2018 In Review: November – Cahill Building Reopens, 100th Anniversary Of Armistice, Oswego Native Wins NC Election

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

Mayor Barlow Proposes Free Public Ice Skating for City Residents
OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow announced his proposal to waive all fees associated with public ice skating at the city of Oswego public ice rinks.

Previously, fees for open ice skating ranged from $1.50 per visit to $3 per visit depending on age. Seasonal passes were also available for between $30 and $80 per season.

Mayor Barlow proposed to eliminate the entry fee and allowing public skate to be totally free.

“As mayor, I want to do all I can to encourage physical activity and do our best to give our youth activities to do during all seasons. Similar to waiving the entry to the public swimming pool, I believe eliminating this fee and making our ice rink and open skate free to the public, will give Oswego families more access to our recreational facilities and eliminates the unnecessary burden placed on families by these small, arbitrary fees,” Mayor Barlow said. “Oswego families pay for these facilities already through their property taxes and should not have to pay a fee again. I hope eliminating this fee encourages our residents to use these facilities and gets our children out and active even during the winter months.”

Historic Cahill Building Re-Opens
OSWEGO – The Port City celebrated the latest incarnation of the historic Cahill’s Building.

The Cahill Building, 1 W. Seneca St., is the oldest commercial building in the Port City.

Built in 1828, it is now a luxurious residential apartment building in downtown Oswego after being completely rehabilitated by local developer Anthony Pauldine, he added.

The Cahill Landing project includes the restoration of the historic Cahill building into an upscale waterfront residential apartment building.

The building had sat vacant and abandon since 2008 after Coleman’s Irish Pub abruptly closed and left the building to fall into disrepair.

The building now restored consists of 7 upscale residential units, ranging from $2,000 to $2,400 per month. All but two have already been leased.

Voting Results

It took a while after the election, but Anthony Brindisi ousted Claudia Tenney.

Assemblyman Will Barclay won re-election.

Allison Nelson received 6,005 votes to Thomas Benedetto’s 1,492 in the race for Oswego County Family Court Judge.

Oswego County’s Scott DelConte won one of four seats for State Supreme Court Justice.

Incumbent Republican Congressman John Katko (District 24) topped Democrat challenger Dana Balter 4,685 to 3,805 at the polls in Oswego County.

Don Hilton is the next Oswego County Sheriff; Paul House will continue to serve as the County Legislator representing District 8; and Patty Ritchie is still State Senator for the 48th District. The three were unopposed in their election bids.

We’ll Meet Again’ with Ann Curry Features Local History at Fort Ontario
OSWEGO – Tune in to your local PBS station on November 20 for “We’ll Meet Again,” a television series hosted by Ann Curry.

The program featured Holocaust survivors and includes a story about a former resident of the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter, now Fort Ontario State Historic Site.

The show was filmed in part at the fort last July.

“Fort Ontario was the only camp in the United States for victims of the Holocaust during World War II,” said Fort Ontario Historic Site Manager Paul Lear. “Refugees were here at the invitation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in an effort to convince reluctant Allied countries to also accept and aid refugees. Before boarding a ship to America, the refugees were required to sign documents assuring their return to Europe at the end of the war.”

From August 5, 1944, to February 3, 1946, nearly 1,000 refugees lived within the fenced-in enclosure of the recently abandoned army post on the windswept shore of Great Lake Ontario in Oswego.

Oswego Native Wins NC Senate Seat
EDENTON, NC – It’s Southern politics, but with an Upstate New York flavor. A huge dose of Oswego common sense will take a seat in the North Carolina Senate on Jan. 1, 2019.

Port City native Robert Steinburg is the senator-elect for the largest senate district in North Carolina.

“The opportunity came up for a run for Senate — it’s the largest geographic district in the state – encompassing 11 counties. And, I won,” Steinburg told Oswego County Today. “I put 40,000 miles on my car campaigning. Unbelievable.”

Though he’s been away for many years, his hometown still has a special place in his heart.

“I love Upstate New York. My roots are still there,” he said.

He graduated from Oswego High School in 1966 and has been married to the former Marie Micelli for 47 years.

Dealing with people one-on-one is something he learned in Oswego.

“Everybody in Oswego is connected, like a big family. At least the old guard is that way. It’s a network, a bond that exists between me an Oswego,” he said. “A lot has changed – technology, social media have gotten in the way of personal contact.”

Large Crowd Observes 100th Anniversary Of Armistice; ‘But that peace was not without cost’
OSWEGO – A crowd of more than 165 gathered in Oswego Veterans’ Memorial park to observe the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.

And, they honored the memory of the many Oswego County veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Residents from Oswego County organized the Oswego County World War I 100th Anniversary Commemorative Project to honor and memorialize those from Oswego County who died serving in World War I.

They also worked to place an Oswego County commemorative flag at the grave markers of 33 Oswego County World War I service members buried overseas in 11 cemeteries in France, Belgium and England.

At 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month area churches rang their bells in remembrance. Veterans lowered the flags at the park and retired them until next spring.

City Historian Mark Slosek was the MC for the ceremony. He praised Dan Allen who spearheaded the anniversary committee throughout the year for his hard word and dedication to the event.

A proclamation from Gov. Andrew Cuomo was presented, which recognized the “many courageous New Yorkers who answered the call to uphold the founding values of all nations.”

Mayor Billy Barlow recognized the may Port City residents who turned out in the snowy weather for the event.

Port of Oswego Sets Record Year In Grain Exports”
OSWEGO – Port of Oswego Authority, the first port on the Great Lakes system, set a record year in grain exports.

This year, the port exported more than 51,000 metric tons of soybeans to foreign markets which is a 325% increase from 2017.

“The numbers are very encouraging for the entire Central New York region,” said (then) Acting Port Director William Scriber. “The port now offers farm to ship direct loading which had not previously existed in Central New York.”

Earlier this year, the port applied for and was granted a USDA export license.

In conjunction with the license, the port upgraded its facilities to include a USDA lab and in cooperation with Perdue Agribusiness installed a state-of-the-art weighing system for exports.

“By 2020, we look to double the yearly total and are planning to make investments in expanding our storage facilities”, Scriber added.

Harbor View Square Development Project Under Way In Oswego
OSWEGO – A brownfield site in the Port City is experiencing a rebirth as a multi-use facility.

Ground was broken November 30 at the Harbor View Square site, 68 W. First St.; it’s the former home of Flexo Wire.

The development is being constructed on the underutilized city-owned brownfield site located at the convergence of the Oswego River and Lake Ontario.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the start of construction on the $26.2 million mixed-income, mixed-use housing development.

Harbor View Square will feature 75 rental homes serving a broad range of income targets and more than 10,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space intended for small retail and eateries.

Harbor View Square is a priority project of the city of Oswego’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, according to Mayor Billy Barlow.

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