News of Otsego County

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


Solar, Wind, Pellets, Geothermal Promoted As Energies Of Future


Energies Of Future

Promoted At Forum

Among Them, Solar, Wind, Geothermal,

Pellets Seen As Fossil-Fuel Replacements

Len Carson, the Oneonta entrepreneur, asks about the viability of small-scale wind devices instead of industrial windmills at tonight’s forum, which brought 7-80 people to Elm Park United Methodist Church in Oneonta. (Jim Kevln/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

“Cheap energy will kill us,” said Hartwick Professor Karl Seeley. Conservation and renewables will save us, he said.

ONEONTA – Fossil fuels – gasoline, fuel oil, propane and natural gas – that power Otsego County today were like an unexpected inheritance, allowing the Industrial Revolution and the world as we know it.


But 200 years later, Hartwick College Economics Professor Karl Seeley told 70-80 attendees at the Concerned Citizens of Oneonta forum this evening at Elm Park United Methodist Church, you discover the hidden costs of the bequest are bankrupting.

“It makes you rich enough to destroy your home,” Seeley said.  “But not rich enough to build a new one.”

The dynamics of the evening, moderated by Hartwick Professor Kate O’Donnell, followed an outline another panelist, Dan Buttermann, brought back from Al Gore’s “Climate Reality Project” forum last year in Los Angeles:  “Must we do it? Can we do it? Will we do it?”

‘Lennie’ Bourgeois, 82; Navy Flight Engineer Raised In Laurens

IN MEMORIAM: ‘Lennie’ Bourgeois, 82;

Navy Flight Engineer Raised In Laurens

Lennie Bourgeois

LAURENS – William L. “Lennie” Bourgeois, 82, raised in Laurens before embarking on a 20-plus year career as a Navy flight engineer, died at Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Jan. 12, 2019.  Since 1981, he had lived in Valparaiso, Fla.

He was born in Goodyear, Conn., on May 26, 1936, to Oliver J. and Julienne (Girard) Bourgeois.  Lennie spent his youth in Upstate New York and graduated from Laurens Central School in 1955.

Just days after graduation, he joined the Navy and spent the next 20+ years serving his country. He often said his favorite tour of duty was with VX6/VXE6 in Antarctica, where he spent six seasons flying the C-130 aircraft as flight engineer, including “his” C-130, #319.

United Way Drive Aims To Help Needy Keep Warm

United Way Drive Aims

To Help Needy Stay Warm

United Way of Delaware & Otsego Counties’ Volunteer Coordinator Valerie Adams, left, and Executive Director Kimberly Lorraine show the boxes, decorated by United Way volunteers, they will use to collect warm hats, gloves, mittens and scarves as well as non-perishable, instant food items for those in need through Thursday, Jan. 17. Volunteers will hang bags of the donated food and the clothing in trees in Huntington Park on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday Jan. 21. (Jennifer Hill/

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

ONEONTA – The season of giving may have officially ended, but United Way of Delaware & Otsego Counties is continuing it with a “Keeping You Warm Inside and Out!” donation drive.

“The holidays when people donate a lot are over,” United Way Volunteer Coordinator Valerie Adams, who is overseeing the drive, said. “But there are still people who are hungry and need warm clothing, and the end of January, beginning of February is our coldest time of the year.”

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21, volunteers will tie ribbons around packets of food and warm clothing and hang them from trees in Huntington Park, inviting community members to take what they need.

Snow Due Tonight; With Big Blizzard Arriving Saturda

Snow Due Tonight;

With Big Blizzard

Arriving Saturday

Pennsylvania-To-New-England Storm

Will Romp Through Otsego County

Get ready, Otsego County.

The second of two storms this week will created dangerous blizzard conditions with a foot or more of snow forecast from northern Pennsylvania through Otsego County into northern New England this weekend, AccuWeather reported a few minutes ago.

A first storm, forecast to swing quickly from west to east spanning late tonight into Friday morning, will be more of a nuisance with up to a few inches of snow, the weather service said.

A much more dramatic, disruptive and dangerous storm will follow approximately 36 hours later from Saturday to Sunday. Errands should be completed before the storm hits, the forecasters advised.

Huntington Library To Undergo $200,000 Renovation

Oneonta Library To Get

$200,000 In Renovations

Work To Close Huntington For 3 Weeks

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Library Director Tina Winstead in the Community Room, which will be revamped with new carpeting and furniture as part of a $200,000 renovation, starting Tuesday.

