Letters to the Editor


What Rotary Does
To The Editor:Cooperstown Rotary comes through once more! The Railroad Yard Sale was a big success thanks to the efforts of many Rotarians, but especially to the diligent work of Tabetha Rathbone and James Howarth.  The warehouse was full of treasures donated by many non, and Rotarians alike. The monies realized, of course, will make it back to the community and world needs. What a day!
The question always arises “Well, what exactly does Rotary do?” and the answer is too long for the editor to print. Soooo, ask a Rotarian. There are some 90 Rotarians in the Cooperstown club. Someone you know is a Rotarian and will be glad to explain how the organization functions.
If you want, ask that Rotarian to take you to one of our meetings Tuesdays at The Otesaga and have some great food, conversation, and listen to one of our informative and interesting speakers from the area.

Prisons, Not Prison Garb, Are More Of The Problem
To the Editor:Black-and-white stripes.  Bright orange.  Hey, why not double-breasted suits with striped ties?  Let’s make the suits pink so they stand out. 
Why shouldn’t we have chain gangs again?  How is it these people can cause such expense to society and their punishment is to sit around all day watching television and lifting weights and studying for law degrees at the expense of taxpayers and victims?
Their clothing is the least of our worries.  Think how much we would save from paying overtime to road crews?  “It is your tax dollar at work.”
I heard one prison warden going on about educating the prisoners so they would fit into society.  I’m sure they want more money for this.
The idea is sound.  The reality:  Why are we paying school taxes?  Obviously, the education system has failed them.  It also means that the taxpayer is not getting his or her money’s worth from the school taxes we pay. 
Why should we shell out more money?  How come these people are not getting educated?  Let’s figure out what is wrong with the system instead of pouring more money into something that is not working.
And let’s make prisons be a working establishments to prepare these people to fit into society, not create their own society outside the society.

Young People Joining Anti-Fracking Crusade
To the Editor:I recently returned from the weekend youth conference in D.C. known as Powershift (http://www.powershift2011.org/), where 10,000 high-school and college students gathered to receive professional-level movement-building training, lobby Congress and march at the White House.
The training, provided by the NOI (New Organizing Institute) and adapted from the same training given to members of the Obama 2008 election campaign, has just put organizational tools and confidence in the hands of these 10,000 concerned students. We were joined there by leaders of the climate movement like Bill McKibben, Al Gore, Van Jones, Lisa Jackson, and Tim DeChristopher.
It was a remarkable feeling to be surrounded by thousands of students who had traveled from all over the country because we want a better future. The conference allowed students to network, galvanized us all to redouble our efforts toward a sustainable society, and reinforced how serious the issues we face are, and the time we have to deal with them.
Bill McKibben and Tim DeChristopher, especially, entreated us to take responsibility, to accept that the onus is on us.
DeChristopher (look him up) called us out for stopping at the point where further effort is no longer convenient: “When are we going to say that this movement is more important than graduating on time?”
On Monday, April 18, a mass of students and climate activists rallied in front of the White House and marched in protest to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, BP headquarters, and the offices other seemingly antagonistic companies.
I split off halfway through the march to join another group of students that was meeting at Capitol Hill to lobby our representatives. In arranged meetings, I talked with the staff (the officeholders were on a two-week vacation) of Richard Hanna and Vermont senators Bernie Sanders and Pat Leahy. It was a first for me, but won’t be the last time I do it.
Throughout the conference, support for the movement against hydraulic fracturing was strong. Josh Fox and FrackAction joined me and a core team of about 60 to spread word to every student there.
At one point, in a march through the hallways of the convention center, our chants were all that you could hear. We made our presence clear when EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson took the stage and now, certainly, the issue is at her attention.
I’ve been working with a group of students from Powershift to develop a coalition/network of students in New York interested in sustainability and opposed to hydrofracking. The group has great organizational legs under it, so I have hopes that we will be able to expand it into the leading environmental representative organization for youth in New York state. We’ve got a listserv running under “info--ny-state-youth--climate-activist-coalition-@googlegroups.com” if any of you want to check it out. Right now, we’re crafting the basics of an organization - purpose, organization, name, etc. - so we haven’t gotten into the swing of things yet. Give us some time, though, and we should have a strong voice.
I really want everyone in Otsego County’s anti-fracking to know that the younger generations are motivated and starting to make the commitments necessary for any of this to work. I hope all those students, concerned locals around the country, and the people on this list can continue to grow into an inspired, empathetic, creative, and solidary community.
Middlebury College, Class of 2013
Postulation And Reply
To the Editor:
Please allow me to use the editorial page to present some information that has been misrepresented in The Freeman’s Journal as news.
1. Contrary to the two front-page news articles, I am not negotiating with the Village of Cooperstown about retirement.  In New York, disability retirement for police officers is determined by the state.
2. Based on a work-related injury that I received in 2008, I applied for a disability retirement over a year ago.  Confidential medical information about that injury was inappropriately released by a then village trustee without my consent.  That information was reported in November 2008 by The Freeman’s Journal.
3. The Village Board supports my request for a disability retirement.
4. Although I have taught a class at SUNY Oneonta for many years, I have not applied for, or accepted any position “in academe”.
5. I am not considering discontinuing my lawsuit against the mayor.
Finally, I would like to request that The Freeman’s Journal not quote me unless I actually say the things reported.  I believe that it is inappropriate to editorialize in the news pages of your paper.
I am quite certain that to make up news stories and quotes is not just wrong, it is unethical and immoral. You are entitled to your own opinion.

Editor’s Note:  Our general policy is to allow readers’ Letters to the Editor to run without comment, but since Chief Nicols’ goal is to correct inaccuracies, we’re sure that she’d agree we should not compound any error.
1.  While the village hoped that the chief would drop her suit – it is against BOTH the mayor AND the Village of Cooperstown – in exchange for a letter to the state Retirement Board supporting her application to retire, the chief was unwilling to agree to that.  The trustees nonetheless have agreed to send the letter.
2.  The chief herself told our reporter about her knee injury when she showed up limping at the Village Board in 2008 and was asked about it.  There was no breach of confidentiality.
3. Per 1, that’s the case.
4. Time will tell.
5. Per 1, that’s the case, too.
We recognize reporting is an inexact art, and welcome letters like this one to challenge our conclusions.

