Bolsonaro and Lula are heading to second round in Brazil election     Zelensky hails advances as open recriminations intensify in Russian media      Ukraine live briefing: U.S., U.K. say Russia’s retreat from Lyman ‘significant,’ hurts its ability to resupply troops     Bolsonaro and Lula are heading to second round in Brazil election     Zelensky hails advances as open recriminations intensify in Russian media      Ukraine live briefing: U.S., U.K. say Russia’s retreat from Lyman ‘significant,’ hurts its ability to resupply troops     Iran’s release of Iranian-American not conditioned on asset unfreezing, U.S. says.      Tear gas use by Indonesian police questioned in wake of mass fatality soccer tragedy     What’s behind the protests in Iran?     Bolsonaro and Lula are heading to second round in Brazil election     Zelensky hails advances as open recriminations intensify in Russian media      Ukraine live briefing: U.S., U.K. say Russia’s retreat from Lyman ‘significant,’ hurts its ability to resupply troops     Bolsonaro and Lula are heading to second round in Brazil election     Zelensky hails advances as open recriminations intensify in Russian media      Ukraine live briefing: U.S., U.K. say Russia’s retreat from Lyman ‘significant,’ hurts its ability to resupply troops     Iran’s release of Iranian-American not conditioned on asset unfreezing, U.S. says.      Tear gas use by Indonesian police questioned in wake of mass fatality soccer tragedy     What’s behind the protests in Iran?     
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News of Otsego County

Columns

News from the Noteworthy: Housing Option Problems

News from the Noteworthy

Housing Option Problems

With construction well on its way at Springbrook’s “Ford on Main” development in downtown Oneonta, I have received no shortage of positive feedback, comments, suggestions, and endless “thank yous.” I am so grateful for the enthusiastic reactions shared with Springbrook for taking on this housing project. It is no secret that our community has a housing problem. If fact, it is no secret that our country is in a housing crisis.

Like much about our county’s current economic condition, the housing situation is full of contradictions. We face a decades-old housing shortage. There are not enough housing options available for those in need of homes. However, builders are also pulling back from building new homes because, at the moment (with interest rates on the rise), they can’t sell their current home stock. It is a perplexing problem and one that should be at the top of our concerns — while we face this housing crisis, we also face a nationwide homelessness crisis.

Hawthorne Hill: Of Garlic, Onions, and Majority Rule
Up On Hawthorne Hill by Richard DeRosa

Of garlic, onions and majority rule

Took down the garlic the other day, trimmed it, and shifted it to trays for winter storage. On the same day tied up the red and yellow onions, and hung them along the barn rafters to cure for a few weeks. These are two of my favorite pastimes up here on the hill. One would assume that such tasks are rather mindless. Not so, at least for me. Focusing on an ostensibly simple, repetitive task frees the mind from the burden of forced thought, leaving it free to go where it pleases. There are times when time passes and yet seems not to have passed at all. It is as if one is suspended in-corporeally in a separate reality. Normally, my mind wanders in and about pedestrian yet pleasing byways. Not so the other day. For some time now I have been troubled by what Walter Lippmann characterized as the tyranny of the majority.

Sternberg: New COVID Recommendations from CDC
Column by Dr. Richard Sternberg

New COVID Recommendations from CDC

Vaccines and infection induced immunity and the availability of effective treatment and prevention methods have decreased the risk of symptomatic COVID infection, hospitalizations, and deaths. Therefore, On August 11 the Center for Disease Control issued a new set of guidelines for minimizing the impact of COVID on people, communities, and health care providers. This takes into account the psychological and economic effects of the various actions. It allows considerably more freedom than the previous guidelines.

Below is a summarization of the recommendations but I strongly recommend reviewing the original article in MMWR, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review, which is published weekly by the CDC, online. The August 11, 2020 edition has the article. You can go to www.cdc.gov/mmwr to find it. The article besides containing the information in more detail contains a table that lists actions to minimize impact based on effects on different persons, communities, and health care system and a figure which lists recommendation for isolation, masking, testing, and other precautions for people who are ill with COVID symptoms and/or have tested positive. I think the figure and article may be easier to understand then in narrative form.

News from the Noteworthy: Changing the World
News from the Noteworthy

Changing the World

Some people talk about wanting to change the world. Others get up at 4 a.m., put on coveralls and muck boots and go do it: Meet Tianna Kennedy, Walter Riesen, and Amanda Wong, owners of Star Route Farm in Charlottesville, northern Delaware County.

Their purpose is not just to nourish themselves and others, but to serve as instruments for justice, seeking answers to these questions: ”Why should the healthiest food go to the highest bidder? Can local farmers more effectively feed our region? How do agriculture students see their futures? How to support social and environmental justice during world-wide climate change?”

