News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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letter to the editor

He Fired Them; Fire Him

LETTER from KENNETH J. KAVANAGH

He Fired Them; Fire Him

To the Editor:

The list never ends.

General John Kelly (former Chief of Staff), General Jim Mattis (former Secretary of Defense), Rex Tillerson (former Secretary of State), Richard Spencer (former Secretary of the Navy), John Bolton
(former National Security Adviser) and on and one.

The common denominator through them all is “former.” They were ALL wrong and summarily in time dismissed. In each and every case, Trump was always right. After all, when is he ever wrong?

His selections of incredibly able people to his cabinet, followed by his summary firings, underscore the futility with which he has governed this country for the last four years. Sadly there is no room
whatsoever for disagreement even to the extent of a difference of opinion. It is the king’s way or else.

But, in point of fact, the emperor definitely has no clothes, nor the common sense to engage the expertise of advisers who know far more than he ever will. He chose them and dismissed them.

Now it’s our turn to dismiss him. Vote!!

KENNETH J. KAVANAGH
Cooperstown

County Reps Take Oath To Uphold State’s Laws

LETTER from MARY ANNE WHELAN

County Reps Take Oath

To Uphold State’s Laws

To the Editor:

Considerable attention is being paid to the anticipated request by county Rep. Rick Brockway, R-West Laurens, that the county board adopt a resolution declaring our county a “gun sanctuary,” by which is meant a declaration that the police need not enforce the state’s SAFE Act.

This is, to begin with, an inappropriate request. As a county representative, Brockway took a signed and sworn oath to support the laws of the State of New York. If he can’t do that he should resign.

Undermining law enforcement by supporting a declaration of “no need to enforce” a law is disrespectful to the state Constitution, to law enforcement and to the citizens law enforcement protects.

The argument that the SAFE Act violates the Constitution is not valid.

It has repeatedly been upheld in the state courts, and for that reason has never reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, in turn, upholds the right of individuals to bear arms and also the right of states to regulate them.

It is not an open-ended invitation for anyone, anywhere, in any state of mind, to possess any kind of
firearm they choose to have and do with it whatever they want. Sadly, responsible gun ownership is not
universal and cannot be left to individual decision-making.

People leave guns where children can play with them, disaffected teenagers can readily get their hands on them and shoot schoolmates, and mentally impaired persons can band together under some catchword messages about liberty and justify their violent impulses.

Here in Cooperstown, there have been two school shootings; and in Richfield, grandparents shot to death by their grandson. Their parents should have known better than to leave guns around. They should not have been able to buy them, on their own, or to get someone else to buy them for them.
Liberty – in the sense of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – is, in fact, more often violated by firearms than by any other cause.

Twenty-five children a WEEK are killed by firearms. More are injured.

They are a favored instrument of domestic violence and abuse, and of suicide and murder-suicide. What
happened to these lives, liberties and the pursuit of their happiness?

I have had two friends shot to death when they cheerfully answered their door on a Sunday morning.

They were expecting piano movers. Instead, a grudge-bearing psychopath who never should have had a gun killed them. Is it a civil right to be able to answer your door without defensively carrying
a weapon against the chance of such an event? Where were my dead friends’ civil rights?

America is a gun culture. Our history glorifies it. Our children grow up buying into it. As a pediatric neurologist I saw, in one afternoon, three unrelated children – boys 4 years 3 months, 4 years 3 months, and 4 years 6 months of age – because their mothers were afraid of them. One of them said, “Dr. Whelan, he says he’s going to get a gun and shoot me and I’m afraid of him.”

I asked if there were a gun in the house. “Yes, but it’s in our bedroom, and he knows he’s not supposed to go in there.” Oh, fine.

Teaching school in Africa in 1961, the first question asked in my class was from an 8-year-old boy:

“Where do people in America keep their guns?”

Most people who object to the SAFE Act probably haven’t read it. They probably can’t tell you what the First and Third Amendments are either, because, really, they don’t care about the Constitution: they just want their guns.

