Sign up now for farm workshop

A workshop titled “So you’ve bought a farm… now what?” is being offered by Cooperative Extension of Oswego County.

The focus is to educate new landowners and farmers interested in transitioning or adding to their current business. This program is designed to help these farmers make use of their land resources in a manner that fits their personal and business goals.

Those attending will hear topics such as understanding the  purchase of farm machinery, estimating farm machinery costs, alternatives for acquiring farm machinery, raising liverstock,  the production of fruit and vegetables and greenhouse operations.

The workshop will run March 27, April 10 and April 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Mexico Library. Cost of the workshop will be $15 per person per session.  Anyone interested must pre-register no later than the morning of March 27. For more information, call 963-7286.

St. Joseph’s Imaging joins cancer partnership

Carolyn Handville, program coordinator for Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program Partnership, said  St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates, PLLC in Oswego is the newest member of the partnership and joins the Cancer Services Program’s network of more than 20 health care offices in Oswego County.

St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates has opened in a brand new, full service health care building at 300 State Route 104 E.

The facility is equipped with urgent care, a blood draw lab, an imaging practice as well as general care. With the combination of compassion, expertise, and commitment, the highly skilled staff St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates is dedicated to providing outstanding service to physicians and patients.

“We are proud to count St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates among our network of health care providers,” said Handville. “St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates provides our community with outstanding patient care and quality imaging. Exams available through St. Joseph’s include: CT scanning, mammograms, bone density, X-rays and ultrasound.

To schedule an exam, call 452-2004.

OCO’s Cancer Services Program provides free cancer screenings including clinical breast exams, mammograms, pap/pelvic exams, and colon cancer screenings to uninsured women ages 40 to 64, uninsured men ages 50 to 64, and uninsured or underinsured women under 40 years of age who are at risk of, or have had a clinically significant finding for, breast cancer.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact the Cancer Services Program at 592-0830.

April 1 deadline to sign up for conservation program for teens

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station is offering a new education program for teens.

Conservation Field Studies will focus on environmental stewardship along with team building.

The deadline to apply while being considered for a scholarship to the new program is April 1.

The program runs from Aug. 12 to 14 and is designed for teens who wish to take part in a summer program but who have aged out of the field station’s Exploring Nature program. It is open to rising ninth-graders to just graduated teens.

Participants in Conservation Field Studies will investigate the interdependence of Rice Creek’s ecosystems through field studies and projects. They will examine the importance of stewardship through habitat study, animal habits and real-life applications.

Registration is $75 with a discount for Rice Creek Associates members.

Information and scholarship and registration materials can be found at oswego.edu/conservationstudies.

Sheriffs’ Association seeks members

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute will begin its annual Honorary Membership drive in Oswego County within the next few days, Sheriff Reuel Todd said.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute was established in 1979. It is a nonprofit corporation, tax-exempt organization — contributions  are tax deductible.

While the sheriff’s office is a unit of county government, many of the concerns of sheriffs and other law enforcement agencies are best addressed on a statewide level. The Sheriffs’ Institute provides centralized training programs and services for all sheriffs’ offices, where those programs and services would be unavailable or impractical on a single county basis.

The flagship program of the Sheriffs’ Institute is the Sheriffs’ Summer Camp for economically challenged children. The camp, in its 37th year of operation, is located on Keuka Lake and 840 children from across New York state attend each summer.

The Sheriffs’ Institute pays the entire cost of the camp stay and transportation. Most children attending wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity for vacation travel or a summer camp experience.

The Sheriffs’ Camp program combines summer recreation with activities designed to teach an understanding of, and respect for, our laws and the men and women who enforce them. The strong camper-to-counselor ratio allows for individual attention with an emphasis on the development of self esteem.

“In these difficult economic times we cannot forget our youth who will not have the opportunity for a summer camp experience or a summer vacation,” Todd said.

“By becoming an honorary member you are supporting the Sheriffs’ Summer Camp for economically disadvantaged children.”

In addition, the Sheriffs’ Institute operates a scholarship program to provide one scholarship to each of New York State’s Community College’s Criminal Justice Programs. This program is designed to help attract the best and the brightest to the criminal justice vocation.

For more information, visit our website, sheriffsinstitute.org or simply google “Sheriffs’ Institute kids” and it will be your first option.

