News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
Click for classifieds of Oneonta, Cooperstown, and all of Otsego County. Click for jobs in Oneonta, Cooperstown, and all of Otsego County. Click for dining, entertainment, and things to do in Oneonta, Cooperstown, and all of Otsego County. Click for real estate listings in Oneonta, Cooperstown, and all of OTsego County. click for cars, trucks, and other vehicles in oneonta, cooperstown, and all of otsego county. click for funeral homes, flower shops, and other businesses that specialize in= remembrance in oneonta, cooperstown, and all of otsego county. Click for more great ads from local businesses in Oneonta, Cooperstown, and all of Otsego County.

Otsego 2000

Otsego Now To County: Get Ready To Be Sued

Otsego 2000 To County:

Get Ready To Be Sued

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Nicole Dillingham addresses the county board this morning. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)

COOPERSTOWN – The county Board of Representatives heard a message this morning: Prepared to be sued.

First, Otsego 2000 President Nicole Dillingham appeared at the county board’s monthly meeting with a letter, prepared by Attorney Doug Zamelis of Springfield Center, demanding it withdraw a grant application for a gas decompression plant in the Town of Oneonta.

SHARE: News of Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County, NY.Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Share on Google+
Google+
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Balance Today’s Energy Needs, Tomorrow’s Energy Wishes

Editorial for September 28, 2018

Balance Today’s Energy Needs,

Tomorrow’s Energy Wishes

It’s a great idea.
In a column at the end of August, Adrian Kuzminski – citing the Tompkins County Energy Roadmap, completed in March – wrote,
“Let me suggest … that the Otsego County Board of Representatives, in a bi-partisan spirit, is the logical authority to establish an Otsego Energy Task Force. A large, diverse umbrella group is far more likely to develop a comprehensive, viable energy strategy that gets it right, and to do justice to the needs of the community as a whole.”
He concluded, “Get key people in the room and tackle the problem.”

County Rep. Meg Kennedy, R-C, Hartwick/Milford, invited Irene Weiser, a member of the Tompkins County Energy & Economic Development Task Force, to attended the Sept. 18 meeting of the county board’s Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. That task force’s mission is to encourage economic growth while working to reduce gas usage.
NYSEG, which also serves southern Otsego County, had proposed an $18 million gas pipeline into the Town of Lansing, an Ithaca suburb. The task force has been working with NYSEG, trying to find an alternative to the pipeline; it issued an RFP (request for proposals), but received no proposals. It is not revising the RFP and plans to try again.
That may mean, as Irene Weiser reported, that the RFP was poorly drawn. Or it may mean there’s no ready alternative to natural gas right now, at least a full alternative.
One IGA member, county Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, drew the latter lesson. “I struggle with the short term and the long term of it,” he said. “… We need to figure out some short-term solutions while we’re building for an energy-smart future.”

The Freeman’s Journal – Irene Weiser from the Tompkins County Energy & Economic Development Task Force is flanked by, from left, Otsego 2000 President Nicole Dillingham, Sustainable Otsego Moderator Adrian Kuzminski and Leslie Orzetti, executive director, Otsego County Conservation Association, at the county board’s Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Tuesday, Sept. 18.

On these editorial pages over the past two months, a number of knowledgeable writers have submitted well-argued letters and op-eds on the gas vs. renewables debate, spurred by Otsego Now’s CGA application to install a natural-gas decompression station in the former Pony Farm Commerce Park at Route 205 and I-88. Kuzminski is in the no-gas camp, joined by Otsego 2000 President Nicole Dillingham. When it appeared to some that the OCCA seemed to be open to hearing more about the decompression station, Executive Director Leslie Orzetti responded emphatically: The Otsego County Conservation Association does not support gas expansion.
On the other side, Kuzminski’s fellow columnist, Mike Zagata, argued fossil fuels are necessary right now. Otsego Now President Jody Zakrevsky said, without natural gas, the Oneonta area has actually missed going after 500 jobs this year alone. Dick Downey of Otego, who led the Unatego Landowners Association in support of the Constitution Pipeline, likewise falls into this camp.
Dave Rowley of West Oneonta, the sensible retired Edmeston Central superintendent, who served as interim superintendent in Oneonta before Joe Yelich’s hiring, probably caught it best in last week’s op-ed: Everyone wants renewable energy, but it’s simply not sufficiently available. For now, natural gas is necessary.

