Got a summer event? Contact the Oswego County Tourism Office

Organizations, businesses and groups have until Feb. 19 to submit information for the Oswego County Tourism Office’s 2014 “Summer in Oswego County” brochure.

Events that take place between April and October will be posted on the county tourism Web site and listed in the calendar, which is widely distributed at travel and vacation shows, chambers of commerce, NYS Thruway information centers, businesses and other outlets.

“The brochure typically includes more than 200 events as well as information on fishing tournaments, farm markets, outdoor concerts, and other summer activities,” said David Turner, director of the Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

People can fill out a form online and submit it directly to the Tourism Office at http://visitoswegocounty.com/more-to-see-do/calendar/events-in-oswego-county-entry-form/.

Forms have been sent to those who have submitted information in the past.

For more information, contact the Oswego County Tourism Office weekdays at 349-8322 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 8322, or e-mail fobrien@oswegocounty.com.

2 Mexico grads perform with SU band at Super Bowl

By Ashley M. Casey

They didn’t get to stay for the game, but two Syracuse University students from Mexico, N.Y., played in the school’s marching band at Super Bowl XLVIII.

Anthony Veiga, a junior music education major, and Shaun Kinney, a sophomore music industry major, are alumni of Mexico High School. They boarded a bus at 4 a.m. Feb. 2, arriving in New Jersey five hours later to rehearse with the Rutgers University marching band.

“The NFL was looking for a band to represent what they considered the New York Super Bowl,” said Veiga, who plays the baritone.

But New Jersey governor Chris Christie pointed out that MetLife Stadium, while it is the home of the New York Giants, is located in East Rutherford, N.J.

“We had to ask Rutgers to join us,” Veiga said.

In 2013, SU’s marching band, led by Justin Mertz, played in Montreal for a Buffalo Bills game and Houston, Texas, for the Pinstripe Bowl. The band also plays for SU football’s home games and may travel to away games in the future.

“We went to the Heisman Gala, which is the dinner for the Heisman Trophy,” Veiga said.

Despite the miles the band has racked up, they had never been to the Super Bowl before.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Veiga said.

The band members had to keep the news of the performance under wraps.

“When we were first told, we went nuts,” Veiga said. “We had to keep it a secret until the NFL let it go public.”

Kinney, a tuba player, said the band members complained somewhat about the rehearsal schedule, but “everybody thought the rehearsals were worth it when we got there.”

“It was amazing. It was just cool to be part of the production,” Kinney said.

The band spotted a few celebrities while waiting to run onto the field for the pre-game performance.

“Kevin Bacon walked by,” Kinney said. “Being around all these people you see on TV that are famous … (was) pretty crazy.”

“We got to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and they mingled with the band,” Veiga said. There was no sight of halftime headliner Bruno Mars, however.

Kinney said he remembered little of the performance because it was so brief.

“Being right about to run on the field — that’s where it really hit me that we were at the Super Bowl,” he said. “It went like a flash.”

“It was about just doing the show, and less focusing on the environment,” Veiga said. “I never thought I’d be able to do that.”

Veiga said performing with Rutgers was a unique part of the Super Bowl experience as well.

“We got to meet a different band. You double in size — it’s really loud and really cool,” he said.

Unfortunately, the musicians did not get to see the game. They loaded their equipment to head back to Syracuse during performance by opera singer Renee Fleming (grad of SUNY Postman’s Crane School of Music) of the national anthem.

Fireworks went off and helicopters buzzed overhead.

“Some of the (seniors) were actually crying … because it was their last marching band event,” Kinney said. “What a way to go out!”

Veiga said he didn’t think SU would get to play the Super Bowl again, but he joked with the band director, “What are you going to do next year to match this?”

SUNY Oswego lecture series focuses on gender equity in workplace

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego’s Ernst & Young Lecture Series on Gender Equity in the Workplace will kick off for spring 2014 on Thursday, Feb. 20, with an explorative lecture about the education of women in India today.

The free lectures will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on selected Thursdays in the Campus Center auditorium.

Cristina Ioana Dragomir will present “Change and Tradition in the Education of Indian Women” on Feb. 20, exploring political tensions that impact their education and opportunities.

She will talk about her own experiences as a woman in India, compared with education for girls and women in tribal areas.

On March 27, Dee Moskoff, Humphrey Fellow at Syracuse University and director of Connect Network, South Africa, will examine “How HIV Affects the Workplace of South African Women.”

The talk will examine why South Africa, with one of the strongest economies on the continent, still has one of the highest HIVE prevalence rates.

