News of Otsego County

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Seeds For Spring


SEED SWAP – 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Participate in Oneonta Oasis/Seed Swap and Healthy Local Biodiversity. 3rd floor, Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Call 607-432-1980 or visit

INSTRUMENTAL CONCERT – 7 p.m. CCS Band students perform. Includes grades 5-12. Auditorium, Cooperstown High School. Call 607-547-8181 or visit


Fun With The

Doubleday Dancers


SQUARE DANCE – 7:30 p.m. The Doubleday Dancers invite the community to a free introduction to Modern Western Square Dancing. Have fun, meet new people, exercise. Dress casual, wear comfortable shoes. Cooperstown Elementary School. Call (607)264-8128, (607)547-8665, (607)264-3000.

DISCUSSION – 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. “Latinax Women in Politics. Discussion.” Hosted by the Women’s Center, Room 507, Dewar Hall, Hartwick College, Oneonta. Call (607)431-4031 or visit


Holiday Square Dance


SQUARE DANCE – 7:30 – 10 p.m. Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with the Doubleday Dancers of Cooperstown. Admission, $5. Cooperstown Elementary School. Call 607-547-8665.

THEATER – 7:30 p.m. Mask and Hammer Theater club present “Doubt: A Parable” set in 1964 about the doubt of a nun in the guilt or innocence of a priest. Hamblin Theater, SUNY Oneonta. Call 607-436-3456 or visit


‘Abstraction’ At The Smithy


OPENING RECEPTION – 5-7 p.m. The first exhibit of the season, “Abstraction” – emerging images and interpretations. The Smithy, Cooperstown. Info,

SPAGHETTI DINNER – 5-7 p.m. Enjoy a dinner with homemade sauch, sausage and meatballs, bread, salad, drinks, and dessert. Take out available. Support the Boy Scouts. Cooperstown Vets Club, 60 Main St., Cooperstown. Info, Maria Deysenroth,

BOUND VOLUMES, June 20, 2013

BOUND VOLUMES, June 20, 2013

(Ed. Note: General Zebulon M. Pike, a hero of the War of 1812, was killed at Sacketts Harbor on March 27, 1813 when a British powder magazine exploded, propelling a large stone into his back. Pike’s Peak in Colorado is named in his honor.) It may not be amiss, perhaps, to notice a humble mark of respect offered by the Managers of the Baltimore Theatre, a few evenings ago to the memory of General Zebulon. M. Pike. The house was crowded in consequence of several spectacles designed in honor of the day. Between the second and third act of the play the curtain slowly, but unexpectedly rose, to solemn music, and exhibited a lofty obelisk on which was inscribed “Z.M. Pike, Brigadier General, Fell Gloriously Before York.” On the left hand of the monument was that elegant actress, Mrs. Green, in character as Columbia, armed, kneeling one knee, and pensively pointing with her spear to the name of the hero. Her address was uncommonly splendid & very appropriate. On the other side was a lady, an elegant figure, dressed in the deepest mourning, gracefully leaning against the pedestal, immovably fixed in all the solemn majesty of woe.
June 19, 1813

The weather for the past week has been warm and delightfully pleasant. We have never known every species of grain and grass to come forward with greater rapidity. The grass crop and English grains, in this county, look well, and promise an abundant return for the toil of the husbandman. The appearance of Indian corn is good, yet it is unusually backward. We have seen a good many farmers within the past week, in different towns, and all wear cheerful countenances.
June 18, 1838

The War News – The long-threatened, and by many long-expected, invasion of the North by the rebels has taken place. What progress they have made, or how successful our troops have been in checking their formidable raid, is not known at the time we write. The intelligence thus far received is extremely foggy and unreliable. One thing is painfully evident from all the accounts which reach us from Pennsylvania – the rapid movements of the enemy appear to have taken the people of that State and the government at Washington by surprise. Gov. Curtin had no state troops at hand, and the President could send him none from Washington.
June 19, 1863

