Butch Weir, Cooperstown, left, looks on as Matt Chisdock and Doug Perry haul an old 50-gallon drums aboard the Otsego Sailing Club work barge this morning during a Susquehanna River clean-up behind Bassett Hospital. The clean-up was a community service project headed by the Cooperstown Lions Club with help from the OCCA and the SUNY Biological Field Station volunteer dive team. At right, event organizer John Rowley brings ashore the first of over 25 tires retrieved. Teams also brought up scores of bottles, barrels, pipes, a feeding trough and other refuse from the floor of the river. Neighbors who use the waterway applauded their work and even helped in the effort. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, AUGUST 4
ART & MUSIC – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Outdoor street festival featuring outstanding regional artists, crafters, musicians, writers, more. Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-2070 or visit cityofthehillsartsfestival.com
O-COUNTY FAIR – 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. See best Otsego County has to offer. Daily shows, rides, more. Highlights include equestrian Gymkhana, bicycle giveaway, truck pull, livestock parade of champions, Supreme Champion Showmanship, talent contest, more. Otsego County Fair, Mills St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit www.otsegocountyfair.org
COOPERSTOWN – Summer interns at the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station stumbled upon a surprise recently when they caught a 12-inch American eel more than 440 miles from the ocean in a habitat from which the species was thought to have been extirpated.
The interns, high school graduates Alexa Platt and Lauren Saggese, were researching near the beginning of July in the Susquehanna River near the base of the Cooperstown Dam at Otsego Lake.
Drowning Accidental, Police Conclude
By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
GOODYEAR LAKE – Three-year-old Andrew James Durkin was dressed in the same outfit as his identical brother when he went missing at his family’s seasonal house on the Susquehanna River just north of Goodyear Lake.
By the time the family realized that one of the twins was nowhere to be found, it was too late.
According to a briefing this afternoon by state police Capt. Scott Heggelke, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), a 911 call came in to Troop C headquarters in Sidney at 2:54 p.m. regarding a missing child on Bob Wilson Road, Milford Center.
Oneonta residents Trevor LeFever, front, and Benedict Schlimmer, rear, paddle on the Susquehannah through Emmons, near Fortin Park, during today’s 56th annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta. The 70-mile canoe race brings professional paddlers from all over North America to the Susquehanna every year on Memorial Day weekend. LeFever and Schlimmer, racing in the Pro class, came through Oneonta in second place, behind veterans Steve Lajoie and Andy Triebold. Pictured at right, Congressional candidate Erin Collier, Cooperstown, cheers on her brother Todd Collier and his partner Luke Banner. Collier, who is running against six other Democrats in the June 26 primary for the chance to challenge U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, was part of her brother’s pit crew, and waded into the river to give him a fresh water bottle and a quick snack. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)
2018 COOPERSTOWN WINTER CARNIVAL
It wasn’t formally associated with the 26th annual Cooperstown Winter Carnival, but it could have been. For the 15th year, Bassett Hospital doctors and staff – from left, Dr. Laura Kilty, R.N. Barbara Petersen and Dr. Bruce Kramer, and Ken Stanford, who works in the Cardiac Care Unit – plunged into the Susquehanna at Mill Street, Cooperstown, at 3:45 p.m. today, a “warm-up” to the main event, Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump next Saturday, Feb. 17. Afterwards, Kramer, Lexi Stanford, Mike Rutledge, photo at right, and the rest of the participants made snow angels in the nearby snow, then hurried to the Cramer-Keilty’s for a warm fire and hot chili. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
55TH CLINTON RACE UNDERWAY
The Cooperstown Colliers today are looking to add to the family’s tally of 75 finishes since 1979 in the annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta, underway today for the 55th year from Brookwood Point on Otsego Lake down the Susquehanna River to Bainbridge. And not just dad Steve Collier with daughter Jessica, seen above passing Council Rock at the river’s source. At Council Rock Park in Cooperstown, mom Evelyn, in red, white and blue top in left photo (chatting with retiring CCS art teacher Kristin Karasek and Kim Johannsen), said son John and daughter Erica in one canoe, and son Todd with Luke Banner in a second, are also participating in today’s race. Some 1,500 canoeists from across the country are paddling in the event, which for the first time in race history did not depart from Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park; the village’s downtown, usually packed, was empty this morning. The top class can complete the 40-mile course in a little over six hours. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
UNADILLA – Though the floodwaters have receded to under 10 feet, a flood warning remains in effect until Saturday afternoon at Unadilla.
