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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AllOTSEGO

Car Crosses Main, Breaches Fence, Lands On RR Tracks

MISHAP IN ONEONTA

Car Crosses Main, Breaches

Fence, Lands On RR Tracks

Oneontans driving across the Main Street viaduct today noticed something that wasn’t there the evening before: A hole in the fence.  According to city police, an unidentified male drove the wrong way down Fairview Street from the Armory.  His car crossed Main Street, breached a hole in the fence and dropped down onto the Norfolk & Southern Railroad tracks.  No one was injured, the car was removed and the fence was repaired today.  Police Chief Doug Brenner is expected to provide more details Sunday morning.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
One Perfect Day, Another One Due

FARMERS’ MUSEUM HARVEST FEST:

One Perfect Day,

Another One Due

Juggling burning sticks, Dickens the Clown was performing again today at The Farmers’ Museum Harvest Festival, as he has for years.  Sitting on the bench behind him are the Micelli family of Glenville, near Schenectady, which has come to the annual event for 16 years since Katelyn Micelli, left, was a baby.  Inset, the sounds of Milford’s B.J. Baker’s violin serenaded festival goers at the entrance of the museum’s Historic Village.  Today’s weather was perfect, mild temperatures under a clear blue sky.  More of the same is expect tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 22, when the festivities – music, food, displays and free rides for festivalgoers on the Empire Carousel – continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

Farmers’ Harvest Festival

Continues For Second Day

14-19eventspage

HARVEST FESTIVAL – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Two-day fest continues today, featuring live performances, music, family activities to celebrate the seasons bounty. Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org/Harvest-Festival

FALL FEST – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Explore the environmental campus this True Blue weekend. Includes apple cider making, cob oven bread baking, hay rides, live music, opportunity to do the ropes course (closed toe shoes required). Pine Lake Environmental Campus, Hartwick College, Oneonta. 607-431-4064 or visit www.hartwick.edu/alumni-and-friends/true-blue-weekend/

Annual Trash Day Packed, With Waits Up To 90 Minutes

Annual Trash Day

Packed, With Waits

Up To 90 Minutes

Due To Crush, Drop-Off Extended

Until All Served At Meadows Complex

Waits of up to 90 minutes were reported as today’s annual Hazardous Household Waste Day at The Meadows was overwhelmed by donors. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Retired physician Antoinette Kuzminski was among volunteers processing paint. “There’s more paint than we’ve ever seen,” declared Andree Conklin, behind Kuzminski.

MIDDLEFIELD – “A record,” Erik Scrivener, the senior county planner, called out as he directed drivers, some who had been lined up this morning for 90 minutes, to their final destination:  the annual Hazardous Household Waste Day at the county’s Meadows Office Complex.

By 9 a.m., probably sooner, traffic was backed up ¾-miles out the access road leading to the Meadows (and county jail) and all the way north on Route 33 to Route 11C.  Drivers reported waiting an hour, an hour and 15 minutes, even 90 minutes to access the free disposal service,  staffed by volunteers and county staff.  Everything from used paint, to e-waste, to leftover prescriptions was being processed.

Record Crowd, Record Funds At Out Of The Darkness Walk

Record Crowd, Record Funds

At Out Of The Darkness Walk

Some 285 walkers this morning raised over $22,500 to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention during Oneonta’s eighth annual Out Of The Darkness Walk from the Sixth Ward Booster Club field. Above, Olive Vergari, Ithaca, Clarice Wahl, Oneonta, Brittny Mott, East Meredith, Taylor Hall, Oneonta, and Julie Goupil, West Laurens, carry the banner as they lead the way. At right, Caryn Balnis, Oneonta,  sings “Dancing In The Sky” by Dani and Lizzy as white doves are released by Carl Miller, Oneonta, in honor of those lost to suicide. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Girls Of Summer In Cooperstown For Hall of Fame Tour

All-American Girls League Gathers

‘Girls Of Summer’

Here This Weekend

For Reunion At Hall

The Mighty Casey himself (former Baseball Hall of Fame researcher Tim Wiles, now Guilderland Public Library director) came out to visit with Joyce Westerman, Jeneane Lesko, Gloria Rogers McCloskey, Dolly Ozburn and Mary Moore, all members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, as their annual got underway today at the Baseball Hall of Fame. At right, Sue Zipay, right, who played for the Rockford Peaches, peruses the scrapbooks of clippings, photos and journals donated by Sarah Ferguson and other AAGPBL players.  Several players will give a talk ahead of the Hall’s screening of “A League of Their Own,” the opening film in the annual Baseball Film Festival, tonight at 6:30 p.m. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Treasurer Warns Of Overages, But Chair Unruffled

Treasurer Warns

Of Overages, But

Chair Unruffled

$12M Gap Already Down To $7-8M,

Bliss Says As Deliberations Ensue

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

County Treasurer Allen Ruffles during last year’s budget deliberations.