Their answer is Star Route Farm. It raises organic produce and heads the 607CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

BERKSON: Little Caesar Hits The Highway

Life Sketches by Terry Berkson

Little Caesar Hits The Highway

Deporting an abusive rooster didn’t solve a plucking problem because my hens continued to lose their feathers and I was sure it wasn’t due to molting. Eventually, I caught Geezbrook, my prize Buff Orpington rooster, in the act with a telltale feather in his beak. I decided, as handsome as he was, that he would have to go to King’s Auction. Back on the farm, the remaining rooster continued the abuse, but I decided not to give him up because then I wouldn’t hear his crow in the morning, which always gives me a charge. Instead, I fitted a painless wire that amounted to something like a horse’s bit in his beak that allowed him to eat, but prevented him from pulling out any more feathers. I suppose I should have tried this with Geezbrook but that egg was already fried.

Still, the plucking problem continued and I came to realize that the hens were pulling each other’s feathers out. I called my chicken guru, Roger Vaughn, to see if he could come up with a solution. “Maybe you’re feeding them too much corn,” Vaughn suggested. “That could result in a dietary imbalance making them crave protein — and feathers are made of protein.”

STERNBERG: Monkeypox Vaccines

Column by Dr. Richard Sternberg

Monkeypox Vaccines

There are several things to remember about the current monkeypox outbreak for those of us in Otsego County.

According to the county health department website on Monday, there are no cases identified locally. Vaccine for monkeypox is not available locally. After checking the New York State Department of Health website (www.health.ny.gov) it appears that the closest location for vaccine is Albany County. I would suggest if you qualify for the vaccine and want to receive it, you or your health care provider can contact the Albany County Department of Health or the state. You can find criteria for eligibility at www.cdc.gov.

News from the Noteworthy: The Community Arts Network of Oneonta
News from the Noteworthy

The Community Arts Network of Oneonta

Since 1970, CANO (formerly known as UCCCA) has been home to the arts and community in Oneonta. Many of you have tasted chili created by some of the best chefs in the area out of handmade bowls at the Wilber Mansion, or taken an art class at The Studio. Even though we have been a primarily volunteer-run organization for over 10 years, we host a wide variety of events and programming, such as monthly Writers Salon and art exhibition openings with live music.

CANO has seen tremendous growth in 2022, restructuring and rebuilding to better meet the needs of local creatives and local residents.

News from the Noteworthy: Oneonta Mayor Path to Success
News from the Noteworthy

Oneonta Mayor Path to Success

In these first 7-months on the job, I’ve been occasionally reminded that not everyone shares my optimism for Oneonta’s future. Nor do they see value in keeping eyes fixed on the road ahead and not trained on past grudges or scores to settle.

However, I believe that by embracing the positive and identifying the possible, we put ourselves on our best path to success.

As Mayor, it’s my duty to present a cogent argument for optimism and to champion the benefits of respectful collaboration.

Sternberg: Monkeypox Outbreak Worldwide
Column by Richard Sternberg

Monkeypox Outbreak Worldwide

As of today, there been more than 5,200 cases of monkeypox confirmed in the United States. Over 1,300 of those cases have been in New York State, the majority of these in the New York City area. The monkeypox outbreak worldwide continues to increase, and last week the World Health Organization declared it a public health emergency of international concern. There needs to be an internationaly coordinated response to try to control this viral disease.

In order to prevent the disease from spreading further, there needs to be more testing, access to vaccines, and treatments along with other public health efforts. Unfortunately, much of this is not in place, and messaging to the public is not always been clear. The coordination, for what it’s worth, seen in the fight against monkeypox, is nowhere near that as seen in the global fight against COVID. Information about who was at risk and access to care is not always been clear. It is difficult to find testing. Vaccine distribution is irregular. Other treatment options are unclear.

Column from Paula DiPerna: Snapshot from a return to the Induction

Column from Paula DiPerna

Snapshot from a
return to the Induction

I decided to go this year — it’s been so long, and it was fun, even jaunty, to fall in with the crowd, hundreds making their way to the Induction ground — loners and families, crowds and couples. Cars with plates from all the states most likely were jammed wherever they could be fit, sun shining off their baking roofs. My road led straight to the heart of things, footsteps away.

It seemed everyone from everywhere was there on the lawn, every square of grass taken, and a sea of umbrellas, tents, and caps. I lingered for a bit with a family from the Dominican Republic — looked like three generations — there like so many to roar in David Ortiz, this year’s favorite inductee by far. I said I’d been down to the DR not too long ago, to ”Punta….” “Cana!” they filled in before I could. “We’re from Samana.” I said I loved their island, which is true, and that I’d even been to San Pedro de Macoris, birthplace of many baseball players who got to turn pro. “Fantastic,” they say.

