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News of Otsego County

Otsego news

This Week—June 17, 2021

THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS

The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

June 17, 2021

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Moana, right, played by Yana King, gets caught by the crab Tamatoa, played by Claire Smith, with Dalilah Synan as the left claw and Taryn Brockway as the right claw, in a scene from ‘Moana Jr.’ Student actors practice during a dress rehearsal of Moana Jr., produced by Orpheus Theatre’s Starstruck Players at Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta on Monday, June 14. The show, which opens Friday, June 18, will be the first live performance by Orpheus in more than a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Michael Forster Rothbart/AllOTSEGO.com)

FRONT PAGE

Hall: Wednesday induction was best option

Jobs and houses: Herzig: For city to thrive, the two houses intersect

Chestnut Crossing developers host neighborhood Q&A

Cooperstown & Around and City of the Hills

Inside The Paper

Primary Elections to be held

At ribbon cutting, Distillery touted as cultivated business venture

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, left, and Eugene Marra cut the ceremonial ribbon in front of Cooperstown Distillery. (Kevin Limiti/AllOTSEGO.com)

Student News

Perspectives

The Old Badger: The joy of the old pavilion still make people smile

Corrections

LETTERS

Editors Policy

COLUMNS

BERKSON: ‘Impetuous 30s’ led to Richfield Springs farm

DIROSA: An update arrives from the top of the hill

History Columns

Bound Volumes: June 17, 2021

Hometown History: June 17, 2021

OBITUARIES

William L. Ross Sr.

Kobey John King

Summer Dreams

Curtain’s up again on live theatre in the region

Concert series to resume at Lakefront

Best Bets

Staff Dining Picks

Curtain’s up again on live theater in the region

Curtain’s up again on
live theater in the region

By MICHAEL FORSTER ROTHBART • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA — It has been a dark time for theater in Otsego County.

In 2020, the Glimmerglass Festival and Fenimore Art Museum each canceled its summer performance seasons because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In Oneonta, Foothills Performing Arts Center went 14 months without a live show, according to Operations Manager Geoff Doyle.

High schools and both Oneonta colleges experimented with streaming virtual theater, performed live without an audience. Local troupes such as the Catskill Puppet Theater and Orpheus Theatre cancelled shows, while Stuff of Dreams Productions pre-recorded performances for later broadcast.

This summer, stage by stage, the lights are back on and theaters are reopening — albeit with some modifications for COVID safety. Theaters have been operating at 33% capacity, with mask requirements in place, but that will change going forward, with an easing of most pandemic requirements from the state.

Cooperstown Distillery celebrates expansion with ribbon cutting while touting local businesses
Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, left, and Eugene Marra cut the ceremonial ribbon in front of Cooperstown Distillery. (Kevin Limiti/Allotsego)

Cooperstown Distillery celebrates expansion
with ribbon cutting,
while touting local businesses

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – The mood was jovial Saturday, June 12, as about 60 people, including elected officials state Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, gathered outside the Cooperstown Distillery on Railroad Avenue for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the expansion to celebrate what is considered a big success for local businesses in particular and a revitalization of Railroad Avenue specifically.

Eugene Marra, the founder of Cooperstown Distillery, began with an emotional moment on losing his dad to the coronavirus. He said his dad was his “biggest fan and number one investor in this opportunity.”

However, the atmosphere was celebratory.

“It’s an auspicious occasion for sure,” Marra said. “As much as I want to claim it as my own, I want to share it all with you because you have made it possible,” Marra said.

Eugene Marra, founder of Cooperstown Distillery, speaks in front of the Distillery ahead of the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Marra spoke at length about the trials and tribulations of opening the expanded brewery on Railroad Avenue. He talked about how COVID had delayed the opening a year and how the distillery was tasked with producing hand sanitizer during that time.

He also mentioned how he was initially told by real estate agents that opening a distillery in Cooperstown was not possible.

“I like to believe we are responsible for what has become a revitalization of Railroad Avenue,” Marra said, saying that industry on that street in years past, “appeared to be dead.”

