News of Otsego County

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


CCS Board Creates Special-Education Administrator Job

CCS Board Creates


Administrator Job

As Services Leap 40%, Public Told,

‘Litigious Environment’ Requires It

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

CCS board President Tim Hayes, right, and Superintendent Bill Crankshaw listen to inputs from board members as this evening’s meeting. (Jim Kevlin/

COOPERSTOWN – With 14 percent of Cooperstown Central students in special-education programs, up from 10 percent a handful of years ago, the school board this evening created a new administrative position: “director of pupil services.”

With the complexity of the services growing, and the “litigious environment” – parents suing who are dissatisfied with the level of service – even school districts Cooperstown’s size (831 in K-12, it was reported this evening) are creating such jobs, Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw told his board.

America, Conceived In Slavery? Bunk!



America, Conceived

In Slavery? Bunk!

By TOM MORGAN • Special to

And you thought America was “conceived in liberty”?
That is what Abraham Lincoln suggested. Well I’m here to tellya that is bunk.
This country was conceived in wholesale medical cruelty. And medical malfeasance. So there!
Doctors of the 1700s treated illnesses by blood-letting. Got a pain? Slash a vein. Dysentery? Try an artery. Migraines? Let us drill holes in your skull. To allow evil spirits to escape. Your baby was born blind or retarded? Toss him in a river.
That is the evil that birthed this nation. Our Founding Doctors committed the unforgivable. Early Americans accepted and practiced their nostrums. This nation is stained with their evil from its conception.
Does this sound stupid to you?

Well, many prominent folks suggest the equivalent these days. They stand solidly behind the 1619 Project. The New York Times promotes this as its most worthy project. Presidential candidate Kamala Harris calls it a masterpiece.
The project is named for the arrival of the first 20 African slaves in the New World. It claims that from that sordid point onward America was
Because its parents were sinful slave traders and owners.
This new reason to hate America is coming to a school curriculum near you! (It already has, in some form.)
Or so the 1619 Project folks dream. It certainly will come to
forums which influence policy-making in Washington.
In other words, please practice
hanging your head in shame over
slavery. There is plenty more self-flagellation on the menu for us. Your penance is to spit upon tributes paid to Washington, Jefferson and assorted Founding Fathers. They were a pack
of racist hypocrites. Everything they promoted and achieved was tainted with their sinful acceptance of slavery. America’s DNA is polluted with slavery.

Here are a few scraps on which the 1619 crowd might nibble.
Americans did not invent slavery. Hardly. From ancient Greece onward it was as normal as rain. All over the world people enslaved and bought and sold people. If we could time-travel to the 1700s, people would tell us we are nuts to say slavery was sinful. Lisbon, for instance, was 10 percent slaves in the 16th century.
By the way, only 5 percent of the slaves shipped across the Atlantic came to the U.S. Millions more landed in Brazil, Cuba and other countries and territories.
In America we had many freed black slaves. Guess how they harvested their cotton. They owned black slaves! That is how people thought in those times. Slavery was a normal condition. Just like leeches for scurvy.
The 1619 Project crowd despises a country because of its history with slaves? Then let us add dozens of countries to its hate list. And remember, America was late to the game.
The crowd claims the sin of slavery is in America’s DNA? Then let them
consider Africa’s DNA. Africans
from north to south built their nations on slavery.

Is this an attempt to excuse or dismiss the evil nature of slavery? No more than an attempt to dismiss the evil of slashing arteries to cure cancer. They both belong in eras of ignorance. We should view them in that context, period. And not in our relatively enlightened times.
Let us leave the 1619 Project crowd to wallow in what they feel are original sins of America. A few centuries ago docs would have drilled holes in their heads to release such evil thoughts.
Let us, instead, celebrate that Americans rose above such ignorance. Celebrate that Americans were courageous enough to declare to the world an ideal that was absurd in its day: That all of us are created equal. Celebrate that Americans fought a bloody war and other battles in pursuit of that ideal.
While slave-trading continued elsewhere. Indeed, there are 10 million people enslaved today.
From Tom…as in Morgan.

Tom Morgan, retired Oneonta investment counselor who writes a nationally syndicated column, lives in Franklin.

