Applications due for county GENIUS Olympiad

Central Square’s Paul V. Moore High School has launched a hydroponics project supported by its prize from last year’s Oswego County GENIUS Olympiad.

Paul V. Moore students and other high schools right now are preparing to enter the second annual GENIUS competition, set for Earth Day April 22 at SUNY Oswego.

Online registration deadline is March 17 for the environmental-science competition organized by the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations. The competition is open to all Oswego County students in grades 9 through 12.

“At least one group of students I know is planning to enter this year,” said Audrey Sauer, science chair at Central Square. She plans to encourage others  to enter.

Sauer expressed her admiration for Paul V. Moore High School student Parker Wells, whose project, “The Onondaga Lake Watershed,” won the inaugural Oswego County GENIUS (Global Environmental Issues — United States) Olympiad last year.

The $2,000 first prize went to the Central Square School District, and Sauer and her department drew  on it to construct and supply a set of hydroponic gardens built by the school’s technology department.

The first hydroponics experiment (growing plants without soil) features cilantro, onion and sage.

“We will do plant studies through the rest of the school year and beyond,” Sauer said. “The three hydro units are movable and can go right into the classroom.”

GENIUS steppingstone

The Oswego County competition is in conjunction with SUNY Oswego’s GENIUS Olympiad, in its fourth year as a premier environmental competition for high school students from around the world interested in science, art, photography, creative writing, design and music.

The winner at the Oswego County level receives an automatic invitation to the global competition, as Wells did.

Tammy Elowsky, assistant director of SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, said for years, Oswego County high school students needed to travel to Onondaga or other counties to compete in science fairs.

She spoke of a new partnership that will provide added benefit to those entering and attending the April 22 competition.

“We are partnering with the college’s sustainability coordinators,” Elowsky said. “They are going to bring fun and value-added exhibits and information to Earth Day and our Oswego County GENIUS competitors.”

Elowsky said high school students would display their posters and demonstrations along the corridor that connects the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation with the adjacent School of Education buildings. The college’s sustainability exhibits will join them.

Jamie Adams, sustainability coordinator, and Michael Lotito, sustainability engineer, said they intend to engage the competitors and interested campus and community members with Earth Day displays,, including stationery bicycles generating electricity.

The Oswego school district and Oswego Children’s Museum each will receive one of the bikes.

Another display will feature “upcycled” products — items that formerly might have been discarded but which have been converted to other uses.

For more information on Oswego County GENIUS, visit the left-hand column of the college’s civic engagement web page at, email or call Elowsky at 312-3492.

Volney students hope to read 2,500 books; send principal up to the roof

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Volney Elementary School students attended a spirit assembly Feb. 28 in recognition of their positive behavior and for being role models.

Principal Lisa Garofalo gave certificates to one student from each classroom who exemplified the character trait of honesty.

In addition to the classroom role models, 22 students were awarded certificates for being “On A Roll” models.

The monthly classroom role models were Aiden Grant, Ethan Clark, Kyle Stuber, James DeCare, Tyler Budd, Abbigail Gist, Keira Scott, Caitlin Roberts and Ashley Huller.

Also: Caiden Taber, Marissa Bowering, Lydia Gigliotti, Alexis Ingersoll, Grace Esposito, Emma Brewster, Nick Miceli, Nick Smith, Cassandra Seaton, Chloe Hurlbut and Jessica Hyman.

Students earning recognition as the monthly “On a Roll” models included Adriana Raymond, Caleb Turner, Gavynn Krick, Valerie Nichols, Brayden Moshier, Caleb Clark, Parker Ellis, Hailey Ward, Amber Dumas and Cory Hyman.

Also: Tylyn Boshart, Brad Currier, Shane Gouterngout- Reynolds. Tesa Galvin, Mason Firenze, Lilly Dumas, Sarah Gigliotti, Emily Grant, Rain Frank, Sabastion Lauckarn, Tyler Emeterio and Jayce Gibides.

After the awards presentation, Garofalo read aloud Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind by Judy Finchler and Kevin O’Malley.

In the book, character Principal Wiggins promises to dye his hair purple and sleep on the school roof if the students read 1,000 books in a school year.

With March 3 being the 17th annual Read Across America Day, Garofalo decided to put out a challenge to her school: read 2,500 books in one week.

If students meet the challenge, Garofalo, like the principal in the story, agreed to spend the night on the roof and dye her hair purple.

Students could hardly contain their enthusiasm, and went home for the weekend fired up to read.

Program helps people with chronic health problems

Oswego Health is offering free workshops for community members who want to better manage their chronic conditions.

The free, six-week program developed by Stanford University will be held Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to noon beginning March 14 at Springside at Seneca Hill.

