2018 In Review: May – Guardian Angel Oswego Firefighter Honored, Former BOE President and Newcomer Elected, Family Fun Walk Raises Awareness For Autism

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

Meet The Candidates Forum Held At OHS

OSWEGO – A small crowd got to know a little bit about five of the six candidates seeking two open seats on the Oswego Board of Education May 1.

Christopher Joyce had planned on participating, but was called into work.

The other five faced a series of questions submitted by audience members at the OHS cafeteria.

The candidates included Thomas DeCastro (incumbent), Jeffrey King, Tom Ciappa, and former board members Kathleen Allen and Mike McLaughlin.

To kick off the event, the candidates explained why they were running.

Distinguished Oswego Alumni Receive SUNY Honorary Doctoral Degrees
OSWEGO — Two distinguished alumni of SUNY Oswego, Christene Barberich, global editor-in-chief and a co-founder of award-winning lifestyle media company Refinery 29, and Robert E. (Bob) Moritz, global chairman of PwC, received honorary doctoral degrees on May 12, at SUNY Oswego’s 157th Commencement.

Barberich and Moritz, each served as a Commencement speaker, received the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters from the State University of New York (SUNY) during their respective ceremonies.

Global editor-in-chief and co-founder of Refinery 29, Barberich started the award-winning lifestyle media company in 2005 from an initial investment of $5,000 and a 750-square-foot apartment. Little more than a decade later, Inc. magazine placed the New York-based multimedia platform’s value at $500 million.

Global chairman of PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers), Moritz has strived to boost the opportunities of others as he has risen to ever more responsible leadership positions at PwC. An internationally respected leader of a global network of more than 236,000 people in 157 countries, Moritz has encouraged innovation, welcomed different perspectives, challenged the status quo and led by example, emphasizing team over individual interests.

2018 State of the County Address
Presented by Shane Broadwell, Chairman
Good evening! Welcome everyone to CiTi and Mexico, the Mother of Towns.

Thank you for coming here tonight! For those who may be wondering about my decision to have the State of the County here, consider this.

Over the past few years as a legislator I’ve learned a lot about the great work that the county, our municipalities and our schools actually do. I have also learned through projects like the anti-poverty task force, shared services panel, economic development efforts and school collaborations that we all do even greater work when we all do it together, instead of struggling to make a difference in our individual silos.

Having the State of the County here, in a town, in a school, in the middle of the county, is symbolic; more and more, every day, the county is moving out of its silo. We invite all of you to do the same.
We invite you to focus together on the singular goal of changing the status quo for the better. We invite you on behalf of everyone, living, and working in Oswego County.

Mayor Barlow Appoints Erin Dorsey Chair of Campus-City Relations Committee
OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow announced May 4 the appointment of Erin Dorsey as chair of the Campus Community Relations Committee, a committee developed to connect the SUNY Oswego student and faculty community to the city of Oswego.

The committee, established in 2006 has previously worked with the city of Oswego on assisting with neighborhood quality of life issues, public awareness campaigns and city-campus events to better include and connect the SUNY Oswego community to the greater Oswego community.

“I am pleased to appoint Erin Dorsey as chairwoman of the Campus-City Relations Committee and believe she will do an outstanding job leading the committee and continuing the good work the committee has done in partnership with my administration,” Mayor Barlow said. “Erin has the strong skills needed to lead the committee as we continue to address issues like student housing and quality of life concerns. Moving forward we also will look for opportunities to better include SUNY students in our community particularly as we make significant improvements to our downtown to better attract people of all ages, including our SUNY students.”

Annual Family Fun Walk for Autism Draws Hundreds
OSWEGO – It was a perfect day for a walk. And, hundreds of people took advantage of the sunny warm weather to stroll around the Wilber Track to help rause awarebess of autism.

Besides the organized three-mile walk, the 12th annual Family Fun Walk for Autism feature plenty of activities inside the nearby gym at Leighton Elementary School.

Representatives from several agencies were available to discuss the services they provide, and some great raffles to take a chance on.

Nearly 700 people took part in events inside and outside. The gym was packed with vendors including Oswego County Sheriff’s Department’s Child Safe Program, Arise, Intragrated Counseling Services, balloon art, Air Hop Inflatables, ARC, and several other representatives of county-wide providers of services for folks with developmental delays and disabilities.

Autism remains “a puzzle.” And so, jig-saw puzzle pieces wee used to count laps around the track.

Mayor Barlow Announces $525,000 Downtown Improvement Fund
OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow announced May 8 the launch of the Oswego Downtown Improvement Fund, one of 12 projects from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $10 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative the city of Oswego captured in July of 2016.