We Must Be Responsible For Actions
To the Editor: 
First, let me say that, as a parent and a grandparent, there is nothing that I wouldn’t do for my children or my grandchildren.  I believe any parent and grandparent would say the same thing. 
But that said, I question all of the people who have placed “Save Anthony” signs on their property. 
Do you really support the idea that Anthony should not do any jail time? By placing a sign in your yard you are stating just that. 
If Anthony had shot your child or grandchild, would you be so willing to ask for the DA to let him go?  To let him go to just get counseling.  Counseling that could be over in two months, six months or maybe two years.  Be honest with yourself. I know I wouldn’t.
Mr. Pacherille would have you believe his son is the victim here.  What about everyone else involved?  How do you think young Mr. Lippitt feels every time he passes a “Save Anthony” sign?  How about his parents?
How about Officer James Cox?  Do you think he has possibly had some sleepless nights thinking about what did happen, and what he may have had to do if things had played out differently? 
What about the other kids who were in the park and witnessed this whole event?  What about the EMS responders who never signed up to go to shootings in our streets?  What about the public that has fallen victim to this whole scenario? 
This was not a prank where Anthony was being mischievous, he allegedly tried to kill a human being. 
On the Web site set up by Mr. Pacherille, he describes a through-and-through gunshot wound to the arm as a scratch.  I realize he is going to slant the information he puts out on his Web site, but to what extent?
He also talks about the bail hearings being canceled.  I know we cannot always believe what we read in the paper, but I thought I read that the defense had canceled two of these bail
Mr. Pacherille is just trying to taint the jury pool for the upcoming trial with these signs.
Let’s look at the allegations: 
Anthony was 16, not 5, not 10.  Anthony went and got a gun.  Anthony then loaded this gun.  Anthony then took this loaded gun and placed it into a vehicle.  Anthony then illegally drove this vehicle.
Anthony then jumped out of this vehicle and chased another young man with this loaded gun.  Anthony showing no remorse, cornered this young man in the entrance to the police station, and then shot him.  He did not only shoot once, he pulled the trigger a second time.
If it had not been for Officer Cox telling Anthony to drop his gun, he would have continued to shoot young Mr. Lippitt, until Anthony finished what he started out to do.
If the outcome had been different and God forbid he had killed young Mr. Lippitt, another child in the park, any other bystander, or Officer Cox, would we still see all of these signs littering the side of the roadways?
What if it was not Good Friday, and school had been open, could we have had more  casualties?  When do we take responsibility for our actions?  When are we accountable? 
How much time should this young man serve?  I don’t know.  But I do not believe he should get off with a slap on the wrist.  This CRIME could have turned out much worse.  Do we remember, “And justice for all”?

Save Anthony? Or Not Both Boys In Case Deserve Compassion
To the Editor:In his April 21 letter, Chris Hollister proclaims his “disgust” at the proliferation of “Save Anthony” signs in the area, pointing out that Wesley Lippitt is the victim of the Good Friday shooting of 2010.
Wesley was indeed chased and shot.  Fortunately, his wound was superficial and Wesley is about to complete his junior year at Cooperstown High School and has completed a successful basketball season, though he probably still carries the trauma of the shooting with him.  Yes, Wesley was a victim.
There was a second victim that day and that was Anthony Pacherille, who shot himself in the head in an apparent suicide attempt.  (We can be twice grateful that Anthony was a poor marksman.)
Mr. Hollister pleads for compassion and justice for Wesley and Wesley deserves both. So does Anthony, a deeply troubled 16-year-old boy who deserves justice, but with compassion for his obvious psychological problems.
Anthony shot Wesley, but he also shot himself.  There were two victims that fateful day.
Key Should Have Been Listed As Local Banking Alternative
To the Editor:The April 14 editorial in The Freeman’s Journal regarding the takeover of Wilber National Bank by Community Bank headlined “However We Got Here, New Bank’s Success Will Benefit All,” neglects to mention KeyBank among local banking alternatives.
KeyBank prides itself on being an integral part of the Cooperstown community. We strive for the small-town bank feel, and we believe we have achieved that. Our banking strategy focuses on efficiency, comfort and excellence in customer service. We provide all banking services for our customers, and we know them by their first names.
We also lend to many communities in the area, donate to local causes and support women-owned businesses through our Key4Women initiative. KeyBank has been a part of the community since 1956 when it merged with Second National Bank. Prior to that, Second National had been an integral part of the Cooperstown Community since 1853.
Residents of Cooperstown need look no further than the KeyBank branch on Main Street for all their banking needs.
JIM EMPIE, Manager
Cooperstown Branch
KeyBank N.A.

Save $$, Ride Gus The Bus
To the Editor:My husband and I started riding the bus from Hartwick to Cooperstown a couple weeks ago when the price of diesel fuel for our car went well over $4 a gallon.  The fee of $1 per bus trip seemed like a no brainer.  What we can’t understand is why there is no one from Hartwick on the bus with us.  Let me do the math for you.
$4 a gallon in a vehicle that gets 18 miles per gallon versus $2 for a round trip ride on Gus the Bus.  Which is the better deal? A half a gallon of gas each way equals $4 per round trip –  the cost of a round trip on the bus for two people, so my example is the break-even point.
If you live farther than nine miles or have a vehicle with worse gas mileage, then you can save money by riding the bus.  And I haven’t even mentioned the reduced miles on your car or the reduction in maintenance expenses.  Also, using the bus takes you door to door and you don’t have to find a parking space.
The carbon footprint of the bus is already being shared by all those who ride it.  One of the best ways to save some money and reduce one’s carbon footprint is to jump on someone else’s ride.   So why drive your car?  Save the money! Instead of driving yourself, hop on the bus – read a book or look at the scenery; close your eyes and take a break!
Gus the Bus travels from Hartwick to Cooperstown four times a day, leaving at 7:40 a.m., 10:40 a.m., 4 p.m., and 6:50 p.m..  If the schedule doesn’t work, send me an e-mail at martha.clarvoe@gmail.com and let me know when you want to leave Hartwick and when you want to get to Cooperstown. If we get enough people wanting another bus run, we can put in a request with the county.
Give Gus the Bus a try!  I bet you will enjoy it.  For more information, go to www.otsegoexpress.com or stop by the OCCA offices and pick up a bus schedule.
OCCA Special
Projects Manager
Is Dog-Fight Ring Operating Locally?
To the Editor:My rottweiler Titan has been missing for the last seven months from Davenport Center. Maybe you have seen the billboard on Roue 7 outside  Oneonta.
While searching for my dog, I discovered a nasty rumor in my town that he was stolen by someone who fights dogs.
At first I thought it was a mean joke of some kind. But I started asking anyone I spoke with if they had ever heard of anything and I believe there really is a dog-fighting ring operating in our area. There is really no way to find these people other than anonymous tips.
I would like your paper to do an article about dog fighting. How to notice the signs, why people should care and how to take action.
The Humane Society of the United States has some good information as do ASPCA reporters.
Davenport Center
Crayon Carnival A Huge Success, Thanks To Many
To the Editor:I would like to thank all of the 150 volunteers who assisted me in making the 2011 Crayon Carnival a success.
Thanks to Beth Lesko and Joanne Crowson for setting up, and all who signed onto that task.
The Cooperstown PTO made near $10,000 to put back into our school, and I would like to thank Peg Odell and Mary Raffo for overseeing the ticket counter.
We saw more than 400 people out to enjoy the day, raffled off more than 100 baskets thanks to the committee of Cari Lifgren, Gillian Spencer, Betsy Danes, Susan White, Carrie Thompson, Leslie Friedman and Gwen Snyder.
Strolled all over the world in the “Stroll of Nations” which Kim Jastremski and her great group of volunteers made possible. Heard music from DJ Patrick Dewey who always does a great job mixing the old with the new and playing something for everyone.
Challenged each other for a cake in the “Cake Walk” where Ms. Gorman is always a popular emcee. We had more than 60 cakes donated. The food court offered a great array, thanks to many donations and the food court chairs Sheri Holohan and Kara Grady.
Thank you to the Kinder Goodies chairs Shannon Davis and Rose McCabe for making it happen. Of course we cannot forget the wonderful people who come in and clean at the end of the day Nancy Potter and her crew of runners and the custodial staff at Cooperstown Central School. THANK YOU!!!
A huge THANK YOU goes to an anonymous donor who underwrote our entire cost to NY Bounce House, a first for the Crayon Carnival. We are very grateful to them and the many organizations, families and businesses that gave financial contributions to the Crayon Carnival.
Crayon Carnival Chair
Gas Drilling Benefits Illusory, But Likely Impacts Very Real
To the Editor:It is apparent from recent letters and comments made in the paper by pro-drillers and our county reps, that they just don’t understand the effects of gas drilling.
Biologists, chemists, geologists and environmentalists all identified the carcinogenic chemicals, but they still see dollar signs, when 80 percent of the revenue will leave the state.
They listen to huge gas companies and, sadly, believe them, like puppets in their game. One year after BP’s holocaust of an oil spill in the Gulf’s fragile ecosystem, a coral reef is dead, dying fish prevent the fishing industry from thriving, wildlife is destroyed and dead dolphins are washed ashore in their infancy, from chemical dispersants. People are sick and no one can tell the full effect, long term.
Denial isn’t realistic. Drilling in the Marcellus will bring the same and worse here, damaging New York’s #1 industry, farming, and #2, tourism.   Real people will lose jobs. We can’t afford gas drilling, the risks are too high. The long-term effects of cancer and miscarriages, and our health are collateral damage to them.
Coal, oil and gas are neither “clean” nor renewable. Gas from the Marcellus would not come here, but to China. Most of our oil comes from Canada, not the Middle East. With true green technology here, we could employ people for the long run and benefit the country.
Politicians continue to support gas drilling for one reason: to make themselves look good. They think that if they bring these transient “jobs” this will make them a hero. The social, economic and environmental costs will be what we have to pay for their egotism.
This is wrong on so many levels.  Meanwhile, so-called “acceptable” levels of carcinogens will add to the mix of chemicals and pollutants already spilled in lakes and streams and air and quietly cause cancers. They will claim it’s not their fault, and spin it to their advantage in court with high powered lawyers and lots of money behind their lobbyists.
When your child or grandchild develops cancer from poisoned water, and air, how will you explain your decision to them? Who will you listen to for your answers, oil companies?
East Springfield

