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

Renewables, Maybe Not Answer Today, Are Wave Of The Future


Renewables, Maybe

Not Answer Today,

Are Wave Of The Future

To the Editor:

Mike Zagata’s column of Jan. 10-11 expresses perspectives that are fast becoming archaic. To suggest renewables aren’t ready to replace gas is short-sighted, parochial and myopic.
Of course, the 5,000 flights a day that circle the earth can’t by powered by green energy, but that’s exactly the point. Conserving them now will insure availability later.
The gas and oil reserves will have to yield some day to alternate energy (the earth isn’t making them as fast as they are being consumed – not by a long shot), so wouldn’t it be wise to begin now to wean the global society off oil, so reserves will remain when they are essential?
Vision of future needs has proven to be obsolete repeatedly through human history, most recently in the last century when horse-powered transportation was deemed a pollutant in cities that had to clean streets of manure in favor of gasoline-powered cars.
Essential as that shift was, just one century later the innovation of the past has become the pollutant of today, as witnessed by contamination of the atmosphere with exhaust fumes leading to an accelerated climate warming.
Too often the legitimate issue of contamination from conventional energy sources is politicized, so if Obama proposed it, it is rescinded. Likewise, ill-informed perspectives are

‘Uxurious’ Misread Fateful Visit

‘Uxurious’ Misread Fateful Visit

Painted As Figure Of Fun, Susan B. Anthony Went On To Make History

Editor’s Note: Here is The Freeman’s Journal Feb. 9, 1855, account – in prose and poetry – of Susan B. Anthony’s appearance in Cooperstown, to be commemorated with a State Historical Marker that has just arrived at the village’s First Presbyterian Church. The tone marks the flippant attitude in some quarters at that time.

Mr. Editor:
Your readers should be apprised that last Friday was a great and eventful day in the history of human events. It was one of these epochs whereat Time pauses to set down a stake from which after generations may measure his further flight.
Henceforth, let it be noted in Phinney’s calendar that the 9th day of February, 1855, was the day when the memorable “Woman’s Rights Convention” was held at Cooperstown! – and let the mothers of Otsego, in all coming ages, teach their children to revere its anniversary, as the day when “the strong-minded women” gave the horn of liberty such a rousing blast among the echoing hills of our county.
…A gentleman was called to the chair, and a secretary and two vice-presidentesses were appointed. The president, after a few appropriate remarks, introduced to the audience, Miss Susan B. Anthony, who took the rostrum.

Her theme – the wrongs that
patient woman bears;
To sew, to spin, to mop and darn
her lot;
To do the drudg’ry, while man
takes the pay.
She all the pangs of Eden’s curse endures,
While man her pleasures shares,
but not her pains.
Give woman but the right of
suffrage, she
Will soon have equal laws,
and what is wrong
Will speedily set right.

Audible sobs were heard among the henpecks

Majority Senate Democrats Begin Shutting Out GOP Voices

Majority Senate Democrats Begin Shutting Out GOP Voices

And so it begins.
Day one of the new Democrat majority in the state Senate began, in many ways, as expected.
A new leader was elected (from just outside New York City) and immediately outlined the policies the Democrats would be pursuing in the coming year.
This is how a change in majority works, and I take no issue with that. However, I was deeply concerned on several fronts.
I have consistently voted for a permanent property tax cap, and I was pleased to hear the new leader mention that as a priority. The problem was that no other Upstate concerns were detailed, and that is a major disappointment.
Economic development is lagging behind in many counties outside of the five boroughs of New York City, but that fact is being swept under the rug by the new leadership regime.
I have previously outlined New York State’s population loss, and the news is filled with stories about Upstate businesses closing their doors.
We need to focus on policies that will cut taxes, eliminate burdensome government regulations, and lower the cost of doing business across the state. Those are the steps needed to create an environment conducive to job creation.
My Republican colleaguesand I have advanced a number
of initiatives in recent years to address our state’s economic shortcomings. We will continue to

MLK Day Mementos

MLK Day Mementos

In a run-up to Martin Luther King Day, local historian Tom Heitz discusses slavery in Otsego County with a CCAL class at First Presbyterian Church, Coopertown. Behind him are two just-approved State Historic Markers, one commemorating the church’s 1827 celebration of the end of slavery in New York State, the other Susan B. Anthony’s visit to Otsego County.

2 Historic Markers

Commemorate Freedom


COOPERSTOWN – Just in time for Martin Luther King Day, two state Historical Markers commemorating the United States’ march toward freedom – and Otsego County’s – have arrived at First Presbyterian Church here.
One marks Susan B. Anthony’s Feb. 9, 1855, appearance in a building where the church’s chapel is now. During her visit, she formed a local committee to advocate for the women’s right to vote.
The second commemorates July 4, 1827, when about 60 blacks gathered in the church, “with music and banners flying,” to celebrate the end of slavery in New York State.
The markers will be unveiled to the public at the church’s MLK Day celebration at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at 25 Church St. and erected on the front lawn in the spring.
These were little-known events until

Andela, Red Shed Show Entrepreneurial Mettle

Editorial for January 18, 2019

Andela, Red Shed Show

Entrepreneurial Mettle

In Governor Cuomo’s Dec. 18 CFA announcements, Otsego County entrepreneurs did just fine.

You may have noticed that Dec. 15 piece in the New York Times, “The Hard Truths of Trying to Save the ‘Rural’ Economy.” In it, reporter Eduardo Porter wrote: “I’ve lived most of my life in big cities. I don’t pretend to understand what it’s like to live in a small town or a family farm, or how it feels when all the jobs in a community seem to be fading away.”
You might expect what follows: It sounds like one of those stories Times reporters periodically transmit from Timbuctoo or some similarly exotic locale. All impressions. As if rural economic development – the War on Poverty, if you will – is all about feelings.
Here’s a more concrete objection: Porter equates Upstate New York – criss-crossed by four lanes, peppered with international airports, abounding with excellent colleges and universities, a couple of hours from the largest metropolitan economy in the country that also happens to be the center of the financial universe – with Harrison, Neb., wherever that is.

