National banjo champion to perform in Fulton

The Fulton Community Band will be playing at the Bullhead Point Pavilion on Thursday, July 18 and national banjo champion Drew Freck will be playing at the Canal Landing Gazebo on South First Street in downtown Fulton Friday, July 19.

Programs for the Summer Concert Series are available at the City of Fulton Parks & Recreation Office and the City Clerk’s Office at 141 S. First St.

Those seeking more information may call 592-2474.

Youth robotics program to be held

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County 4-H program is conducting a summer program to introduce robotics to youth, Introduction to Robotics.

This five-session program runs from Monday, Aug. 12 through Friday, Aug. 16 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Wilcox Hall of the First Presbyterian Church in Mexico.

During this course, youth will learn what a robot is, how to build one and to program the robot to use sensors to interact with its environment.

Robots will be constructed using LEGO NXT Mindstorm. Programming concepts are introduced using the RoboLab computer language.

The youth will learn the basics of programming using a curriculum that is designed to encourage the use of math and science when programming their robots.

Introduction of Robotics is designed for youth entering grades 4-7 in September 2013. Class size is limited to 10 youth and there will be up to four youth per robot and computer.

Those seeking more information may call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County at 963-7286, ext 401.

Scrabble Fest to benefit Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County

In the game of Scrabble, the word literacy is worth 13 points. In real life, it’s priceless.

Friday, Sept. 20, Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County will hold its seventh annual Diane Falise Memorial Scrabble Fest.

One of Oswego County’s most entertaining fund-raisers, Scrabble Fest offers devotees of the game Scrabble the opportunity to enjoy an evening of friendly competition, and more.

“Scrabble Fest is much more than just another fund raiser,” said Meg Henderson, coordinator of OCO’s Literacy Volunteers Program.

“Scrabble Fest is also a way to raise awareness of LVOC and our efforts to combat the issue of illiteracy in Oswego County.  Currently, approximately 15-17 percent of the adult population of Oswego County cannot read above the 5th grade level,” she added.

“The majority of LVOC students are between the ages of 19 and 59, with the fastest growing age group entering the program being between 18 and 29,” Henderson continued. “It is an issue that needs to be addressed, as these individuals are unable to do what many of us take for granted such as reading newspapers, medication labels, recipes and most books.  LVOC offers the opportunity for them to gain the literary skills and computer skills necessary for daily activities and more.”

Operating under the auspices of Oswego County Opportunities, LVOC provides confidential tutoring services at no cost to the student.

Tutoring includes basic literacy (reading and writing), English literacy to improve English speaking, reading and writing skills, and some simple math and computer skills

Scheduled for Friday, Sept. 20, the Scrabble Fest will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Oswego Elks Lodge #271.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., welcome is at 6:15 p.m., and games begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. Teams of four will compete against each other in four 20-minute rounds.

Team scores will be tallied and the top three teams will be awarded prizes.

To add to the fun of the event, there will be prizes for the team and individual who bring in the most pledges.

“Whether you’re playing, or just rooting on your favorite team, Scrabble Fest is a great opportunity to get your friends, family or co-workers together for an evening of fun for a very worthwhile cause that may have a tremendously positive impact on a person’s life,” added Henderson.

In addition to the Scrabble  competition, Henderson said that there will be a silent auction featuring some great items donated by local merchants who support LVOC, and a 50/50 drawing.

Entry fee for a team of four is $100 and includes light refreshments. The cost for individuals wishing to attend but not compete in the event is $15 (this fee includes light refreshments).

All proceeds from Scrabble Fest will benefit LVOC.

Those seeking more information may call 342-8839 or visit

JJ Andrews: SBS ‘King’ of Oswego Speedway

In a mayhem-filled event at Oswego Speedway Saturday night, JJ Andrews had a run fit for a King, leading all 35 laps of the Pathfinder Bank SBS feature on route to his third career victory at the Speedway as a part of “King of Wings V.”

Andrews started the event from the fourth position, but several early accidents would hand the lead to the driver of the Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux No. 93 before a single lap could be completed.

