HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
OPENING RECEPTION – 5 – 8 p.m. Celebrate exhibit opening featuring Eileen Crowell’s ‘Plant Portraits,’ Ruben and Damian Salinas’s ‘The Spirit of Gesture,’ and Pooh Kaye. Free, open to public, masks required. Displayed through 9/27, by appointment only. Community Arts Network of Oneonta, Wilber Mansion, 11 Ford Ave., Oneonta. 607-432-2070 or visit www.canoneonta.org/event/art-kaye-crowell-salinas/
COOPERSTOWN – Michael A. “Mike” Fulton passed away peacefully on Sept. 8, 2020. His wife, Karine Rich, was by his side at their home in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Mike was born July 12, 1955, in Watertown, to Barbara Ritchie and Robert Fulton. Mike was dedicated husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend to so many people. He started his work as a young boy delivering newspapers. As he grew in his teenage years he became an accomplished keyboard player in the rock and Roll band “Warlord.” He also worked in the Wellesley Island Duty Free Shop on the U.S.-Canadian border. He met and eventually married Linda Loveland in 1976. They had two boys; Christopher, and Alexander.
COOPERSTOWN – The League of Women Voters of the Cooperstown Area (LWVCA) is offering several voter registration events between now and Oct. 9, which is the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
• Saturday, Sept. 19, noon-7 p.m. at Hartwick Fire House #2, at 4877 Route 28, Hartwick Seminar.
• Tuesday, Sept. 22, noon-6 p.m., at two sites: Freight Wheel Café & Community Workspace, 3097 Route 11, Hartwick hamlet; and in front of Aubuchon Hardware, 129 West Main St., Richfield Springs.
• Saturday, at two sites: Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; and at Hartwick Fire House #2 at 4877 Route 28, Hartwick Seminary, noon to 7 pm.
COOPERSTOWN – Dr. William LeCates, Cooperstown, president of Bassett Hospital, was promoted to colonel in the state’s Army National Guard during a ceremony this morning at the National Guard headquarters in Latham.
LeCates, who joined the New York Army National Guard in 2009, currently serves as the National Guard state surgeon, in addition to his duties as president of Bassett Hospital. As state surgeon, he is chief medical adviser to state Adjutant Gen. Ray Shields.
Keegan Allen, 22, homeless, was arrested following a report that someone had been rifling through cars on Hudson Street. Allen was located near the scene and admitted to going into cars and taking items, police said.
According to Oneonta Police Chief Doug Brenner, Allen also was arrested on July 31 for criminal possession of a controlled substance, on Aug. 12 for taking items from a vehicle, and on Aug. 20 for shoplifting, and was issued an appearance ticket for each.
“It’s sad,” said Brenner. “The base problem is substance abuse, and we can’t get him the help he needs.”
COOPERSTOWN – The county Health Department today reported five new COVID-19 cases, three related to SUNY Oneonta and two county residents.
While the figures show single-digit infections, they also show COVID remains among us. County Public Health Director Heidi Bond reflected that in her exhortation, “Stay home and save lives!”
SUNY Oneonta reported one new case, but that may reflect “fluctuations” in reporting times. Hartwick College reported no new cases.
Due to technical challenges, there was a delay in the posting of September editions of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta. You can now read them on www.AllOTSEGO.com.
ONEONTA – Frank Emerson Mullet, loving husband and father, and retired 18-year superintendent at Edmeston Central School, passed away peacefully on Sept. 14, 2020, at the age of 99.
Raised in Spencer, Mass., he received a sports scholarship to catch for the Bates College baseball team in Lewiston, Maine, where he majored in physics. During college, Frank traveled to California and worked at Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank.
After World War II began, he enlisted in the Navy, where he served as a signalman on destroyers protecting convoys traveling to and from Europe and North Africa. He received several medals and an honorable discharge in 1945.
LETTER from JEANNE DEWEY
To the Editor,
Our world has changed significantly since March 18, 2020, when the Cooperstown village elections were originally scheduled. Until last month the Village Board was unable to meet in person, due to the pandemic, so monthly meetings took place via Zoom and were streamed live on the village website. They are also archived on the village’s You-Tube channel.
MacGuire Benton probably didn’t know a pandemic was heading our way, but last year as a first-time board member he had the foresight to recommend the Village Board record all meetings and stream them. His goal was to improve the Board’s transparency and accessibility to everyone.
