News of Otsego County

Otesgo County news

Dr. Ted Edmonds, 89; Optometrist Leaves Survivors In Cooperstown

Dr. Ted Edmonds, 89; Optometrist

Leaves Survivors In Cooperstown

COOPERSTOWN – Dr. Theodore Charles “Ted” Edmonds, 89, father of Bassett Hospital’s Dr. Lee Edmonds, passed away Thursday morning, Nov. 26, 2020, at Woodside Hall in Cooperstown following a long and valiant battle with a pervasive form of Parkinson’s disease.

He was born on May 24, 1931, in Erie, Pa., the son of Glenn M. Edmonds and Mildred (Bolyes) Edmonds. He was predeceased by his childhood sweetheart and wife of 63 years, Carol Adelaide (O’Brien) Edmonds.

Locally, It Looks  Like GOP Romp


Locally, It Looks 

Like GOP Romp

COOPERSTOWN – It looks like Republicans Peter Oberacker and John Salka are easing to victory.

With 175 of 255 districts reporting, Oberacker, who is running to succeed state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, in the 51st District, is ahead of Democrat Jim Barber, 59,866 to 38,514.

With 52 of 95 districts reporting, In the 121st Assembly District, incumbent John Salka, R-Brookfield, is leading challenger Dan Buttermann of Oneonta, 26,625, to Buttermann’s 11,021.  Buttermann is also losing his home county Otsego, 5,190 to 1,795.

COLONE: Want One Oneonta? City Must Use Assets As Leverage v. Town

Want Single Oneonta?

City Must Use Assets

As Leverage v. Town

To the Editor:

No municipality should extend its services beyond its boundary lines!” That was the opening statement made by Wade Beltramo, general counsel for the New York Conference of Mayors inside the City Council Chambers on March 28, 2017.
The general counsel was invited by the City of Oneonta to give a presentation on municipal annexation.

I bring it up in that the last edition of your newspaper was loaded with extremely positive articles, most surrounding the
commercial promise of expanded downtown market-rate housing. We’d all love to see that!

With all the positive articles, the one which caught my eye, the one which I believe would have the greatest impact on growing the Oneonta economy was the article on extending the City sewer line from the city/town boundary line out to Oneonta Plaza to facilitate a possible move by the Brooks BBQ sauce-bottling plant into that mall. A great idea! To me it was the singular article that would do the most good for Oneonta.

But, recall the words of Counsel Beltramo, “No municipality should extend its services beyond its boundary lines!” So, I would strongly suggest the city agree to extend its sewer line to serve all of the area along Route 7 all the way to the Price Chopper Mall or beyond, conditioned on the town working with affected property owners to secure agreements to be annexed into the city.

The town does not own a sewage treatment system of its own, so if the town is to provide sewer to the Oneonta Plaza and/or points to the east, the town supervisor and the town board have to strike an agreement with the city.

So rather than pontificating through the local media about extended sewer services into the town, something the town can’t do on its own, Town Supervisor Bob Wood and other town leaders should immediately negotiate with Mayor Herzig and city leaders. If sewerage is to be extended into the town, it’s not a town decision, but rather the city’s. Let’s face it, the city has supplied a variety of public services into the town, with little if nothing in return; in the 1950s, city water was extended to the West End, where the city continues to pay taxes to the town of about $70,000 a year ($40,000 in property taxes on the land at the watershed and $30,000 per annum for the water infrastructure into the West End).

In the early 2000s, the city extended its sewer system to the Southside business district to help mitigate its ongoing fresh-water contamination issues; add to that, the city underwrites the largest local share of the costs for a public bus system that extends into the town, as well the city pays $70,000 every year to promote travel to the area where most of the motor inn/restaurant/retail beneficiaries are located in the town.

So, as you can see, the city has had a big heart in assisting the town over the many years; all the while the town got richer at the expense of the city. Not too smart! That trend needs to change, NOW!

Supervisor Wood would do well to see the wisdom in supporting the common good and agree to an arrangement, where the city extends sewer services into the East End and in working hard towards securing properties served to be annexed into the city.

The city might be wise to also agree to extending public safety and others valued services out that way; where perhaps a 20-year prorated property tax structure could be established to fund the service program, making it practical financially for all concerned.

