News of Otsego County

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schuyler lake

Do We Divert XNG Trucks Now – Or After First Fatality?

Editorial, July 27, 2018

Do We Divert XNG

Trucks Now – Or After

First Fatality?

Parker Fish/The Freeman’s Journal –  Just a little beyond where an XNG gas-bearing truck crashed July 11, there’s Schuyler Lake. Goodness, is that an XNG truck heading our way?

On the surface, the
argument makes sense,
(sort of).
Boston-based Xpress Natural Gas’ trucks, carrying fuel from fracking fields in Northeastern Pennsylvania across Otsego County to the Iroquois Pipeline near Little Falls, are legal carriers and should be allow to use
New York State roads just like
any other legal carrier.
After all, what’s next? Should we then ban oil tankers? Suburban Propane delivery trucks? Dump trucks, where pebbles might from time to time slip out from under the tarps? Loud motorcycles? Model Ts and other antiques that don’t operate at
current fuel-efficiency standards?
Oh where, oh where will
it stop?

There’s a certain logic to the argument. But, honestly, XNG trucks have caused four “incidents” – three down-and-out accidents, no doubt about it (Google “XNG” at www.allotsego.com) – since they began crossing the county en masse 18 months ago.
Have there been three oil-tanker crashes? Three Suburban Propane truck crashes? Sure, pebbles have slipped from under tarps, but the results are an occasional cracked windshield; should we ban them completely for that?
Face it, the XNG trucks are different. For one, there are just that many more of them: 80 a day, back and forth, for 160 individual trips. In 500 days, that’s 80,000 trips. The magnitude alone assures there will continue to be “incidents” – and worse.
“Four ‘incidents’ in Otsego County. That tells me these trucks are different from other vehicles,” said Nicole Dillingham, president of Otsego 2000, the Cooperstown-based environmental group that has called for action where local governments have not. “They are too heavy. They’re top heavy. And the drivers are tired.”

Reporters for this newspaper have covered the crashes. In two cases, the trucks that have fallen over did so on Route 205 north
of Hartwick hamlet, a sparsely populated stretch.
The Wednesday, July 11, crash just shy of Schuyler Lake, was of a different magnitude – or easily could have been. The fully loaded northbound rig came over a very slight rise on a very slight curve and toppled off the road. Just a 10th of a mile
further on – maybe 150 yards; a
football field and a half – was the hamlet itself: homes and people.
Looking at the scene, it would be hard for any sensible person to conclude: a little bit farther, that same rig under very similar circumstances could have had serious – even fatal – results.
No, we’re not being overdramatic. Go see for yourself.
Equally troubling is a circumstance that’s becoming clear: In the three cases, the trailers being pulled by cabs slipped off the pavement for a moment, sank into too-soft shoulders and toppled. On many, many stretches of Route 205 and Route 28, the shoulders are the same and, given 16,000 trips every 100 days, it’s going to happen again and again.

It doesn’t have to be.
Dillingham’s been getting the run-around. She goes to the towns; they say it has to be handled at the state level by the Department of Transportation. She goes to the DOT, it says its hands are tied without a request for a “traffic study” from the towns along the route.
A traffic study might well determine the trucks are simply too heavy for the roads, and order them onto four-lanes – I-88 or I-81 to the New York State Thruway (I-90) and, hence, Little Falls. There’s a ready alternative.
But, according to Oneonta Town Supervisor Bob Wood, chairman of the county Association of Town Supervisors, his colleagues believe a truck
being operated legally should be
allowed on any legal roads. They tell him: What’s next? Are we going to ban Suburban Propane delivery trucks? And there we are.
What are some other options? Maybe a petition by citizens would convince the DOT to act. Maybe a request – firmly worded – from the county Board of Representatives, which next meets Wednesday, Aug. 1, plus vigorous follow-up, would do the trick. Certainly, our state delegation – Senator Seward and Assemblymen Magee, Miller, etc. – could dent DOT’s resolve to do nothing.
Right now, Otsego 2000 is drafting a resolution for town boards to consider passing. And Wood said Dillingham is welcome to talk at one of his association’s monthly meetings. He should invite her to do that soonest.

OK, there have been four “incidents,” three of them crashes. We’ve been lucky it hasn’t happened in a populated hamlet. But it will.
Let’s not wait until an XNG rig plows into someone’s living room or rolls over someone’s mobile home, with perhaps a fatal effect.
Bad things can happen, we can see. Let’s act before they do.

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‘It Sounded Like  5 Freight Trains’

‘It Sounded Like 

5 Freight Trains’

Neighbor Describes XNG Truck Crash

On Route 28 South Of Schuyler Lake

An XNG truck went off Route 28 between Route 16 south of Schuyler Lake and that hamlet. The road was closed for 12 hours. (Image courtesy WKTV)

By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.COM

SCHUYLER LAKE – Responding to the fourth XNG truck mishap since transports began in February, firefighters and emergency personnel blocked off several roads leading to a crash site near Schuyler Lake until 3 a.m. today, keeping some people from their homes for hours.

“We were up at the florists, and when we came back down, they had the road blocked off,” said Exeter resident Christine Allen, who lives less than half a mile from the crash site. “We couldn’t get to our house, so we went to Stewart’s and got a banana split.”

Allen was finally able to get back to her home later in the evening when responders let her through to get to her house. According to Allen, she heard a loud noise when crews released the gas from the trailer.

