News of Otsego County

Village Board

Village Board Approves Girl Scouts’ Inclusive Vision

Cherry Valley Board OKs

Girl Scouts’ Inclusive Vision

Girl Scouts, Bailey Thayer (left) and Zola Palmer (right) following their meeting with Parkitects.


CHERRY VALLEY – Girl Scouts, Bailey Thayer and Zola Palmer are making a difference in their community.

When brainstorming service project ideas, the fourth and fifth-grade juniors suggested improving the village playground behind the Cherry Valley Community Center – formerly the Cherry Valley School – by adding more equipment.

Specifically, Zola is excited to add spinners to the current equipment. “I like to spin,” she said.

Bailey is looking forward to adding a handicapped swing to the mix. “There are not many in the area, and we have kids in our school that are disabled and are wheelchair-bound.  I think it would be nice to have options locally for them to play on a playground,” she said.

Mary-Margaret Robbins Has Brains, Courage, Kindliness

Mary-Margaret Robbins Has

Brains, Courage, Kindliness

To the Editor:

I feel strongly that I do endorse the candidacy of Mary-Margaret Robbins for village trustee. I have known Mary-Margaret for a long time, and I admire her brain power, as well as her kindness to others and her guts.

Most of us knew her when she was a pharmacists at CVS. Unfortunately, she had to retire from that job to take care of her health. Today she is incredibly strong and determined to help the community in whatever way she can.

As a board member, I feel she would be excellent. She is measured in her decisions, based on facts…and to me, I could care less which party she belongs to, as the important thing is to work for the Village of Cooperstown. That is where her loyalties lie.

Please vote for Mary-Margaret! I feel all of you and the current board will be happy with the outcome, if she wins. Just remember to vote!




Trustees Consider Requiring Masks On Main – Always


Trustees Consider

Requiring Masks

On Main – Always

Special Meeting Deals With

Multiple COVID-19 Issues

Village Trustee Richard Sternberg is in the middle of Zoom screen.     Others, clockwise from upper left, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, Trustee Jeanne Dewey, Village Administrator Teri Barown, and Trustees Jim Dean, Joe Membrino, MacGuire Benton and Cindy Falk.  (From Zoom broadcast)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – At a special meeting that ended just few minutes ago, the Village Board directed Trustee Richard Sternberg to confer with the village attorney on a law requiring people to wear masks at all times in the Main Street area.

The law would be effective on Main between Chestnut and Fair streets, and on Pioneer between Church and Lake.

A public hearing would be required before board action.

In related issue, the trustees:

Village Board Attendees Can Sit 6-Feet-Plus Apart

Village Board Attendees

Can Sit 6-Feet-Plus Apart

Monthly Meeting Moved To Ballroom

The Village Board meeting is moving to Village Hall’s second floor.

COOPERSTOWN – The Village Board’s monthly meeting is Monday, and Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch announced it will proceed as scheduled, but – adapting to the Coronavirus threat – will be moved from the basement meeting room at 22 Main to the second-floor ballroom.

This will allow attendees to space themselves 6 feet apart, as recommended by “social distancing” guidelines.  While the trustees and Village Administrator Teri Barown will be present, the treasurer, zoning enforcement office and public works superintendent may receive waivers.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., and two public hearings will proceed as announced at 7 p.m., on the following matters:

Nail Parlor, Parking At School Up For Public Hearings Tonight

Nail Parlor, Parking Near School

Up For Public Hearings Tonight

The Cooperstown Village Board has scheduled two public hearings at its monthly meeting tonight. One, on a special-use permit to allow the former Nail Club at 171 Main St., above, to become long-term residential rentals. Two, to amend the Vehicle & Traffic Law to allow two-hour parking on the south side of Walnut Street between Linden and Susquehanna avenues, except for 7-9 a.m. and 2-4 p.m., the hours that pupils arrive and leave Cooperstown Elementary. The hearings are at 7 p.m.; the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. ( photo)
Village Republican Candidate Submits Independent Petitions

