News of Otsego County


RUDY: State should mndate vaccinations for its employees


State should mandate
vaccinations for its employees

The unions representing New York state troopers and public school teachers oppose a mandatory vaccination requirement for their members. At the same time, more and more private employers are requiring vaccination by their employees as a condition of continued employment.

Conservatives regularly argue that government should emulate the private sector in its employment practices. A vaccination mandate is a good place to start.

For those state troopers and teachers who choose not to be vaccinated and thereby to ignore the risk they pose to us taxpayers and children with whom they come in contact, I suggest that they have at least two other choices:

1) find another line of work;

2) move to Florida or Texas.

John A. Rudy

Playing Russian roulette with kids


Playing Russian
roulette with kids

Just as the country thought it was safe to get rid of masks, COVID-19 has made a sudden, startling comeback.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the seven-day moving average of new cases for the week ended Aug. 6, stands at nearly 123,000 per day. The Associated Press has reported more than 44,000 people were hospitalized in the U.S. last weekend, a 30% increase from the prior week and four times the number in June. Daily deaths hover around 500, nearly twice the rate of two weeks ago.

Of those hospitalized, 97.5% are unvaccinated, a group that represents 99% of deaths. An unvaccinated person is 300 times more likely to die from COVID than one who is vaccinated. One infectious disease expert recently pointed out that for the unvaccinated it is “Not a matter of if you will contract the virus, only a matter of when.”

George “Wyatt” Greenleaf III September 20, 1946 – April 17 2020

In Memoriam

George “Wyatt” Greenleaf III

September 20, 1946 – April 17 2020

George ‘Wyatt’ Greenleaf, III

George “Wyatt” Greenleaf III passed away peacefully in Randolph,MA. He was surrounded by his special family of caregivers after suffering with dementia and complications from Covid 19. 

He was born on September 20,1946, in Boothbay Harbor ME.

He is predeceased by George W. Greenleaf II and Betty Madeline (Bell) Greenleaf. Wyatt  graduated UE highschool in Endicott NY leaving behind true friendships that he valued for years. After graduating he proudly served in the U. S Marines from 1965-69. His final assignment was in Portsmouth N. H. Naval Prison.

Wyatt spent his working career in beverage sales at Pepsi-Cola in Binghamton and later at Coca-Cola bottling in Oneonta.

Department of Health: COVID cases on the rise in Otsego County

Department of Health: COVID cases on the rise in Otsego County

STAFF REPORT • Special to

COVID-19 is on the rise in Otsego County with 12 cases being reported in the past two days.

Eight new cases have been reported in first three weeks of July but since Friday, July 23, there have been a total of 20 new cases.

The Otsego County Department of Health urges people to get vaccinated if they haven’t already done so, with the highest rate of infections happening in areas with low amounts of vaccinations.


DiNapoli: Sales tax revenue had huge jump for second quarter of 2021

DiNapoli: Sales tax revenue had huge jump for second quarter of 2021

Sales tax revenue for local governments in New York state rose by 49.2% in the second quarter (April to June 2021) compared to the same period last year, a dramatic increase from last year’s weak collections during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Sales tax collections during this period grew by just over $1.6 billion and even surpassed collections reported during the second quarter of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.

“The strength of these collections, along with federal aid, will give local governments statewide the chance to improve their fiscal stability, but it will take time to recover from the strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” DiNapoli said in a media release. “While this is good news, local leaders are advised to budget carefully. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to always plan for unpredictable circumstances.”

The size of the increase largely reflects extremely weak collections in the April to June period of 2020. However, even compared to pre-pandemic collections for the same period in 2019, statewide collections in 2021 were up 8.7% or $396 million.

VASCELLARO: Baseball has come a long way since the pandemic shut it down

The Baseball Lifer

Baseball has come a long way
since the pandemic shut it down


Major League Baseball sure has come a long way.

Consider where we were this time last year, at what would usually constitute Major League Baseball’s “Mid-Summer Classic” All-Star Game break, the abbreviated 2020 season had yet to begin.

Delayed for three-and-half months by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 season did not begin until July 23, cancelling the All-Star Game for the first time since 1945, when the game was called on account of wartime travel restrictions.

