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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 28
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 28

Maestro Schneider’s

Final Performance

14-19eventspage

FAREWELL CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. The Catskill Symphony Orchestra performs works by Beethoven, Rutter, followed by Maestro Charles Schneider’s farewell performance of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th movements of Symphony No. 5 by Dimitri Shostakovich followed by a reception. Tickets, $30. Hunt Union Ballroom, SUNY Oneonta. Call 607-436-2670 or visit catskillsymphony.net

BABY SHOWER – 9 a.m. – Noon. Annual community baby shower featuring information & mini-classes from providers on pregnancy, breastfeeding, fatherhood, babies, birth, breastfeeding, and beyond. Door prizes & games galore. FoxCare Center, Oneonta. Call 607-433-8000 or visit www.facebook.com/ofoinc/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JAN. 20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JAN. 20

Explore The Taste Of Wine

With Sommelier Chad Douglas

14-19eventspageWINE TASTING – 6 p.m. Join Sommelier Chad Douglass for this monthly class. This month’s theme is the Year of the Rooster and will be ringing in the Chinese new year. The Otesaga, 60 Lake St., Cooperstown. Info, www.otesaga.com/events

BLOOD DRIVE – 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Bassett Hall Auditorium, intersection of Beaver and Pioneer St., Cooperstown. Appointments, RedCrossBlood.org or call (607)547-3701

OPEN MIC – 5-9 p.m. Come perform yourself or support those who do. Sing up for a time slot on facebook. Club Odyssey, 22 Elm St., Oneonta. Info, www.facebook.com/ClubOdysseyOneonta/

FILM – 6:30-8:30 p.m. Showing “Arrival.” Cost $3. Red Dragon Theater, SUNY Oneonta. Info, oneonta.collegiatelink.net/events

THEATER – 8 p.m. Stuff of Dreams presents “Never Too Late.” Tickets @ Green Toad Book store or by calling (607)432-5407. Cost $15 adult, $12 senior and students, and $10 children 12 and under. Production Center of Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta.

FILM – 9-11 p.m. Showing “Arrival.” Cost $3. Red Dragon Theater, SUNY Oneonta. Info, oneonta.collegiatelink.net/events

CLICK FOR MORE HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO

Pro-Environment Groups Back 50-Job Farm Credit East Office

Pro-Environment Groups Back

50-Job Farm Credit East Office

Springfield Planning Board Moves Project Forward, Too
OCCA Environmental Planner Danny Lapin said his organization found no environmental concerns in Farm Credit East's project. At right are Mike Reynolds, a Cooperstown native who is Farm Credit regional vice president and, next to hm, CEO Bill Lipinski. To the left of Lapin are Springfield Town Supervisor Bill Elsey and county Rep. Keith McCarty, R-East Springfield. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
OCCA Environmental Planner Danny Lapin said his organization found no environmental concerns in Farm Credit East’s project. At right are Mike Reynolds, a Cooperstown native who is Farm Credit regional vice president and, next to hm, CEO Bill Lipinski. To the left of Lapin are Springfield Town Supervisor Bill Elsey and county Rep. Keith McCarty, R-East Springfield. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • for www.AllOTSEGO.com

CEO Bill Lipinski said Farm Credit East is an "equitable organization" that allocates 2 percent of net to community initiatives.
CEO Bill Lipinski said Farm Credit East is an “equitable organization” that allocates 2 percent of net to community initiatives.

SPRINGFIELD CENTER – Farm Credit East’s plans for a low-profiled 50-job office building just north of the Glimmerglass Festival on Route 80 this evening appeared to have won support of all the major local environmental advocates.

The project was also moved forward by the Town of Springfield Planning Board, which unanimously agreed to be lead agency in the SEQRA process; it then reviewed and approved Part II of the state Environmental Quality Review Act requirements.  Next month, the Planning Board is expected to act on a motion for a “negative declaration,” meaning the project will have little impact on the environment.

Harry Levine, Otsego Land Trustee chair, who was speaking on behalf of Advocates for Springfield, said he expects Farm Credit East will be a good neighbor.  “In simple terms,” he said, “we do support this project.”

