News of Otsego County

The Freeman’s Journal

Friday Sports Roundup: Competiello scores 100th goal as Dragons to Patriots
Milford/Laurens’s Donta Sherwood gets knocked off his feet by Gilboa goalie Joe Willie who came off his line to get the ball during a non-league game Friday. Sherwood scored a goal to help M/L to a 3-2 win. (Cheryl Clough).

Friday Sports Roundup:
Competiello scores 100th goal
as Dragons top Patriots

STAFF REPORT  • Special to

Junior Angie Competiello scored her 100th varsity goal to help visiting Schenevus win a Tai-Valley League game against Cherry Valley-Springfield, 4-2, in Cherry Valley on Friday, Sept. 24.

Competiello had two goals and an assist in the game.

Shawna Whiteman and Val Beardslee had the other goals for Schenevus (9-0, 6-0), which also got an assist from Hannah Sulas.

Ari Bosc and Joleen Lusk scored for CV-S.

More sports below.

Community Foundation announces it raised more than $2 million

Community Foundation announces
it raised more than $2 million

STAFF REPORT  • Special to

The Community Foundation of Otsego County announced in a media release Wednesday, Sept. 22,  it had raised more than $2,035,246,  exceeding its goal of $2 million as part of its Founders Campaign.

The money raised will be used for awards for non-profits tackling different issues in Otsego County.

CFOC raises money to help “address challenges and increase opportunity in Otsego County” according to its website.

“Since we want to significantly improve the quality of life in Otsego County, we set an ambitious plan, and more than 150 donors — individuals, couples, families, as well as local businesses and foundations — believed in our dynamic approach. We are very, very grateful for their support and participation,” said Board President Harry Levine in a media release.

The Founders campaign will continue raising money until the end of the year.


SQSPCA to provide dental services to rescues
From left, Rotarians Judy Steiner-Grin and Richard Sternberg look at Esther the dachshund with SQSPCA Adoption Counselor Tania Puglia, Veterinarian Julie Huntsman and SQSPCA Medical Coordinator Sara Haddad. (Contributed). 

SQSPCA to provide
dental services to rescues

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Thanks to a grant application by the Rotary Club, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were able to purchase charts, dental equipment, dental models and other equipment for the purpose of dental procedures for animals at the shelter.

Some of the items purchased included transparent canine and feline dental models, dental success kits including educational materials for clients, CLS solution to mask odors and other materials.

“This grant comes at an ideal time,” SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes said in a media release. “Our new medical suite includes a wet treatment table, and thanks to the tremendously successful SHELTER US Campaign, we were also able to purchase state-of-the-art dental equipment. ”

The SQSPCA previously had to outsource its dental treatments, but now will soon be able to do dental work on site.


The AllOtsego Report, Ep. 17: Protests and anti-tests

The AllOtsego Report, Ep. 17:
Protests and anti-tests

In episode 17 of The AllOtsego Report, Greg and Kevin discuss the recent anti-mask, anti-vaccine protests in Otsego County. We debate if giving protests coverage is a good thing, weight in on mask and vax mandates and question if people working in the health care industry should be refusing to get vaccinated.

Opinions are offered, so be forewarned!

Click here to listen!

CVA announces Sculpture Trail winners
‘Windy Ribbon’ by Richard Pitts won first prize on the Cherry Valley Artworks’ 2021 Sculpture Trail. (Contributed).

CVA announces
Sculpture Trail winners

Cherry Valley Artworks has awarded first prize for its 2021 Sculpture Trail to Richard Pitts of New Albany, Pennsylvania, for his piece “Windy Ribbon.”

Pitts received a prize of $1,000 for his work, an eight-foot-high, bright-red piece, made of powder coated aluminum.

Second prize of $500 was awarded to Bruce Gagnier, a Brooklyn artist, for a series of powerful life size bronze figures, “Yrsa, “May” and “Red.”

The show’s judge, Ed Smith, a member of the National Academy and the Royal British Society of Sculptors, Gallery Director and Professor of Art at Marist College said judging this year’s contest was difficult.

“ The choice of awards was especially difficult as there were so many outstanding works,” Smith said in a media release. “The level of commitment, dedication and invention is visually impressive and gives great pause. I was particularly heartened by how the community of Cherry Valley embraced the work.

Richfield Springs to host Community Fun Night

Richfield Springs to host
Community Fun Night

STAFF REPORT • Special to

The Richfield Springs Community Center will host Community Fun Night from 5 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25 at the center at 6 Ann St. in Richfield Springs.

There will be games and door prizes, as well as free hot dogs, chips and drinks. Local farmers and other vendors will be there selling products and there will be information about the 4-H, the Scouts BSA and youth sports.

At 7 p.m., there will be a screening of “The One and Only Ivan,” in conjunction with the Richfield Springs Public Library.

Contact Rich Frable at for more information.

Current CDC guidelines for dealing with coronavirus will be followed.

In addition, the center will be hosting Tai Chi classes for people with arthritis beginning Tuesday, Sept. 28. The classes are from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, through Nov. 18.

The classes, which are presented by the Otsego County Office for the Aging, are for people age 60 and older. Call 607-547-4232 for more information.

TedxOneonta to return Friday

TedxOneonta to return Friday

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

TedxOneonta returns for its fourth event in five years, with an evening of presentations beginning at 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 24, at the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center in Oneonta.

This year’s theme, a holdover from the canceled 2020 event, is “Changing World.”

“We basically have been planning this for two years,” said Dan Buttermann, TedxOneonta co-founder and executive director.

The local version of Ted talks — the x means it is an independent event and not run by the national organization — this year will feature four speakers.

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.”

Staff Picks Our best bets for local fall activities Bear Pond offers great wine; Neahwa Park is an amazing place

Staff Picks
Our best bets for local fall activities
Bear Pond offers great wine
Neahwa Park is an amazing place

Kathleen Peters
Graphic Designer
Apple and Pumpkin picking

It’s the perfect time to get out there and pick some apples or pumpkins.

We have both growing on our property — from ancient apple trees and in The Husband’s garden — but there are plenty of local places where you can pick your own. Don’t go for all of those fake apple- and pumpkin-flavored edibles and drinkables. Go for the real thing and make your own.

To me, the best part about too many apples and pumpkins is making apple and pumpkin butter, and apple and pumpkin pies. I haven’t tried mixing the butters yet, but I did try a “pumple” pie that was downright tasty! (Or was it an appkin pie?)

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.

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103