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WILCOX: 2nd Amendment Relic Of Early Republic


2nd Amendment Relic

Of Early Republic

To the Editor:

Otsego County is facing a proposal to declare this county a “gun sanctuary.” This would mean that our county board would ban compliance with the Safe Act passed by the state Legislature in 2013.

That act promoted, among other things, background checks, banning assault weapons, and limiting ammunition. It was not anti-gun, rather it was pro-gun safety.

However, the Safe Act has been perceived as a violation of Second Amendment rights by citizens who feel that guns are a vital part of their protective system and feel their right to buy any gun and any amount of ammunition is being blocked.

They cite this Amendment as if it were intended to be unchangeable for all time. They seem unaware that the Constitution was drawn up in the turbulent period of seeking independence from England’s exploitive hold on its colonies in the New World.

Too, the war for independence relied not only on the Continental Army but well-armed militias.

Though the Constitution reflected important visionary, democratic rights, there were flaws in it such as lack of democratic regard for women and African-Americans. It was not a perfect, untouchable document. In fact, amendments were soon being made.

The Second Amendment was in the historical context of relying on well-armed militias to defeat lingering efforts of English troops to subdue the rebellious colonials, a condition that no longer prevails.

Yet, pro-gun citizens abetted by the National Rifle Association seem to believe the Second Amendment simply established forever the inalienable right to own guns and ammunition with no restrictions.

Fast forward, and we have a supposedly sane, First World country like the U.S. condoning its populace being armed by guns and unlimited ammunition, even those designed for warfare. This condoning of the vast arsenal of guns in our country ignores evidence that the more guns possessed in any country, the more deaths there will be by gunfire.
No wonder we are among the seven countries of the world with the highest rate of death by gunfire from murder, accident, suicide and mass shootings. It is as if we extol weapons of mass destruction.

Please, let us not take a step backward from the Safe Act by becoming a “gun sanctuary.” We accept many restrictions for car ownership and operation. Why? It lowers the motor vehicle death rate by making driving safer. Why should we not accept similar restrictions about guns?


R. Helen Davis, 95; RN’s Parents Immigrants From Finland

IN MEMORIAM:  R. Helen Davis, 95;

RN’s Parents Immigrants From Finland

FLY CREEK – In the early morning hours of Saturday, April 4, 2020, R. Helen Davis, a long-time resident of Fly Creek, retired registered nurse and cherished mother, passed peacefully with family by her side. She was 95 and the last of the Finnish area immigrants residing in Otsego County.

Born July 27, 1924, in a farmhouse off Harrison Hill Road in Mount Vision, she lived her earliest years there, later moving with her family to a Route 205 farmhouse closer to Mount Vision village. Her parents, Jaakko and Anna (Veikkolainen) Puputti, immigrated by ships (the White Star Line “Cedric” and the Scandinavian American Line “United States”) from Jaakima, Finland, in 1905 and 1913, respectively, entering America through Ellis Island. Their names were later immortalized there on the Immigrant Wall of Honor.

R. Helen Davis, 95; RN’s Parents Immigrants From Finland

IN MEMORIAM:  R. Helen Davis, 95;

RN’s Parents Immigrants From Finland

FLY CREEK – In the early morning hours of Saturday, April 4, 2020, R. Helen Davis, a long-time resident of Fly Creek, retired registered nurse and cherished mother, passed peacefully with family by her side. She was 95 and the last of the Finnish area immigrants residing in Otsego County.

Born July 27, 1924, in a farmhouse off Harrison Hill Road in Mount Vision, she lived her earliest years there, later moving with her family to a Route 205 farmhouse closer to Mount Vision village. Her parents, Jaakko and Anna (Veikkolainen) Puputti, immigrated by ships (the White Star Line “Cedric” and the Scandinavian American Line “United States”) from Jaakima, Finland, in 1905 and 1913, respectively, entering America through Ellis Island. Their names were later immortalized there on the Immigrant Wall of Honor.

A House Full Of Heroes Survived

A House Full Of

Heroes Survived

Joseph Andrecheck, who rose to rank of lieutenant colonel, served in the Eighth Air Force in a B-17 Flying Fortress like this one, “Reich’s Ruin.” He then volunteered for Project Aphrodite, focused
on destroying the feared German V2 rockets.

