County seeks share of hotel tax from online booking sites

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County is part of a class-action lawsuit seeking payment of hotel/motel taxes from online booking sites.

The county legislature’s Government, Court and Consumer Affairs committee Monday heard a report from county Attorney Richard Mitchell about the suit brought by Nassau County on Long Island.

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SUNY Oswego police rank high in national safety contest

University Police at State University College at Oswego recently placed second in a national competition among college and university law enforcement departments, many of them much larger than Oswego’s 21 sworn officers.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police recently announced the recognition for the University Police in the 2012 Law Enforcement Challenge, a national traffic safety program that recognizes excellence through a competition within categories of police departments from municipalities, states, federal agencies, military and others.

“I was shocked and pleased that we did so well,” said University Police Assistant Chief Kevin Velzy, who prepared Oswego’s entry. “We were competing against departments such as the first-place entry, Georgia State University, which has got about 130 people working there.”

This is the fourth consecutive year University Police at Oswego have participated in the program, earning statewide recognition and first place in New York in 2012.

The department will formally receive the national honor at a conference this fall.

The competition, sponsored by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee at the state level, judges departments on policies and guidelines, officer training, incentives and recognition, public information and education, enforcement activity and effectiveness of efforts — all in the areas of speed enforcement, occupant restraint and driving while intoxicated enforcement.

Oswego’s entry booklet notes that in 2012, thanks to a 20-mph speed limit, a mild winter and departmental enforcement and education efforts, there were 58 vehicle crashes on college roads — down from 79 — only three with injuries and none with fatalities.

“Many thanks to all of the police officers here at SUNY Oswego who are dedicated to keeping our community safe on the highway,” said University Police Chief John Rossi.

University Police issued 59 percent more speeding tickets in 2012 than in 2011, participated in STOP-DWI, anti-texting and seat belt and car seat checks both on campus and in the surrounding community.

But driver education is equally important for the department, Velzy said. University Police participated in “Click It or Ticket, Buckle Up New York” campaigns, Child Passenger Safety Program events, an impaired-driving program in residence halls using “Fatal Vision” goggles and in training and certification programs for its officers.

The department maintains Web and Facebook pages and a Twitter account for public information.

Performing at Oswego Speedway tonight

Granny 4 Barrel, based in Nashville, Oswego and Syracuse, will perform 10 p.m. today, Aug. 31 at Thunder Road Bar & Grill located at the Oswego Speedway as part of Classic Weekend. The band’s sound can be thought of as a mixture of bluegrass meets AC/DC. Banjo player Don Wayne Reno will fly in from Nashville for the show. Local favorite Oswego’s own Doc Apple will open the show.

CNY art gallery says goodbye to a friend

The “Arts in the heART Gallery” in Fulton will soon be saying goodbye to one of its artists.

Watercolor and collage artist Rose Besch, who lives in the Fulton area seasonally, will be leaving soon to spend her fall and winter months in the South. There she will continue her painting and art shows.

Besch is a retired educator who taught art to all age levels for 30 years in New York state schools.

After her retirement, she spent more time pursuing her passion for art. She has taken numerous workshops from nationally known artists and has taught classes for all age groups and experience levels.  Since her retirement, Besch has received many awards for her artwork, having been honored with several dual and one-woman shows.

Besch always amazes the gallery staff by switching out her work with a variety of watercolor paintings and collages.  Her new work contributes a refreshing look for those who pay a visit to the gallery.

Though the gallery will be disappointed to see Besch go, they will be awaiting her return in the spring.

This is the last week her art will be displayed at the gallery for this calendar year. Please stop by and take a look at Besch’s work, as well as the other artists whose work is featured.

Arts in the heART Gallery is located in downtown Fulton, across from the city’s gazebo, at 47 S. First St.  For more information and for gallery hours, contact 598-ARTS.

Arts Market pairs with City-Wide Yard Sale

Yard sales, bargain shopping, treasure hunting, gift-giving — all these and more describe CNY Arts Center’s third annual Arts Market set for Sept 14.

Timed to coincide with Fulton’s annual City-Wide Yard Sale event, the CNY Arts Center will host another gathering of artists, crafters and flea market vendors, to serve a feast for the sidewalk shopper.

Visitors to Fulton will not only find treasures throughout the neighborhoods but also gathered in one oversized location for an extended shopping experience.

Set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the old Nestle parking lot on Fay Street, the market will be a great place to shop for handmade items and creative crafts. Shoppers will find holiday gift giving ideas and meet local artists and entrepreneurs.

The multi-arts organization has been working to raise public awareness in the arts and recently opened an art gallery in downtown Fulton at 47 S. First St.

With over 200 members signed on, the group takes every opportunity to connect artists with the public in creative and beneficial ways.

“The Arts Market has become a popular event that attracts hundreds of shoppers every year to Fulton. Garage sales and yard sale hopping is a popular weekend activity here. With the city-wide event, we complement that experience with a full market — a one-day event to encourage outsiders to come to Fulton and see the array of goods from artists and merchants all over CNY,” said Kiley Casper, coordinator of the event.

