News of Otsego County

Letters To The Editor

Letter from Kimber Home: Supreme Court Limit?
Letter from Kimber Home

Supreme Court Limit?

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that we have to have 9 Supreme Court Justices. Nor would it require a Constitutional amendment to add more seats. In fact, Congress has expanded the Supreme Court five times throughout American history.

Letter from Jim Renckens: Please Hold…

Letter from Jim Renckens

Please Hold…

After 2 years going silent to regroup their organizational strategies, under new CEO Tommy Ibrahim, and the Bassett Healthcare —“Your call is very important to us please stay on the line your call…”—Network is emerging with a legacy driven ad campaign.

This new campaign—“This call is very important to us please stay on the…”—will highlight the accomplishments of its founder Dr. Mary Imogene Bassett, one ofthe first female medical directors in—“Your call is very important to us please stay…”—the United States. It is a wonderful opportunity to share the history of our beloved MIB hospital. We ,who spend much time at MIB have not been aware of how—“This call is very important to us please…”—important and ground breaking Dr. Bassett was.

Letter from Michael Stuart: Population Loss

Letter from Michael Stuart

Population Loss

I read and re-read the letter from Nancy last week. Otsego County has a long history of being moved from district to district. Sometimes we are split west to east, and sometimes our entire County flops from west to east.

Now we are being split in half north to south. This is not the fault of the people running for Congressional Office. This is the fault of population loss plain and simple.

Letter from Chip Northrup: Inventions abound

Letter from Chip Northrup

Inventions abound

Cooperstown is famous as the birthplace of the Morse Code, the invention of organ transplants, and now, the invention of the Army’s new method of training soldiers to hit moving targets.

About ten years ago, Chip Northrup, a Texan that summers in Cooperstown, went to the Cooperstown Sportsmen’s Association to learn skeet shooting. In order to hit the clay pigeon, you have to know how far in front to point the shotgun, called the “lead.” No one could tell him exactly how far ahead to point, so, in a brainstorm, he came up with an idea to show the amount of exact lead on any clay pigeon, or any moving object, by displaying it in a virtual reality (VR) headset, as a holographic image in front of the target. Northrup explained how it works. “By practicing with this aim point on in VR, the user can see how far in front to aim. They shoot at the aim point with an electronic trigger, and hit the virtual clay pigeon. Once they have learned that in VR, they can go to the skeet range and hit real targets.” He grinned. “Maybe.”

Letter from Nancy Kelly: Redistricting

Letter from Nancy Kelly


I voted for Anthony Delgado to represent me in the 19th Congressional District, not Elise Stefanik in the 21st Congressional District. I didn’t ask to be redistricted, but now I am being represented by a Trump devotee and I don’t like it. After both parties disagreed on where to draw the lines after the 2020 census, New York Appellate Court Judges appointed map maker Jonathan Cervas, a 37-year-old former bartender from Las Vegas and current postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, to make the decision about redistricting in New York. He says he is pro-democracy and politically independent, but he recently voted for a Republican candidate in a primary and admits that he favors one side more than the other. An article from, 5-26-22, says “the new maps split the county roughly in north/south fashion, with towns from Milford and north falling into in the 21st Congressional District; the southern half into the 19th”. I don’t know how all the redrawn lines will affect New York State, but in my corner of the world, I will be voting for Matt Castelli, the probable Democratic candidate to represent me in the new 21st Congressional District and oust Ms. Stefanik in November, and I urge all voters in this new district of New York to evaluate Ms. Stefanik’s political ideology to make their
own decision.

Nancy Kelly

Letter from Hilda Wilcox It makes no sense

Letter from Hilda Wilcox

It makes no sense

How much sense does it make that our supposedly civilized country allows the sale of AR-15-style assault weapons that can — and do — kill 20 or more people in minutes? Is that a freedom necessary to a democracy?

Should anyone who can find the money to buy such a mass-killer weapon feel free to unleash such mortal terror?
A few facts: Such a gun used in Highland Park, Illinois; Uvalde, Texas; and Buffalo, New York can fire up to 100 rounds without pausing to reload. Adam Lanza in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, fired 154 rounds in 264 seconds.

Are we willing to let our gun manufacturers increase their profits at the expense of the lives of so many Americans, young and old?

Are the profits of these gun manufacturers in greater need of protection than the lives of the people their guns have killed?

