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News of Otsego County

Letters To The Editor

NORTHRUP: Before Cuomo Resignation, Let Investigations Conclude

LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Before Cuomo Resignation,
Let Investigations Conclude

To the Editor:

I have never voted for Andrew Cuomo and probably never will. I can’t. I’m not a year-’round resident of New York State.

The allegations of harassment against him are troubling, and, if proven, worthy of condemnation. But I am going to suggest that, rather than simply clamour for his resignation, it would be more helpful, indeed therapeutic, to allow the investigations by the state Attorney General and the state Legislature to play out.

That’s what the harassment statutes are for. Under the law, the presumption is that the accused is innocent, and that guilt must be proven, not simply alleged.

As a practical matter, if he resigned now, nothing would be proven. The only lesson learned would be that he was held accountable to the court of public opinion, not the law.

By resigning, there will be no investigation, no due process, no conclusive judgment. Not a great precedent for the law or the process.

Senator Gillibrand is calling for his resignation. I recall that she was the first of Senator Al Franken’s colleagues to condemn him for alleged harassment.

When she was rebuked for that after he resigned, she said, “He could have gone before the Ethics Committee.” True, with her prejudicial dagger sticking in his back.

In hindsight, Franken should have gone through the process, as Cuomo says he will. Daggers and all. If he comes out of it battered but unbroken, I might even vote for him. Multiple times, as my dead relatives and I do regularly in Texas.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

MEBUST: Democratic Chair – Vote Bergene, Falk
LETTER from LYNNE MEBUST

Democratic Chair – Vote Bergene, Falk

To the Editor:

Tuesday, March 16, is Election Day in the Village of Cooperstown, and I encourage all residents to come out to the fire hall on Chestnut Street between noon and 9 p.m. to vote for Cynthia Falk and Hanna Joy Bergene for village trustee.

Cindy has served the village for several years as trustee and deputy mayor and is seeking re-election. Her service, experience and record of success have been exemplary, and her willingness to continue to serve deserves our strong support.

Hanna Joy is a newcomer representing a generation vital to the future of our village. Her commitment to the community combined with her business and marketing experience make her uniquely qualified to add her voice to the village leadership.

The Cooperstown Democratic Committee is proud to have nominated both Cindy and Hanna Joy for election as village trustee. Please take the time to come out on Tuesday and support them both.

LYNNE MEBUST
Chair, Cooperstown
Democratic Committee

HAZZARD: Bergene Supported Businesses
LETTER from MATT HAZZARD

Bergene Supported Businesses

To the Editor:

It is a true honor to write to you today and encourage residents to get out and support Hanna Bergene as trustee for the Village of Cooperstown.

I had the distinct privilege to work alongside Hanna during her tenure at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce. For more than three years, Hanna worked diligently on behalf of both the businesses and residents of our community. On a daily basis her tireless work ethic and passion was on display, skills that she will bring with her to the trustee position.

In our next trustee, it is essential we have someone with a vision for the future of Cooperstown. Having been born and raised here, Hanna would bring her local knowledge and insight to the position. As a young professional, she has grown expediently, from her days at Stagecoach Coffee, to her role at the Chamber, she now serves as a key figure in marketing our county in her role at Paperkite Creative.

All of these experiences have positioned her as the right person at the right time to serve in this role.

While working together, we spoke frequently on the amazing opportunities and potential for our beautiful village. For key issues that have been discussed in this community for years, such as more affordable housing, creating a vibrant Main Street, and embracing younger generations, we need a Trustee that will go the extra mile. She has proven it time and time again with her volunteerism and involvement in local community groups.

For anyone that knows Hanna, her love for our community is evident, and I am confident that she will serve the entire community well.

MATT HAZZARD
Cooperstown

BERGENE: ‘Someone’ Who Cares Running for Village Trustee
LETTER from HANNA JOY BERGENE

‘Someone’ Who Cares
Running for Village Trustee

Bergene

To The Editor:

My name is Hanna Joy Bergene and I am honored to be running for village trustee alongside our current trustee/deputy mayor, Cindy Falk in the village election next Tuesday, March 16.

Many in the local business community may know me from my time working at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, Paperkite, Stagecoach Coffee and the Cooperstown Winter Carnival Committee.

I’ve called Cooperstown home my entire life. My parents, Gregory and Susan Bergene, both long-time employees of Cooperstown Central School District, taught me the value of a good work ethic and getting involved in your community from a young age.

As a village trustee, my goal is to make Cooperstown the best place it can be for all residents and businesses alike. I have thought long and hard, as well as asked a few close friends about what makes a great trustee. Some of the things that stood out to me are:

• Someone with a passion for public service.