If he hasn’t already done so, Supervisor Wood should immediately meet with Mayor Herzig to put this all important issue on the table. The town can’t do the project without the leadership of the city, so move on with extension of sewer services to the Town’s East End with the provision the affected area be annexed into the city. And while they’re at it, consider the same action on Oneida Street, out through the West End to the multi-acre vacant lot between Routes 7 and 205. The area’s economy would get a very positive jolt in growing city/town commerce. The city needs to start acting on every issue that comes its way, evaluating them all based on what’s best for city coffers and with highest consideration for the taxpayers of the city!
Two Oneonta governments are unsustainable!

Resident, City of Oneonta

Reform Bail Reform – And Here’s How


Reform Bail Reform

– And Here’s How

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford and Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, confer before a “Repeal Bail Reform” rally Thursday, Feb. 6, in the lobby of the Otsego County Jail. Seward keynoted, Salka emceed, and Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. hosted the event. (Jim Kevlin/


Another week in Albany but still no legislative action has been taken to fix the disastrous bail/discovery laws that are continuing to wreak havoc across our state.

Protecting the public is one of the most important responsibilities of government, and when a crime has been committed, the victim, not the criminal, should be our first concern.  Unfortunately, the disastrous new bail laws have completely reversed those priorities, endangering communities and empowering repeat offenders – while also forcing new costs on taxpayers.

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, has represented Otsego County in the state Senate for 34 years.

This week I joined with other area lawmakers who represent our part of the state to speak out against the bail/discovery laws.  Several county sheriffs and district attorneys, who are on the frontlines enforcing our laws and dealing with the negative fallout from the ill-advised reforms, also called for change.

I believe full repeal of the law is needed so we can start from scratch and enact a workable bail system.  Someone arrested for a non-violent offense should not be languishing in a local jail simply because he or she does not have the economic means to make bail.  However, the changes to the system have gone much too far, turning our court system into a revolving door and taking away any judicial discretion.

Commonsense legislation has been introduced in response to the concerns.  I co-sponsor all of these bills, which range from full repeal to meaningful amendments, including:

  • S.6839 – giving judges discretion to set bail in domestic violence cases;
  • S.6840 – allowing judges to consider whether a defendant poses a danger to the community when determining bail;
  • S.6849 – repealing criminal-justice reforms enacted in the 2019-20 state budget, including bail and discovery changes;
  • S.6853 – placing a one-year moratorium on criminal justice reforms to hold statewide hearings on the measures;
  • S.7133 – to allow the witness to a crime to decide whether their personal information may be shared with defense counsel or the individual accused of a crime;
  • S.7280 – ensure privacy protections for all emergency personnel present at a crime scene as it relates to the discovery process.

The last two bills are extremely important when it comes to protecting the identity of witnesses of a crime and emergency personnel who are called to a crime scene.  One of the more disconcerting policies enacted, as part of these sweeping changes, is the disclosure of personal information related to a witness to a crime to the defense and the accused.

Such a policy has the potential to lead to witness intimidation via the accused or their associates. This could have a crippling effect on cases presented by district attorneys, as well as a chilling effect on the willingness of witnesses to come forward to identify themselves to law enforcement and prosecutors.

It is important that the state provide a witness to a crime the ability to prevent personally identifiable information from being shared with the defense or the accused, if they feel that their safety or the safety of their loved ones is jeopardized through the reporting of such information.  I would also note that a justification must be provided to law enforcement and is subject to review by a judge.

Along with introducing legislation and keeping the public informed on problems surrounding the bail/discovery law changes, the Senate Republican Conference has also commenced a statewide Repeal Bail Reform Task Force.

The task force, which just held its first meeting, will be collecting testimony from law enforcement officers, prosecutors, victims, local leaders, and the public who were shut out from publicly commenting last year before the sweeping changes to the state’s criminal justice laws were enacted.

There have been countless stories, highlighting the problems with these so-called reforms since they took effect on January 1.  An individual is arrested, immediately released, commits another crime, and is back in custody again – sometimes within hours.  Action is needed to tilt the scales of justice away from criminals and back toward the law-abiding.

