News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Welcome-Home Parade Traced Back To 1997, Girls’ State Soccer Title


Welcome-Home Parade

Traced Back To 1997,

Girls’ State Soccer Title

Next time you’re at the Doubleday Cafe, check out this photo of that first-ever welcome-home parade, for the CCS 1999 Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team, state co-champions.


COOPERSTOWN – On Sunday, fire trucks and throngs of people up and down Main Street greeted the state champion CCS Hawkeyes’ boys’ basketball team with sirens and cheers.

It’s a given now: When a CCS team wins the Class C state championship, the fire department breaks out its fleet and people pour out onto the streets to celebrate the top athletes’ victories.

But this special ritual wasn’t always around, and how it started 20 years ago was no accident.  In 1999, CCS girls’ soccer team tied Cold Spring Harbor in the finals at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta to become a state co-champion, the first in the school’s soccer program.

That same year, Gary Kuch, now Otsego town justice and Clark Scholarship Foundation director, was both CCS’s principal and Cooperstown fire chief.

RSS Housing Project Not Right For Oneonta
from Danny Lapin

RSS Housing Project

Not Right For Oneonta

To the Editor:

The proposed housing project by Rehabilitation Support Services (RSS) of Altamont in Oneonta’s Sixth Ward is a flawed development. RSS wants taxpayers to pay for it; they trying to circumvent public input and they’re using strong-arm tactics to get approval to start construction.

Therefore, I oppose it.

RSS wants to build a 64-unit project for low- and moderate-income people that will include 14 apartments reserved for individuals recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. Subsidized rents will range from $520 to $1,067, well below market rates for Oneonta.

The Pride, Exhilaration Of Championship Run Belong To All Of Us Forever


The Pride, Exhilaration

Of Championship Run

Belong To All Of Us Forever

Overwhelmed by winning the title, Hawkeye MVP guard Jack Lambert hugs his dad, Head Coach John Lambert, as center John Kennedy consoles them. (Ian Austin/

A columnist – a dad, too – wrote in Psychology Today a few years ago:

“My hope is that their involvement in sports will help to build their character in positive ways. I’d like them to learn to cooperate with others, work together for a common goal, respond appropriately to victory and defeat, and grow in virtues like courage, humility, patience and perseverance.”

Why did the CCS Hawkeyes varsity basketball team come to mind?

One, because they just claimed the first-ever state championship in a highly competitive sport.  Not everyone plays golf, or even football.  But it’s the rare American boy who hasn’t spent many an hour playing pickup basketball, dribbling and shooting and, from time to time, spraining an ankle.

But, two, because this Hawkeyes basketball team stuck to business, stayed cool when challenges arose, worked hard on their skills, and supported each other on the court the way the best teams do.

Elephant In The Room Undergirds Discourse

Elephant In The Room

Undergirds Discourse

Dismiss Smokescreen Hype

About Dubious New Jobs

In last week’s editorial in this newspaper, Oneonta Mayor Herzig is quoted as saying: “We should not let those who are economically secure, by comparison, tell those who need jobs they can’t have them.”

The mayor was reacting to the March 5 hearing he moderated at the Foothills in Oneonta, where a long series of speakers pushed back almost unanimously against the gas-expansion project proposed by the city and Otsego Now to develop the D&H railyards.

The mayor’s insinuation of class warfare is totally out of line. No one at the hearing told anyone they can’t have a job. On the contrary, the point was repeatedly made – by many people distinctly not “economically secure” – that the development of renewable energy and retrofitting buildings to be more energy efficient was far more likely to produce jobs than the proposed railyards project.

COOPERSTOWN AND AROUND – Pickin’ at Fly Creek Phil


Pickin’ At Fly Creek Phil

At the Fly Creek Philharmonic, Tim Peters plays the mandolin Saturday, March 16, during the annual performance at the Fly Creek Methodist Church. Peters is director of Otsego Rural Housing Assistance. More photos at

Dewey Top Vote-Getter In Village Election

COOPERSTOWN – Incumbent Trustee Jeanne Dewey garnered the most votes (128) in the Tuesday, March 19, village elections.

