News of Otsego County

Gov. Andrew Cuomo


Food For Thought

King Of New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo “decided years ago, partly by watching his father, that Democrats can’t govern effectively, that they are a tax-and-spend juggernaut, and that any power they have in the Legislature is bad for him,” Bill Lipton, a former political director of the Working Families Party, told me.

“The ease and consistency with which he does one thing in practice while arguing in public he’s doing the exact opposite – and saying anyone who suggests he’s doing this is crazy – should worry anybody who believes that executives should be transparent and accountable.”

“These are institutional advocates who by their job can never say, ‘It’s enough’,” Cuomo told me. “A sitting governor can never satiate advocates. Otherwise, they’re not advocates, by definition. I can’t. My father couldn’t.”

Cuomo and his staff, buoyed by their own internal polling and the results of his two primary challenges, contend that he is actually more popular among Democratic voters who consider themselves to be very liberal than he is among those who are closer to the center…

“They’re not the left,” one of them said (of the WFP). “They don’t represent anybody. They’re a piece of stationery.”

Nick Paumgarten
New Yorker, Oct. 12, 2020

St. James, Armory, Foothills Named Sites For Free COVID Testing





Get COVID Results In 15 Minutes

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

CDC image of coronavurus

ONEONTA – Following the outbreak of COVID-19 at SUNY Oneonta that has infected 105 students, Oneonta residents will be able to make appointments for free rapid COVID-19 testing at the Armory, Foothills and St. James Church starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2.

“We are continuing our efforts in Oneonta,” said Governor Cuomo in a press release issued a few minutes ago. “SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras made the right decision and the courageous decision to close the campus for two weeks, and now the state is setting up sites for our testing SWAT team to ensure this cluster of cases does not spread throughout the City of Oneonta and beyond.”

CUOMO:  ‘From Worst To First’

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Briefing

‘From Worst To First’

Governor Cuomo

Editor’s Note: Here are three excerpts from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 111th and last of “daily briefings” that became part of New Yorkers’ lives since the day of his emergency declaration Friday, March 13, as the coronavirus epidemic loomed, until Friday, June 19. He will continue briefings on an as-needed basis.

Today, we have done a full 180, from worst to first.

We are controlling the virus better than any state in the country and any nation on the globe. Even more, by reducing the infection rate, we saved over 100,000 people from being hospitalized and possibly dying, just think about that.

It is an unimaginable achievement.

I’m so incredibly proud of what we all did together, and as a community. We reopened the economy and we saved lives. Because it was never a choice between one or the other, it was always right to do both.

I ask myself and today I ask you: Why did it take a crisis to bring us together?

Why does government usually appeal to the worst in us rather than the best?

Why do our politics today play to our fears and weaknesses rather than appeal to our strengths?

Why doesn’t government challenge us to reach higher and speak to our better angels?

Why can’t it motivate us by love rather than hate?

Why doesn’t government urge us to realize we are members of the same community, the same family? That we all benefit when we work together.

Isn’t that what we really showed over the past 111 days? That working together works. That the only way forward is if I protect you and you protect me.

I wear a mask for you and you wear a mask for me.

If you care for me and I care for you, we showed that in the end love does win. Love does conquer all. That no matter how dark the day, love brings the light.

That is what I will take from the past 111 days.

It inspires me and energizes me and excites me. If we could accomplish together what we did here, this impossible task, of beating back this deadly virus then there is nothing we can’t do.

We will be better and we will be stronger for what we have gone through. It shows us how capable we are when we are at our best. It shows us that we have great potential to do even more and we will.

Drugovich, Cuomo, Harris Rose To Meet Crisis


Drugovich, Cuomo,

Harris Rose To Meet Crisis

That’s the spirit.

Margaret Drugovich’s latest Sunday YouTube video (linked on was like clouds opening and the sun shining through. Watch it. You’ll feel a lot better about the near-term future.

As Drugovich has proved again and again in her 12-year tenure as Hartwick College president, she’s a gutsy lady.  A leader. A tough one, and an inspirational one.

