SUBSCRIBE MY PROFILE
HOME | BREAKING NEWS | POLICE & FIRE | IN MEMORIAM | PEOPLE | OPINION
 JOBS  
 DINING & ENTERTAINMENT  
 HOMES  
 CARS  
 FUNERAL HOMES  
 GOODS & SERVICES

News of Otsego County

Business

Dreams Park Seeks OK For 2021 Opening

Dreams Park Seeks

OK For 2021 Opening

With Tests, Reduced Capacity, NY State Asked For Go-Ahead

Cooperstown Dreams Park will be submitting plans to the state Department of Health to allow it to field a 2021 youth-baseball season at its Hartwick Seminary campus this summer, it announced today.

The plan asks the DOH to take “into consideration camp testing and reduced capacity,” according to the statement from Attorney Garo Gozigian, the company’s local lawyer.

Dreams Park said it is awaiting “clarification and direction from DOH and Governor Cuomo.

For the 2021 season, the park would be closed to the general public.

“Our plan will require that all camp participants and registered family members provide proof of negative testing or inoculation in accordance with New York State guidelines,” the statement said.

The statement said “the plan to expand the season at reduced capacity is in the best interest, safety, health and wellbeing of Cooperstown and the surrounding community.”

Bassett Recruits Seward As Liason With Albany

Bassett Recruits Seward

As Liason With Albany

James L. Seward

Anticipating 36-year state Sen. Jim Seward’s retirement, Bassett President/CEO Tommy Ibrahim “asked me to join his team” when the two met for the first time last fall, the senator said.

Conversations continued, and Friday, Feb. 12, Ibrahim made it official: Seward has joined the hospital network as a “strategic affairs liaison,” offering advice on a part-time basis on how it can interact with Albany to obtain the best outcomes.

In an interview, Ibrahim reported that Carolyn Lewis, former county economic development director, has been promoted from a Friends of Bassett role to director of public & legislative affairs, leading the hospital’s lobbying effort, and Seward’s expertise will be available to her.

“As a senator,” Ibrahim said, Seward “was a strong advocate of programs that support the health and well-being of the people in our region. (This) is a natural extension of Jim’s life and career.”

For his part, Seward pointed out that state Ethics Law prohibits state legislators from lobbying their former colleagues for two years after leaving office; but he can approach his contacts in the Executive Branch, which includes the state Department of Health and other agency systems that Bassett depends on.

And he knows who makes what decisions.

“I was very impressed with Tommy,” said Seward. “Since coming here, he’s put together a new management team. They’ve been developing a vision and a plan going forward. I look forward to doing whatever I can to assist the Bassett leadership.”’

Seward, who represented Otsego County in Albany for 36 years before retiring Dec. 31, said, “I’m ready to tackle new things. But I’m also glad to do this on a part-time basis. I do want to smell the roses a bit, too.”

TV-Only Induction ’21 Met With Acceptance

TV-Only Induction ’21

Met With Acceptance

COVID Ends Jeter-Fueled Expectations

By MICHAEL FORSTER ROTHBART • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Derek Jeter

Call it COVID fatigue.

Shocking as it may have been at another time, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s announcement last week that this year’s July 25 Induction Ceremony will be broadcast on TV by the MLB Network, that’s it, has been largely accepted in Baseball Town.

What was expected to be record-breaking crowds cheering superstar Derek Jeter on the Clark Sports Center fields into the Hall of Plaques has turned into a so-far unspecified number of people in an unspecified venue.

The word of the week is “disappointed,” sometimes followed by a “but.”

“While the village is disappointed,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, “I think the Hall of Fame made a wise – and probably the only – decision they could make.”

“To say it’s disappointing is an understatement,” added Jeff Katz, Friends of Doubleday president (and former mayor), “but not a surprise. I’d be surprised if anybody was shocked.”

Tops, Price Chopper Set For Merger

Tops, Price Chopper Set For Merger

Can Both Cooperstown Supermarkets Survive?

By Jim Kevlin • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Price Chopper patron
Pete Gambino exits the Cooperstown store.

It looks like the Cooperstown area, which hosts both a Price Chopper and a Tops Friendly Market, will be an oddity with the merger of the two supermarket companies that was announced Monday, Feb. 9.

The two companies have “a footprint that’s almost perfectly contiguous,” with minimal overlap, Price Chopper/Market 32 President/CEO Scott Grimmett told the Albany Times Union.

