News of Otsego County


‘We Love Our Lake’ Boat Parade


BOAT PARADE – 3 p.m. View annual ‘We Love Our Lake’ decorated boat parade this Independence Day weekend. This years theme is ‘Our Lake’s a Treasure’ and all boats are welcome. Meet at 3 mile point or join up on the way behind the Otsego Lake Association pontoon boat south along Otsego Lake’s West Shore. Concludes at Lake Front Park, Cooperstown. E-mail or visit

State Police on the lookout for impaired drivers

State Troopers on the lookout for impaired drivers

The New York State Police will increase patrols to crack down on drunk and drugged driving and other traffic infractions over the Fourth of July holiday. This special enforcement period will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2022, and run through 3 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

During this enforcement period, drivers can expect to encounter sobriety checkpoints and DWI patrols. Troopers will also be looking for motorists who are using their phones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. Drivers should also remember to “move over” for stopped emergency and hazard vehicles when they travel New York roadways.

Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of the operation. The CITE vehicles allow Troopers to more easily identify motorists who are using handheld devices while driving. These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

During last year’s Fourth of July enforcement period, Troopers issued 10,238 total tickets, arrested 195 people for DWI and investigated 648 crashes, including two fatalities. 

The Fourth of July initiative is partially funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists that their “Have a Plan” mobile app, is available for Apple, Droid and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi or rideshare service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and provides a way to report a suspected impaired driver.

If you drive drunk or drugged, you not only put your life and the lives of others at risk, you could face arrest, jail time, and substantial fines and attorney fees. The average drinking and driving arrest costs up to $10,000.

Arrested drunk and drugged drivers face the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work.

The New York State Police, and GTSC recommend these simple tips to prevent impaired driving:

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
  • Use your community’s sober ride program;
  • If you suspect a driver is drunk or impaired on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement;
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
In Memoriam Geoffrey H. Goodwin, 50 December 30, 1971 – June 15, 2022

In Memoriam

Geoffrey H. Goodwin, 50

December 30, 1971 – June 15, 2022

Geoffrey H. Goodwin

FLY CREEK – Geoffrey Harrison Goodwin, 50, passed away on June 15, 2022, at home in Fly Creek. He was born December 30, 1971, at New York Hospital to Gary and Sally Goodwin. The family moved to Cooperstown in 1972 and then to Fly Creek in 1988.

After graduating from Cooperstown Central School with the Class of 1990, Geoff attended Syracuse University where he received a B.A. degree. He worked as a Laboratory Technician at Bassett Medical Center for four years before moving to Boulder, Colorado, where he earned an M.F.A. degree from Naropa University.

Geoff was a writer. His freelance publications were wide ranging but he took the greatest pleasure in his poetry and short stories. He loved and collected books and also ran an independent bookstore where people delighted in stopping by to visit and joke with him. He was fascinated by words and their meanings and got into trouble in high school for reading the dictionary instead of whatever he should have been doing. Based in Natick and Framingham Massachusetts, Geoff really enjoyed living in the Boston area. He had a lifelong passion for the Boston Celtics.

Letters to the Editor, June 30

Letters to the Editor, June 30 edition

On looking for God


What is in a name, a word?

What is the relationship between thought, word, and object?

What was a maple tree before it was called a maple tree, a cloud before it was called a cloud?

What would everything be if it did not have a name, would it be?

The world in front of our eyes is a neutral canvas, upon which we paint the reality of our own personal beliefs. Only we can see the picture painted by our own hand. It exists only with our permission.

If reality could be defined as thought supported by belief, then it would seem to follow that reality could be changed by changing or withdrawing belief.

Before we are Christians, Muslims and Jews, we are human beings, and before we are human beings we are, and we remain, life itself.

Cooperstown’s Smithy looks at 1937

Cooperstown gallery exhibit reveals Otsego County during the Great Depression

The third floor of The Smithy Gallery & Clay Studio doubles this summer as a time tunnel back to the era of the Great Depression with the magnificent exhibition American Ideals: Picturing Otsego County in 1937, on display through September 3 at 55 Pioneer Street in Cooperstown.

