News of Otsego County


Making Democracy Work Close to Home: A Conversation with Local Officials

Making Democracy Work Close to Home:
A Conversation with Local Officials

Ben Bauer and David Bliss. (Photos provided)

The League of Women Voters of the Cooperstown Area will sponsor an informal discussion with Chairman of the Otsego County Board of Representatives Dave Bliss and Town of Otsego Supervisor Ben Bauer on Monday, November 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Clark Sports Center Community Room.

The two lawmakers will speak on the importance of running for office, delineating its challenges and rewards, and what compelled them to run for office and serve their friends and neighbors. This event is free and open to the public.

NOTEWORTHY: Asking for, Offering Support are Skillsets We Can Re-learn
News from the Noteworthy

Asking for, Offering Support
are Skillsets We Can Re-learn

In my last “News from the Noteworthy” column, I wrote about the wellbeing struggles that are keenly felt across the workforce. I shared the results of a recent survey where business leaders, managers, and supervisors told us they are spending an average of 39 percent of their time on issues such as employee burnout, fatigue, stress, anxiety, mental health, and substance misuse issues. That number went up as high as 70 percent for some owners and supervisors.

Otsego Now Promoting Projects, Developing Priorities Countywide

Otsego Now Promoting Projects,
Developing Priorities Countywide

The build-out of an industrial park in the Town of Richfield Springs is one of Otsego Now’s current priorities, according to Chief Executive Officer Jody Zakresvski. (Graphic provided)


With daily life returning to a semblance of normalcy, Otsego Now is actively continuing its stated quest “to act as a catalyst for economic transformation of the Otsego County economy.” When formed in 2014 as an umbrella organization for Otsego County’s Industrial Development Agency and Capital Resource Corporation, Otsego Now was tasked with the responsibility to “navigate the economic development process, develop sites, provide financial support, prepare workforce, and communicate with and mobilize the stakeholders needed for economic development” of Otsego County.

CCS Promotes Anti-Bullying Campaign

CCS Promotes Anti-Bullying Campaign

Sweethearts & Heroes’ Tom Murphy, Pat Fish, and Rick Yarosh visited Cooperstown Central School to spread their message of HOPE, Empathy, and Action. (Photo provided)

Cooperstown Central School District hosted Sweethearts & Heroes, a self-proclaimed “student empowerment and empathy activation team that prevents bullying and suicide,” as part of the school’s commitment to “creating a safe environment where children can thrive, socially and academically, without being afraid.”

“We are so excited to partner with Sweethearts & Heroes to build practices aimed at building community and belonging, supporting social and emotional development, and helping students understand their role as community members,” said Amy Malcuria, vice principal of CCSD.

Editorial Our Appreciation and Our Thanks

Our Appreciation and Our Thanks

As we mark the traditional beginning of the holiday season with Thanksgiving celebrations this week, we at “The Freeman’s Journal” and “Hometown Oneonta” are thankful to be part of the life of Otsego County. But, as thankful as we are for the many bountiful aspects of life here, like many others, we are always mindful that suffering and need are still more plentiful in our region than in many other places. As Otsego County residents pause to give thanks this week, we ask that you consider sponsoring a family in need.

For the past 101 years, we have joined The Salvation Army to help make Christmas enjoyable for area families through the Angel Tree Program. We are proud to help our neighbors provide this assistance to others less fortunate.

‘HartLand Promise’ Targets Local Students

‘HartLand Promise’
Targets Local Students


ONEONTA – Hartwick College has announced its commitment to furthering educational avenues for students from rural upstate areas with its HartLand Promise, which will make attending Hartwick, a private school, comparable to attending a four-year public college or university in New York State.

“We understand a liberal arts education may seem financially out of reach by many in our region, but we feel important, life-changing decisions should not feel restricted because of where you live,” explained Darren Reisberg, who assumed the office of college president this past August.

BERLIANT: Journalistic Efforts Appreciated
Letter from Leslie Berliant

Journalistic Efforts Appreciated

I just wanted to send a note of thanks to you and your colleagues in the media. I am very grateful for what you do to keep the public informed and to hold elected officials and candidates accountable. Please keep doing that, our democracy needs you! We need you to keep questioning authority, dig into claims, and help get to the truth, even when it’s inconvenient for those in a position of power—especially when it’s inconvenient.

I know that some of you work at outlets that are under-resourced but you keep going, and some of you work incredibly long hours, all because you care about accuracy of information. And I know that many of you locally and nationally have been maligned by those who do find your work inconvenient for their purposes. Please know that I see you and appreciate you for all that you do.

Leslie Berliant

Otsego County—a ‘Receiving Community?’
Column from Dan Sullivan

Otsego County—a ‘Receiving Community?’

The lexicon of climate change evolves as the climate crisis wears on. Terms like “greenhouse effect” and “global warming” are now considered old, even though they are not. Recently, two new terms (new to this writer) appeared during a Harvard University climate change webinar: “retreating communities” and “receiving communities.” Simply put, these terms refer to communities that are becoming undesirable or unlivable (“retreating”), and those that appear to be either less affected or even benefit from the changing conditions (“receiving”). More and more people, it seems, consider Central New York, which includes Otsego County, in the latter group.

In Memoriam James Andrews Melrose Johnston December 20, 1953-November 14, 2022
In Memoriam

James Andrews Melrose Johnston

December 20, 1953-November 14, 2022

COOPERSTOWN—James Andrews Melrose Johnston, Jamie to family and friends, crossed the bar on November 14, 2022, following a prolonged battle with multiple ailments. He was 68.

Born on December 20, 1953, in New Haven, Connecticut, into a family of educators, naturalists, poets, historians, sailors and adventurers, Jamie never missed an opportunity to gleefully embrace novel experiences, such as when, as a toddler, he astonished his mother when she removed his rain hat in a New Haven store only to find a mouse cheerfully nestling in his hair.

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