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News of Otsego County

Main Street

The Memorial Day parade in Oneonta is Monday, May 30 at 10 am. 

The Memorial Day parade
in Oneonta is Monday,
May 30 at 10 am.

The parade lines up at 9 am in front of Foothills at 24 Market Street in Oneonta and steps off at 10 am sharp. Police Chief Douglas Brenner (retired) will announce the parade from Muller Plaza on Main Street. Parade will process down Main Street and continue to Neahwa Park, where a commemorative ceremony will take place at 11 am. City Council member Len Carson will introduce the speakers in Neahwa Park and the Reverend Randy Palada will offer a benediction.

The American Legion has invited John and Joan Brooks to serve as Grand Marshals for the 2022 Memorial Day Parade in recognition of their service to this country and notably to this community.

“We are so incredibly honored to be chosen as Grand Marshals,” John Brooks said. “We were taken aback when David Hayes notified us! We love this community and love giving back.”

The committee welcomes additional parade entries; any community group, charitable organization or place of business is welcome to march. Please phone David Hayes at 607 353-9000 or simply be present at Foothills on Monday, May 30, at 9 in the morning.

Saving Main Street USA

Column by James Dean

Saving Main Street USA

As a non-retail small business owner and an astute observer of Main Street USA, I have great sympathy for the economic struggles of Main Street USA storefront retailers.

Main Street USA, and its storefront retail businesses, can define their communities desirability and quality of life, by whether they look bright, attractive, welcoming, thriving, and growing, or dusty, dark, stuck in time, just holding on, or dying.

The centuries-old, only game in town, limited aging product inventory, “passive retailing” model of “open the door, turn on a few lights, and wait” has been laid to rest by the new, dynamic, low-expense, multiple-choice, latest model: the shop-in-your-underwear, anything you want delivered tomorrow, free shipping, free easy returns, online retailing model.

The choice for many Main Street USA storefront retailers — to have any hope of improving their customer traffic and financial situation — is to change the way they see and act upon the retailer/customer relationship and understand their additional responsibilities for the success of their own business, or slowly pass away from self-imposed, unwilling to change, benign neglect.

If a business district and the retail stores look bright, alive, attractive, colorful, vibrant, successful, active, cheerful, and welcoming, then people will be happy to be there. When people are happy to be there, enjoying the moment, they will patronize more businesses and spend more money.

Dave & Adam’s comes to town

Cooperstown welcomes new baseball card shop

From left to right, Brendan Smoot, store manager Max Penke, and Andrew Long of Dave & Adam’s Card World in Cooperstown

 

On the drawing board for months as COVID seeped in and out of business plans, Dave & Adam’s Card World in Cooperstown offered its ‘soft opening’ on Sunday, April 3 as visitors began trickling back into the village.

For the store’s staff, though, it’s not “just another baseball shop on Main Street in Cooperstown.” The Main Street location, just a few doors down from the Baseball Hall of Fame, is the card retailer’s first foray outside its home base of Buffalo, New York and its popular web-based business.

Springbrook details plans for “Ford on Main”

Springbrook: Plans for “The Ford on Main”

[Editor’s note: This week’s “News from the Noteworthy” column comes from Seth Haight, Chief Operating Officer for Springbrook.]

I hope Springbrook’s plans to renovate Oneonta’s historic Ford Block buildings come as no surprise.

While the COVID-19 pandemic put the project on hold, it is near and dear to our hearts here at Springbrook. That is why I was excited when Patricia Kennedy, Springbrook’s CEO, asked me to write this piece and bring the public back up to speed about our plans for the buildings. I am Springbrook’s Chief Operating Officer and leader for this project.

I’ll start with why Springbrook chose to pursue renovating a downtown building. For us, this project is about community. Springbrook is recognized across the state for our innovative, compassionate, and professional approach to supporting people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. We have offices in Oneonta, Norwich, Binghamton, and Ithaca, operate homes in five counties, and offer supports in 14 counties. But Oneonta is home.

Yes, we’ve spread, but always for a purpose. Our approach is to find what works here in Oneonta and Otsego County first, then offer those services across the state. Springbrook’s success is built on this sound strategy and our commitment to the mission. This project is no different. This community has supported our growth and the needs of the people we support for nearly 100 years, and we need to invest back into the community.