GREEN: Candidate Sees Bigger Picture
LETTER from SUSAN GREEN

Candidate Sees Bigger Picture

To the Editor:

It is with great enthusiasm that I write this letter of endorsement for Hanna Bergene, candidate for Trustee for the Village of Cooperstown.

I have known Hanna for over six years, first when I was a board member for the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce while she was the director of marketing and events. Hanna’s work ethic and dedication impressed me in all of our interactions; she was prepared and professional at all times. She was particularly successful in executing the Chamber’s many events, which required a lot of collaboration, creativity, and dedication.

For the past two years I have been fortunate enough to have Hanna join the team at Paperkite as our social media manager. She has added tremendous value to the agency with her creative approach and ability to see the bigger picture for our clients and agency to achieve results.

It is these qualities that I believe will make her an effective and successful trustee.

Having seen Hanna operate in these roles over the years, I know she will bring the same dedication, creativity and vision that the job requires.

Hanna Bergene for Trustee!

SUSAN GREEN
CEO, Paperkite

CLOSE: Since 1974 D&H Crash, Errors Often Repeated
LETTER from JAMES S. CLOSE

Since 1974 D&H Crash,
Errors Often Repeated

To the Editor;

Your article about retiring Oneonta Fire Chief Pidgeon notes his recounting to you his memories of the D&H Train Disaster of Feb. 12, 1974. You state, “…when a D&H train derailed at Emmons and one of the tankers exploded.”

In fact, seven tankers carrying LPG or propane exploded that day – I know, because I was there, and saw the whole thing unfold from start to finish, as a nearby resident.

I have followed the story closely over the years, and have endeavored in vain to correct a major factual error that the NTSB carried into its report that states that the derailment occurred around 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

That is false – the derailment occurred between 12 noon and 12:30 p.m. that day, but the Daybook which the OFD maintained contained that error because an officer wrote it in several hours after the call actually came in – which is not the time of the accident.

Lazy investigators didn’t correct the error and it now goes forward in time as an inaccurate recollection of the events of that day.

I have interviewed surviving firemen on this issue, and have tried to have the record corrected for posterity – so far, to no avail.

You should, at least, correct this error for your readers.

On a related Oneonta Fire Department issue, it has been almost four years since Christopher’s Restaurant in Oneonta mysteriously burned down, and there are still no answers as to the cause.

Why not query the OFD and ask, “What gives?”

JAMES E. CLOSE
Mechanicville

KAVANAGH: With Governor In Trouble, Candidates Surface For ’22
LETTER from KENNETH J. KAVANAGH

With Governor In Trouble,
Candidates Surface For ’22

To the Editor:

What an incredible piece of work Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin most certainly is.

His recent announcement of his intentions to run for governor truly takes the cake. If they can’t come up with a better candidate on either side of the aisle, we’re all in trouble.

Zeldin’s voting record underscores the pathos of his case. He has voted against the Equality Act, Paycheck Fairness, background checks and reproductive rights.

He owns one of the worst (if not THE worst environmental ratings) in the entire New York congressional delegation as per The League of Conservation Voters. He is a true darling of the NRA, which readily pumps tons of money his way.

In no uncertain terms one need not look too hard for a better gubernatorial candidate . Hopefully his is nothing less than a lost cause.

KENNETH J. KAVANAGH
Cooperstown

HYMAN: It Looks Like It’s Only Going To Get Better
LETTER from CHARLES HYMAN

It Looks Like It’s Only Going To Get Better

Charles Hyman, M.D., who served for a decade as Bassett Hospital’s chief of medicine, is an expert in infectious diseases serving on the team that prepared for coronavirus’ arrival.

It’s time for hope.

The fact that we now have two incredibly effective COVID vaccines approved by the FDA (with more on the way) is amazing and heartening to me. Those responsible for that speedy development with such fantastic efficacy deserve high praise, and our thanks.

Let’s talk about what comes next.

• Understanding the Shot
The remarkable speed of development of these COVID vaccines makes some of us understandably wary and concerned as to whether corners were cut.

I believe the answer to this is: “No.”

Researchers sped up their trials by using existing clinical trial networks. Drug companies assumed a financial risk by beginning manufacturing while the trials were taking place. And the FDA and CDC let the vaccines cut in line, setting aside other reviews and approvals.

In that way, labs, businesses, and government agencies accelerated the process without sacrificing safety protocols.

NORTHRUP: Get Jabbed – Or Get Lost
LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Get Jabbed – Or Get Lost

To the Editor:

Got my second C-19 vax the other day at a public center. Only fainted once this time.

No wait, no line, plenty of technicians and vax. All paid for by the government. Ain’t socialized medicine grand?

We are truly blessed to have these vaccines available to us. So where was the crowd? Where were the lines? Why are so many people still refusing to get vaccinated?

Since vaccinating the majority of the population could effectively wipe out the plague, why not tie getting government paychecks and subsidies to vaccinations? Air travel?

