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News of Otsego County

press release

Gaslighting Hartwick

Gaslighting Hartwick

Editorial: April 14, 2022

The saddest truth, in the end, is a person died several weeks after a horrible in-home accident, and to the family of Flora Polulech, The Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta sends our sympathy.

Late in the afternoon on Friday, April 8, New York State Police issued a press release finally admitting they found a January 2, 2022 incident to be a sad and tragic accident. It’s called a “Friday news dump” — late on a Friday afternoon is the perfect time to send out a press release that the issuer would rather see lost in a weekend news cycle, the timing exceptionally matched here to a heavy load of state budget news out of Albany. It’s like a newspaper using the Legal Notices page to bury a correction to a howling error on a front-page story.

Remember this: the State Police issued a guns-a-blazin’ press release on January 3, 2022 “looking for person(s) who burglarized then injured an elderly homeowner in Hartwick.” Police asserted with provocative certainty that “the suspect(s) unlawfully entered a residence on Poplar Avenue and caused physical injury to an elderly victim.” Frightening stuff indeed.

That gaslighting bulletin put local residents on edge and kicked off rampaging speculation as to who did what to whom and the extent to which the victim was harmed. One month later, on February 2, we asked State Police to

Editorial: Press release pain at the pump

Editorial: gas pains

How about those gas prices?

Our friends at GasBuddy.com report we in New York are paying nearly 26 cents per gallon more than we were a month ago and a whopping $1.05 per gallon than one year ago.

Surely someone is to blame, right? Presidents take credit when the price at the pump plummets, so they’re certainly within criticism range when the price rises. Vladimir Putin gets a good bonk on the noggin, too, for his Ukrainian exploits. COVID uncertainty rattles the market – an increase in consumer demand as we head back out on the roads post-pandemic and prepare for our typical summertime driving. The gas companies – for Pete’s sake, how is it that gas prices are so quick to go up when the price of oil rises but seem to take forever to drop when the price-per-barrel falls.

And it’s an election year.

Gird yourself, then, for press releases out of Albany proclaiming bills to halt the eight-cents-a-gallon sales tax on gasoline, plans couched with wallet-friendly phrases like “we need to give New York drivers and working families a break” and “it’s a small step we can take to relieve the pain at the pump.” Some media outlets will jump at the opportunity to give that glimmer of hope that there might be some relief in store.

Don’t fall for it.

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