Marra said that Cooperstown Distillery, which has been around for eight years, is the “story about how it takes a village … the village of Cooperstown.”

Marra said he was loaned about $100,000 and received state fund grants of about $80,000, citing that his success was thanks to “local money.”

“We all hear these phrases, buy local, shop local, stay local. We are all of that,” Marra said, calling the Cooperstown Distillery the “fabric of this community on a very local, grassroots level.”

“We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than the village of Cooperstown,” Marra said.

Tillapaugh said the Cooperstown Distillery is a business “in which the village takes a great deal of pride.”

She noted how the village implemented zoning law changes in order to help grow businesses.

“I certainly know what this Railroad Avenue looked like for decades,” Tillapaugh said.

She noted it was once not considered industrially viable, but that developments on the street, including the distillery and the Railroad Inn, created “positive synergy.”

DiNapoli joked he didn’t accept the invitation “because of the complimentary drinks,” but was happy to come because of how difficult a year it had been.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks in front of Cooperstown Distillery. (Kevin Limiti/Allotsego.com).

DiNapoli said that while Cooperstown is known for its Baseball Hall of Fame and Fenimore art museum that “the distillery becomes yet another reason to visit.”

“This really was an incredible effort with all stakeholders playing their role. That’s usually not how it happens,” DiNapoli said. “This is the model that should be replicated.”

DiNapoli said he was going to go back to Albany and tell other lawmakers to “look to what happened in Cooperstown as an example of how it should work” in terms of state funding for local businesses.

After the ceremony, people took a tour of the distillery.

 

 

Neglected horses rescued from farm

Neglected horses rescued from farm

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The Susquehanna SPCA, with help from the Otsego County Sheriff, rescued some 30 horses from a farm that was apparently hoarding them.

Stacie Haynes said on Facebook that they worked more than 30 hours to relieve the farmer from those horses, who was unable to manage the amount that he had.

“Seriously cannot thank the many amazing people who have stepped up to help,” Haynes said in a Facebook post. “As always, the SQSPCA staff and our Sheriff’s Deputies have and will continue to go above and beyond for animals. The volunteers are the absolute best.”

Most of the horses were relocated to the Otsego County Fairgrounds. The owner of the horses was not criminally charged.

 

Otsego communities struggle with housing needs

Otsego communities
struggle with housing needs

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Affordable and available housing remains an issue in Otsego County in general, but particular issues have come up recently in both Cooperstown and Oneonta.

However, both areas are doing their part to amend this issue. Although there has been some backlash, elected officials acknowledge the necessity of creating affordable housing in the area.

A planned development at 10 Chestnut St. in Cooperstown is being considered by the village’s boards.

Francesca Zambello, who partnered with Josh Edmonds of Simple Integrity on the Chestnut Street project, described herself as a “concerned citizen” who was worried about the “really dire housing situation.” Zambello and Edmonds own three connecting lots and have formed their own company, not associated with Glimmerglass or Simple Integrity, to build on the site.

Cooperstown mourns community servant, Kuhn

Cooperstown mourns
community servant, Kuhn

By PATRICK DEWEY • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The Cooperstown community found itself forced to consider life without Santa Claus when Paul Kuhn died Wednesday, June 2, at the age of 83.

Kuhn was perhaps best known as Cooperstown’s Santa Claus, a post that he held with joy and authenticity for 20 years.

According to Molly Myers, a Main Street Christmas helper from a young age, Kuhn’s listening skills and genuine care for people were a big part of what made him the perfect Father Christmas.

A few years younger than Myers, Bella Anania said she remembers eagerly waiting in line with her three siblings to see Kuhn in character. She said that he could relate to any child.

“He embodied the spirit of Christmas,” Anania said.

This Week — June 3, 2021

THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS

The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

June 3, 2021

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Rep. Antonio Delgado samples a chocolate-flavored whiskey at the Cooperstown Distillery during a tour Thursday, May 27. Get the full story in this week’s edition of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.

