News of Otsego County

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


Chip Northrup

NORTHRUP: Whartons Best President, First Lady We Never Had

Whartons Best President,

First Lady We Never Had

Dolores Wharton, whose book, “A Multicultured Life,” will be available on Sept. 1, and her husband, former SUNY Chancellor Clifton R. Wharton Jr. (Jim Kevlin/

To the Editor:

Your newspaper did us all a great favor with its coverage of Dolores Wharton’s autobiography, which serves as a fine complement to her husband’s book. You have helped put the Whartons in their proper historical context – they were pillars in the advancement of minority meritocracy in the United States, moreso than any ballplayer in the Hall of Fame.

Because, while Jackie Robinson proved that a black man could play in the Major Leagues, the Whartons proved minorities could rise to the top in the real-world major leagues of commerce, international relations, finance, government and the arts. And, in so doing, they paved the way for the advancement of the next generation of minority leaders – Barack Obama,
Julián Castro and Kamala Harris.

The Whartons may well be the best President and First Lady that the United States never had.


13 States Have Made ‘Green Law’ Work – Why Not New York

13 States Have Made

‘Green Law’ Work –

Why Not New York

To the Editor:

State law governs the issuance of driver’s licenses.  Since 1993, 13 states and D.C. have issued licenses to residents – i.e. some of them could be illegal aliens.

This does not give the cardholder the right to vote. In fact, it says that right on the card.

What  it does is bring them into compliance concerning requirements for car insurance, car registration, and traffic tickets, all the regulations that are pertinent to what they’re doing – driving a car.

In other states, they are called “privilege cards” and are not valid IDs for voting.

Voter registration laws are likewise handled by the states, and so-called “motor voter” laws effectively register anyone with a license – that is a valid ID for voting – to vote. If their license is not a valid ID for voting, they don’t get registered.

Not that complicated to sort out any misunderstandings.



Question Planners Should Ask: Is It Better Than What’s There?

Question Planners Should Ask:

Is It Better Than What’s There?

To the Editor:

To implement the Village of Cooperstown Housing Committee’s recommendations, the Village might start by being a bit more receptive to the demolition of derelict buildings for new development.

Since the village can’t grow outwards, it must grow upwards via infill redevelopment.

The density of the village’s building stock has probably decreased slightly from its peak – as evidenced by archival photographs of hotels that burned and larger buildings that were torn down and replaced by lower density structures such as the CVS building on Main, the under-utilized TJ’s building, or the abandoned car dealership on Chestnut.

New construction should be compatible with the neighborhood and historic context of the village, but the determining factor should be whether the proposed redevelopment is better than what’s there now – which in many cases is junk.

Disallowing redevelopment guarantees the decline and underuse of derelict buildings, to no good end.


Texans Say, Don’t Mess With Cattle

Texans Say, Don’t

Mess With Cattle

To the Editor:
Had the local dairyman moved to Texas and knowingly allowed his cows to starve to death, he would have been charged with up to 25 felony counts, each carrying up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine per head – which adds up to 250 years in the state pen and $250,000 in fines.

About the same as for manslaughter. In New York, he gets a Class A Misdemeanor – up to a year in jail and $1,000 fine – the same as jostling someone on the subway or writing graffiti.

Helpful hint: If you do not or cannot take care of your livestock, don’t come to Texas. We may be a bunch of neolithic thugs with brains the size a persimmon, but we really get all riled up when someone is willfully unkind to livestock.


For Now, Gas Necessary, But Before Long, Goodnight Irene

For Now, Gas Necessary, But

Before Long, Goodnight Irene

To the Editor:

Have followed the local fossil fuel v. renewables debate from afar and would like to suggest that there may be more compatibility between the two that either side is willing to admit.

What the fossil-fuel junkies fail to understand is that the source of that gas is literally the bottom of the hydrocarbon barrel, the source rock. When it taps out, it’s Goodnight Irene. Wish your grandkids good luck in all their future endeavors.

Because of its environmental impacts and limited life expectancy, gas should never be used as a primary source of energy – it should be kept for peaking uses – when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine.

What the renewable fans may not appreciate is that using natural gas is a viable way to generate heat or electricity to supplement renewable sources. So they are complementary and should be used and discussed as such.

We will be coming back to town soon and we’d really appreciate it if you would get this rancorous matter sorted out so that we can all get on to another rancorous debate. Won’t that be jolly ?



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