News of Otsego County

Hometown Oneonta

Cooperstown & Around and City of the Hills: July 22, 2021

Cooperstown & Around and City of the Hills

Milford fundraiser rescheduled for Saturday at park

A community fundraiser for Milford Central School graduate Caleb Radulewicz, who was in a serious car accident in Ohio last month, was rescheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, July 24, in Milford’s Wilbur Park.
There will be a raffle, free activities and food available from Big Al’s. Raffle winners will be announced at 2 p.m.

Railroad announces reopening event

The Leatherstocking Historical Railway Society has announced a resumption of service beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7.
There will be a special train robbery reenactment on that date, as well as again during several weekends in August and September.
Go to for event dates and other information.

McREYNOLDS: Our family secrets still feel haunting

Be Afraid, But Do It Anyway

Our family secrets still feel haunting

Erna Morgan McReynolds, raised in Gilbertsville, is retired managing director/financial adviser at Morgan Stanley’s Oneonta Office, and an inductee in the Barron’s magazine National Adviser Hall of Fame.  She lives in Franklin.

Nature or nurture is a question I keep asking myself. Why have I always been afraid? Did I learn fear?

Why did my parents keep to themselves? Kept us close to them?

No overnights with other kids. Or other kids sleeping at our house.

Maybe not just because our house wasn’t as nice as the other kids?

My family lived secrets. Were Mom and Dad just shy? Or were they really afraid? That they would be shunned by neighbors? That they couldn’t measure up? That they might jeopardize the life they wanted to build for their girls’ futures?

Dad had told us why he emigrated from Northern Ireland. But was this the real story?

I had believed his story. It shaped my life. With four daughters on a farm my Dad needed sons. In the 50s and 60s, probably, a man needed at least one son.

LIMITI: I identify as an anime character; and that’s OK with me

I identify as an anime character, and that’s OK with me

Kevin Limiti

Some things never change, which includes my spending weekends watching anime in my apartment alone.

Two and a half months since I’ve moved to Oneonta, I find myself curiously identifying with anime protagonists with a target audience of pre-pubescent boys.

People may raise their eyebrows at me, perhaps think I’m crazy, but I consider anime to be one of the greatest things in life. Nothing has the ability to bend reality like good animation.

Although in America, most people seem to feel like animation is kid’s stuff, that opinion is starting to change thanks to the weird rise of geek culture, making something that used to get you stuffed into a locker into something that could land you a date.

Not that I’ve been able to land a date since moving here, but I will say that when I do, I’m sure my extreme knowledge of anime, indie comics and obsessive attention to the price of Dogecoin and foreign news will likely impress them.

For this reason, I’m neither ashamed nor embarrassed by my penchant for consuming unholy amounts of anime, but I do think that maybe I ought to take more cues from anime as opposed to being a passive observer.

One example is Deku from “My Hero Academia,” an anime where practically every human has a special “quirk” that can make them a super hero.



July 22, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

135 Years Ago

Mr. N.C. Hart of Oneonta, who is
presently on his annual pilgrimage in the North Woods, writes poetically of his time there: “I have built me a cot close by a great rock at the base of a high mountain crest where the hawks sail around and game doth abound, and the eagle has chosen her nest. At the foot of the hill are both springlet and rill, and the shores of a bright sylvan lake in whose waters the trout leap spryly about and the deer comes his thirst to slake. Amid scenes like this our outing is bliss – no cares have we on our mind. We enjoy perfect rest in a haven that’s blest mid nature’s own bright summer clime.”

July 1886

Leonard became Milford’s pioneer wrestler, Coop legend

Leonard became Milford’s pioneer wrestler, Coop legend
Despite losing senior season to pandemic, grappling career will continue with college recruitment

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

Avery Leonard, a Milford/Cooperstown wrestler, goes for a pin during the 2020-2021 state tournament in Albany in February 2020.

MARYLAND — As he could see his senior season of wrestling being washed away by the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 Milford Central School graduate Avery Leonard said he relied on his philosophy of life, “worry about what you can control, let go of everything you can’t control.”

“I have always run with that saying,” he said, Monday, July 19.

Leonard and his father/wrestling coach, Nate Leonard, spoke with at their “summer home” on Goodyear Lake, about his career and losing his senior season after spending three years working toward a state title.

