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News of Otsego County

Candidates

NORTHRUP: Before Cuomo Resignation, Let Investigations Conclude

LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Before Cuomo Resignation,
Let Investigations Conclude

To the Editor:

I have never voted for Andrew Cuomo and probably never will. I can’t. I’m not a year-’round resident of New York State.

The allegations of harassment against him are troubling, and, if proven, worthy of condemnation. But I am going to suggest that, rather than simply clamour for his resignation, it would be more helpful, indeed therapeutic, to allow the investigations by the state Attorney General and the state Legislature to play out.

That’s what the harassment statutes are for. Under the law, the presumption is that the accused is innocent, and that guilt must be proven, not simply alleged.

As a practical matter, if he resigned now, nothing would be proven. The only lesson learned would be that he was held accountable to the court of public opinion, not the law.

By resigning, there will be no investigation, no due process, no conclusive judgment. Not a great precedent for the law or the process.

Senator Gillibrand is calling for his resignation. I recall that she was the first of Senator Al Franken’s colleagues to condemn him for alleged harassment.

When she was rebuked for that after he resigned, she said, “He could have gone before the Ethics Committee.” True, with her prejudicial dagger sticking in his back.

In hindsight, Franken should have gone through the process, as Cuomo says he will. Daggers and all. If he comes out of it battered but unbroken, I might even vote for him. Multiple times, as my dead relatives and I do regularly in Texas.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

MEBUST: Democratic Chair – Vote Bergene, Falk
LETTER from LYNNE MEBUST

Democratic Chair – Vote Bergene, Falk

To the Editor:

Tuesday, March 16, is Election Day in the Village of Cooperstown, and I encourage all residents to come out to the fire hall on Chestnut Street between noon and 9 p.m. to vote for Cynthia Falk and Hanna Joy Bergene for village trustee.

Cindy has served the village for several years as trustee and deputy mayor and is seeking re-election. Her service, experience and record of success have been exemplary, and her willingness to continue to serve deserves our strong support.

Hanna Joy is a newcomer representing a generation vital to the future of our village. Her commitment to the community combined with her business and marketing experience make her uniquely qualified to add her voice to the village leadership.

The Cooperstown Democratic Committee is proud to have nominated both Cindy and Hanna Joy for election as village trustee. Please take the time to come out on Tuesday and support them both.

LYNNE MEBUST
Chair, Cooperstown
Democratic Committee

HAZZARD: Bergene Supported Businesses
LETTER from MATT HAZZARD

Bergene Supported Businesses

To the Editor:

It is a true honor to write to you today and encourage residents to get out and support Hanna Bergene as trustee for the Village of Cooperstown.

I had the distinct privilege to work alongside Hanna during her tenure at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce. For more than three years, Hanna worked diligently on behalf of both the businesses and residents of our community. On a daily basis her tireless work ethic and passion was on display, skills that she will bring with her to the trustee position.

In our next trustee, it is essential we have someone with a vision for the future of Cooperstown. Having been born and raised here, Hanna would bring her local knowledge and insight to the position. As a young professional, she has grown expediently, from her days at Stagecoach Coffee, to her role at the Chamber, she now serves as a key figure in marketing our county in her role at Paperkite Creative.

All of these experiences have positioned her as the right person at the right time to serve in this role.

While working together, we spoke frequently on the amazing opportunities and potential for our beautiful village. For key issues that have been discussed in this community for years, such as more affordable housing, creating a vibrant Main Street, and embracing younger generations, we need a Trustee that will go the extra mile. She has proven it time and time again with her volunteerism and involvement in local community groups.

For anyone that knows Hanna, her love for our community is evident, and I am confident that she will serve the entire community well.

MATT HAZZARD
Cooperstown

FALK: ‘It Takes A Village Moment’ Inspires Candidate Falk
LETTER from CINDY FALK

‘It Takes A Village Moment’
Inspires Candidate Falk

To the Editor:

Saturday I had one of those “It Takes a Village” moments.

I offered a ride to a friend to the vaccination clinic at the Clark Sports Center. Sitting with her in a folding chair on the gym floor, I remembered just how special our community is.

We have a teaching hospital right here in Cooperstown, we have an amazing recreational facility and, most important, we are blessed with people who care.

Our local community members helped spread the word about vaccine availability, assisted with online registration, provided rides, checked people in, gave shots, stood by in case of an emergency, and checked up on our friends and neighbors.

