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Public debates Chestnut Street project

Public debates Chestnut Street project

About 30 speakers discuss pros, cons
of Chestnut
Crossing apartments
in lengthy public hearing

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

Artist’s rendering for the Chestnut Crossing property proposed for 10 Chestnut St., shows the alleys, parking area and adjacent property on Pine Boulevard that will act as a buffer between the 13-unit rental property and its neighbors. (Greg Klein/

COOPERSTOWN — More than 50 people packed the Cooperstown Central School cafeteria for a public hearing on the proposed Chestnut Crossing apartment complex at 10 Chestnut St.

The Cooperstown Village Board of Trustees moved the meeting to the middle/high school because of the public hearing, the first official chance for residents to speak for or against the 13-unit apartment complex proposed by Josh Edmonds and Francesca Zambello for two pieces of land they own on Chestnut Street and a third on Pine Boulevard.

The overflow crowd did not disappoint, with about 30 people speaking on the issue and two more speaking about a proposed licensing law for village-owned Cooperstown icons. Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh lifted the typical one-hour limit length for public hearings, gave each speaker five minutes to speak on each issue, and even allowed a handful of people to speak a second time or ask limited questions.

The public hearing portion of the meeting took more than two hours and the meeting itself wrapped up after 11 p.m, but Tillapaugh said she expected as much.

LWV applauds girls who planned Asian rally


LWV applauds girls
who planned Asian rally

To the Editor:

The League of Women Voters of the Cooperstown Area would like to applaud Jaina Bischof, Cate Bohler, Charlotte Feury, Riley Fillion, Elizabeth Hughes, Olivia Lowenguth, Maya Pandit, who, with the support of their families and friends, organized the Otsego Rally for Solidarity with Asian Americans on Sunday, May 2, in Cooperstown. These students’ activism is fully aligned with the League of Women Voters’ goal to create a stronger, more inclusive democracy.

Such outstanding civic leadership and teamwork is an inspiration to all of us to commit ourselves to combating racism through character, intelligence, and compassion. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child; in this case it is these teenagers who have raised the Village of Cooperstown to a new level of community engagement with this highly charged issue. With the shining example of these students to light our way, let us continue this important and good work of making Cooperstown, as Dr. Namita Singh put it so well in her speech at the rally, the “all-American village” of this century: one that celebrates our nation’s diverse cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious roots and on these strong foundations remains a thriving, vibrant community.

Liane Hirabayashi
Co-president, Cooperstown Area League of Women Voters

This Week — April 29, 2021
Trustee Jim Dean Hailed For 10-Year Job Well Done

Trustee Jim Dean Hailed

For 10-Year Job Well Done

Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch joins the applause after presenting a plaque this evening to Trustee Jim Dean, who was attending his last meeting after 10 years on the Cooperstown Village Board. The mayor praised not just Dean’s  service on the board, but his community service at large going back four decades. (Among other contributions, the stair-making craftsman built Santa’s Cottage in Pioneer Park.) In his remarks, Dean praised his colleague for “10 years of tremendous progress,” capped by the renovation of Doubleday Field. His seat will be filled April 1 by Hannah Bergene, 30, whom Dean, 80, enthusiastically endorsed.  (Jim Kevlin/
Trustee Urging Colleagues: Back Marijuana Stores

Trustee Urging

Colleagues: Back

Marijuana Stores

Benton: Embrace New Opportunity

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Mac Benton

COOPERSTOWN – Village Trustee Mac Benton said today he’s asked his fellow trustees not to “opt out” of hosting marijuana retailers in Main Street “store fronts,” as may be enabled in legislation moving “very quickly” in the state Legislature.

“It’s going to be great for businesses, it’s going to be great for farmers, it’s going to be great for racial justice,” said Benton, who today emailed a packet of information to Village Board members.  “It’s going to be great for a lot of things.”

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch said a few minutes ago that she has received Benton’s packet, and the initiative may be discussed in the “new business” segment of the agenda at this evening’s meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in Village Hall.  The idea would not be voted on tonight, she said.

SUNY Herkimer: Hazzard To Coach Girls’ Basketball


SUNY Herkimer: Hazzard

To Coach Girls’ Basketball

Matt Hazzard

COOPERSTOWN – Matt Hazzard, assistant coach on CCS’ 2015 state championship girls basketball team and former Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce executive director, has been appointed head women’s basketball coach at SUNY Herkimer.

Hazzard earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics and sports management from SUNY Cortland and a master’s degree in organization management from Colorado State University.

