LeRoy Haynes, sportsman, Crouse Hinds machinist

LeRoy  L. Haynes, Sr., 76, of County Line Road, Phoenix, NY, town of Granby, passed away Thursday Sept. 26, 2013.

He was born to his late parents, Geneva (Rhodes) and Leonard Gerald Haynes in Anistin AL, on June 9, 1937.  LeRoy was a machinist for Crouse Hinds, Syracuse.

He attended the Lighthouse Church of God, Mexico, NY. LeRoy enjoyed the outdoors and was a sportsman.

He was predeceased by his first wife of 45 years, Sandra Lynn “Poco” (Myers) Haynes on Feb. 14, 2008; his sister, Charlotte Porter in 2013; his brother, Leonard Haynes in 1981.

Surviving are his second wife, Connie E. (Lynch) Haynes; his sons, LeRoy (Tobbie) Haynes of Granby, Shane (Peg) Haynes of Oswego, Wade Haynes of Granby, Travis (Casey) Haynes of Phoenix; two daughters, Julie (Fred) Sheradin of Phoenix, Darla (Daniel) Ziemba of Central Square; one step-daughter Chrystal (Jeremy) Royal of Fulton; one brother, Herbert Parker, Jr. of Fulton; one sister, Margaret Parker of WI; 12 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; 4 step-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, cousins.

Services were held Oct. 1, 2013 at the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, Phoenix, NY with the Dr. Ronald Russell officiating.

Burial was in Jacksonville Cemetery, 9250 Fenner Road, Lysander.  Calling hours were before the funeral service at the funeral home.

Fulton Common Council discusses domestic violence, campaign signs, STAR registration

By Ashley M. Casey

 

Fulton mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr. has proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. He presented the proclamation to representatives from Oswego County Opportunities’ Services to Aid Families Education program at the Oct. 1 Common Council meeting.

“[I] urge all citizens to observe this month by becoming aware of the tragedy of domestic violence, supporting those who are working toward its end and participating in community efforts,” Woodward’s proclamation read.

Meredith Needham, SAF Education program manager, and Sara Gozzi, SAF educator, accepted the proclamation on behalf of OCO.

A few council members spoke on the urgency of the issue of domestic violence in the community.

“It hits close to home,” said Fifth Ward councilor and council president Norman “Jay” Foster. He told the council and meeting attendees that his aunt had suffered abuse at the hands of her husband. “In my ward there’s a lot of issues with (this). You get out there and try to see what’s going on. It’s all about quality of life for the neighbors.”

Third Ward councilor Peter Franco also attested to the local effects of domestic violence. He commended the work of OCO’s SAF program employees.

“I was a police officer for a few years before I became a councilor, and domestic violence was really our biggest issue,” Franco said. “I want to thank (Needham and Gozzi) for doing what you do — it takes a lot.”

After the meeting, Needham and Gozzi said that SAF will be offering support throughout the county for communities to create their own campaigns against domestic violence.

“We’ve talked a lot about community change and how we can get it out to the community,” said Gozzi. “The leadership (in the county) is supportive of ending domestic violence.”

Needham said that SAF has reached out to City Hall in Oswego to light their building purple on Oct. 10 to raise awareness of the issue. “Silent witness” displays in Fulton and Pulaski include a shadow figure of a woman with information about domestic violence, surrounded by purple flags to represent the people SAF served in 2012.

Gozzi said that SAF is working with Oswego County pizzerias to put information about domestic violence on pizza box tops.

Needham said that providing communities with the tools to create their own campaigns would be more effective than SAF simply stepping in and doing all the work.

“It’s letting communities change themselves,” she said.

SAF is asking all Oswego County residents to wear purple Oct. 10 in solidarity with survivors of domestic violence.

“(The goal is to) get everyone in the community to say, ‘I know domestic violence exists, and I’m not okay with it,’” Needham said.

STAR registration explained

The council welcomed Kris Nuñez and Kay Kearney from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) to present on the new STAR registration process.

Under new state legislation, Basic STAR recipients are encouraged to register this year with DTF either online or by phone. This is to eliminate intentional and unintentional fraud and to make sure only

qualified homeowners receive STAR exemptions. Basic STAR recipients will not have to re-register every year after this application for 2014.

