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News of Otsego County

Oneonta

Oneonta won’t opt out on marijuana

Oneonta won’t opt out on marijuana

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The city of Oneonta has no plans to opt out of recreational sales of marijuana, according to local politicians.

In New York’s legal marijuana bill, which passed April 30, municipalities are able to decide to opt out on marijuana dispensaries by Dec. 31.

However, there is no movement to opt out in Oneonta. According to Mayor Gary Herzig, no one on the Common Council has advocated for the city to opt out.

Herzig said he is in favor of the city taking no action and allowing itself to be a candidate for dispensary licensees to operate in the city.

Inge Otten Roemer, 100  February 1, 1921 – October 16, 2021

In Memoriam

Inge Otten Roemer, 100

 February 1, 1921 – October 16, 2021

Inge Otten Roemer

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.

SUNY Oneonta president seeks to improve student experience
Cardelle (contributed)

SUNY Oneonta president
seeks to improve student experience

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.

County administrator reassures Oneonta it will not be doubly taxed for ambulance service

County administrator reassures Oneonta it will not be doubly taxed for ambulance service

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.

Film COOP Women in Film tour connects filmmakers with region
The Film COOP Women in Film 2021 location tour group prepares to board a Leatherstocking Trolley on Friday, Oct. 1, in Cooperstown. The filmmakers are, from left, Cheyenne Phillips, Sierra Sangetti-Daniels, Alysa Blasetti, Elizabeth Zephyrine McDonough, Lauren Sowa and Skye Bailey. (Greg Klein/AllOtsego.com).

Film COOP Women in Film tour
connects filmmakers with region

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.

Women’s reproductive rights rally encourages community involvement
Rebecca Bonker holds up a ‘Trust Women’ sign at the women’s reproductive rights rally at Muller Plaza in Oneonta on Saturday, Oct. 2. (Kevin Limiti/AllOtsego.com).

Women’s reproductive rights
rally encourages
community involvement

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.

Three-car accident on West Street results in minor injuries
A three-car collision in Oneonta closed West St. at Center St. Friday morning, Oct. 1, 2021. Two cars traveling up West St. near Hartwick College were hit by a car coming downhill at about 7:30 am, according to Oneonta Police on the scene. (Mike Forster Rothbart/AllOtsego.com)

Three-car accident on West Street results in minor injuries

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA — A three-car accident on West Street near Hartwick College closed down the road this morning on Friday, Oct. 1.

The unidentified driver, a 65-year-old man, made a wide turn on West Street going downhill and hit two cars, causing his car to roll over, according to the Oneonta Police Department.

Protesters decry mandates in Cooperstown, Oneonta
An unidentified protester demonstrates against vaccination mandates at Bassett Healthcare
Network in Cooperstown on Tuesday, Sept. 21. (Kevin Limiti/AllOtsego.com)

Protesters decry mandates in Cooperstown, Oneonta

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Anti-mask and anti-vaccine protesters staged two rallies in Otsego County in the past week, bringing their message to Bassett Healthcare and others.

Hundreds of protesters, along with Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, marched to A.O. Fox Hospital and through Main Street in Oneonta on Friday, Sept. 17.

Protesters also marched Tuesday, Sept. 21, in Cooperstown, from the Otsego County Courthouse to Bassett Medical Center.

Drugovich: the timing is good for early retirement
(contributed)

Drugovich: the timing is good for early retirement

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.”

Protesters against vaccine mandate march to A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta
Anti-vaccine protesters leaving Neahwa Park in Oneonta on Friday, Sept. 17. (Kevin Limit/AllOtsego).

Protesters against vaccine mandate march to A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.”

Ella M. Burns, 89 November 21, 1931 – August 19, 2021

In Memoriam

Ella M. Burns, 89

Nov. 21, 1931 – Aug. 19, 2021

Ella M. Burns

Ella M. Burns, age 89 of Oneonta, passed away August 19, 2021 at A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital.

Ella was born November 21, 1931 in Herkimer New York, the daughter of Frederick Gilbert and Ida May (Farley) and adopted parents Earl V. and Mary B. Tuttle.

Ella was a sweet, kind soul who enjoyed bowling, square dancing, sewing, walking and most of all, spending time with her family.

Ella enjoyed a career later in life working at Sidney Federal Credit Union.  She was a longtime active member of the Southside Wesleyan Church.

Common Council discusses COVID, budget, approves new asst. fire chief
Newly appointed Asst. Fire Chief Timothy Foster, right, shakes hands with Fire Chief Brian Knapp while Mayor Gary Herzig looks on. (Kevin Limiti/AllOtsego.com).

Common Council
discusses COVID, budget,
approves new asst. fire chief

By Kevin Limiti • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.

Fatal hit and run being investigated in Oneonta

Fatal hit and run in Oneonta under investigation

Staff Report • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Update: According to State Police, a vehicle involved in the hit and run has been found. However, the investigation is still ongoing.

New York State Police are investigating a hit and run which left one person dead in Oneonta.

A pedestrian was hit by a vehicle on route 205 in Oneonta close to Country Club Road either late Sunday, Aug.15 or early Monday, Aug. 16.

State Route 205 at Brown Street and Chestnut Street is closed while the investigation proceeds.

The State Police ask anyone with any information to contact them.

YMCA teaches water safety to children
Class participants learn boat safety Thursday, Aug. 5, at Wilber Park. (Kevin Limiti/AllOtsego.com)

YMCA teaches water safety to children

By Kevin Limiti • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.

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