Interest – One of the remarkable economic facts within the past generation is the lowering of the interest rate for the use of money. Undoubtedly this has been going on for many years, but of late the fall has been so rapid as to be easily noticeable. Men not past middle life remember when seven per cent was the ruling interest rate through the country, and those in a “tight place” had to pay a shave. Now it is not an easy matter to place money on first class security at six per cent and good bonds can easily be floated at four or five per cent. This state of things is causing the practice of close economy on the part of those living on incomes. A fortune of twenty to thirty thousand dollars does not sound nearly as large as it did forty years ago.
June 22, 1888

The vaudeville acts in the Star Theatre are attracting considerable attention. Opening last Thursday for three days, Douglas & Douglas, a high-class ventriloquist and magic act was given, and the first half of this week Marvelle, a famous contortionist is here. Marvelle has traveled with all the big circuses, including the Ringling and Barnum shows and played an engagement recently in the Hippodrome, New York. These acts are booked
From one of the big-time circuits in New York and are of the best. The licensed pictures made by Edison and his associates, are new every night and the vaudeville acts change Mondays and Thursdays.
June 18, 1913

New York State’s Super-Highway, from New York to Albany to Buffalo, passing through the Mohawk Valley is planned as the World’s greatest motor route, according to information given out by Captain A.W. Brandt, Commissioner of Highways of the New York State Department of Public Works. While the present plans call for comparatively early work on an across-the-state highway of four lanes with a twenty-foot park strip in the center, Captain Brandt and his highway engineers are planning a 50-year project which will see the construction of a twelve-strip highway, 250-feet wide, making possible a future trip from New York across the state to Buffalo in five hours. Some say the twelve-lane road will be installed in 25 years or less.
June 22, 1938

The college council of the State University of New York at Old Westbury and President L. Eudora Pettigrew recently dedicated the F. Ambrose Clark Physical Education and Recreation Center, a sports complex with indoor and outdoor facilities. Jane Forbes Clark, grandniece of F. Ambrose Clark and Edward W. Stack, Secretary of the Clark Foundation, were present for the unveiling of the memorial plaque and for the dedication of the center. Mr. Clark, who died in 1964, was an internationally known agriculturalist and sports enthusiast. With his own resources, he developed the 5,000-acre Iroquois Farm in Cooperstown into one of the leading agricultural complexes in the state. During WWII, while in his sixties, he and Mrs. Clark opened Iroquois Farm to seamen whose ships had been torpedoed.
June 22, 1988

The Cooperstown Board of Trustees has appointed Hugh Cooke MacDougall village historian. He will replace Marjorie Tillapaugh, who served in the post for many years prior to her death in April. MacDougall has been a resident of the village since 1986 when he retired from a 28-year career as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer. MacDougall’s diplomatic career took him to posts in Guinea, Brazil, France, the Ivory Coast, Mazambique, and Tanzania. His last overseas position was in Rangoon, Burma.
June 20, 2003

BOUND VOLUMES, January 30, 2014

BOUND VOLUMES, January 30, 2014

Notice to the Mechanics of Otsego County – Whereas a number of the Mechanics of the Towns of Milford, Otego and Laurens, have had a meeting at the house of L. Jencks, in the Town of Otego – and, after consideration of the advance of Grain and other commodities, have thought proper to request the Mechanics of the different towns in this county to meet at the Inn of B. Fitch, in the Village of Cooperstown, on the 19th day of February next, at noon, there mutually to agree on the prices of their work, that they may be enabled to support their families and pay the Farmers and vendors of goods, wares and merchandise, their dues. Should the Mechanics of different towns think proper to meet and choose a committee to meet on the above day, every purpose will be answered thereby. Daniel S. Stanton, Simeon Lawrence, Jas. S. Smith, Joseph Mulkin, Jacob Pratt.
Laurens, Jan. 16, 1814
January 29, 1814

