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I came across a post the other day that started with “Things that made my toddler cry this week”, which totally caught my eye because you know how much I love toddlers. Her list made me laugh.

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My office has been getting calls from constituents who are understandably confused about two rebate checks the state has begun to mail to property taxpayers and whether they should expect to receive one, none or both.  I want to try and clarify for the public what these checks are and who sh…

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I have this magnet on my fridge that says “Upon the advice of my attorney, my refrigerator has nothing to say at this time.” Well, that’s how I felt last week when my deadline came and went. If I could have found an hour to myself I might have been able to prattle on about something, but rea…

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This year, the Oswego City School District had to make the difficult decision to suspend the 2019 varsity football season due to a declining number of participants, a scenario that posed significant risk of injury to our students. We felt it was important to share in greater specificity, the…

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It started innocently enough, as most things do. My friend Barb brought in a painting she had just done of a tree during its four seasons. It was so pretty. However it wasn’t done with paint. No sir, it was done with diamonds. I had never heard of painting with diamonds.

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A palatial home along the banks of the Oswego River on Route 48 in Minetto, historically used by the Kingsford family as a summer retreat, is about as far away culturally, economically, and otherwise as you can get from the “Forks in the Road.”

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I love to play Scrabble. I have it downloaded to my laptop so that I can play anytime I want to — against the computer, which makes for a speedy game. I can choose my skill level (which is in the medium range) and you can type into a dictionary to see if the word you desperately want to use …

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I once saw an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” where they had come back from a trip and Ray left the suitcase on the stair landing. After a couple of weeks it became an annoying unspoken presence in the room and the longer it stayed there, the madder each one got. Debra felt that Ray sho…

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I just got my latest Readers Digest. Normally I start at the beginning and read straight through so as not to miss anything, but listed in the contents was “20 Chores You Can Stop Doing.” Well, I couldn’t turn to page 78 fast enough because I have so many irons in the fire that I really need…

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About three weeks ago, the father of a 17-year old sent me an email to ask information about e-cigarettes and how to talk with his son about the health risks of e-cigarettes. E-cigarette use poses a significant but avoidable health risk to young people and causes parents, teachers, and healt…

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Actually I have made rugs, so I should really say “why I don’t make rugs anymore.” The first time I tried it (40 years ago) I had cut fabric into strips, sewed them end to end, ran it through a piece of metal that folded the fabric so I could iron it just so, braided it and proceeded to sew …

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I finally have my kitchen back. For the past week it has looked like a poor man’s feng shui. It all began when I tried to wash the dishes and I noticed these teeny tiny light brown slivers crawling all over the drainer. 

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There is nothing like waking to the sweet smell of apple pie baking in the oven, particularly when that oven is in the kitchen of a splendid sailboat docked at Navy Point Marina in Sackets Harbor, NY.  I refer to the boat Empty Pockets, a 42-foot Island Packet sailboat, owned by Dick and Joa…

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“You know, they have a word,” said President Trump told a rally last fall. “It sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist. Really, we’re not supposed to use that word? You know what I am? I'm a nationalist. ... Use that word.”

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If you own just the one house that you and your family are living in, then it is, in all likelihood, the most valuable asset in your name. And for an asset with that much value to you, you are expected to protect it to the best of your ability. So you put up security fences, a home alarm sys…

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I’m not sure which word I want to use here to describe how I feel right now. Sickened? Frightened? Disgusted? Desperate?  or maybe all of the above.

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As I stood in the heat outside the mall I got thinking about the time I had my tonsils out. I was 9 so it was a really long time ago and I was realizing at that moment that I still recalled all of it with marked clarity. Even the day the doctor told my mother that they had to come out. As sh…

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Eighteen years ago my first born said she had something to tell me, but as I looked into her eyes I already knew. “You’re pregnant again.”

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Debbie Hough

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I’ve seen over 25 winters release their grip on Upstate New York, reluctantly handing the reigns over first to a fickle spring, and finally to breathtaking summer; each time, the transformation fascinates me.

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Oh the trials and tribulations I seem to go through on a daily basis. This particular day started off easy enough — my sister and I went to church, then shopping, and topped it off with lunch. 

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Remember those plane tickets I tried to cancel but could only be forwarded to a better (safer) time? Well, we used them and are glad to be done with the whole flying experience. And an experience it was!

