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News of Otsego County

Opportunities for Otsego

News from the Noteworthy: Measuring Results, Assessing Goals a Good Place to Start
News from the Noteworthy

Measuring Results, Assessing
Goals a Good Place to Start

In determining the effectiveness of charitable nonprofits, it is critically important not to evaluate the delivery of services, but rather measure the results that those services are aiming to achieve. It sounds pretty straightforward, but the diverse nature of charitable nonprofits and their missions can complicate things. For example, a foundation can measure results by the amount of money it raises or distributes. A homeless program can define results by how many homeless people attain safe, affordable housing. But it gets trickier when programs provide emergency services, because the results are harder to measure over periods of time. More and more, donors and contractors are looking at how nonprofits measure results before making contributions or authorizing grants.

MASKIN: Domestic Violence
Letter from Dan Maskin

Domestic Violence

There are increasing studies on Social Determinants of Health which are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. While domestic violence affects people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic classes, and religious affiliations, the effects of domestic violence can result in a wide array of issues, ranging from broken bones to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

More and more healthcare providers are screening for domestic violence. But it’s difficult for survivors to admit or talk about. Which is why it is important to repeatedly call attention to domestic violence because it is not only a crime but a health crisis as well. The Violence Intervention Program at Opportunities for Otsego, Inc. joins hundreds of domestic violence programs and coalitions around the country in declaring that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

More prevalent than most realize, one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity or orientation, or socio-economic status, can become a victim of domestic violence. This year’s campaign theme, #Every1KnowsSome1, strives to highlight how common domestic violence is and that it is more than physical violence.

Last year, in Otsego County, the Violence Intervention Program at Opportunities for Otsego, Inc. assisted over 180 victims of violence, answered over 800 Hotline calls on our 24/7 staffed Crisis Hotline, and provided emergency shelter to over 20 victims at our Safe Shelter.

The Violence Intervention Program 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 607.432.4855. This program’s services are free and completely confidential. The program can assist with individual counseling, legal advocacy, medical advocacy and accompaniment, Crime Victims Compensation Assistance and emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Dan Maskin
Chief Executive Officer
Opportunities for Otsego

WORMUTH: Please Rethink This
Letter from Tim Wormuth

Please Rethink This

This plea is in response to Mr. Dan Maskin and Opportunities for Otsego:

Please, rethink your decision to build “a strategic plan that is centered on social justice”. You provide a wonderful service to our community, there is no need to politicize that work by pursuing “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”. These are simply inoffensive words used to divert attention from what it really is, Critical Race Theory. As the old saying goes, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig”. This focus will divert resources and attention away from the real needs that you have been having an impact on: alleviating poverty and fostering self-sufficiency through comprehensive and holistic client-centered services.

Thank you for all you do and keep up the good work!

Tim Wormuth
Oneonta

Social Justice and Strategic Planning at OFO

Social Justice and Strategic Planning at OFO

Dan Maskin, Chief Executive Officer of Opportunities for Otsego, Inc.

This year, Opportunities for Otsego (OFO) committed to building a strategic plan that is centered on social justice. The process with any strategic plan involves analyzing data, setting measurable goals and putting those goals into action. Setting goals to impact conditions of society is more challenging.

“We begin by looking inside our own house with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion assessments for the board of directors, management and all 140 employees. Then, based on assessment results, OFO can begin to identify and analyze potential biases within the organization and get everyone involved in ongoing opportunities to craft the definition, and delivery, of a true social justice strategic plan,” Dan Maskin said, Chief Executive Officer at OFO.

This will be done by identifying opportunities to bring diversity and inclusion into the organization.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO : 08-02-22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, AUGUST 2

Summer Concert Series Continues

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COOPERSTOWN CONCERT – 7 – 9 p.m. The Cooperstown Concert series returns for 2022 with an opening concert by Imani Winds. Known for their dynamic playing & adventurous programming which has inspired audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Tickets, $30/adult. The Otesaga, Cooperstown. 877-666-7421 or visit www.cooperstownmusicfest.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: 07-29-22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JULY 29