Digital Infrastructure Will Allow Us To Compete With Big Tech

Digital Infrastructure

Will Allow Us To Compete

With Big Tech

The New York Times recently (Dec. 15, 2018) ran a disturbing article entitled “The Hard Truths of Trying to ‘Save’ the Rural Economy.”
The article documents what anyone living in Otsego County knows all too well: the increasing economic and cultural gap between affluent urban centers and poor rural areas like ours.
Rural areas have an ageing, shrinking, under-skilled population, with dwindling prospects for ‘good’ jobs.
According to the Times writer, Eduardo Porter, this is largely because the new, “tech-heavy” economy can flourish only in
big cities where a plethora of
companies can draw on a larger, better educated population
skilled in digital techniques and applications.
The cheap labor that rural America once supplied to industry is now found in China, and the new American urban digital economy has little need for unskilled workers.
“Factory jobs,” Porter tells us,  “can no longer keep small-town America afloat.”



Compiled by Tom Heitz and Sharon Stuart, with resources courtesy

of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

Information Wanted. In the year 1814, a young man of the name of Carlos L. Mallory, a native of Woodbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut, and then resident with David Woodward, of that place, as an apprentice to the tanning and currying and shoemaking business, left his home, and has never been heard of by his friends since that period. He is now, if living, 24 years of age, about six feet high, black eyes, and of a dark complexion. The object of this notice is to obtain information of his present situation. Any person, therefore, who can communicate anything relative to the fate of this young man, will do an act of humanity, which will be remembered with lasting gratitude by his afflicted parents and relatives, by addressing letters to Mr. Nathaniel Mallory, Newton in Fairfield County, Connecticut. January 1, 1819. Printers in the United States will sub-serve the interest of society, by giving the above one or two insertions.
January 18, 1819

Found Dead – A man named John B. Taylor was found dead by the

This Week’s Newspapers Jan. 18, 2019


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

Jan. 17-18, 2019


For perhaps one of the final times, Margaret and Mark in the backseat of one of Cooperstown Medical Tranport’s 12 ambulances.


Longest Shutdown Has Little Impact Here

2 Historic Markers Ready For MLK Day

Goodyear Polar Jump To Aid 2 Volunteers

Known For Opera, She’s Praised For Book

20 Inches Of Snow On Way This Weekend


Andela, Red Shed Show Entrepreneurial Mettle


SEWARD:  Democrats Shutting Out GOP Voices

‘Uxurious’ Misread Suffragette’s Fateful Visit

Which Appliance Should We Be Afraid Of Next?

Digital Infrastructure  Allows Competition With Big Tech



Renewables, Maybe Not Answer Today, Are Wave Of The Future





From Single Van, Cooperstown Couple Built Three-County Ambulance Service

Milford 5th-Graders Study Trout By Raising Trout

Brides Aplenty at Foothills

‘Citizen Clark’ Film, Basketball Tourney, Art For The SPCA


Roger B. Sullivan, 68; SUNY Oneonta Asst. VP/Enrollment

Barbara Means, 87, Oneonta; Artist, World Traveler

Sandee H. Alpern, 71, Cooperstown; Spinner, Weaver, Potter, Teacher

Edward Van Beers, 84; Operated Pittsfield Plumbing & Heating


Senate Resolution Gives Fallen Hero Liberty Medal

SUNY Students Study Sea Life Of Japanese Isles

At Noah’s World. The Queen of the Dance

Mebust Leading New Committee Of Village Dems

Let it Snow…And Snow And Snow AND SNOW!


Senate Resolution Gives Fallen Hero Liberty Medal
John D. Heller

Senate Resolution Gives

Fallen Hero Liberty Medal

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, presented the Liberty Medal to John Heller’s parents at his funeral on Friday, Jan. 4.

ALBANY – The state Senate today passed a resolution bestowing its Liberty Medal, the upper house’s highest honor, on John D. Heller, the former Oneonta firefighter who saved five lives before dying in a Dec. 29 arson at 5 Walling Ave.
State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who introduced the resolution, noted it is given for “meritorious action against hostile odds.”
“John Heller was that type of individual,” he said. “John displayed great courage in saving the lives of his fiancé and four young nephews, and he made the ultimate sacrifice. His final act on earth was one of bravery, valor, heroism, and love for others.”
Similar to the national Congressional Gold Medal, the Liberty Medal is bestowed upon individuals for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.
Senator Seward previously presented the Liberty Medal to John Heller’s parents John and Gayle Heller and fiancé Amber Roe during a memorial service Jan. 4 in Oneonta.


Edward Van Beers, 84; Operated Pittsfield Plumbing & Heating

Edward Van Beers, 84;

Operated Pittsfield

Plumbing & Heating

PITTSFIELD – Edward John Van Beers, 84, who for years operated Pittsfield Plumbing & Heating, passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 11, 2019.
Edward was born on March 5, 1934 in Paterson, N.J., a son of the late Charles Vincent Sepione and Kathryn Viedas.
Edward was an avid coin and stamp collector. He enjoyed tending his vegetable gardens, walking his land, watching a Yankees’ game, a good game of horseshoes, and reading anything non-fiction. Most notably; he was a jack of all trades and loved to work.
Right up until recent times, he still had plans for building projects and improvements around his home. At Pittsfield Plumbing, he provided area homeowners with supplies and well-appreciated guidance.
He is survived by

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