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SUNY Oneonta

SantaCon Binge May Start Campus Drinking Debate

2 SUNY-O Students Hospitalized

SantaCon Binge May Start

Campus Drinking Debate

By LIBBY CUDMORE Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – SantaCon was a life-changing moment for one young man, a SUNY student, 21, found unconscious and bleeding on a sidewalk outside a Grove Street house on Saturday, Dec. 7.

“He admitted that he drank too much and that he had a problem with alcohol,” said Oneonta Police Chief Doug Brenner. “Waking up with a tube in his throat was a real wake-up moment for him, and he said he is going to seek help. He was very remorseful and very embarrassed.”

The student, who was not named, was rushed to Bassett Hospital and intubated after he was found unresponsive and with a .5 BAC following the annual SantaCon, an unsanctioned college bar-hopping event.

“.4 BAC is usually fatal,” said Brenner.

SUNY Oneonta campus police also dealt with a similar BAC on campus, and Oneonta Police later transported a female, 21, whose friends reported that she was unresponsive on a couch in a residence.

“When we arrived, she was half-conscious, but we transported her to the hospital under a part of the mental health law that allows us to take someone in who is incapacitated by alcohol.”

All three students were released from the hospital, and police declined to press charges.

But the transports come just weeks after the Oneonta Police shut down the Sip & Sail Tavern during a raid in which a record 226 fake IDs – found to be 90 percent of the bar’s clientele – were confiscated. The state Liquor Authority quickly revoked the bar’s liquor license, filing 53 violations, including 47 counts for selling to a minor, exceeding maximum occupancy, failure to supervise and employing unlicensed bouncers.

Now, Brenner hopes to reach out to students in hopes of preventing future incidents and changing the drinking culture at the colleges.

“People are going to do what they’re going to do,” he lamented. “But when you end up in the ICU on a ventilator, it starts to get worrisome.”

He has reached out to LEAF in hopes of creating some programming, and ramped up police patrols. “It would be horrible to have a tragic incident and look back and realize we could have done more,” he said.

According to Hal Legg, SUNY Oneonta spokesman, the college’s Code of Conduct states that “An individual’s use of alcohol on/off campus which results in a disruption to the campus community or a risk to personal safety will be considered a violation of this policy.”

The campus has the on-campus Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Committee, which seeks to lower and prevent alcohol and drug abuse by students, and offers drug and alcohol counseling through the Health and Wellness Center.

“SUNY Oneonta is proactive in educating students about the dangers of alcohol abuse, providing healthy alternatives to drinking, and offering assistance to students experiencing problems related to alcohol,” said Legg. “Certainly, the efforts of the Oneonta Police Department and other agencies within the City of Oneonta to prevent drinking among those who are underage, regardless of whether they are enrolled at our college, are worthwhile.”

Hartwick College did not return a request for comment.

This year, SantaCon fell at the same time as the annual Santa Parade downtown, but because it is an unsanctioned event, police struggled with how to discourage the students from over-consumption of alcohol.

“We can’t go to the bars and tell them they can’t run drink specials,” said Brenner. “If they want to say there is a special for anyone dressed up on a certain day, we can discourage them from doing so, but we can’t go any further than that.”

Additional patrols were ordered, and Brenner said that only a few tickets for open containers and noise violations were issued. They had no complaints at the parade itself, he reported.

“SantaCon didn’t disturb Main Street,” he said.

But beyond SantaCon, he warned, the winters are cold, and hypothermia is an ever-present threat. “People who have been drinking don’t feel the cold,” he said. “A few years ago, we found a young man passed out in a puddle in the Dietz Street parking lot, and when we got to him, his core temperature was way down.”

Brenner also said that he once had a call for an intoxicated young woman lost in the wooded area near Fox Hospital, who also had to be treated for hypothermia.

Brenner reminded students that “Good Samaritan” laws are in place to protect anyone who might call for help if they see someone in trouble. “We don’t want to discourage people from doing the right thing,” he said. “You don’t want anything bad to happen.”

Nan Pedersen Williams, 95; Served As Marines Truck Driver During WWII

IN MEMORIAM: Nan Pedersen Williams, 95;

Served As Marines Truck Driver During WWII

MILFORD – Nan G. Pedersen Williams, 95, who served in the Marines as a truck driver during World War II, passed away Sunday morning, Dec. 8, 2019, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.

She was born Nan Jeanette Gerling on June 7, 1924, at Community Hospital in Montclair, N.J., the daughter of John and Edith (Saxton) Gerling.

