News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Business

Joe Ruffino Bids Farewell To 47 Years of Pizza Making
‘THIS BIRD HAS BEEN SET FREE’

Joe Ruffino Bids Farewell

To 45 Years of Pizza Making

Joe Ruffino’s Restaurant & Pizzeria has closed on Oneonta’s Main Street after 45 years.
Joe Ruffino Jr.

ONEONTA – Joe Ruffino Jr. announced to his customers on his website today that, after 45 years of the “daily grind” of making pizza – since age 7 – and running a business in Upstate New York, he has closed Joe Ruffino’s Pizzeria & Restaurant at 222 Main St.

“I have known for a while that I couldn’t maintain that work ethic forever,” he said.  “No one is in the bullpen ready to relieve me … Now it’s time for my wife and I to move forward to a new beginning.  It may seem like my wings have been clipped, but in reality this bird has been set free.”

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Boutique Hotel Opens Friday In Cooperstown
HISTORIC BUILDING RENOVATED

Boutique Hotel Opens

Friday In Cooperstown

All hands are on deck, including proprietor Perry Ferrara’s wife Cathy, foreground, as the Railroad Inn, the new boutique hotel at Railroad and Glen avenues, Cooperstown, prepares to welcome its first guests tomorrow evening.  Ferrara, in right photo with Cathy, said the first-floor rooms will be occupied Friday evening, and by next weekend – Hall of Fame Induction Weekend – all 22 rooms will be completed and filled.  Crews have been renovating the historic hops-storage facility since last October, which had been vacant since businessman Mike Manno bought the former Agway in 2009 and restored the exterior.  Ferrara, who has operated Cat Construction on Long Island for 30 years, said bringing the building back to life while preserving the historic ambiance has been a particularly satisfying part of this project.  Bob Holt,  at the registration desk, former manager of the Best Western in Harwtick Seminary, is managing the new hotel.  Helping Mrs. Ferrara in the top photo are, from left, friends Lorraine Banfield and Cathy DiResta, and Cassie Sawyer of Worcester.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

FULL STORY IN NEXT WEEK’S FREEMAN’S JOURNAL
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Paperkite Cuts Ribbon On New Headquarters

Paperkite Cuts Ribbon

On New Headquarters

Anders Green, with the help of brothers Henrik and Al, cuts the ribbon on Paperkite’s new headquarters at 218 Main St., Cooperstown. The marketing/creative agency is operated by Anders’ mom, Susan Green, who stands behind him with dad Will. Others, from left, are Cooperstown Chamber Executive Director Matt Hazzard, Deputy Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, Art Director Jennifer Tesiero, Office Manager Veronica Pokorny with daughter Mariana, Megan Haggerty, Ali Harahan, Morgan Behnke, Katie Cotton and Elle Kenyon.
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Railroad Avenue Hotel Moves Toward Opening
FERRARA LOOKS TO MID-JULY

Railroad Avenue Hotel

Moves Toward Opening

Perry Ferrara, top photo, proprietor of the soon-to-open Railroad Inn on Cooperstown’s Railroad Avenue, shows off one of four two-story accommodations planned in the 22-room hotel.  After eight months of renovations, Ferrara, who also operates the Hardball Cafe and Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum, said he hopes to have the establishment open for business by mid-July.   In recent days, he recruited Bob Holt, veteran hotelier (most recently at Best Western in Hartwick Seminary) and Destination Marketing of Otsego County board member, as Railroad Inn manager.  A tour of the building today showed renovations on the verge of completion.  All the rooms have been sheet-rocked, and Ferrara said he expect them to be painted and doors installed by the middle of next week.  In some rooms, furniture was already being assembled.  And a roofed veranda is nearing completion on the north end.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Trustees Create First PDD, Leaving Details To Planners