COOPERSTOWN – Saying he has no “black magic” to fix it, County Treasurer Allen Ruffles has advised the county Board of Representatives it is facing a $12 million gap in the upcoming 2020 budget.

“I hear every year that Dan (Ruffles predecessor, Dan Crowell) used to work his ‘black magic,’ and always reduced the budget somehow last second,” said Ruffles in an email from the Horn of Africa, where he is on assignment with the Army Reserve.  “There is no magic: We will be using the fund balance to help offset this gap.”

However, county board Chairman David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, said a budget working group has already reduced that to $7-8 million, and he’s aiming to produce a budget that will be under the 2 percent state-mandated budget cap.

John Swank, Jr., 89; Korean War Veteran, Jehovah’s Witness

IN MEMORIAM: John Swank, Jr., 89;

Korean War Veteran, Jehovah’s Witness

WEST BURLINGTON – John Swank Jr. (AKA Dad, Grandpa, Pops and Big Cheese), 89, a combat veteran of the Korean War and Jehovah’s Witness, passed away on Sept. 18, 2019, after a long fight with Dementia. He went to sleep peacefully surrounded by his family in his home.

John was predeceased by his parents and eight of his 12 siblings. He was born at home in Canajoharie. He met his wife, Anne C. Swank in December 1950, and nine months later they were married.

Truitt Trial Scheduled For Jan. 20, 2020

Truitt Murder Trial

Scheduled For Jan. 20

Gabriel Truitt

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – With a motion to suppress evidence rejected this morning, Gabriel Truitt, charged with the murder of John Heller after he allegedly lit his girlfriend’s Walling Avenue apartment on fire, will stand trial in Otsego County Court Jan. 20. 2020.

During a hearing this morning in front of county Court Judge Brian Burns, Truitt’s lawyer Dennis Laughlin submitted motions to suppress photos and video taken inside of Truitt’s Tru Cuts that allegedly showed him taking the chemicals allegedly used to start the fire at 5 Walling Ave.

CCS Board Creates Special-Education Administrator Job

CCS Board Creates

Special-Education

Administrator Job

As Services Leap 40%, Public Told,

‘Litigious Environment’ Requires It

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

CCS board President Tim Hayes, right, and Superintendent Bill Crankshaw listen to inputs from board members as this evening’s meeting. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – With 14 percent of Cooperstown Central students in special-education programs, up from 10 percent a handful of years ago, the school board this evening created a new administrative position: “director of pupil services.”

With the complexity of the services growing, and the “litigious environment” – parents suing who are dissatisfied with the level of service – even school districts Cooperstown’s size (831 in K-12, it was reported this evening) are creating such jobs, Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw told his board.

America, Conceived In Slavery? Bunk!

Column

MONEY TALKS

America, Conceived

In Slavery? Bunk!

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

And you thought America was “conceived in liberty”?
That is what Abraham Lincoln suggested. Well I’m here to tellya that is bunk.
This country was conceived in wholesale medical cruelty. And medical malfeasance. So there!
Doctors of the 1700s treated illnesses by blood-letting. Got a pain? Slash a vein. Dysentery? Try an artery. Migraines? Let us drill holes in your skull. To allow evil spirits to escape. Your baby was born blind or retarded? Toss him in a river.
That is the evil that birthed this nation. Our Founding Doctors committed the unforgivable. Early Americans accepted and practiced their nostrums. This nation is stained with their evil from its conception.
Does this sound stupid to you?

Well, many prominent folks suggest the equivalent these days. They stand solidly behind the 1619 Project. The New York Times promotes this as its most worthy project. Presidential candidate Kamala Harris calls it a masterpiece.
The project is named for the arrival of the first 20 African slaves in the New World. It claims that from that sordid point onward America was
illegitimate.
Because its parents were sinful slave traders and owners.
This new reason to hate America is coming to a school curriculum near you! (It already has, in some form.)
Or so the 1619 Project folks dream. It certainly will come to
forums which influence policy-making in Washington.
In other words, please practice
hanging your head in shame over
slavery. There is plenty more self-flagellation on the menu for us. Your penance is to spit upon tributes paid to Washington, Jefferson and assorted Founding Fathers. They were a pack
of racist hypocrites. Everything they promoted and achieved was tainted with their sinful acceptance of slavery. America’s DNA is polluted with slavery.
Right.

