News of Otsego County

Green Toad Bookstore

Staff Picks: Our best bets for local activities

Staff Picks
Our best bets for local activities

Kathleen Peters
Graphics Designer
Otsego Land Trust

The Husband and I are blessed with a beautiful property in Schuyler Lake. We decided several years ago it was worth preserving, and opted to get a conservation easement on our 22 acres through the Otsego Land Trust (OLT). We have our own land to explore and enjoy, but the Land Trust has open spaces available for everyone.

Artist experiments with different forms at CANO

Artist experiments with
different forms at CANO

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

Madeline Silber poses for a photo Thursday, May 13, during a tour of her exhibit at The Community Arts Network of Oneonta. (Korey Rowe/

An Oneonta resident whose art thrusts viewers into a world of abstract thoughts and concepts is on display at The Community Arts Network of Oneonta.

Originally from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Madeline Silber is a professional artist, graphic designer and art teacher at SUNY Oneonta.

Her show is called ‘Along the Way,’ which shows old and new work that reflects her life journey as an artist.

“Along the Way is a connection between the older and newer drawings,” Silber said during a tour of the gallery Thursday, May 14. “I’m primarily a painter but I’ve been drawing for the past year and I love it.”

Some of Silber’s drawings bring to mind otherworldly dimensions. The drawings were created with charcoal, ballpoint pen, colored pencils and gel-rolled pens.

Delgado Meets With Business Owners On Main Street Tour

Delgado Talks Shop

On Main Street Tour

Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, bought Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent,” on recommendation from Jim Havener, owner of the Green Toad Bookstore, during his tour of Oneonta businesses this morning. Accompanied by Mayor Gary Herzig and Council member Mark Drnek, Eighth Ward, he also stopped by the Latte Lounge, Theresa’s Emporium and the Underground Attic to ask how the owners had fared during the COVID-19 shutdowns.   He then moved on to stops in Cooperstown. (Ian Austin/
IN TIME OF TRUMP, DiPERNA ASKED: ‘How Did American Stray So Far From Its Ideals?’



‘How Did American Stray

So Far From Its Ideals?’

Editor’s Note: Paula DiPerna, the author and global strategic environmental policy adviser who ran for Congress in 1992 for the 23rd District, which then included Otsego County, has a home in Cooperstown. This is an excerpt from her latest book, “Travels in the Time of Trump.”  DiPerna will be giving a book talk at 2 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Green Toad Bookstore, Oneonta.

By PAULA DiPERNA • Special to

“Travel in the Time of Trump” is on sale at the Green Toad Bookstore.

“Let facts be submitted to a candid world,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, leading off the extensive list of grievances the American colonies had against King George of England. That candid world watches still today.
Since Donald Trump’s election, I have traveled all the continents except Antarctica, meeting countless persons who had just one question for me, “How could America stray so far from
its ideals?”
Implicit in the question and what touched me so deeply was the extent to which America, our democratic values and quest for a more perfect union, had put us on a pedestal worldwide.
And, the extent to which the Trump Presidency has shaken the fragile house that is the American system of checks and balances, and normalized reckless Presidential behavior that other nations, much more despotic, now may think acceptable.
So, reflecting Jefferson, I present these facts, excerpted from my book, “Travels in the Time of Trump”:
►He, President Trump has refused his “Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good,”
►By interfering with ongoing legal actions, such as through the summary firing of the head of the FBI, who was in a position to uncover facts that might have illuminated illegal actions taken or permitted by the President;
►He has likely obstructed the Administration of Justice by the above and, in addition;
►He has interfered with the free press, prohibited by the Amendment I of the Constitution, by proclaiming publicly and repeatedly that the media, the vehicle of the free press, do not love their country and are an enemy of the people most often because the press had commented negatively about him.
►He threatened to close down the government of the U.S. if the Congress did not vote funds to support a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, an explicit undermining of his oath since protecting the U.S. Constitution means to protect the United States government.
►He has egregiously put the Republic and the world at risk of nuclear war by taunting and threatening foreign governments able to conduct such nuclear war, including at the United Nations where, without prior authority from the Congress, he declared that the United States would have no choice but to totally destroy another nation, a blatant and unprecedented abuse of power that, in any case, could not be undertaken without an Act of War declared by Congress;
►And, in a flagrant, public and illegal attack on the people’s rights to free speech as protected
unequivocally and without reservation in Amendment I of the Constitution, he has explicitly called for punishment of protesters who chose to kneel
during the U.S. National Anthem to protest racial injustice, stating that such protesters should be fired from their lawful positions, thereby violating outright the letter and spirit of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a violation of the President’s Oath of Office, clearly an impeachable offense.
To travel in the time of Trump is to witness the degree to which the world’s dedication to democracy is being eroded.


Party For Pridefest


MARDI GRAS – 5:30-8:30 p.m. Fundraiser for Oneonta Pridefest. Enjoy a fabulous party with appetizers from Humphrey’s, beads and masks, a photo booth, raffles, and more. Admission, $5. Humphrey’s, 437 Main St., Oneonta. Info,

WRITERS SALON – 7:30-9 p.m. Opens with an open mic followed by a presentation from author of the month, Jake Wolff. Community Arts Network of Oneonta. Wilber Mansion, 11 Ford Ave., Oneonta. Info,


Conservation Training


CONSERVATION TRAINING – Noon-3 p.m. Learn to map stands of Eastern Hemlock to volunteer with conservation services in the effort to counter the spread of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Free, registration required. Mohican Farm, 7195 State Route 80, Cooperstown. Info, or call (607) 282-4087

OPERA – 12:55 p.m. “Rusalka.” The Met streaming live in HD. Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Cost $18/seniors, $20/adults, 10/students. Season pass $200. Box Office: (607)431-2080,

PLAY READING – 6:30 p.m. Reading of “Memorial Night” by local playwright Jonathon Ward. Fenimore Art Museum Auditorium, 5798 NY-80, Cooperstown. Info,


Santa Parade Today

In Downtown Oneonta


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

ONEONTA SANTA PARADE – 11 a.m., Main Street, Oneonta. For more info visit the FACEBOOK page.

