Oswego State hockey team falls in title game

The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (25-5-0) nearly overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period, but came up short in the end as the Lakers lost to UW-Eau Claire 5-3 in the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey National Championship Saturday night at Herb Brooks Arena.

Bobby Gertsakis pulled Oswego State to within one goal with 10 minutes remaining, but the Lakers could not force overtime as the Blugolds added an empty-net goal 58.1 seconds on the clock.

UW-Eau Claire applied heavy pressure in its offensive zone in the early stages of the game, but Oswego State stood tall in the flourish until Chris Muise (Sr., Oakville, Ontario) drew an elbowing penalty at 8:44

Zach Josepher and Tyler Leimbrock had two shots stopped by UW-Eau Claire goalie Brandon Stephenson.

However, with one second remaining on the power play, Bobby Gertsakis lifted a shot over Stephenson under the crossbar from near the right post as Stephenson went down to the ice at 10:44.

Gertsakis received the pass from Luke Moodie in the slot after he was fed by Jesse McConney.

On the next shift, Muise put Oswego State ahead 2-0 with a shot from the slot that beat Stephenson at the 11:15 mark.

Chris Brown hit Muise with the pass from the near boards after a UWEC shot went off the right post.

It was the Blugolds turn to go on the power play at 14:17 in the first after a Laker boarding penalty, and it didn’t take long for them to cash in as Jordan Singer scored of the ensuing faceoff with a wrist shot at the top of the slot that went between Hare’s five-hole.

Assists were given to David Donnellan and Drew Darwitz.

The goal energized UW-Eau Claire as it killed off a Laker power play before leveling the score with 53.3 seconds left in the first after a goal by Andrew Wilcox, who buried a pass from Darwitz.

Hare ended the period with 11 saves compared to nine for Stephenson.

Oswego State killed off a penalty early in the second, but UW-Eau Claire continued to attack in the offensive zone. Wilcox took a shot in the slot that was stopped by Hare, but the rebound landed on the stick of Daniel Olszewski, who pounced on the rebound at 6:29 to put the Blugolds out in front, 3-2.

The Lakers went back on the power play after a slashing penalty at 9:21, and gained a 5-on-3 advantage for 41 seconds following another whistle.

UW-Eau Claire killed off that opportunity and the subsequent penalty to maintain its one-goal lead.

The Lakers closed out the stanza with a series of quality shifts, but came up empty as they drew a Blugold penalty with 59.7 seconds left in the second, which carried over into the final period trailing 3-2.

UW-Eau Claire survived the Oswego State pressure until the Blugolds’ Devin Mantha split the defense on an outlet pass from Jared Williams at 7:20 in the third to grab a 4-2 lead.

Oswego State was not finished, though, as Bobby Gertsakis netted his second goal of the game from the top of the right faceoff circle at the 10-minute mark.

The goal cut the Laker deficit in half after being the beneficiary of a Muise pass.

Shortly after the goal, the Lakers were forced to call timeout after a long defensive shift that saw UW-Eau Claire have several good looks at the net before the puck was iced with 8:26 remaining in regulation.

As the period dwindled, Oswego State continued to press the issue offensively, but Stephenson was up to the challenge, finishing the game with 27 saves.

Hare, who ended up with 20 saves, was pulled with 1:19 left on the clock to give the Lakers the extra attacker.

UW-Eau Claire cleared the puck out of its defensive zone, which allowed Kurt Weston to score the empty-net goal. Oswego State pulled Hare again, but did not score.

Gertsakis and Chris Muise were named to the all-tournament team.

The 14 Laker seniors graduate with a career record of 98-17-2.

The seniors won two SUNYAC Championships and appearing in four Frozen Fours and a pair of national championship contests.

Controversy looms over county treasurer appointment

by Carol Thompson

How to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Oswego County Treasurer John Kruk may have to be settled by the court as the Republicans and Democrats are in disagreement.

Kruk resigned Feb. 27 and the position has been vacant since that time. The Republicans maintain that the position is to be filled by the Oswego County Legislature based on a local law.

