‘Game of Thrones’ co-creator to appear at SUNY Oswego

David Benioff“Game of Thrones” co-creator
David Benioff
“Game of Thrones” co-creator

“Game of Thrones” co-creator David Benioff, author of the 2012-13 Oswego Reading Initiative selection “City of Thieves,” will make a free public appearance at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24 in SUNY Oswego’s Campus Center arena.

Benioff is an American novelist, screenwriter and television producer who has written numerous screenplays, including “The Kite Runner” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

He co-created HBO’s “Game of Thrones” with D.B. Weiss and is as an executive producer for the series, recently renewed for seasons 3 and 4.

At the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards, “Game of Thrones” picked up six Emmy Awards, including best costumes and best visual effects.

“We think that perhaps because of the multitude of dimensions that he (Benioff) brings to the table, it is not bad to make sure that not only the book and his intents in writing different aspects of it are covered, but also people have a chance to ask questions about the other things he has done or is involved in,” said SUNY Oswego Associate Provost Rameen Mohammadi, who chairs the annual ORI program.

Tim Nekritz, the college’s associate director of public affairs and director of web communication, will moderate the event, featuring an interview-style format with a question-and-answer session.

The ORI committee chose Benioff’s novel, set in Russia during World War II, for a number of reasons, according to Mohammadi. “I think, one, it does have a coming-of-age characteristic to it because the main character is a young Jewish boy who is in St. Petersburg at the time when the Germans had surrounded the city,” Mohammadi said.

The book confronts issues such as food rationing and the difficulties of fighting for one’s life on a daily basis, but also shows the main character trying to figure out who he is and how he learns about himself throughout the novel.

A New York Times Sunday book review said, “In fact, the novel tells a refreshingly traditional tale, driven by an often ingenious plot.” Parking for the arena event is free in Lot 18, the rear half of the lot south of Hart and Funnelle halls, and Lot 32, the large commuter lot south of Lot 18.

Benioff will make a second free public appearance in the Campus Center auditorium at 3 p.m. April 24, with a special invitation for students in the creative writing and cinema and screen studies programs.

Accomplished alumna to address over 100 student honorees April 19

The annual SUNY Oswego Honors Convocation Friday, April 19 will recognize more than 100 academic achievers and feature a talk by an Oswego alumna who has built a career in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

The formal ceremony recognizing student academic achievement will take place at 3 p.m. in the Campus Center convocation hall and arena.

Together with the students being honored, an audience of family, friends and campus colleagues of the honorees will witness the procession of faculty presenters in academic regalia, applaud students receiving awards, and hear from 1981 communication studies graduate Rosemary Cardamone Crane.

Crane has more than 30 years of experience in commercialization and business operations, primarily in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. She is currently a partner and head of commercialization at Apple Tree Partners.

Before joining Apple Tree, Crane was the president and chief executive officer of Epocrates. Before that, she served as a company group chairman for the over-the-counter, specialty and nutritionals businesses of Johnson & Johnson, after serving as executive vice president of global marketing for the pharmaceutical group of Johnson & Johnson.

She spent two decades at Bristol-Myers Squibb, working her way up to president of the U.S. Primary Care Division.

After earning her bachelor’s degree from Oswego, Crane earned a master’s of business administration from Kent State University. She is a former member of the Oswego College Foundation board of directors and the School of Business Advisory Board. Originally from Utica, she now resides in Langhorne, Pa.

Honors Convocation is the culmination of SUNY Oswego’s Honors Week, which includes induction ceremonies for a range of honorary organizations across many disciplines and Quest, the college’s signature symposium dedicated to the scholarly and creative pursuits of faculty and students.

The convocation will be followed by a reception in the Campus Center activity court. The events are free and open to the public. Visitors without a SUNY Oswego parking permit may purchase a visitor’s permit from the Parking Office at oswego.edu/administration/parking.

Fulton Board of Education adopts $65 million budget

by Nicole Reitz

The Fulton Board of Education adopted its $65.26 million budget Tuesday night, making it one of the first local districts to approve its budget for the 2013-14 academic year.

However, the budget was not adopted unanimously. Four voted yes, two voted no and one abstained.

