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Hometown Oneonta

With New Heart, Life Is Renewed

With New Heart,

Life Is Renewed

Transplant Gives Cooperstown Woman

New Life After Battling Lyme Disease

Mary Margaret Sohns and her pal, Brenda MIchaels, co-proprietor of the Fly Creek Cider Mill, who is also suffering from Lyme Disease, enjoy the Global Lyme Alliance annual fundraising gala in New York City last week.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – In March, after suffering debilitating heart conditions brought on by Lyme Disease six years before, Mary Margaret Sohns had a vision.

“I saw a big white box with a ribbon around it,” she said. “And I heard the theme from ‘The Golden Girls’.”

With a new heart, Mary Margaret Sohns looks forward to a healthy future. (Ian Austin/www.AllOTSEGO.com)

Her husband Matt came into the room with the phone in his hand. “He said it was for me, and that it was from Newark Beth Israel Medical Center,” she said. “They had a heart for me.”

And at 3 a.m. on March 3, after a surgery that took three hours, Sohns had a new heart.

“There is no way to thank a person for a gift that is priceless,” she said. “The donor not only helped me, but their lungs, kidneys, liver and other salvageable organs went to other people.”

On Sunday, Oct. 6, Sohns and her family walked in the “Heart & Sole” walk in New Jersey, raising $17,490 for the transplant team at Beth Israel. “The original goal was $5,000, but we surpassed that. Then $10,000, and we beat that, then $15,000, and we beat that!” she said.

Even daughter Maggie chipped in, raising $333 – a number that echoes the date and time that gave her back her mother. “She started to cry at the end of the walk because she was so happy her mommy was alive,” Sohns  said.

She also invited to a dinner at the Global Lyme Alliance Gala on Thursday, Oct. 10, in New York City, along with her friend Brenda Michaels, Fly Creek Cider Mill co-owner, who also lives with Lyme Disease.  Brenda’s brother, Charlie Palmer, was the chef for the evening.

In 2013, Sohns started experiencing “a myriad” of symptoms. “My vision went, I had cramping, I was irritable, I couldn’t sleep and I had issues with depth perception,” she said. “I went from running marathons to being unable to push a shopping cart or walk up to Stagecoach without stopping.”

Though she doesn’t remember ever getting a tick bite, she was diagnosed with Lyme Carditis, a rare condition when the Lyme bacteria enters the heart. “It’s typically reversible if you catch it between 45-60 days,” she said. “But because it took so long for me to get diagnosed, it wasn’t reversible.”

Though the got a pacemaker, she suffered from several setbacks, including a wire hitting her atrium. “I was chewing up pacemaker batteries,” she said. “I was having episodes where I would feel things like weather in my heart.”

She had several episodes in front of her daughter, Maggie. “I could feel it coming, so I told Maggie that if I went to the ground, to go get my medicine,” she said.

Finally, she was seen by a pulmonologist. “She couldn’t understand how I was still breathing with so few heartbeats,” she said. “She told me I should have had a new heart two years ago. I didn’t realize how bad it was; I just kept hoping I would get better.”

By March 2019, she had lost all hope. “I tried to smile and go about things,” she said. “But I kept telling Matt, ‘This is it.’”

But since her heart transplant, she’s made it her mission to educate local people about Lyme Disease.

“We are in Ground Zero for Lyme,” she said. “If you have symptoms, you need to see a Lyme-literate physician. Failure to diagnose or incomplete treatment means that your body still thinks there’s an aggravating organism, so it attacks your brain, your liver, your heart, your kidneys. There’s no-one-size-fits-all treatment.”

Because she didn’t see the tell-tale bullseye most people associate with a tick bite, she notes that anyone with symptoms like she had should see a doctor immediately. “A simple medication at the right time might have changed my life,” she said.

She also wants to remind people to make sure they sign up to be organ donors. “I can no longer be around sick people, so I can’t go back to being a pharmacist,” she said. “But I want to help people realize what a wonderful gift they can give by donating their organs.”

She has not yet met the family of her donor, although she hopes to.

“How do I thank that person?” she said. “I live my lfe and help others learn.”

 

MITT of the FUTURE Under Marucci Wing, Creator Planning Cooperstown Factory

MITT of the FUTURE

Under Marucci Wing, Creator

Planning Cooperstown Factory

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Scott Carpenter is relocating his Cherry Valley workshop to Cooperstown’s Key Bank Building to make custom baseball mitts under the Marucci Sports label. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – The secret to the baseball glove of the future, Scott Carpenter discovered, is in looking at the gloves of the past.

“I was at an artist’s residency at Blue Mountain Lake and someone invited me to meet with Ted Spencer at the Baseball Hall of Fame,” he said. “I realized that Cooperstown was a great location, not just for my business, but to study gloves. The best way to project forward is to look at how they’ve evolved.”

Now Carpenter, who has been making custom-fit baseball gloves since 2003, has been acquired by Marucci Sports, based in Baton Rouge, La., one of the leading manufacturers of baseball bats for Major League players who now want to expand into gloves.

As a fashion artist in New York City, Carpenter had made several gloves and exhibited them in shows alongside Keith Haring, who will be featured at The Fenimore Art Museum next summer, and other pop artists. “Gloves are a unique object,” Carpenter said, in an interview at his Cherry Valley workshop that will soon be moved to Cooperstown.

“They’re sentimental and complex,” he said. “I wasn’t making them to be ironic or weird, I was interested in everyday objects and the weight they carried.”

The more gloves he made, the better he got, and soon, he was making custom gloves for minor league players, including Noah Krol, then with the Oneonta Tigers, in 2007.

“A regular glove only has a knot at the thumb to adjust and that’s as much of a custom fit as you get,” he said. “But mine are custom fit to each person’s hand for a tailored, ergonomic fit.”

In the early days, he would ask customers to trace their hands, but now 3D imaging and printing has made it easier to get an even more custom fit.

“When you have a better fit, you reduce slack,” he explained. “Players tell me the glove feels locked in, so the exchange from the catching hand to the throwing hand is easier.”

In 2011, he made the first non-leather microfiber glove to be used in the MLB by Brian Gordon, the Yankee pitcher.

“I make the lightest gloves in baseball,” Carpenter said. “The average, all-leather glove might be 24 ounces, and mine are usually 5 to 8 ounces lighter.”

The gloves begin at $535 when he was selling them through his website; they will now be retailed at places like Dick’s Sporting Goods.

In 2001, he had relocated his shop, Carpenter Trade, to Cherry Valley, in a home where previous occupants used to make baseballs.

