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News of Otsego County

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EDITORIAL: Unite In Making Plan Work
EDITORIAL

Unite In Making Plan Work

Doesn’t it remind you of what happened to Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich?

No sooner had she arrived in 2008 on Oyaron Hill, when the Great Recession hit.

Within a few months, the fledgling president, with no chance to build a reputation or support among staff and faculty, had to begin laying people off.

The faculty balked. Criticism abounded.

Dennis Craig
Margaret Drugovich

Drugovich did what she had to do. Things settled down. The economy eventually rebounded, and Drugovich built the sterling reputation she has today.

Fast forward to 2020 and, across the valley, SUNY Oneonta President Dennis Craig.

It’s even moreso. Drugovich had a short honeymoon. Craig parachuted into the middle of a 700-plus COVID-19 infestation, one of the worst per-capita among U.S. campuses. His predecessor had departed precipitously. The New York Times’ front page was trumpeting our woes worldwide.

Craig immediately formed a COVID-19 Rapid Response Team. In a month – almost to the day – the team reported out a 22-page, single-space,
detailed-packed plan to take on the menace.

Pretty good.

So far, some of the faculty balked. But otherwise, criticism hasn’t abounded.

Just the opposite. Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig likes the plan’s focus on the safety of his constituents. Student Association President Gabby Cesaria likes the focus on a Feb. 1 reopening; she surveyed students, and 50 percent want to return to classes.

In recent decades, SUNY Oneonta has been on the make.

President Alan Donovan, now retired and an Oneonta community leader, began the drive to push up the quality of students and scholarship.

During his successor Nancy Kleniewski’s tenure, Oneonta was often mentioned, along with Geneseo and New Paltz, as one of “SUNY’s Ivies,” if you will.

During that period, the SUNY System invested heavily in the hilltop. Tom Rathbun, the level-headed assistant vice president/facilities, was spending $30-40 million a year upgrading the campus, and it looks great. (His successor, Lachlan Squair, appears to be quite an innovator, making SUNY Oneonta an innovator in Upstate Medical’s novel “pool testing.”)

And alumnus Bill Pullman starred in “Independence Day.” You can’t get much better than that.

SUNY Oneonta dropped the ball when COVID-19 arrived. That was then; recent, but then.

This is now.

The SUNY Oneonta community must want to return to what it was, a campus on the make. With its particular COVID mess behind it, the SUNY Oneonta community should strive, as one, to be a Model of the Reopening.

With two anti-COVID vaccines coming online, with the wide local acceptance of masks and social distancing, with the high-level of community sensitivity to COVID, it can be done.

The online petition – only a fraction of the faculty, some 71 out of 500 professors and instructors, have signed it – takes on Craig and Provost Leamor Kahanov personally.

While no doubt well meaning, the petition drive seems to be the wrong instrument at this point.

That’s misguided.

Of the many issues raised, the one about sensitivity to relatives of faculty who may have pre-existing conditions resonates most. But it’s hard to believe the administration would not seek to ensure what protection it can to people under particular threat of COVID.

No doubt the key players in the campus hierarchy are as imperfect as the rest of us, but – at this critical point in SUNY Oneonta’s history – let’s all pull together behind the people who, more than ever, need wide support.

And that includes the campus community and the rest of us, the public at large.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: ‘Small Works’ Annual Art Exhibit 11-21-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21

‘Small Works’ Annual Art Exhibit

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OPENING RECEPTION – 3 or 4:15 p.m. Find beautiful works by local artists throughout ‘Small Works’ annual celebratory exhibit. Find works for sale to take home the same day for wonderful Christmas presents. Register for one of the free showings, only 50 guests allowed at a time. Roxbury Arts Group, 5025 Vega Mountain Rd., Roxbury. 607-326-7908 or visit roxburyartsgroup.org

ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

Baseball Hall Offers Vets Free Entry Until Nov. 30

Baseball Hall Offers Vets

Free Entry Until Nov. 30

COOPERSTOWN – In honor of Veterans’ Day, all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces will be admitted free to the Baseball Hall of Fame, 25 Main St., from today through Nov. 30.

Veterans can reserve tickets online through the Museum’s timed ticketing program at baseballhall.org/reopening. Walk-up tickets are also available at the Museum, with guests being given the first available timed ticketing slot.

You will be asked to provide:

Leaving Nature Behind, Earth Fest Goes Digital

Leaving Nature Behind,

Earth Fest Goes Digital

5 Days Of Virtual Events Planned

COOPERSTOWN – Due to the coronavirus threat, Otsego County Conservation Association is taking the annual Earth Festival online, the OCCA announced this afternoon.