It’s a project that began in 2016 when Dr. Cynthia Falk and students from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, Lynds Jones, Kim McCleary, Kimberly Rose, and Alex Sniffen, researched pictures from September 1937, when the federal Farm Security Administration sent young photographer Arthur Rothstein to Otsego County to document the construction of a new lumber mill under construction in Phoenix Mills. Mr. Rothstein was at the beginning of a decades-long career as a photojournalist – one best remembered, perhaps, for his stirring images of the Dust Bowl – but it’s his work from a brief stay in Otsego County that make up the images now on display at The Smithy.

“This is 1937 Otsego County,” Dr. Falk said. “The Farm Security Administration sent Arthur Rothstein up here to document the Phoenix Mills project that many saw as the thing that would save farmers in Otsego County during the Great Depression. Hops were not doing so well and there were a lot of people in need.”

Greater Oneonta Historical Society

GOHS builds oral history of the city in ‘Remembering Oneonta’ exhibition

Dr. Marcela Micucci

Growing up in Cooperstown in the 1960s and 70s meant looking forward to a drive down to Oneonta, shopping at Bresee’s, Woolworth’s, Barker’s, Jamesway, and others – made special by the fact that Main Street stores stayed open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Surely it was the same for others in the era, be they Oneonta residents or visitors from nearby villages – and it’s an era coming back to life through a summer-long exhibit open to the public at the Greater Oneonta Historical Society’s 183 Main Street headquarters.

“History is all around us here,” said Dr. Marcela Micucci, the Oneonta native appointed to become GOHS’s new director in February 2021. She made the comment after we had chatted briefly about the Woolworth’s door handles still remaining on the long-gone discount store’s front doors a few steps away at 203 Main Street.

“I just saw noticed those again on one of our guided walking tours around Oneonta,” she said. “When I was growing up here I can’t tell you how many times I used to go into ‘Building 203’ and never really noticed that detail. It’s just another example of how we live in this amazing historical space.”

Our discussion of all things Oneonta stemmed from a look at the Society’s Remembering Oneonta in the 1960s exhibition – a photographic and burgeoning oral history of the city during a decade of growth and transition. A photo display sparks memories of front-window displays and Bresee’s, students moving books to the new library at SUCO, buildings long gone or transformed, a city in transition.

“When we were envisioning what the 1960s exhibit could be, we wanted to do something different,” Dr. Micucci said. “Instead of writing a script, we could make the crux of the exhibition these oral history interviews, and they would become the script. Then it became a lot like our walking tours – kind of a nostalgic walk through Oneonta in the 1960s.”

Fourth of July schedule

Parades, fireworks, museum specials on tap for holiday weekend

Spectators across Otsego County have plenty of opportunities to ooh and ahh this holiday weekend, as local fire departments, historical societies, museums, and other civic groups host parades, concerts, ceremonies, and, above all (literally!), fireworks displays to mark our nation’s Independence Day celebrations. Many of the events on tap are the first in-person festivities since 2019 – and here are the notices we’ve received at press time.

The Cooperstown Fire Department hosts its fireworks display on Friday, July 1, with a Cooperstown Community Band concert at Lake Front Park beginning at 8 p.m. and fireworks beginning at dusk. They’ll be shooting the noisy colors into the sky from Fairy Springs, so everyone at the park, the Otesaga, and along the shore will get a great show. Rain date: July 8.

The village of Laurens hosts its parade on Saturday, July 2, with a celebration to follow at Gilbert Lake State Park featuring a band concert, crafts, and an evening bonfire with s’mores.

Davenport Center hosts fireworks on Sunday, July 3 beginning at 8:45 p.m., and our readers in and around Richfield Springs can head to Canadarago Lake on July 3 for a picnic dinner and concert beginning at 6 p.m., with fireworks to follow at dusk.

Oneonta has a big day planned for Monday, July 4, featuring a parade down Main Street beginning at 1 p.m., entertainment, activities, and vendors in Neahwa Park from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m., fireworks at 9:30 p.m., and concert presentations from Hanzolo and Driftwood.

The Town of Springfield hosts its big parade on July 4, stepping off at 11 a.m., leading to a barbeque, quilt show, concert by the Cooperstown Community Band, and historical displays – including a new timeline created by the Springfield Historical Society tracing the history of the town, including displays in the museum covering the ‘Gilded Age’ of grand estates along the shores of Otsego Lake. The day concludes with a free concert at Glimmerglass State Park by The Council Rock Band beginning at 7:30 p.m. The evening closes with a fireworks display over the north end of Otsego Lake.