“I found an empty spool of baseball thread being used as a doorstop,” he said. “And I found a needle of the right size for that thread.”

He makes as many as 50 gloves a year, all by hand, on Singer sewing machines. “A glove takes about 19 hours to make,” he said. “And I know the connection between Singer and Cooperstown, so I thought it would be cool to use those machines.”

His first Marucci glove was made for Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson, the former American League MVP.

“Other brands were interested in my performance-enhancing technology,” he said. “But Marucci was a fast-growing brand, and their bat is the most used bat in Major League baseball. They think they could have a similar impact on gloves, so that was motivation to acquire my business.”

Now under Marucci, he plans to relocate to the Key Bank building on Cooperstown’s Main Street,  and hire additional employees to help keep up with the demand. “Marucci will mass produce the components, and I’ll finish them here,” he said.

And he plans to continue working with the Hall, as well as research among baseball fans and Dreams Park players. “There’s so much intellectual capital here,” he said. “People around here have that knowledge.”

In addition to professional-grade gloves, he also custom makes gloves for people with hand deformities and disabilities.

He had grown up playing baseball, and still plays in the Leatherstocking League locally. “My sons are one and 4,” he said. “I’m so specialized in adult gloves that making one for them is going to be a whole different product.”

Democrats Signal Plans To Republicans

EDITORIAL

Democrats

Signal Plans

To Republicans

Otego-Laurens District 3 Shift

Can Take Away GOP’s Majority

Friends, the Democrats are coming to get us, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

Caitlin Ogden
Rick Brockway

Chad McEvoy, the local party’s brainy director of communications, sent out an email on Oct. 1 that affirms an editorial that appeared here in early summer – the future of party politics in Otsego County will be determined in District 3, where two newcomers, Republican Rick Brockway and Democrat Caitlin Ogden, are competing for an open seat on the county Board of Representatives.

If Ogden wins, control of the board shifts from Republican to the first solid Democratic majority in county history.  (In 2006, Democrats allied with Republican Don Lindberg and took control, but without a true majority.)

In the emailed memo that begins to the right of here, McEvoy points out “the political stars are aligning … This could be huge for the future of our community,” and he ticks off what would be slam dunks for a Democratic majority:  Creation of a county manager, improving energy efficiency of county buildings, a community college, buying up and repairing blighted properties.

Nothing wrong there, but things get a little iffy when he gets into the “diversity of thought” in the party on two issues in particular. One is “doing our part to fight climate change” – that likely means no fossil-fuel bridge to green energy.  Two is “whether we want to roll out cannabis production and retail sales locally in a post-legalization world.”  We know how that’s likely to go.

As the Cooperstown Village Board – all Democrats – has proved, an ideology-driven governmental body with no opposition will do what it wants.

In control for almost a decade now, Democrats are only now hitting their strides and the community is shocked, shocked.

One, using a Comprehensive Plan that was largely developed without public input (as most are), the trustees stirred a hornets nest by looking to plunk an apartment house in one of the village’s finest single-family neighborhoods.

Two, the trustees approved flying the Pride Flag next June at the downtown flagpole, against the advice of the village attorney and the one attorney-trustee.  If the Ku Klux Klan seeks a similar permit, Village Hall can’t deny it because of the precedent set; fight, it will lose, the attorneys said.

Three, blinking signs are popping up everywhere, blinking, blinking, blinking into local living rooms.  Are they needed?  Do they work? They are an irritation, and there’s an ethical question about government applying stimulus-response to the citizenry.

The point is, absent any viable opposition (for now), the village trustees can do whatever they want, and are doing so.  New Trustee MacGuire Benton was explicit:  If people don’t like the trustees’ decisions, they can run for office.  So there.

Other than no fossil-fuel bridge and Big Pot in our future, there’s a lot of nuttiness in Albany that’s headed our way, with the Democrats in control of both houses and the Governor’s Office.

An interesting vote in point was the county board’s resolution against the “Green Light” law authorizing “illegal immigrants” from getting drivers’ licenses.

Every Democrat on the county board voted nay or abstained on that resolution, except Andrew Stammel, D-Town of Oneonta, who voted aye angrily, saying he had been sandbagged.

This month, county Rep. Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta, even voted nay on the “Justice for Jill” resolution.  The whole issue of the new Democratic majority emptying prisons will have to wait for another day, but it’s real, and the impacts will be far-reaching.

And this is just the beginning.  The other day, New York City’s Human Rights Commission imposed a $250,000 fine on the use of the term, “illegal immigrant,” in certain context.  Just the beginning.

On the other hand, give Otsego County Democrats credit.  In the wake of Donald Trump’s election in 2016, they mobilized and organized.  The county went for Trump, but a motivated party swung it in 2018 for Democrat Antonio Delgado, our new congressman.

The Republicans need to show similar vigor, as they are in the Town of Richfield, in organizing against a Democratic effort to impose a restrictive comp plan and zoning code on the community.

With a 7-7 split on the board – the Republicans keep control through weighted voting and an alliance with Meg Kennedy, Mount Vision, a Conservative Party member – the GOP failed to mount any effective challenge in the City of Oneonta, where Republicans as recently as 2015 controlled two of the four county board seats, plus the Town of Oneonta’s.

In District 1 (Butternuts/Morris), no Republican has challenged Michelle Farwell, nor was Stammel challenged, vulnerable if anyone is.

The Republicans need some soul searching, and to pull up their bootstraps.

District 3 is a good place to get started.

The Democrats, according to the McEvoy Memo, are going to give it all they’ve got.  A sneak attack in the primary won the Independent line for Ogden, where only Brockway’s name appeared on the ballot.

The numbers were too small (30 to 4) to be meaningful, but it showed what can be done – what might be done.  If Brockway is to be elected, Republicans need to give him all the support they can.

And there’s mischief to contend with, too.  Outgoing Otego-Laurens county Rep. Kathy Clark sought out Ogden at the last county board meeting and chatted with her cheerfully for a few minutes.  Later, Ogden said Clark  advised her to increase the size of her name on roadside signs.

Clark broke with the GOP last year when the Republican County Committee failed to endorse her husband, Bob Fernandez, for sheriff.  Republicans shouldn’t underestimated the damage she might do.

In the last county board election, this newspaper endorsed the Democratic slate, and several are performing splendidly – Farwell among them, but also Andrew Marietta, Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, and even Liz Shannon, City of Oneonta, who is retiring after one term.

This year, though, with the doings in Albany and local Democratic militancy on the energy issue, Otsego County needs the county board as a bulwark against a potentially destructive Democratic tide.

Come on, Republicans, shake it off.  Keep District 3.

