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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history

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, OCTOBER 15
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, OCTOBER 15

History Of Work – The Night Shift

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HISTORY PRESENTATION – 7 – 8:30 p.m. “Working the Night Shift: Life After Dark in the Ancient World” presented by archaeologist Dr. April Nowell on how night work differed in history from blacksmiths, hunters, agriculturalists, poets, rebellion leaders, navigators, more. A.J. Read Science Discovery Center, SUNY Oneonta. 607-436-2011 or visit oneonta.campuslabs.com/engage/event/2839174

WRITERS EVENING – 7 p.m. Local writers present works in progress followed by moderated Q&A session. New writers welcome to supportive community. Stamford Village Library, 117 Main St., Stamford. 607-326-7908 or visit roxburyartsgroup.org/2017/03/15/october-15-writers-evening/

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

Fly A Kite At Cherry Valley Fest

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KITE FESTIVAL – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. All day outdoor kite fly for all. Includes Rev Riders Team Performances, Fighter Kite Battles, more. Admission, $5/adult. Campbell Road, Cherry Valley. 607-264-3080 or visit www.facebook.com/cherryvalleyartworks/

BLOCK PARTY – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Benefit for Family Resource Network features free hot dogs, vendors, children’s activities, opportunity to dunk Pastor Paul, 3 tries/$1, Noon – 12:30 p.m. Bring friends, meet more. Atonement Lutheran Church parking lot, 1 Center St., Oneonta. 607-432-6852.

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Tour Our Urban Forest

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TREES OF COOPERSTOWN – 5:30 p.m. Tour Cooperstown with Otsego County Conservation Association, learn benefits of street trees, threats to urban forests, basics of tree anatomy, identification. Free, open to public. Pre-registration preferred. Meet at Pioneer Park, Main St., Cooperstown. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/the-trees-of-cooperstown/

GARDEN CLUB – 6:30 p.m. Public meeting hosts Don Urtz presenting photographs of work done by the club over the years. Free, refreshments provided. Richfield Springs Village Library, 102 W. Main St., Richfield Springs. 315-858-0230 or visit www.facebook.com/Richfield-Springs-Public-Library-1068210423236404/

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Tales From The Empire Hotel

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THEATER – 7 – 8:30 p.m. Performance by Tom Morgan “Tales from the Empire” telling the story of the Morgan family, former owners of The Empire Hotel in Gilbertsville. Adapted from autobiographical stories in newspaper columns, radio show “Moneytalk.” Cost, $15/adult. Auditorium, Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/calendar-a

TEDX ONEONTA – 6 – 9 p.m. Locally organized evening of lectures on topics from exercise, genocide, happiness, child rearing in the digital age, the opiod epidemic, more. Goodrich Theater, SUNY Oneonta. www.tedxoneonta.com

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KUZMINSKI: Populism As American As Apple Pie

Column by Adrian Kuzminski, September 7, 2018

THE GOAL: ECONOMIC, POLITICAL FREEDOM

Populism As American As Apple Pie

Ever since the last presidential election the words “populist” and “populism” have been widely bandied about, mostly as pejorative terms.
A populist politician, we often hear, is a demagogue who wins votes by inflaming the resentments and emotions of ordinary people at the expense of rational thought. Those who fall prey to populism are no more to be trusted, critics suggest, than the politicians said to manipulate them.
It’s a curious feature of populism that it defies the normal left-right political spectrum. These days we have left-wing and right-wing populists.
In the last election, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were both called populists. And historically, we’ve had left-wing populists like

Huey Long
George Wallace

Huey Long, and right-wing populists like George Wallace.
It is the corrupt elites, populists argue, who are to blame for the insecurities and troubles of the middle-class. If you’ve lost your job, are over your head in debt, can’t pay your bills, don’t have adequate health care, lack a decent pension and feel that your values are being undermined, populists say, it’s because of them.
The elitist agenda, they say, is what drives inequality, including the outsourcing of jobs, corporate globalization, union-busting, deregulation and the machinations of the deep state. All this, in their view, represents the tyranny of the one percent, not the welfare of the 99 percent.
It doesn’t require a demagogue to convince people that these are real problems, not paranoid fears. The trouble with modern left- and right-wing demagogues is their unwillingness or inability to get at the root of the problems which they try to leverage for votes.
It’s telling that politicians accused of populism today don’t call themselves populists, as well they shouldn’t. They’re faux-populists who

