News of Otsego County


Buttermann, Mosher Will Debate Via Zoom

Buttermann, Mosher

Will Debate Next Week


COOPERSTOWN – Democratic Assembly candidates Daniel Buttermann of Oneonta and Corey Mosher of Hamilton will debate via Zoom 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, in an event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Oneonta and Cooperstown.

The Democratic primary in the 121st District is planned Tuesday, June 23.   The winner will challenge Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield on Nov. 3.

ZAGATA: Natural-Gas Issue Is A Ruse; Real Intention Is No Growth

Column by Mike Zagata for October 12, 2018

Natural-Gas Issue Is A Ruse;
Real Intention Is No Growth

Mike Zagata

Apparently something happened to The Professor during her youth to cause her to come
forward during the confirmation process for The Supreme Court Justice, but we’ll never know for sure exactly what happened, nor will we know
who was responsible.
That wasn’t the intended outcome of the public spectacle we’ve been subjected
to. The intended outcome
was to delay the confirmation process until after the mid-term elections.
Thus well-intentioned people like us who were supportive of either The Judge or The Professor were used. We believed we were doing the right thing in seeking the truth, but we were being manipulated to actually support a different agenda – delay.

I bring that up because the raging debate over energy has the potential to repeat that scenario and use our concern for the environment to push a no-growth agenda.
We are concerned about the quality of our environment and thus want our energy sources to be environmentally friendly. However, when I read two quotes, one from a Board member and the other from a local environmental activist, stating that heavy industry has no place in our community and that, instead of trying to attract companies to our area by being able to provide the energy they would need, companies should go elsewhere where that energy already exists, I feel “used.”
Do you understand the
significance of that mentality? It means that if those against development can prevent us from getting gas they can prevent us from having jobs.

Sometimes the stated issues are a cover for a hidden strategy, Mike Zagata writes.

My suspicion was realized. Are those who oppose economic growth in our area using the “environment” as a ruse to get us to support their real agenda without our knowing it?
In one of the many recent articles, mostly by the same people, opposing
natural gas, pipelines, trucking and decompression, and everything in
between, the author states that it’s
OK to burn fuel oil on those days (about 30 per year) when our hospital, college and some industry are curtailed because there isn’t enough gas to go around.
Fuel oil does not burn as cleanly as natural gas so, if your real concern is protecting the environment, how could you possibly state that it’s OK to burn fuel oil for 30 days instead of natural gas?
Your real agenda – no growth for our area – is starting to show through!

Oneonta is a welcoming community, but we’re not open to being told how we can lead our lives, what kind of jobs we can have or that our children have no future here.
We need more – there is already some – heavy industry as that was what historically supported the middle class and it’s the middle class that pays the bulk of the taxes.
About half of our potentially taxable property is off the tax rolls. Thus we’re paying about double what we should be for the services we receive.
Our school enrollment is about half what it was when we had a stronger economy and the jobs that came with it. Other schools in our immediate area are suffering the same drops in enrollment and will face consolidation if that doesn’t stop.
People are leaving New York in droves and it’s not due to the weather. Each time someone leaves, the taxes of those of us who remain must, by definition, go up in order to pay for the same level of services.

The folks opposed to everything, the vocal minority, don’t offer viable alternatives to using natural gas as a bridge to the time when renewable energy sources are economically and physically viable. They sprinkle fairy dust into the air and hope we breathe it.
Industry – that evil entity that we don’t want to come here – is working to develop the ability to store energy captured by solar panels. However, that’s still a ways into the future and, even if it was available today, it would not be able to meet our energy needs after the week of rainy, cloudy weather we just experienced.
In addition to not being predicable, solar energy has its own environmental issues. Do the people who oppose natural gas pipelines prefer to look out their window and view 450 acres of solar panels instead? The answer is a resounding “no”. They can afford to install a solar system out of sight that services their needs and don’t much care if the rest of us suffer from extreme heat or cold because we don’t have enough gas to meet our needs.
As I’ve said before, it’s time for the real majority to get involved, take back control of our lives and get out and vote.

Mike Zagata, DEC commissioner in the Pataki AdministratION and former environmental executive with Fortune 500 companies, lives in West Davenport.

