News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.

Hometown Oneonta

In Richfield, Candidate Offers Chaos, Negativity

In Richfield, Candidate

Offers Chaos, Negativity

To the Editor:

It is heartbreaking that our town has been plagued for over a year by Nick Palevsky’s horrendous and derogatory articles in the Pennysaver and other papers about a draft zoning law, the zoning volunteers and board members.

Whenever there is chaos, negativity, and turmoil in Richfield, it is Palevsky at the helm. And his statements are RARELY based on fact. So then the bullying and placing of doubt and fear into residents’ minds begins. The current scene is all too familiar.

Palevsky doesn’t understand that you cannot get a different outcome if you continue to do the same old thing. Some change is necessary, and some of the current board members understand that there are steps you need to take to reach your town’s goals.

Bullies and backdoor politics, which Palevsky has used in Richfield for 20 plus years, will set us back even further. In all his articles, what has he offered? Nothing but misinformation and rumors. Is this the person that you want to put in as supervisor, yet again?

Read between the lines, fellow residents. Palevsky has damaged reputations and the integrity of our town, over and over again. But it is not too late. Republicans can vote in the very important Republican Primary on June 25.

A vote for David Simonds for supervisor will bring unity. Kane Seamon has become a strong councilman and deserves our vote. NO vote for Fred Eckler who lives in Florida four months of the year, is always negative. In November’s General Election another young businessman will be on the ballot for councilman – Jeremy Fisher. He runs the much improved bowling alley, and is excited about Richfield. He gets my second vote!

Town of Richfield

BOUND VOLUMES: June 20, 2019


June 20, 2019


Advertisement: Sale of Pews – The sale of the pews in the Presbyterian Church will take place on Thursday, the first day of July next at 2 o’clock p.m. Six month’s rent will then become due. It is earnestly desired that all would pay at that time. Geo. Pomeroy, Clerk, Cooperstown, June 21, 1819.
Advertisement: The inhabitants of Burlington intend to celebrate the anniversary of our national independence on the fifth day of July next, at Col. Sheldon’s, and invite the attendance of their friends in the adjacent towns. By order of the Committee of Arrangements, Burlington, June 15, 1819.

June 21, 1819


Democratic National Nominations – For President: James K. Polk of Tennessee; For Vice-President: George M. Dallas of Pennsylvania. Democratic Celebration – July 4, 1844 – Great Rally of the Democracy for Polk, Dallas and Victory! “Oh, flag of promise unto us, thy stars foretell thy country’s fame, our crimsoned stripes, translated thus, give promise to our foes, of shame.” “Honest labor seeks an equality of rights and privileges, and demands equal and exact justice to all men.” “Be always sure you are right and then go ahead.” In view of the vast consequences and momentous issues involved in the great contest for supremacy in the approaching Presidential Election, the undersigned, a Committee appointed by the “Otsego Democratic Association” for that purpose, hereby invite their fellow Democrats of Otsego and adjoining counties, to assemble in mass meeting in the Village of Cooperstown, on the Fourth of July next, at 10 o’clock a.m. to join in commemorating the glorious anniversary of American Independence and aid in cementing the Union.

June 17, 1844


New Grounds for the County Agricultural Society – At a meeting of the Managers two propositions for new grounds for the use of the Society were considered. The Committee appointed to select suitable Fair Grounds reported in favor of the purchase of a lot of Mssrs. Spafard and Hooker, to contain a sufficient number of acres for a first class track of not less than one-half mile, and a small piece called the “Oxbow” – about twenty acres at $250 per acre, and five acres at $150 per acre amounting to $5,750 in all. A resolution was offered authorizing the President and Treasurer to make the purchase, after the Society shall authorize the sale of the lot now owned by it. (Ed. Note: The property referred to is now occupied by the Cooperstown Elementary School, residences along Walnut Street from Delaware, and southward to the high school. The Old Fairgrounds is now occupied by the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, the Bassett Clinic, the parking area and residences along Fair Street).