If you refuse to do your civic duty and get vaccinated on religious, political or conspiratorial grounds, that is your prerogative.

But you forfeit your ability to get a government paycheck or get on a plane.

You won’t be able to fly to Mexico. You won’t be able to leave your poodle at home to freeze. But that will be the price you pay for refusing to do your civic duty.

It’s up to you. Get jabbed or get lost.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

FLEISHER: In Winter, Global Warming Pushes Arctic Air To South
LETTER from P. JAY FLEISHER

In Winter, Global Warming

Pushes Arctic Air To South

To the Editor:

How can a warming climate lead to a “frozen Texas”?

Media coverage of freezing conditions, power outages and millions of desperate Texans summarizes the life-threatening conditions brought on by freezing temperatures and snow that are foreign to that part of the country.

It may seem contrary to “climate change,” but in fact that’s exactly what is causing this and other extreme weather; but how can that be? A warming atmosphere should bring warmer weather, not polar conditions!

The explanation is actually pretty straightforward from the perspective of meteorologists and those who study conditions responsible for climate to change, and it’s all related to the “jet stream.”

The science gets complicated, but can be expressed in a simple four-step explanation that summarizes scientific publications of the past decade. None of this involves seasonal summer/winter changes.

Here’s the explanation:

STEP 1 – Atmospheric circulation is generated as the earth rotates during normal daily changes that bring day and night.

STEP 2 – This circulation causes regions of the atmosphere to constantly shift in a meandering pattern (the jet stream), which accounts for daily weather changes.

STEP 3 – During climate warming (as has been measured and reported for decades) layers of the atmosphere expand, which pushes meanders further south and slows their movement.

STEP 4 – This in turn brings polar weather into non-polar regions, like Texas and other southern states where polar conditions linger.

Likewise, exaggerated meandering of the jet stream causes drought conditions and heat waves during summer months when air masses from equatorial regions move northward.

As with all complicated issues, an overly simplified summary does not explain why all changes occur. Hopefully, this letter condenses a complex scientific issue for non-science readers.

P. JAY FLEISHER
Glacial geologist
Town of Milford

NORTHRUP: Impeachment Burnished At Least One Politician
LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Impeachment Burnished At Least One Politician

To the Editor:

We saw something this week in the Impeachment trial that is a rarity – a politician who followed the law, not his party line.

The idea of being faithful to the law is the essence of the inscription at Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans held the line against the Persian army. Herotodus mentioned the plaque commemorating
the battle: “Go tell the Spartans that we 300, ever faithful to their laws, here died.”

They didn’t say ever faithful to a person, or to their party, but to their laws.

Senator Cassidy (R-La.) voted that the impeachment trial is indeed Constitutional (which it is) against the wishes of his party. He then heard the evidence and voted to convict Trump.

What Senator Cassidy did was courageous, because, like the Spartans, he was ever faithful, “Semper Fidelis” to the law. Not to a party, nor a leader, but to the law. Here’s to that. Go tell the Cajuns.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

DUNCAN: Trenches Along Roadways Still Dangerous To Drivers
LETTER from R. RICHARD DUNCAN

Trenches Along Roadways

Still Dangerous To Drivers

To the Editor:

“Slip sliding away…”

Her car slid toward the side of the road. It caught in the trench and flipped. She was hurt and her car totaled. She is scared to drive again. But she knows she must go out and find a new car and force herself to try again. It wasn’t her fault. If the sides of the roads were done properly she would have slid off the road and would have been able to slowly drive back onto the highway.

What on earth makes the Otsego County Highway Department think that trenches are needed, or safe? It is the responsibility of the highway department to make safe roads for traffic, be it cars, trucks, bicycles, or pedestrians.

With trenches, there is no place to pull over if an emergency vehicle comes up behind you. They cause erosion and expose the roots of old trees; that kills them.

The trenches fill in fast and need to be redone and redone. Not very economical.

If you need to pull off the road for car problems, you can’t. If you slide off the road you will probably total your car.

I slid off coming around a corner at the top of the hill one winter. My tire caught on the lip of road, flipped the car and it slid down the hill in the ditch. Over $1,000 for a new drive shaft.

In the winter, it is hard to see if there is a trench or not. In the summer the grass grows and you can’t judge the side of the road.

We pay people to take care of our roads and they are not doing it in a manner to keep us safe. We need to educate them or replace them.

If you have had a problem with car damage with trenches, write in. Maybe if enough people complain, we can get things done correctly.

R. RICHARD DUNCAN
Hartwick Forrest

HANSE: Underunding Led To Nursing-Home Crisis
LETTER from STEPHEN HANSE

Underunding Led To

Nursing-Home Crisis

Stephen Hanse is
president/CEO of the state Health Facilities Association and the State Center for Assisted Living.