Poverty? Don’t Blame The Rich, But Ourselves



Poverty? Don’t Blame

The Rich, But Ourselves

Talk about getting things backwards and exposing your political bias at the same time, while totally ignoring the facts – and you’ve identified Oneonta’s mayor, as reflected in a column he writes elsewhere.
We have poverty because of folks like him who deny reality when it comes to renewables vs. fossil fuels, who even fight renewables like solar and who do everything they can to keep industry that would create jobs out of Oneonta – witness the 2008 proposed biofuels plant farce.
For once, let’s put the blame for our economy where it belongs. It’s not with corporations but could lie with Gary’s disdain for the “rich” – the very people who create jobs.
Our economy didn’t turn south with Trump’s election – it has been there for decades.
There wouldn’t be a need for OFO if it weren’t for folks like our mayor and his allies – folks would actually have jobs and earn a living wage.
Remember, unemployment is at its near all-time low right now and Donald Trump is president.
With regards to the Paris Accord on Climate Change, the mayor is right in that the U.S. withdrew. But it wasn’t President Trump who withdrew from the Kyoto Agreement – it was President George Bush and he withdrew, not for environmental reasons, but for economic reasons.
France is 80 percent nuclear when it comes to producing energy and President Bush knew the U.S. couldn’t compete economically because it would have been too costly for the U.S. to meet the stringent targets and not costly at all for France.
(We still have groups in the U.S. that profess a desire for clean air and oppose nuclear energy).
That situation hadn’t changed when the Paris Accord was proposed – the U.S. was still at an economic disadvantage.
But guess what happened in spite of the fact the U.S. wasn’t party to the Accord? The U.S. was the only country that met the Accord’s goals with regards to reducing carbon.
How could that be, you say. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it came about as a result of fracking and the tremendous increase in the availability of clean-burning, low-cost natural gas!
The mayor goes on to say that renewables, with the right subsidies, would be cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
He totally misses the point. It’s not the cost of renewables that makes them unable to compete with fossil fuels, but rather their unreliability.
Do you want to depend on the sun or wind to keep your pipes from freezing at night (sun’s not shining) and it’s 10 degrees below zero outside? The wind is generally calm on the nights when the temperature is coldest.
That’s the situation we face right now – today.
Is there research underway to help address the issues with renewables – yes. At some point I hope to be able to write an article proclaiming victory in our battle to find viable energy substitutes for fossil fuels.
But I can’t write that article yet.

Mike Zagata, a DEC commissioner in the Pataki Administration and former environmental executive with Fortune 500 companies, lives in West Davenport.

Beautification Winners: Inn At Cooperstown, Pioneer Street Homes


Beautification Winners:

Inn At Cooperstown,

Pioneer Street Homes

Marc Kingsley, Inn at Cooperstown proprietor with wife Sherrie, shows off veranda boxes that won Most Attractive Floral Display in a Business Setting. (Jim Kevlin/
First place in the window boxes or hanging basket category went to Brian Barlow, 103 Pioneer, along with Chris and their Great Dane, Macy.

COOPERSTOWN – The Inn at Cooperstown, Ursula and Chuck Hage, and Brian Barlow and Chris Law took the top three $1,000 prizes in this year’s Clark Foundation Cooperstown Beautification Contest, foundation President Jane Forbes Clark announced Tuesday, Sept. 16.
“Over 60 years ago, my grandmother, Susan Vanderpoel Clark, founded the Cooperstown Beautification Contest to recognize the tremendous time and effort so many of our residents take to make our village look welcoming and beautiful,” said Miss Clark.
This year’s winners are:
►CATEGORY I: Most Attractive Floral Display in a Business Setting.
• First Place, Inn at Cooperstown, Marc and Sherrie Kingsley, 16 Chestnut St. Judge’s comments: “The Inn at Cooperstown demonstrated tactful elegance with an appropriate use of overflowing planters and hanging baskets which provided real charm.”
• Second Place, White House Inn, Ed and Marjorie Landers, 46 Chestnut St.
• Third Place, Tin Bin Alley, Michael and Lori Fink, 114 Main St.
• Honorable mention: Don Olin Realty, Margaret Savoie, 37 Chestnut St.; Scoreboard Classics, Patrick Baynes and Susan LeBlanc, 43 Pioneer St.; Doubleday Café, Tim Searles and Barbara Bolinger, 93 Main St.
►CATEGORY II: Most Effective Overall Planting Which Enhances a Residential Property, As Seen From the Street.

The window boxes “just exploded” this summer, said Ursula Hage, who with husband Chuck won “Most Effective Overall Planting Which Enhances A Residential Property, As Seen From The Street.