Bound Volumes: July 22, 2021

Bound Volumes

July 22, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library


A Comet! Another of those singular and extraordinary bodies has made its appearance within view of our globe. It was discovered a few evenings since, but its apparent smallness and the haziness of the atmosphere, prevented its being again seen for several evenings. Its present place at dark is a little south of west, and about 25 degrees above the horizon. It has changed its place considerably since it was first observed, and is now apparent five degrees higher above the horizon. From this it is evident that it has passed its perihelia, and it must be receding from the sun, and the the planets. (Ed. Note: The writer witnessed this comet in May in Chillicothe, Ohio)

July 13, 1811

Pit Run to return for 2021
Sid Parisian, brother of Ricky Parisian, the trooper killed trying to foil a 1994 armed robbery at the Southside Oneonta Great American, prepares to start runners in the 26th annual Pit Run in 2019. (Ian Austin/

Pit Run to return for 2021

STAFF REPORT • Special to

The 28th Pit Run, in honor of late State Trooper Ricky J. Parisian, will take place Sunday, Oct. 3, in Oneonta.

“We are so excited to announce our 28th annual event,” Race Director Dave Weaver said in a media release. “Not only does the Pit Run celebrate Ricky J. Parisian’s heroism, but it celebrates the best attributes of the greater Oneonta community. It is a wonderful family event, not just a running race!”

The Pit Run was started in 1994 to celebrate and remember Parisian’s life and service. Parisian died that year while trying to stop an armed robbery at the Great American food store in Oneonta.

All money raised from the run goes directly to the Ricky J. Parisian Foundation, which has awarded over $609,745 in scholarships and community grants since its inception.

The AllOtsego Report, Episode 8: The Butternut Valley floods

The AllOtsego Report, Episode 8:
The Butternut Valley floods

Episode 8 of The AllOtsego Report looks at the Thursday, July 22, editions of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta, as well as this week’s news on

Click here to listen!

In this week’s episode Editor Greg Klein and Reporter Kevin Limiti discuss:

The massive flooding Saturday evening, July 16, in the Butternut Valley towns of Pittsfield, Morris and Butternut Valley and the villages of Morris and Gilbertsville.

Fly Creek firefighters rescue highway crewman from collapsed culvert
Assistant fire chiefs Jess Lanza, left, and Henry Hight hold water vests and a rescue sling at the Fly Creek Firehouse. (Kevin Limiti/

Fly Creek firefighters
rescue highway crewman
from collapsed culvert

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

FLY CREEK Assistant fire chiefs Jess Lanza and Henry Hight responded to a call that saved a town highway crewman’s life on Tuesday, July 13.

A crewman had gotten his boots stuck in a culvert in the area of Christian Hill after a beaver dam collapse caused rushing water to drag him into the collapsed and damaged pipe.

“It was actually just a mile from my house, so I was first on the scene,” Lanza said.

There he found two people holding the man from the water.

“We needed to essentially sling him and prevent him from going any further,” Lanza said.

The firefighters used a rescue sling which was able to hoist him up. Less than a minute afterwards, an ambulance arrived, which took him to the hospital. The crewman was “visibly exhausted,” but they say he only suffered minor injuries.

“It was a big relief when we got him about,” Hight said.

Otsego EMS updates road closure list
Floodwaters overtook the Meadow Brook Bridge on county Route 4 in the town of Gilbertsville on Saturday, July 17, causing extensive damage in the southwest part of Otsego County. (Contributed).

Otsego EMS updates road closure list

The Otsego County Office of Emergency Services announced the following updates Wednesday, July 21, to road closures because of heavy rainfall and substantial flooding that took place on Saturday, July 17, 2021, in the towns of Butternuts, Morris, Pittsfield and now Unadilla.

As of Wednesday morning, the following road updates are available:

NYS roadways:  From the village of Morris, south, between Dimock Hollow Road & Nichols Road, near the Butternuts/Morris town line remains closed.

Butternuts: Dunhams Cross Road remains closed.

Morris: Dimock Hollow Road between Creighton and state Route 23 is closed.  Gulf Road between Pegg/Potato Farm Road is closed. Pittsley Road between Dimock Hollow and West Hill roads is closed. Spring Street is closed.

Pittsfield: Cobb Road and Hawks Road remain closed.

Unadilla: All roadways are open.

  • Reminder: The Office of Emergency Services ask that motorists adhere to road-closed signage and traffic barriers until necessary repairs are made to assure safe passage. In addition, while some roadways have been made passable, please continue to exercise extreme caution while traveling in these areas.



Hartwick College renames golf tournament in honor of longtime coach Nick Lambros
Nick Lambros

Hartwick College renames
golf tournament in honor of
longtime coach, Nick Lambros

STAFF REPORT • Special to

In order to honor a legendary coach and alumnus of Hartwick College, the college is renaming its traditional golf tournament “The Classic Nick Lambros Tournament,” which will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25.

