Archive for October, 2015

The fall season is by far my favorite

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
Cameron Turner

Forget the over publicized pumpkin spice everything, the most important thing regarding fall is that Football is back, go Colts as they take on Brady and the cheating Patriots. But fall also means no more blistering August heat, and of course the best holiday in my opinion, Halloween. But one thing that this great midway season has to offer to the people of upstate and central New York is the amazing colors and scenery, as the leaves change.

Maybe this is a little repetitive; as I am sure many people have been talking and have even written about the changing leaves and amazing scenery. But I wanted to take the time to really talk about how lucky the people in this area truly are to get such an amazing nature display. Many people don’t take the time to slow down their lives to truly appreciate this season.

The thing about fall is how fast the season goes by every year. It seems like one second it’s summer then next thing we know we’re frozen in the dead of winter.

Winter, on the other hand is my least favorite season by far. Growing up in Norwich my whole life and then going to college in the Syracuse area and then Oswego, I know all too well what a terrible time winter is. I apologize to anyone who enjoys winter, but seriously no one enjoys waking up and trying to go work, all to find out you have to shovel and scrape of snow and ice from your frozen car. Not to mention when you get home from work, which means it’s time to shovel the walk.

But back to fall, last year, or possibly the year before even, I took two of my younger brothers on a little nature hike to see the stone quarry. I wanted to share some pictures that I took along the way. This time of the year had me thinking about it again as it is something I would love to do again with them or simply myself. It has been far too long since I took a nice hike to the stone quarry.

Pictures of nature hike at the Stone Quarry.

I also recently have been in contact with Don Windsor who has a club called the Bullthistle Hikers club, which takes individuals on various hikes around the Chenango County area. This group was unknown to me prior to speaking with him, but I find it truly awesome that something like this club exists. He has invited me to go on some hikes with his group. As I have such an erratic schedule, I honestly admit I don’t know if I will be able to. But I will make a note to try to set some time away and make a hike or two with his club. I encourage anyone interested to get in contact with him at windsorda@yahoo.com, as they go hiking each Sunday morning I believe.

Regardless, the point of this blog is to encourage the people in Chenango County and upstate New York to take a second out of your day to appreciate the changing colors and great scenery many of us take for granted each year. Soon enough, winter will be upon us and we will all be huddled inside attempting to stay warm.

Debate, Royals, church killing

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
Ashley Babbitt

So much has transpired since my last blog post.
• First, I’ll make brief mention of the Democratic Debate that aired on CNN Tuesday night. I speculate that where I stand on the spectrum of politics is far different than many readers, and I’m 100 percent fine with that. The five who took the stage for the debate each laid out where they stood with regard to foreign policy, economics, criminal justice reform, gun control, climate change, and national security.
Thanks to mass media, the statements regarding Clinton’s emails seem to have been a highlight of the debate.
I disagree, but to each their own.
With businessman Donald Trump the current front-runner on the Republican side, the Democrats have former Secretary of State and female presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” Bernie Sanders from Vermont, former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former US Senator and Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, and Jim Webb, former US Senator from Virginia, Secretary of the Navy, and Vietnam veteran.
The debate was entertaining. I encourage anyone planning on voting do some serious research on the candidates, as not everything is as it seems.
• Baseball is in the post-season. The Kansas City Royals play game five tonight to stay in the running for the ALDS.
Johnny Cueto better have the control he needs to get the job done. He’s had some rest, so I’m sure he’ll be fine. I’m counting on switch-hitters Ben Zobrist and Kendrys Morales to get some bodies on bases and after Eric Hosmer’s performance in game four, I’m looking for him to show up ready to play too. The Astros’ Colby Rasmus is a little dangerous, so the pitcher needs to focus on strikes, or walk him if that’s the favorable option.
If the Royals end up losing tonight’s game, it’s not the end of the world. Yes, they’ll be an unhappy editor in the morning, but as a Kansas City fan, loss is nothing new. The Royals have had a season to be proud of.
• This morning, the AP national wire had a story with a slug that read “Church Killing.” I opened it, assuming – for some reason or another – that whatever happened took place far away. Not the case this time.
Six church members were arrested in connection with the beating of two brothers, and will appear in court again Friday. The Word of Life Church is in the Hamlet of Chadwicks in New Hartford, and was said by police to be the scene of the crime where a 19-year-old and 17-year-old were allegedly beaten for hours. The 19-year-old ultimately died as a result of his injuries. Two of the six arrested were the boys’ parents, Bruce and Deborah Leonard. I spoke with a former member of the church this afternoon who shared her experiences with the church, and a full story will appear in tomorrow’s edition of the paper.

Room for improvement

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
Jim Testani

Over the past few weeks all I’ve heard is doom and gloom and how this area is slowly getting worse and worse. I think that if we focus only on the bad, nobody will recognize the good that is happening in our community.

I understand that there is an epidemic here in Chenango County and something needs to be done, but all I’ve been hearing about is what we’re doing wrong and all of the bad things in the county, nobody ever talks about the good. One of the coolest things happening in Norwich is that Norwich is closing in on winning an “America’s Best Communities” competition. Norwich has proposed to this contest that if we win, we will use the prize to fund what is basically a think tank for local entrepreneurs. A “MakerSpace” would be a place to help those with ideas actually be able to make them a reality and get the ball rolling. This could potentially revitalize the community and help bring in a lot of new business and ideas to the area.

We also neglect the fact that there are a ton of things to actually do here in Chenango County. In the next few weeks Norwich’s Pumpkin Fest will be kicking off for another year. This fall festival is always a ton of fun for everybody involved and is a great way to spend the weekend.

Are pumpkins not your thing? In addition to the fall festivities there’s going to be a pub crawl that weekend as well.

We tend to focus a lot on the bad, not the good anymore. I understand that there is a lot of work that we need to do to bring the community back to where we want it, but I think that if we all pitch in and do our part, we can get there in no time. I know that there’s a lot of bad out there, but there is also a lot of good that should be recognized as well.

Say cheese…all of you.

Monday, October 5th, 2015
Matt White

White/Lake Family

The second half of this past weekend was fantastic. While Saturday was a bit gloomy, Sunday proved to be bight and sunny and colorful. The Giants won and the Cowboys lost, so that was good. But what really has me smiling on Monday was that I was able to capture the loving smiles of my great family all in one picture – without craftily wielding my Photoshop chops.
Between my fiancee Rachel and I, we have seven children. While she’ll be quick to point out that she only has one child – the other half dozen share my last name – the point is we’re all collectively a family.
The logistics of which can be daunting at times, especially with one bathroom in house. They range in age between 15 and five, so with all the sports and activities that they’re involved in, it’s a bit of a celestial phenomenon when we’re all in the same place at the same time.
Fortunately, I seized the opportunity to record this rare glimpse of my gaggle in one photo – so we loaded up the Volvo (and Rachel’s Jetta – since we’re a two-car pack when we all travel at once) and headed out to the early Fall countryside of McDonough for a nice fall photograph that we can display on the wall and include with those upcoming family Christmas cards that I find so annoying.
Much to my surprise, the whole thing went well… and aside from a few – lets say candids – everyone complied and were more than cooperative.
There could have been a little more color on the trees, but hey – there was no way I was going to get this bunch together again until Christmas morning – I have to lure them with gifts, you see.
Thankfully, my meager photography skills yielded some passable portraits, and another year goes on the wall. All is well.