Advertisement: Cooperstown Classical Academy. Wm. H. Duff, A.M., T.C.D., Principal. Mr. Duff respectfully informs the inhabitants of Cooperstown and the neighboring country, that his Academy is in operation and that he is prepared to receive into his family a few pupils, whose number being very limited, they will be regarded as members of it, and enjoy at all hours a large share of attention. The plan of education is intended to combine, with thorough elementary instruction, an accurate knowledge of the higher English, Classical and Mathematical branches; as also of Landscape, Figure and Architectural Drawing; united to a certain extent with such Military Exercises and instruction, as will best prove to improve the physical condition, carriage and general bearing of the pupils, and impart to them those habits of neatness, order and punctuality, which are of such vast importance in every situation of life. There will one vacation in each year, commencing after the examinations in July, and continuing about six weeks. Terms, rules and all particulars can be obtained, either personally or by letter, from Mr. Duff of Cooperstown.
January 28, 1839

Local: Charlie Burch says it is his candid opinion from certain orders given at his jewelry store that marriage is not a failure – a good thing for the trade, certainly.
There are now 12 prisoners confined to the jail at this place, six of whom are under indictment.
John W. Shove of Mount Vision, now belongs to the “Old Guard” on the Journal subscription list, having this week made his 50th annual payment. He thinks it $100 well expended.
At the annual meeting of the Y.M.C.A. Ladies Auxiliary the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Mrs. O.H. Babbitt, president; Mrs. R. Heber White, vice-president; Miss Sadie C. Conine, secretary; Mrs. J.W. Richtmyer, treasurer.
February 1, 1889

The smoker given in the Parish House on Thursday evening was thoroughly enjoyed by the 77 members of the Christ Church who attended. The event, the first of its kind to be held, proved so successful that many expressed the desire that another be held at a future date. There was no formality connected with the affair in any way and general good fellowship prevailed throughout the entire evening. The Cooperstown orchestra consisted of W.M. Bronner and Carl Johnson, violins; Harry Ballard, cornet; L.N. Wood, flute; Charles Raubacher, bass; Prof. Allez, piano; and Ben Reisman, traps, rendered excellent music including several old-time melodies which all joined in singing. Messrs. Reisman and Johnson also sang several songs. “Seeing America First” was the title of a short talk given by the rector, Rev. Ralph Birdsall which was illustrated with stereopticon views. Cigarettes and cigars were supplied in abundance throughout the festivities.
January 28, 1914

With the steady changing of telephones in Otsego County from the manual system to the dial, another step is being taken in the march that marks the doom of the rural operator. Once firmly embedded in the traditions of rural life in America and New York State, the rural operator is passing into the legendary stage. More and more village exchanges are being cut over to the dial and the day is certain to come when they will all be dial served.
February 1, 1939

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital is conducting a new membership drive. There are many interesting and worthwhile jobs in the hospital to be done and the Auxiliary needs volunteers. Some of the jobs available are: feeding and playing with babies in the Pediatric Ward; reading to and wheeling children about; writing letters and reading to patients; pushing the hostess cart; serving in the coffee shop; and greeting people at the hostess desk.
January 29, 1964

Cooperstown Central School coaches Dick White and Don Howard both reached career coaching milestones last Friday night with JV and varsity victories over the Richfield Indians at Richfield. The junior Redskins ran away from the Indians, 64-44, and that pushed Dick Howard’s career victory total to 250. In the varsity contest, a 78-56 win brought Dick White’s career victory total to 300.
February 1, 1989

Lindsey Talma, a junior at Richfield Springs Central School, has become the first local student to sign on to The Freeman’s Journal Student Source Liaison Program. The SSLP is a cooperative venture between the school and the newspaper which is designed to give interested high school students a taste of the newspaper business. Students function as a source of news tips and information. Other phases of the program may involve writing and photography.
January 30, 2004

Robert Mason, Jr., 94; Newspaperman, AT&T Exec, WWII Vet

IN MEMORIAM: Robert Mason, Jr., 94;

Newspaperman, AT&T Exec, WWII Vet

VAN HORNESVILLE – E. Robert Mason Jr., retired director of employee communications for AT&T and a former newspaperman, died at his home here on Feb. 27. He was 94.