For the first six years of her life she lived in East Orange, N.J. After the death of her father and grandfather Gerling, Nan’s widowed mother moved to Westville, where she had been born 40 years earlier, and purchased the store there, which she ran for three years.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7

Oneonta Christmas

Parade, Tree Lighting, More

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HOLIDAY PARADE – 3 p.m. Celebrate the holidays on Main St. Line up at 3, parade at 4. Main St., Oneonta. Visit www.foothillspac.org

TREE FESTIVAL – 3 – 7 p.m. View Christmas Trees beautifully decorated by area individuals, businesses. Production Center, Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. 607-431-2080 or visit www.foothillspac.org

TREE LIGHTING – 5:30 – 8 p.m. Celebrate the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Muller Plaza, Oneonta.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6

Fun Group Dance For The Holidays

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – From The Salvation Army and The Freeman’s Journal thank you to all the sponsors who have made this Christmas a little brighter this year for our families in need!

CONTRADANCE – 7:30 p.m. Fun group dance to music by Tailwind with caller Robby Poulette. 1st Presbyterian Church, 25 Church St., Cooperstown. 607-547-8164 or visit otsegodancesociety.weebly.com

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4

Holiday Decorations At The Fenimore

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Thank you to all the Christmas Angels who have sponsored a family this holiday season.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT – 12:30 p.m. Join members of Lake & Valley Garden club for lunch followed by tour of this years holiday decorations, discuss how they are chose, what plants are used, how they work with the museum to introduce the holiday spirit. Cost, $32/non-member. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3

SUNY Oneonta Presentation:

‘Fish, Fishing, Dams, Climate’

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

LECTURE – 7 – 9 p.m. Dr. Daniel Stitch delivers this years Richard Siegfried Lecture. He will present “Fish, Fishing, Dams, and Climate: What have we lost, and what do we stand to gain?” Craven Lounge, Morris Conference Center, SUNY Oneonta.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, DECEMBER 2

Hartwick To Honor Longevity

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

AWARDS – 4 p.m. Hartwick college holds 2019 Quinquennial Awards Celebration recognizing milestones faculty & staff service to the college. Celebration Room, Shineman Chapel House, Hartwick College, Oneonta. 607-431-4315 or visit www.hartwick.edu/news/quinquennial-awards-to-recognize-service-to-hartwick-5/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24

Decorate Santa’s Cottage, Main Street

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

DECORATION – 2 p.m. Help decorate Santa’s cottage, village lamp poles for the holidays. E-mail to reserve a pole. Decorations provided, bring gloves/ladders if available. Pioneer Park, Cooperstown. cooptownchristmas@gmail.com

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23

Wintertime Sports Of Otsego County

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

EXHIBIT OPENING – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Discover new winter exhibit “Otsego On Ice: Histories of Wintertime Sport” featuring Fenimore’s outstanding collection of ice skates, snow shoes, sleds, more. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

Helios, Rustic Ridge Join Best Of The Best

CHAMBER CELEBRATES SUCCESS

Helios, Rustic Ridge

Join Best Of The Best

Honorees at the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s “Ignite the Fire of Entrepreneurial Spirit” banquet that ended a few minutes ago at The Otesaga are, from left, Helios Care’s board Chairman Connie Jastremski and President/CEO Dan Ayres, winners of the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Breakthrough Award; Laura and Rick Bennett, proprietors of Rustic Ridge Winery, Burlington, winners of the Key Bank Small Business Award; and NBT Insurance Agency Interns of the Year Jared Ciccarelli from SUNY Oneonta and Caitlyn Herlihy from Hartwick College.  At right are Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan and board Chair Al Rubin.   Some 250 attendees helped celebrate the honorees’ accomplishment.  Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, presented Assembly citations to the honorees; and Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig delivered the closing remarks where, among other things, he urged Caitlyn and Jared to pursue their careers in Otsego County.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22

Find Fun Items For The Holidays

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

HOLIDAY BAZAAR – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Elm Park Church is hosting annual holiday bazaar. Christmas decorations, gently used items, and baked goods available. 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20

The Future Of Invasive

Species In Otsego County

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

BE INFORMED – 6:30 – 8 p.m. Learn about past, present, future of 2 invasive species in Otsego County. Research Specialist Holly Waterfield presents ‘A Decade of Zebra Mussels: Impacts & Challenges in Otsego Lake.’ Director of Ecological Research Institute Dr. Jonathan Rosenthal presents ‘Emerald Ash Borer: Current Status and the Way Forward.’ Free, open to public. Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/be-informed-lecture-series-invasives-species-past-present-and-future/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18

Artist Talk With Opera Art Director

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

ARTIST TALK – 6:30 p.m. Cocktails and conversation with Francesca Zambello, Artistic & General Director of Glimmerglass Festival and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served with a cash bar. $25 donation benefits Klinkhart Hall Arts Center. Klinkhart Hall Arts Center, 191 Main St., Sharon Springs. For reservations, call 518-284-2105 or visit www.klinkhart.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17

‘Le Corsaire’ Ballet Production

Streaming Live At Foothills PAC

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

BALLET – 12:55 p.m. Direct from Moscow, showing of Bolshoi Ballet production of “Le Corsaire.” Cost, $20/adult. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. 607-431-2080 or visit foothillspac.org

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