Board members Fred Cavalier and Brian Hotaling voted against the budget, expressing their concerns about the tax levy increase. Dan Pawlewicz abstained from voting.

After the last meeting, Superintendent Bill Lynch went back to the budget draft to reassess spending line by line. The budget that was approved varies little from prior drafts discussed earlier in the year.

A budget to budget increase of almost $3 million is in part the result of rising pension costs.

“We have over $1.1 million just in pensions and that’s an increase we can’t control unless we lower our payroll,” said Business Administrator Kathy Nichols.

The budget includes a 1.5 percent increase in the local tax levy and uses more than $2 million from the district’s reserve fund. These two combined factors make up for the money not provided by aid from the state.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

In And Around Hannibal: April 13, 2013

by Rita Hooper 

In June, I will be representing Presbyterian Women of the Synod of the Northeast on a mission trip to Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina, a section of the country commonly referred to as Appalachia.

There will be about 25 women from all over the country taking part in this trip. We will be attending lectures and workshops, meeting with local historians and Appalachian women to better understand the history and culture of the region.

We will tour and fellowship with local organizations serving women, children and families. We will learn about the evolution and existing ministry of the Presbyterian Church and the challenges faced by women, children and families living in the area.

Appalachia is an area covering more than 200,000 square miles that follow the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania to Mississippi; it includes all of West Virginia and parts of 11 other states.  Forty-two percent of the region’s population is classified as rural as compared with 20 percent of the national population.

In 1965, one in three Appalachians lived in poverty and 223 counties were considered economically disadvantaged. By 2008 the poverty rate had dropped to 18 percent and in 2013, the number of counties considered economically disadvantaged has been cut to 98.

Appalachia was one of the areas impacted by the War on Poverty begun back in the ‘60’s that bought us among other programs, Head Start, Vista, Job Corps, Legal Services and the office of Economic Opportunity, which administered the program.  This was sometimes referred to as Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.  Having been a young adult at this time, I can tell you it was exciting.

For a country in trauma following the assassination of the President, his brother and Martin Luther King, this was a program that a large part of this country could get behind and that many of us benefitted from. It was a bright spot in a war weary world.

Of course the programs had their critics and fell victim to politics. Nixon came in and dismantled many of the programs or transferred them to other agencies shutting down the office of Economic Opportunity.  Whether it was a good or bad, many folks benefitted from the programs as they were lifted out of poverty, received educations and finally the needs of the disadvantaged were being lifted up.

This was an area of the country whose economy was dependent on mining, forestry, agriculture, chemical and heavy industry. It has become more diversified in recent years but many of the urban Appalachians still live in polluted, low-income industrial areas where they are exposed to toxic substances.

At this point in time, one in five Appalachian children lives in poverty; at least 40,000 children lack health insurance.  Nearly 1/3 of the third graders have not been to a dentist in the past year or have ever had a dental exam. Infant mortality in some counties is twice the national average. Many lack the very basics of necessities like indoor plumbing and running water. This is not in a third world country but in the United States.

This area had the usual influx of immigrants, Poles, Irish, English, Scotch and Africans, among others. The Native Americans were displaced during the Trail of Tears.  In spite of all the “downers,” it is an area rich in scenery, culture, crafts, music and story telling. I am excited about all there is for me to see, learn and do. I look forward to this trip.

When I return, I have committed to spend the next two years speaking about the area and advocating for their needs throughout the Northeast.

There will be a mission fair and spaghetti dinner at the First United Church (33 S. Third St., Fulton, April 27 from 4 to 8 p.m.; dinner from 5:30 until sold out.

Dr. Joan Hillsman will be bringing us worship through music with an emphasis on Appalachian music. That alone will make it something you won’t want to miss. I do hope many of my friends and faithful readers from Hannibal and the surrounding area will circle the date and come and offer their support.

*  *  *  *  *

On another subject, I’ve been giving considerable thought, as I think some of my readers have, about how we get government moving in Washington. These folks were elected to work — and they did — they shortened their own working schedule, the number of days they spend in Washington.  But other than that much of Washington has been at a standstill. We have workshops on bullying locally, claim it’s a national issue and yet at every level of government, I see people in both parties using bullying tactics.