• First Place, the Hages, 73 Pioneer St. Judge’s comments: “Their use of annuals really works in harmony with cottage style landscape display.”
• Second Place, Maureen and Matthew Schermann, 71 Pioneer St.
• Third Place, Carol Taylor, 1 Westridge Road.
• Honorable mention: Penney Gentile, 20 Nelson Ave.; Meg and Martin Tillapaugh, 24 Pioneer St., and Judith and Peter Henrici, 92 Pioneer St.
►CATEGORY III: Most Appropriate Residential or Business Window Box or Boxes and/or Hanging Basket or Baskets
• First Place, Brian Barlow and Chris Law, 103 Pioneer St. Judge’s comments: “When you have three hanging baskets like this you really don’t need anything else!”
• Second Place, Darby and Darlene Connor, 27 Eagle St.
• Third Place, Kate and Bruce Johnson, 15 Pine Boulevard.
• Honorable mention: Ivy and Ed Bischoff, 46 Delaware St.; SEFCU, 169 Main St., Torrence Dutcher, 42 Delaware St.

Anti-Fracking Pioneer Retires At Ommegang Over 15 Years Larry Bennett Also Led ‘Thrones’ Campaign

Anti-Fracking Pioneer

Retires At Ommegang

Over 15 Years Larry Bennett

Also Led ‘Thrones’ Campaign

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Larry Bennett has retired after 15 years as Ommegang’s creative director. (Ian Austin/

COOPERSTOWN – Larry Bennett called his career at Brewery Ommegang, which included helping launch Otsego County’s anti-fracking movement, “serendipity.”

“When my wife and I moved up here in 2001 from Raleigh, N.C., I was working at the West Kortright Center to try and meet people,” he said. “I got talking with someone and told them I’d worked in advertising for 25 years, and they mentioned that Brewery Ommegang was looking for someone to do exactly that!”

On Friday, Sept. 15, Bennett retired as Ommegang’s creative director, a position he held for 15 years. “I’ll miss the people, the business and the free beer,” he said.

When he joined, his first goals were to expand the sales force and diversify the beer line. “We wanted to make different, interesting kinds of beers, and also short runs of more esoteric ones,” he said. “We were riding the wave of the craft industry. We weren’t the point of the spear, but we were certainly on the sharp edge.”

BOUND VOLUMES Sept. 19, 2019


Sept. 19, 2019


There is scarcely a subject that awakens the pride of an American more than the respect which is paid by foreign nations, to the star-spangled banner of this country. We have lived to see the day when foreign princes, potentates and emperors have paid homage to a banner, which but a few years ago was a stranger to the ocean. If such flattering testimonials of respect from
foreign nations do but rouse us to a proper sense, to a just estimation of our own dignity, we may calculate perhaps for centuries to come, on the preservation of our laws, liberties, habits and free republic institutions. Americans are a nation of emperors governed by no other will than their own, when expressed through its constitutional organ. The constitution itself the highest legal authority, which Congress, no less than courts of justice are bound to obey, is but an instrument in the hands of the people and capable of being amended, remodeled, enlarged
or abolished altogether, by our fellow citizens in their collective majesty.

September 20, 1819


The assemblage of Democrats at Clarkes-Ville (Middlefield) on Saturday, September 16, numbered between three and four thousand. The meeting was numerously attended from the neighboring towns and adjacent counties. Fire Companies number two and three and the Brass Band from Cooperstown, in their uniforms, added greatly to the appearance of the procession and its hilarity on the ground. (Note: The following passage (as edited for brevity) was presented as argument for a resolution: “The Party which originated with Jefferson, and which has been sustained by Madison, Jackson and Van Buren, must become a divided, subdued and sinking people, unless we successfully resist all foreign influence and dictation, and render the overthrow of this British American party final and conclusive. We, who imagined ourselves free from foreign interference; we who fondly hoped to see the Eagle of Liberty, with widespread wings carry the Banner of Freedom to the shores of the Pacific and to the southern extreme of North America, find England and the Holy Alliance in the field against us. The alliance of England and France, formed in 1815, to repress liberty wherever it might be found, has been reorganized and renewed, and its first steps is to limit the territorial possessions of the United States.”

