Category Archives: Columnists

In and Around Hannibal

By Rita Hooper

Remember back in the 1980s when everyone was decorating their gardens with pet rocks?

They were springing up everywhere, like May flowers after April showers.  Some of us wrote scripture verses on them to celebrate special occasions or words of encouragement to give to special people.

Smaller ones were used for paperweights. Somewhere around here I have one that says “I waited for someone to do something and then realized I was someone!”

My favorite was a big rock that said “please turn me over” and when you did the other side said “Oh that feels so good.”

That’s sorta how I felt when I opened The Valley News last week and saw the lovely letter from Louise Kellogg about the Hannibal column.  It feels so good to have your back rubbed.

I’ve told Louise that I hope she has a part in my eulogy and if not, that she puts a good word in for me with St. Peter! A word of kindness goes a long way, doesn’t cost anything and makes both the giver and the givee feel good. Try it this week!

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This is Holy Week – the most sacred week in the Christian calendar.

If you haven’t been to church in a long time, this might be the time to make that extra effort.

Sunday is Palm Sunday, it celebrates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  Many churches celebrate with processions of palms, like in a parade, and everyone gets a palm to take home.

On Thursday, called Maundy Thursday, churches call attention to the last supper Jesus had with his disciples before his impending death on the cross, his crucifixion. Some believe this was a Passover Seder.

Friday, Good Friday, commemorates the dying of Jesus on the cross. Christians believe he died for our sins. And Easter Sunday is a day of great celebration as the resurrection (coming back to life) of Jesus is celebrated.

If you’ve never been to church I recommend you give it a try this week; remember like a movie, you may or may not like it, but if you go again, you just might like it the next time.

Church members, a reminder to you to go a little out of your way, oh heck, go overboard in your Christian hospitality skills.

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Hannibal Ecumenical Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to noon today at the Village Market (IGA).

The money raised will be used to support the Hannibal Resource Center Thanksgiving Dinner Giveaway and the Hannibal Central School Christmas Bureau Giveaway.

The Ecumenical Key Council of the Churches of Hannibal is made up of members of each of the village churches. It meets the third Tuesday of the month at Our Lady of the Rosary Church at 2:30 p.m.

There will be a craft and bake sale at the Hannibal United Methodist Church, Church Street (one block west of the Village Square on Route 3) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, April 12.

Lunch will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All homemade soup, chili, sandwiches and pie! Takeouts will be available. Two floors of crafts for you to browse and shop!

Come and enjoy your day!

The Sons of the American Legion will host their monthly Breakfast Buffet from 8 to 11 a.m. Sunday, April 13 at the American Legion on Rochester Street.

On Sunday April 13, Palm Sunday, all Cluster Churches will all be taking part in a Choir Festival at Hannibal United Methodist Church at 6 p.m. with refreshments following.

Each participating church choir will perform an anthem, followed by two anthems performed by the combined choirs.

Wayne Kellogg will be guest conductor for the combined choir and Dawn Stowell will be the accompanist. A barbershop quartet will be among the performing groups.

The Senior Meals Program meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday for lunch at the Senior Center promptly at noon.  The center opens at 10 for those who like to work on puzzles, read the paper or just have a chat over coffee.

The center is located in the library across from the Hannibal Fire Hall on Oswego Street.

This week’s menu features:

Monday, April 14: Ham and boiled potatoes, carrots, cabbage, ice cream

Wednesday: Glazed meatloaf, baked potato, steamed spinach, juice, cookie

Activities: Monday — Wii bowling;   Wednesday — Music with Deanna.

The  center will be closed Friday in recognition of Good Friday. Happy Easter!

The Hannibal Library is giving away a Garden Time basket full of containers, gift certificate from Travis Floral, a book on container gardening, gloves, tools and more. The drawing for the basket is April 15.

The Hannibal Methodist Church serves a free lunch (donations for this ministry accepted though) on Thursdays at 11:30.    The Church is one block west of the Village Square on Route 3 (Church Street).

