Inge Otten Roemer, 100, a resident of Sand Hill, Otego, Fly Creek and Oneonta in Otsego County for 75 years, passed away Saturday night, October 16, 2021, at her home in Otego.
A native of Germany, Inge was born February 1, 1921, in Hamburg, a daughter of Ernest and Elizabeth (Bartels) Bondiek. When she was 2 ½ she and her parents moved from Germany to Fairview, New Jersey, to live with an uncle who paid their way to the States. One of her earliest memories was witnessing the opening of the George Washington Bridge in 1931. As a teenager she worked in the summer as kitchen help for a wealthy family, and also on a farm that had summer boarders. After graduation from Cliffside High School in 1938, she traveled to Germany to live with relatives still in the old country, as well as to begin her training as a school teacher, studying the methods of kindergarten founder Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel at the Froebel School in Hamburg.
Her training was interrupted in August 1939, when the American Consulate sent a message to “leave immediately” because the German borders were closing at midnight. With the help of friends and strangers, Inge was able to take a ferry to Sweden, then drive through the night to Oslo, Norway. As her German Reichsmarks were suddenly worthless, it was only through the kindness of an American – who happened to live near where her parents were living in New Jersey – that she was able to book passage on the Norwegian SS Bergensfjord.
ONEONTA — The new SUNY Oneonta President, Alberto Cardelle, said he is aiming to make things easier and safer for students as well as to improve town-gown relationships.
Prior to taking over the role of SUNY President, Cardelle was a provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fitchburg State
University in Massachusetts. Before that, he spent 15 years at East Stroudsburg University, where he began as an assistant professor for public health in 1999, eventually becoming a department chair in 2001.
Cardelle spoke about his experiences growing up and what led him to take over the mantle of president at the largest college in the area.
ONEONTA — Joshua Beams, the new Otsego County administrator, met with Rep. Jill Basile, D-Oneonta, on Friday, Oct. 8, to reassure her constituents “there will be no fiscal impact for Oneonta” with regards to the new EMS plans for the county.
Beams stressed Oneonta, which has its own community-funded EMS, will not be double charged for the county’s supplemental ambulance service, which is direly needed in rural areas of Otsego.
According to Beams, the EMS service would be an “opt-in only program.” The county will still service Oneonta through mutual aid, but city and/or town residents won’t be taxed for the service if they chose to opt out.
“There will be no fiscal impact for Oneonta,” Beams assured Basile.
COOPERSTOWN — From Sept. 30, to Oct. 3, Film COOP hosted a group of female filmmakers for a location tour and networking event.
“It was an amazing, transformative weekend,” said Film COOP Board President Greg Klein. “We started on Thursday as a group of strangers but by Sunday it was like a family of artists who had bonded in unpredictable and amazing ways.”
Film COOP is the pioneer film commission in the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District and the official film office for Otsego County, the village of Cooperstown and the town and city of Oneonta. Klein said the tour was underwritten by Film COOP, its donors, including the C.J. Heilig Foundation, and a tourism micro-grant from Otsego County.
ONEONTA — About 100 people gathered in Muller Plaza at a rally for women’s reproductive rights Saturday, Oct. 2.
The rally coincided with the Women’s March happening across the country as thousands marched in support of Roe v. Wade.
The event featured music and speakers as well as pizza and lemonade.
The looming issue throughout the rally was the harsh Texas anti-abortion laws barring abortions at six weeks and offering bounties to anyone who turns in a person who had an abortion or assisted with one.
Marti Swords-Horrell, a minister at the First United Methodist Church, said she has been a minister for 39 years and came out in support of reproductive health.
“We believe in social principles on every topic you could think of,” Swords-Horrell said on the stance of their church, stating that birth control and abortions “should be available to everyone no matter if you’re rich or poor.”
“It shouldn’t be dependent on anyone else,” Swords-Horrell said.
Retiring Hartwick College President Margaret Drugovich said she will miss the Oneonta community
when she steps down next year.
“I really enjoyed being part of the Oneonta community and I’ll miss it,” Drugovich said on Monday, Sept. 20, and said how much she liked the warm atmosphere of the people in Oneonta.
“They care deeply about one another and the people in it,” Drugovich said. “It’s just a great place to be and I’ll make sure to tell the next person who will be president that it’s a community they will really enjoy.”
ONEONTA — Hundreds of protesters, along with Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, marched to A.O. Fox Hospital and through Main Street Friday, Sept. 17, to protest the vaccine mandate put in place for healthcare workers.
The protesters chanted slogans such as “stop the mandate” as they walked through downtown Oneonta towards the hospital. There were signs that said “unmask our children” and “protect our liberties.”
The vaccine mandate from Bassett Healthcare was in response to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s mandate that all healthcare workers should be vaccinated.
Prior to the march, the protesters rallied at Damaschke Field.
“I’m here to support the medical professionals and support their right to not have an injection they’re not confident,” Salka told AllOtsego.com. “Last year they were heroes, this year they’re zeroes.”
ONEONTA — The Common Council approved the new Asst. Fire Chief, Timothy Foster to a round of applause Tuesday, Aug. 17, after some discussion about tabling the potential appointment until the situation with the COVID delta variant became more clear.
The council was briefed on the situation with the coronavirus variant, a mutation that is steadily causing higher rates of infection City Health Officer Diane Georgeson said while fully vaccinated adults can acquire and transmit the virus but it is spreading much more quickly in places with lower vaccination rates.
ONEONTA — The Oneonta YMCA, along with the Lyden family and the city of Oneonta’s Wilbur Pool, hosted a four-day, free workshop for kids on how to be safe around the water.
The workshops, which were held between Monday, Aug. 2, and Thursday, Aug. 4, taught children some essential lessons on how to be safe in the water, with the intent of preventing drowning. The history of the workshop has tragic roots, but is a passion that continues to this day.
The segments being offered included learning about pool rules, what to do if a boat capsizes, learning to help rescue someone in the water, how to deal with air pockets and other safety lessons on water safety.
About 80 kids have participated in the program and it also provided on the job training for being a swim instructor.
Stephanie Kozak, head lifeguard, said there was a lifeguard shortage throughout the country and, because of COVID, kids didn’t get swim lessons last year and, possibly as a result, drowning deaths are up.
The Safety Around Water workshop, sponsored by the YMCA, was started eight years ago by Stephen Lyden, who passed away at the age of 20 in January 2015, as a result of drowning. For Kristen Lyden, his mother, doing the water safety workshop is a personal way of carrying on his legacy.