From there, Andrews dominated, charging to as large as a full straight away lead, before having to fend off Russ Brown on a late race restart for the victory.

Brown, Chris Proud, AJ Bernys, Kreig Heroth, Dan Abt, Jason Simons, Jeremy Pitcher, Mike Bond, and Tim Gareau would complete the top ten order of the SBS main event on Saturday night.

“This feels so good, I can’t catch my breath,” said Andrews.  “I need to give all the credit to Corey (Norton). He has been with me for as long as I have been doing this. He does all the work on the car and helped a lot this week with me out of town. He (Norton) owns at the go-kart track on Friday nights and he comes here and helps me get ownership on Saturdays.”

Andrews was not at all happy to see the late race caution fall at lap 31, giving Brown a chance at the lead.

“I said plenty of bad words,” said Andrews. “I figured Brownie was going to be there. I guess he was, but I don’t know how close he was, but this is so exciting and I am so unbelievably happy.  Who would have thought an old guy like me with high blood pressure, amazing hair, could win a feature at Oswego Speedway.”

Rookie Scott Shafer and Mike Bruce would start on the front row of the 35-lap Pathfinder Bank SBS main on Saturday, but it would take several attempts to get the main event on its feet.

A major pile-up would occur in the third turn on one start involving at least seven cars with Jack Patrick making heavy contact with the outside third turn foam.

As the field dove into the third corner, several cars jammed up, sending Patrick around and into the outside fence. Patrick would be okay, but the car was hooked off the Speedway.

On the next try, another multi-car accident would take place, this time in the second corner.

Front row starters Shafer and Bruce made contact in front of the entire field exiting turn two sending both cars around, forcing several more cars to take evasive action behind.

Andrew Schartner’s No. 18 and Greg O’Connor’s No. 90 would both pound the outside second turn steel, with Cameron Rowe, Jason Simmons, and Dalton Doyle also involved in the accident.

Doyle and O’Connor’s racecars would be hooked off the Speedway with Schartner requiring a flatbed to get his mangled machine off the race track.

A fourth start would see several cars already out of the event with Andrews now the race leader ahead of Bernys, Proud, Pitcher, Brown, Heroth, Abt, Dennis Rupert, Gareau, and David LaTulip.

As the Cam’s NY Pizzeria green flag waved yet again Andrews, Bernys, and Proud would check away from the field leaving Brown, Heroth, and Abt to do battle with Pitcher further behind.

Proud, driving a brand new SBS racer built by his brother Tim, was fast moving on the Speedway and quickly dove underneath Bernys in turn one on lap 3 to move into the runner-up spot.

Initially, it looked as though Proud may be able to reel in leader Andrews, but as the laps ticked away it was clear that Andrews was the class of the field as he continued to build a sizeable lead over the rest of the field.

Brown would be the main on the move in the No. 13 next moving by Pitcher in turn one on lap 9 to take over fourth.

Pitcher would back slide a touch as both Heroth and Abt found room underneath as well, dropping last week’s feature winner to seventh on the Speedway.

At the halfway point, Andrews continued to hold a commanding margin over Proud, who had built a nice lead on both Bernys and Brown as they battled further back.

At lap 18, Brown continued his pursuit of the leader, sliding underneath Bernys in turn three to take third with Prould now in his sights.

It took only eight circuits for Brown to chase down Proud, this time using the outside of the Speedway to drive by the No. 3 into the second position going into turn three, using lapped traffic to his advantage.

Brown started 11th on the grid and now sat second, but leader Andrews was nowhere in sight.

That was until caution waved at lap 31 for Bruce, who spun in the first corner trying to make his way by Gareau in the No. 17.

The caution allowed Brown to have one last shot at the No. 93 as both drivers were in search of their first victories of the 2013 season.

The restart order showed Andrews, Brown, Proud, Bernys, Heroth, Abt, Simmons, Pitcher, Bond, and Gareau in the top ten as the green flag waved.

As it turned out over the final four circuits that is exactly how they would stay with Andrews collecting win number one of 2013, the second victory of the year for Team Tapout, and the third career victory for the always entertaining Andrews.