We live in a one-of-a-kind place that I am pleased to call home.

For the past nine years, I have been privileged to represent village residents on the Board of Trustees. This Tuesday, March 16, I will be running for my fourth term.

There is little hype about this election. My name and Hanna Joy Bergene’s will be the only ones on the ballot, and there are two open seats. There is no national election going on simultaneously and no COVID-induced change to the voting date as there was last year.

Honestly, it may seem like there is little reason to participate. But I am hopeful that in our remarkable village people still will make the effort to exercise their right to vote.

Polls are open noon – 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, at the fire hall, and absentee-ballot applications and absentee ballots can be picked up by 4 p.m. Monday, March 15, at Village Hall, 22 Main St.

The pandemic has been difficult on all of us individually and collectively. The village government is no exception to that – the last year has been trying, and the coming months will be critical as we begin to creep forward into a post-pandemic world.

I encourage you to take part in the democratic process as we enter this next phase, and I would greatly appreciate your vote on Tuesday the 16th.

CINDY FALK
Trustee, Deputy Mayor
Cooperstown

BERGENE: ‘Someone’ Who Cares Running for Village Trustee
LETTER from HANNA JOY BERGENE

‘Someone’ Who Cares
Running for Village Trustee

Bergene

To The Editor:

My name is Hanna Joy Bergene and I am honored to be running for village trustee alongside our current trustee/deputy mayor, Cindy Falk in the village election next Tuesday, March 16.

Many in the local business community may know me from my time working at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, Paperkite, Stagecoach Coffee and the Cooperstown Winter Carnival Committee.

I’ve called Cooperstown home my entire life. My parents, Gregory and Susan Bergene, both long-time employees of Cooperstown Central School District, taught me the value of a good work ethic and getting involved in your community from a young age.

As a village trustee, my goal is to make Cooperstown the best place it can be for all residents and businesses alike. I have thought long and hard, as well as asked a few close friends about what makes a great trustee. Some of the things that stood out to me are:

• Someone with a passion for public service.

GREEN: Candidate Sees Bigger Picture
LETTER from SUSAN GREEN

Candidate Sees Bigger Picture

To the Editor:

It is with great enthusiasm that I write this letter of endorsement for Hanna Bergene, candidate for Trustee for the Village of Cooperstown.

I have known Hanna for over six years, first when I was a board member for the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce while she was the director of marketing and events. Hanna’s work ethic and dedication impressed me in all of our interactions; she was prepared and professional at all times. She was particularly successful in executing the Chamber’s many events, which required a lot of collaboration, creativity, and dedication.

For the past two years I have been fortunate enough to have Hanna join the team at Paperkite as our social media manager. She has added tremendous value to the agency with her creative approach and ability to see the bigger picture for our clients and agency to achieve results.

It is these qualities that I believe will make her an effective and successful trustee.

Having seen Hanna operate in these roles over the years, I know she will bring the same dedication, creativity and vision that the job requires.

Hanna Bergene for Trustee!

SUSAN GREEN
CEO, Paperkite

KAVANAGH: With Governor In Trouble, Candidates Surface For ’22
LETTER from KENNETH J. KAVANAGH

With Governor In Trouble,
Candidates Surface For ’22

To the Editor:

What an incredible piece of work Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin most certainly is.

His recent announcement of his intentions to run for governor truly takes the cake. If they can’t come up with a better candidate on either side of the aisle, we’re all in trouble.

Zeldin’s voting record underscores the pathos of his case. He has voted against the Equality Act, Paycheck Fairness, background checks and reproductive rights.

He owns one of the worst (if not THE worst environmental ratings) in the entire New York congressional delegation as per The League of Conservation Voters. He is a true darling of the NRA, which readily pumps tons of money his way.

In no uncertain terms one need not look too hard for a better gubernatorial candidate . Hopefully his is nothing less than a lost cause.

KENNETH J. KAVANAGH
Cooperstown

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Disagree? You Must Be Crazy

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Disagree? You Must Be Crazy

There are millions of Americans, almost all white, almost all Republicans, who somehow need to be deprogrammed. It’s as if they are members of a cult,” Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson said of Trump supporters on Jan. 12.

Former CBS news anchor Katie Couric agreed.

“How are we going to really, almost, deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump?” she asked Bill Maher.

