Make The Call. Avert Disaster EDITORIAL

Make The Call.

Avert Disaster

Please, Congressman, Senator, Convince

Governor To Approach Dreams Park Owner

Cooperstown Dreams Park’s decision to cancel the 2020 season was only announced Friday.

Two days before, county Treasurer Allen Ruffles, who chairs the county Emergency Task Force, had called Mike Walter, Dreams Park COO, and received no inkling such an economy-shattering decision was in the making.

It’s not locked in concrete.  It’s not too late to turn it around.

Four men may be able to make it happen.  Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, and state Sen.  Jim Seward, R-Milford, should approach Gov. Andrew Cuomo and ask him to intervene with Dreams Park COO Mike Walter to keep the door open to a Dreams Park season this summer.

Delgado and Seward – today – should implore the Governor to pick up the phone, call Mike Walter and ask him to at least wait and see.  Hundreds of millions of dollars, and the economic health of 61,000 people, are at stake.

The county’s other baseball park, Marty Patton’s Cooperstown All-Star Village in West Oneonta, has come up with an alternate scenario to Dreams Parks’:  Patton plans to take it week-by-week, four weeks out, and push back the season, depending on the decline of the coronavirus threat.

The governor himself has predicted the peak will come in 45 days, around May 1.  Patton may have to cancel no weeks at all – perhaps no more than one or two.  The Patton Plan could be The Dreams Park Plan, too.

The coronavirus will come and go, but the sector of the local economy that depends on Dreams Park – shops, restaurants, rental-unit owners, even the Hall of Fame, as well of most of the rest of us – will not rebound so easily.  Many people’s enterprises won’t survive it.

Can the governor, who has showered such largesse on Otsego County, in Oneonta’s $10 million DRI, and millions after millions, year after year in economic development grants, including to the Hall of Fame and  Cooperstown’s world-class museums, let it all fall apart for lack of a phone call.

Please, Congressman Delgado and Senator Seward, make the case to Governor Cuomo.

Please, Governor Cuomo:  Call Mike Walter.  The call could save Otsego County.

JIM KEVLIN, Editor,, The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta


37 thoughts on “Make The Call. Avert Disaster

  1. Dom

    It should stay closed. Otsego County does not need this, it will only spread Coronavirus . Get real!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous

    I agree. Please intervene and at least wait to see if things calm down. Based on all credible information we should be at the end of this well before the first week of Cooperstown would begin

  3. Elva Manee

    Poor choice of editorial
    Cities have lost incomes from professional sports stadiums. We’re no different. I encourage all to write Seward & delgato & Cuomo to close both parks. We should not import people this summer.

  4. Sandy

    Cooperstown is famous for baseball. However, this is the most irresponsible idea I have heard yet! Of coarse I understand the economic loss that comes by cancelling Dreams Park for the summer. I have family and friends that work at Dreams Park, in restaurants, B&B’s, Walmart,… It is a disaster no matter what. Families come to Dreams Park from all over the country. In fact, teams come from other countries. Dreams Park could cause a resurgence in COVID-19. And then Cooperstown would have to add ‘IN’ to its already ‘FAMOUS’. I would not want us to have to carry the dubious title of being INFAMOUS for causing us to go into extra innings with this pandemic.

  5. Steve Shauger

    It is a tragedy that America is all about greed and money. Public health risk seems of secondary interest so that others may profit. Keep the Dreams Park closed this season and minimize the risk of making many here sick with Covid 19. The decision by Mrs. Presutti was a difficult and unselfish choice from which we will all benefit in the long run.

  6. Rick Hulse Sr.

    Mrs. Presutti exemplifies an admirable example of an ideal American citizen. Let’s support her decision.
    Rick Hulse Sr.

  7. larry bennett

    I won’t argue that it is a good idea to keep Dreams Park open. I also won’t argue that this will destroy, not just hurt, the local economy. What I will argue is that an open discussion can and should be held without the vitriol and finger-pointing. This is a really difficult decision, so approach it with seriousness not snark.

  8. J

    Even if things do calm down by then we will be in a hyper vigilant wait and see mode for at least the rest of this year if not longer. Neither one of the parks will be open for business this year regardless of the owners intentions.
    This is going to hurt for all.

  9. Bob

    Lets use our heads people – this is an unfortunate event no doubt. However, there is no way the dept. of health would let thousands of families from all over the country – and some out of the country – come here and live in close quarters and then disperse again. That would be a health nightmare. I understand everyone’s concern but Cooperstown and the surrounding areas are strong and will remain so.

  10. Sharon

    Our lively hood depends solely on a summer rental property from the dreams park season. Poor planning on our part? Yes, however, it is what it is now. Bankruptcy looms in our future without dreams park rentals. I would accept that outcome if it truly endangers health and well being of everyone but closing the entire season does seem premature. There are financial options to help the small business through what is sure to be tough times but self employment seems to be in category all it’s own and there is no “bail out” for us. I think the decision to close entirely should wait.