Ruth Baltus, a 1977 alumna of SUNY Oswego and professor of chemical engineering at Clarkson University, will present “Following My Foremothers: Historical Perspectives and Strategies for Success for Women in Engineering and Science” on April 3.

Using her family’s experiences, she will discuss how things have changed over her 30-year career, and share lessons learned during that span.

Robert Feinberg, SUNY Oswego class of 1978, and his wife Robbi Feinberg, as well as Ernst & Young sponsor the lecture series. It is cosponsored by the women’s studies department and the Institute for Global Engagement at SUNY Oswego.

Those without a current SUNY Oswego parking permit can visit www.oswego.edu/administration/parking for information about obtaining a day-use permit.

Part of West Fifth Street in Oswego closes Monday

J.J. Lane, the contractor for the on-going Combined Sewer Separation Project, has provided the following road closure/detour details for Monday, Feb. 10.

The road closure/detour will go into effect at 7 a.m. Feb. 10. And as part of the Consent Decree Project, J. J. Lane will be closing West Fifth Street from Ellen Street to Prospect Street, in order to install a new storm sewer on the west side of the street.

Traffic detours will be set up at Tallman Street. Normal traffic flow is expected to resume by the end of the day on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Contact the City Engineer’s Office at 342-8153, if you have any questions or concerns.

Park Hall reopens at SUNY Oswego

Park Hall, SUNY Oswego’s second-oldest building at age 82, reopened this semester at the end of a two-year, $17.5 million modernization, as did a soaring new entrance to the School of Education.

Park’s top-to-bottom renovation features a wealth of new opportunities for collaborative teaching and learning, from a more visible Center for Urban Schools to innovative partnerships with the sciences and mathematics in the now-connected Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation.

Dedicated in August 1930 as then-Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone, Park Hall opened in 1932. It has served as a cradle for innovation in teacher training since Dr. Joseph C. Park was earning a global reputation for his broad influence on education and the industrial arts.

The renovated Park Hall reopened at the start of the spring semester, unveiling high-tech flexible classrooms, a webinar room, fully renovated transportation lab and much more.

The school’s new south-facing main entrance — an atrium with three levels of walkways — also opened, connecting to the school’s adjacent Wilber Hall and, through it, the Shineman Center.

Financed through the SUNY Construction Fund, the project blossomed from a Bergmann Associates design and the school’s collaborative planning effort.

“The changes are absolutely amazing when I think about all the possibilities,” said Pam Michel, interim dean of education.

Center for Urban Schools

Park Hall eventually will house all six departments of Oswego’s School of Education: technology, vocational teacher preparation, educational administration, health promotion and wellness, curriculum and instruction, and counseling and psychological services.

The School of Education puts a high premium on social justice and improving opportunities in the state’s high-need schools, so the college’s Center for Urban Schools also has a prominent new location.

“We have moved the Center for Urban Schools to the third floor of Park Hall, the same floor as the dean’s suite, and I’m really excited about that,” Michel said. “It’s going to be much more visible to faculty, students and staff, and will assist our recruiting and supporting a diverse faculty and student body and our seeking funds to support partnerships across the state.”

Michel said she has already seen new synergies with the sciences as a result of the highly visible new 13,700-square-foot Wilber Hall addition with its state-of-the-art technology labs and the school’s field placement office.

The STEM for Kids program, Youth Technology Days and last fall’s Nor’easter VEX Robotics Competition are all examples, she said.

“Alumni and the public school teachers are very excited to see the significant improvements, not only in the labs but in the curriculum,” Michel said.

Joe Messmer of Facilities Design and Construction, the college’s liaison with general contractor PAC & Associates of Oswego, said the list of what’s new in Park Hall is extensive, from the lower level’s all-new mechanicals and a modernized transportation lab to a fully renovated auditorium for SUNY Oswego’s Faculty Assembly meetings and other events.

Historic building

In a project that sometimes resembled an archeological dig, PAC and its subcontractors transformed the building to a brighter, more open, more flexible and high-tech home for the next generations of teachers and those who teach them.

“We found a fireplace inside a wall on the second floor that still had wood stacked in it,” Messmer said during a tour.

Joseph Park, a 1902 alumnus of the college, devoted countless hours to helping design and equip what was then a state-of-the-art home for Oswego’s renowned industrial arts programs.

Now Park Hall — renovated to LEED Gold standards — features new foam insulation, heating, air handling, electrical, sprinklers and alarms, Messmer said.

New metered steam lines feed the heating system. Much of the building’s brickwork remains, but new brick matches it, and there are new touches throughout, such as the atrium’s terrazzo floors and recycled redwood feature wall.

