News of Otsego County

This Week’s Newspapers

Hall of Fame Classic on tap for weekend

Hall of Famers, MLB stars head to Cooperstown for ‘Classic’ this weekend

Hall of Famer Alan Trammel greets Trevor Hoffman with a high-five at the 2019 ‘Hall of Fame Classic’ at Doubleday Field. Tickets are still available for this weekend’s event, featuring Hall-of-Famers and MLB greats. (Photo courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; photographer: Milo V. Stewart, Jr.)

Hall of Famers Wade Boggs, Fergie Jenkins, Tim Raines, Ted Simmons, Lee Smith, Ozzie Smith, and Alan Trammel travel to Cooperstown this weekend to coach the teams in the 2022 Hall of Fame Classic, scheduled for Saturday, May 28 at historic Doubleday Field.

There’s a pre-game home run contest beginning at noon, with the first pitch of the ‘Classic’ at 1:05 p.m. Tickets are still available at $15 for grandstand seats, $12.50 for first baseline, and $11 for outfield seats. Seating along the third baseline will not be available as renovations continue.

The Classic highlights a weekend of family entertainment programs designed to celebrate ‘the timeless connection of baseball across generations.’

This year, the Hall of Famers will coach an impressive roster of the game’s greats; at press time, the line-up included Bobby Abreu, Willie Aikens, Alex Arias, Alex Avila, Carlos Baerga, Gergor Blanco, Pat Borders, Michael Bourn, Steve Buechele, Bruce Chen, Jose Contreras, Keith Foulke, David Freese, Carlos Gonzalez, Craig Grebeck, Garrett Jones, Terrence Long, Justin Maxwell, Corky Miller, Carlos Pena, Glen Perkins, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Steve Sax, Tim Stauffer, Nick Swisher, Steve Swisher, Matt Wieters, Chris Young, and Todd Zeile.

The Hall of Fame’s Night at the Ballpark program from 6-8 p.m. is sold out. Legends and former players will greet fans throughout Doubleday Field, and ‘Classic’ participants will canvass the ballpark during the two-hour event. Night at the Ballpark is not an autograph session, but fans can have their cameras at the ready.

Plans in the works for Oneonta ‘Friendly’s’ building

Old ‘Friendly’s’ building getting revamp, new life

There’s lots of speculation about what’s going on at the former Friendly’s Restaurant building on the corner of Main Street and Walling Avenue in Oneonta, especially after Milford’s Paul Singh announced o Facebook his family is the new owner and asking people what kind of business they would want at the site.

With rumors abounding that the building would house a cannabis dispensary, a bar, or a restaurant, Mr. Singh told The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta the old Friendly’s will be a food court.

“We are still in the planning phases,” he said. “It won’t be a dine-in restaurant; there’s just not enough space for that. We’ll have a huge selection of beverages, although we won’t have any with alcohol because we are too close to a church, and zoning doesn’t permit that.”

Mr. Singh plans on a variety of food they will cook on premises.

“We don’t want to have to rely on having separate vendors,” he said. “We’ll have pizza, burgers, a salad bar, a chicken area, and, of course, ice cream!”

“We looked at having a franchise restaurant with a drive-thru, but they wanted us to tear down the existing building and put a new building in the middle of the parking lot,” he said. “We just didn’t want to do that.”

As plans progress, The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta will carry more details.

Climate Action Council

Supporters, opponents weigh the costs and benefits of New York’s climate plan

New York’s state Legislature and Governor Cuomo approved the sweeping ‘Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’ (CLCPA) in 2019, setting in motion an aggressive climate change agenda mandating 100 percent zero-emissions electricity by 2040 through a Climate Action Council charged with developing a ‘scoping plan’ of recommendations to meet those and other targets.

Critics say that plan – up for public comment through June 10, 2022 – is too aggressive and expensive for homeowners and businesses; supporters say the plan is less costly to New Yorkers than would be failure to take immediate, tangible action on climate change.

“Consumer and community decision-making is key, and especially important for the purchase of new passenger vehicles and heating systems for homes and businesses through the next decade,” the CAC says on its website ( “(z)ero-emission vehicles and heat pumps will need to become the majority of new purchases by the late 2020s, and fossil fuel-emitting cars and appliances will no longer be sold after 2035.”

The CAC also says “Necessary methane emissions mitigation in waste and agriculture will require transformative solutions. Massive diversion of organic waste from landfills and innovative manure management and animal feeding practices coupled with the capture of fugitive methane emissions.”

Otsego County state Senator Peter Oberacker sent a mailing to his district urging public comment, adding the admonition, “Well intended, this plan could mean higher energy and consumer costs for you.”

“This plan is too aggressive to succeed,” he said to The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta. “They’re talking about telling us we can’t have gas-powered cars and appliances. I know people are

Hey hey we’re the Monkeypox

Hey, hey — we’re the Monkeypox

Commentary by Ted Potrikus

Full disclosure: I’m finding it challenging to give any gravity to something called “monkeypox.” It sounds like a vintage video game, like “Donkey Kong,” and I half-expect the symptoms to include an uncontrollable urge for a banana. I don’t want to think about monkeys being anything that carry a nasty Pox that apparently can do some pretty ugly damage to those who contract it.