And both CNN and Vanity Fair ran interviews with Steven Hassan, former Moonie and author of “The Cult of Trump,” discussing the best way to help Trump cultists escape the supposed abusive authoritarian who supposedly rules their minds.

…Defining political dissent as a psychological problem is a Soviet trick. They invented a new disease, “sluggish schizophrenia,” and explained that even though the subject might not display any symptoms of ordinary schizophrenia, his unfounded allegations against the government showed it was gradually coming on.

Only a madman could possibly dislike the Soviet idyll. American Marxists think the same: only a brainwashed cult-member could possibly support Trump.

JANE STANNUS
The Spectator, Feb. 2, 2021

‘Who Cares?’ Asks Cuomo, But COVID-19 Answers Needed
EDITORIAL

‘Who Cares?’ Asks Cuomo,

But COVID-19 Answers Needed

You should read this article in full. Google “cuomo hospital lobbyists,” or read excerpt below.

We’ve seen it happen here.

On Dec. 28, Cooperstown Center – the former Otsego Manor, now in private hands – advised its Family Council that two residents had died – not necessarily OF COVID, but WITH COVID.

Officially, one died of a bleeding hernia, the other of sepsis, at Bassett Hospital, NOT at the nursing home.

The Cuomo Administration’s Health Department took this kind of parsing a step further: Statewide, if a nursing home resident with COVID was transferred to a hospital and died there, he or she was counted as a hospital death, not a nursing-home death.

Attorney General Letitia James blew the whistle on this slack practice in a press conference last Thursday, Jan. 28, detailing an investigation that found nursing-home deaths from COVID may actually be 50 percent higher than the Cuomo Administration has been letting on.

Later that day, state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker released new numbers, raising the nursing-home tally by 3,800 to a new total of 12,743. That means about a third of our state’s 40,000 COVID deaths happened in places like Cooperstown Center.

So Cuomo and his health commissioner, Howard Zucker, knew. But so what?

Here’s what.

REPORT: Nursing Home Residents Poorly Served

Blockbuster

REPORT: Nursing Home Residents Poorly Served

Editor’s Note: Here are the recommendations in state Attorney General Letitia James’ report, “Nursing Home Response to COVID-19 Pandemic,” which also discovered nursing-home deaths may be 50 percent higher than the Cuomo Administration let on. For Complete Text Click Here.

State Attorney General Letitia James outlines key recommendations in “Nursing Home Response to COVID-19 Pandemic,” which also discovered nursing-home deaths may be 50 percent higher than the Cuomo Administration let on.

•Ensure public reporting by each nursing home as to the number of COVID-19 deaths of residents occurring at the facility — and those that occur during or after hospitalization of the residents — in a manner that avoids creating a double-counting of resident deaths at hospitals in reported state COVID-19 death statistics.

• Enforce, without exception, New York State law requiring nursing homes to provide adequate care and treatment of nursing home residents during times of emergency.

• Require nursing homes to comply with labor practices that prevent nursing homes from pressuring employees to work while they have COVID-19 infection or symptoms, while ensuring nursing homes obtain and provide adequate staffing levels to care for residents’ needs.

• Require direct care and supervision staffing levels that: (1) are expressed in ratios of residents to RNs, LPNs, and CNAs; (2) require calculation of sufficiency that includes adjustment based on average resident acuity; (3) are above the current level reflected at facilities with low CMS Staffing ratings; and, (4) are sufficient to care for the facility’s residents’ needs reflected in their care plans.

Inauguration 2021 Chance For New Beginning
EDITORIAL

Inauguration 2021 Chance For New Beginning

The loss of innocence. And we thought it could only happen once.

“I can’t help but think: You see these photos of the West Side of the Capitol, where presidents have stood and the transition of power has occurred. It’s so tainted now, with insurrectionists actually storming the Capitol. It’s hard to go back.”

That’s Joey Katz, son of Cooperstown’s former mayor Jeff Katz, then a teenager, who – with his mother, Karen, the village former first lady – saw the second inauguration of Barack Obama. Then-congressman Chris Gibson, a Republican (and now Siena College president), provided his tickets, so the Katzes had a pretty good view.

Here’s Joey Katz of Cooperstown and his mother Karen at President Barack Obama’s second Inauguration in 2013 in Washington D.C.