A Maundy Thursday service will be at 7 p.m. April 17 at Hannibal United Methodist Church.

Granby Center United Methodist Church will have a Good Friday service at 5:30 p.m.

The Hannibal Sports Boosters is conducting a lottery ticket drawinge to raise funds to support the Hannibal athletics program. They anticipate selling 1,000 tickets.

Each ticket sold will then be eligible to win $50 a day for the month of May using the New York State daily lottery number that is drawn each evening. An individual who purchases a $5 ticket will have 31 chances of winning during the month of May.

Their will be four bonus days, which will include Wednesdays during May. The winning ticket on those days will receive an additional bonus of $50 for a total of $100. Only those more than 18 are permitted to sell the tickets.

Tickets will be sold at the IGA/Village Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 19. If you have questions or would like to purchase tickets, call Mark Lafurney at 374-8806 or email: mark.lafurney@eaglebev.com

There will be a Community-wide Yard Sale in the Hannibal area beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 3.

Last year there were 27 sales. Anyone who wants to participate and would like his or her sale placed on the master list should call 564-6410 by April 27 and provide the street address and phone number.

Anyone with ‘special’ sale content like tools, antiques, sports equipment, or if multiple-families are participating, please note that also. (There is no need to provide your name.)

Multiple copies of the master list will be available for the buying public at the Community Center (Library) beginning at 8 a.m.

The Hannibal Historical Society will prsent a program on the history of the Hannibal Free Library at 7 p.m. April 28 at the Hannibal Community Center on Oswego Street. Marlene Sutcliffe and Shelly Stanton will talk about how the library has evolved from a group of donated books in a private residence to its present day location with many services for the community. Refreshments will follow.

Fred Kent is being honored June 2 for his contributions to the Hannibal community. Save the date now!

Rita Hooper  706-3564

Twohoops2@juno.com

Bodley Bulletins

By Julia Ludington

The weather is finally getting warmer, and everyone is beginning to enjoy the sunshine!

Summer is just around the corner.

Last week, girls attending prom and senior dinner dance had a great chance to save quite a bit of money. On April 3, 4 and 5, there was a prom and senior dinner dance dress sale. All dresses were sold for only $25!

It gave many girls hundreds of dollars in savings, as prom and senior dinner dance are becoming more and more expensive each year. Thank you to those who donated their dresses!

Tonight is the famous “Bodley’s Got Talent” at 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. There is going to be a lot of variety this year, from singing to dancing to acting and everything in between. Come out and support our very own brilliant and gifted students.

Spring sports teams’ seasons are underway, and many home games are approaching.

Tonight, the girls’ varsity lacrosse team faces LaFayette on the turf at 6 p.m. Tomorrow, the boys’ varsity and JV baseball teams will face Chittenango at home at 4:30.

The JV and varsity boys’ lacrosse teams will also play tomorrow, facing J-D on the home turf at 5 and 7 PM, respectively.

Congratulations to our March PBIS winners! They are Dawn Mabb of the Freshman class, Sabrina Russell of the Sophomore class, Thomas Distin of the Junior class, and Liam Roberge of the Senior class.

I thanked everyone who donated blood last week, but I want to thank all of you again because a grand total of 80 people donated! Thank you so very much.

Have an excellent week and a fantastic spring break.

View from the Assembly

By state Assemblyman Will Barclay

The 2014-15 New York state budget passed again on time for the fourth year in a row and we kept state operating spending at under 2 percent growth.

The $137.9 billion spending plan contains some good news for New Yorkers, but did fall short on other aspects.

The budget restores $602 million of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) for school districts. I was glad to see this in the final budget bill, as this allocation directly benefits our local schools.

A $2.7 billion funding cut to schools took place in 2011 when our state spending continued to be higher than  revenues following the recession. Since then, the funding has gradually increased but this year, we made a big step towards getting more funds to schools and increased school aid by $1.12 billion.

In addition, I was pleased libraries saw an increase of $1 million more than last year and the  proposed funding cut that was in the Executive’s budget was rejected. Instead, libraries are funded at $86.6 million.

