Fulton administrators present first budget draft

By Ashley M. Casey

Fulton City School District administrators presented the first draft of the 2014-15 school budget at the March 11 board of education meeting.

The budget is expected to increase by 2.66 percent to $66,992,685 from the 2013-14 total of $65,259,100. The first draft projects a 1 percent local tax levy increase.

Superintendent Bill Lynch said there is a $1,280,378 shortfall in revenue. Lynch said he is hoping local legislators can lobby for additional aid from New York state to bridge the gap, rather than increasing the tax levy.

Lynch said the district is aiming for a “status quo budget” to maintain current student programs and services and only increasing to cover costs.

“Our mission is educating our students and supporting our staff … and the lion’s share of the budget goes to support that,” Lynch said,

The board will review a second draft of the budget at the April 8 meeting.

Construction update

Director of Facilities, Operations and Transportation Jerry Seguin updated the board on the various renovations across the district.

As part of the 2012 capital project, the district is renovating several classrooms, information technology infrastructure, heating and air conditioning, and computer labs in Volney and Fairgrieve elementary schools.

Over the summer, the district will replace the roofs at Volney and G. Ray Bodley High School, as well as the Education Center’s stage curtains and lighting.

As for the recently approved 2014-15 capital project, Seguin said the district has submitted a proposal for the Lanigan Elementary School gym floor and lockset replacement projects. These repairs are expected to take place over the summer.

The Granby Elementary School roof is expected to be replaced during the summer of 2015.

Technology update

Director of Technology Stephanie Maturo reported on several advancements Fulton schools have made on the technology front. The district has spent $987,524.56 on technology this school year alone.

Maturo said one of the main achievements was increasing the number of interactive whiteboards in core area classrooms to 217. In 2011, the district had only 32 interactive white boards.

Maturo said she has ordered more mobile technology carts for the schools.

“We’re really trying to shift the idea from a computer lab being a static place that you go to something being integrated (in the classroom),” Maturo said.

She also said the district successfully used the SchoolMessenger phone and email alert system for the Feb. 27 early dismissal.

“Even though some of the parents received (the alert) multiple times, dismissal went a lot more smoothly with less calls in to the buildings,” said Executive Director of Instruction and Assessment Betsy Conners.

The district has seen a huge uptick in activity on its two wireless networks. An average of 759 mobile-ready devices (such as laptops, tablets and smartphones) access the networks per week, and 2,680 such devices are in use this year. In 2011, only about 1,600 devices used the network.

Maturo said the district’s technology goals for the next school year are to install wireless networks at Fairgrieve and Volney, update software, prepare the network for computer-based assessments and introduce Schoology, a learning management system to improve “flipped” classroom-based learning.

Other business

  • As part of Music in Our Schools Month, musicians from Carrie Foster’s fifth-grade band performed “A Little Bit of Swing” for the board.
    Music teacher Debra Farden said 1,100 Fulton students will be performing at various music events in March.
    Volney principal Lisa Garofalo then led the fifth-graders in singing “Happy Birthday” to Farden and Foster, as they both recently celebrated birthdays.
  • Longtime board member Rosemary Occhino-Pilawa announced her resignation from the board, effective March 31. She cited her planned move from Fulton as the reason for her resignation. Occhino-Pilawa began serving in 2009.
  • The next regular school board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. March 25 at Fairgrieve Elementary School.

News in brief

Halters, saddles, clothes and much more will be for sale at bargain prices at the annual Oswego County 4-H Tack Sale from 10 a.m. to noon March 15 (today) at Central Square Middle School, Route 11.

The benefits of the sale support the 4-H educational horse programs held throughout Oswego County.

Anyone who loves a bargain and is looking for equine related items, this sale is for you.

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Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County will host a workshop to help new owners and veterans get acquainted with their sewing machines from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 18 at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, located on Main Street in Mexico.

During this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to clean, oil and maintain their personal appliance.  Attendees should bring their sewing machine with its manual, foot control, and attachments with them.

Workshop cost is $8 per person.  To register for this class or to learn more about Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, call 963-7286, ext. 301 by Thursday, March 13.

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Registration for Canal Clean Sweep events ends in two weeks.

If you haven’t done so already, please register your event by March 15.

The state Canal Corp. and Parks and Trails New York once again need your help for the annual Canal Clean Sweep.

