News of Otsego County

Richfield Springs

Journalist with local ties details work at southern border
Photo by Jim McKeever of border wall in Tijuana showing names of deported military veterans. (contributed)

Journalist with local ties details work at southern border

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

RICHFIELD SPRINGS — Jim McKeever, an independent journalist, spoke about his experience volunteering at the southern border to a small group at the Richfield Springs Food Coop on Friday, Oct. 15.

McKeever, who went to the border in Texas and Tijuana, among other places, spoke of the Kafkaesque process asylum seekers needed to go through in order to enter the United States.

Asylum is non-existent right now,” McKeever said, who volunteered at shelters and legal rights organizations, trying to prepare migrants for asylum, as well as doing water drops in the desert. “Asylum approval rates are horrible.”

Life Sketches by Terry Berkson: Watching progress from the nearby bench

Life Sketches by Terry Berkson:
Watching progress
from the nearby bench

Stewart’s Shops convenience store and gas station in Richfield Springs was moving to the center of town because its location didn’t provide enough parking.

To make space, the building that was previously occupied by Kinney Drug Store and Patterson’s Chrysler and Oliver Dealership before that, had already been demolished and cleared off. All of this activity took place under the watchful eye of Lenny Homes, a retiree who spent much of his time keeping track of village happenings while occupying one of several benches situated along Main Street.
From his seated position, which amounted to a stone’s throw across what is actually Route 20, Homes was deeply absorbed in watching workers excavate the brick-littered ground in preparation for new gas tanks.

BERKSON: Learning to sink or swim at Perkins

Life Sketches

Learning to sink
or swim at Perkins

On my way home, while passing over the Elmer Sitts Road that links Monticello to Hyder Road, I always note a sign that marks “The Stauring Retreat,” which amounts to several small camps situated in the woods. Invariably, I think, “what ever happened to Chick Stauring?” I haven’t seen him in more than 50 years.

I don’t even know if he uses the retreat or if he lives anywhere near Richfield. I do know that I am and will always be deeply indebted to him.

When I was about 12 or 13, all the kids used to go to swim at Perkins on Canadarago Lake. There was a long dock that took you out into deep water and beyond that a large float on which we played innumerable games of tag. At that time there was a gas pump, boat rentals and a store up by the road where the Perkins sold everything from fishhooks to hamburgers.

BERKSON: Letting go of the past is a challenge at any age

Life Sketches

Letting go of the past
is a challenge at any age

Terry Berkson, who has an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College, lives on a farm outside Richfield Springs. His articles have appeared in New York magazine, the New York Daily News Sunday Magazine, Automobile and other publications.

My son Jonathan called me the other night to tell me he missed the old house in Brooklyn. He had lived there his whole life, as I did mine, except for the Army and my longest winter in Richfield Springs.

I told him I missed the house, too, and described my last days there. We had sold to a builder, so I knew the old Victorian was going to be demolished. In the meantime, we rented a one-room studio apartment only a block from the school where my wife Alice was finishing up her last year as a teacher. Both our kids were away working or at school. All of the furniture had been moved into the studio or up to the recently purchased farm, but I was still holding out at the house, sleeping on a mattress on the floor and using cardboard boxes to replace tables and such. Alice stayed at the apartment, but old Rufus, our yellow lab, was an outside dog all his life and I didn’t think he’d do well in the confines of our temporary digs, so I stayed at the house for as long as I could. It was late December, a few days before the closing date, when I had the gas, electric and telephone turned off. The main water valve, I could close myself.

Robert W. Bibik, 78 Born in Richfield Springs, served in U.S. Navy

In Memoriam

Robert W. Bibik, 78

Born in Richfield Springs, served in U.S. Navy

Robert W. Bibik

Robert W. Bibik, 78, of Fernandina Beach passed away Friday, July 16, 2021, at the Warner Center for Caring.

Born in Richfield Springs, NY, he was a son of the late Edward and Agnes Zilega Bibik.

He served in the U. S. Navy and soon after his discharge he and his wife, Cheryl, moved to Florida.