This budget enacted tax cuts for manufacturers. We also raised the estate tax exemption amount from $1 million to be $5.25 million by 2017; by 2019, New York will be in line with the federal level.

Though I would have liked to have seen these changes be effective immediately, I’m glad we’re making these significant policy changes with this budget and will eventually subject fewer people to the estate tax.

Estate tax cuts are especially significant for farmers, as this reduction makes inheriting property easier.

Manufacturing tax cuts will make our state more competitive when attracting and keeping business in our region as businesses consider taxes as part of their overall cost of doing business; if these are lower, it makes it New York more attractive.

We also were  able to phase out 18-A, the energy assessment utilities pay, which is passed down to all consumers. Though this wasn’t eradicated entirely this year, it is on schedule to be in 2017.

Localities in Central and Northern New York will directly benefit from a $40 million winter recovery fund. This is a new allocation created in this budget to help localities cover expenses related to pothole repair. This is on top of a $75 million increase we saw last year to (Consolidated Highway Improvement Program) CHIPs.

This budget provides $27 million for local agricultural assistance programs. This too was welcome news, as the Governor’s proposed budget contained cuts to many agricultural programs.

Through negotiations, we were  able to not only restore that funding but also to increase it from  $21 million that was allocated year. Funding for apple growers, maple producers, berry growers and dairy groups was restored.

Changes to Common Core were also codified in the budget. While we were not able to pass a moratorium on Common Core as I and many had hoped, we were able to put into law many of the changes proposed by the Regents and prohibit standardized testing for grades K-2.

The legislature also passed student data protection measures and required the Commissioner of Education to put in place standards and regulations that would limit time devoted to state testing in the classroom.

Finally, this budget enacts much-needed reforms to public assistance. I have pressed for these sensible measures for years and this budget finally puts limitations on how electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards are used.

Recipients will no longer be allowed to use them at liquor stores, casinos or adult-entertainment establishments. Penalties were instituted for such businesses who accept the cards.

Unfortunately, however, no penalties were instituted for recipients.

The spending plan passed in 10 separate budget bills. I voted “yes” on 8 out of the 10 bills, but could not support any form of publicly-financed campaigns or commitment to funding the Affordable Care Act, which was supposed to be self-sustainable.

Although the budget did not contain the governor’s outrageous proposal to publicly finance all state races, it did contain a compromise: This year, the State Comptroller’s race will involve public dollars.

I oppose publicly-financed campaigns in any form. I fear too that this concession will pave the way for others.

I also voted against an allocation of $24 million for the Affordable Care Act. This was supposed to be self-sustainable.

Unfortunately, the budget passed with this measure included and now New Yorkers will be paying for the botched federal mandate.

The budget also fails to provide mandate relief. At the same time that the state required localities to stick to a 2 percent tax cap, which was a good measure, we have not given them the tools to do so by cutting state mandates such as Medicaid, costs associated with early intervention, public assistance, and indigent defense.

If you have any questions or comments or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, contact my office by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or call 598-5185.

State Senate Report

By state Sen. Patricia Ritchie

Snow and cold aside, March is a “sweet” month.

That’s because of “Maple Weekend,” an annual celebration held to promote New York’s maple industry. With 2.2 million taps, our state is the nation’s second largest maple producer (after Vermont) with plenty of room for growth.

During this year’s Maple Weekend, I had the chance to visit with our region’s newest young farmer, Josh Parker.

A 16 year-old, Josh has set up his own maple sugar operation in St. Lawrence County.  The operation uses wood pellets to power an evaporator — a first for the maple industry in New York state.

Meeting with Josh during Maple Weekend gave me the opportunity to talk with him about my Young Farmers NY plan, an initiative to support and encourage careers in agriculture.

Included in the new state budget is $1 million to support key elements of this plan, including my proposal for new farmer innovation grants — now called the “NY Beginning Farmer Fund” — of up to $50,000 each to help start or expand an agriculture business.

