Reapportionment lawsuit dismissed

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Court Judge Norman Seiter has dismissed the reapportionment lawsuit filed against the County of Oswego. The case now appears that it will move to appeals court.

“We are disappointed but not surprised by the judge’s decision,” said Legislator Dan Farfaglia, one of the plaintiffs. “We figured from the start that we would have to get the case out of Oswego County. We intend to appeal the decision.”

The plaintiffs are represented by Buffalo-based attorney Frank Housh, who said in a recent interview that he, too,  expected that the case would be dismissed in county court.

The lawsuit addresses several causes of action, including the manner in which the Republican majority proceeded with re-drawing the district lines. Housh alleged that the county legislature used “a baltantly political modus process to marginalize the Democrats.”

No one was available from the county to comment as of press time.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Hannibal baseball team falls in sectional quarterfinals

by Rob Tetro

The Hannibal varsity baseball team’s regular season came to an end with an 8-10 overall record, which earned them the tenth seed in the Section III Class B playoffs.

In the opening round May 21, Hannibal cruised to an 8-2 win over the seventh seed Holland Patent.

The Warriors were rewarded for their win with a contest against top seed Westhill in the sectional quarterfinals May 23. Despite Hannibal’s best efforts, Westhill won the contest.

Westhill supplied the first, last and only scoring in a game that consisted of solid pitching and glove play.

After 5 and 1/2 scoreless innings, Westhill took a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately for Hannibal, they were unable to respond during their final at bat as Westhill came away with a 2-0 win.

The Warriors’ season concludes with a 9-11 overall record.

Leading the way for Hannibal were Austin France, Jamie King and Jake Shortslef, who all had a hit against Westhill.

On the mound, Greg Pitcher finished with three strikeouts while allowing two runs on two hits in six innings of action.

Light in the Darkness: May 30, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” – John 14:15-19

The first command the disciples were to obey was to remain in Jerusalem and “wait for the gift my Father promised…the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4).

This promise of the Holy Spirit to His disciples (and to all who believe, of course) is both amazing and wonderful. He promises that the one who would come would be their helper and teacher. He said that this one would also be exactly like Himself.

The word Jesus used did not mean “same” in the way that two “identical” Fords coming off the assembly line are alike, for an expert would easily find some material flaw or difference between them.

When Jesus said another just like Me, He meant precisely and perfectly. In other words, if something is true about Jesus it is true about the Holy Spirit. This is why we often use the Holy Spirit and Christ interchangeably as the one who indwells us. There is not the slightest difference between them.

These words must have been a comfort to the disciples, if not immediately at least later when they reflected on them. This promise was timely for Jesus had recently dropped the bomb that He would be leaving and returning to the Father.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page. 

‘King Cotton band marches on’

by John T. Sullivan Jr. (via e-mail)

The more things change, the more they stay the same! Who said that? It must have been someone from Oswego, because Oswego always provides ample evidence for the verity of this vernacular conundrum. Particularly when it comes to politics.

Forty-one years ago, I was elected a member of the newly formed Oswego County Legislature (formerly known as the Board of Supervisors). I was a Democrat in a Republican sea and I was quickly made aware of that fact when I asked to see copies of the resolutions we had to vote on.

“What?” exclaimed then County Attorney Charlie Sauers. “Do you know how much making Xerox copies would cost?”

Undaunted, I persisted in my quest to be able to read what I was about to vote on. It took a few months, but the Republican majority finally relented and cranked up the copy machine!

In those days, Ray Cotton, who was the sheriff and the chairman of the Republican Party would stand in the back of the chambers, and when it came time to vote, the roll call would start with the Town of Albion, whose Legislator at the time, Kenny Wheeler, would look back at Sheriff Cotton, who would literally give either a thumbs up or thumbs down signal, and Ken would vote accordingly.

The rest of the majority members then followed suit. That was just the way things were done, way back then.