ONEONTA – The Huntington Memorial Library is about to get a little work done.

“The third floor is going to get a real facelift,” said Tina Winstead, library director.

The Chestnut Street library will be closed for three weeks starting Tuesday, Jan. 22 for considerable remodeling and reconstruction, including asbestos abatement, insulation upgrades and new furniture.

“It will get worse before it gets better,” she said. “but we think people will really like the results.”

The main affected area consists of the first floor entry or “computer” room and the two stories above it, which was built in 1959.

Renewables, Maybe Not Answer Today, Are Wave Of The Future


Renewables, Maybe

Not Answer Today,

Are Wave Of The Future

To the Editor:

Mike Zagata’s column of Jan. 10-11 expresses perspectives that are fast becoming archaic. To suggest renewables aren’t ready to replace gas is short-sighted, parochial and myopic.
Of course, the 5,000 flights a day that circle the earth can’t by powered by green energy, but that’s exactly the point. Conserving them now will insure availability later.
The gas and oil reserves will have to yield some day to alternate energy (the earth isn’t making them as fast as they are being consumed – not by a long shot), so wouldn’t it be wise to begin now to wean the global society off oil, so reserves will remain when they are essential?
Vision of future needs has proven to be obsolete repeatedly through human history, most recently in the last century when horse-powered transportation was deemed a pollutant in cities that had to clean streets of manure in favor of gasoline-powered cars.
Essential as that shift was, just one century later the innovation of the past has become the pollutant of today, as witnessed by contamination of the atmosphere with exhaust fumes leading to an accelerated climate warming.
Too often the legitimate issue of contamination from conventional energy sources is politicized, so if Obama proposed it, it is rescinded. Likewise, ill-informed perspectives are

‘Uxurious’ Misread Fateful Visit

‘Uxurious’ Misread Fateful Visit

Painted As Figure Of Fun, Susan B. Anthony Went On To Make History

Editor’s Note: Here is The Freeman’s Journal Feb. 9, 1855, account – in prose and poetry – of Susan B. Anthony’s appearance in Cooperstown, to be commemorated with a State Historical Marker that has just arrived at the village’s First Presbyterian Church. The tone marks the flippant attitude in some quarters at that time.

Mr. Editor:
Your readers should be apprised that last Friday was a great and eventful day in the history of human events. It was one of these epochs whereat Time pauses to set down a stake from which after generations may measure his further flight.
Henceforth, let it be noted in Phinney’s calendar that the 9th day of February, 1855, was the day when the memorable “Woman’s Rights Convention” was held at Cooperstown! – and let the mothers of Otsego, in all coming ages, teach their children to revere its anniversary, as the day when “the strong-minded women” gave the horn of liberty such a rousing blast among the echoing hills of our county.
…A gentleman was called to the chair, and a secretary and two vice-presidentesses were appointed. The president, after a few appropriate remarks, introduced to the audience, Miss Susan B. Anthony, who took the rostrum.

Her theme – the wrongs that
patient woman bears;
To sew, to spin, to mop and darn
her lot;
To do the drudg’ry, while man
takes the pay.
She all the pangs of Eden’s curse endures,
While man her pleasures shares,
but not her pains.
Give woman but the right of
suffrage, she
Will soon have equal laws,
and what is wrong
Will speedily set right.

Audible sobs were heard among the henpecks

Majority Senate Democrats Begin Shutting Out GOP Voices

Majority Senate Democrats Begin Shutting Out GOP Voices

And so it begins.
Day one of the new Democrat majority in the state Senate began, in many ways, as expected.
A new leader was elected (from just outside New York City) and immediately outlined the policies the Democrats would be pursuing in the coming year.
This is how a change in majority works, and I take no issue with that. However, I was deeply concerned on several fronts.
I have consistently voted for a permanent property tax cap, and I was pleased to hear the new leader mention that as a priority. The problem was that no other Upstate concerns were detailed, and that is a major disappointment.
Economic development is lagging behind in many counties outside of the five boroughs of New York City, but that fact is being swept under the rug by the new leadership regime.
I have previously outlined New York State’s population loss, and the news is filled with stories about Upstate businesses closing their doors.
We need to focus on policies that will cut taxes, eliminate burdensome government regulations, and lower the cost of doing business across the state. Those are the steps needed to create an environment conducive to job creation.
My Republican colleaguesand I have advanced a number
of initiatives in recent years to address our state’s economic shortcomings. We will continue to

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