FRONT PAGE

Education company seeks to fill camp void

AllOtsego people: Milford graduate helping with pandemic relief in Nepal

Cooperstown & Around

City of the Hills

Tour Time

Cooperstown Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, left, and Otsego 2000 Executive Director Ellen Pope, to Falk’s left, talk about the architecture of an 1800s Federal-style house at 30 Lake St. in Cooperstown, which is known as the oldest corner of the village. The two women gave an architectural tour in the village Monday, May 31, sponsored by Otsego 2000 and the Cooperstown Graduate Program, where Falk is a professor. About 60 people were on two 90-minute trolley tours through the village Monday afternoon. Falk said a similar tour of Oneonta will take place sometime in the future. (Greg Klein/AllOTSEGO.com)

Inside The Paper

Student News

Sports

Outlaws to return for 2021, home opener June 4

From state title to college hoops, Lambert looks for his shot

Perspectives

The Old Badger: Automobiles led to the last of the Mohican

LGBTQ+ rights are still fragile

LETTERS

Editors Policy

New York must address rural EMS issues before a crisis occurs

COLUMNS

BERKSON: Whistling with my fingers, thinking of songs

History Columns

Bound Volumes: June 3, 2021

Hometown History: June 3, 2021

OBITUARIES

Major Richard (Dick) Bratton

Joseph S. Harris

Summer Dreams

Keith Haring: Radiant Vision

Best Bets

Staff Dining Picks

Milford graduate helping with pandemic relief in Nepal
Milford Central School graduate Zak Aldridge, center, helps deliver supplies in Nepal in this recent picture.

Milford graduate helping with pandemic relief in Nepal

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Although COVID is starting to fade in Otsego County with towns such as Cooperstown and Oneonta lifting mask restrictions, the same cannot be said for many countries such as Nepal.

Zak Aldridge, who was born in Cooperstown, went to Milford Central School and considers himself an “honorary Oneontan,” said he didn’t intend to stay in Nepal for more than a year, but COVID-19 changed his plans.

He said he planned on staying there for two weeks. That was 15 months ago.

“I was planning to come to check out a school over here that I was thinking of coming to study languages and Buddhism,” Aldridge said. “And the lockdown happened and I wound up getting stuck. That was a year ago.”

Aldridge, who is a Columbia University graduate, has decided to help feed families in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, which is currently under a strict lockdown, causing day laborers to suffer from malnutrition.

Education company seeks to fill camp void

Education company seeks to fill camp void

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

A local education company is planning to fill the gap in camps this summer.

ResourceME, an Otsego County company started by Cooperstown Central School special education teacher Stephanie Nelen, will offer summer camps this year.

“The thing about this company is we want to be a source to fill a need in Cooperstown for educational enrichment, not to compete with anything we already had,” Nelen said.

Nelen’s company had been working with Cooperstown Baptist Church during the height of the coronavirus pandemic to host learning pods and tutoring sessions.

The church had applied for COVID money to help with educations needs during the pandemic. However, when Pastor Joseph Purdue left for a church in Connecticut, Cooperstown Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk — who is a member of the church and had helped Purdue apply for the grant — reached out to Nelen for help.

COVID update for Otsego County

COVID update for Otsego County

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

As of Tuesday, June 1, COVID cases in Otsego County have decreased to a 0.6% positivity rate with 1% of tests coming back positive, according to the Otsego County Health Department.

Currently there are 15 active cases with two hospitalizations as a result of COVID.

As COVID cases continue to go down, many businesses and towns are seeing an easing of COVID restrictions.

A mask ordinance in Cooperstown is no longer being enforced while Oneonta is expected to ease its mask ordinance for Main St.

Total cases in Otsego County for 2021 are 4,469 with 63 deaths.

 

Photos: Rep. Antonio Delgado visits Cooperstown Distillery

Photos: Rep. Antonio Delgado visits Cooperstown Distillery

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Delgado visits Otsego County to tour American Rescue Plan
Antonio Delgado (D-NY14) is shown how the whiskey is poured at Cooperstown Distillery. (Kevin Limiti/Allotsego.com).

Delgado visits
Otsego County

to tout
American Rescue Plan

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN — Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-NY19, appeared in Otsego County on Thursday, May 28, to speak about the money the county will receive from the American Rescue Plan, which he help shepherd through Congress.