HOMETOWN HISTORY, September 13, 2013

HOMETOWN HISTORY, September 13, 2013

125 Years Ago
Most of the stores owned by our Hebrew merchants were closed last Thursday night and they and their families observed the inception of the Jewish New Year. Thursday was the first day of Fishri, the first day of the year 5649, according to the reckoning of the Jewish calendar, and from then until after the tenth day of Fishri ensues the most solemn period of the year. Rosh Hashohah, day of remembrance, is celebrated with imposing ceremonies in the various synagogues. The penitential season which this day opens culminates on the 15th of September, which is the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur – a day of a resolute fast and the holiest of the year. Stores will close on Friday night at sundown and remain closed for 24 hours.
September 1888

100 Years Ago
Record gross earnings from rail operations may be predicted for the Delaware & Hudson Company this calendar year says the Wall Street Journal. Present prospects and the earnings of the first half of the calendar year indicate also the largest net in the company’s history. For the six months ended June 30, 1913, railroad operating revenue was $11,716,339. This compares with $10,135,354 in 1912; $10,210,804 in 1911, and $9,628,645 in 1910. In each of the three preceding calendar years gross was larger in the second than in the first half. Should this prove the case in the current year, railroad operating revenue for 12 months will run between $23,500,000 and $24,000,000. In no previous calendar year has it exceeded $22,500,000. The company’s net after taxes for six months in 1913 was within $162 of $4,000,000, comparing with $3,078,106 in 1912 and $3,476,970 in 1911. The 1912 earnings were low on account of the strike, but the gain over 1911 exceeds 15 percent.
September 1913

80 Years Ago
Frank D. Briggs of Jamaica Estates, Jamaica, Long Island, who is visiting at the home of his niece, Mrs. W. Clinton Noble of 274 Chestnut Street, was a former stagecoach driver on mail and passenger lines some 58 years ago around Oneonta, Cooperstown and Morris. His driving time with a two-horse team was four hours between Oneonta and Hartwick. A few days ago, a friend drove him between the two points in 20 minutes by automobile. At the age of 16 in 1875 Mr. Briggs entered the employ of L.P. Richmond of Morris, who had the mail contract between Cooperstown and Oneonta. He worked for Mr. Richmond three years until the contract expired. Leaving Cooperstown at 5 o’clock in the morning, Mr. Briggs’ schedule required that he reach Hartwick at 7 o’clock, Mt. Vision at 8:30 and Laurens at 9 o’clock. The mail was due in Oneonta between 10 and 10:30. About the same time was made on the return trip, the stage leaving here at 1 o’clock and reaching Cooperstown at 6 o’clock.
September 1933

60 Years Ago
Oneonta will be following the trend already established in Utica and other northern regions of the state when many local grocery stores will raise the price of bread from 19 cents a loaf to 20 cents. The Spaulding Bakery Co., the sole bread manufacturer in Oneonta, will hike the wholesale price on its nine varieties of bread one penny, according to Herbert G. Price, Manager. Ward’s, distributor of Tip-Top Bread, raised the price one cent on Tuesday in the Oneonta area. No price announcement has been made by two other wholesale bread distributors in the Oneonta area, Curly Top Bakeries, Inc. and the United Baking Co. The manager of the Spaulding Bakeries explained the increase of the wholesale bread price by stating that the cost of materials and ingredients in making bread has mounted over the past year.
September 1953

30 Years Ago
The city’s new Wilber Park pool created a big splash in its first season of use and made it through the summer with just a few minor problems, Assistant City Engineer Bruno Bruni said. “The main pool held up fine,” Bruni said, adding, “The wading pool was the one that gave us the most problems.” The wading pool was closed twice because of a broken part in the filtration system and on another occasion when there was a problem with chlorination. The cost of constructing the pool was $433,200. Attendance over the past summer reached nearly 45,000. More than 1,000 people turned out on several extremely hot days and holidays. The Common Council voted to keep the main Wilber Park pool open on weekends past Labor Day on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to dusk as long as weather permits. The wading pool was closed after Labor Day.
September 1983

