Lake Ontario water levels lower for 2014

By Debra J. Groom

Early estimates show water levels in Lake Ontario may be a bit lower in 2014 through June than they were in 2013.

A briefing on Great Lakes water levels given this week by the Army Corps of Engineers stated levels for February are 4 inches above last year for the month and near the long-term average for February.

But, long-range forecasts show through May, the lake’s level should be about 2 inches below last year and 2 inches to 4 inches below the long-range average through May.

The level is forecast at 3 inches below average in June and 5 inches to 7 inches below the long-range average in June.

So what does this mean?

Well, right now, no one knows for sure.

Cathy Goodnough is president of the Sandy Pond Channel Maintenance Association, which is charged with keeping an eye on water levels in the Sandy Pond area and ensuring the channel between the pond and the lake is open for boaters.

She said the area still has to see what the ice melt and snow runoff from the areas east of the lake do to the water levels. She said there was so much ice in January the Sandy Pond area flooded.

“We have 24 inches of ice here right now and we got a lot of snow,” she said Thursday.

One positive is the ice buildup at the Sandy Pond area. Goodnough said the channel between Sandy Pond and the lake close dup in January and the ice formation sucked a lot of water and sand out of the channel.

Last summer lake water levels fluctuated from being a little above average to a little below average, with Goodnough characterizing it as not a disaster, but not perfect either.

Residents of the lake shoreline have seen some bad times in previous years, with water levels so low they couldn’t get watr lines in or use their boats.

The International Joint Commission, consisting of U.S. and Canadian officials, regulate Lake Ontario water levels throughout the summer.

The cold and snow of this winter has caused near record conditions on the Great Lakes.

As of March 4, 91 percent of the Great Lakes’ surface was iced over. The lake with the most open water is Lake Ontario, which is ony 43 percent covered by ice.

The Army Corps of Engineers said the only year with more Great Lakes ice was 1979, when they were 94.7 percent ice covered.

Officials said extensive ice cover cuts down on lake water evaporation, so Lake Ontario is open to more water evaporation than the other lakes.

Women’s History Month: Fascinating women in Fulton’s past

By Ashley M. Casey

Those looking to celebrate Women’s History Month need look no further than our own backyard.

With the help of Sue Lane from the Friends of History, The Valley News has uncovered some fascinating ladies who have called Fulton home.

 

Edna Skinner

Best known as Kay Addison on the classic TV show “Mister Ed,” actress Edna Skinner was born in Washington, D.C., May 23, 1921. Her family moved to Fulton, where her father Eugene was the president of Sealright Co.

As a child, Edna suffered from chronic asthma and was not expected to live to adulthood. Her health bounced back under the care of a Lake Placid doctor, and she went on to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

Edna starred as as Ado Annie in the original Broadway production “Oklahoma!” and signed a contract with MGM in 1946.

She also helped sell more than $5 million worth of war bonds to help fund the United States military in World War II.

In 1964, Edna retired from acting and became a world-renowned expert on fly fishing. She wrote more than 280 articles on the subject.

According to variety.com, Skinner “was employed by two fishing equipment manufacturers, for whom she and her companion of more than 40 years, photographer Jean Fish, traveled more than 485,000 miles on fishing trips and to various sports shows.”

Edna Skinner died of heart failure on Aug. 8, 2003, in North Bend, Ore.

 

Betty Ford

Before she became First Lady, Betty Bloomer married William Warren in 1942. The couple moved to Fulton, where William worked for Sealright as a salesman.

The Warrens lived at 409 E. Broadway for nearly a year. Their Fulton neighbors remembered them as “an attractive couple, fun-loving, and an asset to the community,” according to a 1976 newspaper clipping from the Friends of History.

Betty worked on a production line at Birdseye during her time in Fulton.

After five years of marriage, Betty and William divorced. In 1948, Betty married Gerald R. Ford, who became President of the United States upon the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974.

Betty famously struggled with addiction to alcohol and painkillers, which led her to found the Betty Ford Center to treat recovering addicts.