In August, homeowners should have received in the mail a packet containing property information, instructions on how to register and a unique STAR code. Visit tax.ny.gov and click on “Register for STAR” to register. You may also look up your STAR code on this website. Call 518-457-2036 with any questions or to register by phone. The deadline is Dec. 31.

The new legislation does not apply to senior citizens who receive Enhanced STAR benefits.They must continue to register with their local assessor.

VanBuren revamp contractor announced

The city has selected a contractor for minor repairs and painting of the VanBuren Park tennis courts. On the recommendation of recreation superintendent Barry Ostrander, the council unanimously voted for the low bidder E-Z Paving, which bid $25,900 for the job.

The other bidders were Nagle Athletic Services and Super Seal Sealcoating Co. Bids were accepted until 2 p.m. Sept. 20 and then read publicly at 2:15 p.m. that day.

Issues around town

A public hearing was held regarding the zone change on the block surrounded by Highland Street, South Third Street, East Broadway and Park Street. The block, which contains 14 residences, was changed from R-2, Residential, to R-1A, Residential, which allows single-family residences on smaller parcels of land.

There were no objections from the public or the council.

“I’m very encouraged by doing this,” said Foster. “It’s a good, healthy move to make … to promote better neighborhoods.”

Frank Castiglia Jr., who is running for county legislator in the 25th District, used the public forum to express a complaint about excessive campaign signs on city property.

“If it was my way, I’d say just put one of each candidate per block,” Castiglia said. “Yard signs put on city-owned property is a little bit annoying because if they have to do mowing, they have to move the signs.”

Woodward said that any signs found on city-owned property were removed.

“We throw them away,” he said. “They’re not supposed to be there.” Woodward stressed that signs were allowed on city right-of-way areas because that is public right-of-way as well.

Castiglia also asked about the city’s use of bond anticipation notes. Woodward explained that these are short-term bonds that must be paid off within five years, or within the useful life of the object they are used to purchase. Police cars, for example, are considered to have a three-year useful life by New York state. If not paid within that period, the bond goes to long-term or permanent financing.

Woodward said the city’s current bond anticipation notes are being used for equipment and vehicle purchases, as well as asbestos encapsulation and water damage repair at the fire department and municipal building.

Proposed 2014 county budget unveiled

Oswego County residents could see their taxes go up about 16 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation if the proposed 2014 county budget is adopted.

County Administrator Philip Church unveiled the proposed spending plan for 2014 at this week’s meeting of the legislature’s finance and personnel committee.

The proposed budget totals $197,408,657 and carries a real property tax levy (the amount to be raised by taxes) of $43,053,017. This falls within the limit of the state-mandated real property tax cap.

The proposal includes a tax rate of $7.26 per $1,000, up from $7.10 per $1,000 paid by taxpayers in 2013. Church said in his budget statement that the average Oswego County house is assessed for $94,500, so someone with this house would pay $15 more in county taxes in 2014 than in 2013.

Church said when he began putting the budget together, the tax levy (amount to be raised by taxes) was at about $48.5 million. But savings in social services costs, electricity and employee costs due to attrition and use of $5.5 million in unappropriated fund balance and reserves, he was able to pare it to $43,053,017.

He cautioned county legislators that pulling money out of fund balance and reserves must continue to slow and warned that pulling more out this year to create a 0 percent tax increase could cause problems.

“We’ve been through many lean years lately due to mandate increases and a poor economy, and as a result, our reserves and fund balance are decreasing,” said he in his budget message to the finance committee. “The annual operating budgets are not generating monies adequate to replace reserves and fund balance anymore. Add to this the unpredictable impact of Entergy’s tax certiorari, which could force the county to refund several million dollars to the company.”

Entergy, owner of the James FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Scriba, is challenging its assessment in court. If successful in its challenge, Entergy may be owned millions in back taxes from the county.

“The preservation of our fund balance and reserves is, therefore, imperative,” he said in the budget statement. “I strongly recommend that any further reductions identified by the legislature during the budget process be applied to lower our reliance on fund balance and reserves, rather than lower taxes.”

Church did say, though, that the $5.5 million being used in the 2014 budget is more than $1 million less than what was used in the 2013 budget, “thereby making important progress in the vital goal of reducing reliance on these declining sources.”

No one is getting raises in the proposed county budget except those in the Civil Service Employees Association union contract. There are no layoffs and no new positions being created. Eight positions are being eliminated, five were downgraded and 32 vacancies are being filled at lower salaries.

