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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greater oneonta historical society

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13

Tour Old Oneonta Fair Grounds

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WALKING TOUR – 7 p.m. Wayne Wright, of the Greater Oneonta Historical Society, leads a tour of the former grounds of the Oneonta Central Fair (1873-1926). Cost, $3. Meet corner of Belmont Place & Hudson, Oneonta. Call 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org

AUTHORS SERIES – 1 p.m. Baseball authors Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith present and discuss their book “A Season in the Sun: The Rise of Mickey Mantle.” Followed by a book signing in the Atrium. Included with Museum admission. The Bullpen Theater, Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/node/17195?date=0

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EDITORIAL: Amy Schumer Proves It –

Editorial, June 8, 2018

Amy Schumer Proves It

Cooperstown-Oneonta Market

CAN Support Top Acts.

Study Should Underscore That

Amy Schumer filled Foothills.

Amy Schumer’s almost-instantaneous sellout performance Tuesday, May 29, at Oneonta’s Foothills Performance Arts Center proves it: There is a demand for top-rated entertainment in Otsego County.
The remaining question: What’s the price point?
As Schumer proved, $20 – a true bargain – is fine. So is probably $30. Maybe $40. Certainly, at $50 a seat there will probably be some audience erosion, but how much?
At $20, Foothills grossed an estimated $14,000. At $40, it would have been $28,000, not a bad gate, plus bar sales.
It was quite a story. Foothills Manager Bill Youngs looked up from his desk the Friday afternoon before and there was Amy Schumer herself, one of the nation’s top comics (and a niece of our U.S. senator, Chuck Schumer.)
Having recently moved to the area, she wanted to do a benefit in four days, to test out the material in her upcoming “Amy Schumer And Friends” national tour.
Youngs and his office manager, Geoff Doyle, rose to the occasion, setting up an online ticket office in short order and getting the word out over social media. Overnight, the 650 tickets were sold. (Well done, guys!)
The line that evening extended up South Market Street almost to Main, an unprecedented sight in the City of the Hills. Since Gordon Lightfoot reopened Foothills in 2010 to great excitement, there’s been only one other sellout.
Now, no doubt, Youngs and his board members are sharpening their pencils and looking at their performance list to see how Amy’s hit evening might be duplicated, and triplicated, and quadruplicated … and so on.

Still, the whole question of what Greater Oneonta, and that includes Cooperstown, can afford in the way of entertainment is still up in the air, despite notable successes in the market. Another example: retiring Catskill Symphony Orchestra maestro packed SUNY Oneonta’s Dewar Arena April 28 for his final concert.
That question mark looms lately in the mind of anyone who may walk past the historic Oneonta Theater, and to see its front doors plywooded over despite the best efforts of its owner, Tom Cormier, over a decade.
Happily, Mayor Gary Herzig can report, FOTOT – the Friends of the Oneonta Theater – in collaboration with the Greater Oneonta Historical Society, has been awarded $60,000 from the city’s Downtown Redevelopment Fund to answer that question.
FOTOT/GOHS has contracted with New York City’s Webb Associates, the foremost arts-center consulting firm in the country, to finally conduct a market survey to determine how much entertainment Greater Oneonta can afford, and what type.

Foothills declined to participate in seeking the city grant, but Mayor Herzig says it’s now agreed to provide consultant Duncan Webb whatever information he may need to come up with a sound conclusion on the arts scene as a whole.
“That’s important,” said Herzig, “because you can’t talk about restoring the Oneonta Theater without talking about Foothills. They have to work together. They have to have a defined market niche. We’re not looking to build up one at the expense of the other.”

The queue of fans waiting to get into the Amy Schumer concert at Foothills Tuesday, May 29, demonstrates quality entertainment can fill theaters locally. Photo by Hannah Bergene

Webb is expected to start work in early July – very exciting, particularly since City Hall, leveraging $10 million from the Cuomo Administration in Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) funding, now has the money to act on Webb’s best recommendation.
“That’s exactly what we need to know,” Herzig said. And right now, we don’t.

According to Herzig, in addition to a market survey, the $60,000 will be used to determine what it will cost to renovate the historic theater back to its original glory. (Cormier put a new roof on it, so – fingers crossed – damage won’t be structural.)
“The outcome of this study may be there’s not enough support in Onoenta. Or the engineering study may say it just costs too much,” Herzig continued. “FOTOT understands this could be the outcome.” But at least everyone will have given it “their best shot.”
The mayor – and all arts fans, who enjoy Foothills today and enjoyed the Oneonta Theater, even under its latest struggling incarnation under Cormier – have to hope both very different facilities can finally thrive, particularly with the 2008 recession fading and a sense that better times are arriving.
As a good omen, Herzig points to Catskills Hospice contracting with ZZ Top, the beard-toting, guitar-driving band that’s been packing houses for almost a half-century now, to perform at its annual fundraising concert Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Sixth Ward Athletic Club field.
Tickets, he pointed out, will be as much as $250, and it’s sure to be a sellout.
It’s a benefit concert, sure. But a sellout would again show the draw of top quality, as Gordon Lightfoot and Judy Collins and Loretta Lynn did almost a decade ago now.
In the baseball region, let’s say with some confidence: If we book it, they will come. It being quality, which entertainment fans will certainly appreciate and, we can hopefully anticipate, support.

