswego County.

For the sixth 6th year in a row, the Task Force is seeking nominations for the “Friend of Autism” award. A new twist to the nomination process this year is that award nominations can be submitted in any manner or form in which you choose, such as writing a letter, designing a poster, creating a powerpoint, writing a song or producing a video on YouTube.

There will be a booth available at the Family Fun Walk for those needing assistance with preparing a video. Award nominees must be an Oswego County community member (individual or group, team or agency) who lives or works in the county, who has made a positive impact on those living with autism.

Nominees cannot be a current Oswego County Autism Task Force member. All nominees will be honored at a reception in May, where the winner will be announced. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, May 8.

This year, the Task Force is holding a Team Spirit Banner Contest during the Fun Walk event. Show your team spirit by designing your own Autism Banner – be creative and have fun!

There will be a prize for the most creative banner.

This fun-filled day is a fundraiser for the Autism Task Force and will help offset the costs of activities the group puts on during the year. It is a free event and open to the public.

In addition to reviewing award submissions and planning for the Family Fun Walk, the Task Force is offering the Brianna Cahill Scholarship to qualifying graduating seniors who are planning post-secondary education or vocational school this fall.

Scholarship winners must be a student in an Oswego County public high school, along with the following criteria: our application must be completed by the student. The recipient must be accepted to a post-secondary or vocational school. The recipient must be currently diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. All scholarship applications must be received by the autism task force by May 1 for final review.

For more information, call Theresa Familo at 598-7672. All submissions can be sent to Familo at Parents of Special Children, Inc., 2 B Tower Drive, Fulton, NY, 13069, by their stated deadlines.

Evening college fair set for April 28

The Oswego County Counselors Association (OsCCA) in conjunction with SUNY Oswego conducting an evening college fair from 6 to 8 p.m. April 28 in the SUNY Oswego Campus Center.

Lisa Roman, Oswego High School counselor and president of the Oswego County Counselors Association, said she is “excited to partner with SUNY Oswego to offer our families in Oswego County an opportunity to talk with college admissions representatives. “

“We are hoping that providing an evening college fair in Oswego County will encourage students and their parents to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about colleges of interest,” she said.

Every October, the Oswego County Counselors Association organizes a daytime college fair for students hosted by Cayuga Community College.

Each high school in Oswego County buses students to Cayuga Community College’s Fulton campus, where college representatives meet with interested students.

However, this spring event hosted at SUNY Oswego will be the first evening college fair in the immediate Oswego County area.

Dan Griffin, director of admissions at Oswego State, feels the timing is right for students beginning their college search.

“Now more than ever higher education is a family affair,” he said.  “Hosting this event in the evening will hopefully provide the opportunity for families to begin the process together.”

To that end, all age groups are welcome to attend.

More than 60 colleges and universities are expected to be in attendance at College Night April 28, with college admissions representatives available to answer questions from students and their families.

In addition, two 30-minute information sessions will be offered giving advice on how to navigate the college application process, and a financial aid table will be staffed by SUNY Oswego financial aid experts.

For more information, including the latest list of participating colleges, visit www.oswego.edu/collegenight.

Take me out to the Peep-game

Peep season is upon us! Brightly colored marshmallow bunnies and chicks recently invaded teacher Robyn Yorker’s Blue Team classroom at Oswego County BOCES Stepping Stones Day Program in Fulton. The students were challenged to build a Peep-centric scene, and chose to represent professional baseball in Central New York. Creativity was in full swing as the children made uniforms, a stadium and assembled fans to view a ball game. The completed scene was included in the 2014 PeepArt contest hosted by Syracuse.com. Pictured are BOCES students Madisyn Stuper, Nick Schneider and Kairo Corniell with their classroom project, where they were tasked to make a scene using the popular Easter treat, Peeps.
Peep season is upon us! Brightly colored marshmallow bunnies and chicks recently invaded teacher Robyn Yorker’s Blue Team classroom at Oswego County BOCES Stepping Stones Day Program in Fulton. The students were challenged to build a Peep-centric scene, and chose to represent professional baseball in Central New York. Creativity was in full swing as the children made uniforms, a stadium and assembled fans to view a ball game. The completed scene was included in the 2014 PeepArt contest hosted by Syracuse.com. Pictured are BOCES students Madisyn Stuper, Nick Schneider and Kairo Corniell with their classroom project, where they were tasked to make a scene using the popular Easter treat, Peeps.

View from the Assembly

By state Assemblyman Will Barclay

Library use has increased across the state.

According to some of New York State Library’s latest statistics, visits to public libraries increased by seven million from 113 million to 120 million from 2007 to 2009.

The number of items borrowed — books, ebooks, movies, magazines and more — has increased by more than 11 percent.

National Library Week is celebrated in April. This year’s theme is “Lives Change @ Your Library.”

The Assembly commemorated the week (April 13-19) with a resolution, which I was happy to sponsor. I’m an advocate for libraries and believe their presence is an important component to any community.

This year’s enacted state budget provided $86.6 million for libraries across the state. Thankfully, we were able to prevent cuts to libraries as the governor had proposed and instead, the Legislature slightly increased funding from last year by $1 million.