Incumbent Richard Sternberg was second (119) and newcomer MacGuire Benton third (114).
The election, for three seats on the Village Board, was uncontested.

For related photo, see

Saturday’s Triple OT Braces Hawkeyes For Sunday Win

Saturday’s Triple OT Braces

Hawkeyes For Sunday Win

His personal cheering section whoops for Ryan Lansing and the CCS Hawkeyes as the team headed for the first boys’ basketball state title in school history Sunday, March 17. From left are Kevin Lansing, Emily Stupka, Krista Stupka, Dave Stupka (sitting), Mara Hartwell (sitting), Dustin Collier (sitting behind Mara), Kristen Lansing, Jacob Lansing (standing behind Kristen) Wendy Lansing and Hollie Lansing. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta

CCS guard Jack Lambert, left, won Class C Championship’s Most ValuablePlayer; sophomore center John Kennedy made the All- Tournament Team.

COOPERSTOWN – Longtime CCS basketball fan Fred Lemister knows a championship team when he sees one.

“I have seen remarkable teams and remarkable talent on that floor,” he said. “But I have never seen the cohesion, the camaRAderie that I saw in this team.”

The Cooperstown varsity basketball team took home its  first Class C Championship ever – as Hawkeyes or Redskins – in a 71-61 win over the Middle Early College Kats of Buffalo on Sunday, March 17.

“I was confident going into the season, knowing the kids I had and the kind of leadership involved,” said Head Coach John Lambert. “I’ve had them in my grasp since third and fourth grade, and they’re a special group.”

BOUND VOLUMES March 21, 2019


From files of The Fenimore Art Museum Library


It is now almost two years since DeWitt Clinton was called to the Executive Chair, without an opposing candidate. What then have been the leading features of De Witt Clinton’s administration? We have seen attention paid to internal improvements, equally honorable to our state, and favorable to our permanent interests. The great plan to unite the Hudson and Lakes of the West, has been vigorously prosecuted. We have the fairest inducements to believe, that before the end of another season, the middle section of this canal will be open for navigation. The northern canal, connecting the Hudson with Lake Champlain, is in a great state of forwardness, and all the happy benefits expected from the projection and completion of these great undertakings, which even give luster to our nation, as well as to our state, will be realized beyond the color of doubt.

March 22, 1819


Mr. Merrick, the Chairman of the Committee on Post-Offices and Post-Roads in the United States Senate has reported some amendments. He now proposes that all drop letters shall be charged at the rate of two cents each, and all advertised letters with the expense of advertising in addition to the postage. He increases the standard size of newspapers from 1,325 to 1,600 square inches and newspapers sent from their place of publication free for all distance under 30 miles, instead of within the counties only, as in the original draft. Newspapers are defined to be any printed publication issued in numbers consisting of no more than two sheets, and published at stated intervals of not more than a week. The privilege of free exchanges for Editors is restored as in the Law of 1825.

March 18, 1844


The New York Times reports accounts from private sources that discourage going south for a milder climate during the raw and inclement weather of our spring. There seems to be no room in the South as every place is already full! Passengers from Savannah by boat to Florida very frequently return in the same boat because they can find no accommodations whatever. Invalids from the North already occupy every available house in all the available towns of that vicinity, as of nearly every other in the Southern States. Even in Savannah, where the hotel accommodations are better than in most southern cities and where the climate is not especially inviting, guests are constantly turned away for lack of room.

