News of Otsego County

Letters To The Editor

WORMUTH: Roe V. Wade

Letter from Tim Wormuth

Roe V. Wade

A letter was recently submitted stating that abortion is a constitutional right. Nowhere in the Constitution, nor any other founding document for that matter, is there given a right to murder. The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Life is what the founders of our nation considered a constitutional right. And this right applies to an unborn baby in the womb.

I know that it took a while for those who wrote these documents to have their practice catch up with what they believed (as with slavery and women’s rights) but catch up they did. Today, minorities and women have more freedom in this nation than almost anywhere else. Is there still more to be done? Absolutely!

But back to the issue of abortion. The problem is this has become a political issue when it is, in fact, a moral one. Life begins at the moment of conception. Science now bears this out. And a baby in the womb needs the same protections as a bald eagle in the egg. We don’t need more abortions, we need more support for women who find themselves in a difficult situations. Let’s spend the millions of dollars on that and become a nation that holds life in high regard.

Tim Wormuth
Pastor, Hill City Church

MACMILLAN: Repeating History

Letter from Dr. Roger MacMillan

Repeating History

One reads with dismay and horror about the destruction and atrocities being committed by the Russian forces in the present war in the Ukraine. Apparently such activity has a precedent by such forces
in the past.

In the memoirs written by George Kennan, the noted American diplomat and historian, he wrote of the Soviet westward advance in World War II between Berlin and Moscow as they “liberated” this region. “The disaster that befell this area with the entry of the Soviet forces has no parallel in modern European experience. There were … sections where … scarcely a man, woman, or child was left alive after the initial passage of the Soviet forces. The Russians … swept the native population clean in a manner that had no parallel since the days of the Asiatic hordes.” This was written over 50 years ago!

Apparently the saying about history repeating itself once again is verified. So sad…

PATTERSON: Thanks, power heroes

Letter from Pat Patterson

Thanks, power heroes

On behalf of everyone, I would like to extend a genuine, heartfelt, thank you to all those whose tireless efforts resulted in the restoration of our power.

While the rest of us kept warm, dry, and illuminated as best we could, these hometown heroes were out there day and night, struggling through that deep, wet snow. No doubt there were times when they encountered nearly as much snow hanging over their heads as was under them!

Fires; snowpacked, shattered branches looming overhead; hefty snow-laden branches needing to be moved; downed wires hidden under the snow … I’m sure these are but a few of the exhausting perils these brave folks faced when cleaning up after such an “upstate” spring snowfall!

So from all of us who are so very blessed to have you, may you each be richly blessed in return.

Also a very special thank you to all the workers who came from out of state to lend assistance. Leaving home and families for days is a big sacrifice. I hope they will somehow see this “thank you” or hear about it from someone.

Pat Patterson
Mt. Vision

THE WHITES: West Oneonta needs a guardrail

Letter from Nick and Jeniffer Raphaelson White

West Oneonta needs a guardrail

On Friday April 22, for the second time in two years, we had a car drive off State Route 23, crash through our fence, and land in the culvert on the corner of our property in the Hamlet of West Oneonta.

The first incident was due to distracted driving. The most recent incident was due to a medical issue. Our five-year-old and dog play every day in the yard where both of these accidents occurred.

We acknowledge that the medical issue that caused the most recent accident was nobody’s fault and commend our local emergency squad for their hard work. Extracting the car and driver from the culvert was not an easy task.

The top of the car needed to be cut off for the driver to be extracted.

OWENS: Editorial Unfair!

Letter from Mitchell Owens

Editorial Unfair!

The editorial that appeared in The Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta on Thursday, April 28, 2022, regarding the Otsego County Democratic Committee’s Ukraine fundraising, sparked many a reaction in my mind.

Most important of them: What an astonishing example of performative outrage, high dudgeon, and holier-than-thou-ness. I do hope that the newspaper will apply equally outraged scrutiny when any seemingly altruistic local Republican initiative comes to your attention — and then devote an equal number of self-righteous paragraphs (in this case, ten) before magnanimously allowing that “we’re no less appalled when people wrap themselves in the American flag to claim moral or small-d democratic superiority…”

Depending on one’s particular perch, one committee’s fine print is another committee’s full disclosure.

Mitchell Owens

Letter: The Common Sense Party – Dan Butterman

Letter from Dan Buttermann

The Common Sense Party

Voter registrations are changing quickly. Just five years ago, the Republican party registration outnumbered the no-party registration by 250,000. But in five short years, the no-party registrations have gone way up, and now outnumber the Republicans. The Democratic registration lost ground too. This is a significant change. What has not changed is the requirements for a no-party candidate to be on the ballot — a candidate must secure three times more petition signatures than a Democrat or Republican. So, although voter preferences are changing, evident by registration trends, the requirements to be on the ballot remain the same.

This trend is a signal to our political leaders that changes are needed to ensure candidates, no matter the party, get a fair shot at being on the ballot. Changes made in other states, such as open primaries, ranked choice voting and parity of signature requirements to be on the ballot, should all be considered.

