Category Archives: Columnists

Pennies for Patients

Bodley-RothrockKate_Wby Kate Rothrock

What a crazy last week with the two half-days and snow day! Just as it seems like things are going to settle down, February break is in just three days!

If you want to send a carnation to your Valentine, carnations will be available for a small fee during lunches and delivered to Guided Study Hall tomorrow on Valentine’s Day.

“Pennies for Patients” is an annual campaign done by the Student Senate for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Containers are available in Guided Study Hall for students and faculty to collect donations.

This fund-raiser goes until March 4th and the GSH with the most money will receive a donut party.

After two cancellations due to the weather, the PBIS celebration to recognize good behavior will hopefully take place this Friday!

Congratulations to wrestlers Mitch Woodworth and Thomas Hill for earning the title of section 3 champions!

This past Saturday, Mitch won sectionals at the 106-pound weight class and Thomas won at the 113-pound weight class. This is Mitch’s first title and Thomas’ third. They hope to continue their win streak at states in just two weeks at the Times Union Center in Albany. Good luck!

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Light In The Darkness: February 13, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” — Romans 13:8

I don’t usually use so many quotes in my weekly column, but this week there are a couple that explain this debt we owe so well.

Charles Spurgeon, in his devotional for Feb. 3, wrote,  “As God’s creatures, we are all debtors to Him: to obey Him with all our body, and soul, and strength. (However) having broken His commandments, as we all have, we are debtors to His justice, and we owe to Him a vast amount which we are not able to pay. But of the Christian it can be said that he does not owe God’s justice anything, for Christ has paid the debt His people owed; for this reason the believer owes the more to love.

“I am a debtor to God’s grace and forgiving mercy; but I am no debtor to His justice, for He will never accuse me of a debt already paid. Christ said, “It is finished!” and by that He meant, that whatever His people owed was wiped away forever from the book of remembrance. Christ, to the uttermost, has satisfied divine justice; the account is settled; the handwriting is nailed to the cross; the receipt is given, and we are debtors to God’s justice no longer. But then, because we are not debtors to our Lord in that sense, we become ten times more debtors to God than we should have been otherwise.”

The debt is, of course, not only to love God for what He did, but to love my neighbor as myself. These are what Jesus called the two greatest commandments which He said are of equal importance. (Matt 22:39, NLT).

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More to hunting

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

I have been thinking a great deal lately about hunting, not about going, but about what hunting is.

I have been a hunter for most of my life, but it is just in the past year or two that I have taken the time to reflect on the hunter and the practice of hunting.

On the face of it, hunting seems so simple. A hunter goes out with his gun or bow, locates what he desires to shoot, and he kills it.

For way too long, that was the way it was for me; although, the more I hunted, the more I could feel a nagging reality that beneath the surface there was so much more to it than that.

I hope you will bear with me for a few columns as I try to share my memories, ramblings, and thoughts on the topic of hunting. I know it will be impossible for me to fully explore every facet of hunting, and I’m also willing to bet that others have undertaken the same task before me, and may well have done a better job of it, but as I sit here, I know It is time for me to try to explain why I hunt.

First of all, man has always been a predator, and during the time of his existence he has always been at or near the top of the food chain.

In spite of an occasional encounter that turned out badly with a bear, tiger, shark, crocodile, or other top of the line predator, most of the time man came out on top, either by avoiding other hungry meat eaters or using his tools and intellect to turn the tables on them.

The most successful hunters ended up being the humans that were most likely to survive and produce the next generation.

They passed their hunting knowledge down to their children, and it was used, enlarged and adapted over the years.

I expect that the best hunters were revered for their skill and some of them probably became the stuff of legends told around stone-age campfires.

The more animals a prehistoric hunter killed, the greater and more respected man he became among his people. Life was so simple then.

I doubt very much if any tribe member ever asked the hunters how they could be so cruel as to kill those beautiful animals. Although humans were omnivores, it was meat that kept them going, and it remained so for eons, no questions asked.

While it is true, from the earliest days of man, he has been a hunter–gatherer, yet first and foremost, he was a hunter. Is it so odd that we are still predators? It has been bred into us from times unrecorded.