March 19, 1869


Poetic Protest: “Sour Grapes” – Our village streets are quite a sight with uniforms of all descriptions – but the one that makes me want to fight needs no lengthy definition. It is the outfit of the service, the service in the air – and no matter where you take yourself you see them everywhere. The boys who fill these honored clothes are nearly all Lieutenants – and they look upon town boys like me – like on one doing penance. They’ve taken now my girl from me and I am in the lurch – and instead of Sunday at her house, I only go to church. Each time I ask my girlie “Will you go to the dance with me?” She answers in a haughty tone: “I’ll go with a Lieu-ey, see.” I’ve stood it plenty long enough and I told her the other day – if she didn’t drop those Lieu-ey boys, I’d go away and stay. She cried and begged me not to go and said that she’d be true – but last night she was at the movie show not with one of them, but two. So I’ll teach my girl a lesson – for some day those boys will go and then she may cry her dear eyes out ‘ere I take to a show. Now our own home boys are returning from the battlefields of France. Will our own girls let them die of grief while with flyers high they dance? All honor to our own brave boys who battered Hindenburg’s line – but I’ll teach those aviator guys and that thoughtless girl o’ mine. –Tan.

March 22, 1919


Susan P. Clarke, daughter of George Hyde Clarke and Mrs. S. Beach Cooke of Cooperstown was a member of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) class 44-W-2 which graduated at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas receiving her silver wings and diploma. Miss Clarke, a former student of Packard Business School, New York City, was a bank and Flying School secretary before joining the WASPs. She has logged about 96 hours of private pilot time. The insignia was pinned on Miss Cooke’s uniform by General Hapgood Arnold, commander of the Eighth Army Air Force who, when he learned her home address, told her that all of his own ancestors came from Cooperstown.

March 22, 1944


Republicans will outnumber Democrats by a margin of 2 to 1 in Otsego County, according to enrollment figures supplied this week by Mrs. Violet Schallert, Deputy Commissioner of the Otsego County Board of Elections. Last November 5, there were 15,817 persons enrolled as Republicans and 7,924 Democrats. The Republicans increased their enrollment by 949 over the previous year’s 14,868, while the Democrats picked up 497 over their 1967 total of 7,427. Only one of Otsego’s 54 election districts has a Democratic majority. In the Sixth Ward of the City of Oneonta, there are 396 Democrats enrolled and 313 Republicans.

March 19, 1969


Many things have changed on Main Street in Cooperstown but the Mohican Club has remained one constant. The club was formed in 1891 after Hose Company No. 3 from the Cooperstown Fire Department became inactive and its remaining members wished to stay together in some capacity. They started a social club so they could continue to meet. For the first several years the club met in rooms on the first floor of the First National Bank on Main Street. In 1894, the club bought a former residence at 138 Main Street as a meeting place and have remained there ever
since. The group was incorporated as
“The Mohican Club of Cooperstown”
on May 7, 1894.

March 22, 1994

Otsego 2000 Is Challenging DGEIS Brownfield Findings
from Nicole Dillingham

Otsego 2000 Is Challenging

DGEIS Brownfield Findings

To the Editor:

The flood of editorials trying to divide our community regarding heavy industrial development in Oneonta are discouraging.

They may help sell newspapers, but they lack integrity. This is not a choice between jobs or no jobs. It is not even a choice between development or no development. It is purely a choice about what kind of jobs and what kind of development is suitable.

To answer this question, state law (known as SEQRA) requires the owner/developer, Otsego Now, to inform the City of Oneonta and the public of its plans; the city as lead agency is required to analyze its environmental impacts. The city hired Delaware Engineering to conduct the required environmental review.

Whom Do We Trust?
from Nicholas Cunningham

Whom Do We Trust?

To the Editor:
Re Mike Zagata’s March 14 remarks about socialism, the National Debt, and energy:
• Our health, education and welfare can be entrusted to our legislatures and executives whom we vote in or out. Or they can be run by big corporations over which we have almost no control.
• Social security, our public schools and Medicare may be socialistic, but whatever we call them, they serve us pretty well.
• Yes, the national debt is much too high, but Reagan and Trump raised it and Clinton lowered it. And two big reasons it’s so high are excess military spending and reduced tax income from the very rich.
• If we do need more nuclear power, let it be under professional … not for-profit management!

