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News of Otsego County

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AllOtsego Report: Mayoral Election edition

AllOtsego Report: Mayoral Election edition

Staff Report • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

We interviewed City of Oneonta mayoral candidates Mark Drnek and Len Carson for the AllOtsego Report Mayoral Election edition.

Click here to listen to our interview with Mark Drnek.

Democratic candidate for mayor, Mark Drnek, represents the Eighth Ward of Oneonta and is the owner of Sweet Home Productions and host of the syndicated radio show Blue Light Central.

Click here to listen to our interview with Len Carson.

Republican candidate for mayor, Leonard Carson, represents the Fifth Ward of Oneonta and is a former fire captain for the city as well as a former Otsego County Representative for District 13. He is also the co-owner of DC Marketing.

DELGADO: I’ll Focus On What 19th District Needs

LOOKING AHEAD

DELGADO: I’ll Focus On

What 19th District Needs

Antonio Delgado’s wife Lacey and their twin sons – Coltrane, left, and Maxwell – joined him in Washington D.C. Sunday as he was sworn in for a second term. (From Congressman Delgado’s Facebook page)

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Otsego County’s Congressman Antonio Delgado’s State of the District address Monday, Jan. 4, the day after he was sworn in for a second term at the U.S. Capitol.

Accessibility, accountability, transparency. To me, these are not just words—they are my creed. I can’t promise that we will always see eye-to-eye on a particular issue.

But I can and do promise you that I will listen to your views, that I will treat them and you with respect, and that, whether we agree on an issue or not, I will explain my position to you.

As I look ahead at my second term in office, these principles will continue to guide me.

I will remain a member of the Committees on Small Business, Agriculture, and Transportation & Infrastructure – not the most high-profile committees in Congress, by any means,
but by far the most important for the needs of our district.

That’s where I want to be.

Using my leverage on these committees, I will redouble my efforts to help our 27,000 small businesses and self-employed individuals thrive despite challenging economic
circumstances.

I will keep fighting to ensure that our more than 5,000 farms – the backbone of both our upstate economy and our rural way of life – can compete in today’s farm economy.

And I will keep pushing for investments in our region’s infrastructure – from roads, to rail, to broadband, to cell service, to hospitals, to public schools, to affordable housing – so that we can ensure a healthier, safer, and more productive future for ourselves and our children.

Our first order of business in this new Congress, however, will be to confront the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While public health experts tell us that the darkest days of the pandemic have yet to come – and it is essential that we remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to keep our loved ones safe – we can find hope in the fact that the scientific community has produced a safe and effective vaccine in record time.

As of today, New York has administered more than 275,000 vaccine doses with almost 500,000 more doses on hand. While the vaccine rollout in New York and across the nation has gotten off to a slower than anticipated start, I’m confident that our state and our country will continue to accelerate the rate of vaccinations in the coming months.

To that end, it is imperative that Congress provides more funding for state and local governments to support those on the ground doing the heavy lifting of coordinating the vaccine’s distribution.

“As some of you know, I received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine here in D.C. on Dec. 18, and I will receive my second and final shot here this coming Friday. I took the vaccine upon the advice of the attending physician and consistent with continuity of government guidelines.

But I also took the vaccine to show that the vaccine is safe, and to demonstrate my trust in the public health officials whose expertise and advice has so often been ignored and undermined by those in elected office since the pandemic began.

As I travel back and forth between home and Washington and then make my way all across the district engaging with constituents about the health and the safety of the vaccine, my goal is to build trust and faith in this treatment. When I look someone in the eye and urge them to get vaccinated, I want them to know that I’ve done it, myself.

We have seen the impact of inconsistent leadership on important measures like mask-wearing, and I believe it is critical to clear up any confusion there may be around the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

I will continue to put my faith in this treatment while also ensuring that New York State, and the local governments therein, from counties to hamlets, have all the federal support needed to continue to roll out the vaccine at home.

In closing, I want to say how honored I am to be representing New York’s 19th District for another term. It has been the privilege of a lifetime. On Sunday, I took a sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution and faithfully discharge the duties of this office.

