News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.

The Freeman’s Journal

HOMETOWN History July 12, 2019


July 12, 2019

150 Years Ago

The second annual commencement of Oneonta Union School occurred on Monday, July 12 and closed with the Tuesday evening following. The address before the Pioneer Society by Dr. Jewell was attended by a fair concourse of our citizens, but not nearly as large as it ought to have been. The address was excellent. The suggestions advanced ought to be made practical by our young people, tending as it did to the promotion of morality, virtue and purity. At the conclusion of the meeting they repaired to the residence of David Yager, where the Calliopa and Pioneer Societies were to hold their first annual reunion. The evening passed off pleasantly and profitably. The members of the Calliopa Society merit much commendation for their untiring efforts to prove their first attempt a success. Oneontans should be proud of the rough Pioneers and the more fair members of the Calliopa. Mr. and Mrs. Yager did much to conduce to the advantage and pleasure of the occasion. The exercises at the Presbyterian Church on Tuesday evening were flattering
to the school, and indicated that its students are being thoroughly and properly instructed in whatever pertains to education. The orations, compositions, declamations and music were of the highest character, evincing the finest discrimination, style and beauty.

July 1869

125 Years Ago

The announcement of the death of Charles E. Bunn on Saturday afternoon of last week came as a shock to his
numerous friends in Oneonta, few of whom knew of his
serious illness. Mr. Bunn was born in Hartwick 47 years ago. He was the son of William Bunn, a life-long resident of that town, and a brother of Mr. Henry C. Bunn of Mt. Vision. In 1861, being then only fifteen years of age, he enlisted in the 152nd New York volunteers and served his country well until the close of the war. In 1866 he came to Oneonta and engaged in business, and the following year was married, his wife being a daughter of M.H. Bissell, who with three children survives him. Kind, unselfish and generous in the days of prosperity, his death removes from our town one who will long be remembered with affectionate
regret alike by his comrades on battle’s bloody field and by those who knew him in more peaceful walks of life.

July 1894

80 Years Ago

First of the three tourist information booths sponsored by the Youth Frontier Movement opened Saturday on South Side and will be operated 12 hours daily from 9 until 9. Plans are underway to open another at West End today but the East End booth will not be ready for several days. The South Side booth is manned at present by Boris Panko and Edward Byard. Money for its operation has been secured partly through N.Y.A. funds and partly through contributions
from local merchants. The boys work in shifts of six
hours each, six days a week with one boy who will rotate, relieving the other two at each of the booths. Each booth
is equipped with a telephone which tourists may use for
local calls and information about hotels, restaurants,
tourist homes, churches, church services, historical sites, recreation and entertainment.

July 1939

60 Years Ago

Fox Hospital – Today’s Census: 85. Births – Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kellner, 3 Tilton Ave. a son, 8 lbs. 3 ozs., 10:47 p.m., July 7; Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Condon, 30 Pine Street, a son 8 lbs. 11.5 ozs., 6:52 a.m., July 8. Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Benjamin, Oneonta, R.D. 3, a son, 10 libs. 1 oz., 7:40 a.m., July 8. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Lyon, Milford Road, a son, 6 lbs., 12.5 ozs., 9:35 p.m., July 7. Admissions: Mrs. Emma Cronin, 50 River Street, Mrs. Margaret Platts, Worcester; Mrs. Ruth Sprague, Morris; Mrs. Beverly Sanford, 6 Shepherd Avenue. Discharges: Mrs. Mary Ann Spoor and baby daughter, Laurens; Mrs. Elizabeth Waterhouse and baby daughter, Emmons Farms; Mrs. Suzanne Mykytyn and baby daughter, West Oneonta.

July 1959

40 Years Ago

Pat St. John, the self-proclaimed psychic who predicts
a catastrophe at Niagara Falls this Sunday has taken a tour of the famous attraction and come away convinced of impending doom. “I can turn away and look toward Buffalo and feel absolutely fine,” said the housewife from Bridgewater, Connecticut. “But, when I turn toward Niagara Falls, I get a tremendous feeling right in my solar plexus.”
Mrs. St. John’s July 4 prediction of a disaster at Niagara Falls picked up considerably more public attention when a seismic alarm at the falls indicated that a huge mass of rock had shifted by a quarter inch. It could not be determined if the rocks had shifted at once or gradually since the sensors were installed in 1971. The U,S, Army Corps of Engineers who were brought to the falls after the alarm said that three days of monitoring sensor devices had shown no further evidence of any movement.