Flood stage is considered at 11 feet, and the river is reportedly just under 10 feet as of 5 p.m.. The National Weather Service predicted minor flooding between Main Street and River Road, and drivers are advised not to drive across flooded bridges or roads.
PORTLANDVILLE – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, today joined officials with the Goodyear Lake Association, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) to detail improvements at the universally accessible, enhanced cartop boat launch site along the Susquehanna River.
“Canoeists, kayakers, and others have always enjoyed paddling on Goodyear Lake and the Susquehanna River, and I was pleased to partner with local and state officials to develop this safe, environmentally sound access point,” said Seward.
As Susquehanna’s Source, Pure Water Matters Here Most
By SANDRA VITTI & LARRY BENNETT
Edition of Thursday-Friday Nov. 13-14
The Susquehanna River is the longest river in the East, providing drinking water to millions of people and a place for residents across multiple states to boat, swim and fish. What’s more, Cherry Valley Creek, Moss Pond and other local waterways help support dozens upon dozens of small businesses that help New Yorkers use and explore their waterways.
Brewery Ommegang, for example, has worked since 1997 to create quality Belgian-style beer right here in New York. We hold festivals every summer where thousands of people come to sample beer, taste delicious food, enjoy live music and more. Serving 43 states, and water being perhaps the most important ingredient in our product, Brewery
Ommegang’s ongoing success depends upon protecting the health of our watershed, the health of the Susquehanna River, the streams that feed into it, and the other rivers and lakes in the region.
We should be doing everything we can to protect our waterways. While the Susquehanna River itself is protected under the Clean Water Act, far too many of the tributaries that flow into the river, along with more than 55 percent of the rivers and streams that crisscross our state, don’t have guaranteed protections under the law.
That means developers could pave over our wetlands; oil companies, power plants, or meat processing plants could dump into our streams; and federal law couldn’t stop them, thanks to a loophole created by a pair of polluter-driven lawsuits nearly a decade ago.
The loophole leaves vulnerable the waterways that feed into the Susquehanna River, like Cherry Valley Creek, and other rivers and lakes that provide drinking water; and that leaves businesses like Brewery Ommegang more vulnerable, too. For instance, the Susquehanna was once named “America’s most endangered river” because of the excessive pollution that flowed into it from nearby agricultural runoff and inadequately treated sewage.
Fortunately, in March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to close this loophole and restore protections to more than 28,000 miles of rivers and streams across New York, and nearly 2 million across the country.
A broad coalition of clean water advocates, farmers, mayors, small businesses, and tens of thousands of New Yorkers have heralded the EPA move. However, agribusinesses, oil and gas companies, and other polluters affected by the rule have waged a bitter campaign against it, and earlier this month, the U.S. House approved a bill, H.R. 5078, to block the new rule.
Disappointingly, among those voting in favor of the measure and against clean water safeguards were several New York State Representatives, including Rep. Chris Gibson, whose district encompasses Cooperstown, where Brewery Ommegang resides, as well as a large portion of the Susquehanna River.
There’s still time, and so there’s still opportunity to get these restored protections across the finish line. EPA is taking public comments on their proposal now, but that comment period will close in less than two weeks. In the face of all the opposition from the big polluters, it’s critical that all New Yorkers who value clean water make their voices heard. And it’s critical that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stand up for these rules if they come before her in the Senate.
New Yorkers depend on clean water to enjoy and to drink. Businesses like Brewery Ommegang depend on clean water to make a living. Let’s do everything we can to foster a good economy and a high quality of life for generations to come.