News of Otsego County

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deBLICK: Founder’s Goal: Individual Sovereignty

Founder’s Goal:

Individual Sovereignty

To the Editor:

Recent discourse has revealed an alarming ignorance concerning the Bill of Rights. It seems a prudent reminder that the origin of these listed Rights was, in fact, part and parcel to how America became a nation.

The foundation of our Bill of Rights comes directly from the Declaration of Independence. For the Declaration itself listed “certain unalienable rights,” which were transgressed by Great Britain. The Bill of Rights echoes some of those 27 listed within the Declaration.

Point being, such Rights are deemed “unalienable,” meaning that they cannot be taken away, but either embraced or transgressed.

Before adoption of the Constitution, championed by the Federalists, Anti-Federalists insisted the inclusion of these essential Rights to ensure Individual Sovereignty of the new American Republic.

Hence, the Bill of Rights had then become the expressed fabric of sovereignty of the individual, not any government.

It only makes sense. For years Britain transgressed the sovereignty of individual colonists; much as today in New York State, where the narcotic of gun control has been nonstop for decades. As stated within the Declaration:

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and provide new Guards for their future security.”

Likewise, in New York State, the lust for ever more gun control for decades has been unrelenting. The Safe Act, as constitutionally repugnant as it is, still does not satisfy Albany, which desires even more stringent controls.

A despot’s “Never-ending Story” if you will.

We of Otsego 2AS will say again and again: Enough is enough!

Yet, the lesson of the Bill of Rights does not stop there. The first few words of that historic document begin: “When in the course of human events…” This is a generalized phrase meaning human existence. We, now today, are living, still, “in the course of human events”.

So, within this “human existence”, to what authority do those stand when they put their chosen reverence to New York State law in knowing conflict of the Rights listed in our Bill of Rights?

It has been a curiosity where one pledges their oath upon the U.S. and state Constitutions when they are manifestly in conflict with one another.

Perhaps a politician’s dream to pledge an oath to both, placating a façade of dual reverence. This is
precisely where Constitutional Law breaks down to become, quite literally, a Banana Republic.

In essence, what value is our Bill of Rights, when each state maintains its own unbridled rejection of such? Each establishing their own esteemed preferences, Bill of Rights be damned?

Case in point is, if a politician feels it no issue to restrain and be accountable upon the fabric of Individual Sovereignty to which our country is founded, what trust that they too will adhere to anything?

That is exactly why our Otsego County representatives must be held accountable to their sworn oaths.

For no republic bearing Constitutional authority can exist when that very foundation is chosen to be rejected.


ANDERSON: Sanctuary Idea About Guns, Freedom

Sanctuary Idea About

Guns, Our Freedoms

To the Editor:

In a recent opinion piece by Julie Sorenson of the League of Women Voters, she urged the Otsego County Board of Representatives to vote against making the county a “Second Amendment
Sanctuary” and stated the adoption of such a resolution was problematic because it was intended to subvert New York State gun laws.

She then goes on with the usual rhetoric about gun control.

What Ms. Sorenson fails to realize is the movement is about far more than the Second Amendment; the movement is about the fundamental rights of Americans as guaranteed in the Constitution as laid out in the Bill of Rights.

As an American citizen, I expect to have the God-given rights as specifically spelled out in the Bill of Rights, which is part of the Constitution of the United States. As a citizen I have the God-given right of
self-protection, according to our founding documents.

Arguably the most important amendments in the Bill of Rights are the first and second.

As our government has become more secular, there is a natural tendency to ignore God and elevate man’s authority, which has led many to believe our founding documents are no longer as important or relevant as had been previously thought.

This is a grievous error and has led to a general disregard for our founding documents. The principles set out in the founding documents supersede state laws and thus the problematic issue that Ms. Sorensen refers to in her opinion piece is null and void.

Ms. Sorensen’s contention that the resolution’s passage would violate state law is simply not true. The resolution is a position statement and does not have the force of law.

