News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Schenevus news

Veteran Cabinet Maker Works With Wood – But Creations Flow


Veteran Cabinet Maker

Works With Wood –

But Creations Flow

Cabinet maker Joe Muehl of Schenevus discusses “Who’s the Fairest?”, a Snow-White inspired mirror on display at CANO through Dec. 22.It took first place at the Northeastern Woodworkers Association “Showcase” last March in Saratoga Springs.  (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – One afternoon, Joe Muehl got the urge to build a model airplane.

“I hadn’t done one in 40 years,” he said. “And when I finished, I thought, well now what do I do with it? So I built a table around it.”

Muehl’s sidetable,  “The Only Good War,” substitutes cucumbers for bombs.


Titled “The Only Good War,” the glass and wood table depicts the model airplane dropping plastic cucumbers that dangle below the table.

After at Friday, Dec. 6, opening, it’s on display through Sunday, Dec. 22, at CANO, Oneonta’s arts council at 11 Ford Ave., part of Muehl’s show of handcrafted tables, mirrors, cabinets and lamp at CANO.

“I grew up in a farm family, so I’ve always been about the practical, rather than the sculptural,” he said. “I wanted to make stuff you could use.”

With a SUNY Oneonta degree in art and art history, Muehl built his first desk in 1971. “It worked,” he said. “It was very basic and simple, I used it at home.”

He honed his craft, working for 20 years as a cabinet maker, including making cabinets for his and wife Christine’s Schenevus home. “I like cabinetry because of the way things fit together,” he said. “I like doors and drawers.”

He went back to school for a master’s in social work, working for 19 years at an outpatient substance abuse program in Delaware County, retiring in 2015.

And in retirement, he’s found time to return to his passion for woodworking, including building his own woodworking bench.

“I always do original designs, never reproductions,” he said. “In a lot of ways, I’m self-taught, and now I have the luxury of time to play with different designs.”

He is especially influenced by Art Deco and Art Nouveau. “I like the geometry of Art Deco, but the fluidity of Art Nouveau,” he said. “I like to work with them together. And I use a lot of asymmetry to prevent them from being too boring! It causes the eye to move around more, creates something different.”

And in addition to the plane and cucumber “bombs” of “The Only Good War,” he has incorporated miniatures into other projects, including a commissioned mirror. “I made it look like someone was putting up a billboard,” he said. “I made little pulleys and scaffolding, and I used an old advertisement in the top upper left corner, above the frame.”

He called the piece “Quitting Time,” complete with tiny abandoned tools in the lift baskets.

An average piece takes three and four weeks to make, primarily with domestic hardwoods. “I’ve always been concerned about the environment,” he said. “I’ll use hardwood veneers sometimes, but I try to stay away from rainforest wood.”

In addition to CANO’s current show, he has shown in nearly a dozen exhibitions, including taking first place at this year’s Northeastern Woodworkers Association “Showcase” last March in Saratoga Springs, for his Snow-White inspired mirror, “Who’s The Fairest?” and second place for “Turkey Feathers” lamp, both on display at CANO.

“Building is a wonderful discipline,” he said. “There’s a satisfaction of working towards a goal. I feel sorry for people who don’t work with their hands – they’re missing out on something.”

John Shulgay, 80, Schenevus; CV Native Farmed, Drove Truck, Worked For Town

IN MEMORIAM:  John Shulgay, 80, Schenevus;

Farmed, Drove Truck, Worked For Westford

SCHENEVUS – John Shulgay, 80, a Cherry Valley native who retired from the Town of Westford, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 at his residence.

He was born Dec. 2, 1938 in Cherry Valley, the son of Pete and Pauline (Mygus) Shulgay.  He grew up in Cherry Valley and attended Cherry Valley School.

At Meeting, Schenevus Superintendent Urges Merger


At Packed Meeting,

Superintendent Says

Merger Is Best Option

Schenevus Superintendent Theresa Carlin presented three options – merging, tuition-out or dissolving – for the future of the school district tonight at a public meeting in the school’s gymnasium. (James Cummings/

By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special to

Hugh Gallagher’s three children attended Schenevus Central, and he stood up to support of merging with Worcester Central to get more state aid for both schools.

SCHENEVUS — With time and money running out, Schenevus Central School Superintendent Theresa Carlin gave parents three options for their district: Dissolve, tuition-out or merge.

“We cannot sustain ourselves as a K-12 district much longer,” she said at a presentation in the school gymnasium tonight. “Our number one solution is to merge with another district.

But families who came out to the meeting were divided on which of those three choices to make.

