News of Otsego County


The question is not why, but why would you not cover sports?


The question is not why, but
why would you not cover sports?


As we wrap up the first month of under-new management at Iron String Press, I am sure you have seen some changes, big and small, in the newspapers and perhaps on the website. And while all of them were needed in my opinion, the one I am most – excited about, proud of, nervous about, all of the above – is the sports page.

I am, after all, an old sports guy. And for some reason, old sports guys end up editors. This is my third time becoming editor of something more or less based on being an old sports guy.

There is a newspaper truism about old sports guys becoming editors: we’re insufferable about our sports pages. We miss them. Gazing at an editorial page makes my brain hurt and my heart sink, but I could spend an hour with the sports pages, even in these days of shrinking newspaper products, because of the corporate newspaper death cycle.

However, like all old sports guys, I am critical. It is hard to let go of the way I would do sports and let some entry level cub reporter mess up the look and style of the page or section.

At the pension fund, the ratio of sports people who listened to old sports guys vs. those who tuned them out was probably a wash. The long-time sports editor and his assistant mocked their old sports guy editor endlessly with a falsetto imitation that still makes me laugh.

Of course, their old sports guy had some points. No one on any court, pitch or field is literally on fire. And my family can attest, from hearing me yell at the TV, there is no dial. Therefore, nobody in sports, other than maybe a baseball manager in an era before push button phones, is dialing anything, let alone in an upward direction.

See, insufferable.

Featured Pictures: April 29, 2021
Featured Pictures

‘He Was A Skater Boy’

Oneonta skater Matthew Maloney, 23, rides his Blackout skateboard at the Oneonta Skate Park on Sunday, April 25. Maloney said he has been skating in the park since he was 16-years old.

Milford Joins The Club

Milford Central School senior Avery Leonard was honored recently when Cooperstown Central School listed him on the team’s 100 Wins Club banner. Leonard, who placed third in the state at 120 pounds in Division II wrestling in 2020, was the first Milford student to letter in wrestling at Cooperstown, in addition to being the first to place at the state tournament and to get 100 wins. He was a contender for a state championship this year, until the coronavirus pandemic canceled the season in New York.
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Baseball With Major Leaguer Al Oliver 05-22-20

Baseball With Major Leaguer Al Oliver


BASEBALL DISCUSSION – 11 a.m. Join Baseball Hall of Fame for conversation with former Major Leaguer Al Oliver on his career including playing at world cup with the Pittsburgh Pirates, then his post baseball career as a motivational speaker. Free, registration required. Visit for info.

Schools Closed, But What About SATs? What About Sports?


Schools Closed, But

What About SATs?

What About Sports?



Families across Otsego County are working to adjust to a new normal of “social distancing,” and for many that includes having their school-age children at home.

Fears about the COVID-19 virus and its contagion have brought a massive and rapid change to how we live, and it isn’t yet clear what impacts that will have on routines students and families have lived by for decades.

• How long will the schools remain closed?

• What will happen if students can’t prepare or take state mandated tests?

• Will summer vacation need to be cancelled if students miss two months of school now?

• What will happen to spring athletic programs?

These are some of the questions that still remain unanswered as schools in the Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES and beyond stand shuttered under quarantine restrictions related to the COVID-19 virus.

“Each of the BOCES and each of the schools have to work off-site as much as possible to be congruent with the idea of social distancing as a means to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said ONC BOCES Superintendent Nick Savin. “The main effort right now is to develop a structure in a very different way than we have worked before.”

The decision made late Friday afternoon, March 13, to close for two weeks among the 18 districts that constitute the BOCES group.

Then, on Monday the schools announced they would remain shuttered at least through April 13.

Savin said he and other school officials had been aware for some time that school shutdowns might be necessary, and had been planning. The situation escalated a bit faster than they expected, but they were largely ready, he said.

“I would encourage everyone to adhere to social distancing,” he said, referring to the practice of keeping physically separate from others as much as possible to prevent contagion.