Nation Forgets Eons Of Pretty Good Medicine
To the Editor:My eyes have been burning lately. I mentioned it to my prime-care physician. His response: “It’s called dry eyes.  People get it when they get older.”  End of conversation.
I went to an optometrist the other day they performed all kinds of tests. Not as simple as the old days.  I don’t really feel I had a conversation with the optometrist.   I don’t think they saw me. They were lost in all their tests.
Yesterday, my eye was bothering me again and I remembered about cucumbers. You slice them up and put them on your eyes. It did wonders to alleviate the burning and pain.
The Chinese look at food as medicine. They have refined the science over the centuries. My friend looks at every piece of food and how it relates to different organs in the body and also how it affects the mind.  Hippocrates said something like:  “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”  But modern man ignores the father of medicine in the West.
In the 1930s, John D Rockefeller moved his money out of homeopathy and herbs to invest in drug companies. The first agenda was to convince people that the last thousands of years of medicine was useless. One’s only salvation was in modern chemistry.
Every 10 years, 50 percent of the drugs are pulled off the market as being unsafe. That means the drug companies have been billing us for useless and dangerous drugs. And they have been using us as guinea pigs and we have to pay for these dangerous drugs as well!
How is it that 85 percent of Americans think we have good health care? Well, I think there are problems in our educational system as well.
It is embarrassing to be an American these days. We think it is normal to spend trillions on the military to go off into other people’s homes and lands to kill. But we do not want universal healthcare for our own citizens.  We leave it to the drug companies and insurance companies to milk the suffering of our population.
Americans are first in cost and 24th in quality – or is it 34th  now – compared to the rest of the world. You call that great? You must own stock in drug companies.
A one-payer system with a complete redefinition of what healthcare should be ... that is what is needed. The system we now have is beyond repair.

What About Wesley?
To the Editor: 
Having lived in and been a part of the Cooperstown community for many years, I feel compelled to express my disgust in seeing all the “Save Anthony” signs popping up all over town. Where is the compassion for the victim in this?
Tony Pacherille, a lawyer, said the “Save Anthony” signs and Web site are meant to “tell the truth” about his son. I think they are to make it difficult if not impossible to find a jury in Cooperstown.
I keep hearing people say we just want justice for Anthony.  What about justice for Wesley, the VICTIM. Has everyone forgotten about him? He is the one that everyone should be wanting justice.
I have to wonder, if the tides were turned and it was a young black man who shot a young white man, if there would be this much support in town for the suspect. We must remember that hatred and racism are a learned behavior.

Senator Seward Must Deliver For Region
To the Editor:On Monday, 4/11/11, in an effort to share how fracking has been demonstrated to wreck havoc on communities, representatives of Sustainable Otsego, along with others, roamed the Halls of Power in Albany. We learned where the power really resides by speaking to state legislators and their staffs, including our own state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford. Senate State Majority Leader Dean Skelos, alone in his Rules Committee, decides which bills move forward and which bills die.
Senator Seward has an opportunity here and a choice to make. We need him to be pro-active in seeing that no gas operations occur in our community. The voters need him to deliver for the entire area. There is no partial credit. No credit for trying. He must convince the Republican conference and Dean Skelos to do whatever necessary to get the job done.
The electorate has a short memory. Last election cycle, Seward had a free ride with no one running against him as an acknowledgement of the fine work he does. Sentiment on Seward could change on a dime if he fails. Others have lost more for less.
When property values lose 80-100 percent where leasing and gas operations begin, as demonstrated (yet again) in the two latest in a long string of articles, our entire community is at risk.  On April 12 in Bradford, Pa., 36 fracking sites were closed down after dozens of wells were contaminated.
If going to Albany taught us anything, it is that Albany is a crapshoot. Outcomes are dependent on behind the scenes money, power and influence we never even get to see. It confirmed that what we have done, are doing and will do locally to stop gas operations is crucial to preserving our economic, health and property rights. We will keep working, along side you, to protect our community.
Fly Creek
Sustainable Otsego 

If Police Go, Beware Of Future
To the Editor:Sheriff versus local police?
What this really boils down to is a short-term decision versus a long-term decision.
Yes, you will save money in the short term, but over the long haul you get crime and everything that comes with it, and then how do you get Cooperstown back?
I can safely predict, after going on 31 years with Farmers Insurance Group, what happens in the insurance environment.
Omaha, Neb.

Don’t Cast Brian Clancy Aside
To the Editor:I have been a citizen of the Village of Cooperstown for 62 years, been a village taxpayer with a home and business owner, fire chief, code officer, and had the privilege of working and serving the village with Brian Clancy.
The village hired Brian and increased his pay scale over the years as they gave him more responsibilities.  He started at the water plant, and went on to the position he is being released from today.
It is easy to forget the services he has supplied the village over the years.
He has been on the school board with no pay.  He has been in the fire services and EMS with no pay, and he held the job as fire chief for many years.
The village hired him.  Why are they just casting him aside?
Brian and his wife Kathy have paid taxes, and have and still are part of the community.
Why not release the village highway super, who lives in another village, has not been a local taxpayer, and not lived his whole life in Cooperstown?
Put Brian in that position until he can retire.

