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News of Otsego County

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: General Clinton Canoe Regatta 05-27-22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, MAY 27

General Clinton Canoe Regatta

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CANOE REGATTA – 5:30 p.m. The General Clinton Canoe Regatta returns this year with a weekend of races and events. Friday includes the Youth races for teens 11-18 and the generation gap races starting from the Sydney Fishing Access. The park will feature the rides, craft fair, and flee market with the Taste of the Regatta event including local food, entertainment, more. The 70 mile endurance race will be Sunday, May 20 and will start from Brookwood Point, Cooperstown. Public events will be held at General Clinton Park, 2520 NYS Hwy. 7, Bainbridge. Visit www.facebook.com/2022GCCR/

Court finalizes election districts

Otsego voters finally learn state, Congressional lines

Court-approved Congressional maps

Otsego County voters finally know their political home for the next decade after a state Supreme Court judge last week finalized new election district boundaries for the state’s congressional and state Senate representation.

A combined five courts – including the state’s highest – rejected boundaries drawn by the state Legislature after the voter-approved independent redistricting commission failed to agree on districts.

The court-approved, final lines keep Otsego County entirely within the state Senate’s 51st district, rejecting original boundaries that sought to combine the region with a wide swath of Montgomery, Schenectady, and Herkimer counties. Senator Peter Oberacker, the Republican incumbent, is campaigning to keep his seat.

“There’s a real sense of relief that I finally know where I’m running,” Senator Oberacker told The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta after the new lines were made public. “I feel regret for the counties I lost; I met some great people and built strong relationships. There are projects underway and I want to tie up some loose ends before I hand it off to the new Senator.”

Block Party Rescheduled

Weather forecast moves Hyde Hall festivities to June 11

Hyde Hall and Glimmerglass State Park have announced that they are rescheduling their opening event, the Hyde Hall and Glimmerglass State Park Block Party, because of weather-related concerns. The event will instead be held on its June 11th rain date instead.

The area is expecting a day of rain and potential thunderstorms which halts all outdoor activities in the area. The two organizations concluded they could not provide the best possible experience for attendees this weekend with the predicted weather. 

“We’re still looking forward to this wonderful collaboration with Glimmerglass State Park,” said Hyde Hall Executive Director Jonathan Maney. “We expect the great Clydesdales to be here on June 11, along with the other vendors and plans we’ve had all along. We know we’re all going to have a great time.”

Weather forecast notwithstanding, Hyde Hall will open to the public as planned on Saturday, May 28, as will the beach at Glimmerglass — but both organizations will wait until conditions for the Block Party are more ideal. Hyde Hall and Glimmerglass have welcomed the enthusiastic response from the community and working with extraordinary people while creating the event — so keep it on your calendar for June 11!

Editorial: Exactly what do you mean by ‘transformative’?

Exactly what do you mean by ‘transformative’?

An editorial commentary

What a grand week for the environment! The New York Mets and Colorado Rockies were snowed out of their May 20 game after half-a-foot fell on Denver. Meanwhile, here in Otsego County, people escaped sweltering late-July heat and humidity with a trip to Glimmerglass, despite the beach being closed until Memorial Day weekend. A tornado ripped through northern Michigan. And GasBuddy.com, that repository of weekly good news, tells us average gasoline prices in New York rose more than 17 cents per gallon last week, $1.86/gallon higher than one year ago.

Deny it if you must, but it all points to some kind of upside down climate difficulties. And as is its wont, New York’s state Legislature approved a “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act” in 2019 to ‘take the global lead’ on all things climate change. Excuse us while we pat ourselves on the back and move on to the next thing that we can write a press release about!

This nobly-named statute created a 22-member Climate Action Council, whose ‘Scoping Plan’ – now under public review – lays the groundwork for 100% zero-emission electricity grid by 2040 and says “fossil fuel-emitting cars and appliances will no longer be sold after 2035.”

The plan has its detractors and supporters, and we urge readers to examine the Council’s Scoping Plan at climate.gov.ny to read it in full. The period of public comment remains open through June 10, 2022.

It’s a hefty read with laudable goals and conclusions – but we wonder if it ever will, or can, get up off the ground under the crushing weight of government-speak that fills its PowerPoint slides. Forget the 22 members named to the Council itself – there are advisory panels, a ‘Just Transition Working Group,’ and a ‘Climate Justice Working Group.’ Every person on every one of those sub-groups dutifully heads off to innumerable Zoom meetings where they say their piece – a piece that’s usually filled with clichés using a lot of words to say nothing.