She died at age 93 of natural causes July 8, 2011, in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

 

Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook

Fellow Syracuse University graduates and early 20th-century feminists Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook rekindled their college friendship when they both taught at Fulton High School in the early 1900s.

The two women lived together for most of their adult lives and championed women’s causes, including the right to vote and fair labor legislation. They volunteered overseas during World War I, tending to wounded soldiers.

According to the March 24, 1919, edition of The Fulton Patriot, Dickerman spoke in front of the New York State League of Women Voters at a conference in Syracuse.

She was later chosen by the Democratic Party as the first female candidate for the New York State Legislature. She lost to Thaddeus Sweet of Phoenix, N.Y.

Cook was Dickerman’s campaign manager and served as executive secretary of the Women’s Division of the State Democratic Committee for 19 years.

Cook and Dickerman befriended Eleanor Roosevelt through their political activities and helped build the Stone Cottage at Val-Kill, which was part of Roosevelt’s Hyde Park, N.Y., estate.

The three women had a falling out in the late 1930s, but Dickerman and Cook continued to live at Val-Kill until the 1945 death of Eleanor’s husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Cook and Dickerman moved to New Canaan, Conn., where Dickerman was the educational programming director for the Marine Museum.

Cook passed away Aug. 16, 1962, and Dickerman died in Kennett Square, Pa., on May 16, 1983.

County officials work on college chargeback numbers

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County and Cayuga County officials are working together to try to come up with a solution to funding inadequacies for Cayuga Community College.

Last year, during 2014 county budget deliberations, county officials found out their chargeback for Cayuga Community College was increasing 85 percent. Oswego County’s budgeted chargeback for all community colleges increased from about $4 million in 2013 to $5.4 million in 2014.

A chargeback is the amount the county pays to each community college attended by Oswego County residents. The colleges use the money for their basic operations.

“The chargeback is an unfunded State mandate charged to taxpayers on their property tax bills,” said Oswego County Administrator Philip Church.

In 2013, Oswego County paid $2.8 million to CCC, about $1 million to Onondaga Community College and $221,000 to Jefferson Community College. The county also pays for one student who attends the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

A large majority of the county’s community college attendees go the CCC, either at its main campus in Auburn or at the campus in Fulton. The large increase from 2013 to 2014 was due to CCC officials overestimating how many students they would have in 2013, which made Oswego County’s chargeback smaller.

So the chargeback increased for 2014 to make up for what should have been paid in 2013.

County Legislator Terry Wilbur, R-Hannibal, legislature majority leader and chair of the legislature’s finance and personnel committee, said Oswego County’s biggest concern with the chargebacks is the county has no say in the running or operations of CCC, yet it still has to pay a huge sum of money to the college each year.

“It isn’t a level playing field,” Wilbur said. “It is taxation without representation.”

As it stands now, no one from Oswego County is on the CCC board of trustees. “If we have to pay, we should have a say,” Wilbur said. “How do we solve that situation?”

Wilbur said CCC officials, including interim President Gregory T. DeCinque, have listened to the concerns of Oswego County officials. Any change in the makeup of the CCC board would have to be approved by the State University of New York board.

To date, CCC has agreed to set up an Oswego County Advisory Board, Church said. There will be no voting power concerning actions at CCC, but the board members, including Church and Wilbur, will be able to make issues and concerns known to CCC officials.

The other way Oswego County would have more of a say in the issue would be to create a regional community college.

Wilbur said DeCinque has a strong background in creating regional colleges as he led Jamestown Community College through regionalization at his last job.

Regionalization would create a college that serves an entire region and isn’t aligned to just one county, such as Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, Adirondack Community College, Tompkins-Cortland Community College or Hudson Valley Community College.

Church said regionalization “has been looked at on and off” for a few years, but nothing solid has taken shape.

The chargebacks paid by counties are computed with a complex formula based on the number of students in the county attending a particular community college. That amount goes toward the college’s operating costs.

There also is a portion of the chargeback that goes toward capital charges and is restricted by law for use only on capital debt, construction or capital project repairs.