He headed the task force which researched his idea, and advanced a proposal to video stream all monthly meetings. So, if you’ve had the opportunity to see the Cooperstown Village Board in action over the past several months, you have MacGuire Benton to thank.
This coming Tuesday, Sept. 15, the Village of Cooperstown will hold its elections for mayor (2-year term), and two trustees positions (each 3-year terms).
As a trustee, I have had the privilege of working closely with Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh for the past two years, and with Trustees Joe Membrino and MacGuire Benton for the past year. They each bring different strengths and ideas to the board, and I firmly believe this benefits Cooperstown.
Ellen has vast knowledge of Cooperstown’s history and has been an integral part of the Village Board since 2011. She is a detail person, and has a deep understanding of the village’s inner workings. (They are far more complex than most people imagine!) She has been an effective leader, moving Cooperstown forward and continuing the progress of the past several years.
Joe has a background in legal public service, specifically pertaining to water rights. The Water & Sewer Board has been fortunate to have his expertise for the past seven years. Joe is also chair of the Finance Committee, which benefits from his attention to detail and fiscal responsibility.
MacGuire is a 2016 CCS grad, dedicated to ensuring Cooperstown is an accessible, transparent and welcoming community for all, now and into the future. His enthusiasm, innovative ideas, and Millennial perspective are a benefit to Cooperstown and to the Village Board.
It is no secret that Cooperstown’s population is shrinking as well as aging. MacGuire’s perspective as a young person who is dedicated to staying in his home town and making sure it is an attractive place for future generations is unique to the Board.
He is curious, eager and interested in understanding how different issues facing the Village will affect Cooperstown and its residents. He has made a point of seeking out the ideas and concerns of his constituents and sharing these with the board.
As a small village in rural Upstate New York, Cooperstown has its challenges, particularly now, but with the thoughtful, forward-thinking planning of the current mayor and trustees, I believe Cooperstown’s future is bright.
Join me in voting for Mayor Tillapaugh and Trustees Membrino and Benton on Sept. 15, to continue the positive momentum of the past decade.
LETTER from DR. ROGER MACMILLAN
To the Editor:
I wish to strongly endorse and support the candidacy of Mary Margaret Robbins for village trustee in the coming election.
A certified and licensed pharmacist, many will recall her from the years she spent working at the CVS pharmacy when it was located on Main Street. Having been a resident of Cooperstown for many years, she has the vision and dedication to conserve our heritage.
Despite her most recent health challenges, Mary Margaret has consistently had a smile on her face. Helping her in that regard has been her loyal companion and supporter Dodger, whom she rescued from our animal shelter. She is thoughtful, approachable, intelligent, and a good listener of all opinions –
NO hidden agendas!
Mary Margaret is fully aware of the significant local issues that demand our village’s government attention. She is a focused candidate possessing the common sense to work together in seeking appropriate solution.
DR. ROGER MacMILLAN
By LIBBY CUDMORE• Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. wants to assure the public that the law applies to everyone – even cops.
“Police officers are not above the law,” he said. “They have a responsibility as well.”
A yet-unnamed Otsego County Sheriff’s deputy has been placed on administrative leave after state police reported a child and adult were injured when the gun he was carrying in his pocket accidentally discharged while he was dining Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Grape and Grog in Camden, Oneida County.
As of Tuesday, Sept. 15, Troop D, based in Oneida, was attempting to schedule an interview with the deputy, who has retained legal counsel. His name has not yet been released and charges have not yet been filed.
“The sheriff’s department has been cooperative throughout the whole investigation,” said Trooper Jack Keller, Troop D public relations officer.
According to Keller, the deputy was seated at a table when he accidentally discharged one round from a handgun he was carrying in his pants pocket.
“We’re still trying to determine why the gun went off,” said Keller.
He said the bullet exited through the bottom of the deputy’s pocket, through his wallet, and ricocheted off the concrete floor.
Though it was initially believed that the girl was injured by a concrete chip, investigators now say she may have been struck by the bullet.
“The little girl was at the table next to his with her back to him,” Keller explained. “When the gun went off, the bullet may have gone past her elbow and her right hip, then struck the ground.”
He said that the woman sitting next to her, who was also injured, described that she felt “like her foot was on fire. She thought it was fireworks.”
Both injuries were minor and treated by EMS at the scene.
According to Devlin, a second off-duty deputy was also at the scene, but has not been charged or put on administrative leave.
The weapon was not a department-issue weapon, said Devlin. “We encourage our deputies to carry even when off-duty,” he said. “We’re police officers 24/7, and there are situations we are expected to respond to.”
