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News of Otsego County

john salka

5K in honor of 9/11 first responders takes place at Fly Creek Fire Department
Frank Wilsey, left, Corlissa Card, middle, and Megan Rodriguez, right, lead the runners Saturday, Sept. 4, at the start of the 5K at the Fly Creek Fire Department. (Kevin Limiti/AllOtsego.com).

5K in honor of
9/11 first responders
takes place at
Fly Creek Fire Department

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

FLY CREEK — With American flags flying all around, runners took off at the Fly Creek Fire Department for the annual run in honor of 9/11 first responders, Saturday, Sept. 4.

There was about 100 people in Fly Creek to see the memorial event, including State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, who greeted the runners and their families prior to the start of the race.

Also on hand was Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, who said it was an honor to be there in support of 9/11 first responders.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: 9/11 Commemorative Run 09-04-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

Commemorative 10K Races

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HEROES RUN – 9 a.m. Come Commemorate 20 years since 9/11 with local firefighters, Assemblymen Salka and Oberacker, and others. An a capella group will be singing ‘God Bess America’ and there will be a flag raising ceremony ahead of the run. Will feature a 5K and 10K run starting at 10 a.m. Cost, $20 for the 10K. Proceeds will go to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Begins and Ends at the Fly Creek Fire Station, 607-547-5469 or visit www.facebook.com/Fly-Creek-Volunteer-Fire-Company-409995299193467/

RECOVERY RUN – 9 a.m. Join the Rothenberger Road to Recovery Run in the 10K, 5K, or 1K run or walk. This run is in memory of Lucas Rothenberger and for those who have lost a loved one to addiction and to provide knowledge and education on the reality of recovery. The whole family is invited. Cost, $30 for the 10K. Neahwa Park, Oneonta. 607-267-4435 or visit rothenbergerrun.itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=11053

Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns

Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns

Staff Report • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation in a televised address Tuesday, Aug. 10, effective in two weeks.

While the governor denied accusations that he was intentionally inappropriate with anyone, he said that the “politically motivated” allegations against him would plunge the state into disarray.

The three-term governor has been rocked by sexual harassment allegations which included unwanted kisses and touching.

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will become the next New York State governor.

Reactions to the resignation were swift.

“While we can now turn to rebuilding our state, it does not mean the end of multiple investigations into the departing governor and his retaliatory enablers,” State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, said in a statement. ” The brave women who stepped forward to tell their stories deserve justice, along with those who lost their lives needlessly due to the governor’s irresponsible COVID nursing home directive. ”

“New Yorkers can breathe a collective sigh of relief that Andrew Cuomo will no longer be able to wield the immense power of the governor’s office to commit his corruption and abuse, but make no mistake, this resignation is simply an attempt to avoid real accountability for his numerous crimes,” NYGOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said in a media release. “Thousands of lives have been destroyed by Andrew Cuomo and the legislature must continue to move forward with impeachment to ensure he can never run for office again.”

  “Gov. Cuomo finally stepping down is ultimately for the good of New York and something I am glad to see finally happening,” Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-New Hartford, said in a statement.  This resignation is a definitive new beginning. We deserve a better leader.”

“New York now has a chance to move forward and build a new culture of leadership,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, in a statement. “Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is an exceptional public servant and will be an excellent governor. I look forward to working together to continue serving the people of our great state.”

“Gov. Cuomo’s resignation is welcome news for all New Yorkers,” said Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, in a press release. “He has finally acted in the best interest of the people. His actions have been disturbing and inexcusable. I am pleased to see the governor step aside and allow government to function properly. I will continue to stand with these women and fight to hold the governor accountable. Congratulations to Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, I look forward to working with her in a positive and bipartisan manner.”

“I again want to thank the women who came forward for their accounts and applaud them for their bravery, because today we sent a message to everyone that conduct of this nature will never be tolerated, from anyone,” Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schohaire, said in a press release. “I wish to congratulate Kathy Hochul, the next governor of our state, and hope that we will be able to establish a productive, bipartisan relationship to do all we can for the people of New York.”

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, with then Hall of Fame President Tim Mead last year, will become New York’s governor in two weeks. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com).
Cuomo must go: Local, state officials react to report Gov. sexually harassed women
Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo must go:
Local, state officials
react to report
Gov. sexually harassed women

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

UPDATED: President Joe Biden joined the ever-growing chorus of politicians who have said Cuomo should resign.

