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.
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:
By RICHARD STERNBERG • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
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).
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
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:
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.
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.”
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.
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.