First, even though the COVID-19 threat is quickly diminishing – yes, it could rebound – it’s gutsy to decide this far out (mid-June) to move forward (late August), and to pair that decision with a tightly reasoned plan.

Drugovich will provide more particulars on her weekly video this coming Sunday, the 28th, but one provision that’s emerged so far is tough-minded and reassuring: As campus reopens Aug. 22, all members of the college community will have to read and sign “Our Social Compact: A Healthy Hartwick College,” requiring them to wear masks, social-distance and adhere to other safety-assuring (but not safety-ensuring) measures.

“We just don’t think individuals have the right to put other people at risk,” Drugovich asserted.

That’s leadership: Moving forward forcefully, reopening the campus, even while understanding the virus will still be with us. Mum SUNY Oneonta is a sad contrast.

President Drugovich is not alone. There are other examples of, yes, leaders. People who are not rash, but not frozen by fear or adversity, moving to reopen their enterprises sensibly, but with an understanding there will be setbacks.

There will be successes, but some failures are inevitable. And yet they act.

Governor Cuomo, of course, is a sterling national example of what people hope for in time of crisis. He didn’t choke, even when faced with hundreds of deaths and mass graves in the world’s greatest city, a challenge that would stagger most people.

He focused on data, and didn’t panic as the data worsened, even though his face became more ashen and the bags grew under his eyes. When the numbers didn’t drop as badly as predicted, then rebounded, he didn’t hesitate to reopen our Empire State, step by determined step.

He communicated, which Drugovich considers critical, too. And his daily briefings, he brags, attracted 59 million viewers. “There are only 18 million people in New York,” he exclaimed in awe and delight.

How good a governor is Andrew Cuomo? Mixed at best, his Buffalo Billion buffeted by corruption and imprisonment of close associates, his support for truly awful legislation – the Green Light Bill and “bail reform” come to mind – and choking off natural gas from energy-starved portions of the state.

But when he needed to step up, he did.

(Bill De Blasio’s dilly-dallying and erratic President Trump didn’t fare as well.)

Another example in a more limited sphere is Greg Harris, the CGP graduate who rose to president of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. From the day that Hall was forced to shut down, he sprang into action, focusing on what would be needed to reopen again, the no-touch doors, temperature checks, no dead-end exhibits and more, as our managing editor, Libby Cudmore, reported last week. The Rock Hall opened Monday, June 15.

You can even include restaurateurs Brian Wrubleski at Cooperstown’s Mel’s at 22, or Mike Joubert at Oneonta’s Wise Guys Sammy’s, the sandwich shop. They doubled-down on takeout and promotion, and no doubt got through the crisis better than many. Inspiring stuff.

People like Drugovich, Cuomo, Harris, Wrubleski and Joubert aren’t reckless or dismissive of troubles ahead.

Drugovich put it this way: “It would be magical thinking that we won’t have the virus in the fall. We WILL have the virus in the fall. We’re going to have to learn to cope with it.”

They’re just brave enough and bold enough – and sufficiently prudent – to move forward because they have to – as do the rest of us – despite expected pitfalls certain to come.

CUOMO:  Construction, Factories Start Opening


Construction, Factories

Can Start Re-Opening

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Governor Cuomo’s daily briefing from Sunday, April 26, outlining the plan to return to “The New Normal.”

Governor Cuomo

1) Today I outlined a phased plan to safely reopen New York at the appropriate time, taking a regional approach.

Phase one will be to reopen low-risk construction and manufacturing businesses in parts of the state that have experienced a 14-day decline in the hospitalization rate.

Phase two will open certain industries based on priority and risk level. (Businesses considered “more essential” with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and to the customer will
be prioritized.)

Officials are closely monitoring the hospitalization rate, the infection rate, and other key health indicators, and will make adjustments to the plan based on this crucial data.

2) There will be a two-week waiting period in-between phases of this plan to monitor the effect.
This will help ensure that the hospitalizations and infection rates are not increasing as some workers begin to return to work.

3) Businesses and industries will create plans that include new measures to
protect employees and consumers.