At Wistful Event, Seward Receives Standing Ovation


At Wistful Event, Seward

Receives Standing Ovation

A visibly pleased state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, above, who announced last week he will retire at the end of the year after 34 years representing Otsego County in Albany, receives a standing ovation from the 140 attendees at the Otsego Chamber’s State of the State Luncheon today at SUNY Oneonta’s Morris Hall.    He is flanked by Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, right, and Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield.  Insert, left, Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, gave a thundering address after soliciting from the audience three reasons why people are leaving Upstate New York:  High taxes, over regulation and no jobs.  “Let’s address these three issues and bring people back to New York State,” said Tague, a leading Republican prospect to succeed Seward; he would face Jim Barber, a Schoharie farmer, who has won Democratic backing.  “I’d have big shoes to fill,” said Tague, then reported his shoe size as 14 1/2, triple E.   Seward said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back next year.”  He won’t be at the head table, he said, “I’ll be in the audience with you, asking tough questions.”  Also speaking were Mayors Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch of Cooperstown and Gary Herzig of Oneonta.  (Jim Kevin/

Videotaping Set Off Elephant Rampage

Videotaping Set Off

Elephant Rampage

County Treasurer Ruffles Ecaped

County Treasurer Allen Ruffles, just returned from a year in East Africa as a sergeant in the Army Reserves, said the only time he felt in danger was when he was videotaping this herd that wandered past his unit’s bivouac in Uganda.  This is a still from the video.  The elephants noticed him and charged, but Ruffles, who returned to Cooperstown from his one-year assignment last Sunday, was able to take shelter.



Democrats Nominate Board’s Incumbents

Democrats Nominate

Board’s Incumbents

Mayor, 2 Trustees Seek Full Terms

Former mayor Jeff Katz, right, nominates his successor, Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, seated at left, for another term. In the front row are Gene Berman, John Stewart, Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, and Kai Mebust.  (Jim Kevlin/
Incumbent Joe Membrino is seeking a full three-year term, as it Benton.
Incumbent McGuire Benton noted his service on the Doubleday Field and Parks committees.

COOPERSTOWN – By acclamation, the Democrats caucused a few minutes ago and nominated the three incumbents – Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and Trustees Joe Membrino and MacGuire Benton — to run for reelection in the March 18 village elections.

“It’s not a given that productive government continues,” former mayor Jeff Katz said in nominating his successor for her second term.  Patty MacLeish seconded the nomination.

Lynn Mebust chaired the caucus, with Ann Brown as secretary.

HOMETOWN History Nov. 15, 2019


Nov. 15, 2019

150 Years Ago

The Democratic Victory and What Will We Do with It: A new and grave responsibility now devolves upon the Democratic Party, which for the first time in 17 years will soon hold all the departments of the state government, Legislative, Executive and Judicial. As we shall well or ill use this opportunity, will be our political future. Our opponents, smarting under defeat, and consequent loss of power and patronage, affect to believe that we will be made drunk with power, indulge in excesses, and speedily lose the confidence of the people. Power brings with it not only the opportunity of doing better than our opponents, but it brings also responsibility for the way in which this power is used. As a party we have condemned the corrupt and unconstitutional acts of our opponents. Let the legislators, let our leaders, let our Governor council prudence, and insist on just and constitutional legislation.

November 1869

100 Years Ago

The amount of building going on at this time in Oneonta, and along with numerous changes in ownership of city
realty apparently signify two things – one, that everybody has pretty much given up hope of there being any immediate
reduction in the cost of building; and the other, which in a sense is very like the first – that since all cannot build, they will buy, if buying at any fair price is possible. The number of residences going up gives a fair idea of the confidence which is felt in the future of the city. Along with residences, important business structures are also going up or being enlarged. There is a future ahead of Oneonta which is bright with not merely promise, but assurance of prosperity and continued growth.

November 1919

80 Years Ago

Oneonta Sports – Only a small group of sportsmen interested in securing a franchise in the Canadian-American League season attended a recent meeting, but hopes have not been abandoned for the city’s representation in Minor League ball. It is now planned to gather statistical data from the three clubs willing to park their franchises. An effort will be made to have a representative of one of the teams attend the next meeting. Lights may be installed at the park next year for night baseball and football.
Over 100 high school girls will compete in the intra-mural basketball league this winter according to Mrs. Frances Bates, physical education instructor.
Mayor Frank Zuber of Norwich and Captain Dan Fox, Commanding Officer of Troop C, State Police, will act as judges of the boxing card to be presented at the Elks Club Friday night under the auspices of the American Legion. Benny Leonard of New York, retired, undefeated lightweight champion, will referee one or two of the bouts.