Many Gather, Few Speak Up In Trustee Debate

Many Gather, Few Speak Up

In Village Trustee Debate

With two Cooperstown Village Trustee seats up for election, candidate Fred Schneider and incumbents Cindy Falk and James Dean discussed on various topics in a debate organized by the Otsego County League of Women Voters. The event was scheduled to go until 9pm but village residents in attendance only had a few questions to ask the candidates ahead of the Mar. 20 election. (Parker Fish/

Oneonta Student Art Show


ART SHOW – 5-6:30 p.m. Art exhibit featuring works by students of the Oneonta City School District opens at Fox Care Center, Oneonta. Info,

DEBATE – 7 p.m. The Candidates for the CCS Board of Education will debate each other and answer questions from the audience. Hosted by the League of Women Voters. Jr./Sr. Library, Cooperstown High School. Info,

CLIMATE CHANGE LECTURE – 7 p.m. “US Energy Transition: The Plight of Fossil Fuels and the Rise of Renewables.” A talk by Village Trustee Lou Alstadt on the urgent need to confront climate change by adopting a national carbon tax and dividend policy. Templeton Hall, 63 Pioneer St., Cooperstown. Info, Adrian Kuzminski, moderator, Sustainable Otsego,


Public Discussion Of Oneonta

Downtown Revitalization Plan


PUBLIC FORUM – 1 p.m. Share your thoughts on how the $10 million Downtown Revitalization plan should take advantage of the cities history to contribute to economic development. Greater Oneonta Historical Society, 183 Main St., Oneonta. Info,

SNOW TUBING – 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Park will provide snow tube with $5 tubing fee. No charge to enter park. Glimmerglass State Park, 1527 County Highway 31, Cooperstown. Info,

CHICKEN & BISCUIT BENEFIT – Noon.  Benefits Firefighter Tim West, Sec. Lt. in Hartwick Emergency Squad who is ill at this time.  By donation – Until food or people run out!   Hartwick Fire Dept. Company #1, Hartwick.  Info, Caren Kelsey, (607)-293-7530, Deb Clegg, (607) 293-6135.

THEATER – 2 p.m. Stuff of Dreams presents “Never Too Late.” Tickets @ Green Toad Book store or by calling (607)432-5407. Cost $15 adult, $12 senior and students, and $10 children 12 and under. Production Center of Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta.

LIBRARY LECTURE – Panel discussion on the impact of arts on the local economy. Info, Cancelled


Follow Teachout, Faso Debate Livestreaming From Troy

Follow Teachout, Faso Debate

Livestreaming From Troy Site

ballot-boxThe candidates in the 19th Congressional District that includes Otsego County will debate at 8 p.m. today.

Republican John Faso and Democrat Zephyr Teachout, who are running to succeed U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, will be facing off at the Rensselaer Technology Park in Troy, but you can follow the exchange live at this link:

City Council And County Board Candidates Square Off at Debate


City Council, County Board

Candidates Meet At Forum

Maureen Hennessey, Paul van Der Sommen, Jeff Back, Laura Dohner, Michelle Osterhoudt, Dana Levinson and Madolyn Palmer discuss their various positions as candidates for the upcoming Common Council positions for 1st, 4th and 5th Wards in Oneotna. (Ian Austin/
Oneonta Common Council candidates express views at a League of Women Voters’ forum this evening at SUNY Oneonta’s Dewar Lounge.  From left at front table are, from left, Maureen Hennessy and Paul van Der Sommen running in First Ward; Jeff Back, Laura Dohner and  Michelle Osterhoudt, running in Fourth Ward, and Dana Levinson and Madolyn Palmer, running in Fifth Ward.  Election day is Tuesday,  Nov. 3.   Barbara Heim, at podium, moderates.  (Ian Austin/
The league of Women Voters presented the debates at Morris Hall on the SUNY campus this afternoon where candidates for City Council and County Board discussed their stances on issues ranging from housing to City Managers. Here are the candidates for County Board; Janet Quackenbush, Andrew Stammel, Gary Koutnik, Craig Gelbsman and Amy HornburgHeilveil. (Ian Austin/
Oneonta candidates for the county Board of Representatives also appeared.  From left are county Rep. Janet Hurley-Quackenbush, R-Town of Oneonta, and Democratic challenger Andrew Stammel, the Oneonta Town Board member; County Rep. Gary Koutnick, D-District; – his challenger, James Phillips, failed to appear; and county Rep. Craig Gelbsman, R-12, and his challenger, Democrat Amy HornburgHeilveil. (Ian Austin/
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