News of Otsego County


In Memoriam Virginia L. Stocking December 2, 1922-May 17, 2023
In Memoriam

Virginia L. Stocking

December 2, 1922-May 17, 2023

SPRINGFIELD CENTER—Virginia L. Stocking, beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away on May 17, 2023 at the age of 100. 

Virginia was born in Cooperstown on December 2, 1922 to Earl and Catherine Richards. She spent most of her childhood in East Springfield and graduated from Springfield Central School in June of 1940. She married Glenn C. Stocking on April 9, 1944. Virginia and Glenn devoted their lives to each other and to their family. 

In addition to spending time with her family, Virginia enjoyed playing the organ, singing, gardening, crossword puzzles, and attending both sporting and special events for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.   


Otsego County Remembers The Fallen

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ONEONTA MEMORIAL DAY PARADE —10 a.m. Commemorate our country’s fallen soldiers. The day will begin with a parade (line-up at 9 a.m. and step off at 10), to commemorate Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Robert Eramo. A riderless horse will be included as a salute to the fallen, with CWO3 Shawn Hubner, who serves in the deceased’s unit, hand carrying the battalion colors from Fort Wainwright to Oneonta and marching in the honor guard. After the parade will be a ceremony of remembrance at 11 a.m. on the Veterans Memorial Walkway in Neahwa Park. Parade held on Main Street, Oneonta.

CHERRY VALLEY MEMORIAL DAY PARADE—10 a.m. Honor the sacrifice of our nations fallen heroes. Parade kicks off from the Cherry Valley Library and marches to the Cherry Valley Cemetery where a memorial service will be held. Parade is followed by a chicken BBQ at 11 at the Tryon Inn. Library is at 61 Main Street, Cherry Valley. Historic Cemetery is at 20-36 State Route 166, Cherry Valley.

RICHFIELD SPRINGS MEMORIAL DAY PARADE—10:30 a.m. Celebrate the lives of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The parade departs the Richfield Springs Veterans Club and continues down Main Street to spring park where a remembrance ceremony will be held. Followed by the Memorial day chicken BBQ at the Veterans Club, Spring Raffle of a John Deere riding lawn mower, an electric powerwasher, and a blower/trimmer combo. Presented by the Veterans Club of Richfield Springs, 13 Lake Street, Richfield Springs. Visit

UNADILLA MEMORIAL DAY PARADE—10:30 a.m. Celebrate our nation’s fallen heroes. The day will begin with a wreath laying ceremony at the Veterans Monument on Main Street, followed by the parade to Saint Matthews Church Cemetery. Additional services at the Evergreen Hill Cemetery. A wreath for those who died at sea will be dropped off the I-88 bridge. All veterans are invited to march; uniforms not required. Meet at Unadilla Village Hall, 193 Main Street, Unadilla.

COOPERSTOWN MEMORIAL DAY PARADE—10:30 a.m. Join the Cooperstown Vets Club to celebrate the sacrifice of our nation’s fallen heroes. The parade lines up at 10:30, steps off at 11 and marches up Main Street to the County Clerk building where a memorial service will be held. Main Street Cooperstown.

In Memoriam Louise Ann Wayman 1953-2023
In Memoriam

Louise Ann Wayman


TODDSVILLE—Louise Ann Wayman, a long-time Cooperstown and Toddsville resident, passed away unexpectedly Monday, April 24, 2023 at her home in Toddsville. She was 69.

Born June 19, 1953 in Hamilton, Lou was the second child of Hobart and Norma (Rothwell) Onyan. In her youth, Lou and her family moved to Cooperstown, where she graduated from Cooperstown Central School with the Class of 1971.

As a young girl, Lou enjoyed and won awards showing horses with her grandfather. Her love of horses continued throughout her life.

In Memoriam Stephen Timothy Kilty 1933-2023
In Memoriam

Stephen Timothy Kilty


Stephen Timothy Kilty

COOPERSTOWN—Stephen Timothy Kilty, almost 90, passed away peacefully on April 23, 2023 after a long, happy life filled with his family, his Catholic faith, work, golf, and travel.

Tim was born in Stillwater, Minnesota on June 7, 1933 to Stephen MacGregor Kilty and Harriet Ryden. He attended the Stillwater High School and was involved in many sports, helping the Stillwater Ponies to a sectional championship in basketball in 1951 as a senior. As the salutatorian of his graduating high-school class, he was awarded a scholarship to attend Princeton University where he majored in economics and music, graduating in 1955. He was an avid golfer and met the love of his life, Dorothea Laura Simonet, at the Stillwater Country Club. They married in July 1955 and he was promptly drafted into the U.S. Army. Stationed in Chicago, he served in the Counter Intelligence division for two years with an honorable discharge. He began his career as a successful salesman with 3M and other manufacturing industries in the “steel belt,” moving frequently around the Midwest from St. Paul, Minnesota to Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbus, Ohio, Sharon, Pennsylvania, and Dallas, Texas, settling in the Cleveland area in Bay Village, Ohio in 1968. He co-owned Elyria Spring Co. for the last 15 years of his career.