Look: Nothing in the SAFE Act prohibits hunting, as some like to claim. It puts some background checks for criminality and mental illness in place for sales (there should be more). It bans assault weapons, including semi-automatics, unless “grandfathered” in and registered, and it bans loading more than 10 rounds at a time.

It requires reporting if guns are lost or stolen. If you share a household with someone convicted of a felony or domestic violence, you are supposed to keep guns in a safe place. (Something that should be extended to households with children also).

None of these provisions are unconstitutional. Which of them offends you?

Putting it about that Democratic candidates want to “take your guns away” is known by those who say it to be untrue: it is said anyway, which makes it dishonest.

Claiming, as the NRA does, that the answer to guns is more guns, is just factually incorrect. Insured claims for firearm-related injuries actually go down during NRA conventions – these are multi-day events in which thousands of gun enthusiasts, and their guns, are effectively taken off the streets. So it’s safer out there!

Stop waving the flag around.

It’s not your flag: it’s ours. I grew up with guns. We had a shooting range in our basement. I was a pretty good shot. But I consider it my civil right not to live in place where law enforcement is flouted and reasonable legislation denigrated in the name of the Constitution. The second and third words of the Second Amendment are: WELL REGULATED.

MARY ANNE WHELAN, M.D.
Cooperstown

Sam Goodyear Plans Tribute To Chuck Schneider Saturday
LETTER from SAM GOODYEAR

Sam Goodyear Plans Tribute

To Chuck Schneider Saturday

To the Editor:

Along with countless members of our community, I was saddened to read of Chuck Schneider’s death. It stirred multiple memories, as I had the privilege of singing in several Glimmerglass operas and Orpheus Theatre musicals under his direction.

In every instance, seeing him in the pit made me feel safe and secure.

I felt that he was not only keeping his eye on the production as a whole, but me personally.

And then there were all those memorable Catskill Symphony Orchestra concerts. I remember
seeing whole families in attendance, parents and children, and thinking what a rich experience was being provided among us.

Working so hard under considerable pressure to navigate highly complex waters cannot have been easy, yet I never once, not one single time, saw Chuck lose his considerable cool. Always calm, always patient, always cordial, he maintained his cheerful and generous nature for the benefit of art.

From 1 to 5 Saturday afternoons, I host a classical music program called “Play It Again, Sam,” on WSKG Public Radio. It can be heard at 105.9 FM in Otsego County, and is streamed live on the internet at wskg.org (click Listen Live-WSKG Classical).

I will devote the 4 o’clock hour this coming Saturday, Oct. 24, in tribute to our maestro in thanks for the
inestimable pleasure and enrichment he brought to us all.

SAM GOODYEAR
Binghamton

County Reps Take Oath To Protect Constitution
LETTER from GARRETT deBLIECK

County Reps Take Oath

To Protect Constitution

To the Editor:

It serves as a necessary reminder to some that America is a representative republic based on Constitutional law. This is exampled by the requirement that every elected official must swear an oath to “support” or “protect” the Constitution of the United States before taking the seat that he/she was elected for.

As such, the Otsego County Board of Representatives is by no means an exception. It has even been brought to my attention that some representatives chose to substitute the Bible with the Constitution itself. To these individuals, one would expect an ever-more committed reverence to uphold and support the Constitution to which our American Republic is based.

It should come as no surprise that the Bill of Rights is an intrinsic part of American law. When an oath is violated, it is called perjury.

As I have stated before, our organization, Otsego 2AS, does not stand upon a partisan platform but, rather, a Constitutional one. Either one embraces the Constitution, or one does not. Thus, either the county representatives will embrace their oath, or they will perjure. It is just that simple.

The oath is no trivial matter.

In essence, it is what separates our republic from behaving as an unscrupulous banana republic, where whatever the powerful desire is what is pursued. It is the sworn duty of the elected officeholder to render themselves restrained and accountable to such oath made. In this case, the oath is to support the Constitution. Therefore, transgressing the Constitution clearly violates this oath.