Born in Orange, N.J., Bob Mason graduated from Columbia High School and Lafayette College, earning a B.A. in English with honors. Immediately after college, he served in the Naval Reserve as a communications officer, participating in the invasions of Normandy, southern France, the Philippines and Okinawa during World War II.

BOUND VOLUMES, June 19, 2014

BOUND VOLUMES, June 19, 2014

The arrival of the white flag of France in our port (New York), after an absence of upwards of twenty years, is a great novelty in maritime occurrences, and may perhaps be viewed as the forerunner of a new era in our commercial history. The Olive Tree may prove the olive branch of peace, the promise of rest and cessation to the troubled waters of the world. The revival of the ancient regime, or old system of trade under the French monarchy, however, is not speedily to be expected. The arbiters of national affairs in Paris are to determine on that point. We must take what they give. And fortunately for us, as their wants are precisely the same as ours, it may very possibly happen, that in securing rights to themselves they will obtain for us more than we could readily anticipate from our own exertions. The times are pregnant with great events for us.
June 22, 1814

Resolution of the Otsego Presbytery at its semi-annual meeting held in Westford, June 10, 1839: “Resolved, That we, as a Presbytery, deem it the imperative duty of every minister of the gospel to raise his voice in vindication of the rights of the oppressed, and to exert his ministerial influence to do away the enormous sin of slavery; and that those ministers who refuse, by their silence or evasion, to present the claims of the oppressed, either in their pulpits, or on some other suitable occasion, in our opinion suppress important gospel truths, which are imperiously needed by the exigencies of the times.”
June 17, 1839

A Disappointment – On the evening of Thursday last, the “big gun” was brought out and a salute fired near the village. Eager for news from the army, the people gathered around the telegraph office, or stopped each other in the street, hopefully inquiring, “Has Grant defeated Lee?’ “Is Richmond captured?” “Have we achieved a victory?” At first no one seemed to know what the firing meant. And, when finally it was stated that a few office-holders and others were firing a salute over the re-nomination of Mr. Lincoln, a feeling of disappointment and sadness came over the people. There was no hilarity, even among Republicans.
June 17, 1864

The laying of the Corner Stone of the new Baptist Church on the old site on Elm Street took place on Thursday afternoon of last week in the presence of a large congregation of people of different denominations. The services occupied only an hour, and gave evident pleasure and satisfaction to those present. Mr. McHarg, the Presbyterian pastor, spoke about 15 minutes in his usual impressive manner, and Mr. Boardman, the Baptist pastor, following in remarks not more extended, and in the most-happy vein. Among many articles placed in the Corner Stone were a complete list of officers and members of the church; a photograph of the old church and Chapel, contributed by Mr. W.G. Smith; a copy of a booklet titled “Cooperstown on Otsego Lake,” contributed by Mr. S.J.W. Reynolds; a pamphlet titled “The Lord’s Supper” by Rev. S. T. Livermore, a former Pastor; also the personal and business cards of a number of firms and residents of Cooperstown.
June 21, 1889

Plans are complete for National Association Day at the nation’s shrine of baseball in Cooperstown on Sunday, July 9th. Between the hours of 8 and 10:30 a.m. registration will take place at the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues Headquarters at Cooper Inn for all league representatives. At 10:45 a.m. the baseball library sponsored by the National Association, and which has been collected under the supervision of George M. Trautman, chairman of the executive committee, will be presented to the baseball museum. At the same time, a bronze tablet, commemorating the founding of the National Association will be presented. (Ed. Note: The presentation of the library collection marks the formal beginning of what became known as the National Baseball Library & Archive as a part of the museum.)
June 21, 1939