July 4 at The Farmers’ Museum brings a traditional 1840s celebration from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., featuring a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, barbecued food, and family fun activities. Starting at noon, watch as the Declaration of Independence is read aloud on the Bump Tavern Green. Take part in the 13 celebratory toasts as our Founding Fathers did with lemonade made from an 1840’s recipe. Sit for an old-fashioned tintype portrait (weather permitting, $30 per 4 x 5 tintype). 19th-century children’s games will be provided for family play on the Bump Tavern Green. During the event, museum artisans will demonstrate traditional blacksmithing, letterpress printing, and other trades throughout the day. At the print shop, you can pick up a copy of our 1840’s lemonade recipe, printed on the museum’s Liberty Job Press. Everyone can snack on cotton candy, ice cream, and slushies; events unless otherwise noted are free with paid museum admission.

July 4 celebrates America’s Pastime at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum commemorating not just the country’s 246th birthday, but also the 83rd anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech. The museum offers the following events free with paid admission: a Plaques of the Gallery Tour begins at 10:30, educating visitors about the process by which each plaque is made; An artifact spotlight begins at 11:30 and will include discussion by Hall of Fame staff regarding unseen items from its collection of more than 40,000 artifacts not currently on display – highlighting Lou Gehrig items; and at 1:30, a guided tour of the Hall honoring the famous Lou Gehrig “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth” farewell speech.

In Oneonta, the Greater Oneonta Historical Society will give tours of the historic Red Caboose, on Francis Marx Drive in Neahwa Park, will be open to the public during the Hometown Fourth of July. Bob Brzozowski and Bhanu Gaur will tell visitors about the story of the Caboose and its importance in US labor and railroad history. This free event will take place from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. on July 4.

Event descriptions and times are accurate at the time of publication; please contact your localities for more information about these and other events that are not listed here.

Commentary: The long game

The importance of the long game

Commentary by Ted Potrikus

Here’s how I picture Mitch McConnell in his college days:

“Hey Mitch!” call his pals. “There’s a big protest march down in the quad. Posters, bullhorns, and everything! C’mon!”

“Nah,” says Mitch. “You guys go on ahead and have fun. I’m gonna stay in and study this book I found by a guy called Machiavelli.”

A few years later, there’s Mitch McConnell, local lawyer and burgeoning politician.

“Mitch,” says his local party boss. “Rally down at the town square. Press is gonna be there, I think it’ll be a good photo op for you. Hold up a sign and make people think you’re actually doing something about their problem.”

“No thanks,” Mitch says. “I’ve got this book about the rules of the United States Senate and I’m really into it. I’m staying in to read.”

Then, like water does, when he got elected to the Senate in 1984 he assumed the shape of his container and started to become the Senate. He played the long game masterfully. It’s the only way to take effective reins in a Congress where everyone wants to be in charge but few have the patience necessary to win the prize. You’re plotting every move five or more years in advance, nudging the dominoes to fall in the direction you need but always based on the rules. As with any long game, there will be setbacks and disappointments along the way, some of them soul-crushing. Sometimes you have to force a hand or two, but if you want to stick around, you can’t make yelling into a bullhorn, posting pithy Twitter tweets, or attending rally after rally to be your bread and butter. You have to put in the boring work that no one sees.

Hence the decisions handed down in the last week by the Supreme Court of the United States. Pure long-game strategy brought to stunning fruition thanks to any number of factors; a fragile domino chain whose building blocks historians may one day trace back to the Reagan administration when SCOTUS members started to age out or die. One at a time. On a schedule no one could predict, but everyone was watching – some more intently than others.


Pride Alliance Celebrates Prom


PRIDE PROM – 7 – 10 p.m. Come together and celebrate pride in the most glamorous style you can think of with the Otsego Pride Alliance. Must be 18+ to attend, 21+ to drink from the cash bar. Tickets, $10, 25% goes to support the Otsego Pride Alliance. Hosted by Bigger Dreams Productions at the Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. Visit

CCS graduation

CCS Class of ’22 celebrates with June 26 ceremony

They’re now part of the CCS Alumni Club: Class of ’22 graduates celebrate their achievement during the school’s commencement ceremony, held June 26 on the grounds of Fenimore Art Museum. From left, Madison Hayes, Ashlyn Wolfe, Henry LeCates, Quinn Lytel, Ireland Gable, and Gabrielle Woeppel. We’ve got more photos from the event in this week’s edition of The Freeman’s Journal!

