News of Otsego County

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


coopertown news

Delaware Engineering Announces ‘No Wipes In The Pipes’ Campaign

Delaware Engineering Announces

‘No Wipes In The Pipes’ Campaign

ONEONTA –  Delaware Engineering, which operates an office in Oneonta, has announced its “No Wipes In The Pipes” campaign, encouraging people to discard disinfecting wipes in trash baskets rather than flushing them down the toilet.

Because of a rush on paper goods, the Albany-based consultants said, “disinfecting wipes are in widespread use to stop the spread of the virus and those without toilet paper may be creative with substitutions including baby wipes, tissues and paper towels.” Flushing them, however,  “may exacerbate an already significant challenge for public sewer systems.

Village Offices Remain Closed; DPW Work Force At 50 Percent

Village Offices Remain Closed;

DPW Work Force At 50 Percent

COOPERSTOWN – The Village of Cooperstown will be alternating its Water, Sewer and Streets department staff –  with one half off one week, the second half the next week, through April 15 – due to the Governor Cuomo’s extension of his March 16 emergency order, Village Administrator Teri Barown announced today.

Additionally, the Village Office remains closed to the public, except by appointment 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday.  For an appointment, call 547-2411 during office hours, or email

TILLAPAUGH: Vote So Work Can Get Done

Mayor Tillapaugh: Vote

So Work Can Get Done

To the Editor:

Since 2011, I have been honored to serve my hometown community in village government. First elected as a trustee in 2011, I was appointed deputy mayor in 2014 and served in that capacity until my election as mayor in 2018.

Over the past nine years, I along with fellow elected officials have worked to stabilize the village’s finances. We are proud that for seven budget years, since our 2013-14 budget, there has been no increase in the tax levy. It has remained at $1,779,194 and represents a tax rate of $5.21 per $1000 of assessed value. The current budget is on the Village’s website ( under “Government” and the “Board of Trustee Meetings” drop down menu. The tentative budget for 2020-21 was completed this month, and again proposes no increase in the tax levy.

At the same time, by developing new revenue sources and successfully securing grant funding, the Village Board has been able to undertake significant and long overdue infrastructure improvements in our community.

Projects include:

• The $1.2 million Pioneer Street project completed in 2018, replaced sewer & water lines, street pavement and curbing on Pioneer, from Otsego Lake to Elm Street.

• The $9.1 million Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade began in September 2019, and is scheduled for completion in December 2020. Funded by grants and Environmental Facilities Corp low interest financing, there will be no increase in water/sewer rates for Village residents. This replacement of the original 1969 facility (originally designed to serve for 25 years) will meet village needs for decades.

• The $2.4 million Downtown Pedestrian Improvement Project (federal TEP grant) funds new Main Street sidewalks and provides for signage, street benches, tree plantings, decorative lamp posts and compacting trash receptacles. Begun in the fall of 2018, this project will conclude this spring with work at the Main-Chestnut intersection.

• Last fall, Pioneer Park was upgraded with the installation of ADA compliant brick pavers, a performance stage area, improved lighting and re-configured plant beds.

$5.8 million in improvements are underway at Doubleday Field. By May 15, the week prior to HOF Classic Weekend, two major phases of the project will be complete – the Main Street entrance/parking lot redesign and the 1939 Grandstand renovations. Work will continue on the new 3rd base bleachers and building.

We are pleased to have been awarded the Village’s first Community Development Block Grant, to support a local business, the Cooperstown Distillery, in expanding their operation. Additional grant funded projects to commence this spring involve the Willow Creek culvert, the Village Hall skylight, and Mill Street.

I am honored to serve as mayor and to devote time and leadership to our community. I would appreciate your continued support on March 18 in the Village Election.

Village of Cooperstown

Will Impeachment Vote Since Delgado’s Future?

Will Impeachment Vote

Since Delgado’s Future?

GOP: Freshman Voted Against Constituents;

Democrats: He Was Following His Conscience

By JIM KEVLIN • Special To

Antonio Delgado in Oneonta recently. (James Cummings/AllOTSEGO.con)

COOPERSTOWN – Impeachment is part of the issue.

