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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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.





Oneonta’s Joe Hughes Meets Teammate Again From Venezuela Season


Oneonta’s Joe Hughes

Meets Teammate Again

From Venezuela Season

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Joe Hughes’ wife Jane snapped this photo of her husband with Ozzie Guillen, who went on to a career in the MLB.

COOPERSTOWN –  When OHS retired athletic director Joe Hughes discovered his former teammate, 16-season MLB shortstop Ozzie Guillén was in Cooperstown last weekend, he and wife Jane jumped in the car and drove up.

“He was there to see Harold Baines get inducted in the Hall of Fame,” said Hughes, who continues as Oneonta Outlaws manager this season. “So, we went over to where he was signing autographs on Main Street and talked for 20 to 30 minutes.  It was great seeing him again.”

Hughes and Guillén met 38 years ago when they played together on a Venezuelan professional baseball team in Valera, a small town in the western part of the country.

Ripken, Alomar Elected To Hall Of Fame Board


Ripken, Alomar Elected

To Hall Of Fame Board

COOPERSTOWN – Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar and Cal Ripken Jr. today were elected to the Board of Directors for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Hall Chairman Jane Forbes Clark announced this afternoon.

The total number of directors for the nonprofit educational institution is now 17, with Bill Gladstone and Tom Seaver being appointed as Honorary Board Members.






Cortizo To Arrive Early Sunday

To Attend Rivera’s Entry To Hall

Panama President Laurentino Cortizo

COOPERSTOWN – Panama’s newly elected president, Laurentino Cortizo, will be in Cooperstown this weekend to attend the induction of his countryman, Mariano Rivera, into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, according to reports in Panama’s major newspapers.

Sworn in only on July 1, Cortizo is leaving Panama at 1 p.m. Saturday, will be in New York City by 7 p.m., and is scheduled to arrive in Cooperstown at 7:30 a.m. Sunday to participate in Rivera’s induction into the “Salón de la Fama del pelotero,” according to La Estrella, Panama’s oldest newspaper.

National Pastime’s Stars Giving Autographs Here

National Pastime’s Stars

Giving Autographs Here

Editor’s Note: Here are where the MLB stars will be signing autographs this weekend.

► Roberto Alomar, TBA
Tunnicliff Inn
►Jeff Bagwell, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►HAROLD BAINES, Noon Monday, July 22, Tunnicliff Inn
►JESSE BARFIELD, 2-4:30 p.m., 6-9 p.m. Thursday, July 18, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 2-4:30 p.m., 6-9 p.m., Friday & Saturday, July 19 & 20, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 3:30 p.m.-close, Sunday, July 21, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, July 22, Cooperstown Bat Company.
► Johnny Bench, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
► Craig Biggio, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
► Wade Boggs, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►Rod Carew, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►STEVE CARLTON, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►ORLANDO CEPEDA, 2-4 p.m. Friday, July 19, Noon-2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, July 21, Cooperstown Beverage Exchange.
►CHRIS CHAMBLISS, 2-4 p.m. Friday, July 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, Where It All Began Bat Company.
► Andre Dawson, 3-5 Friday, July 19, Safe At Home Baseball Collectibles, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
► Dennis Eckersley, TBA
Tunnicliff Inn
►ROLLIE FINGERS, 1:30-3 p.m. Friday, July 19, 1-3 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, July 21, Cooperstown Beverage
► Tom Glavine, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
► Doc Gooden, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
► Goose Gossage, 2-4 p.m.
Friday, July 19, 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 10-11 a.m. Sunday, July 21, Cooperstown Beverage Exchange, TBA Tunnicliff
► vladimir guerrero, TBA
Tunnicliff Inn
►RON GUIDRY, 2-4 p.m. Friday, July 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, Where It All Began
Bat Company.
►OZZIE GUILLEN, 2-4 p.m. Friday, July 19, Noon-2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 10-11 a.m. Sunday July 21, Cooperstown Beverage Exchange.
► Rickey Henderson, TBA
Tunnicliff Inn
Tunnicliff Inn
Tunnicliff Inn
►FERGIE JENKINS, Noon-2 p.m. p.m. Friday, July 19, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 10-11 a.m. Sunday, July 21, Cooperstown Beverage
Tunnicliff Inn
Tunnicliff Inn
► Al Kaline, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►PETE LACOCK, 2-4:30 p.m., 6-9 p.m. Thursday, July 18, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 2-4:30 p.m., 6-9 p.m., Friday & Saturday, July 19 & 20, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 3:30 p.m.-close, Sunday, July 21, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, July 22, Cooperstown Bat Company.
► Barry Larkin, TBA
Tunnicliff Inn
►TONY LARUSSA, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►BILL MADLOCK, 2-4:30 p.m., 6-9 p.m. Thursday, July 18, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 2-4:30 p.m., 6-9 p.m., Friday & Saturday, July 19 & 20, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 3:30 p.m.-close, Sunday, July 21, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, July 22, Cooperstown Bat Company.
►JUAN MARICHAL, 2-4 p.m. Friday, July 19, Noon-2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 10-11:30 a.m. Sunday, July 21, Cooperstown Beverage Exchange.
►EDGAR MARTINEZ, Noon Monday, July 22, Tunnicliff Inn
► Eddie Murray, TBA
Tunnicliff Inn
►JOE MORGAN, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, July 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, Safe At Home Baseball Collectibles.
►TONY PEREZ, 1-3 p.m. Friday, July 19, 11-2 a.m. Saturday,
July 20, Safe At Home Baseball Collectibles.
► Jim Rice, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►MARIANO RIVERA, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Monday, July 22, Seventh Inning Stretch
► Brooks Robinson, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►PETE ROSE, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, July 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, July 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 9 a.m.-1p.m. Sunday, July 21, Safe At Home Baseball Collectibles.
► RyNY Sandberg, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►ART SHAMSKY, 2-4 p.m. Friday, July 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, Where It All Began Bat Company.
►LEE SMITH, Noon Monday, July 22, Tunnicliff Inn
► Ozzie Smith, 1-2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, Seventh Inning Stretch. TBA Tunnicliff Inn.
► John Smoltz, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►BRUCE SUTTER, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►ALAN TRAMMELL, TBA Tunnicliff Inn
►ROBIN YOUNT, TBA Tunnicliff Inn

By The Lake, By The Beautiful Lake


By The Lake, By

The Beautiful Lake

The Blue Mingo never disappoints. This was my first time there this season; now that the rain has stopped, I hope to get there a few more times before Columbus Day.

Just walking in is a delight. Smart thinking on their part – you walk through a tasteful gift shop where it seems you just need one of everything!  Then starts a delightful lunch sitting outside on the covered deck overlooking Otsego Lake.

If you have nothing else, start with the onion chips. Not rings, but chips!  Fried to perfection, these tender little onion chips get dipped in a tasty combination of Sriracha and mayo with a hint of lemon.  Not sure exactly what that sauce is but it’s really GOOD!

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.”

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