Tonight, I make another pledge to you: that I will continue to listen to your concerns and priorities for our nation; that I will always put what is right for our community above what is easy but wrong; and that I will strive to be an effective representative for everyone in our district.

Thank you, and God bless you.”

Congressman Delgado, now living in Rhinebeck, is a Colgate and Harvard Law School graduate, a Rhodes Scholar, and an experienced litigator on his election in 2018.

KUZMINSKI: Gerrymandering Takes Away Our Right To Representation

Column by Adrian Kuzminski for November 2, 2018

Gerrymandering Takes Away
Our Right To Representation

Adrian Kuzminski

The most remarkable thing I’ve seen in this year’s midterm
election campaigns is Chad McEvoy’s op-ed in the New York Times. The headline says it all: “If I win my district, I’ll get rid of it.”
That’s the 101st Assembly District, a model of gerrymandering, which snakes in a narrow strip from New Hartford near Utica through part of Otsego county to the Hudson Valley.
Its shape guarantees that almost nobody living in the district is connected to anyone else in it. Its only purpose is to provide a safe seat for a politician who can be sure that his atomized constituents have no voice of their own.
Chad is running to overturn this kind of all too familiar nonsense.
The 101st district is an egregious case of gerrymandering, but in fact most of our legislative districts work exactly the same way. Most people couldn’t find their state legislative or Congressional districts on a map, or even name them accurately.
The districts overlay and cut across one another in insane fashion. People in one Congressional district are guaranteed not to be together in the same state Assembly or Senate districts.
Divide and conquer is obviously the rule.
Most districts are spread over a large number of communities almost entirely unique in terms of jobs, industry, schools, social services, and so on. That means our local communities are NOT represented in Albany or Washington.
The heart of your community is where you live and work. It includes your neighborhood, the town where you do most of your business and shopping, and the school district where your kids go. For most people – except for those commuting to distant jobs (say 20 miles or more) – these functions mostly overlap.
Call it home.
The largest local unit which people recognize and more or less identify with is the county, which administers social services, collects taxes, provides public safety, manages code enforcement and waste disposal, maintains major local highways, carries out environmental and planning responsibilities, and coordinates local towns which enjoy home rules under the state Constitution.
People know their counties; counties are the largest political entities which still function as communities. The county should be the political district that is directly represented in Albany, if not in Washington.
New York has 62 counties and representatives elected from each of those counties could comprise at least the state Assembly, if not the entire state legislature. That would be one way to upset business-as-usual in Albany and put the public back
in control.

This map of the “spaghetti district” accompanied the New York Times op-ed. For full column, Google “chad mcevoy nytimes.

Of course, counties differ widely in size. The largest county in the state – King’s County(Brooklyn)– has a population of 2,504,700, while the smallest – Hamilton County, in the Adirondacks – has 4,836 residents. But just as towns are represented on the Otsego county Board of Representatives by weighted voting, counties could be represented in Albany the same way.
The larger number of smaller, more rural counties would naturally work together to offset the clout of the fewer number of larger counties.
As far as Congressional districts go, in densely populated areas (like New York City) they should be drawn to be within counties as much as possible. In less dense areas, like Upstate, they can be drawn to include whole counties as closely as they can.
The point is that the interests of, say, Otsego county, would have a direct voice in Albany, something that is NOT currently the case.
In fact, our communities
are not directly represented anywhere at all.
This lack of representation
goes a long way towards explaining why a place like Otsego county has long suffered chronic economic decline and social malaise.
Let me close with a couple of personal endorsements of local candidates who recognize the need for the kind of fundamental change I’m talking about.
One is Chad McEvoy in the 101st Assembly District, as discussed above. Chad wants to strengthen local education, supports single-payer health care for New Yorkers, and advocates universal broadband and green energy as economic drivers.
The other candidate I’m voting for is Joyce St. George in the 51st Senate district. St. George – a feisty, anti-corruption investigator and local business woman who also supports single-payer health for all New Yorkers – is running against our long-time senator Jim Seward, who represents the status quo.
Seward has made a career of recycling taxpayers’ own dollars back to them as perks for which he can take credit; his so-called “economic summits” have gone nowhere; and his environmental record is among the worst in Albany – he’s been consistently rated near the bottom of New York legislators by the watchdog group Environmental Advocates. If you think we can do better on these issues, vote for St. George.
Adrian Kuzminski, a retired Hartwick College philosophy professor
and Sustainable Otsego
moderator, lives in Fly Creek.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26