20 Years Ago
Someday, people from all over the world will come to Oneonta to play soccer. They’ll play in a 10,000 seat stadium, or a larger indoor arena. They’ll stay in dormitories just a short walk from seven state-of-the-art playing fields and a huge museum honoring the world’s soccer legends. For 15 years, Oneonta’s Wright National Soccer Hall of Fame Campus was mostly talk, blueprints and the dream of a handful of local soccer enthusiasts. A promise of $4.5 million to build a stadium is an indication that other people believe in that dream. The state is also promising $250,000 to promote the Hall when World Cup games come to the U.S. next fall.
September 1993

10 Years Ago
The annual southbound migration of birds through the upper Susquehanna region and the Catskills has begun signaling the local Audubon Society’s hawk watch at the group’s sanctuary on Franklin Mountain near Oneonta. This season marks the 15th consecutive year of counting raptors at the site. “We get excellent numbers of red-tailed hawks and golden eagles,” said Andy Mason, conservation chair of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society. Franklin Mountain is considered one of the prime observation spots in the eastern United States for raptor species. The first wave of hawks is expected between September 10 and 21. Last year’s total count was 4,764 raptors of 15 different species, well above the 3,000 bird average.” Just the sight of one soaring eagle makes it all worthwhile,” Mason said.
September 2003

Dan Larkin, Retired Provost, Expert On Canals, NY History
IN MEMORIAM

Dan Larkin, Retired Provost,

Expert On Canals, NY History

The signature twinkle in F. Daniel Larkin's eye was evident in a portrait taken in May 2011 at the time of his retirement at SUNY Oneonta provost. SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski's office is on the fourth floor, northeast corner of the Netzer Administration Building; his was on the fourth floor, northwest corner. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
The signature twinkle in F. Daniel Larkin’s eye was evident in a portrait taken in May 2011 at the time of his retirement at SUNY Oneonta provost. SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski’s office is on the fourth floor, northeast corner of the Netzer Administration Building; his was on the fourth floor, northwest corner. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Editor’s Note:  Dan Larkin, the beloved former long-time provost and perhaps the last active faculty member who taught at Old Main, died Thursday, Oct. 2, at Fox Hospital.  He was 76.   He retired as provost at the end of June 2011, but continued to teach his popular course on New York State history until earlier this year.  Raised in Rome, the Erie Canal was one of his professional specialties.   Here is a profile published on May 27, 2011, when he stepped down at the campus’ top academic officer.

An uncharacteristically wistful Dr. Larkin leads the recessional for the last time at SUNY Oneonta's 2011 commencement.
An uncharacteristically wistful Dr. Larkin leads the recessional for the last time at SUNY Oneonta’s 2011 commencement.

ONEONTA – When young Dan Larkin arrived at SUNY Oneonta in 1965, he spent his first year teaching history scholars inside the now-long-gone “Old Main.”

The next year, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller launched his uber-ambitious plans for the SUNY system and, between 1966 and 1971, the Oneonta campus we know today rose on a wooded hillside.

When locals asked young Larkin where he worked and he told them, they would reply, “Oh, you’re up at the Normal School,” the original 1889 teachers’ college replaced by today’s multi-department institution of higher education. (Cavernous “Old Main,” site of today’s Old Main Apartments at the top of Elm Street, was demolished in 1977.)

That, as you might imagine, is just a fraction of the institutional memory F. Daniel Larkin, provost and vice president of academic affairs, has absorbed during his 46-year career, all of it – except 13 months at SUNY headquarters in Albany – in the City of the Hills. He is retiring at the end of June.

In all that time, there were many personal flashpoints, but one institutional flashpoint in particular: That day in 1996, soon after Larkin had been promoted to dean of continuing education, when then-president Alan Donovan gathered his team together and declared, “We’ve got to make some changes around here.”

Donovan was reacting to new data showing that only 60 percent of the freshman class was returning – many due to poor grades. In other words, he said in a separate interview, 400 of every 1,000 students were disappearing.  In the 15 years since, the retention rate has risen to 85 percent, Donovan said.