“I think he should resign. I understand that the state legislature may decide to impeach. I don’t know that for a fact,” Biden said in response to a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.

The New York delegation to the U.S. Congress, including Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19, also reiterated its call for Cuomo to resign or for the Assembly to begin impeachment hearings.

Here is the original post:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and actively tried to cover it up and retaliate against his accusers, according to a report from New York’s attorney general announced Tuesday, Aug. 3. Local and state politicians reacted swiftly, renewing their calls for Cuomo to resign.

The investigators concluded that the Governor engaged in “unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments.”

These new revelations caused a furious reaction among politicians, including those who represent Otsego County.

State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, said the governor “must resign immediately and face criminal charges.”

“The governor said wait for the independent investigation from the attorney general, we now have that report and it is sickening to read,” Oberacker said in a media release. “The heinous acts committed by the governor are unconscionable. He clearly violated the public trust, and moreover he treated a number of women in a disgusting, unlawful manner. I commend those who courageously stood up to this predator and praise them for their bravery.”

Chamber forum seeks solutions for workforce shortage

Chamber forum seeks
solutions for workforce shortage

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-Kingston, speaks to the panel during an Otsego County Chamber of Commerce forum on workforce needs.

The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Zoom town hall Tuesday, July 27, to discuss workforce needs for small businesses.

The participants included Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-New Hartford, and Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie.

The overall sentiments of the Zoom call echoed the reality of a huge problem with understaffing and the difficulties hiring employees in Otsego County.

Business owners spoke of restaurants being unable to service customers due to staff shortages and some businesses being forced to close early based on having no staff available.

Audrey Benkenstein, from Opportunities for Otsego, spoke about how many of her organization’s positions required advanced degrees and training, which made finding employees very difficult.

“We serve a vulnerable population and without staffing our programs suffer,” Benkenstein said. She said there were also lack of transportation options, lack of internet issues and lack of day care assistance available.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Discuss a sustainable workforce 07-27-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, JULY 27

Discuss a sustainable workforce

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WORKFORCE FORUM – 9 – 11 a.m. Business owners are invited to discuss their employment needs, problems, and how to address them. Each will be given 2 – 3 minutes to discuss with elected officials including Congressman Antonio Delgado, State Senator Peter Oberacker, Assemblymen John Salka, Chris Tague, & Brian Miller. Free, registration for Zoom meeting required. Presented by Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. 607-432-4500 or visit members.otsegocc.com/events/details/2021-workforce-needs-forum-delgado-oberacker-and-assemblymen-salka-miller-and-tague-to-hear-your-thoughts-460

Susquehanna SPCA celebrates opening of new facility with ribbon cutting, open house
Executive Director Stacie Haynes, left, and Board President Henry Gaylord Dillingham cut the ribbon at the new SPCA building. (Kevin Limiti/AllOtsego.com).

Susquehanna SPCA
celebrates opening of new facility
with ribbon cutting, open house

By KEVIN LIMITI• Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

OTSEGO Hundreds gathered outside the Susquehanna SPCA’s new facility in Cooperstown for a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday, July 17, which they say would help better service the needs of animals who are homeless and in need of caring adoptees.

In spite of the humidity one young woman apparently fainted during remarks from State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland the crowd was lively and enthusiastic, some bringing their own dogs to the ceremony.

Stacie Haynes, who as executive director has been at the forefront of this whole project, told the crowd this has been her “dream job” and joked she “hasn’t been home since.”

“I’m a dreamer and optimistic by nature,” Haynes said, but never imagined she’d be “standing on a multi-million dollar campus.”

Haynes thanked the “Shelter Us” capital campaign, which was largely responsible for raising the money necessary to build and open the facility, calling them an “all-star group.”

The Shelter Us Capital Campaign was able to secure a grant from the New York State Animal Capital Fund from the Department of Agriculture and Markets in order to move the facility to state Route 28 near Cooperstown.

