News of Otsego County

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

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Seventh-Inning Stretch, Newly Upgraded, Hosts Mariano Rivera Signing


Seventh-Inning Stretch,

Newly Upgraded, Hosts

Mariano Rivera Signing

Seventh-Inning Stretch proprietor Vincent Carfagno shows off a p rint that hung in George Steinbrenner’s old office at Yankee Stadium. “I remember seeing it in his office,” he said. (Ian Austin/SUMMER DREAMS)


What do you get the Red Sox fan who has everything? How about a piece of Fenway Park?

COOPERSTOWN – Vincent Carfagno knows the importance of service with a smile.

“I had Mariano Rivera here for a signing and, when I drove him to the airport, I told him he was going to the Hall of Fame,” he said. “This year, when he was doing his walkthrough in January, I went over there and gave him a big smile – he came over, gave me a hug and said ‘It’s good to see you.’”

Carfagno, the owner of Seventh Inning Stretch, will have an exclusive signing with the Hall of Famer on Monday, July 22. “Mariano’s agent called me up and said that he said, ‘If I have to do a signing, I’ll only work with Vinnie,’” he said.

Mariano Rivera’s admirer opened the store in the former Smalley’s Theatre in 1995. “When I got here, I rented 550 square feet and sold baseball cards,” he said. “There was a bookstore in the back and a few other stores.”

Volunteers Hope To Revive Ancient Row As Arts Center


Volunteers Hope To Revive

Ancient Row As Arts Center

Attorney Ryan Miosek, Cooperstown, president of the board of Studio 53, a prospective community arts center, reflects on the future inside the ancient rowhouse at 53 Pioneer St., Coopertown, that is being renovated for that purpose. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Ryan Miosek, Studio 53 board president, examines progress on turning one of Cooperstown’s oldest buildings into a community arts center.

COOPERSTOWN – Growing up, Ryan Miosek spent many afternoons in photographer Jim Kosinski’s darkroom above Danny’s Market, developing film he had shot around town.

“All we had to do was provide the paper,” he said. “The chemicals and equipment were all there, free of charge. As long as we showed respect to the place, you could get a key.”

Now, Miosek is president of a board of directors trying to develop 53 Pioneer St., a stone row house that’s one of the oldest buildings in the village, into Studio 54, a community arts center.

As Kosinski did informally, idea is the turn the building into Studio 53, a community venue for classes, workshops, lectures and more including a darkroom.

“I want to provide a space for people like me who didn’t have the resources to take an art class,” said Miosek, now a local attorney. “We want to be able to make the arts accessible to everyone.”

Anyone can give lessons in any arts-related field, but the condition is: “Participants must be able to take the class for free,” he said.

The project began in 2016, when the Cooperstown Art Association put the building – for a while it had been the Smithy Pioneer Gallery executive director’s lodging – up for sale. “They were trying to sell it for very little, and no one was buying,” Miosek said, who was on the CAA board. “I asked them to give me the building for this project.”

Passive House Institute’s 5 Rules

Sidebar to: He’s Built The Future

Passive House

Institute’s 5 Rules

John Edmonds expects the Passive House Institute will certifiy the just-completed house at 45 Delaware St., Cooperstown (AllOTSEGO photo)

Here are the five concepts Simple Integrity builder Josh Edmonds applied to 45 Delaware St.,  Cooperstown, necessary to win certification from the Passive House Institute.

►One, Thermal Bridging
Nothing outside is connected directly with the interior, accomplished by a five-layered wall.
From the inside out, that wall consists of a layer of 2x6s; a layer of ZIP System sheathing and tape; 12-inch-deep I-joints (plenty of room for insulation); a rain screen (the criss-cross wood pattern you may have noticed driving by), and siding that breaths.

►Two, Continuous Insulation
In effect, a coat of insulation on the slab, walls and roof create an enclosed box, with a truss roof placed on top.

►Three, air sealing
In a typical house, Edmonds said, air changes 5-12 times per hour. The New York State building code has tightened that to three times per hour in new construction.
The Passive House standard is .6. The rate at 45 Delaware is .2.