Trustees Create First PDD,

Leaving Details To Planners

In part due to Bank of Cooperstown President Scott White’s explanation of the bank’s proposed parking lot expansion on Chestnut Street, the Village Board this evening approve Cooperstown’s first PDD – planning development district. However, the trustees forwarded issues raised by neighbors this evening – concerns about lighting, drainage and noise among them – to the Planning Board, which will still have to rule on the specifics and approve the project, which includes demolition of an adjacent house now used for professional offices. The PDD idea, included in the recently revised village Comprehensive Master Plan, allows development experiments that, while not specifically meeting all zoning particulars, address such larger goals as more mixed uses or economic-development enhancements.  The vote was 5-1-1, with Trustee Jim Dean voting nay and Trustee Lou Allstadt, who owns stock in the bank, abstaining.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Work Nears Completion At Upstate Bar & Grill

Work Nears Completion

At Upstate Bar & Grill

Upstate Bar & Grill maitre d’ Art Bodin, top, points out the two dozen beer taps that will offer local and regional craft brews, imports Guinness and Stella Artois, as well as key national brands when the new 225-seat establishment at Cooperstown’s Southern Gateway opens sometime later this month. As restaurateur Joe Vezza, in right photo, reviews plans with contractor Tim Winslow, renovations that expanded and transformed the former Peppermill Restaurant, going on for months, are nearing completion. With the taps as the centerpiece of the sports bar, the restaurant will focus on American cuisine, with a menu that includes prime rib and entrees from land and sea. More to come as opening day nears. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Northern Eagle Cuts Ribbon On ‘Lake George Beer Hub’

Northern Eagle Cuts Ribbon

On ‘Lake George Beer Hub’

Everyone whoops as George Allen, president of Northern Eagle Beverage, Oneonta, cuts the ribbon on the Lake George Beer Hub Wednesday afternoon in the Town of Queensbury, near the namesake tourist community.  Behind Allen is Louis Hager, principal in Hager Hops, the largest-in-the-state 20-acre hopyard in Pierstown.  The Lake George Beer Hub building was formerly the Davidson Brothers brewery, which Northern Eagle bought in 2016.  The Hub’s current members are Davidson and Cooperstown Brewery, which is allied with Northern Eagle and Hager Hops.   Located to attract summer tourists from Lake George, and Hub offers brewery tours, tastings, serves by the pints and hosts events. There is a variety of bottled beer available for purchase, as well as a variety of apparel and gifts.  (Adirondack Regional Chambers of Commerce photo)
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Community Bank Donates $2,000 To Food Pantry After Church Fire

Community Bank Donates $2,000

To Food Pantry After Church Fire

Community Bank Branch Manager Kevin Moore, Teller Amelia Schuman and Senior Teller Shari VanDeusen present a $2,000 donation to the Milford United Methodist Church’s food pantry, which had to relocate after the church burned down March 12. Of the total, $1,000 was raised by employee donations and dress-down days, which the bank then matched. In addition to the check, the bank’s branches in Otsego and Schoharie counties hosted food collections in their lobbies to restock the pantry after the fire.
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Summer 2017 ‘Good Life Guide’ Distributed Countywide Today
CLICK TO ENJOY ‘GOOD LIFE GUIDE’ ONLINE

Summer 2017 ‘Good Life Guide’

Distributed Countywide Today

Ad director Tara Barnwell fans copies of the 2017 “Good Life Guide To Cooperstown & Oneonta,” distributed today at high-traffic points throughout Otsego County for the summer season, published by AllOTSEGO.com, Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)
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Streck Sees ‘Catastrophe For The American People’

Streck Sees ‘Catastrophe

For The American People’

Former Bassett President: U.S. ‘Has Problem

On Its Hands;’ Hopes Senate Acts Responsibly

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Dr. Streck addresses a full house at Templeton Hall in February during House Republicans’ first effort to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. (AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – Retired Bassett Healthcare president Bill Streck says the American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives this afternoon is “a catastrophe for the American people.”

“The bill is a hodge-podge of agendas absent any coherent theme other than repealing the Affordable Care Act,” he said regarding this afternoon’s 217-213 vote. “The bill actually serves as a mechanism to prevent millions of Americans from obtaining health care.”

Streck, who since his retirement in 2014 has joined the Hospital Association of New York State (HANYS)  as chief medical and health systems innovation officer, has kept the Cooperstown area apprised of the potential threats the ACHA presents to healthcare locally as the Obamacare repeal effort moved forward.

Here is the text of his remarks:

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