September 23, 1844


A correspondent complains that there is a place kept open in this village where liquor is sold without a license, and that no steps are taken to put a stop to this violation of a wholesome law; that it is frequently open on Sunday evening; and that drunken men have been seen coming out of it – all of which may be the truth. But what good does he expect to accomplish by simply scolding about it in a public newspaper? Has no enough been said in that way? Now why does he not take pains to bring the facts stated to the Knowledge of the Justice of the Peace, or furnish the Excise Commissioners with the necessary proof to convict the offender? Do your duty, Sir, as a citizen, and do not expect to reform all abuses by mere newspaper talk. It is as much your business as that of any other law-abiding citizen. Let the law be enforced.

September 17, 1869


Local – Some of the oldest and largest elm trees on our streets are becoming rather dangerous, and a few of them should be taken down. Last Sunday afternoon two men came near being struck by a large limb which fell from one of the old elm trees near the corner of Chestnut and Main streets.
The newspapers might as well stop their criticism on the riding of bicycles by ladies. They are going to do it as they have a right to do, and each year in increasing numbers.
The Nelson Avenue sewer is completed. It is 840 feet long and cost $438. The village owes that Avenue to the enterprise of Mr. E.F. Beadle.

September 20, 1894


Advertisement for the Nash Automobile – Two years ago when we first contracted to represent the Nash, we made the prediction that within two years’ time the Nash would be the most popular car of its price class on the market. Today, the Nash is the acknowledged leader among cars selling for $2,500 or less. The Nash is the most quiet- running and economical car selling for between $500 and $3,000. Is it therefore any wonder that at no time since the present series Nash came on the market two and one-half years ago, have we or any other Nash dealers been able to supply one-fourth of the demand for Nash cars?

September 17, 1919


Local football fans will see the 1944 Cooperstown Redskins in action this Saturday at Doubleday Field against a strong Hamilton team. Gone from the team this year are such outstanding players as Captain Bob Meeneghan, Ted Harbison, Arnold Welch, Jack Lavante, LaRue Jones, Arnold Staffin and Everett Bridger. Their loss will be hard felt but there remains a nucleus of players around which this year’s team is built – Vinny Lynch, Charles Hall, Tom Kiley, Bob King, Joe Sapienza, Charles Murdock, Bob Welch, Chet Holbrook and Chuck Coleman. Other players are Joe Mogavero, Dick Johnson, Hugh Jones, Doug Welch, Bill Moakler, Johnny Shevalier, Jerry Clark and Ernie Bosc.

September 20, 1944


The Otsego County Board of Representatives has taken a step toward installing an emergency 911 system throughout the county. The Board voted 8-5 to sign a letter of intent with NYNEX to order the system equipment. Lyle Jones, Otsego County’s Emergency Services Coordinator, offered a presentation to update the board on the progress of the system. The system should be operational throughout the county within 36 months at a cost of $6,104.54 monthly and an installation fee of $11,457.69. Rep. Hugh Henderson, who lives at a rural route address, opined: “I’m telling you, you can’t imagine the confusion you are going to have in this county by changing addresses, especially those outside of village lines.”

September 14, 1994

JUSTICE for GILLIAN Sister, Senator Plan Rally For Parole Reform


Sister, Senator Plan Rally For Parole Reform

Jennifer Kirkpatrick shows Senator Seward a photo of her sister on the Justice for Gillian Facebook page. (Jeff Bishop photo)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Gillian Gibbons

ONEONTA – When David Dart was sentenced for the murder of Gillian Gibbons, her sister Jennifer Kirkpatrick remembered a chilling message he gave her in the courtroom.

“He looked right at me and said, ‘I’ll be back,’” she recounted.

Now, 30 years after Gillian’s death, Jennifer is mounting a campaign to keep her convicted killer in prison. “My goal is to let the community know that he is only in his 40s,” she said. “He will offend again. It’s scary.

Working with state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, Jennifer has planned a Justice For Gillian rally at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, in Muller Plaza.

“It’s important for us to do something to highlight his parole hearing,” said Seward. “We want to provide information to people so they can contact the parole board to protest Dart’s release.”

In 1991, Dart, then 29, was sentenced to 25 years to live for second-degree murder after he was found guilty of stabbing Gillian to death with a “Rambo-style survival knife” – as described in the court transcript – on the second floor of the Oneonta Municipal Parking Garage on Sept. 12, 1989.

Dart will once again face the parole board on Monday, Nov. 4.

