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 It wasn’t until after that we found out it was because of an outdated study.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.

Fulton girl leads all-star bowling team to state title

Mikayla Guernsey, right, with teammate Kate Ely.
Mikayla Guernsey, right,
with teammate Kate Ely.

By Ashley M. Casey

G. Ray Bodley High School senior Mikayla Guernsey led the Section III all-star girls’ bowling team to victory at the state title championship March 2 on Long Island.

Section III girls won over Section VI by 53 pins with a score of 5772. The boys’ Section III team came in third place behind Sections XI and VIII.

Guernsey, 17, averaged a score of 213.33 over six games at Babylon Lanes in West Babylon, N.Y. Hers was the highest average of the six girls on her team and of the whole girls’ championship.

Guernsey’s fellow Fultonian and all-star teammate, Kate Ely, a junior at G. Ray Bodley, averaged 158.50.

Another Fulton junior, Kyle Denson, averaged 174.16 with the Section III boys’ all-star team.

“It was really, really cool … getting to compete against other people we don’t usually compete against (and) meeting new people,” Guernsey said of the state championship.

“We knew we had a really good chance, but I didn’t think we were going to win,” she added. “I was surprised — we were very happy.”

As a graduating senior, Guernsey said she will miss her teammates and the “close bonding” they have shared over her high school career.

“We’re all close friends, so I’m going to miss that a lot,” she said.

Guernsey’s father, Mike Guernsey, said the Fulton bowling coach is Mike Tryniski of Lakeview Lanes.

Mikayla Guernsey, who has been bowling since age 5, said she plans to study accounting at Robert Morris University in Chicago, Illinois.

She said the school is known for its bowling program.

Women’s Club of Fulton hosts scholarship

Women’s Club Scholarship Committee, from left to right: Ginger Leotta, Sue Brown and Maryalice Chatterton.
Women’s Club Scholarship Committee, from left to right: Ginger Leotta, Sue Brown and Maryalice Chatterton.

The Women’s Club of Fulton will be awarding a scholarship of $600 a year for up to two years to a qualified graduating senior, male or female, within the Fulton City School District.

The student must plan to enter a course of two years or less in an associate degree program, a technical vocation or a business program. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of potential proficiency in the chosen field and need and ability to benefit from the elected course.

The grant will be conditional, pending acceptance and matriculation of the students at his or her selected school.

Applications may be picked up in the G. Ray Bodley High School guidance office, and must be completed and returned by April 24. Those seeking further information may call Sue Brown, scholarship chairperson, at 592-4988.

The winner will be announced in May and will be a guest at the club’s May luncheon.

Spots for OCO Retro Bowl fundraiser filling up fast

Team slots are disappearing quickly for this year’s OCO Retro Bowl, the annual bowling tournament fundraiser to benefit Oswego County Opportunities.

Retro Bowl takes place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.

OCO holds this fundraiser every spring to help support its programs and services.

Registration is $100 per team (five bowlers).

Choice of flights is available on a first-come, first-served basis: Noon to 2:30 p.m. or 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Businesses and individuals are invited to donate door prizes for the raffles and silent auction, and major sponsors are being solicited as well.

“This year’s proceeds will focus on ‘filling the empty plates’ of those who lack the resources to provide healthy meals for themselves and their families. We’re focusing on ways to reduce and eliminate hunger in Oswego County,” said OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier.

“OCO is an anti-poverty agency, and it’s our mission to fight poverty in many forms — including the inability to afford or prepare nutritious meals,” she added.

The money supports existing services as well as help build financial resources for the community’s future.

Every level of support makes a difference, Cooper-Currier continued.

“At OCO, more than 90 cents of every dollar received goes right back out to help people. That’s much higher than the national average for nonprofits in the United States,” she said.

“You can give with confidence that your money is working hard to combat the forces of poverty and hunger close to home,” she said.

The 2014 OCO Retro Bowl is sponsored by “Making a Difference” Sponsor G&C Foods, and “Building Dreams” Sponsors NRG Oswego Harbor Power, LLC; Oswego County Federal Credit Union; POMCO; and the Walmart Foundation.

For registration or sponsor information, or to donate a door prize, contact OCO at 598-4717 or visit the agency’s website at oco.org.

A private, nonprofit agency, OCO’s many programs touch the lives of more than 30,000 Oswego County residents each year.

One of Oswego County’s largest employers, OCO employs more than 600 people and boasts a volunteer force of 1,200.

County to expand landfill

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County should see the expansion of its landfill begin sometime next summer.

Director of Solid Waste Frank Visser said planning has been going on for some time on how and when to expand the Bristol Hill Landfill in the town of Volney. He said the county is planning to add another 5.3 acres to the site, which should last the county 10 years.

The cost — $3.5 million. It is one of the biggest factors officials are considering in looking at aspects of the 2015 county budget.

“It costs so much because there are several layers of polyethylene and clay liners that go into the landfill,” Visser said. These liners are built so nothing put into the landfill would ever leak into the ground or groundwater in the area.

Visser said drawings for the expansion are “99 percent complete.” The proposal then has to be reviewed and approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

He said county officials hope to put the project out to bid by Feburary so a contractor can be selected by spring 2015.

“There is a very narrow construction season for this,” Visser said, notig the work cannot be done when it is wet. “We hope to do it next summer.”

The construction will take about three months, he said.

Visser said the landfill has been operated well and has been depositing solid waste on seven acres of land opened in 1996. “That’s phenomenal for a landfill,” he said.

The main reason so little solid waste is being dumped in the landfill is the county’s Energy Recovery Facility in Fulton. Nearly all household garbage is taken there to be burned instead of being dumped in the landfill.

Visser said most of what goes to the landfill is sludge, contaminated soil and construction and demolition debris —things that can’t be burned at the Energy Recovery Facility.

Visser said Oswego County residents are “average” recyclers. When asked what could be done to get people to recycle more, he said programs to increase recycling cost a lot of money to run.

Visser said the Bristol Hill Landfill opened in 1983with 17 acres. There have been five additions since then — the landfill now consists of 40 acres.

Seventeen of the 40 acres have been closed and 23 are still being used.

Visser said the landfill’s 2007 permit was modified to allow the county to expand higher than the 23 acres it is now using.

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