News of Otsego County

social distancing

Governor Cuomo announces most COVID restrictions will be ending

Governor Cuomo announces
most COVID restrictions will be ending

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday, June 15, that he will ending most COVID restrictions affecting businesses, after hitting the threshhold 70% of New Yorkers vaccinated with at least one dose.

As a result, concerts, sports, nights clubs and other businesses can return to normal operations without the need for social distancing, masks or limits on capacity.

“It means we can return to life as we know it,” Cuomo said at a press conference in front of One World Trade Center in Manhattan. “We have the highest vaccination rate in the country.”

Businesses can now set their own rules on vaccine passes and social distancing.

Separately, the city of Oneonta announced that all public buildings will be open to the public again as of Monday, June 14.

State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, said he welcomed the news but was critical of Cuomo in a statement.

“Is he lifting the state’s emergency declaration and ending his extraordinary powers?” Oberacker said. “Once again, the governor makes grand claims and leaves everyone scrambling to sort out the details.”



Cooperstown Dreams Park to open July 23 without masks or social distancing for vaccinated participants

Cooperstown Dreams Park
to open July 23
without masks or social distancing for vaccinated participants

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Cooperstown Dreams Park is set to open Friday, July 23, without masks or any guidelines on social distancing, according to the park’s website.

However, a vaccine will be required for participating children and adults.

The opening will include no restrictions on high fiving or other physical contact, as well as face-to-face pin and baseball card training.

The  2021 baseball camp is set to go through August.

Dreams Park gives participants a chance to play in tournaments, visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and watch baseball games at Doubleday Field.

According to their website, Dreams Park gets approximately 500,000 visitors per year, hosting teams for 13 weeks of tournaments. However, it was closed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and had earlier in the year put its season in doubt when it issued guidelines for campers requiring vaccinations.

For more information, call 704-630-0050 or email


Here’s Evidence That The ARts Can Be Entrepreneurial, Too

Here’s Evidence That The Arts
Can Be Entrepreneurial, Too

When the going gets tough, the entrepreneurs get going.

At the first “Coffee With Coop,” Glimmerglass Festival’s Francesca Zambello outlines plans for the Andrew J. Martin-Weber Lawn Stage, which will ensure a robust 2021 season, despite COVID.

A corollary: The entrepreneurial spirit isn’t limited to entrepreneurs. (Per Merriam-Webster: “A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater-than-normal financial risks in order to do so.”)

So it was telling to watch the Cooperstown Chamber’s first “Coffee With Coop” panel discussion via Zoom last Friday, March 19. Kudos to the Chamber, and Executive Director Tara Burke, who was also an adept emcee.

It was a little disheartening to hear a recitation of all the Hall of Fame cancellations, although the scope of its undertakings – an estimated 80,000 fans were expected at Derek Jeter’s Induction – make them particularly fraught, not to mention dangerous, in Time of COVID.

And yet, the entrepreneurial spirit lived in presentations by, first, Fenimore President/CEO Paul D’Ambrosio and then, in Glimmerglass Opera General & Artistic Director Francesca Zambello.

Glimmerglass Plans 4 Shows On Lawn

Glimmerglass Plans 4 Shows On Lawn

Opera will be back on Otsego Lake’s shores this summer.

The Glimmerglass Festival announced today it will build an outdoor stage on the festival grounds, where it will present four operas.

The 2021 season will run July 15 through Aug. 17 with performances of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” Offenbach’s “Songbird” (La Périchole), and the world premiere of “The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson,” a new play with music about the founder of the National Negro Opera Company.

“We have re-imagined the Glimmerglass experience for the 2021 season,” said Francesca Zambello, Festival artistic & general director. “While this move outdoors is primarily for the health and safety of our company members, audience members and community, it is in harmony with what people love about Glimmerglass – innovative art and performances in a beautiful location.”