Last year’s Clean Sweep resulted in more than 150 communities, civic groups, businesses and social clubs completing nearly 100 cleanup and beautification events along the Canal System and the Canalway Trail.

This year’s event will take place Friday-Sunday, April 25-27. Like last year, the 2014 Canal Clean Sweep will be held in recognition of Earth Day 2014, and in advance of the upcoming navigation season, the 190th consecutive season on the New York State Canal System.

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Residents are asked to help support Oswego High School’s Interact Club, which is gathering items to give to the Ronald McDonald House in Syracuse.

Items needed include household items such as Clorox wipes, 12-ounce hot cups with lips, glass cleaner, liquid hand soap, paper plates, microfiber dust loor mops, all-purpose spray cleaner and 40-gallon trash bags.

Food items needed are peanut butter, coffee, individual Jello cups and bags of chips, pasta sauce, canned soup, ready to cook pasta, boxed macaroni and cheese, cake and muffins mixes, individual pudding cups and bags of pretzels.

Micellaneous items needed include BIC razors, printer paper, pens, onesies and large Lego blocks.

Items will be collected until March 21 at the office for Fitzgibbons Real Estate, 44 E. Bridge St., Suite 1, Oswego.

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Students in the Fulton City School district will have early dismissal on March 20.

Grades seven through 12 will dismissed at 10:30 a.m. and morning pre-kindergarten through grade six will dismissed at 11:15 a.m. There will be no afternoon UPK classes.

The staff will spend the remainder of the day working on implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards.

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There will be a Nu 2 U yard and bake sale at Trinity United Methodist Church  at the end of March.

The sale is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday March 21 and 22 and Friday March 28 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday March 29.

The bake sale will be only on March 21 and 22.

Anyone who wants to donate items for the sale may do so on or after March 17 from 9:30 a.m. to noon or call the church to make other arrangements.

Televisions and computers will not be accepted.

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Little Utica United Methodist Church is holding an All You Can Eat breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 22 at the church on Lamson Road.

The menu consists of pancakes, scrambled eggs, French toast bake, link sausage, bacon and fried potatoes. Beverages will include coffee, tea, milk and orange juice.

Cost will be $6 for adults, kids 12 and  under $3. All proceeds will support their mission and ministry to the community.

For more information, call the church at 678-2270 or visit the church’s website at www.littleuticaumc.org.

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A roast beef dinner is being put on from 4:30 to 7 p.m. March 22 at the Red Creek Westbury United Methodist Church on Church Street, Red Creek.

The menu includes road beef, mashed potatoes, mixed garden vegetables, rolls, beverages and cakes.

Takeouts will be available.

Money raised will help the church with its effort to restore its stained glass windows.

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The Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District is now accepting orders for the 43rd Annual Spring Tree and Shrub Sale.

The district is offering for sale 39 varieties of hardwood and evergreen trees, shrubs and ground covers.

The trees selected for this year’s program may be planted to serve a variety of purposes, which include timber, Christmas trees, improving wildlife habitat, windbreaks, screens or borders and increasing the aesthetics of your property.

Whether you are interested in attracting wildlife, beautifying your yard, or planting trees for future generations to enjoy, this sale has what you’re looking for.

To obtain an order form, contact the Soil and Water District at 592-9663. The form can also be printed directly from the web at www.oswegosoilandwater.com and mailed to Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District at 3105 State Route 3, Fulton, NY 13069.

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The public will have the opportunity to learn about the state of Lake Ontario fisheries at public meetings in Monroe, Niagara, and Oswego counties in March.

“Lake Ontario anglers continue to experience outstanding fishing on Lake Ontario and its tributaries,” said state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens.

“DEC’s goal is to support the Governor’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative by growing Lake Ontario’s high-quality angling opportunities and associated economic benefits,” Martens said.

“The State of Lake Ontario meetings provide an excellent opportunity for individuals interested in the lake to interact with the scientists who study its fisheries,” he said.

The Oswego County meeting will be from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday March 18 at the DEC Training Academy, 24 County Route 2A, Pulaski (the former Portly Angler Motel).

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The Oswego Lions Club will hold their 16th Annual Wine and Beer Tasting with Silent Auction from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 21.

Pre-sale tickets are available at Cakes Galore or from any Lions Club member.