The Oswego Downtown Improvement Fund makes $525,000 available in grant funding to downtown Oswego businesses for improvements, renovations and expansions ranging from small $3,000 grants for new signage and outdoor programming opportunities to approximately $60,000 grants for large scale renovations and expansions.

“The Downtown Improvement Fund provides our small downtown businesses the opportunity to improve their storefront and participate in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. After winning the DRI, we were committed to using a portion of the $10 million funding to help our downtown existing small businesses. On a regular basis, I am approached by business owners looking for grant funding to improve their business. Finally having grant money available to offer to those business owners is very exciting and will certainly add to our comprehensive downtown revitalization plan,” Barlow said.

The $525,000 Downtown Improvement Fund aimed to fund 10 façade improvement projects, approximately five new building sign improvement projects and four residential or commercial expansion projects.

Guardian Angel Oswego Firefighter Honored By New York State
OSWEGO – At the Oswego City Fire Department’s eastside station May 10, State Senator Patty Ritchie presented Oswego City Firefighter Sean O’Gorman, whom she described as a ‘Gurdian Angel,’ with the Senate Liberty Award for his efforts to rescue two teenage girls from a rip current in the Atlantic Ocean.

The New York State Senate Liberty Award is one of the highest civilian honors that a New Yorker can receive.

Similar to the national Congressional Gold Medal, the award is presented to individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.

“So I can think of no one better recipient than Sean O’Gorman,” Ritchie said.

“Thank you very much,” O’Gorman replied as he accepted the medal

Resolutions recognizing O’Gorman’s heroism were presented in the Assembly and Senate.

“I was so impressed when I heard the story. The fact that you were able to act so quickly,” the senator told O’Gorman. “The part that really struck me was when the father was going out, you stepped in and said let you go in his place.”

Oswego Hospital First To Install 4K Ultra High-Def Imaging System
OSWEGO – Oswego Health has installed the latest high-definition equipment in its operating rooms, providing its surgeons a big screen view when performing surgeries.

Oswego Hospital’s four major operating rooms are among the first in Central New York to have installed this new equipment.

Oswego Health General Surgeon Yuriy Zhurov said the equipment was simply amazing.

“This is the latest technology, providing remarkably clear and sharp real time images when I operate,” Dr. Zhurov said.

State DOT Announces Paving Project On Route 104 In Oswego
OSWEGO – State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul Karas May 9 announced that construction is beginning on a $2.4 million project to repair and resurface 2.5 miles of Route 104 in the city of Oswego.

The work, expected to be completed in the fall, ensured continued access to SUNY Oswego, downtown Oswego and the Port of Oswego.

The investment complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive strategy to revitalize communities and grow the economy.

“Route 104 is the lifeblood of the city, connecting SUNY with area government offices, restaurants and shops downtown and shopping areas in the eastern suburbs,” Karas said. “The nearby Port of Oswego relies on roads like Route 104 to move goods throughout New York State and the northeast, making it critically important to the regional economy to maintain safe access along this route.”

School Board Election Results
OSWEGO, NY – Voters approved the Oswego City School District’s budget for 2018-19 school year by an unofficial vote of 1,391 yes to 900 no.

They also elected a newvomer, Tom Ciappa and former board president, Kathleen Allen earned the second open seat on the board of education.

The top vote-getter, with an unofficial tally of 1,324, was Ciappa. He was followed by Allen with 854.

Mayor Barlow Proposes Free Use of City Pool, Reduced Fee for Learn to Swim Program
OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow announced May 17 his intention to eliminate the admittance charge to the city of Oswego owned and operated Charles E. Gallagher Public Swimming Pool.

The city previously charged $1 for a youth day pass and $2 for an adult day pass. A season youth pass was $25 while a family season pass was $55.

Mayor Barlow recommended eliminating those charges completely and wanted to reduce the Learn to Swim Program charge from $20 per session to $10 to per session for city residents.

“Eliminating the charge to the city pool builds off the investment and enhancements we made to the pool last year to make the pool more enjoyable for everyone. Now I’d like to make the pool more accessible for families in our community. By eliminating the entry fee Oswego families can enjoy the pool more often. City residents pay for the pool through their property taxes and charging Oswego families again to use the pool is duplicative and unnecessary,” Barlow said.

Mayor Barlow Welcomes Two Safe Haven Refugees Back to Oswego
OSWEGO – “Always remember …”

“… Forgive.”

That was the message from one of the two Safe Haven refugees who visited the Port in May for the first time in more than seven decades.