The other part is: By voting for President Trump’s impeachment, is freshman Congressman Anthony Delgado, D-19, endangering his chances of reelection?

Yes, said Otsego County Republican Chairman Vince Casale: “He’s going against the majority of the will of his constituents, against how they voted in 2016.”

Regardless, Delgado had to do what he believes, said Otsego County Democratic Chairman Aimee Swan: “Regarding impeachment, we think that Congressman Delgado is doing a great job communicating his reasoning to the voters and we believe that he will continue to have the kind of broad support that got him elected.”

The U.S. House of Representatives was scheduled to vote Wednesday, Dec. 18 – this edition went to press the night before – on two articles of impeachment against Trump, and Delgado announced Sunday the 15th that he would vote for both articles.

His colleague to the north, U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi of Utica, D-22, reached the same conclusion, but it was a tougher one:  In 2018, He had very narrowly beaten the incumbent, Republican Claudia Tenney, 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent, and she’s challenging him in 2020.

Delgado has a little more breathing space: He beat incumbent Republican John Faso by a lesser margin, 50.4 percent, but Faso’s margin was winnowed to 46.2 percent by Green and Independent candidates also running in the 19th.

So far, Delgado is facing a Republican challenge from Maj. Gen. (ret.) Tony German of Oneonta, former commander of the state National Guard.  And perhaps a more formidable one: Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who ran for governor last year.  Casale said to expect news about formidable entries “after the first of the year.”

Hartwick College Poly-Sci Professor Laurel Elder agreed with Casale and Swan’s formulations, summing it up as follows: “We know it’s a very divided district; there’s no way he can please everybody.”

Harkening back to 2018, however, she recalled that several Democrats in the Congressional primary were significantly to the left of Delgado.  If he hadn’t stepped forward on impeachment, he might have provoked a primary next June.

“There’s energy in the wings of the party,” she observed.

Regardless, Delgado (and Brindisi) fall into a category that is generating a lot of interest: Democratic congressmen elected in 2018 to districts – some, like the 19th, are being called “purple districts” – that supported Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Trump won the 19th by 6.8 percentile points, to Delgado’s 4.2.  (In Otsego County, Trump’s margin was greater, 51.85 percent to Clinton’s 40.72 percent, or 11.13 percentile points.  In 2018, Delgado won 48.97 percent of Otsego’s votes; Faso, 48.47 percent, or 0.5 percentile points.)

Since, statistically, members of Congress are most vulnerable when running for reelection after one term, a counter-sweep next November could put Congress back in Republicans hands just in time for the 2021 reapportionment that will follow the 2020 Census.

An indication of that significance: Both national newspapers, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, had reporters shadowing Delgado the week leading up to his announced he’ll support impeachment.

The Journal’s Natalie Andrews reported Delgado being greeted by “vote no on impeachment cries” and a single “yes on impeachment” cry on arriving at a Town Hall meeting in Highland, Ulster County. She spoke to voters similarly split on the congressman, although they all seemed to like him.

Echoing what Aimee Swan said, The Times’ Emily Cochrane said voting for impeachment “had made it all the more important for Mr. Delgado and Democrats like him to find ways to show voters they are getting  things done in Congress, which is why he is crisscrossing his district through flurries, working on local issues and connecting with constituents.”

And why Speaker Nancy Pelosi scheduled Wednesday’s impeachment vote between votes on muscular legislation, one to fund the government, the other on the new NAFTA.

Delgado’s job could depend on it; and Pelosi’s.

State CFA ’19 Grants Announced Thursday


State CFA ’19 Grants

Announced Thursday

A $420,000 grant so Andela Products Inc. can expand into the Richfield Springs Industrial Park leads off the list of grants Otsego Now is hoping to receive in this year’s round of state economic development funding, to be announced Thursday in Albany.

Otsego Now’s Director of Finance & Administration Meaghan Marino will represent her organization, which either submits or advises project sponsors on the annual local CFA applications.  CFA stands for “comprehensive funding application,” and is the state’s vehicle to distribute funding to the 10 economic development regions.

