News of Otsego County


COVID and kids: disparate strategies point to need for vaccine

COVID and kids
Disparate strategies point to need for vaccine

By Richard Sternberg M.D.

The amount of information regarding COVID in children and the risks and benefits of vaccination is overwhelming and as reported even varies from country to country.

There is no clear-cut consensus on anything in the younger age groups other than that the risk of developing a case requiring treatment, hospitalization, or leading to death is lower if the patient is younger. Still, the risks of vaccine complications in the very young have so far been trivial, with no deaths or hospitalizations in pre-clinical studies reported in the United States.

The Hill City Rollers Skate Against Hate

The Hill City Rollers

Skate Against Hate

Baby Lace, Mrs. Boutfire and Bizzy Cheap Skate lead a a group around Neahwa Park this morning at the Hill City Roller Derby team took a stand against hate. The demonstration was part of the Worldwide Roll Out Day: Roll To Erase Hate movement started by skating coach Skate Fan Tazee out of Atlanta. “We wanted to get people from the rolling community to promote positivity and safe spaces in our community.” explained Mrs. Boutfire (aka Robin Williams, Oneonta) “We want to be open to all people. Derby is about anyone being able to do it regardless of color, body type, gender, or how much you have skated. This is an all-inclusive sport!” The group met at the skatepark and rolled their way around the park with their signs. “Anything we can do to make a statement.” said Jim Ruffo, Oneonta, “We will not stand for hate.”(Ian Austin/
Customer Appreciation Day Helps Beat The Heat

Customer Appreciation Day

Helps Beat The Heat

It’s always the perfect time for ice cream at the Polar Bear Homemade Ice Cream parlor! Above, Joseph Dalton, who has known owners Heather and Michael Ross for over 40 years, get a cone of soft-serve with his grandchildren Daniel and Olivia Jagielo, from Macy Jordan, Franklin during The Polar Bear’s customer appreciation day. (Ian Austin/
Rain Plays Tricks, Doesn’t Deter Treaters

Rain Plays Tricks, But

Doesn’t Deter Treaters

Erratic rain throughout the evening led to the cancellation of Oneonta’s annual Halloween parade, but all manner of ghouls and ghosts made their treat-seeking rounds at local homes and businesses this afternoon and evening. Above, Devin El, Leilani El and Ziyen Giles passed City Hall on their treat-hunting mission, with Lizzette Hopkins and Edward Giles, Maryland, in tow. Inset at right, Oneonta’s Jessica and Paul Benzaleski arrive downtown with their children Adalia and Reilly ready to take home some sweets.(Ian Austin/

New Store Joins Mall And Mall-o-ween Festivities

Newest Store Joins Mall,

Mall-O-Ween Festivities

All manner of spooks, ghouls and goblins invaded the halls of Oneonta’s Southside Mall this afternoon for the annual Mall-O-Ween for children and their families. Above, Keith Gray, owner of Luncheons & Dragons game store, the mall’s newest tenant, hands out candy alongside Jessi Wiertz, to Madison Orozco, Alliya Leggett, Skyla Orozco and Rakem Browne. The store is set to open Nov. 1 – Friday – in the former FYE. (Ian  Austin/
Small Scale,  Big Reality


Small Solar System

Shows Big Realities

Kathryn Demby, her grandson, Lukas Dolan, 10, of Worcester; Cristina Hansen, adjunct lecturer for SUNY Oneonta’s physics lab; her husband, Erik Stengler, professor in CGP’s Science Museum Studies Track; Jim Hill, OCCA vice president, and far right, Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. (Jennifer Hill/

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

COOPERSTOWN  – They might not look like space explorers, but the seven who met Saturday morning at the railroad tracks were just that.

Bill Ralston led a tour of the Earth’s solar system, from the sun to Pluto, by using common objects to represent the planets and walking specific numbers of paces between them to represent actual distances between them.