This is a long way of saying, everybody’s right. In the face of global warming – yes, not everybody “believes” it’s happening; but why reject the preponderant scientific consensus? – clean energy is a necessity.
California is on the forefront, with its Senate Bill 100 aiming at 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045. (New York State is aiming for 50 percent by 2030.) Greenhouse-gas emission is a separate category.)
Further, Otsego County’s population (60,000) is 0.02 percent of the nation’s (320 million), one 200th of 1 percent. Even if local energy needs were fully served, it is a negligible piece of a huge national – even international – challenge.
We all want to be part of the solution, but the solution is not going to be reached between Roseboom and Unadilla. It will be developed at the state and national levels, and when there’s an answer, we can support it and embrace it.

Meanwhile, the county’s population is dropping. Some 16.3 percent of our remaining neighbors (slightly more than 9,000) live below the property line ($24,600 for a family of four). That poverty rate is 14 percent higher than the national (14 points).
Plus, there are millions of state dollars – some $15 million so far – targeted for the City of Oneonta’s revitalization.
Now’s not the time to ensure our unmet energy needs – for homes, institutions, businesses and industry – remain unmet for a generation and a half.
Yes, the county Board of Representatives should name an energy task force; Adrian Kuzminski is right. But it should have two goals.
• First, to come up with ways to meet today’s energy needs now; perhaps CNG – compressed natural gas – is part of it (though not XNG trucks on roads that can’t handle them). But so are renewables, like the second solar farm being built in Laurens.
• Second, to fast-track renewables – solar, winds, heats pumps, the whole gamut – to put ourselves on the cutting edge of the future.
For her part, Kennedy is commited to pursue the task-force idea. In an interview, she said it must be made up of “people who want to reduce demand; and people who know the demands.
At base, though, true believers need not apply, only open minds, or the cause is lost.
To end where we began, with Kuzminski: “We may not have Cornell University, but we have SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College. We have Otsego 2000, OCCA, Citizen Voices, chambers of commerce, the Land Trust, Farm Bureau and Sustainable Otsego, and others. We have individual engineers and scientists and retired executives who’ve worked for multi-national corporations. We have the talent.”
So let’s do the job.

SHARE: News of Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County, NY.Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Share on Google+
Google+
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

Bike Ride For Safe Streets

14-19eventspage

BENEFIT BIKE RIDE – 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Multi-distance bike ride for cyclists of all ages, abilities to promote safe streets for everyone. Richfield Central School, 93 W. Main St., Richfield Springs. 607-547-8881 or visit www.otsego2000.org/2018/07/12/orcas-ride-on-complete-streets/

COLORSCAPES FESTIVAL – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Juried exhibition of arts, fine crafts in interactive atmosphere featuring demonstration, literature, dance, music, more. Rain or Shine, free admission. Downtown Norwich. 607-336-3378 or visit www.facebook.com/Colorscape-Chenango-Arts-Festival-133325240064166/

SHARE: News of Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County, NY.Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Share on Google+
Google+
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
EDITORIAL: If We Want Solar Energy, Let’s Get Serious About It

Editorial, May 5, 2018

If We Want Solar Energy,
Let’s Get Serious About It

If we care about solar energy, it’s time to get serious about it, don’cha think?

Happily, Otsego 2000 may be doing just that, having taken a leadership role among local environmental groups on this matter. On Feb. 24, its board adopted a resolution that reads, in part:
“Climate change, driven in large party by fossil-fuel use, is a significant threat to our region and way of life.

“We call for and support energy conservation and efficiency to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and the necessity or expanded fossil-fuel infrastructure and delivery systems.
“In addition, we call for and support smart development for renewable energy sources to meet the goals adopted by New York State for greenhouse-gas reductions.”
Caveat (conservation first), then support.
The resolution continues in the same vein. It supports rooftop solar panels. And solar farms, but again with caveats: Put them on “previously disturbed areas,” protect farmland, “protect historic, cultural and scenic resources,” maintain conserved lands. This is fine, and clearly in synch with Otsego 2000’s overarching mission – to protect, not develop.

