All posts by Debbie Groom

Syracuse ITC tops Hannibal in football

By Rob Tetro

The Hannibal varsity football team fell to Syracuse-ITC in its regular season finale Oct. 18 by a score of 55-14.

After a competitive first quarter, Syracuse-ITC took over from there and scored 42 unanswered points during the second, third and fourth quarters.

Early in the first quarter, Hannibal took a 7-0 lead when Tim Webber caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Alton. However, Syracuse-ITC was quick to respond. They tied the game at 7 when Josh Thomas ran for a 5-yard touchdown.

Later in the first quarter, The Warriors recaptured the lead when running back Christian Knox muscled his way in from 2 yards out to give Hannibal a 14-7 lead.

Syracuse-ITC cut the lead to a point before the first quarter ended. Keenan Scott ran for a 9 yard touchdown to cut The Warriors lead to 14-13.

Syracuse-ITC took the lead for good during the second quarter. Josh Thomas scored on a 43-yard scamper to put Syracuse-ITC ahead, 21-14. Syracuse-ITC added to its lead later in the second quarter when Keenan Scott ran for a 6-yard touchdown to give them a 27-14 lead.

Syracuse-ITC struck again before the first half ended. Tyler Carbonaro tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Josh Thomas to give them a 35-14 halftime lead.

It didn’t get better for Hannibal in the second half.

Keenan Scott returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for the score to put Syracuse-ITC ahead, 42-14. Later in the third quarter,  Zhamir Wright scored on a run from 25 yards out to give Syracuse-ITC a 49-14 lead.

During the fourth quarter, Syracuse-ITC wrapped up a solid performance with  Saivaugn Coleman running for a 13-yard touchdown to cap off Syracuse-ITC’s impressive 55-14 win over The Warriors.

Leading the way for Hannibal was quarterback Trevor Alton, who completed 16 out of 29 passes for 231 yards with a touchdown and 3 interceptions. Alton also ran for 8 yards on 2 carries.

Following Alton was Tim Webber with 9 rushes for 58 yards. Greg Hadcock had 3 carries for 5 yards and Christian Knox ran for 3 yards and a touchdown on 3 rushes for the Warriors.

Tim Webber was Alton’s favorite target against Syracuse-ITC. Webber caught 8 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown. Following Webber was Greg Hadcock and Zach Janes who combined for 6 catches for 50 yards. Christian Knox and Austin Matteson each caught a pass while combining for 18 yards for Hannibal.

Defensively, the Warriors were led by Greg Hadcock, with 17 tackles, followed by Zach Janes with 12 tackles. and an interception, Tim Webber with 10 tackles, Christian Knox with 7 tackles, Nathan Welling with 6 tackles, Jacob Whitcomb with  5 tackles, Devon Weldin with 4 tackles and Ryan Weldin and Austin Mattison had 3 tackles each.

Renegade Roller Derby comes to Oswego

Oz Roller Derby hosted Oswego’s first renegade roller derby Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Oswego YMCA Armory.

The fast-paced, hard-hitting bout saw Oz Revolution pitted against the Boomtown Renegade Roughnecks team from Binghamton in a tight, close-scoring game, with Boomtown pulling out the win in the final minutes.

The final score was Boomtown, 102, with Oz Revolution finishing up with a score of 97.

Renegade roller derby is similar to, yet very different from, most popular versions of roller derby played in Upstate New York.

Renegade derby is identified as ‘No Rules’ derby because there are no penalties assigned to skaters. Timing, scoring, blocking and general game play are all very similar to other forms of derby.

Some key differences include no stopping on the track, player takedowns and the fact that it is coed.

“New fans of the Renegade-style said watching the two teams play was reminiscent of the original roller derby style of the 70s,” said a Boomtown skater.

Team members for Oz Revolution included Masso-Kiss-Tic Mandy, Mob Zombie, D. Devistation and Flyin Phil. Skaters for the Boomtown Renegade Roughnecks were Domin-Ate-Her, Oddbahl, Major Issues and Timmy Twitch.

Referees were Keltic Krusher, Gabzilla and Sychotix-Con.

“The renegade-style bout was the most aggressive bout I’ve ever had the opportunity to participate in, bar none,” said Flyin Phil. “It was a four-on-four Ironman … no penalties, no substitutions with four 15-minute periods.