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Okay, I can talk now. The big surprise (if you haven’t figured it out by now) was a 60th birthday party for my little sisters – aka – the twins. Oh I feel so much lighter now!

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If there is a lesson to be learned from this legislative session, it is that elections have consequences.  One-party rule has removed the political checks and balances that previously existed in state government.  The formerly Republican-controlled state Senate is now dominated by liberal De…

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Once upon a time (two months ago) someone got an idea, and she shared it with her cousin who whole heartedly agreed and the idea turned into a plan, and the plan grew. It got big enough to include me, which normally wouldn’t have been a bad thing except this was to be a surprise and I can’t …

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I first met The Hon. Judge James McCarthy when he was a struggling young lawyer, just out of law school. I was working for the Conway and Shanley law firm at the time and was also the County Democratic Chair at the ripe old age of 27, so it was my job to recruit candidates for public office.…

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I have nine grandchildren, ranging from two in college to two in diapers. And yes this includes the one who plays with angels. I love them all. My oldest was graduating college this month so when I was asked if I was going to her graduation I said “Of course!”

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Tedious Man at Bar (TMAB) #1: Hey, how about that president of yours? Starting trade wars. Tanking the stock market.

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Recently, a group of students from the Phoenix Central School District came to Albany for a very special visit. These students, led by their teachers Carol Blackburn and Colleen Longley, had earlier come up with an idea to better help young people discuss, understand and even cope with menta…

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There is a bill gaining support in Albany that, if enacted, would further reduce the amount of farms in our state.  The bill is called the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act.  It proposes new labor mandates, regulations, and financial burdens for farmers without full consideration of what …

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Editor’s note: This week marks the end of the SUNY Oswego spring semester and the end of the tour of duty for our four outstanding newsroom interns: Isabella Arikian, Walker Wolfson, Leah Wolf and Evan Zimmer.  Below are reflections from Wolf, a West Monroe native and soon-to-be graduate. We…

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Growing up in a large family had obvious drawbacks, especially since we only had one bathroom. But it also had its perks — there was always someone to play with.

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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

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Did I ever tell you we went to Disney World once? We had always wanted to take the kids but with the hubby being in construction and the kids in school, it just wasn’t working out. We thought we’d try going during a spring break one year but the hubby threw a monkey wrench into that. 

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Many Oswego families have contributed monumentally to the betterment of our community. Most have done so figuratively. The family of Mitchell Street’s James H. Smith has done so literally.

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I just got back from another retreat at Delta Lake, but with a different group of gals and obviously at a different time of year. Packing for this retreat was nearly impossible because I had to be somewhere practically every day and ended up doing it in bits and pieces. All I knew for sure w…

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While not directly related to NYS fiscal issues, some of the biggest policies included in this year’s state budget were changes to our state’s criminal justice system.  The biggest of those changes was the elimination of cash bail for most crimes other than certain qualifying offenses.  The …

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It’s springtime again, and the warm winds of seasonal change are met with sighs of relief, especially from winter-weary Upstate New Yorkers. The collective solace is short-lived, however, once April 15th comes into view.

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Quite often when I get to church, the parking lot is full so I park on the street. The church across the street has the same problem so I try to get there early enough to call dibs. This particular day I parked at the edge of the sign that said No Parking, with an arrow indicating the entran…

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In the wake of the new New York State budget deal—which includes $1.4 billion in new taxes and $4.6 billion in overall taxes this year—downstate legislators are now looking to tax your recreation.

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As a child of the 1950’s, I grew up in a small city of 22,000 people with 7 Catholic churches, three Catholic elementary schools, and one Catholic High School.  We have now been reduced to no Catholic High School, one elementary school, and 7 parishes which have been combined, functionally, …

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I’m weird, and it took a long time to get comfortable with that.

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The quintessential definition of a “ward heeling” politician is one who wears out lots of shoe leather walking the district, getting petitions signed, and listening to the concerns of the electorate.

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I did something stupid, which by now probably doesn’t surprise any of you but my mouth is still agape. We had a plan, the hubby and I, to drive down to Jeremy’s for Grayson’s fifth birthday. It would be the first time I celebrated a birthday with him and I was really excited and the presents…