For more information, contact Karen Hammon at 342-0043.

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If you’ve ever wanted to publish something yourself, then come to one of the introductory workshops offered at the Fulton Public Library.

ePublishing is cheap, fun, and easy to do. On Saturday, March 22, the library will offer two ePublishing workshops.  At 10 a.m., we will cover Kindle Direct Publishing, and the slightly more customizable CreateSpace.  Other publishing venues such as Lucidpress and ISSUU will also be showcased, time permitting.

At 12:30 p.m., Apple iBooks Author will be offered for those who use Apple Computers. Please bring your own device for a hands-on experience.

This free software will help you create the most breathtaking, interactive publications imaginable. The software is so intuitive that by the end of the workshop, you will feel comfortable creating your own publication fit for the iTunes Bookstore.

Both workshops are led by David Ghidiu, an instructional designer at Monroe Community College in Rochester. His specialties include online learning and electronic publishing.

Seating is limited; call 592-5159 to reserve your seat.

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The Minetto United Methodist Church will host a free dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 23.

The menu will be ziti and meatballs, vegetable and dessert. Donations are not expected but will be accepted.

A collection shed is available in the parking lot at the back of the church for usable clothing items that can be recycled. Acceptable items include: all clothing, shoes, sneakers, purses, blankets, sheets, pillowcases, drapes, and stuffed toys.

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Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County is offering the 2014 edition of the Spring Dairy Managers Meeting from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, March 24 at the Oswego County Federal Credit Union Community Room, located at 5828 Scenic Ave. (Route 3) in Mexico.

The cost is $15 and includes lunch.

From milk quality to profitability to robotic milking systems, this wide-ranging program will offer practical ideas for dairy farmers to stay afloat in the tough times and capitalize when milk prices are good.

Pre-registration is required and must be done by March 20. To register, call Brenda at 963-7286 and send payment to Oswego CCE, 3288 Main St., Mexico, NY 13114.

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Applications will be accepted until March 26 for the Civil Service test for purchasing clerk.

The pay rate for the position is $14.67 an hour. Candidates must be legal residents of Oswego County for a minimum of four months immediately preceding the date of the test, which is May 3.

Applications and further information area available at the Department of Personnel, County Office Building, 46 e. Bridge St., Oswego or by calling 349-8209 or going to www.oswegocounty.com/personnel/openings.html

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Little Utica United Methodist Church and the EJ Thomas United Methodist Men are holding their second annual Lunch and Movie event Saturday, March 29.

Lunch will be served at noon followed by a family-friendly Christian movie.

The menu consists of all comfort foods including baked beans, macaroni and cheese, chili, chicken soup, chili-cheese and regular hot dogs. Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches will also be served along with punch, milk, tea and coffee and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Cost will be $5 for adults, kids 12 and under $3. All proceeds will support their mission to provide children’s camper scholarships.

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The 50th annual Oswego County Numismatic Association Coin and Collectible Show will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 30 in the Fulton Municipal Building.

Free admission and free parking are available.

There will be a 50/50 drawing and attendees can bring items to the show to ask questions about them to club members.

There will be many dealers on hand with coins, stamps, postcards, pocket watches, jewelry, sports cards and other collectibles.

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Beaver Lake Nature Center is gearing up for its maple sugaring and pancake breakfasts in March.

A visit to Beaver Lake Nature Center’s demonstration sugarbush can be done from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays in March.

Every Saturday in March, from 9 a.m. to noon, the public can enjoy a hearty pancake breakfast, which also includes sausage and juice or fresh brewed coffee. Visitors, including groups, are served and seated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Do you know a child that has an interest in learning how to sew and does not know where to go for classes?

If the answer to this question is yes, then Oswego County 4-H is the solution. It is conducting a series of workshops, Learn to Sew, which will teach children ages 8 to 19 how to sew with a sewing machine and by hand.

The classes will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, Wednesday, April 16 and Thursday, April 17 at the Oswego County Cooperative Extension office in Mexico.

Each day participants will go home with a finished project: potholder, pillowcase, and decorative initial shaped pillow.

The program fee is $24 per child and covers all sewing supplies including sewing machines. Individuals can bring their own sewing machines if they choose.

To register for Learn to Sew or for more details, call the Oswego County 4-H Office at 963-7286, ext. 302 or email Mary Matteson at mmm65@cornell.edu by Thursday, April 10.

