News of Otsego County

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

Senator Seward

 Seward, Salka Regret NYC’s Loss Of Amazon


 Seward, Salka Regret

NYC’s Loss Of Amazon


ONEONTA – Otsego County’s delegation in the state Legislature today expressed regret on news that Amazon has backed away from locating its second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.

“This is a lost opportunity for New York State,” said state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford.  “It is extremely unfortunate that a hostile political environment has resulted in the loss of 25,000 good paying jobs.  While I have been critical of the lack of transparency involved in the Amazon deal, I was ultimately supportive of the economic opportunities that were on our horizon.”

Skeptical Seward Had ‘Frank Talks’ With Frontier, PSC

Skeptical Seward

Had ‘Frank Talks’

With Frontier, PSC

Senator Urges Constituents To Keep

Complaints Coming Until Outages End


MORRIS – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, today said he has received assurances from Frontier Communications and from John B. Rhodes, state Public Service Commission chairman, that frequent lengthy outages in telephone service in the Butternut Valley will be address.

But he added, “the proof is in the pudding.  I will remain vigilant and encourage constituents to keep me apprised of any additional problems.”

The problems are in western Otsego County and contiguous areas of Delaware County.

“After learning of telephone outages in rural portions of my district, I called on Frontier Communications to spell out what is being done to correct deficiencies and ensure customers that they will have reliable service moving forward,” said Seward in a press release issued over the weekend.





Frontier Customers Experience

Long Outages In Western Otsego

Senator Seward

ONEONTA – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford,  today called on the state Department of Public Service and Frontier Communications to review and remedy recent problems with phone service in western Otsego County.

“Reliable communication service is essential in the event of an emergency, for economic development, and for quality of life,” said Senator Seward.  “Recent telephone outages in a rural portion of my senate district isolated customers and compromised safety.  Adding insult to injury, the response from telephone carrier Frontier Communications has been fully inadequate.”

Ranking Republican On Finance, Seward’s Other Assignments Made

Ranking Republican On Finance,

Seward’s Other Assignments Made


ONEONTA – In addition to serving as ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, today announced he will also serve on the education, finance, higher education, insurance and rules committees.

As longtime chairman of the Insurance Committee, he said he looks forward to serving there, and in particular on Education and Higher Education, he said.

State Of State Includes Senator, Both Mayors, Chair Of County Board


State Of State Includes

Senator, Both Mayors,

Chair Of County Board

ONEONTA – The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce today announced the lineup for its annual State of the State Breakfast, scheduled as it’s been traditionally done on the day after New Year’s Day.

The headliners are state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, Cooperstown’s new mayor, Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and her Oneonta counterpart, Gary Herzig, and David Bliss, chairman of the Otsego County Board of Representatives.

Seward Appointed Top Republican On Finance Committee

Seward Appointed

Top Republican On

Finance Committee

Newly In Minority, Senator

Vows He’ll Fight For Upstate

In September 2015, Senator Seward brought then-newly minted Majority Leader John Flanagan of Long Island to The Otesaga to confer with key community leaders. Clockwise from front are Tunnicliff Inn proprietor Frank Leo, Hall of Fame Vice President Ken Meifert, Otsego Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan, retired assemblyman Tony Casale, Bassett Hospital’s then-president Vance Brown, Flanagan, Seward, Springbrook President Patricia Kennedy, Community Bank’s Joe Sutaris, and Bank of Cooperstown President Scott White.  (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

ONEONTA – Otsego County’s state senator, Jim Seward, R-Milford, today announced he has been named ranking Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee by the Republican leader, John Flanagan.

With Seward on the committee, “Our budget priorities will be widely known and well-articulated, and we will stand up for taxpayers at every turn,” Flanagan said in announcing the appointment.

