News of Otsego County


Best Bets: Art by the Lake returns

Best Bets
Art by the Lake returns

After being cancelled in 2020 and delayed until Autumn this year, the Art by the Lake Festival celebrating local artists and Otsego Lake is finally going ahead. The outdoor festival will feature regional artists showing and selling in mediums from watercolor to sculpture, oil to pottery, photography, printmaking, and more. There will also be artist demonstrations, tastings from The Cooperstown Distillery and more. Come celebrate art and enjoy the fall colors on the lake. On the lawn at The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2. For info: 607-547-1400 or

Go to Foothills Performing Arts Center for the Fifth Annual Play It Forward concert.
This year will feature Ian Flannigan who was in the top three on NBC’s “The Voice,” has a top release with Blake Shelton, opened for country singer Trace Adkins, and is from Saugerties.
The Upstate musician will be back to his roots to perform, hang out, and be a part of the Play It Forward legacy.
Proceeds go to the Play It Forward Scholarship to be granted to two Oneonta students going into the music industry.
Tickets are $15/person. At Foothills Performing Arts Center, in Oneonta. At 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1. For info: 607-431-2080 or visit

Come see artwork by artists of Upstate New York. In Gallery A of the Art Association the Central New York Watercolor Society will be holding its annual Members Only Juried Exhibition.
Also on show will be the solo exhibit by wood artist Emilie Rigby.
Opening reception to be held at the Cooperstown Art Association, 22 Main St. in Cooperstown from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 1. For info: 607-547-9777 or visit

Get in the mood for the Halloween season with a theatrical production of “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson. Follow the twists and turns as John Montague investigates the psychic activity in the long empty house with the help of three young people. What happens as the house begins to affect them in this creepy and frightening show? Cost is $20/adult. At Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta. 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2, 8 and 9 and matinee shows at 2 p.m., Oct. 3 and 10. For info:

The SUNY Oneonta Planetarium is back. Stream a presentation about the night sky in Autumn, and learn about deep space through the lens of the Hubble space telescope. Join the SUNY Oneonta students and faculty to explore the universe. Registration required. Presented through Microsoft Teams by the A.J. Read Science Discovery Center, SUNY Oneonta. At 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1. For info: 607-436-2011 or visit

Come enjoy delicious baked goods and support a local fire department. At Hartwick Seminary Fire Department, 4877 State Route 28 in Hartwick Seminary from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2.

Get ready for the winter reading season and support a local library. Kinney Memorial Library is sponsoring a community book sale at the Hartwick Community Center, 450 County Route 11 in Hartwick from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2. For info: 607-293-660.

Opinion by Elizabeth Chloe Erdmann: Telling a story of hope in an age of emotions

Opinion by Elizabeth Chloe Erdmann
Telling a story of hope in an age of emotions

These days deep emotions seem to burst forth at unexpected moments.

While in the car between visiting a pumpkin farm owned by friends and the local cider mill, I decided to pull out a crumpled paper with my brief presentation on the history of Crete. “Does anybody want to hear a story?” I asked my captive audience of one of my best friends and her three boys. “Yes!” As the fall foliage whirled by, I started reading, thinking that attention would wander soon, and I’d put it away. To my surprise the boys wanted me to keep reading and even asked that I continue the story when we returned to the car after a break to feed ducks.

Editorial: Oh deer!

Oh deer!

The bright, beautiful Harvest Moon, come to shine on our tired fields and woodlands, has passed. The leaves have begun to turn, the temperatures are dancing about, deciding which way to go, and we are, this very week, heading into the New York state hunting season, a few months of search and shoot for the many hunters of our county. They hunt not only white-tailed deer, but also other fur-bearing and feathered animals: bear, coyote, fox, opossum, weasel, bobcat, small game, migratory game birds, waterfowl, wild turkey, and they hunt with bows, crossbows, muzzleloaders, handguns, shotguns and rifles.