Here are a few scraps on which the 1619 crowd might nibble.
Americans did not invent slavery. Hardly. From ancient Greece onward it was as normal as rain. All over the world people enslaved and bought and sold people. If we could time-travel to the 1700s, people would tell us we are nuts to say slavery was sinful. Lisbon, for instance, was 10 percent slaves in the 16th century.
By the way, only 5 percent of the slaves shipped across the Atlantic came to the U.S. Millions more landed in Brazil, Cuba and other countries and territories.
In America we had many freed black slaves. Guess how they harvested their cotton. They owned black slaves! That is how people thought in those times. Slavery was a normal condition. Just like leeches for scurvy.
The 1619 Project crowd despises a country because of its history with slaves? Then let us add dozens of countries to its hate list. And remember, America was late to the game.
The crowd claims the sin of slavery is in America’s DNA? Then let them
consider Africa’s DNA. Africans
from north to south built their nations on slavery.

Is this an attempt to excuse or dismiss the evil nature of slavery? No more than an attempt to dismiss the evil of slashing arteries to cure cancer. They both belong in eras of ignorance. We should view them in that context, period. And not in our relatively enlightened times.
Let us leave the 1619 Project crowd to wallow in what they feel are original sins of America. A few centuries ago docs would have drilled holes in their heads to release such evil thoughts.
Let us, instead, celebrate that Americans rose above such ignorance. Celebrate that Americans were courageous enough to declare to the world an ideal that was absurd in its day: That all of us are created equal. Celebrate that Americans fought a bloody war and other battles in pursuit of that ideal.
While slave-trading continued elsewhere. Indeed, there are 10 million people enslaved today.
From Tom…as in Morgan.

Tom Morgan, retired Oneonta investment counselor who writes a nationally syndicated column, lives in Franklin.

Poverty? Don’t Blame The Rich, But Ourselves

COLUMN

THE VIEW FROM WEST DAVENPORT

Poverty? Don’t Blame

The Rich, But Ourselves

Talk about getting things backwards and exposing your political bias at the same time, while totally ignoring the facts – and you’ve identified Oneonta’s mayor, as reflected in a column he writes elsewhere.
We have poverty because of folks like him who deny reality when it comes to renewables vs. fossil fuels, who even fight renewables like solar and who do everything they can to keep industry that would create jobs out of Oneonta – witness the 2008 proposed biofuels plant farce.
For once, let’s put the blame for our economy where it belongs. It’s not with corporations but could lie with Gary’s disdain for the “rich” – the very people who create jobs.
Our economy didn’t turn south with Trump’s election – it has been there for decades.
There wouldn’t be a need for OFO if it weren’t for folks like our mayor and his allies – folks would actually have jobs and earn a living wage.
Remember, unemployment is at its near all-time low right now and Donald Trump is president.
With regards to the Paris Accord on Climate Change, the mayor is right in that the U.S. withdrew. But it wasn’t President Trump who withdrew from the Kyoto Agreement – it was President George Bush and he withdrew, not for environmental reasons, but for economic reasons.
France is 80 percent nuclear when it comes to producing energy and President Bush knew the U.S. couldn’t compete economically because it would have been too costly for the U.S. to meet the stringent targets and not costly at all for France.
(We still have groups in the U.S. that profess a desire for clean air and oppose nuclear energy).
That situation hadn’t changed when the Paris Accord was proposed – the U.S. was still at an economic disadvantage.
But guess what happened in spite of the fact the U.S. wasn’t party to the Accord? The U.S. was the only country that met the Accord’s goals with regards to reducing carbon.
How could that be, you say. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it came about as a result of fracking and the tremendous increase in the availability of clean-burning, low-cost natural gas!
The mayor goes on to say that renewables, with the right subsidies, would be cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
He totally misses the point. It’s not the cost of renewables that makes them unable to compete with fossil fuels, but rather their unreliability.
Do you want to depend on the sun or wind to keep your pipes from freezing at night (sun’s not shining) and it’s 10 degrees below zero outside? The wind is generally calm on the nights when the temperature is coldest.
That’s the situation we face right now – today.
Is there research underway to help address the issues with renewables – yes. At some point I hope to be able to write an article proclaiming victory in our battle to find viable energy substitutes for fossil fuels.
But I can’t write that article yet.

Mike Zagata, a DEC commissioner in the Pataki Administration and former environmental executive with Fortune 500 companies, lives in West Davenport.

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