Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

Christmas in the White House

In 1834, President Andrew Jackson held a “frolic” for children of his household.

The party included games, dancing, a grand dinner and an indoor “snowball fight” with specially made cotton balls.

There’s an 1880 reference to President John Tyler hosting a children’s party in the 1840s at which there was a Christmas tree with gifts.

The first White House Christmas tree, decorated with candles and toys, was placed in the second floor oval room in 1889 for President Benjamin Harrison and his family.

In 1895, the Grover Cleveland family strung electric lights on their Christmas tree.

President and Mrs. Theodore Roose-  velt, an avid conservationist, did not approve of cutting trees for decoration.  However, his son Archie smuggled in a small tree that was decorated and hidden in a closet.

President Teddy Roosevelt and his family would pile into the family sleigh (later the family car) and travel to a Christmas service at Christ Church in Oyster Bay, N.Y. Following the sermon Teddy would deliver one of his “sermonettes” on the meaning of Christmas.

Official Tree in Blue Room

The official White House Christmas tree is decked out annually in the White House Blue Room. The first tree in that room was decorated by President William Taft’s (1909-1913) children.

President Calvin Coolidge was the first president to preside over a public celebration of the Christmas holidays with the lighting of the National Christmas tree, in 1923.

First Lady Lou Henry Hoover established the tradition of presidential wives decorating an official tree in the White House in 1929.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt would set up and decorate a tree on Christmas Eve, gather the family together, and either read Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, or recite it from memory.

In 1953, the first White House Christmas card was created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, an artist in his own right.

A 50-year tradition

Having the First Lady choose a theme for the White House Christmas tree is a 50-year tradition established in 1961 when Jacqueline Kennedy decorated the Blue Room Christmas tree with gingerbread men, snowflakes and small toys from her favorite holiday ballet, “The Nutcracker.”

In 1977, First Lady Rosalynn Carter’s tree featured ornaments made from pine cones, peanuts and eggshells.  In 1980 she highlighted a Victorian theme.

Nancy Reagan, in 1988, hung ornaments from previous Blue Room trees, including hand blown glass ornaments from the Eisenhower White House and flower-themed ornaments from Pat Nixon.

First Lady Betty Ford’s tree was decorated with homemade ornaments.

Over her eight White House holiday seasons, First Lady Hillary Clinton displayed talents of America’s artistic communities.

First Lady Laura Bush included the theme of “All Creatures Grand and Small” in 2002 and a patriotic “Red, White and Blue Christmas” in 2008.

This year, Michele Obama’s tree is filled with photos of military families and their homecomings. She also had kids living on military bases create cards shaped like their home states.

Traditionally, the tree in the Blue Room is the official White House Christmas tree, but generally there is more than one Christmas tree in and around the White House.

For instance, in 1977 there were 36. In 2008 there were 27.

Just so you’ll know

Clement Moore wrote his famous “A visit from St. Nick,” which is better known as “The Night Before Christmas,” in 1824.  There is some thought that the true author of this poem is Major Henry Livingston, Jr.

Gift giving became a tradition in 1857, and in 1897 Francis Church wrote his famous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” in The New York Times.

The song, “White Christmas” was written by Irving Berlin and sung by Bing Crosby in 1942.

The first Christmas postage stamp was issued in Canada in 1898. The first Christmas stamp issued in The United States was the four-cent “Wreath and Candles” stamp in 1962.

Happy New Year!

A new year has started, time for a new routine.

Just look at the calendar, it’s two thousand fourteen.

When the new year comes, it’s nice to make changes.

Maybe try to be more patient, nicer to strangers.

Say you’ll be nicer, eat less and exercise more,

Resolutions we have all heard before.

As the old year ends, look back with gratitude,

Enter the new year with a positive attitude.

Good luck and much happiness – you know what I mean.

And remember — when writing checks, it’s 2014.

 

. . . Roy Hodge

Scarf painting class Jan. 25 in Oswego

A class in hand-painted silk scarves is being offered from 9 a.m. to noon,m Jan. 25 at Lakeside Artisans, 191 W. First St., Oswego.

The instructor, Michele Southgate, will offer a class in painting silk scarves using a technique called Batik.

Batik is an Indonesian method of producing colored designs on fabric by applying wax to the parts to be left uncolored. The method produces bright colors with repetitive patterns over the entire scarf.

To register for the class, or for more information, call 342-8880 or email lakesideartisans@gmail.com

You also can like us on Facebook.

The class is limited to four participants and there is a non-refundable deposit of $10 per participant to register.

Hannibal plan committee looks to the future

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

The Hannibal Central School District Strategic Plan Committee, comprised of community members, business owners, parents, students and faculty, continues to make strides to create a plan for the district’s future.

