Years ago, when I began covering high school sports here, I coined a truism about New York State Public High School Athletic Association seasons.
If you are playing in the spring season, you need to be playing in June to have a successful season.
If you are playing in the winter season, you need to be playing in March to have a successful season.
If you are playing in the fall season, you need to be playing in November to have a successful season.
I mention this because I have been trailing around the Cooperstown’s boys soccer team this fall. My son is a reserve on the team and I had a small hand in training these boys — specifically for this season — and perhaps a larger hand as their cheerleader.
COOPERSTOWN — From Sept. 30, to Oct. 3, Film COOP hosted a group of female filmmakers for a location tour and networking event.
“It was an amazing, transformative weekend,” said Film COOP Board President Greg Klein. “We started on Thursday as a group of strangers but by Sunday it was like a family of artists who had bonded in unpredictable and amazing ways.”
Film COOP is the pioneer film commission in the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District and the official film office for Otsego County, the village of Cooperstown and the town and city of Oneonta. Klein said the tour was underwritten by Film COOP, its donors, including the C.J. Heilig Foundation, and a tourism micro-grant from Otsego County.
Last weekend my film commission office, Film COOP, hosted a bunch of female filmmakers for a destination weekend location tour and networking event.
As with our too long and klutzy legal name, the Cooperstown, Oneonta, Otsego County Film Partnership, Inc., the name Film COOP presents the Women in Film Peak Leaf Weekend Location Tour and Networking Event soon fell by the wayside. The shorthand Women in Film Weekend, or even shorterhand WIF, became the usual references.
We had five official customers who signed up for the four-day event, plus three industry-connected board members who went on parts of the tour, a Delaware County union location scout who did one day of touring with us and our college intern, Ellie Pink, who is studying film at Boston University.
About six weeks ago, we went on our first vacation since 2019.
The teen has the benefit of a summer birthday and the best parenting idea we ever devised was birthday trips. Not only do we get to schedule some summer fun (and summer time off) but
we have gotten to see the Empire State. And as a bonus, or perhaps this was by design, we avoided having to stage large birthday parties.
Of course, the birthday parties would have ended by age 16 and we were still celebrating the teen in July, so I think we came up with a good idea. I certainly thought that last month.
This year we discovered the Thousand Islands. And when I say dis-covered, I mean fell in love with. Of course, our pathways were limited by the border being closed but there was plenty to discover on the U.S. side.
Editor’s Note: This speech was given Friday, June 25, to honor Editor Greg Klein at the 2020-2021 Cooperstown Central School Athletic Awards Banquet.
In the fall of 2005, the Cooperstown community lost a piece of its soul with the unexpected passing of Ken Kiser.
Kenny was a devoted husband and dad, a man who thought the best of each person he met, enjoying the beauty in life, every minute of every day.
In honor of his legacy, the Cooperstown Sports Booster Club annually presents the Ken Kiser Award for Good Sportsmanship.
Past recipients of this award represent a broad spectrum of support and commitment to the athletes and athletic programs in Cooperstown. This impressive list of alums shares many of the same qualities as tonight’s recipient; kindness, dedication and an unwavering devotion to the student athlete.
This year, the award recognizes a single individual who has made a point of showing Cooperstown, and our student athletes in particular, to others through the power of the written word. I would like to invite Greg Klein to the stage as the 2021 recipient of the Ken Kiser Award for Good Sportsmanship.
In May, I watched baseball and softball games across the county.
I saw a cross section of residents, from at least four local communities, most of whom I had not seen for at least 18 months, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some people I had not seen for much longer, because I had been away from sports.
This is probably the least controversial statement I will ever make on the editorial page, and I will let my Southern voice make for effect: it is good to see all y’all.
One of the things the coronavirus pandemic has taken away from us is community. I can understand why it was hard on parishioners when churches were on remote services, because community is a big part of religious groups’ virtues.
The same could be said for sports and arts in the community. I know for us there are plenty of people we mostly see during soccer seasons and have now seen little of for two springs and a fall.
Occasionally we bump into people at the store, or I see a solo family member at a newspaper-related event, but it hasn’t been the same.
COOPERSTOWN – Film COOP announced Thursday, May 27, that it will produce a destination weekend event to bring female film producers, directors and location scouts to the region in the fall to tour locations and meet local officials.
