News of Otsego County


Cooperative Extension welcomes Liz Callahan

Cooperative Extension welcomes Liz Callahan as new Executive Director

Cooperstown resident Liz Callahan will bring her more than 25 years of experience in leading non-profit organizations in the region when she steps in as Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties (CCE SO) on April 12.

“Cornell Cooperative Extension is all about community resilience,” Ms. Callahan said in a conversation with The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta. “The entire staff has a deep commitment to help families, farms, and individuals find answers that will work for them. The healthier our smaller units – our families, for instance – the healthier the communities will be.”

CCE SO, affiliated with Cornell University as part of the national land grant university system, is a non-profit community education agency. CCE helps preserve the region’s agricultural heritage, protect ecological infrastructure, support families, and provide youth opportunities for community service and research-based education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Ms. Callahan grew up in Western New York, where she participated in 4-H, served as a VISTA volunteer, and moved to Cooperstown in 1991 to pursue her Master’s in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

“Cooperative Extension is so much bigger than its visible role in 4-H,” she said. “The resources we have aren’t solidly defined with sharp corners. We’re focused on figuring out what communities need; that’s something that will be different in the rural and less rural parts of our counties.”

“Using the talents of the professional staff we have on hand and the resources of the Extension system, I know we can provide practical and constructive responses,” she said.

CCE SO’s remit spans a spectrum addressing the needs of long-established family farms to start-up agricultural endeavors, from professional gardeners to home hobbyists, from families needing

County’s municipalities lay out different strategies for federal aid
Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig gestures to the millrace running through Neahwa Park that he hopes to use ARPA funds to connect to the Susquehanna Green Way trail. (Kevin Limiti/

County’s municipalities lay out different strategies for federal aid

By Kevin Limiti

How Otsego County municipalities use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) varies as widely as the towns and villages themselves.

President Joe Biden signed the law in March 2021, giving federal relief dollars to state and local governments for COVID recovery

For the City of Oneonta, this means spending the federal dollars on renovating Neahwa Park. But for Cooperstown, it simply means covering only 10 percent of revenue lost mostly to a drop in pandemic travel.

New State Police Commander focused on recruitment
Major Jeffrey Van Auken, the new Troop C commander for the NY State Police, is hoping to attract new recruits in the Otsego County area.

New State Police Commander focused on recruitment

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

Jeffrey Van Auken, the new Troop C commander for the New York State Police, has come a long way in his career.

He is a Navy veteran who was deployed to Iraq and the Middle East at multiple points, the last time as an intelligence officer.

Now he’s focusing on recruiting for the State Police. He especially wants to draw from those whose backgrounds encompass the coverage area that include parts of Otsego County such as Oneonta, Cooperstown, and Richfield Springs. Troop C’s headquarters are in Sidney.

Opinion by Richard Sternberg, M.D.: Life/COVID 67.0 Evolution

Opinion by Richard Sternberg, M.D.
Life/COVID 67.0 Evolution

On the one hand the media is reporting the number of cases of COVID-19 is receding in the United States. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Delta variant wave of the pandemic has passed its peak. On the other hand, it states that that the approaching winter season and holidays present another opportunity for cases to increase.

I read a report on October 28 that “Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie see virus deaths.” It pointed out that the unvaccinated were more likely to require hospitalization and spread the infection. In the prior week there had been 5 deaths across the three counties. There were several hundred active cases. Of course, this cannot begin to find those people who have active COVID but were minimally or not at all symptomatic but can still spread the disease. Statewide the day before there were 35 deaths and 4,284 new cases. Granted, compared to what we experienced before, this is a major improvement but I think our perspectives are warped by how horrific things had been previously, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, in the United States. Nevertheless, it is 35 mostly unnecessary deaths and 4,200 people who are at risk of developing Long COVID symptoms.

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

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.

Lack of childcare option in pandemic frustrates Cooperstown parents

Lack of childcare option in pandemic frustrates Cooperstown parents

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

Lack of childcare in Cooperstown Central School District is causing a crisis for many families of young children.

The Clark Sports Center had previously served the role but now is closed for children under 12 because of COVID pandemic restrictions.

Mary Jane Sansevere, a Cooperstown resident with a husband and two children, said her family was forced to move her children out of the school district because of a lack of childcare. She also resigned her position in Cooperstown and took a job at Schenevus Central School as a pre-k teacher.

“Childcare in this town is sort of at a crisis level,” Sansevere said in a conversation with

Otsego hires county administrator, approves EMS positions

Otsego hires county administrator, approves
EMS positions

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

Joshua Beams, a 2005 SUNY Oneonta graduate, was appointed as Otsego County administrator, effective Oct. 4, at a special meeting of the county’s Board of Representatives Tuesday, Sept. 7.

