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Art Association, Players Fighting To Keep Facility Open

OSWEGO, NY – There is plenty going on at Building 30 in Fort Ontario Park.

The entranceway concrete is cracked so badly, you can see the ground several feet below.

The entranceway concrete is cracked so badly, you can see the ground several feet below.

The Art Association of Oswego has some upcoming shows and other events. Their co-tenants, the Oswego Players, are staging “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Both groups would like to see more activity outside as well.

The building that houses the two arts organizations is in need of much repair.

“Even if we had the money, most of the repairs would likely not take place until around winter because of all the shows we have going on this fall,” said Peter Mahan of the Art Association of Oswego. “We need to find a time to do the work when it is advantageous for all parties.”

The city is looking at repair the concrete entranceway; there are large cracks in some sections where you can see down to the ground several feet below. At one end, the metal railing is falling off.

In some places, the old building just needs a fresh coat of paint.

Other areas are more cause for concern. The flashing and sections of the slate roof are in disrepair. There are also holes rotted into the boards covering many of the windows. And, squirrels have gotten into the theater through a hole in the wall on the side of the facility.

“Scrapping and painting probably won’t be enough for the windows,” Mahan noted. “We’ll have to get new plywood and recover them. There are more than a dozen we have to fix.”

Because it is an historic building, it should be easier for the city to get grants to help maintain it, he observed.

The covering on many of the windows on the ground level have rotted out.

The covering on many of the windows on the ground level have rotted out.

The building has been an arts center since 1964. With a tighter budget recently, the city is hard pressed to keep up with the maintenance. As part of the lease deal, the city is supposed to keep up the outside of the building.

DPW Commissioner Mike Smith said he has discussed the issue with Second Ward Councilor Mike Myers.

“We haven’t made any formal plans about what to do over there this season,” he said. “There are several buildings down there that need some tender loving care. We’ll see what we can work out them.”

Finding enough funding for everything could be a problem, he admits.

“It’s a totally unique situation down here because we have a multi-purpose arts center; both performance art and exhibitions for art exhibits on the other side and classroom space as well,” Mahan said. “There is really nothing in Oswego County like this. The only one I’m aware of is down in Cortland, and that one’s just a couple years old.”

They have been doing odd jobs here and there, but hope the city will be able to kick in and help with the major repairs.

The groups shut down for a while over the winter; that saves some on utility bills, but they’re still about $300 per month, Mahan noted.

“Some of the cosmetic stuff could be done this summer. And then we’re looking at, if everything goes well, the city working on the entranceway, the railing and some other areas during the winter,” he said.

A broken out window pane allows squirrels, birds and the elements to get inside the building.

A broken out window pane allows squirrels, birds and the elements to get inside the building.

“The (entranceway) railing was hit by a snowplow. They promised us they would put it back. We have not seen that,” said Inez Parker of the Oswego Players. “We need new doors desperately. We’ll buy them if the city installs them. I know times are tough.”

The city used to pay the utility bills for the facility. Then one day they said they couldn’t do it any more, she said.

“We had money in the bank a few years ago, a goodly amount. But you know how (utility bills) can be; this building is a cave,” she said.

It is also making it tough on the art association, she added.

The city should promote its arts more than it does, she said.

“I’d much rather see a kid tap dancing or learning lines (for a play) than out twittering, drinking or smoking,” she said. “Here it’s safe. We’ve got to keep this building safe, keep it alive. And, that’s what we’re trying to do. But it’s hard; it’s really, really hard. But we’re doing it.”

Second Warders Express Frustration

OSWEGO, NY – Recently, approximately 80 Second Ward residents crowded into the Ponzi Recreation Center at Fort Ontario to discuss problems plaguing the area.

The meeting was facilitated by Mike Myers, the ward’s councilor. Oswego Police Lt. Charles Searor and Juvenile Officer Sue Coffey were also on hand to take questions from the residents.

The neighbors are concerned with the amount of vandalism, obscene language and all around mischief by some of the youth in the area, Myers said.

