Category Archives: Featured Stories

Sign up now for Wednesday cover photos in The Valley News

As regular readers of The Valley News know very well, each Wednesday’s paper has a photo on the front page highlighting an event coming up in the community.

Organizations, nonprofits and other groups call us to line up this spot in the paper. Our photographer, Kelly LeVea, takes the photos ahead of time and the photos usually run one or two weeks before the event.

The Valley News has some open Wednesday papers coming up for which we have no photos scheduled. They are: Dec. 18, Dec. 26 and and Jan. 8.

We also have no one scheduled for Jan. 22.

If you have an event after but close to one of these dates, give me a call. Debbie Groom, 598-6397, ext. 31.

Follow these tips to get photographs into The Valley News

We at The Valley News love photographs.

We love photos of kids doing great work in school, people getting promotions at work, organizations conducting fundraisers for the community and people attending one of the many things to do here in Fulton and Oswego County.

I’m sure readers like opening their Valley News on Wednesdays and Saturdays to see the fabulous photos we run. Most of these great shots are taken by people just like you and then sent to me by email or snail mail.

But there are some guidelines to ensure your photos can be used in the newspaper. Here they are:

1)Do not take photos with your phone. Smartphones and iPhones take photos that are clear enough for online posting such as on Facebook or Flickr. But they do not reproduce well enough to put in the newspaper. We need photos to be at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch).

2)Try to use a digital camera. It doesn’t have to be some fancy smancy expensive camera. I have a point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot 2500. It shoots at 16 megapixels and has a 5 times zoom. Put in on the Auto mode and ANYONE –  even I – can take great photos. And the camera cost me only $89 on Amazon. Might be worth it for every organization to have one of these hanging around to take shots to submit to the newspaper.

3)Once you take that great shot, be sure to get the names of the people in the photo. Usually people are in rows, so get the names going left to right and, if there are more than one row of folks, do front row, then second row and on and on. It’s always important to remember for newspaper photos to not have too many people in the photos. We will not use photos submitted without names identifying the people in the photo.

At The Valley News, we are sensitive to issues surrounding children and photographs. Every school district I know has a policy about students being photographed for newspaper or website use. Usually, on the first day of school, a permission slip is sent home for the parent or guardian to fill out on whether the child is allowed to be in photos for the newspaper or a newspaper website.

When a person takes a photo for use in a newspaper or website, he or she can be steered clear of students who cannot have their photos taken. Then photos can be taken and names of the students can be includes for use in The Valley News.

We enjoy having photos emailed to us because it is easy for us to get them ready for publication. If someone has a hard copy photograph to put in the paper, it can be mailed to the office or dropped off and we can scan it into the computer system. That takes about two minutes and then we can return the original photo.

If anyone has any questions about how to submit a photo to The Valley News, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can reach me at dgroom@scotsmanmediagroup.com or editor@valleynewsonline.com  Or call me at 598-6397 or stop in the office at  67 S. Second St., Fulton.

What’s happening at the CNY Arts Center

As the holidays draw near, CNY Arts Center has lots to offer.

Mark your calendars!

TH3, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 is Happy Hour at the Gallery for you to meet the artists and shop the gallery. With more than 30 artists on exhibit there is always something new to see.

At the Arts Center in 357 State St. Methodist Church, the Drama Club will debut at 7 p.m. Nov. 22 with monologues, skits and other original work.

The Drama Club is sponsored by Shineman Foundation for seventh- and eighth-graders to study theater twice a week after school at the Arts Center. This debut is a culmination of their efforts.

Ben and the Magic Paint Brush follows at 6 p.m. Nov. 23 with one performance only presented by Kids Onstage. The play written by Bathsheba Doran is produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. www.Playscripts.com.

Both events, Drama Club Debut and Kids Onstage, are open to the public for “Pay-What-You Can” at the door. In lieu of a ticket, you can support our young thespians with your donations.

At 6 p.m. Nov. 26 is an artist meet-up at the gallery for all artists – those already exhibiting their work and those thinking about it. Artists exchange ideas, share works in progress and socialize with others. The Studio Arts tab on the CNYArtsCenter.com web site can provide details.