November 1939

60 Years Ago

In Oneonta’s art colony are persons who regard themselves as amateurs and explain that they paint only for enjoyment. Mrs. Virginia Repa, a charter member of the Oneonta Community Art Center, is one of them. She says, “I paint for fun.” Be that as it may she handles water colors with such skill and imagination that her paintings have been regarded as professional. Mrs. Repa is among those artists who, in doing pastoral scenes, likes to work directly from nature, striving to translate beauty as accurately as possible, with an occasional resort to composition for the “sake of art.” A painting titled “The Old Sycamore” that was done in early spring by Mrs. Repa is enhanced with Mrs. Repa’s memories. “It was done in early spring. My husband, Dr. Joseph Repa was fishing and I saw this beautiful old tree in a meadow. I had a very interesting audience – a herd of Guernsey cows who breathed down my neck most of the afternoon.”

November 1959

40 Years Ago

A new attitude toward illegal aliens is emerging in the American labor movement. Instead of summoning
immigration agents to get the illegal workers deported, a small but growing number of unions are trying to sign up the workers as members. For years, angry that illegal workers were taking Americans’ jobs, unions have argued that “we should close off the border and send them all back home,” says Allan Zack, a spokesman for the AFL-CIO. “But that’s a political impossibility now,” he says. “It’s also wrong. Many illegals have established residency here.” It isn’t known exactly how many illegal aliens live in the United States, or how many of them belong to unions.
The immigration service estimates the U.S. has four million to six million illegal immigrants, and other counts range
as high as ten million. Much of the labor movement, however, continues to urge a crackdown on illegal immigrants, arguing that foreign workers take jobs from members.

November 1979

20 Years Ago

Ten years after Congress ordered protections for whistleblowers throughout government, the Justice Department has set up a system to shield FBI agents – but they will have less shelter than other federal employees who report waste abuse and crime by co-workers. Under the rules, FBI whistleblowers are not protected for reporting misdeeds to Congress, in court during a trial, or to immediate superiors. FBI employees are protected only if they report to a short list of top officials and FBI internal investigators. The FBI Director will determine whether FBI employees will get a hearing. Also, FBI whistleblowers alleging retaliation will not have the right to a federal court review. Republican Senator Charles Grassley, Chair of a Senate sub-committee that oversees the FBI, said the rules “represent crafty
lawyering rather than good public policy.” Grassley said the Justice Department “interpreted the law to protect its own interests rather than the public interest in exposing fraud and mismanagement.’

November 1999

10 Years Ago

On Friday November 13, a player wearing number 13 on his jersey ended Oneonta boys’ soccer season. Marcellus senior forward Jon Schoonmaker made a baseball slide
into a bouncing ball on the right side of the penalty box and sent a low shot from 12 yards sailing past Yellowjackets’ keeper Alex Maschutt with eighteen minutes, 44 seconds left in the Mustang’s 2-1 Class B state quarter final victory at West Genesee High. “Friday the thirteenth? Maybe,” OHS coach Alex Brannan said.

November 2009

All Arraignments Now At County Jail
From Hometown Oneonta, Freeman’s Journal

All Arraignments

Now At County Jail

State Mandate Requires Hiring

Of 7 More Local Public Defenders

Sheriff Devlin confers with Deputy Jason Kehoe, who uses the new bench for security duty between arraignments. (Jim Kevlin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

TOWN OF MIDDLEFIELD – Otsego County’s new centralized court at the county jail in the Town of Middlefield means no more 3 a.m. phone calls seeking arraignments from Town of Otsego Judge Gary Kuch.

“I’ve had nights where I’ve been called in and we have to call around, and then wait 45 minutes for a public defender,” said Kuch. “Now, justices and public defenders take slots, so there’s always someone available.”

Officially known as Centralized Arraignment Parts, (CAP) was signed into law by Governor Cuomo in 2016, but was just implemented locally Oct. 1, with the construction of the Centralized Courtroom in the jail lobby.

Edith M. Catella, 93; Head Bookkeeper At Oneonta’s Sears

IN MEMORIAM: Edith M. Catella, 93;

Head Bookkeeper At Oneonta’s Sears

Edith M. Catella

ONEONTA – Edith M. Catella, 93, longtime head bookkeeper at the former Sears & Roebuck in downtown Oneonta, passed away Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. She passed away with family at her side at Albany Medical Center.

Edith was born on Aug. 1, 1926, to Andrew and Goldie Himes, joining a large family. Edith spent her entire life in Oneonta, and recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of her Oneonta High School Class of 1944.