But if, in fact, we want solar energy around here, a more affirmative strategy is necessary.
The most significant solar project proposed so far in Otsego County – thousands of panels on 50 acres north of Morris – is on hold, according to Chet Feldman, spokesman for Distributed Solar, Washington D.C. As he explained it, a PSC ruling last year on economical proximity to power lines, and federal tariffs made the project “not conducive,” at least for the time being.
Promisingly, Feldman said “We’re always looking forward to doing business in New York.” So it, or another project, may still happen.
So far though, solar power locally is limited to boutique uses: People who can afford it equipping their homes with panels. Otherwise, the Solar City installation near Laurens, by county government for county government, is the only functioning solar farm in the county. (Thank you, county Rep. Jim Powers, R-Butternuts, now retired, for pioneering it.)
If Otsego 2000, Sustainable Otsego, OCCA and other environmentally focused entities – goodness, even the Clark Foundation – really wants solar power widely used here, they need to say so and go after it, without the caveats.

Ed Lentz, Butternuts Valley Alliance chair (now New Lisbon town supervisor), surveys the 50 acres where Distributed Solar planned a solar farm. It is off the table for now.


If it chose to be, muscular Otsego 2000 certainly has the clout to get it done.
Meanwhile, Otsego 2000’s executive director, the able Ellen Pope, has taken the new policy seriously, attending a forum March 27 organized by Scenic Hudson, and – she reports – well attended by municipal officials from around the state.
It’s complicated. Large installations – 25 megawatts and up – fall under state Article 10 regulations for siting electric-generating facilities, signed into law by Governor Cuomo in 2011. Below that, a good town plan can guide where things happen, or don’t.
Attendees were advised, “plan for the town you want.” Of course, we all know that means: Keep everything the way it is. If we really care about global warming, about renewables, about humankind’s survival, that probably won’t fill the bill.
The Otsego 2000 policy dwells on what needs to be protected. But let’s turn it around. Let’s identify appropriate sites – sure, brownfields (Shur-Katch in Richfield Springs, maybe), former landfills, acreage shielded from public view – those black panels are ugly – and so on.
It might make sense to rule solar farms out, period, in the extra-protected Otsego Lake watershed. It makes sense to extra-protect a national environmental icon. But that leaves plenty of space elsewhere in Otsego County.
The Morris installation, tucked in the beauteous Butternut Creek Valley, would have been an eyesore, and perhaps polluted the creek, too. The county’s Solar City site is in a former gravel pit – ideal.
If Otsego 2000 could identify ideal spots for solar farms – a half dozen, a dozen, even more – and put the regulations in place to enable them, it would be doing our 60,094 neighbors (as of last July 1, and dropping) a favor. When a solar developer shows up, no problemo, with enhanced tax base and jobs to follow.
Plus, an itty bit, we might even help save Planet Earth.

SHARE: News of Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County, NY.Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Share on Google+
Google+
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, FEB.11
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, FEB.11

Grilled Cheese For A Good Cause

14-19eventspage

GRILLED CHEESE NIGHT – 5 – 7 p.m. Enjoy comfort food from local chefs as well as local beer, wine, cider, live music, more. Proceeds benefit Otsego2000 & Otsego Outdoors. Cost, $25/adult, $15/child. Cooperstown Farmers Market, 101 Main St., Cooperstown. Call 607-547-8881 or visit www.otsego2000.org

SNOWSHOE WALK – 10:30 a.m.-Noon. Look for signs of life past, present and future with a guide from OCCA. Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/winter-carnival-snowshoe-walk/

SHARE: News of Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County, NY.Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Share on Google+
Google+
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Experts Advise CGP Class On Funding Of Non-Profits

Experts Advise CGP Class

On Funding Of Non-Profits

Alan Donovan, who has helped and advised numerous non-profits since retiring as SUNY Oneonta president a decade ago, addresses the final session of Professor Brian Alexander’s Museum Management class today at the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies. Other experts on the panel were Liz Callahan, left, director of the Hanford Mills Museum, East Meredith, and Ellen Pope, Otsego 2000 executive director. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
SHARE: News of Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County, NY.Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Share on Google+
Google+
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, OCT. 8
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, OCT. 8

