Bolsonaro and Lula head to second round in Brazil election     Zelensky hails advances as open recriminations intensify in Russian media      Ukraine live briefing: U.S., U.K. say Russia’s retreat from Lyman ‘significant,’ hurts its ability to resupply troops     Bolsonaro and Lula head to second round in Brazil election     Zelensky hails advances as open recriminations intensify in Russian media      Ukraine live briefing: U.S., U.K. say Russia’s retreat from Lyman ‘significant,’ hurts its ability to resupply troops     Iran’s release of Iranian-American not conditioned on asset unfreezing, U.S. says.      Tear gas use by Indonesian police questioned in wake of mass fatality soccer tragedy     What’s behind the protests in Iran?     Bolsonaro and Lula head to second round in Brazil election     Zelensky hails advances as open recriminations intensify in Russian media      Ukraine live briefing: U.S., U.K. say Russia’s retreat from Lyman ‘significant,’ hurts its ability to resupply troops     Bolsonaro and Lula head to second round in Brazil election     Zelensky hails advances as open recriminations intensify in Russian media      Ukraine live briefing: U.S., U.K. say Russia’s retreat from Lyman ‘significant,’ hurts its ability to resupply troops     Iran’s release of Iranian-American not conditioned on asset unfreezing, U.S. says.      Tear gas use by Indonesian police questioned in wake of mass fatality soccer tragedy     What’s behind the protests in Iran?     
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News of Otsego County

conservation

EDITORIAL: Looking an Aqua Pandemic in the Eye

Editorial

Looking an Aqua
Pandemic in the Eye

Recently, we at The Freeman’s Journal have become aware that some of our readers, and others who may not be our readers, still have questions about the toxic algae blooms that of late have been creeping up on us from the depths and edges of our beloved Otsego Lake. So here goes an effort to get it right.

According to NOAA, whose satellites, along with those of the EPA, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, are picking up images of them, these blooms have been found in 2,300 lakes in the contiguous U.S., and in another 5,000 bodies of water in Alaska.

The algae, often — but not strictly — of a blue-green color, is cyanobacteria, which grows naturally in fresh water, though it also also been spotted, although less frequently, in brackish and salt water. The bacteria can also be red, neon or brown, and when it dies it exudes a rotten smell. When the water is warm, stagnant and nutrient-rich, as it presently is here, the algae can burst into blooms, which is what we are seeing along the shores of the Lake. The blooms can, and do, produce a toxin, called cyanotoxin, which can enter the mouth, nose and eyes, or be inhaled with water vapor. They can also keep blooming into the early fall, until the temperature drops.

This Week 09-01-22
Lake Update: Biological Field Station update on algae bloom in Otsego lake
Lake Update

Biological Field Station update
on algae bloom in Otsego lake

Relatively clear water at Five Mile Point on Monday, August 22, but with a close look colonies of Microcystis aeruginosa are visible in the water. Total Microcystin concentration was 0.6 µg/L , determined for a sample collected at the time of this photo.

The Biological Field Station (BFS) collected samples for toxin analysis around Otsego Lake yesterday, 22 August 2022. All sites had detectable levels of the toxin microcystin, though concentrations lake-wide were generally less than last week. Results for each location are below. We provide these results for informational purposes and to aid in decision-making; these results represent a snapshot in time. Bloom conditions are known to change rapidly with weather. When there are visible accumulations on the shoreline or the water surface, caution is warranted. A link to DOH guidance is below. The cyanobacteria causing the bloom is called Microcystis aeruginosa.  

Sample Collection Notes: Collection began at 10:00am at Three Mile Point; we proceeded clockwise around the lake. Weather conditions: overcast, occasional light rain, Air temp 70° F.  No surface accumulations were visible where samples were collected. Small accumulations were observed in protected areas around boats and docks at both BFS properties.  