Usually, Governor Cuomo makes the funding announcements at a gathering in The Egg at the Empire State Plaza government complex.

Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky provided this list of local projects seeking funding this year.

Otsego Now/Richfield Springs Business Park

$2,123,000 Total Budget

$420,000 Request

Springbrook:  Ford Building Restoration

$5,000,000 Total Budget

$1,000,000 Request

County of Otsego:  Energy Study

$100,000 Total Budget

$50,000 Request

Oneonta Grain Innovation Center, Lofts on Dietz

$926,500 Total Budget

 $185,000 Request

Babcock’s Tavern, Wells Bridge

  $285,000 Total Budget

$285,000 Request

Otsego Now Halal Meat Processing Facility, Otego

$1,100,000 Total Budget

$220,000 Request

American XTreme Family Entertainment Center, Otego

$607,800 Total Budget

$181,560 Request

 The Working Kitchen (142-146 Main St Oneonta)

$380,000 Total Budget

$76,000 Request

CUNNINGHAM: We Should Talk Through Impeachment Issues

We Should Talk Through

Impeachment Issues

To the Editor:
Re: West Davenport & Mike Zagata versus Fly Creek & Adrian Kuzminski!
Thank you, Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta, for giving us both sides of the impeachment debate.
Impeachment tests our constitutional system of government: When the executive and legislative branches so disagree as to freeze governmental action, impeachment calls us to the third and fourth estates:
Our present impeachment process is likely to be resolved by:
►the U.S. Supreme Court, (beleaguered, but representing the Constitution), and/or
►the free press representing us, the people.
So, FJ & HO, please keep up the discussion until we, the electorate, better informed, can resolve it…probably next fall, at the ballot box!
Or, as Mao put it: “Let many flowers bloom!”
(Mao probably didn’t mean it, the soil in a one-party state being so inhospitable to a free press.)
We mean it, our soil still being fairly fertile… thanks to your newspapers, and other worthy representatives of our “fourth estate”!

Springfield Center

CSO Varied Concert Credit To Conductor



CSO Varied Concert

Credit To Conductor

Silas Huff, conductor of the Astoria Symphony Orchestra in New York City, directs the Catskill Symphony Orchestra Saturday, Sept., 7. His was the first audition concert for three finalists seeking to succeed maestro Chuck Schneider, the founding conductor. (Ian Austin/

Editor’s Note: This is an assessment of the first of three auditions for the Catskill Symphony Orchestra’s next conductor.   Silas Huff directed the CSO Saturday, Sept. 7, at SUNY Oneonta’s Hunt Union Ballroom.  Next, on Oct. 12, is Carolyn Watson.


ONEONTA – At the SUNY Hunt Union Ballroom, an alert and receptive audience Saturday, Sept. 7, heard the first contender for its Catskill Symphony Orchestra leader, Silas Nathaniel Huff. The concert highlighted performances of Haydn, Verdi and Stravinsky. The program began with the younger Strauss’s “Overture to Die Fledermaus.”

The evening was a proving stage for multiple demands of styles from the 18th century to arguably the greatest 20th century modern, Igor Stravinsky. His “Firebird” is as tonally remarkable as anything in the repertoire, including even “The Rite of Spring,” which produced a riot at its first Paris hearing. With repeated performances, “The Rite” has lost some of its revolutionary impudence, and a listener can even hum its first melody.

However, as Robert Craft noted in his first volume of Stravinsky’s letters, “The Firebird’s” success placed the composer on a new artistic planet.

KUZMINSKI: Home Rule In Constitution, But Limited


Home Rule In


But Limited


I’ve been commenting in recent columns on the first two Principles of Sustainable Otsego:  Sustainable Living and Economic Independence. In this column, I want to take up the third and last principle: Home Rule.

“Home” is where we live with family, friends, and neighbors. Its scale is small enough to sustain in-depth relationships with people and places. Home has the capacity to inspire love, not least because it embodies a complexity of human experience not otherwise available.