In addition, the budget also includes $100,000 for student loan forgiveness for agriculture college graduates who commit to farming careers, increased funding for the in-school, agriculture leadership–focused FFA program, and reforms the Estate Tax, to make it easier for families to pass on their farm business to the next generation.

In addition to funding for my Young Farmers NY plan, the budget also includes record funding — the highest rates in six years — for critical agriculture marketing, education and research programs.

This record amount includes funding for the Apple Growers Association, Farm Viability Institute, the NY Wine and Grape Foundation, wildlife rabies prevention, the NY Maple Producers Association and much more.

You can find complete details of the agriculture portion of the State Budget — as well as the other details of the spending plan — on my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.

Throughout my years as your senator, I have worked to restore cuts to agriculture funding and secure new funding to help our state’s largest industry continue to grow.

I’m confident the investments contained in the new State Budget will encourage more young people to consider careers in farming and strengthen family farms across the state.

Light in the Darkness

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him”            (Nahum 1:7)  

I read somewhere that the simple affirmation that God is good is a wonderful and marvelous thing to consider.

It is certainly true. Think what an all powerful, all knowing God who is everywhere at once would be like if he was not also good. Perfectly good and unchanging.

Imagine even a god who is good today but might change his mind at any given moment. What a frightful thing to contemplate.

A. W. Tozer believed (and rightly so, I think) that we tend, “by a secret law of the soul” to gravitate toward our mental image of God and that in so doing, over time, we grow to resemble that mental image.

As a result, Mr. Tozer was convinced that what comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you. Lofty thoughts of God bring us into a more pure worship and careful walk, while low thoughts of God defile us as our deceitful hearts ultimately corrupt that walk.

The bottom line is that you become what you believe about God. Now, that is not to say that this happens apart from the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit but that He works through our thoughts and meditations upon who God is.

If we conclude that God is who He says He is, a good God and that He has our best interests at heart, then we naturally  hold that His Word is true and the necessary guide for all of life. One thing leads to another and another and we are transformed by the Holy Spirit into the image of God, the Son.

Make no mistake, the goodness by which God makes possible our reconciliation, and by which He will one day judge the world, doesn’t mean that all will be saved and none lost (Romans 11:22).

To commit sin is always, in one way or another, to refuse the benevolence of God’s will and if we’re lost in eternity, it will be the consequence of having refused that love for so long that time ran out (John 3:16-19).

Some will simply not accept God on His terms, and we’re told that these will experience, “everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

It is not so much that God sends them to eternal punishment as that He allowed them the freedom to choose and they will not have for all of eternity that which they chose while choice was still theirs. God will not force His goodness upon any whose final choice is to refuse it.

But no one needs to reject the truth about God’s goodness. Peter wrote that we can entrust ourselves “to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19).

This truth is far reaching. Whoever truly comes to terms with the unfailing goodness of God will never again treat sin or future concerns in the same way.

A deep, grateful confidence that God is good will win the war against both wickedness and worry.

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

Poetry Corner

Daffodils, by Jim Farfaglia

I like them best when they appear

in the ditches of rural roads,

hugging the trunks of apple trees

or lined up along neighborhood homes.

 

I like them best when they cluster,

as if someone from down below

broke through an endless winter

to hand us a bouquet all aglow.

 

I like them best when just opened,

their pale yellow abeckoning,

their delicate petals forming a cup,

where we drink in the birth of spring.

Jerry’s Journal

I really can’t say what brought it on, this reminiscing/thanking/philosophizing I’m about to share with  you.

Maybe it’s because spring has sprung (so we hope) and with it warm weather and April showers to make things grow again, and Easter and hope for a new day.

I like to believe there’s always something to look forward to!

It began earlier this week after a trip to the local supermarket and I make this astute observations: It costs a lot of money to eat healthy. What’s that you say? One red pepper and one sweet potato came to almost $3. No way!