‘Field of Dreams’
Discussion & Screening

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BASEBALL AUTHOR – 1 p.m. Discuss ‘If You Build It… A Book About Fathers, Fate, and Field of Dreams’ with the author Dwier Brown, who acted in the 1989 film ‘Field of Dreams.’ Followed by a book sighing in the Atrium. Held virtually and in person in the Bullpen Theater, Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/author-series-dwier-brown?date=0

BASEBALL MOVIE – 7 p.m. enjoy a screening of the classic film ‘Field of Dreams’ (1989). Film will be followed a short Q&A session with Dwier Brown who played the father of the main character in the film and who went on to write the book ‘If You Build It… A Book About Fathers, Fate, and Field of Dreams.’ Free, tickets required. Grandstand Theater, Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/field-of-dreams-movie-screening?date=0

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: 07-22-22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JULY 22

Folk Music with the
Franklin Stage Company

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MUSIC – 7:30 p.m. The Vicki Kristina Barcelona Band performs a re-imagining of the lyrical genius of the Tom Waits songbook via inventive three-part harmonies and a treasure trove of instruments including banjos, bottles, squeezebox, and zills. Free admission. Franklin Stage Company, 25 Institute St., Franklin. 607-829-3700 or visit franklinstagecompany.org/events/vicki-kristina-barcelona/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: 07-05-22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, JULY 5

Small Town Big Band
at Lake Front Park

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LAKEFRONT CONCERT – 6:30 p.m. Enjoy the 17th season of the Lakefront Concert Series. This week features the Small Town Big Band performing old and new tunes from the big band era. New this year, the delicious Mella’s Wood Fired Pizza will be onsite for the hungry concertgoers. Lakefront Park, Cooperstown. 607-547-9983 or visit www.wearecooperstown.com/events/cooperstown-lakefront-concert-series-3/

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

News from the Noteworthy

Violence Intervention Program aids sexual assault victims

[Editor’s note: Opportunities for Otsego contributes this week’s ‘News from the Noteworthy,’ prepared by Will Rivera, Crisis Intervention Director, and Hannah Bosman, Violence Intervention Program Education and Resource Specialist.]

Opportunities for Otsego’s Violence Intervention Program recognizes the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Every 68 seconds, someone in our country is sexually assaulted. Sexual assault is defined as any form of contact or behavior that occurs without any consent from the victim. One out of six women, and three percent of men in our country have been the victim of an attempted or completed sexual assault in their lifetime. Sexual assault can take various forms such as rape, unwanted touching, knowingly passing along a sexually-transmitted disease, and videotaping without consent.

Opportunity for Otsego’s Violence Intervention Program (VIP) works around-the-clock to support victims of sexual / domestic assault, as well as promoting safe environments and self-worth. The Violence Intervention Program’s Silent Witness Exhibit was created for survivors to share their stories so they can build strength, resilience, awareness, and justice for victims. One anonymous survivor shared they were physically and emotionally abused by their partner. When they disclosed to their family about their abuse, their family was supportive. After securing safe housing, they were able to apply for an order of protection.

The victim said, “I was so happy and felt so safe to be back home and out of his sight.”

The consequences of sexual violence are detrimental; they can have long-lasting effects that can impact a victim’s physical and mental well-being. Showing your support to victims can help them speak out when crimes like this occur and can improve awareness in our community.

After a sexual assault has occurred, it can be very scary for the victim. They may not be sure what to do next. An essential victim support is to ensure they are listened to and know they are believed. This can be accomplished by using phrases such as, “It’s not your fault,” and “I’m sorry this happened.”

In our community, individuals can be active bystanders when witnessing abuse. Being an active bystander is to safely step in and intervene when witnessing these crimes. This may give the person you’re concerned about a chance to get to a safe place or to leave the situation.

Supporting victims in our community also means we need to create changes and hold abusers accountable for their actions. Changes in our local organizations, businesses, schools, and workplace cultures that shift their focus to supporting victims and prevention of sexual assault and abuse provides our community with the tools to understand our role in calling out problematic behavior.

Then we can focus on holding abusers accountable and bringing an end to victim-blaming.

