Maroun Elementary students show wonders of NY to kids in Texas

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

As students in the Phoenix Central School District are dealing with a relentless winter season, they learned how their peers in Texas were coping with below-average temperatures while interacting with one another during a recent Read Around the Planet videoconference.

Fourth-graders in Rachel Faulkner’s class at Michael A. Maroun Elementary and fourth-grade students at Ada Mae Faubion Elementary School in Cedar Park, Texas, learned about the differences and similarities of their home states.

Students in Texas began the videoconference by performing a skit detailing the history, geography, weather and different animals found in their state.

Phoenix students were amazed to learn schools in Texas even get snow days on occasion.

“We had two snow days this year, but mostly because of the cold,” a Texas student said. “But we did close when we got less than an inch of snow.”

While that statement was met with laughter by the Maroun fourth-graders, the videoconference provided much more than interesting facts and skits as the classes collaborated to write a poem.

Building on an experience the students had last year when children’s poet Kenn Nesbitt came to Phoenix, the Maroun students asked their Texas peers for a list of sports and a list of foods.

Using a rhyme scheme and alliteration, the classes created two poems titled “Playing with your Food.”

The videoconference was part of a distance learning offering provided by Oswego County BOCES.

The program strives to bridge the gap in educational opportunities and enhance learning experiences for students, teachers and community members by providing overall program coordination services, technical support, identification of district needs and connectivity access to school districts and educational institutions.

For more information, call 963-4298 or visit www.oswegoboces.org/web/iss/distancelearning.

Valley Viewpoints

Rule changes needed

The Fulton Softball Association needs some major rule changes.

Every team has to pay a $415 entry fee, $150 players fee and $375 umpire fees for a total of $940 for a 15-game season.

Now let’s look at what they get for their money, 1 and 1 count, mat ball, moved the bases back to 70 feet, 6 to 10 for arc (half the time you can’t throw more than 8 feet), limited home runs, 20 run rule after three innings or 10 run rule after five innings and 1 hour time limit.

These are the reasons why a lot of teams and players wanted me to run the league, because it is not fair to them. They pay all this money and don’t have a say about the rules, why not let them have a say on some of the rules.

They don’t even get to elect their own board members. I have seen a lot of games in the last few years that didn’t go more than 30 minutes, so now they paid $62.66 to pay that game when you divide $940 by 15.

Now you wonder why people quit playing the game.

The fees are too high and the rules only benefit the league.

I have played, coached and sponsored teams in this association for 33 years and seen this association go from being a great place to play to having no fun to play in anymore. Every team should be entitled to play at least 5 innings or an hour and 20 minutes if they ar not at the run rule.

If you want to speed the game up, get rid of the mat and call the game, there are a lot of batters who will take a talk because the mat is too short.

The game is so easy for umpires now and don’t take this wrong guys, because I have umpired a lot of games with your guys and respect every one of you for the job you do.

But the players deserve a lot more than what they are getting for their money. I will say this to you, Mr. Ostrander, that you wrote a letter of recommendation for hiring to the mayor when I worked seasonal for your department not too long ago, along with a lot of aldermen.

Now why all of a sudden the change in what you wrote? So if I can’t take you as a man of your word about  what you wrote in that letter, then what can people believe from you. I offered to run this league for nothing to relieve some of the stress on the businesses that sponsor teams and to bring back the sport. Instead, you hire someone to do it — let’s just keep spending unnessary money.

I am not all about money, I donate a lot of my time to this community. This was my way of giving back to this great sport that my dad and I have played for years.

I guess the only person who truly was a man of his word was Don Smith. He hired me as a scorekeeper, field manager and let me run the first ever fall league in Fulton. He saw the same thing in me that you saw when you wrote that letter.

So it’s not like I don’t have the experience to do the job. In order to be in control of the league, you have to come there and check it out. If someone calls you about the league, you call the president you hired.

Look where that has gotten this league, two years in a row of a couple of teams playing without paying any fees. as the head of the recreation department, you should come there to check up on things, just like you do with War Memorial and North Bay Campgrounds.

This way you know how things are being run and if there are any problems that can be handled differently. Instead let’s just keep chasing things to do out of Fulton, with all these high fees and poor management on your part.