The position was originally approved in December 2019, but the hiring was delayed a year because of a 2020 hiring freeze at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The position was discussed in county government circles for decades, as Otsego County is governed by a group of 14 legislators and has no executive branch of government. The county’s Inter-governmental Affairs Committee studied governmental forms and executive roles for a year before approving the change in 2019.

Edgewater Mansion Back On The Market

Edgewater Mansion

Back On The Market

One of Cooperstown’s most historic mansions, Edgewater at One Lake St., is on the market for $2.7 million.   The home, overlooking Otsego Lake, was built in 1810-12 for Isaac Cooper, son of village founder William Cooper and brother of James Fenimore Cooper.    The home is currently owned by One Lake Street LLC, but previously was owned by the late Walter Rich, president of the Delaware Otsego Corp.   The sale is being handled by Coldwell Banker; the realtor is Bob Schneider.

‘Uxurious’ Misread Fateful Visit

‘Uxurious’ Misread Fateful Visit

Painted As Figure Of Fun, Susan B. Anthony Went On To Make History

Editor’s Note: Here is The Freeman’s Journal Feb. 9, 1855, account – in prose and poetry – of Susan B. Anthony’s appearance in Cooperstown, to be commemorated with a State Historical Marker that has just arrived at the village’s First Presbyterian Church. The tone marks the flippant attitude in some quarters at that time.

Mr. Editor:
Your readers should be apprised that last Friday was a great and eventful day in the history of human events. It was one of these epochs whereat Time pauses to set down a stake from which after generations may measure his further flight.
Henceforth, let it be noted in Phinney’s calendar that the 9th day of February, 1855, was the day when the memorable “Woman’s Rights Convention” was held at Cooperstown! – and let the mothers of Otsego, in all coming ages, teach their children to revere its anniversary, as the day when “the strong-minded women” gave the horn of liberty such a rousing blast among the echoing hills of our county.
…A gentleman was called to the chair, and a secretary and two vice-presidentesses were appointed. The president, after a few appropriate remarks, introduced to the audience, Miss Susan B. Anthony, who took the rostrum.

Her theme – the wrongs that
patient woman bears;
To sew, to spin, to mop and darn
her lot;
To do the drudg’ry, while man
takes the pay.
She all the pangs of Eden’s curse endures,
While man her pleasures shares,
but not her pains.
Give woman but the right of
suffrage, she
Will soon have equal laws,
and what is wrong
Will speedily set right.

Audible sobs were heard among the henpecks

Delgado Thanks Volunteers, Supporters In Oneonta

At Oneonta Victory Event,

Delgado Thanks Supporters

Just back from his Washington D.C. initiation, Congressman-elect Antonio Delgado, D-19, thanks volunteers at a victory gathering this afternoon at his Oneonta field office on Dietz Street.  Delgado thanked all the volunteers and supporters who, he said, knocked on more than 200,000 doors on the days leading up to the Nov. 6 midterms to encourage people to get out and vote. Following his speech, people lined up the thank the Delgado and get their pictures taken with him. Above, Oneonta’s NAACP President Lee Fisher and wife Joanne congratulate Delgado on his victory over Congressman John Faso. (Ian Austin/

Department Heads Must Learn To Use New System, Clark Says
THE ISSUE: Laurens Lacked Road Salt

Department Heads Must Learn

To Use New System, Clark Says

Onondaga County's purchasing director, Andrew Trombley, center, is flanked by county reps, from left, Meg Kennedy, Dan Wilber, Keith McCarty and Kathy Clark at this morning's "committee of the whole" meeting. (Jim Kevlin/
Onondaga County’s purchasing director, Andrew Trombley, center, is flanked by county Reps, from left, Meg Kennedy, Dan Wilber, Keith McCarty and Kathy Clark at this morning’s “committee of the whole” meeting.  In the foreground are county Reps. David Bliss, left, and Len Carson. (Jim Kevlin/

county-logoCOOPERSTOWN – When the County of Otsego was preparing to centralize its purchasing through Onondaga County’s system, county Board Chair Kathy Clark scheduled a briefing for department heads.

Only three showed up.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for Saturday, Oct. 29

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for Saturday, Oct. 29

World Series Viewing Party

in the

Baseball Hall of Fame!




HALL OF FAME – 7:30 p.m. Baseball World Series Gala. Adults $10, Child $5. Info, (607) 547-0397,

RECEPTION – 5-7 p.m. Exhibition opening “Ceramics & Photo Journals: Capturing the Process.” Cherry Branch Gallery, 25 Main St, Cherry Valley. For more information visit their website at or call (607)264-9530.

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103