The planned $6.5 million project will add vibrancy to Oneonta’s downtown, preserving the beautiful historic character of the buildings while attracting professionals to live downtown and showcasing some of Oneonta’s outstanding small businesses, like the Latte Lounge and the Green Toad Bookstore. We envision “The Ford on Main” as more than a building—we hope it will be a destination, a testament to a community that can change to meet the needs of the people who live here.

The renovations will keep existing retail space on the lower floors while the upper two stories will be converted into 22 affordable, market-rate residential units. Renovations will also revive the pass-through area from the municipal parking lot to Main Street. The corridor has long served as an unofficial introduction to Oneonta for tourists, students, and newcomers to our region. This project also follows in the footsteps of other similar investments in this community, like the Klugo renovations to the former Bresee’s building or the repurposing of the former Christian Life Sciences Center. Each investment builds on the next—all good things for Oneonta.

As “The Ford on Main” project is about community, we are excited to acknowledge our many partners. Springbrook is driving the bus, but many others are along for the ride. These partners include the City of Oneonta, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Community Preservation Corporation, the Otsego County IDA, NYS Parks & Recreation, the National Parks Service, and the Empire State Development Corporation. They have helped us navigate grants, loans, designs, contracts, and much more. They will also help us with our goal of using local suppliers, contractors, and talent as much as possible.

We intend to start construction in the second quarter of 2022, with a tentative open date in the fourth quarter of 2022 (don’t quote me on that opening date!). A website for the project will launch in April. I encourage you to visit to stay up-to-date on construction, find rental information, and share your perspective about the building or the pass-through space.

Springbrook is here for a lifetime—mine, yours, your children’s, your grandchildren’s, the lifetime of Otsego County, of Oneonta. We all thrive together. And remember, buy local!

Editorial: Hello in there

Editorial: Hello in there

Where have all the people gone?
Seems like there’s no one hangin’ on.
Look through the windows,
The houses are empty.
Hey!
Everybody’s out of town.
Seems like
I’m the only one around.
Hey!
Better send some people down.
Everyone on Earth
Is out of town.

Hal David wrote that apocalyptic lyric back in 1970, Burt Bacharach added some appropriately dyspeptic music with a wobbly trombone, B.J. Thomas sang it with the right tinge of loneliness.

The song came to mind as we stood at the top of Cooperstown’s Main Street late one frigid afternoon last week. The stroll to the post office didn’t do much to counter the desolation — plenty of doors displayed some semblance of the “closed until March” sign that turns up every year around this time.

As it must. It’s our slow season, that time of year when New Yorkers become temporary Floridians, when business owners can grab some much-deserved rest in between busier times, when people can escape the cold.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Cherry Valley Open House for the Holidays 12-05-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5

Cherry Valley Open House for the Holidays

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HOLIDAY WEEKEND – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visit the town and find holiday gifts from 20+ local shops & vendors and then eat out and the local restaurants. Also will feature Santa visiting from 1 – 3 at the Cherry Valley Museum. Main Street, Cherry Valley. 607-264-3080 or visit www.facebook.com/RebirthCherryValley

CHRISTMAS – Be an Angel. Sign up to give the gift of Christmas to local families in need with this years Angel Tree Program. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ for details.

Skaters dance to life in Oneonta

Skaters dance to life in Oneonta

By Ted Potrikus • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Decades ago, the holiday season wasn’t complete without a trip to Oneonta’s Main Street for a look at the festive decorations in the windows of Bresee’s Department Store. Two pairs of mechanical skaters and mechanical elves took center stage, all of which came to Oneonta after being on display throughout the 1940s in the windows of Macy’s Manhattan flagship.

When Bresee’s decided to update its display in the 1950s, the Catella family of Oneonta acquired the decorations — and for decades later, displayed them for all to see in the front yard of their home.
“People would drive by the Catellas’ on Belmont Circle in flocks to see them,” said Carla Balnis, herself a lifelong fan of the family’s annual display. “Families, children, grandchildren. People took their dates to drive past.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Cooperstown Decorates Main Street 11-21-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21

Cooperstown Decorates Main Street

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CHRISTMAS – Be an Angel. Sign up to give the gift of Christmas to local families in need with this years Angel Tree Program. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ for details.

