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.

Poetry Corner

March Madness, by Jim Farfaglia

 

Somebody above missed the message

that winter’s officially done;

the white stuff keeps fallin’,

the big trucks keep plowin’

and nobody’s having much fun.

 

We’ve had enough of skiing,

of sledding and cute snowmen;

still the temperature ain’t risin’,

and golfers are agonizin’

over when they’ll see green grass again.

 

I’d be happy to deliver the word

if I could just find Mr. Sun.

It sure would be pleasin’,

if we had a new season;

here’s hoping he sends the right one!

Willy Wonka Jr. on stage again this week

 

More performances of ‘Willy Wonka Jr.’ are being presented this week.

The play is being staged at 7:30 p.m. March 21 and 3 p.m. March 22 and 23. CNY Arts Center presents the children’s musical as part of its Kids Onstage program at 357 State St. Methodist Church, in Fulton (use the Park Street entrance).

For tickets and reservations visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 592-3373.

Illustration class exhibits its work

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Students in a SUNY Oswego illustration class will display their artwork beginning Saturday, March 29, at Oswego State Downtown.

An opening reception will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. that day at the downtown branch of the College Store at West First and Bridge streets in Oswego. The exhibition will run through April 19.

The display, “Traditional Illustration by Oswego Students,” began as a pair of assignments in instructor Judith Ann Benedict’s introductory class in illustration last fall. The students worked on portraits of historical figures and came up with endings to a graphic novel.

Benedict said for the historical figures, students “were encouraged to look beyond a likeness and include indications of personality, etc., in their finished work.”

For the graphic novel assignment, each student worked from the same story to illustrate the ending in nine to 15 panels, using a color palette restricted to black, white-grays and reds.

The course’s goal was to acquaint students with creative techniques, technical processes and business aspects commonly used in illustration, Benedict said.

Oswego State Downtown is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 216-4985 or email thestore@oswego.edu.

School districts ponder veterans exemption

By Ashley M. Casey

Although the March 1 deadline to grant a partial property tax exemption to wartime veterans has passed, local school boards are mulling the decision for 2015.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved a law in December 2013 giving school districts the same power as municipalities to authorize a property tax reduction of at least 15 percent to district residents who served in the armed forces during a time of war.

The Fulton City School District board of education first discussed the issue at its Feb. 11 meeting.

Director of Finance Kathy Nichols and Superintendent Bill Lynch told board members that based on data from Oswego County, veterans or their spouses own 774 parcels of land in the Fulton district.

Under the new law, $13,851,354 could be exempt from the district’s assessed value if the board authorizes the veterans’ exemption.

“We had received notification (of the law) in early February,” Fulton board president David Cordone said. “There wasn’t a lot of time for us to investigate … the majority of the board felt we didn’t have enough information to vote for the March 1 deadline.”

If boards did not pas a resolution to grant the exemption by the March 1 deadline, they can consider the matter again next year.

Cordone said the Fulton board decided to gather more data in order to “be prepared to vote next year.”

“It’s up for discussion, but we need community input,” said Erin Hess, president of the Hannibal school board. “It’s really not so much for the board to decide — it’s up to the community.”

Hess echoed a concern that Fulton board member Christine Plath voiced in February.

“The only big question about it is the exemption gets picked up by other taxpayers, so it’s up for debate,” Hess said.

In February, Plath told her fellow board members she didn’t “see how certain households (in the Fulton district) can handle an increase in the tax rate.”

“It is going to be an impact (on the other taxpayers),” Mexico school board president Jim Emery said.

“With, for example, the STAR program, the state reimburses the districts. With this … it leaves it up to the district to shift the cost to other taxpayers. It puts the school board in an unenviable position.”

Emery said Mexico and other rural, lower-income districts would have a harder time distributing the cost of the veterans’ exemption to other taxpayers.

Across the state, school board members seem to have their reservations as well.

According the New York State School Boards Association, 69 percent of board members in an informal poll opposed the veterans’ exemption.

“School board members strongly support our veterans, but they believe that reimbursement for the veteran’s exemption should be covered by the state rather than by other local taxpayers,” school boards association Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer said in a press release.

“The law as is presents school boards with a dilemma,” Kremer said. “If they adopt the exemption, that would increase taxes for other taxpayers in their district. If they do not adopt the exemption, they could be viewed as not being supportive of veterans.”

In Oswego County, several municipalities have authorized a similar property tax reduction for Cold War veterans.

In 2009, the county legislature passed “Cold War Veterans Property Tax Exemption Act,” which granted a basic 15 percent reduction to veterans. Combat veterans receive an additional 10 percent exemption, and those with service-related disabilities receive even more.

Donna Kestner, director of the Oswego County Veterans Service Agency, said the following municipalities granted exemptions to Cold War vets: city of Fulton, Amboy, Minetto, Oswego Town, Palermo, Parish, Sandy Creek, Schroeppel, Volney and Williamstown. The city of Oswego and Scriba have not approved the exemption.

“I think it’s excellent,” Kestner said of the potential exemption from school districts. “I’d love to see our vets get school tax exemptions.”

Kestner said she could not make it to the Fulton board meeting Feb. 11 but thought the Fulton board was “in full support of the veterans, and I appreciate that.”

“Some places, they’re not as supportive as they are here,” she said.

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