Yes, we have learned how to raise meat animals and grow crops, but the cave man still lurks inside us. So on the basis of my ageless heritage, I feel no guilt when I hunt, nor remorse when I sit down to a venison dinner. Truly, I am only doing what comes naturally.

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A look back at old newspapers

RoyHodge_WEBby Roy Hodge

Another look at some old, tattered newspaper pages:

From page one of The Fulton Patriot, February 6, 1901:

• A Pair of Hustlers

• Fulton and Oswego Falls

• The Most Enterprising Villages in the United States

• Over Eight Thousand People Who Are Up-To-Date on Everything All the Time

That was the many-tiered headline. The article continues:

“A Brief Outline of Their Advantages – There is no danger of a successful contradiction of the statement that there are no two villages of this size in the Empire State that can show as much enterprise and business opportunities as are shown by the villages of Fulton and Oswego Falls.

“These two thriving villages are situated on the bank of the Oswego River – Fulton on the east side and Oswego Falls on the west – and the population, according to the last U. S. census, is Fulton 5,281, Oswego Falls, 2,925; total, 8,206.  These villages are located twelve miles from Oswego, the county seat, and twenty-five miles from Syracuse, the Central City of the Empire State.”

The article goes on to outline the manufacturing facilities of the city. Thirty-three manufacturing plants, along with their number of employees, are listed.  The largest employee, American Woolen Co., employed 1,097 persons. The smallest company listed is R. F. Hoff, miller, with three employees.

The Hunter Arms Company employed 285 persons; American Tobacco Co., 150; Oswego Falls Pulp and Paper Co., which in later years was known as the Sealright Co., had 86 employees. Victoria Paper Co. employed 80 and Foster Brothers Knife Works had 75 employees.

There were several successful smaller companies also. Daniel Baldwin, employing eight persons, made crates and boxes.  A. Bristol and Sons made carriages and buggies and employed 15.  The Fulton Bag Co. had 30 employees.

Included in the article is a glowing description of the two villages’ labor force – “First class labor can be found in Fulton and Oswego Falls. The two villages have a resident class of mechanical laborers – men who are here to stay, who own their own homes and are interested in the prosperity of the villages…”

Many other aspects of life in the two villages are outlined in the informative article:

“The means of transportation are furnished by three railroads – the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg branch of the New York Central, the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, and the New York, Ontario and Western railroads, over which 26 passenger trains arrive every day, and twelve on Sunday. The Oswego Canal connects with the Erie Canal at Syracuse, and Lake Ontario and the Great Lakes at Oswego. In addition, there is street car service between the two villages at all hours during the day and evening.

“Fulton has two large and well-equipped schools under a corps of experienced teachers.  Oswego Falls has two smaller school buildings. A new $30,000 school building is being constructed in Oswego Falls.

“The Fulton Library is free to the public of the two villages.  The Stephens Opera House in Fulton and the new Citizen’s Hall, Oswego Falls, furnish ample room for entertainment visiting the villages.

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

Snow Day

by Jim Farfaglia

Snow Day


Back then, you found out from the radio –

the DJ reading school after school,

your ear leaning into his voice,

listening to that long list.


And even after your school is called,

you keep the radio on,

just to hear your good luck

over and over again,


each time an excitement building –

unheard of on regular school days –

but today turning your bed into a trampoline,

which your Mom quickly put a stop to.


So you slip back under the covers,

smile your best Saturday smile,

and try real hard to catch a few more winks,

which never works –


who could waste a single minute

of the long and fun snow day ahead?

Raider sports

Bodley-RothrockKate_Wby Kate Rothrock

I hope everyone is enjoying the snow! Hopefully the two delays last week let students catch up on some sleep!

It is hard to believe that students got back from a week off due to regents week 10 days ago and February break is just in nine days!

Many exciting things are happening in Raider sports!

Both the varsity hockey team and the boys varsity basketball team picked up their first wins! The basketball team welcomes Homer to GRB Feb. 12 for its last home game as they will say a sad farewell to their many seniors.

This past Saturday, the varsity wrestling team hosted the 2012-2013 Class A Tournament. Out of the 9 teams in the Class A bracket, the Raiders came out on top! The team scored 221.5 team points and Mitch Woodworth, Brandon Hill and Derek Owen took first place individually. Almost the whole wrestling team is on their way to sectionals, congratulations and good luck!

