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AllOTSEGO

Delgado, DiPerna Tilt Over Rap CD, How To Handle It

Delgado, DiPerna

Tilt Over Rap CD,

How To Handle It

Democratic Candidate Speaks

To Full House In Cooperstown

Democratic congressional candidate Antonio Delgado thanks Greta Green, 9, for asking a question about gun violence and school safety at the end of a forum this evening at Templeton Hall. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Delgado resisted answering questions about lyrics on a rap CD he produced in 2006, but Paula DiPerna, a former Congressional candidate herself, persisted.

COOPERSTOWN – Antonio Delgado was met with cheers and applause from 120 of the Democratic faithful – and a handful of Republicans – in Templeton Hall this evening.

Questions ranged from fracking to FERC and Social Security to Glass–Steagall.  A 9-year-old, Greta Green, who lives in Washington, D.C., but is visiting her grandmother, Cynthia Benjamin, in Garrattsville, asked about protecting children from gun violence.

“It hurts that a 9-year-old even asks that question,” he said.

But the question of the hour – the 19th District Congressional candidate’s former life as AD The Voice, a hip-hop performer in L.A. whose lyrics in his “Painfully Free” CD were liberally sprinkled with the N-word and epithets – was only touched on lightly during the formal part of the evening.

As the Q&A began, moderator Paula DiPerna advised the candidate she would be questioning him more closely later on the issue – Delgado’s rap career was reported on July 8 in the New York Post, and his Republican opponent, Congressman John Faso, issued a press release expressing “shock” at the “troubling and offensive lyrics” – and to be prepared.

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JULY 19
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JULY 19

Jazz Concert In Neahwa

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CONCERT SERIES – 7 – 8 p.m. Chris Wolf-Gould Jazz Ensemble performs in Neahwa Park, Oneonta. Visit www.destinationoneonta.com/events/

FIREMANS CARNIVAL – 6 p.m. – Midnight. Features rides, Elk Creek Sky Divers at 6:30 to kick off the festivities, live music by the Jason Wicks Band. Free Parking/admission. Rt. 7, Schenevus. Visit www.thisiscooperstown.com/events/schenevus-firemans-carnival-2018

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Council Approves Nick’s Application

Council Approves

Nick’s Application

Application Headed To Albany For Final Approval
With daughter Amiley and wife Sheena tearfully hugging him, Rodney Thorsland celebrates the approval of his CDBG grant application, moving him one step closer to solidifying the $230,000 grant. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

By PARKER FISH • Special To www.AllOTSEGO.com

Oneonta’s Eric Dohner spoke out in opposition to Thorsland’s grant application, saying that he was “personally offended” by the application.

ONEONTA – The audience filled the seats and spilled out into the hallway as the Oneonta Common Council determined the fate of Nick’s Diner on Chestnut Street this evening. The council ultimately voted to approve prospective owner Rodney Thorsland’s grant application, allowing him to send the application to Albany, where the state will decide whether or not to fund his $230,000 Community Development Block Grant application.

Thorsland’s request has been hotly debated in the past three Common Council meetings, with many community members speaking out in opposition of the proposed grant.

“As a businessman who has invested one and a half million dollars of my own money in local business, I find it personally offensive that the city would even consider supporting giving a grant to a business that is not unique to the community in any way,” said Eric Dohner, Oneonta. “These 15 full-time equivalent jobs are only going to be minimum wage. They’re not going to draw anybody to the city, and they’re not going to keep young people who are looking for a career in the city.”

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, JULY 18
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, JULY 18

Tour Oneonta’s Downtown

Revitalization Then & Now

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WALKING TOUR – 7 – 8 p.m. Bob Brzozowski & Gary Wickham lead walking tour, “Downtown Revitalization Then & Now” through Main & Market Streets. Learn urban renewal plans of 1970s to today’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Admission by Donation. Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., Oneonta 607-432-0960 or visit www.facebook.com/OneontaHistory/

TOWN HALL – 7 p.m. Meeting features Antonio Delgado (Running for Congress), Joyce St. George (Running for State Senate), & Chad McEvoy (Running for State Assembly). Sponsored by Sustainable Otsego. Free, open to the public. Templeton Hall, 63 Pioneer St., Cooperstown.

