BOCES students bring beauty to life

Students enrolled in the Floral Design and Greenhouse Technology program at Oswego County BOCES are sprucing up employees desks with their Bud Vase Club.

Members of the Bud Vase Club receive flowers biweekly, and are delivered on the main campus in Mexico as well as Cayuga Community College in Fulton. Every time a new arrangement is dropped off, the bud vase from the previous arrangement is collected.

The funds collected from the club, as well as funds generated in the flower shop, are used to buy flowers so students can work with the medium, and enhance their design skills and techniques.

The flowers come from two wholesalers, one in Liverpool and the other in Syracuse that deliver once a week.

Employees have the option of paying weekly or in advance, in five-week, 10-week or one-year increments. The program runs from October to May for 16 weeks. The vase also includes an attached card with a spot that identifies what the flowers are, as well as the name of the student who student arranged it.

Students complete each bud vase in about 20 minutes, a time instructor Margaret Rice said will quicken as students get more practice. Students are graded based on if they followed the correct “recipe” for the arrangement.

Because of the Bud Vase Club, students get to work with all different types of flowers. In the spring more delicate flowers such as roses, tulips and daffodils are used.

Employees can expect to see holiday flair in their bud vase creations in November and December. For Halloween, the arrangement included the spider mum.


Anna Cutuli, worked at the Silk Mills and Nestles

Anna V. Cutuli, 99, of Fulton died Monday Nov. 4, 2013 in St. Luke Health Services, Oswego.

Mrs. Cutuli was born in Oswego the daughter of the late Salvatore and Vincenzia (Manitta) Cutuli.

Mrs. Cutuli worked at the Silk Mills, Fulton prior to retirement after working 32 years at Nesltes in Fulton. She was a former communicant of Holy Family Church, Fulton and a member of the Padre Pio prayer group; she is a communicant of Holy Trinity Church.

Mrs. Cutuli was predeceased by her husband Rosario Cutuli in 2002, and her brothers James, Vincent, Sam, Henry, and Louis Strazzere, and her sister Mary Strazzere.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Angela and Bud Maynard of Fulton; brothers Victor Cavone of Fulton, Anthony Cavone of Clay; sister Josie O’Brien of Fulton; grandchildren Colleen Lasher, Charles Maynard, Kris Maynard, and five great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. (today) Saturday  in St. Paul’s Church, Oswego where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fulton. Calling hours were Friday at the Sugar Funeral Home 224 W. 2nd. St. S. Fulton.

Couple likes Fulton Families series

We would like to thank The Valley News for their new monthly series on Fulton families.

The recognition of the Pawlewicz and Hayden families was certainly well deserved and provided all of us the opportunity to know these two families even better.

As with many Fulton citizens, we have been privileged to have had numerous connections with both families. They represent the importance and necessity that a strong family brings to a community.

The Valley News is our hometown newspaper and the addition of these articles enhances and continues to provide all of us with that connection.

Bob & Sandy Weston


View from the Assembly, by Will Barclay

Veterans’ Day is a time we honor our veterans and thank them for their service.

We pause to reflect on their lives and appreciate how their sacrifices keep us safe and protect our country and our freedoms. I’ve always believed that New York state should do more for our veterans. We can’t rely solely on the federal government’s benefit structure to honor our state veterans’ service.

This year, the state Legislature enacted a number of bills. Many seek to provide better access to services, education and jobs. I wanted to highlight a few that recently became effective or were signed into law that I supported in the Assembly.

 Hire a Vet Tax Credit

This year’s budget created a tax credit for employers who hire veterans. Beginning in 2015, those who hire a veteran who has been discharged on or after Sept. 11, 2001 will receive a tax credit equal to 10 percent of each veteran’s salary or $5,000, whichever is less. The credit increases to 15 percent for the employer if the veteran is disabled.

A Veteran’s Employment Portal was added last year. This offers a one-stop career priority service to veterans and their eligible spouses, which can be accessed at

 Driver ID Mark

The Department of Motor Vehicles now provides a special mark on a driver’s license or non-driver identification card indicating that the holder is a veteran of the U.S. armed forces, as long as veterans provide proof, such as Form DD-214. This law came about because it is sometimes difficult for veterans to carry original paperwork to obtain health services, or discounts that businesses offer to veterans, for example.

With this mark, if the veteran has their license, they can easily receive a discount at a restaurant or through a service provider.  I was pleased to support this during our last session. It passed unanimously in the Assembly and I’m glad it went into effect last month.

 Mental Health Portal

Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed a bill requiring the state Division of Veterans’ Affairs to provide better access to services concerning suicide prevention, peer outreach, and other support services.

This bill was signed into law in June and created portals along every page within the state Veteran’s Affairs website.

This builds on last year’s legislation which created an “interagency plan” to address the needs of returning veterans. I was pleased to support both in the Assembly.

On every Division of Veteran’s Affairs webpage, there is a crisis hotline number to call. I recognize that this is a small step in helping veterans, but having the ability to find help at someone’s hour of need can save lives and pain for families.