DECORATING – 2 p.m. Join the Cooperstown Christmas Committee to help decorate Santa’s cottage and the village lampposts for the holidays. Decorations provided, bring gloves and ladders if available. Meet at Pioneer Park, Cooperstown. E-mail cooptownchristmas@gmail.com to reserve a pole.

Fire on Main Street yesterday under investigation
Oneonta Fire Department responding to a fire on Main Street with aerial truck. (Kevin Limiti/AllOtsego.com)

Fire on Main Street yesterday under investigation

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA — The Oneonta Fire Department responded to a fire at the Java Island on Main Street at 5:45 p.m. which closed down the street, Sunday, Oct. 24.

Smoke could be seen coming out of a window on the second floor.

Gilbertsville and Morris hit by massive flooding
Flood damage in a Main Street business in Morris is evident Sunday, July 18. (Kevin Limiti/AllOtsego.com).

Gilbertsville and Morris
hit by massive flooding

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

MORRIS — Heavy rains Saturday, July 17, led to massive flooding in the western part of Otsego County and left officials in several towns and villages assessing the damage Sunday morning.

Main Street in Morris looked like a disaster zone, Sunday, July 18, with construction crews and the Morris Fire Department working to clean up the damage from the previous night’s storm.

Morris FD officials said nearly every business was damaged by flooding, with water reaching as a high as a foot at a certain point and rain fall accumulating to three and half inches in less than an hour.

Main Street in Oneonta will be closed for festivities Saturday, July 3

Main Street in Oneonta
will be closed for festivities
Saturday, July 3

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Main Street in Oneonta will be closed for the “Meet me on Main” event this weekend, starting at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 3.

The event will include music from three different stages as well as artists, vendors, ice cream, barbecue and outdoor dining.

There will also be face painting, juggling and a picnic game challenge.

Go to 8thwardoneonta.com/meet-me-on-main for more information.

Richfield community creates park

Richfield community creates park

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – About 15 people gathered Sunday, May 24, on Main Street in the village to turn the site of a formerly blighted home into a “pocket park.”

The property at 177 Main St. had been abandoned years ago, one of a handful of old houses in the area that had gotten too run down and where the former owners could not afford to restore it.
The Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank bought the property and demolished the house, but rebuilding on the L-shaped .67-acre property is complicated.

Richfield Springs freshman Braydon Misenick, left, and junior Damon Boss spread soil to prepare to plant a vegetable garden in the back of the park. (Greg Klein/Allotsego.com)

“According to the modern zoning laws, this lot is too narrow in the front to build a house,” said Allysa Dupont Rader, who works as the “zombie quarterback” for the land bank, finding abandoned houses and shepherding them back onto the tax rolls.

The village will revisit the zoning laws this summer, but the location of the property and its status as having the only remaining outdoor, uncovered sulphur spring in the village, made it an ideal candidate for a park in the meantime.

Memorial Day parade and celebrations in Oneonta

Memorial Day parade, celebrations set in Oneonta

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Despite significant delays because of COVID, the Memorial Day parade in Oneonta is set to continue on Monday, May 31, as scheduled, following the traditional route.

The parade will start at 10 a.m. at the Foothills Performing Arts Center, go down Main Street and end in Neahwa Park, for a somber memorial service.

The city of Oneonta is still looking for parade entries to join the lineup at 9 a.m. at Foothills PAC. Community groups, sports teams, veterans groups, faith organizations and clubs are welcome.

The parade is held in partnership with Destination Oneonta.

 

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Community Easter Art 04-04-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, APRIL 4

Community Easter Art

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HAPPY EASTER!

EASTER ART – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Celebrate spring. Come enjoy community art project ‘It’s For The Birds’ featuring hand-decorated birds perched around town. Will be displayed through Memorial Day. Main St., Cherry Valley. 607-264-3080 or visit www.facebook.com/cherryvalleyartworks/

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