July 1979

20 Years Ago

Local artists Bonnie Gale and Bertha Rogers were awarded
a total of $1,000 in the third round of the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts Special Opportunity Stipend Program. Gale, a traditional willow basket maker residing in Norwich received a stipend to study with a
mentor. She will work with Stanley Kraus, a Polish
immigrant basket maker who lives in Rochester. Rogers,
a Delhi poet, will use her stipend to help pay her expenses for a residency fellowship at the Hawthornden Castle
International Retreat for Writers in Scotland for a month this fall. She will work to complete a poetry manuscript.

July 1999

10 Years Ago

A self-described entrepreneur recently bought the historic Oneonta Theatre and seeks ideas to restore entertainment to the stage and screens at 47 Chestnut Street. “This building has some great potential,” its new owner Thomas Cormier said. The purchase is a “fine resolution” to questions about the theatre’s fate, said Patrice Macaluso, president of the Friends of the Oneonta Theatre. The group formed last
year to preserve the historic site and had launched plans
to buy the complex in downtown Oneonta. The purchase price paid by Cormier was not revealed. The Oneonta Theatre name would be maintained because of its history, Cormier said.

July 2009

BOUND VOLUMES July 11, 2019


July 11, 2019


Suicide – A man by the name of William Burgin, living in Middlefield, was found dead, near the house of George Boid, Esq. on Wednesday morning last. His left arm (being strongly girt with a garter) had three deep wounds cut in it, from which he had undoubtedly bled to death – and the coroner’s inquest gave their verdict accordingly. It appears he had previously applied to Esq. Boid, one of the poor masters, for assistance from the town – which being refused, he threatened to leave his blood on Boid’s door-steps, before another day – which threat he literally executed as blood was found on Wednesday morning, and his body a short distance off, lying across the path. He was 70 years of age, and has left a wife and children.

July 5, 1819


Barber estimates the numbers in attendance at the Democratic Mass Meeting on July 4 at “4,000, men, women, children and every creeping thing.” This is tolerably liberal for one who has no respect for truth in anything relating to political matters – and, we should let it pass without notice, but for the fact that he has further represented that the assemblage was a scene of rowdiness and drunkenness, such as had not been seen in the place for ten years past. A residence here of a little over six years, seems to beget in him a propensity to speak of “days lang syne,” when he was a subject of King Charles Charter in Rhode Island. Never, during our time, which now counts a domicile on this spot of near thirty-six years, have we seen in the village anything like the number of persons here on July 4. And, we are now satisfied, from conversations with some of our most conscientious and respectable citizens who took the pains to scan the whole ground, that 10,000 as stated in our last paper, is within the number present, and if put at 12,500, it would not have been an exaggeration. There were over 1,000 ladies who sought seats in the Grove, only about half of whom could be accommodated. During four hours’ speaking, not a disorderly sound was heard. No stimulating drinks of any kind were tolerated by the Committee. Is this “rowdiness”? Is this drunkenness? Ask the Ladies present, 500 of whom sat for hours witnessing the scene.

July 15, 1844


Railroad Matters – On Wednesday, the construction train reached the corporation limits and the iron rails crossed the line. The recent favorable weather has been taken advantage
of to push forward the work with energy – some of our business men, Directors and others, going down and lending a helping hand. Wednesday evening, the construction train brought to the village the first car of 11.5 tons freight. The locomotive, so appropriately called the “Ellery Cory” is expected here this week. It is expected that passenger trains will commence to run over the road on Monday next – to be in charge of Mr. O.Z. Brown, Conductor and Mr. Wm. B. Smith, Engineer. The cars will leave Cooperstown at 9:20 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and return about 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. The fare will be 80 cents to the Junction, $2.85 to Binghamton, $3.10 to Albany, $5.10 to New York City.

July 9, 1869


Otsego Chapter, Daughters of The American Revolution, was founded in June, the charter members being Abby Cory Turner, Genevieve Cory Johnston, Emma Cory, Rexis Wood Clark, Grace Scott Bowen, Ella Wood Cady, Jennie Campbell Randolph, Agusta Prescott Welch, Eveleen Tunnicliff Edick, Fannie Grant White, Maude L. Merchant, Clara Matteson Murdock, There are now 17 members of Otsego Chapter. The five members who are not charter members are: Mrs. Emma W. Babbitt, Dr. M. Imogene Bassett, Mrs. Altana R.B. Davidson, Mrs. Helen C. Church and Mrs. Michaels of Fort Plain.

