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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Town of Middlefield

Middlefield Supervisor Resigns Five Days Into Term

New Middlefield Supervisor

Resigns 5 Days Into Term

By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.

Annual Trash Day Packed, With Waits Up To 90 Minutes

Annual Trash Day

Packed, With Waits

Up To 90 Minutes

Due To Crush, Drop-Off Extended

Until All Served At Meadows Complex

Waits of up to 90 minutes were reported as today’s annual Hazardous Household Waste Day at The Meadows was overwhelmed by donors. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Retired physician Antoinette Kuzminski was among volunteers processing paint. “There’s more paint than we’ve ever seen,” declared Andree Conklin, behind Kuzminski.

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.

First 2 Tiny Homes In Place At Meadows

CLICK TO READ ‘TINY HOMES, BIG IDEAS’

First 2 Tiny Homes

In Place At Meadows

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 bathroom will be equipped with a fully functioning shower with either frameless shower doors or perhaps a shower curtain, as well as toilet and vanity. The bathroom will be made so that it is totally private for each resident so that they have their own privacy and can use the bathroom as and when they please. There will also be a small kitchen so residents can prepare food and make meals as and when they need to as well as having secure sleeping arrangements and space to place personal belongings.

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. These tiny homes and the community developments are going to create a great sense of community for all and allow people to give back to their communities. Hopefully, the rest of the tiny homes will be constructed soon enough so that more people in need of a home can move in and turn over a new leaf. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Democrats Off To Races In Otsego, Middlefield

CLICK HERE FOR ALL FILINGS

Democrats Off To Races

In Otsego, Middlefield

Kiernan Runs Again; Marc Heller Enters Politics

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.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.

Westville House Gutted As Wind Whips Flames

10 DEPARTMENTS AT SCENE

Westville House Gutted

As Wind Whips Flames

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.

Josephine Martucci, 87; Retired Here From Staten Island In 1993

IN MEMORIAM: Josephine Martucci, 87;

Retired Here From Staten Island In 1993

Josephine Martucci

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.

Telltale Paw Indicates Bear On Glockler Porch

Telltale Paw Indicates

Bear On Glockler Porch


From the wilds of the Town of Middlefield, Bill Glockler reports a path of bear paws across his back porch yesterday morning.  “He’s using our property as a short cut!” Bill exclaimed. “He walked across our porch, stopped as if to look out into the ‘wilderness,’ then proceeded past our cars and down the driveway as if to say, ‘I’m not walking in the deep snow when I have a clear path!'”  Bill reports a neighbor’s bird feeders were wrecked the other day, with a bear pulling down a 2-foot maple to get at one of them.  “Ain’t nature grand,” he concludes.
Eleanor V. Bronner, 88; Raised Harness Horses Near Cooperstown

IN MEMORIAM: Eleanor V. Bronner, 88;

Raised Harness Horses Near Cooperstown

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.

Paw Print Proves Bears Are Present In Vicinity

Paw Print Proves Bears

Are Present In Vicinity

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.

Double Vision

Double Vision

Andy Baugnet, the photographer who freelances nationally from his base in the Town of Middlefield, captured a rare double-rainbow after last Monday’s thunderstorms roared through Otsego County.
Winter Wonderland – Again

Winter Wonderland – Again

After yesterday’s temperatures in the mid-60s, last night’s storm was a bit of a shock, but the icy beauty of today’s aftermath almost made up for it. If you didn’t make it out for a Sunday afternoon drive, here a bit of the treat, a scene on Murphy Hill Road, Town of Middlefield. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Looking Forward To Better Days…

Looking Forward To Better Days…

On the coldest day of the year (so far), Bill Glockler, Town of Middlefield, sent out this view and a dozen others under the title, "Looking Forward To Better Days..." Thanks,Bill, and there's good news: Dec. 21, only three days from now, is the shortest day of the year. Things will be getting better.
On the coldest day of the year (so far), Bill Glockler, Town of Middlefield, sent out this view and a dozen others under the title, “Looking Forward To Better Days…” Thanks,Bill, and there’s good news: Dec. 21, only three days from now, is the shortest day of the year. Things WILL be getting better!
Middlefield Supervisor Brings Lifetime Of Service To County
DAVID BLISS, R-DISTRICT 7

Middlefield Supervisor Brings

Lifetime Of Service To County

Newly elected county Rep. David Bliss sits for a photo shoot by the Susquehanna River – on the Town of Middlefield side. (The far shore is the Town of Otsego County.) He is one of seven freshman county reps taking office Jan. 1. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Newly elected county Rep. David Bliss sits for a photo shoot by the Susquehanna River – on the Town of Middlefield side. (The far shore is the Town of Otsego County.) He is one of seven freshman county reps taking office Jan. 1. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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).

By JIM KEVLIN • for www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.

OtsegoCountySeal-Color-500pix_largeThe 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.

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