“It had fast packs with no opportunity to catch your breath, especially after jamming. Endurance was a big factor but not one person gave up at any time. I had more fun than any of the 20-plus bouts I’ve previously skated in,” Flyin Phil said.

Volunteers from SUNY Oswego’s fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon were on hand before and after the event to help move, set up and tear down the 6,000-square-feet of portable track.

“We are extremely grateful to Sigma Alpha Epsilon for all of their efforts and support,” said Victoria Usherwood Gailinas, founder of Oz Roller Derby. “They are a great group of young men and their help was greatly appreciated.”

Both teams as well as the volunteers celebrated the first Oswego renegade bout with an after-party at Carp’s on West First Street.

Oz Revolution skaters next renegade bout is Sunday, Oct. 27, when they will once again represent and play for Boomtown in Hamburg, Pa., against KSRR (Key

Valley News ‘letters to the editor’ policy explained

The Valley News recently has experienced some concerns about letters to the editor, so I figured it was time to explain exactly what is expected in a letter to the editor and what we do here at the newspaper when we receive one.

We require all letters to the editor sent to us for publication to be signed and include a telephone number. Any letter that is unsigned and without a phone number that comes via fax or mail will most likely end up in the wastebasket. If one comes that way via email, I will hit “Reply” on my email and ask the person to sign the letter and include a phone number.

I will use that phone number to call you and confirm that you actually wrote the letter.

We do this because, as sad as it may be, there are people out there looking to harm or assault people by writing letters and pretending to be someone else. I am sure no one would like to read a letter with their name attached talking in favor of issues that you do not at all favor.

We would also hope that people writing letters are civil, not vicious and do not write anything that is libelous. An opinion is one thing – you can say you think Joe Blow is a horrible politician. But don’t say Joe Blow is a murderer.

Unless, well, this leads us to what we here at The Valley News do when we receive a letter.

If you wrote a letter saying Joe Blow is a murderer, you can be sure we will try to verify that by calling the court to see if Mr. Blow was ever convicted of murder or calling the state prison system to see if he ever spent time in jail for a murder conviction. If we can’t verify that information, the letter will be rejected.

That’s why it is of utmost importance for letter writers to use facts in their letters – and this means verifiable facts, not facts as you see it.

One letter received recently listed a bunch of “facts” dealing with a particular issue. As is my job, I called the state agencies and town officials to double check these “facts.” I found that nearly all of them were not true.

When a letter is found with factual errors, it is returned to the letter writer to be rewritten, if he or she desires.

We also, during this election season, have been receiving many letters from people throwing their support to one candidate or another. This is perfectly normal.

One candidate wrote to us stating he was upset that a letter was published from a person supporting his opponent and the letter writer did not live in his district. Frankly, there is no problem with a person from one part of Oswego County supporting a candidate in another part of the county. In fact, we’ve run a number of letters like this.

In one, Rita Hooper – who write our In and About Hannibal column – said she is a long-time resident of Hannibal, but now lives in Fulton. But she still was throwing her support to Dan Maheney for Hannibal highway superintendent. Two Oswego residents who used to reside in Granby have written in support of various Granby candidates.

So this is how we deal with letters here at The Valley News. We hope this clears the air a bit and makes it easier for people to write about their concerns and issues and send them to us. Letters are great vehicle for starting conversations in the community  and those conversations help communities grow and prosper.

Salmon River Fine Arts Center competition winner named

The Salmon River Fine Arts Center recently held its opening reception for the  Annual 2013 – Exhibition and Competition of Sunday Artists.

It is open until Nov. 23. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

It is free and open to the public. Special tours may be arranged by calling 298-7007. Judge for this event was artist Jeanne Lampson .

AQUAMEDIA: First Place: Jan Tighe, Pulaski, for SELKIRK II;  Second Place: Rhoda Cunningham, Oswego, for AFTER THE FLOOD; Third Place:Tammy Woodruff, Pulaski, for HARBOR HOLLYHOCKS; Honorable Mention: Maggie Henry, Oswego and Jan Tighe Pulaski.

DECORATIVE ART: First Place: Virginia Hansen, Adams, for LINEN WALL HANGING; Second Place: Jerry Bonk, Hastings, for PUMPKIN; Third Place: Pat Fahey, Pulaski, for CAMP; Honorable Mention: Jerry Bonk,Hastings, for LIBERTY.