Village Republican Candidate

Submits Independent Petitions

Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns, the Republican candidate for Cooperstown Village Board, submits her petitions to also run on the independent line a few minutes ago to Village Administrator Teri Barown, right. At left are Mike and Laura Page, Jeanette Weldon and other supporters. “As I stated when nominated for this position, I believe you should vote for the person, not just the party. The community has been very good to me and my family. I want to pay it forward by serving on the Village Board.” A heart transplant beneficiary, the name on her independent ballot line will be “Heart of Cooperstown.” Robbins plus two Democrats, Joe Membrino and MacGuire Benton, are running for three vacancies in the March 18 elections.  (Jim Kevlin/
Village Trustees:  Keep Cooperstown Cooperstown


Village Trustees:  Keep

Cooperstown Cooperstown

The Grove, a 12-unit apartment house, is planned in this copse of woods between Chestnut Street and Pine Boulevard, a half-block from the downtown. (Jim Kevlin/

A sitting-room-only-on-the-floor crowd Monday, June 24, at the Cooperstown Village Board’s monthly meeting had a point: Why put an apartment house in the middle of one of the village’s finest single-family-home neighborhoods?

There it is. That said, who doesn’t have some mixed feelings, given that the developer, Josh Edmonds, intends to build a complex that is supremely energy efficient, as is his new home at 45 Delaware St., and to price it so young families with incomes in the $54,000 range can afford it?

10 Chestnut St. includes this building, formerly Smith Cooperstown, before the Ford dealership moved south of the village.

Nonetheless, don’t village trustees have a stewardship responsibility: to preserve Cooperstown as it is known and loved? Do they have to destroy the village to save it?

With some emotion, Sherrie Kingsley, co-proprietor of the Inn at Cooperstown with her husband Marc, read a letter he co-signed that contained a chilling conclusion: Concerned about “our quality of life as well as the value of our properties,” the couple had met that morning with Altonview Architects to discuss how they might convert two houses they own, 12 Chestnut and 180 Main, into apartments if necessary.

Who knows how many others would do the same?

THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS: June 27-28, 2019


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

June 27-28, 2019


Before a packed house, a dismayed Ted Spencer, retired Baseball Hall of Fame curator and vice president, who lives on upper Main Street, Cooperstown, urges the Village Board not to approve a 12-unit apartment house, The Grove, planned for 10 Chestnut St. that would back up on Pine Boulevard.  Village Hall is considering a PDD (planned development district) to allow the apartments to go into an area zoned for single-family homes.  With his back to the camera is Village Attorney Martin Tillapaugh.  At left is Village Trustee Jeanne Dewey.   (Jim Kevlin/


Inventive Scams Entrap Otsego County’s Elderly

Green Cow Features Local Grass-Fed Beef

A Visit To Otsego County, Louisiana

12 Unit ‘The Grove’ Rattles Cooperstown Neighbors

‘It Couple’ As Wife, Husband Take Pulpits


Trustees, Keep Cooperstown Cooperstown


KUZMINSKI: How To Waste $400 Million

SEWARD: New Law May Bankrupt Farms


DOWNEY: Gas Best Way To Decarbonize

AINSLIE FAMILY: Bassett Serves Us Well Since ’45

HEWLETT: Appreciate Outstanding 12 Tribes 


BOUND VOLUMES: June 27, 2019



A Million Books Ready To Read At 139 Main St.

FINE, FUN FOOD: Food With a View!

THINGS TO DO: Fireworks, Parades


Clifford Roger Silliman, 97; Air Force Officer

Harold F. Lent, Oneonta Crossing Guard

Roberta Morley, 85; Retired From County Public Health

Saidy Toufic Maalouf, 72; Survived By Cooperstown Physician



Village Should Buy Former CVS, Make It Downtown Hub


Village Should Buy CVS,

Make It Downtown Hub

During New York History Day, a Rockland County family strolls past Cooperstown’s downtown CVS, once an anchor, but vacant since November 2017. ( photo)

Editor’s Note:  This is reprinted from this week’s Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta editorial pages. Click here for related editorial.  What do you think? Letters to the Editor welcome at

In a couple of weeks, we won’t remember that Cooperstown’s Main Street is a ghost town from Columbus Day to Memorial Day.  The 500,000 visitors will begin arriving in earnest with Dreams Parks’ June 1 opening.

By the time we again become Coopers(ghost)town, the opportunity will have been lost.