July 12, 1894


Cooperstown and its place in Indian history are to be thoroughly discussed here in the early autumn when several of the most prominent archaeologists of the state plan to gather here as guests of the Leatherstocking Chapter, New York State Archaeological Association. It has been thought for some time past that an Indian Village of considerable size existed for many hundred years on the banks of the Susquehanna River just north of the pump house. A few years ago, a skeleton, undoubtedly that of an Iroquois
warrior was dug up by David R. Dorn and George N. Smith of this village. Since that time, arrows, spearheads, and other implements of warfare have been found. The conference will endeavor to ascertain just who these people were and to what tribes they belonged.

July 9, 1919


Announcement was made Saturday of completion of plans for another series of five Victory Sings to be held in Cooperstown on the four Sunday afternoons in August and the first Sunday afternoon in September, thus continuing the program of community singing started here seven years ago. These sings have been much appreciated and enjoyed in the past and have attracted thousands of people to Cooperstown from all parts of Central New York and many from greater distances. Dr. Elmer A. Tidmarsh, Director of Music at Union College, Schenectady, is returning to be the leader again this summer.

July 12, 1944


The new library building of the New York State Historical
Association will be formally dedicated in a two-day
ceremony at Cooperstown, July 12 and 13. Designed by the architectural firm, Moore and Hutchins, the handsome stone-faced building just north of Fenimore House, the Association’s headquarters, is equipped to house the more than 90,000 volumes, special collections, a newspaper storage area for some 500,000 papers, and a special audio-visual room for tapes, records, films, and slides.

July 9, 1969


The Cooperstown Art Association is currently exhibiting two outdoor sculpted stone works on the front lawn at 22 Main, loaned by two nationally recognized artists who reside nearby. Fly Creek sculptor Walter Dusenberry’s “Garden Bench” is composed of partially sandblasted and polished Yellow Travertine. Gilbertsville’s Dennis Stahl’s marble and wood piece is titled “Darma Wheel.” Both works are for sale.

July 2, 1994

Put Up Your Own Sign, But Leave Others’ Alone

Put Up Your Own Sign,

But Leave Others’ Alone

To the Editor:

The grassy, rather triangular-shaped space at the junction of Route 80 and the Pierstown Road has always been used as a place for various signs – the TANNER HILL HERB FARM.  GRANGE BARBEQUE!  BOOK SALE! And, in political seasons, postings for various candidates.

On Sunday, June 30, a sign in patriotic colors promoting the election of ANY FUNCTIONAL ADULT IN 2020 was up; on Wednesday, July 3, between 12:30 and 4:15 pm, someone got rid of it.

I hadn’t put it there, but was glad to see it. It was both amusing, which most political signage is not, and message-bearing.

Over the years there have been signs for political candidates that I liked, and others that I didn’t, placed there.  But as far as I know they were always left alone until removed by their owners. That is, or was, a tribute to the expression of free thought in a civilized and democratic society.

Our Editor Jim Kevlin publishes letters ranging from the sane and opinionated to the virtually insane but also opinionated, because he sees it as the right thing to do. Just destroying an expression of opinion which you don’t like is thuggish and profoundly saddening.

It violates values that as Americans I believe we hold dear.   Go put up your own sign if you want, but leave the others alone.



Take Care Of Yourself – Now; If You Get Sick, It’s Too Late
Letter from R. SCOTT DUNCAN

Take Care Of Yourself – Now;

If You Get Sick, It’s Too Late

To the Editor:

Who in their right mind would want a one-payer healthcare system? That is not the root problem of the healthcare system.

money is not the problem. Americans deserve a free healthcare system.

Where does our ill health come from? Answer that and you know who should pay!

Thanks to Kaiser and Nixon, healthcare was removed from non-profit status to a for-profit system. That means the sicker you are the more money is made. Where is the motivation and incentive for wellness?

Thanks to Carnegie and Rockefeller; due to their desire to create a monopoly with the drug industry we are stuck with allopathic medicine. They figured if they drove out the use of herbs and homeopath (which they could not patent and control) and pushed drugs, they could make huge profits.

Then they went to educational institutions and gained control of the type of medicine that doctors were taught. A monopoly … based on financial gain … not on wellness and quality of life.

It is not about science. Half the world uses other forms of medicine. Some forms of medicine have been used for thousands of years, successfully.