Ensuring that students continue their education, even if they can’t be in school buildings is a primary objective he shares with area school district leaders.

Both Cooperstown Central School District and the Oneonta schools had prepared learning packets for all students by Monday morning, and were distributing them later that day.

CCS Superintendent Bill Crankshaw was outside Cooperstown Elementary Monday, where bins for each grade were set out and filled with packets bearing each child’s name.

The packets for a third-grade class, for instance, included a schedule for 14 days of assignments for every subject, and books for each student to read.

Oneonta Superintendent Thomas Brindley said his schools were doing the same.

“It is moving to see how many of our faculty and staff members are here tonight and the work that has gone into gathering and distributing materials to our students,” Brindley said.

Crankshaw spoke of the complexities of charting a course for his district in this uncertain time. “There are many unknowns at this point,” he said.

He stressed that his primary goal is to ensure the safety of students and staff in the ways that he can. Doing that, however, places schools at odds with the laws that guide teaching programs, he said.

Under the law, New York State schools must provide 180 days of instruction. Governor Cuomo has waived that requirement, but what will the schools need to provide?

“We don’t have a lot of clarity,” Crankshaw said, adding that it’s unlikely these issues will be resolved quickly.

“There is no way we will give state tests as scheduled,” he said. Tests for grades 3 through 8 had been set for late March, but now the schools will be closed during that period.

Regents examinations for high school students, which are required for graduation, are also in limbo, he said.

“We are concerned about preparations for those,” Crankshaw said.

Whatever decisions are made about academics and testing must follow those made by the rest of the state, because they involve established state laws.

“Making decisions unilaterally can be dangerous because you don’t know how they will pan out,” he said. “What is going to be forgiven? What are the grace periods? We have to be protected as a school district from expectations that are, frankly, law.”

Brindley agreed. “We are all waiting for some comprehensive guidance from the state,” he said.

Athletics is another area school districts are concerned about.

“How do we salvage a spring season for our athletes,” Brindley said. “Many of these kids wait all year to play a spring sport. For them to lose it would be unfortunate.”

Both Cooperstown and Oneonta will be providing school lunches and breakfasts for students in the assisted food program.

In Oneonta, each school district will have a food distribution point where two meals will be provided, a lunch for that day and a breakfast for the following day. The schools will continue to observe protocols about allergens in food, such as peanuts, Brindley said.

“We are planning to maintain a meal program for anyone who wants it,” Crankshaw said.

Cooperstown student meals will be available Mondays and Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. outside the high school. The school will deliver meals to any family that cannot pick the meals up themselves.

Over the two days, families can pick up meals for five days’ worth of breakfasts and dinners.


Design, Print 3-D Valentine’s Gift


Check back at 5 p.m. for tomorrow’s events.

3-D PRINTING – 10-11:30 a.m. Design a keepsake heart box for someone special. Fee based on weight Registration required. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Info,

YPN NETWORKING – 6-8 p.m. Come meet young professionals from the Otsego area. The topic for this evening is community involvement. The Beverage Exchange, 73 Main St., Cooperstown. Info,

FUNDRAISER – 7 p.m. Live music will be performed. The public may donate for the opportunity to perform. Donations go to the Cooperstown Lion’s Club fund to support area residents to lessen financial stress. Mel’s at 22, Cooperstown. Info,


‘Know Your Rights’

At Hartwick College


DISCUSSION – 7-8 p.m. Dinner and a Panel discussion “Know Your Rights.” Chesebro Room, Dewar Hall, Hartwick College, Harwick Dr., Oneonta. Info,

CONFERENCE – 8:30-10 a.m. Local manufacturers and training providers meet to discuss goals to ensure there is a trained workforce in the county to meet employers needs. Reservation required. Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Info, Barbara Ann Heegan, President/CEO Otsego County Chamber of commerce, (607)432-4500 ext. 202 or email

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