The Gilbertsville Village Improvement Society has begun an online auction through Lambrecht Auction of Bainbridge, the proceeds of which will go toward upkeep of the Gilbert Block. Eighty items are offered, ranging from “top shelf” treasures such as a complete set of German Rosenthal china to Instapots. Also featured are heirloom-quality furnishings, vintage décor and stained glass windows. Works by local artists—including ceramic artists Elizabeth Nields and Marcus Villagran, visual artist Alberta Hutchison, and collage artist Jane Higgins—are also available through the auction.
210 YEARS AGO
We consider the American Navy to be indivisible; and we hope the same attentions will be paid to all our squadrons. The officers who discharge their duty to their country with zeal and fidelity, though the evidence of it may not be so conspicuous, are equally entitled to the grateful notice of their fellow-citizens, with their more fortunate brethren.
January 30, 1813
135 Years Ago
The Local News – The directors of the Delaware & Hudson Company had a gorgeous car made for their own use, at a cost of $25,000. It was heated by a new system, which was intended to supersede the present method. The car stood Saturday forenoon near the Green Island shops and William Burt of Albany was in charge. He raked up the fire to get a higher temperature in the car, when an explosion occurred, entirely wrecking the car and inflicting probably fatal injuries on Burt, who was conveyed to the hospital. It is believed that the explosion was due to the freezing of a pipe connected with the heater drum.
By TED MEBUST
Following a recent evaluation of the Asa C. Allison, Jr. Municipal Building, located on the corner of Academy Street and Fairview Street in Oneonta and colloquially known as “The Armory” in reference to its initial purpose, the city found it to be underutilized and in need of improvement. Therefore, city officials opted to hear opinions from its residents about the building’s future in a survey released in December.
To participate in the survey, click here: https://www.oneonta.ny.us/news_detail_T29_R37.php
By BILL FRANCIS
Scott Rolen, a hot corner maestro known for his defensive wizardry at third and considerable ability in the batter’s box, has been added to the sport’s greatest roster.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s star-studded lineup increased by one when the results of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame vote were announced a little after 6 p.m. on January 24 live on MLB Network from the iconic Plaque Gallery. Surrounded by the bronze images of 340 of the National Pastime’s forever figures, the 47-year-old Rolen’s name was called by Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch in front of a national audience.
Those familiar, fluffy white flakes are falling peacefully on Cooperstown and surrounds Monday night as we write this editorial. Their arrival is just in time for the return of the Cooperstown Winter Carnival later this week, following a two-year hiatus prompted by the pandemic.
Will there still be snow on the ground when the Hot Cocoa Kickoff rolls around on Thursday night? Maybe, maybe not—no matter, because the 55th Cooperstown Winter Carnival begins in the cozy quarters of The Otesaga Resort Hotel with warm beverages, a word from Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, a visit from the Hill City Ice Queen (for the kids, and for the kid in us all), live music by the Cooperstown Bandelions and…fireworks!
Tapped for Service
COOPERSTOWN—The Cooperstown Democratic Committee caucus nominated George Fasanelli (left) and Joe Membrino (right) for reelection to the Cooperstown Village Board of Trustees on Monday, January 30. Current trustee MacGuire Benton has chosen to pursue the position of Otsego County clerk rather than running for reelection. The members of the committee thanked Benton for his four years on the board and for bringing a new generation into Cooperstown government. Similarly, Membrino has been on the board for four years—one year when appointed to fill out the term of former trustee Lou Allstadt and three years from his first elected term. The Cooperstown Village Board of Trustees election will be held from noon to 9 p.m. on March 21 at the Cooperstown Fire Department, 24 Chestnut Street.
By DAN SULLIVAN
Our area’s newest barbecue restaurant, Maplewood BBQ and Spirits, takes its name from that given by original owner John Tunnicliff to the mansion built on his estate in 1760, which included a huge tract of land covering what is today parts of Otsego and southern Herkimer counties. At that time, Maplewood was in Tryon County; Otsego would not be formed until 1791.
Restaurant owner John Yule, also a partner in the Knotting Hill Farm wedding venue in Jordanville, has done his research on the mansion that houses his new eatery.
“The fireplace was part of the original kitchen. And the crane to hold pots is also original,” he pointed out.
News from the Noteworthy
It is not news to anyone that we, as a nation, are in the midst of the worse overdose and drug-related death crisis in the entire history of our country. Based on numbers from the Centers for Disease Control, we have lost 107,000 people to drug overdose in the last 12 months. That number would equal losing about the same number of people who live in Chenango and Otsego counties combined…in one year.
