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News of Otsego County

Otsego County

THIS WEEK — March 4, 2021
Former Daily Star Editor To Challenge Meg Kennedy

Former Daily Star Editor

To Challenge Meg Kennedy

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Emily Popek

MILFORD – Emily Popek, former Daily Star manager editor, has posted on her Facebook page that she intends to run for county representative in District 5, challenging Meg Kennedy, the board’s vice chairman.

District 5 includes Milford, Hartwick and New Lisbon.  Under the  county board’s weighted voting system, the position has the most people, and thus the most voting clout, of all the 14 districts.

THIS WEEK — February 18, 2021

THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS

The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

Feb. 18, 2021

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

The 2021 Cooperstown Winter Carnival kicked off Tuesday, Feb. 16, as the O’Brien family of Hartwick – mom Beth and her six children – found the Carnival Medallion behind a bench in the village’s Badger Park. Helping their mom (dad Rob, the county 911 coordinator, was at work), were front row, from left, Bobby, 3, Connor, 7 months, Noah, 6; back row, from left, are Hannah, 8, Hunter, 6, and Lucas, 6. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

FRONT PAGE

TV-Only Induction ’21 Met With Acceptance

County Still Awaits Vaccine

Bassett Recruits Seward As Liason With Albany

Treasure Hunter Claims $10K Prize

AllOTSEGO.life

The Wisdom Of Sam Nader

Baseball, Politics, Community Defined His Contribution

EDITORIAL

America IS Great

With Seward, Bassett Reclaims Some Of County’s Ebbing Clout

LETTERS

NORTHRUP: Impeachment Burnished At Least One Politician

WELCH: Is ‘Stop The Steal’ Just A Beginning

DUNCAN: Trenches Along Roadways Still Dangerous To Drivers

HANSE: Underunding Led To Nursing-Home Crisis

STERNBERG: Vaccine? Terrific. But What About Treatment

History Columns

Bound Volumes: February 18, 2021

Hometown History: February 18, 2021

OBITUARIES

Thomas D. Parrotti

Dorothy St. John

Rivkah Feldman

Francesco Basile



Bassett Recruits Seward As Liason With Albany

Bassett Recruits Seward

As Liason With Albany

James L. Seward

Anticipating 36-year state Sen. Jim Seward’s retirement, Bassett President/CEO Tommy Ibrahim “asked me to join his team” when the two met for the first time last fall, the senator said.

Conversations continued, and Friday, Feb. 12, Ibrahim made it official: Seward has joined the hospital network as a “strategic affairs liaison,” offering advice on a part-time basis on how it can interact with Albany to obtain the best outcomes.

In an interview, Ibrahim reported that Carolyn Lewis, former county economic development director, has been promoted from a Friends of Bassett role to director of public & legislative affairs, leading the hospital’s lobbying effort, and Seward’s expertise will be available to her.

“As a senator,” Ibrahim said, Seward “was a strong advocate of programs that support the health and well-being of the people in our region. (This) is a natural extension of Jim’s life and career.”

For his part, Seward pointed out that state Ethics Law prohibits state legislators from lobbying their former colleagues for two years after leaving office; but he can approach his contacts in the Executive Branch, which includes the state Department of Health and other agency systems that Bassett depends on.

And he knows who makes what decisions.

“I was very impressed with Tommy,” said Seward. “Since coming here, he’s put together a new management team. They’ve been developing a vision and a plan going forward. I look forward to doing whatever I can to assist the Bassett leadership.”’

Seward, who represented Otsego County in Albany for 36 years before retiring Dec. 31, said, “I’m ready to tackle new things. But I’m also glad to do this on a part-time basis. I do want to smell the roses a bit, too.”

DUNCAN: Trenches Along Roadways Still Dangerous To Drivers
LETTER from R. RICHARD DUNCAN

Trenches Along Roadways

Still Dangerous To Drivers

To the Editor:

“Slip sliding away…”

Her car slid toward the side of the road. It caught in the trench and flipped. She was hurt and her car totaled. She is scared to drive again. But she knows she must go out and find a new car and force herself to try again. It wasn’t her fault. If the sides of the roads were done properly she would have slid off the road and would have been able to slowly drive back onto the highway.

