HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, JULY 30
FAIR OPENING – Noon. Celebrate opening of the Fair with NY State Sire Stake Harness Racing, Fire Service/School Band Parade, fireworks show, much more. Otsego County Fair, 48 Lake St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit www.otsegocountyfair.org
Column by Mike Zagata for November 2, 2018.
Is Upstate Downbeat?
Blame Slow Recovery
According to a newly released report from the Empire Center for Public Policy, “New York’s Uneven Economic Recovery: A Tale of Two States,” those of us who live in Upstate New York escaped the real estate/housing bubble that led to the economic crash in 2008. Why? Because our economy was so bad that we didn’t experience a bubble like the rest of the country. How’s that for good news?
Since the economic downturn, the Governor has claimed he has grown the state’s economy back to recovery. Have you experienced a recovery? Here’s how he’s been able to make that claim.
According to the governor, “We created 1,000,000 jobs (since 2011). New York State today has more private-sector jobs than it has had in the history of the state. Period. Unemployment went from 8.5 to 4.2 percent, and the recovery was statewide. In the old days you would see New York City doing very well, and Upstate would be struggling. Look how even the recovery is all across the State.”
The data don’t support that claim. In fact, to the contrary, it shows a sharp and growing economic divide between Upstate and downstate. According to the “Report,”, “By any standard, Upstate New York’s economic recovery has been among the weakest of any region in the country”. Only West Virginia, Wyoming and Arkansas, coal and minerals-dependent economies, have fared poorer. According to the Report, New York’s annual rate of real GDP growth has been lower than the rate for ALL states in six of his first seven years in office.
New York City, followed by Long Island and the lower Hudson valley, suburbs for the City, has enjoyed the highest rate of job growth in the state. At the same time, Upstate has gained private-sector jobs at about one-third of the national rate.
Of the State’s 62 counties,
23 of them, all but one
Upstate, have yet to recover to their pre-crash private employment levels. Knowing this, the Governor banned fracking in an attempt to court the “green community” and stopped the pipelines that could have brought much-needed natural gas and jobs to our region.
Did the unemployment rate in Upstate really drop or was it made to look that way – remember the old “shell” game? Based upon information in the Report, total private-sector employment Upstate grew by 6.3 percent since 2010. That is about one-third the U.S. rate of growth (17.8 percent) and even worse than that for downstate (21.2 percent). The Southern Tier counties ranged from having a loss of jobs to zero-5 percent growth. Guess where we fell in the ranking?
According to the Report, the 48 up-state counties saw a drop in employment “by a combined total of 87,500 from August 2010 to August 2018. Yes, the unemployment rate Upstate fell, but only because the labor force in those counties decreased by 210,000 people” – a result of fewer people looking for work because they had either given up, left the state or both.
Mike Zagata, DEC commissioner in the Pataki Administration and former environmental executive with Fortune 500 companies, lives in West Davenport
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23
READING SERIES – 7:30 – 9 p.m. Red Dragon Reading Series presents Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, author of “Blue Talk and Love,” which tells the stories of girls, women of color navigating daily urban life. Craven Lounge, Morris Conference Center, SUNY Oneonta. Visit oneonta.campuslabs.com/engage/event/2761939
FILM SCREENING – 6 – 8 p.m. Join Library, MVPHP and the Otsego County Department of Health view watch SMACKED! a documentary about addiction, recovery in Otsego County. Followed by panel discussion. Richfield Springs Public Library, 102 Main St., Richfield Springs. 315-858-0230 or visit www.facebook.com/Richfield-Springs-Public-Library-1068210423236404/
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, AUG. 16
CONCERT – 7-8:30 p.m. “New Horizons Barbershop Chorus & Quartets” sing A Capella in the Barbershop style. Spring Park,27-35 E. Main St., Richfield Springs. Call 315-858-0964 or visit www.richfieldspringschamber.org/?tribe_events=concert-in-the-park-7
ART & PHOTOS – 6-8 p.m. Exhibit opening features the art of local artists and old photos of Roseboom. On display thru Aug. 30. Roseboom Historical Association, 123 St. Hw. 165, Roseboom. Visit www.facebook.com/RoseboomHistorical/
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, AUG. 9
DRI WALKING TOUR – 7 p.m. Explore Main and Market Street areas covered by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative with Mayor Gary Herzig and the Greater Oneonta Historical Society. Learn about the Past, Present, and Future of Downtown Oneonta. Call (607)432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org
THEATER – 7 p.m. The Glimmer Globe Theater presents William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. Call (607) 547-1492 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/A-Midsummer-Nights-Dream
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, NOV. 18
To Learn How You Can Help Area Families This Holiday Season CLICK HERE.
HOLIDAY DISPLAY OPENS – Noon-3 p.m. Bresee’s Santa, model train layouts, and other traditional holiday displays. Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., Oneotna. Info, (607)432-0960 or www.oneontahistory.org
FUNDRAISER – 4:30-7 p.m. Brooks Barbeque Chicken Dinner & Homemade Pie Sale. Proceeds benefit the church’s Global Mission Outreach. Christ Episcopal Church, 69 Fair St., Cooperstown. Info, (607)547-9555.
GINGERBREAD CONTEST ENTRY – 3-6 p.m. Gingerbread house contest will be accepting contest and exhibit entries. Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. signedevents.com/united-states/oneonta/gingerbread-contest/ , (607)432-2941
PRESENTATION – 7:30 p.m. Dr. Allison Oakes, American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project, presents on the Return of the American Chestnut. Elm Park United Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Free and open to the public. Includes refreshments. Info, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit doas.us/event/return-american-chestnut