SUNY Oswego December graduation set for today

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego’s December Commencement (today) Saturday, Dec. 14, will feature as speaker an alumnus of the college who used his business administration degree to advance to leadership positions at Fortune 100 companies.

Now chairman and chief executive officer of W.R. Grace & Co., Alfred “Fred” Festa gained experience and acumen as he ascended the management ranks over two decades with General Electric, Allied Signal, ICG Commerce and Morgenthaler Private Equity Partners.

He joined Grace, a global specialty chemicals and materials company, as president and chief operating officer in 2003. He assumed the CEO responsibilities in 2005 and was named chairman of the board in 2008. He served as president from 2003 to 2011.

Festa championed the transformation of Grace into a fully integrated operating company.

Under his leadership, the company’s revenue grew 60 percent, from $2 billion in 2003 to $3.2 billion in 2011. He spearheaded intensified productivity efforts at Grace that delivered cost savings and revenue enhancements of $155 million in 2011.

He created the Grace Research Council to oversee greater R&D collaboration, generating an active innovation pipeline. Products introduced in the past five years delivered around one-third of Grace’s annual revenues in 2011.

Loyal alumnus

Festa will receive the SUNY Oswego Presidential Medal at the ceremony in recognition of his support of his alma mater.

He and his wife MaryLynn Barbero Festa, a 1982 graduate of Oswego, established

Taxes up, personnel cuts to come in preliminary Fulton city budget

By Ashley M. Casey

Fulton Mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr. announced Tuesday the Fulton Common Council has worked out a preliminary budget for 2014.

The $16,279,089 budget includes a 27 percent tax rate increase and elimination of city employees.

The budget in 2013 is $15,452,097. The tax rate is $17.06 per $1,000 of assessed value.and tax He stressed many changes are still to come before a final budget is presented for a public hearing. The date for this public hearing will be announced later.

Under the current version of the budget, taxes would increase 27.864 percent, bringing the tax rate  up to $21.78 per $1,000.

People owning an average house assessed at $60,000 would pay about $283 more in taxes in 2014 if this budget became the final budget.

But, Woodward said while taxes will definitely increase in 2014, this rate is by no means the final rate.

“The public has to realize that myself and the council members live here and pay property taxes,” the mayor said. “We don’t want to pay more either.”

The mayor and the Common Council held a budget workshop Dec. 7 to outline the 2014 budget. They found the city’s assessed value has decreased by more than $10 million, revenue is down $305,490, expenses are up $826,992 and there is no fund balance for the new year.

Of the increased expenses, $526,186 comes from health care benefits to city employees, most of them public safety workers.

“This is the biggest contributing factor to the depletion of the fund balance,” Woodward said of the skyrocketing health care costs.

Although the city has cut 10 percent of its workforce during Woodward’s term as mayor, more personnel cuts are to come.

“We will not get through this budget without staff reductions,” he said.

The mayor declined to discuss which positions were on the line.

“They’re very difficult (decisions). It’s a human thing. They’ve all got lives and have to make ends meet,” Woodward said. “Do you do what’s best for all people, or a few people?”

The impending renegotiation of the fire department, police department and CSEA union contracts will pose an additional financial challenge to Fulton in 2014. The contract negotiations are expected to take much of the year.

Fortunately for Fulton, the state’s Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments will be offering recommendations for the fiscally stressed city next year.

The public hearing date will be announced at a community development meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, at the Fulton Municipal building.

The Common Council is holding a budget workshop immediately after the community development meeting.

Emma Walsh to celebrate 90th birthday

Submitted by John Walsh

Emma R. Walsh will celebrate her 90th birthday Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.

Emma was born and raised in Fulton, N.Y., and resided at 257 N. Sixth St. in Fulton for more than 50 years before moving in March 2010 to her current residence at Seneca Hill Manor.

She is the daughter of the late Carl and Mary Rowley, of Fulton, and was the beloved wife of the late John F. “Jack” Walsh Sr., former Fulton city clerk and county legislator for more than 62-and-a-half years.

She is the “world’s best mom” to John Jr. of Oswego and Harold Walsh of Fulton, and a wonderful Nana to three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Although Emma will not attend, there will be a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrating this notable milestone on her birthday at 7 a.m. Dec. 20 at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Fulton.

Later on, from about 1 to 2 p.m. at Seneca Hill Manor, a birthday celebration with cake is planned for family and third floor staff and residents.

Close friends of Emma also are invited to attend, but are asked to RSVP by calling John Walsh at 585-953-9023 or emailing him at jwalshnow@yahoo.com by no later than noon on Wednesday, Dec. 18, so  enough cake will be on hand.

Those wishing to send Emma a card (birthday or Christmas with a birthday greeting) may mail them to: Mrs. Emma R. Walsh, Seneca Hill Manor, 20 Manor Drive, Room 312, Oswego, NY 13126.

Any correspondence will be read to her and displayed prominently in her room for all to see.

“Cheers to Emma”

While Emma is currently “holding her own,” she lives with a variety of issues, including Alzheimer’s. Nonetheless, every day without fail, her undeniable charm shines through to those around her when the beauty in her eyes and smile light up her room.