Halloween Dinner,

& Costume Party

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HALLOWEEN PARTY – 4 – 11 p.m. Enjoy Halloween themed dinner specials, costume party/contest, specialty drinks, more. Accepting & matching cash donations for Cooperstown Angel Network to be presented to Abram Family Fire Relief Efforts. Mel’s at 22, 22 Chestnut St., Cooperstown. 607-435-7062 or visit www.facebook.com/Melsat22/

LECTURE & DISCUSSION – 8 p.m. “Civic Literacy: Engaging in American Society & Government Today” with Chris Di Donna, expert speaker, engaged member of local community holding BA of History & Political Science, more. The CHURCH, 2381 NY-205, Mt Vision. 607-638-5119 or visit www.upsi-ny.com/upcoming-events-news/

KUZMINSKI: Populism As American As Apple Pie

Column by Adrian Kuzminski, September 7, 2018

THE GOAL: ECONOMIC, POLITICAL FREEDOM

Populism As American As Apple Pie

Ever since the last presidential election the words “populist” and “populism” have been widely bandied about, mostly as pejorative terms.
A populist politician, we often hear, is a demagogue who wins votes by inflaming the resentments and emotions of ordinary people at the expense of rational thought. Those who fall prey to populism are no more to be trusted, critics suggest, than the politicians said to manipulate them.
It’s a curious feature of populism that it defies the normal left-right political spectrum. These days we have left-wing and right-wing populists.
In the last election, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were both called populists. And historically, we’ve had left-wing populists like

Huey Long
George Wallace

ZAGATA: Is There No Way To Stop Child Separations?

Column by Mike Zagata, July 6, 2018

Is There No Way To

Stop Child Separations?

Mike Zagata

Most of us are the descendants of immigrants who legally entered the country via
Ellis Island.
As Americans, we should be proud that people want to come to our country. However, there are laws that control the rate of entry and processes to follow in adhering to those laws.
Today we’re besieged with a media blitz focused on the separation of children from adults caught entering illegally while they are subjected to our legal system.
Instead of jumping to the child separation issue, maybe we should stop and ask what it is that caused the separation, i.e. what are the adults
being processed for?
It turns out they have broken the law by illegally entering the country. Thus, it seems logical that any debate about immigration should begin there.
There are already at least two laws on the books that address these illegal border crossings, but they have, by several past presidents, largely been ignored.
Those presidents all took an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the land so they bear some of the responsibility for our current dilemma.
Congress passed the current laws and therefore they have the Constitutional authority to either amend them or pass new ones to address illegal immigration. Where is the media when it comes to asking Congress why it has been unwilling to fix the problem?
Now let’s address the topic of children being separated from their accompanying adults. Why did I say “adults” and not “parents”?
The answer is really quite simple – we have no easy way of determining if the adults are the actual parents of the children they are with.
We say that should be easy, and then are confronted with the fact that 50,000 people illegally cross the border each month. It takes months to do a background check on a U.S. citizen who was born here. We don’t have “months” to determine if the accompanying adults are the actual parents and if they have a criminal record.
However, we do have a legal process for deciding how to handle these illegal immigrants, but that process takes time. What do we do with the children in the meantime?
Do we put them in with other adults for whom we have no background information? Would doing so increase the likelihood of real child abuse?
Do we build, at taxpayer expense, holding facilities for the “families” – remember, there are 50,000 new ones each month. That would require a massive infrastructure to build and staffing it would be very expensive.
Do we simply put those caught illegally crossing the border on a bus and send them back – where is “back”?
Why not just release them at the border until their hearing date? That’s what’s been done in the past and about 80 percent don’t show up at the appointed court date. One could say they are the smart ones and soon after they blend into the overall population and the issue just goes away – or does it?