A shadowy 60-game season was played without fans in attendance, replaced by cardboard cutout photographs and piped in crowd noise reminiscent of a television sitcom laugh track.

Except it wasn’t funny and it wasn’t much fun.

But the game plodded on all the way through the post season. The Los Angeles Dodgers finally won the World Series after capturing eight straight National League West division titles.

COVID-19 vaccines expanded to out-patient locations

COVID-19 vaccines
expanded to
out-patient locations

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Bassett Healthcare announced in a press release Thursday, July 1, that vaccines are available in out-patient locations, such as primary care and pediatric clinics.

Patients 12 and up are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine at these locations; 18 and up can receive Moderna or Johnson and Johnson as well as Pfizer.

“Obtaining vaccines in our clinics is a wonderful stride towards improving access for all our patients to this life-saving vaccine,” Gretchen Hodgdon, MD, Bassett Healthcare Network’s division chief of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, said in a press release. “This greatly broadens our connections to patients and families who may be eager to obtain the vaccines in the comfort of their own doctor’s offices. My hope is that every eligible patient will turn to their trusted providers for support, education, and reassurance. We are all in this together.”

Go to for more information on clinic locations.

Governor Cuomo announces most COVID restrictions will be ending

Governor Cuomo announces
most COVID restrictions will be ending

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday, June 15, that he will ending most COVID restrictions affecting businesses, after hitting the threshhold 70% of New Yorkers vaccinated with at least one dose.

As a result, concerts, sports, nights clubs and other businesses can return to normal operations without the need for social distancing, masks or limits on capacity.

“It means we can return to life as we know it,” Cuomo said at a press conference in front of One World Trade Center in Manhattan. “We have the highest vaccination rate in the country.”

Businesses can now set their own rules on vaccine passes and social distancing.

Separately, the city of Oneonta announced that all public buildings will be open to the public again as of Monday, June 14.

State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, said he welcomed the news but was critical of Cuomo in a statement.

“Is he lifting the state’s emergency declaration and ending his extraordinary powers?” Oberacker said. “Once again, the governor makes grand claims and leaves everyone scrambling to sort out the details.”



Milford graduate helping with pandemic relief in Nepal
Milford Central School graduate Zak Aldridge, center, helps deliver supplies in Nepal in this recent picture.

Milford graduate helping with pandemic relief in Nepal

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

Although COVID is starting to fade in Otsego County with towns such as Cooperstown and Oneonta lifting mask restrictions, the same cannot be said for many countries such as Nepal.

Zak Aldridge, who was born in Cooperstown, went to Milford Central School and considers himself an “honorary Oneontan,” said he didn’t intend to stay in Nepal for more than a year, but COVID-19 changed his plans.

He said he planned on staying there for two weeks. That was 15 months ago.

“I was planning to come to check out a school over here that I was thinking of coming to study languages and Buddhism,” Aldridge said. “And the lockdown happened and I wound up getting stuck. That was a year ago.”

Aldridge, who is a Columbia University graduate, has decided to help feed families in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, which is currently under a strict lockdown, causing day laborers to suffer from malnutrition.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: CCS Art Exhibit Opens At Fenimore 06-01-21

CCS Art Exhibit Opens At Fenimore


YOUTH ART EXHIBIT – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. CCS students present exhibit ‘Young at Art! Inspired by Community’ sharing their experience of community during the pandemic and how art grew their relationships online and at home. On view through June 26. The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit

Education is key to fighting hatred

Education is key to fighting hatred

Editor’s Note: In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we asked some of the speakers at the recent rally against violence against people of Asian descent to submit their speeches as columns. This week’s column is from Dr Joon K.Shim, the program director for Bassett’s Medical Center’s General Surgery Residency Program.


I am grateful for the opportunity. Thank you for coming. It’s Asian American heritage month. Stand tall and be proud. My message today is a prayer for hope.

I like to talk to you about the term Asian Americans. Many people think Chinese is synonymous for Asians the same way Kleenex is for tissues. Many people don’t understand that we’re a spectrum of many different nationalities. There are so many qualifications weighing the “we” in Asian America. It’s a unique condition that’s distinctly Asian.