GRAPHICS: First Place: Linda Flynn, Bridgeport, for ORANGE LANDSCAPE, Second Place: Kathy Mason, Lacona, for ARBOUR ABSTRACT; Third Place: Maryanne Laratta, Brewerton, for WHISPER OF AUTUMN.  Honorable Mention: Terese DeMarais, Pulaski

OIL: First Place, Russ Fahey, Pulaski, for SPIRIT LAKE, Second Place: Frieda Daniels, Pulaski, for ANGRY SKY, Third Place: Virginia Hansen, Adams, for WILLOW AT SOUTHWICKS.

PHOTOGRAPHY: First Place: Susan Hubbard, Pulaski, for GREAT BLUE HERON; Second Place: Rhoda Cunningham, Oswego, for WARM SUNSHINE BLOSSOM: Third Place: Kimberly Rossiter, Fulton, for ROCKY PEAK RIDGE; Honorable Mention: Christal Goodsell, Pulaski and Ellen Landphere, Mexico, Wally Reardon, Pulaski, and Terrie Carter, Orwell.

SCULPTURE: First Place: Stanley Webb, Pulaski,  for BEYOND THE HORROR OF THE HEIGHTS.

STAINED GLASS: First Place: Kimberly Rossiter, Fulton, for CARNIVAL.

WOOD: First Place: Gerald Higby, Pulaski, for LILAC’S OTHER BEAUTY.

Guitarist performs his original score to Japanese silent film

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Once upon a time, movies and live music went hand in hand.

Guitarist Alex de Grassi revives that tradition, performing his original score for the classic Japanese film “A Story of Floating Weeds” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in SUNY Oswego’s Waterman Theatre.

At the height of the silent film era, movies provided one of the largest sources of employment for musicians — including pianists, organists and orchestra players. That changed rapidly with the introduction of “talkies” in the 1920s.

Live music at the cinema languished from that period until a recent revival of interest.

In 2006, the New York Guitar Festival commissioned de Grassi to create and perform an original score for one of the best-known works of Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu. Further work on the score preceded its presentation at the 2009 Guitar Festival at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois.

In Oswego, de Grassi will perform his entire 90-minute score onstage as the black and white film plays on-screen.

“While some scenes are tightly scored, others are based on a rhythm or a short melodic fragment that allows improvisation,” de Grassi said. As a result, each performance of the interdisciplinary project is unique, he explained.

 Critically acclaimed

“A Story of Floating Weeds” is among the most successful and critically acclaimed films by the legendary Ozu, whose work was honored with a major retrospective at Film Forum in New York City this summer.

“Floating Weeds” is a familiar metaphor in Japanese prose and poetry and, in this 1934 film, it refers to a group of traveling actors who seem to drift aimlessly, carried by currents beyond their control.

The story revolves around the lovable ne’er-do-well character Kihachi, head of an itinerant Kabuki troupe visiting a small town where he had fathered a son years before. The son does not know that Kihachi is his father, but the leading lady of the troupe — Kihachi’s mistress — finds out and plots revenge.

The film comes to life with de Grassi’s score, based on a pentatonic — a scale of five notes — blues motif that suggests the sound of the koto, a Japanese harp-like instrument. Separate musical themes assigned to five central characters combine and clash as the drama unfolds and the characters’ lives intertwine.

The Wall Street Journal has called de Grassi’s playing “flawless,” and DownBeat magazine says, “His touch is as exquisite as his lyricism …” His solo recordings for the iconic Windham Hill label and his Grammy-nominated recording “The Water Garden” are considered classics of the solo steel-string guitar genre.

Detailed program information, video clips and ticket links for this and other performances of the Artswego Performing Arts Series are available online at

Tickets, priced at $18 ($5 for SUNY Oswego students), may be purchased at any SUNY Oswego box office, online at or by calling 315-312-2141.

Parking for this performance is included in the price of the ticket, and is available in the employee and commuter lots in front of and to the east of Culkin Hall.

This presentation is made possible by a grant from the Japan Foundation New York.

Reporter discusses job, meeting

I would like to take the opportunity to correct Oswego County Legislator Louella LeClair on a couple issues that she apparently has quite the distorted view of.

I was recently contacted by a legislator from another county who had been in attendance at the Sept. 25 New York State Association of Counties afternoon workshop on the Freedom of Information Law, presented by New York State Committee on Open Government Executive Director Robert Freeman.

