Summer has come and almost gone here in Cooperstown, and there have been more people visiting us than in 2020. The streets are abuzz with eager baseball fans, casually swinging their newly made bats, avid bike riders waxing eloquently about their explorations of the hills and valleys of Otsego, and lake lovers fresh from a full day on and in the water. The shop owners, lodgings and restaurants have seen an uplift in sales from 2020, and the village has begun to feel a return to post-COVID life. That was then; now, alas, we are in the throes of returning to that COVID life, as the Delta surge runs through us.
If we are lucky though, this, too, shall pass.
Another interesting note is the increase around town of electric vehicles, both locally owned and from afar. The parking lot of the Otesaga is a good place to find them, as are Doubleday parking lot and, until this week, the Dreams Park and the trolley lots. Sleek, somewhat new and multi-colored, the out-of-towners have brought their owners here for a tour of the Hall of Fame, a week at the Dreams Park, some good productions at Glimmerglass, a round of golf, some lake fishing and a visit to the Fenimore Art Museum and Hyde Hall, and they have come from as far away as New York City and Washington, traveling over routes laid out in their respective maps that display the whereabouts of recharging stations along the way.
President Trump and Governor Cuomo were recently in a war of words again – certainly not breaking news. This time around, the back and forth centers on the Upstate economy, with President Trump advising Upstate residents to move out.
The president’s actual words to people who feel things aren’t going their way, “If New York isn’t gonna treat them better, I would recommend they go to another state where they can get a great job.”
I appreciate what the president is saying, and I have already pointed out on a number of occasions that we are
losing population due to an absence of economic opportunities and our high cost of living.
However, rather than push more people out the door, I want to reinvigorate New York, give people a reason to stay, and entice others to come back home.
The debate around here has appeared to be all about energy.
Listening to 19 content-rich, tightly packed presentations –
15 minutes, 15 minutes, 15 minutes – at the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s “Energy Summit: Infrastructure & Economy,” Thursday,
Jan. 31, at The Otesaga, you’d have come to a different conclusion.
The discussion’s all about jobs.
Energy is the means. Which can best produce jobs, gas or renewables? Ideally, both.
There were woeful predictions.
“Time is not on our side,” intoned Tony Ingraffea, the Cornell professor. (Better was his cool presentation on his ultra-efficient house near Ithaca. Add in the Norway firs his grad students have been planting for years, his family’s carbon footprint is “less than zero.”)
We know The Earth is under challenge. The question locally is, what is our role in fixing it? The numbers convincingly argue, not much. Otsego County is micro; the solution is macro.
With 0.018 percent of the U.S. population (less than 2/100ths of one percent), and 0.00008 percent of the world’s (less than 1/100,000th of one percent), the fate of The Earth isn’t going to be decided between Richfield Springs and East Worcester.
This frees us to think about Otsego County, what we need today, and what the opportunities are in the near-to-
You may remember a year ago, when Kathy Clark, R-Otego, Otsego County Board of Representatives’ chair, forced through the appointment of a favorite, Rick Hulse, who had been defeated for election a couple of months before, to the Otsego Now board of directors.
She forced party discipline on newly elected Republicans – Meg Kennedy, David Bliss, Len Carson, Meg Kennedy, Peter Oberacker and Dan Wilber – who bristled at being told to shut up and tow the line at their first meeting. At the time, she promised the next nomination would be more transparent, the product of more consultation.
And yet, last Wednesday, she popped a nominee for the vacancy created by Jim Jordan’s resignation onto the agenda at the last minute, withdrawing it only when her majority again bristled that this violated her earlier pledge.
But it’s not over yet. Word is the chair plans to try to foist not one, but two appointments to the Otsego Now board on her colleagues at a special meeting scheduled for noon this coming Wednesday. One would replace Jordan, the Richfield Springs architect, and the other Joe Bernier, the City of Oneonta’s retired community development director.
Whoa, whoa. There’s no rush.
The newcomers, plus the veterans who know better, shouldn’t fold again. They should delay the appointments until after the county board reorganizes in early January.