Here are positives and negatives in the proposed budget:

Positives:

** After tripling from $3.1 million in 2009 to $9.3 million in 2013, the county’s contribution to the NYS Pension System decreased slightly by $200,000.

** Medicaid is now capped at $25,614,052 and Medicaid transportation has decreased $1.65 million.

** CHiPs (highway) revenue increased more than $500,000.

** The Health Department decreased it net cost by $112,020, partially by the elimination of three positions.

** The Department of Social Services continues to implement improvements, including elimination of under-performing contracts, maximizing the productivity of the current workforce and remaining contracts. Despite significant increases in mandates services, the department’s draft budget lowers its net cost to taxpayers by more than $200,000.

Negatives:

** State mandates continue to rise in costs to local taxpayers.

** Foster care costs are increasing $600,000.

** Maintenance for the new emergency communications system is increasing $309,000 because it is the first full year on the contract.

** Health insurance for employees and retirees is going up $433,987.

** An increase in the county-paid chargeback allowed by the state for tuition payments to Cayuga Community College increased nearly 85 percent. This increased Oswego County’s community college budget from $3.8 million to $5.4 million.

The overall tax rate paid by taxpayers is down about 20 percent from 2005. The tax rate decreased from 2005 to 2008, then stayed the same for 2009, then went down again in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The rate increased from  $6.95 to $7.10 from 2912 to 2913.

The next step in the budget process is the legislature committees will review the budgets for their particular areas — for example, the public safety committee will review the sheriff’s department budget. Each committee can make recommendations for changes.

Then the finance and personnel committee will look over all recommendations and either approve them or deny them.

The full legislature must approve a final budget by Dec. 20.

 

Fairley Elementary fourth-graders visit Camp Hollis

Fourth-grade students at Fairley Elmetntary School recently visited Camp Hollis as part of a two-day field trip.

During their time at Camp Hollis, students visited the pond ecosystem, explored the lakeshore, performed at an outdoor theatre and hiked through nature trails that overlooked Lake Ontario.

Along the trial walk, students discovered grasshoppers, woolly bear caterpillars, a frog and even a turtle resting on a log.

On the nature walk, students were asked to identify nature shapes; a spiral, helix, meander, branch, sphere and polygon.

Acorn tops were gathered to represent a sphere. These and other items will be used in the classroom to create a picture.

Fourth-grade teachers collected water samples from the camp’s pond prior to the outing. These buckets were labeled surface, shallow and bottom.

Students tested the pond water for living organisms and inspected their findings with magnifying glasses. Algae, water shrimp, blood worms, water fleas, and larva were all a part of the ecosystem.

Students also brought along their scientific notebooks where they logged information during the fieldtrip. At the pond, fourth graders illustrated what they saw in their journals.

The two-day trip is in its third year, and is coordinated through the New York State Standards for Science.

Volney Elementary students learn ‘respect’

Volney Elementary School in the Fulton school district had a special assembly to recognize students selected by their classroom teachers for best exemplifying the September character trait of ‘Respect.’

Interim Principal Michael Egan presented each student with a certificate.

Recognized were: Dylan Rogers, Nash Peterson, Hayden Bogart, Adrian Morales, Tyler Osborne, Deven Searor, Grace Olon, Collin Cunningham, Amber Jackson, Kaeli McCarthy, Trinity Valentin, Sarah Wells, Ryan Nichols, Jayden Palmiter, Evan Detor, Brenna Wells, Rachel Rowlee, Branden Barnes, Mandee Price, Zachary Furlong, Madison Pepper and Justin Decker-Bennett.

Fairgrieve students show good behavior

Fairgrieve Elementary School in Fulton recognized students during a special ceremony for their exemplary behavior in meeting the district’s behavioral expectations of Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe and Be A Problem Solver.

The students were given a special certificate reading: “It is with pride that you are recognized for being someone who is an expectation expert. You help to make your classroom, Fairgrieve and the Fulton City Schools a better place. We are proud to have you as a student in our school!”

Students recognized are: Casandra Guillaume, Jared Gardenier, Katharine Demars, Adelaide McEachen, Gabriella Mitchell, Brookelynn Stewart, Andrew Mitchell, Mariela Mejia-Merida, Hunter Aldasch, Aiden Barringer, Caitlin Todt, Haleigh Brown, Ralph Stacy III, Madison Majeski, Paris Kress, EvaLynn Dickens, Stephanie Woods, Caitlyn Warne, Morgan Zukowski, Ethan Abelgore, Kelly Swatkowski, and Devanee Sabin.