It is simply a statement by the people of Otsego County that we support the idea of becoming a sanctuary county in which our legal representative will uphold their oath of office to support the constitution of the United States.

Further, the SAFE Act is still very much in litigation and, with a recent ruling in California, further doubt has been cast on its Constitutionality. The court system is slow to make changes and many of those changes have been contrary to Constitutional principles and resolution will not be complete for some time. Overall, Ms. Sorensen’s argument constitutes little more than progressive sophistry and avoids fundamental issues regarding our founding documents, which is the real issue.


Drive-In Hosting Second Concert; This Time, Blake Shelton

Drive-In Hosts 2nd Concert;

This Time, It’s Blake Shelton

Former No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani will perform alongside her fellow “The Voice” judge, country star Blake Shelton, at a drive-in exclusive concert on Saturday, July 25.

UNADILLA – With the sold-out Garth Brooks drive-in concert a success, the Unadilla Drive-In will again be the hottest music venue in the county as they present Encore’s exclusive Blake Shelton concert on Saturday, July 25.

The family-friendly concert is a drive-in exclusive, and will also include special guests Gwen Stefani and Trace Adkins.

Unadilla Drive-In To Air Live Garth Brooks Concert


Unadilla Drive-In To Air

Live Garth Brooks Concert 

The Unadilla Drive-In will screen a one-night-only concert by country legend Garth Brooks on Saturday, June 27.

UNADILLA – Joining more than 300 drive-in theaters across the country, the Unadilla Drive-In will screen a one-night-only concert event by country superstar Garth Brooks on Saturday, June 27.

“I am so excited to get to play again. I have missed it so much and want to get back to it,” said Brooks. “This drive-in concert allows us all to get back to playing live music without the uncertainty of what would be the result to us as a community. This is old school, new school, and perfect for the time we are in.”

Drive-In Opening For New, Classic Films

Unadilla Drive-In Opening

For New, Classic Films

Spencer Wilson, whose family bought the Unadilla Drive-in in 1999, fearing it would be demolished, says his venue is ideal for social distancing, and he’s anticipating a busy summer. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

UNADILLA – If you’ve never seen the classics on the big screen, this year, you might get your chance.
“There aren’t any movies being released this summer,” said Spencer Wilson, who manages his family’s Unadilla Drive-In. “But there are tons of options for screening older and classic movies.”

Under Phase One of un-PAUSE, drive-in theaters can open, and Wilson will open The Unadilla on Friday, May 29, showing a double-feature of “Trolls World Tour” and “Jumanji: The Next Level.”
“These are movies that didn’t get a full theater run time,” he said. “We’ll do those for the first few weekends until they run out.”

After that, he said, is when the fun really begins. “With classic movies, you know you’ve seen them, you know you like them,” he said. “But how often do you get to see them on the big screen?”

Wilson is considering doing theme nights, including ’80s classics like “Footloose” or original superhero movies, such as the Adam West “Batman” (1966) and the Christopher Reeves “Superman” (1978).

They could also repeat some of their most popular showings. “The ‘Jurassic Park’ movies are all available,” he said. “Those were always our most popular nights.”

So popular, he said, that in 2015, the “Jurassic World” showing had cars lined up out to the bridge. “We had to park people behind the fence,” he said. “We can fit between 350-400 cars here.”

The “Marvel” movies and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogies are also available, which could make for some long nights. “We have had people fall asleep here!” he said. “I have to go around and knock on their windows to wake them up.”

The Wilsons have owned the drive-in since 1999, when father Eric Wilson purchased it after hearing it might be torn down. It was originally built in 1956, one of two drive-ins, along with the Del-Sego at Emmons, in the area.

This summer, precautions will be taken to assure that social distancing is followed, including reducing capacity to 50 percent. “Normally we can fit two cars between the poles,” he said. “Now, we’ll just have one car.”

Customers will now reserve a space on the drive-in’s website. “We’ll have 100 spots for sale online, and 50 at the gate,” he said. “But if you don’t reserve online, you run the chance of not getting in.”

