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politics

EDITORIAL: How Can Anyone Process Eric Schneiderman’s Sudden Fall?

Editorial, May 11, 2018

How Can Anyone Process

Eric Schneiderman’s Sudden Fall?

The Cooperstown Rotary Club starts its meeting with song, and the first this past Tuesday went, in part:

 

I’d like to build the world a home,
and furnish it with love…

I’d like to teach the world to sing,
in perfect harmony…
I’d like to see the world for once,
all standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout
the land.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman favorably impressed a full house on appearing at the Glimmerglass Festival June 16, 2016, to discuss “The Crucible.” Moderating is Faye Gay, the New York City attorney.


With Spitzer, then Weiner, now Schneiderman, it’s hard to be anything but rueful at those words.
The latter’s fall – he was accused in this week’s New Yorker of abusing four girlfriends – is perhaps the most surprising among leading state Democratic politicians felled so far by allegations of sexual misconduct.
When he made a star turn at the Glimmerglass Festival in July 2016, Eric Schneiderman, despite his hard-driving campaigns and prosecutions, gave the impression of a mild, modest man, and a cultured one: His father, Irwin, it was noted, was a philanthropist whose support was central to keeping the New York City Opera going for decades.
Monday the 7th, the magazine hit the stands. Four women had accused him of slapping and otherwise physically abusing them. He first said the allegations – “which I strongly contest” – were irrelevant to his professional duties. By evening, however, he resigned, stating, “these allegations … will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time.”
While it may be the right decision, it’s a shame.

Since Harvey Weinstein faced rape allegations last October and was fired as president of Miramax Studios – as many as 80 women have since come forth – the nation has seen dozens of top executives, leading artists and professionals who have been subjected to a range of allegations.
Ironically, given Glimmerglass’ production that July 2016 evening of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” a modern spinoff from the Salem witch trials, Schneiderman appeared locally to comment on the mass hysteria Americans witness from time to time – McCarthyism, certainly, but as recent as the Manhattan Beach arrests in the’ 80s.
Certainly, there is an aspect of that in the #MeToo movement, that will only be clear a year or two or a half-dozen hence. Some of today’s celebrated cases may turn out to be the equivalent of infractions or misdemeanors, but others will indeed be Class A felonies.

Be that as it may, the revelations of the past seven months don’t stand alone.
As a nation, we’ve seen a coming apart of stabilizing institutions and relationships over the past half century.
As individuals in Otsego County, we can’t even control troubling trends and unfortunate happenings at close range. At base, we can only control ourselves – in all things – and even then, imperfectly.
What we can do is recommit ourselves to basic principles: to love, to mutual respect and consideration, to fidelity to the people who depend on us – in the end, even to forgiveness. We often need that ourselves.

This Sunday the 13th brings the celebration of perhaps the most affirming ideal, and the Rotarians’ second song praised its embodiment. Corny, of course, but here goes:
M is for the million things she gave me
O means only that she’s growing old;
T is for the tears she shed to save me
H is for her heart of purest gold
E is for her eyes with lovelight shining
R means right, and right she’ll always be
Put them all together they spell Mother
A name that means the world to me
If only, at all times, we would remember mom.

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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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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4

Ruggles Essay Contest

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ESSAY CONTEST – 9:15 a.m. Ruggles essay competition. Auditorium, Cooperstown High School. Call 607-547-8181 or visit www.cooperstowncs.org

TOWN HALL – 6 – 8 p.m. Gubernatorial candidate, Larry Sharpe, presents. Hosted by the Young Americans for Liberty. The Red Dragon Theater, SUNY Oneonta. Call 607-287-9022 or visit oneonta.campuslabs.com/engage/event/1952949

 

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, NOV. 17
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, NOV. 17

Tribute Concert To Fleetwood Mac

14-19eventspage Give the gift of Christmas to children in need. To participate in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program CLICK HERE!

CONCERT – 7-9 p.m. Tusk, one of the nations top tribute bands, perform Fleetwood Mac’s greatest hits. Cost, $20. Followed by the 70s Dance Party 9 p.m.-Midnight. The Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. Call 607-316-2870 or visit foothillspac.org

BENEFIT AUCTION – 5:30 p.m. Great items up for sale to benefit the Greater Oneonta Historical Society. Bring items to sell, or bid on interesting items for auction. Holiday Inn, 5206 NY-23, Oneonta. www.oneontahistory.org or call (607)432-0960.