Financial support for many of the Sheriffs’ Institute programs comes from Honorary Membership dues. Anyone interested in supporting the efforts of the state Sheriffs’ Association Institute by becoming an Honorary Member should contact the sheriff if they do not receive an invitation in the mail, or visit the website at sheriffsinstitute.org to download an application.

Storm dumps about a foot in Fulton, Oswego area

By Debra J. Groom

It may have seemed like the end of the world on Wednesday, March 12.

But actually, it wasn’t even the worst March 12 the area has ever seen.

Weather observers in Fulton and Oswego tallied about a foot of snow for the area on Wednesday. Both Paul Cardinali in Fulton and William Gregway in Oswego said they have only estimates for snowfall because the wind was blowing so hard it was difficult to get a good reading.

“I have been doing this for 45 years,” Gregway said Thursday. “This was the most difficult day to try to get a measurement that I’ve ever seen. The wind was out of the North-Northeast and was gusting from 40 to 45 mph. I had drifts here where I’ve never had drifts before.”

Cardinali agreed.

“I shoveled off a couple of areas to check the snowfall early Wednesday,” he said. “Come afternoon, it was all over.”

Cardinali measured about 13 inches for Fulton while Gregway came up with about 10 inches in Oswego.

But Cardinali reminded everyone the storm of 1993 was also on March 12. He said Fulton tallied 20 inches on that day.

So perhaps this past Wednesday wasn’t really that bad.

Valley Viewpoints: Correcting Castiglia’s comments

County Legislator Frank Castiglia recently wrote things regarding the east side pool and about the Common Council, most of which was not true. 

I would like to tell what the truth is.

Legislator Castiglia stated, “they could have gotten a grant to help fix it but the mental geniuses we have on the council voted not to fund the cost to do an updated study.”

First of all, calling us “mental geniuses” is immature and very unprofessional coming from a fellow elected official. I didn’t know of any grant because that was applied for last year. We didn’t vote against any update to a study because it was pulled from the agenda. We wanted to be better informed about this issue, something Legislator Castiglia might want to try.

The grant in question was applied for last August and the city was informed last January that we were denied. It wasn’t until after that we found out it was because of an outdated study. Neither this council nor the previous council was responsible for not getting the grant.

Legislator Castiglia goes on to say that “they can bond for police cars and trucks for the DPW, but one thing for the public they say no.”

Again, we never said no and I always thought having police cars and trucks for the DPW was for the good of the public.

Legislator Castiglia also said, “Now I know that most of the taxpayers in this city don’t have any kids that would use the pool, but if we don’t have something for the kids (around 200 a day) they will either swim in the river or be in the streets causing trouble.”

Legislator Castiglia was wrong again, this time on the usage of the pool. According to figures from the Recreation Department, the actual number of people using the pool was an average of 104 per day.

Well, Legislator Castiglia was only off by almost 100 percent, I guess that’s close enough for him. Also, he seems to have a very low opinion of the kids in this city if he thinks their only other choice is to cause trouble.

Legislator Castiglia continues, “Now I could see the three councilors from the three wards on the other side of the river not voting yes, but there are three over here that most of their voters’ kids use the pool. Why … oh I know they think they will use the money from the state … wrong … do it now the cost will be a lot less then (sic) the possible loss of life because they will be swimming in the river.”

Once again, nobody voted no on anything and assuming he is talking about the state restructuring board, I, and I’m sure the rest of the council, am not counting on any money from the state because we don’t know what’s going to happen there. He shouldn’t presume to know what we are thinking because he doesn’t. As a side note, the conjunction ‘than’ should be used and not the adverb ‘then’.

Legislator Castiglia goes on to say, “I will be writing a letter and putting it in the paper (there’s a shock) and I know most of the council won’t like me for it but that’s to (should be adverb too, not adjective to) bad..it’s for the kids…I told them at least 5 years ago this was going to happen.”

I don’t have a problem with him or anybody else writing letters to the editor, it should contain the truth though, not these mis-statements made by Legislator Castiglia.

He mentions the kids, well, the city has 14 parks and 10 playgrounds so it’s not like there isn’t anything for the kids to do. The city raised the rate to use the pool in the past by a mere 50 cents and the attendance went down by almost half.