Last year in Otsego County, 3,088 white-tailed bucks were taken, 2,627 does, and 709 fawns, with 253,990 white tails taken in all throughout the state – the most on record – up from 224,190 in 2019.
Deer hunting is not new, although as a sport it is relatively young. Artifacts found in Germany reveal evidence of hunting 350,000 years ago, while the cave paintings in France date from 30,000 years ago. It was during the mid-Paleolithic period (the Stone Age) that early man developed the tools — of stone, bone and wood — to kill, and the age of the hunter/gatherer improved upon that of the previous gatherer/scavenger.

Opinion by Kevin Limiti: Why do we cover protests? People have them

Opinion by Kevin Limiti
Why do we cover protests? People have them

Protests, demonstrations, angry people yelling about something or other. What does it all mean? Why does something like that happen?

I’ve been covering protests for almost 10 years. Protests were my vehicle for getting into journalism. In Occupy Wall Street, I was a protester, and then made the decision to be a journalist instead.

Why? I didn’t like the coverage.

Since then, I’ve covered Black Lives Matter protests in downtown Brooklyn, Palestinian protesters in Times Square and Trump supporters at Trump Tower.

Opinion by Richard Sternberg M.D.: Maybe God wants people to be vaccinated

Opinion by Richard Sternberg M.D.
Maybe God wants people to be vaccinated

During Hurricane Katrina more than 1,800 people died primarily from flooding caused by the hurricane and by the levees breaking in New Orleans. Many of those who died lived in the city’s ninth ward.

Initially a mandatory evacuation order was sent out but many people ignored it and stayed in their homes. A man, who we will call John and who was very religious, was at home. As the water started to rise, the police started going door-to-door telling people to evacuate. John said to the police, “I’ll be fine because the Lord will protect me.”

The waters continued to rise. They became too high for regular vehicles. The fire department came by on its trucks urging people to evacuate. They offered to take them out of the area. When they got to John though, he said “I’ll be fine because the Lord will protect me.”

Opinion by Patricia Kennedy: Service providers need more state support

Opinion by Patricia Kennedy
Service providers need more state support

Springbrook, the organization I am proud to lead, has always found strength by looking to our mission and values. We are a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the most vulnerable people in our society.
That mission hasn’t changed because we face a pandemic. We have learned on the fly, and with clarity, we continue to navigate this storm. Springbrook’s direct support professionals, who do the hand-to-hand work of supporting residents, students, and participants, do so with a dedication that is beyond what words can describe. Our DSPs are essential in every conceivable way, and we have taken pains to show them and tell them how much we value their time, their talent, and their work.

Bound Volumes: September 23, 2021

Bound Volumes
September 23, 2021

Domestic Difficulty — Elopement — Whereas my wife Polly has refused to live with me and behaved herself in such a manner that I do not think proper to live with her — I therefore forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on my account as I will pay no debt of her contracting after this date. John Pringle, Jun.

Absconded — From my father’s house and this country, the above-named John Pringle, Jun., with my Snuff Box and Handkerchief pin, and every small article my father gave me that he could lay his hands on. Johnny, do not fear that any person will trust me on your account, when you have twice fled your country in the night.

I was 15 years old when I married you — I hope no other young girl will be deceived by you as I have been.

Life Sketches by Terry Berkson: Cultural differences can be bridged with care

Life Sketches by Terry Berkson
Cultural differences can be bridged with care

In December 1965, I and 1,400 other soldiers set sail from Brooklyn on the USS Darby, the last troop ship ferrying our soldiers over to Germany.

After that, the military used planes and an eight-day voyage was reduced to an eight-hour flight. During the frigid crossing, there was little to do and we were shown a lot of frivolous movies. Looking back I see this would have been an excellent time to educate the new troops about the people whose land we were about to “invade.”

Around that time President Charles De Gaulle was in the process of kicking American troops, who had
been there since World War II, out of France. It appeared to be an ungrateful act, given the help we gave to that country during the war. Still, I was stationed in Germany, and I observed how young American soldiers, lonely from being away from home and ignorant of manner and customs, could misbehave, could get into fights, could harass women and own the label of “the ugly American.”

While we were crossing the Atlantic there could have been something said, by way of a documentary, about being a representative of your country and to put your best foot forward and thus win the hearts and minds of our hosts. But the opportunity to get this across was lost and instead a lot of “bad boys” were unleashed in Germany as well as in France. I don’t mean the majority. It just took a few to spoil it for the rest.