What Would We Do Without Potholes?
To the Editor:The mayor’s 2011 budget proposes patching the potholes of Cooperstown.  “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” 
Please don’t do it.  Potholes provide a valuable public
service.  They slow traffic, teach new drivers to keep their eyes on the road, and more importantly, during this period of austerity, they cost nothing to install.
    Think of the people who have moved here to enjoy the irregular topography.  Do you think they expect to drive down smooth, flat roads?
Not at all. If they did, they’d have moved to Florida.
 If the potholes are patched, the village will have to install expensive speed bumps and other traffic calming devices to slowdown the Bassett hounds. We might even need another traffic light!
     Furthermore, hitting potholes teaches our young drivers to stop texting and start learning where their tires contact the pavement.  This will help them park closer to the curb and avoid squishing those pesky squirrels that dash across village streets without looking.
     To those who complain of hitting unseen potholes, I say, let’s paint yellow lines around them.  It would certainly be cheaper than filling them. 
  In our current budget crisis, Mayor, we need to begin thinking outside the box, or more appropriately, outside the hole.

Did Police Limit Tragedy?
To the Editor,
Much has been written lately about the local police departments and in turn their leadership.
With the anniversary of the Good Friday shooting in Cooperstown and the upcoming trial in the headlines now, it is important to remember that as tragic as this incident was, and as painful as it continues to be for all those involved, it could have been much worse if not for the restraint and intelligence used by the members of the police department that day.
Most of us haven’t a clue as to the hours of training and the role leadership plays for an officer to be able to respond in a split second to a life-threatening situation.
In this incident two young men are still alive today because of that response.  And as horrific as the events of that day were, and in some ways continue to be, where there is life there is hope.
Phoenix Mills

Thanks To Neighbors, Prayer Patrick Baker On The Mend
To the Editor:
 It’s not everyday that a person experiences how caring our community is first hand. During the past year, our family has been fortunate enough to see just how caring our little community in Central New York really is, and we are forever grateful. So many people have donated time, energy and money to help a sick man get a new life, and with all of your help we have succeeded.
Patrick was able to have a successful liver transplant in January. He and the donor are recovering wonderfully. Thanks to your kindness and generosity, our family will enjoy many more years with Patrick.
We wanted to take a moment to thank all those who have supported us throughout the past year and continue to do so today. Thank you for your time, energy, donations and, most of all, prayers. Prayers are a powerful thing and this experience has showed us just how great God is for performing this miracle in our lives.
Although we would love to name each person and business individually, space does not allow. So instead we wish to thank the community as a whole. Thank you for being there for us in our time of need. We are so blessed to live in a wonderful community such as this.


Big Profits To Be Made In Flouting Environmental Concerns
To the Editor:The other night I went to the Hartwick meeting on gas drilling and fracking. If I understand it right, if Hartwick does not make some guidelines for land-use the town will be judged by pre-existing legal cases, which would not be favorable for Hartwick. If the town makes guidelines, it will probably be sued. But not to worry, the lawyers will do very well, thank you.
Who in their right mind would mess with the water supply? Who would sell rights to their land that would risk their very survival? These people must have the options and resources to leave the area if things get bad.
Fracking is really just a symptom of a far bigger problem.  Corporations.  Corporations have amassed more power than many countries. They have twisted governments to their whims and needs.
The government and the Supreme Court have failed to protect the individuals’ rights. They are allowing corporations to amass such a wealth that the individual people and countries don’t have a hope left. Corporations exist primarily to make a profit. People only represent numbers of consumers and countries are just pawns to help facilitate control of corporate desires.
People in the world are facing a critical issue. Will the world exist for people or will we be just slaves for big corporations? Will life be about profit or will it be about the health and welfare of human beings? What is more important – quality of life or profit?
So we are really not talking about gas drilling, we are talking about corporations that are looking for ways to make profits. Thanks to our government and the so-called “supreme” court we are left to the whims of the corporate greed.  “Damn the environment, full drilling ahead.  If we can work out the kinks in Upstate New York, then maybe we can sell the world on this technique. Aye matey, I can see big profits on the horizon.”


Again, Snow From Streets Dumped In Water Supply
To the Editor:The issues of where to dump snow from Cooperstown’s streets was supposed to have been resolved 17 years ago when the Otsego Lake Waterwatch requested a study of the contents of the dumping then occurring at the Fairy Spring parking lot.
The Biological Field Station conducted a chemical analysis and recommended that this practice stop immediately. A copy of this report should be in the village files.
It is troubling that the Biological Field Station signed off on the current dumping back at the Fairy Spring sites and clearly shows that their main focus is not protecting the lake but studying it.  Surely they could have arranged to have the perc test at the Linden Avenue site postponed until after the snow season.
Several years ago we had arranged the financial support for a Waterkeeper position for Otsego Lake,  based on the programs for the Hudson River, Lake George and Chesapeake Bay. The Field Station told me they didn’t support the idea because they “didn’t think it was necessary.” I disagree.
Here we have the shoreline of the  Glimmerglass of Cooper’s novels, the headwaters lake and village of the Susquehanna River, and the drinking water source for the Village of Cooperstown used as a dump site for melting snow laden with gasoline, hydraulic fluid, melting chemicals and debris from village streets. It is a disgrace.
Where was the village water board on this? How about the USDA Soil & Water Conservation Office on River Road?
I cannot understand how this was allowed to happen again.

Sharon Springs
Thank You, Voters, For The Chance To Serve
Dear Fellow Villagers,We are very grateful that you elected us to represent you as trustees of our village. We have great respect for the others who sought that responsibility, and feel particularly accountable given the difficult choices many of you had to make.
We commit ourselves to representing you and your interests to the very best of our abilities, and to work in collegiality with our mayor, the other members of the Village Board, and all the other talented individuals who provide their efforts in making Cooperstown the best place it can possibly be.   We’re ready to get to work! Thank you for the opportunity.

 James Dean, Walter Franck, Jeff Katz, Ellen Tillapaugh
Brian Clancy Earned Right To Keep Job
To the Editor:Mayor Booan is almost always right.  Picking a fight with the police before the election didn’t work well.
The mayor’s proposal to spend our money more wisely was “way to go!” However, will our new board take this advice? I don’t think so.
To fire Brian Clancy is another mistake.  Brian has been a faithful employee for many years and was elevated to his job some years ago.
If we need to conserve and cut costs Brian should be given the street superintendent job. I would think Brian would negotiate a salary cut rather than be fired.
The hiring of Kurt Carman was a huge mistake.  He became an extra man and living in Otego doesn’t work. What could have happened and still can happen is the past acting superintendent could return as deputy with a small raise and Brian could be given the street superintendent job.
This would save a long-time employee and save $50,000 at the same time.  My figure may not be correct, but I bet it’s close.  Save Brian’s job.


Pa. Enforcement Strong, But Test For Radioactivity
Editor’s Note:  Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, and John Hanger, former secretary of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, wrote this letter to the New York Times in response to its three part series, “Drilling Down.”

