News of Otsego County

Letters to the editor

Letters to the Editor

This week’s Letters to the Editor

Liberty wept

Based on Alito’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, any personal right that was not enumerated in 1866 when the 14th Amendment was written is not protected. Alito implied

his reasoning applied only to abortion. But in his concurrence, Justice Thomas pointed out that the Dobbs precedent would apply to other practices, including same-sex marriage and contraception, birth control pills.

In Dobbs, reactionary Catholics on the Supreme Court applied Catholic theology to American law, effectively breaching the separation of church and state. Justice Sotomayor, also raised Catholic, wrote in her dissent that the practical result of Dobbs was that the state could force women to bear children against their will, like livestock, depriving them of their bodily autonomy. And if the state could do that, it could, under Alito’s reasoning, deprive them of any personal right that was not recognized in 1866, including the right to marry someone of another race, which was illegal in 1866 in 18 states and was not overturned until 1967, 20 years before Clarence Thomas married his wife Ginni.

There is a rather straightforward solution to this: Congress should increase the number of justices on the court to 13 and overturn Dobbs for the misogynistic assault on women that it is. 

Chip Northrup, Cooperstown

We’re going to need more prisons

The Gilbane Company, Turner Construction, and Correction Corporation of America may not be on your personal radar, but they will be after June 2022. How come, you ask? I’ll tell you. With the Supreme Court denial of the right to abortion procedures, many states will immediately activate criminal charges against any persons engaging in any activity that contributes to an abortion. Federal protection will no longer exist for a person’s right to choose. The states will control the criminal proceedings.

Letter: A grateful heart for our community

A grateful heart for our community

Two years ago it was discovered that my daughter Vincenza was suffering from an unspecified bone marrow failure, where her own body was destroying her red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout your body. She didn’t have enough and was literally suffocating. Fast forward to now, with a lot of treatment in between, she is at N.Y. Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center recovering from a bone marrow transplant, compliments of her brother!

These two years represent ups, downs, fears, and uncertainty of huge proportion. We have all felt depleted right to our core. As the result of friends, neighbors and loved ones, we have forged ahead. Yet because of the community we call home, we were blessed with more support, compassion, love and prayers than one could expect.

It started with a large Christmas package which arrived filled with all of the things she would love. It was clear that each gift had been selected for her. The elves responsible were the individuals who have provided care to Vincenza on a daily basis at the Cancer Center for the last 23 months. They wanted her to know they missed her and were optimistic about her recovery. We cried and felt so embraced by this act.

Letter: Festivus-worthy spending

Festivus-worthy spending

Here we go again! The annual Festivus report is in on some of the stupid expenditures that have been voted on in government this year. Millions spent on a study about gambling that paid for pigeons to play slot machines; another study that finally verified that kids crave junk food; $25 million for art projects to be displayed around New York City; more than $11 million that a US agency put out to request Vietnamese citizens stop burning their trash; $250 million to build border walls — not here but in the Middle East and Africa; $549 million on planes for the troops in Afghanistan that were left behind and turned into scrap.

God help us!

Margaret Kenyon
East Meredith

Letter by Mary Anne Whelan: Thank you to stranger who committed act of kindness

Letter by Mary Anne Whelan
Thank you to stranger who committed act of kindness

Every once in a while something happens which restores faith in common decency. Last Thursday, I left my wallet on the farm stand at the corner of Allen Lake Road and Route 80. When I discovered this and went back, over an hour later, it wasn’t there (of course).

I went to the house of the owner — no one was home — but someone had left the wallet, contents intact, on a porch chair, near the door.

Who ever you were, thanks for the wallet back — and for a great uplift, not only of gratitude, but respect and faith in the common decency of people in our local community.

Or, maybe you weren’t local and were just passing by.

Anyway, thank you. For several things.

Mary Anne Whelan


Letter by Frances Marx: Glimmerglass ensures customer satisfaction despite snafu

Letter by Frances Marx: Glimmerglass ensures customer satisfaction despite snafu

I’ve been visiting your area and going to the opera for more than 20 years. This year it was Friday, Aug. 12, and we were leaving from Rochester and anticipating Mozart’s “Magic Flute” at The Glimmerglass Festival.

I rejoiced that I had remembered to look on the back of my calendar for the envelope holding the tickets I had ordered about a month before. WHAT A SHOCK! No such luck … the envelope was empty, and I was full of dread! All I could think of was having to climb back into the car and start back on Route 28 toward home.

Letter by Dan Butterman: Vaccines are safe, effective and helping us get back to life

Letter by Dan Butterman:
Vaccines are safe, effective
and helping us get back to life

My 12-year-old daughter just got the COVID-19 vaccine. As soon as the guidelines changed to make 12-year-olds eligible, she declared that she wanted the vaccine on her birthday. So, we made it a family excursion, just as though she were getting her ears pierced, and now she’s protected.

She is not the only 12-year-old I know who has stepped up to take that shot. Most of her eligible friends have stepped up as well. Our so-called leaders with their misinformation campaigns have failed to guide our children. I see children willing to do their part to help end this horrific virus. They have done virtual school, missed birthday parties, and distanced themselves from friends and grandparents, and they are tired of all of it.