Rachel’s Challenge against bullying comes to Fulton Junior High

By Oswego County BOCES

For the second year, Rachel’s Challenge was brought to the Fulton Junior High School for three presentations.

Rachel’s Challenge is a school assembly program that combines footage of the Columbine High School shooting with Rachel Scott’s inspiring drawings and writings in a campaign to quell bullying. Scott was among the students killed during the 1999 shooting in Colorado.

The presentation for eighth-graders focused on five new challenges for students.

Mike Walker of Rachel’s Challenge presented these guiding principles: leave a legacy of kindness, show compassion, practice pre-acceptance, learn from mistakes and forgive yourself and others.

The presentation didn’t end there. Later in the afternoon, 100 students were chosen for the Friends of Rachel Club. The FOR Club is a place for students to feel safe and comfortable. Students were chosen based on staff recommendations and student interest.

FOR Club is an extension of Rachel’s Challenge, and provides the opportunity to continue on with the message of kindness and compassion throughout the school year. Eighth grade English teacher Emily Paglia is the FOR Club Advisor.

As a result of last year’s program, students involved in FOR Club helped the SPCA and talked about animal cruelty, sent chickens and goats to third world countries, raised funds during Fall Fest and visited Seneca Hill Manor, delivering Christmas cards and valentines.

Principal Ryan Lanigan said that he’s seen the school’s culture change in a positive way since introducing Rachel’s Challenge last year. “This is their club,” said Lanigan.“We want students who want to take ownership to be a part of the decision making process.”

At the beginning of the one and a half hour afternoon session, Walker asked students how the presentation impacted them. A handful of students shared their stories on how they’ve overcome adversity. The message beneath each personal account was to find your true friends and that things will get better.

The Friends of Rachel Club students broke up into small groups to brainstorm project ideas for the upcoming year. Collectively it was decided that the first project would be to use the stairwells as a blank canvas for tracing student’s hands and filling them with kind words.

Rice Creek welcomes public back with “Celebrating Science” event

 Submitted by SUNY Oswego

After a year of construction on a new field station, SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek invites the public to a welcome-back afternoon of events titled “Celebrating Science at Rice Creek” on Saturday, Oct. 12, to highlight science research, programming and fun with nature at the popular 400-acre living laboratory.

Dozens of family-oriented events, rain or shine from noon to 5 p.m., will include the following: guided trail walks — highlighting such topics as plant identification, invasive species, nature photography and butterfly research; children’s walks and an investigation station; facility tours and collection displays; and faculty, staff, student and community expert talks, information and demonstrations, including a keynote presentation by plant ecology expert and SUNY Oswego biological sciences faculty member Dr. C. Eric Hellquist.

The free public program will include shuttle service to Rice Creek from the parking area at Fallbrook Recreation Center. Both Rice Creek, 1 mile south of the main SUNY Oswego campus, and Fallbrook, about 1.5 miles, are on Thompson Road, just west of the main college entrance off State Route 104.

Events running concurrently all afternoon will include hands-on demonstrations of amphibian research and the chemistry of plants, a visit to the observatory to use the telescope and learn about daytime astronomy, a giant-pumpkin display, tours of the new, 7,700-square-foot field station and self-guided tours that include the Ruth Sachidanandan Herb Garden, whose new sign will have been dedicated in a ceremony that morning.

From noon to 3 p.m., “Celebrating Science” will offer information about bird migration and ecology; an information table for the facility’s community support group, Rice Creek Associates; a 20-minute media presentation titled “Rice Creek Field Station: A Journey to the Future”; wildlife viewing and tables for children to explore nature, art and more.

Hellquist’s 3 p.m. Rice Creek Reflections presentation, titled “The Great Lakes Watershed: Botanical Crossroads of a Continent,” will discuss the lakes’ notable position in the study of plant ecology, including some species found nowhere else in the world. Great Lakes ecosystems are home to a variety of plants whose presence reflects ecological conditions related to the lakes themselves, geological context and changing climate over the past 100,000 years, the scientist noted.

For a complete list of the day’s events, including the schedule of topic-specific guided trail walks and talks, visit oswego.edu/ricecreek or call 312-6677.

 

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