News of Otsego County

Hometown Oneonta

. . .Now let’s see, where was I?
Ted Potrikus

. . .Now let’s see, where was I?

By TED POTRIKUS • Special to

Oh yes, I remember: August 1983, leaning against a column in front the library on Main Street for a photo, thanking the people of Cooperstown for reading my Freeman’s Journal work that summer, and heading back to Rochester to begin my junior year of college. My boss published the picture with the caption, “I’d like to thank Richard Johnson for giving me my own column.”

A few things happened since then. I met her in London, England, in 1984 and in 1986 married the wonderful Angela Buesing of Davenport, Iowa; we raised two daughters, each grown and married. I was a newspaper editor in suburban Rochester and then worked for the New York State Senate. I spent three decades in Albany as the lobbyist for New York’s retailers large and small, retiring in November 2020.
But like classic rock bands that retire — only to come back a year later — here I come, out of retirement and back to my beloved hometown. Back to writing for the newspaper that my dad brought home every week when I was growing up, that I’ve never stopped reading, and that indeed gave me my own column all those years ago. I’m honored by the opportunity to work here again and am grateful to Tara Barnwell, Lin Vincent, and Michael Moffat for their dedication to local journalism and their trust in me.

THIS WEEK — May 20, 2021


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

May 20, 2021


Fly Creek Fire Department junior members, from left, Lt. Eric Deysenroth, Connor Voulo, Troy Hight and Wayton Cassell pose Monday, May 17, in Fly Creek. Read more in ‘Junior firefighters provide big lift to Fly Creek department.’


Police review leaves behind serious debates

Help wanted: Businesses struggle to find workers

After year of COVID, SUNY Oneonta bids grads farewell

Cooperstown & Around & City of the Hills

Inside The Paper

Junior firefighters provide big lift to Fly Creek department

AllOTSEGO people: Post-rally, Bohler’s life is that of average teen

Art Garage to hold open studio, final viewing

Members of the Arc Otsego leadership team on Academy Street in Oneonta wave goodbye Friday, May 14, to Pat Knuth, the outgoing executive director, who has worked for the Arc for more than 30 years. May will be her last full month with the agency. (Korey Rowe/


For Mead, family separation became too tough

Coop baseball stays undefeated with big conference wins

Caden Keto, 3, of Westford, plays soccer Friday, May 14, at the Oneonta Family YMCA on Ford Avenue, during an outdoor session with, ‘Coach Jason.’ (Korey Rowe/


Robert Badger Seaver: The Badger

The return of the Old Badger: ‘The First of the Mohican’

The myth of the ‘good minority’ hurts everyone


Editors Policy

LEVINE: Foundation stresses needs of community


BERKSON: Pen pal letters brought good news from France

History Columns

Bound Volumes: May 20, 2021

Hometown History: May 20, 2021

Artist experiments with different forms at CANO

Concert series to return with Oshima Brothers


Claud D. Fold

John G. Goddard

Patrick R. Materazzo

Yvonne F. Page

Jonathan A. Graham

Lawrence J. “Butch” Weill Jr.

New Editor Views Media Brands As Community Service

New Editor Views Media

Brands As Community Service


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.

THIS WEEK — April 22, 2021
Local Publishing Company Under New Ownership

Local Publishing Company
Under New Ownership

Tara Barnwell promoted to publisher;
Greg Klein named editor;
ownership remains In local hands

Tara Barnwell today succeeds Jim Kevlin as publisher of The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and (Larissa Ryan/

COOPERSTOWN – As of Friday, April 16, Iron String Press, Inc, publisher of The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and is under new ownership.

Tara Barnwell, general manager of Iron String Press, becomes president and publisher and actor-writer Greg Klein becomes editor of the company’s print and digital news and entertainment sources, succeeding Jim Kevlin.

Kevlin after 15 years as editor, publisher and president of Iron String Press and its media family, has retired.

With the new ownership, Iron String Press remains the only locally owned and locally focused news and entertainment operation in Otsego County.

A full story will appear in this week’s print editions of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.