It seems that people want to use the pool, but are not interested in helping to pay for it.

Now I don’t want anybody to think I am against having a city pool. I wish we had the money to get it fixed, and a lot of others things too, but we don’t.

The state has come in to Fulton and declared us fiscally distressed and we are the first city in the whole state to be put on the list for needing help. I would find it irresponsible, considering the fiscal situation the city is in, to spend upwards of $300,000 on a luxury such as the pool when we have streets and sidewalks that need repair so badly.

If the situation changes and we can afford to fix the pool then I will be all for it.

Jim Myers

Fulton

Councilor – 4th Ward

Hodgepodge, March 15: MardiGrasmas, snow, and words of wisdom

Merry MardiGrasmas!

Each year, my wife and I join son, Jeff, and my niece and her husband for our Christmas celebration.

This past year we found that impossible because of various complications.  In fact, it was the weekend before Lent when we were finally able to get together.

We christened our new holiday as “MardiGrasmas.”

There was snow on the ground, which we haven’t been able to claim on many past Christmas Days. Some of us wore festive Christmas clothing, Jeff brought a decorated tree, and the candles in our windows were brightly shining.

We exchanged gifts — the presents had been wrapped and ready for almost three months. Some of them were a surprise to the giver, as well as to the givee.

Some of our Christmas traditions might have been tweaked a little, but were still there. It wasn’t exactly the usual Christmas Day menu. The roast beef was replaced by lasagna; some of the Christmas Day delicacies were missing; egg nog was pushed aside for a cold beer.

The Christmas cookie tray was on the table and was loaded as usual, but instead of Santas, Christmas trees, bells, angels, and gingerbread men, there were cookies shaped as hot peppers, alligators, maps of the state of New Orleans and the fleur de lis.

We are the same family group that gets together at the end of June in many years to celebrate Leon Day,* and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if our recent celebration was the first of a new observance for our little family circle.

* (In case you didn’t remember, Leon is Noel spelled backwards, and Leon Day is observed each year to remind those who want  the rest of the world to remember that Christmas Day is only six months away).

Merry MardiGrasmas!

Getting Rid of All That Snow!

Last week I wrote about listening to my grandparents’ and my father’s stories of the winters they remembered, but one thing I don’t remember discussing with them was snowplows.

Looking into the history of snowplows, I discovered that there was a stretch of time in American history when getting rid of snow was no great concern.

In winter, horse-drawn carts and coaches traded in their wheels for runners — the more packed the snow the better. To keep the roads in optimal snowy condition, snow was packed and flattened with huge, horse-drawn “snow-rollers”.

The first patents for snowplows were issued in the 1840s. The earliest versions of snowplows were powered by horses, and the wedge-type blades were made of wood.

One of the first uses of snowplows on city streets was in Milwaukee in 1862.  The plow was attached to a cart pulled by a team of horses through snow-clogged streets.

One early inventor of snowplows was Carl Frink of Clayton, N.Y. His company, Frink Snowplows, was founded in 1920 and still exists today.

I suspect the wooden snow pushers that my grandfather made when my brother, sister and I were growing up in the ‘40s were inspired by those wooden plows attached to horse-drawn wagons and sleighs around the turn of the century.

Get Shoveling

The snow removal tool that most of us are most familiar with — the “Get out there and clear off the sidewalk” folks — is the   snow shovel.

More than 100 patents have been issued for snow shovel designs since the 1870s.

One of the first designs that hit upon the “scrape and scoop” combination was invented in 1889 by a woman named Lydia Fairweather – and that was her real name.  The first patent for a lighter, plastic snow shovel was granted in 1939 to Robert A. Smith.

If you want to do some shoveling and think that a snow shovel is a snow shovel — think again. There are scoopers, and pushers, metal and plastic; and shovels that both scoop and push. There are wide shovels, extra-wide shovels and narrow shovels.

There are shovels with sharp, jagged teeth, and big he-man shovels; coal shovels, barn shovels, folding shovels and car snow shovels. You can find snow shovels with wheels, rolling snow shovels and yes, electric snow shovels.

Some snow shovels come with ergonomic shafts. The shaft is the part of the shovel between the blade — which scoops or pushes — and the handle, which is where you grip the shovel.