June 18, 1869


Base Ball – On June 29, the Athletics will play a famous Indian club from the West. They are known as the Minneconji Indians. A parade will be given before the game in full Indian costume. They are the genuine article, and will put up a great game of ball, and run bases like reindeer. They should draw nearly as well as the Cuban Giants. Information has been received that the Athletics have secured Schoenhut, the famous University of Pennsylvania pitcher, for the coming season. With White and Schoenhut as regular pitchers, and J. Hollister for an emergency, Reung, of the University of Pennsylvania as catcher, and Captain Charlie to go behind the bat in the event of any accident, the Athletics will be stronger than ever before. Taylor, our popular big first baseman has been keeping his eye and nerves in order by daily practice at handball and batting.

June 14, 1894


An effort to have the U.S. Aviation Hospital in Cooperstown perpetuated as an Army Rest & Recreation Camp, as suggested recently at a dinner given in honor of Major Francis H. Poole, commanding officer of the hospital, will be made shortly by a committee of three by the Chamber of Commerce. The committee will confer with Major Poole and Waldo C. Johnston, agent for the Clark Estates and builders of the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital now being used by the army. Inspectors from the Surgeon General’s department at Washington have been here during the meantime, and are said to have been impressed with the vast amount of good done at this hospital for officers of the air service who have come back to this country nearly nervous wrecks.

June 18, 1919


Mr. and Mrs. Frederick E. Crosier of North Adams, Massachusetts have announced the engagement of their daughter, Susan Carol, to C.R. Jones, son of Mrs. Weston E. Jones and the late Mr. Jones of Charles City, Iowa. Miss Crosier was graduated from Tufts University, studied Art History at the University of Kansas, and received the Master of Arts degree from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in May of this year.
She is Director of the Oneida Historical Society at Utica. Mr. Jones was graduated from Iowa State University at Ames, studied Art History at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts and received the Master of Arts degree from the Cooperstown Graduate Programs in 1965. An October wedding is planned.

June 29, 1969


Approximately 200 community members attended a meeting at Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown hosted by William F. Streck, M.D., Bassett’s President and Congressman Sherwood L. Boehlert. Boehlert provided the group with an update on health reform progress in Washington. Dr. Streck discussed state-level reform and Bassett’s
response to reform. Boehlert shared his concern that funding of health care reform plans has not been properly addressed. “Regardless of who is driving health reform, changes are coming,” said Dr. Streck.

June 21, 1994


Eight Cooperstown Central School students have been sent home with Swine Flu virus. That news followed CCS nurse Jane Hanson’s decision, Monday, June 15, the last day of classes for the high school and middle school to send home a couple-of-dozen students with flu-like symptoms.
The Cooperstown outbreak followed the confirmation of seven cases at Morris Central School and two at Oneonta High School. Countywide 18 cases have been reported.

June 19, 2009

Energy Amity Not Easy, Chamber Policy Shows


Energy Amity Not Easy,

Chamber Policy Shows

The Otsego Chamber of Commerce’s “Energy & Infrastructure Policy,” released last Thursday, June 13.  The title sounds innocuous enough.

In effect, it is rank-and-file business owners’ Declaration of Independence.

The whole of the Otsego Chamber’s new policy appears in this newspaper, beginning at right.  Read it.  But there are a couple of key paragraphs.

The first makes common cause with every sensible person’s aspirations:

“As we head toward the inevitable move to renewable energy, the Chamber will continue to support and help implement all forms of energy including wind, solar, natural gas, hydro as well as geothermal, ground and air source heat pumps. The Chamber will also help connect businesses … with organizations that can perform energy audits and make upgrades that can help decrease energy usage as well as providing information for rebates and financing options.  The Chamber can work with elected officials and state agencies … to implement renewable energies and technologies.”

Otsego Chamber Policy Declares Independence Regarding Energy Issues

Otsego Chamber Policy

Declares Independence

Regarding Energy Issues

Renewables Supported,

But Decompressor, Too

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Barbara Ann Heegan addresses chamber Energy Summit in January. ( photo)

COOPERSTOWN – Otsego County businesspeople support all energy options – renewables, yes, but also the controversial decompressor station proposed for West Oneonta – states a county Chamber of Commerce “Energy & Infrastructure Policy” released in the past few days.

The statement came bottom-up from the Oneonta-based organization’s countywide membership, said Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan, who also chairs the Economic Development Committee of the county board’s Energy Task Force.  “They (chamber members) collectively shared that they want their voices heard,” Heegan added.

With businesspeople worried their perspectives would not be reflected in the Energy Task Force’s conclusions, Heegan said work began on the statement soon after county Rep. Meg Kennedy, C-Mount Vision, announced the Energy Task Force membership at the chamber’s Energy Summit in January at The Otesaga.