We elected these folks to get a job done, to do their own research (not listen to those infamous lobbyists and claim what they say as fact,) to sit down and work with each other, to invoke the fine art of compromise — remember when mom had one of her children cut the cake and the other children had first choice of the pieces?

So who do we have in Hannibal that we could get behind and send to Washington?  Who is it that would talk to power and tell them, they just may be too big for their britches and take them down a peg or two.

Who is it that could sit them down at a table and get the job done for us? And make them shake hands afterwards!

I ask my readers, if they would in their “pondering time’’ ponder this question and send me the names of people you think could do the job and why. It might just take a team! I have already decided who my nominee would be but I’d be interested in hearing yours.

*  *  *  *  *

The menu this week at the Senior Dining Center is:

April 15: Open-faced hot turkey sandwich, mashed potatoes, vegetable blend, and fruit cup.

April 17: Ham, boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage, and applesauce.

April 19: Chicken Parmesan over pasta, vegetable blend, and cookie.

This week their program will include Wii bowling and other games Monday, Bingo on Wednesday, and Music with the Pritchards Friday. The Center opens at 10 and lunch is served at noon. Give Rosemary a call at 564-5471 to make your reservation. The center is located in the Library Building on Oswego Street.

The Hannibal Boy Scouts are selling “Camp Cards” as a fundraiser. The card sells for $5, but is worth more than this amount in value at local businesses. One half of the selling prices goes to the local Scout unit and is great way for Scouts to earn their way to camp. For more information, call Mr. Prosser at 564-5630.

Cabin 3 invites you to the S.O.S. FEST “Big Meeting” Tuesday, April 16 at 6 p.m. at God’s Vision Christian Church, 326 Church St, Hannibal. This will be the 3rd year of the S.O.S. FEST. It is a three-day Christian music festival held at the Hannibal Firemen’s Field July 19-21.

The Hannibal Methodist Church is holding prayer meetings at the home of Jack Lenhard on Pine View Lane at 7 p.m. Tuesday evenings and at 1 p.m. Thursdays in the church dining room, Route 3

Wednesday and Thursday, April 17 and 18 at 7 p.m., the Hannibal High School’s Drama Club, Purple Gallery, will present the comedy, “30 Reasons Not To Be In A Play,” by Alan Haehnel, in the Hannibal High School Lockwood Auditorium.

The Sterling Valley Community Church will be having its annual Men’s and Boy’s Dinner Friday, April 19 at 6 p.m. The menu will be Italian with homemade pies for dessert. The program will be presented by The Friends of Fort Ontario. Please call Judy at 564-5386 with your reservations.

The Friends of the Hannibal Free Library will be holding its Spring Book and Bake Sale Saturday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will take place in the Hannibal Community Center, next to the library.

Charley the Barber

JerryHoganKasperek_Wby Jerry Kasperek

Thanks for your phone calls and e-mails. I now know that the GLF stands for the Grange League Federation — a farmer-owned cooperative where you could buy feed and seed and other kinds of farming supplies.

But, I’m going to put the story of the GLF aside for another time and write about what I promised you: 1) take a trip on the DL&W Railroad; and 2) learn a little bit about the life and times of Charley the Barber.

His name was Charles Santoro; his barbershop was downtown on South Second Street in the block between Montgomery Ward on Cayuga Street and Perkins’ Corner on Oneida Street.

There were three or four small businesses squeezed into that short block and Charley’s was the one between Fanny Farmer’s and the Elizabeth shop. (To jog our collective memory: Farmer Farmer’s sold yummy chocolate candy while the Elizabeth Shop sold upscale clothes for kids.)

I knew Charley’s wife, Carm, because she worked at the Sealright with my mother many years ago. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from Dennis Santoro, their son, who called me about one of my columns when I mentioned X-ee (or Ex-ee) Libera’s barbershop on West First Street.

His dad had started there and also had worked at Galizia’s on North Second.

He had moved here from Oswego, Dennis said about his father. “He chose Fulton, because there was more industry and it was more prosperous.”

And when his dad got a place of his own on South Second Street he happily barbered there from 1952 to 1972 until Urban Renewal and Route 481 changed the downtown landscape. He then moved his shop to Oneida Street, Dennis said, until 1978, when his father passed away on his way to work.