Ruth S. Hagen, owned Mexico 5&10, served on Mexico village board

Ruth S. Hagen, 94, beloved and cherished mother, grandmother and great grandmother, died peacefully at the Meadowbrook Nursing Home March 2, 2014.

She was born Ruth Hazel Savage, the daughter of John and Hazel Savage, May 15, 1919 in Brooklyn, N.Y. She graduated from Rochester Business School in 1939.

In 1941, she married William Henry Hagen (who died in 1998), with whom she had four children: Ruth Hagen Mowry (David) of Plattsburgh, N.Y., William Hagen Jr. (Kathleen McCartney) of Northampton, Mass., James Hagen (Suzanne) of Temple, Texas  and Peter Hagen (Bonnie Savage)  of Fulton, N.Y.

She served as a member of the Fulton and Mexico PTAs. In Mexico, where she raised her family, she was an active member of the Methodist Church.

She owned and operated the Mexico 5&10 where she daily greeted her many friends in the community. She also served as a member the Village Board.

She held various professional positions. She retired as secretary to the school psychology department at SUNY Oswego in 1978 and was a member of CSEA.

She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

She will be remembered as someone quick to extend a helping hand, a warm hug, and an engaging conversation.

For the past seven years, she was a resident of the Vilas Home, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

In addition to her children, she is survived by three brothers, Jack Savage (Vera) of Clearwater, Fla., David (Dorothy) of Leesburg, Fla. and Tom (Evelyn) of Mexico, N.Y.; grandchildren: Melissa Mowry, Pres Hagen, Sam Hagen, Susan Hagen, Sarah Hagen, Kaitlin Strovink, Kim Strovink, Amanda Adamay and Sadie Adamay; and five great grandchildren: Helen Hale-Mowry, Alex Hale-Mowry, Henry Eminger, Penny Eminger  and Scarlet Sansone.

A memorial service will be held at the Methodist Church in Mexico at a date to be announced. Donations in her memory may be made to the Vilas Home, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Heald Funeral Home, 48 Court St., Plattsburgh.

To light a candle or leave an online condolence, please visit healdfuneralhomeinc.com

Residents to receive batteries for tone-alert weather radios

Submitted by Oswego County

Replacement batteries have been mailed to county residents who have an emergency planning tone-alert weather radio from the Oswego County Emergency Management Office.

Director Dale A. Currier said replacement batteries are mailed to residents on an annual basis to ensure proper operation of these radios.

The tone-alert weather radios are provided to homes within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone surrounding the nuclear power plants that are out of hearing range of emergency sirens.

The radios are part of the Oswego County Radiological Emergency Preparedness Plan’s prompt notification system and are the property of Oswego County.

The battery distribution is part of the on-going maintenance program sponsored by the Emergency Management Office in conjunction with the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, a division of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, and Entergy Nuclear to allow for prompt notification of the public during an emergency.

Any resident who has a tone-alert weather radio and has not received a new battery by March 14 should contact the Emergency Management Office at 591-9150.

Letters have been mailed to residents in the Emergency Planning Zone who are eligible to receive a free radio but who have not been issued one.

“If you’ve received the letter and would like a tone-alert radio, please call our office,” Currier said. “If you either have a radio issued by our office or do not wish to receive one, please fill out and return the form included with the letter to us.”

Residents receiving a new battery are reminded that batteries are recyclable in Oswego County.

Currier emphasized that, upon hearing either the siren or tone-alert radio signal, people should tune their AM/FM radio or television to an Emergency Alert System station for further information and instructions.

EAS stations are listed in the 2014 Public Emergency Response Information Calendar; the yellow pages of the telephone book; on posters placed in public areas; and on the EMO page on the county website.

The calendar can be found on the county website at www.oswegocounty.com/emo.

Sirens are tested quarterly and a full-scale simultaneous activation of all sirens takes place once a year. The tone alert radios are tested every Wednesday, generally between 11 a.m. and noon.

