News of Otsego County

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


flashing light

Residents Object To Flashing Light On Street To Lake

Residents Object

To Flashing Light

On Street To Lake

They Say Tidy Neighborhood

Looks Like ‘Fire, Accident Scene’

“There evidently was no Texas Aggie involved in that design,” said Chip Northrup, a Texan by origin, of the block of Fair Street leading into Otsego Lake.  Behind him, at left, is Bernie Viek, who suggested sawhorses instead of the recently installed flashing light.  Carla MacMillan, behind him, at right, object to “a strobe light blocking” the scenic views.  (Jennifer Hill/

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Mayor Tillapaugh says the Village Board will consider solutions suggested.  From left are Trustee Jim Dean, Village Attorney Martin Tillapaugh and Trustee Richard Sternberg.

COOPERSTOWN – How do you stop a stop sign?

About 25 neighbors expressed their opposition at Monday’s Village Board meeting to a flashing stop sign at the intersection of Fair and Lake streets, with Bernie Viek, owner of 10 Lake Boat & Lodging as the group’s unofficial leader.

The village installed the sign, rimmed with pulsing red lights, on August 28, four months after John Smirk, 75, of Cooperstown, drove down Lake Street into Otsego Lake and drowned.

“I applaud the sign’s safety and technology … but when I first saw it, I thought it was either a crime scene or an accident,” said Jim Howarth, 2 Lake, the first to speak.

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