News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


bill waller

America Invades France To Cheer Women’s Team



America Invades France

To Cheer Women’s Team

Cooperstown’s Bill Waller and granddaughter Kira witnessed 30,000 cheering fans in the Lyon stadium. (Bill Waller photo)

Editor’s Note:  Cooperstown’s Bill Waller, whose son Scott played for CCS, took Scott’s daughter – and aspiring soccer player – Kira to see World Cup play in France.

By BILL WALLER • Special to

Bill Waller and granddaughter Kira at the scene of history.

LYON, France – “USA, USA, USA.”

Over 30,000, more than half of an enormous new Lyon, France Olympic soccer stadium’s crowd are screaming their support for the U.S. Women’s soccer team. Flags waving everywhere, chants of “USA, USA” drowning out the soccer songs of the orange-clad Dutch fans; this was Lyon and the scene at the finals for the 2019 Woman’s World Cup.

This final game pitting the European Champion Netherland against the three time world champion American women would decide the 2019 World Cup.

While heavily favored, the U.S. women ran into a tough Dutch squad, ending the half with the score 0-0.  My granddaughter Kira and I were glued to our seats hoping for a U.S. score.

We went to Lyon to be part of the Women’s World Cup effort and had seen the U.S. beat England and a tough Dutch team win over the taller and “blonder” Swedish squad.

Former Store An Eyesore, Please Help Cooperstown


Former Store An Eyesore,

Please Help Cooperstown

Editor’s Note: Bill Waller of Cooperstown sent this letter Monday, April 22, to Kevin Hourican, president, CVS, in Woonsocket, R.I., about the two-year vacancy of the company’s downtown Cooperstown store.

Dear Mr. Hourican,

I am writing to inform you of a situation with one of your properties located in Cooperstown, New York. You recently constructed a new CVS store in our Village and vacated your former location on our Main Street. It is my understanding that you are continuing with your lease on this abandoned property through September, 2019.

Bill Waller included these photos of the former CVS at 100 Main St. in his letter to company President Kevin Hourican.

While we have welcomed you into our community and admire and support your new location, your former store has become an eyesore right on our quaint Main Street. Our Main Street has recently undergone a massive renovation, adding pavers, rain gardens and new foliage; all to complement the small town atmosphere for which Cooperstown is world famous.

And the world will be here in force this July and throughout the summer to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and attend the annual Induction Ceremony, this year starring the only unanimously elected inductee, Mariano Rivera. While our average Induction Weekend attendance is always in the tens of thousands, this year we are predicting record-setting visitors. Our previous one-day record was about 82,000.

In addition, we have families attending our summer-long Little League-age weekly baseball tournaments at the Cooperstown Dreams Park. That venue brings about 100 Little League teams and their families each week to watch their children play baseball.

There are also other weekly baseball tournament venues in the area that, all totaled, including the world renowned Glimmerglass
Opera Festival, The Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum bring almost 1 million people to our streets.

As the attached photos show, your former store, well-known as “the old CVS store” is an eyesore right in the center of our Main Street business district. With the interior lights constantly on, passersby are treated to the interior of an abandoned store. Last summer you allowed the Glimmerglass Opera use the building for scenery construction, but the windows and frontage remain as seen today.

Attending Since Beginning, Bill, Carol Waller Remember Cooperstown Carnival Heyday



Attending Since Beginning,

Bill, Carol Waller Remember

Cooperstown Carnival Heyday

Bill Waller, who is still active in the Cooperstown Winter Carnival – this year, he devised the clues for’s $500 Medallion Hunt – shows off memorabilia on the site of the early celebrations – atop frozen Otsego Lake. (Ian Austin/

Editor’s Note: This feature story first appeared in the section of Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal published last Thursday and Friday.  This year’s 52nd annual carnival ends this evening.


Cars race on Otsego Lake during an early Winter Carnival.

COOPERSTOWN – If you looked out and saw cars out on Otsego Lake today, you would probably call a tow truck.

But in 1974, when Bill Waller was Cooperstown Winter Carnival chairman, it was all part of the fun.

“We had all sorts of events on the lake – Just as long as the ice was 18-inches thick,” he said.

Back then, chief among the favorite activities was the annual gymkhana, where cars would race through cones across Otsego Lake’s ice.

“When we came up for the first Winter Carnival in 1969, I saw all these cars out on the ice,” said Waller. “I took my car out, but I had the wrong tires on, so I didn’t do very well.


Cooperstown Trustees Pass Drone Ordinance

Cooperstown Trustees

Pass Drone Ordinance

Cooperstown resident Bill Waller, who has opposed the proposed drone law at every public hearing, expresses his concerns once more ahead of the Board of Trustees vote on the revised drone law. The law was tabled at the Trustee meeting in March to be revised by Village Attorney Martin Tillapaugh. The revised law was presented at this evening’s board meeting, and was ultimately passed, creating a permitting system for drone flight from Village property. (Parker Fish/
Cooperstown Trustees Table Drone Law

Cooperstown Board

Tables Drone Law

Drone owner Bill Waller, left, addresses the Cooperstown Village Board Monday, one of several speakers objecting to the proposed drone law that the board was scheduled to vote on later in the meeting. The drone law has become a hot topic in Cooperstown, with questions being raised as to what authority the village hold over the unmanned aircrafts, and what power is reserved for the federal government. Waller argued that the proposed regulations wouldn’t add anything beneficial to existing federal law, which is enforced by the FAA. With uncertainty still looming over the wording of some sections of the law, the board tabled the proposition to be revised before voting on it. (Parker Fish/

Discussing Careers


MEETING – 7-8 p.m. Long-time Cooperstown resident Bill Waller discusses his many careers, including clinical engineer, teacher, florist, politician, and author. Cooperstown Village Library. Call 607-547-8344 Visit

POETRY SLAM – 8-10 p.m. Duo No-Holds-Bar Faculty Poetry Slam. All Poetry Slam rules are off except for the time limit and original composition. Hunt College Union, SUNY Oneonta. Visit

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