What on earth makes the Otsego County Highway Department think that trenches are needed, or safe? It is the responsibility of the highway department to make safe roads for traffic, be it cars, trucks, bicycles, or pedestrians.

With trenches, there is no place to pull over if an emergency vehicle comes up behind you. They cause erosion and expose the roots of old trees; that kills them.

The trenches fill in fast and need to be redone and redone. Not very economical.

If you need to pull off the road for car problems, you can’t. If you slide off the road you will probably total your car.

I slid off coming around a corner at the top of the hill one winter. My tire caught on the lip of road, flipped the car and it slid down the hill in the ditch. Over $1,000 for a new drive shaft.

In the winter, it is hard to see if there is a trench or not. In the summer the grass grows and you can’t judge the side of the road.

We pay people to take care of our roads and they are not doing it in a manner to keep us safe. We need to educate them or replace them.

If you have had a problem with car damage with trenches, write in. Maybe if enough people complain, we can get things done correctly.

R. RICHARD DUNCAN
Hartwick Forrest

Can You Help? To Complete 29-Year Renovation, Rigbys Need Help On Final Piece

Can You Help?

To Complete 29-Year Renovation,

Rigbys Need Help On Final Piece

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

A baluster, just like this one, may be somewhere in the Coop- erstown area, and Bill Rigby needs it to complete renovating his antique staircase. Can you help?

In 1992, Bill and Janet Rigby were walking through 73 Elm St., deciding whether to buy that imposing Victorian home that, broken up into eight apartments, had fallen on hard times.

Hard times, yes. But there were hints of its former glory as home to Judge Walter H. Bunn’s clan, none moreso than the 30-step staircase that wound up from the ground floor to the third-floor attic.

All 67 balusters – the supports that connect the railing and the staircase foundation – were in place.

Bill Rigby, who had worked on restoration projects on Staten Island – he also operates American Historic Hardware here, replacing original hinges and fixtures – and Janet, who
had collaborated with him, couldn’t wait to get started.

But on buying the home and taking possession, they discovered: One of the balusters was gone.

“It was obvious: One was missing,” said Bill. “It was there when we walked through the house. It wasn’t there on the day of the closing.”

IN REMEMBRANCE: Sam Nader’s Century: ‘Mr. Oneonta’  Turns 100

REPRINTED FROM JULY 2019

Sam Nader’s Century:

‘Mr. Oneonta’ Turns 100

Remember Mayor Who Brought Yankees Here

George Steinbrenner, on leaving baseball, wrote Sam Nader, “They say, ‘All good things must come to an end.’ That will never apply to our friendship, I pray.” (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO,.com)

Editor’s Note:  In remembrance of “Mr. Oneonta,” who passed away yesterday, here is “Sam Nader’s Century,” a profile of the beloved former mayor and baseball entrepreneur that appeared on his 100th birthday in July 2019.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Sam Nader’s life is one great story after another.

Sam’s pal Ted Williams played golf, too.

Here’s a favorite one, about playing golf at the Oneonta Country Club with Hall of Famers Bobby Doerr and the legendary Ted Williams, and the club champion at the time.

Sam played one of the best 18 holes of his life.

“Bobby had a 76 – 3 under par,” Nader, who will turn 100 on July 8, recalled the other day.  “I was 4 over par.  We took them for 10 bucks.”

Ted Williams was so incensed, he broke five clubs – a golf club set – over his knee.  (The Red Sox legend was working for Shakespeare, the quality golf-club maker, so he made good.)

With a laugh, Sam continued: Every time he would see Bobby Doerr and a Hall of Fame event in Cooperstown, the former Oneonta mayor and owner of the Oneonta Yankees would say, “Let’s go up to see Ted and see if he remembers.”

In Thriller, Frankenstein Born At Hyde Hall
Horror Flick Available On Shudder.com

In Thriller, Frankenstein

Born At Hyde Hall

By CHRYSTAL SAVAGE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Star Alix Wilton Regan in a particularly horrifying moment in “A Nightmare Wakes,” filmed at Hyde Hall.

A Shudder original, “A Nightmare Wakes,” premieres Feb. 4 on the horror-thriller-supernatural streaming platform.

The short was filmed at the Hyde Hall National Landmark on Otsego Lake by Wild Obscura, a “by/for/about women” producer.