Karl E. Hill of Syracuse will open a new discount store in Cooperstown on June 25 to be known as the Farm & Home Bargain Center. It will occupy the building on Main Street which formerly housed the Grand Union store. The opening of the new store will fulfill a dream of long standing for Mr. Hill, a native of Germany who came to this country with his family as a small boy. The first book in the English language which he read was James Fenimore Cooper’s “Last of the Mohicans,” and ever since the Cooperstown area has held a special place in his heart. The store will be managed by his son Eric P. Hill.
June 17, 1964

Leatherstocking Corporation has entered into a contract for the purchase of the Glen Avenue Masi-Soule property including the Glen Garage building. The total acreage involved is just over three acres with 481 feet of frontage on upper Main Street and 328 feet of frontage on State Hwy. 28. It is zoned for commercial use. In 1987, the Masi-Soule partnership had proposed building a 41-unit town house development but the project was abandoned after concerns were raised about population density, water supply, sewer systems and traffic flow. (Ed. note: The property is now the site of a peripheral parking lot. A banking institution occupies the former Glen Garage building)
June 21, 1989

The 2004 Cooperstown Youth Baseball All-Star Tournament Team was announced on Tuesday by the league. The team will be managed by Bruce Brodersen. Mike Millea, Randy Reckeweg and Mark Davine will coach. Team members include Greg Brodersen, Mackenzie Curran, Ryan Davine, Tim Feik, Kyle Liner, Scott Millea, Tanner Niedzialkowski, Matt Orenstein, Chad Parshall, Ryan Parshall, Andrew Pink-Burton, and Matthew Pink-Burton. A tournament for six local teams will take place on June 24-26 and a 12-team District Tournament is scheduled for July 3 at Beanie Ainslie field.
June 18, 2004

BERKSON: Chickie’s Greatest Gift

Chickie’s Greatest Gift

Terry Berkson, who has an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College, lives on a farm outside Richfield Springs. His article have appears in New York magazine, the New York Daily News Sunday Magazine, Automobile and other publications.

When I was 8 years old, the hero in my life was my cousin Chickie, who drove an oil truck and often took me with him on deliveries.

The job led him all over Brooklyn and, being somewhat of a scavenger, he often came home with a bike or a wagon or some other discarded contraption he thought would be useful.

We lived in Bensonhurst, in a 12-room Victorian that had been divided into apartments. I occupied the second floor with my dad, while Chickie and his wife and two babies lived on the first floor and my Aunt Edna and Uncle Dave and their sons Leo and Charlie lived on the attic floor.

There was also Mr. Bilideau, the boarder, who was a leftover from the time when my grandmother had rented rooms. There had once been a Mr. Yumtov as well, a man who liked to store smoked whitefish in his dresser. Mr. Bilideau was from Canada. He had a room on the second floor and shared the bath with my father and me.

Just about everyone in the house owned something that Chickie had brought home and thrown on the front porch. “I thought you could use one of these,” he’d always say.

In spite of the partitions, it was difficult for so many people to be housed under one roof without having feuds over hot water and noise and things disappearing from refrigerators. Half the time somebody upstairs wasn’t talking to somebody downstairs. Chickie, with his various street finds, was often instrumental in getting them back on speaking terms.

One year, about a week before Thanksgiving, arguments were running high when Chickie came home with a live turkey in a crate. “It’s a 27-pounder,” he announced to several of us who had gathered on the front porch.

I had never seen a turkey alive and up close like this. “Where’d you get it?” I asked, cautiously poking a finger through the bars. “Did it fall off a truck?”“Never mind,” he said. “There’s enough here for all of us.”

I was placed in charge of watering and feeding the bird, which to me looked like some kind of prehistoric monster. I had to lower the water pan through an opened hatch in the top of the cage.

“Don’t worry,” Chickie reassured me when he saw the concern on my face. “That big bird’ll never get through that little hole.”