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, FEB. 28
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, FEB. 28

Learn About The NYS Constitution

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CONSTITUTION EDUCATION – 7 p.m. The League of Women Voters will present a program on the NYS Constitutional Convention which voters have the option of calling for this fall. Moderated by Betsy Jay. Program is free and open to public. Village Meeting room, Cooperstown Village Library. Info, www.lwvny.org/programs-studies/con-con-edu.html

NARCAN TRAINING – 3-4 p.m. Free class to learn to administer narcan in an emergency. Receive certificate and free narcan kit upon completion. Friends of Recovery of Delaware and Otsego Counties, 22 Elm St., Oneonta. Info, www.friendsofrecoverydo.org/events

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JAN. 21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JAN. 21

Enjoy These Afternoon Shows

14-19eventspageOPERA – 12:55 p.m. “Roméo et Juliette.” The Met streaming live in HD. Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Cost $18/seniors, $20/adults, 10/students. Season pass $200. Box Office: (607)431-2080, foothillspac.org/index.php/shows/metropolitan-opera-in-hd/

MUSIC – 7 p.m. Presenting The Atkinson Family Blue Grass Band. Bainbridge Town Hall Theater, 15 North Main St., Bainbridge. Info, www.jerichoarts.com

CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. “The Young Novelists” perform live at The Otesaga, 60 Lake St., Cooperstown. Info, (607) 547-1812, info@cooperstownconcertseries.org, cooperstownconcertseries.org/young.html

THEATER – 8 p.m. Stuff of Dreams presents “Never Too Late.” Tickets @ Green Toad Book store or by calling (607)432-5407. Cost $15 adult, $12 senior and students, and $10 children 12 and under. Production Center of Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta.

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, DEC. 16
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, DEC. 16

Dance An Irish Ceili For Christmas

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CHRISTMAS CEILI – 7 p.m. A full Irish dance performance by the Iona Troupe. Cooperstown Art Association, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. Info, www.cooperstownart.com

STANDING ROCK FUNDRAISER – 4-7 p.m. Includes a raffle. Donations go to help the Water Protectors of Standing Rock against future pipeline atempts. First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta.Info, www.firstumc-oneonta.org

SOMMELIER SERIES – 6 p.m. Join Sommelier Chad Douglas for his monthly wine tasting class. This months theme is “The Feast of the Seven Fishes” an Italian Christmas eve tradition. Cost $50/person. Info, Chad Douglas (607)544-2573 or visit www.otesaga.com/events

JAZZ HARMONIA CONCERT – 8:44 a.m.-10 a.m. Auditorium, Cooperstown Central School, 39 Linden Ave., Cooperstown. Info, www.cooperstowncs.org

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, DEC. 6
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, DEC. 6

Meeting To Discuss Career

Politicians In State Legislature

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To Learn How You Can Help Area Families This Holiday Season CLICK HERE.

LWVNY MEETING – 7-9 p.m. League of Women Voters plans consensus study on issues in state legislature of outside income and full vs part time legislature. Presbyterian Church House, 25 Church St., Cooperstown. Info, Maureen Murray, President, (607)547-2853 or email coopmurray@msn.com or Martha Clarvoe, Membership Chair, (607)293-6654 or email martha.clarvoe@gmail.com

ELEMENTARY WINTER CONCERT – 7 p.m. Milford Central School, 42 W. Main St., Milford. Info, web.milfordcentral.org

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, NOV. 28
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, NOV. 28

Singer Rudy Currence

At SUNY Oneonta Tonight

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To Learn How You Can Help Area Families This Holiday Season CLICK HERE.

CYBER MONDAY!

CONCERT – 9 p.m. Rudy Currance. Hunt Union Waterfront, 108 Ravine Pkwy., Oneonta. Info, activities@oneonta.edu, (607)436-3730, or CLICK HERE.

3D DESIGN – 6 p.m. Create your own holiday themed cookie cutter. Optional 3D printing. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St, Oneonta. Info, hmloneonta.org/3d-printing

PUBLIC HEARING – 7 p.m. Public hearing on Cooperstown Comprehensive Plan. Village Hall, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. Copies of the plan can be reviewed at the Village office, cooperstownny.org/residents/

CLICK FOR MORE HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO

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