County Board’s Partisan Divide Comes To Fore

County Board’s

Partisan Divide

Comes To Fore

Resolutions On Hot Current Issues

Blunted, Or Sent Back To Committee

County Reps. Dan Wilber, a Republican, top row, center, and Clark Oliver, the county Democratic chairman, in box below him, jousted this morning in discussion of partisan issues.   Others in top row are Vice Chair Meg Kennedy, from county office building, and Ed Frazier, top right.  Second row, from left, Reps. Keith McCarty, Michele Farwell, Jenifer Mickle and Adrienne Martini.  Third row, from left, are board Chairman David Bliss, County Attorney Ellen Coccoma, Andrew Stammel and Jill Basile.  Bottom row, Danny Lapin. (From Zoom)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Partisan perspectives led to lively debates this morning at the February meeting of the county Board of Representatives, but the three related resolutions were blunted or failed to reach the floor.

  • First, a resolution – to chide Assemblyman John Salka and state Sen. Peter Oberacker for a bill specifying New Yorkers can refuse the COVID vaccine – was watered down into a neutral statement asking the state Legislature to do what it could to expedite inoculations. It passed unanimously.
  • Second came two warring resolutions on violence – the Republican one decrying the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol AND violence at Black Lives Matter protests over the summer; the Democratic one decrying just the Jan. 6 assault. Both failed to garner sufficient support.

SEELEY: To Defuse Violence, Salka Must Accept Election Fair
LETTER from KARL SEELEY

To Defuse Violence, Salka

Must Accept Election Fair

To the Editor:

On Friday, Jan. 8, Assemblyman John Salka engaged in a frank, one-on-one, 15-minute conversation with me about the election results and the insurrection at the Capitol. I sincerely appreciate him devoting so much time to talking with me, as I’m just one of over 100,000 people in his district.

But I was left appalled by his attachment to two self-serving, destructive, false narratives.

It was clear from our conversation that he has no actual evidence that Joe Biden’s electoral victory was fraudulent. He brought up one item (the affidavits of people who claim they saw irregularities). I explained that many of those were from people who had not attended observer training and therefore didn’t understand that what they witnessed was routine procedure.

New Senator Joining Salka To Stem COVID Overreach

New Senator Joining Salka

To Stem COVID Overreach

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Senator Oberacker and his wife Shannon smile at the end of his swearing-in New Year’s Day in Schenevus. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

This could be the begining of a beautiful friendship.

Fresh from his swearing-in as state Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, in his hometown fire hall at 1:08 p.m. New Year’s Day, the freshman signaled he is planning to collaborate with Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, on two key pieces of legislation:

One, as he promised during the campaign, Oberacker plans to introduce legislation mirroring Salka’s to overturn the Democrats’ bail reform, which has allowed suspects in petty and some less-petty crimes to be immediately released.

Two, the new senator is planning to carry the flag in the upper house for Salka’s counter-legislation to two Democratic bills requiring New Yorkers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or, in one of the bills, face possible detention. “That should be a personal choice,” said Oberacker.

“Peter and I have become good friends,” the second-term assemblyman said Tuesday, Jan. 5, the first day of the 2021 session. “I’m excited about having a member of the Senate to consider and possibly carry our legislation through this session.”

Both men appeared Tuesday morning via Zoom on the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s State of the State meeting.

Afterwards, Oberacker, his Chief of Staff (and former campaign manager) Ron Wheeler, and his Communications Director Jeff Bishop headed to Albany, where the senator has been assigned Office 506 in the Legislative Office Building in Empire State Plaza.

Salka was clearing his desk in his Oneida office, planning to head up to Albany Wednesday.

To help continuity between his predecessor, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who represented Otsego County in Albany for 34 years, the new senator will occupy Seward’s Oneonta office on South Main Street.

He has also kept most of Seward’s staff, except his chief of staff, Duncan Davie, the former Oneonta town supervisor, who retired.

Already, Oberacker said in an interview Monday, Jan. 4, constituents are calling, seeking his assistance.

On New Year’s Day, Maryland Town Justice Joseph Staruck swears-in newly elected state Sen. Peter Oberacker, whose wife Shannon
holds the Bible. Oberacker’s mother, Carol, also a town justice, served with Staruck. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

The foremost issue is COVID-fueled unemployment. “I’ve had many inquiries. A lot of folks are wanting to know what should they do, how they should go about it.” He convened a staff meeting that afternoon “to put together an action plan.”

The second issue came out of the Mohawk Valley, where RemArms, controlled by Roundhill Group LLC, described in news reports as “a group of experienced firearms manufacturing and hunting industry professionals,” is seeking to work around the United Mine Workers in reopening the Ilion plant.

