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News of Otsego County

2020 pandemic

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: CCS Art Exhibit Opens At Fenimore 06-01-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, JUNE 1

CCS Art Exhibit Opens At Fenimore

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YOUTH ART EXHIBIT – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. CCS students present exhibit ‘Young at Art! Inspired by Community’ sharing their experience of community during the pandemic and how art grew their relationships online and at home. On view through June 26. The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.cooperstowncs.org

Cooperstown will halt enforcement of mask ordinance

Cooperstown will
halt enforcement
of mask ordinance

By Greg Klein • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Josh Edmonds shows design plans for a property at 10 Chestnut St., during a Board of Trustees meeting Monday, May 24, in Cooperstown. (Greg Klein/AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – The village of Cooperstown will stop enforcing its mask mandate as it waits for the state to rescind Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive orders on the coronavirus pandemic.

The village’s Board of Trustees debated the issue at the end of a three-hour meeting Monday, May 24, in the village board room at 22 Main St., but decided against calling a public hearing on revoking the statute, which was passed in August.

The trustees voted unanimously to remove mask ordinance signs from in and around the village and to relax enforcement of the law. Trustee Richard Sternberg was not at the meeting.

Cooperstown Police Chief Frank Cavalieri said he has heard the executive orders on the pandemic will be revoked July 1.

Because the village needs time to advertise a public hearing, and because there are several already scheduled for the trustees meeting Monday, June 28, Village Attorney Martin Tillapaugh said the trustees could simply take the mask ordinance signs down and let it be known that enforcing it is no longer a priority for village officials. He called it a “tacit acknowledgement.”

Regatta switches to virtual event for 2021

Regatta switches to
virtual event for 2021

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Erica Collier of Cooperstown and John Collier of Richmondville race in the Mixed CC Endurance class of the 2018 General Clinton Canoe Regatta. (Cherly Clough/AllOTSEGO.com)

The General Clinton Canoe Regatta, which is traditionally held Memorial Day, will be held virtually this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have exhausted all other options,” the General Clinton Canoe Regatta website read.

There will be no winners or awards this year, but racers will be credited with finishes, according to event organizers.

Participants will be provided with a GPS in order to get credit for their finish on the 70 mile course. Those who finish will receive a t-shirt and an official 70-mile finish credit.

In addition, there will be no activities in General Clinton Park, because of the pandemic.

LEVINE: Foundation stresses needs of community

LETTER from HARRY LEVINE

Foundation stresses
needs of community

HARRY LEVINE

The Community Foundation of Otsego County is up and running and wants you to join us as one of our Founders.

We are OF the community, FOR the community, and want to do everything in our power to improve the quality of life for all residents of Otsego County. We also want to live by our values which include taking direction from the community we serve.

The concept of forming a philanthropic organization to serve one’s community is not new. There are over 750 community foundations across the nation. Successful foundations exist in New York counties to our north, east, south and west. The essential difference between a community foundation and a more common private foundation is that we are a public enterprise. Our funding is from our public and our responsibility is to our public – our friends and neighbors.

Many of the successful community foundations in our region of New York have taken decades to grow to the level where they are able to make a difference. Small but sure steps. One dollar at a time, invested so that spending was limited to earnings at the rate of 4 or 5% per year. The early emphasis was on asset building.

This is an important strategy and one that we are working on too. But we want to make a difference NOW. How can we do that?

Our approach is to raise seed capital that we are willing to invest in our community instead of in the stock market. Thus, our Founders Campaign is to secure $2 million. These funds will be used over the next five years, while our other strategy (accumulating investment assets) is pursued to secure our future sustainability.

Ours is a modern model. It borrows from the world of venture capital and private equity. It is founded on the bedrock confidence that our community will support our work. It is responsive to today’s needs.

The formation of Community Foundation of Otsego County is a vitally important step in the health of our county. It is an opportunity for neighbors and friends to join together to work smartly to address issues that need addressing.