As Chief Justice Marshall stated in Marbury vs. Madison (1803): “A law repugnant to the Constitution is void; and that courts, as well as other departments are bound to that Instrument.”

The 2AS Resolution embraces this ruling as a necessary step to reverse the course of Constitutional infringements. It is with profound satisfaction that Otsego county board does harbor fighters for freedom in standing upon their sworn oath.

In saying this, I cannot see anyone more qualified for state Senate than Peter Oberacker. It is never an understatement to say that doing the right thing is never easy. Likewise, I commend many sitting in our county board who truly desire to uphold their sworn oaths of office.

Yet the 2AS movement would never have been necessary had the New York State government not embarked upon the unconstitutional path of perpetual firearm infringements. It is to this where
fighters for freedom must endeavor to straighten a lost government back to its sworn principles.

I have no doubt that Peter Oberacker will continue this restoration of a current state banana republic back to its Constitutional basis.

GARRETT deBLIECK
Unadilla

PIETRAFACE: No SUNY Campus Mandated Tests

LETTER from WILLIAM PIETRAFACE

No SUNY Campus

Mandated Tests

To the Editor:

As a retired SUNY Oneonta professor of biology, I have been following the local and national coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak on the campus. Here are some thoughts on the coverage.

SUNY Oneonta’s planning for reopening for the fall semester began in April with widespread input from all stakeholders on campus. The Local Control Group, which includes representation from the City of

Oneonta and the Otsego County Department of Public Health, also provided input.

At this time there were many questions about COVID-19 testing, including who should be tested, availability of tests, cost of testing, and reliability of testing procedures.

The draft plan for the fall 2020 semester, which did include a statement saying that prior to returning “students must attest to having no COVID-19 symptoms and no known infection” but no mandatory testing, was submitted on June 1 and subsequently approved by SUNY, the state Department of Health, and the State of New York in July.

Sixty other SUNY campuses also had their plans approved requiring no mandatory testing.

As students began returning to colleges and universities around the country, we began to hear of COVID-19 outbreaks on their campuses. Since the coronavirus does not discriminate, all types of schools were affected including public and private, big and small, elite and non-elite.

As the semester began here for SUNY Oneonta, a small group of students, making up less than 1 percent of the SUNY Oneonta student population, held an outdoor gathering off campus.

This led to 672 positive COVID-19 cases since Aug. 24, the disruption of campus life for over 7,000 students, faculty, and staff, and untold loss of revenue for the businesses and restaurants in the City and Town of Oneonta.

One possibility for the rapid spread of infections among this student population, and in other rapid epidemiological events around the country, could be that the coronavirus mutated into a new strain. Epidemiologists are now looking into just such a possibility.

Fortunately, there has been no community spread as reported by the county Department
of Public Health and no deaths. Unfortunately, the reputation and credibility of SUNY Oneonta and its administration has been called into question.

SUNY Oneonta has faced many challenges since its beginnings in 1889 as a State Normal School. I am confident that going forward the college will continue to maintain the quality of education and student life that SUNY Oneonta has become known for.

SUNY Oneonta merits strong support as it faces this newest challenge.

WILLIAM J
PIETRAFACE, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Biology
SUNY Oneonta
Oneonta

STAMMEL: Don’t Walk Away From Education

LETTER from ANDREW STAMMEL

We Shouldn’t Walk Away

From Educational System

To the Editor:

The prosperity of Oneonta is inextricably intertwined with the success of its colleges. The fact that SUNY Oneonta’s reopening did not succeed as planned and hoped is a tragedy for our community in a year that challenges us all.

The shutdown is devas-tating for our students who have looked forward to their college experience; heartbreaking for the 1,000 SUNY employees who have worked since March to keep our students safe and provide a semblance of a college experience; frightening for our local business-owners; disappointing for residents who appreciate the vitality students bring; and challenging to taxpayers whose governments have just lost a large source of non-local revenue.

Some anxious residents have opined that with the sacrifices we have all made this year to keep the virus at bay, any increase in population density was unacceptable, be it from tourists, weekenders, or students.