By TERRY BERKSON • Special to

Jim Andrecheck, South Columbia, described the
action he and his four brothers saw during World War II. All returned alive. He was awarded French Medal of Honor.

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – At a Vets’ Club dinner several years ago, Jim Andrecheck, who lives in South Columbia just outside of Richfield Springs, began to tell stories about his combat experiences during World War II.

What was amazing to hear was that he had four more brothers who had comparable harrowing experiences – and they all lived to tell about them.

His oldest brother Thomas enlisted before the war started but wound up spending three years in bomb-ravaged England working as an airplane mechanic. “Tom was kind of a daredevil on a motorcycle,” Jim says.

He achieved the rank of master sergeant and was honorably discharged after the war. Thomas retired to Florida, where he died in 1994. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The second oldest brother, Joseph, enlisted and was assigned to the Eighth Air Force. He became a pilot on a B-17 and was stationed in England during the war. Before the war, Joseph liked to box and play baseball, Jim says.

After completing 35 missions, Joseph took part in Project Aphrodite that was manned by volunteers. The goal was to knock out the nearly indestructible launching sites for German V2 rockets that were considered a great threat to American security.

The plan was to have the pilots bail out while another plane would then radio fly the fatigued but explosive-laden B-17 bombers directly into the target.

Joseph bailed out over the English Channel and shortly after he was picked up, the ship he was on fell under attack by German submarines.

Joseph Kennedy Jr. was one of the pilots killed during the Navy’s participation in this desperate mission. Joseph Andrecheck pursued a career in the military and after 22 years of service he was honorably discharged with the rank of lieutenant colonel and retired in Florida where he lived for the rest of his life.

Robert was the last brother to enter the military. He joined the Marine Corps in 1944.
When he tried to enlist in Utica, officials turned him down because four of his brothers were already overseas. So, Robert went to Albany and succeeded in signing up.

He served as a rifleman in the Pacific and participated in action on Okinawa. “At home we called him Beaver because he used to do a lot of trapping,” Jim says.

Robert witnessed the aftermath of the bombing of Nagasaki while the city was still smoldering. He was honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of corporal. He died in 1981 of cancer possibly due to his exposure at Nagasaki. He was laid to rest at St. Joseph’s cemetery in Richfield Springs.

Frank, the youngest of the brothers (I’m saving Jim for last) was drafted into the service in 1943 and reenlisted after his first tour of duty.

During the war he served for 28 months in the 554th Anti-Aircraft Battalion that was active in Africa, Italy, Corsica, France and Germany. “I remember in civilian life Frank had this contraption he used to improve his speech – for what reason I don’t remember,” Jim says scratching his head.

Frank was a cannoneer on a 40mm gun and was awarded five battle stars. He achieved the rank of staff sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1953 from the Army Air Corp. He retired and lived out his senior years in California.

Last and least of the five brothers in stature was Jim. “They called me the runt,” he says.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1939 and was with the 25th Bomb Squadron in Panama when war was declared. He was sent to Ecuador for a year and later to North Africa and then on to Italy.

He served as a flight engineer and a ball turret gunner on a B-24 bomber.

“The assistant flight engineer was supposed to man the ball turret gun, but I fit in there better – so we switched,” Jim says with a chuckle. “I was putting myself in the hot seat, but I didn’t mind.”

He flew 50 missions, incredibly with the same crew, missions described by the military as battles of great intensity where many men and air ships were lost.

Over Steyr, Austria, Jim’s crew had orders to bomb a ball-bearing factory. They were in a “Tail-End-Charlie” formation that consisted of seven planes.

“The German anti-aircraft fire was very heavy,” Jim says. “And their fighters and JU-88 bombers were on us.”

In a short time, six of the seven American air ships were knocked down. One engine on Jim’s plane was failing and had to be feathered and the fuselage was riddled with holes.

The tail-end gunner was saved from flak by his parachute and the navigator, in his flak suit, was hit by a shell that didn’t explode. “The skipper ordered us to bail out but none of us liked the idea of jumping into the unknown, so we stayed with the ship and tried for home.”

By that time the smoke from the demolished factory was rising higher than Jim’s B-24. The plane barely made it back to the base, landing on one nose wheel and one big wheel. The other was blown out.