Directed and written by Nora Unkel, the 90-minute film follows author Mary Shelley “as she creates her masterpiece (Frankenstein), she gives birth to a monster,” the IMDb page reads.

Shudder describes itself as “a subscription service for the horror, thriller and suspense genres.”

Alix Wilton Regan stars in the film as Shelley alongside Giullian Yao Gioiello, Philippe Bowgen and a host of Cooperstown talent.

THIS WEEK — January 7, 2021
DUNCAN: Quality Of Food Goes Back To Soil’s Quality
LETTER from R. SCOTT DUNCAN

Quality Of Food Goes

Back To Soil’s Quality

To the Editor:

Vitamins, minerals, and other supplements – there are numbers of people who say you should take vitamins.

Vitamin C for tissue repair, A for healthy skin, B for stress, E for women over 40, and a very popular one today – Vitamin D for overall health.

But the cost of the vitamins keeps getting higher and higher. A men’s multivitamin today will cost well over $50!

I was looking at the label on the jar and it said that a number of the ingredients are foods, from foods? Why not just eat the right foods? Well, they say foods are
not as nutritional us as they used to be.

I remember reading about one genetically modified grain that was created so it would grow faster. One of the reasons that it grows faster was that the roots are shorter. Well , the shorter roots do not go deep enough to absorb enough minerals, which in turn affects the brain function because of the lack of the minerals.

You can see why a lot of people think that you should eat organic, non-GMO foods. So I wonder why isn’t the food as good as it used to be?

A lot has to do with the soil. It’s been depleted and in many places contaminated.

There’s a graveyard for cars around here. Tons of cars lined up near a river. Every time I drive by I think how stupid to be so close to the river. The acid rain comes down on all the cars and carries all the pollutants into the river and into the farmland.

Man just ignores the cycles of nature, giving little respect to the natural process. They think science can do a better job. There is no balance between nature and science. You really don’t want to wait for nature to build the soil back up.

The way she takes care of things! Think about this: the COVID virus. It is keeping people inside, thereby reducing their impact on nature. Example: air pollution. The virus is killing lots of people, which reduces the population and also the stress on the environment.

Nature has her way of balance if we don’t play fair. Building up the quality of soil in Otsego County should be a pretty high priority on the list. Quality of soil equals quality of food equals quality of people.

I wonder what is being done to protect and enrich our local soil for, as they say, future generations?

R. SCOTT DUNCAN
Hartwick Forrest

HoF Takes Fresh Look

HoF Takes Fresh Look

Idealism, Injustice Balanced

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Hall of Fame spokesman Jon Shestakovsky discusses adjustments to exhibits at 25 Main. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

The Baseball Hall of Fame is striving to balance the sport’s sometimes troubled racial history with athletic prowess on the diamond.

“The conversation began this summer,” said Jon Shestakofsky, the Hall’s vice president/communications.

“We wanted to shine a light on these conflicted stories. And when the Board of Directors met this summer, its members unanimously decided to make these important changes”

So now, the “Pride and Passion” exhibit has been renamed “Ideals and Injustices: A Chronicle of Black Baseball.”

It focuses not just on the formation of the Negro Leagues and Jackie Robinson’s breaking of the color barrier, but addressing the history of racism within the game, even by those honored in
the Hall of Plaques downstairs.

“Cap Anson, for example, was an early superstar of baseball, but his actions helped lead the league towards segregation,” said Shestakofsky.

A first baseman for the Chicago Cubs, Anson was reported to have said he “would never step on a field that also had a Black man on it.”

He was inducted into the Hall with the first class, in 1939.

Though Anson and others, including Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, had previously been mentioned in “Pride and Passion,” Shestakofsky said the updated panels “clarifies” their opposition to integrating the league.

“These upgraded panels delve more deeply into the complicated history,” he said. “They’re in the Hall of Fame for a reason, they did a lot to sustain the game, but there’s more to be said about their lasting impacts.”

Nonetheless, the Hall does not plan to alter the plaques in the gallery.

“I don’t feel in any context that one should expunge history, that one should erase history,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Hall of Fame chairman, in an interview with the New York Times that appeared over the weekend.