Hall of Fame Classic on tap for weekend

Hall of Famers, MLB stars head to Cooperstown for ‘Classic’ this weekend

Hall of Famer Alan Trammel greets Trevor Hoffman with a high-five at the 2019 ‘Hall of Fame Classic’ at Doubleday Field. Tickets are still available for this weekend’s event, featuring Hall-of-Famers and MLB greats. (Photo courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; photographer: Milo V. Stewart, Jr.)

Hall of Famers Wade Boggs, Fergie Jenkins, Tim Raines, Ted Simmons, Lee Smith, Ozzie Smith, and Alan Trammel travel to Cooperstown this weekend to coach the teams in the 2022 Hall of Fame Classic, scheduled for Saturday, May 28 at historic Doubleday Field.

There’s a pre-game home run contest beginning at noon, with the first pitch of the ‘Classic’ at 1:05 p.m. Tickets are still available at $15 for grandstand seats, $12.50 for first baseline, and $11 for outfield seats. Seating along the third baseline will not be available as renovations continue.

The Classic highlights a weekend of family entertainment programs designed to celebrate ‘the timeless connection of baseball across generations.’

This year, the Hall of Famers will coach an impressive roster of the game’s greats; at press time, the line-up included Bobby Abreu, Willie Aikens, Alex Arias, Alex Avila, Carlos Baerga, Gergor Blanco, Pat Borders, Michael Bourn, Steve Buechele, Bruce Chen, Jose Contreras, Keith Foulke, David Freese, Carlos Gonzalez, Craig Grebeck, Garrett Jones, Terrence Long, Justin Maxwell, Corky Miller, Carlos Pena, Glen Perkins, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Steve Sax, Tim Stauffer, Nick Swisher, Steve Swisher, Matt Wieters, Chris Young, and Todd Zeile.

The Hall of Fame’s Night at the Ballpark program from 6-8 p.m. is sold out. Legends and former players will greet fans throughout Doubleday Field, and ‘Classic’ participants will canvass the ballpark during the two-hour event. Night at the Ballpark is not an autograph session, but fans can have their cameras at the ready.

Plans in the works for Oneonta ‘Friendly’s’ building

Old ‘Friendly’s’ building getting revamp, new life

There’s lots of speculation about what’s going on at the former Friendly’s Restaurant building on the corner of Main Street and Walling Avenue in Oneonta, especially after Milford’s Paul Singh announced o Facebook his family is the new owner and asking people what kind of business they would want at the site.

With rumors abounding that the building would house a cannabis dispensary, a bar, or a restaurant, Mr. Singh told The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta the old Friendly’s will be a food court.

“We are still in the planning phases,” he said. “It won’t be a dine-in restaurant; there’s just not enough space for that. We’ll have a huge selection of beverages, although we won’t have any with alcohol because we are too close to a church, and zoning doesn’t permit that.”

Mr. Singh plans on a variety of food they will cook on premises.

“We don’t want to have to rely on having separate vendors,” he said. “We’ll have pizza, burgers, a salad bar, a chicken area, and, of course, ice cream!”

“We looked at having a franchise restaurant with a drive-thru, but they wanted us to tear down the existing building and put a new building in the middle of the parking lot,” he said. “We just didn’t want to do that.”

As plans progress, The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta will carry more details.

Villages honor hometown heroes

Cooperstown, Richfield Springs honor Vietnam-era ‘hometown heroes’ Robert Atwell and Paul Lent

With a lakefront ceremony on Memorial Day, the Village of Cooperstown dedicates a memorial to Robert W. Atwell who, in 1968, became the only village resident to lose his life while fighting in the Vietnam War.

The memorial comes after hard work from Wayne T. Moakler and George Friend, who worked with Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, the Village Board of Trustees, and Village Attorney Martin Tillapaugh to select an appropriate site – Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park flag pole.

The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 30, with comments from Mr. Atwell’s sister, Neal Atwell Franklin, Mayor Tillapaugh, state Senator Peter Oberacker, and VFW Commander Floyd Bourne. The Cooperstown Ladies’ Auxiliary will host a reception following the dedication.

Said Ms. Franklin, “As the sole remaining member of Bobby’s immediate family, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of those who made this day possible. Many have dedicated themselves to this project for at least a year; thank you Mayor Tillapaugh, the Village of Cooperstown, the Rotary Club, the Lions Club, the VFW, the American Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary.”

Climate Action Council

Supporters, opponents weigh the costs and benefits of New York’s climate plan

New York’s state Legislature and Governor Cuomo approved the sweeping ‘Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’ (CLCPA) in 2019, setting in motion an aggressive climate change agenda mandating 100 percent zero-emissions electricity by 2040 through a Climate Action Council charged with developing a ‘scoping plan’ of recommendations to meet those and other targets.

