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News of Otsego County

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Wayne J. Balnis, Jr., 59 Feb. 18, 1961-Jan. 16, 2021

IN MEMORIAM

Wayne J. Balnis, Jr., 59

Feb. 18, 1961-Jan. 16, 2021

Wayne J. Balnis Jr.

ONEONTA – Wayne J. Balnis Jr.  better known as “JR”, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 of heart complications.

Wayne was born on Feb. 18, 1961, in Oneonta, to Wayne Balnis and Patricia (Weitzel) Balnis.

He married Carla Palmer on May 23, 1992, in the First United Methodist Church. They were married for 28 years and were constant companions, partners and best friends.

His children survive him, son Joseph Michael Balnis and daughter-in-law, Catie Vincent Balnis, of Delmar; daughter Caryn Rachel Balnis and spouse, Christopher Sloan, of Morris.  He is also survived by two sisters and brothers-in-law, Sherry and Brian Pidgeon and Laurie and Stephen Page.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: DIY Maple Syrup 01-19-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, JANUARY 19

Learn To DIY Maple Syrup

14-19eventspageCOVID TESTING – 8 – 10 a.m. Free Covid-19 testing for people with no symptoms. Call for an appointment. Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown Clinic, 1 Atwell Dr., Cooperstown. 607-547-7973.

MAPLE SYRUP – 6 p.m. Learn how to make Maple Syrup at the micro scale with Aaron Wightman, Co-Director of the Cornell Maple Program. He will cover why sap flows, sap collection options, the basics of processing, filtering, and grading. Free, registration required by Noon. Presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension. 518-234-4303 ext. 111 or visit cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2021/01/11/the-taste-of-the-hills-maple-syrup-for-beginners

Anti-COVID Vaccination Appointments Available At Select Locations With Eligibility

COVID VACCINATION CENTRAL

Appointments Still

Available At NY Sites

In Utica, Binghamton

Click Here For ‘Am I Eligible’ App

Editor’s Note:  www.AllOTSEGO.com will seek to keep you up to date on the availability of vaccinations against COVID-19.  We will strive to update our information at noon daily.

As of noon today, New York State’s special sites at Utica and Binghamton were still accepting appointments from citizens 65 and over, but Albany is not for the time being.

Through the “Am I Eligible” app, eligible individuals can register to receive the vaccine at facilities where supplies are available. CLICK HERE FOR APPOINTMENT

The first round of the Pfizer inoculations are 50 percent effect; the second round, administered approximately 28 days later, raise immunity to 95 percent, according to the CDC. The longevity of this immunity is not yet known.

Going forward, there will be at least four ways to get the COVID-19 inoculation.  In addition to state sites, the other four are:

STERNBERG: Here’s How You Crack NY Vaccine Scheduling

LIFE IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

Here’s How You Crack

NY Vaccine Scheduling

It Takes Determination, Stick-With-It-Ness

By RICHARD STERNBERG • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

erna
Richard Sternberg, retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic surgeon, is providing his professional perspective to www.AllOTSEGO.com during the COVID-19
threat.

If you’re like me, and I only mean that in the COVID-phobic sense, you have been trying to figure out how to get vaccinated. I have been on-line an average of an hour a day for about two weeks trying to find appointments. Then I heard on the news that the New York State vaccination site at Jones Beach (Long Island) now has a three-month wait. What to do?

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the priorities that the state, i.e., Governor Cuomo set out. 1A was to be healthcare workers on the frontlines and nursing home residents, 1B was to be essential workers, 1C was to be people over 65 and high-risk individuals.

Then it changed, and changed again.

Every state has its own priority system. Doses have gone unused. People are flying to Miami just to get vaccinated (and maybe a little sun while they are there).

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO:Donate & Save A Life 01-18-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, JANUARY 18

Donate & Save A Life

14-19eventspageMARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY

BLOOD DRIVE – 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Donate blood, help save lives. Donors will be entered for chance to attend the Superbowl in 2022. Briggs Hall, Main Street Baptist Church, 333 Main St., Oneonta. 800-733-2767 or visit www.redcrossblood.org

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST OF CANCELLED EVENTS
CLICK TO LOOK AHEAD AT WHAT’S HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO
COVID VACCINATION CENTRAL You Can Register For Vaccinations Through NY State

COVID VACCINATION CENTRAL

You Can Register

For Vaccinations

Through NY State

Click Here For ‘Am I Eligible’ App

Editor’s Note: Beginning with this post, www.AllOTSEGO.com will seek to keep you up to date on the availability of vaccinations against COVID-19.  We will strive to update our information at noon daily.

The good news is that, beginning yesterday, our Otsego County neighbors 65 and older report having been able to schedule appointments to receive the COVID-19 inoculations at State of New York special sites, beginning in February.

As of a few minutes ago, through the “Am I Eligible” app, you could register for vaccinations at state sites.  The closest sites are at SUNY Polytechnic in Utica, SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Albany.  CLICK HERE FOR APPOINTMENT

The first round of the Pfizer inoculations are 50 percent effect; the second round, taken 28 days later, raise that to 95 percent, according to the CDC.