The plant, which has traditionally employed many people from Northern Otsego County, was sold to RemArms when Remington was broken up under the supervision of U.S. Bankruptcy Court, according to www.syracuse.com.

Oberacker said he has been seeking to ensure to clear red tape and allow the plant to reopen as soon as possible.

The new senator attended two days of orientation at the state Capitol in mid-December, “to get to know my fellow senators,” and to get guidance from “the vast knowledge that incumbents have. It harkens back to being a freshman on campus.”

Asked about the chances of overturning bail reform, Salka pointed out that Upstate Democrats like Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-Marcy, support him, suggesting he may win votes from across the aisle on his measure.

“We’re hoping to present these bills” – bail reform and blocking mandatory vaccinations – “and get bi-partisan support,” he said.

Meanwhile, he pointed out, Job One will be “the 800-pound gorilla in the room – the $16 billion deficit,” which has risen from $10 billion in a year due to COVID challenges.

Oberacker, Salka Confer As 2021 Session Begins

Oberacker, Salka Confer

As 2021 Session Begins

State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, and Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, confer today in the senator’s Office 506 in the Legislative Office Building in Albany as the 2021 session gets underway. Oberacker, elected Nov. 3, and Salka, now in his second term, have said they plan to collaborate on two pieces of legislation in particular: One, to overturn bail reform and, two, to allow New Yorkers to accept or reject, without penalty, taking a COVID-19 vaccine. For details, see this week’s Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta. (Jeff Bishop photo)
GOP Chief Barnstorms Locally On Election Eve

LANGWORTHY IN COOPERSTOWN

GOP Chief Barnstorms

Locally On Election Eve

With four days to go until Election Day for federal and state offices, state Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy stopped in Cooperstown this morning to rally the local party faithful on the first stop of a Central New York tour. He decried “AOC Wannabes” and the state’s leftward shift, raising concerns about bail reform and plans to give illegal residents the right to vote. He was joined by the local GOP ticket (inset, right), led by state Senate candidate Peter Oberacker (center); from left are Assembly incubents John Salka, whose district includes Oneonta, Cooperstown and Richfield Springs; Chris Tague, who represents Cherry Valley, Roseboom, Decatur and Worcester, and Brian Miller, Springfield, Middlefield, Westford and Maryland. At lower right is Ryan Van De Water, the Republican lawyer from Poughkeepsie who’s challenging Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19. The contingent continued on to Oneida County.  Flanking him are county Rep. Dan Wilber, Burlington, a former member of the famed Thunderbirds (note cap), and Bobby Walker, CCS grad now completing his degree at SUNY Albany. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Salka Press Conference Topic: Jail Reform Repeal

Salka Press Conference

Topic: Bail-Reform Repeal

COOPERSTOWN – Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, has scheduled a press conference for 11 a.m. Wednesday to discuss his bill, which would “completely repeal” last year’s Democratic bail reform.

He will be joined by county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr., as well as Republican Assemblymen Chris Tague, Robert Smullen and Brian Miller, who are all seeking reelection on Nov. 3.

Safety Issues Among Most Hotly Argued

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS FORUM

Safety Issues Among

Most Hotly Argued

Buttermann, Cornell, Salka Debate

Libertarian Jacob Cornell, Oneida, upper right, Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, lower right, and Democrat Dan Buttermann, Oneonta, jousted for 90 minutes this evening at a League of Women Voters’ forum. (from Zoom)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Where did that question on whether to fund the Catskill Regional Teacher Center come from?

 Two of the 121st District candidates were caught off guard by the first question; Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, had actually toured the place and declared, “Spending on education is one of the most important investments we can make.”  The other two candidates could agree with that.

Beyond that wild card, the three candidates – in addition to Republican Salka, they were Democrat challenger Dan Buttermann, Oneonta, and Libertarian Jacob Cornell – jousted on a range of issues, including three particularly hot ones: supporting law enforcement, bail reform and gun laws.

Salka To Announce Unveiling Of Bill Repealing Bail Reform

Salka To Announce Unveiling

Of Bill Repealing Bail Reform

John Salka

WAMPSVILLE – Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, has announced he will unveil Bill A11067 that, if passed, would “completely” repeal last year’s bail reform, at a press conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at the Madison County Courthouse.

He will be accompanied by Madison County Sheriff Todd Hodd.

Salka’s district includes Madison, Otsego and parts of Oneida counties.

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