“Normally his parole is every two years,” said Jennifer. “But this time, it was only 19 months. I was furious, and I told myself, if I have to be a one-woman show, walking up and down Main Street protesting his release, I will.”

“It goes to my heart that Jennifer and her family have to go through this every time,” said Seward. “I’ve got a bill that would expand the time between parole hearings from two to five years for violent offenders. Families should not have to tell their devastating stories so frequently, and there’s always the chance the parole board will release him.”

As the anniversary of Gillian’s death drew near, Seward invited Kirkpatrick to his office, where they put together plans for the Justice for Gillian rally.

“I was so humbled,” she said. “He called me down and he said, ‘We can go to the city and get a permit, we can make this happen’.”

“I remember Gillian as a vivacious, smiling young woman,” said Seward. “It hit our community very hard, and it is an affront to her memory to let Dart see the light of day.”

At the rally, Seward will have sample letters and the address people can use to write to the parole board, as well as instructions for how to send a letter online. Letters should be submitted no later than Friday, Oct. 25.

“It’s a waste of taxpayer money to have them go before the parole board every two years,” she said.

There will also be speakers, and Jennifer has invited the police officers involved in Gillian’s case, as well as families affected by violent crime to share their stories.

But more than just an information session, Jennifer wants to continue to celebrate her sister’s life 30 years after her passing.

“I’m bringing photos and having them blown up into posters so people can carry them,” she said. “And I’ve asked all her friends to speak. But I told them that if it’s depressing, Gillian will be rolling her eyes. I want memories and funny stories.”


Ecology Of Eastern Coyote


COYOTES – 1:30 p.m. Learn about Eastern Coyote, NYS largest wild canid. Wildlife biologist Selinda Brandon will discuss the coyote’s ecological role, how we can coexist. St. James Manor, 9 St. James Pl., Oneonta. 607-436-9974 or visit

WHO’S HANZOLO? …and how is band breaking Into Albany’s music scene?


…and how is band breaking

Into Albany’s music scene?

Hanzolo brought the crowd to the stage and got them dancing at Albany’s annual Pearlpalooza festival. From left are band members James Matson, Nick Summers, Joey Katz, and Carl and Jack Loewenguth. (Ian Austin/

Editor’s Note:  The next chance to see Hanzolo locally is Friday, Sept. 20, at Brewery Ommegang’s Fire Pit.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Brothers Carl, right, and Jack Loewenguth get their groove on

ALBANY – Driving to the PearlPalooza festival Saturday, Sept. 14, in downtown Albany, members of alt-funk band Hanzolo heard a familiar song come over the radio.

“WEQX was playing ‘Not Easy’,” said guitarist Carl Loewenguth. “I got chills. I turned and high-fived Nick” – Nick Summers, keyboardist and trumpet player. “It was a big moment for us.”

In August, the Cooperstown-based alt-funk band won two Battle of the Bands contests at the Skyloft nightclub at the Crossgates Mall – that won them the prestigious opening spot at PearlPalooza, last weekend’s annual Albany music festival.

“I was intimidated because the other bands were crazy-good,” said Loewenguth.

Crazy-good, sure, but not as good as Hanzolo.

“We won because we were a different kind of band than the others,” he said. “We’re funkier, dancier, and our fans really came out to support us. That really shows the judges.”

Fans Ben Breiten and Dash Keiler show off a light-up stage sign.

Hanzolo’s earliest incarnations came out of Cooperstown High School, where Loewenguth, Summers and James Matson (trombone) formed their first band, Cheese of the Misty Ceremony.

“We put the word ‘cheese’ into a random band name generator,” said Carl. “That was the first time we played a live show.”

Meanwhile, Joey Katz (saxophone) Nate Olmstead (Drums) and Carl’s brother Jack (bass), formed a jazz outfit called Goats with Narcolepsy.

They all graduated and went to college, but after graduation, back in Cooperstown, they formed Hanzolo in 2015. “We got back together and decided to take it seriously,” he said.

“Hanzolo is really just a melding of Goats and Cheese folks,” said Katz.

Their first major live show was the 2016 Cooptoberfest, and along the way, they added a second drummer, Sebastian Green, a Milford native. Though they initially started with covers, they soon began writing their own music.

“We all have similar tastes in music,” said Carl. “Jack and I grew up listening to Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, so that’s ingrained in us. It’s jazz and soul with a little weirdness.”

from back left, Joey Katz, Sebastian Green, Nathanial Olmstead, Nick Summers. front left, Carl Loewenguth,
Jack Loewenguth and James Matson.

