COOPERSTOWN – 63 households in Pittsfield and 103 across the county are without power following last night’s snowstorm, according to NYSEG.
Six inches of snow fell in the Richfield Springs area, with temperatures currently around 32 degrees. In Jordanville, all 38 NYSEG customers are without power. In Cooperstown, five households remain without power, and in Springfield Center, 10 homes.
PUBLIC SPEAKING – 5:30 p.m. Practice public speaking with the toastmasters. All welcome. The White House Building, The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-1466 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Frank Joseph Kranitz, 92, World War II veteran and owner of the Lake-n-Pines Motel on Otsego Lake for many years, passed away peacefully on Monday evening, Nov. 12, 2018, at the Saint Johnsville Rehabilitation Center in Montgomery County.
He was born on Oct. 12, 1926, in Woodside, Queens, son of the late Joseph and Mary Tones Kranitz. Frank was raised in Queens where he graduated high school.
After graduation, he answered the call of his country by enlisting in the Army during World War II.
PRESENTATION – 6:30 p.m. “Remembering World War 1” with Mark Simonson discussing impact on our area. Followed by open discussion with audience. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 607-432-1980 or visit hmloneonta.org/calendar/
TURKEY DINNER – 5 – 8 p.m. Senior Citizen Turkey Dinner. Free, open to all senior citizens. Take-out/delivery available. Cafeteria, Cooperstown High School. 607-547-8181 or visit www.cooperstowncs.org
This week’s Tom Morgan column on the facing page, and former DEC Commissioner Mike Zagata’s column last week capture the Upstate dilemma: Upstate is rebounding more slowly than any other area of the country.
First, let’s look at local bright spots.
• Custom Electronics in Oneonta is planning a futuristic 250-job production line making self-recharging batteries.
Andela Products, the Richfield Springs glass recycler, is likewise looking to expand. And Corning’s Oneonta plant is investing $11 million to ensure 150 jobs for the next 15 years.
• As or more important, as Spectrum dithers, Hartwick-based Otsego Electric Cooperative keeps expanding its broad-band ambitions, as the county Board of Representatives was told last month. The PT boat may outmaneuver the aircraft carrier.
• Even today, as the Otsego Chamber of Commerce and Senator Seward’s Workforce Summit was told last week, the challenge isn’t so much new jobs as finding people to fill existing jobs. RNs, code writers and CDL drivers can start tomorrow.
• What’s more, Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta, Bassett and Fox Hospital, plus thriving Springbrook provide a solid economic base.
• To top it off, county Treasurer Allen Ruffles reports the county’s tax rate, thanks to vibrant tourism, is the lowest among the state’s 67 counties. It’s been low – but THE lowest!
All this is good. What’s lacking is a future: new and better kinds of jobs and salaries to keep our young people here and bring in new ones, and
a vision to get us there.
At that Workforce Summit – 80 people packed The Otesaga’s Fenimore Room Wednesday, Oct. 31 – the indefatigable Alan Cleinman, the Oneonta-based consultant to the national optometry sector, provided that vision:
“The future is knowledge-based industry” Cleinman declared. “The future is not industry.”
Knowledge workers: “software engineers, physicians, pharmacists, architects, engineers, scientists, design thinkers, public accountants, lawyers, and academics, and any other white-collar workers whose line of work requires the one to ‘think for a living,’” is how Wikepedia defines it.
In constant national travels, Cleinman has visited such boomtowns as Boise, Idaho, and Bozeman, Mont. – places truly in the middle of nowhere that embraced “knowledge-based industry” and are thriving.
He estimated Hartwick and SUNY Oneonta have 75,000 living graduates and create 1,500 new ones a year, many of whom would no doubt love to relive positive college experiences here and, while at it, make a living.
Cleinman’s idea is to collaborate with the colleges on a marketing campaign to bring some of these people back – a one-percent return is 750 professionals. And to raise
a $1 million venture-capital fund to help them do so.
Senator Seward immediately pledged to form a task force to pursue the “Come Home to Otsego County” campaign, plus a “Stay Home” campaign. Contacted later, Hartwick President Margaret Drugovich also expressed support.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen the deepening of a county rift that could stop any forward movement short: economic developers versus no-gas, no-way, no-how adherents.
Otsego 2000, the formidable and well-funded Cooperstown-based environmental group, has laid the groundwork to sue Otsego Now’s economic developers and the City of Oneonta if plans for a gas-compression station goes forward.
A “knowledge economy” requires some energy – a million-square-foot office building would require 5,800 gallons of propane a day to heat, Otsego Now’s Jody Zakrevsky estimated – but considerably less than manufacturing.
No-gas, no-how may not be feasible. But a “knowledge economy” may allow a balanced energy strategy that is palatable all around.
Otsego 2000 President Nicole Dillingham herself expressed considerable interest in Cleinman’s idea.
If it and other environmental groups could move from always “no” to occasionally “yes,” that would be good all around.
In short, Cleinman’s right on.
Bozeman, Boise and other knowledge economies got where they are by embracing four qualities: ingenuity, educational resources, money and
quality of life, he said.
“We have them all in Otsego County,” the proud native son from Gilbertsville declared. “What better place to live than in this amazing county?”
What better place indeed? Fingers crossed. Let’s see where it goes.
WOODSMEN’S FESTIVAL – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Festival celebrates way people use, work with wood. Features lumberjack events, woodworking demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides, local vendors, mill tours, food, music, crafts, science exhibits, more. Cost, $9/adult. Hanford Mills, 51 Co. Hwy. 12, East Meredith. 607-278-5744 or visit www.hanfordmills.org
FALL ART SHOW – 1 – 3 p.m. Fall show features works by Leatherstocking Brush & Pallete Club, local artists. Includes bake sale to benefit Springfield Historical Society. Gym, Springfield Community Center, 29A, Springfield Center. 607-264-3375 or visit springfieldhistoricalsocietyny.org
THEATER – 7:30 p.m. Performance of “A Raisin In The Sun” following the Youngers, a black family in a Chicago apartment, as matriarch awaits an insurance check and family debates what to do with it. General admission, $5. Hamblin Theater, SUNY Oneonta. Visit oneonta.campuslabs.com/engage/event/2805226
WORD THURSDAY – 7 – 10 p.m. Writers are invited to share works at open mic followed by refreshments & featured author Kelly Bean, whose work discusses how we arrive at conclusions about literature, the world, what is knowledge; and Lisa Wujnovich, author of 2 poetry books ‘Fieldwork,’ ‘This Place Called Us.’ Bright Hill Press and Literary Center, 94 Church St., Treadwell. 607-829-5055 or visit www.facebook.com/brighthp/
RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Two 19-year-old are under arrest, charged in connection with a burglary at Park View Liquor at Main and Lake, State Police here announced today.
Troopers received the complaint at 6 a.m. Sept. 6 from a passerby who reported the glass door of the liquor store was broken. Four bottles of liquor were reported missing, totaling approximately $150. The damage to the door was valued at approximately $495.
MANSION TOURS – 7 – 8 p.m. Tour historic Fairchild Mansion with Bruce Van Buren and other Masons. Cost, $3/non-gohs-members. Enter through Portico on west side of lodge. Oneonta Free Mason Lodge, 322 Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org/upcomingevents.htm
FAMILY PROGRAM – 6 – 6:45 p.m. Ross Park Zoomobile presents sit down program featuring opportunity to learn about, handle exotic animals. Cooperstown Village Library. 607-547-8344 or visit www.facebook.com/VillageLibraryOfCooperstown/