People say how free we are….we are being maimed and killed by what is called “medicine” in this country. It is time that we are treated better. We should not just be income makers for a few who control the healthcare system.

The first step is to take control of your own heath and question your healthcare providers. Demand proof that their treatment plans work.

The best course of action is to take care of yourself now. When you are sick it is hard to sort out and find a solution to your problem while you are in pain and fear.

Hartwick Forrest

We Need More Natural Gas? For What?

We Need More Natural Gas?

For What?

To the Editor:

Why does our area need more natural gas?  Since the ’50s and ’60s, our area industries have, for the most part, shrunk in size, while employment levels have been buoyed by the growth in the “not for profit” service sector.

Our area has had no population growth since the Civil War!  Indeed, we’ve lost population since the 1960s; our young people have out-migrated, leaving for opportunity in other places; and they’re never coming back.

So, why do we need more natural gas?

The standard argument for natural gas expansion is that we need the resource to lure new business to the area and that natural gas is a key promotional asset.

Gosh, we’ve had multiple generations with sufficient levels of natural gas to have promoted all kinds of new business growth, with virtually nothing to show for it.

With the prospect of further slowing of area business, with little anticipation of significant area business expansion, it would seem our current levels of supplied energy can continue to adequately sustain our area, perhaps occasionally augmented with the incremental addition of renewables – primarily solar, wind and perhaps biomass.

I think the natural-gas limitation argument is simply an excuse for doing nothing; so too are the arguments towards the lack of trained workforce, workforce housing, and other excuses.



13 States Have Made ‘Green Law’ Work – Why Not New York

13 States Have Made

‘Green Law’ Work –

Why Not New York

To the Editor:

State law governs the issuance of driver’s licenses.  Since 1993, 13 states and D.C. have issued licenses to residents – i.e. some of them could be illegal aliens.

This does not give the cardholder the right to vote. In fact, it says that right on the card.

What  it does is bring them into compliance concerning requirements for car insurance, car registration, and traffic tickets, all the regulations that are pertinent to what they’re doing – driving a car.

In other states, they are called “privilege cards” and are not valid IDs for voting.

Voter registration laws are likewise handled by the states, and so-called “motor voter” laws effectively register anyone with a license – that is a valid ID for voting – to vote. If their license is not a valid ID for voting, they don’t get registered.

Not that complicated to sort out any misunderstandings.



Read Declaration Of Independence; Then, Stand Up For It
Letter from JAY FLEISHER

Read Declaration

Of Independence;

Then, Stand Up For It

To the Editor:

The Fourth of July has come and gone.  Mine was special.  It wasn’t the parade or the fireworks.  It was the reading of the Declaration of Independence by 46 community volunteers at the Shakespeare & Company facility in Lenox, Mass.

If you haven’t read the Declaration of Independence for many years (I sure haven’t) it was a real eye opener.  Phrase after phrase, line after line, document the reasons for why the 13 colonies chose to declare independence from the King of Great Britain, George III.  Each reason rang true with stunning clarity.

In this document our Founding Fathers enumerated multiple examples of oppression that sadly apply as well today as they did in 1776.  Reference to freedom of speech, equality for all regardless of race and religion, respect for the rights of immigrants, refusal to assent to laws, obstructing the administration of justice, cutting off trade with foreign nations, and excited domestic violence.

All of these oppressive acts continue today, and are defended by many current elected officials who function with a greater interest in their own political careers than that of the people and the nation they were elected to represent.

Do I sound angry?  You’re damn right, I am angry.  Angry with elected officials, Republican and Democrat, who ignore the principles and guidance of the Declaration of Independence.

If you haven’t read the Declaration of Independence recently, I encourage you, even challenge you to read it with an open mind, then ask yourself if America is currently living up to the tenets described by this historic declaration.

Stand proud by standing up for America – an America described by the Declaration of Independence.


Town of Milford


MLB Stars Remember  Sam Nader On 100th

MLB Stars Remember 

Former Oneonta Mayor

Sam Nader On His 100th

As his daughter Alice O’Conner holds the microphone, Sam Nader tells wellwishers toasting him at his 100th birthday party Saturday at his 95 Riger St. home, “May you all live to be 100!” From left are Claire Borthwick, Rick Follett, Sam’s sister Jemele, Mark Boshnack, Ellen Sielig-Boshnack, Sherie Rubin, Carol Follett, Alice, the city’s first lady Connie Herzig and sportwriter John Fox. (Ian austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Congratulating former Oneonta mayor Sam Nader on his 100th are, from left, former mayors John Nader, Sam’s son, and Kim Muller, and current Mayor Gary Herzig.

