News of Otsego County

Fred Schneider

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Final Play Reading In 2021 NEXT! Emerging Playwright Series 04-11-21

Final NEXT! Reading Today

In Emerging Playwright Series


PLAY READING – 2 p.m. Enjoy virtual performance of 2 new one-act plays by the Cooperstown Playwrights. ‘The Glass Eye of Jimmy Cooper’ by Fred Schneider & ‘Dragon Fly’ by Terrance Dwyer. Part of the NEXT! Emerging Playwright series. Presented by The Fenimore Art Museum. 607-547-1400 or visit

SCHNEIDER: Coronavirus Extracts Outsized Sacrifices From Small Business

Coronavirus Extracts

Outsized Sacrifices

From Small Business

To the Editor:

So… here is the state of affairs for everyone who chose to create jobs by rolling their dice with their own capital, their own sweat, and their own ingenuity on building a business, only to have it pulled out from underneath them through no fault of their own:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (not a government entity but a very important pro-business non-profit) recently announced a $5,000 small business grant available to all applicants… until funds run out, first come first served, starting at 3:00 Monday, April 20.

According to their site, they imagined issuing grants for the next few weeks. I imagined getting one. But I took no chances, and logged in at 2:57 to wait for the “Apply” button to appear.

And I waited… and refreshed… and waited… and refreshed until the dreaded “we are experiencing historic volume” message appeared. No surprise, and not their fault. So desperate are small business owners like me (all across America) to save their life’s work, keep promises to their employees, and NOT lose retirement, that the well-intentioned U.S. Chamber’s website fizzled, quivered, then blew up by 2:58, one hundred and twenty seconds before the grant rush was set to begin – a rush, by the way, for $5,000! Five. A week’s operating cost? A month’s?

This is how communities might want to fully digest the impact of this lock-down. Calling for a take-out order from a beloved restaurant is important (please don’t stop) but if you think that’s how we overcome this, please think again. There is no queue of cars outside the local boutique, or spa, or quick-change oil, or gift store, or yes, B&B.

Make no mistake, I am thankful for the U.S. Chamber and its grant… and really happy for those who received it.

But as I search for help, I find a Dickensian phrase dangling like poison upon my lips – “May I have some more sir!” I feel this way with my bank. I feel this way with my government. Tonight, I feel like I want to swallow the poison and let it be done, because there is no greater bane to an entrepreneur than to ask the government for help. My tongue curls even as I write this.

Yet here I am, it’s true, begging, because the government has literally taken my business under eminent domain for the greater good, and then, rather than pay a market price as required by law, ransomed it back in the form of loans I will now have to work beyond the grave to pay back.

Not satisfied with this seizure, the government has inadvertently stacked the deck against small business, requiring that we re-employ staff now making more through unemployment than while working, and making much more than tourists are willing to underwrite. Hundreds of dollars a week more. We are happy for all the laid off employees. We just can’t compete.

We certainly know we are not alone! Nearly every person in America (the world?) has paid a price for this virus, whether in endless days of seclusion, or endless nights at the hospital, or, yes endless jobs lost. Yet despite this shared sacrifice with its nod to the greater good, small business – and its legacy in the American Dream – is paying an outsized price. It is being condemned to the gallows without honor. Forced to drink poison.

To equate small business’s fate as just another virus catastrophe is convenient, expedient, but so unfair. If you’re lucky enough – ok smart enough – to have personally shrugged off the entrepreneurial American Dream in exchange for income guaranteed by a large corporation, or municipality, or union, or even (God bless you) a pension, then seriously… seriously!… good for you!

I honor you!

But please be aware that a vast amount of small business owners across this country and Cooperstown, who bet on the American dream, are groveling right now – at 6:15 PM – for a measly $5,000 as if it were their life line, which indeed it might be.

God bless us, everyone. Stay healthy.


Be Failing, But Tom Seaver’s Victories Immortal

Be Failing,

But Tom Seaver’s

Victories Immortal

In 1969, when Fred Schneider saw the near shut-out, Tom Seaver was SI’s “Sportsman of the Year.”