With Price Chopper at Chestnut and Walnut in the village, and Tops 3.8 miles away in Cooperstown Commons, that wouldn’t be the case in Baseball Town, particularly since the corporate merger appears to end all competition in Otsego County north of Greater Oneonta, where the Price Chopper in Emmons competes with Hannaford, Aldi’s, BJ’s and Walmart.

“Right now, there are no plans to close any stores,” said Jonathan Pierce of Pierce Communications, Albany, which is handling press queries.

The only other supermarket in Northern Otsego is in Richfield Springs, also a Price Chopper.

Pierce said the merger is being examined by the Federal Trade Commission to assess its impact on the competitive picture.

Amy Schumer Flies With Local Wings

Amy Schumer Flies

With Local Wings

By Chrystal Savage • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Amy Schumer wore locally made wings in the Hellman’s mayonaisse ads during the Super Bowl.

Cecily Rush watched the Super Bowl along with 96.4 million Americans, and there they were: Her handmade angel-wing creations in Hellman’s “Fairy Godmayo” commercial, starring Amy Schumer.

“I was given no details beyond the fact that it was a Super Bowl commercial and that the wings were going to be worn by a blonde celebrity who recently had a baby,” said a thrilled Cecily Monday, Feb. 8, the day after the Tampa Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9.

It was Amy Schumer. “Just move over and watch the wings,” she tells a confused homeowner, at a loss for what to do with his leftovers.

Be-winged Schumer solves his dilemma with a wave of her butter knife before the commercial ends.

Bernie’s Everywhere

Bernie’s Everywhere

Since U.S Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., sat crankily at President Joe Biden’s Inauguration last Wednesday, Jan. 20, a “Bernie meme” – an Internet icon – has been popping up online around the nation.

Locally, friends on the Celebrate Coopers-town Facebook page couldn’t help but join the fun.

Bernie at Schneiders.

WHAT IF? Hosting MLB Event In Plaque Gallery Gets Wheels Turning
EDITORIAL

WHAT IF? Hosting MLB Event In

Plaque Gallery Gets Wheels Turning

The idea was to bring fans to Cooperstown. What about taking Cooperstown to the fans?

In the Age of COVID, the second sentence is a more intriguing one.

And it played out this week with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s annual announcement of the Induction Class of 2021.

While it turned out there was no one to announce this year, the MLB Network spent the afternoon transmitting the Hall’s various exhibits and attractions to a national audience.

The last few years, Hall of Fame presidents, first Jeff Idelson and, lately, Tim Mead, have been announcing classes from a sterile studio in Secaucus, N.J.

How much more of an impact comes from staging the event in the cathedral-like Hall of Plaques, sanctum santorum of America’s Pastime?

In Thriller, Frankenstein Born At Hyde Hall
Horror Flick Available On Shudder.com

In Thriller, Frankenstein

Born At Hyde Hall

By CHRYSTAL SAVAGE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Star Alix Wilton Regan in a particularly horrifying moment in “A Nightmare Wakes,” filmed at Hyde Hall.

A Shudder original, “A Nightmare Wakes,” premieres Feb. 4 on the horror-thriller-supernatural streaming platform.

The short was filmed at the Hyde Hall National Landmark on Otsego Lake by Wild Obscura, a “by/for/about women” producer.

Directed and written by Nora Unkel, the 90-minute film follows author Mary Shelley “as she creates her masterpiece (Frankenstein), she gives birth to a monster,” the IMDb page reads.

Shudder describes itself as “a subscription service for the horror, thriller and suspense genres.”

Alix Wilton Regan stars in the film as Shelley alongside Giullian Yao Gioiello, Philippe Bowgen and a host of Cooperstown talent.

Pandemic Takes Down Fly Creek Cider Mill

Pandemic Takes Down Fly Creek Cider Mill

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Cleaning up the sparser offerings at Fly Creek Cider Mill Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 26, are, from left, Caralee Elson, Mount Vision, co-founder Barbara Michaels, Lin Molloy, Springfield, and President Bill Michaels.
Elson and Molloy are long-tenured employees at the attraction, which will close at least temporarily on Sunday, Jan. 31. Business dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The numbers told Bill Michaels it was time.

“I learned a lot going through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program,” said the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard president. “One of them was knowing your numbers. I spent a lot of time looking at them throughout the pandemic.”

In 2020, “our customer visitation was down all year. Then, after the holidays, it just stopped, to the point it was not sustainable.” said Michaels, whose family announced Wednesday, Jan. 20, they would close the regional tourist attraction, perhaps forever.