Later, Jim counted 365 holes in the plane. His crew was later recommended for the Distinguished Flying Cross but somehow the paperwork slipped through the cracks.

Jim is now 99 years old. Of the war he says, “I’m thankful that I got through it – that all my brothers got through it without a scratch. It was the greatest adventure of my life, though at the time I didn’t know it.”

Nine years ago Jim traveled to West Point where he and 50 other men received the French Medal of Honor for participating in the bombing of German occupied France in preparation for the landing at Normandy.

Jim Andrecheck has made some inquiries as to why he and his fellow crew members never got the Distinguished Flying Cross, for which they were recommended.

Now, he just hopes that one day a letter from Uncle Sam will arrive and instead of beginning with “Greetings!” It might start with, “We forgot something. . .”

“If I ever get that medal,” says Andrecheck, I’ll probably put it in a drawer—but it’ll be good to know that it’s there.” What Jim can’t put in a drawer is the aura of hero that he and his brothers carry with them.

Jim achieved the rank of master sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1945.

He is now retired and lives with his polka partner and wife Mary who he likes to say “makes the best cherry pies in the world.”

New Mozart ‘Flute’ ‘Completely Magical’

New Mozart ‘Flute’ ‘Completely Magical’

Review by PAT THORPE for

Sean Panikkar as Tamino and So Young Park as Queen of the Night in The Glimmerglass Festival's 2015 production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." (Karli Cadel/The Glimmerglass Festival)
Sean Panikkar as Tamino and So Young Park as Queen of the Night in The Glimmerglass Festival’s 2015 production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” (Karli Cadel/The Glimmerglass Festival)

“The Marriage of Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” “Cosi fan Tutti” – in five years, Mozart and collaborator Lorenzo Da Ponte produced one hit show after another and changed the shape of opera forever.

But by 1791, Da Ponte was gone and Mozart began working with friend and fellow Freemason Emmanuel Schikaneder on a comic fairy tale for the general public, not just the Viennese elite, a return to the singspiel form of some of Mozart’s early works, using German with spoken dialogue and broad slapstick comedy.

The music ranges from rustic folk songs to tinkling glockenspiel, melting romantic melodies to spectacular coloratura that still challenges singers today.

The Glimmerglass Festival’s new “Magic Flute” is a thorough updating and reworking of Mozart’s classic.  Kelley Rourke, Glimmerglass’ adept dramaturge, has produced a swiftly moving English translation that is both witty and poetic.

Gone are the unintelligible references to Freemason myth and ritual, replaced here by the religion of scientific exploration.  Gone are the sexist and racist attitudes of the original, replaced by welcome themes of diversity and the redemptive power of natural beauty.

The time is the present, although the setting is timeless.  As director Madeline Sayet explains, “Our ‘Magic Flute’ is not a journey to a fantastical other world, but a way of looking more deeply into the real place we live in, the woods around Glimmerglass, if only you open your eyes wide enough.”

The trees on stage will definitely open your eyes; created by set designer Troy Hourie, they are a dominant feature of the production, resourceful and very active.

The “Magic Flute” plot is the classic hero’s journey from confusion to enlightenment, with challenges from monsters (human and otherwise), aid from sidekicks, failures of faith, and a beautiful girl in need of rescue.

The opera’s hero, Tamino, ably brought to life by tenor Sean Panikkar, is a handsome, square-jawed master of the urban universe lost in the woods. His reluctant sidekick Papageno, a hunter hilariously outfitted in camouflage and blaze orange, is played by Ben Edquist with such irresistibly funny physical comedy that you hardly notice what a fine voice he has.

Pamina, our heroine, is trapped in a particularly modern situation, the focus of a bitter custody battle between her mother, the villainous Queen of the Night, and the enigmatic Sarastro, an impressive Soloman Howard.

Jacqueline Echols, a feisty but also poignant Pamina, is back for her third season at Glimmerglass, this time as a star, bringing grace and spirit and a rich soprano to her role.  So Young Park, a diabolical beauty as the Queen, hurls her high Fs like lightning bolts.