COVID Case Shuts CCS For One Week

COVID Case Shuts

CCS For One Week

COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown Central’s new superintendent, Sarah Spross, announced yesterday that a junior-senior high school student tested positive for COVID, and that school will be closed beginning today through Friday, March 26.

Students will shift to remote instruction, and volleyball practice and games have been suspended through next Saturday.

“While many of our staff have received the vaccination,” Spross said, “they are not considered fully vaccinated because they are not two weeks past receiving the second dose.”

Christy Schiele, 83 Feb. 16, 1938-March12, 2021


Christy Schiele, 83

Feb. 16, 1938-March12, 2021

ONEONTA – Christy Schiele passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 13, 2021, with her loving family by her side.

Christy was born in Brooklyn on Feb. 16, 1938.  She lived for a time in The Bronx and Carmel, N.Y., and then spent her early years in Briarwood, a section of Jamaica, N.Y.  After high school, her desire to see the world led her to employment as a stewardess with Capitol Airways which afforded her the ability to visit many of the great cities of the world.

Audubon Magazine Features Cooperstown Nature Writer


Audubon Magazine Features

Cooperstown Nature Writer

Susan Fenimore Cooper’s Reputation Rising

Susan Fenimore Cooper

COOPERSTOWN – This month’s edition of Audubon magazine features Susan Fenimore Cooper, whose “Rural Hours” (1850) was mentioned by Henry David Thoreau his journals prior to the publication of his famous “Walden” (1854).

Credited simply as “by a lady,” her “Rural Hours,” while praised by such giants at Charles Darwin, prevented Susan from even approaching the fame of her father, James Fenimore Cooper.





It Will Be Open 7 Days A Week,

Aims To Give 1,000 Shots A Day

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Dr. Ibrahim

COOPERTOWN – Bassett Healthcare Network announced a few minutes ago that a COVID-19 mass-vaccination clinic will open Thursday at SUNY Oneonta’s Dewar Arena.

It will be the first such clinic in the state operated by a healthcare network, along with nine new state-run sites announced by Governor Cuomo today.  It will be open seven days a week, administering 1,000 shots a day.

Registration can begin tomorrow. (See below)

“Bassett is extremely proud to partner with New York State, SUNY Oneonta, and other key stakeholders in our communities to launch this tremendous operation,” says Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, Bassett president/CEO.  “This is a critical step forward for our region in the fight against COVID-19.”

Village Polls Open Until 9

Village Polls Open Until 9

Voter #3, Hannah Bergene, who is running for village trustee in today’s Cooperstown elections, signs the register a few minutes ago after polls opened at noon. She and Trustee/Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, left, both Democrats, are running unopposed for Village Board. In the background are Village Trustee Mac Benton, right, who was voter #2, and Henry Bauer. Polls will be open at the fire hall on Chestnut Street until 9 p.m., and at village throughout the county. Notable in today’s vote is a three-way race in Cherry Valley.  (Jim Kevlin/
Grace P. Sheldon, 93; Native Daughter Raised 4 Sons Locally

IN MEMORIAM: Grace P. Sheldon, 93;

Native Daughter Raised 4 Sons Locally

COOPERSTOWN – Grace Patricia Sheldon, 93, passed away Saturday, March 13, 2021, at Wilson Hospital in Johnson City.

She was born Feb. 16, 1928, in Cooperstown, a daughter of Harold L. and Grace (Putnam) Davidson. She graduated from Cooperstown High School with the Class of 1945.

On May 20, 1950, Patricia married William L. Sheldon in a ceremony at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown.

Constance Marie Clemente Panzarella, 74


Constance Marie

Clemente Panzarella, 74

May 10, 1946-March 8, 2021

Connie Panzarella

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. – Constance Marie Clemente Panzarella, 74, loving mother, grandmother and sister, passed away March 8, 2021, at Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., from non-COVID related complications associated with chronic health conditions.

She was born May 10, 1946, in The Bronx, a daughter of the late Amadeo J. and Pauline E. Joslin Clemente. She was raised in The Bronx, Whitesboro and Waterville, NY and was a graduate of Waterville High School.

You May Include Family Members  In ‘In Memoriam’ On COVID Year

You May Include Family Members 

In ‘In Memoriam’ On COVID Year

Dear Friends,

We are planning a one-year retrospective of The COVID Year the next editions of Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal, which will include an “IN MEMORIAM” section, remembering and honoring our friends and neighbors fatally stricken by the virus.

If you have a family member felled by COVID and would like them to be memorialized, then please send – by noon Monday, March 15 – his or her name, dates of birth and death, and a paragraph remembering their lives and how they are remembered.

With condolences and best regards,


Editor & Publisher

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