  11. Chip Northrup

    1. Not until there is a vaccine for COVID available free in the US = spring of 2021 ?
    2. Not until adequate COVID testing is available across the country = fall of 2020 ?
    3. Not until the health care system in New York allows it – see #1 and #2

    Otherwise, the local health care system would be overwhelmed with sick tourists
    No can do.

  12. Tim Walker

    We are diverse and care about all cultures, except when it comes to ourselves and the dollar. I would hope your representative’s are smarter then that, but then in this day and age, who knows.

  13. Teresa Winchester

    Exactly which disaster do you want to avert? Kids not playing baseball or the human beings dying? COVID 19 does not respect boundaries. It will be spreading to ALL parts of the US and most likely will NOT be under control everywhere by May 1. So you want to import the virus to NYS?
    THANKS! What happened to Dreams Park being used as a hospital? It would be well paid for that. I will be calling Delgado, Seward, etc, and asking the to keep the park closed. Maybe you Trump supporters should call the Orange Fuhrer and ask him to bail out business like Dreams Park instead of airlines, cruise ships and Big OIl! This proposal is preposterous and irresponsible. I can’t believe you printed it!

  14. J

    Even if things do calm down by then we will be in a hyper vigilant wait and see mode for at least the rest of this year if not longer.
    Neither one of the parks will be open for business this year.
    This is going to hurt for all.

  15. Loretta

    So sad money is put before health, I feel for the employees and businesses that will struggle. We this huge scare going on you would think they would want everyone on the low down. Governor Cuomo said it could take months to get over this. Think about peoples health instead of money.

  16. karenfish23

    As a CDP employee myself, thank you….NOT! I highly commend Mrs Presutti for making this difficult but right decision. Maybe if the American people were to worship Almighty God more instead of the almighty dollar, we wouldn’t be in this calamity! “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

  17. Patrick Muller

    This is not about greed. It’s about taking a measured approach, with expectations in the form of a plan, to determine the outcome. The likelihood is the season will be mostly, if not totally canceled for All Star Village. But I’d much rather have some communication than a knee jerk reaction made 75 days in advance. I applaud Marty Patton for being calm amongst the reactive insanity.

  18. Rev. Craig Schwalenberg

    Possibly the most irresponsible and misguided editorial I’ve ever read– in any paper, ever. Yes, people are going to suffer a financial hardship. Some people already are. But the answer to that financial problem is NOT opening the park and putting the whole community and the whole country at risk from increased exposure to the virus and vectors to spread it across the country using children and their families. If you want to lobby the governor and your representatives, lobby them for policies and economic relief so everyone can survive this epidemic– both health-wise and economic wise.

  19. John Webb

    I was incredulous when I read this irresponsible call for Seward and Delgado to act so irresponsibly in the face of this virus!!!! The Dreams Park should remain closed, and All Star Village should close too. To do otherwise is unthinkable and totally contemptuous of those in this area who are acting to protect lives in both the short and long run. Does this editorial reflect the opinions of those on the paper’s editorial staff or is this the thinking of one person? Either way, it is disastrous and maddening. And to those of you who rely totally on rentals for the season, try renting for 12 months to the professionals who can’t find housing here and whose presence would contribute heavily to our local economy and our quality of life.

  20. Peter Frank

    Dreams Park reopen? I hope it closes permanently (and that goes for All-Star Village as well). Both camps brought incredibly boorish children –and their equally obnoxious parents — to a town not big enough to handle that nonsense. The quality of life went down here, and only a relatively few people profited. Enough, already!

  21. Al

    My family could indeed loose everything this summer, HOWEVER, we’re not willing to watch thousands of people from everywhere descend upon our village just so kids can play baseball. It’s going to be tough on millions of people, not just baseball, but lets just stop this selfish nonsense.

  22. James G Herman

    We will suffer the COVID-19 virus. At present testing is limited, ventilators are limited, doctors and nurses are limited in number, hospital beds are limited and our knowledge of the virus is limited. We do know that the virus spreads very easily so why would we support group activities that may well increase the likelihood of yet a second wave of the virus?


    I totally support the opinion of John Webb; there is a huge shortage of available affordable rentals for retired professionals such as myself in this immediate area; maybe some of you don’t want to be long term landlords but I really love this area and re-located here in Fly Creek when my husband passed away in 2013; I’m not irresponsible nor do I think I would be a landlords “worst nightmare”. Although I feel bad for the closure of Dreamspark and the loss of incomes to seasonal rentals and local business, I think it was the best decision made for the health and well being all concerned.