Combat-related mental illness has been and still is a critical issue for American war veterans. According to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, at least one in three Iraq veterans and one in nine Afghanistan veterans will face mental health issues like depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. Multiple tours have increased the stress of combat. Having quick access at a critical time can help save a life.

 Veterans Speakers in Classrooms

This year the Legislature passed a bill (A1601-A) that would coordinate efforts to get veterans into classrooms to talk about their military experiences.

The Division of Veterans’ Affairs has been directed to distribute information to school districts listing available speakers willing to discuss their experiences. This is designed to teach school-aged children about what military life is like and to bring a living history to the classrooms.

Many schools already invite veterans in for education, but this would formalize such a program and enable schools to, hopefully, have access to more veterans willing to speak to classes. This was signed by the governor in July.

More information on any of these services can be found at the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs at

While legislative changes and state programs can assist veterans, so can individuals by showing appreciation. Veterans deserve our respect and admiration for all they have done.

Whether it’s just saying “thank you” to one that you know or meet, or joining a more organized effort, all helps the sacrifices seem more worthwhile.

Locally, a group called Thank a Service Member was created to do just that. Since its inception in 2006, it has held a number of locally based events and has grown to a national organization. To learn more, visit

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, contact my office by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at or by calling 598-5185.  You can also friend me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.

State Senate Report, by state Sen. Patty Ritchie

From friends and family to good food and gifts, for many people, the holidays are the happiest time of the year.  However, for our brave troops serving overseas, they can be the loneliest.

In an effort to send a “touch of home” to our troops, I’m once again calling on Central and Northern New Yorkers to participate in my “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.

The program — sponsored by the American Red Cross — aims to collect donated Christmas cards to be sent to U.S. soldiers serving overseas.

This year, for the second year in a row, I’m partnering with Ogdensburg native and radio personality Melody Burns to collect holiday greetings. Last year, thanks to many of you, we were able to collect 2,200 cards to distribute to service members at military installations, veterans hospitals and other locations.

To help send holiday greetings to our troops:

** Do not include envelopes;

** Do not include personal letters, photos or inserts of any kind;

** Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member,” as cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through the program;

** Avoid cards with glitter or using loose glitter in cards as it can aggravate health issues of ill or injured warriors;

After being signed, cards can be mailed to or dropped off at the following locations:

Office of Senator Patty Ritchie

330 Ford St.

Ogdensburg, NY 13669

Office of Senator Patty Ritchie

317 Washington St.

Watertown, NY 13601

Office of Senator Patty Ritchie

46 East Bridge St.

Oswego, NY 13126

The deadline to contribute cards is Nov. 15.

It’s important to recognize and pay tribute to our troops year round, but, it’s especially important during the holidays. I encourage you to join me in sending warm wishes this season through my “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program to the troops who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

Parents of Special Children has open house at new site

Parents of Special Children, Inc. held its second annual AIM High night and open house last month at their new office location.

The agency, located in Fulton, recently moved into a larger suite to accommodate their growing programs.

Parents of Special Children, Inc. is a nonprofit agency, funded through the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Family Support Services, private donations and local fundraising events.

Its goal is to support families who are caring for individuals with developmental disabilities by assisting with reimbursements of goods and services that allow them to better care for their individuals.

Families also enjoy a variety of events throughout the year such as the Backyard BBQ and Family Fun Festival, Breakfast with Santa, bowling and ice cream parties, Chicken Jamboree fundraiser, and the newly added Doing It Our Way sports and recreational programs.

In addition to reimbursement supports and family functions, the agency has an educational advocate on staff to assist families in researching answers to the special education process.

The advocate at Parents of Special Children is able to attend school meetings, mediation and hearings, explore alternative programming, help protect the child’s rights under federal and state laws and regulations, actively participate in negotiations regarding evaluations, IEPs and placement, evaluate meeting outcomes and help to identify the next step.

There is no charge for this service from PSC.

Parents of Special Children recently began holding Family Connections, a monthly support meeting for families living with any type of developmental disabilities. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. It offers a safe place to talk about personal issues, experiences, struggles and thoughts.

During the three-hour community event held at the Parents of Special Children office last month, staff and board members welcomed about 50 people to explore the agency’s new suite. Families and community members were able to check out the new wheelchair ramp (built by Operation Northern Comfort), enjoy delicious foods, network and learn about the agency’s new programs.

The highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the new SENSORY ROOM, which was made possible by a mini-grant from the Oswego County Autism Task Force. The SENSORY ROOM will allow the agency to offer child care during their monthly meetings, workshops and trainings and office consultations.

Parents of Special Children, Inc. is a parent driven organization, dedicated to family empowerment and improving the quality of the everyday lives of special needs families.

For more information, call Theresa Familo, executive director, at  598-7672.

Fulton Squirts win again

The Fulton Squirts sponsored by Chris Nelson Insurance and C-Vac won their second game in a row beating Auburn 3-1.