Hilda Wilcox

Letter from Paul H. Lord Hit and run at 5 Mile Point

Letter from Paul H. Lord

Hit and run at
5 Mile Point

The severely damaged buoy was recovered from the bottom of the lake.

I received a report on Monday morning that someone had observed “a pontoon boat run over the 5 Mile Point no wake buoy” which subsequently “sunk!”

On Friday morning, we assembled a team of two faculty members and three students and investigated the 5-mile Point buoy location (which is 105′ deep; a challenging dive).

I found the buoy on the bottom, attached a lift bag and brought it up to within 20′ of the surface where, upon inspection, we found what is depicted in the attached photo. We have never seen such damage to one of our buoys from a single impact.

Letters to the Editor

This week’s Letters to the Editor

Liberty wept

Based on Alito’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, any personal right that was not enumerated in 1866 when the 14th Amendment was written is not protected. Alito implied

his reasoning applied only to abortion. But in his concurrence, Justice Thomas pointed out that the Dobbs precedent would apply to other practices, including same-sex marriage and contraception, birth control pills.

In Dobbs, reactionary Catholics on the Supreme Court applied Catholic theology to American law, effectively breaching the separation of church and state. Justice Sotomayor, also raised Catholic, wrote in her dissent that the practical result of Dobbs was that the state could force women to bear children against their will, like livestock, depriving them of their bodily autonomy. And if the state could do that, it could, under Alito’s reasoning, deprive them of any personal right that was not recognized in 1866, including the right to marry someone of another race, which was illegal in 1866 in 18 states and was not overturned until 1967, 20 years before Clarence Thomas married his wife Ginni.

There is a rather straightforward solution to this: Congress should increase the number of justices on the court to 13 and overturn Dobbs for the misogynistic assault on women that it is. 

Chip Northrup, Cooperstown

We’re going to need more prisons

The Gilbane Company, Turner Construction, and Correction Corporation of America may not be on your personal radar, but they will be after June 2022. How come, you ask? I’ll tell you. With the Supreme Court denial of the right to abortion procedures, many states will immediately activate criminal charges against any persons engaging in any activity that contributes to an abortion. Federal protection will no longer exist for a person’s right to choose. The states will control the criminal proceedings.

Letters to the Editor, June 30

Letters to the Editor, June 30 edition

On looking for God


What is in a name, a word?

What is the relationship between thought, word, and object?

What was a maple tree before it was called a maple tree, a cloud before it was called a cloud?

What would everything be if it did not have a name, would it be?

The world in front of our eyes is a neutral canvas, upon which we paint the reality of our own personal beliefs. Only we can see the picture painted by our own hand. It exists only with our permission.

If reality could be defined as thought supported by belief, then it would seem to follow that reality could be changed by changing or withdrawing belief.

Before we are Christians, Muslims and Jews, we are human beings, and before we are human beings we are, and we remain, life itself.

Floral Hall: Letter to the Editor

Reader laments loss of Fair’s Floral Hall

To the Editor:

For 144 years Floral Hall has been the home of wonderful exhibits, countless memories, and community involvement at its best! It is the oldest building on the Otsego County Fairgrounds, and holds an honored spot in the National Register of Historic Places.

Having recently learned this building is slated for demolition next month, I felt it would be irresponsible of me to allow its demise without a fitting tribute. It is absolutely possible to preserve Floral Hall; unfortunately, this will not happen. I am so heartbroken over the loss of this treasure, I cannot bear to visit the grounds without it.

Floral Hall has always been a focal point of the Otsego County Fair for countless delighted fairgoers. With its 90′ by 90′ foot print, it encompasses no small portion of the fairgrounds.

Many generations have devoted their passion and talents in lively competition for the prize of “Best of the Best,” beautifully displayed in the very center of the building for all to see. It has served as the ideal meeting place for friends to begin a fun day at the fair. On the hottest of fair days, it was a peaceful, cool, “Haven of Rest” for weary fairgoers, and provided ample room for many to escape those pop-up downpours that so often occur during a fair week.

The loss of Floral Hall is more than simply the loss of a magnificent structure. It is the loss of a deep heritage and an old friend.

It will be desperately missed by those who were blessed to experience its contribution to so many lives for so many years.

Pat Patterson
Mt Vision, NY

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

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