Fort Ontario, Oswego featured in War of 1812 documentary

Fort Ontario State Historic Site and its superintendent, Paul Lear, will be featured in a documentary titled “Losing Ground: The Race to Preserve War of 1812 Battlefields in New York State,” at 9 p.m. Feb 10 on WCNY.

The documentary was produced by WCNY Public Television of Syracuse and brings together some of the nation’s foremost War of 1812 experts to reflect on preserving War of 1812 sites for future generations.

The program re-airs at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 on WCNY, 2 p.m. Feb. 17 on WCNY, 7 p.m. Feb. 17 on World, and 9 p.m. Feb. 23 on World.

“Lake Ontario was the main theater of action during the War of 1812 and Oswego was a major forwarding point for supplies and ordnance used to support the fleet at Sackets Harbor and army operations on the Niagara frontier,” said Lear, who chairs the Oswego County War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee.

The footage of Fort Ontario was filmed last September when Lear led a walking tour of the battlefield and described the British attack on Fort Ontario during the spring of 1814.

That topic will be explored in depth April 4 through 6 at the fourth annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium to be held at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 26 E. First St., Oswego.

The public television documentary is hosted by Timothy Davis-Reed, a veteran of more than 150 episodes of series television, including six seasons on the Emmy-winning hit “The West Wing” and two seasons on “Sports Night.”

Now 200 years later, celebrations across New York state and Canada commemorate the veterans and battlefields of the War of 1812. But with each passing year, there is less and less physical evidence of this significant part of New York history.

As the population grows and unchecked development expands, preservationists worry that the lands that played a vital role in U.S. history are disappearing at an alarming rate. Once they are gone, so too are the opportunities of enrichment for generations of future Americans.

The program features top battlefield archaeologists as they walk through the hollowed grounds of 1812 sites from Oswego to Plattsburgh, and Ogdensburg to Sackets Harbor.

Experts include Dr. Alan Taylor, historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author; James Lighthizer, president, Civil War Trust; Keith Herkalo, author, historian and president of the Battle of Plattsburgh Association; Matthew Kirk, archaeologist and New York Council for the Humanities speaker; and Constance B. Barone, site manager, Sackets Harbor Battlefield Historic Site.

For registration information on the Oswego War of 1812 Symposium, contact Paul Lear at 343-4711.

Oswego Health celebrates Heart Month

Community members can learn more about being heart healthy in February as part of Oswego Health’s celebration of National Heart Month and National Wear Red Day.

In keeping with its tradition of supporting Wear Red Day, Oswego Health employees are encouraging community members to join them in wearing the color red Friday, Feb. 7, to help raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women.

The goal of this national initiative is to alert women about their risk for heart disease and motivate them to take steps to lower their risk.

Cardiovascular disease kills more than 435,000 women each year, which is about one every minute.

To reduce the chance of a heart attack for both women and men, registered nurse Kathleen Whitney of Oswego Health’s Lakeside Heart Center recommends regular exercise, a low-fat diet and yearly blood work that checks cholesterol level.

She also encourages people to learn the risk factors, signs and symptoms of heart disease.

National Wear Red Day has an easy dress code. Participants should wear  their favorite red clothes or accessory — a red blouse, handbag or sport a red tie and red socks.

Oswego Health Heart Month Activities

Joining Oswego Health in its Wear Red initiative on Feb. 7 is the Hannibal Village Market IGA, located at 409 Fulton St. in the village.

On National Wear Red Day, Oswego Health will be offering free screenings including blood pressure, as well as educational materials on heart-related topics at the Hannibal store from 2 to 6 p.m.

Oswego Health staff will also provide bone density screenings and assist customers with nutrition label reading.

Another initiative will be an Ask The Doctor program presented by Oswego Health Cardiologist Dr. Thomas Grady Jr., at 6 p.m.  Tuesday, Feb. 18 in the Oswego Health Services Center, which is adjacent to Oswego Hospital.