JEROME: What The ‘Plus’ In PolioPlus?

What’s The ‘Plus’

Of PolioPlus?

By MICHAEL JEROME • Cooperstown Rotary PolioPlus Chric

Thirty years ago, Rotary International made a promise to the children of the world – we will eradicate polio worldwide. This pledge launched the PolioPlus program, the first global initiative to provide mass vaccinations to children. Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) have made great strides in their sustained effort to end polio forever despite many challenges over the years. Rotary remains optimistic and committed to the final push towards a polio-free world.

Michael Jerome

Since then, polio cases have dropped by 99.9 percent, from 350,000 cases in 1988 in 125 countries to 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018 in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2019, health officials celebrated the three-year mark of the last reported a case of wild poliovirus in Nigeria – a major milestone that makes it possible for the entire African continent to be certified wild poliovirus-free – a remarkable achievement!

The benefits of the PolioPlus program go well beyond the eventual end of polio. Early in Rotary’s efforts to vaccinate every child against polio, community and tribal leaders in some areas said their villages had matters more critical than polio that needed to be addressed first. Issues like clean water, proper sanitation, and education to name a few. Rotary responded by providing grants to dig wells, install toilets, build schools and vocational training facilities among other efforts to address these needs. As projects were completed over the years, the leaders realized Rotary cared; and they allowed health workers to come in and provide the vaccines. In many parts of the world, access to clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene, and a basic education are available thanks to Rotary International.

Other pluses of the PolioPlus program include the utilization lessons learned, systems designed, and infrastructure established for polio eradication in other situations. An example can be seen in northeastern Nigeria, where malaria kills more people than all other diseases combined. In 2017, the World Health Organization, one of Rotary’s GPEI partners, used the polio eradication staff and infrastructure to deliver antimalarial medicines along with the polio vaccine to children there. It’s reported that this campaign reached 1.2 million children.

Additionally, in 2014 health workers in Nigeria successfully used the surveillance systems and processes developed for polio eradication to locate infected people and prevent Ebola from spreading beyond the initial 19 reported cases. Here and elsewhere, health workers use surveillance systems and processes developed for polio immunizations to combat other health crisis.

As a result of the PolioPlus program, now healthcare workers who provide basic care to families, routinely give children preventative care such as Tdap and Vitamin A before giving polio vaccines. According to a recent study, 1.25 million deaths were prevented by providing Vitamin A to children at the same time as the polio vaccine.

The lessons learned from the PolioPlus campaign, the research facilities built for disease analysis, and the surveillance systems designed to locate infected persons are successfully being used to prevent other diseases from spreading. Rotary has a right to be proud of all that we and our GPEI partners have accomplished because of the PolioPlus program.

Rotary’s 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries have been actively raising funds for this cause for decades including more than $60,000 contributed by the Rotary Club of Cooperstown. To complete the final immunizations and defeat polio, Rotary is committed to raising $50 million annually over the next three years. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment 2:1.

Without full funding, this paralyzing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. According to specialists the final one percent is the most difficult for this very contagious disease. If we do not stop it now, new cases may re-emerge in countries where the disease was once eliminated, and many more children may be at risk.

The Rotary Club of Cooperstown will mark the historic progress toward a polio-free world with activities in recognition of World Polio Day. The Mayor of the Village of Cooperstown, Ellen R. Tillapaugh, has issued a proclamation proclaiming October 24, 2019 as World Polio Day in Cooperstown and encourages all residents to join her and Rotary International in the fight for a polio-free world.

Several events have been planned, including the following:

Cooperstown Dines Out to End Polio – A week-long event during which local restaurants will contribute a percentage of their net sales to support Rotary International’s Global Eradication Initiative.

Purple Pinkie Project – Students from the Cooperstown Central School chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) will celebrate World Polio Day with presentations in the elementary school to raise student awareness of polio and the need to eradicate this paralyzing disease. NHS members and Rotary Youth Exchange students will paint their classmate’s fingernails purple in exchange of a donation towards polio eradication. In countries where polio still exists, a finger stained purple indicates a child has received a polio vaccination. A flyer about this project will be sent home with the elementary school students soon.

End Polio Now Table at the Farmer’s Market – Rotarians will offer to paint fingernails, provide information on the polio eradication initiative and accept donations to the Eradication Initiative on Saturday, October 19, 2019. Please stop by our table.

Rotary members, students and area residents will join millions who are working to raise awareness and funds to end the debilitating disease of polio, a vaccine-preventable health risk that continues to threaten children in parts of the world today. I urge you to reflect on your good fortune to live in a polio-free county and contribution to support the global effort to End Polio Now.

To make a direct contribution, readers are welcome to contact me at mjerome@stny.rr.com

ATWELL: She Would Have Loved That Smile

A FRONT PORCH PERSPECTIVE

She Would Have

Loved That Smile

Editor’s Note: Jim Atwell penned this column on Aug. 30, 2001, when he and Anne were still living in Fly Creek.

By JIM ATWELL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

I can’t do justice in words to an incident last Saturday. It was too rich with meaning. But the moment was so wondrous that I’ll still try to tell you.  Read the words, please; then make up for their shortfall from your own life’s experience.

The Olde English Musical Cottage lives on.

      Last Saturday was a great day for our hamlet; our annual community yard sale brought hundreds to Fly Creek.  Many started the morning with our Fire Department Auxiliary’s breakfast (the best such meal around, I think.) Afterward, the big crowds moved among some three dozen family yard sales, and then they gathered back at the Grange for the Historical Society’s lunch of barbecue, salads, and homemade desserts.

       Like many Fly Creekers, Anne and I had rummaged through attic and basement, barn and garage, thinning out our stuff.  Before moving to Fly Creek, each of us had closed down a house in Annapolis, and so there was plenty of stuff to cull.

A widower, I had moved up here alone almost 10  years ago. Before the move, I had had to empty the house my late wife and I had shared for 18 years.  Gwen had made it a beautiful home; and, to a grieving husband, dismantling her decorating felt like treason. But what else could be done? I held a half-dozen sales down there, selling off elements of share shared life.

A lot of stuff, however, ended up traveling north with me – either because I ran out of time or just couldn’t part with it. And in Fly Creek, much of it stayed in boxes stowed in attic or basement.

Then, after I’d been alone in Fly Creek for five years, Anne and I married; and that poor girl had to wedge her own extra goods into those already stuffed spaces.  But she did it, as you’d expect, with good grace and humor.  And now, four years later, we were plunging into the combined piles, sort for the yard sale.  To use the great local expression, we’d taken on “hoeing out.”

