Category Archives: Columnists

Florida winter

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

We have had sort of a reverse winter in Florida and, as I write this column, we are only about 10 degrees colder than Fulton. December and January were beautiful, almost steamy at times, and February was just about perfect, but March has been a really cool month.

March brought some freezes and frosts, but mostly just north of Barefoot Bay. We had one frost that did a number on my tomatoes and beans, but that was it.

On the other hand, we have had 15 nights that the temperature dipped below 40 compared to less than half that number total for December through February.

So I guess I won’t have a problem adjusting to the Fulton temperatures.

Sweet Thing and I expect that we’ll be back in our old digs before the middle of April. As much as we love getting out of the New York State winters, we always look forward to getting back home in the spring. One thing I know, the fishing has to be better than it has been down here.

The poor fishing and cold days have forced me to look for things to do other than outdoor pursuits. I have been making Sweet Thing very happy, because our Barefoot Bay residence has been getting a bit of sheet rock work done that has been hanging fire for some time and painting of every room in the house.

I have enough other updating jobs to keep me busy until we leave, so I could care less right now what the weather does, providing we don’t have a tornado.

Next season, I may start fishing fresh water instead of salt. We have great bass and crappie fishing all around us, and plenty of catfish too.

Stick Marsh, which is just west of us, has a great reputation and many fishermen come from quite a distance to fish it. I only have to drive about eight miles.

Another big area is going to be added to Stick Marsh as nearby marginal land is allowed to flood. That should become a really hot piece of fishing water in a year or two.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Spring break

Bodley Bulletins

Bodley-RothrockKate_Wby Kate Rothrock

Did you know that every blood donation can save up to three people?

GRB needs students to sign up for the blood drive to meet the goal of 100 donors!

The blood drive is tomorrow, March 28 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students can sign up with Mrs. Ferlito in room 115 and must fill out a permission slip. What a better way to start off spring break than by saving lives!

Speaking of spring break, Friday marks the first day of vacation. Students have Friday March 29 and won’t return to school until April 8.

Today and tomorrow are the last two days to sign up during lunch bells to be in “Bodley’s Got Talent,” the annual talent show put on by HOPE club. “Bodley’s Got Talent” will take place April 18 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Anyone can go and there are always wonderful acts!

This week is concert week! Today, is the band concert at 7:30 p.m. and tomorrow is the orchestra concert also at 7:30 p.m. Good luck to both the band and orchestra in their concerts. They both work very hard and it should show in their performances.

There are limited spots left for the senior trip June 7 to Cedar Point! The price of the trip is $220, which includes the hotel, bus, Cedar Point passes, dinner and breakfast.

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Light in the Darkness: March 27, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? – James 2:14

God instructed Moses to cast a bronze serpent and raise it high above the camp so that anyone bitten by a poisonous snake could stare at it and be healed.

He gave Noah a specific blueprint and told him to build an ark. He laid out a strange battle plan for Joshua to take Jericho and He told Gideon to pare his army down to a mere 300 men before going into battle.

Can you imagine any of those men responding, “Thank you, Lord. I believe you. I have faith in you” and not doing just as God had instructed? Of course not.

True faith has always been accompanied by obedience. This is precisely what James means in the above verse. Faith that is not accompanied by obedience is not faith at all. James says that there is no life, it is dead.

The problem many have with this statement in James stems from misunderstanding the word, works. Martin Luther, coming from a ‘works for salvation’ background was so thrown by the word that he concluded the book of James did not even belong in the Canon of scripture. Many have been confused about this ever since.

After all, are we not told in Ephesians that we are saved by grace and “not by works”?  So, are works important or aren’t they?

The answer is simple when we understand that the writer of the Ephesians and James are talking about two different kinds of works, or more accurately, works which stem from two different motivations within us.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

A Technicolor Memory

by Jim Farfaglia

A Technicolor Memory


Nowadays you’ll find it on a tiny disc

and you can play it anywhere, anytime.

Back then, though, you planned ahead

so as not to miss its once-a-year

TV spectacular…


We’d gather at our cousins’ house,

our aunt popping us a bowlful,

our tiny hands grabbing fistfuls,

anxious to be swept away by every scene:


The open door shifting her world

from black and white to color,

the witch tossing that fireball

to the fragile and frightened scarecrow,

the Great and Powerful spooking that coward

right through a window…


Today we fast-forward through boring parts

or replay endless enchanted moments –

but remember when our only choice

was to store them within?


Then, when we’d returned

to our black and white world,

there’d be no need to search for rainbows,


no, they would be right here

– home –

in our hearts.

Hunting in different life phases

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

I guess it’s high time for me to complete my ramblings about hunting.

This last installment is the hardest one for me to write, because it is much more personal than the others.

I have been a hunter from about the time I was eight and I still hunt, but it’s different these days.

For more than 55 years, I would be elated each time I killed a game animal, especially if it happened to be a deer, because my skills had been tested, and the animal would provide many good meals for me and my family.

I had no inkling during those years that my perspective and my feelings might one day change.

As strange as it may seem to people who have never hunted, I have always loved all kinds of animals, including the ones I have hunted, and to some extent, the same incongruence holds true for the fish I have pursued so avidly since the first day I wet a line.

I could love deer, rabbits, ducks, squirrels, pheasants, and on and on, and yet at the same time I had no problem shooting them when the season was open.

For me, it was perfectly natural and acceptable, the way of my world, and I felt neither guilt nor pity when I pulled the trigger.

Hunting answers a primordial urge in many humans. It is neither good nor bad. Hunting is a valuable tool for managing some animal populations and it provides huge quantities of renewable organic protein every year.