Mike Zagata: Do Renewables Make Sense Yet?


Do Renewables

Make Sense Yet?

By MIKE ZAGATA • Special to

I see the left is at it again.  If you disagree with or question their agenda, then you are labeled as “evil.”

Now I’m being accused of being opposed to renewables.  If you’ve read my writings on the topic, then you know nothing could be further from the truth.  Anyone who is aware of the concerns regarding climate change and understands that fossil fuels are not renewable, i.e. we’re going to run out of them, would be looking for new sources of energy.  Renewables like solar and wind must, at some point in time, be part of that mixA

What I am opposed to is being asked to drink the renewables Kool-Aid without being told what’s in it.  That’s what happened to the cult members who died in Jonestown, Guyana – the results weren’t good.

Environmental Review Too Fuzzy, GasActivists Advise Common Council

D&H Yards Debate Renewed

Environmental Review

Too Fuzzy, Gas Activists

Advise Common Council

CON: Rachel Soper, Town of Oneonta, tells Common Council, “If no specific impacts are identified in the review, if there are no conditions or thresholds specified, then there is nothing for future developers (of the D&H yards) to comply with.” (Ian Austin/

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

PRO: Former city Superintendent of Schools Dave Rowley: “Your process was incredibly open and I think it will lead to something great for our community.”

ONEONTA – Anti-gas activists from around Otsego County returned to Oneonta Tuesday, June 18, with the same message:  The environmental review to allow redevelopment of the D&H Railyards is not detailed enough.

And Mayor Gary Herzig repeated the same response he has since a stormy hearing Tuesday, March 5 at Foothills: If someone shows up with a plan to actually do something, a more detailed environmental review will be done.

In an unusual change in procedure, no public comment was permitted at this Common Council meeting before a 7-1 vote was taken accepting the final GEIS (general environmental impact statement) the state requires of any prospective development.

Then, as expected in advance reports, the Concerned Citizens of Oneonta and allies as far away as Cherry Valley accused Common Council of ignoring the concerns they’ve been raising.

Best Bets: From Rock ‘n’ Roll To Ninjas Warriors


From Rock ‘n’ Roll

To Ninjas Warriors

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Summer has OFFICIALLY arrived in Otsego County! Celebrate the best time to be here with games, theater and a major rock band coming to town!

“I Will Possess Your Heart” hipsters Death Cab For Cutie will perform their soulful indie rock on the Ommegang stage with Jenny Lewis opening. All-ages show, $45, Camping +$15. 5 p.m. Friday, June 21, 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown,

There are games and sweet treats at the Clark Center as it celebrates the first day of summer with giant Jenga, Corn Hole and free popsicles! 3-4:30 p.m. Friday, June 21, Clark Sports Center.  124 County Hwy 52, Cooperstown.  Info, 607-547-2800, ext. 103.

If it’s not sunny enough for you here, why not take a trip to Agrabah? The Orpheus Theatre Starstruck Performers perform “Aladdin Jr.” 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, June 21-22, 2 p.m. Saturday, June 22. Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta,  Info, 607-287-1288

Find some tranquility in a performance of “Peace Tales around the World,” an original production by LEAF, Inc. and Mountains View Wellness Center’s Theater Arts Troupe. 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22, First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta.  Info, (607)433-1714 ext. 201,

Take the whole family out to the ballgame at historic Damaschke Field as the American Legion teams play a game. 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 21, Neahwa Park, Oneonta. Info,

The Oneonta Community Concert Band welcomes summer with “Olympic Fanfare and Theme,” “On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss,” “National Emblem March,” and more. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a free concert! 3 p.m June 23, Pavilion, Wilber Park, Oneonta. 607-437-0152.

Oneonta has our very own Ninja Warrior, Anthony Earley, and you can help cheer him on during a big-screen watch party of “American Ninja Warrior.” 7 p.m. Monday, June 24, Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Info,


Attention, Boaters! Divers Below

Attention, Boaters!

Divers Below

To the Editor:

I was free diving (mask, fins and snorkel; no SCUBA) in Otsego Lake last Thursday evening, June 13,  when I was run over by a motorboat moving at high speed.

If you see this flag, there are divers below.

