News of Otsego County



Share Your Stories Of
Baseball In Oneonta

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BASEBALL STORIES – 6-8 p.m. Local fans are invited to share their stories about Oneonta’s baseball history. Hosted by Bob Brzozowski and Chris Vredenburg at the Oneonta History Center, 183 Main Street, Oneonta. (607) 432-0960 or visit

PLANTING – 1-4 p.m. Join Otsego Land Trust to beautify the gardens at Brookwood Point, 6000 New York 80, Cooperstown. (607) 547.2366 or visit


Pride Festival at Barnyard Swing

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FAMILY PRIDE DAY  – Noon to 3 p.m. Celebrate Pride month with a festival featuring face painting, spin art, fossil safari and much more, presented by The Barnyard Swing, 4604 State Highway 28, Milford. Visit

PLANTING – 1-4 p.m. Join Otsego Land Trust to beautify the gardens at Brookwood Point, 6000 New York State 80, Cooperstown. (607) 547-2366 or visit


Pink Floyd Tribute Concert
at Foothills Performing Arts Center

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TRIBUTE CONCERT—6:30 p.m. Enjoy a performance by Dark Sarcasm, a tribute band to Pink Floyd, performing songs from “The Dark Side of the Moon” to “Wish You Were Here” and more. Admission, $30. Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center, Oneonta. (607) 431-2080 or visit

PARK CLEAN-UP—10 a.m. Break out your rakes and gloves, prepare to meet some neighbors, and come help the Friends of the Village Parks get Fairy Spring ready for the season. The village maintains the docks, but it’s up to the rest of us to make it presentable. Fairy Spring Park, 136 County Road 31, Cooperstown. (607) 547-2411 or visit


Learn About Kitten Fostering With
The SuperHeroes Humane Society

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KITTEN FOSTER TRAINING—1 p.m. SuperHeroes Humane Society is seeking volunteers to learn how to foster kittens ahead of the spring kitten season. Learn the ins and outs of kitten care in the Community Room at Southside Mall, Oneonta. (607) 441-3227 or visit

VOLUNTEER—10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Enjoy hiking? Maybe you’ll enjoy maintaining the trails, too. Presented in conjunction with Otsego Outdoors, the Otsego County Conservation Association invites the local community to learn the basic maintenance, rules and regulations of working in a state forest, and get your hands dirty with some practical experience on a section of trail. Registration required. Meeting location to be provided. (607) 547-4488 or visit

Otsego County EMS Reaches Crossroads

Otsego County EMS
Reaches Crossroads

Part 1: The County Service
Inside an ambulance owned by the Cooperstown Emergency Squad, just one of many volunteer-based EMS agencies working alongside the county service. (Photo by Ted Mebust)

In December of 2021, the Otsego County Board of Representatives, at the recommendation of its Public Safety and Legal Affairs Committee, implemented a 24-hour, county-based advanced life support ambulance service, buying two ambulances and staffing 16 full-time and 10 part-time paramedics. Previously, pre-hospital emergency medical services had been largely carried out by the 17 volunteer-based EMS agencies serving the county, most associated with local fire departments. However, these first responders had reached a breaking point and were the first to sound an alarm.

“After COVID-19, I had a number of squad captains calling me, begging us to do something because they couldn’t handle the load anymore. Essentially, you’ve got the same six, seven people who are pulling all the work. They’re spread thin and they just can’t do it anymore,” said Dan Wilber, chair of Otsego County PSLA, District 10 representative, and 47-year EMS volunteer. “EMS was receiving calls from people who were dying on the phone when they were calling for help because we could not get them emergency medical care.”

New York State Recognizes Otsego County Volunteerism

New York State Recognizes
Otsego County Volunteerism


Otsego County residents Sheila Serbay and Neil Riddell were recognized by New York State’s Office for the Aging at a celebration of Older New Yorkers’ Day on November 4. The pair, along with 92 others from around the state, received honors for their volunteerism and service to older adults in their communities.

“These are two individuals who unselfishly give up their time, resources, and skills in order to make someone else’s life a little better, and we are proud to have such genuine volunteers representing Otsego County in this statewide recognition,” stated Tamie Reed, director at the Otsego County Office for the Aging.

Planning Starts Now for Festival

Planning Starts Now for Festival

Exhibit at past Festival of Lights

Hill City Celebrations, formerly First Night Oneonta, is partnering with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce in the planning of this year’s Festival of Lights.

Volunteers are needed in the following areas: builders; designers; display workers; traffic flow; parking; vendor assistance teams; and more.

If you can help, or for more information, e-mail or call 607-432-4500.