The word ergonomic, which may be unfamiliar to you, in this use means that the shaft is strategically bent for easier lifting. If the shaft of your shovel is long and straight it is called a dog-leg shaft.

When I was searching for information on snow shovels, I discovered the Wovel. This contraption is a large, wide snow shovel/scraper which is attached to the shaft, handle and one large wheel, and may be the ultimate in the snow shoveler’s world.

This is how the Wovel works — As you push, the shovel gathers the snow, lifts it, and then throws it where you want it.  And there’s no lifting on your part — and, best of all, no backache.

There’s plenty of snow out there, and just reading all that information you just read probably won’t move a flake of it.  So go grab your shovel, whether it’s a scooper or a pusher, and get out there.

And remember, shovel frequently before the snow gets too deep and too heavy; dress warmly and bend your knees; don’t twist your back; lift small quantities and throw only as far as necessary; rest frequently and stop when you get tired.

Or better yet, let a much younger person do the shoveling, and watch from inside the window.

Meanwhile, enjoy watching it snow.

Here’s What They Said:

Groucho: “She got her good looks from her father — he’s a plastic surgeon.”  And, “Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.”

Calvin Coolidge:  “Whenever I indulge my sense of humor, it gets me in trouble.”

Have a good week.

 

… Roy Hodge   

Stone Soup Too comes to Fulton

With the need for food subsidy increasing and food pantries throughout Oswego County being hard pressed to meet the growing demand, the United Way of Greater Oswego County is doing its part to raise awareness of the food shortage in Oswego County and encourage the community to help fill the shelves of our area food pantries.

From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 20, the United Way of Greater Oswego County will hold its sixth annual Stone ‘Soup Too’ Luncheon in Fulton.

Hosted by Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo St., Fulton, the United Way’s ‘Stone Soup’ Too Luncheon will draw upon the agency’s theme of ‘It’s Our Community … and It’s Personal.’

The United Way invites community members to come together to break bread, warm their hearts, gather with friends, and enjoy a delicious lunch of ‘Stone Soup while helping to support Oswego County’s food pantries that are struggling to meet the increasing demand for their services.

“This is our sixth year for our Stone Soup Too luncheon,” said Lois Luber, resource development director for the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

“It is the effort of our volunteers and committee members, and most importantly the strong support we receive from the community who return year after year to enjoy great food and fellowship that makes our Stone Soup Too luncheon such a success,” she said.

To date, a number of caring local businesses have come forward to donate the food and beverages necessary for the Stone Soup Luncheon.

Soups will be provided by: Mimi’s Drive-In, cheeseburger soup; Blue Moon Grill, cream of broccoli; The Foursome Dinner, ministrone; and Tavern on the Lock, vegetable beef and barley.

Dunkin’ Donuts is donating “Boxes of Joe”; C’s Farms & Davis Bros. will be providing the salad fixings; Red Baron will provide rolls; Kathy’s Cakes and Joe’s Corner Market are donating cookies; Hudson’s Dairy is providing water, and cake will be provided by Springside at Seneca Hill.

Luber added there would be table arrangements featuring canned soups, courtesy of Struppler’s Shurfine Market, that will be donated to the food pantries following the luncheon. The Fulton Lions Club also has donated $500 for the purchase of food for our local food pantries.

In addition to the luncheon, those in attendance will have the opportunity to win a number of door prizes, including gifts from Blue Moon Grill, Cayuga Community College, Price Chopper and Unique Hair Shoppe.

The United Way’s “Stone Soup Too” Luncheon is open to the public. The United Way is accepting donations of $5 per person. All proceeds from the luncheon will be used to support area food pantries.

Attendees are also encouraged to please bring a donation of non-perishable food, as the United Way will be collecting donations for area food pantries including the Salvation Army of Oswego County and Catholic Charities of Oswego County.

“Our food pantries are really feeling a strain this year and it is becoming especially challenging for them as they try to meet the demand for food subsidy throughout Oswego County,” Luber said.  “The food collected, and the money raised at our ‘Stone Soup Too’ Luncheon will be greatly appreciated.”

Those unable to attend the luncheon but would like to donate food items should call Tim Archer, director of Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Emergency Services program, at 598-3980 for information on where to drop off non-perishable food donations throughout Oswego County.

For more information, call the United Way office at 593-1900.

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