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.

Phoenix girls’ hoops seeks elusive second win

By Rob Tetro

The Phoenix girls’ varsity basketball team continues to search for another win, with losses at Cazenovia 59-46 and Bishop Ludden 58-48.

The girls now have an overall record of 1-12.

In the game with Caz on Jan. 21. the Lakers led by only two points after the first period. Cazenovia extended its lead during the second quarter, outscoring Phoenix by 4 points to take a 24-18 lead into halftime.

The deficit faced by the Lady Firebirds continued to grow during the third quarter, as Caz outscored Phoenix by 9 points to push its lead to 15 points. But the Lady Firebirds didn’t fold. During the fourth quarter, Phoenix outscored Cazenovia to cut into its lead, but the deficit proved to be insurmountable as Cazenovia came away with a 13-point win.

Phoenix was led by Samantha Doupe with 17 points, followed by Kimberly Holbrook with 11, Alexandra Wilson with 7 and Morgan Stoutenger chipped in 5 points.

Bishop Ludden jumped out to an early 8-point lead over Phoenix Jan. 24 and then increased the lead in the second period to go into the half with a 35-18 lead.

Bishop Ludden continued to pour it on during the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Firebirds by 8 points to extend the lead to 25 points. However, Phoenix went down swinging. They outscored Bishop Ludden by 15 points during the fourth quarter to cut into the lead. But despite these valiant efforts, Bishop Ludden held off Phoenix for the 58-48 win.

Leading the way for the Lady Firebirds was Alexandra Wilson with 14 points, followed by Samantha Doupe with 11, Kimberly Holbrook scored 9 and Shannon Dolan chipped in 8 points.

Valley Viewpoints

Missing Margaret

Jerry Hogan Kasperek devoted her Jan. 25 “Jerry’s Journal” column to Margaret Beckwith.

Jerry’s thoughts and memories captured what anyone who had known Margaret knew to be true. We got to know Margaret as members of the Fulton Athletic Boosters Club many years ago and were fortunate enough to develop a friendship and an association with this truly remarkable woman.

How do you describe Margaret? There aren’t enough adjectives to do her justice but here are a few: loving, caring, sensitive, emotional, detailed, consistent, dedicated, determined and strong.

Knowing Margaret, you have to begin with the love she had for her husband, sons, their wives, and especially her grandchildren. here was nothing that she wouldn’t do for them.

All of us are “suppose” to love our children and grandchildren, but in Margaret’s case, there was something extra special about their relationships.

As we learned over time, Margaret was a good athlete in her day, so it was natural that her boys and grandchildren might have some athletic ability. They were all involved in sports, which led to her being involved in the Fulton Athletic Booster Club. She could be seen at all of their events and if they weren’t playing, watching other children play or working in the concession stand.

The concession stand was her baby, making sure everything was in order and operating at its full potential. She was the last person to leave at the end of an event.

Margaret was the club’s treasurer for many years and, she was a strong advocate for recognizing athletes, coaches and fans by organizing award ceremonies. She took pride in everything she did always adding a special touch to make the event extra special.

No detail was overlooked.

This was the base that carried through to her caring for everyone she met, especially kids. Margaret genuinely cared more for others than herself.

Whenever we had health issues, Margaret was the first to call to see if we needed anything, which was followed by her visits, delicious strawberry salad and later meatballs and sauce. Soon thereafter, Margaret would come bearing gifts. We both have been the recipients of Red Raider jackets.

When Margaret became ill, we would either call or stop in to see her. Before we could ask her how she was doing, Margaret would ask us if we were okay and how our kids were doing. She always deflected anything to do with her situation by saying, “I’m okay.”

There seemed to be someone with her whenever we called or stopped by. Usually friends during the day. The last time we stopped by family members were with her.

Margaret’s condition had seriously worsened from our previous visit.

Margaret appeared to be sleeping when we got there with her favorite movie, The Student Prince, playing on the TV.