She married her high school sweetheart, Fred, on April 5, 1947, and started her own family with Linda in 1948, followed by Fred in 1951.

No Women In ‘Canon’ Because Men Decide It


No Women In ‘Canon’

Because Men Define It

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Erica Jong at a dinner during last weekend’s Sharon Springs Poetry Festival.

SHARON SPRINGS  – Why women shop in Bloomingdale’s, witches and telling the truth through poetry were just a few of the topics discussed in “Erica Jong in Conversation with Jean Hanff Korelitz” at the Roseboro Hotel last Saturday, the final event of the Sharon Springs Poetry Festival.

Novelist Korelitz, who lives here parttime, opened her “intimate talk” with Jong – and 40-plus literature devotees – with “Fear of Flying,” Jong’s 1973 novel that revolutionized views on female sexuality and has sold over 35 million copies worldwide, and how the two authors first met in 1979.

BOUND VOLUMES Oct. 10, 2019


Oct. 10, 2019


Advertisements: Evening School – Israel Day, will open an Evening School, the Monday evening after the Fair, at his school room in which will be taught Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and English Grammar.
Medical Meeting – Notice is given that an Annual Meeting of the Otsego Medical Society, will be held at the House of Joseph Griffin, in Cooperstown, on Monday, the 18th day of October next at one o’clock p.m. T. Pomeroy, Secretary.
Caution to Trespassers – As many persons have been in the habit of committing trespasses on the estate of the late William Cooper, I offer a reward of double the penalty prescribed by law, to anyone who will give me information of such trespass, and furnish sufficient evidence of the fact. William Cooper.

October 11, 1819


Notices – We are requested to mention that Dr. King will lecture at the Presbyterian Church in Fly Creek on Monday evening , the subject being the effect of alcohol on the human stomach.
Cassius M. Clay and Gerrit Smith are to hold a personal disputation at Syracuse, at a time to be fixed on, on the question whether Henry Clay or James G. Bibney is best qualified to the votes of abolitionists. The former is the challenger, which has been accepted at his convenience by the latter.
At a house warming in Warren, Herkimer County, where 70 farmers and mechanics were present, with 36 yoke of oxen, a vote was taken on the Presidential question, which stood 60 for Polk and 10 for Clay.

October 14, 1844


The New District School opens splendidly as to the number of scholars in attendance. The first day, notwithstanding the rain, 140 were there; the second day 175; on Wednesday nearly 200. The scholars are classified into three general departments. Most of them appear to be under thirteen years of age. They represent all walks in village life. The more advanced scholars occupy the large room in the second story of the building. Two recitation rooms are under the immediate charge of the Principal, Mr. Howe, assisted by Miss Gaylord and Miss Ball. The intermediate department is taught by Miss Reynolds and the Primary by Mrs. Brower. Mr. Howe is a Massachusetts man and a graduate of Albany Normal School. Miss Gaylord is from Ilion, a graduate of the Normal School at Oswego. Miss Ball is “to the Manor born” and one of the best lady teachers we ever had in Cooperstown. Miss Reynolds is from Middlefield, and has had considerable experience in teaching. Mrs. Brower is from Exeter and is a successful teacher of young children. The ship is afloat, well officered. Bon Voyage.

October 8, 1869


Mohican Club – The attendance of members on Friday evening last was unusually large, there being considerable interest felt in the matched games played. In four-ball billiards, 200 points, Charles Page and C.T. Huyck played against Dr. Butler and S.J. Conkling; the former making 200 points and the latter 179, a reasonably close game. In the game of bottle pool, best two and three, 31 points, S.M. Shaw (editor of The Freeman’s Journal) and L.N. Wood played against C.W.G. Ross and C.M. Alison, the former getting the first game, the latter the second and third, the last one by a single shot when they had five to make against four. On Friday evening next at 8 o’clock Dr. Butler and Mr. Page will play a matched game, three ball billiards for 100 points. Mr. Jarvis will umpire.

October 11, 1894


The first of the series of square dances which will be held every other Friday night during the winter season at the Alfred Corning Clark gymnasium took place on Friday of last week under the direction of Gene Gowing of New York City. A fine time was enjoyed by all and good music was furnished by Mrs. Anita Coleman and Mrs. Florence Sheridan.
Pvt. Murdock Hall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Hall of this village arrived home Sunday to spend a 21-day sick leave. Pvt. Hall was in the Framington General Hospital at Framington, Massachusetts for several weeks following his return from Europe where he received an eye injury in Normandy.
The Presbyterian Rummage Sale will be held Saturday, October 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Chapel on Pioneer Street.

