2013 In Review: In July Oswego School Board Names New Officers

OSWEGO, NY – Here’s a glimpse of the some of the news from the past 12 months.

In a brief reorganizational meeting July 1, the Oswego school board appointed a new slate of officers for the 2012-2013 school year.

Kathleen Allen, the board’s vice president for the 2011-2012 academic year, was appointed president. Sam Tripp was named vice president.

Prior to the meeting, Allen, Jim Tschudy and Heather DelConte took the oath of office.

Allen and DelConte were re-elected to full terms this past May. Tschudy was elected to fill out the remainder of Bill Myer’s term. Myer was elected in 2012 but stepped down to become director of transportation.

Tschudy would soon resign also. Mike McLaughlin would be appointed to fill his seat.

Board member Lynda Sereno, upset over several issues, announced her resignation and abruptly left the meeting.

Oswego Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in the Philippines

Tammy Hadlow of Oswego was accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for the Philippines July 5 to begin training as an environment volunteer. Hadlow lives and works in a community to work on a variety of activities, including teaching environmental awareness and working with coastal resource management extension.

“I’ve always aspired to volunteer on a global level,” said Hadlow.

Hadlow is the mother of Terra (Atkinson) Pritchard and a graduate of Oswego High School in Oswego. She attended State University of New York at Oswego where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies in 1990.

She later attended State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, where she earned her master’s degree in environmental studies in 1998.

During the first three months of her service, Hadlow lived with a host family in the Philippines to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture.

After acquiring the language and cultural skills necessary to assist her community, Hadlow was sworn into service and assigned to a community in the Philippines, where she will live and work for two years with the local people.

“I hope to bring my work/life experience to my new community and be part of a successful project that will have positive lasting effects on my host community,” said Hadlow.

Sereno Rescinds her statement of resignation

Upon reflection as to the events surrounding the last board meeting, Lynda Sereno rescinded her statement of resignation from the Oswego City School District Board of Education, she said July 3 in a prepared statement.

There have been some stressful situations and many decisions that have caused me to question the effectiveness of my service and my ability to influence positive change for our school district, she wrote.

After receiving numerous telephone calls, texts, and e-mails in support of my continued service, as well as a discussion with the interim superintendent, and fellow board members, I have decided to remain in my position on the Oswego City School District Board of Education, she continued.

“Our board focus will continue to be on the education of children and keeping us fiscally responsible,” she said. “Thank you for your support.”

Harborfest Raises The Curtain on 26th ‘Family Reunion’

Warm, but not too humid, weather greeted the opening night of Harborfest’s 26th annual celebration.

Harborfest 2013 opened with a few clouds overhead and hundreds of people young and old ready to make it the best Harborfest ever.

The music started at 5 p.m. with the 42nd Infantry Band followed at 7 p.m. by Van Halen Nation (a Van Halen tribute band – including a Port City native, Kevin Lupa, on bass).

Many in the crowd were on their feet dancing and singing along.

Following a short interruption for the official opening ceremonies, The Devonshires took the stage shortly after 9 p.m.

The crowd continued to grow in front of the NRG Lakeview Stage as the night wore on.

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen welcomed the enthusiastic crowd to the 26th edition of Harborfest.

Harborfest, the largest “family reunion” in the Northeast, showcases Oswego’s greatest attributes – its history, its warmth and its people, the mayor said.

Celebrating 10 Years Of Breathing Clean Air In New York

For many of us it seems like a lifetime ago when we were asked if we wanted to be seated at the smoking or non-smoking section in our local restaurant. For Zachary and Matthew Metott it was an actual lifetime ago.

The Metott boys turned 10 years old this year and have never known a world where smoking was allowed in New York State restaurants.

July 24 was the 10th anniversary of the Expanded Clean Indoor Air Act, most commonly known for prohibiting smoking in bars and restaurants in New York State.

The 2003 state law banned smoking in almost all workplaces, bars, restaurants, bowling facilities, taverns and bingo halls and protected millions of New Yorkers from daily exposure to deadly, second-hand smoke and the illnesses it causes.

When the Metott boys were asked their thoughts on having smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants Matthew replied, “That’s just weird!”

Zachary added, “I’d wonder why they were doing that.”

