News of Otsego County



Friends of the Village
Library Book Sale


BOOK SALE – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Support your local library, purchase used books from the annual Friends of the Village Library Book Sale. Features wide variety of books from fiction to craft books, children’s books, and non-fiction. Held on the Fair Street side of The Cooperstown Village Library, Main St., Cooperstown. 607-547-8344 or visit

In Memoriam David James Peevers, 73 April 6, 1949 – June 20, 2022

In Memoriam

David James Peevers, 73

April 6, 1949 – June 20, 2022

David James Peevers

COOPERSTOWN – David James Peevers was a spirited adventurer who loved sailing blue-water ships, guiding white-water rivers, diving in the Galápagos Islands and the Great Barrier Reef and big-game fishing off the coast of Baja California. In his early career, he acted in films, TV and on stage, wrote poetry and the lyrics and music for Klaus Rascal and the Squivetts, a children’s musical which was fully staged in Seattle. One of the songs, “Laughin’ is Good for the Soul”, was published by Hal Leonard.

In 1987, he founded Peevers Creative Services, a company that supplied writing, photography, marketing and consulting services to clients worldwide – most notably Santa Monica College, the Los Angeles Business Journal and the German National Tourist Office – for over 25 years.


Stir-Fry Cook-A-Long


DRAGON DATES – 5 – 6:30 p.m. Teens are invited for monthly virtual cook-a-long. This month, learn how to make vegetable stir fry. Register by 6/22 to receive the ingredients, free. Registration required. Presented by The Family Resource Network, Oneonta. Call Kristen at 607-432-0001 for info or visit


Springfield Appreciation Concert


APPRECIATION CONCERT – 4 p.m. Glimmerglass Festival to hold a season preview concert to appreciate the Springfield Community. Listen to some highlights from the coming opera season. Proceeds benefit the Springfield 4th of July Parade. Tickets, $5/person available from the Convenience Corner Store at US-20 and St. Rt. 80 in Springfield or at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, Cooperstown. Held at the Alice Busch Opera Theater, 7300 St. Rt. 80, Cooperstown. 607-547-2255 or visit


Artists Discuss Exhibit
‘The Colors of Green’


ARTIST TALK – 4 p.m. Discuss the exhibit ‘The Colors of Green’ with a panel of contributing artists. Reservations required. Free admission. The Art Garage, 689 Beaver Meadow Rd., Cooperstown. 607-547-5327 or visit

BLOOD DRIVE – 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Elm Park Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 1-800-733-2767 or visit

In Memoriam Lawrence D. “Lannie” Richards, 67 September 11, 1954 – June 10, 2022

In Memoriam

Lawrence D. Richards, 67

September 11, 1954 – June 10, 2022

COOPERSTOWN – Lawrence Dale “Lannie” Richards, a longtime resident of the Cooperstown area, passed away unexpectedly Friday, June 10, 2022, at his home on Van Yahres Road. He was 67.

Born September 11, 1954, in Westfield, Massachusetts, Lannie was one of five sons of Harold P. and Kathryn M. (Walrath) Richards. Raised in Cooperstown, he graduated with the Class of 1973 from Cooperstown Central School.

On June 26, 1976, Lannie married Shari L. Nelson in Middlefield. Shari passed away unexpectedly June 16, 2011.

After working at Bassett Hospital, he owned and operated Groundskeepers, providing property maintenance to many individuals and businesses in the Cooperstown area.

Fenimore hosts Wyeth studies

Fenimore Art Museum ‘draws from life’ with Wyeth exhibition

Pioneer Park in Cooperstown hosts this mural from artist Josh Sarantitis inviting viewers to Fenimore Art Museum’s summer Wyeth exhibition.

There’s a striking mural on display in Cooperstown’s Pioneer Park at the intersection of Main and Pioneer streets – the triptych tips its hat to Fenimore Art Museum’s summer exhibition Drawn from Life: Three Generations of Wyeth Figure Studies. Muralist Josh Sarantitis turned to young local artists to help with the underpainting, a fitting nod to a stirring installation that, as Fenimore says, provides a snapshot of N.C., Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth “as young artists” mastering their figure studies.

“This exhibit is a window into the evolution of who these artists were as young men,” said curator Victoria Wyeth, granddaughter of Andrew Wyeth. “You can’t have ‘The Helga Pictures’ or ‘Treasure Island’ without these early sketches.”