 

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JUNE 7
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JUNE 7

Walk Through Oneonta Armory

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WALKING TOUR – 7 p.m. Bob Brzozowski & Jim Hawver lead tour of former Armory, built in 1905, on the State & National Registers of Historic Places. Asa Allison Jr Municipal Building, 4 Academy St., Oneonta. Call 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org

TEA TASTING – 4 – 7 p.m. Nini Ordoubadi, founder of Tay Tea, presents her hand-blended artisanal teas. Enjoy a variety of iced teas and tea cocktails perfect for summer enjoyment. The Green Toad Bookstore, 198 Main St., Oneonta. Call 607-433-8898 or visit www.facebook.com/TheGreenToadBookstore/

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OHS Grad Brings Artifacts From Armory Back To City

OHS Grad Brings Artifacts

From Armory Back To City

Retired OHS Athletic Director Tony Drago, left, greets one of his former students, Courtney T. Burns, now director of the state Military Museum & Veterans Research Center in Saratoga Springs. Burns was in Oneonta Thursday and today installing “Oneonta’s Own: The State Militia & National Guard in Oneonta, 1812-2003,” the new exhibit at the Oneonta History Center.  It opened this afternoon and features artifacts from the city’s former Armory on Academy Street that were moved to the museum when the local facility was merged into one in Walton in 2003.  Drago reminded Burns that OHS, when it was located on Academy Street, had a rifle team that used to practice across the street at a range in the Armory’s basement.   Looking on is GOHS member Art Torrey.  The exhibit runs until the end of August.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, MAY 25
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, MAY 25

History Exhibit: State Militia

& National Guard in Oneonta

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EXHIBIT RECEPTION – 2 p.m. “Oneonta’s Own: The State Militia & the National Guard in Oneonta, 1812 – 2003” features Oneonta-related items on loan from NYS Military Museum, & from the collections of GOHS, Hartwick College. Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., Oneonta. Call 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org

JURIED ART SHOW – 5 – 7 p.m. Opening reception of the 27th annual regional show, the exhibit “A Singularity of Vision,” by E.A. Pilbeam, and The Leatherstocking Brush & Pallette Club Fine Arts Exhibit. Awards at 6 p.m. Cooperstown Art Association. Call 607-547-9777 or visit www.cooperstownart.com

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, MAY 5
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, MAY 5

Relive Senior Prom

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SUPER-SENIOR PROM – 8 p.m. – Midnight. Relive your Senior Prom like it’s the very first time. Features music from 1950-1999, prom attire encouraged. Cost, $10/couple. Production Center, Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. Call 607-432-5407 or visit www.facebook.com/GEStevensOneonta/

SPRING FEST – 9 a.m. – Dark. Celebrate Spring, includes a visit from the zoomobile, a fishing derby, fire department competitions, kids’ boat-float contest, live music all day, more. Copes Corners Park, 620 St. Hwy. 51, Gilbertsville. Call 607-783-2203 or visit copescornerspark.org

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, MAY 4
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, MAY 4

Spring Concert,

‘The Seasons’

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SPRING CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. The Catskill Choral Society with other Children’s choirs perform Franz Joseph Haydn’s “The Seasons.” Roberts Kolb leads the group of 62 singers. Tickets available at The Green Earth Market, Artware, Cooperstown Natural Foods. Performance at First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Call 607-431-6060 or visit catskillchoralsociety.com

FIESTA FUNDRAISER – 4 – 7 p.m. Enjoy a delicious Mexican dinner followed by dancing. Take-out available. All proceed go to the purchase of a water filtration system for the village of Las Mercedes, Honduras. Cost $12/adult. First Presbyterian Church, 25 Church St., Cooperstown. Call 607-547-8401 or visit www.facebook.com/CooperstownPres/

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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 SUNDAY, APRIL 8
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, APRIL 8

Construction With Cans

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CANSTRUCTION – 9 a.m. Employees, community members, and SUNY Oneonta students construct structures out of unopened cans of food to be donated to local food pantries. Everyone is invited to watch the construction. Judging will be at 4 p.m. Southside Mall, Oneonta. Call 607-436-2633 or visit www.facebook.com/southsidemall/

INTERFAITH – 9:45 a.m. A Season of Faith and Understanding opens with a presentation by Rev. David Wm. Mickiewicz. St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 39 Walnut St., Oneonta. E-mail ksider@hotmail.com

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