No, I was not injured.  I was frightened.  I dug myself into the lake bottom to avoid injury.

A dive flag was clearly displayed, and I was within 70 feet of the Biological Field Station (BFS) boathouse dock.  Clearly, the boater involved would have been devastated if blood had been left in the water.  He seemed oblivious (as did his passenger) to the fact that he was violating at least three laws.

Each year, the BFS volunteer divers report boaters ignoring the red and white divers’-down flag and approaching the site of ongoing SCUBA diving.  The volunteers have learned to keep one diver out of the water just to direct boaters away from the diving.

In New York State, motorboats must remain 100 feet away from the divers’-down flag, and motorboats must not create wake (must drive 5 mph or less) if within 100 feet of the shoreline or any human-created fixture in the lake.

Gloria Steinem: Surrogate Bill Would Put Poor Women At Mercy Of Rich Ones


Steinem: Surrogate Bill

Would Put Poor Women

At Mercy Of Rich Ones

Editor’s Note:  Another one of many troubling ideas out of Albany this session – the creation of a surrogate-mother industry – led Gloria Steinem to ally herself in opposition with the state’s Catholic bishops.  She wrote this letter June 11. The state Senate passed the bill, but as this edition went to press, it was stalled in the Assembly.  Happily, the legislative session ends today, June 19.

Dear Friends,

Gloria Steinem

A few months ago, I joined over 100 women leaders in New York State who wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo opposing the “Child-Parent Security Act,” a bill that would legalize reproductive commercial surrogacy in our state. We need your help to stop this bill. Women’s health, rights and lives may depend on it.

The danger here is not the use of altruistic surrogacy to create a loving family, which is legal in New York now, but the state legalizing the commercial and profit-driven reproductive surrogacy industry. As has been seen here and in other countries, this harms and endangers women in the process, especially those who feel that they have few or no economic alternatives.

Under this bill, women in economic need become commercialized vessels for rent, and the fetuses they carry become the property of others. The surrogate mother’s rights over the fetus she is carrying are greatly curtailed and she loses all rights to the baby she delivers. The bill ignores the socio-economic and racial inequalities of the reproductive commercial surrogacy industry, and puts disenfranchised women at the financial and emotional mercy of wealthier and more privileged individuals.

Only Communications Can Root Out Bullying

Only Communications

Can Root Out Bullying

To the Editor:

Last week’s article about school bullying recounts a serious incident in Cooperstown High School (by no means the first), but it begins – and exists – at much earlier levels, as parents and administrators of the lower grades will verify.

This is a problem that needs to be addressed prophylactically and at multiple levels, by parents talking to their own children, by teachers and administrators, and by health care providers.

They need to talk to each other, and to the kids, on an ongoing basis, and not just once.  The students are right to ask: What are they doing?  All of them?  All of us?



Kaytee Shue, Candidate For Council, Good Manager

Kaytee Shue, Candidate

For Council, Good Manager

To the Editor:

I wanted to introduce you to Kaytee Lipari Shue, a professional colleague of mine, and also a lifelong 30 year resident of Ward 4. Kaytee, with her husband Jared, as new parents moved back to Oneonta to ensure their family would have the same rewarding experiences that Kaytee had growing up.   Born and raised in Ward 4, Kaytee has the understanding, strength and a commitment to seek solutions to grow the center city community that we can all be proud of.

Kaytee has over 12 years in management and has the keen ability to uncover the root cause of any concerns and will find the solution to fix the issues. In her management positions, she developed strong teams and maintained her Maurice’s store ranking in  the top of the Northeast Region, while also growing the store brand and gross sales.

In working daily with Kaytee for over seven years, I know from experience her strong leadership skills are above expectations and her commitment to getting the issues resolved is what we need in Ward 4.

Kaytee is very personable, has great communication skills and is extremely responsible. Kaytee has a lifelong connection to our entire community and will seek out the resources to provide the 4th Ward residents’ with the support and the solutions that WE are looking for.

Please join us 9:30-11:30 a.m. this Saturday, June 22, at Latte Lounge Express & Lizard Lick Ice Cream located on Dietz Street, Come and meet Kaytee Lipari Shue the candidate that I am endorsing!

And vote at Foothills, noon-9 p.m. Tuesday, June 25.