When her son Bill went up to her and said “the Westons are here,” she responded and indicated that she wanted us to come near.

Even though she was so weak, beautiful Margaret asked if we wanted some water (thinking of others again). She also let it be known that she wanted to squeeze our hand.

We kissed her forehead before we left, knowing in our hearts that would probably be the last time we could.

Needless to say, Margaret Beckwith made a tremendous impression on the both of us. We loved her dearly and deeply miss her. We are all better off having known her.

Bob & Sandy Weston

Fulton

More on Margaret

As most of you, upon hearing of Margaret Beckwith’s passing, I was stricken by a deep sense of lose.

The obituary, from The Valley News, was well written, gave brief highlights of Margaret’s life, accomplishments and loving family members.

Fortunately, on the same page Jerry’s Journal column was dedicated to memories of Margaret’s earlier life — she shared many of these memories with us written from her unique position as lifelong friend and peer to Margaret.

Somehow I feel Jerry could have expounded boundless paragraphs beyond the wonderful recollections she shared with us in her column. Hopefully in future columns she will do so.

Thank you Jerry for your touching memories of Margaret’s early years. Your memories of Margaret only further reinforce all the great aspects of Margaret’s life of which we have all come to know.

The Margaret we knew was a spark plug of vitality and positivity, ever encouraging, prodding to excellence, smiling, laughing and always lending a concerning ear to all in our close knit community.

Nothing could cheer you up more than a “Hi, how are you doing? How are the kids” and her then listening intently as you described their achievements of life’s goals during and after college. She always took a motherly pride in their achievements as if they were her own children.

Little did she know, they all were her own. She adopted them all from her very first words. The famous Margaret “Hug” cemented that relationship for the rest of their lives.

At football games, wrestling matches, volleyball, soccer, concerts, academic and athletic gatherings, all were Margaret’s purvey. Margaret was always there extending her positive influence and encouragement.

I feel it is no accident in the picture accompanying Jerry’s column showed a volleyball team in which Margaret (Smith) Beckwith is “Top Row, Center,” an early recognition of her life to follow.

That is the position she has taken with all of us who were blessed enough to know her. “Top Row, Center.”

Two and a half generations of Fultonians have been blessed by her presence in our community. To Rita and I, a friend has left us, to my children an honorary aunt has left them and to my grandchildren, a loving grandma has gone to heaven.

Our commonality is we were all lucky enough to be touched by her and at the same time to be greatly saddened by our mutual lose. We are all part of her enduring legacy. We are all the better for having known her.

To George, Christine, Bill and Sue, to Megan,Coutney, Austin Callie and Evan, thank you for sharing your beautiful mother and grandma with us all. As you grieve so do we all. To all who have been blessed by Margaret, let us do her greater honor with the lives she has touched. God Bless this tender soul.

Bogardus/Tanner Family

Fulton

 Also missing Margaret

Editor’s note: This letter was written as a thank-you to Jerry Kasparek, who wrote the column about Margaret Beckwith.

Your Friend, Margaret Beckwith, “Aunt Marg” was my Aunt.

I would like to thank you so much for the article you wrote this Saturday. You described Marg’s qualities so clearly and to the point, that I had tears welling up in my eyes.

My father Henry was born in 1917 and his father died in 1921-23 in White Plains.  Elizabeth moved to Fulton in the mid-20s (her siblings were married to  the Tetros.)

Anyway, Grandma married Mr. White, and that’s why Fred White, Joe White, Edie Fiorini and Marg’s last name were all White!.

Anyway by the time Marg was 10 or so, my Dad was 20 or 30 and working at Sealright helping the family who lived on South First. Well, knowing my father during those years, he would come home after a night out and raise hell with his mother and dance with his impressionable sister, Marg.

Thank you again for your recognition of your friend and I enjoy reading your contributions every week.

Hank Latino

Fulton

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