ONEONTA – Matthew Lee Bowman, 48, a computer systems administrator who attended Oneonta schools and received his bachelor’s from SUNY Oneonta, passed away Aug. 20, 2017, in his home in Clifton Park.
He was born May 12, 1969, in Tacoma, Wash., and was adopted by John F. and Margaret M. (Mahnken) Bowman. Matt grew up in a military family, traveling the world. After his father retired, his family returned to Central New York.
SCHENEVUS – “Welcome,” an audience member called out when Otsego Now CEO Sandy Mathes finished introducing the concept of a 250- to 600-job distribution center to a community whose commercial base dropped from 57 businesses to a handful in the last half-century.
Even with 90 minutes of sometimes probing questions that followed from the 75 citizens at the AMVETS this evening, the audience broke into applause when the presentation and Q&A came to an end.
“We will be as aggressive as we can to maximize the local benefits,” Mathes pledged at several points.
But he also referred to the uncertainty and strategic nature of what lies ahead for 600-resident Schenevus and the Town of Maryland (total population 1,897) over the next couple of years.
“It’s like making a sports team,” he said. “You’ve got to make the cut.”
SCHENEVUS – Since the news broke on AllOTSEGO.com Thursday, Jan. 26, companies seeking distribution-center sites have already begun calling county Rep. Peter Oberacker to express interest, he told the 35 people who packed the Maryland Town Board’s meeting room this evening.
“We’ve been contacted,” said Oberacker, the Republican who represents the towns of Maryland, Worcester, Westford and Decatur. “Nobody’s committed, but we’ve been contacted.”
Still, he encouraged people not to get too excited yet about development of the 170-acre site on the east end of this hamlet at the I-88 exit, which could bring an estimated 250 to 500 jobs here. “It’s not going to be all unicorns and rainbows,” he said.
But upbeat townspeople were having none of it at the lighthearted 90-minute meeting, where attendees eagerly blue-skied about what might be.
In today’s weekly report, “Morning Headlines,” on WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, Jim Kevlin, editor/publisher of www.AllOTSEGO.com (and Hometown Oneonta & the Freeman’s Journal), reports on plans to develop 130 acres off the Schenevus exit to I-88 for Otsego County’s first just-in-time distribution center, which may yield up to 500 jobs.
Otsego Now today took an option on 175 acres off Interstate 88’s Exit 18 at Schenevus, aiming to bring a 250-300 job distribution center there, perhaps as soon at 2018.
The Otsego Now board of directors unanimously approved the $3,000-per-year option, which will allow the SEQRA process – the state-mandated environmental review – to begin as soon at March 1. The goal is to create a “shovel-ready site with an eye toward attracting Amazon or another mega-retailer planning distribution centers in the Northeast U.S.
SCHENEVUS – Robert J. Barton, 88, a dairy farmer and one of the organizers of the Schenevus-Elk Creek Milk Producers Cooperative in the 1980s, passed away Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, after suffering a heart attack.
The son of Iva and Ernest Barton, he was born on May 16, 1928. Bob spent his entire life in Schenevus, most of it working on the family farm.
Bob started his education in the local one-room school and graduated from Andrew S. Draper Central. He received a bachelor’s in physical education from Ithaca College in 1951. He worked for three years at General Electric in Schenectady.
SCHENEVUS – Felicita Rivera, 81, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, at Albany Medical Center. She retired to Schenevus 15 years ago, near her daughter Dinah and son Barry.She was born on May 2, 1935 in Humacao, Puerto Rico; the daughter of Aureo and Petra (Sanchez) Jimenez.
In addition to her daughter and son, she is survived by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her brothers and sisters and her numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
By LIBBY CUDMORE & JIM KEVLIN • for www.AllOTSEGO.com
SCHENEVUS – Today’s bus, semis and multi-car pileup on I-88’s west bound lanes added up to the worst incident First Assistant Chief Paul Neske of the Schenevus Fire Department has seen on the four-lane in his 40 years as a firefighter.
“This is the stuff we hear about on the national news,” he said this evening at the fire district headquarters on Main Street.
Neske was in church when the first call came in at 11:51 a.m. – a single car had gone off I-88’s westbound lane. He dispatched a fire engine and ambulance, and the team was soon reporting from the scene: A whiteout, “heavy traffic” and “weather conditions deteriorating.”
Meanwhile, the Worcester Emergency Squad had been called to two two-car crashes along the same stretch, according to squad’s chief, Sid Chase, who found “blizzard conditions,” high winds and “no visibility.”
Weather conditions like this can make it a lot harder for road users to keep control of their cars, especially when the ground is full of ice or snow. Some people may even decide to avoid driving altogether and will wait until it is considerably safer to do so. To prevent car accidents like this from happening in these adverse weather conditions, drivers should consider getting their cars serviced by professional mechanics in their area, similar to the ones you can find at Browns Plain Car Service, (click here to find out more). As a result, they will have their tires, brakes, and anything else thoroughly checked before setting out on these treacherous roads. Car accidents can happen in any condition, especially those that cause high winds and reduced visibility.
For Jay Palmer, Westford, Schenevus Central School’s annual Veterans Day breakfast isn’t just a meal – it’s a chance to remind the next generations about the price of freedom. “I come to show these young kids that a lot people gave their lives for the country they live in today,” he said. “Freedom isn’t free.”
Palmer, who was stationed at a U.S. naval base in Japan in 1958-67, was one of 45 veterans of Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan who attended the 14th annual breakfast Monday, Nov. 10. “This school has a long-standing history of hosting veterans for this breakfast,” said Jake Palmateer, ONC BOCES public relations specialist.
The 12th grade government class started the breakfast in 2000, but this year, the 50th anniversary of the U.S. escalation in Vietnam War, fourth-grade teachers Shannon Weir and Kathleen Walke wanted their pupils to deepen their understanding of soldiers’ sacrifice. “We talked about why we appreciate them and why we have tomorrow off,” said Weir. “They fought so that we could have the rights to the education they’re receiving.”
The fourth graders helped serve breakfast, sat with the veterans and put pins in the “Where Have You Been?” map to show where veterans were stationed around the world.
In addition, 420 students from pre-K to fourth grade replicated the Vietnam Memorial in the cafeteria, but instead of names of the deceased, they decorated the walls with pictures, poems and letters of thanks the veterans for their service. “We’re not in D.C. to see The Wall, so we created our own,” said Weir. “We want them to have that personal connection.”
The a cappella choir performed the National Anthem, and the high school band entertained diners with Duke Ellington’s “Satin Doll” and “The Patriotic Spectacle.” And before the speakers began, the entire fourth grade lined up to read Cheryl Dyson’s poem, “Veteran’s Day.”
First Sgt. George Ost, a National Guardsman who served in Iraq, was the guest speaker, with his daughter, senior Danielle Ost, reading a poem to introduce him. “When I think of veterans, I think of Vietnam vets,” he said. “We appreciate our vets today, but we also need to think about our past.”
In addition, the Iroquois chapter of the DAR presented each veteran with a star cut from retired American flags, part of the national Stars For Our Troops program. “I met a woman who had worn hers in her helmet when she fought in Iraq,” said Roxanne Murray. “It inspired us to start giving them out last year.”
Since then, over 200 have been given to soldiers in Otsego County, and many have been sent to troops overseas.
“Seeing these soldiers shows them what it takes to be a good citizen,” said Weir. “It’s about being respectful, responsible and making sacrifices.”
“Our kids look up to you,” said Supt. of Schools Thomas Jennings told the vets. “And you’re the best example they have.”