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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Susquehanna River

56th Annual Regatta Brings Out Local Pros

56th Annual Regatta

Brings Out Local Pros

Oneonta residents Trevor LeFever, front, and Benedict Schlimmer, rear, paddle on the Susquehannah through Emmons, near Fortin Park, during today’s 56th annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta. The 70-mile canoe race brings professional paddlers from all over North America to the Susquehanna every year on Memorial Day weekend. LeFever and Schlimmer, racing in the Pro class, came through Oneonta in second place, behind veterans Steve Lajoie and Andy Triebold. Pictured at right,  Congressional candidate Erin Collier, Cooperstown, cheers on her brother Todd Collier and his partner Luke Banner. Collier, who is running against six other Democrats in the June 26 primary for the chance to challenge U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, was part of her brother’s pit crew, and waded into the river to give him a fresh water bottle and a quick snack. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

 

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Bassett Docs Warm Up For Goodyear Plunge

2018 COOPERSTOWN WINTER CARNIVAL

Bassett Staff Warms Up

For Goodyear Plunge

It wasn’t formally associated with the 26th annual Cooperstown Winter Carnival, but it could have been. For the 15th year, Bassett Hospital doctors and staff – from left, Dr. Laura Kilty, R.N. Barbara Petersen and Dr. Bruce Kramer, and Ken Stanford, who works in the Cardiac Care Unit –  plunged into the Susquehanna at Mill Street, Cooperstown, at 3:45 p.m. today, a “warm-up” to the main event, Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump next Saturday, Feb. 17. Afterwards, Kramer, Lexi Stanford, Mike Rutledge, photo at right, and the rest of the participants made snow angels in the nearby snow, then hurried to the Cramer-Keilty’s for a warm fire and hot chili. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Collier Family Adding To 75 Regatta Finishes

55TH CLINTON RACE UNDERWAY

Collier Family Adding

To 75 Regatta Finishes

The Cooperstown Colliers today are looking to add to the family’s tally of 75 finishes since 1979 in the annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta, underway today for the 55th year from Brookwood Point on Otsego Lake down the Susquehanna River to Bainbridge.  And not just dad Steve Collier with daughter Jessica, seen above passing Council Rock at the river’s source.  At Council Rock Park in Cooperstown, mom Evelyn, in red, white and blue top in left photo (chatting with retiring CCS art teacher Kristin Karasek and Kim Johannsen), said son John and daughter Erica in one canoe, and son Todd with Luke Banner in a second, are also participating in today’s race.  Some 1,500 canoeists from across the country are paddling in the event, which for the first time in race history did not depart from Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park; the village’s downtown, usually packed, was empty this morning.  The top class can complete the 40-mile course in a little over six hours.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Flood Waters Down in Unadilla

Flood Waters Down In Unadilla

Though the waters of the Susquehanna River were still high, by mid-afternoon, they had fallen below the 11 foot flood marker. A flood watch remains in effect until tomorrow. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

UNADILLA –  Though the floodwaters have receded to under 10 feet, a flood warning remains in effect until Saturday afternoon at Unadilla.

Flood stage is considered at 11 feet, and the river is reportedly just under 10 feet as of 5 p.m.. The National Weather Service predicted minor flooding between Main Street and River Road, and drivers are advised not to drive across flooded bridges or roads.

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Universally Accessible Boat Launch On Susquehanna Christened Today

Universally Accessible Boat Launch

On Susquehanna Christened Today

: Senator Seward helps officially dedicate the new universally accessible cartop boat launch site along the Susquehanna River in Portlandville. From left, Otsego County Conservation Association Executive Director Darla Youngs, DEC Operations Supervisor Brian Layman, Senator James Seward, Goodyear Lake Association President Dave Pickup.
State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, this morning helps cut the ribbon on the new universally accessible cartop boat launch site on the Susquehanna River at Portlandville. From lef are OCCA Executive Director Darla Youngs, DEC Operations Supervisor Brian Layman,  Seward, and Goodyear Lake Association President Dave Pickup.  (Jeff Bishop photo)

PORTLANDVILLE – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, today joined officials with the Goodyear Lake Association, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) to detail improvements at the universally accessible, enhanced cartop boat launch site along the Susquehanna River.

“Canoeists, kayakers, and others have always enjoyed paddling on Goodyear Lake and the Susquehanna River, and I was pleased to partner with local and state officials to develop this safe, environmentally sound access point,” said Seward.

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As Susquehanna’s Source, Pure Water Matters Here Most

As Susquehanna’s Source, Pure Water Matters Here Most

By SANDRA VITTI & LARRY BENNETT

Edition of Thursday-Friday Nov. 13-14

The Susquehanna River is the longest river in the East, providing drinking water to millions of people and a place for residents across multiple states to boat, swim and fish. What’s more, Cherry Valley Creek, Moss Pond and other local waterways help support dozens upon dozens of small businesses that help New Yorkers use and explore their waterways.

Brewery Ommegang, for example, has worked since 1997 to create quality Belgian-style beer right here in New York. We hold festivals every summer where thousands of people come to sample beer, taste delicious food, enjoy live music and more. Serving 43 states, and water being perhaps the most important ingredient in our product, Brewery

Ommegang’s ongoing success depends upon protecting the health of our watershed, the health of the Susquehanna River, the streams that feed into it, and the other rivers and lakes in the region.

We should be doing everything we can to protect our waterways. While the Susquehanna River itself is protected under the Clean Water Act, far too many of the tributaries that flow into the river, along with more than 55 percent of the rivers and streams that crisscross our state, don’t have guaranteed protections under the law.

That means developers could pave over our wetlands; oil companies, power plants, or meat processing plants could dump into our streams; and federal law couldn’t stop them, thanks to a loophole created by a pair of polluter-driven lawsuits nearly a decade ago.

The loophole leaves vulnerable the waterways that feed into the Susquehanna River, like Cherry Valley Creek, and other rivers and lakes that provide drinking water; and that leaves businesses like Brewery Ommegang more vulnerable, too. For instance, the Susquehanna was once named “America’s most endangered river” because of the excessive pollution that flowed into it from nearby agricultural runoff and inadequately treated sewage.

Fortunately, in March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to close this loophole and restore protections to more than 28,000 miles of rivers and streams across New York, and nearly 2 million across the country.

A broad coalition of clean water advocates, farmers, mayors, small businesses, and tens of thousands of New Yorkers have heralded the EPA move. However, agribusinesses, oil and gas companies, and other polluters affected by the rule have waged a bitter campaign against it, and earlier this month, the U.S. House approved a bill, H.R. 5078, to block the new rule.

Disappointingly, among those voting in favor of the measure and against clean water safeguards were several New York State Representatives, including Rep. Chris Gibson, whose district encompasses Cooperstown, where Brewery Ommegang resides, as well as a large portion of the Susquehanna River.

There’s still time, and so there’s still opportunity to get these restored protections across the finish line. EPA is taking public comments on their proposal now, but that comment period will close in less than two weeks. In the face of all the opposition from the big polluters, it’s critical that all New Yorkers who value clean water make their voices heard. And it’s critical that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stand up for these rules if they come before her in the Senate.

New Yorkers depend on clean water to enjoy and to drink. Businesses like Brewery Ommegang depend on clean water to make a living. Let’s do everything we can to foster a good economy and a high quality of life for generations to come.

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