Springfield Center

HOMETOWN HISTORY, March 22, 2019


From files of The Fenimore Art Museum Library

150 Years Ago

Home & Vicinity – Moody and Vosburgh are fitting uptheir store in a very neat style inside and out, and will makeit an attractive business place. Their corps of peddlers willexplore every neighborhood of Otsego and Delaware withthe goods wanted by the people, and bring in great lots ofbarter. Their horn blows for success.A.C. Moody and E.M. Vosburgh bought each one ofthose choice lots on Elm Street between those of JohnCope, Jr. and H.N. Rowe. They expect to build on thembefore long, but probably not the present season – price oflots $362.50 each.Alan Scramling will erect this year a large and eleganthouse on River Street. H.J. Brewer is the builder.Mr. W.K. Sherwood is opening a suite of photographrooms over the store of E.M. Myers, formerly occupied forthe same business by A.S. Simmons. The artistic skill of Mr.Sherwood is well known to many of our citizens, and webelieve that many more will avail themselves of his services.

March 1869

125 Years Ago

J.K. and H.K. Bowdish have taken the contract for abrick building on Main Street east of the residence of JamesStewart, and have already begun work for the foundation.The building, which will be 42 by 90 feet, brick veneeredand three stories high, will belong equally to Mr. Stewartand to George B. Shearer, the latter taking the eastern half.On the ground floor there will be two large stores, the upperfloors being divided into flats for residence purposes. Thenew block will be completed by July 1.The Oneonta greenhouses of Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Ackleyare always filled with the choicest flowers, but this year’sEaster display easily surpasses that of previous years. Liliesin profusion, fragrant roses, petunias, and the loveliest andsweetest flowers of every kind which care and skill cancoax to bloom in the wintertime, crowd both greenhouses.Visitors are always welcome at both Elm Street and GroveStreet greenhouses.

March 1894

100 Years Ago

Notice from the War Department has been receivedin Oneonta that Corporal Robert C. Westfall, son of Mr.and Mrs. J.W. Westfall of 5 Park Avenue, who had fallenwounded has been awarded the American DistinguishedService Cross for extraordinary heroism in action. Thecitation states: “Corporal Albert C. Westfall, Company G,107th Infantry – For extraordinary heroism in action nearSt. Souplet, France, October 13, 1918. Undaunted by terrificmachine-gun fire, Corporal Westfall went out into theopen and rescued a British officer who had fallen wounded.Later, after two runners had been killed in trying to locatemissing elements of the battalion, Corporal Westfall assumedthis task, and in performing it four times, crosseda sunken road, which was continuously raked by enemymachine gun fire.”

March 1919

80 Years Ago

Puritan Clothing, which is holding a formal opening ofits Oneonta store at 172 Main Street today and tomorrow,has appointed Ben Levinson of Gloversville to manage thelocal unit and two members of the staff have been selected– Mrs. Marion “Bush” Dillaway of 116 Main Street andMrs. Rose Starr of 32 Chestnut Street. Puritan Stores wereorganized in 1896 and pioneered in the extension of chargeaccounts for working people on clothing purchases. They havesince opened stores in New York State and New England.Fraternity Initiation — Knights of old received the accoladeof brotherhood on the shoulder, given with the flat of a sword blade. Fraternity neophytes receive it with the flatof a paddle received elsewhere. Before initiation rites at thefraternity house, members of Hartwick’s AKE fraternity puttheir pledges through their paces up and down Main Street,causing bewildered amusement on the part of passersby.Those receiving the initiation rites from AKE fraternitybrother Charles Boisvert of North Adams, Massachusettswere John Johnson of Beacon, Willah Mantz, Newburgh,Kenneta Dick, Sherill, Ellsworth Nelson, Cherry Valley andJoseph Casey, Glens Falls.

