News of Otsego County


CANO hosts ‘City of the Hills’ fundraiser
Donors listen to music at a fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 18, in Oneonta. (Kevin Limiti/

CANO hosts ‘City of the Hills’ fundraiser

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

The Community Arts Network of Oneonta had a fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 18, for the 2022 City of the Hills Festival.

It was billed as a block party and it had that feel with music being played by Jump the Shark and Hanzolo, as well as craft beers being served provided by Roots Brewery. There was also a silent auction and a raffle.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Art Exhibit Opening Reception 09-19-20

Art Exhibit Opening Reception


OPENING RECEPTION – 5 – 8 p.m. Celebrate exhibit opening featuring Eileen Crowell’s ‘Plant Portraits,’ Ruben and Damian Salinas’s ‘The Spirit of Gesture,’ and Pooh Kaye. Free, open to public, masks required. Displayed through 9/27, by appointment only. Community Arts Network of Oneonta, Wilber Mansion, 11 Ford Ave., Oneonta. 607-432-2070 or visit

Flavors Abound As Chili Bowl Returns

Flavors Abound As

Chili Bowl Returns

Tastes and talents were on parade during the 16th annual Chili Bowl at CANO this afternoon. Art lovers lined up before the doors opened to be the first to browse this year’s selection of artisanal decorated bowls. Inside and outside of CANO, guests enjoyed plenty of chili for all preferences. Above, chef Rhett Mortland, representing the Autumn Cafe, serves Otsego County Representative Danny Lapin, right, a bowl of Montezuma’s Tail and Feather Chili. (Ian Austin/
Veteran Cabinet Maker Works With Wood – But Creations Flow


Veteran Cabinet Maker

Works With Wood –

But Creations Flow

Cabinet maker Joe Muehl of Schenevus discusses “Who’s the Fairest?”, a Snow-White inspired mirror on display at CANO through Dec. 22.It took first place at the Northeastern Woodworkers Association “Showcase” last March in Saratoga Springs.  (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – One afternoon, Joe Muehl got the urge to build a model airplane.

“I hadn’t done one in 40 years,” he said. “And when I finished, I thought, well now what do I do with it? So I built a table around it.”

Muehl’s sidetable,  “The Only Good War,” substitutes cucumbers for bombs.


Titled “The Only Good War,” the glass and wood table depicts the model airplane dropping plastic cucumbers that dangle below the table.

After at Friday, Dec. 6, opening, it’s on display through Sunday, Dec. 22, at CANO, Oneonta’s arts council at 11 Ford Ave., part of Muehl’s show of handcrafted tables, mirrors, cabinets and lamp at CANO.

“I grew up in a farm family, so I’ve always been about the practical, rather than the sculptural,” he said. “I wanted to make stuff you could use.”

With a SUNY Oneonta degree in art and art history, Muehl built his first desk in 1971. “It worked,” he said. “It was very basic and simple, I used it at home.”

He honed his craft, working for 20 years as a cabinet maker, including making cabinets for his and wife Christine’s Schenevus home. “I like cabinetry because of the way things fit together,” he said. “I like doors and drawers.”

He went back to school for a master’s in social work, working for 19 years at an outpatient substance abuse program in Delaware County, retiring in 2015.

And in retirement, he’s found time to return to his passion for woodworking, including building his own woodworking bench.

“I always do original designs, never reproductions,” he said. “In a lot of ways, I’m self-taught, and now I have the luxury of time to play with different designs.”

He is especially influenced by Art Deco and Art Nouveau. “I like the geometry of Art Deco, but the fluidity of Art Nouveau,” he said. “I like to work with them together. And I use a lot of asymmetry to prevent them from being too boring! It causes the eye to move around more, creates something different.”

And in addition to the plane and cucumber “bombs” of “The Only Good War,” he has incorporated miniatures into other projects, including a commissioned mirror. “I made it look like someone was putting up a billboard,” he said. “I made little pulleys and scaffolding, and I used an old advertisement in the top upper left corner, above the frame.”

He called the piece “Quitting Time,” complete with tiny abandoned tools in the lift baskets.

An average piece takes three and four weeks to make, primarily with domestic hardwoods. “I’ve always been concerned about the environment,” he said. “I’ll use hardwood veneers sometimes, but I try to stay away from rainforest wood.”

In addition to CANO’s current show, he has shown in nearly a dozen exhibitions, including taking first place at this year’s Northeastern Woodworkers Association “Showcase” last March in Saratoga Springs, for his Snow-White inspired mirror, “Who’s The Fairest?” and second place for “Turkey Feathers” lamp, both on display at CANO.

“Building is a wonderful discipline,” he said. “There’s a satisfaction of working towards a goal. I feel sorry for people who don’t work with their hands – they’re missing out on something.”

Sobriety Celebrated at LEAF Poetry & Art Show

Sobriety Celebrated at

LEAF Poetry & Art Show

Sam Judd, Oneonta, shows some personal photographs before singing the poem he wrote for LEAF’s 2019 Art & Poetry Contest on the theme, “Home Is Where The Heart Is,” at CANO’s headquarters in the Wilber Mansion Friday evening.   The poem, which took third place in the Adult category, celebrates an adventure he went on with his wife and new dog, Jasper.  Attendees packed the venue, examining art that filled and walls of four rooms, and packing the main room to hear poet read their original works.  (Jennifer Hill/
Study D&H Yards More, Citizens Ask

Study D&H Yards

More, Citizens Ask

CANO President Jim Maloney presents Lynn Bailey with second place award in the Fireman’s Choice category for her homemade Texas chili at the annual Chili Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3 at the Wilber Mansion

ONEONTA – Environmental advocates criticized the Generic Environmental Statement (GEIS) for the D&H yards detailed by Delaware Engineering at Oneonta Common Council on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Complaints were the GEIS failed to sufficiently consider renewable-energy options and failed to show how a gas decompressor proposed for the Town of Oneonta might fit into the city project.
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Heather Pikul, owner of 221 Bakery in Oneonta, hands bowls of her smoky turkey chili to SUNY Delhi culinary students Carly Yezzo and Jessica Shultis during the annual CANO Chili Bowl at the Wilber Mansion on Sunday, Feb. 3. 400 chili fans cast their votes, finally selecting a Caribbean-inspired dish from SUNY Delhi Escoffier Club as their top favorite.

TWO LAUDED: Nicole Harmer and Shane Miller, both of Oneonta, were named to the Fall 2018 Dean’s List at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

FOTI ON TOP: George Foti, a senior at Lasell College, was named to the Fall 2018 Dean’s List. He is majoring in Elementary Education.

GILLETTE ACHIEVES: Kinsey Gillette, Otego, was named to the Dean’s List at Emmanuel College for the Fall 2018 semester.


Delhi Culinary Earns Top Honors At Chili Bowl

Delhi Culinary Earns

Top Chili Bowl Honors

More people voted in this year’s 15th annual Chili Bowl in Oneonta than at any other in the history of the event. Guests and chefs waited in suspense for over an hour as CANO volunteers and staff sorted through more than 400 ballots, then announced a Caribbean-inspired dish from SUNY Delhi Escoffier Club members Jessica Shultis, Peter Blayne, John Gougoutris and Carly Yezzo, in top photo with CANO President Jim Maloney.  Maloney took both the Fireman’s Award and the People’s Choice Awards for Best Chili. Second place went to the Tulip & Rose of Franklin with The B-Side taking third place.  At right, Kirsten Gargash and daughter Skylar stir up their beef and venison chili before the first guests arrive. (Ian Austin/

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