As Michel looked out over the atrium from the third-floor walkway, it brought to mind another set of collaborations she would like to see — with the arts.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful in this atrium if there were a string quartet or a small performance to bring to the School of Education?” she said.

Oswego Public Library offers tax prep workshop

The Oswego Public Library’s Library Learning Center will offer a Tax Prep Resources workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 28.

Topics covered by the instructor include: online resources, navigating the Internal Revenue Service webpage and tax tips.

In addition to our Tax Prep Resources workshop, the Oswego Public Library’s Library Learning Center will feature Downloading Ebooks for Ipad and Android Tablets, Intro to Excel, Photoshop Elements for Artists, Photosharing, and Medicare Made Simple.

Dates and times are as follows:

Feb. 13 – Downloading Ebooks for Ipad & Android Tablets 2:00-4:00

Feb. 14 – Intro to Excel 10:00-12:00

Feb. 15 – Photoshop Elements for Artists Part 1 12:00-3:00

Feb. 21 – Photosharing 1:00-3:00

Feb. 22 – Photoshop Elements for Artists Part 2 12:00-3:00

Feb. 27 – Medicare Made Simple 2:00-4:00

The Library Learning Center is located on the lower level of the Oswego Public Library, and is open Monday-Saturday.   All programs are free and open to the public.

Call the library at 341-5867 to register for workshops or if you have further questions.

Also, the library has finally received state and federal tax forms to pass on to everyone for free.

Tax forms are in the addition through the left of the main reading room. If you need forms that are not provided for free, they may be printed from irs.gov and tax.ny.gov.

Of course, the government would prefer you file online and New York state has a great site to guide you through e-filing for FREE:  tax.ny.gov/pit/efile

The Oswego Public Library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; we close at 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.  Weekend hours begin at noon.

Questions?  email us at oswegopl@northnet.org or call 341-5867.

Jerry’s Journal, by Jerry Hogan

The Margaret White I knew in Good Old Fulton High; the Margaret White whose teammates called “Muggsey” — and the Margaret White Beckwith that so many others in our community also got to knew and grew to love, was in that photo in my previous column of the junior class girls’ championship volleyball team that defeated the senior girls the winter of 1951.

Now I want to give the rest of the team their due.

As shown in the picture: Nancy Guilfoyle (deceased); Shirley Hamilton Chalifoux, (deceased); Carmelina Leotta Jones, still living in Fulton; Anne LeVea Grassi, also living here, and Phyllis Mezullo Desgrosielier (deceased).

Also Lena “Lee” Guiffrida Johnson, living in Texas; Margaret White Beckwith (deceased); and, Eleanor Guilfoyle Wilhelmi, living in Florida.

Absent from the picture was Norma Rogers Hokanson who lives in Mississippi and Clara Perwitz Dudley who is deceased.

Now I feel better, and I thank Anne LeVea Grassi for helping me out with it. I knew she had worked on their last class reunion (Class of 1952) and would be a good resource.

She also stirred up a sweet memory when she called Margaret  “Muggsey.”  Ah, yes… Muggsey…Marg Beckwith….such a sweetheart.

(Editor’s note: the caption under the volleyball team photo misidentified ‘Margaret White’ as “Margaret Smith.’ We regret the error)

Well, time and change have a habit of moving us mortals ever onward and Anne and I had a chance to catch up a little on our lives and soon we were on the subject of computers, and I found out that she had taught classes on computer word processing when she worked for General Electric, from which she retired in 1990.

No internet or email then, but word processors were great for typing and recording. You could cut and paste and fix spelling and grammar without whiteout or starting over.

Her students were mostly secretaries, Anne said, and she told her boss at GE that every secretary should learn how to use a computer. (We’ve come a long way since, haven’t we!)

Anne is looking into her family’s genealogy, which she describes as hard work and very intensive even with a computer, but worth it. She and her husband Mike have a grown daughter and a son and three grandchildren. I thank her for her input and nice chat.

Part 3 of North Sixth Street: It was two columns ago when I started this journey about my old neighborhood via a suggestion by a friend, Gerry Garbus. She and I go all the way back to 1953 when we were young mothers and she lived in her grandparents apartment on North Sixth and I lived up over my parents a couple of blocks away on Porter Street.

I must have walked North Sixth Street a thousand times in my young life: to Erie Street school, Fairgrieve Junior High and to the old high school on South Fourth; and to the State Theater and to the Oswego County Telephone Co. to go work.

I guess I was like the postman — neither rain, nor sleet or snow stopped me — I walked everywhere in all kinds of weather — just like most of us young people did back in the day.