German nationals called my base in Ludwigsburg, “Gangster Barracks.” I’m sure the same dynamics were afoot in France.

I already knew they didn’t like American soldiers in Germany but I didn’t encounter unfriendly vibes from the French until attending the running of the bulls in July of 1966 in Pamplona, Spain. I am a Francophile, because of my maternal grand-mother’s origin being the French mountain town of Auvergne. People can tell when you like them, and so, at that time, rather than being abusive, the French sitting at my table at Pension Mendoza were merely condescending. They teased me about President Kennedy’s widow cavorting with the shipping tycoon, Aristotle Onassis. They thought it was inappropriate and disgraceful. The conversation boiled down to, “You Americans don’t know how to behave. No wonder De Gaulle is kicking you out.”

How could I defend myself, the former first lady and my country? How could I come back at them? The solution: a little fabrication. I told these sophisticates I had read in the newspaper that because France was kicking us out, we were sending back the Statue of Liberty. All mouths at the table dropped open. One guy choked on the hearty red wine he was drinking. I kept a straight face. They had nothing to say. Now we were kicking them — in the form of their lady — out of America.

I had them! Even if they found out an hour later that my story was untrue, for a time this naïve American was on top and out maneuvering the smart Europeans.

As a civilian several years later, I was returning to Paris from the south of France with my wife, Alice. We had been visiting friends I had made back in the Pamplona of ’66. They were actually two of the people who had been teasing me about Jacquelyn Kennedy. Our arrival was early in the morning and the banks were still closed. We wanted to have breakfast but for some reason no one would accept American Express travelers’ checks. We had tried several places.

There was a kiosk back at the train station where lots of souvenirs were for sale. I studied the display for a while trying to decide what I could buy with a check, and hopefully get change in francs, so we could have breakfast. I kept asking the woman behind the counter questions in broken French about different items. Finally, the woman impatiently said something that amounted to, “What do you really want?”
I told her that we needed cash to buy something to eat. She looked at me for a long time, pulled out 20 francs and said, “Here, go have breakfast.” We did, and later we went to the bank to exchange our money. When I returned to the kiosk to reimburse the woman and buy her combination letter-scale and pencil sharpener, she announced for all to hear, “Look at this crazy American. I give him 20 francs for something to eat and he returns to pay me back!” It seemed at the time that the French, following De Gaulle, had removed the idea of payback from their code of ethics.

I think the reason I had some degree of success in dealing with the French is because I made an attempt to understand them and speak their language. Americans tend to think that, “since we are the greatest country in the world,” everyone should speak English. For many of us a trip to a foreign country is like a trip to the zoo. I once heard an American tourist in Germany say, “Hey Gladys, look at this guy! He’s wearing those leather pants!”

My aunt Rose made a trip to France to visit her daughter Francine. When she shopped at a grocery and they didn’t give her a bag for the items she bought, she made a big stink. “What’s the matter with these people?” she wanted to know. “Mother,” my cousin said. “In France you bring your own bag.” That’s the way they do it to avoid wasting plastic and paper.

Wouldn’t it be great if we got to know something about a country before we started to deal with its people? “When in Rome, do as the Romans,” is really a good idea. Armed with a little experience, I’d like to borrow and bend a phrase coined by the great humorist, Will Rogers, who almost said, “I never met a foreigner I didn’t like.”

Letter by John A. Rudy: Editorial on vaccines was spot on, anti-vaxxers should take note

Letter by John A. Rudy
Editorial on vaccines was spot on
anti-vaxxers should take note

Your Sept. 16. editorial, “Live free and die?” on the difference between “Freedom” and “Liberty,” as espoused by Thomas Jefferson, should be read by every anti-vaxxer and anti-masker and their political and media endorsers.

You were correct to point out that there is no unfettered freedom to do whatever one wants in America, regardless of the consequences. As you note, Jefferson’s central belief was that the exercise of one person’s freedom could not impinge upon the freedom of others who are equally endowed.