October 11, 1944


The Cooperstown Rotary Club entertained seven Japanese business and professional men at its regular weekly luncheon meeting at the Cooper Inn. The group is headed by Dr. Hiroji Mukasa, a psychiatrist who operates a mental clinic in Nakatsu City on the southern island of Kyushu, and is in this country for two months. The visitors arrived in Cooperstown Tuesday morning and were taken on a tour of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum by Howard C. Talbot, Jr., its treasurer and a past president of the Rotary Club.

October 8, 1969


The winning and the shutouts keep coming for the Cooperstown girls’ soccer team. Over the past week, the Redskins have won three games, outscoring their opponents by a 11-0 margin while extending their winning streak to 12 games. “We had some close ones this week, but we came out okay,” said Cooperstown coach Lisa Cherubin. The Redskins defeated Waterville 2-0 in overtime on Saturday for another Center State Conference win. Saturday’s win gave Cooperstown an overall record of 12-2 and 12-0 in league competition.

October 12, 1994


Gawkers gathered and shutterbugs snapped photos of the two-day-long scene at Main and Railroad in Cooperstown where crews struggled with a crane and a 30-tire flatbed trailer to load and move the 60-ton 1942 ALCO Locomotive that has been parked in the Delaware-Otsego Corporation’s parking lot for 20 years. The railroad relic is headed to a new home in western Maryland. The engine has been purchased with plans to restore it to running order by Bill Miller Equipment Sales of Eckhart Mines, Maryland, one of the largest Caterpillar Equipment dealers in the world. Efforts to uproot a small tree growing out of the smokestack were unsuccessful.

October 9, 2009

Waits Over An Hour, Record Haul Seen On Hazardous Waste Day

Waits Over An Hour,

Record Haul Seen On

Hazardous Waste Day

Advertising Called Key To Success

Cars were backed up Saturday, Sept. 21, from the turnoff to the Meadows Complex all the way north on Route 33 to the Route 11C cutoff, waiting to drop items off at the county’s Household Hazardous Waste Day. Some reported waiting up to 90 minutes. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

MIDDLEFIELD – Tonnage and volume are still being tallied, but the car count is in, and 920 vehicles lined up to drop off paint, e-waste, prescriptions – you name it – at Household Hazardous Waste Day Saturday, Sept 21, at the county government’s Meadows Office Complex.

Mom Laura Carpenter of Oneonta took the wait in stride, but Cordell, 5, and Kirk, 3, seems to be getting a little itchy.

That was up from 500 last year, almost double, county Planning Director Karen Sullivan is reporting.

The day before, Friday the 20th, in Unadilla, it was the same story: 162 vehicles,
double the year before she said.

Sullivan credited a number of factors, but focused again at the one word she’d shouted out from the middle of the parking lot in the midst of all Saturday’s activity: “Advertising!”

This year, the planning department placed a constant stream of advertising on this newspaper’s site, as well as its two sister newspapers, supplemented by radio, additional print advertising, and the “Otsego Co. Household Hazardous Waste Event” Facebook page.


“I think multi-media, the Facebook page, and all the different ways of communicating really made a difference,” Sullivan said.

Scheduling the drop-off day two weeks later – it’s usually the weekend after Labor Day – and a continuously heightened public awareness of recycling, may have been contributing factors, she added.

It was a beautiful day – but it was a beautiful day last year, Sullivan said.
Household battery collection was up. Thirteen barrels of paint, compared to nine the year before. “Lots of fluorescent bulbs,” said the planning director. “Everything exceeded what we had the year before.”

Saturday morning, it became obvious pretty early something different was happening.
By 9 a.m., traffic was backed up ¾ miles from the Meadows all the way north on Route 33 to Route 11C. Drivers reported waiting an hour, an hour and 15 minutes, even 90 minutes to access the free disposal service.

One driver called out, “That’s county efficiency for you.” But mostly there was a good-natured, celebratory atmosphere – the Woodstock of Trash, if you will – with participants embracing the idea they were experiencing something special.

“Usually by noon, there are one or two cars,” said Senior Planner Erik Scrivener, who was directing traffic into the Meadows parking lot. He cast a glance at a line of cars that extended until it went out of sight.

