Category Archives: Columnists


Hodgepodge: November 17, 2012

Christmasby Roy Hodge

This is a very busy time of the year. When the year is turning from November to December, I sometimes have a difficult time putting my mind together to write a column. There are just too many things to think about.

I am thinking about snow; it is time to start wondering about what kind of winter it’s going to be. Sometimes, as Thanksgiving is approaching, it seems that there is nothing more important to think about than snow.  Usually, we have already dealt with several inches of that lovely white stuff and we know that is only the beginning.

This year we may not be as concerned about being hammered with early storms as in other years. Last year as we approached Thanksgiving, there wasn’t any snow in the air, on the ground, or in piles at the end of the driveway. We had only received about 11 inches of snow by Jan. 1 and for the entire winter there were only about 50 inches of snow.

In other years, we have had almost that much during a weekend storm.  Because of last year, it might be okay to entertain thoughts of expecting that mild version of winter to continue, but I guess I should at least be thinking about getting the snow shovel out of the basement.

I could write about the upcoming Christmas season. It seems like it used to be that we turned our thoughts towards Christmas trees, Christmas shopping, and Christmas presents sometime shortly after the Thanksgiving turkey was on its way to becoming a pile of bones. Now, we don’t wait to get summer out of the way.

I’m pretty sure that we started getting holiday catalogs in our mailbox in September. I have already received one of my favorite holiday gift catalogs. That’s the one from the folks at Hammacher-Schlemmer. I have a hard time pronouncing their company name, but I really enjoy the catalog.

If you have been looking for an iPhone controlled, ball dropping bomber, look no further. This is a flying vehicle that drops a table tennis ball at the command of a controlling iPhone. So, if you need a ball dropping bomber — and the catalog description doesn’t detail why you might — this is the place to get it. Or, if you’ve been looking for a voice activated R2-D2, a motorized replica of the headstrong little droid from the “Star Wars” films, it’s yours for under $200.

But don’t get discouraged; there are a lot more practical items in the H-S catalog. For instance, the world’s largest (it’s 10 feet long) toe tapping piano for your kids – it allows your “budding virtuosos” to compose their music as they dance, run, or jump on the keys. It’s only $79.95 (extra for batteries).

To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

Leon Archer

The Sportsman’s World: November 17, 2012

Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

If I had $20 for every time a hunting trip didn’t go as planned, I might not be a millionaire, but I could certainly take a couple of really nice cruises. Even with good planning, there are so many variables that can go awry when it comes to hunting. The “sure things” often turn out to be not quite as sure as one thinks. But not getting whatever one is hunting for is not one of the things I think of as going wrong; it’s just why they call it hunting, not shooting or killing.

I am not a person who has to come home with game in order for a hunting trip to be enjoyable, but I am honest enough to admit that it is always my overarching purpose, and returning home with a deer, turkey, or whatever critter I went after is usually much more successful in my estimation.

I know guys who claim that just being out in the woods is enough for them; they could care less about shooting anything.

While I understand what they are attempting to say, I’m also pretty sure they don’t carry old betsy just for ballast.

The Indians had a name for braves who claimed they enjoyed a day in the forest just as much without bringing home anything for the pot as they would have if they had won the tribe’s big buck contest. The name translates loosely in English as “poor hunter.”

To be sure, true hunting usually includes a lot of time for observing the flora and fauna of the natural world. The hunter may bask in his surroundings and he may revel for a short time in the freedom from the more mundane and troublesome things in life, but whatever peripheral attributes hunting may have for the hunter, it eventually requires the final move or it is not hunting. The noted Spanish philosopher, Jose Ortega y Gasset, wrote, “One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted.”

I am not sure I completely agree with the illustrious philosopher, but it does help illustrate what I’m saying. If someone never kills his prey, then he is only spending a lot of time taking long walks outdoors. Most hunters may say the day spent hunting without success is just as rewarding as a successful day, but I believe that may be more fluff than substance.