A half-century later, the great English philosopher, John Stuart Mill, made the same point about the limitations of liberty in his eponymous Essay, when he said: “(T)he sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection.”

Editorial: Businesses, as usual

Businesses, as usual

Back in the mid-20th century, Cooperstown was a thriving local village, taking great care of its residents and neighbors with a Main Street riddled with all manner of shops and cafés, hardware stores and markets, a gas station, a car dealer, a bank or two and a movie theater, built in 1920, to fill up empty evenings and afternoons with glorious cinematic amusements. The Freeman’s Journal and The Otsego Farmer were on Main Street. too, welcoming all who had anything to say.

Today, with tourism now the major breadwinner for the village and high rents threatening, Main Street has changed. Many of the businesses that took care of our immediate needs in the past have rethought their uses and provisions, others have retreated to other, less central, outposts, and still others have closed their doors, their wares exchanged for Amazon boxes and envelopes outside front doors.

Up on Hawthorn Hill by Richard deRosa: Finding a retreat from totalitarianism

Up on Hawthorn Hill by Richard deRosa
Finding a retreat from totalitarianism

We are beginning the process of bedding down most of our gardens for the winter. I am reminded of what Robert Frost so sagely stated in his poem “After Apple-Picking,” that there comes a time when the harvest we so looked forward to has run its course and a new desire has arisen: to step aside, rest up a bit, and move on to other tasks — or simply do little or nothing for a while.

Inactivity has its limitations, too. As I write, I am looking at the stack of “to be read” books on the shelf beside my reading chair in my study. One title sticks out: Hannah Arendt’s classic “The Origins of Totalitarianism.”

Letter by Jennifer Hill: Don’t send prayers, just get vaccinated

Letter by Jennifer Hill
Don’t send prayers, just get vaccinated

Almost three weeks ago, my 84 year-old father and 83 year-old mother tested positive for COVID-19. They were breakthrough cases. My mother had no symptoms, but my father, who has asthma and an irregular heartbeat, had shortness of breath, chest congestion and light-headedness. He was given powerful flu medicine to alleviate his symptoms and because of his chronic medical conditions and his age, he received a monoclonal antibody infusion, a cocktail of manmade proteins designed to boost a person’s immune system to fight off viruses. Both made him feel much better and he felt he had recovered several days later.

The Old Badger: The badger takes flight with the aviators

The Old Badger
The badger takes flight with the aviators

First published in The Freeman’s Journal on Aug. 16, 1978.

TonyYackey – that’s not a name that falls easily from one’s lips. However, it is a name that fell frequently from the lips of Cooperstown residents during the summer of 1919.

Lt. Tony Yackey was a decorated aviator, an honored veteran of the air war in France and one of the convalescents at the Army Hospital here. Tony was from Detroit and Tony was tough. He was brash, adventurous and “called ’em as he saw ’em.” His speech had not yet been refined.

Dog Charmer by Tom Shelby: Dog is depressed over death of companion

Dog Charmer by Tom Shelby
Dog is depressed over death of companion

Dear Tom,

We have two goldens, Chloe, 6, and Bonnie, 14½. They have been together since Chloe was a puppy.
Sadly, Bonnie died suddenly this past Wednesday. Along with our anguish and moping about, Chloe seems to have picked it up also. She seems very flat.

Is this normal? Can you suggest anything we can do or just wait it out?

Appreciate your comments,


Bound Volumes: September 16, 2021

Bound Volumes: September 16, 2021

Excerpts from a general address to the Farmers, Mechanics and Workingmen of Otsego County: “The time has arrived when it has become necessary for us to come forth as independent freemen, in defense of the rights and privileges for which our fathers fought and bled. Our political institutions which have resulted from the wisdom of those revered statesmen and patriots, and to establish which they nobly periled their lives and their fortunes, are based upon the only true principles of Republican government – the equal rights of every citizen. These rights, we hold, are basely violated by the enactment of unequal, unjust, and unconstitutional laws, and by the encroachments of aristocratical monopolies. These systems of nobility, possessing exclusive privileges, which are spread over every part of our country, will, if not checked, destroy our republican institutions and fasten upon us the change of servitude.”
September 19, 1836

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