As we hoed, I came across items I hadn’t seen since I’d packed them, down south.  Many were decorative items that Gwen had once chosen with great care, or items so closely associated with her that, back then, I just couldn’t let them go.

If you know my Anne, you won’t wonder for a moment how she reacted to those relics of my life before our shared life.  As I turned them up, I explained each to her; and that fine woman listened and understood.  And she comforted me with something she’d said many times before: She’s glad for my past happy marriage; it bodes well for ours.

I don’t know how I lucked out, getting a second wonderful woman in my life.  But I’m very grateful.

Anyway, a lot of items rich in personal history went into the yard sale. I was now ready to let them go.

We set up the sale on the shady lawn outside Anne’s office. While I spent most of the morning down at the Grange, helping with sales there, Anne handled the customers who tramped up our driveway to appraise the wares.

Around lunchtime I dropped home to find that Anne, predictably, had been doing a great job. Lots of stuff, hers and mind, had been sold and was gone.

As I sat down with her behind the tables, though, one remaining item caught my eye.  Still there was a simple oblong jewel case made to look like a thatched cottage.  When one raised the hinged roof, a mechanism played, “An English Country Garden.”

A dear friend had given Gwen the box on her last birthday, her 47th, three months before her death.  Gwen loved it, kept it at her bedside. And as I sat by her through the last desolate days and nights after coma seemed to have smothered all consciousness, I’d sometimes open the box, hoping that somehow she’d heard that delicate refrain. . .

Well, last Saturday, a family came up our driveway – young parents, a happy baby boy, and his big sister. The little girl, about 5, was beautiful: perfect features, honey-blonde curls, eyes of purest blue.

I looked at her and then at the music box and knew at once what must happen. I beckoned the little girl over to the thatched cottage and raised its lid. When the lilting melody began, her eyes widened. Her face glowed with wonder.

I caught Anne’s eye. She understood (of course) and nodded slightly. Then I spoke to the little girl.

“Would you like to have this special box?”

“Oh, yes,” she whispered.

“Then it’s yours, as a gift.  Keep your treasures in it, won’t you?”

“I will,” she said. And cupping the little cottage in both hands, she held it to her ear, the better to the melody.  Her distant, luminous smile just then – well, you’ll have to imagine it, friends. I don’t have words for it.

That box, as my dearest Anne understood, could not be sold. It had to be given.

And that girl’s smile – how Gwen would have loved it!

Jim Atwell, retired college administrator and Quaker minister, lives in Cooperstown.

McEVOY: County Manager, Certainty; Energy, Pot Still Up In Air

THE McEVOY MEMO

County Manager,

Certainty; Energy,

Pot Still Up In Air

Editor’s Note: Chad McEvoy, the Otsego County Democratic Party’s communications director, emailed this memo Oct. 1, alerting county Democrats they are one seat away from winning a majority on the county Board of Representatives, and what it means if that happens.

By CHAD McEVOY • OCDC Communications Director

In 2019 the political stars are aligning just right to give Democrats the best shot yet at capturing an outright majority on the Otsego County Board. Building on the work we did in 2017, we are now just one district pickup away from flipping the county legislature blue for the first time in history, as far back as anyone can remember.

Chad McEvoy

This could be huge for the future of our community, so why does it seem like no one has really noticed?

Certainly people tend to pay less attention to local races. We all also worked really hard in 2018 on state and congressional campaigns and we might understandably be a little burned out. Perhaps, however, there is such an ingrained assumption that we live in a Republican-dominated area that even dedicated Democratic activists can scarcely imagine an Otsego County where the agenda is being set by a Democratic chair.

In meetings earlier in the year, when we first began to see the opportunity before us, we were almost shocked to realize that a majority was within grasp. Were we doing the math right?  What had we missed? What would it mean if we actually won? For years the possibility of a Democratic majority seemed so inconceivable that we were not even practiced in formulating the question. This, I think, is the real reason for the awkward gap we are seeing between the very real possibility of victory and the seemingly anemic level of enthusiasm on the part of the normally engaged Otsego County Democratic activist base. People just can’t quite envision it yet.

In an effort to answer this question about what we would actually do if we won, over the last several weeks I have had focused conversations with some highly engaged Otsego Democrats, each of whom came with different sets of interests and subject matter expertise.  I spoke one-on-one with them about their visions for what the county could be in a world where Democratic policies and principles are actually setting the political agenda and not constantly being stymied.

Everyone I talked to agreed that Otsego County needs to create and fill some form of a county manager role.  In order to revitalize county administration we need to take the burden off the 14 part-time politicians and vest an individual professional with the authority to manage many aspects of county business with an executive function. A good manager, appointed by a Democratic majority, could bring new energy to the county bureaucracy, perform a structural reorganization of its staff, streamline government functions, and be a singular advocate for the needs of our communities when aggressively pursuing grants and funding.  As Democrats, we support the idea that competent government professionalism should be nurtured and can provide great dividends.

Everyone I talked to also agreed that a Democratic majority could finally pursue critical green initiatives, with the goal of protecting our natural and agricultural land, increasing our appeal to tourists, and doing our part to fight climate change.  Ideas for what we could accomplish given the power to do so included things like smart invasive species control, improving energy efficiency in government buildings, pushing the county to use more renewable products, curtailing the overuse of carcinogenic pesticides and herbicides, continuing to resist fracking and other extractive land uses, supporting and promoting organic farming, keeping XNG trucks off roads where they don’t belong, and exploring the idea of selling carbon offsets to fund reforestation projects on county land.

Personally, I am motivated to win in 2019 by the idea that a Democratic majority will be able to push our part of the world to do what it can to prepare for and resist the coming destabilization of the global climate.  With a majority at our backs, a whole menu of environmentally positive initiatives moves into the realm of possibility. Under continued Republican leadership, however, nothing like this seems remotely feasible.

A number of other ideas on a wide range of topics surfaced over the course of my conversations.  One commonality, however, was a sense that these ideas could never come to full fruition if we continue doing political business as usual in Otsego County. We discussed the idea of an Otsego community college, various infrastructure improvement projects, beefing up the planning board, developing long-term capital improvement and economic development plans, improving county constituent services, and dramatically improving how the county communicates with its citizens. The problem of rural EMS availability came up several times, as did housing issues and support for animal shelters.

A favorite of mine is the idea of establishing a land bank with the mandate to buy up blighted properties. The properties would be cleaned up, historically important structures stabilized, and wetlands, farmland, and forests rehabilitated. These properties would eventually be resold at a higher price; all of this would stimulate our economy and tax base, remove unsightly messes, preserve our architectural history, and help us do our part for the natural world.  It is an idea that could make a huge difference in our community, but again, nothing like it is even conceivable under the status quo.