The largest political unit with which people identify, and which preserves this sense of community, is the county, where people from different backgrounds and neighborhoods are still able to come together on an individual, face-to-face basis for the services, commerce, education, recreation, spirituality and government which make up everyday life.

Marijuana Law Prudent Step. Maybe, Just Maybe, Enough


Marijuana Law Prudent Step.

Maybe, Just Maybe, Enough

This year’s wild and crazy one-party bloc in Albany may have, by failing to reach it’s ultimate goal, achieved a sensible outcome in one area.

Governor Cuomo Monday, July 29, signed legislation that reduces the penalty for unlawful possession of marijuana under 2 ounces from felony to violation.

The penalty: a $50 fine for less than an ounce to a maximum of $200 for one to 2 ounces. (Above that, dealing’s involved, and stronger penalties kick in.)

It also erases the records of people convicted of possessing small amounts in the past. You may remember: The original goal of the Democratic majority was to create a massive commercial enterprise, with pot stores peppering Main Streets from Brooklyn to Butternuts.

Greed – how to split the huge anticipated revenues – and suburban soccer moms created an impasse.
Pot, of course, is part of our modern landscape. Sending junior to the Big House on finding a joint in his pocket is nonsense. So is creating another Big Tobacco – Big Pot?

Maybe the measure Cuomo signed Monday is just enough. Let’s leave it alone for a while and see how it plays out.

$2.7M To Bolster Training Nurses In Primary Care

$2.7M To Bolster

Training Nurses

In Primary Care

Bassett Grant One Of Only 8 In U.S.;

Pilot Program Will Start At FoxCare

Dr. Gregory Rys

COOPERSTOWN – A $2.7 million start-up grant – one of only eight nationally – has been awarded to Bassett Hospital to train nurse practitioners to handle primary-care responsibilities in the eight-county network.

Bassett was one of eight institutions nationwide to receive the Health Resources and Services Administration grant.

The grant from the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration will integrate the nurse-practitioner primary-care residency, to begin with, into primary-care practices at FoxCare Center in Oneonta.

First Baptist Wins Landmarks Grant

$2K Aimed At Better Drainage

First Baptist Wins

Landmarks Grant

The seating in Cooperstown’s First Baptist Church, build in 1889, is laid out in the “Akron Plan” popular in the 1880s.

COOPERSTOWN – First Baptist Church of Cooperstown has received a $2,000 grant from the New York Landmarks Conservancy, one of 23 Sacred Sites Grants throughout the state totaling $256,000 that were announced today.

The money will be used for site drainage improvements, the announcement said.

First Baptist Church, constructed in 1889, was designed by Utica-based architect Melvin H. Hubbard, and is one of six historic churches in the village, including Templeton Hall, the former Unitarian-Universalist Church.

BOUND VOLUMES July 25, 2019


July 25, 2019


Excerpts from a letter written by John Adams to Benjamin Rush on the subject of Slavery in America. “The turpitude, the inhumanity, the cruelty, and the infamy of the African commerce in slaves, have been so well represented to the public by the powers of eloquence, that nothing I could say would increase the just odium in which it is and ought to be held. Every measure of prudence, therefore ought to be assumed, for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States. If however, humanity dictates the duty of adopting the most prudent measures for accomplishing so excellent a purpose, the same humanity requires that we should not inflict severer calamities on the objects of our commiseration than those which they presently endure, by reducing them to despair, or the necessity of robbery, plunder, assassination, and massacre, to preserve their lives. Some provision ought to be made for furnishing them employment or some means of furnishing them with the necessary comforts of life. I have, through my whole life, held the practice of slavery in such abhorrence that I have never owned a Negro, or any other slave.”

July 26, 1819


Statements on the subject of Slavery attributed to Henry Clay: “If gentlemen will not allow us to have Black Slaves, they must let us have White ones, for we cannot cut our firewood and black our shoes, and have our wives and daughters work in the kitchen. I am the son of Virginia, a slaveholder in Kentucky, and I would suffer the tortures of the Inquisition before I would sign a bill having for its object the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia, or in any manner give countenance to the project.”