I criticized the county government for acting like the “Toonerville Trolley,” puffing and snorting its way into the 20th century. I know, I know,  Trolleys don’t puff and snort, they run on electricity, but believe me, this one did, and anyone who dared to rise up to challenge the status quo, as I most often did, was rebuffed, rebuked, and reviled for having the temerity to challenge the powers who be.

Well, fast forward 41 years, and the Oswego County Legislature is back at it again — with a vengeance.

They have re-drawn legislative district lines without paying much heed to existing town lines, but lots of heed to whatever will further solidify their political hegemony.

They have appointed their chairman, Fred Beardsley, who by all accounts is unqualified for the post, as county treasurer. Why? Because they can. It is a perfect example of the arrogance of power that comes from unfettered one party rule.

But to add insult to injury, the coalition of Democrats,  Conservatives and disgruntled Republicans who have finally said enough is enough, have had to take to the courts to challenge this majority exercise in raw partisan redistricting power, only to find that the Judge hearing the case, who should be an impartial arbiter, is himself a former chairman of the local Republican party.

In addition, his brother-in-law, H. Douglas Barclay, is the respected and venerable former state senator from the area, and the power of all the powers that be in Oswego County.

Indeed, Doug’s law firm was paid to give an opinion to the majority Republican legislature that what they were doing, apportionment wise, was perfectly legal.

Under normal circumstances, Seiter is seen as a fair and impartial jurist, but when it comes to political cases, it will be hard for him not to see things from the Republican side of the aisle.

It is where his bread has been buttered all of his life and they are the team that brought him to the seat of power he now occupies.

A fair and impartial judiciary is critical to the administration of justice, and in this situation, fairness and impartiality may fall victim to partisanship, even if unwittingly.

It seems to me that the most sensible thing for Judge Norm Seiter to do would be to recuse himself from this case, and that way, avoid even the appearance and/or mere hint of impropriety.

He is unlikely to do that, however, so justice ill served may be justice denied. To quote an old friend of mine, the late Harry O’Brien of Fulton, “John Phillip Sousa may be dead, but his King Cotton band marches on in Oswego County.”

It is as true today as it was back then. Only the names have been changed to protect the less than innocent.

Hannibal Senior Band to premiere ‘For Those First Called’

The Hannibal Senior Band will premier “For Those First Called,” in honor of first responders, by Syracuse composer Kevin Mixon June 4.

Mixon is an accomplished composer and arranger with several works for band and orchestra published by Carl Fischer, Kendor Music, and Alfred Publishing.

In addition, he is a National Board Certified Teacher, was an instrumental music teacher for several years, and is currently the director of fine arts for the Syracuse City School District.

He is in frequent demand as a conductor and clinician for festivals and conferences, such as the International Society for Music Education Convention, the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, National Association for Music Education events, and state and regional music conferences.

He is author of “Reaching and Teaching All Instrumental Music Students” and co-author of “Teaching Music in the Urban Classroom.”

This composition commissioned by the senior band is dedicated to the memory of past Music Booster President Ed “Skeeter” Carvey, whose died in a tragic accident in 2011.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the Hannibal High School Lockwood Auditorium with the Jazz Band.

Graduating seniors Nicole McMahon, Ashley Moberg and Brooke Zapanta will be honored by the Hannibal Senior Band as well as foreign exchange students, Jakub Schinko and Monica Kollar in this send-off celebration.

As is tradition, alumni and friends will be invited to join the band on the final two selections, “Lexington March” and “A Tribute to Neil Diamond.”

A reception sponsored by the Hannibal Music Boosters will take place in the cafeteria following the performance.

What’s happening at CNY Arts Center?

A new month brings lots of weekend events, starting with the very first Saturday of the month. June 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., an open house for our new gallery “Arts in the Heart” located at 47 S. First St., Fulton. Come visit, take a walk through, enjoy Marcella Slater on the harp from 2 to 4 p.m.; see the display of some of the finest art in the heart of CNY. Get a free “ARTs in the HeART” bracelet while supplies last. The public is also invited to the official Ribbon Cutting set for June 5 at 11 a.m. just before Tunes in June.