I have elderly and vulnerable friends and family locally and can understand and empathize with this perspective.

The good news is that at this early stage, the outbreak appears to have been contained to students, due to the quick and decisive actions of SUNY, the rapid deployment of state resources, cooperation of community members, and ongoing heroics of our underfunded County Department of Health. Out of hundreds tested, no employees have tested positive and there’s no evidence of community spread yet.

While SUNY Oneonta began the school year with 97 percent of classes online, it joined the majority of colleges across the country in developing a hybrid plan that would allow for some level of in-person experience. This reflects a very American “can-do” attitude that with science and problem-solving, we can engineer our way around unprecedented challenges.

“Monday morning quarterbacking” is also an American pastime and the failure of the reopening has led to a misguided and gratuitous blame game by some local politicians and media (not this paper, to my knowledge). Kudos to those elected officials, administrators, and others who have maintained a positive forward-looking attitude, looking for collaborative solutions to protect folks and rebuild trust and relationships between the college and community.

In my conversations with contacts at several colleges, it’s clear to me that SUNY’s planning began earlier and was at least as collaborative, thorough and transparent as other institutions. From March – July, planning efforts invited input from all members of the college community and resulted in hundreds of pages of draft and final planning documents.

A proposed plan was submitted to and approved by the state and has been posted on the college web page for about two months. If your elected official is now one of the furious finger-pointers, ask them how they proactively contributed to crafting a safe reopening plan over the past six months or if they waited to retroactively criticize.

Any successful reopening will rely on three elements. Yes, a good plan must proactively be crafted (and no plan is perfect). Second, there needs to be widespread compliance with the plan and adherence to social distancing by students and employees. Finally, there is an element of luck or God’s will, whichever your persuasion.

Was an infected person a biological “super-spreader”? Did the wind or humidity contribute to spread on a given day? Did a bystander witness a party and report it to authorities in time? While humans like to believe our plans dictate results, much will be out of our control.

Every local college has had some level of outbreak already. This year may prove that for demographic and situational reasons, a residential college experience during a pandemic is unlikely to succeed.

Experience has shown the largest outbreaks are occurring in residential settings (nursing homes, jails, military, summer camps, sports teams, and colleges). Additionally, young people across the country have proved to be the least like to adhere to social distancing.

Despite the risks, does it mean we should not at least try to reopen our educational system? That is a question for every school and community. As K-12 schools across our area consider various reopening scenarios, I urge them to learn from our lessons. Be clear-eyed and accept that we are in a global pandemic and the virus is seeded throughout our area and outbreaks will occur as social distancing is lessened. Craft your outbreak prevention and response plans with care and humility. And finally, have the wisdom and strength to acknowledge when a situation has escalated beyond your control and shut it down, accordingly.

We all mourn the loss of normalcy this year and hope for a swift return to our old lives. Until that time, the best way to protect your loved ones and community is to wear masks, social distance, and practice good hygiene.

ANDREW STAMMEL
Town of Oneonta
County Representative: District 4
Town of Oneonta
Stammel, SUNY Oneonta
Title IX coordinator, said he submitted this letter from the perspective of
an elected official and private citizen,
not as a SUNY spokesman.

KAVANAGH: Good News? The Truth Will Do

LETTER from KENNETH KAVANAGH

Good News? The Truth Will Do

To the Editor:

Consider this hypothetical.

You go to your doctor. You have stomach pains that linger and simply won’t go way. After examination he tells you not to worry, you’ll be fine.

The pain continues and weeks later you get a second opinion. This time it’s not couched with “good news.”

How would you feel about that? Your regular physician did not want to cause any upset. The physician offering the second opinion wanted only to be frank and candid, thereby making a plan to initiate toward recovery.

I believe we all know the answer. Trump did not want to “scare us.” Really? Was it us or his beloved stock market that he wanted to calm and pacify.

He doesn’t want to scare anyone, yet he has no reluctance whatsoever in telling tall tales of tanks coming down Main Street, stock market crashes and rampant crime.