Editorial: It’s Not Johnny’s Bench, But He Can Sit On It

It’s Not Johnny’s Bench,
But He Can Sit On It

Early in the freezing morning of Saturday, November 11, 1961, a terrible fire began in a building on the northwest corner of Main and Pioneer streets in Cooperstown. Fires had long been a part of the history of the village, with some big enough to threaten its very existence, and others ending the existence of a plethora of shops, restaurants, and houses. One killed a resident; John Lippitt lost his life in 1938 in a house fire at 110 Pioneer Street.

Ferrara: Safety of Visitors, Employees Important
Letter from Perry Ferrara

Safety of Visitors, Employees Important

As the owner of 103 Main Street, which houses KeyBank as well as other businesses and professional offices, I read with great interest the recent letter from a KeyBank customer who apparently missed a step in front of the building and fell.
First and foremost, we are very sorry this happened and hope he is doing well. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time anyone has reported to us a problem of this nature.

We intend to take a serious look at the front entrance of the building and will do whatever we can to ensure the safety of both our visitors and employees.

Perry Ferrara

Cunningham: An Open Letter to KeyBank Landlord
Letter from Nicholas Cunningham, MD, Dr PH

An Open Letter to KeyBank Landlord

This is about safety—making 103 Main Street, Cooperstown a far safer place from which to do business; it’s not about any kind of law suit.

The need for greater safety in your building was acutely brought home to me on Monday, March 13 when, having concluded my business at KeyBank, and as I left the building, I fell down. Whilst I am 94, I’m a licensed driver in good health and used to walking up to a mile or two a day. I’ve been banking at KeyBank most of my life and always go in and out the front door. What I failed to notice on this occasion was that after descending the few steps that lead to the exit doors, there is an additional (about 6-inch-high) step to reach the sidewalk. This step is the same color as the sidewalk. The hand rails are set back on each side of the steps and relatively unobtrusive.

In Memoriam Charles R. Schanz June 23, 1928-March 8, 2023
In Memoriam

Charles R. Schanz, 94

June 23, 1928 – March 8, 2023 

Charles R. Schanz

COOPERSTOWN—Charles R. Schanz of Cooperstown passed away peacefully at his home with family members by his side on March 8, 2023, at the age of 94. Charlie was born in Suffern, New York on June 23, 1928, to Charles J. and Elizabeth A. Schanz. Charlie was raised in Ramsey, New Jersey together with his sister, Mary. He graduated from Ramsey High School in 1946, where he was a standout basketball and baseball player. He went on to study business at Muhlenberg College and Ryder College, where he played basketball and graduated with a BS in business administration. He would recount playing college basketball tournaments in Madison Square Garden to his children and grandchildren. Charlie married Barbara M. Cox, also of Ramsey New Jersey, in 1956. They would go on to have three children and celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in September 2022.

Welch: Zebra Mussel Control May Be Possible
Letter from Gerry Welch

Zebra Mussel Control May Be Possible

Chip Northrup stated that there is no way to control zebra mussels infesting Otsego Lake. Yes, there is, but the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will not allow the introduction of predatory species. Their reasoning is they consider the introduction of other species as being invasive. Take for example the drum fish, which feeds on zebra mussels. The drum fish is good to eat and is prized by sport fishermen. Also, the shellcracker bluegill, found in southern lakes, may be adaptable to Otsego Lake. Perhaps freshwater clams, which are filter feeders, are viable as well?

Gerry Welch

In Memoriam Michael M. LaDuke, 69 May 19, 1953 – March 14, 2023
In Memoriam

Michael M. LaDuke, 69

May 19, 1953 – March 14, 2023

Michael M. LaDuke

WOODSTOWN—Michael Matthew LaDuke, 69, of Woodstown, succumbed to cancer on Tuesday morning, March 14, 2023 at home with his loving wife by his side.

Born and raised in Cooperstown, New York on May 19, 1953 to Harry “Dutch” LaDuke, Jr. and Marion “Maisie” Lane LaDuke, he was the youngest of four children.

He was a carpenter by trade and an extremely talented artist. His proudest accomplishment, beside his children, was helping to restore the Cooperstown Inn. For 10 years prior to retirement, he was the maintenance superintendent at Hillcrest Garden Apartments in Woodstown, where he formed many long lasting and meaningful relationships with the residents.

Editorial: An Appeal to the ZB of Appeals

An Appeal to the
ZB of Appeals

Two weeks ago, in front of a standing-room-only crowd, the Village of Cooperstown Zoning Board of Appeals considered and ultimately denied, unanimously, the application of Adam Curley for a short-term rental permit for four of the five bedrooms in Mark and Margaret Curley’s newly-acquired house at 40 Lake Street. The Curleys, who live in Massapequa Park, New York, on the south shore of Long Island, did not attend the meeting although Mark Curley’s brother, Adam, was there.