Dozens of Second Ward residents share their opinions with representatives of the police department as well as their alderman at a neighborhood meeting.

Dozens of Second Ward residents share their opinions with representatives of the police department as well as their alderman at a neighborhood meeting.

At the meeting some residents suggested taking a firm approach to the offending youth; others pointed out kids will be kids and if you respect them, they will respect you.

Several of the residents were upset because they feel the police aren’t doing enough to curb the problem.

Coffey described the laws regarding juveniles and pointed out that even if a youngster is arrested and goes through the court system, people won’t find out about it because of the confidentiality laws involved.

Betty Gray, coordinator of the Oswego Neighborhood Watch Program, suggested residents put a motion light outside of their houses.

“It’s sad we have to do this, but it will help to protect you and your property. If your neighbor is looking out for you, you will feel better and this is what the neighborhood watch is all about. Being part of the Neighborhood Watch is all about helping, even if you dislike your neighbor you should do what is right and report any concerns,” she said.

“For a first meeting I think it went very well,” Myers said. “There were times when a lot of people were talking all at once. There are a lot of issues and we need to address them.”

Residents should call the police and the police need to have more of a presence in the ward, he said.

The alderman said he will use the issues and comments raised at the meeting to plan for another ward gathering. The next meeting, he explained, would be more formal with a panel including himself, the mayor, police chief and others.

Speakers would be limited to address the panel one at a time, for 3 to 5 minutes.

“This stuff has to be addressed,” Myers said. “We have to stay on top of it.”

The Neighborhood Watch Program is something that can help curb many of the problems, he noted.

The last neighborhood watch meeting was held in January. About 26 people attended, according to Gray.

“There were a few new faces, too,” she said.

Their motto is “We Look Out For Each Other.

So far there have been 24 “watch” signs put up by the city’s traffic department, and six more will be put up in the spring.

In 2009, 730 stickers were put in windows or doors.

“Lt. Tom Nicholson has been a police officer for 19 1/2 years and spoke at quite a few neighborhood watch program meetings,” Gray said. “This is the first group that has lasted, he said. It is up to the community to get involved. All the police are asking for from the community is a phone call. We don’t want people going out and trying to take care of it themselves and getting hurt.”

“We basically let people know that this is a program that helps the police help them. It’s not sanctioned by the police, it’s not run by the police, it’s headed by the people like Betty who are trying to make this community a better place to live,” Nicholson said.

A neighborhood watch can be just one person keeping an eye on their property and being kind enough to look out for their neighbors, too, he added.

“Hopefully, it catches on. We have pockets of neighborhood watches all around the city. They’re scattered all over and some of them are as little as just two households,” he said.

Gray said she’d like to see the public come to the meetings and ask questions and volunteer.

“They could help out, like doing a monthly news letter, make copies, and come up with ideas to make money for the program,” she said. “This is all about the neighborhoods and people helping each other.”

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 20 at the Oswego Public Library, 120 E. Second St., from 6 to 8 p.m.

In the first 15 minutes, guest speakers Judy Coe Rapaport and Mary Vanouse will talk about the new Community Development Garden.

Following right after will be an open meeting. All city residents are welcome to attend.

“The program has expanded and is growing with the help from the community. I would like to thank the people that are using there eyes and ears and calling the police,” Gray said.

For more information, call Gray at 342-9388 or email at bettywatch@verizon.net

Robert W. Myers, 66

Robert W. Myers, 66, of New Haven, went to be with the Lord on Sunday.

Born in Phoenix, he was a life resident of the area.  Bob retired in 2002 from J. D. Taylor after 30 years.  He currently was working for J. Knight Transport, Oswego.  He was a member of the Mexico Masonic Lodge.    Bob was an avid NASCAR and NY Giants fan.  He was predeceased by his parents, James and Cordelia Myers and siblings, James Myers, Jr., Stella Henopp and Alfred Myers.

Bob is survived by his wife of 36 years, the former Verna Bands; two sisters, Natalie Sixberry and Bettyjean Reynolds; three brothers, William (Sandy) Myers, Bruce (Joan) Myers and John (Kay) Myers; numerous nieces and nephews.