Similar tastes, even, in childhood pastimes. “We do a cover of the music for the character Pablo from the video game ‘Backyard Baseball’,” said Katz. “He’s the best player!”

The name comes from a combination of the ‘Star Wars’ character Han Solo and ‘Kill Bill’ character Hattori Hanzo. “For legal reason, we say it’s from ‘Kill Bill’,” joked Katz.

They bill themselves as “Upstate funk” or “Alt-funk.” “Even our covers fall into that mold,” said Jack. “Sebastian wanted us to play Justin Timberlake’s ‘My Love’ and he laid down this entirely different beat.”

According to Katz, Loewenguth writes “99.9 percent” of the songs, but he and Olmstead both contribute. “They’re all a little different, but they work in the same mold,” he said.

They released their debut album, “Table Butter” earlier this year. “A friend of ours came up with the title,” said Matson. “He described our sound as smooth enough to spread, but hard enough to hold together.”

Dwynn Golden, Carl and Jack’s mom, and Hanzolo manager Sierra Sangetti Daniels, dance to the music.

The album is available on streaming platforms, including Spotify and iTunes, and in June, they shot a video for “Not Easy.”

“That song has a really romantic premises, to just keep dancing,” said Loewenguth. “We shot it at Innerskate 88, and the Hill City Rollers were our extras! The whole shoot was so fun.”

Katz lives in Boston and Green lives in Brooklyn, so they join the band when they can. “It’s just amazing playing with these guys, so I try to make it up as much as possible,” he said.

They’ll perform at Brewery Ommegang’s Firepit Friday on Sept. 20, and at the Schenectady County Funk N’ Jazz Festival on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Gateway Park.

And as winter settles in, they’re take a break from touring to work on their sophomore album. “We’ve got 15 new songs,” said Loewenguth.

Where Does Money Come From?

Where Does Money Come From?

To the Editor:
Senator Seward’s lament over taxes and fees passed in the recent legislative session (“A Little Here, A Little There. Suddenly, It’s Many Millions,” Sept. 5-6, 2019), provided a source of bemusement to this reader.
I kept remembering the multiple times over the years that Senator Seward has been part of a photo-op presentation in the media
where he was shown handing a New York State check (often around election season) to a local government or private organization to support a certain program or need.
Where does Senator Seward get those checks? The answer is obvious – from the coffers of the New York State treasury, funded by those very same taxes and fees he rails about.
I had hoped that we only had to put up with this type of hypocrisy at the federal
level; apparently, it has seeped into our state politics as well.


Will  Improvements To Main Street Ever End? No, Shouldn’t


Will  Improvements

To Main Street Ever

End? No, Shouldn’t

Mayor Tillapaugh, right, holds a construction conference at Main and Chestnut. From left are Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, Streets Committee chair; Roger Pendell, Upstate Companies, and Greg Miller and Todd Harter,
Barton & Loguidice engineers. (Jim Kevlin/

Begun inauspiciously in March 2014 with the felling of 37 trees on Main Street, a remarkable series of successes has followed in the reinvention of downtown Cooperstown for 21st century tourism.
The environmentally sensitive rain gardens, new sidewalks, streetlights, replacement of 19th century water mains and sewerage – even a new flag pole, embroiled in controversy as it now is – have followed in quick succession.

But it’s not over, as observed in the past few days, as the Upstate Companies, which is growing
into a Mount Upton-based behemoth, began working on the latest projects:
• One, the reinvention of pocket Pioneer Park, at Main and Pioneer, with a low stage, bike racks and water fountain, more benches and new plantings. The more open center will provide more elbow room around Santa’s Cottage, often packed as it is from Thanksgiving Weekend until the Big Day.
• Two, a new traffic signal setup at Pioneer and Chestnut. The Upstate crews are replacing curbs and sidewalks (with brick pavers) from Pine Boulevard to the intersection. The traffic light will be replaced with a single signal, just as it is, but adjustable to easy entry and exit from the nearby fire station.
Chestnut Street will be narrowed, for less-stressful pedestrian crossings, and a small plaza created in front of Mel’s. Plus, Walk/Don’t Walk signals will further ease pedestrians’ minds as they navigate more clearly delineated crosswalks, courtesy with long-lasting stripes from Andela Glass, the Richfield Springs recycling concern.
(That last piece depends on the weather, according to Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch: Blacktop requires a stretch of 50-plus degree weather to cure.)