The annual tournament that attracts many participants, including former athletes, alumni and members of the community.

“As an avid golfer and supporter of all things Hartwick, we see this as a fitting way to honor a person who has impacted Hartwick College and the Athletic Department in such meaningful ways,” Hartwick College Athletic Director John Czarnecki said in a media release. “This is an excellent opportunity to create a long-standing tribute to honor Nick’s accomplishments and spirit he brings with everything he does.”

Lambros has been involved with college athletics for over 60 years, coaching NCAA basketball as well as baseball and even being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was an assistant men’s basketball coach during the 2020-2021 season

Registration for the tournament is $150 for individuals and $500 for teams.

Go to or call Susanne Jones at 607-431-4431 for more information.

Oneonta Common Council has contentious vote on housing commission appointment, confirms new fire chief
New Fire Chief Brian Knapp shakes hands with Len Carson, right, with outgoing Fire Chief J. Michael Mancini, seated, attends the Common Council. (Kevin Limiti/

Oneonta Common Council
has contentious vote
on housing commission appointment,
confirms new fire chief

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

ONEONTA In a two and a half hour meeting, the issue of housing was forefront as the Common Council struggled to come to agree on the choice of an out-of-city resident as part of the housing commission on Tuesday, July 20.

This appointment was narrowly approved, 4-3, with Kaytee Lipari Shue, Len Carson and Scott Harrington being the dissenting votes.

The motion to appoint Audrey Benkenstein, with the addition of Oneonta resident Peter Friedman, was brought up for a second time after being voted down during the last common council meeting, something that Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig told last week was “mystifying,” since Lipari Shue had pushed for a non-city resident to be on the Arts Commission.

The main point of contention was that Benkenstein was not a Oneonta resident. However Herzig pointed out her appointment was voted down “only minutes after approving a Cherry Valley artist” for the Arts Commission.

Herzig said the Arts Commission held real power whereas the Housing Commission was an advisory position, and therefore those appointed to the Housing Commission were not considered officials with any kind capacity to approve anything.

Dr. Alberto Jose Cardelle appointed SUNY Oneonta President

Dr. Alberto Jose Cardelle appointed SUNY Oneonta President

STAFF REPORT • Special to

SUNY announced that Dr. Alberto Jose Cardelle would be appointed SUNY Oneonta President on Tuesday, July 20.

This appointment is effective Sept. 6.

“From our first meeting with Dr. Cardelle, I was impressed, and the entire search committee was unanimous that he would be the ideal candidate for SUNY Oneonta,” SUNY Board Vice Chairman Cesar Perales, said in a press release. “His abilities go beyond his resume, which is extraordinary, as he shares a passion for creating a more equitable system in which students can thrive.”

Sen. Oberacker: Flood costs could exceed town budgets

Flood damage in Gilbertsville on Sunday, July 18, shows the extent of the problems left behind by Saturday’s storm. (Janice Costello).

Sen. Oberacker:
Flood costs could
exceed town budgets

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

The flooding that occurred in Gilbertsville, Morris and Pittsfield on Saturday, July 17, is expected to cost millions and elected officials are calling for federal and state funding to pay for some of the damages.

State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, estimated that the amount of money needed for the flood damage in Butternuts and Morris would far exceed their total respective town budgets.

“After what I’ve seen, it would be conservative (that damages) would cost at least their budgets and then some,” Oberacker said.

Roads still closed around Gilbertsville as flood clean-up enters day two

Flood waters overtook the Meadow Brook Bridge on county Route 4 in the town of Gilbertsville on Saturday, July 17, causing extensive damage in the southwest part of Otsego County. (Contributed).

Roads still closed
around Gilbertsville
as flood clean-up
enters day two


Federal Emergency Management Agency officials were on the scene in southwestern Otsego County on Sunday, July 18, to assess flooding Saturday, July 17, in the villages of Morris and Gilbertsville and the towns of Morris and Butternuts.

According to Rep. Michelle Farwell, D-Butternuts, Morris, Pittsfield, the cost of the damage is expected to be in the millions, particularly with the damage to one of the bridges on state Route 51.

Heavy rains Saturday night caused the Butternut Creek and several of its tributaries to flood, first around Gilbertsville, and later in Morris south of the Otsego County Fairgrounds. An eyewitness account said the floodwaters in Gilbertsville at about 8:30 p.m., Saturday, were “like a waterfall coming down the hill.”

The floods stuck Morris a few minutes later, after a wash of flood debris clogged the culverts around the fairground, which were put in after the massive 2006 floods. The debris rendered the improvements useless and many of the same areas that flooded in 2006 got reflooded.

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