HERZIG: After COVID, Many Projects Will Happen
STATE OF THE CITY

After COVID, Many Projects Will Happen

Oneonta Ford Demolition, Renovations
On Upper Floors Planned, Mayor Says

Editor’s Note: Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig delivered his sixth annual “State of the City” speech to Common Council Tuesday, Jan. 19. This is the text.

Mayor Herzig addresses Oneonta’s MLK Jr. commemoration
Sunday, Jan. 10.

Good evening, Oneonta – We have been tested these past 10 months; however, I can tell you that the state of the City of Oneonta is one of Strength, Resilience, and Caring 2020 was a year that Oneonta will always remember – not only for the unprecedented challenges it brought – but also for the way we came together to overcome them.  From the shutdown of the spring, to the SUNY outbreak of the Fall, and now the second wave of the Winter, we have stuck together and we are getting to the other side.

I know that Oneontans are independent-minded folks – never shy about letting you know when they disagree with you – but we come together as one when times are tough. I could not be more proud of your doing so this past year.

National Pioneer Tours State-Of-Art Shelter
CONSTRUCTION MAY BE COMPLETE BY MAY

National Pioneer Tours State-Of-Art Shelter

By CHRYSTAL SAVAGE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Modern animal shelter pioneer Scott Learned of Design Learned, Norwich, Conn.,examines the drains in the double-cage kennels-to-be at the new Susquehanna Animal Shelter, now under construction on Route 28, Index. Smell control will be a key factor in maintaining a tranquil environment for the would-be adoptees. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

When Stacie Haynes joined the Susquehanna Animal Shelter as executive director in 2015, she discovered one of the dogs had been in its kennel for more than 400 days.
Today, shelter stays are typically 14-21 days, she reports.

Thank You Seward, Well Done!

Thank You Seward, Well Done!

On Dec. 31, 2020, James L. Seward of Milford – everyone’s “Gentleman Jim” – retired from the New York State Senate, where he had served Otsego County since Jan. 1, 1986. Because of COVID-19, few of his constituents had the chance to say: Farewell – and thank you. When offered the opportunity, many of us – his fellow legislators, community leaders, top corporate executives and businesspeople, and citizens to whom he reached out and helped in time of need – have now done so in tributes that appear in this Special Edition – from The Editor

State Sen. James L. Seward was surrounded by the people he loved most as he was sworn in on Jan. 2, 2019, for his last term by County Judge Brian Burns. From left are son Ryan with his wife, Kelly; daughter Lauren with younger daughter Vivian; wife Cindy and Vivian’s sister Norah. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Next Generation Buys Rudy’s
Business Partners Rethink Village Mainstay

Next Generation Buys Rudy’s

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Business partners Matt Denison, left, and Joe Festa have bought Rudy’s. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Matt Denison, new proprietor of Rudy’s with Joe Festa, remembers running into Karen Lemister in the alleyway between the liquor store at 143 Main St. and Alex’s Bistro.

“I think this is something you would have a lot of fun with,” said Lemister, who owned Rudy’s for 48 years with husband Fred. One thing led to another, and over the Christmas holiday the venerable business changed hands – and generations – from the retirement-age Lemisters to the 30-something business partners.

Karen calls the new owners “the three Es” – “They have never faltered in energy, exuberance and excitement.”

The transition from one generation to another “is really exciting,” said another 30-something merchant, Jess Lanza, Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce president, who operates Kate’s Upstate with his wife, across from Rudy’s.

What happened is the ideal, Lanza said: “Instead of having a business closed by retirement, it’s passed on to new owners who can bring new ideas and new vitality.”

Denison agrees, pointing out that Alex Guenther, a partner with her dad Brian Wrubleski in Mel’s at 22, was a classmate at Cooperstown Central. “2007 dominates!” he declared.

Matt is a member of Cooperstown’s Haggerty clan, which until recently operated Haggerty Hardware. His mother, Trista Haggerty of Cherry Valley, has also been in retail, he said.

Graduating from CCS, he attended Bennington College, finishing his degree at New York City’s Pratt Institute. Then – after a year producing videos for Sports Illustrated and other Time magazines, 70 hours a week – he came home to bartend at Alex’s Bistro, where he found he enjoyed the public contact and associated salesmanship.

Festa, The Fenimore Research Library’s special collections librarian, has a bachelor’s in art history from SUNY New Paltz, followed by two masters: in art history from Hunter College and in library science from Queens College.

He was a reference librarian at the New-York Historical Society before joining The Fenimore in 2014. “I fell in love with Cooperstown,” he said, “with the museum, with the culture, with Main Street.” A patron at Alex’s, he met Denison there.