It is a slow-rolling tragedy that causes moms, dads, brothers, sisters, spouses and children to bury a human that is precious to them. There have been over a million (yes, 1,000,000.00) overdose funerals since 1999, the identified beginning of this crisis. It is a real human tragedy that receives far too little attention.
Letter from Lang Keith
When I saw the front page of this week’s Freeman’s Journal I immediately checked my calendar, thinking I had somehow missed a couple of months and this was the April Fool’s issue. But no, it’s the January 26th issue, and the article about Ommegang was not a spoof of the omnipresent swath of American citizens who seem to spend their days seeking new ways to be offended.
Thank goodness for my neighbor, Peter Woods, at the Buddhist Retreat Center. He put this silly brouhaha in exactly the right context.
As for Messrs. Fisher and Zed, if they intend to nurture their outrage, they are going to be very busy boys. A look on the Internet reveals that almost every state has a Nirvana restaurant. Lots of opportunity for hurt feelings there. And do they know about the late Kurt Cobain’s band?
Me? I’m going to have a Heavenly Ham sandwich washed down with, dare I say it? An Ommegang IPA.
The Partial Observer
As a community, we have gone back and forth about whether or how students would benefit from an annexation merger with Worcester. We have sincere disagreements, despite all wanting what we believe to be best for our community’s children. Many want an answer to whether the district can or can’t be “saved.” This is an honest question, but not the one I believe we should be asking. Sure, with enough money, the district may remain independent. We can agree to disagree about the quality of the educational program. Many are quite satisfied with the status quo, but how much will it cost to retain that? How much can our community afford and can we know what the impact of voting a particular way would be?
Life In The Time Of COVID
On Monday evening, January 30, the White House announced that the COVID-19 emergency will end on May 11. The emergency, which was initially declared by President Donald Trump in 2020, has been renewed every 90 days since. If the Biden administration simply fails to renew the current 90-day declaration, the emergency would lapse in April rather than May. The White House stated that an “abrupt end to the emergency declarations would create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty through the healthcare system for states, for hospitals and doctors’ offices and, most importantly, for tens of millions of Americans.”
This announcement came soon before a scheduled vote in the House of Representatives on a bill called the Pandemic is Over Act. This bill would have declared an immediate end for pandemic related emergency measures, including financial support for vaccinations, testing, and treatment, and would place COVID in the same category as any other illness. This bill would pass the House but die in the Senate (pure party lines and political theater).
BRUNSWICK, ME—Kernan Cross, a central New York native and Cooperstown Central School graduate, passed away January 13 in Brunswick, Maine. He resided in Boothbay Harbor, Maine from 1973 until a recent move to Wiscasset, Maine. He was 75.
Kernan’s open manner earned many friends. Customers of Main Street Photo in Damariscotta, Maine, which he owned for many years, often stopped by just to visit. He also built strong relationships through his volunteer and artistic activities.He was known for his humor and playfulness, highlighted by his wit and by the rubber ducks that appeared magically in his wake. His easy-going traits worked with his thoughtfulness and expertise in several fields to make him an influential presence in many lives.
Talk Focuses on Aleutian Islands
ONEONTA—Arch-archeologist Debra Corbett will be featured in a Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society presentation via Zoom on Friday, February 17. Beginning at 7:30 p.m., Corbett will discuss “The Symbolic Meaning of Birds to the Unangan People.” The program is free to attend, but registration is required at https://bit.ly/3vzIXKm.
The Unangan people of the Aleutian Islands relied on birds for food, clothing and tools. Beyond these everyday needs, birds—especially seabirds—were sentient beings interacting with humans in meaningful ways, potent sources of power, and imbued with spiritual meanings. Corbett will briefly introduce the Unangan Aleut and their homeland, show some ways birds were used in daily life, then explore aspects of this relationship between birds and the Unangan people.
Editor’s Note: Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh was a panelist at the recent Otsego County Chamber of Commerce “State of the State” Breakfast. The following is her address.
Good morning and thank you to the Otsego County Chamber for hosting this forum. I am honored to be included on this panel of city, county, and state elected officials and a representative of Congress.
For most of you, the calendar year is your fiscal year. That is not the case for our village—the Village of Cooperstown’s fiscal year is June 1st to May 31st, so we are two-thirds of the way through our current 2022-23 budget. Next month we will begin budget workshops to have a tentative 23-24 budget in place by the mandated deadline of March 20th.
Our General Fund budget is usually about $4.1 million and we also have separate Water and Sewer budgets which total approximately 2.2 million, resulting in about a $6.3 million dollar village budget.