The Wolf Is at the Door

The Wolf Is at the Door

By Carrie Thompson

Last December, an unidentified hunter in Central New York killed a coyote — or so he thought. The hunter posted the picture of his prize on Facebook and, frankly, it looks a lot like a wolf. But there are no wolves in New York State, right?

This post was spotted by a member of the Northeast Ecological Recovery Society and the hunter was contacted for a tissue sample submission. He complied and the DNA results are in; 100% wolf. The sample tested as a mix of “Great Lakes Wolf, Northwest Territories Grey Wolf, and Eastern Wolf. The purity of this DNA sample is consistent with a wild wolf ‘dispersed’ from Canada where wild wolves are known to intermingle”.

The discovery that the animal was a pure wolf came as a surprise to the organization due to the assumption that wolves, which thrive in the Canadian and Alaskan territories, are prevented from traveling into the Adirondacks by the Saint Lawrence River acting as a natural barrier.

Glimmerglass Closed for Swimming

Glimmerglass State Park
Closed for Swimming

The beach at Glimmerglass State Park has been closed for swimming due to a Harmful Algae Bloom which is affecting the north end of Otsego Lake.

The other local beaches such as 3 Mile Point and Fairy Springs remain open at this time. Jenna Utter, Cooperstown Village Clerk, says “Village Parks remain open at this time and we are monitoring the situation closely.”

Dedication, invention, perseverance lead to a surprising, happy ending for the Fenimore Cooper murals

Dedication, invention, perseverance lead to a
surprising, happy ending for the Fenimore Cooper murals

Photo by Charles Seton: Leaving the Trapper (from The Prairie, painted by Albert Crutcher 8’x8’ )

[Editor’s note: We’ve been following the story of the James Fenimore Cooper murals in Mamaroneck doomed to a future hidden from view or lost forever to school reconstruction. There’s good news to report this week, and we asked Carol Bradshaw Akin, Board Member and former President of the Mamaroneck Historical Society, to give us a first-person, on-the-ground report. It’s a wonderful story with a happy ending — something nice for a change — and a real connection between Otsego and Westchester counties. Thank you, Carol!]

There’s good news to report, thanks to the superhuman efforts of the Co-Presidents of the Mamaroneck Historical Society, John Pritts and Gail Boyle, who turned their lives inside out for the past two-plus months to save eight murals of James Fenimore Cooper’s scenes from “Leatherstocking Tales” painted 81 years ago. Ninth grade classes at Mamaroneck Junior High fund-raised from 1936 to 1941, then hired artists from Yale Art School, one of whom, Mimi Jennawine, was a Mamaroneck High graduate. Her other works include a painting in the Smithsonian — and most all of the other muralists went on to become prominent artists.

With GoFundMe contributions, and a couple of generous large donors, the figure needed was reached, and John and Gail began. They threw themselves into this almost impossible task, researching information, and contacts, searching for mural-removal companies (found one), hired an art conservator, wrote and followed up on hundreds of emails, spent hours and days on phone calls, tried (in vain) to be in touch with the School Board and Superintendent, (eventually found the school’s Director of Facilities who was supportive and cooperative!), drove all over from Stamford, CT, to Brooklyn to pick up preservation supplies needed by the company, which also included huge 2ft x 12ft tubes on which to roll the murals. And then once the work began, they supervised all of the work every day at the high school.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Springfield Library Celebrates Valentines Day & Chinese New Year 02-23-22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23

Springfield Library Celebrates
Valentines Day & Chinese New Year

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SPRINGFIELD READS – 4:30 p.m. Celebrate Chinese New Year and Valentines Day together with stories, snacks, and crafts with members of the Springfield community. Sponsored by Hyde Hall. Springfield Community Library, 129 Co. Rd. 29A, Springfield Center. 315-858-5802 or visit hydehall.org/springfield-reads-feb-23-2022/

Invasive insects make a meal out of county’s hemlocks

An infested Hemlock tree. (Photo by Steve Kinne)

Invasive insects make a meal out of county’s hemlocks

By Kevin Limiti

An invasive species with an odd name is causing concern in Otsego County after conservationists discovered the destructive insect at parks in Cooperstown and around Oneonta.

The Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) is a tiny bug that infests hemlock trees, which experts warn could cause catastrophic environmental damage.

The insect in question came from the Far East in the 1920s and was discovered in New York State in the 1980s, and gets it name from the wool-like mask it generates around itself and looks like a cotton ball in the trees when an infestation is bad enough.

Now, it has been found ravaging hemlock in Fairy Springs Park in Cooperstown and Robert V. Riddell Park in Davenport.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Learn About Invasive Species with Otsego County Conservation Association 01-27-2022
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JANUARY 27

Learn About Invasive Species with
Otsego County Conservation Association

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CONSERVATION WEBINAR – 7 – 8 p.m. Learn about the Woolly Adelgid, an invasive insect which targets hemlock trees which are an important part of our ecosystem. Seminar will cover the biology & impact of this insect as well as surveying and management options. Learn how you can volunteer to spot this invader and help protect our local forests. Presented by the Otsego County Conservation Association. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/hemlock-woolly-adelgid-spotters/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Seniors Party at the Mall 12-07-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7

Seniors Party at the Mall

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SENIOR SOCIAL – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Seniors are invited for a party featuring Chair Yoga, Silver Sneaker Classic, Lunch from Panera Bread, Bingo, and a mall walk. Free, all invited. Presented by the Oneonta YMCA. Hosted at The Community Room by JC Penny’s at The Southside Mall, Oneonta. 607-432-0010 ext. 9 or visit www.facebook.com/OneontaFamilyYMCA/

Arthur J. Newell, 72 June 25, 1949 – October 27, 2021

In Memoriam

Arthur J. Newell, 72

June 25, 1949 – October 27, 2021

Arthur J. Newell

Arthur J. Newell, beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, son, cousin, nephew, brother-in-law, son-in-law, and friend, passed away peacefully at home on October 27, 2021. Born in New York City on June 25, 1949 to Vincent and Elizabeth Newell, Art grew up in Kings Park on Long Island where his profound connection with the water first took root.

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in 1971 from SUNY Albany, followed by a Master’s in Biology at SUNY Oneonta where he did his research on Otsego Lake. He was deeply devoted to environmental protection, spending the bulk of his career with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Concerned with habitat loss and climate change, Art took great pride and satisfaction in fighting for legislation to protect the environment.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Chop and Cheese with OCCA 08-25-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25

Chop and Cheese with OCCA

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CHOP & CHEESE – 6 – 8 p.m. Come help eradicate a patch of invasive Japanese Knotweed from the farm. Bring your own gardening tools, limited supply available. Afterwards enjoy light refreshments in the garden with the Otsego County Conservation Association. This is the last Chop and Cheese of the season. Mohican Farm, 7207 St. Hwy. 80, Cooperstown. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/chop-cheese-the-big-finish/

Lions, Rotary, other partners host annual river cleanup day

Lions, Rotary, other partners
host annual river cleanup day

COOPERSTOWN — The fourth Susquehanna River Cleanup took place Saturday, July 17.

Community involvement in this project has continued to grow with more than 35 people volunteering this year. The Cooperstown Lions Club, Cooperstown Rotary Club, Rotary E-club of Global Trekkers, OCCA and Otsego 2000 as well as some individuals all made financial contributions to assist with building three new improved rafts.

The Susquehanna River Cleanup project came about because John Rowley and Maureen Rowley would walk the riverside trail between Mill and Main streets in Cooperstown on a regular basis.

They were dismayed by the amount of debris and garbage in that section of the river, including a large cattle-feeding trough.

Growing tired of seeing this, John proposed a clean-up project to the Cooperstown Lions Club, where he is a member and past president. Lions Club International Foundation had made environmental projects one of the club’s new initiatives.

The Cooperstown Lions Club embraced the project and set out to team with other organizations that would assist and guide the Lions with the project.

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