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Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Otsego Lake

Austin Sears, 72, Dies; Founded Cooperstown Summer Theatre Fest
Reprinted From This Week’s 
Freeman’s,  Hometown Oneonta

Austin Sears, 72, Dies;

Founded Cooperstown

Summer Theatre Fest

Austin and Margarita Sears in 2013, after they decided to close the Cooperstown Summer Theatre Festival after almost three decades. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Austin Sears, 72, creator, manager and actor at the Cooperstown Summer Theatre Festival for three decades, exited life’s stage on Dec. 17, 2019, in New York City.

Austin Sears,  founder of the Cooperstown Summer Theatre Festival.

“We met in 1979,” his wife Margarita said in an interview this week.  “The 40 years I knew him, it was all Cooperstown.  It was all theater.  That was his life.  That’s what he talked about and did every day – looking for actors, soliciting scripts.”

The curtain went up on July 6, 1984, inside the renovated barn on West Lake Road about a mile south of Glimmerglass Opera.  The first performance, Noel Coward’s “Private Lives,” played to a packed house.  At the end, it poured, and cars got stuck in the mud looking to exit.  “Kirn’s was coming back and forth to pull cars out,” Maggie said.

Suzanne Smith Dean, 96; Connected To Otsego Lake As Child, In Adulthood
IN MEMORIAM

Suzanne S. Dean, 96; Cherished

Otsego Lake While A Child, Adult

Susie Smith Dean as a young woman and, recently, on Cape Cod.

COOPERSTOWN — Suzanne Smith Dean (Susie), 96, of East Orleans, Mass., passed away peacefully on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019.

She was born on April 15, 1923, in New York City, daughter of Dorothy Bostwick Smith Campbell and W.T. Sampson Smith, Sr. Mrs. Dean spent her early years in that city attending Shipley School and Miss Hewett’s Classes.

She was a member of the Red Cross Nurses’ Aid Corps and later volunteered at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. She was married in September 1942 at St. Thomas Church in Gilbertsville to Dr. John Van Benschoten Dean.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20

The Future Of Invasive

Species In Otsego County

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

BE INFORMED – 6:30 – 8 p.m. Learn about past, present, future of 2 invasive species in Otsego County. Research Specialist Holly Waterfield presents ‘A Decade of Zebra Mussels: Impacts & Challenges in Otsego Lake.’ Director of Ecological Research Institute Dr. Jonathan Rosenthal presents ‘Emerald Ash Borer: Current Status and the Way Forward.’ Free, open to public. Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/be-informed-lecture-series-invasives-species-past-present-and-future/

Hyde Hall Offers Peak Into Elegance, Music

SUMMER DREAMS

Hyde Hall Offers Peak

Into Elegance, Music

Jon Maney shows off Hyde Hall’s drawing room, one of his favorite venues for musical performances in the National Historic Landmark. (Ian Austin/AllOTSGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ON HYDE BAY – Jon Maney wants Hyde Hall to be more than just a house museum – (although, what a house!)

He wants it to be a destination for music and arts.

“We’ve done a lot of classical music, but we need more contemporary music,” said the National Landmark’s executive director. “George Clarke loved jazz, so we want to start having a whole range of music from different eras.”

On Oct. 6, the Musicians of Ma’alwyck, an Albany-based band that’s become the museum’s house band, will debut Max Caplan’s “The Hyde Sextet,” a work scored for flute, harp and string quartet and inspired by the ghost of Hyde Hall.

Caplan, is the composer of the suffrage-themed opera “Aleda,” which premiered in June 2018.

“It’s a really spooky piece that’s in the spirit of the season,” said Maney.

From Hot Dog Stand, Moffats Grew Blue Mingo Restaurant Into Mecca For Fine Dining

SUMMER DREAMS

From Hot Dog Stand, Moffats

Grew Blue Mingo Restaurant

Into Mecca For Fine Dining

The Moffats and Blue Mingo manager Carol Leeds sample a house favorite: S’mores! (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – There are plenty of places in Otsego County to get drive-thru food.

But the Blue Mingo is the only place to get boat-thru food.

“On busy nights, we’ll come and serve you on your boat!” said owner Michael Moffat. “We have a lot of people who come and order while they’re out on the lake – we know they’ll bring the silverware back.”