Thank you in advance to any and all reading this who might say a quick prayer for her, for it will not be forgotten.

CNY Arts Center open house, dinner today

Dec. 14 is a full day of holiday arts for CNY Arts Center.

Two locations means twice the fun starting with Holiday Open House being held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Arts in the Heart Gallery downtown, 47 S. First St.

A gingerbread house contest, free handmade ornaments while supplies last, holiday treats and a feast of original art to browse will highlight the second annual open house.

Gifts of the Season Dinner Cabaret follows at 6 p.m. in the Arts Center’s second location on Park Street (State St. Methodist Church).

The fundraiser for a new facility will celebrate into the evening with an elegant dinner, raffles, door prizes and an impressive line-up of entertainment.

Several young performers will be featured in the Cabaret entertainment line-up.

These young people, Rhiannon Ellison, Kaylee Foster and Matthew Oldenburg, were chosen for their exceptional performance abilities as part of a new program funded by a Shineman Grant received earlier in the year.

Entertainment also includes Christine Tupe and Hannah Doerrier. Christine has performed at CNY Arts Center events since winning the first Arts Fest on the River Talent Contest in 2011. Her girl group, Lois Dixon and the Olives including Hannah Doerrier and Emily Plummer, performed at this year’s third annual Arts Fest.

Adam Schmidtmann returns from CNY Arts Center’s first cabaret, Songs of the Seasons presented last spring. Adam is co-director of the Drama Club and Kids Onstage programs and performs at several theaters in the area.

These and more will celebrate the Christmas season in song at Gifts of the Season Cabaret.

Doors open at 6 p.m. The menu includes roast beef, chicken, vegetables and dessert.

There will be entertainment including Harpist Marcella serenading throughout the dinner; door prizes and raffles. Proceeds from the benefit dinner cabaret will help procure a new facility where a theatre, gallery, classes, and administration will be centralized.

Pre-sale tickets only are available at the gallery (47 S. First St., Fulton), at the Arts Center on Park Street, and on line at CNYArtsCenter.com.

No tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call 592-3373.

Fulton varsity hockey looking for first win

By Rob Tetro

The Fulton varsity hockey team is 0-4-1 after its first five games of the season.

Rome Free Academy cruised past Fulton 6-1 in the Dec. 2 season opener.

On Dec. 4, the Red Raiders played Fayetteville-Manlius to a 3-3 tie. Oswego topped Fulton 6-2 on Dec. 6.

The Baldwinsville Bees held off Fulton 3-2 Dec. 7 while West Genesee rolled past Fulton 7-1 on Dec. 10.

In the RFA game, Rome Free Academy got off to a quick start building a 2-0 lead during the first period. RFA added to its lead during the second period with 2  more goals to take a 4-0 lead.

Fulton was able to get onto the scoreboard during the third period, but was unable to cut into RFA’s lead.

Leading the way for Fulton was Ryan Ross with one goal. Brandon Ladd and Landon VanAlstine combined to save 30 shots for the Red Raiders.

Fulton skated a competition first period in the game again Fayetteville-Manlius  and were tied 1-1 after the first.

The game proved to be equally as competitive during the second period. Again, both teams scored a goal each as the game was tied at 2 headed into the third period.

Each team scored a goal down the stretch as the game concluded in a 3-3 tie.

Fulton was led by Seth DeLisle with a goal and an assist. Following DeLisle were Matt Billion and Nick Meyer with a goal each. Ryan Ross added 2 assists. Landon VanAlstine saved 21 shots in the net for the Red Raiders.

Fulton lost to county rival Oswego in the opening game of The Baldwinsville Tournament. After a competitive first period, the Red Raiders trailed Oswego, 1-0.

Fulton kept it interesting during the second period as well. Both teams scored 2 goals each while Oswego maintained a slim, 3-2 lead. But, Oswego pulled away during the third period, scoring 3 unanswered goals down the stretch to cap off the win.

Leading the way for Oswego was Bentley Brosch with 2 goals and an assist, followed by Zach Zerrahan with a goal and 3 assists. Jacob Oleyourryk had a goal and an assist. Noah Lee and Brandon Tracz chipped in a goal each. Sean Mooney is credited with 3 assists. Roy Donovan saved 14 shots for Oswego.

Fulton was led by Cameron Clark and Austin Vashaw with a goal each against Oswego. Spencer Evans saved 39 shots for The Red Raiders.

Fulton lost a close one to Baldwinsville  in the second game of The Baldwinsville Tournament.  After a hard fought first period, Baldwinsville had a 1-0 lead over the Red Raiders.

Baldwinsville added to its lead over Fulton during the second period, outscoring Fulton by a goal to take a 3-1 lead.

Fulton made things interesting during the third period, cutting Baldwinsville’s lead to 3-2 down the stretch. But Fulton was unable to get any closer as the Bees held on for the 1-goal win.

Leading the way for Fulton were Kris Grow and Bryce Knight with a goal each. Following were Austin Forte, Trae Sheldon and Ross Ryan who combined for 3 assists. Spencer Evans saved 29 shots in net.