The Women in Film Peak Leaf Weekend Location Tour and Networking Event will take place from Thursday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 3, according to a media release from
Film COOP is the official film commission office for Otsego County, the village of Cooperstown, and the town and city of Oneonta. It is the pioneer, and so far only, film commission office in what the state calls the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District.
The filmmakers will stay in Cooperstown for the weekend and tour sites throughout Otsego County, as well as The Stanley Theater in Utica, which is one of the qualified production facilities on the tour. The other is Foothills Performing Arts and Convention Center in Oneonta.
According to Film COOP Board Chair Greg Klein, the details of the tour are still being worked out, but it will include sites in Cooperstown, Oneonta, Springfield, Middlefield, Maryland, Gilbertsville, Edmeston, Cherry Valley, Richfield Springs and more.
In the early 1990s, at my second job out of college, at a newspaper in central Alabama, I made the mistake of writing a column about church league basketball.
I had the best of intentions. I was the sports editor of a semiweekly paper in a small city that was becoming a bedroom community for the state capital and the thriving military base between the two cities. My brand, to the extent a 23-year-old, naive, fish-out-of-water reporter/editor/columnist could have a brand, was to not take sports too seriously, but to view it as a metaphor for life.
One week, I had a handful of people tell me that the best team in the local YMCA Church Basketball League, representing the second biggest church in about the 10th biggest city in the state, was acting reprehensibly in their games. They were not only winning, but showboating, running up scores and rubbing it in, then disingenuously telling their upset opponents not to get angry because, “it’s church league, baby.”
I went to watch a game to confirm the behavior and then I wrote a column that called out the behavior.
I could not have been more unprepared for the result. Although I did not mention the church or any of the players by name, I think I heard from every player on that team, as well as the church’s assistant pastor, who hosted me at his office. I also had way too many pow wows with my publisher.
Although I had gotten some threats at Auburn for being a sports editor who was not rah rah enough about the football team, I had never experienced anything like the church league basketball controversy. People read my words back to me with fury in their voices. They accused me of questioning their religion or their faith in their religion. There was a second round of controversy about how I had only watched one game. When I gave them feedback from two other games, a few of the players started outing and questioning my sources. When the YMCA’s league coordinator later introduced me to his wife, she greeted me by saying, “so, you are the one who is trying to get my husband fired.” I am pretty sure those were the only words she ever spoke to me.
I can honestly say this is a column I never thought I would write, my first as editor of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.
I say that for two reasons: one, I spent the past decade in competition with the Iron String Press media team, while working as an editor and reporter for another news organization; two, that stint, with an Alabama-based organization I shall forever more refer to as the pension fund, did not go well.
My first play, “The Sun,” first staged in 2004, is about a small-town newspaper that is being destroyed as larger news organizations try to buy it. I spent the past decade at the pension fund thinking either irony is a cruel trick of life, or I was being blessed with an abundance of stories for the television adaptation.
The twin low points were mass layoffs on Good Friday/Passover eve and the closing of the Town Crier office and relegating the Cooperstown paper to a reprint.
As the Crier editor at the time, I took the laying off of my reporter (while I was on vacation, no less) hard and the office closing harder. I transferred to a couple of different roles at the pension fund’s daily, but it wasn’t a secret I hated commuting to Oneonta. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise in some ways as I got to know the city, its politicians and businesses, and the southern half of the county.
Still, I missed Cooperstown and the coronavirus pandemic and family issues made it harder and harder for me to commute.
I had been planning to quit the newspaper business for good this year, perhaps to go back to my dreams of making movies. Or, at least, to help other people make their movies. Last year, after years of discussions, I teamed up with a group of local film makers, businesspeople and political leaders to start a nonprofit 501c6 film commission office, Film COOP (rhymes with hoop, we are not a co-op), or more officially, The Cooperstown, Oneonta, Otsego County Film Partnership, Inc.
COOPERSTOWN – COOP announced today it is open for business.
The Cooperstown, Oneonta, Otsego County Film Partnership, Inc., known as Film COOP, will represent Cooperstown, Oneonta and all Otsego County communities to the entertainment industry.
Otsego County, and its greater region, is one of the few areas of the state not benefiting from the boom in television and film production that has taken place in Upstate New York, according to COOP Board President Greg Klein of Cooperstown.
PUBLIC MEETING – 3:30-4:30 p.m. Discuss and comment on the Otsego county Draft Local Solid Waste Management Plan. Available for comment through Mar. 18. Huntington Memorial Library, 3rd Floor, 62 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Call 607-547-4225 or visit otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/