For 27 years he worked as an engineer for Florida Power and Light. He also worked for Duke Power and Progressive Energy before complete retirement. He and his wife moved to Fernandina Beach from Vero Beach six years ago. He was active member of the Civitan Club for many years.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Glimmer Globe Theater presents ‘The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)’ 07-14-21

Glimmer Globe Theater presents
‘The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)’


THEATER – 7 p.m. The Glimmer Globe Theater presents ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)’ with 3 actors (in tights) performing all 37 of the bards plays. Cost, $15/adult. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1453 or visit

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Music Fest at Meadowlinks 07-12-21

Music Fest at Meadowlinks


MUSIC ON THE MEADOW – 7 p.m. Come out for free music by Bill Scranton and Jeff Ruzich performing Classic Jazz/Rock. Bring a chair and blanket, sit in your car, or roam the trails. Enjoy a relaxing evening out. Meadowlinks Golf Course, 476 Co. Rd. 27, Richfield Springs. 607-432-4026 or visit

Cooperstown & Around: July 8, 2021

Cooperstown & Around

Village to host concert series at Lakefront Park

Cooperstown will host the Lakefront Concert series, which began Tuesday, July 6, and will take place every Tuesday from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and non-alcoholic beverages. The next concert will be Tuesday, July 13, and will feature the Kennesaw Mountain Boys.

Richfield to host concerts in the park

The Richfield Springs ‘Concert in the Park’ series, a free event, will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesdays on state Route 20, starting Wednesday, July 14.
Attendees should bring a blanket or chair.
The first event will feature classic country from the Nelson Brother’s Band.

Richfield community creates park

Richfield community creates park

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – About 15 people gathered Sunday, May 24, on Main Street in the village to turn the site of a formerly blighted home into a “pocket park.”

The property at 177 Main St. had been abandoned years ago, one of a handful of old houses in the area that had gotten too run down and where the former owners could not afford to restore it.
The Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank bought the property and demolished the house, but rebuilding on the L-shaped .67-acre property is complicated.

Richfield Springs freshman Braydon Misenick, left, and junior Damon Boss spread soil to prepare to plant a vegetable garden in the back of the park. (Greg Klein/

“According to the modern zoning laws, this lot is too narrow in the front to build a house,” said Allysa Dupont Rader, who works as the “zombie quarterback” for the land bank, finding abandoned houses and shepherding them back onto the tax rolls.

The village will revisit the zoning laws this summer, but the location of the property and its status as having the only remaining outdoor, uncovered sulphur spring in the village, made it an ideal candidate for a park in the meantime.

Vaccine clinics at local schools

Vaccine clinics at local schools

STAFF REPORT • Special to

The Otsego County Department of Health announced Thursday, May 6, that it would be setting up vaccine clinics at several county schools.

Residents 16 and up will be eligible for vaccinations.

Participating schools include Cherry Valley-Springfield, Richfield Springs, Schenevus and Morris. The clinics will be open from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Go to for more information.

Kinney Ready To Vaccinate Patrons 75-Plus

Kinney Ready

To Vaccinate

Patrons 75-Plus

Register Now; Shots Start Thursday

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Kinney Drugs, which has a pharmacy on Route 28 here, announced this afternoon it will receive initial doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this week to administer to people 75+ ONLY.

To register for vaccinations, which will administered in all Kinney stores, beginning Thursday, click here.

James S. Ainslie, 93; Farmer, Rural Carrier For Post Office

James S. Ainslie, 93; Farmer,

Rural Carrier For Post Office

Jim Ainslie

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – James S. Ainslie, 93, of Ainslie Road, Town of Otsego, a farmer and longtime rural mail carrier, passed away Wednesday morning, Dec. 9, 2020, while being transported to the hospital.

His family regrets they could not be with him due to COVID-19 restrictions; he will be greatly missed. A kind, giving man, loving husband, grandfather and dedicated father, he would do anything to help family, neighbors and friends.

He was born on July 4, 1927, to Edna and William Ainslee. In addition to her parents, he was predeceased by his loving wife of over 60 years, Effie (Locke), as well as brothers Harold Ainslie and Leo McLean.

$1.25M Federal Grant OK’d For Developing Richfield Springs Site

$1.25M Federal Grant

OK’d For Developing

Richfield Springs Site

Funding Allows Andela Products Expansion

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – The U.S. Commerce Department has approved a $1.2 million grant to establish the Richfield Springs Eco-Industrial Business Park, Otsego Now, the county’s economic development agency, announced today.

The Economic Development Administration grant, to be matched with $325,000 in state funds and $875,000 in local funds, is expected to generate more than $10.5 million in private investment, the announcement said.

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