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News of Otsego County

Chip Northrup

NORTHRUP: Communities Urged To Safeguard Lake
Letter from Chip Northrup

Communities Urged
To Safeguard Lake

Proposition 1 passed last week. It authorizes state bond funds for environmental infrastructure—including $650 million for clean water projects. The Otsego Lake community should make a proposal to address harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the lake.

The funding proposal should come from the Village, the townships and the county. The proposal should be crafted by the lake stakeholders and experts—led by the Biological Field Station.

HABs can be reduced by better watershed management and in-lake remediation. As of last week, state funds may be available to support our effort to keep Glimmerglass Lake from turning into Pea Soup Pond.

Let’s work on a plan to address the problem.

Chip Northrup
Cooperstown

Invention by Cooperstown Resident Getting Interest from Military

Invention by Cooperstown Resident
Getting Interest from Military

By Caspar Ewig
Northrup (right) with Luis Velazquez, CTO Marines, and Vince Pope, Master Gunnery Sergeant. (Photo provided)

Ghosts, especially at this time of the year, are meant to scare one to death. But ghosts can also be used to save a soldier’s life. And it is upon that idea that Cooperstown’s James (or “Chip,” as he likes to be called) Northrup filed a patent seven years ago that underlies the function of a training system designed to enhance a soldier’s ability to zero in on a moving target. The concept is obvious: If you are going to shoot at something, you better aim at where a target will be, not where it’s been. Even a bullet that travels faster than the eye can follow must take some time between the instant it leaves the barrel of the gun and the time it hits its target. And a moving target (or an enemy combatant) is not going to conveniently stand still in that interim.

While the concept may be disarmingly simple, creating a training system that will teach and perfect a soldier’s ability to put that concept into practice is not. That is where the brainstorm of the inventor takes over. The premise is to create a virtual reality that allows one to see the lead point at which one must aim in order to hit the target. Hence the ghost:

NORTHRUP: Carefree Gardens + Origins = Paradise
Letter from Chip Northrup

Carefree Gardens + Origins = Paradise

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, we begin to think of heading back to Texas. But we never leave before the closing event of the season: the plant auction at Carefree Gardens on October 10, Columbus Day.

One of our great pleasures at Cooperstown is our time spent at Carefree and at Origins Café, where, if I’m lucky, I get to shoot the breeze with my pal Brent Leonard. There are various versions of what Paradise may be like, but I prefer the Muslim one: a fragrant garden filled with bubbling fountains, with food and drinks served by beautiful women. I think I’ll convert to Islam so that when I die, if I’ve lived a good life, I’ll get to go to Origins Café and Carefree Gardens.

Chip Northrup
Cooperstown

NORTHRUP: Keep the Glimmer, Lose the Slime
Letter from Chip Northrup

Keep the Glimmer, Lose the Slime

Dr Willard Harman of the Biological Field Station understands the biodynamics of toxic slime (“blue green algae”) and he knows what can be done to mitigate their blooms — which may become chronic if left unaddressed — in which case lake water would become non-potable, fish would die, and people would get sick. The Biological Field Station is going to come up with plans to attempt to address the problem —before Glimmerglass Lake becomes Pea Soup Pond.

Other watersheds have had this problem, other watersheds have addressed the problem, other watersheds have solved the problem. We are fortunate that we have Dr. Harman and the Biological Field Station to attempt to keep the glimmer in Glimmerglass without mercilessly maligning mussels.

Chip Northrup
Cooperstown

NORTHRUP: Unnecessary Nuisance
Letter from Chip Northrup

Unnecessary Nuisance

The Cooperstown firehouse siren is noise pollution at its worst — far above the Village’s own decibel limit, and totally unnecessary, unlike say a heavy metal concert. Pagers and cell phones can and have replaced these ridiculous noisemakers. If the firemen get a page or a text, they get the address of the fire — they can go straight there — they don’t have to go to the fire station first.

When the Queensbury, N.Y. Fire Department turned their firehouse siren off for repairs, there was a 100% response rate — for 7 years. No volunteer fireman missed getting to the firehouse for lack of a siren. And the neighbors certainly didn’t miss the siren going off at all hours. When the repaired sirens were turned back on, the town protested, and the sirens are going to be replaced as unnecessary nuisances.