I figured they must have put the turkey in the crate when he was small and kept feeding him.

So any hard feelings were put aside and preparations for a Thanksgiving dinner at one table were divided between Aunt Edna and Chickie’s wife Ann.

Aunt Edna would bake the pies – mince, blueberry and apple – while Ann would roast the turkey, make stuffing and gravy and prepare candied sweet potatoes, plum pudding and the rest.

Dad, who was working nights on his taxi, would supply the wine and cider and Mr. Bilideau would buy some fruit – and chestnuts, I hoped.

Meanwhile, Chickie had taken to calling the turkey Sylvester, and would spend time with it out on the porch when he came home from work.

He’d stick a fat calloused index finger through the bars and let the bird peck at it. “You’re gonna be a good turkey,” he’d say affectionately.

I was still afraid of the thing and hadn’t warmed up to it that much, but all the talk about how this bird was going to taste sent uneasy twinges through my wishbone.

Three days before Thanksgiving, Chickie came home with bad news. The butcher around the corner didn’t want to slaughter Sylvester. He tried other butchers and they refused too. It suddenly looked like we weren’t going to have turkey for dinner.

A Thanksgiving turkey brought peace to Terry Berkson’s boyhood home in Brooklyn.

We were all gathered in the kitchen trying to come up with a solution. Chickie had carried the crate into the house and put it on top of the stove. “I hear you just chop off his head,” he was musing.

Uncle Dave mentioned that Mr. Bilideau had grown up on a farm in Canada: Surely he’d know how to butcher the bird. “But what about cleaning it and plucking the feathers?” Aunt Edna protested. “That’s a real mess!”

All this talk about butchering must have been too much for Sylvester, too, because suddenly, impossibly, he was out of his crate, flapping his tremendous wings and scratching at anything in sight with his clawed feet.

Everyone scrambled out of the kitchen. Leo and I ran for the bathroom while the others headed for the hall. The last thing I saw was Chickie struggling to keep Sylvester from becoming airborne. I worried that the bird would take my cousin’s eyes out.

How was he going to squeeze Sylvester back through that small trapdoor? I could hear both of them swearing.

After what seemed like a very long time, Chickie announced that the coast was clear. We all crept into the kitchen and found that Sylvester was back in his box. He didn’t look much worse for wear.

“I was careful not to hurt him,” Chickie said.

Mr. Bilideau came downstairs and entered the kitchen to find out what all the commotion was about. When asked he said, “Yes, I’ll butcher the turkey if you have a sharp hatchet.”

He explained that the way to get the feathers out easily was to scald the freshly killed bird in a vat of boiling water. He would use the tree stump in the back yard for the first part of the operation and a lobster pot from the cellar for the second. The procedure would take place the next day after work. We were going to have turkey after all. Chickie stood there in the kitchen with his hand on the hatch door as Sylvester tried to bite through the bars.

The next morning when I left for school the bird wasn’t on the porch. He wasn’t in the cellar or out in the garage, either. Chickie’s Nash was gone from the parking place next to the house. Maybe he had come up with a brainstorm on how to get Sylvester butchered and avoid all the mess.

I was glad that Mr. Bilideau had been relieved of the job. With him doing it, I pictured us all sitting around chewing on feathers.

After school I ran home and eagerly waited for Chickie to return with Sylvester. I felt a little guilty about it, but I was kind of looking forward to seeing the bird stripped of his claws and feathers and head. I sat on the stoop as big wet snowflakes floated toward the ground.

Chickie pulled in the driveway right on schedule. He got out of the car with a large brown paper bag and walked up to where I was sitting.

“Is that the turkey?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said. I looked in the bag. There was a bald thing with pockmarks all over it.

That Thanksgiving was one of the most festive I can remember. The table was so long we had to set it up in the hall. I noticed that Chickie, sitting at the head, was in especially good spirits.