Critics say that plan – up for public comment through June 10, 2022 – is too aggressive and expensive for homeowners and businesses; supporters say the plan is less costly to New Yorkers than would be failure to take immediate, tangible action on climate change.

“Consumer and community decision-making is key, and especially important for the purchase of new passenger vehicles and heating systems for homes and businesses through the next decade,” the CAC says on its website (climate.ny.gov). “(z)ero-emission vehicles and heat pumps will need to become the majority of new purchases by the late 2020s, and fossil fuel-emitting cars and appliances will no longer be sold after 2035.”

The CAC also says “Necessary methane emissions mitigation in waste and agriculture will require transformative solutions. Massive diversion of organic waste from landfills and innovative manure management and animal feeding practices coupled with the capture of fugitive methane emissions.”

Otsego County state Senator Peter Oberacker sent a mailing to his district urging public comment, adding the admonition, “Well intended, this plan could mean higher energy and consumer costs for you.”

“This plan is too aggressive to succeed,” he said to The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta. “They’re talking about telling us we can’t have gas-powered cars and appliances. I know people are

Glimmerglass Festival Announces New Director

Glimmerglass Festival
Announces New Director

The Glimmerglass Festival has announced the appointment of Robert Ainsley as the company’s next Artistic & General Director to succeed Francesca Zambello who helmed the festival since 2010.

Ainsley has appeared as a pianist, administrator and speaker with a variety of prominent institutions, including the White House, Supreme Court, Smithsonian Museums, National Gallery, Kennedy Center Honors, Wolf Trap National Park, Met Stars Live in Concert, embassies and diplomatic residences.

He was previously the Director of the Washington National Opera’s Cafritz Young Artists Program and the American Opera Initiative, where he commissioned, developed, and premiered more than 30 new operas, songs, and more by leading artists.

Hey hey we’re the Monkeypox

Hey, hey — we’re the Monkeypox

Commentary by Ted Potrikus

Full disclosure: I’m finding it challenging to give any gravity to something called “monkeypox.” It sounds like a vintage video game, like “Donkey Kong,” and I half-expect the symptoms to include an uncontrollable urge for a banana. I don’t want to think about monkeys being anything that carry a nasty Pox that apparently can do some pretty ugly damage to those who contract it.

Says the Associated Press: “Monkeypox typically begins with a flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes, followed by a rash on the face and body. In Africa, people have been infected through bites from rodents or small animals, and it does not usually spread easily among people.”

At least there’s that. I shouldn’t be glib about it. We’re starting to hear the vague warnings that we had better prepare ourselves for all things monkey and/or pox. Get our go-bags packed up and ready to go. The second coming of the vicious gangs of murder hornets that were supposed to descend on us two summers ago. But didn’t.

A public buffeted by COVID guidance, mandates, warnings, cautioned – however well-intentioned and however accurate – looks to be generally done with it. Otsego County has seen an increase in the number of cases of late, enough so that we’re currently in the CDC’s “high” community level designation, so the CDC recommends that we “wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status.”

A random, non-scientific walk around Cooperstown and Oneonta, though, finds that compliance with that red-level recommendation is pretty much hit-or-miss these days, a mandate-weary public

The Memorial Day parade in Oneonta is Monday, May 30 at 10 am. 

The Memorial Day parade
in Oneonta is Monday,
May 30 at 10 am.

The parade lines up at 9 am in front of Foothills at 24 Market Street in Oneonta and steps off at 10 am sharp. Police Chief Douglas Brenner (retired) will announce the parade from Muller Plaza on Main Street. Parade will process down Main Street and continue to Neahwa Park, where a commemorative ceremony will take place at 11 am. City Council member Len Carson will introduce the speakers in Neahwa Park and the Reverend Randy Palada will offer a benediction.

The American Legion has invited John and Joan Brooks to serve as Grand Marshals for the 2022 Memorial Day Parade in recognition of their service to this country and notably to this community.

“We are so incredibly honored to be chosen as Grand Marshals,” John Brooks said. “We were taken aback when David Hayes notified us! We love this community and love giving back.”

The committee welcomes additional parade entries; any community group, charitable organization or place of business is welcome to march. Please phone David Hayes at 607 353-9000 or simply be present at Foothills on Monday, May 30, at 9 in the morning.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Golden Hour Photography at The Farmer’s Museum 05-23-22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, MAY 23

Golden Hour Photography
at The Farmer’s Museum

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PHOTOGRAPHY – 6:30 p.m. Visit the museum’s historic village with your camera at the ‘golden’ hour just before sunset. Staff member Kevin Gray will walk you through the ground and provide tips on photo composition, more to send you home with fantastic photos. Cost, $17/non-member. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org/event/sunset-on-the-farm-photography-excursions-2/

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