The hypocrisy is just overwhelming!

KENNETH J. KAVANAGH
Cooperstown

DUNCAN: Mix Medicine, Wisdom Of Ages

LETTER from R. SCOTT DUNCAN

Mix Medicine, Wisdom Of Ages

To the Editor:

So Bassett has a new machine to fight cancer. The TrueBeam. It makes you think that this is the final answer.

Have you ever noticed how man is always looking for something outside of himself to heal himself? It’s like COVID: Everyone is wearing masks to protect themselves, and others, and many are waiting for a shot that they think will save them.

The trouble is, a virus is much smarter than man and can change and morph before the drug even gets to the counter. It’s my understanding that the virus can change in 21 days.

I’m not saying you should not wear a mask or get a shot, because it can surely help. I’m saying, what is the real root of the problem? Why is it that some people get sick and others don’t?

It seems to me it all goes back to the immunity system of your own body. Why do they leave that part out? What are you doing to make your immunity system stronger? Food? Herbs? Exercises? Do you really think someone else is going to save you? Are you putting responsibility on machines and drugs?

On the new machine, the article left out all of the side effects such as: fatigue, nausea, swelling at the treatment site, diarrhea, lymphedema and secondary cancer, just to name a few things.

Allopathic medicine is fixated on external solutions to health. This is, unfortunately, the way the modern doctors have been trained to think.

This is not to say the machine is useless. By integrating other knowledge, it could be a lot more powerful and less destructive. Without a broader perspective it will only get the job half done … and we suffer for it.

R. SCOTT DUNCAN
Hartwick Forrest

NORTHRUP: Give Native Americans A Say
LETTER from JAMES “CHIP” NORTHRUP

Give Native Americans A Say

In How Things Are Named

To the Editor:

My distant relative and friend, the late Jim Northrup, was a Native American, decorated Vietnam Marine vet, and very humorous author.

My real name is James so Jim and I used to joke about how all the “Jim Northrups are strong, handsome and above average.”

He’s gone now, but on his behalf, as his paleface relative, I’d like to suggest that when it comes to naming locations, sports teams and other things – ask a Native American.

If they’re OK with it, go ahead. If they’re not, rethink it.

Native Americans, including Jim and his brother, are disproportionately represented in the Armed Forces. They often struggle with health issues, but in my experience, they’re pretty much immune to bone spurs.

If something is going to be named for them, give them a say in it. All the Jim Northrups think it’s the right thing to do.

JAMES “CHIP” NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

MOTT: Village Pretty; Now Make It Work

LETTER from ROBIN MOTT

Village Pretty:

Now Make It Work

To the Editor:

I have been told that between 5 and 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 24, a crew would be coming in to, hopefully, fix a water main on Main Street that has broken. If it does not get fixed, I will not be able to do business that day. I am not the only one in this situation.

This is the third time that a water main has broken in my six years in business. Each time this happens it costs me money. Water is essential to my business, I cannot open my shop without it.

My question is: at what point does the beautification of our lovely village slow down and some maintenance on our existing infrastructure start?

ROBIN MOTT
The Hair Shop
Doubleday Court
Cooperstown

DILL: Know Where RXs Come From 

LETTER from MAUREEN DILL

Americans Should Know

Where RXs Come From

To the Editor:

I’m writing to you about my concerns regarding the fact that the majority of our prescription medications (as much as 90 percent, I’ve been told) are manufactured outside of the U.S. – primarily in China and India.

Many of us are interested in “sustainability,” and this, I believe, is related to our sustainable future!
Having “Googled” this subject, I’ve also read that the welfare of the U.S. regarding these prescription medications is largely hinged on our maintaining good relations with China.

One of my grandchildren, who is a staffer for the current chair of the Oversight Committee, had sent me several links to House and Senate bills concerning this subject. All, it seems, are currently “stalled” and/or descriptive text on the bills is currently unavailable.