In my mind, the feast with a golden-brown bird at the center seemed to exude a joyous radiance. Somehow I understood that it was our turkey, Sylvester, that had brought us all together.

Years later, on a cold November day, as we were on our way to make an oil delivery, I asked Chickie if it had really been Sylvester in the bag that afternoon. He chuckled as he shifted the Mack down to a lower gear.

Then he looked over at me and said, “Nah.”

BENNETT: There’s No Doubt, Vote Out Trump

We’re All In This Together

There’s No Doubt,

Vote Out Trump

Larry Bennett, retired Brewery Ommegang creative director who is active in local causes, lives in East Merideth.

I am deeply uncertain about our world. Our larger one, as in the entire planet – and our smaller one, the United States of America. Every day I read the papers and online news, and the news is unbearable.
There is no longer any reasonable doubt that human beings are responsible for climate change. Ice caps and glaciers melt, fires ravage the parched West, and record numbers of hurricanes appear. Snow caps melt, rivers flood and farmland washes away.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that many Black Americans lead lives that are economically deprived, that Black Americans are often subject to police brutality, that Black Americans go to jail and prison much more frequently than white Americans charged with the same offences, and that Black Americans are often charged with offences for which white Americans are given a pass.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that COVID-19 swirls actively around and among us, that it can be deadly to every age group, and that it will be months before a vaccine is widely available.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that many of the 200,000 Americans who have died need not have died, and that they died in great part because of the ineptitude of this administration, which has politicized the simple and effective interim defenses against the virus.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that our economy is going to experience even more pain over the next months. Now that government support is winding down, major companies are laying off tens of thousands of workers, medium size companies are cutting workers and hours, and small companies are closing up for good.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President is incapable of understanding or acknowledging, let alone managing, any of these huge crises.

He denies climate change, even as fires rage. He denies Black lives are at greater risk every day than are white lives, even as police take more Black lives across the country.

Even as he was hospitalized with the virus, he denied that COVID-19 is still dangerous, he denies that medical professionals know better than him about the pandemic, and he denies that it is important to do the basics to keep from contracting or spreading the virus.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President is out of touch with reality, with humanity, and with simple decency.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President lacks even the smallest common respect for others who have different opinions, that he views every opponent as a blood enemy, and that he will say and do anything to try to tarnish others.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President dishonors the very idea of democracy, and that his baseless and unending attacks on voting express his disdain for the fundamental principles of
our Republic.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President can’t tell the truth instead of a lie, or even tell the difference between the two.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President has spent the past four years coarsening every aspect of our political discourse and our cultural life.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President threatens the very essence of America. That this President, elected to represent us all, represents only his own interests, doubts, and fears.
There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President must be voted out.

Rockefeller Center Returns To Oneonta For Christmas Tree


Rockefeller Center

Returns To Oneonta

For Christmas Tree

Lawn crews from Lynn Warren Lawn Maintenance & Landscaping, Newburgh, have been wrapping the enormous tree on “Daddy Al” Dick’s property since Monday.  Next stop, Rockefeller Center? (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO,.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Crew members from Lynn Warren Lawn Maintenance have been clambering over “Daddy Al’s” tree since Monday.

ONEONTA – It could be the biggest secret in Greater Oneonta – perhaps 100 feet tall.

Crews from Lynn Warren Lawn Maintenance & Landscaping in Newburgh have been at the 3851 State Highway 23 property since Monday, prepping the tree owned by “Daddy Al” Dick.

In much the same way, crews prepped Angie and Graig Eichler’s 94-foot tall spruce before sending it to be the 2016 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

In an interview, Graig Eichler said there’s a good reason it’s so hush-hush:  “It’s to protect the tree, and to protect the family so there’ s no trespassing or vandalism to the tree.”  Rockefeller Center provided 24-hour security was the tree’s been chosen and certainly after it’s announced.


A New Hope On COVID-19

Richard Sternberg, retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic surgeon, is providing his professional perspective weekly during the COVID-19
threat. A village trustee,
he resides in Cooperstown.