We hope that many of you decide to join us as Founders. The amount of your support is up to you. We want broad participation. We have made it easy to join us. Send us a check. Make a five-year pledge (to match our five-year business plan). Donate appreciated stock or real estate. Use your credit card or Pay Pal.

Set up a monthly or annual payment program. Go to our website to get more information (cfotsego.org). Or simply mail us a check to P.O. Box 55, Springfield Center, NY 13468.

How are we doing so far, you ask? Well, our goal is $2 million. Today, we are 90% of the way to that target. Our entire board has joined as Founders as well as more than 100 others.

And are we making a difference now? Absolutely yes!

Our COVID Emergency Fund disbursed $200,000 in 27 awards. We have helped families put food on their tables, provided shelter to homeless individuals, supported over 100 small businesses and much more.

In 2021, we have allocated another $200,000 to meet challenges facing our community.

Please visit our website for details on our award programs.

Will you join us as a Founder? This is a once only opportunity to be part of a group of like-minded friends and neighbors dedicated to creating a force for good in our community.

We deeply believe that caring together makes us stronger together.

Please join us.

Concert series to return with Oshima Brothers

Concert series to return
with Oshima Brothers

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The Oshima Brothers, Sean, above, and Jamie, said they enjoyed their previous concert in Cooperstown and look forward to playing Saturday, May 22.

The last time the Oshima Brothers were in Cooperstown, they played as the opening act for Caitlin Canty at the Otesaga Resort Hotel and it was a show they said they will never forget.

“It was a beautiful place,” Sean Oshima said during a phone interview the brothers did with Iron String Press on Friday, May 14. “I remember the magnificence of that place.

“I remember the last time we played the show in Cooperstown, we were the opening act, so we played a shorter set before the set from the main artist,” he continued. “They crowd was so great, we ended up playing an encore, which doesn’t usually happen when you are the opening act. It was special.”

Sean and his brother, Jamie, will return to Cooperstown and the Cooperstown Concert Series for a return performance.The show will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 22, in The Otesaga’s ballroom.

It will not only be the first concert series show in more than a year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it will also be the brothers’ first show “back on the road.”

“We’re so excited to be back,” Sean said. “We have played a few shows in Maine, but this is the beginning of us getting back to touring.”

Cooperstown couple wins recognition for care of senior citizens at center

Cooperstown couple wins recognition
for care of senior citizens at center

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Carol Lachance and Mike Lachance were presented with an “Outstanding Seniors of the Community” recognition from the Office of the Aging in an award announced Monday, May 3.

“It is truly an honor and very much a surprise,” Carol said.

The Lachances run the Cooperstown Senior Community Center in the recreation center of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church at 31 Elm St. in Cooperstown. Mike said that he didn’t really expect the award, but he wants to use it to promote the senior center.

“Seniors want to feel that somebody cares about them,” Mike said. “It really revives them.”

COVID-19 has affected everybody, but no group has been as impacted like senior citizens. The pandemic has affected the senior population disproportionately compared to other age groups with 85% of deaths occurring to those 65 or older, according to 2020 statistics from the New York Department of Health.

The center has been taking steps to help seniors affected by the pandemic, including those dealing with increased social isolation.

Views Around New York: May 13, 2021

Views Around New York

Albany should make
jail reform a priority

From: Sochie Nnaemeka and TeAna Taylor. special to the Utica Observer-Dispatch.

There’s no doubt that Albany is undergoing a transformation.

Voters across the state turned out in record numbers to elect Democratic and Working Families champions to the Legislature last year, winning super-majorities in both houses. And this April, the results were made clear: New York passed a budget that provides historic funding to our public school students, tenants, immigrants and Black and brown communities. We legalized cannabis for adults with provisions to ensure the benefits are shared by the communities directly impacted by the drug war. And we finally passed the HALT Solitary Confinement Act to restrict the use of “the box” in prisons and replace it with safe, humane alternatives. Electing progressive leaders is helping to deliver a future for New York rooted in equity and justice.

As we come down the final stretch of the legislative session, our elected leaders must resist complacency and continue to deliver long-overdue changes to our criminal justice systems that New Yorkers have been demanding.