Yes, way. And I think it’s worth it, too, because we can afford it. But what about people who can’t afford fruits and vegetables and eat mostly junk food, I rambled on to my loving husband, Ed, on our way home from our shopping trip.

Junk food is a lot cheaper; no wonder there’s so much obesity.

Well, okay, dear Readers, who am I to talk — I’m no size 5 myself, not even close — I love my sweets! I do try, however, to put a couple of kinds of vegetables on the dinner table and try to eat as healthy as I can.

One problem with this perfect scenario, though, is that I don’t like to cook! Nope, never did. I had to anyway, when the kids were growing up.

Cooking for two adults and four children day in and day out was just part of my good wife/mother routine and I thought nothing of it. You did what you had to do.

I wasn’t too fond of grocery shopping, either. I was never the dedicated coupon clipper and sale shopper. If something was on sale and I could use it I would buy it. Otherwise, I bought what I needed to get through the week.

We went from paycheck to paycheck, back then, when Mike’s pay came in the mail on Thursday. It was my day off, leave the little darlings at home with a baby sitter day, my day to go grocery shopping, pay the bills and perhaps look around in the stores downtown.

My last stop of the afternoon was to Angelo’s Big M on West First Street to buy our groceries, several bags full, which usually came to about $20. Yes, you remember it well, 20 bucks used to go a long way!

Besides, I sure could stretch out the staples: hamburger, chicken, pot roast, potatoes, carrots, spaghetti, a couple cans of tomatoes (to make the sauce), a few cans of veggies and chicken noodle and  tomato soup, a package of sliced cheese (tomato soup and grilled cheese, yum) a box of oatmeal and a box of cereal (my kids loved their cereal), a couple of loaves of white bread and a big jar of peanut butter and jar of jelly.

An egg lady and a milkman delivered their wares right to our door, and in the summer we had more fresh fruits and vegetables, otherwise they came from the can. My kids just loved canned peaches!

As you can see from my grocery list it wasn’t exactly “healthy eating” and I was no gourmet cook (my kids didn’t know the difference), our diet didn’t vary too much, but our bellies were full.

One week I spent $42 at the grocery store! Mike had overtime pay and we were low on several essentials (you just can’t do without sugar and flour and dish detergent and toilet paper) so I stocked up — two shopping carts full, no less — and they contained no junk food, well, maybe a half gallon of ice cream and one big bottle of soda pop.

Those were special treats for just once in a while. Most of the time, though, my kids were content with popcorn and orange juice for a treat Sunday night while they were watching the Wonderful World of Disney just before they went to bed.

Oh, the good old days! It was a whole different world back then.  It’s the world I sometimes long for, talk about with family and friends, but realize I can’t bring it back, so I try to “live for today,” as they say. It ain’t so bad, you know… .

We still can smile and be glad we have lived here in Fulton, New York — it’s a beautiful part of our country — and remember how good it was growing up in “the Little City of Power and Progress.”

To be sure, we are sad, it’s not as pretty and neat and tidy as it used to be, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to love it to death.

We still can be thankful for the good living and jobs it gave us at Nestle’s, Sealright, Dilts, Armstrong, Niagara Mohawk, the telephone company, the canning factory, the box company, just to name a few, and for the good schools we went to — Oak Street, Erie Street, Phillips Street, State Street, Fairgrieve and Good Old Fulton High.

We can thank God for the friends we made along the way and for a chance to grow old with each other and see each other at Mimi’s, the Blue Moon, the Lock, and other great places to meet and eat here in our hometown. It’s so good we still can laugh and yes, still cry together.

We can be thankful for the amazing Oswego River and the awesome Lake Ontario, and Rudy’s, and for Syracuse, our nearby metropolis, and for its university — go SU (I know their basketball season is over, but I love them anyway. Thanks for a great season!).

I am also grateful I can afford healthy food. I thank God every day for my life I had with Mike Hogan, and now with Ed Kasperek. I am thankful for all our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren…And, I am thankful for all of you, too.

Now here’s my caveat: Readers beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share. Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up.

I hope you have fun reading my stuff. Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome. You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email JHogan808@aol.com.

Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

Born in a Grocery Store?

When I was born, my parents lived in the house attached to the family’s Red & White Grocery Store in Syracuse’s Valley section, which is why I suppose, that during my early years I may have thought that I was born in a grocery store.

I lived there with my parents until I was almost 2.

Valley Drive is a long residential street, which was intersected one block from our store and the house where we lived, by the busy Seneca Turnpike corner.

I remember, while I was growing up, staying overnight with my grandparents at that house and being fascinated by the bright neon lights of “Club Candee,” the busy nightclub which was located a block from the family store.

When I was a little older, I earned my allowance by helping Grandpa keep the empty cardboard cartons in an orderly fashion, and by delivering small orders and advertising flyers to the neighbors.

Through the years, I got to know many of the store’s regular customers. My grandmother always insisted that even though I considered many of those customers my friends, I should always address them by Mr., Mrs. or Miss.

One of the exceptions was Fanny Chapman, who was a daily visitor to the store, and also worked there part-time through the years. I guess I thought it was OK to call her by her first name, because it made me giggle every time she walked into the store.

In a column I wrote several years ago, I was remembering those grocery store years:

“One of the stories I heard told over and over by my grandmother all the time I was growing up and much longer was that I learned to walk by picking up two glass milk bottles from the back hall of our house and carrying them into the store.

“My grandmother was also fond of sharing pictures of me when I was about six or seven wearing one of my father’s store aprons which hung down to the floor.

“One of my favorite toys from the store was a long pole with a pair of ‘grabbers’ on the end, which was used to pull items from the store’s high shelves.  Using those grabbers to knock things off the shelves and all over the store was probably how I got revenge for having to parade around in that silly looking apron.”

“Do You Have Prince Albert in a Can?

From Hodgepodge, Dec. 24, 2005:

“For several years during the time my family owned a grocery store in the Valley section of Syracuse, I was able to leave a special gift for Santa Claus each Christmas Eve.

“Every year my father brought home a tin of Prince Albert Tobacco from the store, and my brother, sister and I left the special gift for Santa along with a plate of cookies, under the Christmas tree.”

(I can still picture that special Christmas time can with Santa enjoying a pipe full of his favorite tobacco.)

“Every Christmas morning there was a plate of cookie crumbs, a note from Santa, and Prince Albert was nowhere in sight.”

Do you have Prince Albert in a can?  Well, let him out! My father said he heard that comment many times during his years at the store.

Thinking a lot about the store this week, I have recalled that the store had a “gum ball” machine. I remember it sitting on the counter at the front of the store where customers “checked out.” As you might imagine, the gum balls were small balls of gum with a thin candy coating.

I often went with my father to the store when he visited on Sunday mornings. While he went about his business, I was putting pennies in the gum ball machine.

There were one or two special gum balls in the machine; I don’t know if they were even gum. They were very colorful, which made it easy to distinguish them from the other gum balls.

Looking for a “Winner”

Those gum balls were “special” – they were known as “winners” because if one of them came out of the machine when your penny was inserted that penny would “win” five more pennies – which of course would immediately be put back into the machine.

It wasn’t long before I learned to try to outsmart that gum ball machine. I knew that the “winner” wouldn’t come out if I could still see it in the machine’s glass globe.  So I shook and I jiggled until the coveted “winner” was out of sight, hopefully ready to come out when my penny went into the slot.

I soon discovered that all the shaking and jiggling was an exercise of futility.  All I had to do was to ask my father for more pennies. But I am sure that it would have added a little more excitement to my young life if a “winner” had come out of the gum ball machine.

Those days spent long ago at the family store with my father and grandparents are among the fondest of many memories.

A Couple More Things

No matter how much you push the envelope it will still be stationery.

I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

I read a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.

And, here’s one from Henny Youngman:

“A drunk goes up to a parking meter, puts in a dime. The dial goes to 60. The drunk says, “Huh I lost a hundred pounds.”

                                        . . . Roy Hodge