News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.



Cooperstown Locals

Cooperstown LOCALS
Jan 30 – Feb 1, 2019

Milford Gym Filled With Polar Jump Fans As Annual Auction Raises Funds For Plunge

Ava Brockert, 2, and her mother Kali, Milford, look for prizes to be won at the annual Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump’s Chinese auction on Sunday, Jan. 27 at Milford Central School.  Below, Polar Bear Jump organizer Jamie Waters mans the ticket booth alongside Devin Kiser, Milford. All the money raised from the auction will go to help this year’s Polar Bear Jump recipients.



COOPERSTOWN – Kenneth Kellerman, a 90-year-old resident of Cooperstown Center, has found his calling.
Calling Bingo. A Cooperstown native, Kellerman has been at Cooperstown Center for over a year, but hadn’t been participating in many activities. Rose sat down with him to look over offerings he might be interested in, and when she told him about Bingo, he requested to call, as he had done at another facility.  When she said he could, he agreed to start attending Bingo, and has attended games weekly to call.



Jim Kevlin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA – Jeff Wanke of Oneonta, a popular and helpful manager at Cooperstown’s Price Chopper, is back on the job Wednesday, Jan. 23 receiving congratulations from well wishers after a medical leave.


Security-Guard’s Death Prompts Bassett To Give Away CO Detectors

COOPERSTOWN – Having lost one of their own – Wade Bostwick, a Milford resident and well-liked security guard who died Saturday, Nov. 24, a victim of carbon-monoxide poison – the Bassett Hospital community is taking steps to prevent it from happening again.
Working with Kidde, the fire-safety products manufacturer, the healthcare network has arranged to provide carbon-monoxide detectors free to anyone who might need one, Executive Vice President & COO Ronette Wiley announced.
Department heads will be coordinating distribution in the next few weeks.
Since Bostwick’s passing, “We have had a number of patients who have required treatment for this,” said Wiley in a message to employees. “With our bitter cold and snow, this is the time of the year where there is an increased danger.”
She pointed out carbon monoxide “is an odorless and colorless gas that can build up indoors and poison people and animals who unknowingly breathe it in. This gas comes from fumes produced when fuel is burned in lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, and furnaces.”


ZAGATA: Rising To The Fly On Natural Gas

Column by Mike Zagata, August 31, 2018

Rising To The Fly

On Natural Gas

Mike Zagata

One of the main reasons that local brook trout don’t get very big is that they tend to rise to and take the first dry fly that is drifted over them.
During my professional career, I have avoided “rising to the fly,” but my fellow columnist, Adrian Kuzminski, in his Aug. 23-24, 2018 article, floated one that was just too tempting. He was commenting on my article the week before, where I stated, “To date, we don’t know if those green plants, found on land and in fresh and marine waters, aren’t able to process the carbon dioxide that is being produced. If there was more of it, could green plants produce more oxygen and sugar, or if there was more than they could process would it affect the climate? Answering those questions will take some good minds and pretty heavy-duty computers.”
He twisted that to read, “Zagata admits as much by worrying if plant growth will absorb the extra CO2”.
So it’s time, once again, to look at the science.

Natural gas is the cleanest burning fuel. It produces CO2 (carbon dioxide) and H2O (water) when it is burned. That is exactly what animals, including us, do during the process of respiration. We take in food, digest it, and, in the presence of O2 (oxygen), burn it in our cells to produce energy needed to sustain us and CO2 and H2O are the waste products. Our blood carries the dissolved CO2 to our lungs and we exhale it and also inhale new Oxygen. Some of the dissolved water also gets exhaled and some gets filtered out by our kidneys and leaves our body as urine.
That means that each of us are polluters – we emit the same gases that are produced when we burn natural gas. We also pollute when we create mulch piles or manure piles or eat beans, as they give off methane as a byproduct of decomposition.

Many homes in our area heat with propane – a heavier version of methane that also yields CO2 and H2O when burned – and it is transported to our homes by truck.
We drive to our meetings in cars fueled by gasoline, a fossil fuel, to plan on how to best protest against the next attempt to bring energy into our area – and these protests are not limited to just fossil fuels. We have protested against renewable energy sources as well, including wind turbines and biomass.
It is likely that, once we realize just how visually unattractive solar farms are and how much they adversely impact farmland, forests and wildlife habitat, we will protest against them as well.
It will be easy to do, because solar energy doesn’t totally replace the need for energy derived from fossil fuels – the sun doesn’t shine at night, so when the temperatures drop below zero during periods of darkness, the “grid” that supplies our energy relies on energy from fossil fuels like coal.
And what about those hazardous wastes in the solar panels that must be disposed at the end of their useful life?