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Laurie Ann Pestar, 56; Secretary At Cooperstown Elementary

IN MEMORIAM:  Laurie Ann Pestar, 56;

Secretary At Cooperstown Elementary

SCHUYLER LAKE – Laurie Ann Pestar, 56, Cooperstown Elementary School principal’s secretary for many years, passed away at home on Saturday, June 16, 2018, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

She was born April 6, 1962, to Leslie and Ethel (Phoenix) Weir. Raised in Oaksville, Laurie grew up loving horses and developed an early appreciation of all things in nature. She graduated from Cooperstown Central School in 1980 and was happy meeting up with old classmates throughout her life.

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, NOV. 12
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, NOV. 12

Final Glimmerglass Film Day:

More Movies, Wrap-Up Party

MORE FILM FESTIVAL:  The Wrap Party and Live Auction  at the of the fifth annual Glimmerglass Film Days will take place on Sunday at 7:30 pm at the Cooperstown Distillery. Enjoy Turkish mezza prepared by the Empire House, talk about your favorite films, and take part in a live auction.  But there are plenty of films left view; click here for Sunday’s schedule.

MUSICAL – 2 p.m. CCS presents “Little Women” about Jo March and her 3 sisters during the Civil War as they grow up. Cooperstown High school Auditorium. Call 607.547.8181 or visit www.cooperstowncs.org/4460-2/#.WfjUrltSyUk

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Nicholas Kelly, 64; Lineman With Otsego Electric Coop

IN MEMORIAM: Nicholas Kelly, 64;

Lineman With Otsego Electric Coop

 SCHUYLER LAKE – Nicholas Charles Kelly, 64, for 17 years a lineman with Otsego Electric Cooperative, died Monday afternoon, July 31, 2017, at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Nick was born Jan. 30, 1953, at Bassett Hospital, first born and only son of Charles W. and Dorothy P. (Oblak) Kelly.  Nick grew up on the family farm where he worked alongside his father and grandfather “JW”.  He graduated from Richfield Springs Central School, where he excelled in basketball and baseball.

Following graduation, he worked with his Dad drilling wells and cutting logs before joining Otsego Electric Cooperative in Hartwick at a lineman. In the fall of 2000, a disability led to Nick’s early retirement.

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Joan W. Atkins, 81; Teacher In Richfield, Schuyler Lake

IN MEMORIAM: Joan W. Atkins, 81;

Teacher In Richfield, Schuyler Lake

Joan W. Atkins

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Joan Willard Atkins, 81, a former teacher in Richfield Springs, passed away Monday July 17, 2017, in Cortland Regional Medical Center, with her family by her side.

She was born on Dec. 4, 1935, in Orchard Park, daughter of the late George E. and Florence Fisher Willard. Joan was raised in Orchard Park and was a graduate of Orchard Park High School. She received a bachelor’s in education at SUNY Cortland.

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, MAY 14
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, MAY 14

Showing: ‘He Named Me Malala’

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WOMEN’S FILM SERIES – 7 p.m. The final film in the Women’s Liberation series will be “He Named Me Malala.” It tells the story of Malala Yousafzai who survived a murder attempt by a Taliban gunman and went on to become an activist for Human Rights, especially female education. The First Baptist Church, 21 Elm St., Cooperstown. Info, www.facebook.com/ctownfirstbaptist/

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, MAR. 12
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, MAR. 12

Wedding Planning Expo

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Spring Forward!
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS – 2 a.m. Daylight saving time begins 2 a.m. Move clocks forward one hour!

BRIDAL EXPO – Noon-3 p.m. Get up close and personal with area wedding experts. Cost $5. Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market st., Oneonta. Info, foothillspac.org/index.php/shows/bridal-expo/

CHILI CONTEST – 1-3 p.m. Try all the chili and corn bread and decide which is the best. Includes music by John Hopper and some crafters. Hartwick Community Center, 450 Co Rd 11, Hartwick. Info, call Caren Kelsey (607)293-7530

TREP$ MARKETPLACE – 1-3 p.m. Come support CCS students bring their businesses alive. Cooperstown High School. Info, www.facebook.com/Cooperstown-TREP-1508685209401557/

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, FEB. 12
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, FEB. 12

Cancellations Possible

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DUE TO 10-14 INCHES OF SNOW BEING FORECAST SUNDAY AND MONDAY, BE SURE TO CHECK TO SEE IF AN EVENT IS CANCELLED BEFORE YOU VENTURE FORTH

CANCELLED!! TREP$ MARKETPLACE – 1-3 p.m. Come support CCS students bring their businesses alive. Cooperstown High School. Info, www.facebook.com/Cooperstown-TREP-1508685209401557/

CONCERT – 3 p.m. Oneonta Community Concert band presents its annual “Summertime in Winter” concert featuring numbers like “Hail to the Spirit of Liberty”, “I’ve Made My Plans for the Summer”, and “Our Flirtations.” Free and open to the public. Fox Care Center, Oneonta. Info, 437-1052

TOURNAMENT – 4 p.m. Valentine “Hearts” Tournament to benefit Susquehanna Animal Shelter. Trophies and door prizes awarded, with beverages and food available. Cooperstown Beverage Exchange, 73 Main St, Cooperstown. Info, susquehannaanimalshelter.org/category/events/

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