Seward Hosts Reality Check Members

Seward Hosts Reality Check

Members of Realty Check and Advancing Tobacco Free Communities Delaware, Otsego & Schoharie Counties met with state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, in his Oneonta District Office. Standing behind the senator are, from left, Brea Fyfe (Oneonta Community Christian School), Jasmine Neill (Sharon Springs Central School), Ava Valetutto (Sharon Springs Central), Linda Wegner (ATFC-DOS Program director), Bonnie Peck (Reality Check Youth Engagement coordinator).
GOP – And One Democrat Gather For Pancake Feast

GOP, And One Democrat, 

Gather For Pancake Feast

Dave Bliss, Republican chair of the Otsego County Board and a Rotarian, pours coffee for state Sen. – and candidate – Jim Seward, R-Milford, a few minutes ago at the traditional Cooperstown Rotary Club Election Day pancake breakfast at the Vets’ Club. With the senator are, from his left, daughter-in-law of two months Kelly Ann, daughter Lauren, wife Cindy and son Ryan. Seward is being challenged today by Democrat Joyce St. George, Margaretville area. Inset, Democratic kingmaker Richard Sternberg joined the Republican table that includes, at left, county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr. and County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner; at right is Republican County Chair Vince Casale, who is also a top adviser to Republican Marc Molinaro’s campaign against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  Devlin is being challenged by Republican Bob Fernandez, a retired state trooper who appears on the Democrat line.  Sinnott Gardner is unopposed.  “I like these people,” said Sternberg.   The polls are open across Otsego County until 9 p.m.  (Jim Kevlin/

Knowledge Worker, Not Industry, Is Our Future, Speaker Says


Knowledge Worker,

Not Industry, Is Our

Future, Speaker Says

Cleinman Wins Seward’s Support

To Launch ‘Come Home’ Campaign

If Boise, Idaho, and Bozeman, Mont., could create vibrant economies based on knowledge workers, so can Oneonta, business consultant Al Cleinman told today’s Workforce Summit at The Otesaga. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Senator Seward said he would support Cleinman’s “Come Home” initiative, and expand it to include “Stay Home.”

COOPERSTOWN – After a rousing salute to “knowledge-based industry,” a local businessman with a national clientele, Al Cleinman, today announced he intends to lead a “Come Home to Oneonta” campaign.

Cleinman was addressing the Workforce Summit at The Otesaga, where attendees learned we have more jobs than people.  The day was organized by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and the office of state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who immediately warmed up to Cleinman’s idea.

The idea is to lure back some of the 75,000 living Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta graduates – executives, consultants, business owners and tech employees who can work anywhere – to reposition the local economy.

Seward Announces $30K State Grant To Fund West Oneonta Alert System

Seward Announces $30K Grant

To Fund W. Oneonta Alert System

West Oneonta Volunteer Fire Department Chief Water Schmitt (seated) demonstrates the department’s new omni-directional alert and voice mass notification system for state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford.  Seward presented a $30,000 state grant this evening to help pay for the new alert system.  (Jeff Bishop photo)


Seward Announces $200K For 3 Libraries In County

Seward Announces $200K

For 3 Libraries In County

Final Touches Funded In Worcester Building
The new Worcester-Schenevus Library on Worcester’s Main Street is due for completion in late summer or fall. This photo was taken in February.

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, today announced almost $200,000 in state grants for three local libraries, including $92,388 to bring the new Worcester Free Library to completion.

The Edmeston Free Library receives $75,610 for renovations, inside and outside, to a donated building.  And Hartwick’s Kinney Memorial Library received $10,509 for paving the parking lot and driveway in the hamlet.

Seward Bill OK’d For Baseball To Be NY Official Sport

Seward Bill OK’d

For Baseball To Be

NY Official Sport

Assembly, Governor Must Now Act

On CCS Fourth Graders’ Request

State Sen. Jim Seward

ALBANY – State Sen. Jim Seward’s bill designating baseball New York’s official state sport has passed the Senate, the Milford Republican’s office announced today.

“It is time that we formally recognize baseball as our official state sport,” Seward said.