Services will be 10 a.m. Friday at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton.  Calling hours will be 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home, 910 Fay Street, Fulton.  Contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to Friends of Oswego County Hospice, P.O. Box 102, Oswego, 13126 or to Golisano Children’s Hospital,  750 E. Adams St., Syracuse, 13210.

Foster Funeral Home, Inc.

fosterfuneralhome.com

Myers Granted Conditional Discharge

FULTON, NY – Charges against the former Fulton lawmaker who was arrested in January for intentionally trying to deceive police will be dismissed after a year if he stays out of trouble, according to court officials.

<p>Kenneth Myers</p>

Kenneth Myers

Former Fulton Common Council president Kenneth Myers, 70, appeared for sentencing Monday morning in Fulton City Court before Watertown City Court Judge James C. Harberson Jr. Harberson was assigned to the case after both Fulton City Court judges Spencer Ludington and Jerome Mirabito recused themselves.

Myers pleaded guilty in May to obstructing governmental administration as part of a plea agreement with the Oswego County District Attorney‘s office.

Under the agreement, Myers admitted that on Jan. 4 in the town of Volney, he obstructed governmental administration by assisting his son to persuade another person to give a false statement to New York State Police, relative to a New Year’s Eve motor-vehicle accident that took place in the town of Palermo.

Myers and his son, 41-year-old Michael L. Myers, were arrested in January in connection with the attempted cover-up. Michael Myers was driving alone on New Year’s Eve when the accident occurred. He reportedly left the vehicle and contacted his father. Police said that his driver’s license was revoked at the time.

Together, father and son asked a friend to say that he was driving the vehicle in exchange for $500. Though the first person asked declined, police said a second person agreed. The elder Myers was originally charged with second-degree obstructing governmental administration, fifth-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree criminal solicitation.

According to Fulton City Chief Court Clerk Maureen Ball, Judge Harberson agreed with the probation department recommendation and ordered a one-year conditional discharge in the case. Additionally, Harberson ordered Myers to pay a $160 surcharge.

In court, Ball said Myers expressed remorse for his actions.

“He said he has learned his lesson and that this will never happen again,” she said. “It was a very brief appearance.”

“Our office had no objection to Judge Harberson’s determination,” Chief Assistant District Attorney Donald Todd said. “It was the recommendation by the probation department.

“Mr. Myers had never previously been in trouble with the law,” Todd added. “It was an appropriate disposition, given the circumstances.”

Myers’ attorney, James Eby, could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

In April, Oswego County Court Judge Walter Hafner Jr. sentenced Myers’ son to two to four years in state prison on a felony count of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and one year for a felony charge of driving while intoxicated. Michael Myers is currently in custody at Gowanda Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison in Erie County. His earliest possible release date is Jan. 5, 2010.

Town Sewer Use Request Returns To City Councilors

OSWEGO, NY – The town-city sewage issue resurfaced at Monday night’s Physical Services Committee meeting.

Gay Williams, city attorney, on behalf of the Town of Oswego, requested consideration for its application for permission for two student housing developments to use the West Side Sewage Treatment facility.

Those outside the city need a permit to tie into the city’s sewer system.

The application must be made in writing to the council and contain such information as the councilors may require and shall be verified (sworn to) by the applicant, according to Williams.

In late May, Victoria Mullen, Oswego Town supervisor, sent a letter to the council seeking permission to tie into the system. The letter wasn’t verified, Williams pointed out.

“The next step should be for the council to establish what information it does need,” she told the committee. “After that, it has to be referred to the commissioner of public works and the city engineer for a report back to the council.”

Councilor Sue Sweet pointed out the council earlier this spring passed a resolution not to accept any more sewage from Oswego Town (except from single-family homes).

“I understand this is an application. But we already have a resolution. I mean, how many times are we going to be asked?” she said.