An accomplished physician in his specialty and affiliated with St. Joseph Hospital Cardiology Associates, Grady, an active medical staff member of Oswego Hospital, is providing care to hospital patients and has office hours for community members in suite 270 of the Oswego Health Services Center.

Another Oswego Health heart-related program, the Lakeside Heart Center, located at 177 W. Fourth St., in Oswego, provides cardiac rehabilitation and adult fitness classes to community members that have recently experienced a cardiac event.

This department will be marking National Cardiac Week Feb. 9  to 15.

Looking ahead, staff members from Oswego Health will take part in the Heart Walk to be held March 22 on the campus of Onondaga Community College.

SUNY Oswego a “Best Value” again

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

For the third consecutive year, the Princeton Review and USA Today have named SUNY Oswego one of 150 “Best Value” colleges and universities in the nation.

The list of 75 public and 75 private institutions appears in “The Best Value Colleges: The 150 Best-Buy Schools and What It Takes to Get In,” to be published by Random House and Princeton Review.

“SUNY Oswego is an outstanding college and value for our students, and it is particularly rewarding when a reputable source such as the Princeton Review agrees,” said Dan Griffin, interim director of admissions at Oswego.

“It speaks to our commitment to our students’ education, their development and the amazing variety of in-demand majors and experiences we offer. Particularly as higher education costs seem to escalate each year, to be recognized as a ‘Best Value’ means a lot to our students and their families,” he said.

Based in part on school-reported cost and other data for 2013-14 and on-campus interviews conducted in 2012-13, the book’s report on SUNY Oswego includes a “bottom line” section quoting one student who said the college provides “a great education for the money” and citing the Oswego Guarantee.

The guarantee states, in part, that a student’s room and board expenses on campus will remain constant for four consecutive years.

Last fall, President Deborah F. Stanley said the college sweetened the pledge, adding an Oswego Graduation ROI that provides a $300 return on a student’s investment for graduating in four years or less if they meet basic conditions.

SUNY Oswego also offers about $84 million annually in merit scholarships, need-based grants, loans, work-study and other scholarship awards.

Opportunities galore

In the Princeton Review’s section titled “Why students love State University of New York-Oswego,” those surveyed reported there is a “friendly and helpful” atmosphere on a campus that’s devoted to promoting multiculturalism on its “gorgeous” lakeside site.

Students say the nearly 200 clubs and organizations offer networking, socializing, activities and involvement opportunities galore, the publication reported.

Among the 13 SUNY comprehensive colleges, Geneseo and Purchase joined Oswego on the best-value list.

The Princeton Review and USA Today ranked the top 10 public colleges, with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as the best value and SUNY’s Binghamton University at No. 10; among private colleges, Williams College in Massachusetts was tops, followed by Harvard, Swarthmore and Yale.

For more information, visit bestvaluecolleges.usatoday.com.

County legislature considers extending nurses’ incentive program

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County is moving ahead with continuing a program to retain and recruit registered and licensed practical nurses.

Legislator John Proud, R-Mexico, chair of the County Legislature’s health committee, said the committee this week approved a measure to add about $39,000 for the retention and recruitment program.

He said the program began about five years ago to help the county keep its nurses, who work in various programs through the county health department.

“We were losing nurses to places that offer higher salaries,” Proud said. “We had to look for ways to keep these nurses.”

He said one nurse who was ready to be promoted in her Oswego County job left for a hospital job where she was going to be paid $10,000 more than she was making in her county job.

“You can’t hate them for that,” Proud said.

The money is used to provide incentives to nurses already working for the county at the beginning of each year. The money also is paid to new nurses coming onboard with the county once they finish their probationary period.

Only full-time nurses are eligible for the incentives, said Carol Alnutt of the county Personnel Office.

Proud said there is only one nursing position open and officials have been working to fill the position for a few weeks.

There are 20 full-time nurses and five part-time with the health department and three full-time at the sheriff’s department.