A similar program was held recently in Oswego and participants remarked the provided materials offered successful strategies to improve their health status.

“This program provides participants with the knowledge and skills that truly empower them to make lifestyle changes to improve their chronic disease management,” said registered nurse Rachel Baglia

Baglia, along with registered nurse Sue Callaway, will lead the program

This program is designed to help those with arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis or diabetes improve their health status through its living healthy workshops.

The workshops will cover nutrition and exercise, as well as how to get support, deal with pain and fatigue and talk with your physician and family members about your condition. Participants will learn goal setting techniques and establish a step-by-step plan to improve their health.

Those taking part in the program will be provided a free workbook and healthy snacks at each class session.

To register, or if you have questions, call 349-5513.

News in Brief

Trinity United Methodist Church in Oswego will be serving an All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday March 8.

The menu includes your choice of French toast, waffles or pancakes, sausage, juice, coffee or tea.

Extra sides may be purchased as well.

Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 45 E. Utica Street (corner of East Fourth at Utica Street) in Oswego.

For more information, call the church at 343-1715.


The Montezuma Audubon Center is proud to welcome WOWEE Wildlife and their live animals from 3 to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 8.

During this family friendly indoor program, participants will meet some native animals up close! A bobcat, fox and other wild creatures will be on display during an informative and captivating presentation.

Bring your cameras and be ready to enjoy WOWEE Wildlife. A fee will be charged. Space is limited and registration is required by calling 365-3588 or e-mail to register.


The Sons of the American Legion Post 1552 in Hannibal will have its monthly buffet breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m., Sunday, March 9 at the post on Rochester Street.

A full menu will be offered.


The Evangel University Concert Choir will appear in concert at Port City Faith,      Oswego, at 10:45 a.m., March 9, the Rev. Sebastian Foti has announced.

The EU Concert Choir is a 36-member vocal ensemble that is currently touring through Ohio, Virginia, New York and Connecticut.

During the past 30 years, the choir has toured in the 48 contiguous states, Canada, the Bahamas, Cuba and 15 countries in Europe.

The repertoire of the Concert Choir ranges from classical to contemporary sacred literature. The program is as varied and energetic as the 36-member choral ensemble. CDs will be available for sale after the concert.

Evangel University is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the National Association of Schools of Music and the Council on Social Work Education.


There will be a chili, soup and salad luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday March 13 at the Oswego Center United Methodist Church.

The church is on County Route 7 in Oswego.


Halters, saddles, clothes and much more will be for sale at bargain prices at the annual Oswego County 4-H Tack Sale from 10 a.m. to noon March 15 at Central Square Middle School, Route 11.

The benefits of the sale support the 4-H educational horse programs held throughout Oswego County.

Anyone who loves a bargain and is looking for equine related items, this sale is for you.


Registration for Canal Clean Sweep events ends in two weeks.

If you haven’t done so already, please register your event by March 15.

The state Canal Corp. and Parks and Trails New York once again need your help for the annual Canal Clean Sweep.

Last year’s Clean Sweep resulted in more than 150 communities, civic groups, businesses and social clubs completing nearly 100 cleanup and beautification events along the Canal System and the Canalway Trail.

This year’s event will take place Friday-Sunday, April 25-27.

Like last year, the 2014 Canal Clean Sweep will be held in recognition of Earth Day 2014, and in advance of the upcoming navigation season, the 190th consecutive season on the New York State Canal System.

Local woman helps kick off proposed law against synthetic drugs

Teresa Woolson of Oswego joined state lawmakers Tuesday to push for the ban of synthetic drugs.

Woolson’s son Victor, a Mexico High School graduate, died from injuries suffered as a result of synthetic drug use.

He drowned in Lake Ontario while swimming at Flat Rock. His friends who were with him told police he had purchased a synthetic marijuana, called “K-2 Avalanche,” at Xtreme Underground in Oswego right before going swimming.

He purchased the drug after the state and federal ban of synthetic drugs was in place.

“I came to Albany today to help prevent another family feeling the pain and destruction these poisons can cause,” Woolson said.

“This legislation, when passed, will help us stay one step ahead of the criminals and help keep these poisons off store shelves, ultimately saving lives.  I want to thank everyone here in attendance for your concern about this important issue,” she said.

Assemblyman Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, state Sen. Patricia Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, Assemblyman Robert Oaks, R-Macedon, and other state Senate and Assembly members and Upstate Poison Control officials said at a press conference March 4 that banning synthetic drugs has been a challenge because New York and the federal government outlaw drugs based on their chemical compounds.