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Seasoned business equipment service technician James Rasmussen announced that Rasmussen Business Equipment, 296 E. Second St.,  Oswego, is now open for business.

Rasmussen Business Equipment specializes in the service and maintenance of high quality copiers, printers and fax machines.

Rasmussen, who has more than 23 years of experience in the business machine world, also holds certifications in the repair of more than 50 different types of business machines.

In addition to service and repair, Rasmussen Business Equipment also sells new copiers and printers as well as off-lease copiers.

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The Hannibal Fire Co. will have breakfast with the Easter Bunny from 8 to 11 a.m., Sunday March 30 at the fire station on Oswego Street.

There will be free pictures with the Easter Bunny provided By C. Perkins Photography from 9 to 11 a.m. The fire company will be serving pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries toast, sausage gravy, biscuits and beverages.

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BJ’s Outdoor Power Equipment Inc will have its 20th anniversary celebration from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 4.

There will be cake, drinks and exclusive promotions.

The company has been in business at 3649 State Route 3 in Palermo for 20 years  focusing on quality outdoor power equipment like Ferris mowers, Branson tractors and Snapper mowers and snow blowers.

The company can be reached at 598-5636.

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There are two caregiver support groups run in Oswego County by the Alzheimer’s Association.

They are:

** 7 p.m. the fourth Monday at Divine Mercy Parish Center (St. Michael’s), 592 S. Main St. in Central Square. Call Gail Lauricella at 676-7533 for information.

** 7 p.m. the fourth Wednesday at The Manor at Seneca Hill, 20 Manor Dr., Minetto. Call Dianne Morrisette at 349-5341 for information.

Phoenix, Mexico to hold village elections Tuesday

By Debra J. Groom

Residents of Phoenix and Mexico go to the polls Tuesday March 18 for village elections.

The contests are not at all competitive this year as everyone is running unopposed.

Here is the rundown of the elections:

 

Phoenix

Incumbent trustees David Pendergast and Ryan Wood are running unopposed for their positions.

They are two-year terms. The position pays $2,688.26 a year.

 

Mexico

Incumbent trustees James Hotchkiss and Susan Linerode are running unopposed for their positions.

The seats carry two-year terms and the trustees are paid $2,100 a year.

The polls in Phoenix and Mexico are open from noon to 9 p.m.

Hannibal and Central Square will have their village elections in June.

Travel advisory issued in Oswego

Effective immediately, Mayor Thomas W. Gillen issued a Travel Advisory in the City of Oswego due to heavy snow accumulations and white‐out conditions in our immediate area.

The “Travel Advisory” phrase means NO unnecessary travel on city streets, and NO parking on city streets between 1 and 6 a.m., which are the hours of the City’s alternate‐side

parking restrictions.

Motorists are asked not to park on city streets, during non‐parking ban hours, to assist the DPW crews in snow removal.

This Travel Advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

 

Snow emergency declared in Fulton

The City of Fulton has declared a SNOW EMERGENCY effective at 3 p.m. (March 12).

Snow and gusting winds along with a forecast of significant snowfall this evening have created very hazardous driving conditions. Motorists are advised against any unnecessary travel. Vehicles will be towed if they become stuck or if they present a hazard.

Public Works crews are aggressively working to clear streets. Due to the SNOW EMERGENCY, cars should not be parked on the roadway. This will assist Public Works crews in clearing the snowfall which began to accumulate earlier this afternoon.

Pedestrians should stay off the roadways if sidewalks become impassable as road surfaces are treacherous.

The following areas may be used by residents for SNOW EMERGENCY PARKING – those areas include Indian Point Landing (North First Street, off of Route 481 at the north city line)A and Bullhead Point (Route 3 West between the War Memorial and YMCA)

Forum on school finance canceled

Due to the severe weather conditions expected across Central New York, tonight’s scheduled community forum at West Genesee High School, “Our Kids, Our Schools… Our Future!,’’ has been CANCELED.

The event, coordinated by the Central New York School Boards Association and Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES and Oswego County BOCES, will not be rescheduled.

Even though the community forum has been canceled, CNYSBA is calling on its members to write, email or phone their state legislators over the next two weeks to continue to push for the full repeal of the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

This is the second time the program was canceled due to bad weather.

 

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