MIDDLEFIELD – Newly elected Town of Middlefield Town Supervisor Marc Heller has resigned just five days into his term, citing “personal reasons.”
Currently, deputy Bud Taber is filling the role on a temporary basis, but former Town Supervisor Joseph Harris may be appointed by the Town Board during their meeting on Tuesday, having volunteered after hearing of Heller’s resignation.
MIDDLEFIELD – “A record,” Erik Scrivener, the senior county planner, called out as he directed drivers, some who had been lined up this morning for 90 minutes, to their final destination: the annual Hazardous Household Waste Day at the county’s Meadows Office Complex.
By 9 a.m., probably sooner, traffic was backed up ¾-miles out the access road leading to the Meadows (and county jail) and all the way north on Route 33 to Route 11C. Drivers reported waiting an hour, an hour and 15 minutes, even 90 minutes to access the free disposal service, staffed by volunteers and county staff. Everything from used paint, to e-waste, to leftover prescriptions was being processed.
Brian Wilcox, of Wilcox Construction Co., Norwich, top, examines the first two of 15 “tiny homes” behind the county’s Meadows Office Complex, Town of Middlefield. The small structures are a county Board of Representatives’ initiative to provide temporary housing for the county’s homeless. Inset, Senior County Planner Erik Scrivener examines the space in one of the structures where the bathroom will be located. The small homes are designed by Mike Steiger, Smsa Architectural Services, Cassville, and are being built by SUNY Delhi construction students at the Delaware County campus, then transported here. Under construction on site is a community center, and plans are to power the complex, to the degree possible, with geothermal and solar powers, according to County Planning Director Karen Sullivan. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Democrats in the two towns that serve the Village of Cooperstown – Otsego and Middlefield – were fast out of the gate this morning as the county Board of Elections began accepting petitions at 9 a.m. for the Nov. 5 elections.
In the Town of Otsego (including Cooperstown west of the Susquehanna, incumbent Supervisor Meg Kiernan filed to run again, and two newcomers submitted petitions for Town Board seats: Suzanne Johnson and Matthew Zwissler.
Brisk winds whipped the flames at a house at 2661 County Rte. 35 in the hamlet of Westville, and by the time it was doused, the building was gutted. The Milford Fire Department took the call at 11:13 a.m., according to Second Asst. Fire Chief Damon West, and when the first truck arrived, fire coming out of two sides of the structure, mostly on the second floor, some on the first. No one was home, but arrived about an hour into the fire. No injuries reported, although it is believed that some baby chicks and a cat may have perished in the fire. The frame of the home, owned by Jon and Caleb Edgington, is still standing and intact. Although there is heavy fire damage, several rooms had the doors closed and were undamaged by the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Mutual Aid provided by Cherry Valley, Middlefield, Westford, Schenevus, Cooperstown, Hartwick, Hartwick Seminary, Mount Vision and Laurens, with West Laurens and Oneonta on standby. Milford firefighters were at the scene until almost 5 p.m.
MIDDLEFIELD – Josephine Rosalie Martucci, who retired to Middlefield from Staten Island in 1993, passed away Sunday, March 11, 2018, with her children by her side.
She was born Nov. 10, 1930, on Staten Island, daughter of Fredinando and Antoinette (Rendittis) Ciaburri.
Josephine married Anthony Martucci in 1951. They shared 61 years of marriage.
A graduate of New Dorp High School on Staten Island, Josephine was employed by Chin & Lee Chow Mein Co. in Manhattan until beginning a family. As her children grew up, she worked various jobs until retiring as a school bus matron on the bus her husband drove. In 1993, they moved to Middlefield.
COOPERSTOWN – Eleanor V. Bronner, 88, who with her husband trained harness horses on their Ricetown Road property in the Town of Middlefield, died Saturday evening, March 3, surrounded by her loving family.
Born Aug. 4, 1929, and raised in The Bronx, she was the daughter of Leslie and Alma (Becker) Lyle. Although raised in the city, Eleanor adored the country and nature. She married Charles Bronner on July 4, 1968, in Middlefield. Following her move to this area, she adopted rural life and became an avid and daily walker, observing nature in all its detail and glory.
Donna Nilsen-Hall sent along this photo of a bear paw print she spotted Wednesday, May 24, off Springfield Hill Road, the road that cuts across from Middlefield Center to Glimmerglass State Park. The photo at right of a bear, she said, is from a video taken in the same vicinity last year. Springfield Hill is 5-6 miles north along the ridge from Lakeview Lodge, where the day before owner Brigitte Priem saw that bear on her veranda overlooking Otsego Lake. Both sightings are in the Town of Middlefield. If you see evidence of a bear in that neighborhood (or elsewhere in Otsego County), send a photo along.
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of seven profiles, one each on the seven new members of the Otsego County Board of Representatives elected Nov. 3, that will be posted each Wednesday afternoon up until they take office Jan. 1. Next week, Andrew Marietta, District 8 (Town of Otsego, including Cooperstown west of the Susquehanna).
COOPERSTOWN – Dave Morris, one of David Bliss’ fellow realtors with Hubbell’s Real Estate, remembers when Morris’ daughters were growing up and riding horses, and he would buy hay from Bliss’ father, Claude.
The truck would pull up, and David Bliss and his older brother Tim would toss heavy bales of hay into Morris’ barn, one after another, until the loft was filled. When football practice began in August, other players might drag as they got into shape, but the Bliss boys were always in peak condition, Morris recalled.
Farming and youth sports are still big parts of Dave Bliss’ life. “I sell real estate to support my farming habit,” he joked the other day. He went back into the family business after graduating from SUNY Oneonta – he played basketball there briefly – and teaching for a couple of years.
And he went from player to coach, helping out with CCS boys’ basketball for a while in the 1990s and coaching American Legion baseball in the summers. He coached a CCS girls’ softball team to the sectional finals at Lemoyne a few years ago, among the activities that won him the Clark Sports Center’s coveted Fetterman Award for service to youth in 2013.
Another aspect of his life has been serving in local government. Following in his father’s footsteps – Claude Bliss, who passed away in 1995, was on the town board when Middlefield adopted zoning, and served as highway superintendent for a period – Dave joined the town Zoning Board of Appeals in 1973. Then, after two years on the town board, was elected town supervisor.