Why is it that it’s still OK to pull up to the gas tanks and fill our cars with gasoline, a non-renewable fossil fuel, that, when burned, yields some nasty air pollutants like NOX (Nitrous Oxides) and SO2 (Sulfur Dioxide) but it’s not OK to burn natural gas – and gasoline is delivered by trucks?
Even if you’re the most rabid anti-gas person, that can’t make sense to you.
Why is it still OK to heat our homes with fuel oil, a non-renewable fossil fuel that emits far more air pollutants than methane or natural gas, when burned? And, it’s delivered by trucks.
Why is it still OK to use propane to heat our homes or fuel our barbecue grills? It’s a non-renewable fossil fuel and, because it’s heavier than air and thus stays close to the ground when leaked, may lead to a potentially explosive situation. And, it’s delivered by trucks.
Shucks, why not just vote like the County Board and ban all trucks transporting any kind of energy. It doesn’t take long to figure that one out now does it?

The other issue that those against natural
gas like to wave like a red flag in front of a bull is that of fugitive emissions – the natural gas that allegedly leaks from pipes, wells, etc.
If you were a company that produced (drilled for) or transported (pipeline) natural gas, would you knowingly allow it to leak? The company that produces the gas and the company that transports that gas make their money by selling the gas to customers. Does it make sense to you that they would knowingly allow gas to escape and thus not be available to be sold?
If you were a shareholder in a company that did that, would you be happy about it? If the paper allowed me more space, the story about the “studies” that claimed gas was leaking would be fascinating to debunk.

All of us are tempted, like the young brook trout, to rise to the fly and devour it. In the future, before rising, please take the time to reflect on what is being said and ask yourself, in light of what you know about the topic, does it really make good sense?

Mike Zagata, a DEC commissioner in the Pataki Administration and former environmental executive for Fortune 500 companies, lives in Davenport.


Dance An Irish Ceili For Christmas


CHRISTMAS CEILI – 7 p.m. A full Irish dance performance by the Iona Troupe. Cooperstown Art Association, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. Info,

STANDING ROCK FUNDRAISER – 4-7 p.m. Includes a raffle. Donations go to help the Water Protectors of Standing Rock against future pipeline atempts. First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta.Info,

SOMMELIER SERIES – 6 p.m. Join Sommelier Chad Douglas for his monthly wine tasting class. This months theme is “The Feast of the Seven Fishes” an Italian Christmas eve tradition. Cost $50/person. Info, Chad Douglas (607)544-2573 or visit

JAZZ HARMONIA CONCERT – 8:44 a.m.-10 a.m. Auditorium, Cooperstown Central School, 39 Linden Ave., Cooperstown. Info,

2nd annual Tuff eNuff

2nd Annual Tuff eNuff Competition,

With New Obstacles, Was Even Tuffer

The second annual Tuff E Nuff 5k obstacle course, which kicked off at 8am in Neawah Park, offered a new course as well as new challenges like this 20ft wall that runners had to scale. Here, Bridgette Shepardson and Emily Mattison-Welsh of ONeonta scale the wall together.
The second annual Tuff eNuff 5k obstacle course, which started at 8 a.m. today in Oneonta’s Neahwa Park, offered a new course as well as new challenges like this 20-foot wall that runners had to scale. Here, Bridgette Shepardson and Emily Mattison-Welsh of Oneonta tackle the obstacle. (Ian Austin/
Through the woods and through the river, Marc Weinmuller, Lee Ferarra, Garret Decker and Joshua Michalski barrel their way up the mill race creek into the last leg of the Tuff E Nuff on Friday morning during the competitive wave.
Through the woods and through the river, Marc Weinmuller, Lee Ferarra, Garret Decker and Joshua Michalski barrel their way up Mill Race Creek into the last leg of the Tuff eNuff. 
Oneonta Unity

Eventually, Unity Will Help Grow Greater Oneonta


It wouldn’t be cheaper right now, but the town and city of Oneonta should eventually form a “single entity” to provide municipal water in “the most cost-efficient and cost-effective manner.”

That’s the conclusion of an ad hoc citizens group – former interim school superintendent David Rowley, former DEC commissioner Mike Zagata of Davenport and Roger France, a former state Health Department engineer – who took it upon themselves to delve into the much debated matter.

The resulting report, written by France, has been provided to Mayor Dick Miller and Town Supervisor Bob Wood.
Both Rowley and Zagata are active in Citizen Voices, the pro-business group. France is a neighbor of Rowley’s in West Oneonta.

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