Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

Last week we observed a big day in the sports world – at least in the American sports world.

The Super Bowl was in town – in every town in the U.S.A. Personally, I am not always a front row fan of professional football. I consider myself an avid Syracuse University sports fan and like most Syracuse-area sports fans, I cheer loudly for them.

I don’t have a lot of interest in what happens in the country’s professional football arenas. I do keep in touch with the pro teams that include former SU players on their rosters – and I have a favorite NFL team.

Brown is a favorite color

I consider myself a follower and fan of the Cleveland Browns. My association with the Browns goes back to when I played street football with my friends, the Fero boys, on Wiman Avenue.

Their father always cheered for the Browns, so the boys were Browns fans, too.

By some kind of logic, I guess that left to me the responsibility among Wiman Avenue kids to support the New York Giants. So, when we lined up on the street in front of our homes, we were the “Browns” and the “Giants.”

The Cleveland Browns were among the winningest teams in those years, when some of their best players included Otto Graham, who led the Browns to 10 championship games and was considered by some to be the best NFL quarterback ever; Lou Groza, an outstanding member of the Browns’ front line for many years; running back Marion Motley; and pass catcher Dante Lavelli.

My personal loyalty to the Browns goes back to the Jim Brown days. When Jim Brown graduated from SU and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, I became a Browns fan.

(This could become really complicated for you to follow if I told you that in addition to Jim Brown, John Brown, another SU player of that era, also played for the Cleveland Browns and that the Cleveland team was organized by, coached by, and was named after Paul Brown).

That loyalty has been passed on to my oldest son, Craig and his children. Craig and my grandson, Cam, travel to Cleveland at least once a year to attend a Browns game. I have joined Craig in Cleveland and in Buffalo for Browns’ games.

My granddaughter Courtney and her husband, Chris, are Browns fans, and in one of the pictures I have received of great-grand Colton, he is decked out in a Browns jersey.

I have a couple of Browns shirts, and somewhere in my dresser I have a Browns “crying towel,” which is appropriate for current fans of my favorite team.

And, yes, it’s true – the Cleveland Browns, along with three other NFL teams – have never been to the Super Bowl.

Clickety-clack

For Your Information:

Edward R. Murrow typed on a ’46 Royal Quiet Deluxe; Richard Nixon’s typewriter was an L.C. Smith.

Roy Rogers, in a 1950s publicity shot, was typing on a Remington Noiseless Standard, early 40s. It was black and shiny, with Bakelite keys and a spool crank.

In a 1962 photo, Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) was typing on an IBM Model B Electric. Dwight Eisenhower’s typewriter was a Royal Futura.

Walter Cronkite favored a Smith Corona ‘60s/’70s Electric Portable, and Bing Crosby had a Royal Portable (1920s).

Agatha Christie did some of her typing on a Remington Portable No. 2, and Truman Capote’s fingers pushed the keys on a Royal, Model HH.

Will Rogers was known to own a Remington Portable #3; Bette Davis used a Remington Noiseless Portable, while Joe DiMaggio typed on a flat-top maroon Corona Sterling.

I didn’t make it through the whole list of typists and their typewriters, but I didn’t find anyone listed as using an “L.C. Smith Silent,” manufactured by L.C. Smith & Corona Typewriter, Inc.

I have written about my faithful old typewriter friend and companion in this space before. Silent, but strong, L.C. guided me through many tense typing moments before his well-deserved retirement several years ago.

I should mention another high-standing relic from the same era as old “Smithy.”  A venerable Underwood typewriter stands watch on a desk top at the bottom of the basement steps.

A key is missing

When looking at old typewriters, if it is old enough – as my old L.C. Smith Silent surely is – you will notice that the key for number one is missing. It’s not because someone took it out, and it’s not because it is broken.

Here’s the explanation:

“The number one key was not implemented by design. Instead, the L key – l in lower case, was used in its lower case form as a letter or a number, because a lower case 1 looks like a one.

That allowed manufacturers to save some space in the overcrowded area where hammers were located.”

Now you know, and you won’t lose any more sleep wondering about it.

Wow!