Defensemen Courtney Bednarz, Gino Noel, Logan McDougall and Adam Cooney shut down Auburn’s offense. Tanner Tetro, Josh Cook and Fred White kept the Auburn defense on their heels.

Jon Dingman and Lucas Nelson scored for Fulton with assists from Nicolas Schremp and Brady Zych. Trey White turned away 20 of 21 shots.

4 SUNY Oswego alums named to Athletic Hall of Fame

Four former standout athletes at SUNY Oswego recently joined the ranks of 78 other accomplished individuals who have been voted into the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

The college officially inducted baseball player Bob Brutsch of the class of 1971, swimmer Anne Sarkissian DeRue ‘04, wrestler Brian V. McGann ‘70, and lacrosse and soccer player Kathryn “Kat” Stead ‘04 during a ceremony Nov. 2 in Sheldon Hall ballroom on campus.

“This year’s honorees represent some of the best athletes in Oswego State’s long athletic history,” said event organizer Laura Pavlus, interim director of alumni and parent relations. “We are honored to recognize them today.”

Athletic Director Sue Viscomi congratulated the inductees, and provided a historical perspective on Oswego’s athletics facilities as well as updates on renovations or new developments since the former athletes competed on campus. She paid special note to the renovations made to the swimming pool, soccer game field and plans for a new artificial turf field by next fall.

“Times have really changed for the better for our athletes,” Viscomi said.

Brutsch of Crested Butte, Colo., who was unable to attend the ceremony, was a four-year member of the college’s baseball team from 1968-71.

A catcher for three seasons, he earned first-team All-SUNYAC recognition in 1970 when he wrapped up the season batting more than .300 and was named the squad’s Most Valuable Player.

He followed that up by moving from behind the plate onto the mound, where the senior captain posted an overall earned run average of 1.54, recording a 0.75 ERA in SUNYAC play.

Brutsch finished the season 5-0 to become one of only eight Laker pitchers to finish a campaign undefeated.

After leaving Oswego, he continued to succeed, and is a qualifying and lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table, an international association of successful life insurance and financial services professionals, and a member of the Oswego City Softball Hall of Fame.

Sarkissian DeRue of Oswego enters the Hall of Fame as a 12-time All-American in swimming, arguably the most decorated athlete in school history.

Her best season came in 2002-03 as a junior when she was an All-American in six events at the NCAA Championships, including a runner-up finish in the 100 butterfly, helping the Lakers place 16th.

The three-time NCAA qualifier was a four-time conference champion in the 100 and 200 butterfly, earning SUNYAC Outstanding Female Swimmer honors in 2002 and 2004.

Sarkissian DeRue also received the 2004 SUNYAC Grace Mowatt Award, and was an inaugural recipient of the SUNYAC Award of Valor. She owns the oldest SUNYAC Championship Meet and overall conference swimming records in the 100 butterfly to go along with her school records in the 100 and 200 butterfly.

She serves as an assistant coach of the college’s swimming and diving team and is a math teacher in the Fulton City School District.

McGann of Cutler Bay, Fla., served as a four-year co-captain on the wrestling team from 1965-69. McGann earned NCAA College Division All-America honors in 1969 at 130 pounds following a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

He was crowned SUNYAC champion in 1966 at 123 pounds and in 1969 at 130 pounds, while finishing second in 1968.

During his freshman season, McGann was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Eastern Championships hosted by Army after winning the title at 115 pounds against competitors across all NCAA divisions. He also posted an undefeated record of 22-0 as a freshman and sophomore.

McGann continued to be involved with education after graduation, as he became a technology education teacher and was named the 2004 Miami-Dade County Technology Education Teacher of the Year.

Stead of Clifton Park graduated as the school’s premier scorer in women’s lacrosse and among the top five scorers in women’s soccer.

Stead holds every career offensive record in women’s lacrosse, having scored 304 points on 221 goals and 83 assists.

In addition to owning the single-season goals record of 66 set as a freshman, she set three of the top-five single-season scoring marks in college history.

Stead was a three-time first-team All-SUNYAC selection, a two-time first-team Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches’ Association All-New York Region honoree, an honorable mention All-SUNYAC pick in 2002, a second-team New York State Women’s Collegiate Athletic Association honoree in 2003 and a two-time captain.

In soccer, Stead ended her career second all-time in assists (22), fifth in points (68) and sixth in goals (23).

She was a three-time first-team All-SUNYAC selection, a two-time first-team NYSWCAA honoree, an honorable mention NSCAA All-Northeast Region pick in 2000, a second-team NSCAA All-Northeast Region honoree in 2001, a first-team NSCAA All-Northeast Region selection in 2002 and a two-time captain.

“These individuals’ athletic achievements and contributions to Oswego State Athletics and their communities are truly remarkable, and we are honored to welcome them into our Athletic Hall of Fame,” said emcee Jeff Rea ‘71, writer and editor in Oswego’s Office of Public Affairs.

The Alumni Association established the Hall of Fame in 2001 to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to Oswego State athletics. Its purpose is to perpetuate the memory of those persons who have brought honor, distinction and excellence to Oswego State in athletics.

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