This is a thoroughly family friendly production, an inviting opportunity for newcomers to enter the world of opera, as well as the world of the forest.  The supporting cast and the (mostly offstage) chorus are uniformly excellent, energetic and appealing.   As always, Mozart’s music is sublime.  Add to that a stage full of lively trees and vibrant young performers and Glimmerglass has a completely magical new “Flute.”

IN REMEMBRANCE: Sam Nader’s Century: ‘Mr. Oneonta’  Turns 100


Sam Nader’s Century:

‘Mr. Oneonta’ Turns 100

Remember Mayor Who Brought Yankees Here

George Steinbrenner, on leaving baseball, wrote Sam Nader, “They say, ‘All good things must come to an end.’ That will never apply to our friendship, I pray.” (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO,.com)

Editor’s Note:  In remembrance of “Mr. Oneonta,” who passed away yesterday, here is “Sam Nader’s Century,” a profile of the beloved former mayor and baseball entrepreneur that appeared on his 100th birthday in July 2019.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

ONEONTA – Sam Nader’s life is one great story after another.

Sam’s pal Ted Williams played golf, too.

Here’s a favorite one, about playing golf at the Oneonta Country Club with Hall of Famers Bobby Doerr and the legendary Ted Williams, and the club champion at the time.

Sam played one of the best 18 holes of his life.

“Bobby had a 76 – 3 under par,” Nader, who will turn 100 on July 8, recalled the other day.  “I was 4 over par.  We took them for 10 bucks.”

Ted Williams was so incensed, he broke five clubs – a golf club set – over his knee.  (The Red Sox legend was working for Shakespeare, the quality golf-club maker, so he made good.)

With a laugh, Sam continued: Every time he would see Bobby Doerr and a Hall of Fame event in Cooperstown, the former Oneonta mayor and owner of the Oneonta Yankees would say, “Let’s go up to see Ted and see if he remembers.”

Caroline Carter, Rotary’s Choice, Will Spend Year On Cote d’Azure

Rotary Chooses Caroline Carter

To Spend Year On Cote d’Azure

Caroline Carter
Caroline Carter

ONEONTA – The Oneonta Rotary Club has awarded the prestigious Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship to Caroline Carter from Oneonta High School.  She will be leaving in August for Toulon, France, on the Cote d’Azure.

Caroline’s host family has a son who also received a Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship and is going to Japan.

Otsego Has Jobs; No One To Do Them


Otsego Has Jobs;

No One To Do Them

However, Workforce Training $$,

‘Knowledge Economy’ Offer Hope

Chris Chase, president of Directive, the Oneonta technology company, contributes in a breakout session on attracting “knowledge workers” at today’s Workforce Summit. He is flanked by Directive’s Kristen Velasco, left, and Kerri Green, new president of Commerce Chenango, the chamber or commerce there. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Madhuril Kommareddi, new director of the Cuomo Administration’s Office of Workforce Development, reports on a “historic” $176 million allocation.

ONEONTA  – Otsego County has more jobs than workers to do them.

That message surfaced from a number of presenters at today’s Pathways to Prosperity, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s second annual Workforce Summit at SUNY Oneonta’s Morris Hall:

  • Madhuril Kommareddi, Governor Cuomo’s new Workforce Development director, appointed in May, reported the Upstate unemployment rate is 3.8 percent – 4 percent is considered “full employment.” With that in mind, she said, the focus needs to be on “employer-driven skills,” training people for specific skills for jobs that aren’t being filled.
  • “There are a lot of jobs to fill, and not a lot of candidates to fill them,” said Perry Dewey, DCMO BOCES superintendent, who served on a panel with two other BOCES’ superintendents, Nick Savin and Sandra Sherwood. Within 25 miles of Sidney, Dewey reported, there are 800 available jobs, and 20 percent of workers are due to retire within five years.
  • “Our challenge now is our low unemployment rate,” echoed Christian Harris, the state Department of Labor’s market analyst for Otsego County. He also reported that the number of jobs available in the county has dropped from 26,000 to 22,000, although economist now view the county as a “job growth” area.

