The Kasterine Farm is tucked into a charming valley in the Town of Exeter in northern Otsego County. The owners, Dmitri and Caroline Kasterine, are newcomers to the area, and they bring a wealth of cultural richness to our community. On December 10, the couple held an opening reception of their photography gallery, presenting to the attendees a stunning collection of photographs, the lifework of Dmitri.
By TED MEBUST COOPERSTOWN Due to the fallout of team sports seasons being canceled for the 2020-21 season, the Cooperstown boys and girls swimming and diving programs were each left without coaches. As the fall sports season approached in August of 2021, Coach John Hodgson said he felt compelled to step in and ensure his daughter, Ariadne—then a senior—could compete. After completing his first campaign with the girls team, a 3-9 effort with just 11 people, Hodgson said he immediately knew it wouldn’t be his last.
“It’s such a wonderful sport for competition. The goals are measurable and everything is in times, so you know exactly where you stand and how your progress is doing. It’s easy to measure yourself,” he said of his first experience as a swim coach. “It’s the best part of my day.”
OTSEGO LAKE—Above, SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station Master Diver Trainer Paul H. Lord, SUNY Oneonta BFS Volunteer Diver and Diver Instructor David Turner, SUNY Oneonta graduate biology major Brandon Guerrero and SUNY Oneonta undergraduate biology major Kari Minissale smile after diving in Otsego Lake to retrieve the Springfield Landing no-wake zone buoy on Saturday, December 17.
For a decade, a community of farmers in Delaware, Otsego, and Schoharie counties have been working out of necessity on an alternative production and distribution project (first the Lucky Dog Food Hub and then The 607 CSA) to ensure food-security for our foodshed by creating a collaborative resilient local food system. CAA is the culmination of that work. We think of our organization as a pilot project and template for resilient regional food systems nation-wide.” – CAA website
The Catskills Agrarian Alliance is a newly formed 501c3 organization based in Hamden. Identifying itself as a comprehensive food sovereignty project in a recent press release, the CAA provides food production, food distribution, land stewardship and mutual aid services in the Catskills, Hudson Valley, and New York City.
Former school superintendent Theresa Carlin stated, “I’d love to comment and share the story, but am not able due to the NDA …” (Non-Disclosure Agreement).
When a public employee resigns from a position and taxpayers are obligated to pay the employee’s salary and health benefits for an additional year, the public has a right to know what happened.
Supt. Carlin and the school district entered into a “Release and Resignation Agreement.” The agreement indicated that the superintendent was withdrawing the complaint she filed through the State Division of Human Rights and was resigning her position. The agreement states further that it is a confidential communication between the school district and the superintendent. Neither party is allowed to disseminate or release information regarding the agreement unless required by law.
Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, and Reverend Matthew T. Fisher, a Buddhist minister, condemned local Brewery Ommegang for their sale of “Nirvana IPA,” as they find the use of the term “Nirvana” to be highly inappropriate. Calling for an apology, the pair stated that “breweries should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege and ridiculing entire communities.”
“The inappropriate usage of sacred scriptures or deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay, as it hurt the adherents [of Hinduism and Buddhism],” read the joint statement made in Nevada on January 18.
It was a sellout crowd last Friday, January 20, as the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual “State of the State” networking breakfast. The conference, which took place in the Otsego Grille of SUNY Oneonta’s Morris Hall, was introduced by Sean Lewis, president and chief executive officer of the chamber, as a vehicle to “allow the panelists a chance to express their view of where we are and their vision of where we are heading.”
The panel of eight public figures included New York State Senator Peter Oberacker and Assemblymen Brian Miller, Chris Tague and Brian Maher, whose constituents reside in various portions of Otsego County.
The county itself was represented by County Administrator Steve Wilson and Treasurer Allen Ruffles. Oneonta Mayor Mark Drnek and Village of Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh rounded out the panel.
135 Years Ago The Local News: Evaporated apples have superseded the old-time dried apple. A dealer of this town has long had on hand some 18 barrels of dried apples, for which there appeared to be no sale. He challenged another dealer the other day to make him an offer for them, and accepted fifty cents a barrel. On examining the apples they were found as lively with worms as the average Italian is with fleas. But the purchaser didn’t weaken. “I want them for a mincemeat packing firm,” said he, “and it will be economy to use those apples.” They were shipped. No patent mincemeat for us.