ONEONTA – What do you get Oneonta’s most beloved citizen, Sam Nader, for his 100th birthday?

How about a birthday message from his favorite football team?

“My father has held season tickets to the Giants since 1952,” said his son, John. “So my cousin’s husband got Eli Manning to record a video sending him a birthday message, thanking him for being such a long-time fan and recognizing everything he accomplished. It was very nice of him to do that.”

Manning was there in spirit, but over 100 guests, friends and family members were, joining Nader to celebrate his birthday on Saturday, July 6, in his backyard at 95 River St. “It was a fun, low-key celebration,” said John. “My father was enormously pleased.”

Sam turned 100 on Monday, July 8, which Mayor Gary Herzig declared “Sam Nader Day” with a proclamation, which he gave to Sam at the party, “in recognition of the ‘too many to count’ contributions … to the well-being of the people of the City of Oneonta.”

Also present was Kim Muller, longtime friends of the family, for a total of four mayors at the gathering.

30 Years Later, A Sister Spurns Killer’s Apology


30 Years Later, A Sister

Spurns Killer’s Apology

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Jennifer Kirkpatrick’s memories of her sister Gillian Gibbons’ passing are still very vivid. (Jim Kevlin/

ONEONTA – Thirty years after the murder of her 18-year-old Gillian Gibbons, her sister was not expecting the call she got from the state Office of Victim’s Services on Tuesday, July 2.

“Just out the blue I got a call saying they had a letter from David Dart – and did I want to hear it,” said Jennifer Kirkpatrick. “In 30 years, he has never tried to contact us.”

In 1991, then age 29, Dart had been convicted of second-degree murder for stabbing Gillian to death with a “Rambo-style survival knife” – as described in the court transcript – on the second floor of the Oneonta Municipal Parking Garage on Sept. 12, 1989. He was sentenced to 25 years to life, but is up for parole yet again this November.

Jennifer asked to hear the letter he wrote to the parole board.

“Thirty years ago, I committed a horrible crime,” wrote Dart. “I got high, approached her with the intent to rob her, but she told me she didn’t have any money, and I stabbed her.”

“I only want you to know that I am sorry,” he continued. “I would give anything to go back and change things.”

“It’s a joke,” said Jennifer in an interview. “He never said he was going to rob her, so right there, he’s a liar. Why should I believe anything else he says? And if he’s so sorry, why did it take him 30 years to say anything?”

Since Dart’s first parole hearing in 2014, Jennifer has lobbied to keep him incarcerated.

“It’s a huge burden to have to go before the parole board every two years,” she said. “When you go before the parole board, it’s just you and the stenographer, and she’s in tears, she can barely do her job as I’m talking.

Law, Precedent Prohibit Giving Driver’s Licenses To People Here Illegally


Law, Precedent Prohibit

Giving Driver’s Licenses

To People Here Illegally

Editor’s Note: Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner developed this position paper on the state’s new “Green Light” law before asking President Trump to intervene and ensure it doesn’t require New York State’s county clerks to violate their oath of office.

By CRAIG HAYNER • Saratoga County Clerk

The ability of states to regulate who drives on their roadways dates back to the Model T with the 1916 Supreme Court decision regarding Frank J. Kane v the State of New Jersey, which found the state within its right to issue registration fees.

States were further supported in regulating who drives in 1999 when the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, in the case of Donald S. Miller v the California Department of Motor Vehicles, ruled that there is no “fundamental right to drive.”  And again on June 7, 2007, when New York’s highest court upheld the state DMV’s right to require Social Security numbers (SSN) from driver-license applicants or a letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration, in the case Cubas v Martinez.

By statute, the NYS DMV has required driver-license applicants to supply their Social Security numbers since 1995. DMV also accepts a letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration (SSA) along with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documentation from anyone ineligible for a SSN.


As stated in the Cubas v Martinez decision, the policy was not the result of a post-September 11 panic over immigration; the internal document adopting the policy is dated Sept. 6, 2001. This anti-fraud policy was validated in 2002 with the DMV’s Social Security verification program uncovering massive amounts of fraud, according to testimony by then-DMV Commissioner Martinez to the NYS Assembly Transportation Committee on Aug. 19, 2004.

