Labor Day. The end of an exceptional summer in Cooperstown. Dare we say exceptional? Yes we can, despite the ominous glooms of COVID and recent blooms of algae.
Our Main Street businesses are still here. They may not have had their best summer, and they may still be sadly short-handed, but they are proudly displaying their wares and energetically inviting shoppers into their establishments. The Hall of Fame reopened its doors for Induction Weekend, welcoming pre-COVID crowds for a celebratory salute to the national pastime. Baseball fans swarmed the streets, and the Village was clean within hours. Doubleday Field is refurbished and Dreams Park is back. Our Village is alive.
Who showed up at this afternoon’s 4C’s downtown decorating event – when volunteers get all the streetlights ready for Christmas, a decades-long Cooperstown tradition – but Santa and Mrs. Claus. And Helena Bettancourt, 6, top photo, took advantage of the situation to have her picture taken – by mom Brooke –with the two Jolly Elfs. Inset right, Matt Grady passes decorations to son Kian, 7, as son Gavin, 11, steadies the ladder. It’s one of the few in-person events planned this year by the 4C’s Committee (Cooperstown Community Christmas Committee) this season, due to COVID-19, and masks were ubiquitous. Santa’s Cottage is in place, but the Clauses won’t be occupying it this season; however, there’s a drop of box at the cottages for Letters to Santa. When filmographer Xander Moffat heard of the Clauses’ visit, he dashed downtown and captured a video that will appear on the 4C’s Facebook page, where he will post such sightings throughout the season. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Village Trustee Cindy Falk foresees a “pocket oasis in the downtown” when the work now underway in Pioneer Park is done.
Beginning last week, a trench is being dug to create a foundation for a bike rack and bike repair station, and a final plan for the whole park is now being prepared by landscape architect Michael Haas of Delta Engineering, Endwell.
But, as part of the $2 million federal grant to be implemented next year, the final park should include a space for gatherings and performances, a drinking fountain with bottle-filling station, a cobblestone surface and new plantings.
Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch addresses more than 200 people at a rally a few minutes ago in Pioneer Park to protest the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy – now in abeyance – to separate children, an estimated 2,000, from parents who cross the southern border illegally. The protesters at this hour are marching from “the flagpole” in downtown Cooperstown, up Main Street to the county courthouse, and back. At right, Kathleen Taylor of Cherry Valley joins other protesters contributing diapers for the children in custody. The rally is part of some 650 planned today around the world as part of a “Families Belong Together” movement. The centerpiece is a rally at 11 a.m. in Lafayette Park, in front of the White House. (Jim Kevln/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Village Trustee Cindy Falk, Streets Committee chair, said a few minutes ago she hopes to have a motion for a new flagpole at Main and Pioneer ready for approval by the Village Board at its monthly meeting on Monday.
DPW Superintendent Mitch Hotaling is exploring the options and will be making a recommendation, Falk said. She estimated a new pole alone will cost about $3,000, and wants to make sure there’s a sufficient base to allow better illumination when the flag flies at night.
BE POSITIVE FESTIVAL – 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The first annual festival for all ages. Activities include speakers, volunteer opportunities, workshops, art, music, food, and dancing in locations in Downtown Cooperstown. Call (607)638-5538 or visit www.facebook.com/BePositiveFestival/
DANCE – 7-10 p.m. Everyone is invited to the multi-cultural and multi-generational dance capping off the BePositive Festival with music by local bands. The Farmers Market, Cooperstown. Call (607)638-5538 or visit www.facebook.com/BePositiveFestival/
COOPERSTOWN – Truck hit a power pole at the end of Beaver and Fair Streets this morning, knocking out power to some homes and businesses along Main Street, and resulting in Bassett Hospital converting to generator power for less than two hours.
NYSEG repaired the damaged transformer shortly after 10 a.m. and Bassett quickly restored normal operations, according to hospital spokesman Karen Huxtable.
COOPERSTOWN – Duvel Moortgat, Brewery Ommegang’s parent company, has added another brewer, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. of Paso Robles, Calif., to its expanding affiliation with quality craft brewers in the U.S.
The deal, announced Thursday, was datelined Paso Robles and Kansas City, Mo., where Duvel last year acquired the Boulevard Brewing Co.
At the time, Ommegang then-president Simon Thorpe, now Duvel Moortgat USA president, said the Boulevard acquisition was part of a plan to acquire a half-dozen quality small brewers in the U.S., similar to what the company has done across Europe.
The California brewery will “combine” with Duvel’s operations, the press release said, but will continue to operate independently in Paso Robles under its current leadership, co-founders David Walker and Adam Firestone.
COOPERSTOWN – At 10:30 today, a crew from All Seasons Landscaping, Lowville, began planting 17 trees – a half-dozen varieties – along Main Street’s north side, bringing the first half of a $2 million sidewalk-replacement project to an end.
All Seasons is a subcontractor of Central Paving, Ilion, which began the job in the spring and plans to complete the southside by next Memorial Day. The trees are from Schichtel’s Nursery, which operates 21 tree farms in western New York.
Both subcontractors are familiar with Cooperstown conditions, having done jobs for the Clark Foundation and local landscapers. Last year, All Seasons did a series of plantings at SUNY Oneonta, Wayne White, whose wife Amanda is a partner in the company, said.