“I think we need to situate ourselves so that we are still in-kind friends based on the fact that we have adjacent borders,” Councilor Connie Cosemento noted. “They have the right to ask. Just the way we have the right to ask them.”

The town has given them a general request; the city needs to tell them they need some more specific information, Cosemento explained.

Sweet suggested rescinding the resolution not to accept more sewage from Oswego Town.

“It would seem to me that would be the path to take. Because if we have a resolution saying we’re not accepting any sewage why are we going through the motions of this?” she said.

If the town gives the city information that the city feels it can’t deal with they wouldn’t have to rescind; only if the city decides to accept more sewage, Cosemento noted.

“If they give us specific numbers that fall within something we can handle, then you might want to consider rescinding that resolution,” she said. “You don’t have to rescind something unless you have intentions of really making a change. At this point, I don’t believe this council has any intentions of making a change from what I’m hearing.”

The data the committee was talking about was something that Mullen has already shared with the council at an earlier meeting, Councilor Mike Myers said.

“We’ve already received that from Mrs. Mullen,” he said. “She already threw all that data at us. We already acted on the data she gave us. I think we answered her clearly, until the (overflow) problem is fixed.”

Mayor Randy Bateman noted there is a process that must be followed.

He suggested the councilors get the information in one package, as the city attorney described, after that the council can say yes or no.

“They filed a permit request. We can’t just say, OK we’re not going to deal with it,” he said.

“We want to show them we’re operating in good faith,” Cosemento agreed.

Councilor Bill Sharkey made a motion to table the issue until the town gives the city the figures that it needs and the council has had an opportunity to review them.

It was unanimously approved.

Supervisor Responds

“Although the town has met with members of the city council, Councilor Myers is mistaken. The city has not acted on our application. We have talked. However, action is taken by a vote of the council so that each member can go on the record,” Mullen pointed out this morning. “Also, the Town of Oswego has only made one application to the city council for sewer extension as required by the City of Oswego Ordinance concerning Sewer Extension. That was done in May of ’08. We have given all the requested information to the city; should they require additional information we will happy to provide it.”

“And, I agree with Mrs. Sweet, the council should rescind that resolution (prohibiting more sewage except from single-family homes), which in fact made changes to the City Ordinance without a public hearing,” she continued. “Sewer extensions should never have been brought into the political arena and rescinding their resolution would return sewer extensions applications back into the hands of the experts where it always had been, and it would end any questions as to motives of a few.”

Former Council President Pleads Guilty To Misdemeanor

FULTON, NY – Standing in the same room where he once served as president of the Fulton Common Council, Kenneth Myers stood quietly Tuesday morning with his attorney as he listened to the details of a plea agreement that was worked out with the Oswego County District Attorney’s office to satisfy charges that were brought against him in January.

“I have consulted with council,” said Watertown City Court Judge James C. Harberson Jr. He explained that Myers’ attorney, James Eby, and Chief Assistant District Attorney Donald Todd agreed to a charge of second-degree attempted obstruction of governmental administration to satisfy the original charges against Myers.

Harberson — who was assigned to the case after both Fulton City Court judges recused themselves — asked Todd what facts the DA’s office wanted Myers to admit to under the plea agreement.

Todd explained that Myers would admit that on Jan. 4 in the town of Volney, he obstructed governmental administration by assisting his son to persuade another person to give a false statement to New York State Police, relative to a New Year’s Eve motor-vehicle accident that took place in the town of Palermo.

Ken Myers 1Myers, 70, of 1253 Fay St., Fulton, and his son, 40-year-old Michael L. Myers were arrested in January in connection with the attempted cover-up. The elder Myers was originally charged with second-degree obstructing governmental administration, fifth-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree criminal solicitation.

Michael Myers was driving alone on New Year’s Eve when the accident occurred. He reportedly left the vehicle — which was totaled — and contacted his father. Police said that his driver’s license was revoked at the time.

Together, father and son asked a friend to say that he was driving the vehicle in exchange for $500. Though the first person asked declined, police said a second person — who was regarded by police as “a friend of a friend” — agreed.