Brown, who continues to lead the Pathfinder Bank SBS point standings, admitted he had nothing left for Andrews but was happy with his best finish of the year.

“That was a done deal,” said Brown. “They were faster than us tonight. I just have to thank the crew, they have been busting their butts on the car, and we are getting closer. Thanks to all the fans for showing up and we’re just going to keep digging and try to get one more spot.  At least a Hedger car won, I guess that is all that matters.”

Just like Brown, Proud had his best finish of the year in the No. 3 machine.

“It was pretty good, we just didn’t have anything for Jay,” said Proud. “We missed the set-up a hair but we are happy with third after our season so far.”

A total of 25 Pathfinder Bank SBS machines were in the pit area Saturday night with Bruce, Andrews, and Jon Tesoriero collecting Shell Shock Custom Helmet Paint heat race challenge victories.

For Tesoriero, it was his first career checkered flag at Oswego Speedway.

Andrews would go on to collect the Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader award as he paced all 35-laps on his way to victory.

Abt would take home the Nice Price Auto Sales Up & Comer award with Gareau the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger.

AJ Bernys was the White’s Car Care 4th place finisher.

RSVP sets summer orientation dates for prospective volunteers

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, a division of SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, will hold four volunteer orientations at 9 a.m. Wednesdays this summer for people 55 and older.

The July 17 and 24 and Aug. 14 and 21 orientations each will take place under the Kingsford Bell in Breitbeck Park.

The orientations will coincide with the weekly meeting of the Oswego Walking Club, one of RSVP’s newest health and wellness initiatives.

Anyone who is wondering, “What is there to do?” or wants to give back and doesn’t know where to turn can consider attending a session.

Participants will have the chance to meet informally with RSVP’s director and discuss volunteer opportunities and the benefits of joining RSVP.

RSVP collaborates with more than 100 programs in Oswego County to encourage and foster the development and maintenance of volunteer opportunities that engage, support and enhance the lives of Americans 55-plus, while responding to priority needs of the community.

Nationally, RSVP reached a milestone — its 40th anniversary — this year. RSVP is part of a nationwide network of Senior Corps programs, sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Each of the 700 RSVP programs across the country is sponsored by a nonprofit agency; SUNY Oswego and the United Way sponsor RSVP in Oswego County.

RSVP offers Mature Living, a bimonthly newsletter with news and information that’s both national and local in scope and of interest to older Americans.

To sign up for an orientation session or to receive Mature Living, call RSVP at 312-2317 or email


by Pastor David Grey

“This is my body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” — 1 Corinthians 11:24-26

The Lord Jesus spoke these words during the celebration of the Passover meal.

With those words, He gave new significance to the broken unleavened bread and the 3rd cup of wine which were part of the traditional celebration.  Originally, the Unleavened Bread was called the “bread of affliction” and had been made and eaten in haste before the Exodus from Egypt.

When the bread is eaten during the Passover meal, the host breaks the bread and says something along the lines of “This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in want come and celebrate the Passover with us. May it be God’s will to redeem us from all evil and from all slavery.”

When Jesus broke the bread His disciples were expecting to hear something very similar, however, He surprised them by saying,  “this is my body broken for you.”

Though they would probably not understand his meaning until later, Jesus was saying to the disciples that He who is the bread of life, would become the bread of affliction as all our sin and shame were laid upon Him.

Jesus did something similar when He, “took the cup.” Throughout the Passover Feast He carefully followed the same format as Jews had done for centuries, but then, surprisingly, He broke from tradition with words that must have startled the disciples.

During the Passover service four cups of wine were served. The third was called the “Cup of Blessing.” This is the cup Jesus took when the gospels report that, “after supper he took the cup.”

The third cup was the one served immediately after supper. At this point the people celebrating Passover would say something like, “I will take the chalice of salvation and I will call upon the name of the Lord.”

However, when Jesus served this cup, He said “This cup is the new covenant in my blood,” pointing to Himself as the blessing and our salvation.

The Passover Feast was always meant to foreshadow the One who would come, the Lamb of God. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover for all who will come to Him; to all who will trust in His shed blood just as the original Jews celebrating the Passover trusted in the blood of the lamb sprinkled on the door frames of their homes.