Says the Associated Press: “Monkeypox typically begins with a flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes, followed by a rash on the face and body. In Africa, people have been infected through bites from rodents or small animals, and it does not usually spread easily among people.”

At least there’s that. I shouldn’t be glib about it. We’re starting to hear the vague warnings that we had better prepare ourselves for all things monkey and/or pox. Get our go-bags packed up and ready to go. The second coming of the vicious gangs of murder hornets that were supposed to descend on us two summers ago. But didn’t.

A public buffeted by COVID guidance, mandates, warnings, cautioned – however well-intentioned and however accurate – looks to be generally done with it. Otsego County has seen an increase in the number of cases of late, enough so that we’re currently in the CDC’s “high” community level designation, so the CDC recommends that we “wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status.”

A random, non-scientific walk around Cooperstown and Oneonta, though, finds that compliance with that red-level recommendation is pretty much hit-or-miss these days, a mandate-weary public

Springtime for oxen

Spring training for twins Barley and Rye at the Farmers’

The training of the oxen at The Farmers’ Museum has begun and it’s fascinating.

“We have twins, they are Brown Swiss from Milford, it’s great!” said Bob Thompson, Associate Direcor of Agricultural and Facilities Support Services.

Twin brothers Barley and Rye were about a week old when they got to the Museum. Born in September, they already weigh 525 pounds apiece.  When they are grown, they will each weigh one ton.

“We just started training the oxen, we are training them to be working animals,” Sandra Vanalstine, a farmer at the Museum, said.  Ms. Vanalstine has been with the Museum for two years as a farmer and now in charge of training the oxen.  (By the way, ox is singular — one animal; the plural oxen means more than one.)

“I try to make it fun for them,” she said. “You start off by simply leading them, petting them, talking to them all of the time.  Then come the verbal commands and yokes.”

The twins work on commands before the farmer puts on the yokes.

“’Haw’ means turn left, ‘gee’ means take a right turn, and ‘whoa’ means stop,” Ms. Vanalstine said. “They understand those words.”

Cooperstown Junior Ballroom Cotillion 2022 at The Otesaga

Cooperstown Junior Ballroom
Cotillion 2022 at The Otesaga

Arya Patel, along with her mother Bijal, father Anush and younger sister Avni, arrived at The Otesaga for the 2022 Cooperstown Junior Ballroom Cotilli last Friday. “This is a once in a lifetime experience for me,” Arya said. “I was full of nerves but now it’s great. We had ten 1½ hour sessions to learn the techniques and the dances. It was a great learning experience,” she said.

WORMUTH: Roe V. Wade

Letter from Tim Wormuth

Roe V. Wade

A letter was recently submitted stating that abortion is a constitutional right. Nowhere in the Constitution, nor any other founding document for that matter, is there given a right to murder. The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Life is what the founders of our nation considered a constitutional right. And this right applies to an unborn baby in the womb.

I know that it took a while for those who wrote these documents to have their practice catch up with what they believed (as with slavery and women’s rights) but catch up they did. Today, minorities and women have more freedom in this nation than almost anywhere else. Is there still more to be done? Absolutely!

But back to the issue of abortion. The problem is this has become a political issue when it is, in fact, a moral one. Life begins at the moment of conception. Science now bears this out. And a baby in the womb needs the same protections as a bald eagle in the egg. We don’t need more abortions, we need more support for women who find themselves in a difficult situations. Let’s spend the millions of dollars on that and become a nation that holds life in high regard.

Tim Wormuth
Pastor, Hill City Church

MACMILLAN: Repeating History

Letter from Dr. Roger MacMillan

Repeating History

One reads with dismay and horror about the destruction and atrocities being committed by the Russian forces in the present war in the Ukraine. Apparently such activity has a precedent by such forces
in the past.

In the memoirs written by George Kennan, the noted American diplomat and historian, he wrote of the Soviet westward advance in World War II between Berlin and Moscow as they “liberated” this region. “The disaster that befell this area with the entry of the Soviet forces has no parallel in modern European experience. There were … sections where … scarcely a man, woman, or child was left alive after the initial passage of the Soviet forces. The Russians … swept the native population clean in a manner that had no parallel since the days of the Asiatic hordes.” This was written over 50 years ago!

Apparently the saying about history repeating itself once again is verified. So sad…

Need help with child care? Find help at the Barnyard Swing

Need help with child care?
Find help at the Barnyard Swing

Local child care providers will get together at The Barnyard Swing in Hartwick Seminary on Saturday, May 21, to let area families know more about the services they provide, and enjoy a day of talking and meeting about their profession.