VIP provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and violent crimes so they may find the safety and support they need to live free from abuse. If you or someone you know has been impacted by interpersonal violence, contact VIP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 607-432-4855. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Hartwick Presents Visiting Writer Series 03-02-22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2

Hartwick College Presents
Visiting Writer Series

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WRITERS SERIES – 7 p.m. Hartwick’s spring visiting writers series presents Krys Malcom Belc for a reading followed by a Q&A session. Belc is known for ‘The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood’ and has won contests at Redivider and Pigeon Pages. Free, in-person, open to the public. Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall, Hartwick College. 607-431-4921 or visit www.hartwick.edu/academics/academic-departments/english-department/visiting-writers-series/

This week 02-10-22

THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS

The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

February 10, 2022

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Telly in her element: Telly couldn’t have been happier than to get on the ice and snow that fell on Cooperstown last week. The two-year-old Bernedoodle enjoyed playing and relaxing on the snowbank in front of her mom’s shop on Main Street. Jen Howard, owner of Cooperstown Classics, said, “Telly lives for this weather. It’s her favorite time of year!” The good girl is full-grown, topping out at 75 pounds.

FRONT PAGE

Cooperstown Central plots anti-racism strategy, addresses complaints

Doubleday renovations on track for June finish

Inside The Paper

State says ‘no’ to gifting pot

Not a day over 27

Fate of James Fenimore Cooper murals rests with Westchester school board

Glimmerglass Festival names three ‘Honorary Life Trustees’

Cooperstown costume pro voting on top film awards

Perspectives

Editorial

District Attorney right on bail, discovery

COLUMNS

Rust never sleeps

Sternberg on COVID this week: Getting better?

Opportunities for Otsego: The Childcare Dilemma

History Column

Bound Volumes

LETTERS

Editors Policy

OBITUARIES

Lloyd H. Johnson

Linda J. Hall

Marshall L. Thorne

David S. Wilshere

CALENDAR

Happenin’ Otsego

Opportunities for Otsego: Dan Maskin

Opportunities for Otsego: The Childcare Dilemma

By Dan Maskin

I recently listened to an interview with journalist Claire Suddath about childcare. She was speaking about her November 2021 article in Bloomberg Business Week titled “How childcare became the most broken business in America: Biden has a plan to make day care more affordable for parents — if the providers don’t go out of business first.”

The high cost of childcare is mainly due to it being a private market that is heavily regulated (as it should be). A childcare provider must have one caregiver per three to four infants; for older children it’s seven to eight per caregiver. Caregivers’ salaries are generally around $15 per hour, or $31,200 per year. Most day cares are small businesses, and the United States Treasury reports a 1 percent profit margin for day care services.

Cheaper childcare usually means providers are unlicensed, which can potentially pose a safety risk.

Most day care workers have some form of higher education and a strong commitment to the early childhood development profession. But with salaries so low, it’s no wonder that according to Suddath, 25 poercent of childcare workers leave the profession each year.

We shouldn’t blame the providers, either. As Ms. Suddath pointed out, a 1 percent profit margin does not give providers a lot of wiggle room. Economists refer to the childcare business as a classic market failure. That’s when the price point of goods or services is too expensive for consumers and too expensive for providers, with no way to fix it in a private market setting.

At Opportunities for Otsego, we used to provide what’s called a wrap-around day care program. Since Head Start is only four hours a day, we began providing general day care for the rest of the day. It met the demand very well, but OFO lost tens of thousands of dollars for each year we provided the service. When the sequester was implemented, we had to choose to either shut down a Head Start classroom or close the day care service. We made the difficult decision to close the day care service because of the significant financial losses it incurred.

I mention this as an example of not only the unaffordability of providing childcare, but the difficulties childcare providers face when the cost of running an operation exceeds the revenues that are required to provide the service.

Many other governments in industrialized countries heavily subsidize childcare. But the US Congress hasn’t dealt with it since World War II. President Biden’s Build Back Better bill addresses childcare but leaves it optional for states, with no federal oversight.

I get asked from time to time why our community can’t solve the day care problem. The answer is that it can’t just be solved locally. Until there is a strong national policy, the hopes of providing quality affordable day care will continue to be the elusive goal that communities have been struggling with for years and years.

Dan Maskin is Chief Executive Officer of Opportunities for Otsego, Inc. Learn more about the organization at ofoinc.org.

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