MOUNT VISION – Richard Lavern Kinney Sr., 83, a Guardsman, printer and county highway department employee, passed away on Jan. 8, 2019, in Orlando, Fla., as a result of cardiac issues.
He was born in Schuyler Lake, in the bedroom of his parent’s home in September 1938. Richard and Mary Helen Evans of Mount Vision married on July 14, 1956, and subsequently celebrated 63 years of marriage.
On the surface, the
argument makes sense,
Boston-based Xpress Natural Gas’ trucks, carrying fuel from fracking fields in Northeastern Pennsylvania across Otsego County to the Iroquois Pipeline near Little Falls, are legal carriers and should be allow to use
New York State roads just like
any other legal carrier.
After all, what’s next? Should we then ban oil tankers? Suburban Propane delivery trucks? Dump trucks, where pebbles might from time to time slip out from under the tarps? Loud motorcycles? Model Ts and other antiques that don’t operate at
current fuel-efficiency standards?
Oh where, oh where will
There’s a certain logic to the argument. But, honestly, XNG trucks have caused four “incidents” – three down-and-out accidents, no doubt about it (Google “XNG” at www.allotsego.com) – since they began crossing the county en masse 18 months ago.
Have there been three oil-tanker crashes? Three Suburban Propane truck crashes? Sure, pebbles have slipped from under tarps, but the results are an occasional cracked windshield; should we ban them completely for that?
Face it, the XNG trucks are different. For one, there are just that many more of them: 80 a day, back and forth, for 160 individual trips. In 500 days, that’s 80,000 trips. The magnitude alone assures there will continue to be “incidents” – and worse.
“Four ‘incidents’ in Otsego County. That tells me these trucks are different from other vehicles,” said Nicole Dillingham, president of Otsego 2000, the Cooperstown-based environmental group that has called for action where local governments have not. “They are too heavy. They’re top heavy. And the drivers are tired.”
Reporters for this newspaper have covered the crashes. In two cases, the trucks that have fallen over did so on Route 205 north
of Hartwick hamlet, a sparsely populated stretch.
The Wednesday, July 11, crash just shy of Schuyler Lake, was of a different magnitude – or easily could have been. The fully loaded northbound rig came over a very slight rise on a very slight curve and toppled off the road. Just a 10th of a mile
further on – maybe 150 yards; a
football field and a half – was the hamlet itself: homes and people.
Looking at the scene, it would be hard for any sensible person to conclude: a little bit farther, that same rig under very similar circumstances could have had serious – even fatal – results.
No, we’re not being overdramatic. Go see for yourself.
Equally troubling is a circumstance that’s becoming clear: In the three cases, the trailers being pulled by cabs slipped off the pavement for a moment, sank into too-soft shoulders and toppled. On many, many stretches of Route 205 and Route 28, the shoulders are the same and, given 16,000 trips every 100 days, it’s going to happen again and again.
It doesn’t have to be.
Dillingham’s been getting the run-around. She goes to the towns; they say it has to be handled at the state level by the Department of Transportation. She goes to the DOT, it says its hands are tied without a request for a “traffic study” from the towns along the route.
A traffic study might well determine the trucks are simply too heavy for the roads, and order them onto four-lanes – I-88 or I-81 to the New York State Thruway (I-90) and, hence, Little Falls. There’s a ready alternative.
But, according to Oneonta Town Supervisor Bob Wood, chairman of the county Association of Town Supervisors, his colleagues believe a truck
being operated legally should be
allowed on any legal roads. They tell him: What’s next? Are we going to ban Suburban Propane delivery trucks? And there we are.
What are some other options? Maybe a petition by citizens would convince the DOT to act. Maybe a request – firmly worded – from the county Board of Representatives, which next meets Wednesday, Aug. 1, plus vigorous follow-up, would do the trick. Certainly, our state delegation – Senator Seward and Assemblymen Magee, Miller, etc. – could dent DOT’s resolve to do nothing.
Right now, Otsego 2000 is drafting a resolution for town boards to consider passing. And Wood said Dillingham is welcome to talk at one of his association’s monthly meetings. He should invite her to do that soonest.
OK, there have been four “incidents,” three of them crashes. We’ve been lucky it hasn’t happened in a populated hamlet. But it will.
Let’s not wait until an XNG rig plows into someone’s living room or rolls over someone’s mobile home, with perhaps a fatal effect.
Bad things can happen, we can see. Let’s act before they do.
SCHUYLER LAKE – Responding to the fourth XNG truck mishap since transports began in February, firefighters and emergency personnel blocked off several roads leading to a crash site near Schuyler Lake until 3 a.m. today, keeping some people from their homes for hours.
“We were up at the florists, and when we came back down, they had the road blocked off,” said Exeter resident Christine Allen, who lives less than half a mile from the crash site. “We couldn’t get to our house, so we went to Stewart’s and got a banana split.”
Allen was finally able to get back to her home later in the evening when responders let her through to get to her house. According to Allen, she heard a loud noise when crews released the gas from the trailer.
SCHUYLER LAKE – Laurie Ann Pestar, 56, Cooperstown Elementary School principal’s secretary for many years, passed away at home on Saturday, June 16, 2018, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
She was born April 6, 1962, to Leslie and Ethel (Phoenix) Weir. Raised in Oaksville, Laurie grew up loving horses and developed an early appreciation of all things in nature. She graduated from Cooperstown Central School in 1980 and was happy meeting up with old classmates throughout her life.