While this isn’t the beginning, it isn’t the end, either.

Work may begin this fall on the new entrance to Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field, which will include sidewalks, new walls and a decorative arch. Inset is entrance as is today.

At Doubleday Field, water and sewer lines will be laid from the Main Street entrance to the left side of the grandstand to provide service to the restrooms, locker rooms and pavilion that will be part of next year’s third-baseline reconstruction.
Depending on how soon winter arrives, work may begin on the Main Street entrance, including the fancy arch pictured with this editorial.
Next summer, the construction should be going strong along Doubleday Field’s third-base line. The mayor isn’t sure how much will be done by next year’s 100th anniversary of the baseball landmark, but there should be enough to be impressive during ceremonies planned by the Friends of Doubleday.

That’s a lot in five years, but it’s not over – probably never over, Mayor Tillapaugh
Fowler Way, which leads to Doubleday from Chestnut Street, next to the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, is much used, but narrow, bumpy and lacking sidewalks, all of which could and should be addressed.
She is particularly interested in upgrading Hoffman Lane, across from the Hall of Fame, to lead more of the quarter-million fans that visit the Hall each year to Lakefront Park and James Fenimore Cooper’s Glimmerglass. Locals are often surprised to learn that many visitors are unaware the lake is even there.
Then, attention could turn to Railroad Avenue, which is becoming a center of local life and commerce, with Mike Manno’s 21 Railroad office building, and Attorney Michelle Kennedy’s office building next door, Cooperstown Distillery, the Railroad Inn, the renovated Spurbeck’s, Butch Welch’s recently redone parking lot,
and the Susquehanna & Western Railroad headquarters.
With the empty “Where It All Began” warehouse and other space for apartments, Railroad Avenue is a promising next center of population growth.
Will it ever end? Listening to the mayor, you have to conclude: Never, and it shouldn’t.


County Considers Fee To Cast Off E-Waste

County Considers Fee

For Cast Off E-Waste

Editor’s Note: For free disposal of e-waste while you can, the county’s Hazardous Household Wast Disposal Day is 8-11 a.m. Friday at the Unadilla Town Garage, and  8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the county Meadows Complex off Route 33, Town of Middlefield.

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – It used to be free.

Karen Sullivan

But by this November, Otsego County will begin charging residents to recycle electronics – e-waste – because of continuing spikes in the cost and decreasing funding from the state to mitigate the cost.

A slew of variables have led to needing to impose recycling fees on e-waste.  One is the cost, which before 2017, was “minimal,” according to Tammie Harris, a county planner.

But starting in 2017, costs have risen quickly – from $30,000 in 2017 to a projected $50,000 in 2019.

A second variable is decreasing support from New York State.  The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) had offered a grant that helped municipalities cover some of E-waste’s costs, but it is not offering the grant this year for unknown reasons.

Stop Dunkin’/Baskin Incursion Into Town

Stop Dunkin’/Baskin

Incursion Into Town

To the Editor:

Cooperstown residents should stand up against the Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts franchise proposed for the corner of Walnut Street and Route 28.  Our town has consistently resisted the invasion of huge corporate franchises for decades, and we should oppose this incursion into our small village as well.  So far, we have kept McDonald’s and Pizza Hut at bay, by keeping them several miles outside of town.

Anyone who drives around the town knows what a nightmare it is to get from Walnut Street to Route 28 during the Dreams Park season, when there is an unending line of traffic coming south on Route 28.

Putting a junk food franchise on that corner is not only going to make the traffic even more of a nightmare, but it is also going to divert tourists before they reach Main Street, where they might patronize some of our local businesses like Schneider’s Bakery, Danny’s Market, The Inside Scoop, Doubleday Café, Stagecoach, etc.

I’ll admit that Main Street has declined a bit since I grew up here in the 1970s, when we had two supermarkets on or near Main Street (the Victory and A&P), three hardware stores, a shoe store, and Newberry’s Department Store, which transformed into the Cooperstown General Store in later years but is now defunct and currently only hosts photographs related to the Hall of Fame and other local attractions.

Nowadays you have to travel to Oneonta for a lot of things you used to be able to buy right on Main Street, unless you’re looking for baseball souvenirs, of course.