Michael C. Backus, who serves as the county Republican chairman, believes this stance is correct.

“I have been advised that the Oswego County legislature has the ability to appoint,” Backus said Friday in a written response. “As chairman of the Oswego County Republican Committee I have called a meeting of the OCRC for (tomorrow) where I expect our over 200 members to vote to recommend one candidate to the legislature for appointment.

“In May, we’ll go through our formal endorsement process and vote for a candidate to run in the fall,” he added. “At the end of the day, regardless of any appointment, the people of Oswego County will elect their next treasurer in November.”

Oswego County Democrat Chairman Mike Kunzwiler disagrees.

“I believe this is an appointment to be made by the governor,” he said. “There is a court case to back this up. The Republicans are saying the legislature can appoint because of a local law, but I have been advised by legal counsel that local law cannot supersede state law.”

Kunzwiler said he has been in contact with the governor’s office and has submitted the resume of the county’s chief accountant Mark See.

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

College places greater focus on supporting student veterans

SUNY Oswego has launched an ambitious set of short- and long-term goals to provide top-notch services to current and former members of the military.

To help veterans transition to civilian and college life, the college increased its focus on such activities as training staff and faculty in pivotal contact positions to handle veterans issues, better tracking veteran student retention and success, establishing a veterans resource center and lounge, and publishing comprehensive web resources.

After a campuswide committee last fall recommended a greater emphasis on resources for veterans, the college’s Division of Extended Learning named Ben Parker coordinator of veterans services.

A three-year SUNY Oswego employee who early on was assigned to visit Fort Drum for informational sessions, Parker was among the first to complete a new veterans services certificate program at Empire State College last year.

SUNY Oswego senior Milton Lopez, a former Army National Guard member and veteran of Afghanistan, believes a new day has started to dawn for veterans attending the college, whether as undergraduate or graduate students, residents or online.

Lopez, an Oswego resident, father, Centro bus driver and landlord, recalls how Parker dived into a situation about a months-long training deployment in California that would have immediately preceded Lopez’s departure, after eight years, from the Guard and its 427th Brigade Support Battalion.

Both men thought it would be a waste of time and money that could lengthen Lopez’s already six-year, part-time march to a degree in accounting.

Parker “could have told me I have to go back and work with my officers,” Lopez said. “Or he could have done what he did and made calls and developed contingency plans (for Lopez’s coursework). In the end, I did not join the deployment…It feels good to have people like Ben around.”

Parker said that sometimes “veterans are frustrated trying to track down the right place to call to solve a problem as they get sent from office to office. I will get back to them, work with them and not continue the cycle.”

The anecdote points to Parker’s personal willingness — as well as the institutional will of the college — to improve campus services for veteran students. Higher education for active-duty military and returning veterans presents a complex national set of issues, but with a crystal-clear SUNY Oswego goal: welcoming, encouraging and supporting current and former military personnel in pursuit of a quality higher education.

“For me, personally, the reward is working with the veterans one on one,”

SUNY Oswego aims to enroll more veterans, thanks to a significant increase in educational funding in the 2008 “Post-9/11 GI Bill,” a 2012 executive order from President Barack Obama boosting requirements for veterans services at institutions that receive military and veterans educational benefits and the proximity of Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division and many smaller military units.

A campus committee supported by Provost Lorrie Clemo includes members of Student Affairs, Disability Services, Financial Aid, Admissions and other key offices, as well as veterans advocate Mike Waters, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and 1970 alumnus.

The group began looking at how SUNY Oswego could attract more of the 2 million troops that have returned or will return from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with other veterans.

Following creation of Parker’s position, next steps include assembling reliable information on enrolled students’ veterans status, conducting a needs assessment among veterans currently on campus, publishing comprehensive services and contacts in one online location, putting together professional-development workshops for faculty who encounter veteran students and developing courses or workshops for veterans making the transition back to school.

SUNY Oswego this spring received Military Advanced Education’s 2013 designation as a military-friendly college for “implementing military-friendly policies in support of our men and women in uniform,” the award said.

“You can say you’re military friendly, but veterans are going to look for things that show them the campus is military friendly,” Parker said. “It isn’t just a phrase.”