HOMETOWN History: May 31, 2019


May 31, 2019

150 Years Ago

On Sunday afternoon last, Mark Hemstreet, a small boy, went into the barn of Harvey Baker with matches, and soon after the barn was discovered to be on fire. The flames spread with such rapidity among the hay and other combustible material as soon to place it beyond rescue and it was totally consumed with the corn house adjoining.
A barn belonging to D. Rose, another to Abner A. Walling and a small building of Horace McCall’s were also destroyed. The loss of Mr. Baker, in buildings, hay, grain, tools, is fully $1,000; that of Mr. Rose $250; and Mr. Walling’s about $100. A valuable horse of Mr. Baker’s was rescued by engineer LaFountain of the A. & S. R.R. G.W. Ingalls was struck on the head by a piece of falling timber and severely hurt. The pulling down of one or two small buildings prevented the spread of the fire toward the river, and there being no wind it was easily kept from the houses on Main Street by the care and vigilance of the pail brigade wherein both women and men did good service. The old fogy engine reached the ground too late to put out the fire, a sad comment on our stingy village. We need a Fire Department and public liberality to keep it up.

May 1869

125 Years Ago

A few only of the forty-five oil paintings exhibited last week by Professor and Mrs. J.B. Morse of Utica were sold in Oneonta, and none at all at the auction. The pictures were really fine examples of landscape and still life, and should Mr. Morse come again to this town he will doubtless be more liberally patronized.
Some sixty trout, large, speckled, and tempting alike to sight and palate, attracted every eye to the show window of Moore’s drug store last Thursday. The fish were a part only of the catch of Mssrs. D.F. Wilber and George E. Moore, who returned that day from a week’s outing in the Adirondacks with Albany friends.

May 1894

100 Years Ago

National Suffrage for women was endorsed by the House of Representatives for the second time today when the Susan B. Anthony amendment resolution was adopted by a vote of 304 o 89. Supporters of the measure immediately arranged to carry their fight to the Senate, where, although twice defeated the last session, they are confident of obtaining the necessary two-thirds vote. The victory for the suffrage forces today was 42 votes more than the required two-thirds. House leaders of both parties in the brief debate preceding today’s vote, urged favorable action, but many Southern Democrats opposed the measure, as did several New England Republicans. The political division of the vote showed that 200 Republicans, 102 Democrats, one Independent, and one Prohibitionist voted for adoption while the negative poll showed 70 Democrats and 19 Republicans. Speaker Gillett did not vote.

May 1919

60 Years Ago

Presbyterians, always prone to tangle with social issues, received recommendations for action at the denomination’s General Assembly in Indianapolis. The recommendations for action included: 1. Approval of birth control. 2. Condemnation of laws restricting groups seeking racial desegregation such as the NAACP which has been outlawed or penalized in some “deep” South states. 3. Opposition to federal spending which props up local and state patterns of racial segregation. 4. Support for passage of state fair housing legislation, barring racial discrimination in sale or rental of dwellings and greater efforts by the church to rid itself of racial barriers. 5. Disapproval of so-called “Right to Work” laws, now prevailing in 18 states as detrimental to labor-management cooperation, and 6. An appeal for abolition of capital punishment described as useless in reducing crime and contrary to the Christian duty to seek redemption of evil doers and not their death.

May 1959

40 Years Ago

For the second time in two weeks firemen from Garrattsville and Hartwick were turned out to fight a barn fire. A blaze of suspicious origin according to officials completely destroyed a two-story barn on the Clyde Telfer property on Harrington Road in the Town of New Lisbon. Hartwick fireman Mike Basile discovered the fire about 11:30 p.m. and immediately notified his department. They responded with all apparatus and about 30 men. They also summoned Garrattsville firemen who responded with all of their apparatus and about 20 men. A tractor and old wagon were lost. This was the second barn fire the two departments have responded to within the past 14 days. About a quarter mile down the road, a barn on the property of New York City resident Sidney Friedman was destroyed.

May 1979

20 Years Ago

Gun control advocates afraid of losing momentum after successes last week in the Senate asked House GOP leaders Tuesday for votes this week on the measures. Republican replied that they won’t be rushed to vote until mid-June. House speaker Dennis Hastert and Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde expressed support in broad terms for the new restrictions on gun sales voted by the Senate. “We support common sense legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of unsupervised children,” Hastert said in a floor speech.