Frank Allen

Former player, coach and sponsor

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Saving our part of the planet

I do not recall the date, but clearly remember the moment, when a couple of friends of mine approached me about investing in a company that was making “conversion” kits for the Volkswagen beetle.

These kits would turn your “slug-a-bug” game or in the case of a few in our group, their flower power car, into a dune buggy.

Now being the owner of a Dodge Challenger convertible and a cult follower of anything mopar, I was not interested. DUMB IDEA……needless to say; even though it was a fad of sorts these two went on to make a lot of money.

Investing in your future comes in many forms. Maybe you go after an education to secure a comfortable position that pays you well. You take on leadership and walk in shoes that put you in the crosshairs of the public eye.

You value family, friends, and the simple moments in life that the “busy” crowd chooses to never see. Whatever path(s) you choose to walk down, you have some control over your destiny.

All of those investments in life, good or bad, all of those choices you make daily, and all that shapes you will still put you into one group. We all share a responsibility to take care of our planet.

Now let me clarify, I am not a “tree hugger” don’t know a maple from an ash tree, still get confused over which plastic is recyclable and which type is not. I don’t care if you smoke, I don’t, yet get upset with the idiot who thinks they can flip their cigarette butt out of the car window and it bounces off my windshield.

I am fully aware of the roadside trash, the litter from fast food, the select few who feel that they do not have to make arrangements for trash removal and dump anywhere and those who feel it is easier to just throw things out of the car window.

I cannot change those who will not make an attempt to do what’s right. I cannot wrap myself around the concept of cleaning up the entire planet. Of what I am aware, is that we have some amazing areas right here in our own neighborhoods.

We have it all: forests, trails, lakes, streams, green space, recreational spots, sporting areas and so much more.

So as the legislative member who sits on the EMC Committee (Environmental Management Council) for the County of Oswego, I have finally decided that I am going to get off of my comfy chair sometime during Earth Week, and go out to join a group and pick up the trash and litter of those who do not care about our counties, towns, villages, and neighborhood assets.

My goal is to fill one trash bag. Depending on the spot, that could be a quick commitment, or maybe not.

Will it make a difference? In the big picture of things, nah, not so much. I will feel better for a couple of reasons: I will have engaged in something new for me and……well, if another 500 or 600 people in this county did the same, then maybe we kick the door open a little.

I will go with a group who can tell me, “No, wait, that is recyclable!”  Then maybe in the long run my goal will have to be modified to learn new information and have two bags — one for recyclables and one for trash.

If you would like to join in to help “clean up the earth” in Oswego County, EMC suggests you organize a group or join one to clean up a local park or green space.

You can call 343-4565 or visit www.co.oswego.ny.us/earthweek.html to sign up for an Earth Week cleanup project, or for more information.

James Karasek, 

Oswego County Legislator

Light in the Darkness

“And they were calling to one another:   “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:3). 

“Who among the gods is like you, O Lord?   Who is like you — majestic in holiness.”  (Exodus 15:11)

We are told that God’s Holiness is so central to His being that, “Holy is His name.” (Luke 1:49); and, because  we are told to, “be holy for He is holy” (several times in Leviticus and again in 1 Peter 1) it is important that we know what God means when He says that He is Holy.

Now this is not as easy a task as it may seem because God never tells us straight out what He means by His holiness. He can’t.

This is not because of any inability on His part but on ours. Words we would understand simply would do nothing to communicate what it means that God is Holy.

I like the way that A. W. Tozer put it.  “He is holiness Himself… beyond the ability of thought to grasp or word to express.  Language cannot express the holy, so God resorts to association and suggestion. He cannot say it outright because He would have to use words that we don’t know the meaning of, and we would then, of course, take the words He used and translate them downward into our terms.

“If He were to use a word describing His own holiness we could not understand that word as He uttered it. He would have to translate it down into our un-holiness. If He were to tell us how white He is we would translate it into terms of dingy grey.

“So, unable to communicate His holiness in words, God uses association and suggestion… he shows us His holiness by showing how that holiness affects the unholy.”

An illustration of what Tozer means by association and suggestion is seen when Moses comes into the presence of God at the burning bush (Exodus 3).

Moses is told to take off his sandals for he is standing on holy ground. Then, when Moses hears God say, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” he hid his face, afraid to look at God.