It was alleged that Mrs. LeClair stated at this conference that I (stating my name) had “lost” my job with The Valley News.  This is completely false. I left The Valley News of my own choosing (quit) for reasons that are none of Mrs. LeClair’s business.

Mrs. LeClair also allegedly told everyone present at this workshop that I had my ear to the door of an executive session held by one of the legislature committees and, when the door was opened, I fell through.

First, I will note that Mrs. LeClair was not in attendance at the Sept. 26, 2012 meeting in question, so I am not sure how she can state as fact that I “fell through” the door. It was alleged that I had my ear to the door of an executive session by Legislator John Martino, who at the time was likely very well aware that I was working on an investigative story in regard to his relationship with a county vendor (which was subsequently published).  Is it a coincidence that Mr. Martino would attempt to discredit me at the time I was working on a story about a questionable bid that he was involved with?  It’s a rather important fact Mrs. LeClair failed to mention to the conference attendees.

While Mrs. LeClair apparently has no problem spreading malicious and defamatory hearsay, I carefully checked the validity of the story that was originally relayed to me from the out-of-county legislator with other legislators who were present at the workshop.  I also called Mr. Freeman the morning of Oct. 7 and he confirmed that the information was relayed to me accurately.

I recall when Mrs. LeClair first won election to the Legislature when she ran against then-incumbent Russ Johnson.  The day after the election, Mrs. LeClair sent a letter praising my reporting of county government.

Conversely, ever since Mrs. LeClair took office, I have received  countless telephone calls following Republican caucuses from legislators telling me that Mrs. LeClair had said vicious, nasty things about me, yet, during her tenure in office, I had written very little, if anything, about her. I’ve even had legislators tell me that she is “obsessed” with me.

Mrs. LeClair was in attendance at the conference in her official capacity as an Oswego County Legislator. It’s something she may want to remember the next time she chooses to make defamatory comments about anyone because, by doing so, she is putting the taxpayers at risk.

Why Mrs. LeClair feels compelled to tell her fabrications about me is beyond my comprehension but it would behoove her to keep my name from rolling off her tongue.

In closing, I would like to thank all of the readers who followed my 22 year tenure at The Valley News and now it’s time to put to rest the rumors that I was fired. I am with another media, extremely happy there, and very appreciative of all of you who continue to follow my work. I had a good run with Ron and Vince Caravan. They were true representatives of the fourth estate and it was a privilege to be a part of that Valley News era.

Carol Thompson


Pillow case dress project complete

Thanks to the many hands of church members, friends in the community and strangers who donated time, effort and material, the pillow case dress project has been completed at North Volney Methodist Church.

The final total was 110 dresses in various sizes that will go to help those in need.

The dresses will be donated to Hope4Women International, who will send them to Appalachia in the southern United States. This is an economically depressed area where there is a great need for many things, including help with good clothing.

This was only possible through the combined efforts of so many people. We at North Volney wish to thank all those who donated pillow cases and materials left from their own sewing projects.

Some people were not even sure where North Volney Church was located, but they wanted to help. One special lady who was unable to come to the church but likes to sew made 30 dresses in her home for this project.

We will bless these dresses during a church service and send them on their way to be used in health and happiness by their new owners.

Beverly Beck


Obamacare increases costs, benefit consultant says

I am writing to clarify some information written in Scott Allardice’s article about the Town of Granby’s employee health benefits plan (Report: Granby, town highway workers, could save with ‘Obamacare.’ Valley News, October 16, 2013).

KBM Management recently presented to the Town the renewal of their current health insurance policy for non-union employees, as well as an alternative to the union employee’s plan currently being negotiated with the Teamsters.

Contrary to the wording of the article “Obamacare” will not change the way the Town provides benefits, but will negatively impact the costs associated with the benefits.

The Town’s plan for non-union employees is increasing in cost as mentioned in the article; however, the amounts listed in the article are monthly increases, not annual.

This equates to a family policy increase of $1,680 per year. The Affordable Care Act is helping drive costs higher by imposing additional mandated services, benefit structure changes and taxes that are applied to premium.

The alternative policy proposed by KBM for all employees, both union and non-union, is not a direct effect of the healthcare reform law. This same plan design was proposed three years ago, the last time the union and Town negotiated their employee benefits.  This alternative is KBM’s recommendation to help keep the Town and employee’s costs in check by offsetting the increased premium drivers associated with Obamacare.

Brooks Wright

KBM Management, Inc

Employee Benefit and Risk Management Consulting