The event, originally scheduled for April 18, will instead be a five-day event taking place online. This is the 15th year the Earth Festival is showcasing local environmentally themed organizations and businesses.

“We wanted to find a way to help people celebrate the earth, learn about new earth-focused groups and products and connect with like-minded people,” said OCCA Executive Director Amy Wyant.

DAILY BRIEFING: Governor Details ‘Contact Tracing’

GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING/Thursday, 4/30

Governor Details

‘Contact Tracing’

https://youtu.be/GFMBte5Bzao

ALBANY – Governor Cuomo Wednesday announced that New York State’s contract-tracing program, headed up by former NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg, will deploy 30 “contact tracers” per 100,000 people to areas with the highest rates of infection and regions that data shows could be the first to open.

Planned in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut through the next flu season, program is expected to have 6,400 to 17,000 tracers statewide depending on the projected number of cases, working remotely using specially developed software.

It included four steps aimed at preventing COVID-19:

DMV, Elm Park Saved

DMV, Elm Park Saved During

County Budget Workshop

Janet Hurleu Quackenbush, James Powers, Dan Crowell and Don Lindberg listen to discussion about the possible closing of the Cooperstown DMV.  The DMV, as well as the Elm Park senior meal site, were re-allocated in the budget, which goes up for a vote in December.
Otsego County Rep. Janet Hurley Quackenbush, County Treasurer Dan Crowell and County Rep. James Powers listen to discussion about the possible closing of the Cooperstown DMV. The DMV, as well as the Elm Park senior meal site, were re-allocated in the budget, which goes up for a vote in December. (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)

COOPERSTOWN – After two weeks of worry about the possible closing of the Cooperstown DMV office and the relocation of the Elm Park senior meal center, a sigh of relief came when both items were once again placed on the 2015 budget proposal by an overwhelming majority.

During a three-hour workshop, the members of the Otsego County board debated, argued and added items to the County Treasurer Dan Crowell’s proposed budget.

In hoping to bring back the lively Thursday Oneonta’s Main Street enjoyed during the D&H heyday – Thursday was payday for the railroad workers – the board voted yes to having the Oneonta DMV opened from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Thursday evenings.  “This is a marketing tool,” said Lynda Rowinksi, District 13.  “There’s a lot of business to be had in Oneonta.”

Village Board Attendees Can Sit 6-Feet-Plus Apart

Village Board Attendees

Can Sit 6-Feet-Plus Apart

Monthly Meeting Moved To Ballroom

The Village Board meeting is moving to Village Hall’s second floor.

COOPERSTOWN – The Village Board’s monthly meeting is Monday, and Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch announced it will proceed as scheduled, but – adapting to the Coronavirus threat – will be moved from the basement meeting room at 22 Main to the second-floor ballroom.

This will allow attendees to space themselves 6 feet apart, as recommended by “social distancing” guidelines.  While the trustees and Village Administrator Teri Barown will be present, the treasurer, zoning enforcement office and public works superintendent may receive waivers.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., and two public hearings will proceed as announced at 7 p.m., on the following matters:

Louise T. James, 103; SUNY Plattsburgh Registrar Lived Here

IN MEMORIAM:  Louise T. James, 103;

SUNY Plattsburgh Registrar Lived Here

Louise James

ONEONTA – Mrs. Louise (Howard) James, 103, former SUNY Plattsburgh registrar who lived in Oneonta for three decades, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, at the Health Pavilion in the Masonic Care Community of New York with the ones she loved most in her heart.

Born in Stewartsville, N.J., on March 6, 1915, Louise was the daughter of the late Perry E. and Edith N. (Thwaites) Howard. She had lived until this year in Acacia Village in Utica, moving there in 1996. Prior to that, she lived in Oneonta for 31 years and before that was a longtime resident of Plattsburgh.

Again, Ommegang Tops, This Time In ‘Taste NY’

Again, Ommegang Tops,

This Time In ‘Taste NY’

Three Philosophers Shines In State Contest
Governor Cuomo and Taste NY Judge Mario Batali toast with a glass of Three Philosophers as Ommegang was announced last evening as one of two statewide winners. (courtesy Governor’s Office)

COOPERSTOWN – Brewery Ommegang tied with Roscoe Beer Co. of Delaware County in a blind taste test featuring the five breweries that received the most online votes in the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge.

Governor Cuomo announced the grand winners Wednesday evening at Pier A on Battery Place in Manhattan.

The rest of the top five were Genesee Brewing, Rochester, Prison City Pub & Brewery, Auburn, and Southern Tier Brewing, Lakewood.