Family members of incarcerated people, community leaders, and criminal justice advocates call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to grant emergency clemencies to older people in prison and others with compromised immune systems in response to the death of a person incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility who tested positive for COVID-19 April 3, 2020 outside the prison in Ossining, New York. Juan Mosquero was the first incarcerated person with the virus to die in a state prison.

Coop/Dragon star, Ford, starts new coaching season as a Judge

Coop/Dragon star, Ford, starts
new coaching season as a Judge

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

A graphic put together by Brandeis University in November welcomes Lucy Ford to the team’s track and cross country programs.

Cooperstown and SUNY Oneonta track champion Lucy Ford took a step up the coaching ladder this school year.

Ford, a former state champion in high school in the high jump and a former SUNYAC champion in the high jump and heptathlon, accepted a coaching position at Brandeis University, a Division III school in Waltham, Massachusetts in November.

Although the job began in the fall, the season didn’t, as the University Athletic Association canceled winter sports for 2020-2021, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the spring season began last month and Ford told Iron String Press that she is happy with her new position.

“It is going pretty well,” she said. “I am having fun.”

Ford graduated from Cooperstown Central School in 2014 and SUNY Oneonta, where she transferred after beginning college at SUNY Brockport, in 2018. She was an assistant track coach at SUNY Delhi from 2018 to 2020, but the college eliminated most paid sports assistant positions during the pandemic.

Kenneth F. Huemmer III

In Memoriam

Kenneth F. Huemmer III, 38
May 23, 1982 – April 12, 2021

Kenneth F. Huemmer III

He tested positive for Covid -19 on March 2, 2021. He entered the hospital on March 26, suffered a rapid decline, and passed away from the complications of multiple organ failure and sepsis, at Samaritan Hospital in Troy, NY on April 12.

Kenny was born in Tucson, AZ on May 23rd 1982 to parents Ardith L. and Kenneth F. Huemmer, Jr. He graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic School, Oneonta Sr. H.S., and attended Herkimer County Community College. Most recently, he worked for the State of New York, managing an OTB store in Green Island. Kenny, loving the outdoors, was an avid skier, hiker and kayaker.
Standing 6’6” tall, he was known as a “gentle giant”. Ever friendly, always uplifting, he didn’t believe in speaking ill of anyone, always choosing the higher ground. Having lost his father at the tender age of nine, he thought life was too short to waste time on negativity toward others… Indeed, it was.

He was predeceased by his loving father, Kenneth F. Huemmer, Jr. in 1991; his paternal grandparents Kenneth, Sr. and Joan Huemmer; his maternal grandparents Dr. Kent and Jane Lawson.

He is survived by his loving mother and step-father Ardie and Jay Dinga, Oneonta; brother Brett Huemmer, Seattle; step-brothers Zachary Dinga, Dallas and Rocky (Stephanie) Dinga, Bethesda; loving aunts Leila (Roger) Jacobs, Nancy (Peter) Mangione and Ellen (Ken) Huemmer-Harnett, loving girlfriend Jennifer Edwards, as well as many cousins.

Local Food Finds Its Customers

Despite Pandemic Problems:

Local Food Finds Its Customers

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Beth Redd, a volunteer with the Cooperstown Farmers Market, helps a customer with their purchase.

The worst pandemic in a century has impacted the daily lives of everybody including farmers markets, which are a staple of the community in Otsego County.

However, some farmers markets, such as the Cooperstown Farmers Market and Richfield Spring Farmers Market, have turned that misfortune into an advantage by implementing new ways of doing business, market officials said.

With increased interest in customers buying local, farmers markets and their vendors have put in place safety regulations and have adapted to the new reality of social distancing by abiding to USDA regulations during the age of COVID.

In order to limit exposure, the Cooperstown Farmers Market, which is operated by Otsego 2000, has established a curbside pickup where customers can order food on their website between 5 p.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. Wednesdays and pick up the order on Saturdays.

Product offerings will be updated every Monday on the website.