Because these drugs are synthetic, manufacturers have been able to slightly change their chemical composition so they are no longer on the state’s controlled substance list and therefore no longer illegal.

In addition, synthetic drugs are often mislabeled and sold as products other than drugs (i.e., bath salts, shoe deodorant and incense). However, the seller and the purchaser realize that the intended use of the synthetic drug is to provide a high for the user.

The legislation announced Tuesday addresses mislabeling, chemical swapping and creates penalties for possessing and selling synthetic drugs equivalent to their “street drug” counterpart.

The bill contains two key provisions:

** Broader power is given to the Commissioner of Health to add synthetic drugs and their chemical compounds to the controlled substance list, rather than having the legislature act to add to the controlled substance list; and

** Stores will be penalized for selling mislabeled products when they are clearly intended to be used as drugs.

In addition, pursuant to this legislation, if a person believes a store is selling synthetic drugs, they can file a complaint with the Attorney General. Based on evidence, the Attorney General can act and make an application to the court requesting a special procedure, to issue an injunction to stop selling the product.

If it is determined by the court that the store violated the law of mislabeling synthetic drug for a minor to purchase, those individuals could be charged with a felony.

By expanding the Department of Health commissioner’s powers to add these substances to the controlled substance list, action can be taken immediately to put these dangerous items on the banned substances list, eliminating the need for the Legislature to revisit this issue each time a new chemical compound is introduced.

“This legislation helps us to take the next step when it comes to putting an end to the use of these dangerous substances that as we’ve seen, have the potential to cause violence, crime and even death,”  said state Sen. Patricia Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, who sponsors the legislation in the Senate.

Oaks, who represnts western Oswego County, said the push for change in the law to end easy access to dangerous synthetic drugs must continue until people can no longer obtain them at all.

“We’ve banned the products from retail stores, but that’s not enough. Now, we need to urge the rest of our colleagues and leaders in Albany to take this important issue up once again. We need to prevent our youth from obtaining these drugs underground, while at the same time, imposing harsh penalties for those who continue to sell these substances,” said Oaks.

“The scariest thing about these drugs is people don’t know what’s in it. The compounds keep changing and the packaging is designed to be attractive even to young children,” said Lee Livermore, public education coordinator for the Upstate New York Poison Control Center.

“Some packages even have statements that the product is legal, but don’t list the actual ingredients,” Livermore said.

Brian Colombo, the owner of Xtreme Underground, the store where Victor Woolson is reported to have purchased his “K-2 Avalanche,” will be in Oswego City Court March 19.

He is charged with two misdemeanors stemming from selling unbranded synthetic drugs at the store.

Rudy’s owner to serve as guest chef at Salvation Army dinner

Rudy’s will be serving the next Salvation Army Guest Chef Dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 11.

The dinner will include some of Rudy’s popular foods, including clams, fish, coleslaw and tossed salad. Desserts and beverages also are served.

The dinner will be at the Salvation Army Citadel, 73 W. Second St., Oswego. Carryout dinners will be available.

The guest chef dinners are organized by the Army’s advisory board to raise money to support Army services throughout Oswego County.

Mexico High School Junior ROTC students will be assisting with the Rudy’s dinner.

Rudy’s is one of Oswego’s most unique and popular summer eating places, known for its efficient service and a great variety of fun foods cooked to order while you watch. It has been operated by the same family since 1946.

The Oswego County Salvation Army Corps provides fresh-cooked meals in both Fulton and Oswego and many other services are provided to individuals and families in need throughout Oswego County.

Information about the Salvation Army or about serving as a volunteer is available at 343-6491 or at the office at 73 W. Second St., Oswego.

SUNY Oswego, NY Sea Grant begin business program in Oswego County

Local businesses in Oswego County will be surveyed in the coming weeks concerning ways to increase tourism, recreation and business opportunities in the county.

New York Sea Grant and SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations are launching a Business Retention and Expansion Program to evaluate the local business climate and to assist existing recreation and tourism businesses with expansion in Oswego County.

Nearly 600 recreation and tourism businesses in Oswego County will have an opportunity to help local and county leaders and residents better understand the issues facing locally-owned businesses in today’s economy.

“Our goal is to increase communication between businesses and local and county governments,” said Mary Penney, Coastal Community Development Specialist for New York Sea Grant. “Existing businesses create up to 86 percent of all new jobs, so it’s important to examine the needs of those locally-owned businesses already committed to Oswego County.”

“New York Sea Grant has been working with coastal businesses for decades. This pilot program in Oswego County will help us to understand how these businesses see the challenges ahead and advise us and our partners on how to design programs to effectively meet those challenges,” says New York Sea Grant Interim Director William Wise.