To the Editor:
Re “Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers” (New York Times, Feb. 27):
If the goal of your report about natural gas drilling was to gratuitously frighten Pennsylvanians, then congratulations on a job well done.
If it was to deliver an evenhanded examination of the critical balance that must be achieved between job creation, energy independence and environmental protection in regions with large natural gas deposits, then it was a mighty swing and a miss.
As the two people who enacted four regulatory packages strengthening drilling regulation and led the enforcement of the rules in Pennsylvania until January, we strongly disagree that there is lax regulation and oversight of gas drilling there.
Pennsylvania has the strongest enforcement program of any state with gas drilling. Period. From Jan. 1, 2008, to June 30, 2010, the Department of Environmental Protection issued 1,400 violations to drilling companies.
We fined Cabot Oil & Gas $1.1 million, and ordered it to repair gas wells, permanently shut three of its wells and pay 19 families an average of $200,000 each, or twice their property value.
There was no mention of the 5,000 inspections of Marcellus Shale drill sites conducted in 2010 alone – a 100 percent increase over 2009.
But the article raises a serious issue: whether drilling has caused unhealthy levels of radium in our drinking water. Good reasons exist to believe the answer is no, but belief is not good enough.
Pennsylvania should order all its public water systems to immediately test for radioactive pollutants. Only testing of our drinking water can resolve this question and give citizens peace of mind.


Soil, Water Board Members With Leases Should Resign
To the Editor:Of the seven members of the board of the Otsego Soil and Water Conservation District, there is reason to believe that several have signed gas leases, though only one, Floyd S. Dubben, Jr., has publicly stated so.
Otsego County gas records show gas leases for Dubben, Darin Hickling and Lawrence Roseboom. Also several individuals with the family name Banta, who may be connected to board member Robert Banta, appear on the lists.
Attempts to confirm the lease status of board members through District Manager Scott Fickbohm have been unsuccessful. He has declined to confirm or deny whether board members hold gas leases or are negotiating to lease.
The OSWCD makes crucial water quality decisions for all of us, and cannot afford even the appearance of conflict of interest where gas and water concerns overlap. Whether it is legal or not, no leaseholders should sit on that board.
The OSWCD states on its Web site that it maintains a position of neutrality on this issue. Clearly this cannot be the case if a substantial portion of its board have leased their lands or are negotiating with landowner coalitions to do so.
We ask that all holders of gas leases, those whose family members are lease holders, and those negotiating to lease their lands resign immediately from the OSWCD board.

Sustainable Otsego

Cooperstown Youth Center Explored
To the Editor:The Cooperstown Circle of Caring is in the early stages of planning a youth center in the Village of Cooperstown, a place where our school age youth of all ages can safely go after school and on weekends. This idea was discussed and enthusiastically affirmed at Jan. 20 and March 3 meetings.
Another discussion on the subject will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Cooperstown Fire Department meeting room.  Please  attend and share your ideas, and please think about any Cooperstown  Central School sophomores, juniors or seniors who you think might be leaders in working on the creation of a youth center. 
Our intention is to empower our youth to create the type of center that they need. Their input is essential to get this project off the ground.

Fly Creek United Methodist Church

A Few Aiming To Ruin Environment For Many
To the Editor:In a recent guest column in a local paper, Dick Downey, president of the Unatego Area Landowners’ Association, tried to turn the debate about fracking into a debate about class warfare.
Downey’s got it all wrong. When the “No Drill/No Spill” signs went up last summer in my area, they sprouted up in front of homes all across the social spectrum.
That’s when I realized that a majority of my community wanted this practice prohibited, and that it had nothing to do with “haves” vs. “have-nots.”
The recent extensive polling efforts made in the towns of Middlefield and Otsego, both showing about 80 percent opposed to drilling, have documented this initial impression.
That Downey calls this overwhelming majority “elitist” defies all credulity. When you take the undecideds out of the polls, the pro-drillers are just a few percent, reduced to single digits.
An elite is by definition a minority, and a small one at that. The small minority in this struggle turns out to be those leaseholders who persist in believing they have a right to make money at the expense of the health, resources and property values of their neighbors.
This attitude, whether born of desperation of greed, is fundamentally anti-social.  The evidence of the great harms fracking brings is now overwhelming.  Downey ignores it, to his discredit.
Are he and his friends so resentful that they are willing to cannibalize our local environment and our communities so that they can make some of the big bucks they feel is their due? Apparently so.
Fly Creek

Fracking Looms, Preserve Police
To the Editor:It wasn’t all that long ago that I wrote in support of maintaining 24/7 police coverage in Cooperstown.  I thought anything less was a pretty foolish idea then, and dissolving our entire department is even more foolish now.
With the juggernaut of hydrofracking in Otsego County looming on the horizon, and the unpredictable burden this will put on our sheriff’s department, turning over the protection and safety of our village to an outside agency, regardless of their prowess (this is not an attack on the sheriff and deputies) is shortsighted, and the process so far employed is certainly questionable.
Very cogent arguments for keeping our own police have been made by several writers over the past few weeks.  But I think the most important aspect of this is that our trustees have control of our own department, and ultimately, have no control over county law enforcement.  When the chips are down, we will have to rely on an agency we basically rent.
But there is also the “elephant in the room” that our mayor is hoping residents will ignore.  In several articles, a prepared public statement at the last meeting and a taxpayer-supported mailing to village residents, Mayor Booan has denied that his only recently public crusade has anything to do with his personal animosity toward our very capable chief of police.
With apologies to William Shakespeare, “The lad doth protest too much, methinks.”  When this comes to public referendum, which we should demand, vote for what is best for our village and its future, not for the few dollars this scheme might  save.

Otsego Chamber Lacks Urgency On Fracking
To the Editor,In regard to the March 4 editorial asking the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce not to duck the issue of hydrofracking:
Brewery Ommegang first asked to address the chamber board on this issue early in December 2010. In response to our request to go before the entire board, the chamber said it requires this to move through the committee system. The chamber’s Business Action Committee subsequently heard a presentation from both Ommegang and Gastem on Jan. 24.
However, the Feb. 27 Business Action Committee meeting, which was to further address the issue, was canceled with less than one day’s notice and rescheduled for a month later. The reason given was that further perspectives from landowner’s coalitions and environmentalists were not available. Otsego County environmental advocates as well as members of our business coalition of 200+ members have been and remain available.
This is urgent. Gastem is preparing to drill multiple new wells in Middlefield in the near future, and other companies may be right behind them. Once drilling begins it is much more complicated and expensive to address. From our perspective the Otsego County Chamber is wasting valuable time.  Whether it’s deliberate or not makes no difference, as the drilling companies are moving ahead and they are not going to reschedule their drilling.
We too ask the Otsego County Chamber to get out in front on this issue, to address it openly and widely, and to do so sooner rather than later. We too encourage the Otsego County Chamber to acknowledge the timeliness of the issue and to move with a greater sense of urgency.
Ommegang Brewery

Just The Facts, Sir
To the Editor:
In the March 10 edition of The Freeman’s Journal, Mr. John Dewey expressed that I had a personal agenda.  He’s right.  My agenda is to see our town prosper and to continue to be the quaint village that it is. 
I do not purposely express inaccurate facts.  I have no dog in the hydrofracking hunt.  As for the Gateway Project, if you considered Mayor Waller to be Republican and that the trustees were a politically balanced group, you missed the whole show. 
The one thing you got right was that concessions need to be made by several involved groups.  Mr. Hage, under the leadership of Republican Mayor Joseph Booan, got that job done. 
You’re also right about the confrontation between these groups was everything but smooth, but when you’re trying to accomplish a hard task confrontation can be brought to an understanding with firmness and laying out the advantages of all groups coming together. 
You can’t be afraid of hurting ones feelings when a  decision needs to be made for the benefit of the whole.
In regards to paid parking, it must be that you missed the meeting at the Sterling Auditorium at the Cooperstown high school, where 300 people voiced their loud opposition and “arrogance in the face of public opinion” is exactly what took place.
If you were at that meeting, even a blind and deaf man would have understood the sentiment of the group. The reason this meeting was held in the Sterling auditorium was to open a venue for all of the village residents, not just a canned opinion by a stacked deck in a small room.
Mr. Kevlin, in my opinion, tries hard not to have a personal agenda.  He’s in the newspaper business and reports the news that he sees and hears.  If you want to call running a newspaper a “personal agenda” you don’t understand free speech.  Obviously your personal agenda made it to the pages of The Freeman’s Journal. 
Tax and spend is a democrats way of life.  The more ways you can find to raise money the more you will have to spend and that is exactly what has happened with Doubleday lots windfall.  They spent it.  If you really think that it saved any additional tax on our village budget, you really don’t know what’s going on.
As I said I have no dog in the hunt as to hydrofracking.  If someone offered me $300,000 for last night’s rainfall I would have been taking the money.  You should spend more time investigating the facts than writing letters.