Any resident who has a question concerning any aspect of emergency planning may call the Emergency Management Office at 591-9150 or (800) 962-2792.

Applications being accepted for Camp Hollis Counselor-in-Training positions

Submitted by Oswego County

Applications are now being accepted for Counselor-in-Training positions at Camp Hollis.

Youth aged 15 or 16 years old may apply to be accepted into this training program. Camp Hollis will accept up to four 15-year-old participants and up to four 16-year-old participants.

Those who are 15 years old participate in the program June 22 through July 18 on a voluntary basis. Those 16 years old participate in the program from June 22 to Aug. 15 and receive a stipend.

Residency for both age groups is required from Sunday afternoon through Friday evening each week, with weekends off during the summer.

Camp Hollis is a children’s residential camp located in the town of Oswego on the shore of Lake Ontario with a strong focus on outdoor recreation and nature.  Children ages 8 to 14 attend camp for one week and participate in a variety of summer camp activities.

“The 15-year-old counselors-in-training shadow rotating counselors during the day to see what it is like and what it takes to work at a summer residential camp,” said Brandon Morey, coordinator of youth development and recreation for the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau.

“The 16-year-old counselors-in-training either shadow rotating counselors during the day and take a more involved role of the supervision and programming aspect of a residential camp, or work in the kitchen to help prepare meals for the campers while performing cleaning duties required to maintain camp standards.”

Camp Hollis is owned by Oswego County and operated by the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau as a residential camp. The facility is also available to rent from the beginning of May through October for use by families, clubs, school groups and other organizations.

Camp Hollis is located at 40 Health Camp Road, off Lakeshore Road in the town of Oswego.

Those seeking more information may call the Youth Bureau at 315-349-3451 or (800) 596-3200, ext.3451 or contact Morey at 349-3241 or by email at bmorey@oswegocounty.com.

Rosario Licciardello, lettuce and onion farmer

Rosario Licciardello, a self-employed lettuce and onion farmer, passed away on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 at his home.

He was 95.

The son of the late Gaetano Licciardello and Verda Cutuli Licciardello, he was born June 11, 1918 in New York City.

A veteran of WWII, Rosario served his county in the U.S. Army.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Marie, at home; children, Maria Nazarro and her husband Robert of Pine Bush, Richard Licciardello and his wife Sandra of Fulton, NY, Lauri Quigley and her husband John of Pine Bush, Howard Potter II and his wife Terri of Bath, NY, Scott Porter and his wife Sheila of Albany; sister Vita Chalone and husband Bart of Fulton, NY 16 grandchildren,  six great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews.

Rosario is predeceased by his brother, Michael Licciardello and his sister; Sadie Malone.

Cremation will be private and at the convenience of the family. A memorial service will take place at a later date in the spring.

Arrangements are entrusted to the William M. Gagan Funeral Home Inc. www.wmgaganfuneralhome.com

Bodley Bulletins

By Julia Ludington

School has definitely been scarce the past few weeks!

However, Bodley students are still hard at work at their various activities.

Spring sports players are becoming excited as the season fast approaches. The first official day of practices will be March 10. Make sure you have gotten your physical and are all set to play.

Coaches will be giving their players “red sheets.” These are to record any injuries or health problems players may have.

Athletes are required to fill them out every year for the nurse. Players should make sure to get these in on time. It is very important that the nurse and trainer have your information in case of an emergency.

Our athletic department has begun to take concussions much more seriously in the past few years, so athletes should also be expecting to take a concussion test at the beginning of their respective seasons.

The test measures reaction time and recognition of shapes, words, and numbers, among many other things.

If a player gets a concussion, he or she will have to take the same test again. The trainer will compare both tests and determine if any further action needs to be taken.

No need to fret! It sounds scary, but if you take the right precautions, a concussion should be nothing to worry about. Always make sure you have the proper equipment. If you suspect you may have a concussion, be sure to tell your coach right away.

Do not forget about our upcoming musical (“Curtains”) this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday! Evening performances take place on each day at 7:30 p.m., as well as a matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m. We hope you can make it!

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