210 YEARS AGO Boston – Yesterday, the specie, amounting to about 168,000 dollars, captured by Commodore Rodgers’ squadron on board the British Swallow Packet, bound from Jamaica to England, was landed at the Navy Yard in Charlestown under the direction and order of the Marshal of the district, who caused it to be placed in six wagons, which, with colors flying and drums beating, attended by the boat’s crews of the squadron, and protected by a guard of marines, proceeded through Charlestown and this town (Boston) to the State Bank, where it was deposited, amidst the huzzahs of a large collection of spectators. Of the prize money &c. captured by national vessels, belongs one-half to the captors. Of the specie captured by the squadron one half amounts to 84,000 dollars, a twentieth of which is 4,200 dollars. We trust that a resolve will pass the Congress relinquishing the half which accrues to the public to our gallant tars.
August Heminway, a SUNY Oneonta senior currently pursuing a degree in political science and criminal justice, recently introduced an individual photojournalism project documenting the West Oneonta Fire Department. In addition to his extracurricular activities as president of the college’s Taekwondo Club, Heminway serves as president of the Photo Society. The scope of his project, Heminway noted, combined his academic and personal interests to display an aspect of local life he found to be underrepresented.
By CASPAR EWIG FLY CREEK The newly-constituted Board of Fire Commissioners of the Fly Creek Fire District held its annual organizational meeting and first monthly meeting on Thursday, January 12. The agenda moved forward in an organized manner and was free from the discord that had marked the recent election.
“We’re going to start with a clean slate,” said Sam Hoskins, who was elected chairman of the board on December 13. At the outset, Hoskins emphasized that he is committed to instilling transparency into the actions of the Board of Fire Commissioners. He bemoaned the fact there were gaps in the board’s records, and that areas of the website were outdated.
By TED MEBUST ONEONTA SUNY Oneonta political science major and Maryland, New York native Andrew Hamill announced his candidacy for Oneonta Common Council in December, running as a member of his own party, “Unity for Oneonta.” Hamill hopes to bring accountability and pragmatism to the council, vowing to lead with a spirit of compromise.
“We need Common Council members who are willing, and dedicated to reason and building a consensus with their constituents,” said Hamill. “As a candidate for the Council, I intend to work with my constituents by listening to their concerns about whatever they have to say and try to work on a consensus that can bring the people together.”
Hamill, who previously ran for town council in his hometown, detailed a vast array of issues on which he plans to campaign.
When you look at the picture, it’s hard to believe that this dog can be so frustrating for me. He is good when we are here alone, but when guests come, he becomes so hard to manage. He wants to be the center of attention and won’t leave people alone. I filled a hollow bone with meat today when a friend stopped by and that occupied him for about a half hour. For the next 1-1/2 hours he was stubborn, wouldn’t listen or stay off, and downright obnoxious! It adds so much stress to my life right now. I’m not sure what to do. Looking forward to our next session.
Imagine you’re sitting in science class. On the paper before you, there’s a homework problem you don’t understand.
You raise your hand to seek clarity, but the teacher responds, “Oh, that problem is easy! Just use your intuition.” The teacher then rattles off a bunch of specialized words—science jargon—you just learned.
“Thanks,” you say out loud, but your muddied thoughts are joined by the cold chill of shame: You’re more confused than ever, but because of fear, pride or both, you pretend to understand. Slouching deeper into your chair, you mentally check out for the rest of the lecture, maybe even the rest of the semester. If that was an “easy” problem, maybe science is not for you. Your curiosity in science, previously a roaring fire, sizzles and nearly dies.
CLERK OFF THE CLOCK: Kathy Sinnott Gardner, who has served as Otsego County clerk since 2003, recently announced her retirement from the position. After nearly three decades of service to Otsego County in total, her term will end on December 31, 2023. A Republican, Gardner plans to pursue new career opportunities, saying she will “miss serving the people of Otsego County.” Current Otsego County Deputy Clerk Jennifer Basile, also a Republican, announced her candidacy to fill the seat the day after Gardner’s retirement announcement. A Town of Otsego resident, Basile has worked in her current position for nearly a decade-and-a-half, according to her announcement. Before Basile’s tenure began in 2009, she said, she worked in various managerial roles for a total of 12 years. The election will take place on Tuesday, November 7.