“Sew You Can” Christmas projects class will be offered Nov. 30.

Level One meets from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. followed by Level Two from 3 to 5 p.m. The project will be making Christmas cookie coin purses.

Students must have taken the beginners class and class will be limited to six students. All classes take place at the Arts Center at 357 State St. Methodist Church. Use the Park Street entrance.

Our Gingerbread House contest kicks off the holiday season for us. Gingerbread creations made by teams or individuals are due at the gallery between 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 1.

Use your Thanksgiving holiday to make more than turkey. Stop by the gallery between Dec. 1 and 14 to vote for your favorite gingerbread creation. Winners will be announced Dec. 14 at our Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Arts in the Heart Gallery, 47 S. First St.

Following our open house on the evening of Dec. 14, we are planning a lovely dinner – Gifts of the Season Dinner Cabaret. This is a capital fundraising event. There will be specific details in columns to come.

From 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 we offer a class in collage. Learn about theme and composition to create interesting pieces. This class is in our classrooms on Park Street.

On Saturday, December 7 we are offering a full day of art fun with Holiday Goodies: 9-noon; Holiday Crafts: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; and Watercolor: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

All classes require pre-registration. Classes and workshops charge a modest fee.

Visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com  for all the latest details and updates or call 592-3373. All classes are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State St. Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton unless otherwise noted.

Remember we bring all arts to all ages at two separate locations. Classes, Writer’s Café, Author Spotlight, live theatre, and Arty Camp, are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State St. Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton. Use the Park Street entrance.

Arts in the HeART Gallery is located at 47 S. First St. in downtown Fulton across from the gazebo for local artists who want to display their artistry. Monthly artists’ meet-ups and TH3 Happy Hour also takes place at the gallery. Artists can apply for gallery space online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com.

Light in the Darkness, the Rev. David Grey

“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.  And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him;  but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.  When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village.” Luke 9:51-54

These are the same James and John that Jesus had nicknamed  “Sons of Thunder” and here we find them asking if they should call down lightening from heaven to destroy these people for refusing to welcome the Savior.

Whatever possessed these two men to think that Jesus would want that? After all, he had long ago taught them what to do when they entered a town that refused their message.

“Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave.  As you enter the home, give it your greeting.  If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.  If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” (Matthew 10).

Indeed, that is precisely what Jesus did in this Samaritan village. So why might they think Jesus would want to destroy them?

The answer probably lies in the manner that rabbis taught their disciples in that day and in something else Jesus had said in the very next verse in Matthew 10.  The disciples were expected to anticipate the deeper meaning of words spoken by their rabbi. They were expected to think, question and endeavor to draw intelligent conclusions from the various teachings.

In the next verse in Matthew, after telling them to shake the dust from their feet and leave town, Jesus had said, “I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

I can almost hear these two Sons of Thunder trying to extrapolate what Jesus intended and saying, “By Jove, I think we’ve got it!”

We think he wants us to be instruments of judgment on this town, and so they ask the question, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”

But instead of praise, or even a mild correction, they receive a rebuke. Ouch!  They had either  missed or completely forgotten that the Son of Man did not come to destroy but to, “to seek and to save what was lost.”   (Luke 19:10)

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.  And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him;  but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.  When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village.” Luke 9:51-54

These are the same James and John that Jesus had nicknamed  “Sons of Thunder” and here we find them asking if they should call down lightening from heaven to destroy these people for refusing to welcome the Savior.

Whatever possessed these two men to think that Jesus would want that? After all, he had long ago taught them what to do when they entered a town that refused their message.

“Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave.  As you enter the home, give it your greeting.  If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.  If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” (Matthew 10).

Indeed, that is precisely what Jesus did in this Samaritan village. So why might they think Jesus would want to destroy them?

The answer probably lies in the manner that rabbis taught their disciples in that day and in something else Jesus had said in the very next verse in Matthew 10.  The disciples were expected to anticipate the deeper meaning of words spoken by their rabbi. They were expected to think, question and endeavor to draw intelligent conclusions from the various teachings.