Nevertheless, if we open the floodgates to trashy fast food franchises our town is going to be transformed into just another mass-produced consumption economy that will leave us looking no different than any other small town across America that has sold out their mom and pop stores to kneel at the feet of corporate giants that couldn’t care less about our local businesses.

Let’s not bow to the WalMart-ization of Cooperstown.  Let your representatives know that you do not want corporate franchises anywhere near our lovely little town.



Beleaguered CV Talent Scout Dedicated To Clients, Family

Beleaguered CV Talent Scout

Dedicated To Clients, Family

To the Editor:

I am writing on behalf of Victoria Pressly, who has been a friend of mine for the past 10 years.

Victoria Pressly

If I had to think of one word to describe Victoria, it would be “passionate.” She is passionate about life. She is passionate about her family. She is passionate about her clients and career.

Victoria’s career has required a significant amount of travel, and yet when I think of her, I think of the mom who is at every soccer game, school play and concert. She not only cares deeply about her children, she is incredibly supportive and involved in their lives.

Victoria is also dedicated to her clients. Living in Upstate New York, there are many challenges that must be overcome to build a thriving career, and yet Victoria managed to do just that while raising a family. I have often heard her speak about her clients with both the fierce determination to help them succeed and the protectiveness of a mother hen. It has always been obvious that she cares deeply.

My children and Victoria’s children are similar in age so I understand fully the time and emotional commitment involved in being a mother. I also work full time and know the challenges of managing family and career. Victoria has always impressed me with her ability to not only manage, but thrive and remain passionate about both.



IN TIME OF TRUMP, DiPERNA ASKED: ‘How Did American Stray So Far From Its Ideals?’



‘How Did American Stray

So Far From Its Ideals?’

Editor’s Note: Paula DiPerna, the author and global strategic environmental policy adviser who ran for Congress in 1992 for the 23rd District, which then included Otsego County, has a home in Cooperstown. This is an excerpt from her latest book, “Travels in the Time of Trump.”  DiPerna will be giving a book talk at 2 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Green Toad Bookstore, Oneonta.

By PAULA DiPERNA • Special to

“Travel in the Time of Trump” is on sale at the Green Toad Bookstore.

“Let facts be submitted to a candid world,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, leading off the extensive list of grievances the American colonies had against King George of England. That candid world watches still today.
Since Donald Trump’s election, I have traveled all the continents except Antarctica, meeting countless persons who had just one question for me, “How could America stray so far from
its ideals?”
Implicit in the question and what touched me so deeply was the extent to which America, our democratic values and quest for a more perfect union, had put us on a pedestal worldwide.
And, the extent to which the Trump Presidency has shaken the fragile house that is the American system of checks and balances, and normalized reckless Presidential behavior that other nations, much more despotic, now may think acceptable.
So, reflecting Jefferson, I present these facts, excerpted from my book, “Travels in the Time of Trump”:
►He, President Trump has refused his “Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good,”
►By interfering with ongoing legal actions, such as through the summary firing of the head of the FBI, who was in a position to uncover facts that might have illuminated illegal actions taken or permitted by the President;
►He has likely obstructed the Administration of Justice by the above and, in addition;
►He has interfered with the free press, prohibited by the Amendment I of the Constitution, by proclaiming publicly and repeatedly that the media, the vehicle of the free press, do not love their country and are an enemy of the people most often because the press had commented negatively about him.
►He threatened to close down the government of the U.S. if the Congress did not vote funds to support a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, an explicit undermining of his oath since protecting the U.S. Constitution means to protect the United States government.
►He has egregiously put the Republic and the world at risk of nuclear war by taunting and threatening foreign governments able to conduct such nuclear war, including at the United Nations where, without prior authority from the Congress, he declared that the United States would have no choice but to totally destroy another nation, a blatant and unprecedented abuse of power that, in any case, could not be undertaken without an Act of War declared by Congress;
►And, in a flagrant, public and illegal attack on the people’s rights to free speech as protected
unequivocally and without reservation in Amendment I of the Constitution, he has explicitly called for punishment of protesters who chose to kneel
during the U.S. National Anthem to protest racial injustice, stating that such protesters should be fired from their lawful positions, thereby violating outright the letter and spirit of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a violation of the President’s Oath of Office, clearly an impeachable offense.
To travel in the time of Trump is to witness the degree to which the world’s dedication to democracy is being eroded.

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