May 1999

10 Years Ago

A national trend of patients deferring health care is reflected in hospitals and medical offices in Otsego County according to local hospital administrators. The recession has
meant patients think twice about elective care or making
trips to an emergency room. Delaying treatment has a negative impact on revenues for hospitals and health care networks, which rely on income and reimbursements for providing services. “Our revenue is all driven off some sort of patient encounter,” said Mark Wright, vice president for finance at Fox Hospital. “This is unlike anything we’ve seen in the last 25 years.” “We’re okay at the moment,” said Dr. William Streck, chief executive officer at Bassett Healthcare. “But, there are no guarantees.” The two institutions announced in March that talks started last year about sharing services.

May 2009

Matt Hazzard Told: You’re Cancer Free

Matt Hazzard Told:

You’re Cancer Free

Ordeal Over For Chamber Executive

We won! No one fights alone and we did it together! I can officially say, that I am cancer free! My wife and I can’t thank everyone enough. Rather than type my thoughts, I figured I would record what I am feeling. Please share with everyone you can. All of us are affected by cancer in some way, and hopefully this can show others it can be done!!! Thank you to Mike Millea, Jen, and Elizabeth Millea for being there with Stephanie Hazzard and I today!

Posted by Matthew Hazzard on Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Matt Hazzard posted this video yesterday announcing the good news: He is cancer-free after a 10-month ordeal.

COOPERSTOWN – Matt Hazzard, the youthful executive director of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, announced yesterday on his Facebook page that he is cancer-free less than a year after being struck with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

“I could not ask for a better way to end to 2015,” Matt said today in a followup e-mail to Chamber members when, following a PET scan, doctors advised him of his recovery.

“All of the support that the entire membership of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce has provided me during this battle has been incredible,” he continued.  “This entire community rallied behind me, and showed the true spirit our community has.  All of you are operating your own small businesses, and the time you took to support us will be something I will never forget.”


Presenting ‘Of Mice And Men’


THEATER – 8 p.m. Presenting a performance of “Of Mice and Men.” Tickets, $17/adult. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. Call 607-431-2080 or visit

MOVIE NIGHT – 7 – 8:30 p.m. Screening of “Landfill Harmonic,” a film about ‘The Recycled Orchestra,’ a group of children from a Paraguayan slum who play instruments made entirely of garbage. Milford Central School, 42 Main St., Milford. Call 607-547-4488 or visit


If Johnson City, Then Why Not Cooperstown?


If Johnson City, Then

Why Not Cooperstown?

Editor’s Note: Oneonta’s City Hall is actively helping private developers revive its downtown, but downstate developers are starting to recognize a demand for housing Upstate and seeking to fill the need. Per this report on, might someone consider Cooperstown’s vacant downtown CVS as an opportunity?

A New York City developer has been lured to Johnson City, near Binghamton, to construct an apartment house on a site similar to the CVS in Cooperstown’s downtown.

JOHNSON CITY – A New York City developer has plans to build a three-story, multi-family apartment building in Johnson City.
Praveen Kamath, founder and managing member of AOM Investments LLC, broke ground Wednesday, May 15, for the LOFTS@JC project at 128 Grand Ave.

The total estimated project cost is more than $6 million, the Agency said in a Thursday news release.

Crews will build the new apartment complex at the site of the “abandoned” Dollar Bazaar location, which will be demolished, per the news release.

This site has sat vacant for a number of years and has “contributed to the blight” in Johnson City, the Agency said. The project will bring new tax revenue and “much needed” housing availability to the village of Johnson City.

CHARTOCK: It’s No Fun Jousting With Another Cuomo


It’s No Fun Jousting

With Another Cuomo

Governor Cuomo at Manhattan’s Battery Park.

It’s fun to watch Andrew Cuomo. He knows that his father lost his try for a fourth term in office. To be fair, he didn’t lose by a lot and it was a very Republican year.

Alan Chartock

On the other hand, Andrew has to worry that people can get tired of having the same guy in office year after year. So, Andrew is on the warpath.

I have been speaking with him a lot lately on the radio and I’m here to tell you the guy gets angry when he is challenged. Nothing gets by him.

If someone is mad about having to pay $25 for a new license plate and is blaming him for it, he doesn’t turn the other cheek. Nope, he says that the very people in the Legislature who are blaming him for the fee are the ones who put the new “tax” in place and they are welcome to change it. A lot of people are thinking that it might take an Andrew Cuomo to get in Donald Trump’s face in 2020. They remember Hillary’s inability to do that and don’t have a lot of faith that any of the present contenders will fare any better.