Hargrove, Kevlin Seek To Advance Personal Agenda
To the Editor,Over the past several years I have become accustomed to the biased opinions and inaccurate facts frequently expressed by Mr. Hargrove and Mr. Kevlin on the editorial page of The Freeman’s Journal.
In my opinion, both Mr. Hargrove and Mr. Kevlin went too far in the March 3 publication by distorting or omitting significant facts in regards to the Gateway project, the paid-parking debate, and the important issue of hydrofracking in our region in order to advance their personal and political agenda.
In regards to the gateway project, Mr. Hargrove states that the current trustees “have solved an eight-year fiasco orchestrated by the Democratic party.” The facts are that during the previous eight years we had a Republican Mayor and a politically balanced group of village trustees.
To anyone who has followed this issue, it was very clear that concessions, by several involved groups, were going to have to be made for this project to proceed to the next phase.
As would be expected, these groups waited until close to the deadline to make concessions in order to get the best possible benefit for their respective organizations.
To imply that one political group caused this process to drag on so long is completely inaccurate and misleading. If anything, the communication between groups became more confrontational and divided during the past year.
In regards to paid parking, Mr. Kevlin states that “at the time and in retrospect, it was a mistake to take that vote that night” because it showed “arrogance in the face of public opinion.”
Mr. Kevlin fails to mention that over 20 other public meetings had occurred during the previous months to discuss paid parking in the village prior to the trustees taking this vote. During most of these meetings, the majority of village residents in attendance supported the paid-parking plan.
Most important, Mr. Kevlin fails to mention that paid parking at the Doubleday lot has clearly been a success and is probably one of the reasons that village taxes did not increase last year.
Just this year, the current trustees voted down the possibility of expanding paid parking to Main and Pioneer streets immediately after the one and only public meeting about this issue, despite public comments that were evenly split.
To me, this vote seems far more arrogant and self-serving and possibly goes against the wishes of a majority of the village residents.
Lastly, the issue of natural-gas drilling in the region is clearly a village issue. In the recent past, village trustees voted not to sell water to a drilling company. Future laws and votes to safeguard our village from potential problems related to drilling – polluted air and water, traffic through the village, decreased property values, and other public safety issues – will likely be needed in the very near future.
Public maps available on the Internet show extensive amounts of leased land along Routes 33 and 166. Drilling in these areas will affect many businesses both inside and outside the village as noted by the article appearing in the Feb. 17 issue of The Freeman’s Journal.
Bassett and other larger employers might struggle with recruitment and retention. Ommegang, the Middlefield Orchard and farmers in the area that rely on the clean environment in our region might leave. Tourism might decrease significantly, affecting the downtown businesses. If the village trustees are not proactive about trying to minimize damage to our region from drilling, the consequences might be severe for the village.

They’ll Serve Present, Future
To the Editor:
In  a few days, as a village resident, homeowner, business owner and taxpayer, I will confidently cast my vote for those I consider to be a Dream Team – Matt Schuermann, Phil Lewis, Jim Potts and Joan White.  
These four individuals embrace the elements necessary to oversee the intricate functioning of local government and necessary decision-making skills to ensure the healthy future of our village.  Individually, they have their fingers on the pulse of all walks of life within the community.  
Matt Schuermann is not only a business owner, but also a  husband, father and friend who is community active on all levels.  As a mortgage broker, Matt meets people as they first consider moving into the community, listening to their concerns and answering their questions about our schools, churches, health care, shopping, social life – community life in general.  Thanks to his three young daughters, he is involved with the youth of the community and their parents.  Matt is also an eager volunteer for various organizations. 
Joan White represents longevity in our community.  Joan is a retired business woman, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and dear friend.  Not only has Joan raised her family in Cooperstown,  she has served on various boards, presided over numerous committees and is an eager volunteer whenever called upon.  Anyone who knows Joan White, understands that Joan is steadfast in her love of community.  Joan is affectionately referred to as “the energetic pitbull” of project control.  Assign Joan a project and it will be addressed expertly, efficiently, leaving no stone unturned.  And it will be completed with flare – on time.  Joan is a diligent, intelligent woman whose interaction within the community is generational.
Jim Potts represents the man on the street, a man who takes an interest in everyone and what they have to say.  Jim is husband to Kim, father to Ally and friend to many. Jim is a long-term resident of Cooperstown who takes pride in the fact that he keeps himself well informed on community issues.  Jim does not shy away from controversy, nor does he jump to hasty conclusions.  Jim will listen, research, discuss and only then address possible courses of action. 
Phil Lewis represents one of the many young people who grew up in Cooperstown, went off to college, graduated, got married and decided to return “home” to raise his family.  He and his wife are active participants and ready volunteers within the community.  Phil is committed to keeping the village a safe, comfortable and affordable place for our retired residents, as well as our young families.  Phil is a resourceful, intelligent businessman, with innovative ideas, who is eager to explore issues and address future growth of the village with all interested  residents.
This foursome will bring intelligence, diligence, resourcefulness and innovative strategies to the table.  Most important, they share a love and respect for the village of Cooperstown and its residents – PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE. Be smart: Put your trust in their capable hands.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Adjustments Spurred By Flood Of Letters
Dear Readers:
A flood of political letters in advance of the Tuesday, March 15, election caused us to devote all of the available news hole to accommodating them.
So some of the regular features have been delayed until next week’s edition.
In this edition, letters from the two party chairs appear on A3, and letters from the candidates on B7-9.  Political letters also appear on A2, 7, 8, and 9.
Because of space limitation, the responses to candidates questions, which we had intended to publish in this edition, may be viewed on our Web site, www.allotsego.com (click -- http://2011cooperstownvillageelection.blogspot.com/ )

4 Will Be Connected, Accountable
To the Editor:
On March 15, the Village of Cooperstown will elect new village trustees.  We would like the Village of Cooperstown residents to consider the very capable and strong leadership abilities of Matt Schuermann, Jim Potts, Phil Lewis and Joan White for positions on the Village Board of Trustees.
These candidates are deeply rooted in the culture, community and values of this village that we hold dear, and we believe that these individuals will do the homework to fully understand the issues that affect this village.
We have observed a rare level of persistence and determination when dealing with issues of Village government. They have the energy it takes to make tough decisions and are deeply committed to improving the infrastructure of this historic village in fiscally sound manner.
We believe that these individuals will work well collectively, as board of trustees, to develop a blueprint that will lead this remarkable community to a sound future.
And because of this we believe that Matt Schuermann, Jim Potts, Phil Lewis and Joan White will remain connected and accountable to their constituents putting the interest of taxpayers first and politics second in their decision making.