Another illustration is given in the book of Isaiah (chapter 6). The Prophet was given a vision of the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted and when he hears the creatures around that throne crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” Isaiah says that he cried out, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips.”

In R.C. Sproul’s, “The Holiness of God,”  the author reaffirms that encountering God’s holy presence is the one thing that reveals to us our own great depravity and need.

“When we understand the character of God, when we grasp something of His holiness, then we begin to understand the radical character of our sin and hopelessness.”

How true. Jonathan Edward’s well known sermon titled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”  is often credited with beginning of a great spiritual awakening in America. It is unfortunate that both the title and the content lead readers to conclude that Edward’s emphasis was on the terrible flames of hell. On careful consideration, however, one realizes that the message reveals man’s utter sinfulness relative to a holy God.

Understood in this way, it becomes clear the theme of the message is not the fiery pit, but the Holy God who holds us from it, having prepared the way of rescue for those who believe. Edward’s sermon captured the essence of God’s Holiness in stark contrast to our un-holiness.

If we want to understand what it means that God is Holy, we must encounter that holiness first hand. When we do, that tremendous gulf that exists between His character and ours begins to sink in.

Only then do we begin to understand Proverbs  9:10 which tells us that,  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

 

Pastor David M. Grey      

Mt. Pleasant 

United Methodist Church    

March 30 deadline to sign up for women’s bowling tourney

The Fulton Women’s Bowling Association 59th Annual Tournament will be April 5 and 6 at The Recreation Club in Fulton.

It will be team event only. Squad times are 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday April 5 and 4 p.m. Sunday April 6.

Those interested in entering the tournament or needing more information may call Paula Distin at 593-6121. Entries for the tournament close on Sunday March 30.

Adult softball registration this week

Play Ball!

Despite rumors to the contrary, adult softball is alive and well in Oswego, and will be played this summer under the direction of the City of Oswego, at the Legends Complex.

Registration packets for softball teams in men’s and women’s slow pitch divisions, and men’s fast pitch and modified fast pitch leagues will be distributed from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 20 and Friday, March 21 and from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 22 at the Ponzi Recreation Building at Fort Ontario (next to the Army reserve center).

To download the packet online or for more information, go to oswegosoftball.com.

The packet will include the registration costs, deadlines, insurance waivers, local rules, and all other information necessary for the upcoming season.

2 local boys part of AAA PeeWee hockey championship team

Derek Kohut, of Oswego, and Killian Rowlee, of Fulton and their Syracuse Nationals 2001 AAA PeeWee Major hockey team recently were crowned New York 12 and Under State Champions.

The team won its division in the New York State Amateur Hockey Association Tier 1 state hockey championships in Amherst March 7-9.

The Nationals started round-robin play Friday March 7 by beating the host Amherst Knights by a score of 6-4.

Later that evening, the Nationals dispatched of a very tough Buffalo Regals team by a 2-0 score. On Saturday March 8, the Nationals suffered their only defeat of the tournament, losing 2-1 to the Suffolk PAL Jr. Islanders, the top ranked AAA team in the state.

After round-robin play, the Nationals found themselves in first place in their bracket and moved on to the semifinals where they faced the Wheatfield Blades on Sunday March 9.

Wheatfield and Syracuse traded goals throughout the first and second periods, with the Nationals coming out on top 4-2.

The Buffalo Regals captured the other semifinal win against the Rochester Monarchs, setting up a rematch, later in the day, for the state title.

The state final game started fast and it appeared as if the Buffalo Regals were not going to be denied. The Nationals found themselves down by three goals (4-1) in the middle of the second period.

The Nationals dug down deep, and started to chip away at the Regals lead.  Jimmy Rayhill of New Hartford scored first cutting the lead to 4-2.

Jeffrey Kopek of Camillus quickly added another goal and the Nationals found themselves down 4-3 at the end of the second period.

The Nationals came out on fire during the third period and outshot the Regals 12-3 with Josh Grund (Baldwinsville) tying the game.

The game then went into its first 10-minute sudden-victory overtime, with each team trading scoring chances, but ended in a tie. With three minutes left in the second 10 minute overtime, Killian Rowlee of Fulton gathered a clearing pass at center ice and skated deep into the Regals end.