stop short of challenging the status quo of continuing inequality.
Some history might be useful here. It’s largely forgotten that there was a vibrant populist movement in 19th century America. It was represented first by the Farmers Alliance after the Civil War, and then by the People’s party in the 1890s.
The People’s Party candidate for president in 1892, James B. Weaver, got over a million votes and carried four states. Over 40 populists were elected to Congress in the 1890s, including six United States senators, along with numerous governors and mayors.
Today such a populist wave would be totally shocking, which is a measure of how narrow our political options have become.
The classic 19th century American populists were the last serious political movement in this country to defy the duopoly of the two major parties and lock-step left-right thinking.
Their defeat in the 1890s by their better-funded and organized opponents ensured that the issues they tried to raise would henceforth be excluded from national political debate – as indeed they have been down to the present day.
What were those issues? Classic populists – unlike their modern faux-populist successors – rejected the two options that even then defined American political discourse: corporate capitalism and state socialism.
Corporate capitalism consolidates economic and political power into giant top-down structures controlled by a handful of rich investors and executives. State socialism consolidates economic and political power into giant top-down structures controlled by a handful of politicians and bureaucrats. You see the similarity.
Classic populists rejected both socialism and capitalism as tyrannical absolutist ideologies. Instead they tried to balance the need for collective action with individual freedom.
They sought to maximize equality by making sure that private property was widely distributed, and that concentrations of economic power were highly regulated, if not eliminated.
They were advocates of small, independent producers: farmers, artisans, fabricators and generally owners of moderate-scale, local, independent enterprises.
They aimed to relocalize democratic government in the decentralized Jeffersonian tradition of home rule. You can have genuine free markets and real democracy, they argued, only when citizens enjoy individual economic security as independent owners of productive property, and can practice meaningful local democracy.
Classical populists weren’t led by demagogues – who flourish in modern, impersonal, mass politics – but by a variety of grassroots activists (as we would say today) who focused on the issues then crucial to economic and political independence, especially the regulation and decentralization of corporate power (especially in government, finance, transportation, and communications).
They advocated public banking as a way of redistributing capital to individuals and small businesses by allowing easy public access to credit at low interest rates.
(More about populism can be found in my book, “Fixing the System: A History of Populism Ancient & Modern,”available at amazon.com.)
The politicians who try to exploit populist concerns today aren’t really populists. They’re usually left-wing state socialists (Bernie Sanders) or right-wing corporate capitalists (Donald Trump).
They advocate more big socialism or more big capitalism to solve our problems. But neither socialism nor capitalism is likely to produce the kind of individual economic and political freedom the original populists envisioned.
The problems they raised are with us more than ever. Maybe it’s time to take their solutions seriously.

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

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

Upstate Arts, Crafts,  & More

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ARTISAN FESTIVAL – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Artists, Crafters, Makers from throughout the region come together to sell their works. Find handmade jewelry, textiles, soap, furniture, glass art, pottery, photography, more at Otsego County Campus, 197 Main St., Cooperstown. 607-547-9983 or visit www.cooperstownartisanfestival.info

FAMILY SATURDAY – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Field trip for families features hands-on activities for kids, guided tours, demonstrations of the water-powered sawmill, the gristmill, and woodworking shop. Admission, $9/adult. Hanford Mills Museum, 51 Co. Hwy. 12, East Meredith. Call 607-278-5744 or visit www.hanfordmills.org

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, AUGUST 18
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, AUGUST 18

Hops History Festival

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HOPSEGO – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Family friendly festival featuring activities, fun, games, opportunities to learn local history and craft brewing. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org/Hopsego

ANTIQUE TRACTORS – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Antique tractors, engines, working exhibits on display. All brands, sizes, shapes, colors, conditions accepted. Fun for all. Roseboom. 607-264-9327 or visit www.farmershotline.com/farm-events/18th-annual-roseboom-antique-power-days

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, AUGUST 11
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, AUGUST 11

Civil War Camp, Battle, Concert

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REENACTMENT – 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Civil War encampment featuring soldiers in authentic uniforms drilling, performing maneuvers, singing period songs, more. Battle reenactment planned for afternoon followed by concert. Free, open to public. Lawn, Hyde Hall, 267 Glimmerglass State Park Road, Cooperstown. 607-547-5098 or visit hydehall.org/event/civil-war-weekend-saturday/

ART FESTIVAL – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 11th annual juried art fest celebrating the relationship between artist, landscape. Fest features contest between local artists, food, vendors, music, demonstrations, more on expansive lawn. The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/calendar-a

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, AUGUST 9
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, AUGUST 9

Youth Opera Performs ‘Odyssey’ 

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THEATER – 2 p.m. Operatic rendition of Homer’s “Odyssey” features rollicking sailor songs, storms, siren songs, more. General admission, $20. Auditorium, Cooperstown Central School. 607-547-2255 or visit glimmerglass.org/events/odyssey/

CONCERT – 7 p.m. Performance by Sidney Community band. Bandstand, Neahwa Park, Oneonta. 607-432-7997 or visit oneonta.ny.us/departments/parks-and-recreation/summer-concert-series/

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, AUGUST 7
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, AUGUST 7

Civil War Reenactment Preview

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COMMUNITY GATHERING – 2 p.m. Preview Civil War reenactment at Hyde Hall. Meet re-enactor Ted Shuart, Captain of 125th New York Infantry. Learn what to expect in Civil War-era encampment of soldiers, wearing authentic uniforms, drilling, performing maneuvers, singing period songs! Free, open to public. Woodside Hall, 1 Main St., Cooperstown. 607-547-0600, ext 101 or visit www.facebook.com/Woodside.Hall/

NETWORKING – 5:30 – 8 p.m. Night of networking, cocktails, snacks. Meet people, benefit your business. The Autumn Cafe, 244 Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-6845 or visit www.facebook.com/DestinationOneonta/

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