►Four, high-performance windows and doorsAll doors and windows have three panes, and are sealed so, when closed, no air leaks in. “These windows are on a par with Marvin windows for cost,” Edmonds said during a tour of the home.
They are inset from the highly insulated exterior wall, so they conduct less cold than if they were flat against the outside wall.

►Finally, five: heat-recovery ventilation
Houses need fresh air for the occupants. Passive houses provide that through HRV, which allows energy to pass between two streams of air without mixing the air. In the winter the warm stale air transfers its energy to the cold incoming fresh air; vice versa in the summer. HRVs have efficiency ratings of 65-92 percent, depending on the model.

What’s Your Choice? From 38 Special To, Yes, Borodin


What’s Your Choice? From

38 Special To, Yes, Borodin


Summer has arrived in Otsego County and there is so much to do! Whether you’re looking to shop, learn, listen or celebrate, there is something fun every day of the weekend!

Start your summer off in a rockin’ mood as “Caught Up In You” and “Hold on Loosely” stars 38 Special perform the Celebrity Concert fundraiser for the Oneonta YMCA. Tickets, $20-$225. 5 p.m. Thursday, May 30, 6th ward Booster Club Field, Oneonta.  Info,

If the symphony is more your musical style, the Little Delaware Youth Ensemble plays Mozart, Borodin, Beethoven and Faure. Reception to follow. 3 p.m.  Sunday, June 2, Foothills Atrium, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Info,

And while you’re in the mood for music – whatever you listen to – swing by The Fenimore Art Museum for your’s truly Libby Cudmore’s talk on music and memory, including personal stories from my career as a music critic! 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Fenimore Art Museum, 5798 Route 80, Cooperstown.  Info, 607-547-1400,

Pride Month kicks off with a rally, a family-friendly festival and fireworks. Celebrate who you are and show your alliance to the LGBTQA community. 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Neahwa Park. Info,

Artist Joseph Kurhajec may work in paints and prints, but he also builds toys! He’ll show off some of his original designs and discuss vintage toy-making books. 3-5 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Bright Hill Literary Center, Treadwell. Info,

With gardening season in full bloom, there’s still time to pick up some new plants at Unitarian Universalist Society’s annual plant and book sale. After noon, everything you can fit in a bag will only cost you a buck! 10 a.m. Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, 12 Ford Ave, Oneonta. Info,, (607) 432-3491.

Cheer on the hard-hitting gals of the Hill City Rollers as they take on the Ladies Death & Derby in a high-speed roller derby bout. Admission by donation. 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, Interskate 88, 5185 Route 23, Oneonta. Info,

Tell Libby about things to do at




‘Shoebox Treasures’ Tells You Everything About Baseball  Cards


‘Shoebox Treasures’

Tells You Everything

About Baseball  Cards

Assembling “Shoebox Treasures” gave curator John Odell a chance to get reacquanited with Cookie Rojas, one of his boyhood heroes. (Jim Kevlin/SUMMER DREAMS)


COOPERSTOWN – In looking through the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 200,000 baseball cards, curator John Odell happened upon his childhood favorite.

“I had a 1968 card for Cookie Rojas, who played second base for the Phillies,” he said. “He wore glasses and his name was ‘Cookie’ – I thought that was the funniest thing in the world. All the Mickey Mantles and Frank Robinsons we have don’t impress me as much as that one card.”

Oregonian Mark Armour, the incoming president of SABR (the Society for American Baseball Research), is a baseball-card expert himself, and suggested the bicycle exhibit during brainstorming with Odell. For space reasons, it was scrapped, but then it was brought back. armour takes a trip down memory lane during the Saturday, May 25, opening of “Shoebox Treasures.” (Jim Kevlin/SUMMER DREAMS)

Rojas’ card – alongside 2,500 others – are now part of the newly unveiled “Shoebox Treasures” baseball card exhibit, which opened Saturday, May 25 as part of the Hall of Fame Classic Weekend.