“Part of our mission is not only to honor excellence and connect generations, but it’s to preserve the history of the game, and that’s what we’re doing,” she said. “We’re reacting to the evolution of society and society wanting a deeper understanding of underlying racism — its causes, its history, and how it continues to affect the game.”

Instead, a sign has been placed at the entrance to the Hall of Plaques, which reads: “Enshrinement into the National Baseball Hall of Fame reflects the perspective of voters at the time of election. The plaques on these walls recognize Members for their accomplishments in the game.”

It also directs visitors to continue their own exploration of the history in the museum exhibits, library archives, and educational resources.

“When people request educational materials, Jackie Robinson and Civil Rights are requested the most often,” said Shestakofsky. “Education is one of the pillars of our work as an institution.”

But the changes have also allowed the Hall to tell more stories to their visitors.

“Someone like Effa Manley, the only woman enshrined in the Hall, deserves a more full look,” he said. “As an owner, she did a lot to enhance the status of black baseball.”

“She was exceptional,” Clark told the Times. “I just find it a wonderful balance, because it’s not just that we’re looking at racists and Anson and Landis, we’re also looking at somebody who did something so positive.”

Manley was among 17 figures — all deceased — from the Negro leagues elected to the Hall in 2006, following a study by the Major League Baseball. However, that same vote excluded Buck O’Neil, former players and the MLB’s first black coach.

In 2006, O’Neil spoke at the induction ceremony, and a lifetime achievement award at the Hall was named in his honor. But he was never voted into the museum.

Shestakofsky said the exhibit and new signage have received “a very positive response,” so far, and that the curators will continue to look at ways to improve exhibits throughout the museum.

“We are a history museum,” he said. “Our job is to preserve the game’s history.”

There’s Still Time To Reach Shoeboxes For Seniors Goal

There’s Still Time To Reach

Shoeboxes For Seniors Goal

The back room at The Green Earth is once again filling up with Christmas Cheer as organizer Lisa Nunez, left, and Don Reese counted donations to the 4th annual Shoeboxes For Seniors drive. “I didn’t know how it was going to work out this yer with COVID.” said Nunez, “But I think we are doing pretty great so far!” 188 care packages have already been collected from donors and drop-off sites, with more needed to meet the record set the previous year of 247. People wishing to donate can drop-off at The Southside Mall, The Green Earth and The New York Skin & Vein Center in Oneonta before the final pick up on Monday, Dec. 21st. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Gun Sanctuary Resolution Goes Before Committee

PSLA MEETS THURSDAY

Gun-Sanctuary

Resolution To Go

Before Committee

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

PSLA Chairman Dan Wilber

COOPERSTOWN – Below is the text of the resolution that would declare Otsego County a gun-law sanctuary, where the state’s SAFE Act would not be enforced.

The resolution will be considered Thursday by the county board’s Public Safety & Legal Affairs Committee.  Dan Wilber, R-Burlington, committee chairman, hasn’t been available to discuss the matter.

Scheduled for noon, the meeting may be viewed via Zoom on the county’s Facebook page.

According to other committee members, PSLA has been awaiting a legal opinion from County Attorney Ellen Coccoma.

Here is the resolution:

Lord’s Table Serves Up 800 Thanksgiving Meals

RECORD SET THIS THANKSGIVING

Lord’s Table, St. Mary’s

Serve Up 800 Meals

In a collaboration of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Lord’s Table, 600 meals – turkey with all the trimmings – had already gone out the door for delivery by noon Thanksgiving Day, when curbside pickup began. Above, Volunteers Rosemary Collie and Keton Kling, both Oneontans, shuttles  bags of food to the Lord’s Table.  “We were averaging about 10 meals a minute.” said event overseer Mary Southern, seen at right advising Joyce Collier.  “This year people are in even more need and we are making sure they all have food This year we planned for 800 meals.” The only lull in the action came when the turkey ran out with a handful of dinners to go. Some volunteers offered up their own meals without hesitation. Others were dispatched to Hannaford and returned with enough turkey to complete the meals. “This is the first year we ever ran out of turkey!” said Southern, “But we will provide!” Volunteer driver Paul Patterson, his car filled with meals, rolled his window down on the way to deliver meals saying, “Mary did an amazing job. It was like clockwork. Henry Ford would have been proud!” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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