Editorial: Water Worries

Editorial Water Worries With the exception of the boisterous and breezy thunderstorm that ran through here last Friday, Otsego County has had little to no rain for the last several weeks, a relatively new problem for us here in what has long been touted as one of the wettest counties in the state. Though the storm was occasionally scary—downing trees, exuding earsplitting thunder and bursting with lightning—it was welcome, as our bright lime spring fields and meadows were on the…


Editorial: Saving Article IX

Editorial Saving Article IX Among the most important sections of our New York State Constitution is Article IX, one that has been on the local books since the organization of our local governments—our counties, cities, towns and villages: home rule. This, in a broad sense, describes those governmental functions and activities traditionally reserved to or performed by local governments without undue infringement by the state. More technically, home rule refers to the constitutional and statutory powers given local governments to…


Editorial: Let’s Chat

Editorial Let’s Chat Last November OpenAI, a not-so-big (albeit associated, through a $1 billion investment, with Microsoft and co-founded, in 2015, by Elon Musk), artificial intelligence lab in San Francisco, introduced a newly developed chatbot—ChatGPT—that has made impressive inroads into our understanding of the challenges of artificial intelligence. The company first coded a chatbot in 2020, GPT-3, which is one of the first AI tools that responds to prompts in viable human-like text, for the most part both grammatically and,…


Editorial: This Is for the Birds

Editorial This Is for the Birds Last year, more than 57 million birds, including poultry, perished in the U.S. from a surge of avian influenza (H5N1), a killer disease that has been increasingly effective in attacking wild birds, especially migrating waterfowl. Mallards and Canada geese seem to be the most susceptible. The disease, which has flared up sporadically since its discovery, as fowl plague, in 1878, is caused by infections that occur naturally in wild aquatic birds. These infections are…


Editorial: Tread Lightly, Care and Think

Editorial Tread Lightly, Care and Think Every year the growth, and non-growth, of a variety of areas of interest—such as the economy, the population, bird migrations, immigration, wildfires, utilities, stocks, violence, college rankings, China and the like—are subject to intense research and interpretation. Inevitably, the results are published far and wide just after the last drop of the New Year’s ball. One such fast-developing aspect of our life is our carbon footprint (CO2e), the total greenhouse gas emissions that trap…


Editorial: Everything Old Is New Again

Editorial Everything Old Is New Again It has been 20 years or so since the names Tara Barnwell, Michael Moffat, Elinor Vincent and Darla Youngs have appeared together on the masthead of “The Freeman’s Journal.” A confluence of events perhaps regarded by some as a perfect storm—or an imperfect storm, by others—has brought us all together again. “The Freeman’s Journal” is arguably one of the oldest weekly newspapers in the nation. Founded by Judge William Cooper, it began as the…


Editorial: Is There a Santa Claus?

Is There a Santa Claus? In 1897, “The Sun,” a New York newspaper, published one of the most famous editorials in journalism. Written by Francis Pharcellus Church, it was in answer to a letter written by an 8-year-old girl who was not satisfied by answers given her by her family and friends to her question—one that remains to this day on the inquisitive minds of many children—Is there a Santa Claus? “We take pleasure in answering at once and thus…


EDITORIAL: Baby Eagles Look to Their Future

Editorial Baby Eagles Look to Their Future Last Saturday, much to our collective surprise and dismay, the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team lost to the Netherlands in the first game of the knockout round of the FIFA [International Federation of Association Football] 2022 World Cup, in Qatar. In many and obvious ways it was a very sad day for the young team; in other ways it was the beginning of a four-year campaign to bring the sport to the attention…


Editorial-Buy Thoughtfully and Buy Locally

EDITORIAL Buy Thoughtfully and Buy Locally Until recently, the main streets of Otsego County’s towns, villages, and hamlets were densely populated with various commercial concerns that provided local residents with the majority of the goods and services they required to live full and productive lives. The money exchanged circulated within the communities, and local economies were vibrant and self-sustaining. Food was locally grown; that you could only get certain food at certain times of the year—like sweet corn—only made that…

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