July 29, 1844


Medical Meeting – The Otsego County Medical Society met at the Court House on Tuesday. The Secretary read applications for membership from Elizabeth D. Pope, M.D. and Mary A. Bassett, M.D. Thereupon a brisk and somewhat general discussion arose. The subject was “novel.” The institution from which they claim to have graduated was “unrecognized” in this state, and confessedly not in “good odor” in the State where it exists. Nothing was known of its faculty or the extent of the qualification required, &c. Some single gentlemen thought the presence of ladies would “embarrass and restrict debate” while the Benedicts knew better. Finally, on motion of Dr. T.B. Smith, the subject was referred to a committee of three – Drs. T.B. Smith, Halsey and Sprague were appointed said committee. At the evening session the committee on the applications of Drs. Pope and Bassett reported adversely thereto. Dr. Leaning moved that the report be accepted and adopted. Dr. L.H. Hills opposed the motion and after some explanations and assurances made by Dr. Bassett, Dr. Halsey asked leave to amend his report in favor of granting the applications. Dr. Bassett then moved to refer the subject back to the committee.
This was amended to substitute “at the next meeting” and then accepted.

July 30, 1869


Four Persons Drowned in Otsego Lake – It occurred at 12:30 o’clock Monday last, about one-third of a mile from the shore, and about one mile north from Five-Mile Point, where the water is about 140 to 160 feet deep. A man named Jos. R. Edwards, his wife and her child by a previous
husband and a picture agent named George Lewis of East Worcester, a brother-in-law of Mrs. Edwards, took the row boat of George Newkirk at 10:45 in the morning, having fishing tackle with them, and said they were going to land Lewis at Hyde Hall. They did not go there. At about 12:30, Ex-Sheriff O. McCredy, who was driving by, saw an upturned boat and persons struggling in the water near it and shouting for help. He at once went to the camping party at Eldred’s Point, who were at dinner, and informed them of the fact. They started out two boats for the drowning party. But, before either boat could reach them they had sunk out of sight. Edwards is said to have been a drinking man and to have been on a protracted spree previous to Monday. Floating near the boat was a liquor flask and a bottle.

July 26, 1894


In less than a week the workers at the Cooperstown Farm Labor Camp harvested 330 bushels of peas and beans and 275 quarts of raspberries. In addition to the harvesting they have spent about 120 hours weeding. Besides giving help to the growers the campers have shown much interest in rural life and in food production. Sixteen additional workers arrived at the camp on Saturday, making a total of 55.

July 26, 1944


What with man’s exploration of the Moon, “Up – Up and Away In Style” was certainly an appropriate theme for the 1969 Otsego County Dress Revue at the F. Ambrose Clark Junior Show on July 28. Over 400 spectators watched as 129 4-H’ers modeled the garments they had made in their clothing projects this past year. Highlighting the Dress Revue was the selection of the two outstanding outfits to represent the county in the State Dress Revue at the New York State Fair on August 29 and 30. The two girls selected to represent Otsego County are Mary Chamberlin, Mount Vision and Patricia Mickle, Hartwick.

July 23, 1969


Murderous Mirth in Milford – “I Hate Hamlet,” a comedy by Paul Rudnick, will open this evening at the Leatherstocking Theatre Company in Milford. Lead character Andrew Rally, a hot young TV actor, recently relocated from Hollywood to the Big Apple has signed on to portray Hamlet in Central Park. The catch is, Andrew hates Hamlet and the laughs begin when Andrew discovers his apartment is haunted by the ghost of John Barrymore, the ultimate Hamlet. With coaching from the ghost Barrymore and help from friends, Andrews finally finds the nerve to play the role. “I hate Hamlet” is directed by Sammy Dallas Bayes, familiar to regional audiences for his work with Orpheus Theatre.

July 26, 1994

If Dogs, Why Not Cuddly Rabbits?

If Dogs, Why Not

Cuddly Rabbits?

To the Editor:

Bassett Medical Center adds dogs to its security patrol.

