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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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, MAY 16
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, MAY 16

Hanford Mills Opening Day!!!

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OPENING DAY – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Kick of the 45th season the museum with guided tours of the water-powered sawmill, gristmill, woodworking workshop. Admission $9/adult. Hanford Mills Museum, 51 Co. Hwy. 12, East Meredith. Call 607-278-5744 or visit www.hanfordmills.org

BE INFORMED! – 6:30 – 8 p.m. Learn about food gardens, including what plants are best for our climate, when to start planting and how to care for your garden. Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. Call 607-282-4087 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/be-informed-lecture-series-food-gardens/

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KUZMINSKI: More Gas? Only If Paired With Equal-Sized Renewable Project

Column by Adrian Kuzminski, May 5, 2018

More Gas? Only If Paired With
Equal-Sized Renewable Project

Adrian Kuzminski

When fracking was proposed in New York State a decade ago, the potential benefits were jobs, economic growth, lower energy prices, and energy security.
Opponents (like me) worried not only about local degradation of the environment but about the global consequences of methane seepage and emissions for the climate as a whole.
In most places outside of New York State, the frackers won the argument, and in fact much of what they claimed has come to pass.
Vast new reserves have been opened up by fracking, perhaps even more than anticipated. The United States has moved from deep energy dependence on often unfriendly foreign sources to a greater degree of energy self-sufficiency.
The US has become a net exporter of natural gas and is now able to leverage its new energy resources in foreign policy negotiations. Fracking has sparked renewed economic activity and a sense of energy security has been restored.
But the cost of these short-terms gains may yet overwhelm us. Professor Anthony Ingraffea from Cornell has a sobering new video on YouTube: “Shale Gas: The Technological Gamble That Should Not Have Been Taken.” Check it out; go to youtube.com and type “technological gamble” in the search line.
Ingraffea goes back six years and compares the climate change predictions made by a range of experts then with the latest data now available.
The new evidence shows those predictions to have been wide of the mark in the worst possible way. Global warming is happening much faster than predicted.

Cornell Professor Anthony Ingraffea’s conclusion in 2013 that natural gas contributes more to global warming than other fossil fuels changed the debate.

Ingraffea puts the blame for accelerating climate change squarely on the fracking revolution. As its critics have worried all along, the overall greenhouse emissions of fracked natural gas turn out to be as bad if not worse than any other fossil fuel.
Fracking has not been the “bridge fuel” the industry advocated. Ingraffea points out that fracking has extended the fossil fuel age, dramatically increased global warming, and, by providing continued low-priced gas and oil, frustrated the development of renewables.

This issue is playing out locally as well. There’s an energy crunch in Oneonta, with NYSEG interrupting gas service to some of their larger customers (SUNY, Fox, and some local businesses) because of limited supply.
In spite of the fracking boom in neighboring Pennsylvania, the infrastructure for delivering more gas in the Oneonta area right now doesn’t exist. The secondary pipeline serving the area isn’t big enough to meet demand.
The same arguments for the benefits of fracked gas used a decade ago are once again in circulation by those calling for more gas: It’ll bring jobs, stability, and economic growth.
Without a functioning economy we have social chaos, it’s true; but without environmental protections we have eco-catastrophe.
Transitioning to renewables remains the unavoidable answer in both cases. Renewables address the climate issue while providing economic relief with
jobs in the new industries we so desperately need. But it’s not happening fast enough.
That’s a political problem – one unfortunately not about to be solved.
The gas proponents now, as before, are focused on short-term benefits and seem oblivious to the bigger threat. Those who appreciate the long-term threat, on the other hand, have no immediate and practical solutions to the energy challenge.
Yes, of course, we must transition to renewables ASAP, but it’s not just a matter of effortlessly dropping one energy source and plugging in another.
There are serious technical problems (limits to electrical applications, intermittent power and inadequate electricity storage) and financial ones (funding the required large-scale infrastructure changes).
It’s time to recognize both the urgency of climate change as well as the need to buy some time to put in place technologies and financing that can transition us to renewables as quickly as possible.
It’s time to recognize both that the unintended consequences of gas may be worse than the problems it solves, and that those suffering from economic insecurity can’t afford to wait around indefinitely for promised but undelivered jobs in renewable energy.
What’s needed is restraint and prudence. Until we get to renewables, we’re clearly going to continue to overheat the planet to keep the economy going and avoid social breakdown.
How much more warming can we stand? It’s not clear, but major new pipelines and gas power plants are climate-denying projects that promise to take us over the edge.
In the meantime, we have growing local economic distress which might be relieved by delivering more gas to Oneonta by enlarging its existing pipeline.
Improving that pipeline and its capacity would clearly boost the local economy; a redone pipeline might also be more efficient.
But any expansion of gas consumption, even a small one like this, can no longer be justified unless correlated with a funded renewable energy project of at least the same scale.
Nothing less is acceptable any more.

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

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KUZMINSKI: Nation’s Two-Party System Guarantees ‘The Iron Law Of Oligarchy’

Column by Adrian Kuzminski, April 20, 2018

Nation’s Two-Party

System Guarantees

‘The Iron Law Of Oligarchy’

ADRIAN KUZMINSKI

Most voters enroll in one or the other major party, though the number of non-party enrollees has grown in recent years. In our area, and nationally, it’s very roughly one third Democrat, one third Republican, and one third non-partisan, or independent (small “i”).
The two-party system goes back to the battles between Alexander
Hamilton’s Federalists and Thomas
Jefferson’s Republicans. The
Jeffersonian Republicans have since morphed into the Democrats,
and the Federalists into the
Republicans.
Unfortunately, these parties have become a big part of what’s wrong, rather than what’s right, with American politics.
The two political parties – they are not mentioned in the Constitution – have a strangle-hold on the electoral process. It’s difficult, though not impossible, to get on the ballot without the approval of one or the other party.
In the current race in the 19th CD, for instance, party enrollees need to collect only 1,250 signatures to get on the primary ballot. But if you run as an independent, you need 3,500 signatures.
Party candidates have other advantages. They can go to their county party committees to pitch for support and recruit volunteers to circulate their petitions. The parties are also a source of money for candidates.