4 Offer Common-Sense Values, Cooperative Spirit
To the Editor:
With the approach of the 2011 Village of Cooperstown Election Day on Tuesday, March 15, I write to encourage our neighbors and friends in the village to seriously consider electing four remarkable and dedicated candidates for positions on the Village Board.
Matt Schuermann, Jim Potts, Phil Lewis and Joan White have each and together clearly shown that they are both well prepared and well equipped to take on the varied challenges that presently face our village government.
Their long and deeply established roots in this community make them uniquely qualified to help shape a future for the village that remains consistent with the cooperative spirit, common-sense values and quiet efficiency which have for so many decades been the very foundation of productive village government.
Their active and long-standing presence in the midst of the business and cultural life of the community imparts to each of them a sound and studied perspective that will enable them to conduct the affairs of the Village Board with a solidly informed grasp of the issues and a rational approach to controlling spending and taxation, ensuring the efficient delivery of village services, protecting the integrity of the cultural, historic and environmental assets of the Village and developing and managing an intelligent and reasonable long-term strategic plan for a future of sound and effective management of the affairs of the village.
I urge all of your readers who live or have businesses in the Village of Cooperstown to become familiar with these exceptional candidates in hopes that they will agree with my view that these natural and proven leaders can provide the time-tested insight, experienced management and much-needed teamwork that this very special community needs to rely upon in its Village Board.
Please cast your important vote for Matt Schuermann, Jim Potts, Phil Lewis and Joan White, so that they can get right to work building a sound, strong and secure future for the village.

Trosset:  Four Will Put UNITY Back In COMMUNITY.  Go Coop!
To the Editor:
I thank the trustee candidates from both political parties for their service.  It takes a love for this village to run for office and you clearly demonstrate that affection.
I commend both campaigns for their respect for each other and to the village itself.  Absent a few unneeded venomous letters to the press, the process has proceeded with class and dignity.  Our forefathers would be proud.
Our village, however, is not about the candidates.  Rather, it is about its residents.  More specifically, it is about our village’s next generation. 
I describe Cooperstown to many as being “a great          place to raise a family.”   This past week the Cooperstown girls and boys basketball teams unified this village behind the rally call of “GO COOP.”   Each team caused proud community members to travel miles to support our teams.
 This past fall, the tremendous performance of Cooperstown High’s musical “Cats” impressed all of us.   A village universally vested in its children’s goals, either it be academic, athletic or in the arts, is truly special and very much unique.  
I strongly support the Republican candidates, namely Matt Schuermann, Jim Potts, Phil Lewis and Joan White, because their focus is our future.
 They want our village streets improved and our Main Street storefronts engaged. They do not want to tax away the middle-income resident and the cash-strapped visitor.  They prefer, as it was in the recent past, when residents could invite friends from afar that would marvel at the strong personal relationships between us.
It is this team that will put the UNITY back into COMMUNITY.   Join me on March 15 and vote for our neighbors – Matt Schuermann, Jim Potts, Phil Lewis and Joan White.  Our kids deserve it. 
Thanks, and “GO COOP.”
Village Republican Party

Democratic, GOP Chairs’ Final Say
To the Editor:
I would like to thank the village residents for inviting us into your homes, accepting our phone calls, reading our ads and mailings, and visiting us on our web site, Many Voices One Village.com, and on Facebook. 
As a special thank you, the Cooperstown Democratic Party would like to invite you to dinner for some mouth-watering spaghetti and meatballs, cooked by the Democratic Committee and served by our candidates. Come by the vets’ club 4-7 p.m. Monday, March 14; donations will go to the food bank.
 The Village Democratic Party and the candidates had pledged to run a positive campaign, related to the issues and our vision for the future of the village.  I believe we achieved that goal ensuring that you, the residents, were informed of the Democratic positions and qualifications for these most trusted positions.
Our team of candidates for village trustee have outstanding backgrounds with a wealth of knowledge that the village can be proud of. 
Again, you can see Jeff Katz, Ellen Tillapaugh, Walter Frank and James Dean’s qualifications outlined on our website, Many Voices One Village.com.
While the challenges are great, I am convinced that this talented team we have assembled will pull this village together and make great strides in bringing all sides and positions to the table for fair and open discussions. 
If we all pull together and pledge our total commitment and effort for Walter Franck, Ellen Tillapaugh, Jeff Katz and James Dean we will succeed in achieving this important goal.
Thank you.
Village Democratic Party

What Mythical Village Is That, Anyhow?
To the Editor:
The Democrats’ campaign for village election is a joke.  Last week, they placed an ad with a photo of police on bicycles from someplace unknown.  The week before there was a photo of pipes at some unknown drill site.  Who is creating the ads, somebody from Seattle or Scranton?
If they want to use photos in ads for village election, they should have used pictures taken in COOPERSTOWN.  How about a few shots of closed store fronts or a few hundred shots of potholes.  Oh, and let’s not forget the sidewalks on Main Street.
Maybe the local Democratic leaders and their candidates don’t want you to think about the real problems here at home.  Maybe they want to distract you from the damage they do.  They gang up against the mayor for researching ways to save our village money so he can fix our streets and lower taxes.  They sympathize with a village employee who constantly makes trouble.  They don’t listen to our residential wants and business needs.
The local Democratic leaders and their candidates have no plan for Cooperstown.  They have nothing to offer but fear.  They scare us about a crime wave in Cooperstown if public safety is more efficient.  They scare us with poisoned water if we don’t vote for democrats.  How phony can they get?
Maybe the local Democratic leaders and their candidates are simply desperate.  The Republicans clearly showed their platform in mailings and ads with real content and real solutions.  The local Democratic leaders and their candidates have shown us nothing but scare tactics.
I’m sure that at any moment now we will get the pleasure of them littering our village with their names on signs.  What a JOKE!

Revenues Not Problem; Expenses Are
To the Editor:
Mayor Booan’s efforts to research cost savings shows that he comprehends what we need to do to fix our streets.  The mayor’s vocal opponents are constantly crying that the village needs more and more revenues through paid parking and higher property taxes.  However, an examination of village finances over the years reveals that insufficient revenues are not the problem.
Over the last nine years, revenues have increased 65 percent.  In 2001-02, the size of the village general fund budget was $1,926,501.   Nine years later, it is $3,180,863.  Again, that is a 65 percent increase for village government.  So why have our streets deteriorated so badly over that time?
The answer is that village government has not controlled spending on items unrelated to street reconstruction.  For example, in 2001-02 employment benefits totaled $217,684 per year.  Nine  years later they total $636,196 per year.  That is an increase of almost 200 percent in nine years.       
The mayor’s opponents continue to push for paid parking on Main Street and higher property taxes.   In other words, they want to increase revenues because it’s easy, instead of managing spending because it’s hard.  Unless village government changes the way it spends money, more revenues simply spell more trouble over time.   
More efficient government is our only way out.  If village government had held general fund spending increases over 9 years to a rate equal to inflation, we would have an additional $800,000 each budget year.  Mayor Booan is doing exactly what we need him to do – he is researching ways to deliver services more efficiently in order to set aside money for street reconstruction projects and lower taxes. 
The candidates endorsed by the Republican Party are promising to “streamline operations so we can pay for fixing our infrastructure” and “hold down property taxes by controlling village spending.”  Their platform shows that they understand what our mayor is trying to do and together support his efforts.  Anyone sincerely interested in the future of Cooperstown should likewise support them on March 15. 