What’s Happening at CNY Arts Center?

New spring classes, two theater productions, a new art exhibit in Cicero, the community mural project gets launched, Author Spotlight on the topic of Alzheimer’s, Arts Fest returns with its talent competition and handmade original art, Arty Camp registration opens, a special community event is expected mid-summer, and the announcement of a gallery opening in May…what’s happening at CNY Arts Center?

More than we can keep track of as we live up to our mission of bringing art experiences to the region with every event.

Author’s Spotlight, tonight at 7 p.m., is especially important this month with a discussion of “I Am Arnold, A Controversial Look at a World War II Veteran’s Five-Year Journey With Alzheimer’s Disease” written by Rev. Diane Bradshaw.

“I Am Arnold,” her first book, is about Rev. Bradshaw’s husband, Arnold, who received care at the VA Hospital in Syracuse. This intimate recalling of that experience takes an honest look at the care a person who is hospitalized receives and the sometimes anguishing role of a loving spouse.

College basketball and Easter themes are the focus of the next culinary arts class, March 23 from 9 a.m. to noon. Students will decorate basketball cookies, cupcakes, and Easter treats. Students must preregister for this class. No walk-ins accepted.

Also on the schedule March 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is oil painting with Bonnie McClellan. “Autumn in its Glory” will help students learn how to add wildlife to landscapes – a deer, elk, moose and more.

The Arts Center wraps up March with the final class in Digital Photography 101 Tuesday March 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Kendra Matott will provide composition tips for composing good photos and improving your basic snap shots!

With better weather ahead, CNY Arts Center launches the spring quarter of classes with Kids Onscreen, the only local film class for kids ages 6 and older. This class will help children create a script for a 10-15 min. short film, and then shoot the film together. Students will learn and enjoy basic scriptwriting process, acting, and the experience of filming a movie to produce a finished DVD to take home. This six week class runs Saturdays starting April 6 from 2 to 4 p.m.

A new writing class, Introduction to Writing, will also start Saturday, April 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. This class for beginning writers will meet once a month with Jim Farfaglia and look at basic elements of all types of writing from fiction to memoirs to poetry. No writing experience is necessary.

Our third festival season starts with Arts Fest June 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the War Memorial Ice Rink. This event offers handmade original art and crafts and promotes the performing arts with a Talent Competition featuring prizes in several categories. Register online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com

Also online is the registration for Harborfest Showcase Oswego booths through CNY Arts Center where vendors can receive a member’s only discount but April 5th is the deadline for this opportunity.

The second annual ARTY Day Camp registrations are available with full details on the web site. This summer camp for ages 5-15 will offer instruction in art, writing, dance and theater, lunch provided with group art projects. Lunch and afternoon art projects are free and open to every child in the community age 5 and up during the weeks of camp, July 15-19 and Aug. 19-23. Some sponsorships are available for morning classes. CNY Arts Center wants every child to have an art experience this summer.

“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Helen Keller” are both coming to the stage in April; an art exhibit is now up at the piano and organ store in Cicero; and preparation has begun for “Art in the Wind,” featuring the art work of Dr. Angela Arrey-Wastavino on the Community Mural Project to be completed at Harborfest this year.

And stay tuned for news of the grand opening of CNY Arts Center’s first art gallery in downtown Fulton, opening early May.

Students are reminded to pre-register for all classes and workshops to avoid missing out. Classes and workshops charge a modest fee.

CNY Arts Center is located in the lower level of State St. Methodist Church, 357 State St, Fulton.

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.

March madness

AndrewHendersonby Andrew Henderson

The madness is upon us…and I am going mad.

I’m in the process of filling out my NCAA bracket and I am going crazy. In my recollection, there has never been a year where there has been no clear-cut winner.

Who do I choose? Syracuse? Yeah, right…

How about Indiana? Kansas? How about Pacific or Florida Gulf Coast? I guess I’m leaning towards Long Island University Brooklyn.

Seriously, I have no idea who I am going to choose in the first round — let along the final four.