There are also several areas where there is a diversity of thought on the Democratic side about how to proceed—for example, on the specifics of how fossil fuel infrastructure projects should balance economic interests with environmental concerns or whether we want to roll out cannabis production and retail sales locally in a post legalization New York.  We may not always have 100% consensus, but we do have a shared understanding that we would much rather entrust these decisions to Democrats than to the Republicans who have clearly been making the wrong calls, and for the wrong reasons, for decades.

There is a fundamental sentiment that current and past leadership has done little more than manage the slow senescence of our region. Our current economy is a reflection of the ills of decades of declining population, unhealthy demographic trend lines, and systematic underinvestment in our physical, energy, information, and human infrastructure. If tax cuts, penny-pinching, and government inactivity were the real paths to prosperity, that would be plainly evident by now.  Instead we need to bring in new energy, new ideas, and new decision makers who will take positive, proactive steps toward revitalizing our region.

My purpose here has not been to prescribe all the possible things a Democratic-led county could finally accomplish, but to try to get people to start their own ideation on the topic.  What would you like to see happen in Otsego County? It’s now time to start dreaming big.

Why do we think we can win?

Because of our success in 2017, the Democrats are now in a tie with the Republicans in terms of board seats, with a total of seven each.  Yet we are denied the chair of the county board (and everything that comes with it) because of the way the votes are weighted by district. The reason that 2019 provides such an opportunity is that there are only three contested seats.  Two of these seats are currently held by Democrats, and we expect them to be fairly easy to defend.

  1. This leaves just District 3 (covering the towns of Otego and Laurens) as the likely swing district that will determine the political fate of the county. And while Republicans have a moderate numerical advantage in District 3 by registration numbers, there are several factors that make us feel extremely optimistic that we can take this seat:

  2. We already almost did! In 2017 the Democratic candidate came up only 17 votes short in the absentee ballot count.

  3. The longtime Republican incumbent is retiring, leaving this an open race.

  4. We have an extremely hardworking and dedicated candidate in Caitlin Ogden, who has been knocking on doors in her community for months, already laying the groundwork for an effective get-out-the-vote blitz in October and early November.

  5. We have already proven we can outwork the other side. A dedicated group of activists mounted a write-in campaign in the primary this summer to challenge the Republican on the Independence Party line and won. It wasn’t just a victory. It was a blowout, with Caitlin garnering 88% of the vote as a write-in against someone whose name was actually printed on the ballot.

How do we win?

We simply have to significantly outwork the other side.  Small, local elections like this hinge on so few votes (see 2017) that the side that tries the hardest is virtually assured victory.  This is why I am saying that a Democratic Otsego County is ours for the taking—if we work hard enough for it.

Of course, we will use every technique and tool at our disposal as well.  The core group of volunteers on the Ogden campaign have extensive professional experience running local- and state-level campaigns.  We are already applying battle-tested best practices around voter communications, field operations, and data collection. But we don’t yet have enough support or resources to execute a campaign plan commensurate with the size of the opportunity before us.  Quite simply, we need more money and more volunteers.

What can you do to help make this a reality?

  • Start dreaming big about what a Democratic future in Otsego County will look like.

  • Sign up to volunteer to write postcards, make calls, and knock on doors up until election day. Basically nothing in campaign tactics has ever proven more effective than an engaged volunteer with a big smile knocking on people’s doors and reminding them to vote.

  • Follow Caitlin’s campaign on Facebook and invite your friends to “like” it too. Sign up for her campaign emails while you are at it.

  • If you know anyone who lives in Laurens or Otego, PLEASE tell them about the District 3 race and how important every single vote will be on November 5. Get them to commit to vote.

  • Get involved with the Otsego County Democratic Committee. We are all deeply strapped for time and always need volunteers. We also currently have about 60 open seats across the county, and we welcome new voting members.

  • We also need to hold on to the other two currently Democratic-held seats that have challengers in 2019. Michele Farwell in District 2 (Pittsfield, Morris, and Butternuts) and Jill Basile in District 14 (Oneonta Wards 7 and 8) will need our support. If you live in those districts, please make sure every Democrat you know votes this November.

  • And, of course, please donate. Contributions will be used to fund materials, events, and advertisements to help us reach more voters. Remember, your political dollar goes miles farther at the local level than anywhere else. You simply cannot get a better return on investment in terms of actual impact on your life as an Otsego County resident than you can by helping us flip the whole of the county blue with a District 3 win. Giving $100 to your favorite 2020 presidential candidate is but a drop in the ocean, but in this race it could very well be what makes the difference in winning control of our entire county.

In working for this victory, we are also doing our part to further the rebuilding of the rural Democratic Party infrastructure, which has been nearly catatonic throughout areas like ours for decades—ignored by both the party establishment and the opposition. A strong county means a stronger base for our congressional candidate, which means a stronger national Democratic Party.  We may live in the hinterlands, but what we do here really does matter. In fact, as citizens of a purple county in a purple congressional district, what we do here matters more on a macropolitical level than perhaps anywhere else in the state.

Sincerely, 

Chad McEvoy

Chair of the Communications Subcommittee of the Otsego Democrats
Communications Director, Committee to Elect Caitlin Ogden
2017 Otsego County Board Candidate, District 6
2018 New York State Assembly Candidate, District 101
Voting Member of the New York State Democratic Committee
Sustainable Otsego PAC Board Member
Treasurer, Clark Oliver for Otsego County Board
Treasurer, Rural Majority PAC

Two more things you should know about voting in 2019:

  • For the first year ever, we will have the opportunity to vote early in New York State. Even if you don’t need to vote early, please do.  The opponents of early voting will be sure to capitalize on low turnout rates the next time the issue is up for funding. The details are here.

  • In 2019 there will be two Democratic candidates on the ballot for New York Supreme Court. These seats come up just once every 14 years. You will have the ability to vote for three candidates.  However, do not use your third vote for one of the Republicans. The three Supreme Court seats will be filled by the top three vote-getters of any party, and Democrats giving their third vote to a Republican could mean that no Democrat wins at all.  Your two votes will still count if you abstain on the third vote. Please spread this information to every Democrat you meet between now and election day.

 

NORTHRUP: Too Little Gas Under NY To Be Fracked Profitably
LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Too Little Gas Under NY

To Be Fracked Profitably

To the Editor:

A recent column in your newspaper listed the benefits of fracking to Pennsylvanians – where, evidently, all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average, implying that the same could be true in New York if we just got to fracking the place.