There is the stereotype of the “Asian nerd”—a tech geek, good at math and science, but socially awkward and passive. But Asian Americans are struggling economically like many other Americans. Asian Americans are struggling with staggering unemployment and Asian Americans accounted for nearly 40% of Covid-19 deaths in San Francisco.

Then there is the stereotype of an Asian woman, portrayed as exotic and beautiful, but also submissive, obedient, and fragile. Furthermore, Asian Americans are often treated as “perpetual foreigners” and always being asked, “Where are you really from?”

Cooperstown will halt enforcement of mask ordinance

Cooperstown will
halt enforcement
of mask ordinance

By Greg Klein • Special to

Josh Edmonds shows design plans for a property at 10 Chestnut St., during a Board of Trustees meeting Monday, May 24, in Cooperstown. (Greg Klein/

COOPERSTOWN – The village of Cooperstown will stop enforcing its mask mandate as it waits for the state to rescind Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive orders on the coronavirus pandemic.

The village’s Board of Trustees debated the issue at the end of a three-hour meeting Monday, May 24, in the village board room at 22 Main St., but decided against calling a public hearing on revoking the statute, which was passed in August.

The trustees voted unanimously to remove mask ordinance signs from in and around the village and to relax enforcement of the law. Trustee Richard Sternberg was not at the meeting.

Cooperstown Police Chief Frank Cavalieri said he has heard the executive orders on the pandemic will be revoked July 1.

Because the village needs time to advertise a public hearing, and because there are several already scheduled for the trustees meeting Monday, June 28, Village Attorney Martin Tillapaugh said the trustees could simply take the mask ordinance signs down and let it be known that enforcing it is no longer a priority for village officials. He called it a “tacit acknowledgement.”

Regatta switches to virtual event for 2021

Regatta switches to
virtual event for 2021

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

Erica Collier of Cooperstown and John Collier of Richmondville race in the Mixed CC Endurance class of the 2018 General Clinton Canoe Regatta. (Cherly Clough/

The General Clinton Canoe Regatta, which is traditionally held Memorial Day, will be held virtually this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have exhausted all other options,” the General Clinton Canoe Regatta website read.

There will be no winners or awards this year, but racers will be credited with finishes, according to event organizers.

Participants will be provided with a GPS in order to get credit for their finish on the 70 mile course. Those who finish will receive a t-shirt and an official 70-mile finish credit.

In addition, there will be no activities in General Clinton Park, because of the pandemic.

Cooperstown Dreams Park to open July 23 without masks or social distancing for vaccinated participants

Cooperstown Dreams Park
to open July 23
without masks or social distancing for vaccinated participants

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Cooperstown Dreams Park is set to open Friday, July 23, without masks or any guidelines on social distancing, according to the park’s website.

However, a vaccine will be required for participating children and adults.

The opening will include no restrictions on high fiving or other physical contact, as well as face-to-face pin and baseball card training.

The  2021 baseball camp is set to go through August.

Dreams Park gives participants a chance to play in tournaments, visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and watch baseball games at Doubleday Field.

According to their website, Dreams Park gets approximately 500,000 visitors per year, hosting teams for 13 weeks of tournaments. However, it was closed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and had earlier in the year put its season in doubt when it issued guidelines for campers requiring vaccinations.

For more information, call 704-630-0050 or email


Glimmerglass Festival increases capacity thanks to new state guidelines

Glimmerglass Festival increases capacity thanks to new state guidelines

STAFF REPORT • Special to

The Glimmerglass Festival will have increased sales for festival squares and tables thanks to new guidance from New York State regarding COVID restrictions, according to a media release.

Socially distanced festival squares will be available for people of the same party (between one and four) as well as festival boxes (one to six) and festival tables (one to six).

Glimmerglass recommends patrons bring a blanket or chair.

There will be updated COVID guidelines for the event including the requirement of either a negative COVID test or vaccination series completed 14 days prior.

Audience members will need to go through a screening before attending. Ticket purchases will need to provide contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.

In addition, a mask will be required at all times except when eating.

Call 607-547-2255 or e-mail for more information.


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