“Baseball is known as our national pastime but the game has deep roots and a rich history here in New York State,” he continued.  “From the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in storied Cooperstown, to the Mets and Yankees – the pinnacles of Major League Baseball, to countless college, high school, and Little League teams, New York State is clearly the epicenter of baseball history and greatness. “

Beer Ice-Cream Bill Passes State Senate

Beer Ice-Cream Bill

Passes State Senate

Seward, Magee Collaborate On

Sherburne Entrepreneurs’ Idea

Senator Seward discusses his bill with Gilligan’s Island reps Gil Hodges, left, and Andy Lagoe.

ALBANY – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Oneonta, today announced Senate approval of a law he sponsored to allow the sale of ice cream made with beer and hard cider.

He was acting on the suggestion of a Chenango County business, the Gilligan’s Island ice cream parlor in Sherburne that already makes 30 flavors of ice cream, and has created beer and hard-cider flavors.

“Farmers and brewers already enjoy a great relationship and this legislation will clear the way for a new product that will capitalize on homegrown New York ingredients,” said Seward, who noted dairy and craft beer representatives have visited the Senate in recent weeks to share ideas for the future.

EDITORIAL: Hail Doubleday! Historic Ballfield To Be Reinvented For 21st Century Fans’ Needs

Editorial, May 25, 2018

Hail Doubleday! Historic Ballfield To Be
Reinvented For 21st Century Fans’ Needs

Smart new bleachers and a multi-purpose building with rise behind the now-deteriorating third-base line.

Too much discussion about Doubleday Field in recent years has centered on how it
was once considered the Birthplace of Baseball, and now isn’t.
That’s not a productive conversation.
Let’s stipulate that boys played baseball in Phinney’s Field in the mid-1800s, as boys did across the country. Let’s stipulate that Abner Doubleday was at West Point in 1839, when he purportedly invented baseball here. Let’s stipulate that, yes, something with a bat and ball was played as far away as Poland as long ago as the Middle Ages.
No matter. Doubleday Field has played a central role in Cooperstown becoming the locus of the National Game, which in turn led to the founding of the National Baseball Hall of Fame here instead of Hoboken, which in turn fueled Otsego County tourism, which in turn led to the youth baseball camps that now underpin our cornerstone local industry.
In announcing a $1 million grant the other day toward $5.8 million in renovations, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, caught the personal dimension of that living history. He remembered seeing Mickey Mantle hit a single there, (although a pinch-runner took it from there.) One of the Wounded Warriors told him, with awe, the other year: “Babe Ruth sat in the dugout where I’m sitting now.”
In short, Doubleday Field IS historic.

So the renewed interest in renovating Doubleday Field is as welcome as it is overdue.
In addition to Seward’s Million, another $3 million is expected any day from the Empire State Development Corp., (which this week announced the opening of The Wick, a boutique hotel in

Mayor Tillapaugh showed this slide to the MVREDC to dramatize how obscure Doubleday Field is from Main Street, something the planned entryway would remedy.

Hudson, a $10 million project – the state DOES do this sort of thing, as it should.)
The resulting Doubleday Field – with a green swath leading from Main Street to the main entrance, a historic exhibit beneath the grandstand, and a multi-purpose building (offices, restrooms, a pressroom and space for public gatherings) – will cement this national icon further in community life.
Cooperstown’s new mayor, Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, immediately began promoting the project on taking office April 1, winning the endorsement of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Commission – necessary to receive the grant – just days after taking the oath.
She appointed her predecessor, Jeff Katz, as president of the Friends of Doubleday, which will assure continuity as things move forward.
Tillapaugh has a sensible priority list: As soon as the money is in hand, no matter how much, work will begin on the most important things first. No waiting.
This should assure that something – fingers crossed that is will be largely complete – will be in place in time to celebrate Doubleday Field’s centennial properly, sometime next year or in 2020.
Hail Doubleday!, (wherever or whenever baseball emerged from the primeval maw.)

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