Heidi Bond Named Citizen Of The Year


Heidi Bond Named

Citizen Of The Year

Heidi Bond, who led Otsego County’s fight against COVID-19, has been named Citizen of the Year by Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal and Get the full story in either newspaper, which are being delivered now and will be available on newsstands throughout Otsego County by the end of the afternoon.
THIS WEEK — December 10, 2020
Angel Tree Helps Record 26 Family


Angel Tree Helps

Record 26 Family

Major (ret.) Jim Smith and newspaper Office Manager Larissa Ryan cheer after packing the van with gifts for a record 26 families served this year by readers of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.  In a normal year, 12 families are served; but this year, the 12 were snapped up in just two days.  Ryan, who organizes the drive for the newspapers, signed up for four more families, then another 10. Since one family had six children, and another five, a record number of children will find gifts under their Christmas Trees this year through the undertaking.  The newspapers’ Christmas drive goes back to the 1921, when Freeman’s Journal Editor & Publisher Rowan B. Spraker Sr. sign us up. (Tara Barnwell/

THIS WEEK — DEC. 3-4 2020
This Week, Nov. 26-27, 2020
This Week, Nov. 19-20, 2020
This Week Nov. 12-13, 2020
This Week: Nov. 5-6, 2020
This Week, Oct. 29-30, 2002


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

Oct. 29-30, 2020


EXCLUSIVE: Dennis Craig, SUNY Oneonta’s new interim president, had an instinct for readiness, forming a disaster-preparedness committee on arriving at SUNY Purchase as a vice president in 2006. He discusses lessons learned in his successful effort to keep COVID cases there to 25, and how to apply them to the Oneonta campus in an exclusive interview. (Ian Austin/


PROFILE: SUNY Oneonta’s New President

Facing Cluster, Hartwick Confines Students

75-Guest Wedding Yields 19 COVID Cases

Many Local People Casting Ballots Early

Cooperstown Recruits New Village Clerk

Stamford Priest Assigned To Cooperstown


Oberacker, Senate; Buttermann, Assembly

Delgado Invincible, Earns Second Term

What Happens After Presidential Election


STERNBERG: Delgado Kept His Promises

ROWLEY: If ‘Safe Act’ Is Flawed, Change It

NORTHRUP: Limit Public Poles To Old Glory

ANDERSON:  At Stake Nov. 3, Flawed, Free U.S.

BROCKWAY: Guns Needed To Protect Families


OSTERHOUDT: Living With The ‘N-Word’

Sidebar: Black Police Officer Assesses BLM

Whartons’ 33-Year Legacy At End

Jerry Jeff Walker, Oneonta Original


HOMETOWN HISTORY, Oct. 30, 2020 

BOUND VOLUMES, Oct. 29, 2020


Paul Robinson, 79, Marine, Oneonta Alderman

Angelina Koury, 90; Husband, 3 Sons Survive

Douglas Sternberg, 64; Dentist, Doctor’s Brother

Gebrail Abou Zeidan, 85; Doctor’s Father

THIS WEEK, Oct. 22-23, 2020


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

Oct. 22-23, 2020


With Brooks BBQ new “pick-it-up, take-it-in” regimen about to begin, Amanda Calkins, left, and Danielle Dalton, both of Oneonta, take an order from Laura Page of Cooperstown at one of three takeout windows Brooks has added to handle COVID-era demand at the Oneonta landmark. In addition to have customers bring their own dinners into the diningroom, Brooks for the first time is offering beer and wine to the drink menu.  (Jim Kevlin/


Bail-Free, 2 Defendants Skip Their Trials

Councilman Questions ‘Savagery’ On Plaque

New SUNY Oneonta President Succeeds Morris

Oneonta Mayor Vetoes Mask-Mandate Law

Trio Deny There’s Any Thin ‘Blue Line’ Dispute

Master Gardeners Plan Cooperstown Upgrade


BARBER: If Elected, He’ll Be Sole Farmer Senator

OBERACKER: Business, Government Experience

SALKA:  Overcoming Hard Knocks, He Succeeds

BUTTERMAN: Vision Of Future Excites Him


In Oneonta, Town Needs Gown, Vice Versa


WHELAN: Oath Taken To Obey State Laws

deBLIECK: Oath Taken To Protect Constitution

GOODYEAR: He Plans Chuck Schneider Tribute

KAVANAGH: Trump Fired Many; Now, Fire Him


STERNBERG: Deal With Both Sides Of COVID

ERNA: Fear Retirement, But Do It Anyway

In COVID Era, Brooks BBQ Invents Self

HORRORS! Scarey Movies Delight Director


HOMETOWN HISTORY, Oct. 23, 2020 

BOUND VOLUMES, Oct. 22, 2020


Darlene Rose Munson, 69, Of Hardware Family

Victor Salvatore Jr., 98; Dispelled Baseball Myth

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