Doug Gulotty, a Schenevus resident and former Wilber Bank president who spent 17 years as a board member and whose wife teaches at the school, favors tuitioning-out. “The identity of the school matters,” Gulotty said. “I want everyone to keep an open mind.”

Kurt A. Krueger, Sr., 83; Raised St. Bernards At Schenevus Kennel

IN MEMORIAM: Kurt A. Krueger, Sr., 83;

Raised St. Bernards At Schenevus Kennel

Kurt Krueger

SCHENEVUS – Kurt A. Krueger, Sr., 83, who raised St. Bernards with his wife at the Rambling Creek Kennel  passed away Oct. 10, 2019 at Cooperstown Center.

He was born on June 13, 1936 in Jersey City, N.J., the son of Harry and Mary Lisa – Krueger.

He married Janet Voss-Jindella on Oct. 22, 1955, in New Jersey. He moved to Schenevus more than 40 years ago, and has lived there since.

Patricia A. Hunter, 79; Schenevus Resident Served In Air Force

IN MEMORIAM:  Patricia A. Hunter, 79;

Schenevus Resident Served In Air Force

Patricia Hunter

SCHENEVUS – Patricia A. Hunter, 79, a lifelong resident except for service in the Air Force, passed away Feb. 20, 2019, at Bassett Hospital.

She was born Feb. 22, 1939, in Oneonta, the daughter of Clifford and Eva (Gabriel) Currie.

Pat married Hartley Hunter on June 28, 1958, in Albany. He predeceased her in May 2008.

Kelle A. Clark Diaz, 42; Schenevus Resident Succumbs To Cancer

IN MEMORIAM:  Kelle A. Clark Diaz, 42;

Schenevus Resident Succumbs To Cancer

Kelle Clark Diaz

SCHENEVUS – Kelle A. Clark Diaz, 42, a Bassett Healthcare accounting clerk, passed away at her home on Sunday evening, Jan. 20, 2019, following a courageous battle with cancer.

Kelle was born on July 3, 1976 in St. Petersburg, Fla., and attended the University of South Florida in Tampa.

She worked as an accounting clerk for Bassett Healthcare until she was forced to retire early due to her illness, Kelle enjoyed the time she shared with her co-workers.

Scott W. Roland, Schenevus; GE Executive, Glass Expert

Scott W. Roland, Schenevus;

GE Executive, Glass Expert

Scott Roland

SCHENEVUS – Scott William Roland, a former Fortune 500 executive and an antique dealer with expertise in vintage glass, died peacefully on Nov. 1, 2018.

Scott is the fourth child of Ralph Mayo Roland and Cecelia M. “Rusty” Roland.

Graduating in 1976 from Niskayuna High School, Scott was a varsity soccer, basketball and baseball athlete. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1980 from Cornell University, where he was a member of and president of the university chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity.

Mary Pier, 86; Schenevus; For Years, Ran M&R Grocery With Husband

IN MEMORIAM:  Mary Pier, 86; Schenevus;

For Years, Ran M&R Grocery With Husband

SCHENEVUS – Mary L. Pier, 86, who operated the M&R Grocery here for many years with husband Rich, passed away peacefully July 4, 2018, at the Wilkinson Residential Health Care in Amsterdam.

She was born June 23, 1932 in Schenevus, the daughter of Charles and Louise (Nellis) Hubbard.  She married Richmond Pier on June 7, 1952 at the Schenevus United Methodist Church.

Eleanor Raymond, 75; Taught Math At Grand George, Windham

IN MEMORIAM: Eleanor Raymond, 75;

Taught Math At Grand George, Windham

Eleanor Raymond

SCHENEVUS – Retired teacher Eleanor (Powell) Raymond, 75, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on Jan. 24, 2018, at Bassett Hospital.

Eleanor was born on Feb. 28, 1942, in Huntington, L.I., to William and Lorraine Powell. She and her family moved to a farm in Grand Gorge when she was 5.  She attended SUNY Cobleskill and SUNY Oneonta, and graduated with her teaching certification.

Questionnaire — Oberacker

Peter Oberacker



EDUCATION: Associate Degree Food Sale & Distribution


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: C.H. Graham Hose Company, Schenevus Valley Lodge 592 Masons, Schenevus Methodist Church, Town of Maryland Board, Town of Maryland supervisor, Foundation of Excellence board member.

FAMILY: Wife Shannon, daughter Holli, son Derek.


MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY: Rebuilding our infrastructure while keeping taxes in line. A County Manager would be a great start.

MY QUALITIES: Having served on my local government as Supervisor, it gave me an appreciation for those that serve. What it takes financially to run a municipal entity, and the importance of communication.


“The reason a lot of  people don’t recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work.” Thomas A. Edison.

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