I am running to represent the 122nd Assembly District, and will be on the ballot as a Democrat, but that is not enough. My goal is to represent everyone and to include as many people in the process before election day, so I will be passing an Independent Nominating petition as well — referred to as “Party for a Day.” This petition is often used by no-party candidates. The name of my party for the election is Common Sense. We need action on common sense solutions that address the problems of our generation, and in order to succeed we need more people engaged in the political process.

Dan Buttermann

Letter: A community thank you – Ln Alessi

Letter from Ln Alessi

A community thank you

I am so overwhelmed by all the support, love and kindness which has been extended to my son and me since my daughter Vincenza’s passing. Words seem grossly inadequate as I reflect on all the wonderful things people have done for us. Living in a community where people genuinely care about each other and express that care through their actions is the greatest gift.

I know how challenging life can get for all of us and yet challenges are always made easier with others’ encouragement and support. I thank everyone in “my village” who reached out to us and have helped carry us through this most difficult time. I am grateful that so many people extended their hands and hearts to us. I would never have been able to care for my daughter throughout her illness and her transition without all of you.

My sincere thanks.


Ln Alessi

Bail reform letter to the editor

On bail reform

To the Editor:

The 2019 Bail Reform Bill is probably better called a Criminal Justice Reform Bill. It did much more than just make changes to the bail laws in New York.

We have all heard numerous outcries that many of those changes were too much, and that a new reform bill is required.  I agree that parts of the 2019 bill are not improving the system. However, I would not vote to repeal the bill, as many Republicans have called for. Instead, I would act as the governor is doing – introduce changes that will make the bill work better.

The governor has proposed a 10-point plan to change the original criminal justice reform bill.  These changes include restoring the court’s ability to apply or not apply bail in some cases, such as certain gun-related cases and repeat offenders of non-violent crimes, modifications to the discovery timeframes, and funding for mental health services and pretrial programs.
I support these three proposals and I want to point out the importance of the discovery changes.

Discovery is the process of exchanging evidence. The original reform law requires a very short timeframe for prosecutors to make the exchange – in most cases fewer than 35 days. The law says that if police have the evidence, then it is assumed the prosecutor does, too.

This is where the problem starts to take shape. This timeframe can be impossible for police agencies to meet in many cases, and the result is fewer arrests and more staff for documents handling (higher costs).

The concept is valid – provide the evidence as soon as possible and by doing so we can forget about the phrase “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

The fixes in the governor’s proposal support our police agencies and make it possible for them to make arrests and deliver the evidence promptly, which means our communities are safer.

Dan Butterman, Oneonta

[Editor’s note: Mr. Butterman is a candidate in the race for the New York State Assembly’s 122nd District.]


Letter to the Editor: Moldy Putin

Moldy Putin

To the Editor:

All’s fair in love and war, International Law, or an eye for an eye?  Either way, it’s not a piece/peace of the pie nor the apple of the eye.  Putin and Stalin are from the same mold, (fungus).

Gerry Welch, Cooperstown

Letter to the Editor: Freedom

Freedom in jeopardy

To the Editor,                                                                                                                                                                     

We all have the most critical challenge of our lifetime at hand. Our constitution, plus our freedoms, are in great jeopardy and the attack is on fast track now. We are so fortunate to have lived through such great times in this country. We need to thank God, as well as all the fearless people that sacrificed, including the ultimate sacrifice, for the great years we have been blessed with. Freedom doesn’t come without a cost.

Historically, in this country we have fought for our country as one team, but for a longer time than most of us have realized we have an enemy that has worked hard at dividing us. You know how divide and concur works. We are up against a very smart/experienced global network that has been setting their stage for a long time. If you can’t take your target from the outside do it from within. That’s where we are at.

Patriotic Republicans must win by a wide margin in 2022 and 2024 in order to save our freedoms going forward. The radical globalists have bought our Democrat party and are poised to gain full control of us forever if we can’t reverse the current path of our government.

Today’s Democrat party will steal elections, lie, and do anything to progress their leaderships corrupt agenda. With the grip they have in government, the media, our court system, plus the money they have behind them, it is very hard to bring them to justice.

We must communicate these facts everywhere we can and seek reputable information to base our decisions on. Most important, we need to ask God to support us in our quest to save our country’s constitution/freedoms so coming generations have the quality of life we have been blessed with.

Bruce Beckert, South New Berlin, NY


Friends and family directly affected by Ukraine war

Friends and family directly affected by Ukraine war

To the Editor:

My friends and family are directly affected by the war in Ukraine. My sister and her two daughters had to flee Ukraine to Moldova, and then to Austria. My brother-in-law had to stay behind in the country and we do not know if he will remain alive.

How can it be okay to have a Russian Federation tank drive over a civilian in their car? How can it be okay to have innocent children be bombed? How can it be acceptable that Ukraine is being destroyed? We cannot allow to have this happen! Let us fight against war and dictatorship any way we can.

Thank you to the Cooperstown community for standing with Ukraine. Please do what you can. If you can pray or keep people affected by the conflict in your daily thoughts – do that. Educate yourself and be aware of the situation – awareness is a first step. If you are a business owner or know one – maybe a fundraiser can be organized. Maybe you can write to your local senator or President Biden. Let us continue doing our part. Let’s be tolerant of the increase in gas prices and support the U.S. government decision to help Ukraine.