Catch is, as some Cooperstonians proved years ago, there’s probably not much around here worth fracking.  A recent Penn State study backs up our findings.

Retired Mobil executive Lou Allstadt, geologist Brian Brock, systems analyst Jerry Acton and myself, a well-known-know-it-all, made presentations showing why the productive shale gas field in Pennsylvania was unlikely to extend into New York State.

Each of us offered a proof. Lou pointed out why the major companies had not leased into New York. I pointed out that most of the leasing was by wildcat speculators. Brian Brock explained why the geology was not conducive to commercial exploitation of the Marcellus or Utica shales.

And Jerry Acton mapped the productivity of the shale wells being drilled in Pennsylvania – which is what the Penn State methodology duplicated via plagiarism.

As shown in Mr. Acton’s work, the sweet spot is indeed right across the border, but the productivity of the wells decreases rapidly as you move north towards the Susquehanna – and falls off a cliff as you move towards the Catskills, for reasons that Brian Brock could explain.

Evidently none of our findings came as surprise in Albany. Not long after we presented our findings, Governor Cuomo put a ban on high-volume high-pressure water fracking because, by then, they knew there was not much here worth fracking.

There was no significant penalty in prohibiting an activity that had little economic upside in New York – where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

FLEISHER: NY Marcellus Shale Too Shallow To Frack Safely

LETTER from JAY FLEISHER

NY Marcellus Shale Too

Shallow To Frack Safely

To the Editor:

Any consideration of the potential environmental hazards related to fracking must consider the rocks through which the fracking wells are drilled – it’s called the “geologic setting.”

Discussion of the hazards related to fracking that ignores the geologic setting is flawed by omission. Yet, Tom Morgan’s column in last week’s edition on the topic of fracking makes no mention of this.

As pointed out in my Letter to the Editor of April 15, 2016, fracking has absolutely no harmful environmental impact in the geologic setting of the deep-seated Bakken Formation in Montana, where the rocks being fracked lie 10,000 feet beneath the surface.

Elsewhere, the potential for environmental contamination is real, due to a shallow geologic setting, as is the case in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where the Marcellus Shale is just a few hundred feet below the surface.

The difference in depth between these two locations determines the potential for groundwater contamination.

Cherry-picking data or eluding to credible agencies without proper citation is a common practice when raising issues related to environmental quality vs. economic gain. To cite Heartland Institute as a data source, which Morgan does, immediately brings into question his objectivity.

After all, this is also the reference that ignores the overwhelming body of scientific information that indicates our atmosphere and oceans are warming, glaciers and ice caps are shrinking and sea level keeps creeping up, all of which are linked to climate change.

Let’s be clear: When it comes to fracking the potential for environmental contamination depends for the most part on the geologic setting.

P. JAY FLEISHER, Ph.D.
Geologist
Town of Milford

STERNBERG: Revolution NOT Yet Won, Minority Designations Show
LETTER from RICHARD STERNBERG

Revolution NOT Yet Won,

Minority Designations Show

To the Editor:

I think your editorial in last week’s newspaper about the installation of SUNY Oneonta’s new president made a gross mistake in concluding: “The revolution is over. It’s won.”

The revolution, or whatever the changes have been, are not over. There has been improvement, especially in our society, but the “battle” has not been won.
I crowed at my minority friends exactly the same sentiment when Barack Obama became president. I said that proved that we were a post-racial society in the U.S. and they scoffed and cited many examples of subtle and sometimes open discrimination and abuse and harassment. It still occurs.

Only recently the Cooperstown Village Board addressed an issue of public harassment by reaffirming and strengthening its resolution of equal treatment for everyone. And improvement really can only be seen in open behavior. People’s attitudes change more slowly.

You point out earlier in your editorial: When do we stop saying the nth female, gay, black, Islamic anything we will be close.

Yes, in fact you are guilty of this when you point out that Chancellor Johnson is “an openly gay woman.” I did not find in the paper any comment about anyone else’s
sexual or gender identity.

Only when this and all other “minority designations” don’t matter one damn bit will the “revolution be over.”

RICHARD J. STERNBERG, M.D.
Village Trustee Cooperstown

HAMMOND: Friend Reports Standoff With Bassett’s New K9s
LETTER from TOPHER HAMMOND

Friend Reports Standoff

With Bassett’s New K9s

To the Editor:

I wrote previously about the new K-9 at Bassett Hospital, and I predicted that the dog would be used to intimidate people.

On Oct. 2, I got a phone call from a friend who has lived next to the hospital for decades. She was in a state of shock because six Bassett security personnel had just chased a skinny black man off Bassett property with the attack dog at his heels, barking and straining at the leash to get a piece of him.

According to the man, he was waiting outside the hospital for his girlfriend’s mother, who was being released after foot surgery, when he received a call on his cell phone from someone who wasn’t supposed to be contacting him. He was upset by the call and got a bit loud with the caller. Security approached him after the phone call was over and insisted that he leave Bassett property immediately instead of just asking him not to be loud.

My friend called out to him to ask if she could help him. She said he was very polite and didn’t seem the least bit threatening. He broke down crying when she asked him what was the matter. He was worried because he’d called a cab to pick him up at Bassett. My friend watched as he pleaded with the security officers standing at the curb near the hospital, saying to them, “sir, sir, I’m sorry I got too loud,” while the security guards just laughed at him and let the dog keep barking and straining at the leash to attack him.

My friend was very upset by this unsavory spectacle. something like Birmingham Alabama in the 1960s. We should be sensitive to issues of race and how we appear to visitors.

The sight of six laughing white security guards chasing a black man with an attack dog just because he had a loud conversation on the phone is disturbing, and puts a blot on the reputation of Cooperstown.

TOPHER HAMMOND

Cooperstown

HEWLETT: Pornography Is At Root Of Many Modern Evils
LETTER from JASON HEWLETT

Pornography Is At Root

Of Many Modern Evils

To the Editor:

In America today, it seems like whenever we turn on the news or read the newspaper there are reports and headlines of sexual crimes but most people are content to just leave it up to law enforcement and the courts.

What we all need to understand, regardless of our take on the Bible or other religious beliefs, is that sexual crimes can only be prevented if America gets to the very root (and source) of this crisis and cuts it off completely.

The root of all sexual crimes, starting in our own community, is pornography – especially on the Internet.

If the American people recognized the serious consequences of pornography and prompted lawmakers to pass a new law making it illegal, pornography would no longer exist. Then, within a very short time, sexual crimes would no longer exist.