The ‘Helga’ in question, of course, is the model for what is perhaps Andrew Wyeth’s best-known work – more than 240 paintings and drawings shown in the National Gallery of Art. ‘Treasure Island’ refers to the masterpiece N.C. Wyeth – Andrew’s father – created for the cover of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel. Jamie Wyeth – Andrew’s son – carried on the family’s fine art and figure study traditions.

“We have three generations of Wyeth figure studies on display at Fenimore this summer,” Ms. Wyeth said in a conversation with The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta. “It’s not your typical Andrew Wyeth exhibition, but these are the basic anatomical sketches and work-ups that led to the great work we all recognize.”

Otsego Lake boat parade

“Float your boat’ in July 3 parade

The view from shore for the 2021 parade (picture by Debra Creedon, from OLA website)

Plan to float your boat – rain or shine – in the Otsego Lake Association’s Annual “We Love Our Lake” Decorated Boat Parade to begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 3.

The parade will form off Three Mile Point, then proceed slowly along the westerly side of the lake, and end at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown.  The lead boat will be decorated and marked with OLA banners.

After a two-year pandemic pause, the Otsego Lake Association will again judge boats, award prizes, and have candy for participants. The parade welcomes boats large and small — including antique or classic, human-powered, wind-powered, electric, jet, outboard, or inboard/outboard powered. OLA encourages boaters to decorate using the theme “Our Lake is a Treasure,” but welcomes decorations of any sort – unusual, humorous, patriotic, party-themed, sports, military, or no decoration at all – it’s up to the boater.

Boaters may join the parade at any time or place along the route, especially for non-motorized boaters who might not want to travel the full route.

Supreme Court strikes down NY gun law

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down New York’s ‘concealed carry’ limitations

In a significant victory for guns-rights activists, the Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday (June 23) struck down a New York gun law requiring people to demonstrate a particular need for carrying a gun in order to get a license to carry one in public.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., et al. v. Bruen, Superintendent of New York State Police, et al., stating, “Apart from a few late-19th century outlier jurisdictions, American governments simply have not broadly prohibited the public carry of commonly used firearms for personal defense. Nor, subject to a few late-in-time outliers, have American governments required law-abiding, responsible citizens to “demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community” in order to carry arms in public.”

“We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need,” his opinion states. “New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms.”

Nearby Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have laws on the books similar to New York’s; experts anticipate those and other laws will now be challenged.

Floral Hall: Letter to the Editor

Reader laments loss of Fair’s Floral Hall

To the Editor:

For 144 years Floral Hall has been the home of wonderful exhibits, countless memories, and community involvement at its best! It is the oldest building on the Otsego County Fairgrounds, and holds an honored spot in the National Register of Historic Places.

Having recently learned this building is slated for demolition next month, I felt it would be irresponsible of me to allow its demise without a fitting tribute. It is absolutely possible to preserve Floral Hall; unfortunately, this will not happen. I am so heartbroken over the loss of this treasure, I cannot bear to visit the grounds without it.

Floral Hall has always been a focal point of the Otsego County Fair for countless delighted fairgoers. With its 90′ by 90′ foot print, it encompasses no small portion of the fairgrounds.

Many generations have devoted their passion and talents in lively competition for the prize of “Best of the Best,” beautifully displayed in the very center of the building for all to see. It has served as the ideal meeting place for friends to begin a fun day at the fair. On the hottest of fair days, it was a peaceful, cool, “Haven of Rest” for weary fairgoers, and provided ample room for many to escape those pop-up downpours that so often occur during a fair week.

The loss of Floral Hall is more than simply the loss of a magnificent structure. It is the loss of a deep heritage and an old friend.

It will be desperately missed by those who were blessed to experience its contribution to so many lives for so many years.

Pat Patterson
Mt Vision, NY

Josh Rawitch — first year

Hall of Fame President, family ‘dove head-first’ into Village life

Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch (photo courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame)

Take a look at National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Josh Rawitch’s Twitter account and you’ll meet a person not just embracing his profession, but also serving as a de facto ambassador for the Village of Cooperstown. He and his family – wife Erin and children Emily and Braden – relocated to the village nearly one year ago from the sprawling Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, Arizona, and they’ve welcomed their new lives in a much smaller town in the northeast.

“It’s been exactly what we thought it was going to be,” Mr. Rawitch said in a discussion with The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta marking one year since the Hall announced his appointment as its eighth president. “We dove head-first into life in Cooperstown, everything from our kids getting into school activities, my wife getting involved with non-profits, starting to make friends with people who live here. All of that is like we thought it would be.”

He shares with his on-line followers pictures of scenes like the small bridge arching over Willow Brook near Lake Street or a stop at the Cooperstown Diner on Main Street.