Rowlee sent a pass to the front of the net where it was tipped in by Andy Hadasz of Utica, and the Nationals comeback was complete.

Both Derek Kohut (defense) and Killian Rowlee (forward) have been members of the 2001 Nationals team for the last four years.

Derek is a seventh-grader at the Oswego Middle School and Killian is a seventh-grader at the Fulton Junior High School.

Fulton hockey overcomes adjustments

By Rob Tetro

Scholastic hockey season has ended and the Fulton team and coach Todd Terpening are reflecting on what happened in 2014.

Terpening said his team struggled to close out games this season and ended with a 2-18-1 record. Despite its struggles, Fulton’s seniors refused to give up.

In the six or seven tight games the Red Raiders had this season, it was the efforts of their seniors which allowed Fulton opportunities to clinch wins.

Terpening said the determination his seniors showed this season made them positive role models for Fulton’s younger players

“I hope that the underclassmen can take from the Seniors is to never give up no matter how bad things may look!” Terpening said.

With the conclusion of the season, Fulton says goodbye to four seniors: Eric Forderkonz, Matt Billion, Seth Delisle and Brandon Ladd.

As Forderkonz, Billion, DeLisle and Ladd move on to the next stage of their lives, Terpening hopes they do so understanding the importance of being prepared to work hard with dedication, no matter what a situation presents them. He feels his four seniors showed up for every practice and game ready to leave it all on the ice.

Terpening said the work ethic these athletes have shown will benefit them down the road, whether it’s in college or in the workforce.

Despite the teams’ record, he also hopes that the experience of playing high school hockey was a positive one for his seniors.

This season, the Red Raiders overcame the adjustments that came with welcoming nine new players from three other school districts. However, Terpening said the future is bright for his relatively young team. In fact, he suggests that it may not be very long until his team is stronger and more unified.

“I am very excited about the team that we have returning next year!” Terpening said.

The nine players from three different school districts who joined the Fulton varsity hockey team this season are: Landon VanAlstine, Bryce Phillips and Nicholas Meyer from Red Creek; Stanley Kubis, Eric Forderkonz, Austin Forte, Rocco Cannata and Seth Cooney from Central Square; and Spencer Evans from Phoenix.

Phoenix hoops finish successful season

By Rob Tetro

The Phoenix boys’ varsity basketball team recently concluded its season with an 11-8 record and having earned a second place finish in league play.

Four seniors also wrapped up their hoops career at Phoenix. As Nick Tassone, Emilio Tassone, Bryce Plante, Jeff Sawyer and Brandon Wood depart, they do so having made their impact felt on the Phoenix boys’ basketball program.

Coach Jim Rose sais his four seniors worked hard to improve from game to game and season to season. After failing to qualify for Sectional playoffs last season, the seniors and their work ethic were on display this season.

In fact, the work ethic seemed to have trickled down to the team’s younger players.The Firebirds worked hard to improve throughout the season, which put them in position to win more games than a year ago en route to returning to during the Sectional playoffs.

With Nick and Emilio Tassone, Plante and Sawyer set to graduate, Rose hopes they move from their participation in the Phoenix boys’ varsity basketball program having learned the importance of responsibility and hard work in a team setting.

Rose said a successful unit is one that is cohesive, which allows that unit to work together for common goals.

Phoenix accomplished many goals this season.Rose is proud his seniors will be able to move on after being a part of a team that succeeded while working together in a family atmosphere.

Rose also hopes his younger players move on from this season having learned as much from the seniors work ethic and dedication as it seems they have. This season, they were able to see firsthand how hard work and dedication during both the in-season and off-season can benefit a team.

He also hopes his returning players quickly regroup and renew or expand their determination with the expectation of building on the success from this season.

Looking ahead, two starters will be returning for the Firebirds next season. The team will also feature two key bench players from this year’s team.

Strong leadership will be expected from Zach Sisera next year as a senior. Also as a senior, Connor Haney will be looking to improve at the center position next season.

Walker Connoly and Shaun Turner came off the bench last season, but will be looked upon to fill the voids left behind that this year’s group of seniors. Rose hopes to see the trend of hard work, dedication and improvement trickling down to the program’a younger players continuing.

He said having players who work hard and have the success to show for it will be great examples for new players who lack basketball experience at the varsity level.

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