MASKIN: Domestic Violence
Letter from Dan Maskin

Domestic Violence

There are increasing studies on Social Determinants of Health which are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. While domestic violence affects people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic classes, and religious affiliations, the effects of domestic violence can result in a wide array of issues, ranging from broken bones to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

More and more healthcare providers are screening for domestic violence. But it’s difficult for survivors to admit or talk about. Which is why it is important to repeatedly call attention to domestic violence because it is not only a crime but a health crisis as well. The Violence Intervention Program at Opportunities for Otsego, Inc. joins hundreds of domestic violence programs and coalitions around the country in declaring that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

More prevalent than most realize, one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity or orientation, or socio-economic status, can become a victim of domestic violence. This year’s campaign theme, #Every1KnowsSome1, strives to highlight how common domestic violence is and that it is more than physical violence.

Last year, in Otsego County, the Violence Intervention Program at Opportunities for Otsego, Inc. assisted over 180 victims of violence, answered over 800 Hotline calls on our 24/7 staffed Crisis Hotline, and provided emergency shelter to over 20 victims at our Safe Shelter.

The Violence Intervention Program 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 607.432.4855. This program’s services are free and completely confidential. The program can assist with individual counseling, legal advocacy, medical advocacy and accompaniment, Crime Victims Compensation Assistance and emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Dan Maskin
Chief Executive Officer
Opportunities for Otsego

News from the Noteworthy: Building Homes, Community and Hope
News from the Noteworthy

Building Homes, Community and Hope

Habitat for Humanity of Otsego County is one of the local chapters, called affiliates, of Habitat for Humanity International. Our official mission is “seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope” with a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

In the early 1970s, on a community farm outside of Americus, Georgia, Linda and Millard Fuller developed their idea of “partnership housing,” in which those in need of adequate shelter worked side by side with volunteers to build decent, affordable houses. Thanks in no small part to the personal involvement of former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn and the awareness they have raised, Habitat now works in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries. The key to Habitat is partnering with potential homeowners. Partner families actively participate, actually wielding hammers and drills to build their own homes.

National award for Cooperstown volunteer

Rich McCaffery wins national honor

Rich McCaffery displays his award with Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh


After logging decades of tireless service to his community, Cooperstown’s Rich McCaffery has become only one of 100 people across the country to receive a Certificate of National Recognition as a Civic Volunteer.

“Nominating Rich for this award was an easy choice,” said Village Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh. “There is no one more deserving.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Fun children’s workshop on the farm 07-06-21

Fun children’s workshop on the farm


FAMILY FARM FUN – 11 a.m – 12:30 p.m. Bring the children, 4-8+, for fun program about the process of how plants, animals, and communities change through time. Includes reading of ‘A Farm Through Time’ by Angela Wilkes. Continued Thursday with scavenger hunt and finishes with historic childrens game. Free with admission, reservations recommended. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit

Ruth Schweinfurth, 83 Passionate volunteer with local food bank, Susquehanna SPCA, others.

In Memoriam

Ruth Schweinfurth, 83

Passionate volunteer with local food bank, Susquehanna SPCA, others.

Ruth Schweinfurth

COOPERSTOWN – Long-time Cooperstown resident Ruth Schweinfurth passed away on June 23, 2021, after a brief struggle with cancer. She passed peacefully at her home, comforted by her loving daughters and her beloved dogs. She was 83 years young.

Ruth’s life’s work focused on improving the lives of others. She was passionate about nursing, her first calling, and equally passionate about her volunteer work in the community. Over the years, Ruth selflessly devoted countless hours to assisting area families at the local food bank (at its original location in the Cooperstown Library building) and to sorting and selling clothing and other items at the thrift shop that supports the Susquehanna SPCA, an organization of which she was especially fond.

Cat-tastic Opportunity: Shelter Filled With New Pets

Cat-Tastic Opportunity!

Shelter Filled With New Pets

Peanut Butter Cup, resting under a towel, is one of many cats available for adoption at the Susquehanna SCPA.

The Susquehanna SPCA is overflowing with kittens, according to a recent media release.

“Kitten season is in full swing,” the release said. “Recently, we have had an influx of cats and kittens of all ages that need our help.”

The spring season often brings with it batches of new kittens, according to the release.

“Just before spring, unspayed cats often go into heat. Approximately 60 days later, they begin giving birth to litters of kittens. Between the months of March and October, animal shelters like the SQSPCA become overwhelmed with mother cats with their kittens and even orphaned kittens that need care around the clock. This is what we call kitten season.”

Chamber Looks Past COVID And So Should The Rest Of Us

Chamber Looks Past COVID

And So Should The Rest Of Us

With herd immunity headed our way – by mid-summer or earlier – it IS time to look toward what’s next.

So interim Otsego Chamber President Al Rubin’s letter to members, which arrived Monday in e-mail boxes, is ideally timed.

The letter was an appeal to members to volunteer for chamber committees: Marketing/Education, Membership Services/Events and Finance/Audit.

“We want your input, we want your voice,” wrote Rubin, “and we encourage your engagement to step in and involve yourselves in any way you might be able to utilize your skill sets and connections within our community.”

For sure. Intrigued chamber members should jump in.

Likewise, all other organizations and businesses should be preparing for the rebound, be it this spring, mid-summer or sometime this fall.

Thanks, Al, for the reminder.

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