Proposed City Law Would Seek Distancing, Masks Everywhere

Proposed City Law Would Seek

Distancing, Masks Everywhere

ONEONTA – Common Council will consider mandating social distancing and/or wearing of masks in “all public and private indoor and outdoor locations” when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall.

The new chapter to the city code, entitled “Mask and Face Coverings,” appears to require social distancing or, if that’s not possible, masks everywhere in the city, private and public places.

The Oneonta Town Board passed a mask ordinance only last Wednesday by a 3-2 vote.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Paddle With OCCA On Butternut Creek 09-27-20

Paddle On Butternut Creek


FUN PADDLE – 1 – 4 p.m. Take in the sights, sounds on beautiful creek, learn about plants, animals, history of this diverse region with Otsego County Conservation Association. Bring your own (cleaned, drained, & treated) canoe or kayak or reserve one of OCCA’s. Bring water, a snack, & sunscreen. Free, registration required. Butternut Creek. 607-547-4488 or visit

Is Governor Requiring $1,000 Fine For People Who Don’t Wear Masks?

Is Governor Requiring

$1,000 Fine For People

Who Don’t Wear Masks?

Oneonta Will; Cooperstown Unsure

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Mayor Tillapaugh
Mayor Herzig

ONEONTA – Mayor Gary Herzig said a few minutes ago that Governor Cuomo yesterday directed municipalities to enforce a state Department of Health directive allowing localities to fine people who do not wear masks up to $1,000 per violation.

Fearful of what 7,000 college students may bring with them this fall, Herzig said, “I don’t think the state is saying local governments should decide whether to enforce it or not. The message from the Governor’s Office is that it’s a law and we’re expected to enforce it.”

Village Hoists Banner Encouraging Wearing Masks, Social Distancing

Village Hoists Banner Encouraging

Wearing Masks, Social Distancing

David Lamb, assisted by Randy Bailey, hoists a new banner across Cooperstown’s Main Street this morning encouraging residents and visitors alike to follow measures recommended to stem COVID-19, including wearing masks and social distancing. Lamb started putting up the banner on returning from the service in the 1980s – an adjunct to his father’s banner-making business. And he’s been doing so ever since. The issue of wearing masks was raised again this week at a special meeting of the Village Board. (Jim Kevlin/
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Virtual Council Rock Race 05-17-20

Virtual Council Rock Race


COUNCIL ROCK RACE – Enjoy fun race in time of Social Distancing. Run 4.4 miles in a location, distance from Council Rock to Council Rock Brewery, at time & location of your choosing. Visit for info on virtual event.


4 Generations Wish Freda ‘Happy 93rd Birthday!’

4 Generations Wish Freda

‘Happy 93rd Birthday!’

Armed with signs, banners, poems and song, 17 family members spanning four generations gathered in the parking lot at The Plains at Parish Homestead this afternoon to wish resident Freda Beach a “Happy 93rd Birthday!” Above, Angela Saggese reads a poem she wrote, as Karen Gibertson, Austin Gilbertson, McKenna Gilbertson, Joyce Beach and Scott Beach look on. At right, birthday girl Freda smiles and waves with joy from her balcony. (Ian Austin/

Birthday Party Cancelled? Have A Parade Instead!

Birthday Party Cancelled?

Have A Parade Instead!

There was lots of hooting, hollering and horn-blowing on Elm Street in Oneonta this afternoon as 13 cars filled with friends, family, teachers and classmates, all dressed in costumes with signs and decorations, were escorted by Oneonta police in a birthday parade for Zoey Tonner, who turned 7 today. “The invitations were ready, the treat bags were all made, then everything shut down,” explained her mother Danielle. “We had to cancel her party because of social distancing, so this is her coronavirus substitute!” The party was held at the home of Zoey’s babysitter Sarah Baden, where Zoey, seen at right with brother Rob and Dad “Fish”, waved to passersby from the lawn and porch, which were covered in decorations. As the parade passed by, Zoey took pictures with her camera as people hopped out to wish her “Happy Birthday” and leave presents and cards in a basket by the curb. (Ian Austin/


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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103