To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397


Bodley Bulletins: November 14, 2012

Bodleyby Kate Rothrock

Can you believe the first quarter is already over? First quarter report cards are being mailed Friday! Just three more quarters to go and it will go faster than we think.

Today the Symphony will be in residency for the day at GRB! Music students will have the chance to listen to the Symphony perform and then sit in on a professional rehearsal. This is really a wonderful opportunity and GRB is very lucky!

Tuesday, Nov. 20, there will be a VIP celebration for students with at least 95 percent attendance, no major behavior referrals, and at least a 70 percent average for the first marking period. If you are a VIP student, don’t miss out on some great snacks.

It’s open skate time again! Fulton Youth Hockey will be hosting open skate at the hockey rink on most Friday and Saturday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. It costs $3 to get in and $4 to rent skates and the snack bar will be open as well.

Winter sports are officially in full swing! These sports include girls and boys basketball, wrestling, hockey, bowling, girls cheerleading, indoor track and swimming and diving.

Good luck to all teams starting to practice and preparing for their first scrimmages and games!

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

Light In The Darkness: November 14, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“They have rejected me as their king” — 1 Samuel 8

In this passage, we read where Israel rejected the priestly judges God had appointed to rule over them, demanding instead, a king, “such as all the other nations have.” Samuel was greatly disturbed over this and took it to the Lord. The Lord, however, said to Samuel, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king…Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”

Samuel did so, but the people would not listen. Therefore, God’s judgment fell upon the wayward nation through the simple expedient of giving them exactly what they demanded. Saul, who was very attractive to them and for whom they clamored, was appointed king. Their chastisement would come through the man they both wanted and deserved. I see a strong parallel in our nation today. God, through the wisdom and faithful obedience of our Founding Fathers, gave us a form of government that recognized both the frailties of man and the immutable laws of God.

Our founding documents, governing structures and statutes were steeped in the principles and precepts of the Word of God and for nearly two centuries our nation operated under their rule.

In recent decades, however, an increasing number of Americans, including our national leaders, began to reject those laws and structures. In reality, they have rejected God and His right to rule over us through the government He gave. Perhaps the culminating act of rebellion has been the tendency in recent years by those who vowed “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” to govern and pass judgments with total disregard for that Constitution.

To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

Poetry Corner: Nature Knows

by Jim Farfaglia

Nature Knows


The potted plants are being attacked;

their soil suffering wound holes,

their dirt strewn ‘round the porch –

someone’s using them for storage.


The local groundhog drags a belly

grown full from his foraging,

making once last trip through my yard –

using himself for storage.


The deer show themselves less,

gunshots echoing their warning,

moving them deeper into the forest –

deeper into the dark


as a cricket fills the night air,

offering a song he’s practiced all season,

working on his finale –

ushering in the coming silence.

Leon Archer

The Sportsman’s World: November 10, 2012

Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

The final week is here, and I’m not talking about the elections – thank goodness they are behind us as I write this!

As of today, we are one week away from the opening of gun season for deer in the Southern Tier. It’s hard to believe, but the DEC figures show a majority of all venison put in the freezer each year comes from that one day.

Black powder and bow season, North and South, plus the Northern gunning season account for the rest, but that all indicates that there are more hunters in the woods that one day than on any other.

As I have grown older, I find my preoccupation with hunting safety has only grown greater. I have moved my preferred hunting area a couple of times simply because the woods were becoming too crowded for my comfort level.

I used to hunt near Genoa, and my son, my grandsons, and I took one to three deer from there every year, but a few years ago, in spite of getting three deer there and seeing quite a few more, I saw a much bigger herd of hunters.

I miss the farm I hunted on, but I’m not sorry I made the move. I’ve shot less deer, but I’ve felt much safer where I’ve been hunting since I changed.

No matter where I hunt, one of the first things I try to determine as I go into the woods and as I settle down on a watch, is where are other hunters, if any, in the same area.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397