Writer regrets 2019 letter

Writer regrets 2019 letter

On June 26, 2019, Hometown Oneonta published an opinion letter that I wrote with the intention of honoring and defending a local sect most people know as “The Twelve Tribes.”

I want to apologize to everyone who read that letter, especially in Oneonta, for misrepresenting those people. Since I used to visit them on and off for many years, I know from firsthand experience that they claim a monopoly on “the body of Messiah” and God’s approval, and that without joining their sect no one has God’s approval and the best that non-members can hope for is a mediocre place in heaven.

The problem with such theology is that it creates pride, competition, and division among Christians and other churches, defeating the purpose the Twelve Tribes have and claim to live by namely to love and be united with all other believers.

The strongest point I tried to make in my June 2019 letter, was that no one in their house or restaurant has ever abused their children and that their accusers were wrong for saying they do. The problem with child abuse is that it’s very difficult to prove when the children are happy, content, and most notably, brainwashed by their parents.

This is the case with the children who are living in the Twelve Tribes. So because I now know this, I will think twice before honoring and defending a church or sect without knowing all the facts about them.

Jason Hewlett

New York must address rural EMS issues before a crisis occurs

New York must address rural
EMS issues before a crisis occurs

The League of Women Voters of the Cooperstown Area joins the New York State Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Association, Inc. in supporting state legislation that would create a task force to study the unique problems facing ambulance services in rural areas of New York State and to propose long-term solutions for them.

The League believes that every resident should have access to a basic level of quality healthcare, including acute care, of which ambulance services are an essential component.
We also support allocating additional medical resources to underserved areas, and New York State rural residents are chronically underserved.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the importance of rural emergency medical services more evident, and the need to address their pre-existing challenges more pressing.

The hardworking volunteers and paid emergency medical technicians are local heroes in our rural communities, and their dedication and commitment have a direct impact on health outcomes and quality of life. Establishing a task force that systematically identifies service gaps and makes recommendations on how to sustainably support this critical component of rural healthcare is a much-needed first step.

State Sen. Hinchey and Assembly Member Santabarbara are sponsoring the bills in their legislative chambers, and we call on our local representatives — Sen. Oberacker and Assembly Members Salka, Miller, Tague, and Angelino—to support the bill’s swift passage before the legislative session comes to a close at the end of June.


Liane Hirabayashi and Patricia MacLeish
Co-presidents, League of Women Voters of the Cooperstown Area

Editors Policy for Letters to the Editor

Editors Policy

The Freeman’s Journal welcomes letters to the editor that reflect the writer’s thoughts on an article or other item appearing in the paper. They must include the writer’s name, address, email and telephone/mobile number; the opinions expressed must be the writer’s own. Hostile, offensive, factually incorrect or excessively inflammatory content will not be published. The length must be no more than 250 words. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit letters for clarity and space.

Please send letters to:

KLINE: Law-Abiding Citizens, Criminals Different


Law-Abiding Citizens,

Criminals Different

To the Editor:

I was born and raised in Otsego County. My whole family are hunters, and therefore we all own firearms. My siblings and myself were taught at a young age and learned how to use them properly. I am a gun owner and hunter now.

It is our Constitutional right to own and bear arms.

I have taken safety courses that are required to hunt and also obtain my pistol permit. I wish to be as self-sufficient as possible, whether that means feed myself or protect myself if I absolutely must.

There are many women who feel the same way as I do about firearms. Especially when it comes
to self-protection.

According the NRA: “In July 2020, ‘A Girl & A Gun’ conducted a survey of more than 6,000 members to specifically focus on women’s reasons and interests. Results showed that 43 percent of women joined AG&AG to practice self-defense skills, and 92 percent were in the process of obtaining or already had acquired their concealed or open carry permits.

“This complemented the NSSF survey data that 25 percent of first-time buyers had already taken some form of firearms-safety course and 63 percent inquired about taking a firearms safety course in the near future.”

When I took my pistol-permit course, there were many women present who were interested in being able to conceal and carry for that exact reason. In my opinion, it would be a huge advantage if more women would own a firearm.

Did you know? One in four women age 18 and older in the U.S. have been the victim of severe physical violence in their lifetimes. This is absolutely mind-blowing and uncalled for. I have been in scary situations where I felt so unsafe that I had to get an order of protection, and even still he broke that. I will not fear for my life and safety again, because if it means life or death I will protect myself.

I understand people’s concern about gun laws, but people such as myself who own guns are not the people causing the turmoil. The criminals do not go through legal ways to obtain their firearms.

The Governor is adding to the Safe Act, and I can promise this will not help in the ways some people think.

The people who are causing the mass shootings and whatnot are different than us hunters and country folk. We follow the laws and go through the proper procedures to buy and own a firearm. Firearms are a way of life for us, not to mention our Second Amendment Right!