Libraries are an important part of both urban and rural communities and I was pleased funding was increased even if by a relatively small amount.

Historically, libraries have always been important to literacy, but they are also the leading digital literacy educators in New York and are the number one point of Internet access for those who do not have Internet access at home.

To meet the demand of New Yorkers seeking Internet access, including job seekers, libraries have responded by increasing the number of publicly-available Internet-connected computers by more than 28 percent, to more than 17,000 computers.

There are a number of resources available through libraries. I wanted to highlight one in particular that is provided by New York State Library called NOVELny.

It’s an electronic resource access project that enables residents across New York State to have online access to the full text of journals, newspapers and other references for free. It’s funded in part from federal dollars to libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) of 2013.

Users can access databases that maintain a warehouse of business highlights and journals, encyclopedias, elementary level periodicals, general periodicals, health references, and newspaper articles.

For example, a subject search in the eLibrary Elementary, one of the many searchable databases accessible through NOVELny, retrieves child-safe articles published in encyclopedias or magazines that are age appropriate.

Articles can be read in their entirety by the user. Users may also opt to have the article read aloud with a computer-enabled reader called ReadSpeaker.

Users can create and save a list of articles they like or may want to reference for research as well. Genealogy may also be researched through NOVELny.

To find out more, visit http://novelnewyork.org/databases.php.

According to the New York State Library, NOVELny provides a minimum of $35 in resources for every $1 of LSTA funding through statewide purchase of electronic information, now freely available. It’s a vast database but even more will be added beginning in July.

We need to continue to invest in our libraries, especially considering how much library use has increased in recent years.

I sponsor legislation that would amend the education law and enable libraries to utilize state aid to install broadband services. Given recent statistics of how much Internet use has increased at libraries, this is important, and especially important to Upstate and rural communities.

Currently, under the Public Library Construction Grant Program, $14 million is appropriated annually for construction, acquisition, renovation or rehabilitation of public libraries.

Excluded from this grant is aid for the purpose of installing broadband services. My bill would allow for libraries to access these funds for broadband installation.

I will continue to advocate for this legislation, A7680, moving forward.

If you have any questions or comments or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, contact my office by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by calling 598-5185.

Fort Ontario clean up set for May 3

Saturday, May 3 marks the third annual I LOVE MY PARK Day at Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Oswego.

I Love My Park Day is a statewide event to improve and enhance New York’s state parks and historic sites, bringing visibility to the entire state park system and its needs.

Volunteers from across the state will participate in cleanup, improvement and beautification events at New York state parks and historic sites.

Last year, Fort Ontario had one of the highest turnouts across the state with at least 80 volunteers showing up on I LOVE MY PARK DAY to help ready the fort for the 2013 season.

Coordinators are looking forward to doubling that number in 2014.

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.

General projects scheduled for I LOVE MY PARK Day include:

** Readying buildings for the 2014 season – sweeping, dusting, mopping and returning exhibits to buildings from winter storage

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

** Landscaping/clean-up -– trimming of hedges and bushes inside 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.

In addition to these yearly tasks, the support garnered from I LOVE MY PARK Day 2013 has prompted organizers to plan three larger scale projects this year.

Cuts in both staffing and budgets in recent years have resulted in an overgrowth on the bluff overlooking Lake Ontario, which threatens to completely occlude views of the lake.

With enough volunteers on May 3, officials hope significant clearing can be done that will benefit literally thousands of people who use the grounds of Fort Ontario annually.

The second large scale project planned for the event is straightening headstones in the Post Cemetery. Many of the stones in the historic cemetery are leaning and in danger of falling over.

As this little cemetery is also visited by thousands of people per year, this small improvement will impact visitors throughout the entire year.

Finally, a replacement entry sign for Fort Ontario has been received over the winter and what better time to install it than on I LOVE MY PARK Day? Not only will the new sign and framework be erected, a new flower bed at its base is being designed to enhance the entrance to the fort’s main parking lot.

Everyone is needed on at Fort Ontario on I LOVE MY PARK Day. Scout troops, youth groups, sports teams, school clubs and civic organizations are all definitely welcome.

Bringing your own tools is highly encouraged although only hand tools are allowed (no power tools). Volunteers are advised to wear appropriate footwear, sunglasses and hats when working outside and consider wearing an extra layer of warmth as it is usually slightly cooler on the shore of Lake Ontario.

Feel free to bring your own water and snack, although a light lunch will be provided through our faithful sponsor Marks Pizzeria of Oswego.

In addition to volunteers, organizers are also looking for area businesses and individuals interested in donating supplies and/or tools to help make Fort Ontario’s third I LOVE MY PARK Day event a rousing success.

Kindness will be acknowledged by recognizing you as an official sponsor of the event. Individuals with expertise or backgrounds in forestry, landscaping or cemetery preservation willing to help lead project teams are also needed.

If you are interested in supporting Fort Ontario’s I LOVE MY PARK Day in either of these two ways, call  Ron Healt at 343-4711 or email him at ronald.healt@parks.ny.gov.

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

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