You can’t be serious? Safety of patients? Dogs carry many diseases as well as ticks. Some people are allergic to dogs and dog hairs. Yet another disease in the hospital environment to be wary of.

So now when we go into the hospital, we will see attack dogs patrolling the hallways with armed officers, and this is supposed to be a secure healing environment?

I go into a hospital for compassion and to be in a caring environment, to seek guidance, not to feel like I am in police state. Putting K-9 unit in hospitals is just one more step closer to living in a police state. It only exacerbates a violent mentality by using power games.

A real healing center would know how to handle disruption with compassion and other methods. There is a reason people get unreasonable in a medical settings. Medicine is not doing a very good job. Look at the statistics. We have a right to be hostile and angry.

There is a difference between controlling society and educating and empowering individuals to feel part of society and safe. Armed units only polarize people by intimidation. That will only make the irritated more irritated and more violent. What we have here is just power game, it has nothing to do about security of the sick person.

It is sad to see where medicine is heading: Some are so busy trying to protect their empire they are missing out on their real job – healing the sick in mind and body. They have lost their way.

Hey, let’s add cats … to catch the mice…!! Oh, and rabbits to cuddle … a good cuddle is always healing, It’s hard to be angry when you are in a cuddle!!


Hartwick Forrest


Hospital, Country Going To The Dogs

Hospital, Country

Going To The Dogs

To the Editor:

I read the article about the new K-9 security dog at Bassett Hospital, and felt the article was deceptive.  The article emphasized how friendly this dog supposedly is, and how it could be approached by children as long as they first got an “affirmative response” from the dog’s handler.

Presumably, if they don’t obtain such consent, they might be attacked.

If you read between the lines, it is apparent that this is a potentially aggressive animal, and not a cuddly seeing-eye dog that would not hurt a fly.  If you want to see how brutal these dogs can be, look up “when Malinois attack” on YouTube.

Should we expect children to understand that they need to ask permission to go up to a dog and pet it?  I hope Bassett is ready to be sued when its K-9 dog attacks and mauls a child who did not read the article warning them that permission from the handler was required to approach this dog.

The wisdom of having one of these animals prowling the hallways of a hospital is questionable at best, especially since many people are afraid of dogs.  Some sick person trying to walk down the hall or being pushed on a hospital bed might get a dangerous shock from seeing this potentially vicious dog approaching them.

In the article, there was no mention of the purpose of K-9 dogs, or why they are part of the “security system” at Bassett, or how they “promote safety” at the hospital.

K-9 dogs are usually trained to sniff out drugs or explosives.  There was absolutely no mention of this in the misleading article.  Another primary purpose of these dogs is to attack people, or to intimidate people with the threat that the handler might let the dog loose on them.

Use of a dog for security purposes is essentially a threat to use excessive force.  A security officer or police officer can be convicted for using excessive force, but a dog can’t.

What is the purpose of having a dog trained to attack people or to sniff out drugs at Bassett Hospital?  To deter drug addicts from seeking treatment at the hospital?  To increase the tragic drug overdoses that afflict Otsego County?

What exactly can a dog do to promote security?  How does it “calm a highly charged situation?”  By being ready to bite and maul people?  None of this was explained in the article.

The article did state that the dog is the hospital’s “liaison with local law enforcement,” suggesting that the purpose of the dog is indeed to arrest people.

Even if this dog was not trained to sniff out drugs, it is going to deter drug addicts from seeking treatment at the hospital, since historically the main purpose of K-9 dogs has been to arrest people for drugs.

I wrote previously about the K-9 search at Milford BOCES in April 2017 that subjected students there to random unconstitutional searches of their knapsacks and other belongings.  It is all part of the government’s attempt to abrogate the Bill of Rights and subject us to random searches in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects us from “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

We don’t need Russia or “Islamic terrorists” to threaten our freedom, because our own government is doing a much better job of it on its own.

This country is going to the dogs, and random K-9 searches of people seeking treatment for drug overdoses, or students at school, is a good start to turn us into a country that has no more freedom than China, Saudi Arabia, or Russia.





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