HOMETOWN HISTORY, November 16, 2012

HOMETOWN HISTORY, November 16, 2012

125 Years Ago
When found in the laboratory of his lamp factory in Newark, from which 4,000 lamps a day are now sent out, Thomas Edison said that the commercial phonograph is now the most interesting thing in the world to him. It is perfectly finished, and tools are being made for its manufacture upon a large scale. The stories which Edison tells of what his perfected phonograph will do are so extraordinary that he scarcely expects people to believe him, and yet he says that the apparatus is so simple, so effective, and so immediately useful that he is certain of its rapid introduction into business – far more certain than he was of the universal adoption of the telephone as a business instrument. “My phonograph I expect to see in every business office. The first five hundred will, I hope, be ready for distribution about the end of January. Their operation is simplicity itself and cannot fail. The merchant or clerk who wishes to send a letter has only to set the machine in motion, and to talk in his natural voice and at the usual rate of speed into the receiver. When he has finished, the sheet, or phonograph, as I call it, is ready for putting into the box made on purpose for the mails. We are making the sheets in three sizes – one for letters from 800-1,000 words; another size for 2,000 words; another size for 4,000 words. The receiver of a phonogram will put it into his apparatus, and the message will be given out more clearly, more distinctly, than the best telephone message ever sent.”
November 1887

80 Years Ago
The imperative necessity to the railroads of a cut in governmental costs and a resulting reduction in the national tax burden which now amounts to $14,500,000,000 billion or about $125 annually for every person in the country is stressed in a statement issued by Frederick E. Williamson, president of the New York Central lines. The 1931 taxes paid by the New York Central were 42.88 percent of the company’s net revenue from railway operations. This year, for the first eight months, tax accruals have risen to 51.63 percent or more than half of the company’s net revenue from railway operations. “Our taxes,” Williamson points out, “have reached a point where they are stifling the purchasing power of the railroads, which normally are the country’s largest single purchaser. As a result, many of the largest industries in the country, that normally employ many thousands, are suffering severely because of our inability and that of other railroads to purchase needed supplies even on a scale commensurate with our reduced traffic.”
November 1932
60 Years Ago
Advertisement – The Eight Friendly Shopping Services at Bresee’s – The purchase refund event: The drawing on our big Purchase Refund Event takes place every Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. – up to $5,000 refunded on ten sales slips. Parcel Checking – Make shopping more enjoyable by checking your parcels at our checking desk located on the second floor. Ladies Lounge – Ladies, relax while shopping in our newly decorated and comfortable lounge located on the second floor. Health Bar Restaurant – Meet your friends at the famous Health Bar Restaurant – famous for good food and courteous service. Public Address System – We are able to locate anyone at anytime over our Public Address System – also to bring you special announcements. Buy Now, Pay in January – To open a charge account, apply at Bresee’s Credit Office on the second floor. Do your shopping the easy way. Contract Plan – You pay as little as 15 percent down and the unpaid balance in monthly payments up to one year. Lay-Away Plan – You pay a small deposit and we will hold for you any item you wish to purchase.
November 1952

40 Years Ago
A committee appointed by President Nixon in 1971 to study the state of health education across the country reported its findings Wednesday. The committee’s overall conclusion is that “health education throughout America, especially in non-white areas, is a neglected, underfinanced, unhealthy, fragmented activity” which requires a major overhaul. The investigative committee, staffed with private health professionals, also found that “no agency, in or out of government, is responsible for establishing health education goals.” To remedy the problem, the committee recommends a major new commitment of federal money and a reallocation of current and future funding by federal, state, local and private sources so the money will be spent more wisely.
November 1972

30 Years Ago
Are the following statements true or false? Teachers tend to discipline boys more harshly than girls. Women are absent from jobs more often than men due to illness. Most young women do not need to plan careers as they will be homemakers. Most high school students feel that boys should pay the expenses on a date. Teachers talk more with girls than they do with boys. These questions are part of a game found in a program kit that examines expanding roles for young people and challenges youth to consider their own outlooks on sex-role stereotyping without pressure to change their minds. The program was pioneered through the Cornell Cooperative Extension.
November 1982

20 Years Ago
An Elmira high school junior was removed from school after she went to class with packaged condoms decorating her clothing and hair. Thursa Hargrove, 16, said she wore the prophylactics as both a statement for safe sex and fashion. “It was a fashion statement at first, but there are a lot of teenagers out there that are embarrassed about them,” said Hargrove, who is the mother of an 18-month-old son. “People need them and shouldn’t be embarrassed by them,” she said. But officials at Elmira Free Academy, a public school, said the wearing of condoms was distracting to other students.
November 1992