The ‘Spring Swing Child Care Professionals Appreciation Celebration’ — an idea that arose from a discussion at a winter women’s group meeting with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce — takes place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. An Otsego County Community Events grant helps cover the expense of hosting the event.

“One of the topics at our meeting was the absolute lack of affordable child care in Otsego County. Our area has been deemed a ‘child care desert’,” said Marcy Birch, owner of The Barnyard Swing. “The idea to have this event percolated out of those sessions.”

Oneonta Man crosses the finish line in Boston Marathon

Oneonta Man crosses the
finish line in Boston Marathon

Thomas Slicer hasn’t been a marathon runner all of his life. “I only started training for marathons last year,” he said. “Before that I was training for all of the shorter distance races.”

Mr. Slicer turns 28 in June, and he just finished his first Boston Marathon in April — the average age for male runners in that 26.2-mile run is 42. It’s the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events.

“There are so many inspiring stories that come out of the Boston Marathon,” he said. “The one I remember the most is when Jacob Russell pushed Patrick Dewey on a stroller. It was incredible.”

Mr. Slicer is from Oneonta and went to Oneonta High School, then on to SUNY Delhi. He trained for the Boston race in Oneonta.

Approach history differently at Hyde Hall with block party and drag show

Approach history differently
at Hyde Hall
with block
party and drag show

Hyde Hall, at Glimmerglass State Park, hits the ground running with the “Hyde Hall and Glimmerglass State Park Block Party and Opening Day” from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. The history-filled mansion invites the community for a day of crafts, food, animals and music to kick off an exciting 2022 season, and the park will have camp safety programs, a band on the beach, birdhouse building and a bird hike/tour.

“I think you’ll see a lot of changes at Hyde Hall this year,” said John Aborn, Marketing Manager. “We’ve got some really great, new innovative events planned throughout the year.”

The Hall’s board of directors adopted a new, condensed mission statement: Preserve and share Hyde Hall; promote research, and develop inclusive educational programs and events that help diverse audiences to explore, understand, and appreciate history.

“We’ve been able to introduce a number of programs this season that are going to allow us to keep to our new mission,” Mr. Aborn said.

EDITORIAL: ‘Yes’ on budget votes


‘Yes’ on budget votes

New York State annually reserves the third Tuesday of May for voters to cast their ballots on local school district budgets and board of education seats. It’s an important opportunity for the community to participate in
shaping local education policy, and we urge all eligible voters to take a few minutes and do so on May 17.

We urge readers to visit the website of their local school district — each has a good description and analysis of the budgets up for the May 17 vote along with the details of when and where the vote will take place.

In addition, we urge voters to support school budgets as proposed in each of the county’s local school districts. These aren’t spendthrift plans — in each case, district leaders navigate the rough seas of local demands and state mandates with an eye toward minimizing the school taxes property owners must pay. The programs these budgets support are essential to every student’s education — academic, athletic, artistic, vocational — each is a vital part of the comprehensive tool boxes that today’s world demands. The teachers and staff whom these budgets support are essential, too, of course — called out correctly as among the heroes of the pandemic and beyond, and deserving of our unified support.

School Budget Vote, May 17

School Budget Vote, May 17

School districts throughout Otsego County put their annual budgets before voters this year on Tuesday, May 17, with polls open at varying times throughout the county.
The Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta offered districts the opportunity to submit a commentary on the budgets as presented; at press time, only Cherry Valley/ Springfield and Cooperstown Central responded. Those submissions are below.

Use VOTE411 as candidates guide

Use VOTE411 as candidates guide

The League of Women Voters of the Cooperstown Area held a candidates’ debate for the two open seats on the Cooperstown Central School District Board of Education last week. There are three candidates running, Alicia Chase, Peter Iorizzo, and Cody Moore. Maureen Murray, Co-president of the LWV of the Cooperstown Area, moderated the event. The school board elections are non-partisan; candidates do not run as members of a party.

On Election Day, May 17, voters will also vote on the 2022-2023 district budget.

The election will be held at the Cooperstown High School, 39 Linden Ave., Cooperstown from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Any citizen, 18 years of age or older who has been a resident of the district for 30 days preceding the election is qualified to vote. Absentee ballots are available at the district office. Contact Wendy Lansing at 607-547-5364.

The Dog Charmer: Use upbeat attitude to treat attacked dog

The Dog Charmer

Use upbeat attitude
to treat attacked dog


I have a situation you might be able to help me with.
My dog was attacked by a large pit bull. I’m wondering if he’ll ever get over it.

Mary Ann

Dear Mary Ann,

I was sorry to hear about how your dog was ambushed. Unfortunately, I’ve lost count of all the dogs I have been asked to help that were traumatized by an unprovoked attack from another dog. Having spoken with you I was further dismayed to hear how the attacking dog’s owner just took off with his dog and disappeared. I’m glad you took him to the vet and he wasn’t seriously injured. As for your dog, Coco, what you don’t want to do is drown him in pity. The last thing you want is for Coco to feel sorry for himself. Pity weakens!

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