On Dec. 31, 2020, James L. Seward of Milford – everyone’s “Gentleman Jim” – retired from the New York State Senate, where he had served Otsego County since Jan. 1, 1986. Because of COVID-19, few of his constituents had the chance to say: Farewell – and thank you. When offered the opportunity, many of us – his fellow legislators, community leaders, top corporate executives and businesspeople, and citizens to whom he reached out and helped in time of need – have now done so in tributes that appear in this Special Edition – from The Editor
GILBERTSVILLE – Bassett Healthcare Network announced a few minutes ago it has opened a new school-based health center – its 21st – at Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Central School, serving pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students.
The program is funded through grants obtained by state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and a contribution by the Clark Foundation.
ALBANY – Due to “increased attacks and animosity” toward police officers, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, announced support for the Republican-supported “Protect Those Who Protect Us” package of bills in the state Senate.
“Our police officers are dedicated, hardworking men and women, they take their oath to protect and serve to heart and are vital to keeping our communities safe,” Seward said. “In turn, it is crucial that we stand up for our law enforcement professionals and ensure they are not the targets of violence.”
ONEONTA – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, issued a statement a few minutes ago supporting the Senate GOP caucus in asking Governor Cuomo to, within a week, provide data so the state’s economic regions can work toward meeting CDC’s Phase 1 standards to restart businesses.
Already, Seward said, the governor is hearing the caucus’ calls “to begin a responsible, regional re-opening of New York.”
These assessments must be released to the public so that parts of the state can begin to recover from the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic in a safe way, he said, adding that Cuomo must include the state Department of Health, local departments of health, local officials, local businesses, and industry leaders in this process.
ONEONTA – “Due to his improving condition,” State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, was moved out of Albany Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit late last night, his chief of staff, Duncan Davie, announced this morning, another step in the lawmaker’s recovery from the coronavirus.
“He continues to recover from COVID-19 at Albany Medical Center under the care of his physician and will convalesce at home as soon as it is deemed appropriate to do so,” Davie said.
Cooperstown Dreams Park’s decision to cancel the 2020 season was only announced Friday.
Two days before, county Treasurer Allen Ruffles, who chairs the county Emergency Task Force, had called Mike Walter, Dreams Park COO, and received no inkling such an economy-shattering decision was in the making.
It’s not locked in concrete. It’s not too late to turn it around.
Four men may be able to make it happen. Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, and state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, should approach Gov. Andrew Cuomo and ask him to intervene with Dreams Park COO Mike Walter to keep the door open to a Dreams Park season this summer.
If marijuana is legalized in the state legislative session that begins today, it won’t be with the help of Otsego County’s delegation.
“It’s not my issue,” said state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who said he is “responding well” to cancer treatments, and expected to be in his Albany office on opening day.
“I would hate to move forward on that, particularly with those advocating for the increased revenues — $300 million,” said Seward, now in his 32st two-year term. “It’s not worth it, because it would cost us a lot more in different ways.”
For his part, Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, who represents Oneonta and Cooperstown, said there’s a “50-50 split” on legalization of marijuana. “I would vote against it,” he said.
President Trump and Governor Cuomo were recently in a war of words again – certainly not breaking news. This time around, the back and forth centers on the Upstate economy, with President Trump advising Upstate residents to move out.
The president’s actual words to people who feel things aren’t going their way, “If New York isn’t gonna treat them better, I would recommend they go to another state where they can get a great job.”
I appreciate what the president is saying, and I have already pointed out on a number of occasions that we are
losing population due to an absence of economic opportunities and our high cost of living.
However, rather than push more people out the door, I want to reinvigorate New York, give people a reason to stay, and entice others to come back home.
And so it begins.
Day one of the new Democrat majority in the state Senate began, in many ways, as expected.
A new leader was elected (from just outside New York City) and immediately outlined the policies the Democrats would be pursuing in the coming year.
This is how a change in majority works, and I take no issue with that. However, I was deeply concerned on several fronts.
I have consistently voted for a permanent property tax cap, and I was pleased to hear the new leader mention that as a priority. The problem was that no other Upstate concerns were detailed, and that is a major disappointment.
Economic development is lagging behind in many counties outside of the five boroughs of New York City, but that fact is being swept under the rug by the new leadership regime.
I have previously outlined New York State’s population loss, and the news is filled with stories about Upstate businesses closing their doors.
We need to focus on policies that will cut taxes, eliminate burdensome government regulations, and lower the cost of doing business across the state. Those are the steps needed to create an environment conducive to job creation.
My Republican colleaguesand I have advanced a number
of initiatives in recent years to address our state’s economic shortcomings. We will continue to
ALBANY – The state Senate today passed a resolution bestowing its Liberty Medal, the upper house’s highest honor, on John D. Heller, the former Oneonta firefighter who saved five lives before dying in a Dec. 29 arson at 5 Walling Ave.
State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who introduced the resolution, noted it is given for “meritorious action against hostile odds.”
“John Heller was that type of individual,” he said. “John displayed great courage in saving the lives of his fiancé and four young nephews, and he made the ultimate sacrifice. His final act on earth was one of bravery, valor, heroism, and love for others.”
Similar to the national Congressional Gold Medal, the Liberty Medal is bestowed upon individuals for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.
Senator Seward previously presented the Liberty Medal to John Heller’s parents John and Gayle Heller and fiancé Amber Roe during a memorial service Jan. 4 in Oneonta.
As much as 20 inches of snow could fall on Otsego County this weekend, according to Accuweather.
The strong snowstorm is predicted to start in the Midwest and sweep up central Pennsylvania and into central New York by Thursday or Friday.