Led by outside education expert Penny Ciaburri and Hannibal school administrators, the committee has met three times since October to talk about goals, concerns and ideas to make the Hannibal school system a “destination district” for those seeking a premiere learning environment.

The ideas are recorded and discussed as potential components of the district’s five-year plan.

“It’s a very thoughtful and reflective process that will help put in place a blueprint so that five years from now we’re telling the Hannibal story,” Ciaburri said.

While the initial meeting in October served as an introductory gathering at which committee members met one another and began outlining the foundation for their work, the Nov. 7 meeting provided more in-depth conversation with administrators.

Kenney Middle Principal Dee Froio, Fairley Elementary Principal Jody Musa and the district’s internal facilitator Tammy Farrell reported on efforts currently underway to help transform Hannibal schools.

Administrators said teachers are engaging in job-embedded and traditional methods of professional development aimed at developing a curriculum that meets Common Core Learning Standards.

“(These efforts will) foster growth in research-based best practices aligned to Common Core shifts in English and mathematics,” a district official said.

Such efforts include teachers working with Cheryl Dobbertin, author of “Common Core Unit by Unit;” consulting with literacy specialist Auddie Mastroleo to implement the third- through eighth-grade English modules; collaborating with a data expert and receiving training on the use of data to drive instruction; attending literacy and math networks at Oswego County BOCES; and building leadership teams to help create school comprehensive improvement plans.

In addition to the administrators’ report, Superintendent Donna Fountain brought the committee up to speed on the board of education’s efforts to strengthen the district.

Fountain said board members attended an outside retreat to assess the current condition of the district and develop goals to lead the transformation efforts.

Committee members also evaluated data collected from a student survey and worked in groups to identify strengths, concerns and surprises indicated by the survey responses.

While the core team continues to develop a mission, vision and beliefs for the district’s future, three separate task forces are also meeting to solidify a five-year blueprint by focusing on student engagement, family/community engagement and academic achievement. The task forces are comprised of core team committee members and additional members of the community.

The next core team meeting will be held from 4-6:15 p.m. Jan. 9 in the Hannibal Central School District boardroom.

The following week, from 4-6:15 p.m. Jan. 16, the core team and the three task forces will meet. The core team will present a final plan to the school board April 9.

For more information on the process or to become involved, contact Farrell at tfarrell@hannibalcsd.org or by phone at 564-7900, ext. 3004.

Lions Club “Roar With Laughter” fundraiser is Jan. 31

The Oswego Lions Club presents “Roar with Laughter” with headliner Moody McCarthy Friday, Jan. 31 at the American Foundry, 246 W. Seneca St., Oswego.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8.

“We continue a Lions Club tradition once again this year with a great night of laughs,” said Mike Henderson, Oswego Lions Club president. “This event has always been a popular fundraiser and we anticipate that this will be another great one.”

The event is a major fundraiser for the local service organization. This fundraiser helps to support ongoing programs and services throughout the Oswego community for the visually and hearing impaired.

Proceeds from past fundraising events have helped to support Camp Rainbow of Hope, Make a Wish Foundation, Oswego Salvation Army, the ER’s Children Fund at Oswego Hospital, Oswego Library Capital Campaign, The Children’s Hospital in Syracuse and Habitat for Humanity.

“The performances of McCarthy and his warm up comedian promise to bring the crowd a good hour of laughs,” said Chris Pelton, chair of the event.

Tickets will be available at the door the night of the event, or can be purchased prior to the show at Cakes Galore and More for $12.

Anyone interested in purchasing tickets or looking for more information about the show can contact Pelton at 343-1394, or visit the Lions Club Facebook page at www.facebook.com/oswegolionsclub.

CNY Arts Snow Day set for Jan. 18

CNY Arts Center’s third annual Snow Day is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 18.

This year the fun will take place downtown at the Community Room in City Hall and across the street at Veteran’s Park.

Family fun will include a snow sculpture contest, snow painting and snow themed games, a children’s carnival, art projects, entertainment and food. CNY Arts Center hopes to revive winter fun and create a new tradition for the community.

Organizers of the children’s carnival are gearing up for a day of fun with a snowman bean bag toss, face painting, ice fishing,  snowmen ring toss and more.

Children can build a marshmallow snowman, make beaded snowflakes, step into a snowman backdrop and have their picture taken, design their own snowflake and more in a day that promises to be as much fun indoors as outdoors.

Hearty snow lovers can register at the park for the Snow Sculpture contest by 11 a.m. and create any snow sculpture, creature or snowman. Some accessories will be available, or bring your own.

Creations will be judged at 1 p.m.