Classic Tractors On The Farm

14-19eventspage

TRACTOR FEST – 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Learn all about tractors and the ways they have been used on farms in NYS. A fun way to learn about the advance of agricultural technology. The Farmers Museum, Cooperstown. www.farmersmuseum.org/Tractor-Fest

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS – 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Meet 50 non-profit groups, learn what resources are available in our community. Bring donations of canned goods, coats, shoes, hygiene supplies for local elementary students to enter raffle. Southside Mall, Oneonta. Call 607-267-1807 or visit www.facebook.com/southsidemall/

SHARE: News of Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County, NY.Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Share on Google+
Google+
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Nomination Deadline April 10 For 2017 Preservation Awards

Nomination Deadline April 10

For 2017 Preservation Awards

Leigh Eckmair, Village of Gilbertsville and Town of Butternuts historian, accepts congratulations on receiving Otsego 2000’s Preservation Advocate Award for 2016 last May at a reception at the Roseboom Historical Association.  (Theresa Winchester photo)

COOPERSTOWN – Otsego 2000 is seeking nominations of deserving projects for its 18th annual Historic Preservation Awards for Otsego and Schoharie counties.

Nominations are due be April10 in the following categories:

  • Cornerstone Award For a project that promotes a preservation ethic through the maintenance or repair of a historic home, building or landscape.
  • Renaissance Award For a project that revitalizes a home, building or landscape while keeping or renewing its historic character through substantial rehabilitation or adaptive re-use. Properties receiving this award are not only improved in their own right, but provide benefits to the neighborhood or community.

SHARE: News of Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County, NY.Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Share on Google+
Google+
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Otsego 2000 Honors Winners Of Historic Preservation Prizes

Otsego 2000 Honors Winners

Of Historic Preservation Prizes

Leigh Eckmaier, Village of Gilbertsville and Town of Butternuts historian, accepts congratulations on receiving Otsego 2000's Preservation Advocate Award Friday evening at a reception at the Roseboom Historical Association. I accept this award on behalf of a community that for well over 100 years has been struggling to protect a very precious resource and is finally getting some recognition for that effort. A very long parade of truly dedicated individuals have worked tirelessly during that time. A number of the current cast are with us this afternoon because threats never cease coming at us. It’s a priviledge to be part of that effort.
Leigh Eckmair, Village of Gilbertsville and Town of Butternuts historian, accepts congratulations on receiving Otsego 2000’s Preservation Advocate Award Friday evening at a reception at the Roseboom Historical Association.  “I accept this award on behalf of a community that for well over 100 years has been struggling to protect a very precious resource and is finally getting some recognition for that effort,” Eckmair told the gathering.  “A very long parade of truly dedicated individuals have worked tirelessly during that time. A number of the current cast are with us this afternoon because threats never cease coming at us. It’s a privilege to be part of that effort.”  (Teresa Winchester photo)

SEE FULL LIST OF OTSEGO 2000 HONOREES

SHARE: News of Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County, NY.Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Share on Google+
Google+
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Leigh Eckmair, 1743 Palatine House Win Otsego 2000 Preservation Honors

Leigh Eckmair, 1743 Palatine House

Win Otsego 2000 Preservation Prizes

Otsego 2000's Preservation Advocate Award will be presented to advocates of the 1743 Palatine House.
Otsego 2000’s Preservation Advocate Award will be presented to advocates of the 1743 Palatine House this evening at the Roseboom Historical Association.
Leigh Eckmair
Leigh Eckmair

ROSEBOOM – Otsego 2000’s 2015 Preservation Advocate Award this evening will be presented to Leigh Eckmair, Town of Butternuts and Village of Gilbertsville historian, for “working tirelessly for more than 25 years to restore and maintain the beauty” of her communities.

The ceremony for Otsego 2000’s Preservation Awards will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. today at the Roseboom Historical Association.

SHARE: News of Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County, NY.Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Share on Google+
Google+
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Posts navigation

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