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EDITORIAL: Sheriff’s Shown He’s Tough, Smart

EDITORIAL: April 20, 2018

Sheriff’s Shown

He’s Tough, Smart

Sheriff Devlin

First, voters should want a county sheriff who’s steady under fire.
Over the past 15 months, county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. has proved he is.
With his son Ros, a guard at the county jail, accused in a workplace disturbance and ordered off county property by the county Board of Representatives, Devlin hung tough, arguing he was the target of a
“political witch hunt.”
That didn’t seem completely out of the question when it surfaced that allies of county Board chair Kathy Clark’s husband were sounding out Democrats to see if they would endorse a sheriff’s run by her husband, retiring state trooper Bob Fernandez – first reported in these newspapers in March 2017.
Second, voters should want the county’s top law-enforcement
officer to have a strategic mind.
Now, Sheriff Devlin is showing he does.
With Fernandez challenging him in the Nov. 6 election, Devlin approached the more even-handed county board chairman, David Bliss, who succeeded Kathy Clark, and agreed to resign his son’s fate to an even-handed application of Civil Service law. Going into the fall election with the issue unresolved would have been folly.
This is no endorsement of the incumbent. Bob Fernandez has some baggage, but he does bring an impressive resume and an engaging personality to the race.
Still, Sheriff Devlin has shown resilience under fire and a strategic mind in opening the way to a fair resolution to what must be a personally anguishing situation, qualities anyone would certainly want in the county’s leading law-enforcement officer.

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, APRIL 22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, APRIL 22

Discussion With The Candidates

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CANDIDATES FORUM – 6 – 8 p.m. Democrat Congressional candidates for the 19th district, Jeff Beals, David Clegg, Erin Collier, Antonio Delgado, Brian Flynn, Gareth Rhodes, and Pat Ryan discuss issues, more. HIRC Lecture Hall 1, SUNY Oneonta. Visit www.facebook.com/OneontaCollegeDems/

YOUTH PROGRAM – 2:30 p.m. Workshop introducing children to methods archaeologists use to find and identify archaeological sites. Cooperstown Village Library. Call 607-547-8344 or visit www.facebook.com/VillageLibraryOfCooperstown/

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 21

Celebrate The Earth

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EARTH DAY FESTIVAL – 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Celebrate Earth Day, have fun, and learn about your environment at fun interactive exhibits, workshop, and more. Milford Central School, 42 Main St., Milford. Call 607-547-2536 Ext 0 or visit occainfo.org/earth-festival/

CIDER RUN – 10 a.m. 5K/10K run open to children and adults to benefit the Susquehanna Animal Shelter. Fly Creek Cider Mill, 288 Goose St., Fly Creek. Call 607-547-9692 or visit www.flycreekcidermill.com

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 14
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 14

Find Unique Items

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AUCTION – 5:30 p.m. Annual event with live & wall auction featuring Phish tickets, art, jewelry, vacation, antiques, more. Free child care available. Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, 12 Ford Ave., Oneonta. Call 607-432-3491 or visit www.facebook.com/UUSOneonta/

HISTORY SHOW – 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Visit the Postcard and Ephemera Show featuring a display of vintage postcards, sheet music, posters, documents, trading cards, more. Elm Park Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Call 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, APRIL 9
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, APRIL 9

Dance With ‘Step Africa’

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DANCE ART – 9 – 10 p.m. “Step Africa” introduces audiences to Zulu and South African Gumboot Dance and shares the tradition of audience participation. Tickets, $3. Hunt Ballroom, SUNY Oneonta. Visit oneonta.campuslabs.com/engage/event/1757779

DISCUSSION – 3 – 4 p.m. “Take Action for Animals: Animal Legislation and Advocacy,” discussing animal rights with Libby Post, Director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation. Room 304, Fitzelle Hall, SUNY Oneonta. Visit oneonta.campuslabs.com/engage/event/1952885

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, APRIL 3
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, APRIL 3

When The State

Fair Was In Oneonta

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HISTORY DISCUSSION – 7 – 8 p.m. Historian Wayne Write, of GOHS, discusses the Central New York Fair in Oneonta (1873-1926) which was the second largest fair in the state. Cooperstown Village Library. Call 607-547-8344 or visit www.facebook.com/VillageLibraryOfCooperstown/

BOOK SIGNING – 6 – 7 p.m. Jen Bokal returns to the Book Store to sign her latest novel “Her Rocky Mountain Defender.” The Green Toad Book Store, 198 Main St., Oneonta. Call 607-433-8898 or visit www.facebook.com/TheGreenToadBookstore/

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, FEB.26
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, FEB.26

Panel On ‘The Era Of Trayvon’

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CIVIL RIGHTS PANEL – 6 – 7 p.m. “The Era of Trayvon: Understanding ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws.” Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall, Hartwick College, Oneonta. Call 607-431-4428 or visit www.hartwick.edu/news/hartwick-celebrate-african-american-history-month/

CAR SHOW – 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. See classic and vintage cars from Tom & Dougs Car Show in the Main Hallway, Southside Mall, Oneonta. Call 607-432-4401 or visit www.facebook.com/southsidemall/

CLICK FOR MORE HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103