Zachary and Matthew met at Vona’s Restaurant to talk with the Tobacco Free Network of Oswego County about this important milestone.

Vona’s was one of the first Oswego restaurants to go smoke-free, making the decision before New York even passed the Expanded Clean Indoor Air Act.

Harborfest Celebrates 26th Year With Fireworks By Grucci

Once again, Entergy Nuclear will sponsored the “Fireworks Spectacular by Grucci” and highlight the festivities of Oswego’s Harborfest, New York State’s premier admission-free festival.

The fireworks are synonymous with Harborfest and are even a part of the logo for the festival.

The “Fireworks Spectacular by Grucci” seems to get better with each passing year and there was little doubt that the 26th version was the best yet.

According to company president, Phil Grucci, “New technology will allow to us produce specific designs in the 2013 show which have never been seen before at Harborfest.”

Fireworks by Grucci has prepared a fantastic one-of-a-kind display that is sure to dazzle the audience.

Veteran Oswego City School District Board Member Steps Down

Board of Education member James Tschudy announced his resignation, delivering his resignation notice to District Clerk William Foley and indicting it would be effective on July 24.

“Ending board involvement is owing to a desire for more time with family (five grandchildren) and other professional interests in teaching, chaplaincy and pastoral work,” he said. “Grandchildren in Hamilton MA, Ridgefield CT and Aiken SC, easily prompt revisiting priorities.”

Continuing he noted, “Throughout six years of Board involvement, working with colleagues on the Board, Administrators, Faculty, District Staff, as well as families, parents and children in the District has been extraordinarily rewarding, but not without challenges. It has been a privilege to serve at the Board table, supporting District initiatives.”

Board of Education President Kathleen Allen said, “I am saddened to see Jim resign, but certainly understand his desire to spend more time with his family, and other opportunities that have come his way.”

Continuing she stated, “He has faithfully served as a Board member for the past six years. With his tenure with the OCSD as an administrator with special education, he brought valuable insight to the table in various situations. I will miss his gentle spirit and kind heart and wish him the best.”

Tschudy also said, “Simultaneous to my resignation from the Board of Education, I’ve also tendered my resignation as a member of the Board of Directors of Oswego Health, having been elected to that Board of Trustees of the Oswego Hospital in 1979.”

West Nile Virus Found in Oswego County

Jiancheng Huang, Public Health Director of the Oswego County Health Department, announced that the New York State Department of Health found evidence of West Nile virus in mosquitoes collected July 24 near the village of Central Square. There were no known human cases of West Nile virus in Oswego County at the time.

“The West Nile virus has already appeared in Onondaga County, and in areas near New York City,” said Huang. “As of today, there have been 33 positive collections of West Nile virus in New York State. It is essential that people use insect repellents and continue to be proactive in protecting themselves and their families from mosquito bites.”

West Nile Virus can cause serious health problems and in rare instances can lead to death. Individuals 50 and older are at highest risk for serious illness.

Coast Guard rescues 2 men reported overdue from capsized sailboat in Lake Ontario

The Coast Guard rescued two men from Lake Ontario after they were reported to be overdue. The men’s names and hometowns weren’t released.

Just after 10 p.m., a woman reported to Coast Guard Station Oswego that her son was overdue returning from a roundtrip voyage from Little Sodus Bay to Oswego in his 15-foot sailboat. She had last spoken with her son around 2:30 p.m., when he was at Ford Shoal and was headed to Little Sodus Bay. She reported that he expected to be there by 4 p.m.

Coast Guard Sector Buffalo contacted the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office to confirm that the vessel had not arrived and determined the owner’s car was still in the parking lot.

A boatcrew from Station Oswego launched aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small and Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario, launched a CH-146 Griffon helicopter to assist in the search.

The Station Oswego boatcrew commenced its search from Ford Shoal toward Little Sodus Bay and observed a flashlight from a capsized sailboat with two men aboard. Both men were wearing lifejackets and were confirmed to be the people reported overdue.

Station Oswego took both men to Fair Haven Marina where they were evaluated by emergency medical services and found to be suffering from dehydration and hypothermia.

The men stated that their vessel had capsized around 4 p.m., and they had tried unsuccessfully to re-right the vessel several times.