MORE FILM FESTIVAL: The Wrap Party and Live Auction at the of the fifth annual Glimmerglass Film Days will take place on Sunday at 7:30 pm at the Cooperstown Distillery. Enjoy Turkish mezza prepared by the Empire House, talk about your favorite films, and take part in a live auction. But there are plenty of films left view; click here for Sunday’s schedule.
MUSICAL – 2 p.m. CCS presents “Little Women” about Jo March and her 3 sisters during the Civil War as they grow up. Cooperstown High school Auditorium. Call 607.547.8181 or visit www.cooperstowncs.org/4460-2/#.WfjUrltSyUk
COOPERSTOWN – The county Highway Department, with Contractor Suit-Kote, will be “micro-milling” Route 22 from Schuyler Lake to Richfield Springs, beginning Monday, county Highway Superintendent Bill Mason reports.
SCHUYLER LAKE – Nicholas Charles Kelly, 64, for 17 years a lineman with Otsego Electric Cooperative, died Monday afternoon, July 31, 2017, at his home surrounded by his loving family.
Nick was born Jan. 30, 1953, at Bassett Hospital, first born and only son of Charles W. and Dorothy P. (Oblak) Kelly. Nick grew up on the family farm where he worked alongside his father and grandfather “JW”. He graduated from Richfield Springs Central School, where he excelled in basketball and baseball.
Following graduation, he worked with his Dad drilling wells and cutting logs before joining Otsego Electric Cooperative in Hartwick at a lineman. In the fall of 2000, a disability led to Nick’s early retirement.
RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Joan Willard Atkins, 81, a former teacher in Richfield Springs, passed away Monday July 17, 2017, in Cortland Regional Medical Center, with her family by her side.
She was born on Dec. 4, 1935, in Orchard Park, daughter of the late George E. and Florence Fisher Willard. Joan was raised in Orchard Park and was a graduate of Orchard Park High School. She received a bachelor’s in education at SUNY Cortland.
WOMEN’S FILM SERIES – 7 p.m. The final film in the Women’s Liberation series will be “He Named Me Malala.” It tells the story of Malala Yousafzai who survived a murder attempt by a Taliban gunman and went on to become an activist for Human Rights, especially female education. The First Baptist Church, 21 Elm St., Cooperstown. Info, www.facebook.com/ctownfirstbaptist/
CHILI CONTEST – 1-3 p.m. Try all the chili and corn bread and decide which is the best. Includes music by John Hopper and some crafters. Hartwick Community Center, 450 Co Rd 11, Hartwick. Info, call Caren Kelsey (607)293-7530
CONCERT – 3 p.m. Oneonta Community Concert band presents its annual “Summertime in Winter” concert featuring numbers like “Hail to the Spirit of Liberty”, “I’ve Made My Plans for the Summer”, and “Our Flirtations.” Free and open to the public. Fox Care Center, Oneonta. Info, 437-1052
TOURNAMENT – 4 p.m. Valentine “Hearts” Tournament to benefit Susquehanna Animal Shelter. Trophies and door prizes awarded, with beverages and food available. Cooperstown Beverage Exchange, 73 Main St, Cooperstown. Info, susquehannaanimalshelter.org/category/events/
We still have 6 families in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program in need of a benefactor this holiday season. CLICK HERE to learn how you can help them.
CONCERT – 3 p.m. “Christmas in the Catskills: Songs of the Season” the winter concert of the Catskill Chamber Singers. Unitarian Universalist Church, 12 Ford Ave., Oneonta. Info, Emma Kirsch (607)433-0999, or visit www.catskillchambersingers.com
YULETIDE CELEBRATION – 1-4 p.m. Hunt for the Yule log and then settle in for an afternoon of arts and crafts for the whole family. SUNY Oneonta College Camp, off upper East St.,Oneonta. one mile from intersection of Bugbee Rd. and East St., Oneonta. Info, 436-3455
WASSAIL WEEKEND – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Demonstration on how to make Wassail, the traditional holiday drink. Savory spices blended with sweet cider at The Fly Creek Cider Mill, 288 Goose St., Fly Creek. Info, 1-800-505-6455, flycreekcidermill.com
THEATER – 2 p.m. High School musical, “Into the Woods.” Cooperstown Central School, 39 Linden Ave, Cooperstown. Info, cooperstowncs.org
ART EXHIBIT – 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Drawings “Life on the Family Farm in the 40s & 50s” by Lavern Kelly. The Art Garage, 689 Beaver Meadow Rd., Cooperstown. Info, (607)547-5327 or email email@example.com or visit the FACEBOOK page.
SOUP! – 11 a.m.-2 p.m., “Second Sunday Soup,” serving homemade hot soup every 2nd Sunday of month. Takeout available. All welcome, donations appreciated. At the Polly House (next to the Fire House), Schuyler Lake. More info at lollywinne.wix.com/littlewhitechurch
FILM SERIES – 9:30 a.m.-Noon. “ Brunch and Discussion with Peter Rutkoff, “The Language You Cry In.” Templeton Hall, 63 Pioneer St., Cooperstown. Info, glimmerglassfilmdays.org/films-events.