March 1939

20 Years Ago

She’s probably best known for her performance on thebasketball courts in Oneonta, but after Saturday night TiffanyHurley has something else to be famous for. Hurley,an eighteen-year-old freshman at Hartwick College, wascrowned Miss Otsego County Teen-Ager at a pageant heldin Hartwick’s Anderson Theatre. In her first beauty pageantHurley took top honors over 13 girls entered in the competition– but Hurley almost didn’t enter. “I kind of enteredat the last minute because I was playing basketball forHartwick and I wasn’t sure if our season would be over,”Hurley said. Besides winning two State Class B titles inhigh school, Hurley was named “Most Valuable Player atthe state tournament in 1998.

March 1999

10 Years Ago

One victory separates the Oneonta Yellowjackets’ girlsbasketball team from its third New York State Public HighSchool Class B title and the first over 11 seasons. TheSection Four champion Yellowjackets (25-0) dispatched aphysical but overmatched Section Six squad from Olean,55-21 on Friday morning in a state semi-final at HudsonValley Community College. OHS senior point guard MadieHarlem scored a game-high 20 points, including the firstseven to spark a 12-0 run in the opening minutes. Harlem’syounger sister Leslie and sophomore Sienna Wisse eachcontributed 10 points for OHS which is the top-rankedClass B girls’ team in the state. Oneonta’s last state titlecame during the 1997-1998 season when the Yellowjacketsdefeated Pittsford-Mendon 54-26 led by Krissy Zeh.

March 2009

CITY OF THE HILLS – Damn Yankees


Damn Yankees’ Planned At Foothills

Two lost souls, the devilish Mr. Applegate (Steve Hiscox) and the seductive Lola (Corinne Smith) plot to steal the soul of Joe Boyd in Orpheus Theatre’s production of “Damn Yankees,” opening Friday, March 29. It is the local theatre troupe’s first full adult production at the Foothills Performing Arts Center. (Ian Austin/

 Dome Among  ‘Town Hall’ Ideas

ONEONTA – An all-season sports dome, turbines on the treadmills, easy on-campus returns for cans and bottles and other green energy ideas all came out of Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky’s first “Town Hall” meeting on Wednesday, March 13.

Zakrevsky met with Hartwick College students in the Shineman Chapel to ask them what would keep them in the community after college.

For more details, go to

What’s The Matter With NY? It’s Just Spending Too Much


What’s The Matter With NY?

It’s Just Spending Too Much

By TOM MORGAN • Syndicated Columnist

What is the truth about New York State? Why do we lose so many good people? Why do our businesses struggle, especially Upstate? Why do our schools, cities and towns struggle? Why are parts of our infrastructure dilapidated?

Our politicians offer us a blizzard of reasons. Every government department explains.

Here is a truth that cuts through it all: New York State spends too much.

Gay Wedding, Pastor BanDivides Local Methodists


Gay Wedding, Pastor Ban

Divides Local Methodists


The Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell wears a multi-color “Rainbow Stole,” a symbol of her “Reconciling Congregation.” (Ian Austin/

In 1996, when Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell threw a 10th anniversary party for husband Dana, a guest said something that changed her life forever.

“Kirk was our funeral director, a good Christian and gay, but it wasn’t safe for him to be out,” she recounted. “He came up to me and said congratulations, but he also said that he and his partner had been together longer than we had, but would never get a party like this. It really opened my eyes.”

The pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Oneonta since June, Swords-Horrell has welcomed the LGBTQ community, handing out water at the Gay Pride parade and hosted a play about a gay teen when a local school wouldn’t.

But in February, 53 percent of delegates at a United Methodist Church special conference in St. Louis, Mo., voted for a “Traditional” plan, one of three options.  U.S. delegates would have supported a “One Church” plan, but delegates from more conservative congregations in Asia and Africa didn’t.

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