The event was supposed to end at 1 p.m., but Sullivan made the decision to stay on the job until all were served. The last vehicle came through at 2 p.m., she said.

“We were in line for over an hour,” said Edward Snyder of Cooperstown, there with wife Joan, having just handed off fluorescent bulbs and batteries at the e-waste drop-off, where TVs and computer monitors were stacked taller than the crew members – grown men – from Evolution Recycling of Gloversville.

“People are a little more educated on recycling,” said Evolution’s Mason Bruse, trying to explain the turnout. “New York State’s enforcing it a lot more.”

With recycling facing new challenges – the latest, what to do about e-waste; the county is considering charging – the public may be more eager to take advantage of whatever free services there are.

Sullivan credited a front-page headline in this newspaper last week, “Fee For E-Waste Possible,” with driving business at that drop-off point.

County Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, was lined up with everybody else, and declared cheerfully, “We broke the system.”

He and his county board colleagues, he said, will have to discuss what changes may be necessary – perhaps two Household Hazardous Waste Days a year instead of one.

This year, Sullivan said, there was only enough money budgeted to do one pick-up day, but she and her staff sit down every year for a post-mortem, to discuss how things might be done better, and that might be an issue raised.

Leslie Orzetti, executive director at the OCCA, which provided 20 volunteers – many, like Antoinette Kuzminski, Andree Conklin and Martha Clarvoe, have been doing it for years – said that instructing ways to avoid piling up hazardous wastes may help ease any crunch next year.

For instance, she pointed out, e-waste is accepted at Casella’s Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, so far for free. (The county board is considering charging a fee.)
Plus, if a can of paint is less than half-full, homeowners can open it, let it dry and harden, then dispose of it in the regular trash.

Thomas O. Malz, 88; Korean Veteran Worked For Pan Am

IN MEMORIAM: Thomas O. Malz, 88;

Korean War Vet Worked For Pan Am

Thomas O. Malz

EAST MEREDITH –  Thomas Oscar Malz, 88, of East Meredith, a cargo handler for Pan American Airways for 36 years, passed away July 24, 2019, at UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital in Norwich.

He was born on Feb. 22, 1931, in New York City, son of Oscar T. Malz and Louise Schroeder.  A high school graduate, he served in the Air Force during the Korean War,from April 11, 1951, to April 10, 1955.

Honorably discharged, Thomas joined Pan Am, working there from 1955 until the company’s dissolution in bankruptcy in 1991. After Pan Am, he was a hall monitor at Mepham High School in Bellmore for 20 years.

What A Crowd! Induction Of Mariano Rivera, 5 Others Brings 55,000 Here

What A Crowd!

Induction Of Mariano Rivera,

5 Others Brings 55,000 Here

Hall of Fame staffers Roger Lansing, left, and Bruno Russo keep an eye on 2019 Inductee Mariano Rivera during the half-hour the Yankee pitching star spent shaking hands and signing autographs for fans at the end of the Legends of the Game Parade. Lansing is the Hall’s multi-media manager; Rosa, from Atlanta, Ga., is a volunteer and former HoF Steel intern. (Jim Kevlin/


COOPERSTOWN – Induction 2019 was notable for what didn’t happen as much as did.

With the Legends of Baseball parade ostensibly cancelled, Johnny Bench nonetheless jumped out of the pickup truck he was riding in and walked the length of the parade route to the Hall of Fame, to the roar of 10,000 fans.

One, the folks who didn’t collapse from the heat.

A violent storm late Saturday broke the humidity that created a steamy high of 88, making way for much drier Induction Day Sunday, July 21, with highs in the low 80s and a slight breeze keeping the Induction crowd feeling more comfortable than expected.

Two, the parade that didn’t happen.

Due to a pending thunderstorm that didn’t happen (until later), the Hall cancelled what’s become a weekend highlight:  The Parade of Legends.  Still, as most the Hall of Famer stayed enclosed in the cabs of pickup trucks as they rolled down Main Street past thousands of fans, Johnny Bench, 71, hopped out and walked the distance, and other stars followed suit as 25 Main neared.

Three, the attendance record that wasn’t broken.

While the crowd of 55,000, as reported by the Hall, was 3,000 more than last year’s class that included Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero, it still fell significantly short of the 2007 Cal Ripkin Jr./Tony Gwynn 82,000 record.

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