A number of people shared their thoughts this week before Sunday's Pit Run, named for Ricky J. Parisian, a local state police investigator who died while trying to stop an armed robbery in 1994.

One of his brothers, Mark "Sid" Parisian, said it's a bittersweet time for the family. So many people come into town, he said, that it's reminiscent of the time when people came to "pay their respects" when his brother was killed.

"It brings up a lot of memories," he said.

But the event has become a more "positive" time, he said.

"We are now gathering to celebrate his memory."

One of those who will be in the race is Malorie Winne, who received the Ricky J. Parisian Scholarship when she graduated from Oneonta High School in 2003. She is a senior at Ithaca College, she said.

"It is an honor" to be one of those chosen for the award, she said. The support that the family and foundation gave me _ I have no words for that."

This will be the second time that she has run the 10K race since high school, she said. She ran it once back then.

It's a great community event, she said. "There are so many people that come out _ it's amazing."

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In discussing the recent International Peace Day, Oneonta Middle School French teacher Janis Labroo said she decided to get her classes involved with the Pinwheels for Peace project but not as a political statement.

Rather, she said, the involvement was part of the school's character education unit, which for September featured the word "respect."

Peace in the school starts with respect for yourself and respect for others, she said. But as a foreign language teacher, she wants her students to think globally.

"You can start with yourself, and it can be as big as the world," she said.

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Delaware County Cornell Cooperative Extension Educator Mariane Kiraly said several factors are affecting farm income besides milk prices.

The interest-rate cut by the Federal Reserve will help farmers, many who had to borrow a fair amount of money to stay in business before milk prices started to rise last year, she said.

In September came an announcement that the Canadian border will reopen later this year, allowing the importing of replacement cattle. This will cause a drop in replacement costs for U.S. dairy farmers. But that means they will get less when they sell cows, Kiraly said.

She is looking forward to county-of-origin labeling on food in 2008.

"As a consumer, I would be looking to local beef," she said.

Cornell University dairy market specialist Mark Stephenson said even though this is the time of year when prices are strengthening because of holiday demand and school starting, the price probably recently peaked at about $24 a hundredweight.

U.S. production has been steadily increasing at a time when domestic demand is slowing, he said.

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Staff Writer Mark Boshnack covers public education and agriculture.

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