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is consistent – politicians are placing blame for the effects of the virus at the feet of other politicians, policymakers and providers, but nobody is focusing blame for the consequences of the virus where it truly belongs, with:

• The virus itself

• The state’s “hospital-centric” approach to combatting the virus and

• Historic underfunding of long-term care.

At the onset of the pandemic, the State of New York failed to immediately focus fully on the needs of nursing homes, and instead implemented a “hospital-centric” approach that led to limited access to testing, extensive staffing and PPE shortages in nursing homes.

The COVID-19 virus first appeared in the United States at a nursing home in Washington State, with devastating consequences. New York disregarded this fact and implemented a “hospital-centric” approach to combatting the virus, instead of looking at the people who were most susceptible to the COVID-19 virus – namely nursing-home residents.

New York’s “hospital-centric” approach focused the state’s limited resources on hospital-based solutions such as the Javits Center and the USS Comfort, that ultimately proved to be ill-advised, while nursing homes throughout New York State were left scrambling to safeguard their residents and staff.

Almost 80 percent of New York State’s nursing home resident care is paid for by Medicaid. The state has cut Medicaid reimbursement to nursing homes for over 12 years in a row – creating a reimbursement void that was only exacerbated by the state’s primary focus on hospitals through-out the pandemic!

The statewide average cost of providing around-the-clock nursing home care is $266. However, the statewide average Medicaid reimbursement for 24-hour care is $211, resulting in nursing homes being reimbursed $8.79 per hour to care for our most vulnerable! Most folks pay their babysitter more than $8.79 per hour!

Policymakers and legislators must stop the blame game, work in partnership with nursing home providers and view long-term care as an investment not an expense. Nursing homes are highly regulated providers that are essential in ensuring critical care to the State’s most vulnerable residents.

DUNCAN: Let’s Try A Little Tenderness
LETTER from R. SCOTT DUNCAN

Let’s Try A Little Tenderness

To the Editor:

Kindness is very powerful.

Many years ago I had surgery. The hospital kept me till the end of the day and then pushed me out the door and into a cab. They stuffed a prescription for pain killers in my hand.

I don’t remember filling the prescription, but I do remember the brutal pain of climbing up two flights of stairs to my apartment. Then collapsing into bed.

After a while, things simmered down and I got up and took the pain killers.

Many hundreds of years ago in Baghdad when you went into the hospital they would take your clothes and you would get a linen gown to wear. The beds had linen sheets!

When you were ready to leave they would give you your clothes back, all clean and fresh. They would also give you some money so you did not have to go back to work for the first week. That would give you some more time to heal.

Recently I was in the hospital for four days. A little while after I got home friends stopped by on two different occasions. They each brought me some food. It was a great thing to do for me. It made me feel connected. It’s nice to taste food that is made by different people.

I remember church suppers in the basement of the church. They were once a month. People would bring different dishes to pass.

Tomorrow, I am making a calamari and tomatoes stew. Pam is making fresh loaf of bread. Bread to dip into the stew to soak up the juices and to excite the taste buds.

We are going to take it to a special friend who has just gotten out of the hospital. I hope it helps her to recover faster. Plus, she won’t have to think about dinner for her family that night. Rest and relax.

Isn’t that why we are here: To help each other in times of need? It certainly helped me that time. I had forgotten how powerful the kindness of sharing food can be.

R. SCOTT DUNCAN
Hartwick Forrest

MOYNIHAN: To Explain COVID-19, It’s Back To The Future
LETTER from ROBERT MOYNIHAN

To Explain COVID-19,

It’s Back To The Future

To the Editor

There should be no more name-calling or evasions from one who lost the popular vote in 2016 by three million votes and in 2020 by seven million. His policy: “The Covid will just go away” – complete with a presidential hand signifying bird flight.

Instead, national policy is now to be founded on observation and science instead of theories from pre-germ mythologies. Intelligent action instead of ignorant reaction—or policy paralysis—arrives.

Just in time.

It’s worthy of observation that a clueless Specimen 45 imitated French professors who met in 1345. These Paris experts “observed” that a conjunction of planets, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, caused a Black Death—also called the Bubonic Plague.

While no count of fatalities is final or completely accurate, about 25 million died, and from a much smaller world population, many times less than the present crowd approaching 8 billion. Centuries later, patiently working scientists’ discovered that infected fleas thriving on rats spread the disease.

However, National Leader 45 reverted to earlier theories of infection. Diseases strike mankind? Can’t see ‘em? Where are they?

So—

Masks are not necessary to prevent exhaling or inhaling disease—it simply continues to move “in mysterious ways.” Nor was distribution of vaccines in a rational and competent manner necessary.

Instead, we should imitate Parisian scholars of 1345.

Past policy: just look at the planets.

ROBERT MOYNIHAN
Cooperstown

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