First the good news.

Joe Biden has announced his plan for dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. It will include a coordinated national plan of attack and he will be ready on Day 1, Jan. 20, 2021 to implement it. He has already announced his pandemic transition team.

Now the bad news.

One, Mitch McConnell has said the same thing about Biden that he said about President Obama in 2008, that he will oppose him in every way possible to ensure that he is only a one-term president and therefore don’t expect any cooperation from him in fighting the pandemic.

Two, Biden doesn’t take over for almost 70 days and the Trump Administration shows no signs of making any changes that could affect the acceleration of the disease.

Today (Sunday, Nov. 8) there were over 120,000 new cases nationally with over 1,000 new deaths. The estimate is that if nothing is done to change the trajectory of the disease in the U.S. then by the end of January, we could easily double the number of deaths seen so far.

In his acceptance speech Saturday night, Nov. 7., President-elect Biden said that he would name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to convert his plan into an action-plan blueprint that would start on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.

His task force is to be led by former Surgeon General Dr. Vitek Murthy (who was fired by President Trump with two years left on his term) and former FDA administrator Dr. David Kessler.

Biden swore to empower scientists at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to help set national guidelines, to invest in vaccine research, and to function as one nation, meaning having a national rather than 50 individual state plans.

Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D. and adviser to Biden, said, “You’re going to have rigorous evaluation and constant refinement” of policies and strategies. There will be strict guidelines for slowing community spread.

The new administration said they would work with each governor to make mask wearing in public mandatory in their states. Current research says mask wearing alone could have saved over 100,000 Americans so far.

They plan to seriously ramp up testing. They plan to hire thousands of public health workers. They will help people to get health insurance.

They would strengthen the Affordable Care Act and immediately reopen the Market Place, something Trump has refused to do. They would create a caregiving workforce and develop resources to help health care workers with their own needs.

Most important: They would choose science over fiction.

So, Joe Biden has a very commonsensical plan for dealing with the crisis but he can’t do anything about it until Jan. 20. And then he will need the cooperation of McConnell and the governors to carry it out.

The fact that if an aggressive program is carried out then the economy can more thoroughly reopen quicker does not seem to register with a lot of politicians. And, if it does, it takes a back seat to winning future elections.

Divided government works great for the stock market and investors, at least that’s what I’ve been told and I have read. But a government that doesn’t function without a unified intent and purpose has a grave disadvantage in going to war, whether against another nation or a submicroscopic virus.

Faso Mentioned For NY GOP Chair

Faso Mentioned

For NY GOP Chair

John Faso

John Faso, Otsego County’s congressman defeated in the Nov. 6 midterms by Democrat Antonio Delgado, is being considered for state Republican chair, the New York Daily News is reporting today.

The position is now held by Ed Cox, President Nixon’s son-in-law and a Wall Street financier.

Faso, former Assembly minority leader and ran for governor unsuccessfully in 2006 against Democrat Eliot Spitzer, declined comment.


Herzig To Retire

Herzig To Retire

Despite COVID-19, Much Let To Do,
Mayor’s Decision Firm: It’s Time To Go

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

With would-be successors able to circulate petitions in the next few days, six-year Mayor Gary Herzig Tuesday, Feb. 23, announced what many expected and others anticipated with regret: He will retire when his term ends on Dec. 31, 2021.

“During the past six years, by working together, the people of Oneonta have achieved remarkable progress,” he said in a statement, “in developing new housing options, supporting our local businesses, and strengthening our infrastructure while continuously improving upon our high quality of life.

“Even an unprecedented pandemic was not able to slow us down,” he said.

He vowed to spend his final “10 months working harder than ever” on opportunities that “will certainly present themselves in the post-COVID world.”

The political community was prepared for the announcement, with Common Council member Luke Murphy, in charge of the Democratic campaign, saying he expects a candidate, perhaps a woman, will announce by the end of the week.

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