I am very pleased to be part of the Otsego County 2AS Grassroots Organization. We collected thousands of signatures from many 2AS supporters in Otsego County who wish to show the state representatives that we would like them to make a stand for our right.



KAVANAGH: Fauci’s Fault: He Tells The Truth


Fauci’s Fault:

He Tells The Truth

To the Editor:

It is sadly another fractured irony floated by the “stable genius” at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. that
Dr. Anthony Fauci was “inherited,” implying

Trump has no choice.

Trump’s displeasure with Fauci is repeatedly more than evident throughout his diatribes for one reason and only one: Fauci tells the truth.

His statements are based purely upon scientific data. His refusal to go along with Trump’s political spin,
as have so many other appeasers and sycophants surrounding Trump, stands out in capital letters.
In this time of life and death matters, we must continually remind ourselves never to fall into the trap of Trump’s never-ending spin.

Anthony Fauci’s truth is uncompromised and thank God we have his guidance. Trump did not “inherit” Fauci. Fauci inherited him!


DUNCAN: Time For Sanctuary Against DMV

Letter From R. Scott Duncan

Time For Sanctuary Against DMV

Let’s make Otsego an “Automobile Sanctuary County.”

There is just too much government interference in owning and driving a car. It costs thousands of dollars a year to keep a car moving. Don’t I have some Constitutional rights?

The first step is paying for a learner’s permit. Then you have to pay someone to teach you to drive. Don’t forget to pick up the driving manual that you need so you can learn all about driving. Then you need to take a test. If you pass, you then are obligated to pay for the license.

And not once, but every four years, you pay again, and again and you also have to take an eye exam each time.

Now I have to find a car. That costs money and then the government charges tax on top of the car costs.

If you need a car loan, you will have to pay an interest for the use of that money. You can’t just walk
in and buy a car. You have to play this game about prices and options. Some options you have to pay for because it is the law.

Oh, and don’t forget there is also a registration fee for the car so you can get a license plate. Then every year there is the inspection fee to make sure the car is in good working order.

Then they say you have to have insurance. More money. They make you get insurance. Not once, but every year you have to pay. The government tells what insurance you must get.

If that is not enough the Department of Motor Vehicles sneaks another fee into the insurance policy: “DMV fee, $10.” Didn’t I already pay them for the registration and my license?

Last but not least you need gas plus tax on that. Repairs, tax on that. Then all these rules for driving and fines if you make a mistake!

Gun owners have it easy: a background check, one course on hunting, one course for a pistol permit. A couple of small fees. And that is it for the rest of your life. No more fees, no insurance, no more tests. You got your license.

The Constitution does not give us any rights for driving a car. We are hit by taxes multiple times. And rules…don’t get me started…

It is time we made Otsego County an “Auto Sanctuary.”

Hartwick Forrest

Oust Trump, Focus On Problems

Oust Trump, Focus On Problems

To the Editor:

Local Republicans should start petitions urging President Trump to resign. Senate Republicans will not convict him. Impeachment per se will not get rid of Trump, who obviously enjoys all the attention.
Vice President Mike Pence is hardly a good Republican candidate because of sexual bigotry, but can be an improvement over Trump, who lost the popular election by 10 million votes.

If Trump does not resign: incumbent Republicans or challengers to weak Democrats such as Congressman Delgado will hardly have the time or energy to focus on universal economic
issues. Instead we all will be treated to the usual slogans and propaganda.

Cooperstown’s newspaper and local elites should urge resignation before primaries begin next year. Trump out of office, there will be time to study failures and master non-partisan support for reforms, such as the end of private money in campaigns, and the end of all anti-American ideologies and nationalism.


MOYNIHAN:  To Predict Recession, Read Entrails

To Predict Recession,

Read Entrails

To the Editor:
Predicting an economic future? Just forget the past and reliable evidence.
1. No society has survived by increasing debt and reducing income – that is our present national pattern of lowering taxes and inflating expenditures.
2. Whatever minor tax relief given average citizens, increased fees and higher prices for goods limit their spending ability.
3. Because of new tariffs, U.S. farming communities already face depressed markets and massive reductions of income.
However, ancient methods do exist for any commentator who erases experience to celebrate a blank slate.
Divination pretends to foretell the future with signs – and there are dozens of them beginning with the a’s – alectryomancy, a chicken eating grains placed next to letters in a circle – ending with xylomancy – the use of supposedly predictive twigs.
When any of these inevitably fail, mythic futurists can turn to road-kill: haruspex forecasts the future when interpreters “read” entrails.
One may become infatuated with ignoramuses, but national decisions based on their actions and statements result in destructive economic policies.


Does Society Of Friends


Does Society Of Friends

Offer Solutions To Angst

That Divides Our Nation?

For those who know one, or all, of us, “utopian” isn’t the first word that would come to mind. Practical, fact-based, analytical – those would be better adjectives to describe us.

Yet we can’t help but recognize, locally and nationally, the decrease of civility, neighborliness and cooperativeness in our national conscience and behavior, and wonder if there’s a way for citizens and our leadership to take corrective actions.

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