The current legislation, now signed into law (A3675B & S1747B), known as the “Green Light Bill,” disregards history and case law, attempting to rewrite the law in the interest of a few at the expense of many:

  • Provides the Option to Refuse to Provide a Social Security Number: The law provides the option for Standard License applicants to refuse to provide a Social Security Number (SSN), allowing criminals to exploit the system. This reverses the State DMV’s law enforcement arm’s nearly two decades of work in uncovering and preventing fraud discovered using Social Security Verification.
  • Requires a Visually Identical Design: The law requires that licenses issued to those here illegally be “visually identical” to a federal-purpose license. This appears to be a deliberate attempt to deceive and a violation of the federal REAL ID Act, which requires non-compliant cards to have a unique design or color indicator. While the bill states the Commissioner may adopt additional regulations to comply with federal law, the use of “may”, rather than “shall”, provides the commissioner the option of non-compliance with federal law.
  • Changes Automatic Registration to Selective Service System to Opt-In: The law changes the provision that directs the DMV to provide information to the Selective Service System (SSS) of young men who are required to be registered with Selective Service from an automatic registration to an optional registration. According to federal law, with very few exceptions, all males between ages 18 and 25 must register with the SSS. This includes U.S. born and naturalized citizens, parolees, undocumented immigrants, legal permanent residents, asylum seekers, refugees, and all males with visas expired more than 30 days. These changes not only create unnecessary red tape for DMV employees, but also make it easier for people to thwart their lawful duty to register with Selective Service.
  • Requires Notification to Anyone whose Records are Sought – The law requires the DMV Commissioner to notify within in three days any person whose records are sought from “any agency that primarily enforces immigration law,” informing the individual about the request and identifying the agency requesting the records. The bill also requires such agency or representative to obtain a warrant or court order to access any DMV records. This is a deliberate effort to impede federal immigration investigations and allow those under investigation to obstruct justice. 
  • Provides the Option of Implementation before it becomes Law: The law back dates to Jan. 1, 2019, the proofs of identity required to be accepted to include a variety of foreign documents. It also provides for the state to amend or repeal any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act before it actually becomes law. These provisions provide the unprecedented ability for the State to implement policy before it becomes law and offers no time for training for DMV clerks who will be forced to accept documentation they cannot translate or authenticate. Further, in the midst of REAL ID implementation, which is creating a great influx of customers, longer transaction times, and frustrated customers in DMV offices throughout the state, this bill would haphazardly thrust even more responsibilities and a greater customer demand on our overworked DMV clerks without providing them the respect or resources to ensure they properly implement the law.
  • Provides an Opportunity for Voter Fraud: Newly installed Customer Facing Devices in all NYS and County DMV offices prompt customers to register to vote during any type of license or ID transaction, regardless of the customer’s citizenship status or age. The customer must answer yes or no before their transaction can be completed. The State DMV has been aware of this computer issue, but to date has yet to address it, passing the issue along to the Board of Elections to determine eligibility after they receive a list from the DMV of anyone who pressed yes.
  • Compromises the Oath of Office: The new state law to provide driver licenses to those in this country illegally circumvents federal law, unjustly putting County Clerks and DMV employees in the compromising position of violating their oath of office, which is to support and defend the Constitutions of the United States and the State of New York.
  • Forces DMV employees and County Clerks to be Immigration Authorities: The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the unconditional and absolute power to regulate immigration. Further, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1876 that immigration regulation was an exclusive federal responsibility. This law shifts that authority to the State of NYS DMV and forces DMV employees to become experts on identifying a multitude of foreign documents from around the world, placing the sole responsibility on DMV clerks to ensure people are who they claim to be and to ferret out fraudulent documents. DMV employees would have to do this in addition to the hundreds of motor vehicle transactions the offices process daily.
this week, July 11-12, 2019


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

July 11-12, 2019


Dale Latella of Cherry Valley leads the Happy Hags Dance Troupe down Main Street, Springfield Center, during the 105th Fourth of July Parade, which featured 82 units, second only to the 100 units that marched in the centennial parade. Dale says the troupe formed two years ago to add some fun to Halloween, but proved so popular the ladies are in continuous demand, practicing their dance routines at weekly rehearsals. (Jim Kevlin/


Pizza-Making Legend Ends 41-Year Career

30 Years Later, Sister Spurns Killer’s Apology

Erie Clerk Sues To Halt ‘Green Light’ Law

MLB Stars Celebrate Sam Nader On 100th

MacDonald: To Fulfill Twilight Years, Plan

Streaker Adds Surprise To Outlaws Game


Democrats Failed ‘Green Light’ Litmus Tests


HAYNER: Law Prohibits Illegals Getting Licenses

KUZMINSKI:  Only Grassroots Can Save Planet

MASKIN: Participate In Census, Or Lose Clout


FLEISHER: Read Declaration, Stand Up For It

NORTHRUP: Law Works In 13 States; Why Not Us?