10 Years Ago
Big industry sank deeper into its slump, with production plunging in October by the largest amount in a year. Production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities dropped 0.8 percent from the previous month. However, most economists continue to believe the country will avoid falling back into a double-dip recession.
November 2002

ZAGATA: Renewables Not Ready To Replace Gas

Column by Mike Zagata for January 11, 2019

Renewables Not
Ready To Replace Gas

MIKE ZAGATA

Those who oppose using fossil fuels to provide the bulk of our energy needs without offering viable alternatives are depriving this and future generations of job opportunities. When our country attempts to keep our illegal immigrants seeking to enter our country illegally in pursuit of jobs, Nancy Pelosi and those aligned with her call it “immoral”. What should we call doing that to our own citizens?
When those opposed to fossil fuels argue against them, they point to their environmental impacts, especially their contribution to “climate change” and laud renewables as being “pure” when it comes to the environment. Is that really the case?

Paula DiPerna Testifies Before Congress

FULL TEXT APPEARS HERE

Renewable-Energy

Stocks Keeping Up

With Fossil Fuels’

Cooperstown’s DiPerna Testifies

Before Congressional Committee

Editor’s Note:  This is the full written testimony submitted to the House Natural Resources Committee after Paula DiPerna of Coopertown, a CDP-North America special adviser, testified on Feb. 6 in Washington D.C. on the growing  prowess of renewables in energy-related investments.  A longtime local resident, DiPerna ran for Congress in 1992 for the district that included Otsego County.

Paula DiPerna testifies Feb. 6 before the Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington D.C.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify here today on climate change and the recognition of its economic importance among businesses, investors, and consumers—all, of course, constituents. No doubt the CDP Platform has a touch point with all the states represented here on the Committee and I thank you for your service to the nation.

Railyard Foes Derail $2M In Good News

FROM TODAY’S HOMETOWN ONEONTA,

ON CITY NEWSSTANDS THIS AFTERNOON

Railyard Foes Derail

$2M In Good News

Herzig’s Plea – Work Together – Falls

On Deaf Ears In Packed Foothills Theater

Otsego 2000 Technical Adviser Keith Schue, Cherry Valley, distributes a map of wetlands in the former D&H yards to Common Council members at last evening’s public hearing at Foothills. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By PATRICK WAGER & JIM KEVLIN • From Hometown Oneonta

Only Seth Clark, the Common Council candidate who operates a student-rental company, spoke about need for more jobs to alleviate local poverty.

ONEONTA – In his 2019 State of the State speech, Mayor Gary Herzig Tuesday, March 5, said everyone wants to get to “net zero,” but – “please” – don’t oppose a plan for the D&H railyards “to create much-needed jobs.”

Particularly, “while we go about enjoying our indoor tennis courts, gyms, swimming pools and theaters – all  heated with gas.  These are not the values of the people of the City of Oneonta,” he said.

The plea fell on 112 sets of deaf ears.

This was supposed to be a celebratory evening, with Herzig and former mayor Kim Muller, who chaired the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) committee, announcing $2 million in grants for façade improvements, signage and redevelopment of upper floors for housing in the city’s downtown.

Railyard Foes Derail $2M In Good News

Railyard Foes Derail $2M In Good News

Herzig Pleads: Work Together

By PATRICK WAGER
& JIM KEVLIN

Ian Austin/HOMETOWN – ONEONTA Common Council candidate Seth Clark, who runs a student rental business, was the only speaker who said, due to poverty, the city needs “hundreds of jobs.”
Mayor Herzig

ONEONTA – In his 2019 State of the State speech, Mayor Gary Herzig Tuesday, March 5, said everyone wants to get to “net zero,” but – “please” – don’t oppose a plan for the D&H railyards “to create much-needed jobs.”
Particularly, “while we go about enjoying our indoor tennis courts, gyms, swimming pools and theaters – all heated with gas. These are not the values of the people of the City of Oneonta,” he said.
The plea fell on 112 sets of deaf ears.
This was supposed to be a celebratory evening, with Herzig and former mayor Kim Muller, who chaired the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) committee, announcing $2 million in grants for façade improvements, signage and redevelopment of upper floors for housing in the city’s downtown.
But as speaker after speaker – 30 in all, speaking for three minutes each – criticized the GEIS (generic environmental impact statement) on a multi-million-dollar plan to redevelop the 88-acre D&Y Railyards, time ran out and no announcement occurred.

