News of Otsego County

mohawk valley

Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful

Otsego County, Mohawk Valley group team up to go green

Ommegang / OCCA set drive-through recycling event

Otsego County Chamber of Commerce Director of Operations Kathryn Dailey introduces Steven Smith, Executive Director of the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, at the April 11 clean-up rally

Otsego County’s Chamber of Commerce joined Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful this week to kick off Earth Day volunteer action aimed at registering individuals, businesses, organizations, and community groups to register cleanup or beautification events in the Mohawk Valley region.

The Chamber, part of a six-county group comprising the KMVB coverage area, hopes to register at least 50 groups toward the KMVB’s goal of signing up 300 cleanup crews as Earth Day and Earth Week approach.

“Oneonta has always been a stalwart environmental protection community,” said Otsego County Chamber Director of Operations Kathryn Dailey on the steps of Oneonta’s City Hall. “This city and all of Otsego County appreciate the value of a healthy and litter-free environment.”

Steven Smith, Executive Director of the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, said groups can range in size from “one to two people to whole community groups getting together to clean up public space.”

Buzz Hesse wants ‘wrong’ sign to come down

It’s not the Mohawk Valley, says Otego’s Buzz Hesse

[Editor’s note: This piece comes from the careful pen of Buzz Hesse, Otego, New York, resident and an expert on New York’s geography and geology.]

Did you know we now live in the Mohawk Valley Region?

Traveling east on I-88 at Otego, New York exit 12 (mile marker 46), there is a relatively new New York State sign promoting the state’s tourism. At the bottom of the sign, in huge letters, it says: MOHAWK VALLEY REGION.

This is blatantly incorrect and misleading!

Although adjacent to the Mohawk Valley, we are miles and miles away from it. Our area is the Upper Susquehanna River Valley. The source of the Susquehanna is in Otsego County at Otsego Lake, in Cooperstown. From these headwaters, the Susquehanna River traverses our area, continuing some 444 miles to the Chesapeake Bay.

The phrase MOHAWK VALLEY REGION on this sign is wrong. It is wrong historically, geographically, and geologically. These are actual facts that cannot be disputed.

This sign discredits our area; it erases our identity! It should be corrected either to say UPPER SUSQUEHANNA REGION (or, perhaps, LEATHERSTOCKING REGION) or it should be removed. Period.

Our area has been inhabited for some 14,000 years, as attested to by Dr. Robert Funk, New York State Archaeologist, in his published work, “Archaeological Investigations in The Upper Susquehanna Valley New York State.” Please note that he correctly referred to our area as the Upper Susquehanna Velley, not the Mohawk Valley.

Historically, our area is significant unto itself as it was the first to be settled by colonial westward expansion as a result of the 1768 Fort Stanwix Treaty. Subsequently, it was historically significant for the 1778-79 Sullivan and Clinton Campaign, the only military expedition ever to come down the Upper Susquehanna.

Further, our area is home to the famous author James Fenimore Cooper, the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Glimmerglass Opera, and many other significant entities.

Geologically, our area is distinctive due to the Helderberg Limestone Escarpment, which separates our area from the Mohawk Valley. The Mohawk River flows west to east and into the Hudson River watershed; the Susquehanna flows north to south and into the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Obviously, these are two distinctively different watersheds.

These facts cannot be disputed. The sign on I-88 discredits our area. It is misleading to the tourists and others traveling through our area.

New York State Department of Transportation officials should remove and relocate this sign further east to I-88 mile marker 84 near East Worcester and Richmondville, on the other side of the interfluvial. At that location, the sign would be accurate.

Won’t you join me in taking an active part in preserving the integrity of our area? I have a list of NYSDOT officials and politicians to be contacted to move this issue forward. Please find me at or by telephone at 607-287-5320.

Outlaws to return for 2021, home opener June 4
The Oneonta Outlaws are scheduled play 23 games at Damaschke Field in Oneonta’s Neahwa Park, a year after the Perfect Game Baseball League season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Kevin Limiti/Allotsego)

Outlaws to return for 2021, home opener June 4

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

After a one-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Oneonta Outlaws will return for a 2021 summer baseball season.

The team will again be part of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, competing in the Eastern Division.