Going forward, there will be at least five ways to get the COVID-19 inoculation.  In addition to state sites, the other four are:

Vets Club, Genesee Bar Spawn COVID Outbreak

Vets Club, Genesee Bar

Spawn COVID Outbreak

RICHFIELD SPRINGS –The county Department of Health a few minutes ago announced a potential COVID-19 exposure at at the Richfield Veterans Club and the nearby Genesee Tap Room.

If you were at the vets’ club, 13 Lake St., Jan. 8-10, or the Genesee, 38 Lake, Jan. 8-13, monitor yourself for symptoms, the health department recommends.

Barbara Duell Hewitt, 69; OHS Grad Raised Champion Morgan Horses
IN MEMORIAM

Barbara Duell Hewitt, 69; OHS Grad

Raised Champion Morgan Horses

Barbara Duell Hewitt and one of her beloved Morgans.

ONEONTA – Barbara Duell Hewitt, who was raised in Oneonta and went on to raise world champion Morgan horses in Virginia, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, losing her final battle with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Her loving family was at her bedside.

Barbara was born in Las Cruces, N.M., on Sept. 9, 1951. The family lived in Kansas with generations of family until Barbara was 7, when she moved to Oneonta with her family.

Barbara graduated from Oneonta High School in 1969, and from SUNY Oneonta in 1973, with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Delgado Visits, Promises Funding, COVID Assistance

Delgado Visits, Promises

Funding, COVID Assistance

Congressman Delgado

COOPERSTOWN – After visiting Otsego County government offices yesterday, Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, today issued a statement praising County Treasurer Allen Ruffles and Public Health Director Heidi Bond and calling for federal assistance to get through COVID challenges.

“I thank Treasurer Ruffles and Health Director Bond for their unrelenting work to maintain critical services and protect the public health of Otsego County residents,” said Delgado. “Counties like Otsego are ready, willing, and able to deliver vaccines. Passage of my bipartisan bill, the Direct Support for Communities Act, would ensure they have the resources required to vaccinate as many residents as possible safely and securely.”

Herzig’s ‘State Of City’ Explores Moving From ‘Survive’ To ‘Thrive’

Herzig’s ‘State Of City’ To Explore

Moving From ‘Survive’ To ‘Thrive’

ONEONTA – Reviewing a COVID-embattled year, Gary Herzig will deliver his annual State of the City address at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the regularly scheduled meeting of Common Council.

Herzig’s address will focus on how the city is preparing to turn the corner from “Survive” to “Thrive” in 2021.

The speech and the Council meeting can be viewed by the public at the City’s YouTube page.

Sen. Seward Tribute On Newsstands Now

STERLING CAREER HONORED

Sen. Seward Tribute

On Newsstands Now

“THANK YOU, WELL DONE!”, a tribute edition honoring state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, published by Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal, is now on newsstands around Otsego County, featuring dozens of reminiscences about “Gentleman Jim,” who retired Dec. 31 after serving us in Albany for 34 years.   Don’t miss this souvenir edition.  (AllOTSEGO.com)
Chief Brenner Retires At OPD After 4 Years

Chief Brenner

Retires At OPD

After 4 Years

Lieutenant Witzenburg To Fill In

Until Replacement Can Be Found

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Chief Brenner

ONEONTA – Police Chief Douglas Brenner, at the helm of Oneonta police for four years, almost to the day, will retire in 30 days, Mayor Gary Herzig said this morning.

Until then, Brenner, 56, will be taking left-over vacation time unused due to the demands of a year of COVID-19.  “It’s been a hectic year,” said the mayor.  “He felt like it’s time. It’s been a taxing time for all of us.”

The mayor said while he didn’t expect Brenner’s announcement this week, the chief advised him last year that he had become eligible for retirement and intended to do so.

Lt. Chris Witzenburg, a detective appointed as Brenner’s deputy in 2017, will serve as interim chief, according to the mayor.  A Civil Service exam for the job will be administered in March, and candidates who pass can then be interviewed and appointed later in the year.

People Frustrated, But Vaccine Coming, Oneonta Mayor Says

CLICK HERE FOR 1A, 1B GUIDELINES

People Frustrated,

But Vaccine Coming,

Oneonta Mayor Says

Kinney Drugs First With Shots

At today’s press conference, Governor Cuomo reported Operation Warp Speed will release all available vaccines to the states in the next few days. Until now, New York State has been limited to 300,000 a week.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig says access to COVID-19 vaccinations will “improve soon.”

ONEONTA – There’s “a lot of frustration and confusion” about availability of the COVID-19 vaccinations, Mayor Gary Herzig said this morning, but “I’m told that will improve soon:  The vaccine will be coming.”

Meanwhile, he said, be sure to register through the state’s “Am I Eligible” app.

Also today, vaccinations are being administered at Richfield Springs’ Kinney Drug store, apparently the first private pharmacy in the county that’s rolling out the vaccine.  One person who received a vaccination said business was “steady” at 10 West Main St.

However, the Gouverneur-based drug-store chain is not accepting any more registrations at the time, pending word of further supplies.

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