Now in its 25th year, what started as a humble hot dog stand is now destination dining for baseball stars, opera fans and anyone who wants to enjoy a meal overlooking Otsego Lake.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, AUGUST 19, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, AUGUST 19

Learn Photography While

Visiting Farmers’ Museum

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PHOTO EXCURSION – 6-8 p.m.  Walk through The Farmers’ Museum with photographer Kevin Gray and learn tips on composition, lighting and camera techniques, and return home with your own beautiful pictures of Otsego Lake and the museum’s historic village at sunset. Bring lenses, camera battery, tripod (if you have one). Cost, $17/non-member. Fenimore Art Museum & Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

CLICK FOR MORE HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO
Hatchin’

Hatchin’

It’s that time of year! Dave Rees snapped this image of 23 goslings following Momma Goose across Otsego Lake the other day.
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JULY 4, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JULY 4

Independence Day

Otsego County Celebrates

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OLDEST PARADE – 11 a.m. The second oldest parade in the country kicks off again, with a full day of festivities to follow, including a concert and fireworks at dusk. Springfield Center Community Center, 129 Co Rd 29A, Springfield Center.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JUNE 30, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JUNE 30

Glimmerglass Opera Concert

To Benefit Springfield Parade

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NO FIREWORKS – An item that appeared here for a few minutes was incorrect:  Fireworks are planned Friday, July 5, at Brookwood Gardens, not tomorrow.

CONCERT – 3 p.m. Town of Springfield Appreciation Concert will offer an overview of The Glimmerglass Opera’s 2019 season. Proceeds will benefit the Springfield 4th of July Committee. Alice Busch Opera Theater, 7300 NY-80, Cooperstown. Info, 315-858-0304 or visit www.glimmerglass.org

Lights On! Dramatic lightning over Otsego Lake

Lights On!

Bob and Peggy Poulson’s daughter, Jill, visiting in Cooperstown from New York City, captured the Friday afternoon lightning storm.  The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m., a rarity around here.  Dark clouds and lightning cross Otsego Lake from west to east for about a half hour, but moved on without any damaged. 
Dark Skies Over Cooperstown

Dark Skies Over Cooperstown

At this hour, a severe thunderstorm is on it’s way from Exeter to Cooperstown, bringing 70 mph winds and the possibility of quarter-sized hail. The county was under a tornado watch until 3:45 p.m., with no weather-related issues, according to Rob O’Brian, Otsego County 911 director, but the strong thunderstorm warning remains in effect for Northeastern Otsego, including Middlefield, Cooperstown, Westville, Springfield, Burlington, Westford, Cherry Valley, Bowerstown, Exeter Center and Oaksville, until 4:30 p.m.
New Tug Breaks Ice On Otsego Lake

SIGN OF SPRING

New Tug Breaks

Ice On Otsego Lake

There was a new Bubba on Otsego Lake this afternoon: “Bubba” the Tug Boat, that is, which Lakefront Hotel proprietor Paula Wickoff purchased from Seattle’s harbor last fall and was delivered to the docks at Cooperstown on Thanksgiving Weekend.  Ice-breaking is a spring ritual, to avoid damage to the docks at the Lakefront or Landland Shores; last year, however, the ice was particularly thick, and Paula spent hours on end in an icy, unheated cabin.   Today, “we never cut this much ice in one day,” Wickoff – waving in photo at left – said by phone from Bubba’s cozily heated cabin.  “I couldn’t be more pleased.”   In the background is steel-hulled “Blue,” manned by Joe Lepetich and Brian Murphy, which “cut through the ice like steak,” Wikoff said. “Bubba” then broke the ice into smaller harmless pieces. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

This Nasty Little Parasite Is Meaningful

This Nasty

Little Parasite

Is Meaningful

By JENNIFER HILL

Parasites. That doesn’t sound good.
But SUNY Oneonta biology professor Florian Reyda says having a variety and plentiful parasites “is a sign of a healthy ecosystem, of biodiversity.”
By that measure, Otsego Lake is quite healthy. Especially now that Margaret Doolin, a student in SUNY’s master of science biology program and one of Reyda’s advisees, had discovered a parasitic

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