For a deputy to carry while off-duty, he said, the weapon has to be an inspected, approved firearm, and the deputy has to qualify to use it, just as he would his service weapon.
And above all, he stressed safety when carrying a loaded weapon. “Firearms should be properly secured and carried on a person,” he said.
The deputy will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the state police investigation. He is also currently under an internal review from the Sheriff’s Department.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
GUEST COLUMN from TERRY BERKSON
Not that they ever left. They just take a long winter nap while their heartbeat slows from 80 to an incredible five beats per minute and their body temperature drops from 99 to 37 degrees.
Punxsutawney Phil projects a good productive image with his weather predictions but Digger Dan, the name I give to the critter whose been tunneling into my barn every year, is another story.
One morning last spring, I was carrying a bale of hay before the light of sunrise and stepped in a hole that swallowed my leg up to my knee. I dropped the bale and limped out to the wood pile to secure a piece of 4-by-4 to pound into the hole – knowing well that The Digger would soon find another entry into my space.
The battle has been going on for several years. A friend lent me a trap that I set up by an outside hole, but the wary animal never goes near it.
One time I dropped a woodchuck bomb into the hole in the barn floor and covered it with a Frisbee that I held in place with my foot. Surprisingly, the Frisbee blew off the hole with considerable force.
I was puzzled because woodchucks usually have at least two entrances which would vent the pressure created by the bomb. Maybe Digger Dan’s body blocked the tunnel like a cork in a bottle creating enough pressure to blow the Frisbee and my foot off the hole.
Anyway, Digger didn’t perish and I didn’t try a bomb again for fear I’d burn the barn down. Of course, I had my 22 loaded and ready to rid myself of the trouble maker, but this woodchuck is a strategist and always positions himself in hard to shoot places.
One time I was gun-less and rounding a corner of the barn with a bucket of water when I ran right into him. We were both startled and to my surprise the wise guy whistled at me.
It was a harassing whistle that made me angry – the first note of the notorious three-noted wolf call that guys in Brooklyn use when they see a nice-looking girl. It’s not very macho to be whistled at by a woodchuck.
I duplicated the sound on the piano. The note is a “D,” the first letter of two words I’ve been
using to describe the enemy.
For several years an Amish farmer was taking hay off of our place. I often worried that one of his horses would step in a woodchuck hole like I did – and break a leg. So, I put sticks with flags on them to mark where the holes were.
When the farmer saw my markers he laughed and assured me that even when covered with cut hay, the horses could sense where the holes were.
I found this hard to believe but, luckily, on our farm no horse ever broke a leg pulling a hay wagon.
My friend George Gardner who has the same invasion problem sicked his very willing Jack Russell terrier on a woodchuck and the dog followed the varmint into a hole – so far that he got stuck and George had to dig the dog out with a back hoe.
So, the war goes on. Besides filling holes, I’ve plugged some of Digger’s relatives while on their way to my vegetable garden but shots at him are always taken from an awkward position and he just about gives me the razz before heading underground.
Recently, a lucky shot surely creased the hair on Digger’s head. Now, he must be taking me seriously because, lately, he ain’t whistling.
Terry Berkson, who has an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College, lives on a farm outside Richfield Springs.
His articles have appeared in
New York magazine, the
New York Daily News Sunday Magazine, Automobile and other publications.
LETTER from P. JAY FLEISHER
To the Editor:
America is on the brink of an election that will have serious implications for the future of our Country, and indeed our democracy.
I write this out concern for our immediate future, and also because I am equally concerned about the America my 6-year-old grandson will inherit. He deserves the same freedoms we all experienced growing up in a country that valued human dignity, clean air and water, and the freedom to enjoy a society free of hate and prejudice – a place that values human life and a profound respect for those who gave their lives so we could live free – in America.
All I ask is that my fellow citizens exercise their right to vote.
Remember – young American men and women died for your right to vote. Don’t disrespect their sacrifice by letting this opportunity pass. I am not advocating in favor of any candidate, but rather for the future of America – the America of my grandson.
“We the people” – you and me – we are the ones for whom those words were written at the birth of our nation.
If there was ever a time America needed you, it’s now. Show you are a responsible American by voting on
P. JAY FLEISHER
Editor’s Note: Voters, you may already ask for absentee ballots by letter (Board of Elections, The Meadows, 140 County Hwy. 33W, Suite 2, Cooperstown NY 13326); email (voteotsego.com)
or phone (607-547-4247).