COLONE: We Need More Natural Gas?  For What?

DUNCAN: Understand Care Before You Get Sick

WHELAN: Put Up Your Sign, Leave Others’ Alone


BOUND VOLUMES: July 11, 2019



The Little Railroad That Could, For 150 Years

FINE, FUN FOOD: By The Lake, The Beautiful Lake

THINGS TO DO: Fenimore’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Summer


Paul Ingalls, 71; Farmer, Decorated Vet, Minister

Frances Lamb Griffiths, 91; Raised Tiny Donkeys

Mary Ann Benjamin, 90; 22-Year Oneonta Teacher

Jean E. Manley, 92; Artist, Sculptor, Editor



County Board’s ‘Green Light’ Resolution Was Litmus Test – And Democrats Failed It

EDITORIAL • July 11-12, 2019

County Board’s ‘Green Light’

Resolution Was Litmus Test

– And Democrats Failed It

First, it should be said that there’s a troubling lack of interest this year in running for the Otsego County Board of Representatives, whose reach, from road building to social services, touches all 60,094 of us.

In the 14 districts, there are only three contests coming out of the June 25 primary:

  • In District 2, the one-term Democrat, former Morris Town Board member Michele Farwell, is being challenged by Marcia Hoag, a former Pittsfield Town Board member who is running on the Voice of the People line, but says she is allied with Republicans.
  • In District 3, where former board chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego/Laurens, is retiring. Republican Rick Brockway, a retired ferrier and outdoor columnist, and Democrat Caitlin Ogden, a Baseball Hall of Fame grantsman, are both newcomers running for the vacant seat.
  • In District 14, where Democrat Jill Basile and Wilson Wells, a Libertarian, are seeking to succeed Democrat Liz Shannon, who is retiring.

Contrast that with 2017, when 12 of the 14 seats were contested, and there were some humdingers.

Pizza-Making Legend Ends 41-Year Career

Sal Grigoli Remembers Hard Work, Nice Folks

Pizza-Making Legend

Ends 41-Year Career

Sal Grigoli and wife Diane show the pizza paddle many MLB stars signed over the years. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Sal making pizza in the early days.

COOPERSTOWN – “Forty-one years!  I haven’t even been alive that long,” Sal Grigoli reports people saying to him these days.

That’s the amount of time – age 19 to age 60 – that the founder and owner of the venerable Sal’s Pizzeria has been spinning dough disks at 110 Main St.

You’ll still see him there for the next few weeks as he guides the new owners and their staff through the transition, but as of June 13, the business was sold to Bob Hurley, franchisee of 11 Subways in the region.

Some of the longtime patrons expressing surprise are local, others are from all over the country.  “They come back to visit family.  They come back for class reunions.”

Erie Clerk Sues To Halt State ‘Green Light’ Law


Erie Clerk Sues To Halt

State ‘Green Light’ Law

Otsego County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner points to the screen of a “customer facing device” that she fears will allow ineligible people to be registered to vote. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Mickey Kearns

COOPERSTOWN – Another option for county clerks to challenge the state’s “Green Light” law opened up this week, as Erie County Clerk Michael “Mickey” Kearns went to federal court to block enforcement until its constitutionality can be determined.

The “Green Light” law, due to go into effect Dec. 14, would require county clerks to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented residents/illegal aliens, and to rebuff any efforts by ICE (U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement) to access their records.

Otsego County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner and many of her colleagues learned of the lawsuit in Syracuse Monday, July 8, at a state Association of County Clerks’ strategy session on how to go forward.

Only Grassroot Activists Can Save Our Planet


Only Grassroot

Activists Can

Save Our Planet


Sustainable Otsego has been both a social network and political action committee since its founding in 2007. Over that time, it has advanced three principles around which local life could be organized:

  1. Sustainable Living.
  2. Economic Independence, and
  3. Home Rule.

Today let me address Sustainable Living; I’ll take up the other two in later columns.