As you might guess, there is little to no oversight in the laboratories where many of these medications are being manufactured. Some prescription medication labs in China are operated under the names of U.S. corporations.

Family members who use prescription medications have endeavored (by phone or online) to identify the source of their current meds, but the providers of these prescriptions were unable or unwilling to identify the source of manufacture.

Today, if we purchase a garment, or shoes, or food products, or a piece of equipment, labeling of these products is required to list country of origin. Why not so for the prescription meds we are putting into
our bodies?

MAUREEN DILL
Morris

Letter From Lewis Hamilton: Did New York State Really Do Better Than Texas
LETTER from LEWIS HAMILTON

Did New York State

Really Do Better Than Texas?

To the Editor,

Chip Northrup’s recent letter condemning the efforts of Texans while praising those of New Yorkers was strong on opinion but weak on data. From my Google search on May 30:

• New York (state population, about 20 million), 203,000 cases, 23,282 deaths; Otsego County (population, 59,249); 67 cases, four deaths.

• Texas (state population, about 29 million), 62,338 cases, 1,648 deaths; Kerr County (population 52,405), 16 cases, zero deaths

While these numbers change frequently, they are reliable enough to show clearly that Texas has vastly fewer cases and deaths than New York State. Then, taking rural counties of similar size, the numbers again show Texas far ahead of New York.

We can all agree that there are a number of reasons why these striking differences have occurred, but to conclude that somehow Texas is falling far behind New York is untenable. In any case, Texas’ numbers are impressive by contrast to those in New York.

Consider Governor Cuomo’s March 2020 order forcing nursing homes to admit cases of COVID-19 – this action may have turned some into medieval “pest houses” seen during the times of plague.

Mayor de Blasio’s tight lockdown of tenements in New York City, attempting to limit community spread of the virus (in contrast to the quarantine of known positives cases) is the antithesis of “distancing” and may have caused more harm than good.

Note the logical actions of well-off New Yorker city dwellers – they fled! Are these public responses “as good as anywhere…?”

To paraphrase Mark Twain: It’s not the things you don’t know that can hurt you, it’s them you do know that ain’t true.
LEWIS HAMILTON
Cooperstown

COLONE: Let’s Revisit One Oneonta

Letter From AL COLONE

With Time On Our Hands,

Let’s Revisit One Oneonta

To the Editor:

During this time of crisis, Governor Cuomo’s daily report on the coronavirus in New York State has brought me a sense of reassurance that we will “beat the beast!”

He regularly talks of making something good come out of bad situations; he speaks of the positive outcomes which have resulted from past crisis.

What will things look like in our lives after the COVID-19 virus has been vanquished? What can we do to make Oneonta a better, more vibrant and a truly innovative place as we move to the future?

Many of us have time on our hands, time that could be productive and beneficial for our community.

Why not take the current down time to craft a referendum to merge the city and town of Oneonta? We all know, bucks were very tight before the pandemic and it’s not hard to imagine that available dollars will be far more restricted afterward.

Let’s produce one Oneonta that can run leaner, more efficiently and one with a better chance of increasing municipal revenue. Coming out of the pandemic, one Oneonta would glow with commercial and social productivity.

We don’t need a study to do this! We already know one Oneonta would be a heck of a lot better than the two flailing Oneontas we currently have.

All we need is for Mayor Herzig and Supervisor Wood to name an 11-member blue ribbon commission, five from the city and six from the town, charged with producing a consolidation referendum in time for
Election Day 2021!

The group will no doubt need the advice and guidance of a professional consultant and they are readily available and likely now, for super competitive fees. Between modest funding from the city and town and perhaps a match from Department of State, funding the initiative would be “a walk in the park!”

Should our key leaders be considering retirement, this would be the opportune time toward establishing a very positive leadership legacy!

If we don’t do this now, you can “bet the ranch” a post-pandemic Oneonta will be far worse than the pre-pandemic Oneonta; please don’t think we’ll make it on future public grants in that they’ll likely go away.

Let’s do it! I’d be glad to volunteer my time, not as a committee member, but perhaps in some type of secretarial role.