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SUNY Chancellor Visits Oneonta Campus

SUNY Chancellor Pays

Visit To Oneonta Campus

Dr. Johnson is seen talking with new SUNY Oneonta President Dr. Barbara Jean Morris. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

State University of New York Chancellor Dr. Kristina M. Johnson visited SUNY Oneonta this morning, and answered questions in front of a large audience in the Welcome Center. Johnson, who was scheduled to visit in April but had to cancel, revealed that a she had suffered a 3rd degree heart blockage which prevented her from making the trip to Oneonta in the spring. Johnson joked about the issue, saying that the pacemaker that she received was invented by a SUNY student. “So I’m thrilled to be here in Oneonta, but I’m also just thrilled to be alive, and its all thanks to the SUNY system,” she said. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Hungarian Refugees Return to Oneonta For Thanks

Hungarian Refugees Return

To Roots At Shue Homestead

Julias Bartfai, Ontario, looks through old newspaper clippings and photos with Marie Shue, Oneonta this evening where he and his family came to visit for a BBQ. The Shue’s home, located on Parish Avenue, was formally the home of the Bartfais, who, after fleeing the Hungarian Revolution in 1957, were brought to Oneonta after being sponsored by the Oneonta Rotary Club. Despite the Bartfais not speaking English upon their arrival, Rotarians were able to set them up with a place to live and a job at Coddington’s Florist. Of the Bartfais family were Alex, Julie, Jeff, John and Julius, who were joined by Doug and Grace Coddington, Bill and Marie Shue and Rotarian Sam Koury. “People don’t always do things to be thanked.” said Julias, “But the people who helped my parents, Mr. Clifford and Mr. Green, they had a profound effect on my life. And to them I say ‘thank you’.” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Let Young Entrepreneur Bring Nick’s Diner Back To Life

Editorial, July 13, 2018

Let Young Entrepreneur

Bring Nick’s Diner Back To Life

Here’s the choice: The nearly complete restoration of Oneonta’s historic Nick’s Diner can go forward, with better than even chances it will succeed. Or, almost complete, it can be allowed to remain vacant, eventually deteriorating to the point it will be razed or removed.
That’s the choice: Something – maybe something good. Or nothing.
Better than even chances because the prospective owner, Rod Thorsland, is from a restaurateur family that has successfully operated the former Pondo’s restaurant in the Sixth Ward and thriving Pondo’s II in Colliersville for many decades.
Given his own experience and the expertise around the Sunday dinner table, would Thorsland – himself, he’s been in the restaurant business since age 16 – assume the significant responsibility of reviving Nick’s and the related debt without confidence he can make it work?

Parker Fish/The Freeman’s Journal – When it meets Tuesday, July 27, Common Council should grant the routine approval of Rod Thorsland’s CDBG grant application, and let the young entrepreneur complete the renovations at Nick’s Diner and reopen the historical Oneonta restaurant.


Under debate in the City of the Hills is whether Common Council should approve an application to the state Office of Community Renewal for a $230,000 CDBG – a federal Community Development Block Grant.
Applicants for CDBGs must submit a “pre-application” to the OCR. Thorsland has, and it’s been approved. So it’s likely the final application will fly right through.
If so, Thorsland will complete the purchase of the diner from Ed May, the local entrepreneur who took on its renovation. Then, within six weeks, the final touches can be done and the venerable Oneonta icon reopened.
“Tour it,” Mayor Herzig advised in an interview, “because it is an absolutely beautiful restoration that keeps the feel of the old railroad car, but at the same time is a state-of-the-art diner, beautifully designed, brand new kitchen, energy efficient.”
Usually, Common Council would simply rubber-stamp a pro-approved application. But a handful of objecting residents showed up at its June 19 meeting, and a few more last Tuesday, July 3, successfully delaying action. Mayor Gary Herzig now hopes for a vote this coming Tuesday, the 17th.

The main objection seems to be: Why should Thorsland get the money? Answer: Why not? CDBGs are designed to help entrepreneurs, close the “gap” between initial cost and possible success.
In Thorsland’s case, he will have to invest $320,000 beyond the CDBG. He has skin in the game. The CDBG simply enables him to shoulder significant risk and provides the prospect of a lot of hard work.
In recent years, the city has directed $1.5 million in state and federal money to promising projects, some which make it, some which don’t. Why not Thorsland, whose prospects don’t seem that daunting? (Among other pluses, Oneonta has been yearning for an old-fashion diner since the beloved Neptune was razed at the end of 2013.)
Further, any entrepreneur who wishes can also seek a CDBG. Call Mispa Haque at City Hall’s Office of Community Development, 607-432-0114, and ask for an application, or email her at mhaque@oneonta.ny.us.
If any of the objectors want money to try something, call her.
The other issue is whether Nick’s can create 15 jobs, as promised.
Thorsland is undeterred: He’s planning a seven-day, 24-hour venture, so he has to fill 21 shifts. Pondo’s II, a daytime operation, has 12 fulltime employees and much shorter hours.

If nothing else, a new Nick’s will improve the western gateway into the downtown, where each summer hundreds of families approaching from Cooperstown All-Star Village get their first impression of the city’s downtown, Herzig said.
When businesspeople ask for help, he continued, Community Development Director Judy Pangman doesn’t decide if the project is worthy; she connects them with the program that might help them.
Until now, Common Council hasn’t decided if applicants are worthy – simply that they qualify to apply.
“If you come to us, no matter who you are, we will identify what assistance you can apply for,” Herzig said, adding: “I don’t want politicians picking or choosing.”
Amen.