The physical workplace will have to be reimagined to be safer, and businesses must implement processes that lower the risk of infection. The state is consulting with local leaders in each region and industry to formulate these plans.

4) Multi-state coordination is key, especially in downstate New York, where the outbreak has been more severe.

We will work with neighboring states to ensure safe and consistent policies.

In downstate New York, special attention will be taken to ensure the safety of low-income communities.

CUOMO: COVID-19 Is Here. But It’s Not NY’s First Rodeo


COVID-19 Is Here.

But It’s Not NY’s First Rodeo

Governor Cuomo

As you may have heard, last night we learned of the first confirmed case of novel coronavirus – or Covid 19 – in New York State.

The patient is a woman in her late 30s who was traveling abroad in Iran, where there is an outbreak of the virus.

Her condition is mild, and she is currently isolated in her home in Manhattan.
From the beginning, we have believed it was not a question of if New York would have a coronavirus case, but when. That’s why New York State has been preparing for weeks, and we are diligently managing the situation.

It’s important that we don’t allow fear and panic to outpace reason.

Last night’s positive test was confirmed by the state’s Wadsworth Lab in Albany, underscoring the importance of the ability for our state to ensure efficient and rapid turnaround on testing.

New York State will immediately begin working with hospitals to help them replicate the State’s FDA-approved test and reach our goal of 1,000 tests per day. Additionally, we will
institute new cleaning protocols at schools and in public transportation.

Perspective is key here. This isn’t our first rodeo – we have dealt with the swine flu, Ebola, SARS and the seasonal flu. We are fully coordinated, we are fully mobilized and we are fully prepared
to deal with this situation as it develops.

If you have symptoms and have recently traveled to China, Iran, or at-risk areas in Italy and South Korea, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has, you should seek medical care right away. Call ahead and explain your symptoms and travel.

Symptoms of the novel coronavirus are similar to the flu, and include coughing, fever and trouble breathing.

Andrew Cuomo is
New York State governor.

State of Emergency Declared For Otsego

State of Emergency

Declared In County

Kevin Johnson, Michelle Kearney and Izzy Martinez, all of Oneonta, work at getting their car unstuck from a snow bank on Oneonta’s Market Street after trying to get into a parking lot. After an hour of digging, pushing and some help from some passing residents, they made it into the parking garage. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE  • Special to

ONEONTA – Moments ago, the county Board of Representatives declared Otsego County is in a State of Emergency, echoing Governor Cuomo’s statewide declaration earlier this morning.

County roads are closed to all non-emergency travel so that emergency vehicles have safe passage on the snowy roads.

“We really need people to stay home,” said Rob O’Brien, the county’s 911 director.

Snow Day Oneonta

Snow Day Oneonta!

Schools, City Hall Closed As Storm Stella Blankets State

ONEONTA – With schools, the Huntington Library and City Hall closed, Oneonta has effectively taken a snow day for Winter Storm Stella.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a State of Emergency for all 62 counties in New York, and locally, Mayor Gary Herzig has asked all residents to avoid any unnecessary travel. “To protect the safety of all, Oneonta residents should stay home on Tuesday unless travel is essential,” he wrote in a release. “The City is prepared to clear our roads; however, conditions may be treacherous. Please stay tuned to local media for the potential of road closings. All persons should also exercise extreme care and err on the side of caution when shoveling or otherwise removing snow.”

County Who’s Who Hails $10 Million Check Arrival


County Who’s Who Hails

$10 Million Check Arrival

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig gets a congratulatory hug from Otsego Now COO Elizabeth Horvath after the announcement that the City of Oneonta will received a $10 million special allocation from Governor Cuomo for downtown revitalization. At right is the city's first lady, Connie Herzig. (Ian Austin/
Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig gets a congratulatory hug from Otsego Now COO Elizabeth Horvath after the announcement that the City of Oneonta will received a $10 million special allocation from Governor Cuomo for downtown revitalization.  At right is the city’s first lady, Connie Herzig.   Check slide show to see the range of attendees at yesterday’s event in Foothills Performing Arts Center’s black-box theater.  (Ian Austin/
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