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News of Otsego County

Shop Local

SEWARD: More Thank Ever, Shop Locally This Christmas
LETTER from SENATOR JIM SEWARD

More Thank Ever, Shop

Locally This Christmas

James L. Seward

The holiday shopping season is in full swing and we are being hit from all sides with a seemingly endless barrage of commercials and promotions. While there are a number of factors shoppers use to evaluate potential purchases, one that should be kept in mind is where products are made.

Shopping our local Main Streets is one of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit and help spark the local economy. The recent Small Business Saturday was a great opportunity to promote all of the terrific products our locally owned businesses offer.

This year, it is vital that we find ways to support our locally owned small businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many businesses struggling to stay open. Additionally, the cost to do business has increased sharply with new safeguards and restrictions putting increased pressure on the bottom line for many.

Many of our local business organizations and chambers of commerce are sponsoring special promotions to assist small businesses and get the word out about their unique offerings. Whenever possible, I hope you are able to meet your holiday shopping needs at one of our many amazing small businesses.

Certainly, once you see what they have to offer, you will be visiting our small businesses year-‘round.

You can further add to the holiday cheer by making sure purchases include a “Made in U.S.A.” label. In fact, December is national “Made in America Month.”

President Ronald Reagan made the declaration in 1985 in an attempt to boost national pride and the national economy. In making the proclamation, President Reagan stated in part, “It is time for consumers both here and abroad to take a fresh look at what America has to offer.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Oneonta History Exhibit 08-01-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, AUGUST 1

Oneonta History Exhibit

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ARCHITECTURE EXHIBIT – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. New exhibit ‘Building Blocks of a City: 100 Years of Architecture in Oneonta’ opens to public highlighting significant buildings, structures that represent the development, transformation of the city. Greater Oneonta Historical Society, 183 Main St., Oneonta. Visit www.oneontahistory.org/index.htm for info.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Voices Of The Game To Honor Hall of Fame Inductee Ted Simmons 07-25-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JULY 25

Voices Of The Game To Honor

Hall of Fame Inductee Ted Simmons

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BASEBALL – Noon. Virtual Voices of the Game to honor Hall of Fame 2020 inductee Ted Simmons who played alongside hall of famers Paul Molitor and Robin Yount for the Milwaukee Brewers. Join them as they reminisce about the Brewers team and their journey to the Hall of Fame. Visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-legends-of-the-game-Ted-Simmons?date=0 for details.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Pull Invasive Plants On Silver Lake 07-18-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JULY 18

Pull Invasive Plants On Silver Lake

14-19eventspagePADDLE & PULL – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Enjoy fun day on the lake to help pull up Water Chestnut & European Frog Bit from scenic lake. Canoes & Kayaks will be provided, outside craft not permitted. Registration required by 7/17. Silver Lake, Silver Lake Rd., New Berlin. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/paddle-and-pull-silver-lake-2-2020-07-18/2020-07-18/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Independence Day Boat Parade 07-04-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JULY 4

Independence Day Boat Parade

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BOAT PARADE – 3 p.m. Get out for the annual ‘We Love Our Lake’ decorated boat parade. This years theme ‘Lets Celebrate – It’s The 4th Of July.’ All boats welcome from human powered to motor powered and all in between. Participants are reminded to practice social distancing. Parade assembles at 3 Mile Point and proceeds on West Side of the Lake to Lakefront Park, Cooperstown. 518-542-6630 or visit otsegolakeassociation.org for info.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Paddle & Pull On Silver Lake 06-27-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for  SATURDAY, JUNE 27

Paddle & Pull On Silver Lake

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PADDLE & PULL – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Enjoy fun day on the lake to help pull up Water Chestnut & European Frog Bit from scenic lake. Canoes & Kayaks will be provided, outside craft not permitted. Registration required by 6/26. Silver Lake, Silver Lake Rd., New Berlin. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/paddle-and-pull-silver-lake-2/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: West Kortright Center Presents Afro-Cuban Concert By OKAN 06-13-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for  SATURDAY, JUNE 13