“We have artists and crafters from around the region signed on, many whom participated in our other events such as Arts Fest and previous Arts Market. Shoppers will find a wide variety of vendors to browse as well as food and drink for a pick-me-up during their busy shopping day.”

The size of the lot allows ample room for vendors along with children’s sidewalk chalk painting in a special section. A sidewalk artist is expected to attend and demonstrate his unique artistry.

“This Market is part of our ongoing effort to bring artists to the community for an engaging experience,” Casper continued. “We’re continuing our efforts to generate momentum for something that promises great economic benefit and revitalization for the entire region. When artists collaborate, great things happen.”

There is still room for vendors in the extra large parking lot. More information can be found at or call 592-3373.

Palermo farm plans first music fest Sept. 1

The Wooden-Apple Farmstead in Palermo is hosting the first annual Wooden-Apple Music Festival from 2 to 8 p.m. Sept.1.

The day’s lineup includes Lois Dixon & the Olives, Gina Holsopple, The Polashenski’s and more!

The festival will conclude with an open mic and storytelling, so visitors should feel free to bring an instrument and add their names to the list.

Gina Holsopple, a nationally award-winning singer-songwriter, will be officially releasing her new album, “RED” at this event.  Lois Dixon & the Olives, another local favorite, also will grace the stage.

Guests are invited to bring their own food and drink for this family friendly event with a suggested donation for adults.

There will be a grill going all afternoon for anyone who wants to grill.  Bring a lawn chair, bring a blanket and bring a friend.

Contact the Wooden-Apple Farmstead at 591-0711 or for further information, to RSVP and for directions.

More information also can be found at Visit to learn more about “RED” and the music of Gina Holsopple.

What’s Happening at CNY Arts Center?

Arty Camp had its largest enrollment to date with more than 40 youths attending every day last week. More exciting camp plans will be created for next summer’s fun, but for now there is a great lineup of classes and events for every age and interest.

Michael Lynne’s new class, Painting Fundamentals I, scheduled for last week, has a new start date of Aug. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s not too late to register for this class, which will continue Sept. 5 and 12 from 6 to 9 p.m.

With his work on display at the Oswego Public Library as well as the Arts in the HeArt Gallery in Fulton, this unique artist shares his expertise with students.

This class will brighten your use of color, explore color mixing approaches, experiment with layering color and share Michael’s expertise for controlling the use of edges.

September brings a closeup look at the artistry of the Cashore Marionettes in a special demonstration at 7 p.m. Sept 6.

The artist, Joseph Cashore, will give just 40 audience members a guided tour of the detailed workings of his most popular marionettes. These are not simple puppets but rather each one a finely crafted moving piece of art.

Some marionettes take as long as a year to engineer and build. Seating is limited to just 40 so that all audience members can see up close and appreciate the beauty of this art in motion. This is not for young children!

Our popular outdoor Arts Market returns from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 14 in the old Nestles parking lot.

One last chance for bargain shopping, yard sale treasures, arts and crafts, Christmas gifts and a great shopping experience on Fulton’s City-Wide Yard Sale Day. There is still room for vendors who want in on the action. Register at

A brand new slate of classes is being planned for the fall including popular culinary adventures, Writing Critique Workshop and capturing memories in story and in collage.

With a generous grant from the Shineman Foundation, we’re excited to offer a new Drama Club for seventh and eighth graders meeting 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the Arts Center.

This great new activity is open to all seventh- and eighth-graders in the area regardless of school or home school affiliation. This group will work throughout the fall to develop a new theater group for teens with a production scheduled for mid- November. The club will meet at CNY Arts Center located in the State Street United Methodist Church.

More new classes on tap for the fall including popular culinary adventures, Writing Critique Workshop and capturing memories in story and in collage, Story time art and Kids Onstage, which will return from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 21, all taking place at the center located at 357 State St.

Get all the latest news and updates at Students are reminded to pre-register for all classes and workshops to avoid missing out. Classes and workshops charge a modest fee.

Visit for more information or call 592-3373 for details and updates.

Remember, we bring all arts for all ages at two separate locations. Classes, Writer’s Café, Author Spotlight, live theater and Arty Camp are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State Street Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton.

Arts in the HeArt Gallery is located at 47 S. First St. in downtown Fulton across from the gazebo, for local artists who want to display their artistry. Artists can apply for gallery space online at

Winning scholars

At a recent meeting of the Fulton Noon Rotary Club, Rotarian William Lynch, scholarship committee member, presented two one-year college scholarships to Michelle Gorea and Kate Rothrock.

Michelle is going to State University at Binghamton to study pre-health and will enroll as a nurse with a goal to be a nurse practitioner.

Kate is going to Nazareth College in the nursing program.

The Rotarians give several scholarships each year to the students graduating from G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton and Cayuga Community College, Fulton branch.

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