All of the finalists in the call-in contest that preceded the blind taste test were from Upstate New York, a fact not lost on amny.com, which headlined its story, “New York City Snubbed in Beer Taste Challenge.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19

‘Peter And The Starcatcher,’ SUNY-O

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THEATER – 8 p.m. “Peter and the Starcatcher” presented by SUNY Oneonta. Tells the backstory of JM Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’ as imagined by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Goodrich Theater, SUNY Oneonta. Info, oneonta.universitytickets.com/user_pages/event_listings.asp

AMAZING AMPHIBIANS – 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Get your elementary aged children out and learn about the amphibians that are waking up from winter and explore Thayer farm to learn which ones live there. Meet at Upland Interpretive Center at Thayer Farm, 7027 State Highway 80, Springfield. Info, occainfo.org/calendar/get-kids-amazing-amphibians/

Maggie Baldo Johnson, Passes Away At Age 71 After Long Illness

IN MEMORIAM: Maggie Baldo Johnson,

Passes Away At Age 71 After Long Illness

Maggie Baldo Johnson

ONEONTA – Marguerite “Maggie” Baldo Johnson, 71, who in retirement from a career with Verozon was active in organizing OHS class reunion, passed away March 13, 2017, after an extended illness, surrounded by her family.

Maggie was a dedicated mother, wife, and grandmother who cherished her time with friends and family.

After spending many years as a directory assistance operator for Verizon in Oneonta, Maggie retired to enjoy her time with family, gardening, cooking and serving as President of the Ladies of the Elks Club. She was also very involved in organizing many OHS class reunions, and social functions.

Maggie Baldo Johnson, Passes Away At Age 71 After Long Illness

IN MEMORIAM: Maggie Baldo Johnson,

Passes Away At Age 71 After Long Illness

Maggie Baldo Johnson

ONEONTA – Marguerite “Maggie” Baldo Johnson, 71, who in retirement from a career with Verozon was active in organizing OHS class reunion, passed away March 13, 2017, after an extended illness, surrounded by her family.

Maggie was a dedicated mother, wife, and grandmother who cherished her time with friends and family.After spending many years as a directory assistance operator for Verizon in Oneonta, Maggie retired to enjoy her time with family, gardening, cooking and serving as President of the Ladies of the Elks Club. She was also very involved in organizing many OHS class reunions, and social functions.

 

 

Maggie is predeceased by her husband, Gary E. Johnson, and her brother, James Baldo.

She is survived by her son, James V. Johnson, daughter-in-law Amy Johnson, daughter Rebecca Carrington and son-in-law, Wayne Carrington, four grandchildren, Alexandria Johnson, James Johnson, Jr., Aben Carrington, Andrew Carrington and several nephews, nieces, cousins and many close friends.

Calling hours are 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home.

A funeral mass will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 23,  at St. Mary’s Church, Oneonta, with Rev. David Mickiewicz, pastor, officiating.

Inurnment will take place in the Spring in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Emmons.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gary Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund, 96 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326 or online at www.garyjohnsonmemorialscholarship.com.

Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting our website at www.grummonsfuneralhome.com.

Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.

IN MEMORIAM: Robert W. Moyer, 84; Wilber Bank President

IN MEMORIAM

Robert W. Moyer, 84;

 Bank CEO, Civic Leader

Robert Moyer

ONEONTA – Robert William “Bob” Moyer, 84, the president and CEO of Wilber National Bank for a quarter of a century, passed away Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, just two days after he celebrated his 84th birthday.

He celebrated his 84th birthday surrounded by his family (children Terri Moyer, Kathy Moyer Dragon, and Scott Moyer, daughter-in-law Ginny Moyer;  grandchildren Matthew and Luke Moyer) decorating the Christmas tree and enjoying pumpkin pie. He drove to the family home in Cooperstown, answered birthday calls and Facebook messages on his iPhone, and discussed the latest family news. He left this life the following night with everything he valued: his independence, his inquisitive nature, and his love for his family and his Oneonta community.

Jean Kafchinski, 89; Hartwick College Bursar Retired In ’95

IN MEMORIAM:  Jean Kafchinski, 89;

Hartwick College Bursar Retired In ’95

Jean Kafchinski
Jean Kafchinski

ONEONTA – Jean Elizabeth (Smith) Kafchinski, 89, retired Hartwick College bursar, passed away Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, at Fox Hospital.

A longtime resident of Oneonta, she was born on Dec. 7, 1926, in Lymanville, Pa.  A loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was the daughter of the late Garney and Anna (Lyman) Smith.

Jean graduated from Springfield High School in Springfield, Pa., moving to Oneonta in 1952.  She was a member of the Jayncees in her early years.  In 1990 Jean joined St. Mary’s Catholic Church and continued to be a part of the RCIA team for many years.

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