It’s a long way from Carrie Mae Smith’s Italianate stone house in Gilbertsville to Los Angeles and Lowell Ryan Projects, a split-level art gallery with an art deco exterior. Nevertheless, Smith made the 2,764-mile trip with her husband, Greg Watson, on February 14 to open her first solo exhibit at the gallery, which welcomes artists whose work crosses disciplinary boundaries.
“It’s the most significant gallery show I’ve had to date,” Smith said.
Every year in March, we take time throughout the month to recognize people with developmental disabilities as members of our community, coworkers, family and friends for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Developmental disabilities can occur at birth or become present over the development age and can include autism and ADHD, cerebral palsy, learning, language, and intellectual disabilities. You may know or work with someone who has a developmental disability. Today, we live in a much more inclusive society, thanks to the actions of self-advocates and advocates of persons with developmental disabilities, as well as policy changes, and the evolution and growth of organizations like Springbrook. However, there will always be spaces and places that can grow in the scope of their inclusion and diversity, and an equitable workforce is a great place to start.
Since February is National Heart Health Month, I’d like to focus this column on cardiovascular health—specifically on stroke awareness and prevention.
Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke, making it the most common cause of paralysis and the fifth leading cause of death in this country. What’s even more startling is that the stroke rate has gone up among young and middle-aged Americans over the last 30 years.
The good news is that maintaining heart health, responding quickly when strokes occur and administering proper care afterward can all have a significant impact on stroke outcomes.
ONEONTA—Opportunities for Otsego, a community action agency focused on alleviating poverty in the county, recently held a Point-in-Time meeting in conjunction with the Oneonta Police Department to give a count of the homeless on Thursday, January 26. Blankets, provided by the Southern Tier Homeless Coalition, were given to the OPD to give to any unsheltered individuals they encounter.
The official results of the Point-in-Time count will be released in April by STHC, the organizers of the count across six counties. Last year, 77 persons were identified as unhoused in Otsego County through the Point-in-Time count.
GILBERTSVILLE—The Town of Butternuts has begun the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan, adopted in August of 2013. According to the town’s website, a survey has been mailed to Town of Butternuts and Village of Gilbertsville residents and businesses. Copies of the survey can be picked up from the town and village clerks by residents who did not receive one. “A comprehensive plan presents a vision of the future of the town and proposes actions that can be taken to achieve that vision. It helps our local governments and community institutions work together in their decision making,” the Town of Butternuts website reads.
COOPERSTOWN—Leatherstocking Credit Union is now taking applications from local high-school seniors for its annual scholarship. The scholarship is based on community and/or school involvement, and being a well-rounded individual. Applicants can print out a form at lsrfcu.org or pick one up at Leatherstocking Credit Union, 24 Glen Avenue. The deadline to apply is April 21; applicants must be a member of Leatherstocking Credit Union. If they are not, they may become a member prior to applying if they meet the membership eligibility criteria. For further details, call Matthew Marrotta at (607) 547-5700, extension 114.
What are the unique aspects of rural communities and culture that may contribute to mental health concerns and increased risk of suicide in rural New York? What factors contribute to positive mental health and well-being? How do community members seek help for behavioral health concerns, and what factors influence these help-seeking preferences? How can rural communities—individually and as a whole—improve availability, awareness, access, and utilization of mental health services, resources, and support?
These were the questions Dr. Brett Harris sought to answer as she embarked on an 18-month rural listening tour, the first of its kind in New York State, from March 2020 to September 2021. Dr. Harris, a senior research scientist at NORC, an independent research institution at the University of Chicago, and a professor of public health at the University at Albany, heard from almost 300 residents and healthcare professionals across 16 rural counties to produce a report detailing possible strategies to “improve mental health in rural areas in New York and beyond.”
COOPERSTOWN—Matt and Lauren Glynn and daughter, Lucy, enjoyed hot cocoa and a visit with the Ice Queen and Friends at the Cooperstown Winter Carnival kickoff event on Thursday, February 2 at The Otesaga Resort Hotel.
Editor’s Note: From time to time, we will publish interviews with performers, dignitaries, authors and assorted others in this new feature, “Off the Cuff/On the Record.” Enjoy!
COOPERSTOWN—Veteran organist Beau Sasser will be joined by Justin Henricks on guitar and Bill Carbone on drums when the Beau Sasser Trio takes the stage on Friday, February 10 at The Otesaga Resort Hotel. Their performance, part of the Cooperstown Concert Series’ 53rd season, begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online and at the door.
The Beau Sasser Trio pays tribute to the classic organ trio sound, with soul classics in the boogaloo and acid jazz stylings popularized in the 1960s and 1980s, respectively. In addition to performing as a trio, all three members are involved with other touring projects. Sasser is currently part of the progressive funk/fusion band Kung Fu, and working with his own band, The Escape Plan. Hendricks performs with Albany-based funk and soul group Wurliday and Carbone is a core member of the legendary jam band Max Creek.
In advance of Friday’s concert, Sasser took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions:
How long have the three of you been playing together?
The trio has been around for about 15 years. We started playing a weekly trio gig in Northampton, Massachusetts and the night being very popular…We still play that gig and the rest is history!
In 1897, “The Sun,” a New York newspaper, published one of the most famous editorials in journalism. Written by Francis Pharcellus Church, it was in answer to a letter written by an 8-year-old girl who was not satisfied by answers given her by her family and friends to her question—one that remains to this day on the inquisitive minds of many children—Is there a Santa Claus?
“We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
‘Dear Editor: I am 8 years old. ‘Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. ‘Papa says “If you see it in The Sun it’s so.” ‘Please tell me the truth: is there a Santa Claus? Virginia O’Hanlon 115 West Ninety-Fifth Street’
The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) has set two ambitious year-end goals, and they now need support from the public in order to meet those targets.
The “Promise for Parkie Challenge” has been underway since Giving Tuesday, November 29. If the SQSPCA can raise $100,000.00 by end of day December 31, challenge sponsors Beth and Gary Glynn will give the shelter an additional $25,000.00.
Dr. Jonathan Davis, president of the Unatego Science Foundation, recently provided the Unatego School District with a $3,000.00 check which will be used to purchase scientific equipment, materials, supplies, technology, software, curricular materials, and provide fellowships to deserving students from the district. Since its founding in 2008, the foundation has donated more than $86,000.00 to provide Unatego with financial resources for students and teachers. “It’s one way to give back to the community,” said Davis. “It’s been great to help our local students.”
Davis owns and operates Valley Veterinary Associates, specializing in theriogenology and surgery, along with Milfer Farm, Inc., which is one of the largest Thoroughbred breeders in New York State.
Hill City Celebrations, formerly known as First Night Oneonta, commenced its third annual Festival of Lights in Neahwa Park on December 18, preceded by an opening ceremony to celebrate this year’s festival honorees, retired A.O. Fox Hospital providers Dr. Yoshiro Matsuo and Physician’s Assistant Lynne Bolstad.
The reception, which took place just before sundown ahead of the festival lighting, celebrated Matsuo and Bolstad, longtime and beloved community practitioners who served the greater Oneonta area for nearly 40 years. Remarks were offered by Mayor Mark Drnek and family physician Dr. Benjamin Friedell, among others.