The opportunity, of course, is 100 Main St., a gap in the village’s set of most perfect teeth since CVS moved to the southern edge of the village in November 2017 –yes, it’s almost been two years.

Private Life Beckons To Lou Allstadt

Private Life Beckons

To Lou Allstadt

He Leaves Cooperstown Village Board,

But Stays Involved In Public Affairs



‘It’s been my longest job – at the lowest pay,” former Mobil Oil executive vice president Lou Allstadt told his colleagues Monday, Jan. 28, in resigning from the Village Board.
Resigning, but it doesn’t mean he’s exactly retiring.

Plan Would Blend Tower With Key Bank Architecture

‘It Will Look Like It’s Always Been There’

Plan Would Blend Tower

With Key Bank Architecture

T-Mobile’s lawyer Matthew Kerwin, a partner with Barclay Damon, this evenings shows the Cooperstown Village Board the material the proposed cell tower on top of Key Bank would utilize to make it blend in with the building’s architecture. “It would look like it’s been there the whole time,” he said. Though a public hearing was held this evening, no one spoke up.  The trustees declined to vote on approving the tower, saying they were waiting for SEQR approval from the village’s H-PARB and ZBA boards. (Libby Cudmore/
Sewage Leak Smells, Taints Susquehanna, Quickly Fixed

Sewage Leak Smells, Taints

Susquehanna, Quickly Fixed

By PATRICK WAGER • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – A sewage trunk line running near Council Rock leaked its contents into the Susquehanna River in recent days, Public Works Superintendent Mitch Hotaling told the Village Board last evening.

While the leak could be smelled by neighbours, emergency plumbers were able to fix it in three hours, Hotaling said.

This admittedly is an unusual occurrence and is not a typical emergency plumbing situation. Thankfully, the experienced plumbers were able to resolve the issue. Luckily, most plumbers are very clued in on incidents like this, though they’re not regular occurrences. Trenchless Sewer Repairs come naturally to many plumbers, and if you need this type of repair in your home, you should contact one immediately. Regardless, the neighbors were all very grateful for the fixture of the sewage leak!

Naked Main Street … But Help Is On the Way, With New Flagpole And 10-By-15 Foot Stars & Stripes On Order

Naked Main Street

Lacking the flagpole that since 1917 had broken the line of sight on Coopertown’s Main Street, it’s looking a little bit like an airport runway or drag strip. But village trustees acted with dispatch this evening to quickly bring back the beloved landmark. (Jim Kevlin/

But Help Is On the Way, With New Flagpole

And 10-By-15-Foot Stars & Stripes On Order

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Trustee Cindy Falk, who chairs the Streets Committee, proposes one of a tick-list of recommendations to get the flagpole back in place in short order.  She is flanked by Trustees Jim Dean and Ellen Tillapaugh.

COOPERSTOWN – Fueled by what they declared was a misunderstanding of their intentions, the village trustees acted promptly and unanimously this evening to bring back a bigger, better flagpole to downtown Cooperstown’s main intersection as quickly as possible.

The Village Board OK’d three decisions proposed by Streets Committee chair Cindy Falk at its September meeting.

• One, to spend up to $2,900 for a 50-foot flagpole to replace the 35-foot one taken down last week to make way for the $1.2 million Pioneer Street reconstruction, causing some public consternation.  The pole will be aluminum; iron ones are subject to rust.

‘Rash Of Applications’ May Spur 9-Month Moratorium

‘Rash Of Applications’ May

Spur 9-Month Moratorium

At Issue: Year ‘Round Housing Vs. Dreams Park Rentals

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Faced with a “rash of applications” from homeowners seeking to rent to Dreams Park families, the Village Board will consider a nine-month moratorium on such approvals when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Village Hall.

“We’ll have to discuss it.  We want to discuss it,” said Mayor Jeff Katz, interviewed yesterday.  The trustees have long tried to maintain a balance between permanent housing and tourist accommodations, he said, adding, “the residential quality of the village should be preeminent.”

Katz was commenting on a controversy that broke into the open April 7 when three applications for tourist accommodations were debated  by the village Zoning Board of Appeals, then approved: For 20 Glen Ave. (Janice Eichler), 3 Westridge Road (Richard Abbate) and 130 Chestnut St. (William Dystra).

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