The Oswego County Recreation and Tourism Business Retention and Expansion Task Force includes representatives from diverse segments of the economy, including the business, government, tourism, and planning sectors.

The Task Force developed the survey to assess the status and need for workforce training and professional development by business owners and the overall condition and characteristics of the Oswego County recreation and tourism business.

The survey questions range from identifying hours of operation and number of employees to any expansion and renovation plans and the products and services they anticipate their customers will need in the next 5-10 years.

Business owners will also have the opportunity to rank the value of a variety of community services, such as day care, public restrooms, and signage; and to identify business sector trends, such as changing vacation patterns and increasing minimum wage, that may impact positively or negatively impact their Oswego County-based enterprises.

The Oswego County Recreation and Tourism BR&E Program survey packets will be mailed in mid-March.

Recreation and business owners in Oswego County who wish to participate in the survey and do not receive a survey packet in the mail by the end of March may contact New York Sea Grant at 312-3042 to request a survey.

The survey packets will include a paper copy and a link to an electronic version of the survey. Project leaders prefer responses by electronic reply whenever possible.

Survey responses will be collected through May 12. The survey data will be tabulated and examined for ways to assist recreation and tourism businesses in Oswego County with operations and potential expansion plans.

The Oswego County Recreation and Tourism Business Retention and Expansion task force members represent the Fort Brewerton/Greater Oneida Lake Chamber of Commerce, state Department of Environmental Conservation, state Tug Hill Commission, Operation Oswego County, Inc., Oswego County Promotion and Tourism, New York Sea Grant and the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Public Relations.

For more information on the Oswego County Recreation and Tourism BR&E Program, go to the Coastal Communities section of the NYSG website at

SUNY Oswego professor explores film industry in Moldova

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Lenuta Giukin of SUNY Oswego’s modern languages and literatures faculty won a five-month Fulbright Scholarship last fall to Moldova in Eastern Europe, where she taught and did research on the burgeoning film industry in the Romanian- and Russian-influenced nation.

As a representative of the William J. Fulbright Scholar Program — the United States’ flagship academic exchange effort — Giukin also organized a roundtable at the Moldova Institute of International Relations and participated in seminars and workshops sponsored by the U.S. State Department there and at two other Moldovan universities.

Giukin, who teaches courses in the French program at SUNY Oswego and was its coordinator from 2003 to 2011, is a native of western Romania’s Banat region. Yet her homeland — influenced by Germans, Slavs and others — is in many ways worlds apart from Maryland-sized Moldova, a 22-year-old nation between northeast Romania and southern Ukraine.

“I felt familiar being there, but at times I felt as a foreigner,” said Giukin, who has been in the United States for 26 years. “In a way, Eastern Europe today is not a familiar territory to me.”

Moldova, which includes most of a region known as Bessarabia, formerly was the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. The country gained independence in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It has preliminarily agreed to associate with the European Union, causing friction with Russia.

The growing Moldovan film industry, increasingly successful in international film festivals, reflects the cultural push-pull. “Theirs is a transitional type of culture with an interesting cinema industry in both Romanian and Russian,” Giukin said.

Exchange of ideas

As a Fulbright Scholar in the capital of Chisinau, Giukin said she was able to interview a variety of filmmakers, producers and distributors. She attended two premieres, Igor Cobileanski’s “The Unsaved” and the documentary “Chisinau from Dawn to Dusk.”

Recently returned to the Oswego area, Giukin already has scheduled one conference presentation on the past and present state of Moldova’s cinema, at the Northeast Modern Languages Association’s conference in April, and is working on scheduling two others.

Giukin said her teaching in Chisinau — she was asked to deliver an American-style experience for her students at the Institute of International Relations — came as a culture shock to the 45 students who took “Gender and Genre in Cinema” in either English or French.

She talked of individuals’ rights and such topics as gay marriage, and showed and discussed 11 films, two of which some conservative Moldovan students found “too strong.”

“Most found (the course) useful,” Giukin said. “I explained that the role of academia is to promote a safe and open exchange of ideas.”

Giukin, who also taught a course on English for managers, said she received positive feedback on offering the cinema course in languages other than Romanian or Russian and incorporating critical thinking skills and a class website.

“One student who was also a professor said she felt free for once to speak French, because I was not stressing language mistakes, only communication,” Giukin said. “It was a great experience for me to work with students who were so interested in the topic.”

One of the challenges she and other higher-education faculty in Moldova face is the poverty of students, many of whom are from rural areas and have to work in order to continue their schooling in a nation known as Europe’s poorest.

“It is a challenge to find a way to help these students stay in school and find a way to focus on their studies rather than working so hard to survive,” Giukin said.

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