News of Otsego County

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


david sanford

Take Control! Consider Otsego Lake Association


Take Control! Consider

Otsego Lake Association

Annual Meeting at 9 a.m. This Saturday

Otsego Lake Association Co-Presidents David Sanford, left, and Jim Howarth, right, chat with boat stewards Sierra Stickney, Oneonta, and Luis Suatoni, Springfield Center, at the boat-cleaning station at Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park. (Jim Kevlin/

With so many areas of American life seemingly spinning out of control, there’s a contrary example in the Otsego Lake Association (OLA).

Its “100-percent volunteers,” according to Jim Howarth, co-president with David Sanford, are focused on a common mission: “Protecting the health, beauty and wellbeing” of the lake.

OLA stalwart Paul Lord shows a sample of the
European Frog Bit, Otsego Lake’s latest invasive.

Listening to them, it’s clear:  Local volunteers, working together, can get a lot done.

There are larger non-profit, governmental and educational entities focused on the wellbeing of James Fenimore Cooper’s Glimmerglass, a national environmental icon – the OCCA, Otsego 2000, SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station (BFS), the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, to name only a few – but the nimble OLA is a PT boat amid, if not aircraft carriers, the mid-size cruisers.

In advance of its annual meeting – this Saturday, Aug. 10, at Cooperstown’s Fairy Spring Park on East Lake Road; coffee and donuts at 8:30 a.m., with the meeting at 9-11 a.m., including conferring the annual Lake Citizen Award – Howarth and Sanford stopped by the other day to help raise the visibility of a story of accomplishment.

Like many OLA members, the two motivations came out of many happy personal experiences. Sanford recalls when commercial fishing was still allowed on the lake, and a daily staple at the Cooperstown Diner was Otsego Bass caught that morning. A student at SUNY Oneonta in the 1970s, Howarth remembers renting a motorbike from Thayer’s at $5 a day to take his future bride Susan onto the lake. Or a canoe ride, $2 a day.

New Flagpole Dedicated in Cooperstown

New Flagpole At Half-Staff

In Honor Of Pearl Harbor

The iconic flagpole on Cooperstown’s Main Street was dedicated at noon today at Main and Pioneer. The new flagpole, 15-feet taller than its predecessor, tops out at 50 feet above Main Street at Pioneer. Cooperstown VFW Post 7128 President David Sanford, pictured at right, raised Old Glory on the new pole for the first time, but only to half staff, to honor soldiers and sailors who died at Pearl Harbor, 76 years ago today.  Mayor Jeff Katz recognized donors: Jim Florczak, $5,000 toward the flagpole; Peter Deysenroth, the full-staff flag, and Patti Ashley and Dave LaDuke, the half-staff flag in honored of their father Harry A. LaDuke, Navy, and brother Robert L. LaDuke, Coast Guard.  Also, Jon McManus, McManus Engineering, for donating engineering services; The Clark Foundation’s Lyman Townsend, stonework to be added to the base, and  Coopertown Fire Department, flagpole setting.  Also, Sanford, for raising today’s flag, and DPW Superintendent Mitch Hotaling for coordinating replacement efforts. (Parker Fish/

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