He stressed that families are still allowed to sit outside their vehicles. “Kids can still run around,” he said. “But we want to make sure everyone is safe.”

The snack bar will also be fully operational, but employees and customers will be required to wear masks, and employees will wear gloves to handle food, credit cards and money. Spaces will also be put in place to make sure that people are standing far enough apart in line, and plexiglass barriers will be erected between the cashiers and the customers.

In addition to movies, Wilson has been in touch with several school superintendents who have expressed interest in holding their graduation ceremonies there.

Under un-PAUSE, movie theaters like the Southside Mall Cinema won’t be able to open until Phase Four – July 1 at the earliest.

“People are chomping at the bit to get outside and do something that’s still legal,” he said. “And we’re the only game in town.”


Logging Accident Kills Unadilla Man

Logging Accident

Kills Unadilla Man

UNADILLA – An 80-year-old Unadilla man was killed on his property after a falling tree struck him while he was logging, according to Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C public information officer.

William P. Marszal was clearing trees on his property on Ben McCumber Road last night with a John Deere 420 bulldozer. While skidding a downed tree, the downed tree uprooted another tree, which then fell on Marszal and caused head trauma.

This Year, Graduation Might Be At The Drive-In

This Year, Graduation

Might Be At The Drive-In

Spencer Wilson, Unadilla Drive-In manager, has had several schools reach out and ask if the drive-in would host their graduation ceremonies. (Ian Austin/


UNADILLA – With no movies being released this summer, Spencer Wilson, manager of his family’s Unadilla Drive-In, may still be able to bring in the crowds.

“We’ve had more than a dozen schools call us and ask if we would host their graduations,” he said. “We’d love to do it. That could be our whole summer.”

Though the drive-in remains closed under state mandate, Wilson is in conversations with school superintendents – including Unatego, Bainbridge, Harpersville and more – about what would be required to hold a ceremony.

Theresa J. Weideck, 36; Social Worker Succumbed To Long Illness

IN MEMORIAM: Theresa J. Weideck, 36;

Social Worker Succumbed To Long Illness

Theresa Wiedeck

UNADILLA – Theresa J. Wiedeck of Unadilla, 36, a social worker, went into the Lord’s loving arms after a long illness on Friday, May 1, 2020.

Theresa was born in Oneonta on May 14, 1983, to her adoring parents John and Sharon Wiedeck of Wells Bridge, where she was raised.

She graduated from Unatego High School in 2001 and SUNY Cortland in 2005.

Sheriff: Man Allegedly Harassed Victim From Jail

From Jail, Accused Keeps On

Harassing Victim, Sheriff Says

UNADILLA – The man arrested twice on Easter Sunday for allegedly violating an order of protection allegedly called the victim from the Delaware County Jail, according to Sheriff Crag DuMond.

Dennis P. Lafferty, Jr. 38, was arrested after Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputies received a complaint from an Otsego County domestic violence victim who reported receiving a phone call from Lafferty at the Delaware County Correctional Facility, where he was being housed for the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office.

Unadilla Man Arrested Twice In One Day

Easter Sunday,

Unadilla Man

Arrested Twice

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – State Police arrested a Unadilla man twice on Sunday for allegedly threatening a victim he had previously been ordered to stay away from.

Dennis P. Lafferty, 38, was arrested at 1:37 p.m. after troopers responded to fa domestic dispute at a residence on Clifton Street in the Village of Unadilla. Troopers located Lafferty on the back porch of the home where, according to the victim, he was allegedly making threats to harm a resident.

deBLIECK: ‘Right To Bear Arms,’ An ‘Unalienable’ Part Of U.S. Constitution

‘Right To Bear Arms,’

An ‘Unalienable’ Part

Of U.S. Constitution

To the Editor:

It seems writing this out shouldn’t be necessary. 2AS, spelled out is “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”

The word “sanctuary” meaning a place of safety, refuge and protection. The Second Amendment is one of 10 listed “unalienable” Rights written in our Constitutional Law. So, put together, it is a cause of protecting and safeguarding an American Right. So where is the problem?