“We had an exhibit for a long time, but about 10 years ago, it was taken down for renovations,” he said. “Over the years, people have been writing to us telling us they miss it, so this is in response to our visitors.”

The earliest card in their collection dates back to 1872, a trade card for Mutual of New York. “These 3×5 trade cards were usually to promote a local store,” he said.

Such cards also set up a debate among collectors. “Every collector defines a baseball card,” he said. “We have a Kellogg’s box from the 1970s with Yogi Berra on it, you cut it out and it had a little stand. We define that as a card, but others may see it as a cereal box premium. We cast a wide net on what we consider a baseball card.”

In the early 1900s, cards were packaged with tobacco products to promote the brand, including the famous Honus Wagner card, which ceased production after the shortstop, a non-smoker, refused to let tobacco companies use his image. “That one is in our ‘Holy Grail’ section,” he said. “Each card is in a separate box, and you push a button to put the light on it for just a few seconds.”

Venerable Spurbeck’s Open After Weeks Of Renovation

Venerable Spurbeck’s Open

After Months Of Renovation

Spurbeck’s Grocery proprietor Mike Swatling, center right, assisted by his aunt, Kristi Swatling, and Ashley Young of Cherry Valley, foreground, takes sandwich orders over the noon hour.  The venerable landmark at Railroad and Leatherstocking opened today after months of extensive interior renovations.  Lining up to be served are Jeremiah Parr, Lucas Busse and Matt Kehoe, who work for BTS, installing fiberoptic cable for Middleburgh Telephone’s new downtown Internet “hotspots.”  Inset, son Royce Swatling, 2, showed up to give dad an attaboy, accompanied by Mike’s wife Carrie.  The new Spurbeck’s has tables and chairs if you want to lunch in, but a similar menu, as well as Palatine Cheese and other products regulars are used to.  A beer cave is being added in the basement.  It’s open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 8 to 3 Saturdays, and closed on Sundays.  (Jim Kevlin /

On WAMC’s ‘Morning Headlines’, EditorReports On DiPerna At Vatican Conference

On WAMC’s ‘Morning Headlines’, Editor

Reports On DiPerna At Vatican Conference

Last July, Paula DiPerna met Pope Francis individually. At last week’s conference, he spoke to all 200 delegates in the Sala Regia, telling them, “When we speak of development, we must always ask: Development of what and development for whom.”  (Vatican City official photo)

On this week’s “Morning Headlines” on WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, Jim Kevlin, editor/ publisher of (and Hometown Oneonta & the Freeman’s Journal), reports on Cooperstown’s Paula DiPerna returning to the Vatican for a conference preparing reports for the United Nation’s Sept. 23 Climate Change conference at U.N. Plaza in New York City, “Climate Summit 2019: A Race We Can Win.”

Paula DiPerna Testifies Before Congress



Stocks Keeping Up

With Fossil Fuels’

Cooperstown’s DiPerna Testifies

Before Congressional Committee

Editor’s Note:  This is the full written testimony submitted to the House Natural Resources Committee after Paula DiPerna of Coopertown, a CDP-North America special adviser, testified on Feb. 6 in Washington D.C. on the growing  prowess of renewables in energy-related investments.  A longtime local resident, DiPerna ran for Congress in 1992 for the district that included Otsego County.

Paula DiPerna testifies Feb. 6 before the Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington D.C.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify here today on climate change and the recognition of its economic importance among businesses, investors, and consumers—all, of course, constituents. No doubt the CDP Platform has a touch point with all the states represented here on the Committee and I thank you for your service to the nation.