  24. J. Johnson

    I feel like this is a dangerous post. We are prioritizing money over the health and safety of the community. We have no clue what the outreach of this virus will be, and I applaud that the Dreams Park Officials have made decisive steps to protect the community. This is a public health emergency, whether or not people want to realize that. By bringing thousands of people into the community right now, from all over the country, not only makes social distancing impossible, but could further tax a healthcare system that is already suffering. Look around, on a national scale there is a shortage of hospital beds and staff to care for these people. So let’s prioritize money over everything else, and risk not only these children, but the community members as well? I hope everyone realizes what this editorial is asking, as it clearly outlines the priorities of the author. When people who are trained in Epidemiology, Infectious Disease, and Medicine in general are advocating to practice social distancing, and avoid large scale gatherings, I would hope people would listen to them, rather than an journalist who thinks he knows best. There is a possibility that this virus will be contained by summer, but most health officials do not agree. So why take chances?

  25. Susan

    We stand to lose our entire summer income in our small business. We would not change that outcome if it created even one unnecessary death due to COVID-19. Get real people! This is a pandemic, and business as usual will not be possible this year.

  26. Mary J

    Wow. Such a dangerous editorial. Many people are working on the front lines in the midst of this public health emergency; clerks, cashiers, healthcare professionals & support staff and I am sure they aren’t essentially putting themselves in harms way so you can write this nonsense – they are doing it to serve our residents, the same residents that you are advocating disease exposure too. Shame on you Jim Kevlin, leave journalism for a permanent time out – I pray no one ever gives you another interview – PS – why aren’t you posting other comments that are pending “moderation” or sensorship as it may be

  27. John

    A summer without tourists and the resultant financial impact may well wake some of our leaders up! The economic reliance of an entire county on a sport played by kids is a recipe for disaster. Perhaps now is the time to seriously pursue economic diversification in the county to insure one calamity does not ruin so many. I for one, will not miss the huge influx of annoying baseball parents and their accompanying attitudes.

  28. Sue Fink

    We are fortunate that we have the baseball parks as they have certainly helped our community thrive. I applaud the decision of the Dreams Park to cancel the 2020 season.. I hope and pray they will be back in full force in 2021 so that our wonderful community will once again thrive.
    Oneonta’s baseball camp should cancel their season also.
    Many small businesses are doing what they can to stay viable so let’s support them and stop being selfish.

  29. Mat J

    Is this what our society has come to? Let’s advocate for profit over life? It appears the power of the media, the media that we support through advertising and subscriptions, had decided to push an agenda that is irresponsible and harmful to our residents and community.

    People are putting their health and the health of their families in jeopardy to fight the biggest enemy any of us will see in our lifetime. Many of the residents servicing our residents in retail or food service are fighting this fight for a little over minimum wage. And yet there are people who would advocate to bring 50,000 plus adults and kids to Cooperstown placing profit and income over health.

    Everyone is hurting, financially and emotionally- we all get that – but when did it become acceptable to disregard life and health for profit?

    I HAD a subscription to this paper that has been terminated – and honestly, it’s not even worth reading for free now. AllOtsego – either you are part of a solution for this fight or you are part of the problem fighting it – please pick a side!

  30. William

    It appears most of the comments are being posted by people who are simply repeating what they read on the internet or see on tv.
    Kelvin did not suggest the governor contact Dreams Park and order them to open this summer. Rather, if you actually read the editorial carefully (and with an open mind, rather than through a lens of panic) you realize the editor is proposing the baseball camp PREPARE for the summer. It may be wishful thinking, that the virus fallout would allow for a summer 2020 season. But what if! What if any one of the promising treatment drugs knocks the virus down and we find ourselves in a position where some of the season could actually be salvaged, SAFELY?
    If we are not so fortunate to be in that position, Dreams Park would still have ample time to notify of the decision to cancel. It will have cost the Dreams Park nothing but time and money to at least be prepared.
    That’s the message I take away from the editorial. Any one who actually knows Jim Kelvin should realize he wouldn’t suggest sacrificing health for wealth. That’s not who he is and that’s not what he was suggesting in his editorial. But, panic does fuel skepticism and distrust. So, carry on making more out the editorial than is justified until some new, more interesting shiny item distracts and refocuses you.

  31. Paul M

    I applaud CDP for taking the approach early enough to allow families to seek out alternative arrangements and plans for the summer.
    Families from all over the country would infiltrate the area. Some from parts of the country that have severe COVID-19 cases.
    Not only are they coming into the area but a good majority of those families and teams will be flying into local airports.
    After the shock has subsided, this is an absolute no brainer. Not all parts of the country are going to be below the curve.

  32. ST French

    I prefer life over tourism. Did anyone see the beaches of Fl.? Now Miami & area are epicenter.

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