David M. Grey is pastor of Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

CNY Arts Center offers writing classes

The CNY Arts Center of Fulton has announced its latest writing classes.

“Journal Entries – On a Personal Note” will be offered Monday, July 22, from 4 to 8 p.m. Instructor Brittney Jerred will introduce writers to the concepts of voice, colorful writing, and showing, not telling.

All will complete a writing project in class — either by hand or by word processing — that will be published on the internet for participants to share with friends and the public.

A link will be provided at class.

“I look forward to meeting our local talented writers at this workshop and reading their submissions,” said Jerred. “We will have a finished product to share at the end.”

Those who prefer to write on a laptop computer may do so, but traditional pen-and-paper writing is also welcome.

The class will be held at the CNY Arts Center, located at 357 State Street in Fulton

Participants should bring a bagged lunch.

“Writers On The Road” is a class that will take place at the Arts Center’s “Arts in the Heart” Gallery, located at 47 S. First St. in downtown Fulton.

The program will take place July 20 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Instructor Jim Farfaglia will explore how artwork can inspire and prompt work. Instruction will be provided to guide participants as they write short pieces inspired by the artwork on display at the Gallery.

“Writing and creating studio art are related at a basic level,” said Farfaglia. “They are different ways to express ourselves, but when experienced together, they can further inspire us. Not only is this class a great way to see the exciting artwork being created by local artists, but to look deeper into what the artists are expressing through our writing.”

Both classes are open to writers of all levels of experiences. There is a fee for the classes.

Those seeking more information about the fees and other class details, or to register, may call the CNY offices at 592-3373.

School districts and United Way kick off Stuff-A-Bus Campaign

Members of the Oswego County Teachers Association, Oswego County Civil Service Employees Association, Catholic Charities, Oswego County Opportunities and United Way have announced that the annual Stuff-A-Bus Campaign is underway.

Working in collaboration with United Way of Greater Oswego County, other area school districts, and more than a dozen business and organizations, the annual Stuff-A-Bus campaign collects donations of school supplies for distribution to less fortunate students throughout Oswego County.

Beginning in April Stuff-A-Bus Co-Chairperson, Jo Ann Conzone organized a gift basket in order to raise awareness of the Stuff-A-Bus campaign and to encourage donations of school supplies in the Oswego City School District.

Patti Perfetti was the winner of that basket. She is also in contact throughout the school year with the Roller Derby Oz Girls who are supporters of this much-needed venue.

The APW school district has purchased raffle tickets for a cruiser bike and is selling them at this time; OCO collects supplies from communities for this program, many other county school district do a variety of fund raisers.

Conzone said, “I am proud to say that last year’s county give away totaled over 8600 supplies given to 1600 Oswego County families.   We are very appreciative of the work that the unions and county organizations do to help make the Stuff-A-Bus campaign so successful.”

“Hundreds of families are grateful for the supplies they receive.  Of course this would not be possible without the support we receive from the businesses and organizations that host their own school supply collections and serve as official donation sites for the Stuff-A-Bus campaign,” said United Way of Greater Oswego County Executive Director Melanie Trexler.

The highlight of the “Stuff-A-Bus” campaign will be the special collection day Wednesday, Aug. 14 when school buses will be at the following sites from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to accept donations of school supplies from pens and pencils to notebooks and backpacks.

They will be held at:

• Wal-Mart on Route 49 in Central Square;

• Wal-Mart on Route 104 in Oswego;

• Wal-Mart on Route 3 in Granby;

• Kinney Drugs at 3318 Main Street in Mexico;

• Kinney Drugs at 3873 Rome Road in Pulaski;

• Kinney Drugs at 17 South First Street in Fulton;

• The Hannibal Village Market IGA, Route 3 in Hannibal; and

• Fulton Savings Bank parking lot, Route 57 in Phoenix.

Those seeking more information on the Stuff-A-Bus campaign may call the United Way office at 593-1900 or the Oswego City School District Superintendent’s Office at 341-2001.

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