HOMETOWN HISTORY

HOMETOWN HISTORY

April 5, 2019

150 Years Ago

News from Delaware County – The school moneys for Franklin for the current year amount to $2,438. The “goodbye card” of Professor Jewell will interest all friends of the Institute at Franklin. It is a matter of deep regret that his valuable services could not continue in that prominent school.
Hay is scarce in many parts of the county. The lack of hay is made up with western corn and other coarse grains.
The old courthouse at Delhi was sold at auction last week, at $605, Judge Palmer as President of the village being the buyer.
A large black bear was killed near Shavertown a few weeks ago by Ichabod Sprague and Robert Ruff, which dressed 400 pounds of clean meat. The hide brought $25. The Delaware Mountains are “some” on bears, panthers, wild cats and such.

April 1869

100 Years Ago

About 50 members of the English classes of the Oneonta High School met last evening at the Methodist Episcopal Church and enjoyed dinner served by a committee composed of five ladies of the church with Mrs. G.J. Dann as Chairman. After the dinner toasts were responded to by about 15 of those present. Velmore Campbell, editor of the high school publication “The Echo” acted as toastmaster in an exceedingly clever manner. The purpose of the event was to acquaint the English students with “how it feels” to make an “after-dinner” speech. It was indeed rare to find any trace of “stage fright,” the six students giving their addresses in a manner which reflects credit upon their instructor, Miss Thompson.
About 200 dogs have been licensed at the City Clerk’s office. Owners of dogs who have not secured and placed the tags on the collars of their canines need not be surprised if the animals are gathered up by the officers enforcing the quarantine. They have secured in all about 50 dogs, of whom all but one has been redeemed.

April 1919

Fox Golf Tourney Raises $50,000 For Ultrasound

Fox Golf Tourney Raises

$50,000 For Ultrasound

With a low net of 54, the Bank of Cooperstown team won last week’s Fox Foundation annual tournament, which raised $50,000 for a new ultrasound. From left are Kyle Liner, Bob Gouldin and Ray Holohan. (Missing from photo is Josh Burden.)

ONEONTA – The Fox Hospital Foundation’s 20th Annual Golf Classic at the Oneonta Country Club on June 24 raised more than $50,000 toward a new ultrasound machie in the Department of Surgical Services.

“We are incredibly grateful,” said Sarah Abbatine, Fox Foundation fundraising coordinator.   In all, 27 donors and 140 golfers participated.

Tennis Club Goes Private, Aims To Train The Future

FUNDRAISING UNDERWRITES LESSONS

Tennis Club Goes Private,

Aims To Train The Future

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Pro Paul Catan serves at the Oneonta Tennis Club. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

ONEONTA – In 2017, Phyllis Orlowski discovered a worrisome trend in Oneonta in 2017: not many kids knew or were learning how to play tennis. There was no equipment, like racquets, balls and ball hoppers available and there was no motivation to even plat the sport.

In July, Oneonta High School’s Varsity Tennis coach, who commutes from Cooperstown, she began reversing that trend, running a three-week tennis camp on Wilber Park’s courts. Providing racquets, balls, and ball hoppers like those that can be seen here, many children wanted to participate. The 80 K-12 participants paid $10 each.

The United States Tennis Association’s Eastern Division was so impressed with Orlowski’s efforts, it declared her “Organizer of the Month” in August.

“It’s such an honor,” she said. “This is a really big deal that can help draw more attention and support for making tennis more accessible to children in the area.”

With its own membership declining, the Oneonta Tennis Club is seeking to replicate Orlowski’s success.

Last weekend, the club held a Charity Doubles Tournament to raise money for its new clinic for kids ages 5 to 10. The funds mean families will only pay $5 per child for a 45-minute lesson, taught by tennis pro Paul Catan.

“Tennis is expensive to learn – the lessons, equipment, entry fees for tournaments,” Catan said. “We’re trying to remove that barrier and make tennis accessible to more kids.”