Hochul, Delgado, Zeldin cruise to victories

Gov. Hochul, LG Delgado win Democratic contests, Rep. Zeldin is Republican nominee

Governor Kathy Hochul and Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado each easily held off Democratic primary challengers and Rep. Lee Zeldin cruised to a Republican primary victory on June 28, setting up the ballot for November’s general election.

Gov. Hochul was declared the winner not long after polls closed at 9 p.m., easily outpacing challengers Jumaane Williams and Tom Suozzi; officials waited a little longer to declare Lieutenant Governor Delgado the winner in his separate race to keep the seat to which he was appointed in late Spring. Party insiders had expressed concern that challenger Ana Maria Arhcila, who had the backing of the Working Families Party and the endorsement of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, could surprise at Tuesday’s polls, but LG Delgado won easily.

Unlike primaries, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor share a ballot line in the general election; those same Democratic insiders are pleased that the June 28 results preserve the Hochul/Delgado partnership.

Rep. Zeldin also declared victory well before midnight, easily topping runners-up Andrew Giuliani, Rob Astorino, and Harry Wilson. He’ll join the November ballot with his running mate, former New York Police Department Deputy Inspector Alison Esposito.

The three victorious candidates gave impassioned speeches during the post-election rallies, setting a likely combative tone for the campaign to come.

Primaries also were held throughout New York for state Assembly seats; AOC-backed progressives hoping to take seats from incumbents were, for the most part, disappointed by losses; unofficial Board of Election tallies on Wednesday, June 29, show only one Assembly incumbent Democrat losing to his farther-left-leaning challenger.

Up next: August 23 primary elections for New York State Senate and the state’s U.S. House of Representative races.

Otsego County’s state Senator, Peter Oberacker, faces a primary challenge from fellow Republican Terry Bernardo – the former chairperson of the Ulster County Legislature.

New York’s state Senate and Congressional primary races shifted to late August after courts rejected election district lines.

In Memoriam Nancy C. Wayman Graveside Service Planned

In Memoriam

Nancy C. Wayman

Graveside Service Planned

Nancy C. Wayman

ONEONTA – Nancy C. Wayman, formerly of Oneonta, passed away Aug. 8, 2021.

Nancy is survived by her siblings, Cyndy Duffy of Fairport, Wendy (Skip) Willbach of St. Johns, Florida, Amy West of Liverpool, Pat Ulm of Aurora, Colorado, and Joe Ulm of Binghamton; as well as many nieces and nephews she dearly loved.

A graveside service for friends and family will be 11 a.m., Saturday, July 9, 2022 at the Glenwood Cemetery in Oneonta, NY.

Online condolences may be made to,

Should you wish donations in Nancy’s memory may be made to, Compassion International, 12290 Voyager Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80921-3668. 1-800-336-7676

‘Crafternoons’ at Hartwick

Hartwick College brings back popular ‘crafternoons’ summer fun

Hartwick College’s Yager Museum of Art & Culture brings back its popular series of Summer Crafternoons for children aged 5-12, starting July 6 from noon until 3 pm.

Summer Crafternoons are designed to allow children to explore their creativity in the setting of the Museum’s galleries. The Museum will set up craft tables filled with all the supplies needed for kids to make something brilliant and beautiful. Snacks will also be available in the Museum classroom to help power participants’ creativity. The programs are free to the public, no reservation is needed, and participants can drop in any time between 12 noon and 3 p.m. An adult will be required to stay with children during the programs.  In accordance with College policy, the Museum requires that all visitors to campus aged 12 years and over to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Each week will feature a new theme and the Museum will have provide supplies specific to each theme. Budding artists may make any kind of art they choose, however. The weekly themes are:

  • July 6 – Flags
  • July 13 – Artifacts
  • July 20 – Places
  • July 27 – Masks

During June and July, the Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Museum and offices will be closed on July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

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