There is nothing traditional or necessary about ruining property values with sirens. There is nothing traditional or necessary about ruining people’s hearing. Replace the sirens with pagers and cell phone texts. This will improve property values around the sirens and will make the fire response more efficient.

firerescue1.com/volunteer/articles/residents-of-ny-town-want-fd-siren-turned-off-2rxwePdnUYAHSLen/

Chip Northrup
Cooperstown

NORTHRUP: Hapless Mussels

Letter from Chip Northrup

Hapless Mussels

The hapless mussels didn’t want to come here. They were as happy as clams in Siberia — before they were Shanghai’d to the Great Lakes. They have no political advocates in Albany — so they get the blame for everything. Count the votes

Chip Northrup
Cooperstown

Chip Northrup on new pot stores

‘Justice involved’

The proposed New York State licensing program for cannabis dispensaries (a.k.a. dope shops) gives priority to applicants that have a record of being “justice involved” – that is, persons convicted of drug charges, or the relatives of such persons, before the state dope sale law went into effect. What a great euphemism for a criminal!

Fortunately, I qualify – having exported hashish from England to America in the 1970s. So where do I apply for a license to become the Dope King of Main Street? If sales are slow, I can simply consume the inventory or dispense it gratis to the denizens of Farkle Park.

One toke over the line in Texas,

Chip Northrup

Cooperstown

 

Letter: Meanwhile in Texas

Letter: Meanwhile in Texas

Texas’s new voter suppression law is a great example of how to keep lots of people from voting. The new statute requires a voter to present either a driver’s license or their Social Security number in order to get an absentee ballot. Since Texas only requires one of these IDs to register to vote, if a county registrar receives an absentee ballot request with a type of ID they don’t have on file, they can’t match the ballot request with the voter. That has already resulted in massive numbers of absentee ballot request rejections.

Other than a lawsuit to overturn the law to conform absentee ballot requirements with voter registration data, there is a simple solution for this: Don’t vote for politicians who don’t want you to vote.

Chip Northrup
CooperstownChip

Letter: ‘Plague’ Improvements

Letter:
‘Plague’ Improvements

The Plague has produced some revelations, a few for the better.

Our son works remotely at PIXAR. He lives a mile away from the office, where he used to commute by bike, but hasn’t gone there in over a year. Now that working from home is a viable alternative, a PIXAR artist or programmer could work from anywhere there is sufficient bandwidth — even Cooperstown.

Letter: Another dispensary ‘no’

Letter: Another dispensary ‘no’

To the Editor:

The most obvious, most sober course of action for the Village Board is to opt out of the state’s comically misguided and tragically misspelled “marihuana” law, and simultaneously schedule a referendum on the matter that, among other things, addresses zoning, etc.

NORTHRUP: Proposed apartments better than existing eyesores

LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Proposed apartments better than existing eyesores

To the Editor:

A new apartment building has been proposed at 10 Chestnut between Main and Lake. Simple Integrity proposed much the same thing two years ago. I was the only person at the hearing that spoke in favor of it—on the simple premise that what they proposed was clearly an improvement on what’s there now—a dilapidated building.

The first and foremost utilitarian test on the redevelopment of property in the village should be that if it’s better than what it replaces, the village should look favorably on it—because if the application is denied, what’s there now will remain a useless hole in the tax rolls. There is no practical mechanism in the village to tear down derelict structures, so the village has a lifetime supply of neglected buildings that will remain neglected until someone proposes to remodel or replace them with something better. When that happens, the trustees should work with the proponent on the proposal— provided it’s allowed within the zoning ordinance—since the alternative is for the buildings to remain eyesores.

Chip Northrup
Cooperstown

NORTHRUP: While U.S. Soldiers Fought, Families Confined At Home

LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

While U.S. Soldiers Fought,
Families Confined At Home

To the Editor:

Racial animus against Asians, including snide remarks about the “Kung Flu,” has no place in America.

My father-in-law, Al Prather, was a lieutenant in the 442nd Infantry Regiment during World War II. Most of the enlisted men were Japanese Americans, most of the officers were not.