After Todd detailed the admission that would be required, the court asked Myers if he agreed.

“Yes,” Myers said.

Harberson told Myers that he has a right to take the matter to a jury trial. He explained that if he opted to enter a plea, he would be waiving that right and would be found guilty of the class-B misdemeanor.

Myers declined taking the matter to trial and Harberson subsequently accepted the plea. He ordered a pre-sentencing report and scheduled Myers to return for sentencing at 8:30 a.m., Aug. 4.

“I will advise you that I do not announce any sentence as part of the plea bargain,” Harberson said. He noted, however, that in the end, if there was any misunderstanding, Myers would be allowed to withdraw his plea.

Leaving court with his client, Eby declined comment on the case. Todd did the same.

“I have no comment until after sentencing,” Todd said. “Until this is done in August, (the DA’s office) won’t have much to say.”

In April, Oswego County Court Judge Walter Hafner Jr. sentenced Myers’ son to two to four years in state prison on a felony count of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and one year for a felony charge of driving while intoxicated.

Michael Myers agreed to plead guilty to both charges, rather than taking the matter to trial. He is currently in custody at Gowanda Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison in Erie County. His earliest possible release date is Jan. 5, 2010.

Edward R. Myers Sr., 65, 05/18/2008

OSWEGO, NY – Edward R. Myers Sr., 65, a resident of 1230 County Route 53, Town of Scriba, passed away May 18, 2008.

Born in Oswego, he was the son of the late George and Ellen (Burnard) Myers.

Edward R. Myers Sr.Ed was the garage superintendent for the city of Oswego, working for more than 30 years.

He was a loving husband, father and grandfather who enjoyed spending time with family, camping, the outdoors, NASCAR and yard work.

He was an avid Republican and enjoyed the Classic Car Shop.

Ed was a member of the son’s of the American Legion Post 268.

Surviving are his wife, Gloria (Avery) Myers; two daughters, Christine (Geoffrey) Marsh of Oswego and Brenda (Charles) Baldoze of Mexico; four sons, Edward R. Myers Jr. and Sherrie Thompson, Roger S. and Laura Budd Myers, Richard (Laurie) Myers and Michael (Tracey) Myers, all of Oswego; a sister, Dorothy Myers of Oswego; seventeen grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews; and his dog Ceasar.

He was predeceased by his sisters, Agnes Weber and Grace Hegadorn; and a brother, George E. Myers.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at Nelson Funeral Home.

Burial will be in Peck’s Cemetery, Scriba.

Calling hours will be held 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home, 11 W. Albany St., Oswego.

Online condolences may be made at www.nelson-funeralhome.com

Edward R. Myers Sr., 65, 05/18/2008

OSWEGO, NY – Edward R. Myers Sr., 65, a resident of 1230 County Route 53, Town of Scriba, passed away May 18, 2008.

Born in Oswego, he was the son of the late George and Ellen (Burnard) Myers.

Edward R. Myers Sr.Ed was the garage superintendent for the city of Oswego, working for more than 30 years.

He was a loving husband, father and grandfather who enjoyed spending time with family, camping, the outdoors, NASCAR and yard work.

He was an avid Republican and enjoyed the Classic Car Shop.

Ed was a member of the son’s of the American Legion Post 268.

Surviving are his wife, Gloria (Avery) Myers; two daughters, Christine (Geoffrey) Marsh of Oswego and Brenda (Charles) Baldoze of Mexico; four sons, Edward R. Myers Jr. and Sherrie Thompson, Roger S. and Laura Budd Myers, Richard (Laurie) Myers and Michael (Tracey) Myers, all of Oswego; a sister, Dorothy Myers of Oswego; seventeen grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews; and his dog Ceasar.

He was predeceased by his sisters, Agnes Weber and Grace Hegadorn; and a brother, George E. Myers.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at Nelson Funeral Home.

Burial will be in Peck’s Cemetery, Scriba.

Calling hours will be held 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home, 11 W. Albany St., Oswego.

Online condolences may be made at www.nelson-funeralhome.com

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