“I’m trying to give people a little slice of what life is like with my Twitter account,” he said. “Not everybody can come here, so I try to give them a little bit of the flavor.”

“You can’t really know until you live it what small-town life is going to be like,” Mr. Rawitch said. “There are so many unique things to this town that we love, from the mom-and-pop shops to the walkability of it all to the grade schools to life on the lake. It’s such a special place. On top of it all it happens to have this unbelievable baseball mecca in the middle of it. It’s just an awesome place.”

As he did one year ago upon his appointment, Mr. Rawitch spoke of his deep appreciation for his baseball career, which began at age 18 as an intern for the Los Angeles Dodgers – there for 15 years before a decade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Those jobs, he said, prepared him well for the leadership role at the Hall of Fame.

Editorial: Endorsements

Hochul, Delgado, Wilson


The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta endorses the following candidates in the primary elections for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New York State:

Kathy Hochul and Antonio Delgado

Mrs. Hochul rose immediately to the occasion when her scandal-scarred predecessor abruptly resigned from office in 2021. Her equanimity was and remains the temperate influence the state needs; she has been able to parlay that to a more productive and seemingly collegial atmosphere in the state Capitol. To be sure, she has made a couple of missteps along the way – choosing now-indicted Brian Benjamin as her lieutenant governor and pushing a sweetheart deal for a new stadium for her beloved Buffalo Bills. She recovered well from the Benjamin debacle by tapping Rep. Antonio Delgado as her new lieutenant and, as this page has noted, that Bills stadium was a foregone conclusion that any governor would have sought to keep the team in town.

Mr. Delgado is no stranger to Otsego County; we believe as the whole of New York comes to know him as we do, they will meet a public official who connects to the community. His skill sets serve him well in office.

Neither of Mrs. Hochul’s opponents meet the challenge: Rep. Tom Suozzi’s campaign began with an encouraging promise to stick to the political center but gained no traction. Jumaane Williams is so focused on New York City we fear he would know nothing about New York much farther north of Yankee Stadium.

We are concerned that Mr. Williams’s Lieutenant Governor running mate, Ana Maria Archila, may gain some Ocasio-Cortez mojo and surprise people on primary day. Her sole attribute seems to be a calculated ability to be obnoxiously and melodramatically confrontational. That’s not what we need these days.

In the June 28 Democratic primary, we endorse Kathy Hochul for governor and Antonio Delgado for lieutenant governor.

Harry Wilson

Speaking of confrontational, we are disappointed by Rep. Lee Zeldin’s transmogrification into Donald Trump-lite, using cheap playground taunts for his opponents instead of engaging in a decent debate on issues. We know Mr. Zeldin to be knowledgeable and thoughtful; his attack-dog persona is unwelcomed, his chasing after a Trump endorsement embarrassing. He and fellow candidate Andrew Giuliani seem more interested in a thumbs-up from Mr. Trump than they do engaging in a forthright, issues-based discussion. That Steve Bannon, perhaps one of the planet’s most hateful, destructive people – left his federal court hearing last week to support Mr. Giuliani at a fundraiser is all we need to know to give wide berth to Mr. Giuliani’s candidacy.

Harry Wilson, on the other hand, has stuck to his core issues – New York’s battle with street criminals and reasonable reforms to the state’s ill-conceived bail reform laws, an economic turnaround plan that makes sense, a proven ability to work with both parties. His moderation on these and other matters make him, we think, the candidate best able to attract the votes a Republican would need to win in a heavily-blue New York. Mr. Zeldin’s campaign criticizes Mr. Wilson for being an advisor to the Obama Administration as if it’s some kind of treason. We think it illustrates a statesmanship too long lacking in New York’s political minefield.

In the June 28 Republican primary, we endorse Harry Wilson for governor.

CCS expects new principal soon

CCS getting close to naming new junior/senior high school principal

The Cooperstown Central School District is nearing the end of its search for a new junior / senior high school principal, following a process that began when ousted first-year principal Karl O’Leary was escorted from the building on the afternoon of Friday, March 18, 2022.

In an e-mail to The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta, District Superintendent Sarah Spross said she updated the district’s Board of Education at its June 8 meeting, with the schools now looking to make an appointment at the Board’s July 1 or July 6 meeting.

Ms. Spross said the district advertised locally, statewide, and nationally, hearing from a total of 13 candidates. From that pool, five were chosen for an initial interview and one from that group declined. The school hopes to have interviews completed by June 24, with secondary vetting completed by June 29.

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