They work in areas such as skilled nursing and home health work and provide “with skilled care and supportive health services in a safe, secure home-based environment. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” according to the county nursing website.

Proud said the program seems to be working well as “we have a stable, permanent staff right now.” When the program was started, though, the county was going through a bad patch in which “we had lost staff and we were stretched very thin,” he said.

But the county doesn’t want to just assume the program is working well.

Proud said the personnel department will be doing a five-year history review of staffing for nurses and the incentives program “to see whether it has worked.”

He said this report will come to his health committee toward the end of February.

The measure to continue the incentive program for this year passed the health committee this week and will be taken up by the finance committee next week and then the full legislature will vote on it Feb. 13.

Fulton Mites hockey team plays Onondaga, Oswego

The Fulton Mite hockey team, sponsored by B&T Sports and Dunkin Donuts, recently hosted Onondaga as well as the Oswego B & C teams.

Scoring goals for the Raiders were Cameron Shutts, Reese Calkins and Simon Bradshaw. Daniel Devendorf gave a tremendous performance in net, assisted by defenders Kaiden McNabb, Jordan Devendorf, Eryca DeRocha and Kaiden Jardin.  Aiden Tetro, Zoey DeRocha and Cassie Clarke showed good improvement on offense.

The Fulton Mites are led by head coach Jerry Devendorf and assistant Mike Tetro.

The Sportsman’s World, by Leon Archer

Memories of Ice Fishing

 

By Leon Archer

My father was a die-hard ice fisherman, and I fished many a cold winter day on Sandy Pond with him.

We mostly fished for perch, but sometimes I’d put in a line for Northern Pike, not because they were a favorite fish for the family table, but because I liked to catch them.

We seldom came off the ice without enough perch for several meals. We usually fished off the Elms or on Renshaw Bay. On Renshaw, we sometimes got into the big bluegills or crappies, and late in the season we occasionally caught a few bullheads through the weakening spring ice.

I probably wasn’t older than 4 when I started going with my father, and by the time I was 10, I was an old hand at the game. I can’t remember a time when it was too cold for us to fish for a half a day or more, but maybe that was because my father was wise enough to avoid going on the blisteringly cold days and the ones when a mean wind was blowing.

That doesn’t mean I never got cold. My hands suffered the most, because we used buckeye minnows for bait, and my hands were constantly getting wet if the perch were biting well. After a few hours, I could hardly move them.

Dad knew it was time to leave when I stood around with my hands tucked into some place out of the cold instead of holding a pole.

When I was about 13 or 14, people started fishing on Sandy Pond with Swedish Pimple jigs. That was a wonderful innovation for us, and we completely gave up using minnows, which kept my hands a great deal warmer.

The pimples caught perch just as well as the minnows had, and often even better. I think it was Louie Ten Gauge who introduced us to the jigs. We still used mousies some days when we were on Renshaw and wanted to catch some big bluegills and sunfish, but if they didn’t show, we’d change over to pimples.

We used to take one or two trips to Black Lake and fish for walleyes. That was when I was fairly young. As I grew older, walleyes grew ever scarcer on Black Lake until it didn’t pay to drive up there for them.

It wasn’t until years later that dad and I started to fish tip-ups on Oneida for walleyes, and for several years we did really well on them, but dad never lost his love for fishing perch on Sandy Pond.

After I was married and had a family, he would hit the pond on his own if I wasn’t able to go with him. It was just in his blood.

I took my boys ice fishing a few times, but I’m not sure they enjoyed it as much as I did, and after they were grown, I pretty much gave up ice fishing. I had too many other things that interested me more than freezing my buns off out on a frozen pond or lake.

The final straw came when I started spending the winters in Florida. Once I learned I could catch fish in January while wearing shorts and a T-shirt, I was done.

As long as it has been now since I fished on hard water, I still don’t even have to close my eyes to see a bobber floating in a hole filled with slushy water trying to freeze over. I can picture the bobber slowly sink as a big perch gently took the bait, or jump and plunge beneath the ice as a smaller, hungry perch grabbed the bait and ran.