Up North Sixth, past Manhattan Avenue, Freemont Street, Seward, Harrison, Ontario, Erie and Seneca I walked, all the way to Oneida Street, which was another major pathway of my childhood and young adulthood to the Dizzy Block, the bank, the post office, the movies, and to dear old Dr. Steinitz office.

It was a very nice, safe, neat and small compact world back then.

On my way I went by View’s grocery store, went over the little bridge over Waterhouse Creek and past Quirk’s Laundry; Keith Baldwin’s house, the Laws family homes, Paul Kitt’s house and Cusak’s printing press (they did my wedding invitations in 1951).

The North Sixth section of the 1950 City Directory is full of familiar names, from which  I’ve picked a few at random: Beginning at Oneida Street and going north to Porter Street: Fitzsimmons;  Boland; Procopio; Coleman; Perry; Davis; Heppell; Salisbury; Salmonson; Allen; Vescio; Patterson; Rudd.

And if you continue up Crow Hill there were the Jennings; Morrisons; Salisberrys; and the Crook and Rice families.

The Shortsleeves lived on Freemont Street. Their cousin Elizabeth Pollock called me recently to see if I knew them.

Yes, I knew Chuckie and Sally Shortsleeve, they were close to my age, but was surprised to learn there were five other, older children: Fred, Elizabeth, Evelyn (Tootie), Flora (Toy), and Neatrice.

Elizabeth Pollock (Mrs. Joe Pollock) was named after Elizabeth Shortsleeve Allen, her mother, and remembers the pretty yard that abutted Seward Street at her grandparents’ and the good times there, but said the house was very tiny and she didn’t know how her grandparents did it with so many children.

All the neighborhood kids got along, she said. Sally and the Ingersol girls were pals and she recalls sliding down the hill with them in the winter to Seward Street.

There was that little building that was Hare’s gas station, where Seward meets North Seventh Street, she said, and Clay Brewer’s family lived on North Seventh.

The Powerses on Freemont were related to the Brewers, she believed, and she remembered the Blodgetts and Truesdales in that neighborhood, too.

I thank Elizabeth for sharing her memories with us. I also need to give a huge thanks to Gerry Garbus for getting us started on this journey of memories, good humor and much laughter.

Gerry lives out on Phinney Road in a house that she and her husband Fred built themselves while they were still young and raising a family. “No mortgage,” she said.

Her three sons, Fred, Mike and Jim have built houses or have lived nearby on that property as well.

Her husband, Fred, who retired from Sealright, is gone now, but Gerry continues to stay active by visiting with family and friends in person or on the phone, and by keeping up with the news.

And, she loves to bake. What does she bake? Stuff to keep in the house for anyone who stops by, she says. Thanks, Gerry, it’s been fun.

Now here’s my caveat: Reader beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share. Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up.

I hope you have fun reading my stuff. Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome.

You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email JHogan808@aol.com.

Valley Viewpoints

Help foster cats

Sometime on Wednesday, Jan. 22, with the temperature below zero, two declawed long-haired cats were abandoned on Route 104A.

They were found and taken into the Humane Society foster care, but if that had not happened they could not have survived. One was so badly matted she had to be taken to a groomer to be shaved down.

Yet they had been someone’s pet once — they were not only declawed, they had been spayed.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, with the temperature again below zero, a 9-month-old cat was found by two Hannibal teenagers when she was trying to find shelter in their garage.

She had almost no fur on her body, the result of a severe flea infestation and resulting skin infection. She too would have frozen to death had she not been found and given immediate medical attention.

These stories are not uncommon to the Humane Society — but this year we have seen a disturbing increase in the number of older cats that were obviously once someone’s pet being abandoned and essentially left to die.

This article, though, is not about the people who abandon their pets.  It’s about the people who save them by providing foster care for them until we can find them new, safe homes.

In 2013, the Humane Society  rescued and adopted out 332 cats.  These numbers are down slightly compared to the year before and we were pleased.

We felt the Humane Society’s spay/neuter clinic was finally having an impact on the problem of abandoned pets in our county. By the end of 2013 we had spayed/neutered 676 cats and 67 percent of those cats were from low-income families.

So we were hoping to start seeing a decrease in the number of cats needing rescue each year, and, in fact, there have been fewer litters of young kittens coming into foster care.

The problem now is this. These older cats, unlike cute fluffy kittens, typically stay in foster care for much longer until we find them homes. They may have health problems, they may have been traumatized by their time in the wild; but mostly they are just not cute and fluffy.

This reality is starting to put a strain on our foster families. If you look at our website, we have 46 cats listed for adoption and only one is a young kitten. Our foster homes are almost always full with these older cats that are harder to find homes for — not impossible, just harder.

We know if this continues we will not be able to rescue all those cats out there in the cold.

