Category Archives: Columnists


by Jim Farfaglia



Some look like backcountry roads –

like someone woke from a long winter’s nap

and, with their belly, plowed a new trail.


Some look like fine stitching –

like some worried mother’s busywork,

sewing her child a safe way home.


Some look like quotation marks –

like someone came by with a lot to say

and used my yard as their whiteboard.


Some look like cookie-cutter hearts –

like someone filled with love

stopped by with an early valentine.


Some look like miniature canoes –

like someone paddled off on a journey

and everyone else was wise enough to follow.

Light In The Darkness: January 16, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are representing and signifying and proclaiming the fact of the Lord’s death until He comes [again].” — 1 Corinthians 11:26 AMP

We come to the Lord’s Table to remember His death, the magnitude of its cost, and the reason He did it. At the same time, we must remember that His purpose was not simply to purchase a ticket out of hell for everyone who wants one. He came to provide life for those who would “hunger and thirst after righteousness.”

He died that those who believe might “have life and have it more abundantly.” Sadly, it would seem, many of us fail to experience that abundant life. This is not my personal observation, alone.

In his book, “The Ministry of Intercession: A Plea for More Prayer,” Andrew Murray wrote that “the great danger is living under the law and serving God in the strength of the flesh. With the great majority of Christians it appears to be the state in which they remain all their lives.  They do not know that all failure (to live a Godly life) can have but one cause: men seek to do themselves what grace alone can do in them… what grace most certainly will do.”

In other words, Rev. Murray is saying that many attempt to live the Christian life in our own strength rather than by walking in the Spirit. They do this  because they have not truly believed that one absolutely cannot live the Christian life apart from Him.

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

I am no weatherman

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

Just when I thought that I was safe in believing that Old Man Winter was going to roar into Upstate New York as he did in days of yore, and establish his reign for three or four months like when I was a boy, I found out why I never became a weatherman.

Maybe I am just cursed to jinx all the skiers, snowmobilers and ice fishermen when I make an innocent observation about how the weather has turned in their favor.

The temperatures this week certainly haven’t been very conducive to winter sports; in fact, they have gotten close to Florida levels. However, take heart all you snow and ice lovers, I am making no more observations or predictions about the weather; you now have a chance.

There were a lot of snow geese hanging around in the Montezuma area before the snow came and I suspect that they probably didn’t head out right off. The problem hunting them is trying to figure out how to be in the right spot at the right time.

Unless a hunter has a huge rig of snow goose decoys or reasonable facsimiles of such out to catch their attention, snow geese will pretty much go where they want to — not where hunters want them.

Some guys have had good luck with them, but a lot more have just gotten frustrated in the attempt. My son, Ben, out in Washington State, went hunting for them with several other regular goose hunters – and they got nada, zip.

I’ve pretty well tied my hunting up for this season, so I don’t have to try to figure out the geese. Once I hit the Indian River and the Florida beaches, I will care less about where the geese are flying. It’s easier to predict where the redfish and sea trout are going to be hitting, but I can get frustrated enough trying to get that equation right, forget the geese.

The Indian River has been changing, mostly for the worse, over the past decade, and some of the bad changes have been accelerating for the last two or three years. The sea grass has been disappearing, and it’s nearly non-existent around Sebastian.

It used to foul our hooks when we were fishing with jigs, but it provided cover for fish and nursery areas for their young. Without it, the area is like a very damp desert.

Fish pass through, but there is little to hold them here, so there are never big schools of good eating fish like there used to be.

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

Memorable Christmas gift

RoyHodgeby Roy Hodge

Even by my family’s gift giving standards, I received an unusual but welcomed Christmas gift this year. When we had finished our family gift exchange on Christmas Day, Jeff said he had one more thing in the car. He came back with what looked suspiciously like one of the large binders we had used to store weekly copies of The Fulton Patriot. That’s exactly what it was.

The binder was wrapped around all the pages of the 1901 issues of The Fulton Patriot, which at this point of 100 years plus are individual, well-worn and torn sheets of that year’s papers. It seems that the file came to me through a somewhat involved route from the Fulton Public Library after the pages were transferred to microfilm – as many years of Patriots have been.

Any and all of those issues may be viewed on microfilm at the library.