Forty Lake Street, better known locally as the Averell House, is one of the earliest houses in the village. It is in close-to-original condition; it is situated on the edge of Otsego Lake and also bordered by Willow Brook; it commands a healthy view of Mt. Wellington, at the north end of the lake; its neighboring houses on Lake Street are like-sized, early 19th-century private residences that hold strong family and village memories along with many important, and historical, attributes; and its other neighbors, more recently built houses on Pioneer Street, have conscientiously protected Willow Brook. The house was built in 1793 by James Averell, an early leader of the village, and it remained in the possession of the Averell family until the 1970s. A perfect house for a perfect village.

Why on earth, then, should a new owner from out of town, who has not yet established occupancy, think the Averell House would be a good transient rooming house, welcoming tourists for a few days of vacationing play? How quickly this would discourage the quiet, scenic, historic enjoyment that Lake Street offers all the residents of the village, create a vehicular logjam on the skinny street, and severely challenge the zoning enforcement officer, whose enforcement of the zoning code—established, along with the Historic District, in the last century to maintain the residential quality of life and culture in the village—is already extremely difficult, if not impossible.

And why on earth, as well, would the new owners of the Averell House even think the ZBA might agree that this is a good idea, and grant a permit to turn an historic house in the Residential Riparian Protection District of Cooperstown into a transient, multi-family rooming house? It didn’t. Well done. No one at that meeting, save the brother of the owner, was supportive of the project.

Perhaps, after this, the ZBA should consider a moratorium that will give them time to clarify the STR ordinance and, at the same time, educate its members, new and old, on the ordinance’s intent and application. The ZBA should seriously consider changing the law to firmly secure the kind of village that our residents have shown time and again they overwhelmingly desire.

Glynn: Open Letter to Coop Board and ZBA
Letter from Beth Glynn

Open Letter to Coop Board and ZBA

My husband and I own 41 Lake Street, the Crooked House, and One Chestnut, which is located at the corner of Lake and Chestnut streets. The Crooked House is directly across the street from 40 Lake, and One Chestnut is separated from the Crooked House by only 43 Lake. We are extremely exposed to the goings on at 40 Lake.

We bought the Crooked House in 2016 and have since re-sided and re-insulated the house and garage, restored the windows to their original 1825 and 1900 condition, upgraded the driveway and the all the interior and exterior light fixtures. All these improvements were done with the expectation of living a quiet life among the single-family homes in the neighborhood.

Grandner: Decision by Coop ZBA Much Appreciated
Letter from Wayne Grandner

Decision by Coop ZBA
Much Appreciated

I am writing to express my sincere appreciation for your recent decision to reject the application for a four room short-term rental at 40 Lake Street. The application was clearly an attempt to establish a commercial enterprise in a residential part of Cooperstown, and your decision to reject it was the right one.

I have concerns that the applicant may attempt to circumvent your decision by applying for a single room STR. If granted, it would be very hard for the village to monitor and regulate, and could potentially lead to the same negative impacts on the residential character of our community.

Lord: Zamelis Piece Buried Last Week
Letter from Paul Lord

Zamelis Piece Buried Last Week

Please help me here. I want to thank you for publishing lawyer Zamelis’ letter in the March 16 edition of “The Freeman’s Journal,” but I also want to understand why that news, if it is true, was buried on page 8.

It appears Zamelis’ story is the most important local news found in that edition of “The Freeman’s Journal.”

Why is there no mention of the story on page 1? Will “The Freeman’s Journal” investigate Zamelis’ claims? Why was there no comment in the editorial pages? Will an editorial be forthcoming? Do we need to wait for this summer’s hazardous algae blooms to focus our attention on this story, which casts negative light on local government, institutions, and entities? Please help me understand newspaper’s role in this story. Thank you.

Paul H. Lord
LtCol, USMC (Ret)

Oxley: ZBA Correct in 40 Lake Decision
Letter from Celia Oxley

ZBA Correct in 40 Lake Decision

There was much public opposition to the granting of a Special Use Permit for short-term rentals at 40 Lake Street. The Zoning Board of Appeals was correct to deny the permit at a hearing on March 7. From the board’s discussion after the hearing was closed to the public, it seemed that the issue of incidental use was paramount to their decision to deny. The village zoning laws require short-term rentals to be incidental to residential use. Since the owner intended to use four out of the five bedrooms in the house for transients and one for the owner, the application failed.

There were many reasons to deny this permit. Some of the reasons got little airtime because we needed to focus on what we felt was most likely to persuade the board to deny the permit. Was broad public sentiment and the history of the house unimportant? Certainly not. The law allows the village trustees and members of the reviewing boards to consider public sentiment when making a decision.

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