Can you help? Would you be willing to foster a cat or two. We are not asking for a long term commitment, just your help us get through the rest of the winter.

We provide the vet care, food and equipment if you need it. You provide a home and a second chance.

Please consider it. You will be amazed when you discover what a beautiful experience it is to save a life.

Go to our website at www.oswegohumane.org  to read more about the fostering program and for an application to fill out. If you have questions about fostering, call Barb at 343-2959.

Diane Broadwell

Animal Services Chair

 

Why do we pay tuition?

The Oswego County Legislature needs to explain why senior citizens have to pay tuition for college students through our property tax.

We are mandated by New York state to pay one-third of the cost of tuition for each student from our county attending community college, even though there is no Oswego County Community College. We are paying an 85 percent tax increase for Cayuga Community College and 19 percent for Jefferson Community College on our county taxes.

Can’t our legislature represent us and fight this excessive tax? I am sure our legislators will say what they always say — “there is nothing we can do.”

But people are losing their homes and property through foreclosures by the county treasurer’s office and re-sold at auction. This is a disgrace and should not happen because people are being overtaxes by state, county and federal governments.

Like many of my senior friends, I paid for children to go to school and to college — why should we pay again for other kids to go to college after we retire? It is getting so it’s a curse to own property because of our “tax and spend” government.

We are also taxed to pay for the state retirement fund so teachers and state employees and state politicians can retire with a tax pension. No one paid for my pension or for many others that I talk with.

My belief is when a person retires, it should be their golden years. What golden years? At 88 years old I am still paying college taxes, with not one red cent going to Oswego County — it all goes to Cayuga County. We are being hurt very badly and our representatives cannot see it.

We elect our legislators to look out for each and every citizen’s benefit, but it certainly isn’t working that way.

I would appreciate our county representatives to at last reply to this letter with some answers.

Rose Anthony

Fulton  

 

No more cigs at CVS

In recent news, CVS/Caremark has announced their plans to end all tobacco sales by October 1 of this year.

This is a huge step forward for public health. It has been a conflict of interest for pharmacies, providers of health care, to also profit from the sale of harmful products such as tobacco, known to cause cancer, heart and pulmonary diseases.

No doctor would prescribe tobacco so why would a pharmacy sell it? Selling tobacco products doesn’t fit a pharmacy’s mission of providing health products and services. In fact, reducing the availability of tobacco products helps people to quit.

CVS’s decision to remove tobacco products from their pharmacies is a step in the right direction to working together as a community to improve our residents’ health.

CVS is not the first pharmacy to recognize the importance of eliminating tobacco products in our local stores.

Did you know the overwhelming majority of independently owned pharmacies in Oswego County already don’t sell tobacco?  Many of the mom and pop pharmacies have chosen to put the health of our residents above a profit.

We thank the pharmacies that have made this decision to demonstrate their commitment for supporting the health of our community.

Further, we encourage all local pharmacies to consider their role as the neighborhood expert for improving health.

 

Abby Jenkins Wrolsen

Program Coordinator of the Tobacco Free Network of Oswego County

 

Sub shop owners explain 

In November 2013, the Oswego Sub Shop was contacted by the United States Secret Service and identified as a possible common point of purchase of a credit card breach (hack).

They informed us that our computers may have been compromised resulting in the unauthorized use of customers’ credit card information.  We are currently working diligently, in full cooperation, with the United States Secret Service in finding the point of origin of this possible breach.

We have replaced all hard drives in our Point of Sale terminals and hired experts in PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliance to ensure that our system is and will remain secure to the highest degree.

Information received thus far indicates that the possible compromise of this information may have been accomplished via an unauthorized EXTERNAL breach.  It is also important to understand that this is NOT an “internal investigation,” as it has been speculated in social media outlets, but rather a much larger investigation and scope.

Oswego Police Chief Tory DeCaire said “The Management of the Oswego Sub Shop has fully cooperated in this investigation and, at this point, there is no reason to believe that the customers of the Oswego Sub Shop are at any greater risk than those at any other business that allows electronic transactions.”

We assure you that nothing was or is more important than keeping our customer’s payment card data secure. We have taken this matter very seriously, and fully understand and apologize for any stress or inconvenience that it may have caused you and your family.

It is important to understand that this is an “ongoing investigation” and the local, regional and national law enforcement agencies are taking this situation very seriously, along with similar fraudulent activity reports seen recently at national retailers including Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels and others.

We want to thank you for your patience, understanding and continued loyalty during this investigation.  Please do not hesitate to contact us personally with any questions regarding this matter.

 

Sincerely, 

Bill and Kathy Greene,

Owners, Oswego Sub Shop

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