Tickets still available for Symphoria concert Dec. 15

Tickets are still available for the Syracuse Symphoria Holiday Pops Concert scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15.

Oswego Health is sponsoring the concert, which will be held in the Oswego High School auditorium.

Members of the community will be able to enjoy the sounds of the holiday with their family and friends at the concert, which will include the music of the Syracuse-based symphony. Returning as the evening’s conductor will be accomplished musician Sean O’Loughlin, a native of Syracuse, while the vocal soloist will be Nick Ziobro

Tickets are available through a new arrangement this year. Community members wishing to attend the concert can purchase tickets online at experiencesymphoria.org.

Tickets can also be arranged by calling 299-5590 at extension 225.

Linda Daley new VP of human resources at Oswego Health

Linda Daley is the new vice president for human resources at Oswego Health.

Daley arrives at Oswego Health with more than 15 years of human resources experience, the last six in the healthcare field.

She most recently served as the director of compensation and benefits at the Albany Medical Center, which has some 8,000 employees.

The new vice president of human resources was attracted to the Oswego Health position as she believes it will enable her to make a positive impact.

“I saw the health system as large enough to make a difference and small enough to have a personal impact on the people that work at the organization,” Daley said.

Daley added she was also found the community appealing.

“I did some research and liked the smaller size, that it was a community on two beautiful waterways and was home to a college, offering a young and vibrant atmosphere,” she said.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern Vermont College and her masters of business administration from Iona College. Daley holds certifications as both a compensation professional and as a benefits professional.

Along with working in healthcare, for the past seven years Daley has taught online courses through the University of Phoenix.

She also enjoys home restoration and has taken several centuries-old buildings and completely renovated them. All together she has restored nine homes and a barn.

Since her appointment in November, Daley is getting to know her new community, joining the Oswego YMCA and taking walks with her two dogs in her neighborhood.

The Oswego Healthcare System includes Oswego Hospital, The Manor at Seneca Hill, a skilled nursing facility, which also offers a complete rehabilitation department and an Adult Day Health Services Program; Springside at Seneca Hill, a retirement living community; as well as the Central Square and Fulton Medical Centers, which offer urgent care, lab, medical imaging and physical therapy. For more information, call (315) 349-5500 or visit oswegohealth.org.

David A. Smith, worked in maintenance for Fulton city schools

David A. Smith, 61, of Oswego, died Saturday Dec. 7 at his home.

David was born in Syracuse, the son of the late Merritt and Thelma (Corsette) Smith, and he was a resident of Fulton before moving to Oswego 30 years ago.

He was a former employee of the Fulton school district where he worked in the maintenance department.

David is survived by his sister Millie (Joe) LaBeef of Fulton.

Services will be private. The arrangements are in the care of the Sugar Funeral Home, 224 W. Second St., Fulton.

Arturo Gonzales, enjoyed skateboarding and video games

Arturo Gonzales, 24, of Fulton, passed away Monday Dec. 9.

Born in Texas, he has lived in the Fulton area since 2001. He worked at Little Caesar’s Pizza in Fulton and enjoyed skateboarding and playing video games.

Arturo’s memory will be forever cherished by his parents, Ester (Jim Musumeci) Gonzales; four-year-old son, Urijah James; five sisters, Celina (Isreal) Molina, Virginia Robles, Rosalie (Brian) Burke, Gloria (Fernando) Cardenas and Ester (Marc) Cox; a brother, Macedonio (Lisa) Gonzales; grandmother, Sabastina Gloria; his best friends, Sisco, Keith, Antonio, Dominic and Demetri; his faithful companion, Rocco; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Calling hours were Friday with a service following at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton, 13069.

Renovation project vote Feb. 4 in Fulton school district

By Ashley M. Casey

The Fulton City School District board of education Tuesday approved several renovation projects with a proposed cost of $4.4 million.

The public will vote on the projects Feb. 4.

The district’s main priority is the replacement of the roofs at Lanigan and Granby elementary schools, which will comprise the majority of the cost. The roof renovations would take place in the summer of 2015.

The gym floor in Lanigan also must be replaced, as it has tested positive for mercury. Superintendent Bill Lynch said New York state’s laws regarding mercury disposal are so strict that the district may have to take the materials out of state.

Other items in the project include replacing the locksets in all classrooms and offices, paving work at Granby and the construction of an athletic storage building.

The district will sell bonds of up to $4.25 million to finance the capital project.

A public hearing regarding the renovations will be held at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 29, at Lanigan Elementary School.

Also on the agenda

** Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics Chris Ells reviewed the district’s fall sports season. A total of 414 students participated in modified, junior varsity and varsity sports, up 29 from the 2012 fall season.

Several student athletes qualified for NYS All League Honors, and Connor Goss, of the golf team, is set to compete in the state quarterfinals in May 2014.

Ells highlighted the cheerleading team’s activities as well. He said New York state does not yet classify cheerleading as a sport, but Fulton’s 27 cheerleaders are preparing for the Love to Cheer competition, which will take place Feb. 8 at G. Ray Bodley High School. The school will host more than 300 cheerleaders from 24 schools.

** Executive Director of Instruction and Assessment Betsy Conners reviewed the district’s updated procedures for students in need of Academic Intervention Services (AIS).

The district has updated the academic standards for AIS students to better reflect the Common Core. AIS intervention now begins as soon as the students in need are identified instead of waiting until the following semester to start services.

Conners said that the parental notification system for AIS has also become more detailed.

In other business:

** Lynch thanked Volney interim principal Mike Egan for stepping into the role over the past few months. Lisa Garofalo has been chosen to take over as principal at Volney starting Jan. 6. “I truly appreciate the opportunity,” Egan said. “It is a very fun building.”

** The next school board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14, 2014, at the Education Center.

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.

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