Because of our heritage and compassion, we all want those who wish to immigrate to our country to have the opportunity to do it legally. No one wants to see children entering a new country separated, even for a short time, from adults who may be their parents.
To address that concern, a broken immigration system needs to be fixed – not a tinkering, but a comprehensive overhaul.
If you, like me, want that done, please let your congressman and senator know that you understand it is them, not the President, who makes the laws and thus they have the power and responsibility to get it done.

Mike Zagata, a DEC commissioner in the Pataki Administration and a former environmental executive for Fortune 500 companies, lives in West Davenport.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, MAY 2
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, MAY 2

Topic: Oneonta Theater’s Fate

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COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS – 8 a.m. Join discussion of the Oneonta Theater’s fate, in light of owner’s failure to sell building.  Kathleen Gasperini, a theater expert with summer home in Schenevus, will be present. Greater Oneonta Historical Society, 183 Main St., Oneonta. Info, call 432-0960 or e-mail info@OneontaHistory.org or visit www.oneontahistory.org

IDENTITY DISCUSSION – 7 p.m. Learn about how mental health differs for people from different cultural and physical diasporas. Chesebro room, Hartwick College, Oneonta. Info, Joanne Georges georgesj@hartwick.edu or call (203)518-1880 or visit calendar.hartwick.edu:8080/calendar/ViewCal.html

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, MAR. 21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, MAR. 21

Village Polls Open Noon-9

14-19eventspageVILLAGE ELECTION – Noon-9 p.m. Cooperstown residents will have the opportunity to vote on which candidates will become a Village Trustees. Cooperstown Fire hall. Info, cooperstownny.org/village-election-to-be-held-march-21-2017-noon-to-9pm-at-cooperstown-fire-hall-click-here-for-details/

COMMON COUNCIL – 7 p.m. Common Council Chambers, City Hall, 258 Main St., Oneonta. Info, City Clerk (607)432-6450

HIGH SCHOOL MID-WINTER CONCERT – 7:30-9 p.m. Auditorium, Cooperstown Central School, 39 Linden Ave., Cooperstown. Info, www.cooperstowncs.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, FEB. 7
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, FEB. 7

It’s Yappy Hour At Mel’s

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YAPPY HOUR – 5:30-8 p.m. Susquehanna Animal Shelter reveals their 100th Anniversary Logo, 2017 events calendar, and previewing the March 25th documentary. Includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a special gifts for anyone donating $10.  Mel’s at 22, Cooperstown. Info, susquehannaanimalshelter.org/category/events/

CITY MEETING – 1-3 p.m. Oneonta Downtown Revitalization Initiative Planning Committee. Meeting is open to the public with an opportunity for public comment. Foothills Performing Arts Center, 2nd Floor, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Info, (607)432-6450

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, DEC. 6
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, DEC. 6

Meeting To Discuss Career

Politicians In State Legislature

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To Learn How You Can Help Area Families This Holiday Season CLICK HERE.

LWVNY MEETING – 7-9 p.m. League of Women Voters plans consensus study on issues in state legislature of outside income and full vs part time legislature. Presbyterian Church House, 25 Church St., Cooperstown. Info, Maureen Murray, President, (607)547-2853 or email coopmurray@msn.com or Martha Clarvoe, Membership Chair, (607)293-6654 or email martha.clarvoe@gmail.com

ELEMENTARY WINTER CONCERT – 7 p.m. Milford Central School, 42 W. Main St., Milford. Info, web.milfordcentral.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, NOV. 28
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, NOV. 28

Singer Rudy Currence

At SUNY Oneonta Tonight

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To Learn How You Can Help Area Families This Holiday Season CLICK HERE.

CYBER MONDAY!

CONCERT – 9 p.m. Rudy Currance. Hunt Union Waterfront, 108 Ravine Pkwy., Oneonta. Info, activities@oneonta.edu, (607)436-3730, or CLICK HERE.

3D DESIGN – 6 p.m. Create your own holiday themed cookie cutter. Optional 3D printing. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St, Oneonta. Info, hmloneonta.org/3d-printing

PUBLIC HEARING – 7 p.m. Public hearing on Cooperstown Comprehensive Plan. Village Hall, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. Copies of the plan can be reviewed at the Village office, cooperstownny.org/residents/

CLICK FOR MORE HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO

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