Annual R.I.F Event Delights Young Readers

Annual R.I.F Event

Delights Young Readers

Aaliya Koncklin, Leilanie El and Nathaniel Hurley and the rest of MRs. Wood’s first grade class rush to the the tables in the library full of books for the annual Reading Is Fundamental (R.I.F) event this morning at Valleyview Elementary in Oneonta. Each child is allowed to pick out two books of their choice and hands out over 6000 books a year to students from pre-k to 5th grade. The event is sustained entirely through donations, can be supported by mailing your gift to RIF P.O. Box 703 Oneonta, NY 13820, or by contacting OneontaRIF on facebook. (Ian Austin/
Springfest A Hit At Copes Corners

Springfest A Hit

At Copes Corners

Above, little Evelyn Covington, Gilbertsville, gets her face painted by Annika Christensen, Gilbertsville, at Copes Corners Park Springfest in Gilberstville on Saturday afternoon. Visitors enjoyed meeting animals at the Utica Zoomobile, building and racing wooden boats, a fishing derby sponsored by Trout Unlimited, Live music, atlatl throwing, fireman’s competition, vendors, chicken BBQ, live music and an ice cream social.(Ian Austin/
Apple Trees Planted For Arbor Day Event

Apple Trees Planted

For Arbor Day Event

Riverside 6th graders Anlye White and Kya Whitbeck, help shovel dirt around an apple tree held by arborist Fred Hathaway, during the annual Arbor Day celebration At Riverside School this morning. This year, the students helped plant 2 apple trees, a cortland and a macintosh, on the lawn near the historic Swart Wilcox House. Judy Pangman read a proclamation from Mayor Gary Herzig, and afterwards 250 Douglas Fir seedlings were handed out to students as they returned to class.(Ian Austin/
A Colorful Afternoon At Annual Crayon Carnival

Colorful Afternoon

At Crayon Carnival

Tim Chapin and Gabrielle Bailey hand out cotton candy – an Crayon Carnival favorite – to Chloe Arnold, Cooperstown, during the annual event this afternoon at Cooperstown High Schoo’s Bursey Gym. “This is out fourth year doing it and we love it!” said Chapin. “We had a cotton candy machine and we figured we might as well share!” Visitors could also play games, win prizes, enjoy face painting and balloon animals, as well as potting plants and learning how to test for water purification in local streams. At right, Stefania Aguzzi and son Gregory look over the confectionary delights at the food table.(Ian Austin/

All Treats, No Tricks At Mall-O-Ween

All Treats, No Tricks

At Mall-O-Ween

Ghouls, ghosts, princesses, dinosaurs, witches and more filled the Southside Mall this afternoon as youngsters and their families enjoyed indoor trick-or-treating as part of the annual Mall-O-Ween event. Above: At the costume contest, Gavin Tandle, left, brother Aiden and mom Michelle, Oneonta, applaud alongside Colin Walsh, Davenport, and Julianna Everson, Worcester. At right, Phoenix Temple strikes a pose as Rosie the Riveter before taking 2nd place in her age category. (Ian Austin/

Parents Rejoice! It’s Back To School!

Parents Rejoice!

It’s Back To School!

There were plenty of tears and cheers this morning as children headed off to the first day of school in Oneonta. Above, Jackson Latham wears his best end of summer scowl as mom Christina gives his brother Aaden a goodbye kiss alongside sister Kay as they are dropped off at Greater Plains Elementary.  At left,  Giana Dionisio holds a sign celebrating her first day of 1st grade. At right, Ari Aiyemo helps her kids Ethan and Eden find their way to class (Ian Austin/

Artists New and Old On Display At Music And Art Fest

Artists New & Old 

At City Of Hills Fest

It was arts and crafts galore at the annual City Of The Hills Art and Music Festival on Main Street in Oneonta this afternoon as art lovers flocked to enjoy the creations of our area’s creatives. Here, Jozef Rifenbark, Charlotte Valley, Leila Pierro and sister Anika, West Oneonta, Qimane Williams, Oneonta, and Beth Akulin, Oneonta, all paint panes of glass at CANO’s “Paint What You See” tent. Live music, food, and vendors continue until 5pm today. (Ian Austin/

Maestro Schneider’s

Final Performance


FAREWELL CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. The Catskill Symphony Orchestra performs works by Beethoven, Rutter, followed by Maestro Charles Schneider’s farewell performance of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th movements of Symphony No. 5 by Dimitri Shostakovich followed by a reception. Tickets, $30. Hunt Union Ballroom, SUNY Oneonta. Call 607-436-2670 or visit

BABY SHOWER – 9 a.m. – Noon. Annual community baby shower featuring information & mini-classes from providers on pregnancy, breastfeeding, fatherhood, babies, birth, breastfeeding, and beyond. Door prizes & games galore. FoxCare Center, Oneonta. Call 607-433-8000 or visit

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103