So, I thought it would be interesting to let you readers catch a glimpse into my mind as I fill out my bracket for the Henderson family bracket championship. Only four will be competing for the Henderson title — my wife and my parents — so at least I will have a 25-percent chance of winning.

Here we go…

Let’s start in the East Region, just because we live in the East Region and just because the East Coast rocks!

In the Dayton, Ohio site, I’m looking for Indiana to defeat the winner of the play-in game between LIU Brooklyn and James Madison and NC State to defeat Temple. Here is my first upset, however. I’m taking NC State to topple first-seed Indiana. I don’t like the Hoosiers, although the name Hoosiers is pretty cool. By the way, what the heck is a Hoosier?

In the San Jose site, I like Syracuse defeating Montana (yes, I am a homer — at least in the first round) and I like California to knock off UNLV in the yearly 12 seed defeats 5 seed match up.

In Lexington, Ky., I believe Bucknell will buck Butler out of the tournament— just because I don’t believe in universities that have names of occupations. Seriously, who wants to go to Butler?

I am also taking Marquette over Davidson — just because Davidson University once defeated my team in college baseball.  I have a life rule of rooting against anyone who has defeated me in the past.

In Austin, Texas, I like Colorado over Illinois in the battle of states and Miami over Pacific in the battle of the beach versus the ocean.

For the East Regional representatives of the Sweet Sixteen, I like NC State, Syracuse, Marquette, and Miami.

Let’s take a gander at the South Region. For the sake of time and space in this newspaper, I like Kansas over Western Kentucky, North Carolina over Villanova, VCU over Akron, Michigan over South Dakota State, Minnesota over UCLA, Florida over Northwestern State, San Diego State over Oklahoma, and Georgetown over Florida Gulf Coast.

My South Region Sweet 16 representatives are North Carolina, Michigan, San Diego State, and Florida.

Moving over to the Midwest Region, I like Louisville over the scrub play-in winner, Missouri over Colorado State, Oregon over Oklahoma State, Saint Louis over New Mexico State, Memphis over the play-in winner, Michigan State over Valparaiso, Creighton over Cincinnati, and Duke over Albany.

My Midwest Region Sweet 16 representatives are Louisville, Saint Louis, Creighton, and Duke.

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

Phoenix school budget draft eliminates programs

by Nicole Reitz

The Phoenix Central School District presented the first draft of next school year’s budget last Monday.

The proposed budget eliminates programs and increases the tax levy in an attempt to close a projected $1.6 million budget gap.

Under a plan presented by Karl Seckner, the district’s business administrator, property owners in Phoenix would experience a 1.6-percent tax levy increase. A 4.45 percent tax levy is allowable without a super majority vote.

With program cuts and reserve spending, another $1.3 million would be trimmed from the proposed $42.7 million budget.

Phoenix’s expenditures are projected to raise to 3.6 percent — more than five times than its state aid.

“I don’t know how many more years we can continue to cut the state aid and still have quality programs for our students,” said Superintendent Judy Belfield.

Seckner advised the board of education to consider eliminating the $100,000 minor project fund and $77,000 for the Oasis Summer Reading Program. The reading program runs for 16 sessions and enrolls 100 students during summer recess.

Board members discussed the effectiveness of the reading program and whether the elimination would, in the long run, cost the school more money in extra supports for those students.

“Do you want to lose the program or do you want to lose a teacher? Because that $77,000 is a teacher,” said Seckner.

With seven teachers filing for retirement, the district will save $514,000 through attrition. Of those teachers, the board would only consider replacing two positions: an instructional specialist and a high school physics teacher.

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

Ode to the Crocuses

by Jim Farfaglia

Ode to the Crocuses


You are such a welcome sight,

showing up alongside my house

like a table set for spring.


You’re first to welcome a brighter sky,

raising your goblets in celebration

of an end…and a beginning,


the first to welcome the warm rains

that you and the others drink in,

awakening the essence that you are,


the first to welcome the bees,

who knock knock knock

on your yellow and purple doors,


the first to welcome my eyes,

searching for the new season,

and finding it with your arrival.

Your hometown. Your news.