Harold Baines Undergoes Initiation, 1st In Class of ’19

Harold Baines Undergoes

Initiation, 1st In Class of ’19

Hitter and right-fielder Harold Baines, who excelled with the Chicago White Sox and other Midwest teams during a 21-year career, breaks into a smile a few minutes ago as he’s shown the spot in the Hall of Plaques where his plaque will hang after his July 21 induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sharing in his joy are, from left, Erik Strohl, vice president/Exhibitions & Collections; Jon Shestakofsky, vice president/ Communications & Education, and the Hall’s official photographer, Milo V. Stewart Jr.  Rear left is Bill Francis, a Hall researcher.  Inset, Baines signs the spot where his plaque will be hung.  Baines is one of six players in the Class of 2019, and the first to go through the traditional initiation.  (Jim Kevlin/

So Far, 125 Sign Up For Energy Summit, With Limit Of 200


With Week To Go,

Energy Summit Fills

125 Of Its 200 Seats

Seeking ‘Balanced Agenda,’ 19 Speakers

Planned; Day Expands From 6 To 9 Hours

Jay Egg of Geothermal is keynoter at the Otsego Chamber’s “Energy Summit.”

COOPERSTOWN – With a week to go, 125 people have already signed up for the Otsego County Chamber’s “Energy Summit: Infrastructure & Economy,” and the day has expanded from the original six hours to a nine-hour program to accommodate a growing roster of speakers.

Planned Thursday, Jan. 31, at The Otesaga, the summit will be able to accommodate about 200 people.   To register, call 432-4500, extension 104, or email

After announcing the original concept, the phone started ringing with suggested speakers, Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan said in an interview a few minutes ago, and she kept adding speakers to ensure “a balanced agenda.”

HoF Class Of 2019 Featured At Press Conference On Now

HoF Class Of 2019 Featured

At Press Conference On Now

The Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2019, announced last evening, are answering questions at a live press right now that may be viewed at  From right are Jane Forbes Clark, Hall board chairman; the inductees, and Hall President Jeff Idelson.   Emceeing is Jon Shestakovsky, vice president/communications.



Voices’ ‘Messiah’ Brings SRO House To Its Feet

Voices’ ‘Messiah’ Brings

SRO House To Its Feet

Maestro Dan Foster faces the crowd to acknowledge a three-minute standing ovation at the end of this evening’s semi-annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” by the Voices of Cooperstown. Once again, the performance – the chorus has sung it every other year since 1989 – filled Christ Episcopal Church in Cooperstown. Soloists included Cooperstown’s Quinn Bernegger, standing at center right. Foster is music director of Williams College’s New Opera. Bernegger, a CCS and Middlebury College graduate, this year completed at graduate performance diploma from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.  (Jim Kevlin/
Jan Kerr, 83; CCS Mainstay, Volunteer Across Community

Jan Kerr, 83; CCS Mainstay,

Volunteer Across Community

COOPERSTOWN – Jan Ann Kerr, 83, lost her determined and courageous battle with multiple myeloma just after midnight, Dec. 8, holding hands with her children. Her will to live and love of her family gave her extraordinary strength, and her love kept her family close.

Jan was born in Ayer, Mass., to David and Alice Sargent, who predeceased her in 1994 and 1995, respectively. She loved life on her family farm in Groton, Mass., and graduated valedictorian of her 1953 high school class. College led her to UMass, where she graduated in 1957. She earned her master’s degree from SUNY Oneonta.

‘Little Mermaid’ Staged As CCS Fall Production

‘Little Mermaid’ Staged

As CCS Fall Production

The CCS Thespian fall musical is “The Little Mermaid,” and will be staged at 7 p. m. this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-10, and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the high school’s Sterling Auditorium. Above left, Emma Panzarella (sophomore) will play Jetsam and Emily Amore (sophomore), Flotsam. Above right, senior William Friedman practices the role of Prince Eric.  (Photos courtesy Tim Iversen)
Linda S. Buddle, 74; Special-Needs Advocate On  CV-S Board

IN MEMORIAM: Linda S. Buddle, 74;

Special-Needs Advocate On  CV-S Board

COOPERSTOWN – Linda S. Buddle, 74, of Cooperstown, who worked for the Clark Foundation and served on the CV-S school boad, passed away suddenly on Sept. 4 at Bassett Hospital,  surrounded by her loving family.

Linda was born Nov. 8, 1943, in Cooperstown, to the late Robert and Virginia Starr.  She was valedictorian of the class of 1962 at Springfield Central School.

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