Food such a hot dogs, nachos and cheese, soup, chili, popcorn, cotton candy, doughnuts and plenty of hot chocolate will be offered. Carnival tickets are available at the door for a nominal fee and special coupons are available at the gallery for free game tickets.

The event goes on snow or no snow. For more information, visit www.cnyartscenter.com or call 592-3373 for details.

Fulton varsity hockey searches for first win

By Rob Tetro

The Fulton varsity hockey team is still searching for its first win of the season.

However, Fulton enters 2014 playing its most competitive hockey of the season. On Dec. 19, Syracuse escaped with a hard fought win over the Red Raiders 5-4 while Auburn held off Fulton 2-1 on Dec. 30.

In the Syracuse game, Fulton had a 1-goal lead after the first period. The Red Raiders maintained a 1 goal lead at 3-2 following an evenly played second period.

Syracuse then stormed ahead during the third period, scoring 2 unanswered goals down the stretch to hold off Fulton.

Leading the way for Fulton were Matt Billion, Austin Forte, Stan Kubis and Kris Grow with a goal each. Trae Sheldon had 2 assists and Nick Meyer, Bryce Knight and Ryan Ross had an assist each. Goalie Brandon Ladd is credited with 41 saves.

In the Auburn game, the Red Raiders trailed by just a goal after a competitive first period. Fulton then answered back during the second period and the game was tied at 1 headed into the final period.

Auburn then scored a goal down the stretch to escape with a 2-1 win.

Fulton was led by Ryan Ross with a goal that was assisted by Cameron Clark. Goalie Landon VanAlstine saved 30 shots.

Oswego County clinic schedule announced

Submitted by Oswego County

The Oswego County Health Department offers a variety of services to all residents of Oswego County, including various health clinics.

Walk-in influenza clinics are held weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego for people age 19 and older. No appointment is needed; walk-ins are welcome.

Children’s flu vaccine is available from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday in Oswego, and from 9 to 11 a.m. the third Tuesday of every month at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

The cost is $37 for the inactivated vaccine (the shot) and $43 for the flu-mist (nasal vaccine).

Patients with private insurance, Managed Medicaid, Managed Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicare Part B should bring their benefit cards with them to the immunization clinic. No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

The following services will be offered during the week of Jan. 6 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

** Adult Influenza Clinic: Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., walk-in clinic.

** Immunization Clinic: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., walk-in clinic.

** Pregnancy Testing: Free pregnancy testing is available. Call 349-3391 to schedule an appointment.

** Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing and Treatment Services: Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.

** HIV Counseling and Testing Service:  Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.

Immunization clinics are held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday at 70 Bunner St, Oswego, and from 9 to 11 a.m. the third Tuesday of every month from at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

For more information about public health services, contact the County Health Department, weekdays, phone 349-3547 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 3547.

Fulton wrestlers impressive at start of season

By Dan Farfaglia

Happy New Year high school wrestling fans.

As we begin 2014, the Fulton Red Raiders have already gotten themselves off to a fantastic start.

Second year head Coach Chris Stalker’s team has won all individually scheduled dual meets.

A few weeks ago, they took first place at the Anderson Tournament held at Cicero-North Syracuse High School and they were also crowned Montgomery County Duals Champions a short time later.

In between those events, this team was the runner ups at Demeco-Trainor duals at Churchville-Chili High School near Rochester.

The Red Raiders are 13-1 overall.

At the annual Ken Haines Holiday Tournament which took place at SUNY Oswego last week, Fulton finished the two-day event with a very respectable third place out of 24 participating schools.

Coming in first place was Fairport and Newark Valley finished the day in second. The race for the top team awards was extremely close with only 8 points separating the top three schools.

Mexico came in fourth and Phoenix finished in seventh.

Mexico`s Austin Whitney won his title at 132 pounds and was also awarded the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.

For Fulton, the big story at the end of this annual event is the success of returning Section 3 Champion Mitch Woodworth. He won his bout in the finals by a score of 8-0.

Woodworth beat three other opponents with 2 pins and a technical fall. At 120 pounds, he was the lone champion for his team and so far this year, he is undefeated with a perfect record of 22-0.

Other place winners for Fulton include Joey Albegore who came in second at 99 pounds. Tim Holden and Collin Flynn both came in fourth place at 138 pounds and 145 pounds respectively.

Jacob Bailey earned sixth place at 152 pounds. Travis Race came in third at 160 pounds and Matt Marshall came in fifth at 220 pounds.

Noah Gates finished the day in eighth place at 182 pounds and Malachi Manford came in seventh at 285 pounds.

The next event on the schedule for the Red Raiders is the Richard New Tournament in Canastota which began Friday and ends today.

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