CRAFT SHOW – 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fox Care Center, 1 Foxcare Dr, Oneonta

GINGERBREAD CONTEST – Noon-3 p.m. Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. , (607)432-2941

PAINTING CONTEST – 10 a.m. 3rd annual winter windowland painting contest. Enter, vote, or spectate. Main St., Richfield Springs, Info,

WORKSHOP – 9 a.m.-noon Learn to Sew a decorator style pillow with $5 fee. Cooperative Extension Center-Schoharie, 173 South Grand St., Suite 1, Cobleskill. Info, registrations, (518) 234-4303, ext. 121,


Shopping Local With Libby: In Stores, Surprises

by Libby Cudmore •

Edition of Thursday-Friday, Nov. 4-5, 2014

Who would have thought a calendar could be such a fun gift? I almost want to keep this  Edward Gorey one for myself! (Ian Austin/
Who would have thought a calendar could be such a fun gift? I almost want to keep this
Edward Gorey one for myself! (Ian Austin/

Scoring a bargain online may be a thrill to some, but it’s nothing compared to the fun of going into a shop in downtown Oneonta and finding that perfect gift.

Especially if it’s a gift you didn’t even know you were going to buy.

That’s exactly how I felt when I walked into the Green Toad Bookstore and spotted “Everything I Need To Know About Christmas I Learned From a Little Golden Book.” It was perfect for my grandmother, who read many, many Golden Books to me and my sisters as we were growing up.

And sure, I could have found it online – if I’d known it existed – and had it shipped to my mailbox, but really, where’s the fun in that?

“Shopping locally is fun,” said Jim Havener, the new owner of the Green Toad Bookstore, 198 Main, as he wrapped up my purchase in festive paper. “I had a customer come in earlier and who told me she was buying here instead of at Barnes & Nobel because it made her feel like she was part of the community.”

I’ll confess, I’m not one for planning what I want to buy as gifts. I like to look around, and find something so unexpected that I can just imagine the look on my friend’s face as they open it.

And Oneonta, it seems, is the place to do just that.

At Razzle Dazzle, 248 Main, every inch floor-to-ceiling is packed with nifty-gifties, from kitchen gadgets to wooly gloves to kid’s toys. “We come here for the kitchen stuff,” said Mary Southern, Oneonta. “You find things in here that you can’t find anywhere else!”

Like the cute Anne Taintor “You Be Thelma, I’ll Be Louise” socks that screamed my friend Liz’s name, or the beautiful purses owner Debbie North knits by hand. “I labor over them and each one is one-of-a-kind,” she said. “People ask, ‘why don’t you sell them on Etsy?’ But I want to see who buys them. I was given a gift of creativity, and it’s not for me to hold on to.”

(Is it still Christmas shopping if you buy a present for yourself?)

Handmade, local and vintage are the biggest trend in both Oneonta and across the country. “You can’t find vintage pins like these in stores anymore,” said Cindy Staffin, owner of Transitions Boutique, 4 Deitz St., who had a whole display of vintage rhinestone broaches. “People come in looking for older pieces like this.”

“I have one just like this,” said Kathy Polley, a Transitions’ clerk, pointing to a glittery red and gold Christmas tree pin. “I bought it at Bresees’, and I still have it.”

And although Bresees’ was gone before I arrived in Oneonta eight years ago, I could still recreate some of the experience by going into Theresa’s Emporium, 155 Main, including passing by the old turnstile Chip Klugo, who redeveloped the former department store into shops and apartments, has installed in the hallway.

Much of Theresa Cyzeski’s merchandise is American-made and Fair Trade, and although the Grumpy Cat plush toy I bought my niece Melody isn’t locally made, as Theresa wrapped it up for me she asked about my upcoming wedding. No one at any store in Albany or Binghamton – certainly not at a cyberstore – would know enough about me to ask. It was nice to have a conversation that didn’t consist of just “Sign the receipt” and “Have a good day.”

“Oneonta is for the unconventional,” said Anthony Robinson of The Museum Skate Shop, 201 Main. “We’ve got everything downtown.”

And as I walked to my car, arms loaded with bags, I felt very posh, like I was strolling down Fifth Avenue. But better still, I had been out in my town, talking with friends and neighbors, getting some fresh air, and taking time to explore what Oneonta really has to offer.

And that’s the kind of feeling you just can’t buy online.

Daryl Brown Speaks at Green Toad

 James Brown’s Son At Green Toad

Promoting Book On Singing Legend

Daryl Brown, son of the musical ledgend James Brown, was at the Green Toad on Saturday promoting his new book My Father The Godfather. (Ian Austin/
Daryl Brown, son of the musical legend James Brown, speaks about his fathers’ life and legacy today at the Green Toad Bookstore, where he was promoting his new book “My Father The Godfather.” (Ian Austin/
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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103