“His passion was to be with his customers,” Dennis spoke lovingly of his dad, whose footsteps he tried to follow and become a barber. He went to barbering school for three summers and became an apprentice. But it just wasn’t for him.

Today, he is a retired teacher from the Cicero, North Syracuse School District. He said he has lived here — in Fulton — all his life and wish people could know what it was like back then in his father’s day.

I thank Dennis Santoro for sharing his father’s story with us. Charley’s barbershop was part of the Dizzy Block that we so fondly recall.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Fulton boys lacrosse defeats Central Square, loses to Homer

by Rob Tetro

Last week, the Fulton boys varsity lacrosse won against Central Square but lost to Homer April 6th, a solid start along with six fourth-quarter goals helped Fulton to come away with a 12-6 win over Central Square.

Unfortunately for the Red Raiders, Homer proved to be far more challenging of an opponent.

Homer got off to a solid start April 9 while setting the stage for a long day for Fulton.

Homer scored nine unanswered goals during the first half en route to an impressive 13-1 win over the Red Raiders.

Fulton jumped out to a 4-1 lead following the first quarter of its April 6 game against Central Square.

Central Square scored the only goal of the second quarter to cut the Red Raiders lead down to two goals at 4-2 going into halftime.

Fulton held on to its two-goal lead after both teams scored two goals each during the third quarter.

However, the Red Raiders turned a competitive game at 6-4 at the beginning of the fourth quarter into a convincing win by the end of the game.

They erupted to outscore Central Square by four goals while scoring six goals during the fourth quarter to pull away for the 12-6 win.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

GRB freshman shaves head for St. Baldrick’s Foundation

Kimberly Rombough
Kimberly Rombough

by Nicole Reitz

Kimberly Rombough, a ninth-grade student at G. Ray Bodley High School, proudly holds her shaved head high. She recently went bald for the third time for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

St. Baldrick’s began as a head-shaving event and continues to be the signature event of the foundation. The Oswego County Legislature proclaimed March 27 as St. Baldrick’s Day in Oswego County. A local St. Baldrick’s event was held at the end of March at the Lake Ontario Event & Conference Center.

Rombough is just one of the 22,700 women who shaved their heads at 5,500 events since 2000.

The “shavees” ask friends and family to make donations and in return, they attend one of the volunteer organized events where they have their heads shaved in solidarity with kids fighting cancer.

Rombough’s mother, Jessica Kingsley, first told her about St. Baldrick’s mission. Rombough was interested in the cause and has seen how cancer can affect a family. Her own aunt has had a lot of cancer related treatments.

She participated in the event for the first time in elementary school with her mother and donated her mid-back length hair to Locks of Love.

Having so much fun at her second event, Rombough decided to participate again this year.

Through sponsorships from teachers and family, Rombough was able to raise $211 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises critical funds for childhood cancer research.

“I like the event because it makes other people feel good and it’s nice to make other people happy,” said Rombough.

At the event a lot of people thanked her for getting involved, Rombough said. Since then, schoolmates and others have asked her what St. Baldrick’s is about.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Fire chief: Minetto supervisor wants to dissolve department

by Terri DiGregorio

The Minetto Town Board’s meeting April 8 began like any other with reports being presented, minutes being approved from previous meetings and discussions about upcoming events.

However, a hand-written sign had been placed in front of the podium by Supervisor William Dodd.

On the sign were excerpts from Chapters 3, 4 and 5 of the town law regarding the duties of the members of the board. Dodd read the sign to those present before speaking about recent concerns about his actions.

“If I get a phone call from one taxpayer or fifty taxpayers, I have to address that issue and bring it to the attention of the board,” he said. “Every single person deserves respect and merit placed on their concern. There has been some talk that I have not been doing that and that is not true. It is the job of the trustees of the board to make decisions together. It is not my money. I am not acting alone. I don’t make any financial decisions on my own.”

One of the big issues that sparked a heated exchange was in relation to the Minetto Volunteer Fire Department.

A phone call reportedly made by Dodd to another fire company inquiring their ability to cover the Minetto area if the fire department was dissolved was not well received by members of the Minetto department.

Chief Joe Smegelsky read from a prepared statement in regards to the issue. In it, he stated that the members of the department, who are all volunteers, were offended by Dodd’s phone call.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

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