Orlowski believed the decline in youth tennis began after City Hall stopped funding a summer tennis camp, which provided 10 weeks of free lessons to kids. But she didn’t realize the impact until 2017 when, after a nine-year hiatus, she returned to coaching OHS’ varsity team.

Pro Paul Catan walks off the Oneonta Tennis Club’s outdoor courts on Rose Avenue.

“I struggled to put together a competitive tennis team that year,” she said. “The kids didn’t know how to play tennis anymore. I had to do something.”

Young people need to be introduced to the game as early as possible, so they can play competitively by the time they entered high school, Orlowski said. If they start young then they will also have a passion for the sport that’s needed to put in the hours of training required. A young tennis player must be willing to visit sites comparing all the best racquets (learn more about this here) and train in their free time so they can get the advantage. But how to make it affordable?

Last year, “I reached out to Jenny Irwin, the head of the U.S. Tennis Association’s Eastern Division,” she said. “She told me about USTA grants I could apply for, so I applied for one and was awarded a $5,000 grant.”

Orlowski also found out about USTA’s youth tennis program, Net Generation, which “provides curricula and equipment tailored for all ages and abilities, so kids of all ages learn tennis skills and have fun doing it.”

“Net Generation hides skills in their lessons, so kids learn them without realizing it,” she said. “And they tailor it for different age groups.

“For instance, five year-old kids use large racquets and small red balls that don’t bounce much because they can’t even bounce a ball at that age.”

But Orlowski said it was Mary-Margaret Sohns, founder of the nonprofit Cooperstown Tennis, who made the Oneonta tennis summer camp happen.

“Mary-Margaret used Cooperstown Tennis to cover the required $1 million safety insurance camp,” said Orlowski. “Without that, we couldn’t have done the camp.”

Sohns “insisted the summer camp be taught by tennis pros, so she ‘donated’ Cooperstown Tennis’ instructors Jorge Falla and his son Sebastian, who are pros from Colombia.”

The Oneonta Tennis Club faces more challenges in funding affordable lessons, since it is a private, for-profit organization and the USTA only funds nonprofits’ and public schools’ tennis programs.

But Catan will begin teaching the youth clinics for 5- to 10-year-olds on Tuesdays, 3 to 3:45 p.m. And because the club has two indoor tennis courts – the only indoor courts in Otsego County – kids can learn and play tennis all winter long.

“There’s a real need out there for kids to just get the exposure to play tennis,” he said.

BROCK: Renewables, Not Gas Cleaner Way To Go
LETTER from BRIAN BROCK

Renewables, Not Gas

Cleaner Way To Go

To the Editor:

The preliminary estimate of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions for 2018 is up 3.4 percent, reversing the recent downward trend.

What is more, arguing that burning methane is better than coal because it releases less carbon dioxide conveniently neglects that the entire gas infrastructure leaks methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.  (Conveniently that is for that argument, not for the environment.)  Like carbon dioxide, methane in the atmosphere shows an upward climb.

Unproven is that the conversion from coal to gas decreases the net greenhouse gas emissions. (However, the lack of residual coal ash is a great environmental benefit and gas is cheaper.)  Increasing atmospheric concentration of methane flattened in the first years of this century, but resumed its upward climb with the boom in the natural gas industry as it tapped into shale reservoirs.

In contrast, there will be tremendous reductions in greenhouse gas emissions with the switching from fossil fuels to renewable energies.

Objecting to the subsidies for renewables overlooks the far larger subsidies that the fossil fuel industry has accrued over the decades.  And these don’t foster a fledgling industry, a long-standing practice in the United States, but instead fatten the bottom line of established companies at the expense of our country.

The boost to our economy for conversion from coal to gas pales in comparison to the boost from fossil fuels to renewables.

As becomes clearer with each passing year, the arguments for fossil fuels, including gas, are based on selective presentations that just don’t hold up to scrutiny. Net benefits are not just fiction but fantasy.

And there’s the irony of those who once argued against restrictions on the burning of methane because there’s no manmade global warming, now argue against restrictions because burning methane will lessen that same global warming.

BRIAN BROCK

Franklin

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