Both the boys bowling team and the girls bowling team have made an outstanding achievement as well! The varsity girls bowling team is co-champions of the Onondaga High School league and the boys varsity bowling team are OHS league champions as well! Lastly, 19 swimmers from the girls and boys swimming and diving team will be heading to sectionals and many members of the boys and girls indoor track team will be participating in sectionals as well.

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: February 6, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

A Response to President Obama’s request for help from pastors…

Though I often endeavor to show how the precepts in Scripture are relevant to the most pressing issues of the day, I have no intention of turning this column into a vehicle for political activism.

I remain absolutely certain that the only hope for America is a repentant turning to the God of the Bible.

At the same time, something occurred recently that compels me to make an exception this week.

In a recent address to the nation, our president called upon all Americans to unite to pass his gun control initiatives.  Because he specifically called upon pastors (among others) to help, I feel compelled to make a public statement and believe it is right to do so.

Since this is the only public venue available for me to do so, I will use it.

I do find it interesting, by the way, that the same government that twists the words of the First Amendment regarding separation of church and state to mean the precise opposite of what is clearly written would now ask for help from pastors.

Nevertheless, I welcome the opportunity to respond.

What took place in Columbine, in Aurora, at Sandy Hook Elementary and other similar places is both tragic and reprehensible…but so is the “solution” to the problem proposed by our leaders.

There is a better way to address the problem and they all know it, for they themselves consistently use that better way both for themselves and for their own children.

I can only conclude, therefore, that they have some other agenda that has nothing to do with solving the problem created by a murderous few.

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

Outdated television

RoyHodge_WEBby Roy Hodge

When my sons, Craig and Adam, were together at our house recently, they were kidding about our television set. I think they may have been referring to it as an “antique.”

We have had that television set for over 20 years; we watch it almost every day, but very seldom for more than an hour at a time – mostly for the news or a special program. In season, I watch football and basketball games.

It has been a very reliable television set. We have never had to take it to a repair shop. It comes on when I push the button, the picture is clear, not fuzzy, the color is good and it fits perfectly in the spot I have for it on top of the dresser.

My sons seem to think that the set itself is big, bulky and heavy, but that the screen should be much larger — as in “wide-screen” television.  Personally, I like the way my TV set is. I sit in a small room, about five feet from the screen, which is plenty big enough for me.

Thinking about our television set has reminded me of the various other TV’s I have watched.  Our family was among the television pioneers in our neighborhood when I was growing up. The Woods family, which included 12 kids — most of them living at home at the same time — was the first family on our street to own a television set. It wasn’t easy finding a spot in front of the TV among the 12 kids who lived there.

We also were able to watch television once a week in a downtown storefront across from the Syracuse post office, where we accompanied my father every Sunday evening while he mailed his orders for the coming week.  I’m not sure what we watched – maybe “What’s My Line?” – but we were engrossed while standing there for at least half an hour.

Tiring of our neighbor’s crowded living room and standing out in the cold, we were able to talk our parents into investing in the family’s first television set.

I remember that first TV set well. It was a console model, which meant that it was comprised of the picture tube on top, the speaker under that — all built in to a cabinet which sat on the floor. Somewhere in there were rows and rows of tubes and transistors.

The feature that made our television set unusual, even back then, was that it had a round screen. With all those parts, television sets didn’t last a long time back then, and TV repair men visited regularly.

When my wife realized that I was writing about our early television sets, she was reminded of the time that her TV set was hit by lightning during the night. All of a sudden she was awakened by the national anthem playing in her living room.

We were never alone watching television in those early days.  Programming started just about the time we arrived home from school and my brother and I both brought several kids home from school with us to watch western movies hosted by Gabby Hayes, Howdy Doody, Kukla, Fran and Ollie and Captain Video.

Before the programs started we watched the test patterns and listened attentively to the National Anthem.

When my grandparents knew that our family had bought a television set their reaction was, “Why would you want television? The radio is good enough for us.” The day we got our TV set, Grandma and Grandpa came over after supper to take a look at the new arrival; their new television set arrived the next day.

As in other homes, gradually through the years the size of our TV screen grew larger while the cabinet was smaller. Then came the Disney channel and color.  Although we had listened to the radio shows and had our favorites, TV was much more exciting.

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