When Chris Cuomo got into a fight over being called “Fredo” by a troll, Andrew went after a columnist for a local Albany paper and he didn’t pull any punches. He made news on my radio show, going after that columnist two weeks in a row.

The truth is that he has been making a lot of news on the public radio station that I run. My press colleagues often forget to mention my name, however, even though I was asking the questions that prompted his angry responses. Ah, well – you can’t have everything.

So how did this all come about? After all, Andrew was apparently so angry with me on a private matter that he wouldn’t talk to me for his first two terms (eight years) in office.
Then one day, there was the WAMC news director, Ian Pickus, knocking on the door of our studio while I was on the air, telling me that Andrew wanted to come on that very day. We were delighted, and he made such big news that even the New York Times credited me by name.

I try to be as tough on the guy as I possibly can. I recently received a letter asking why I was so rude to the governor. Rich Azzopardi, Cuomo’s senior advisor (he was once my student) got hot under the collar when someone referred to Cuomo and me as “pals.”

Azzopardi reminded the letter writer that I had opposed Cuomo in columns during his recent primary campaign and further reminded him that when Andrew decided to run against Carl McCall for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination quite a while ago, I really objected to the fact that Andrew was taking on a wonderful man who just happened to be the first African-American to have a shot at being governor of New York – not exactly a pal.

The governor did ask me, I suspect tongue-in-cheek, to accompany him to the New York State Fair in Syracuse.

He demanded an answer and I said “no.” It was pretty funny.

Some of you might remember that I had a weekly radio show with Mario Cuomo that played all over New York and as far away as Boston. That show was on the air for a long, long time. Mario was both articulate and one of the funniest men I have ever known. Now I see that Andrew’s apple has not fallen far from Mario’s tree.

As for me, I will continue to ask him the toughest questions I can, and I have to believe that, at some point, he’ll have had enough and call it quits. In the meantime, I’m having the time of my long life.

Alan Chartock is president of WAMC, Northeast Public Radio, which beams into Otsego County. This column was reprinted from Berkshire Edge, Pittsfield Mass.



New Editor Views Media Brands As Community Service

New Editor Views Media

Brands As Community Service


I can honestly say this is a column I never thought I would write, my first as editor of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.

I say that for two reasons: one, I spent the past decade in competition with the Iron String Press media team, while working as an editor and reporter for another news organization; two, that stint, with an Alabama-based organization I shall forever more refer to as the pension fund, did not go well.

My first play, “The Sun,” first staged in 2004, is about a small-town newspaper that is being destroyed as larger news organizations try to buy it. I spent the past decade at the pension fund thinking either irony is a cruel trick of life, or I was being blessed with an abundance of stories for the television adaptation.

The twin low points were mass layoffs on Good Friday/Passover eve and the closing of the Town Crier office and relegating the Cooperstown paper to a reprint.

As the Crier editor at the time, I took the laying off of my reporter (while I was on vacation, no less) hard and the office closing harder. I transferred to a couple of different roles at the pension fund’s daily, but it wasn’t a secret I hated commuting to Oneonta. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise in some ways as I got to know the city, its politicians and businesses, and the southern half of the county.

Still, I missed Cooperstown and the coronavirus pandemic and family issues made it harder and harder for me to commute.

I had been planning to quit the newspaper business for good this year, perhaps to go back to my dreams of making movies. Or, at least, to help other people make their movies. Last year, after years of discussions, I teamed up with a group of local film makers, businesspeople and political leaders to start a nonprofit 501c6 film commission office, Film COOP (rhymes with hoop, we are not a co-op), or more officially, The Cooperstown, Oneonta, Otsego County Film Partnership, Inc.


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AUCTION – 5:30 p.m. Annual event with live & wall auction featuring Phish tickets, art, jewelry, vacation, antiques, more. Free child care available. Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, 12 Ford Ave., Oneonta. Call 607-432-3491 or visit

HISTORY SHOW – 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Visit the Postcard and Ephemera Show featuring a display of vintage postcards, sheet music, posters, documents, trading cards, more. Elm Park Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Call 607-432-0960 or visit

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103