To the Editor:
I read this afternoon about Tom Seaver’s health.
My favorite Seaver memory (and my favorite New York Mets memory of all … and I was at Game 6!) was going to a July game at Shea in 1969.
It was a big family deal. We got new shirts, new socks. It was sunny. It was hot. The L-I-E was going to be packed and stalled with overheating cars heading toward the beaches.
Pop was anxious about the Chrysler, starting his pacing at breakfast… its oil leak… the sticking thermostat… the way second gear hung up on an incline…
but mostly anxious about the bridge, and how if your car died there, there was no getting your family back.
Death by bridge or not, mom was decked out in new slacks and a blouse from JC Penney. She wore an odd tint of lipstick, and a kerchief over her straightened curls.
Not long before we left, my grandfather (69 at the time) and I played catch on the front lawn of his Great River home. He had an awkward submarine delivery, a throwing motion violating all the rules.
But even as he twisted, even as he dipped, even as he hid his throwing arm and the ball the way Jake on Eighth Avenue hid the Queen, he hit my glove more than I hit his.
At Shea, we had great seats — uncharacteristically fantastic seats — just a soft toss from the right field grass. Somehow our tickets had fallen off a truck on Metropolitan Avenue and landed in our pockets as if God was sorry for many things.
I mean, it was July! It was baseball! We were in box seats where you never had to get up to let some guy with a thirst or a bladder through! Vendors were everywhere, waving steamed dogs or sticks of cotton candy so close we could feel their sugary stickiness!
And the Metsies were coming alive. We were playing the Cubs. Seaver against Holtzman. Mets against the Cubs. Seaver against the Cubs. Seaver against Qualls, top ninth, one down, two outs away, and you all know what happened to the perfect game then.
They called it a clean hit, but no matter if he were a mile and a half away, no matter if he was playing
deep on the damn Tappan Zee Bridge, Jones should have dived, should have given everything to end with his face in the ground. But he didn’t.
When the crowd moaned, my grandfather stood, looked around, and applauded, not at the effort, not at Seaver’s proximation of greatness, but because he still saw a victory, a real and rare (in his world) victory. And I was there.
God speed Tom Seaver.



New Hotel: When Is Too Much Too Much?

New Hotel: When Is Too Much Too Much?

To the Editor:

In regards to the proposed 101 room hotel in Hartwick, I’d like to thank Bob Holt, career hospitality professional, for his willingness to “tell it like it is” regarding the true state of the hospitality business here in the Cooperstown area. While we at the Landmark Hotel in Cooperstown  always welcome new competition,
I’d like to introduce the following numbers into the public discussion, hoping it broadens perspective.

1) 36,865 – 101 additional rooms sounds innocuous enough, but

Landmark Inn Wedding Permit Pulled By Owner

Landmark Wedding Permit

Pulled By Owner

By PARKER FISH • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – In an effort to increase their revenue stream, Robin and Fred Schneider, owners of the Landmark Inn on Chestnut St. in Cooperstown, applied for a special use permit to hold weddings at the Inn. Fred Schneider, pictured at right, was present at the April 23 Board of Trustees meeting to discuss the couple’s newly proposed wedding venue.

“We’re here today to petition our ability to have our special permit changed to allow a limited number of weddings in the backyard of the Landmark Inn,” said Schneider.

Democrats Turn Back Republican Challenger


Democrats Turn Back

Republican Challenger

COOPERSTOWN – The two Democratic incumbents on the Village Board, Cindy Falk and Jim Dean, emphatically turned back a challenge from the one Republican, Fred Schneider, in today’s village elections.

Falk led trustee balloting with 218 votes, followed by Dean with 178.  Schneider garnered 75.   The three were competing for two open seats.

Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, who was unopposed for mayor, garnered 230 votes.

3 Seek 2 Trustee Spots In Cooperstown Election

3 Seek 2 Trustee Spots

In Cooperstown Election

COOPERSTOWN – Three candidates will be seeking two village trustee positions when polls open noon-9 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, March 20) at the fire house on Chestnut Street.

The two Democratic incumbents, Cindy Falk and Jim Dean, are running for another term, challenged by Republican Fred Schneider.

The mayoral candidate, current Deputy Mayor & Trustee Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, a Democrat, is running unopposed to succeeded veteran Mayor Jeff Katz.

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/
Becker, Boden Leave Village Board Races

Becker, Boden Leave

Village Board Races

Tillapaugh Unopposed For Mayor;

3 Run For 2 Openings For Trustee

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to


COOPERSTOWN – Two candidates for Village Board in the March 20 election – Jon Becker for mayor and Art Boden for trustee – have left the race.

Both have signed the “certificates of declination” required after receiving a party endorsement, according to Village Administrator Teri Barown, who oversees village elections.





Jonathan L. Becker, a lawyer who has lived in the Village of Cooperstown since 2013, chats with former mayor Carol B. Waller after he emerged this evening as a surprise candidate for the Republican nomination for mayor. He was approved unanimously a few minutes ago by 10 of the party faithful gathered in the Village Board chambers at 22 Main. The Republican caucus also nominated two candidates for village trustee, both with credentials as businessmen: Fred Schneider, owner of the Landmark Inn and a Chamber of Commerce board member, and Art Boden, whom GOP Chairman Vince Casale described as “Cooperstown’s Host.” Boden managed New York Pizza and, lately, assumed the role of maitre d’ at Upstate Grill, which is under the same ownership. The GOP ticket will face Trustee Ellen Tillapaugh, who Democrats nominated for mayor last evening, and incumbent trustees Cindy Falk and Jim Dean, who are running again. (Jim Kevlin/



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