To some extent, I agree with the person who said, “I believe there is a place for every animal – right next to the potatoes and gravy.”

But in a larger sense, I believe animals are much, much more than just meat on the table and trophies on the wall. They are beautiful examples of God’s handiwork and to treat them callously without proper respect is a sin; the American Indians recognized that.

You see, about 10 years ago, I began doing a lot less hunting, and if it were not for my son, Tim, and my grandsons, I might nearly have stopped altogether. The joy of being in the woods with them and seeing them shoot their own deer far outweighed any pleasure I found in shooting one myself.

I actually have become very ambivalent about shooting a deer, in spite of the fact that I do enjoy venison very much.

Two events caused me to re-evaluate almost everything I have ever believed and more importantly, felt, about hunting as it applied to me.

I am sharing those events with you, but it is a painful for me to do so; however, I don’t know any other way to explain where I’m at with hunting today.

The first took place about eight years ago. I was deer hunting with Tim and it had been a slow morning. By 8:30 a.m., I had begun to wonder if there were any deer at all in the woods we were hunting, when suddenly there was a deer standing 20 feet away from me. I slowly raised my shotgun and put the crosshairs on its head. At the shot, it immediately began running and because of trees and brush, I was not able to get another clear shot.

I checked the spot where the deer had been and where it had run, and there was blood on the leaves along its tracks. I couldn’t conceive how it could have run away if I had hit it, but I began following the trail.

In only a minute or so, I jumped the deer, and it was running strongly. I fired again and the deer veered to the right. I fired again and the deer veered back to the left, but continued moving about another hundred yards, finally stopping in some light brush.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Neighbors from long ago

RoyHodge_WEBby Roy Hodge

I sometimes think I have a good idea for a column and start writing. Some of those times I am typing away and suddenly think, “Wait a minute, this sounds very familiar.”

The reason for that thinking, of course, is that I came up with the same idea and wrote basically the same column a few years ago.

That happened recently when I started thinking of some of the folks who lived on Wiman Ave. during the more than 50 years our family lived on the street. All of those neighbors and many others “always” lived on our street, at least as long as I can remember up to when my mother left her home in the late 90’s.

It seems like everyone knew everyone else who lived there.  My neighbors from long ago must have made an impression on me. Many decades after I lived there I can remember most of them very clearly.

This is what I wrote when I got thinking about Wiman Ave. A couple of years ago; the notes in parentheses are my recent thoughts:

There was an interesting mix of neighbors on our street. I remember a little bit about a lot of those people.

Mr. Howe had to be the oldest man. I remember him sauntering by our house with both hands clasped behind his back. My father said that Mr. Howe was a master carpenter, and I think I remember him saying that he built his house on our street. (I remember him building some very solid steps at my grandparents’ back door when he was in his 80’s.)

Mr. Lucas was in charge of the escalator, the first one in Syracuse, at the W. T. Grant’s Store in the city’s downtown.  His son, Jack, as our next door neighbor, was my nemesis. Maybe it would be clearer to say that he was five years older than I was, and picked on me constantly.

Mr. Lindsay, our next door neighbor, never tired talking about his Scotch heritage, and Mrs. Lindsay told fortunes by reading tea leaves. The Lindsay’s grandson, Tucker, who at one time lived down the street from us, and later on with his grandparents, was my best friend. (Mr. Lindsay, next door, was a mason by trade.)

We thought that Miss Wilson and Mr. Burke were the crabbiest people on our street, but maybe they had their reasons. Miss Wilson lived next door to the Fero family and Mr. Burke lived one house away from our home.  (Those were the two locations on Wiman that there was almost always something going on in the street in front of the houses).

Mr. Haynes was a captain in the Syracuse Fire Department. Mr. Jutton was also a fireman. Mr. Fero was an agent at the railroad station. Many men on our street worked at factories.

Mr. Carroll worked at the Suburban Park amusement park as a ride operator. I helped his wife, Betty, find worms to sell to fishermen for bait. I’m not sure that his wife, Betty, worked but she was always busy doing something. For a couple of years I went to bed early during fishing season and got up a couple of hours later to go out in the neighborhood’s grassy yards to “pick” earthworms which she sold to bait shops.

I can also remember making wreaths with her at Christmas time which we sold to friends and neighbors. She and I were good enough friends that she helped me learn to drive and she accompanied me on my driver’s test.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Light In The Darkness: March 20, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last.” — John 15:16

I was looking through the Gurney’s spring catalog the other day, practically drooling over the pictures of luscious raspberries and other fruits.

Then I thought of my own raspberry plot and the comparatively pitiful fruit it produces.

The difference between those I see in the Gurney’s catalog and those produced in my own raspberry bed can be summed up in one word, care.

Luscious fruit is produced when great care and attention is given to the plants needs. My raspberry bed does not produce because I simply do not do what I know I ought to do to produce a good crop.

I do the right things with our apple trees and each year harvest bushels of wonderful apples. But my raspberries suffer from neglect.

Jesus said that it is similar to this in our Christian lives. Many suffer from sheer neglect.

Just as every fruit-bearing plant was created to bear fruit, God says that we too have we been chosen to bear fruit.

It is the purpose for which we have been called into the Kingdom. As with any plant, the fruit we produce depends in large part upon the care given. We must be careful to feed upon those things the spirit life within us needs in order to grow and flourish.

The Word of God, prayer and meditation upon the good things of God feed that life. They strengthen it and cause it to grow and produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).

But there is another important consideration, as well. Not only must we feed our Spiritual life what it needs, but we must get rid of those things that compete with that life for sustenance.

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