We’ll also be open during Farmer’s Market every Saturday so stop by when you’re at the market, on your lunch hour during the week or whenever you’re downtown.

Make time to see what’s new at Arts in the HeART Gallery open Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hours are subject to change.

The second Saturday finds the third annual Arts Fest June 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the War Memorial Community Center Ice Rink. This annual event is growing in popularity each year. Crafters and artists, entertainment, a talent competition, art projects for kids, food, prizes, and family fun. With more 50 vendors to browse, this event will offer the best local handmade original art and crafts. Make it a day to celebrate the arts in CNY.

We still need performers for the talent competition to be held during Arts Fest from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Butler-Sheehan Irish Step Dancers are scheduled to perform during judges deliberations.

Lois Dixon and the Olives and Tom Eagan will each perform onstage following the Competition which awards prizes in three age categories plus a new category for bands just added. And there is still room for vendors. Talent and vendors can register online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com.

Our focus is on kids the third Saturday, June 15 from noon to 2 p.m. with sign-up for our summer play “Charlotte’s Web.” The play is open to all children from ages 5-15 and we’ll find a part for everyone. There is no charge to participate.

The play will run Aug. 16-18 at the Arts Center located in the 357 State Street church. Children should be prepared to tell their favorite story or sing a song. For more information visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 592-3373.

Digital Photography 101 series kicks off our class schedule June 4 and you can attend any or all of the six classes meeting on Tuesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Learn the basics of taking photographs with a digital camera. A single lens reflex (SLR) digital camera is recommended, but not required. The class is taught by Kendra Matott, studio arts coordinator and Featured Artist of the Month at Arts in the HeART Gallery.

Sunday, June 9 brings our monthly Writer’s Café from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the center. This informal gathering for local writers and people who enjoy writing is the perfect place to share your writings and enjoy the work of others like yourself. All genres welcome. Contact Jim Farfaglia at 402-2297 or sjimf903@twcny.rr.com.

Three great classes are on the calendar for Saturday, June 15 with Woodworking for Beginners, ages 10 and up from 1 to 5 p.m. Students will make a flower box and learn about proper tool safety and woodworking techniques. All materials and tools are provided.

Textured Memories with Kenneth Blount will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You’re going to love this one using things around the house…a child’s toy, a favorite cup/spoon, a treasured memory that becomes a treasured work of art bringing back memories for years to come. Bring items to make a collage. Please pre-register.

Oil Painting with Bonnie McClellan returns from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This class will paint “Abandoned Cabin” full of colors! All materials are provided and students will leave with a completed painting.

Students are reminded to pre-register for all classes and workshops to avoid missing out. Classes and workshops charge a modest fee. Visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com  for more information or call 592-3373 for details and updates and look for us here every week with the latest classes and events.

Poppies – Late May

by Jim Farfaglia

Poppies – Late May

 

For weeks they were only green furry eggs,

each sitting atop a slim stalk,

defying gravity.

 

Yesterday, they offered a peek of their promise,

blushing like school boys

at their first spring dance.

 

And today – right on time –

three burst open,

revealing their colorful cries of joy:

 

for the coming of summer,

for the particular beauty of red,

for the gift of things worth noticing.

Fulton YMCA offers summer soccer camp with Syracuse Silver Knights

The Fulton Family YMCA and the Syracuse Silver Knights are teaming up to offer a summer soccer camp. 

The Silver Knights camp offers personalized instruction from professional Silver Knight’s players, coaches, and other highly qualified coaches.

The camp is designed to provide kids of all ages the opportunity to learn technical and tactical skills all while enjoying a fun and safe environment.

The Silver Knights have coached camps at all levels across New York State.

The Fulton YMCA’s Summer Soccer Camp will be held July 15-19 at Fulton’s G. Ray Bodley Soccer Fields.

Those seeking to register for the camp may call the Syracuse Silver Knights at 303-7261 or email at silverknights@scyracusesilverknights.com.

Registration forms are available at the Fulton Family YMCA and on the web site at www.fultonymca.com or on the Silver Knights Webpage at http://syracusesilverknights.com/camps.cfm.

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