Dear neighbors, again thank you for all your support. Your efforts are valuable, felt, and greatly appreciated.

Please refer to the link below. It comprises extensive amounts of updated sources and examples of outreach and donation shortcuts to well-known and long-standing organizations:

The organized effort led by the local Ukrainian churches and the UCCA (Capital District branch of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America):

Живе вільна Україна! (Long live free Ukraine)

Your neighbors,

Joshua Echavarria and Aliona Yezhova


‘Wabbit’ way off base

‘Wabbit’ column off-base

To the Editor:

I applaud The Freeman’s Journal‘s endorsement (3/10/22) of the anti-bullying activities held recently at Cooperstown Central School. I further applaud your reporting of the remarks made by two students to the CCS Board of Education stating they received “no support from ‘a member of the administration’ when they reported incidents of racial intolerance and bullying,” and I trust you will continue to follow that story and its ramifications.

What I cannot accept, then, is your willingness to use as a source of humor the travails of one Mr. Elmer Fudd as referenced in your editorial entitled Wabbit Season. Clearly, Mr. Fudd is the target of repeated and extensive bullying by Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. It is obvious that Mr. Fudd is at the mercy of the mental gymnastics and spiteful rhetoric of Bunny and Duck. In the film you reference (“Duck! Rabbit! Duck!”), Mr. Fudd, a hunter, is simply trying to ascertain which animal is in season. He is lied to multiple times:

Rabbit season

Duck season

Goat season

Dirty skunk season

Pigeon season

Mongoose season

Elk season

Fiddler crab season

The superior wiles and mocking intent of bullies Bunny and Duck gradually wear at the fragile psyche of Mr. Fudd. While admittedly it is the duck who sustains the bulk of the physical violence, the repeated verbal and emotional abuse imposed upon Mr. Fudd ultimately results in a complete mental breakdown; sadly, this is on full display in the final moments of the film when a broken and befuddled Mr. Fudd is told it is baseball season and begins firing his rifle at a baseball tossed out by Bunny. (Bunny also mockingly commands, “Here boy! Here boy! Go get it!” as if Mr. Fudd is a dog). He runs off toward the horizon laughing hysterically as he continues firing at the ball and we are left to only wonder about his ultimate whereabouts and well-being; it does not bode well.

The abuse of Mr. Fudd depicted here is at best a sad commentary on animated films of the early 1950s and at worst a serious indictment of all who would inflict permanent psychological damage on others. For your editorial (which, by the way, had nothing to do with hunting) to reference Mr. Fudd’s suffering to make a “humorous” point about New York State government is, frankly, despicable.


Tothlo Laz

Rochester, New York

Chip Northrup on new pot stores

‘Justice involved’

The proposed New York State licensing program for cannabis dispensaries (a.k.a. dope shops) gives priority to applicants that have a record of being “justice involved” – that is, persons convicted of drug charges, or the relatives of such persons, before the state dope sale law went into effect. What a great euphemism for a criminal!

Fortunately, I qualify – having exported hashish from England to America in the 1970s. So where do I apply for a license to become the Dope King of Main Street? If sales are slow, I can simply consume the inventory or dispense it gratis to the denizens of Farkle Park.

One toke over the line in Texas,

Chip Northrup



Letter: Farmers deserve a fair return

Letter: Farmers deserve a fair return

Recent reports and letters that advocate for keeping the overtime pay threshold at 60 hours rather than reducing it to 40 present valid issues facing farmers today. Farmers struggle, caught between increasing costs and low income from processors who set the prices they will pay.

Farming is a noble profession; farmers need and deserve to make a steady, predictable profit. Paying overtime at the 40-hour threshold will hurt farmers. Prices would need to rise to accommodate that pay increase.

My question: if a business needs to underpay workers to survive, isn’t that business marginal? Aren’t the workers subsidizing those businesses?

Americans need to pay farmers more for their products. We have the cheapest food in the world. Food processors get to set prices to ensure that they always make a profit, while farmers take all the risks. It is unfair and inefficient to squeeze costs out of the lowest link in the production food chain — the farm workers.

Perhaps Americans could begin to look at the true cause of the crisis in farming, and help farmers look UP the food chain for a fair return for feeding us. Americans could support farmers in their effort to get paid fairly. Maybe then we could save more family farms.

Virginia Tomlinson

Letter: Meanwhile in Texas

Letter: Meanwhile in Texas

Texas’s new voter suppression law is a great example of how to keep lots of people from voting. The new statute requires a voter to present either a driver’s license or their Social Security number in order to get an absentee ballot. Since Texas only requires one of these IDs to register to vote, if a county registrar receives an absentee ballot request with a type of ID they don’t have on file, they can’t match the ballot request with the voter. That has already resulted in massive numbers of absentee ballot request rejections.

Other than a lawsuit to overturn the law to conform absentee ballot requirements with voter registration data, there is a simple solution for this: Don’t vote for politicians who don’t want you to vote.

Chip Northrup

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