Column by Terry Berkson: A Miller’s Knot

Column by Terry Berkson

A Miller’s Knot

A Miller’s Knot

Bumped into Buster Whipple several summers ago at Joe’s Pizzeria downtown. He was up from Florida to attend his grandchild’s graduation. We hashed over old times, among them, days I used to work with him on his family’s farm. We were doing hay the year I was eighteen and headed for Brooklyn College in the fall. “You’re a good worker now,” Buster had said as I threw a bale onto the wagon. “But college is going to ruin you. You won’t want to bust your gut any more. You won’t come back.”

Buster had been wrong because the next summer I was once again on the Whipple farm tying bags of oats on the back of a combine driven by rotund and jovial neighbor Steve Spitko. We were in a large field across Route 20 from the new house where Buster lived with his wife and four kids. One of the guys working with me was an old man named Obie Marriot who wore bib overalls without any underwear. In spite of his age he was a good hand, big and powerful, and it was hard to keep up with him when on- and off-loading the heavy burlap bags of oats. Tying bags was a dusty job and working under a baking sun, it didn’t take long before I was as dark as a migrant worker.

News from the Noteworthy: Drink Responsibly

News from the Noteworthy

Drink Responsibly

If I were walking around Oneonta, Richfield Springs, or Cooperstown with a microphone doing random street interviews, I might ask the question, “What is responsible drinking?” I can tell you that the likely outcome of my attempt at reporting would result in a wide range of responses and interesting conversations.

The phrase “responsible drinking” has become ubiquitous in our culture. I will admit, my ears are finely attuned to it because of the work I do. However, I don’t think that’s the whole story. When we tell each other things like, “just drink responsibly” or “all things in moderation” we are essentially using phrases that are interpreted by the listener through their own lens of responsibility and moderation. We may mean one thing, while the other person hears something different.

News from the Noteworthy: Vaping is very dangerous

News from the Noteworthy

Vaping is very dangerous

As most know, vaping is a nationwide epidemic. In New York State, vaping or e-cigarette use among high school students spiked in just four years, from 10.5% in 2014 to 27.4% in 2018. This past spring, some schools in Otsego, Delaware and Schoharie Counties observed 80-90% of their high school students vaping. More worrisome is how often youth vape. The 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 2.55 million youth used e-cigarettes, with 44% of high school e-cigarette users vaping on 20 or more days a month and 28 percent using e-cigarettes every day. More than 8% of middle school students who vape use e-cigarettes every day.

It has long been argued that it’s the smoke and not the nicotine that kills, but addiction to nicotine, especially during adolescence can cause long-term harm to brain development and respiratory health. Nicotine has been found to impact attention, learning, and memory negatively. The e-liquids in vapes often have high concentrations of nicotine. Juul, one of the largest e-cigarette companies, sells pods which contain 20 cigarettes worth of nicotine.

Column by Lang Keith: Move over, Messrs. Plessy and Scott!

Column by Lang Keith

Move over, Messrs.
Plessy and Scott!

For well over a century two cases have been universally considered to be the worst decisions in the Supreme Court’s history: Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson. On June 24th the case of Dobbs v. Jackson eliminated a woman’s constitutional right to choose set forth in Roe v. Wade. This egregious decision will doubtless join Dred Scott and Plessy, and thus create a Supreme Court-terribly-decided-case trifecta.

History buffs will recall that Dred Scott held that persons of African descent were not citizens and therefore had no rights and privileges under the Constitution. Not satisfied with that blockbuster holding, the Court went on to strike down the Missouri Compromise. Aside from its horrendous effect on rights of Blacks, Dred Scott’s trashing of the Missouri Compromise led directly to the Civil War by opening the floodgates for the expansion of slavery. The 1896 Plessy decision permitted segregation, which put a constitutional imprimatur on almost six decades of Jim Crow laws in the South and elsewhere. Justice Alito’s opinion in Dobbs falls within the notorious Dred Scott/Plessy pantheon primarily because: (1) it rewrites the until now well-settled principles of Stare Decisis (i.e., stick to previous decisions except in exceptional circumstances); (2) distinguishes relevant prior cases with reasoning that would make a first-year law student blush; and finally, (3) is the result, not of any change in the law, but merely the appointment of new judges.

Column by Terry Berkson: BEAR!

Column by Terry Berkson

BEAR!

There was an orientation video playing while Alice and I were signing in for a cabin in California’s Sequoia National Park. It gave a lot of information about bears. The narrator warned not to leave any food in your car. Then they showed a bear ripping off a station wagon’s door to get at the goodies some careless visitors had left behind. It was impressive how agile this lumbering animal was. I noticed that Alice was paying close attention to all that was said.

Naturally, we transferred all edibles to our assigned cabin that, to me, seemed less secure than the PT Cruiser we had rented. Alice looked a bit alarmed when she inspected the lock on the door. I had seen better security on outhouses. “Maybe we should have stayed at a motel,” my wife mused.

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