News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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SUNY Oneonta

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JANUARY 19, 2020
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JANUARY 19

Celebrate The Life Of

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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CELEBRATION – 2 – 4 p.m. Celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with NAACP featuring songs from the Civil Rights movement, speech from Gary Herzig, NY Attorney General Letitia James, the ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, more. First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Visit www.facebook.com/Oneonta-Area-NAACP-183152115619038/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JANUARY 17

Audubon Presentation

‘An Australian Adventure’

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PRESENTATION – 7:30 p.m. Join Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society to hear from Kathryn Davino about the amazing birds on Heron Island & Lamington National Park on her 2018 trip to Australia. Free, open to public. Refreshments will be served. Elm Park United Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 607-397-3815 or visit www.facebook.com/DelawareOtsegoAudubonSociety/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2020
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15

Showing ‘Yesterday: What If No One

Remembered The Beatles But You?’

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FILM SOCIETY – 7 p.m. Cooperstown film society presents ‘Yesterday: What if no one remembered the Beatles but you?’ (2019) with long time rock tour manager John Draper welcoming all to the third season of Film Society. Cooperstown Village Library, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. Visit www.facebook.com/FilmSocCoop/

Homemade Cards Capture Christmas

Homemade Cards

Capture Christmas

Mullen in his studio at Good Shepherd Village, Endicott, where he retired. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special To AllOTSEGO.com

This year’s coveted Mullen Christmas card, the Star-Rose.

There’s something special, James Mullen believes, about a Christmas card.

“Because there’s an exchange at the same time of the year, they’re a lot of fun to receive as well as to give,” he said.

And Mullen would know – the former dean of SUNY Oneonta’s Fine Arts Department, he has been making cards for 64 years. “I made 200 this year,” he said. “It’s the most I’ve ever sent!”

His cards are in the Archives of American Art in the Collections at the Smithsonian, including several in their book “Handmade Holiday Cards From 20th Century Artists,” and the subject of a recent show at SUNY’s Martin-Mullen Gallery that ended this week.

A Penn State graduate, he made his first card in 1955 as an assignment. “We had to use a Wrico Pen, which you filled with India ink and used it to draw freehand,” he said. “I did a stylized Mother and Child,” he said.

The pens were used for plastic lettering stencils, to allow duplicating in the day before Xeroxes.
And when he arrived at SUNY Oneonta in 1963, card-making was all the rage in the art department.

“Artists are unique to exchange with because they are sending something they consider to be so personal,” he said. “That exchange is always very special to me.”

He’s made cards with letterpress and etchings on zinc, relief prints and, most recently, in Adobe Illustrator. This year’s card, “Star-Rose,” was a lithograph carved in limestone and pressed at the Corridor Press Studio in Otego, then reproduced and printed at his home studio at Good Shepherd Village in Endicott.

Martin-Mullen Gallery Director Tim Sheesley reached out to him in June, and asked him to think about announcement cards. “I was making a lot of birthday cards, and rose is the birthday flower for June, so that motif became this year’s card,” Mullen said.

Fifty of the cards included an original lithograph of the Star Rose. “Last year I created a Santa Claus card, but I got so into the process that I created more than one card!”

He collects cards as well, including many from former students. One is Elaine Downey, who participates in the Artisans’ Guild and also studied with Art Professor Emerita Nancy Callahan, sent him a card.

“When I opened it, it was sublime,” he said. “Another student sent me one that’s a letterpress printing on rice paper. That’s the fun part of it. You never know what you’re going to get.”

Mullen’s late wife, Sally, is credited for the revival of what is now the Greater Oneonta Historical Society, and many of his cards are in the GOHS archives.

“A lot of people received Jim’s cards,” said GOHS Executive Director Bob Brzozowski. “And a lot of people, myself included, still do!”

GOHS also has more than a decade’s worth of former SUNY Art Department Dean Minnie Martin’s cards. “Minnie was my chair,” said Mullen. “She had experience in almost every kind of art – ceramics, jewelry, printmaking, and she made beautiful cards.”

In addition to the Mullen and Martin cards, GOHS has cards that Ronald Rowley, the former city judge, and wife Marjorie sent to friends, made from images of Otsego County winter life that the husband painted over the years.

“Christmas cards are true ephemera,” said Brzozowski. “People keep Christmas cards, and we still send them. It’s a very personal way of sending greetings at the holidays.”

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.

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