In the next verse in Matthew, after telling them to shake the dust from their feet and leave town, Jesus had said, “I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

I can almost hear these two Sons of Thunder trying to extrapolate what Jesus intended and saying, “By Jove, I think we’ve got it!”

We think he wants us to be instruments of judgment on this town, and so they ask the question, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”

But instead of praise, or even a mild correction, they receive a rebuke. Ouch!  They had either  missed or completely forgotten that the Son of Man did not come to destroy but to, “to seek and to save what was lost.”   (Luke 19:10)

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

ACE program celebrates with ziti dinner

A successful launch of the Academic and Community Enrichment program at Fairley Elementary School last year has translated into a great start for 2013-14, with a community dinner punctuating that success Nov. 14.

Eighteen first- and second-grade students who participate in the afterschool program helped make appetizers and desserts, prepare salads and create placemats for the dinner, with Canale’s providing baked ziti as the main course.

In addition to the students, their families and Canale’s, several Fairley teachers and staff members worked together to make the meal a reality.

“We have Lynn Bullard, who is our master chef,” said school psychologist Geri Seward. “She plans dinner at her church every week, so she knows how to buy in bulk and prepare in bulk. She is the queen of this dinner. She knows exactly what she’s doing.”

As teachers served nearly 75 meals to those in attendance, parents and students expressed their appreciation for the program.

“I like it, and I know they love it,” said Heather Hamrick, whose daughters Chloe and Lexus Sinko participate in ACE. “They’re eager to come to these events.”

The meal is just one of the many offerings provided through the afterschool initiative.

“We do 45 minutes of academics every day too, and then we do a project or craft. We’ve done all kinds of things. We’ve done yoga, we’ve had people come in, talk with them … a little bit of everything,” Seward said.

First-grade teacher Telia Tomayo said the program enriches the lives of students and their families and connects them with school in a positive way.

“We like to get the students and families here and involved, and this program does that,” she said.

Fairley Elementary students learn about Native American culture

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

The Fairley Elementary School cafeteria was transformed into an Iroquois village Nov. 13 as fourth-grade students showcased homemade longhouses, recipe books, a lacrosse stick and other aspects of Native American culture.

As part of the curriculum, students studied Iroquois culture in the classroom and built upon that knowledge by watching a live performance from an expert on the subject.

However, learning was not confined to the school building, as students took their knowledge home and created a variety of projects, culminating with a presentation during this week’s board of education meeting.

“I think the live performance and demonstrations helped our kids connect to the Iroquois traditions and cultures,” Fairley Principal Jody Musa said. “That is evident through these projects.”

Students used everything from store-purchased goods to natural resources to items within their own homes to create their projects.

“The Iroquois did not use paint or cardboard because they did not have paint or cardboard,” fourth-grade Maria Khan said as she presented her longhouse made of tree bark.

For Musa, the presentations were a great way to wrap up the Iroquois unit and shine a spotlight on the students, their parents and teachers as well.

Hannibal school district tests communications program with parents/ guardians week of Nov. 25

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Hannibal Central School District officials have been exploring a variety of options to provide immediate communication with families when issues arise, and soon a new tool will be in place that will provide the mass communication service that the district has been seeking.

During a meeting Wednesday evening, school board members reviewed the new communication tool, Global Connect, with the district’s director of technology, Matt Dean.

Dean said the cloud-based technology allows the district to call, email or text important information to parents, staff, board members and others. It can hold up to five different contacts per person.

The system will go through several test runs before being implemented, Dean said. Test calls went out to administrators last week, and more are expected to go out to staff this week.

“The test on Friday for the 18 (members of the administrative cabinet and school board), I think it went pretty well,” he said as he played the recorded test message on his computer. “The sound clip is a .Wav file, so it can be uploaded to the district’s website as well.”

With a successful initial round of calls, the district is gearing up for the final and largest component of the communications system — the community portion — with test calls planned for parents and guardians during the week of Nov. 25.

