My wife and I recently moved to the area (my wife was born in Cooperstown) and I have been reading with interest the conflict about economic development that is being shaped in large part by Otsego Now! and Otsego 2000.
I was also born in Upstate New York near Syracuse and have witnessed firsthand how cities and towns across Upstate were left gutted when industry moved out or shut down from the ’70s to the ’90s. So the debate about development in Otsego County is important to me. I was appalled to recently read that Oneonta has a poverty level in excess of 25 percent; this with two colleges and a hospital as major employers.
Three quick points:
I always read with interest Professor Kuzminski’s whimsical columns that decry almost any form of economic development. Of course, he is retired and therefore doesn’t have a long-term stake in the economic prosperity of the county like young families.
“Industrial Development” does not mean massive plants that will belch tons of noxious fumes into the sky. There is a lot of light industry that is very desirable, has limited emissions and provides good jobs. But let’s face it folks – any business we attract is going to require a reliable and reasonable energy source and that doesn’t seem to be the case right now.
I was fascinated to read that Otsego 2000 had a major hand in blocking the Jordanville wind farm. Isn’t this the group that is fervently extolling the use of renewable energy sources? This isn’t just NIMBYism – this is what I call the BANANA principle: Build Almost Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. What future are they promising to provide the residents of the county?
I write all this even while I firmly believe that global warming must be addressed. However, it is a process that will take time and we cannot turn our backs on residents who want to live here with the prospect of a decent job at a good company.
I lived in Vermont for 15 years and witnessed this same debate. That state has still not recovered the jobs lost during the recent recession. The population is stagnant and aging as young people leave the state to seek job careers elsewhere that aren’t available in Vermont. Now the state is offering $10,000 for “knowledge workers” to move to the state where they can work remotely from home.
I only hope that this region doesn’t have to resort to the same desperate ploy in an effort to provide a good living and a future for young workers and their families.
FLY CREEK – The foreclosed B&B Ranch will go up for auction just four months after the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department seized the property for failure to pay back a loan from the Bank of Kinderhook.
Though originally listed at $3.2 million, Platinum Luxury Auctions is listing the estate as a “no reserve” and will open the bidding at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17.
CONCERT – 3:30 p.m. Sunday Fall for Fall Concert featuring Catskill Valley Wind Ensemble performing Yosemite Autumn, City Rain, more. Free, open to public. Refreshments served. St. James Retirement Community, 9 St. James Pl., Oneonta. 607-436-9974 or visit www.stjamesmanor.com
PANCAKE BREAKFAST – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Annual breakfast with Fly Creek Area Historical Society features, sausage, home-fries, eggs, biscuits, sausage, gravy, grits, more. Suggested donation, $8/adult. Old Grange Building, 210 Cemetery Rd., Fly Creek. 607-547-1275.
CONCERT – 4 p.m. The prize winning Argus Quartet perform program entitled “Visions and Miracles” featuring music from the renaissance to the present with composers like Josquin, Haydn, Mendelssohn, others. Christ Episcopal Church, 46 River St., Cooperstown. Call 877-666-7421 or visit www.cooperstownmusicfest.org
PANCAKE BREAKFAST – 8 a.m. – Noon. Enjoy all-you-can-eat breakfast of pancake, eggs, sausage, maple syrup, applesauce, more with your friends. All donation go to upkeep of the Historical Building. Suggested donation, $8/adult. The Old Grange, 210 Cemetery Road, Fly Creek. Call 607-547-1275.
At this morning’s annual Cider Run in Fly Creek, Oneonta’s Becca Daly, a Susquehanna Animal Shelter staffer, tickles Penelope, one of the nine dogs among the 101 animals rescued from a Garrattsville farm last weekend. Also on hand at the SAS fundraiser was Lucy, another of the Collie mix canines being housed at the shelter until charges of torture and injury to animals against the farm’s owners are resolved. At right, three Oneontans, Tom Slicer, Wayne Allen II and Brandon Gardner lead off the 10K event, which is hosted by the Fly Creek Cider Mill. SAS Director Stacie Haynes said the crowd could have been a record — both the parking lots on Route 26 and across from the cider mill were filled — but the full count wasn’t in yet. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
FLY CREEK – Alexander Johannesen, 30, formerly of Fly Creek, died unexpectedly in Dutch Harbor, Alaska., on Thursday, Jan. 18. A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Louis C. Jones Center at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown.
Alex was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Sept. 30, 1987, the son of Jennie Johannesen, of Fly Creek, and Roy Johannesen, of Colfax, Calif. He was also the grandson of Dr. Robert William Mackie, of Fly Creek, who passed away in 2008.