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow welcomed Gloria Fredkove (formerly Yolanda Bass) and her brother, Jack (formerly Joachim) Bass, back to Oswego.

Gloria and Jack were Jewish refugees at the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter in Oswego during World War II. They traveled to Oswego to escape the Holocaust in Europe.

Mayor Barlow was joined by Third Ward Councilor and Safe Haven Museum Board President Kevin Hill, who arranged the meeting.

“It’s really an honor to host you today and have the both of you back,” the mayor told the visitors.

“I feel, individually, that the real reason that I’m here … is to be extremely grateful and thankful to the city of Oswego and its people,” Bass said.

It is important that people hear from “a young man who was here at the age of 12, hear how thankful, from the bottom of my heart, for the people of Oswego. This, to me, is what America is all about,” Bass said. “If you come to Oswego, New York, you’ve come to America.”

“This is the first time that we’ve been here since we were new refugees, 1944,” Fredkove said. “And, coming back almost a lifetime later is very special for us. For me it is bringing the past to the present.”

Hi-Tech Scales, Conveyor System In Place At Port
OSWEGO – The Port of Oswego Authority is now registered for grain export, US department of agriculture federal inspection quality assurance compliance division, according to William Scriber, (then) acting executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority.

“We now can export grain at maximum quantities,” he said.

The scales were being installed and prepared near the large silos at the Port property.

“Perdue and the Port have joined together and we have very aggressively looked at exporting on larger ships and more ships,” Scriber said.

They’re going to load the ships and go to their final destination point, which will provide higher prices for the soybeans they are selling by eliminating extra steps in the transport process, he explained.

Mayor Barlow Announces Results Of Code Enforcement Blitz
OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow May 18 announced the results of the 10-day code enforcement “blitz” from May 7 to 17 in the first and third wards in the city of Oswego.

The blitz was designed to prevent stockpiling and junk accumulation in front of rental properties as students moved out at the end of the college semester and citizens started their Spring cleaning routine.

Mayor Barlow issued a letter to all landlords in the first and third wards asking them to be proactive and make arrangements for their tenants to dispose of any garbage, furniture or debris without it being in public space for an extended period of time.

Mayor Barlow, along with First Ward Councilor Susan McBrearty, Third Ward Councilor Kevin Hill, the city of Oswego Code Enforcement Department and the Oswego City Police Department partnered to focus resources
and patrols in the designated area, including weekend patrols.

The blitz resulted in 162 non-complaint properties being brought into compliance immediately during the 10-day span, most of which involved used furniture and excessive garbage being placed in public space.

Properties in violation were given two hours to remedy the issue before a ticket would be issued.

Oswego Pauses To Say ‘Thank You’ To Its Fallen Heroes
OSWEGO, NY – Their ranks are thinning . . . but still they march on.

Members of the area veterans’ and service groups spent the early morning visiting various parks and cemeteries in Oswego and surrounding communities paying tribute to our nation’s veterans.

Once again, the Port City paused to honor and thank the men and women who fought and died for our freedoms.

A handful of onlookers, some with flags and cameras, lined the parade route from West Park to Veterans’ Memorial Park shortly before 11 a.m. several applauded and waved as the group marched by.

A larger crowd, many decked out in red, white and blue filled Veterans’ Memorial Park under the clear skies and warm temperatures, greeted the group as it marched into the park.

Memorial Day is sacred to all veterans and families of veterans, according to George Hoffman Jr., of the Oswego City Veterans’ Council and the master of ceremonies for the 18th year.

Oswego’s ceremony was “one small spark in the flame of pride that burns across the nation today,” he said.

Local Law Enforcement Carries ‘Flame of Hope’ For Special Olympics
OSWEGO – Members of several local law enforcement agencies carried the “Flame of Hope” for an abbreviated run from the Oswego Police Department to the Oswego Police Department May 30 in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New York.

Oswego’s Law Enforcement Torch Run season has kicked off the state-wide event takes place every year from May through June.

Oswego Police Department, Fulton Police Department, Oswego County Sheriff’s Department, University Police at SUNY Oswego and New York State Police participated.

They were joined by members of Team Red, White and Blue.

Historically, the event begins at the Oswego Police Department and concludes at the Fulton Police Department, aboute 12 miles away. Some have even started from University Police headquarters on the SUNY Oswego campus.
However, “this year, we decided to tighten up the event a little bit,” said Cassandra Rucker, Special Olympics’ director of development, Central Region and Southern Tier. “It has helped us to more than triple our participants.”

More than 50 runners, two-legged and four-legged, took part in the 2018 event.

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