Sustainable Living turns out to be a lot harder than many of us thought. The very word “sustainable” has been corrupted by phrases like “sustainable growth” and “sustainable capitalism.” Thanks largely to corporate propaganda and misinformation, it is less and less clear what terms like “sustainable” or “green” mean.

If it means anything, sustainable living means living on renewable resources on a finite planet.

At least that was the idea when the term “sustainability” went mainstream in the early 2000s.

Energy analysts had begun to worry about “peak oil” decades earlier, but by the early 2000s compelling evidence of limited conventional oil reserves, as well as of the depletion of other resources (fertile soils, clean water, essential minerals, species diversity), brought the issue of sustainability to a larger public.

The idea of sustainable living was a response to this brewing eco-crisis. It meant avoiding practices that led to pollution and a deteriorating natural world. The idea was to recycle everything, go organic, and use less energy and resources. We were supposed to lower our “carbon footprints” to minimize global warming and mitigate climate change.

Sustainable living became no less than a moral movement, a kind of secular religion where

Nature takes the place of God, cooperation takes the place of competition, holistic thinking replaces partial thinking, and harmony and compassion replace strife and tribalism.

That was a profound cultural moment, and it changed important human behaviors. It’s been the main force behind the progress made in recent years towards surviving on this planet. The hope was to maintain something like the middle-class lifestyle to which we have become accustomed.

The plan was to do it by replacing fossil fuels with eco-friendly renewables, poisonous chemicals with “natural” ingredients, and accumulated waste by recycling and composting.

But it didn’t quite work out that way, at least not yet. New technologies (fracking) expanded access to oil and gas reserves, postponing “peak oil” indefinitely, while locking in our reliance on fossil fuels through low prices. Recycling has yet to absorb the vast waste stream, and organic alternatives, popular as they are, are far from replacing cheap, chemically based products.

In the meantime, the methane and CO2 pumped into the atmosphere by continued fossil-fuel use has brought us to the verge of uncontrollable climate change.

The easy steps of sustainable living – buying a Prius, recycling, eating organic food, switching to

LED lighting, etc. – are no longer enough. We need structural, not just personal, changes.

Our continued post-fracking reliance on cheap fossil fuels has allowed the oil and gas industry to dominate the political system, frustrating the transition to renewables. Corporate-led deregulation has rolled back the environmental standards necessary to fully promote organic products and eliminate waste. Indeed, under Trump we’ve gone backwards on all these fronts.

At this point, only upheaval from below seems likely to change national politics. And that will happen only when the urgency of the biggest threat – climate change – reaches a critical threshold in most minds. Because of it, we’ve witnessed in recent months massive wildfires out West, catastrophic floods in the Midwest, melting glaciers and polar ice packs, another record heat wave in Europe, accelerating wildlife extinctions – the list goes on.

The floods a few years back gave us a taste of what can happen here, though climate change for us so far has been mostly incremental and cumulative, rather than sudden and overwhelming.

But it’s not any less significant for that. Hundred-year floods now occur a lot more than once a century. Storms and power outages are more common. The growing season has lengthened.

Winters are milder. Tornados, once unheard of in our region, now occur repeatedly.

If you experience the weather mostly when walking to and from your car, it’s easy to dismiss all this as some kind of delusion, a fake crisis. But if you’re a farmer, a gardener, someone who works outdoors, or manages infrastructure (powerlines, roads, etc.) exposed to the weather, you’re more likely to recognize that climate change is happening right before your eyes.

Sustainable living is both more important than ever, and even harder to achieve. To recognize its challenge is to feel its urgency, and especially the vital need to replace fossil fuels with renewables.

This is evident in the deliberations of the new Otsego County Energy Task Force, where climate change concerns and economic-development issues are coming together for the first time locally.

In response to this growing crisis Sustainable Otsego has evolved into a political action committee focused on local government. Given the failures of our major parties nationally and locally, Sustainable Otsego remains resolutely non-partisan. Visit us on Facebook, and at

If we’re to respond successfully to climate change from below, it will be because local grassroots activists – conservatives and liberals alike – insist upon it. Only they can force our representatives – local, state, and national – to do what’s necessary to secure the transition to sustainable living. No one else is going to do it.

Adrian Kuzminski, retired Hartwick College philosophy professor

and co-founder and moderator of Sustainable Otsego, lives in Fly Creek.


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