A flier will be distributed next week for students to bring home as a reminder.

“We will be sending a message out to all the contacts currently in our system,” Superintendent Donna Fountain said. “If parents do not receive a call by Nov. 29, contact (globalconnect@hannibalcsd.org).”

Fountain said if the community test calls go well, the district could implement the new notification system in the beginning of December.

Locals remember day Kennedy was shot 50 years ago

What were you doing 50 years ago Friday?

It is one of those moments that each generation seems to have — a moment when time stood still.

It is a moment when most everyone remembers where they were, what they were doing and how they felt when they heard the news.

For people age 80 and older, that day could be the attack on Pearl Harbor. For the younger generation today, it most like is 9/11.

But for many people, from seniors to baby boomers, what happened 50 years ago Friday, Nov. 22, will always be a part of their psyches. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated that day while visiting Dallas, Texas. It happened about 1:30 p.m. our time, and news quickly spread across Central New York, the nation and the world.

Like that year, Nov. 22 falls on a Friday again in 2013. Unlike 1963, people will not be fixated on every word and picture they see on the television for four days straight. — see all the preparations for the funeral, the long lines of people waiting to see the president’s casket, waiting to hear if the police caught the assassin, then two days later seeing him get killed on live TV.

Here is what some Fulton and Oswego folks remember about that day:

Ellen Kane, 70, president of the Women’s Club of Fulton:

“I was in college, D’Youville College in Buffalo. I don’t remember actually hearing about it. But  I remember people saying ‘get down to the lounge. Get down to the lounge.’ It was the only place with a TV. I remember the room was full of totally unbelieving people sitting in total silence watching. How could somebody do this? He was so young, had so much charisma. He was like a shining star.”

Ronald Woodward Sr., 64, Fulton mayor:

“I was in shop class, I was a freshman at Fulton High School. I remember the teachers crying and all the media blitz when I got home. I was sad — he was a very popular president.”

Thomas Gillen, 64, Oswego mayor:

“I was a freshman at Oswego Catholic High School. It was Friday afternoon and we were having a pep rally in the gym because the basketball team was going to be playing that night. They had already started the pep rally and there was an announcement that the president had been shot. They they came back with the announcement that he had died. I remember going back to homeroom and a lot of people were crying. I remember one girl was weeping. We didn’t play the game that night. And Sunday was always the day we would go out tot he turkey farm to ge our Thanksgiving turkey. I was watching TV and Oswald was shot. I remember thinking ‘I just saw someone killed on TV.’”

John DeRousie, 55, public relations professional, Fulton:

“Like everyone else alive at that time, I do remember it well. I was in first grade at St. Mary’s School in Oswego. Our teacher told us that the president had been shot. We were asked to close our books, and say a prayer for him. We were then dismissed and asked to leave quietly in single file. I also remember watching the funeral procession at home with my Mother. I felt a little nervous. I was too young to really grasp the magnitude of the situation, but I could tell from the nuns’ reactions and my parents’ reactions that this was a very bad thing. I realized it more when I watched the funeral procession and I distinctly remember seeing John Jr. salute as the casket went by.

Reuel Todd, 66, Oswego County sheriff:

“I was a sophomore sitting in study hall at Oswego HIgh School when they broke in with an announcement that President Kennedy had been shot. They broke in later to say he had died at the hospital and that they were making preparations to swear in Lyndon Baines Johnson. Even for us as kids, death to us wasn’t really real, but this affected everyone. I was watching everything I could on TV.”

Debbie Groom, 57, Valley News
managing editor:

“I was sitting in my second-grade class at Main Street Elementary School in North Syracuse. The principal, Mr. Miller, came over the loud speaker telling us the president had been shot. Doing something that probably wouldn’t be allowed today, he asked us all to pray. My teacher had a shocked look on her face. But she turned it into a teaching moment. She pulled down one of those rolled up maps that hung on the wall and showed all of us where Texas was and where Dallas was. A little while later, Mr. Miller came on the loud speaker again and told us the president had died and asked us to pray again. It was a day you’ll always remember.