Bagnardi’s Shoe Repair, anyone?

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KUZMINSKI: OPEN LETTER TO ANTONIO DELGADO

Column by Adrian Kuzminski for July 13, 2018

OPEN LETTER TO ANTONIO DELGADO

Fight Faso Over

Big Money In Politics

Adrian Kuzminski

Congratulations on winning the Democratic nomination for Congress in New York’s 19th Congressional District.
You’ve got a tough fight ahead against a smooth and wily opponent. I’m one of many who would like to see Representative John Faso defeated. He is a bought and paid for ex-lobbyist with big hardcore far right support.
The Mercer family, investors in Breitbart News and supporters of Steve Bannon, gave a half-million dollars to the pro-Faso PAC “New York Wins” in the last election, helping put him over the top.
All told, the Mercers spent over $25 million in 2016 supporting far-right candidates PACs, and organizations across the country, including New York State. Their agenda of radical privatization requires the destruction of public institutions and entitlement programs. That means lowering the standard of living for most people while concentrating wealth in fewer and fewer hands.
The Mercers are the .001 percent, and Faso is the guy they’ve hired to represent us in the 19th CD in
Washington.
All that ought to be a slam-dunk for the Democrats, but not unless they act on it. This is an opportunity for you, Mr. Delgado, to take up the challenge. Faso needs to be called out on his right-wing, pro-corporate, anti-people agenda.
The Democratic leadership unfortunately has enabled, even embraced, much of that agenda. Beginning with the Clinton years, they abandoned labor unions and sided with corporations, supporting trade agreements that outsourced jobs, and tax breaks that favored corporate development over public service.
They continue “to talk the talk” about fighting for their constituents, but they no longer “walk the walk.”
You and the Democrats aren’t going to win this election by supporting a status quo that is working for fewer and fewer people. Defending the status quo is Faso’s job, not yours. You need to challenge the system, not claim that you can work it better than he can, or that it’s not so bad.

Parker Fish/The Freenan’s Journal  – During a visit to the Hometown Fourth of July celebration in Oneonta, candidate Delgado chats with Steve Londner of the League of Women Voters.

You have to show voters that Faso is the local agent responsible for people’s growing insecurity.
You need to expose the sham property-tax reduction he tried to pawn off on voters by gutting local healthcare funding. You need to alert voters to his duplicity in
voting to repeal Obamacare, after promising otherwise – something he’s likely to do on Social Security and other entitlements.
You need to remind voters of his support for deregulating Wall Street and destabilizing the economy.
And then there’s Trump. He’s a demagogue who’s been left free to exploit the insecurities and fears of the people whom the Democrats have left behind, and Faso seems 100-percent behind that.
Trump and Faso’s agenda is the same as the Mercers’: Privatize everything in sight.
You’ve got to do what other Democrats haven’t done. They have not attacked the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, the culprits blocking the kind of universal, affordable healthcare enjoyed by citizens of almost all other developed countries.
They have not broken up monopolistic corporations, whether it’s Amazon, the Wall Street banks, Google, or Walmart, which collectively have killed off small business, the backbone of the economy.
The Democratic leadership has not fought to reduce military spending, which is funding immoral wars abroad and bankrupting our government, while sucking up tax money that should go to social services and infrastructure.
They have done little to get us off fossil fuels and onto renewables, allowing for the acceleration of greenhouse gases and the destabilization of theclimate.
And they have completely failed to get money out of politics, leaving us stuck with a corrupt, pay-to-play system, for which Faso could be the poster boy.
You don’t want to be part of those failed strategies.
If you fudge on these issues, you’ll lose; if you face up
to them, you have a chance to win.
But there’s an even bigger challenge. There’s little doubt that the benefits of American imperialism since World War II have run their course. Globalization led by unrestrained corporate power is no longer a tide that lifts all boats. It only lifts the yachts.
We can no longer economically dominate Europe and Asia, nor can we afford our massive global military machine.
Those days are over.
If globalization has a future, and I hope it does, it has to be more inclusive economically. In the meantime, America must figure out its own identity in a new, multi-polar world.
Now is the time to put our own house in order, and rethink what we’re doing. We need a new definition of American Exceptionalism, one that rejects racism, bigotry and narcissism in the name of a common understanding of the deepest American principles: democratic accountability, Constitutional rule, economic justice, and the greatest possible liberty that’s consistent with mutual respect.
Then we can redefine our place in the world. The Republicans aren’t going to do that, but you might. It could be our last chance.

Adrian Kuzminski, retired Hartwick College philosophy professor and Sustainable Otsego moderator, lives in Fly Creek.

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