Views Around New York: April 29, 2021

Views Around New York

COVID Impatience Can Be Dangerous

From: The Daily Gazette Editorial Board, Saratoga

The return to normalcy has started. But we’re not there yet.

And if you think we’re beyond the bad old days of seeing big spikes in cases, look no further than Saratoga Springs High School, where about two dozen students contracted the virus recently.

Officials believe the outbreak was largely the result of a teen party in Lake George the weekend of April 10.

… We’re almost there! Now is not the time to get complacent and let down our guard.

For Sale: One Cider Mill In Fly Creek

For Sale

One Cider Mill In Fly Creek

Fly Creek’s favorite tourist attraction is seeking new owners.

The Fly Creek Cider Mill, which dates back to 1856 and has been owned by the Michaels family for two generations, closed in January. Co-owner Bill Michaels said at the time that the coronavirus pandemic had hurt sales to the point where it was no longer cost effective to remain open.

“We’ve survived floods. We’ve survived hurricanes, tropical storms, the 2002 recession, the 2009 recession,” Michaels told Iron String Press in January. “We just couldn’t survive the pandemic.”

After Transfer, Bertram Finds Hoops Home At Binghamton University

After Transfer,

Bertram Finds Hoops Home

At Binghamton University

By CHAD G. WELCH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Contributed/Binghamton University Sports Information Department
Cooperstown’s Tyler Bertram said he is happy in a Binghamton uniform this season.

When Cooperstown Central School’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, Tyler Bertram, decided to transfer from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he said he was looking for a better fit, a bigger role and an opportunity to play closer to home.

He found all three with Binghamton University men’s basketball team during the 2020-2021 season.

After finishing his high school career at Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vermont, Bertram spent two years in Charlotte; the first a redshirt season during which he said he added 20 pounds to bulk up his slender 6-foot 3-inch frame. In the second, as a redshirt freshman, he appeared in 12 games for the 49ers averaging 9.3 minutes per game.

“Coming back close to home was important, but finding the right fit was very important,” Bertram said. “The previous situation just didn’t really feel like it was the right spot and then knowing that Binghamton played really fast and like to shoot a lot of threes, I knew that I could kind of be myself here.”

“I made the mistake of not fully understanding what kind of style it was going to be (in Charlotte),” Bertram said. “I thought the change went really well. It was a fun year. The team was great. I just had a lot of fun playing fast and playing with some confidence again.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Oneonta Community Concert Band Returns 04-18-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, APRIL 18

Oneonta Community

Concert Band Returns

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COMMUNITY CONCERT – 3 p.m. Oneonta Community Band presents live streamed performance of works looking back on the pandemic year. Includes spirituals, ‘Sea Songs’, Amazing Grace, and the performers favorite Souza Marches. Performance is free, open to public. Performed from the stage of The Foothills Performing Arts Center. 607-432-7085 or visit the facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/169533834979

Rejoining The World

Rejoining The World

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

After a year of separation, Cathy Weir of Cooperstown trims her mom Elinore Sorbera’s pageboy. Now in her 90s, Mrs. Sorbera was head nurse at the county’s former Meadows Nursing Home on Route 33, predecessor to Coopers- town Center, where she resides now.

A decade ago, Kent Turner was working in the kitchen at Oneonta’s B-Side Ballroom, the popular nightspot, when he noticed a vivacious woman and her girlfriends were becoming regulars.

“We starting talking,” said Kent, and one thing led to another. “She had a heart of gold.”

Kent and Jackie fell in love.

Soon, the couple was attending Oneonta’s Community Gospel Church. For seven happy years, “she was really helpful in turning my life around,” he said.

But it wasn’t to continue.

Jackie was stricken with premature dementia in her late 50s, and she was admitted to Cooperstown Center’s Serenity Place, where her loving companion visited her regularly – until he couldn’t.

In February 2020, as COVID-19 loomed, state regulations forced Cooperstown Center to close its doors to visitors. For 13 months, not just Jackie and Kent, but the Center’s more than 150 residents were cut off from their families.

“When we had to close those doors,” said Lacey Rinker, director of nursing, “it breaks your heart.”

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