What a fantastic SU win last Saturday – giving the team a 21-0 undefeated record.  Keep going Orange!

                                      . . . Roy Hodge   

Editor’s note: The Orangemen beat Notre Dame Monday, taking their record to 22-0. They take on Clemson Sunday, Feb. 9.

Birdlebough students travel “Back to the Future”

Seventeen students from John C. Birdlebough High travelled back to their elementary school, Michael A. Maroun, recently to assist educators in teaching for the day.

The Back to the Future program is held annually during Regent’s week, allowing high school students to volunteer when they aren’t taking tests.

The purpose of the program is to expose high school students to the field of teaching. The Birdlebough students who participate in Back to the Future are either thinking of entering the education profession or like to work with children.

Often, Back to the Future is the first experience the high school students have to experience working with children in a formal setting. High school freshman through seniors followed the schedule of their assigned teacher.

Second-grade teacher Joelle Hendry was excited to invite a high school student into her classroom. Hendry is a Phoenix alumna, and was in the first graduating class (96’) that went through the Back to the Future program.

As a high school senior, Hendry couldn’t decide whether to pursue a college degree in speech pathology or elementary education. She shadowed the school’s speech pathologist during the Back to the Future program, and was able to see how closely speech pathologists work with the classroom.

Hendry has two degrees, one in elementary education, and the other as a reading specialist.

“I hope that the high school students (here today) get to see what kind of work goes into being an elementary teacher,” said Hendry.

The Back to the Future program is mutually beneficial in that elementary students learn about high school expectations and Birdlebough students seek out possible options for their future.

High school participants involved were Josh Margrey, Alexis Bowering, Finella Campanino, Dylan Doupe, Conrad Karl, Kate McDonald, Mackenzie Young, Matt Pelton, Ben Bulgrien, Maria Musemeci, Abby Ewald, Olivia Uttamsingh, Evan Logee, Shaun Turner, Hannah Lees, Tyler Gabriele, Noah Neverette and A.C. Bowman.

 

March 1 deadline to apply for agricultural assessment

Oswego County residents who have agricultural land and would like to receive a lower land assessment have until March 1 to file their application.

In 1971, New York state passed the Agricultural District Law, including the Agricultural Assessment Program. This assessment program allows owners of agricultural lands to receive a lower assessment on eligible properties.

During these years of increasing property taxes, this program could save on taxes, making it more affordable to own open, agricultural land.

Owners whose land satisfies the minimum requirements may apply for an agricultural assessment.

The following eligibility requirements must be met:

1) Land must consist of 7 or more acres that is used for the production for sale of crops, livestock, or livestock products

2) The annual gross sales of agricultural products must average $10,000 or more. If an agricultural enterprise consists of less than 7 acres, it may qualify if the annual gross sales equal $50,000 or more.

Additional special stipulations are given to horse boarding operations, aquaculture, orchards and/or vineyard operations.

Land rented for agricultural purposes may receive an agricultural assessment.

To apply for an agricultural assessment in Oswego County, contact your local assessor’s office and obtain the Agricultural Assessment application (form RP-305). You must have one application form for each tax parcel you wish to apply for.

Next, call the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District Office at 592-9663 to schedule an appointment. This office will explain to you the next step(s) required in completing the application process.

A charge of $20 per parcel is assessed to complete the Soil Group Worksheet prior to March 2; after the charge is $30.

The completed application with all other required documents must be received at the local assessor’s office by March 1, 2014. Landowners already enrolled should remember to contact their local assessor’s office annually to see if they need to renew their application.

For more information about agricultural assessments, call 592-9663.

Hannibal-based hard rock band works on first full-length album

Hannibal-based hard rock band Far From Over is becoming more well known in the music business, rubbing elbows with nationally known artists and working on a full-length album.

The band is set to play at Monirae’s Restaurant in Pennellville 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13. Far From Over joins national recording artist Buckcherry and other local bands.

Started as a cover band in 2011 by drummer Zane Pointon, bassist Alex Carter and guitarist Tyler Battist, Far From Over welcomed vocalist Zac Birdslow in 2012. Pointon, Carter and Battist attend Hannibal High School, and Birdslow is taking classes at Cayuga Community College.