Renewables, Yes, But Decompressor As Well


Renewables, Yes, But

Decompressor As Well

Kathleen O’Donnell, the retired Hartwick College professor and a Concerned Citizen of Oneonta, was among attendees at the Chamber’s Energy Summit in January. Second from left is Tracy Allen, SUNY Oneonta dean of sciences. ( photo)

Editor’s Note: The Otsego County Chamber of  Commerce released this Energy & Infrastructure Policy Thursday, June 13.

Otsego County has a diverse economy. Manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and tourism have been part of the economy for hundreds of years. Having a large part of the economy linked to these sectors, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce affirms that Otsego County requires a variety of energy sources to allow it to be both economically competitive and environmentally responsible.
To achieve these goals, the public and private sectors
must collaborate to ensure that needed energy and transmission infrastructure upgrades are implemented.

Jim Atwell: New View, From Delaware Street


New View, From

Delaware Street

It’s a pleasure to be writing again for The Freeman’s Journal (as well as, for the first time, Hometown Oneonta).  I’ve been here before, though it was about two decades ago. More about that in a future column.

Jim Atwell

For this new stint of columns, of course I need a new name. “From Fly Creek” just won’t do. Though all I learned and came to love while writing from that hamlet still lives in me, I’ve moved on, and not just in age. (In August I’ll be eighty-one.) I’ve also moved through a range of new experiences including deteriorations that have come with continuing Parkinson’s, and now with diabetes and uncertain blood pressure.

So mine’s a different perspective now, and I should address you from it. And I’ve concluded to assure that by naming this series from Anne’s and my new home base: halfway down the two long blocks that form one of Cooperstown’s most handsome streets.

Delaware Street runs straight as a die from Chestnut down to Beaver Street. It’s lined with fine trees and well-maintained homes. Nearly all the homes have comfortable front porches. Just now almost every porch features hanging baskets of trailing flowers, plus a colorful pot or two arranged along the steps. Many are also brightened by our national flag, wafted by breezes.

Scrutiny To Intensify After Beating At CCS


Scrutiny To Intensify

After Beating At CCS

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – While contemplating how to respond to a student’s beating and the furor it evoked, Cooperstown Central School Superintendent Bill Crankshaw got some welcome good news.

Bill Crankshaw

After a four-year wait, CCS received word Monday, June 17, it has received $500,000 in state Smart School Bond money intended for security and infrastructure improvements in the schools.

“It’s great news and it’s a relief,” said Crankshaw.

It means the district has funds to help assuage parents’ and students’ safety concerns after two high school students allegedly called a classmate a “f—-t” and kicked and beat him.

Parents and students packed a Cooperstown PTA meeting on Tuesday, June 11, and a school board one Thursday, June 13, some upset at school administrators’ handling of the alleged attack and bullying prevention, in general.

Of the half-million dollars, $240,000 will be used to install security cameras campus-wide “in areas that have the most traffic and potential for safety concerns” and about $70,000 will go to installing “a new centralized proximity-reader system connected to the security camera system,” according to CCS’ Smart School Bond’s Plan Summary in using the funds.

City Father’s Diaries Being Transcribed By Swart-Wilcox Friends


City Father’s Diaries

Being Transcribed By

Swart-Wilcox Friends

Some Of It Humdrum, Some Endearing

Helen Rees, left, and Debbie Clough of the Friends of the Swart-Wilcox House show off Henry Wilcox’s diaries in the parlor of Oneonta’s oldest surviving home. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – The Huntington Library didn’t know what it had.

Transcription is making Oneonta pioneer Henry Wilcox’s diaries available to the public.

When the Upper Susquehanna Historical Society – now the GOHS – was cleaning the Swart-Wilcox House for the 1976 Bicentennial, someone found all of Henry Wilcox’s diaries, said Helen Rees.

“They gave them to the Huntington Library and two were transcribed, but they didn’t think they were very important,” Rees said, founder of the Friends of the Swart-Wilcox House, Oneonta’s oldest home.

The diaries – seven in all – were later returned to the Friends. “We have very different views on what was important!” said Rees. “He wrote every day, so there are a very valuable insight into Oneonta’s life. He wrote about the weather, who died, what was going on.”

He wrote about his mother’s passing, his wife Phoebe and their sons Fred and Merton. A daughter, Myrtle, died at age 5 of “moreness” in 1875. The brothers were the last residents of the house.

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