Many of the families of the Japanese-American soldiers were imprisoned in detention camps, as a form of racial profiling – the United States government assumed that they might be traitors: including the mothers, sisters, fathers and little brothers of the enlisted men of the 442nd.

When it came time to ship out overseas, the military attached the 442 to the 36th Texas Division and sent them to Europe to fight the Nazis, under the impression that Japanese Americans would have no qualms about killing Germans. They did not.

In one of the most famous battles of the war, “The Rescue of the Lost Battalion,” the 442 fought to save the survivors of the 141st Regiment, mainly Texans, who were surrounded in the Vosges Mountains near the German border.

In saving their Texas comrades, over half of the Japanese Americans were killed or wounded in less than 30 days.

Their valor was recognized with more Congressional Medals of Honor than any regiment in the war. All this while their families were in prison camps back in the US. The general understanding of their valor was that they fought as well as they did to make a point: that Japanese Americans are courageous, hard-working, loyal Americans. Not people to be belittled or mocked. Even by politicians.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

NORTHRUP: Before Cuomo Resignation, Let Investigations Conclude

LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Before Cuomo Resignation,
Let Investigations Conclude

To the Editor:

I have never voted for Andrew Cuomo and probably never will. I can’t. I’m not a year-’round resident of New York State.

The allegations of harassment against him are troubling, and, if proven, worthy of condemnation. But I am going to suggest that, rather than simply clamour for his resignation, it would be more helpful, indeed therapeutic, to allow the investigations by the state Attorney General and the state Legislature to play out.

That’s what the harassment statutes are for. Under the law, the presumption is that the accused is innocent, and that guilt must be proven, not simply alleged.

As a practical matter, if he resigned now, nothing would be proven. The only lesson learned would be that he was held accountable to the court of public opinion, not the law.

By resigning, there will be no investigation, no due process, no conclusive judgment. Not a great precedent for the law or the process.

Senator Gillibrand is calling for his resignation. I recall that she was the first of Senator Al Franken’s colleagues to condemn him for alleged harassment.

When she was rebuked for that after he resigned, she said, “He could have gone before the Ethics Committee.” True, with her prejudicial dagger sticking in his back.

In hindsight, Franken should have gone through the process, as Cuomo says he will. Daggers and all. If he comes out of it battered but unbroken, I might even vote for him. Multiple times, as my dead relatives and I do regularly in Texas.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

NORTHRUP: Get Jabbed – Or Get Lost
LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Get Jabbed – Or Get Lost

To the Editor:

Got my second C-19 vax the other day at a public center. Only fainted once this time.

No wait, no line, plenty of technicians and vax. All paid for by the government. Ain’t socialized medicine grand?

We are truly blessed to have these vaccines available to us. So where was the crowd? Where were the lines? Why are so many people still refusing to get vaccinated?

Since vaccinating the majority of the population could effectively wipe out the plague, why not tie getting government paychecks and subsidies to vaccinations? Air travel?

If you refuse to do your civic duty and get vaccinated on religious, political or conspiratorial grounds, that is your prerogative.

But you forfeit your ability to get a government paycheck or get on a plane.

You won’t be able to fly to Mexico. You won’t be able to leave your poodle at home to freeze. But that will be the price you pay for refusing to do your civic duty.

It’s up to you. Get jabbed or get lost.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

NORTHRUP: Impeachment Burnished At Least One Politician
LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Impeachment Burnished At Least One Politician

To the Editor:

We saw something this week in the Impeachment trial that is a rarity – a politician who followed the law, not his party line.

The idea of being faithful to the law is the essence of the inscription at Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans held the line against the Persian army. Herotodus mentioned the plaque commemorating
the battle: “Go tell the Spartans that we 300, ever faithful to their laws, here died.”

They didn’t say ever faithful to a person, or to their party, but to their laws.

Senator Cassidy (R-La.) voted that the impeachment trial is indeed Constitutional (which it is) against the wishes of his party. He then heard the evidence and voted to convict Trump.

What Senator Cassidy did was courageous, because, like the Spartans, he was ever faithful, “Semper Fidelis” to the law. Not to a party, nor a leader, but to the law. Here’s to that. Go tell the Cajuns.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

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