The show with Buckcherry is not Far From Over’s first time rubbing elbows with some of rock radio’s biggest stars. Last year, the band played at 95X Fest 2013, which featured acts such as Sick Puppies and Adam Gontier, formerly of the band Three Days Grace.

“95X-Fest was a blast! It was so amazing to be able to hang out backstage and talk with the other bands,” Pointon said in an email.

He cited Gontier and Sick Puppies as influences of the band.

“We tend to blend both modern rock sound and the newer post-hardcore genres into our own work,” Pointon said.

Far From Over began gaining local exposure when a 95X DJ played their music on his show.

“Scott Dixon has always been a huge help to us and the whole Syracuse music scene. I don’t think there is one thing he cares more about then this music scene,” Pointon said. “Dixon does a show on 95X called ‘Locals Only.’ Bands all throughout Syracuse can submit their music to be played.”

Having released the “Burn” EP in 2012, Far From Over is working on their first full-length album. The video for the band’s newest single, “Tonight,” has reached more than 1,600 views on YouTube.

“ Filming the music video was a lot of fun and a great experience. It was all produced by our bassist, Alex,” Pointon said. “Being able to make the video for free and on our own was awesome but it was a lot more work. Our bassist stayed up for nights reviewing the shots and making the final edit.”

The band is trying to raise money for recording the new album on fundraising website Indiegogo.

“Like most local bands we make close to nothing. So funding our production and buying are merch can sometimes be hard,” Pointon said.

Despite the challenges of finding funds and juggling work, school and music, Pointon said Far From Over allows him and his bandmates to do what they love.

“We plan to just keep growing bigger in hope of turning from a local act to a touring national one day,” Pointon said. “Our new musical style is just what this world is asking for and we’re ready for the next step.”

Presale tickets for the Feb. 13 show are $25 and can be purchased at ticketweb.com, Monirae’s or the Sound Garden in Armory Square, Syracuse.

For more information about Far From Over, visit ffoband.com or like the band on Facebook at facebook.com/ffoband.

Fulton boys’ basketball goes 1-1 in last 2 games

By Rob Tetro

The Fulton boys’ varsity basketball team went 1-1 in its last 2 games and now have a 5-9 overall record.

On Jan. 24, Fowler knocked off Fulton, 76-71, but then the Red Raiders bounced back with an exciting 53-49 win over Chittenango on Jan. 29.

The first quarter of the Fowler game was pretty event, with Fulton leading by 1 point at its conclusion. The second quarter was even more competitive, with both teams scoring 24 points as Fulton took a 38-37 lead into halftime.

Fowler pulled ahead during the third quarter, outscoring the Red Raiders by 4 points to take a 3-point lead and then Fowler outcored Fulton by 2 points in the fourth quartr to pull out a 5-point win.

Leading the way for Fulton was Chris Jones with 20 points, followed by Cody Green with 17, Josh Hudson with 12, Jon Cummins added 9 and Mark Pollock and Dallas Bradley chipped in 5 points each.

Fulton had a 2-point lead over Chittenango after the first quarter of its Jan. 29 contest. But Chittenango stormed ahead during the second quarter, outscoring Fulton by 7 points to take a 30-25 halftime lead.

The Red Raiders answered right back during the third quarter, outscoring Chittenango by 7 points to take a 2-point lead. Chittenango still had plenty in the tank and following a hard fought fourth quarter, Chittenango forced overtime after tying the game at 49.

The Red Raiders stepped up their defensive play down the stretch. While scoring only 4 points during the overtime session, Fulton kept Chittenango off the scoreboard en route to a 53-49 win.

The Red Raiders were led by Chris Jones with 20 points, followed by Cody Green with 13 and Jon Cummins with 11 points.

State police continue to investigate Granby man’s death

State police are following “several leads” in the death of a Granby man this week.

The body of Anthony Miller, 46, who lived in a mobile home at the Indian Hills Mobile Park on state Route 48 in Granby, was found by friends about 4 p.m. Monday in the mobile home. At first, troopers were calling the death suspicious, but later Monday said it had been ruled a homicide.