There would be no more rape, sex trafficking, child molestation, sodomy, or even many of the sexual sins that many Americans don’t consider to be crimes – such as adultery, homosexuality, and sex outside of marriage.

What America needs, now more than ever, is a spiritual revival that will usher in a new age of sexual purity that will benefit all people, regardless of who or how many people helped make it happen.

Sexual purity will benefit every one, Christians and atheists, because no one in their right mind is going to continue indulging in something (like watching pornography online) if Congress has passed laws making it illegal.

Ultimately, as a nation and individuals, it’s best that we do what’s right because we really want to and teach the truth by example, but for now, it’s also necessary to pass new laws on behalf of those who aren’t ready to help us put an end to all the sexual crimes we hear and read about, and sometimes witness with our own eyes.

JASON HEWLETT
Oneonta

WRBA: When Needed, Where Has Superman Gone?
LETTER from CONNIE WRBA

When Needed, Where

Has Superman Gone?

To the Editor:

Where have you gone, Superman?

Whatever happened to the spirit of our long-forgotten caped hero fighting a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way?

It is apparent that America has lost its way. It’s time to get our country back on track. It’s time to shed our divisive labels: conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat. It’s time for all of us to embrace the label: American.

It’s time to seek truth. It’s time to seek justice. It’s time to seek the American way our forefathers dreamed of, the America our veterans fought for and the America our brave troops continue to fight for.

Democracy is a participatory system. We owe it to ourselves to become informed. We owe it to our country to embrace the spirit of Superman.

Fight for truth. Fight for justice. Fight for the American way.

CONNIE WRBA
Fly Creek

HOMETOWN History Oct. 18, 2019

HOMETOWN History

Oct. 18, 2019

150 Years Ago

It was supposed when the law was passed that about 1,200 of the veterans were still living in this State, and that the $50,000 appropriated would be sufficient to pay off the certificates of all the survivors. But it seems that 2,700 of the old soldiers were alive and filed their certificates with the Adjutant General. Many are still living to whom certificates were never granted. The result of this mistake on the part of our lawmakers is that the amount appropriated is only sufficient to pay about thirty-six percent on the principal of the certificates, saying nothing about the interest. The pro rata distribution has been made, and the soldiers are now being paid at the State Hall. The deficiency in the appropriation rendering a pro-rata distribution necessary, and the great difficulty in gathering in these certificates with the proper proofs, has given some of the state’s departments an immense amount of extra labor. The brave old veterans have long waited for the small amounts they are now receiving. We trust the next Legislature will see that justice is done.

October 1869

125 Years Ago

A girl balloonist lost her life at a fair in Franklinville, New York last Saturday. As the balloon started it was noticed that the girl held the trapeze by only one hand. Her strength was not equal to the effort of getting a grip with the other hand. When she reached a great elevation she lost her hold and fell to the earth. She struck on her head and shoulders and her body dug a hole in the ground a foot deep and three feet long. Her neck was broken and her body terribly crushed. She was only 18 and had promised her parents that this should be her last trip.

October 1894

100 Years Ago

A United States census will be taken commencing on January 2, 1920, and ending in cities and villages that had 2,500 or more population in 1910 in two weeks and in all other localities in one month. The fifteenth district of the State of New York is composed of the counties of Broome, Otsego, Chenango and Delaware and has been divided up into enumeration districts small enough so that the work can be done in the allotted time. An enumeration of the population and also of the agriculture will be taken.
Applications for appointment as enumerator were supposed to be filed with the supervisor on or before the fifteenth day of October, 1919. Persons between the ages of 18 and 70 are qualified, providing they have the other necessary qualifications.

October 1919

60 Years Ago

Two hundred shares of capital stock of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) valued at about $81,000 have been donated by Mrs. Charles W. Collins of Cooperstown to the State University College of Education at Oneonta to purchase rare books, unusual collections and special supplies, not normally provided from state appropriations. Mrs. Collins made the donation in honor of Dr. James M. Milne, the first principal of the Oneonta State Normal School for whom the college’s new library has been named. She was one of Dr. Milne’s students while attending the school. After graduation, she continued her education at Vassar. Raised in one of the oldest families in Oneonta, Mrs. Collins is the former Florence Ford, whose original family home stood where the Acme Market now is located. Her grandfather, Elaikim Feed Ford was one of the first merchants to settle in the village of Oneonta.

October 1959

40 Years Ago

The menu of the Otsego County Nutrition Program for the Aging the week of October 22-26 will be: Monday – Pineapple-grapefruit juice, Chop Suey with pork on rice sliced carrots, onion-dill bread, ice cream, coffee, tea, milk served with each meal daily. Tuesday – Cran-apple juice, stuffed peppers with tomato sauce, wax jellied fruit-cottage cheese salad, oatmeal bread, mixed fruit cup. Wednesday – Salmon loaf with white sauce, baked potato, broccoli, whole wheat bread, chocolate tart. Thursday – Tomato juice, roast beef and gravy, mashed potatoes, Brussel sprouts, tossed salad, popover apple. Friday – Grapefruit juice, cheese strata, Harvard beets, lime gelatin salad with shredded carrots, apricot halves. Meal locations: Nader Towers, Cooperstown First Baptist Church, West Oneonta Fire House, Worcester American Legion Hall, Unadilla Methodist Church.

October 1979

20 Years Ago

The Ku Klux Klan sued New York City and its police department alleging that its First Amendment rights to wear the traditional white hoods would be violated if the group was denied a permit to rally. The permit was denied on the grounds that the wearing of hoods violates a state statute that prohibits groups from congregating in public places while wearing masks or disguising their faces except for authorized masquerade parties or entertainment. The law has been on the books 150 years but is rarely used, officials said. New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Norman Siegel said “This is an important First Amendment case. Regardless of the message, the First Amendment says people have a right to express their views. They have a right to anonymous political activity.” The KKK contends its members wear the hoods to protect their identities because they have been subjected to retaliation because of their views. KKK National Imperial Grand Wizard Jeff Berry has also said that the hood is part of the group’s “religious attire.”

October 1999

10 Years Ago

The affiliation of A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta
with Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown is expected to be completed by January 1, 2010, officials at both organizations confirmed at a media conference at the FoxCare Center in Oneonta. Following the unanimous approval by the boards of both Bassett and Fox, the decision only needs the approval of regulators and the completion of a management and medical services agreements. Under the agreement, Fox will become an affiliated hospital in the Bassett Healthcare Network according to Bassett President and Chief Executive Dr. William Streck. “Any time health care is delivered in a more coordinated fashion, access, quality and efficiency improve and there is a reduction in the fragmentation of patient care,” Streck said. As part of the agreement Bassett will provide management and medical services to Fox.