On Sandy Pond, I always used a small bobber even with a Swedish Pimple. I think watching the bobber move was one thing that gave me great pleasure, almost as much as pulling in a nice jack perch that I had enticed with my lure.

If I was ever to venture out on the ice again, I would want one of the collapsible ice fishing shelters with a small heater, and I’d want to get on and off the ice with a snowmobile. Cold just isn’t in my repertoire any longer.

How things have changed, but I don’t regret a single moment of those icy days of yesteryear, especially the ones with my dad.

Phoenix softball pitcher raises money to fight cancer

Team up with the Phoenix Lady Firebird Varsity Softball team this season for an opportunity to strike out cancer.

Support seasoned pitcher Megan Brown in her mission to raise money for the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Center.

Brown, a student at Phoenix’s John C. Birdlebough High School, is accepting sponsors to pledge a dollar amount for each strikeout she throws during the upcoming 2014 regular season.

Inspired by her team’s participation in the annual local “Strike Out Cancer” tournament that raises money for the same mission, Brown said, “I really want my journey this season to help others.”

Varsity softball coach Raina Hinman said she is so proud of her junior pitcher, saying, “Megan finished last season with an astounding 128 strikeouts. This year she really wants her varsity career strikeouts to make a difference in more than just stats.

“Megan is a leader on and off the field and truly wants her strikeouts to help others and make a difference in someone else’s life,” Hinman said.

To join Megan Brown’s strikeout cancer campaign, make a donation or pledge a per-strike amount, contact Hinman at 695-1521, 552-7526, email at rhinman@phoenixcsd.org, or visit www.PhoenixCSD.org and look for more information under the news section of the homepage or under the Athletics Department page.

The 2014 varsity softball season begins in March.

CNY Arts Center casts “Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve”

CNY Arts Center announces the casting of Peter and Kelly Mahan in the roles of Adam and Eve in “Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve,” written by James Still.

The romantic comedy will be presented for three performances only Feb. 14, 15 and 16 as part of a Valentine’s Date Night special event at the Arts Center located at 357 State St. Church (Park Street entrance), Fulton.

“I’m delighted to work with Peter and Kelly on this project,” said Nancy Fox, director. “We have worked together on numerous productions in the past, most recently including Helen Keller last spring.

“This is the first time for the two of them to work together as the only characters in the play,” Fox said. “Their personal relationship as husband and wife lends credibility to the story unfolding in the play.”

The play, based on Mark Twain’s original Diaries of Adam and Eve, in Act One finds Adam and Eve in contemporary society caught up in the whirlwind of busy lives and annoying cell phones in Act Two.

Drawn to revisit Eden, now a resort called “E,” the couple struggles to rekindle the innocence of their beginnings in the garden when everything was new and an adventure.

“The play is a wonderful portrayal of relationships, the sweet innocence of discovering the special person created just for you, “Fox continues.

“Adam and Eve lead us through those moments of awareness as self-perception makes room for the other person until you realize you’re incomplete on your own; you were created for relationship which makes the personality differences worth the confusion,” she said. “The play has rich moments of humor and tenderness. It’s a healthy look at what’s important in all relationships.”

“We’re especially excited to combine this wonderful play with an evening of dinner and dessert — Friday, Feb. 14 when we’ll offer a Pasta Bar with sides and a lavish Chocolate fountain with an exotic array of dipping choices,” said Fox.

“Saturday 8 p.m. and Sunday 3 p.m. performances will offer delectable desserts and hot beverages available for purchase in addition to the regular ticket price of $12,” she added. “Friday’s complete dinner, dessert and show package is $25 pre-sale only.”

Tickets can be purchased online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com, or picked up at the Arts Center at 357 State St. Church,  or Arts in the Heart Gallery, 47 S. First St.  For reservations and more information, call 592-3373.

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