The idea is for Matt to work days, and Joe to continue at The Fenimore – he loves that job, too – and fill in evenings and weekends.

The two have been thinking about adjusting the inventory. Matt has some ideas for the tequila section; Joe is interested in bourbons and whiskeys. They are exploring “more price-affordable wines that are good.”

They also have some ideas for social media marketing. A virtual wine-tasting, for instance, where customers buy samples and taste them with Matt’s guidance. Or a cocktail-making class. Or how to make white sangria. (Hint: It includes peach brandy and a pear liqueur.)

Over New Year’s weekend, as the partners were trying out their high-tech calculator, a patron bought a $75 bottle of Cooperstown Distillery’s premium bourbon.

The next morning, the patron came back and bought another $75 bottle.

The new merchants were thrilled.

Denison and Festa closed the deal with the Lemisters on Dec. 16, and received a certification to charge sales tax on the 24th. The store was open over the New Year’s weekend, but closed this past

Monday for two weeks of renovations – painting and reorganizing the inventory.

“This is something new, but holding onto the old tradition,” said Joe. “It’s like having a piece of Main Street to maintain and update.”

“There are ’70s vibes we really don’t want to replace,” said Matt.

City Hall Seeks $500,000 To Redo Oneonta Theatre

City Hall Seeks $500,000

To Redo Oneonta Theatre

By CHRYSTAL SAVAGE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The Oneonta Theatre has been on the market for five years.

City Hall will seek $500,000 in state funding to restore the Oneonta Theatre, the former movie house at 27 Chestnut St. that has been on the market and unused for five years.

Mayor Gary Herzig received Common Council’s unanimous approval Tuesday, Jan. 5, to seek the money through the state’s Main Street Anchor Program aimed at restoring vacant buildings.

While there is no time-frame for approval or construction, Herzig said the priority is stabilizing the building.

“The theater is not only beautiful and vintage, it is a glorious piece of Oneonta’s history,” he said. “If the building could not be restored, it would be a loss that would never be recovered.”

Plans for the restorations would include maintaining the building as a theater. “It would be a place to have a variety of performances, including live stage and film productions within the community,” Herzig said.

He added, “It would increase the quality of life of our residents and also provide an asset and attraction to visit and possibly even relocate to the area.”

“We’re off to the races,” Herzig said as the motion passed.

He plans to complete the application prior to the Jan. 15 deadline. While there is no time-frame for approval or construction, Herzig said the priority is stabilizing the building.

“The theater is not only beautiful and vintage, it is a glorious piece of Oneonta’s history,” he said. “If the building could not be restored, it would be a loss that would never be recovered.”

Plans for the restorations would include maintaining the building as a theater. “It would be a place to have a variety of performances, including live stage and film productions within the community,” Herzig said.

He added, “It would increase the quality of life of our residents and also provide an asset and attraction to visit and possibly even relocate to the area.”

“We’re off to the races,” Herzig said as the motion passed.

He plans to complete the application prior to the Jan. 15 deadline.

Chrystal Savage Named To Managing Editor Post

Chrystal Savage Named

To Managing Editor Post

Savage
Cudmore

With the first edition of 2021, Chrystal Savage, former editor of SUNY Oneonta’s State Times newspaper, will assume the duties of managing editor of Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal and www.AllOTSEGO.com.

Savage succeeds Libby Cudmore, who is joining Hartwick College as a Writer for Young Audiences, working across the college’s publications, social media platforms and the new FlightPath program, which helps students identify and work towards career goals while exploring major and course options.

“Libby has made a huge contribution to the development of our newspapers and website over the past 10 years,” said Editor & Publisher Jim Kevlin. “She’s a good friend and colleague to all of us here. We’re sorry to see her go, but wish her continuing success and happiness in her new endeavor.

“Meanwhile, we’ve been lucky to find Chrystal, who is familiar with Oneonta and Cooperstown, and experienced in reporting and producing a newspaper,” he said. “We’re excited about the skills she’s bringing to our operation.”

A Delhi native, Chrystal graduated from Delaware Academy Central School District at Delhi, and majored in English and General Human Ecology at SUNY Oneonta, graduating magna cum laude in May.

As editor of the States Times, she discovered a love of journalism. She has also freelanced for Catskill Country and other magazines, and reported for The Reporter, based in Delhi.

A native of Cobleskill, Libby is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton and received a Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Program. In 2016, her critically reviewed debut novel, “The Big Rewind,” was published by William Morrow.

Libby’s husband, Ian Austin, will continue as photographer for the newspapers and website.

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103