October 2009

BOUND VOLUMES Oct. 17, 2018

BOUND VOLUMES

Oct. 17, 2018

200 YEARS AGO

Communications – The Synod of Albany, at its last sessions in Cherry Valley, divided the Presbytery of Oneida, and formed from it a new Presbytery, to be denominated the “Presbytery of Otsego,” which by order of the Synod, is to hold its first meeting at the Presbyterian Meeting-House, in Cooperstown, on the first Tuesday of November next, at 11 o’clock a.m.
Advertisement – New Grocery. The subscriber respectfully informs the public that he has this day opened a new Grocery Store, the west part of the building opposite Mr. Bradford’s card factory, where he offers for sale a general assortment of groceries all of which are of the first quality, and will be disposed of on the most moderate terms for cash. Tavern keepers and others are invited to call. Jonathan Fitch.

October 18, 1819

175 YEARS AGO

Democrats of Otsego County! Are you ready for the great contest on November 5? Do you know your exact strength in your respective towns? If not, go to work forthwith, and organize in such a manner as to secure the positive attendance at the polls at an early hour of the day of every Democratic voter. The stake is well worth the labor, and besides, patriotism, love of country, impel to duty in this respect. Let us roll up our majority so as to secure the State Banner! Much is expected of Old Democratic Otsego – let us hold on to our good name, and more than gratify our political friends in other parts of the State. Every man upon duty, and the work is done. Otsego is the Banner County!

October 21, 1844

150 YEARS AGO

Orphan House of the Holy Savior – A committee of gentlemen belonging to the Episcopal Church in the new Diocese of Albany, have recently purchased the old Masters’ Farm on the eastern shore of the Lake, two miles from this village, for the purpose of opening a charitable institution under the title of “The Orphan House of the Holy Savior” – a home and industrial school for orphans, half orphans and destitute children. The institution is one of general benevolence, open to all destitute children in this part of the state. Its object is to bring up these children in accordance with Christian principles, to lives of usefulness and respectability. They will be taught to earn an honest livelihood for themselves and thus be prepared to become worthy members of society. The farm consists of 88 acres of land with a front on the lake.

October 5, 1869

125 YEARS AGO

An “Inquirer” asks: “What is the game called “bottle pool?” It is played on a pool table – being a billiard table with six pockets – with three balls, a leather bottle and a cue. It has the main features of billiards, is more fun, and yet requires considerable skill to be played successfully. Mr. S.S. Edick is perhaps the most expert player of the game belonging to the Mohican Club.
The first snow of the season fell Sunday, October 15, 2019, melting as fast as it came. That night the mercury dropped to the freezing point.
A sewer is to be laid through Glen Avenue extending from Railroad to Chestnut Street. And so our village improvements gradually progress.

October 18, 1894

100 YEARS AGO

Suitable recognition of Cooperstown as the birthplace of baseball and erection of a monument has been suggested by to the National Baseball Commission by four Ilion, New York fans, three of them big-leaguers of by-gone days. The plan will be the biggest piece of national advertising for this village that has ever been known. The four men who started the ball rolling are Hardie Richardson, one of Detroit’s star players of years ago; Mike Fogarty, another old leaguer; George E. Oliver, the Ilion Cricket Champion; and Patrick F. Fitzpatrick, also of Ilion. In a letter to Sam Crane, well known sports writer of the Hearst newspapers, the four men wrote: “Enclosed you will find express order for $1, being a payment of 25 cents each by the undersigned who are acting upon a suggestion that a memorial of baseball be established at Cooperstown, N.Y. where the game originated. (Ed. Note: Baseball historians have since established that the modern game has multiple geographic, cultural, and human roots which coalesced over decades beginning as early as the 1600s to emerge in the mid-19th century as the game we now know as baseball).

October 15, 1919

50 YEARS AGO

The Cardiff Giant, the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people, will observe his 100th birthday on Thursday, October 16, this week. The giant, a prominent exhibit on the grounds of The Farmers’ Museum here for the past 21 years was the subject of a talk by Dr. Louis C. Jones, Director of the New York State Historical Association, at the regular weekly luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club at the Hotel Otesaga on Tuesday. It was just 100 years ago on October 16, 1869 that workmen, who had been called in to dig a well on Stub Newell’s farm near Cardiff, New York, uncovered the giant gypsum marble stone figure that weighs 2,990 pounds and measures 10 feet 4.5 inches in length. (Ed. Note: The Cardiff Giant hoax, conceived in 1867-1868 by George Hull, a disgruntled cigar merchant, created a sensation, attracted international attention, and although debunked, enriched both George Hull and his co-conspirator Stub Newell).

October 5, 1969

25 YEARS AGO

In a dairy world dominated by men, Jennifer Huntington stands out in the crowd. This highly experienced dairy professional exemplifies the increasing role that women are assuming in the dairy industry. In addition to serving as herdsperson for her father at Cooperstown Holstein Corporation Farm just south of Cooperstown, she also sits on the Board of Directors for the Otsego County Cooperative Extension. Besides maintaining the health and performance of an all-Holstein herd of more than 500 animals, she also applies new techniques to get the best possible return from the dairy operation. “Deep down, I always wanted to be in dairy farming,” she said. I enjoy working with cattle and being outside.”

October 19, 1994

10 YEARS AGO

After coming off the second perfect season this decade, the CCS Redskins football team head into the Class C sectionals against Saquoit 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at Lambert Field.
The team’s 6-0 record, accomplished at home with a 26-0 victory Saturday the 10th against the Herkimer Magicians, bookends the decade of CCS athletic history: The 2001 team likewise had a perfect season, winning eight victories in all before being derailed in sectional competition.
This year as then, “we knew we had a lot of potential,” said Head Coach Steve Pugliese, who also coached during the 2001 undefeated season, and played on coach Ted Kantorowski’s perfect 1970 team.

October 2009

Slow EMS Response Has Towns Working Together

ONE IDEA: DIVIDE COUNTY INTO 6 PARTS

Slow EMS Response Has

Towns Working Together

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Town Supervisors Ed Lentz, New Lisbon, above, and Mike Berthel, Pittsfield, are involved in an effort to improve rural EMS service. (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO.com)

About 20 months ago, Pittsfield Town Supervisor Mike Berthel’s 8-year-old son had a fever. When it spiked to 105.5, the father called 911.

He then waited 35 minutes before an ambulance arrived to take his son to the hospital. His son recovered quickly, but Berthel worried about the town Emergency Medical Services’ long response time.

What if someone had had a stroke and needed EMS immediately?

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