Trooper Jack Keller, public information officer for Troop D in Oneida, said the autopsy has been completed but state police are not releasing a cause of death at this time. He would not say if the body suffered any stab wounds or gun shots.

“We want to wait on that,” he said of the cause of death. “We’re following several leads and we are progressing.”

Anyone with information regarding Miller’s death should call State Police in Fulton at 598-2112.

Investigators believe there is no danger to the public concerning this death.

 

Fulton Speed Demons strong as swim season begins

The Fulton YMCA Speed Demons team has begun its season and already turned in some strong performances.

The team consists of swimmers ages 5 to 18 and is part of the CNY YMCA Competitive Swim League that includes Auburn, Norwich, Watertown, Oneida, Oneonta and Cortland.

Swimmers can compete in the freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and individual medley (IM, one of each stroke).

Events are categorized by age group: Seniors Class A (age 15-18) , B( 13-14) & C (11-12), Juniors Class D (9-10) & E (8 & under).

Coaches enter swimmers in three individual events each meet plus a relay. Practices and home competitions take place at Granby Elementary School in a 25-yard pool and swimmers push themselves at each dual meet to achieve a personal best swim time in the event swimming.

Taking a few seconds off an event time is often a challenge. The team is coached by Head Coach Cassandra Izyk and Assistant Coaches Cameron Lanich, and Ashley LaDue.

The Speed Demons started their season with an away meet in Auburn followed by a home meet against Cortland.

Starting the season strong against Auburn with first place finishes were first-year swimmer Joely LaPage (25 free), Ryan Morehouse (100 back) and Casey Jones (100 back).

Swimming personal best times were:

Naomi Roberts (50 free, 100 free, 50 back)

Angel Croci (50 free)

Alexis Loomis (50 free, 100 free)

Annaliese Archer (50 free, 50 fly)

Swimmers saw their hard work at practice pay off at the second meet of the season against Cortland.

Junior  swimmers Molly Williams and Courtney Pierce were 2 of 26 Fulton swimmers entered in the 100 Free and had the greatest time reductions of all events, crushing their previous times by 15 and 16 seconds.

Senior swimmer Anna Guernsey achieved the same improvement in her 200 IM. Junior teammate Hailey Coady posted a best time in the 25 back, taking 1st place.

Additional swimmers recording improvement in their events were:

Caleb Trepasso (50 free, 100 free)

Braeden Dempsey (50 free, 100 free, 50 back)

Tyler LaDue (50 free, 100 free, 50 back)

Zachary Loomis (50 free, 100 free, 50 back)

Firebirds beat Solvay, crushed by Westhill

By Rob Tetro

The Phoenix boys’ varsity basketball team beat Solvay, 52-46 on Feb. 4, but were crushed by Westhill 78-48 on Jan. 29.

The Firebirds now have a 9-6 overall record.

Westhill proved why its ranked number 1 in the New York State Sports Writers Association state rankings in Class B when the Warriors jumped out to a 14-point lead over Phoenix during the first quarter.

Westhill then didn’t let up during the second quarter, outscoring the Firebirds by another 12 points for a 46-20 lead at the half.

The Firebirds proved to be far more competitive during the third quarter and were outscored by only 4 points as Westhill. Phoenix remained competitive in the fourth quarter but could not make up Westhill’s huge lead and the Warriors won by 30 points.

Leading the way for the Firebirds was Dylan Doupe with 17 points, followed by Zach Sisera with 10, Connor Haney with 9, Walker Connoly with 5 and Shaun Turner chipped in 4 points.

Against Solvay, the Firebirds jumped out to an 8-point lead, but then Solvay roared back to pull ahead during the second quarter, taking a 25-24 lead into the half.

Both teams scored 13 points each during a hard fought third quarter as Solvay maintained its 1-point lead at 38-37. But Phoenix pulled ahead down the stretch, outscoring Solvay by 7 points during the fourth quarter en route to a 52-46 win.

The Firebirds were led by Zach Sisera with 16 points, followed by Bryce Plante with 13, Dylan Doupe with 11, Brian Sawyer chipped in 7 and Connor Haney added 5 points.

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