The sanctuary at First United Methodist Church in Oneonta was filled with inspiring words, social commentary and song this afternoon as crowds gathered to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 91st birthday. The event, hosted by the Oneonta NAACP, featured over a dozen speakers and performers including Yolanda Bush, seen above with Rich Mollen, as she sings “Rise Above,” written by Robin Seletsky and dedicated to the Oneonta NAACP. Mayor Gary Herzig, inset right, was also among the speakers, where he praised the NAACP and the Oneonta Police Department for their leadership in civil rights issues. He continued, encouraging vigilance, saying there was still work to do even in a “progressive and diverse” City like Oneonta: “Here in Oneonta, an individual visited our DMV and was told, ‘We cannot serve you,’ and was told to go to Cooperstown. In the year 2020 we are hearing this! As Dr. King said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ Oneonta must be open and welcome all persons.” Herzig’s reference was to the “Green Light” Law, where the state Legislature directed the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens; because of the special equipment and training required, county Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner has centralized processing those license applications at the main office in Cooperstown. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JANUARY 19
CELEBRATION – 2 – 4 p.m. Celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with NAACP featuring songs from the Civil Rights movement, speech from Gary Herzig, NY Attorney General Letitia James, the ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, more. First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Visit www.facebook.com/Oneonta-Area-NAACP-183152115619038/
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JANUARY 10
SQUARE DANCE – 7:30 p.m. Join Doubleday Dancers Modern Western Square Dance Club. Bring the friends, enjoy fun music/dance. Cost, $5/person. Cooperstown Elementary School. 607-264-8128.
WORCESTER – George Betts, 84, of a social worker in New York City before moving here in 1984 to pursue farming, passed away on Oct. 2, 2018. He died peacefully after a long illness.
George was born June 30, 1934 in Highland Park, Ill., the son of Harlan and Ida Jane Betts.
He and his wife Regina met at an Off -Broadway theatre in New York City, where they both worked. They were married 61 years.
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JUNE 17
OPENING DAY – 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy a coffee reception 8-10 a.m., and checkout the what’s new at The Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. Info, www.clarksportscenter.com
COLOR RUN/WALK – 10 a.m. Take a 5K run/walk through the village of Cooperstown and 4 color splash stations as you complete the course. Supports the American Heart Association. Begins/Ends, Cooperstown Central School. Info, cooperstown5kcolorrunwalk.itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=6993
ONEONTA – A candlelight vigil to honor victims in the latest acts of gun violence, including Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and Dallas police officers, is planned at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 14, in Muller Plaza.
“The focus of the vigil will be to mourn the recent unnecessary loss of lives of police officers and young black men and to respect their memory,” said NAACP leader Regina Betts. “We stand with loved ones, friends and colleagues affected by violence. We decry social injustices, especially racism, and seek reconciliation and understand with those we somehow fear, resent or threaten.”