James Dean, Village Trustee, And Much More
FOUGHT FOR LAKEFRONT, BUILT SANTA’S COTTAGE, PLAYED CARDIFF GIANT

James Dean, Village Trustee, And Much More

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Retiring Trustee Jim Dean, with wife Eileen by his side, holds up a newspaper report from when he played the Cardiff Giant in CBS’
“Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” in 1982. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

James Dean, a Cooperstown village trustee since the Democratic sweep in 2012 began his party’s almost decade-long control of 22 Main St., is stepping down.

While known today as a trustee, Dean has been part of the civic landscape long before that:
• Since early 1981, when, recently arriving (in 1977) from New Jersey, he launched a fundraising drive to acquire Smith Ford’s Ed Smith’s property at the bottom of Pioneer Street to double the size of Lakefront Park. The drive failed and Smith eventually built a house there.
• Since December 1981, when future mayor Carol B. Waller, active in the 4Cs Christmas Committee, recruited Jim – a maker of fine staircases – to build Santa’s Cottage in Pioneer Park, which youngsters are still enjoying two generations later. “We manufactured everything,” he said, “the doors, the trim, the windows.”
• Since 1982, when a production executive knocked on the door of his workshop, in the parking lot behind what is now the NBT Bank branch, and asked him, “Have you heard of ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’.” He hadn’t, but he agreed to play the role of the Cardiff Giant on the CBS serial, publicizing the story nationwide.

RUDY: Antidote To Chaos? Read Obama’s ‘Promised Land’
LETTER from JOHN A. RUDY

Antidote To Chaos? Read

Obama’s ‘Promised Land’

To the Editor:

The insurrection directed by Donald Trump against the U.S. Capitol has prompted me to begin Barack Obama’s recent memoir, “The Promised Land.”

I look forward to reading of a time when America had a decent, intelligent and honorable president worthy of the respect and admiration of its citizens.

That is my plan for getting through the remaining days of this nightmare presidency. What’s yours?

JOHN A. RUDY
Cooperstown

Let’s All Get Behind President Biden’s Call For Calm, Unity
EDITORIAL

Let’s All Get Behind President Biden’s Call For Calm, Unity

Our best hope: Joe Biden and his inclination toward unity.

It’s a day that will live in infamy, Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob attacked the U.S. Capitol, vandalized and ransacked the venerable building, and was driven out by National Guard units and Capitol Police with some loss of life.

Prior to Jan. 6, 2021, few Americans could visualize that ever happening. The natural response here in Otsego County, as throughout our United States, is horror, sadness and fear for the future.

What now?

Illuminatingly, the AllOTSEGO.com daily poll that sought readers’ opinions on the next steps found people chose the mildest options by a large majority.

ONEONTA COMMON COUNCIL: So Where Do You Stand? Democracy? Insurrection?
LETTER from ONEONTA COMMON COUNCIL & Otsego County Board of Representatives

So Where Do You Stand?

Democracy? Insurrection?

To the Editor:

The violence in D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, which led to the deaths of five people, have clarified the one question that needs to be asked of our country, state and regional representatives: Are you for the democratic process or are you for insurrection?

There is no longer any nuance, thanks to the actions of a group of pro-President Trump protesters who chose to break into the U.S. Capitol, loot it, call for the deaths of both the sitting Vice President Mike Pence and the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and kill Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

Their attempt to overthrow a free and fair election — the election managers of all 50 states (who are a mix of Democrats and Republicans) have found no evidence of fraud — has made it abundantly clear that there is a faction of Americans and elected officials who only trust an election when their side wins.

While we shouldn’t have to point this out, we will: That isn’t what democracy is. These actions are abhorrent.

Remaining silent is the equivalent of condoning the actions of a minority that believes violence and destruction have a place in America.

This is a question we never thought we’d need to ask our fellow elected officials to publicly answer, because we mistakenly thought the answer was obvious: Are you for the democratic process or are you for insurrection?

We support democracy and call on all of the City of Oneonta, Otsego County, and our state representatives to make their positions clear.

Clark Oliver, Dist. 11
Adrienne Martini, Dist. 12
Danny Lapin, Dist. 13
Jill Basile, Dist.14
Otsego County Board
of Representatives

Luke Murphy, 1st Ward
Mark Davies, 2nd Ward
David Rissberger, 3rd Ward
John Rafter, 7th Ward
Mark Drnek, 8th Ward
Oneonta Common Council

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