West Kortright Center Presents

Afro-Cuban Concert By OKAN

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AFRO-CUBAN CONCERT – 8 – 9 p.m. Join the West Kortright Center for virtual concert by OKAN, fusing Afro-Cuban and other global rhythms with Jazz, Fold, and classical forms of music. Registration required. Visit westkc.org/eventbrite-event/virtual-afro-cuban-concert-okan/ for info.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Virtual Splash Path To Support Pathfinder Village 05-30-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, MAY 30

Virtual Splash Path To

Support Pathfinder Village

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SPLASH PATH – Run/Walk through your neighborhood to support Pathfinder Village. Then upload a photos sharing run/walk, personal color bursts with confetti, colored water, colorful running costume, more. Unleash your imagination. Visit raceroster.com/events/2020/31323/virtual-splash-path-2020 for info & registration.

This Christmas, Shop Local – For The Fun Of It!

This Christmas, Shop Local – For The Fun Of It!

Editorial in the Edition of Thursday-Friday, Nov. 27-28

Shopping local isn’t simply a feel-good decision. It’s essential to the economic well-being of our Otsego County neighbors and ourselves.

In recent days, that’s been dramatized by the debate over whether the county should close the Department of Motor Vehicles Office in Cooperstown. The office was under threat because local drivers have opted to renew their licenses in Albany via the Internet.

Earlier this year, Otsego County Clerk Kathy Sinnot Gardner estimated $523,618 in online license renewals cost the county $63,500.

As the problem continued this year, the county Board of Representatives considered cutting two DMV jobs, saving an estimated $100,000 in salaries and benefits. Folks, those two salaries were going to local friends and neighbors, who spent that money locally, to everyone’s benefit.

Local auto dealers also weighed in on the debate, arguing the local offices’ efficiency helps them speedily process the paperwork to get the car you just bought quickly and conveniently into your hands. Send the paperwork to Albany? Good luck.

Folks, get out of that chair. Navigate and perambulate to your local DMV office. You’ll enjoy the fresh air and scenery. You’ll run into friends. Good times. The online experience is a limited one, and damaging to localities.

Also last year, going into what’s usually a shopping-heavy fourth quarter on our Main Streets and Southside Mall, county sales-tax revenues were running 3.5 percent ahead of the year before. So many local shoppers went to the Internet, however, sales-tax income had dropped to a 1.3 percent bump by year’s end, according to county Treasurer
Dan Crowell.

That represented a loss of an anticipated $600,000, he said. This year, sales-tax revenues are 4.02 percent ahead. But if local shoppers opt out as they did last year, that will translate into a $1.1 million loss in revenues, Crowell said.

Online retailers are supposed to charge and return the appropriate sales tax to localities, but that isn’t happening routinely. But that’s going to take a while to straighten out, if it ever is.

This editorial isn’t being written to make you, online Christmas shoppers, feel guilty. Shopping online is hard to resist with the convenience of it and sites like PromoCodeWatch.com saving you a fortune! But you’re missing the fun.

“I don’t think it’s even the same experience,” said Luisa Montanti, who spent years in retail before becoming Southside Mall manager. “We shoppers love to spend our money, but we also like the experience of going to the store, talking to the store clerk, trying things on and picking out the right color.”

Plus, how often do you get something in the mail and have to send it back. How aggravating is that? Any convenience from online shopping goes out the window.

In the weeks between now and Christmas, Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal are going to feature fun local gifts, starting in this edition with Riverwood’s Todd Gibbons in Cooperstown and Monkey Barrel’s Kristian House in Oneonta. These are real toy stores, run by real aficionados of fun. Check ’em out.

Novelty is one aspect of Christmas, and novelty is what our serendipitous local merchants can deliver under the tree on Dec. 25. Partake!

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