ALBERT COLONE
Resident, City of Oneonta

NORTHRUP: The Answer? Conservation

Letter From CHIP NORTHRUP

The Answer? Conservation

To the Editor:

George W. Bush is an old acquaintance of mine, I have known him since before he was governor of Texas, much less President. Although he was a so-so governor and a terrible President, one thing he’s not is a hypocrite.

His erstwhile opponent, Al Gore, became the darling of the environmental movement with his groundbreaking film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” The most inconvenient truth about “Inconvenient Truth” is that Gore subsequently cashed in on “green technology” without limiting his own consumption of energy – while, in contrast, George retired to his solar-powered, energy-efficient, rain-harvesting, minimal-consumption Texas ranch.

I was in the solar energy business from 1973 to 1980, when we sold Northrup Energy to Atlantic Richfield, to create ARCO Solar, where I became the planning manager for alternative energy systems.

So I know the potential of alternative energy and its limitations.

Michael Moore has attempted to overturn some shibboleths of the green apple cart with his new documentary “Planet of the Humans.”

When you cut through the melodrama, misstatements and erroneous assumptions, the core conclusion of the film is sound, and one I agree with: The fundamental problem is our consumption of resources, the primary solution is conservation.

The easiest way to reduce energy consumption is to not use it. That was part of the original environmentalist message – conserve, recycle, reuse – much of which has been drowned out by the marketing of alternative energy systems as if over-reliance on fossil fuels can simply be replaced with over-reliance on renewable energy systems, some of which, particularly biomass, may not be so environmentally friendly after all.

It’s an inconvenient point that we have learned during The Plague: the most effective green solution is plain old-fashioned conservation. Try it some time.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

BASSETT: Make Lettis Safer: Run Buses Until 9 p.m.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR from LISA R. BASSETT

Make Lettis Safer:

Run Buses Until 9 p.m.

To the Editor:

Regarding the headline in your Jan. 2 edition, “NYDOT Said ‘No’ To Grant At Lettis,” I am really sorry that the transportation grant, applied for by the Town and City of Oneonta, was turned down. But, come to think of it, all of that requested money is not necessary.

The lady, April Johnson, crossed the highway 100 yards from a legal pedestrian crossing area – the intersection. People should know better than to cross a four-lane highway in the dark of night on a roadway that has poor lighting, and especially where automobile drivers do not expect, therefore, are not looking for pedestrians to be crossing.

The second issue is that a lot of people, including myself, walk on that highway to get to the Southside shopping area. Mayor Herzig is right when he said that the roadway could be safer for pedestrians. Yes, we all use it out of necessity, because OPT does not have the Southside Bus operating after 5:30 p.m., except for Wednesday-Saturday, only when the colleges are operating. That is why so many pedestrians are on the road out of necessity to shop and get to work.

A large percent of the permanent residents (non-students) are in the low-income range and don’t have a car, so without a bus, we have to walk on Lettis Highway. Either that or starve and become unemployed!

Solution: Have the Southside bus run until 9 p.m. every night, no matter if the students are here or not. It will keep a lot of people off of the road, minimizing accidents, and the need for a big green median.

If the colleges will not allow OPT to have the buses run apart from their students’ needs, then the only things that are needed are more lighting on the walkway and adding a little more walkway to the one side of the street that has more pedestrians.

From the corner of Maple and Main streets, where that Baptist Church is, you cross Main Street. Install a sidewalk there, along the west side of Lettis Highway, to join the rest of the sidewalk. There are only two or three spots that really need a sidewalk added, such as the bridge, and after the overpass of I-88 to Route 23.

With just those improvements, the money of which will probably be granted since it won’t be as much as was initially requested, and some commonsense by pedestrians, the problem would be solved!

Once again, the commonsense solution, which will eliminate a need for a grant, and the necessity for pedestrians to be on the road at all, would be for the Southside bus to be running past 5:30 p.m. every night Monday-Saturday.

LISA R. BASSETT
Oneonta

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