Though snow will start on Friday and continue on Saturday, the majority of the snow will fall on Sunday. Snow is also predicted through the rest of next week.
Follow developments on www.AllOTSEGO.com
►CONGRESSMAN DELGADO introduced his first bill in Congress: to extend veterans’ benefits to their spouses. He also refused a paycheck until the shutdown ends.
►2018 TEMPERATURES hit record highs, but was also 6/10ths of a degree below normal overall, Oneonta weather watch Dave Mattice reports.
►SENATOR SEWARD will also serve on the education, finance, higher education, insurance and rules committees.
►YOUNG REPUBLICAN Bobby Walker of Cooperstown is
As voters – in Otsego County, the 19th Congressional District and nationally – struggle to make the right decision in the Tuesday, Nov. 6, midterm elections, a study, “The Hidden Tribes of America,” surfaces with a conclusion that has been widely commented on nationally: “A majority of Americans (61 percent), whom we’ve called the ‘Exhausted Majority,’ are fed up by Americans’ polarization. They know we have more in common than that which divides us: our belief in freedom, equality and the pursuit of the American Dream. They share a deep sense of gratitude that they are citizens of the United States. They want us to move past our differences.”
It the past two years, those of us with that sensibility have been screamed at by two sides that, it turns out, are fringes. On the left, “Progressive Activists,” according to the study, are a mere 8 percent of the citizenry; on the right, “Devoted Conservatives” are only 6 percent.
If you consider yourself a centrist, you may believe your views will be overwhelmed at the ballot box. Not so, “Hidden Tribes” tells us; in effect, it’s the wish of a sizeable majority of Americans to find common ground.
This is by way of preamble to this newspaper’s endorsements, below, which are an effort to make recommendations based on the merits, not through any particular political prism.
Be sure to vote Nov. 6 – polls will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. – and vote your conscience. You may be surprised how much you are in sync with the majority of your
fellow Americans. So vote.
As usual, these endorsement editorials appear 10 days before Election Day, to allow you to agree or disagree in next week’s Letter to the Editor columns.
Send letters by noon Monday,
Oct. 29, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you agree or not, be of good cheer.
Science Can Be Political Tool,
And Even Worse, Up For Sale
I read with interest and admiration the article in last week’s paper about the different kinds of “truth.”
Objective truth is the “truth” that
is supported by fact. Subjective “truth” is what circumstances point toward or what we want, based on the information we have at our disposal,
The Senate confirmation hearings for judge, now justice, Kavanaugh were used in the article to illustrate the differences.
I found myself agreeing with the points being made until the author alleged that
it was the Republicans
who failed in the search for
THE truth by not having the FBI conduct a thorough investigation.
The truth is that we have no idea whether or not their investigation was “thorough.” What we do know is that the Democrats
sat on the information alleging
sexual abuse until AFTER the
Had they wanted the FBI to do a thorough investigation in search of the “truth”, the information about alleged sexual abuse would have been provided to the FBI
BEFORE, not AFTER, the
hearings. Had that been done, the FBI’s findings would have been a part of those hearings and thus fully vetted.
Based on that information, one can conclude the real agenda was not a search for the “truth”, but an attempt to delay the judge’s confirmation until after the mid-term elections.
Does that conclusion represent the objective or subjective “truth”? Each of us enters the search for the real “truth”
with built-in bias. That makes it very difficult to accept
information that differs from the results we want, i.e.
don’t confuse me with the facts.
It becomes tempting to omit certain information when offering our version of the truth to others. For example, the author omitted the fact that the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee sat on the allegation of sexual abuse for six weeks prior to the hearings. Without that information, it is much easier to “sell” the truth that the FBI didn’t do a thorough investigation.
Finding the truth is not easy. I was invited to lunch recently by a person who wanted to talk about climate change. The person was very sincere and had done considerable research on the topic. In fact, it was that research that led to confusion, because one source stated that the recent deviations in our climate were outside the norm and another source said they weren’t.
How does the average lay person or non-scientist determine which one is the “truth”?
Unfortunately, science has become a political tool and, worse yet, can be for sale. If a scientist gets a government funded grant to do research on climate change, should that scientist’s findings have to agree with the government’s position? The answer is “no”, but grants have been withdrawn when
That’s not true “science” where we test the null hypothesis and let the chips fall where they might. If we deliberately omit data points because they aren’t consistent with what
we want them to be, that isn’t
The downsides of doing so are a loss of public confidence and the expenditure of scarce capital to cure a problem that may not exist. If we cry “wolf” when there is no wolf, will the public be willing to support what needs to be done when a real “wolf” exists?
It’s election season, and we’re all being bombarded by various versions of the truth by candidates for office. I do not personally know all of the candidates, so I can only reach the subjective truth about how I feel they will perform if elected.
I do, however, personally know two of the candidates – state Sen. Jim Seward and Congressman John Faso. I worked with them while serving as your DEC commissioner and knew John as a neighbor.
I have watched them make the tough decisions based upon the objective truth when they could have ducked them. Those decisions were intended to provide real, measurable benefit to their constituents. That’s the objective truth based on fact.
Mike Zagata, DEC commissioner in the Pataki Administration and an environmental executive for Fortune 500 companies, lives in West Davenport.
HARTWICK – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, today joined Town of Hartwick officials to announce a $1 million state grant to fund major upgrades to the town’s water system. The full cost of improvements will be $1.35 million.
“This state grant will help ensure that the upgrades will take place without a major rate hike or tax increase for those who rely on the system,” Seward said.