The Outlaws will open the season Thursday, June 3, with a 7 p.m. game at Saugerties. The home opener will be at 7 p.m., Friday June 4, when Oneonta hosts Mohawk Valley at Damaschke Field in Oneonta’s Neahwa Park.

The Outlaws are scheduled to play 46 games in June and July, with half at home. The PGCBL has said some games may not be played if COVID protocols are required.

However, the team officials said they are optimistic about the season and the team’s ability to host fans for games.

Joe Hughes, Oneonta High School’s longtime baseball coach, returns to coach the Outlaws in 2021, with Eric Downey as his assistant coach.

“Any return to normalcy is good for the community and good for people in general,” Hughes said. “It’s like everything is moving in the right direction, so we look forward to having some baseball.”

The team features two Oneonta players, Tanner Beang and Keaton Mark, as well as former Gilboa pitcher Cole Fancher.

“It is good to have some local players,” Hughes said. “My former players at Oneonta are now playing well in college. Tanner Beang had a good year at Binghamton. Keaton Mark had a good year at the plate. Keaton could always hit well and he is still doing it in college.”

Beang, a 2018 OHS graduate, played at Binghamton University in 2021, after a year at College of Saint Rose. He was the Bearcats closer, pitching 10 times during the season, with a 4-0 record, one save and a 3.78 ERA.

Mark, a 2017 OHS graduate, finished his senior season this month at Heidelberg University in Tiffen, Ohio. He was named first team all-Ohio Athletic Conference in right field, where he started all 41 games this season for the Student Princes. Mark hit .396 with 15 doubles, 12 stolen bases, 40 RBI and a slugging percentage of .610.

Fancher, a 2018 Gilboa Central School graduate, has appeared in 19 games as a pitcher for Dominican College in Orangeburg. He was 1-1 in 2021, and is 7-1 with three saves in three seasons.

Other local players are Marcus Cashman from Norwich, who is playing at Niagara University and Anthony VanFossen from Endwell, who is playing at SUNY Oswego.

The Outlaws roster is filled with players who play at New York colleges, including Binghamton, Iona, Marist, Herkimer Community College and SUNY schools in Cobleskill and Oswego.

However, not all the players are local. Yuzuki Okamura, who started at catcher for Herkimer CC this season, is from Shiga, Japan.

“We’re excited to have him, especially because he is a catcher,” Hughes said.

“We have a good sampling of players from local colleges and various places around the country,” Hughes said. “We have some (NCAA) Division I players. We have a player from Yale. We have a player from Wofford, which is a good Division I program. And Binghamton is Division I, also.”

The early season will be hectic from Hughes, as OHS is still playing. The Section IV Class B baseball tournament is scheduled to take place June 8, 10 and 12, Hughes said, with seedings to be determined Saturday, June 5. Oneonta is 6-2 against Class B schools, Hughes said and should be guaranteed a playoff spot.

“For those 10 days or so, I’ll be trying to pull a rabbit out of my hat, trying to coach the Outlaws and the high school team at the same time,” Hughes said. “I’ll find a way to make it work.”

Go to for more information.


Percussive Dance Of North America


LECTURE – 7:30 p.m. Join Mick Moloney for 2018 Buckley Lecture. Learn about Percussive Dance Traditions in North America ranging from Appalachian, African American flat foot, clogging to Irish sean nos, step dance. Donations welcome. 607-547-2586.

HISTORY SERIES – 7 p.m. “Scots-Irish Immigration and Defense of the Colonial New York Frontier including the Cherry Valley Massacre, 1740 to 1778” by Terry McMaster, independent historian whose research focuses on American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley, settlement patterns, family connections, border warfare along New York’s western frontier. Suggested donation, $5. Fort Plain Museum, 389 Canal St., Fort Plain. 518-993-2527 or visit


Oneonta Outlaws Home Game


HOME GAME – 7 p.m. The Oneonta Outlaws vs. Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs. Damaschke Field, Oneonta. Info,

TALKING OPERA – 7 p.m. Kevin Miller, a Glimmerglass Festival Principal Coach/Accompanist, will lead a program focusing on the great American opera “Porgy and Bess.” Christ Church Parish Hall, 69 Fair St., Cooperstown.

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