Otsego County receive about $11.5 million, he said, half of which has already been delivered, with the other half to follow within a year. Other county towns and villages will also receive money from the act.

“Its been a joy,” Delgado said. “It’s a real testament to what government can do.”

Delgado also praised the bipartisan nature of the politicians that were gathered at the press conference, including State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-51st District, and State Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102nd District, and said it is how it should be in all forms of government.

“This is a big deal, people,” Delgado said. “We’re able to get real meaningful dollars to our community.”

Delgado also said that they had to make sure “we had flexibility” to get things done with “something more cooperative.”

“I call that direct democracy,” he said.

Delgado spoke on the importance of getting broadband for the county calling it a “basic necessity.”

THIS WEEK — May 27, 2021

THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS

The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

May 27, 2021

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Richfield Springs freshman Braydon Misenick, left, and junior Damon Boss spread soil to prepare to plant a vegetable garden in the back of the park at 177 Main St, Richfield Springs, the site of a once dilapidated building now given new life. (Greg Klein/Allotsego.com)

FRONT PAGE

Dreams Park update opens tourism season

Cooperstown will halt enforcement of mask ordinance

Film COOP to hold location tour for women filmmakers

Cooperstown & Around

City of the Hills

Inside The Paper

Bassett announces partnership with tech employment company

Springfield will host ‘drive-by parade’ for Fourth of July

Wall Work

Antony Leanardo of Oneonta paints “the wall” in preparation for the Hartwick College graduation Saturday, May 29. (Korey Rowe/AllOTSEGO.com)

Sports

Idelson aims for smooth Hall transition, induction

Schenevus softball powers past Milford in T-V battle

Regatta switches to virtual event for 2021

Perspectives

Film COOP’s event is just the beginning for new industry here

Education is key to fighting hatred

Correction

Views from around New York State

Tribute

Sovocool’s spirit shined on the roads of life

LETTERS

Editors Policy

COLUMNS

BERKSON: Raccoon in the hen house starts raucous battle

History Columns

Bound Volumes: May 27, 2021

Hometown History: May 27, 2021

AllOTSEGO.life

Richfield community creates park

Cooperstown KOA to stage outdoor summer movie series

OBITUARIES

Stanley G. Smith

Richard Duncan

John R. Sovocool

Patricia A. Romaine

Joseph G. Smaila, III

Regatta switches to virtual event for 2021

Regatta switches to
virtual event for 2021

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Erica Collier of Cooperstown and John Collier of Richmondville race in the Mixed CC Endurance class of the 2018 General Clinton Canoe Regatta. (Cherly Clough/AllOTSEGO.com)

The General Clinton Canoe Regatta, which is traditionally held Memorial Day, will be held virtually this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have exhausted all other options,” the General Clinton Canoe Regatta website read.

There will be no winners or awards this year, but racers will be credited with finishes, according to event organizers.

Participants will be provided with a GPS in order to get credit for their finish on the 70 mile course. Those who finish will receive a t-shirt and an official 70-mile finish credit.

In addition, there will be no activities in General Clinton Park, because of the pandemic.

Cooperstown Dreams Park to open July 23 without masks or social distancing for vaccinated participants

Cooperstown Dreams Park
to open July 23
without masks or social distancing for vaccinated participants

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Cooperstown Dreams Park is set to open Friday, July 23, without masks or any guidelines on social distancing, according to the park’s website.

However, a vaccine will be required for participating children and adults.

The opening will include no restrictions on high fiving or other physical contact, as well as face-to-face pin and baseball card training.

The  2021 baseball camp is set to go through August.

Dreams Park gives participants a chance to play in tournaments, visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and watch baseball games at Doubleday Field.

According to their website, Dreams Park gets approximately 500,000 visitors per year, hosting teams for 13 weeks of tournaments. However, it was closed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and had earlier in the year put its season in doubt when it issued guidelines for campers requiring vaccinations.

For more information, call 704-630-0050 or email baseballoperations@cooperstowndreampark.com.

 

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