West Genesee got off to a solid start in its game versus Fulton when the Wildcats jumped out to an early 4-0 lead.

West Genny added to its lead during the second period, outscoring the Red Raiders by a goal to take a 6-1 lead. West Genesee scored a goal during the third period to cap off a 7-1 win over Fulton.

The Red Raiders were led by Bryce Knight with a goal assisted by Nick Meyer. Spencer Evans and Landon VanAlstine combined to save  31 shots for Fulton.

News in brief

Bishop’s Common enriched Living Residence is Oswego is having a holiday open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 15.

The event is free and open to the public.

“The Holiday Open House will welcome back everyone’s favorite entertainer, Phil Markert for another great musical performance,” said Karen Murray, executive director. “Phil’s energy and enthusiasm through an interactive musical performance is a perfect way to celebrate our holiday season.”

Tours will be available throughout the afternoon. Bishop’s Commons is located at 4 Burkle St. on the St. Luke healthcare campus in the City of Oswego.

For directions or more information about the Holiday Open House, call 349-0799, or visit Bishop’s Commons on the web at bcommons.com.

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The Oswego-Fulton Episcopal-Lutheran Faith Partnerships invites the community to a special Blue Christmas service at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, 120 W. Fifth St., Oswego.

A time for refreshments and friendship follows.

The Rev. Richard K. Klafehn  said “this very beautiful and interactive worship service is a special opportunity for those who are feeling blue, that is struggling, grieving, or hurting, and for others who care for them.”

He said lights are lit in the darkness and  participants may wrap the Christ child in bands of swaddling cloth on which they have written their hurts, losses, pains, or anguish.

“In the holiday season so many people appear so happy with great expectations, but others do not feel the cheer,” Klafehn said. “Because of the loss of relationships, job, or health, grieving the recent or impending death of loved ones, or being in the midst of a crisis, they are struggling and feel even sadder, hurting, lonely, and left out. Christmas season can be exceptionally hard, because they have to hide their hurt. This is an opportunity to be honest about these feelings, to come together, and to share the gentle comfort and promise of Christmas.”

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During the month of December, members of Prince of Peace Church are collecting money to buy animals for hungry people around the globe.

They do so by filling up small, colorful cardboard barns with loose change.

Baby chicks, for example, will grow and provide eggs to eat and sell. Sheep will produce wool to make clothes, while a goat, which costs only $50, “can provide nutritious fresh milk that can be used to make products like yogurt and cheese to sell at the market.”

This mission, called “God’s Global Barnyard” is part of Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s World Hunger Relief effort.

Those participating in God’s Global Barnyard at Prince of Peace are invited to write on a little piece of paper what animal they’d like their donation to go toward and place it in their individual barn.

The barns are retuned on Christmas Eve and placed under the Christmas tree. Last year, more than $800 was sent to Evangelical Lutheran Church of America to help fight hunger around the globe.

Prince of Peace Church is located just outside Fulton, on the corner of Gillespie Road and Route 176 North (the Whitaker Road).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Fulton residents killed in Palermo crash

UPDATE:

The two people killed in the car  crash in Palermo earlier Thursday have been identified.

They are: Zachary Parker, 21, and Jennifer Burdick, 20, both of Fulton.

A 1998 Buick operated by 20 year old Cory Porter of Fulton was northbound on State Route 3 at about 8 a.m. Porter lost control of the vehicle and drove into the path of a southbound 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer operated by Terri Wills of Scriba.

Parker and Burdick were passengers in the Porter car. Porter was taken to University Hospital in Syracuse for treatment.  Wills was treated at the scene and released.

Oswego County budget approved

The Oswego County Legislature adopted the 2014 county budget Thursday night by a vote of 17 to 8.

Three Republican legislators joined the five Democrats in voting against the spending plan. Those voting ‘no’ were Michael Kunzwiler, Amy Tresidder and Jacob Mulcahey, Democrats from Oswego; Douglas Malone, D-Oswego Town; Daniel Farfaglia, D-Fulton; Margaret Kastler, R-Lacona; Shawn Doyle, R-Pulaski; and Daniel Chalifoux, R-Minetto.

The legislature approved amendments totaling about $177,000 before adopting the final budget. The final budget totals about $197 million.

The tax levy — the amount to be raised by taxes — increased $17,894 with the amendments. The tax rate will be $7.19 per $1,000 of assessed value, compared to $7.10 per $1,000 in 2013.

Legislators also approved a pilot project brought to them by District Attorney Gregory Oakes to spend $26,000 to hire an outside lawyer to handle all of the county’s appeals of felony convictions. Currently, one of the assistant district attorneys in the county DA’s office handles the appeals. Oakes said if this lawyer instead spends all her time on prosecuting felony cases in county court, cases will be able to move through the system at a quicker pace, alleviating the amount of time defendants are spending in the county jail.

Oakes said this could lead to fewer people in the county jail at any one time. Sheriff Reuel Todd has had problems for the last three years with overcrowding and has had to send inmates to other jails at a huge expense to Oswego County.

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