The tattered pages that I have spread out on our kitchen floor — I figured that would be the easiest place to clean up all the scraps, pieces and fragments that I will end up with — are from Jan. 2, 9 and 16, 1901. Crawling around on my hands and knees, I am discovering bits of 112 year old history from those pages.

A boxed notice on page 1 of the January 2, 1901 issue states that, “The subscription price of The Fulton Patriot for this date is reduced to One Dollar a Year. See article on page 2.” That article explains, “With this number The Fulton Patriot commences its sixty-fifth volume at the commencement, also, of the twentieth century.

“We desire to return thanks to the patrons of this paper in the year past and to assure them that in the year upon which we have entered, we shall aim to make The Patriot one of the best papers in Oswego County.”

The article continued, “We also wish to call the attention of our friends to the fact that with this date the subscription price of The Patriot is reduced from $1.25 to ONE DOLLAR a year, making it one of the best papers for the money that is published…”

Information on page 2 states:  “The Fulton Patriot is issued every Wednesday morning from the office of the undersigned, 117 Oneida Street, entrance through the Post Office Lobby.” Frank M. Cornell was the publisher.

117 Oneida St., on the corner of Oneida and Second streets, is the same address that I worked from for many years as a member of the Patriot staff. Urban Renewal eventually forced a move of our facilities to a former private home and at that time, the location of Foster Funeral Home at 186 S. First St. in a pleasant area near the Fulton Public Library, Fulton’s U.S. Post Office, and the Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

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

Sky Magic

by Jim Farfaglia


It’s still a miracle

to look up

and see a flock of birds

dancing their traveling dance:

thirty or more darting and swooping,

as if they were one –

as if we were all one.


It’s still a miracle

to look up

and feel the cold January air

swooping in with its surprise:

white flakes flocking in my hair,

making me one snowy sight –

making snowmen of us all.


It’s still a miracle

to look up

and find the stars dancing in place,

beacons traveling their many miles:

darts of flickering brilliance,

each a single point of light –

but shining for us all.



Light In The Darkness: January 9, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer” — 1 Timothy 2:8

I had a discussion recently with a good friend regarding the focus of believers at such a day as this. His focus was on the need for believers to be more involved in our governmental processes (at all levels).

I took the position that the greatest need is for believers to humble ourselves in repentance and prayer. A short time later the matter became more clear to me than ever before. I would like to share it with you.

A believer’s involvement in the social/political processes is no substitute for prayer. It could be argued, I suppose, that neither is prayer a substitute for involvement. However, it has been my observation (and conviction that I believe is supported in scripture) that humility and prayer before Almighty God is the prerequisite or foundation for any of our efforts to be effective. I have also noticed that working at most anything is easier than devoting oneself to consistent, devoted times of serious prayer; it being one of the most difficult tasks we will ever undertake.

Thus, I believe that we are far more inclined to work without praying than we are to pray without working and that is what I believe we have done far too often.

We can work without ever confronting those things in our lives that prevent God from blessing our efforts. In other words, we can work and labor without ever humbling ourselves before God and having our vessels cleaned.

Few can pray for very long without hearing the Spirit confronting things in our lives that need to change. And so, we work because it is easier than serious humility and prayer.

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

New assistant principal

Bodley-RothrockKate_Wby Kate Rothrock

The first week back after the long vacation is over. Even though it was only three days it seemed too long!

Seniors don’t forget to get in your local scholarships!

Yesterday was the ski club’s first trip to Labrador Mountain! The ski club travels every Tuesday after school and doesn’t get back until 9 or 10 p.m.

Members of the ski club snowboard, ski, eat and enjoy the lodge. The ski club is very excited to have snow this year as last year there was hardly any snow for skiing and snowboarding. Senior Julia Spier, who has been a part of the ski club for three years, said “I’m so excited for all the snow and hot chocolate!”

The New Year brings a new face to GRB! Mr. Charles, the new assistant principal, joins us from the Phoenix school district. Born in Liverpool, Mr. Charles graduated high school from Christian Brothers Academy and also graduated from Cortland College with a physical education degree.

Mr. Charles has taught physical education and coached football at John C. Birdlebough high school and also in Houston, Texas.

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