Perhaps a proper start is identifying that the origin of the Bill of Rights is grounded on the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration lists 27 transgressions of Great Britain against the Colonies. These transgressions manifested by virtue of violating basic rights of the people. As the Declaration states, “…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”…” That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Therein lies the necessity of the Bill of Rights. Rights which function as what government is prohibited to violate.
If there is ever a word among all written within the Constitution, I cannot imagine any more actively ignored than “infringed.”

Taken straight from the Merriam-Webster dictionary; “to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another.”

Enter now the nonstop obsession toward “gun control” laws. By their very definition, manifest as infringements. For decades, we have, as a people, generally permitted various gun control laws. But over the past few years in particular, it seems like the sun cannot set without some other invented form of gun regulation or prohibition.

The straw that broke the camel’s back has been the proposed draconian prohibitions, bans and ever more gun controls in the state of Virginia. This was compounded by various federal government politicians who removed their masks and called for outright gun bans. Further, Governor Cuomo has in mind yet another chain of regulations and prohibitions. The Bill of Rights be damned. We, of 2AS, stand united claiming, “Enough Is Enough!”

There seems so much that the “anti-gunners” do not understand concerning the function of the Second Amendment. One prime example is the phrase “no sanctuary for guns”. And another manifested as a statement decrying America embracing a “gun culture.” Whether these people were misinformed or deliberately deceived, they are clearly embracing what the Right isn’t.

This may come as a surprise to some, but the foundation of the Second Amendment is NOT about guns. It is about ensuring a balance of power “to the security of a free State.” Thomas Paine expressed it in this way, “The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute in arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside.”

In other words, if all firearms on this earth were to evaporate into thin air, would we still need a Second Amendment? The answer is yes, because arms of other forms (axes, knives…etc) remain. Imbalances of power can still exist. Human history is filled with examples where oppression, ages before any firearm came into existence, could have been avoided.

But firearms exist in the modern world. Therefore, a balance of power can only be achieved by virtue of equal firearm possession between the governing and the governed. This is less a “culture” than it is a free civilization necessity. Supporting gun bans will not make the guns disappear. Rather it creates a power imbalance. “Peace” exists only at the pleasure of the powerful. History teaches this a fool’s errand.


County Worker Charged With Touching Child

County Worker Charged

With Child Endangerment

UNADILLA – An Otsego County case worker was charged with forcible touching and child endangerment after an incident in January, according to state police.

Robert J. Horan, 55, Unadilla, was arrested and charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Forcible Touching, after an investigation into an incident that allegedly occurred in a Unadilla home. According to state police, Horan was not in the home as part of his official capacity with the county.

Two More Arrested In Walmart Vandalism

Two Men Arrested

In Walmart Vandalism

ONEONTA – State police have arrested the other two men accused of vandalizing the Walmart craft aisle in early January.

Jamie R. Sophie, 21, and Nathaniel Rubera 21, both of Unadilla, were arrested and charged with the felony of Criminal Mischief in the third degree and the misdemeanor of Conspiracy in the fifth degree for allegedly entering the store on Jan. 8, and opening bottles craft paint to damage more than $250 worth of merchandise in the fabric and craft aisles.

Phyllis G. Cooke, 86; Former WAC, Four Daughters Survive

IN MEMORIAM: Phyllis G. Cooke, 86;

Former WAC, Four Daughters Survive

Phyllis G. Cooke

UNADILLA – Phyllis G. Cooke, 86, of Unadilla, a former WAC and mother of four daughters, passed away peacefully on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, at the state Veterans Home in Oxford.

She was born on April 9, 1933, in Preston Park, Pa., to Ward & Hope (Phillips) Sherman.

As a child, Phyllis attended a one-room school house and was raised by her mother and siblings on a small farm.  A Korean War veteran, Phyllis joined the Women’s Army Corps in April 1951.  She was stationed in Chicago, and attained the rank of Private E-2 as a teletypewriter pperator.

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