From Love Of Community Into Prejudice
To the Editor,I am proud to be able to write to you supporting the Democratic slate of candidates for the village board this year. Each of them has exhibited the experience and dedication to this village that has earned them a place on the board.
If there were any doubts among your readers I would invite them to read the qualifications of each (both the Republicans and Democrats have mailed extensive information to every household; give all of it a thoughtful examination).
Your readers know what Jeff Katz has done to bring good government and good ideas to this community. Ellen’s long, long record of community service is unmatched. Dr. Franck has touched the lives of every single person living here whether a relative newcomer or a lifelong resident.
And, I am taking you to task on your “personal favorite.” James Dean has gone to the mat, over and over again, with bravery that challenges each one of us.
Yet you endorsed someone else recommending to him other service, out of the public eye.  If he is your personal favorite, then match his courage and endorse him.
Democracy in action is not a spectator sport, nor is it neat and tidy; the mayor needs to hear ideas and opinions from every quarter of this community – he needs to hear and respect opposition to function in the best public interest.
Which brings me to the final and most sensitive point. There is a sense, evident in some of the letters to the editor in your paper, that “Democrats” are to blame for dissension within the village.  There is a strong impression that “outsiders” have ruined life, as they knew it.
This is carried in the Republican advertising headline, which reads, “Live here, grow here, stay here.” The unwritten conclusion to that headline is “all others keep out!”
Let me suggest that Cooperstown already has serious, deep-seated issues concerning who belongs here and who doesn’t. It seems to me that this attitude has crossed the line of love of community into a territory of prejudice that is both dark and dangerous.
I am not asking for any public confessions but my hope is that each resident will engage in a moment of self-reflection. If for no other reason, shouldn’t we be setting a better example for the children of the village – our children and grandchildren?

Potts Brings Integrity, Experience, Gets Results
To the Editor:
Please accept this letter as our recommendation for James Potts to serve as a trustee on the Cooperstown Village Board. Jim is a dedicated and loyal member of our management team at NYCM Insurance.
As vice president of the Special Investigations Division for our company, Jim oversees all areas of fraud detection, investigation and coordination within our organization.
As our officer in charge of special investigations, Jim was charged with the formation and direction of the division when it was created. He is responsible for managing staffing levels, budgets, operational objectives and extensive regulatory and legal requirements. In short, he manages his division as a results-driven entity across a wide spectrum of responsibilities that ultimately protects the assets of our company and policyholders.
He is a founding member, officer and standing board member of the state Special Investigations Units. He is also currently on the boards of the state Anti Car Theft and Fraud Association, Alliance Against Insurance Fraud and the state Department of Criminal Justice Services as an industry representative.
He is a veteran of the Air Force, holds several professional designations and completed his BBA with a financial services minor while at NYCM.
Jim possesses a high degree of integrity and skill as an officer at NYCM Insurance. Jim’s honesty and common sense approach in the way that he deals with issues will serve the Village Board well. He has a unique skill set as an investigator and manager who is used to viewing problems from all angles.
Jim has excellent communication skills which, along with his straightforward approach, allow him to achieve both short- and long-term goals. We wholeheartedly recommend Jim for the Cooperstown Village Board of Trustees.
V. Daniel Robinson
Chief Executive Officer
Albert Pylinski
Chief Financial Officer
New York Central Mutual
Fire Insurance Co., Edmeston

Franck Has Balanced Thoughtful Approach
To the Editor:
Among the many qualified candidates for village trustee, Dr. Walter Franck stands out for his thoughtful and balanced approach to problems.
He will bring a willingness to listen, careful consideration of issues and measured decisionmaking to his role as a trustee.
These are skills well demonstrated in his highly successful leadership career at Bassett and these are skills that will benefit our village with Walter Franck as a trustee.

If You Don’t Know Democratic Slate, Meet Them At Spaghetti Dinner
To the Editor:
Your vote counts.  Make a difference!  Village residents will vote on Tuesday March 15. There are important issues before us and they are not simple ideas like having political signs on our front lawns or not. 
The economic downturn has hurt, and hurt our neighbors who own businesses on Main Street.  The blessing and the burden of tourism in our community and the challenges and choices that come with having a major medical center cause a strain on local taxpayers. 
The Board of Trustees has important choices to make for all of us.  There is an important difference in candidates that must be pointed out. 
James Dean is a local businessman and a true thinker who asks questions to discover alternatives before arriving at solutions. 
Walter Franck is a beloved and dedicated physician with significant experience dealing with and supervising hundreds of people and many millions of dollars.
Jeff Katz, the senior member of the Village Board, has demonstrated a financial understanding of village economics born of experience and polished with financial acumen. 
Ellen Tillapaugh, born and raised in Cooperstown, is a community activist with a demonstrated history of looking at all sides of an issue before deciding on an answer. 
If you know these people as I do you will support them for the position of village trustee.  If you don’t know them, you can meet them when they work at the free spaghetti dinner on Monday March 14, at the Vets Club.  The Cooperstown Democratic Committee is paying for, cooking and serving a complete dinner for FREE.  Donations will be accepted, with 100 percent of the money (or donated canned goods) going to the Cooperstown Food Bank.
I hope to see you Monday at the dinner and I hope on Tuesday that you will vote for DEAN, FRANCK, KATZ AND TILLAPAUGH!  You will make the difference!

Democratic Slate Has Commitment, Honesty
To the Editor:
 Ellen Tillapaugh, Jeff Katz, Jim Dean and Walter Franck each bring very different experiences and backgrounds to their candidacies for village trustee.
They are not all of the same political background.  What they do share, though, is a commitment to open and honest exploration of the issues and to make decisions based on what is in the best interest of Cooperstown and its residents.
None of these candidates has a particular agenda, except to strengthen our village and ensure that it thrives.
This is incredibly important to Cooperstown’s well being, and it is why I am voting for all four of these extremely capable candidates.
Look for them on both the Democratic line and the One Village line on March 15.
Fracking Not Issue For Village Elections
To the Editor:Let’s all understand one thing:  Fracking isn’t an issue in our upcoming village election.  Fracking is a county and state issue, not a village issue.
While it appears the Democrats might not understand that, let’s focus on the issues that need the attention right here, right now and for our future.  Let’s focus on the people who can take these issues at hand and make a difference in our community by working together.
In one year, Mayor Booan and trustees elected and appointed to our village leadership have been able to present a budget with no tax increases, and are working on a second year’s budget with no tax increase.
They have been able to bring the gateway project to a head and have solved an eight-year fiasco orchestrated by the Democratic party.   This is not something Mr. Katz or Ms. Mebust want to talk about.
Our present independent and Republican board is investigating not only how to protect our village but also how to advance it so our future is prosperous and will be well served.
The people running on the Republican ticket have our well-being in mind and understand our issues – they are not trying to pass an ultra-sensitive subject such as fracking off as a village issue.
We need to elect people who aren’t always trying to start trouble and to say no to every issue that is proposed.  We need to elect people who are pro-active and will work for the good of our community.  Researching community issues is not meant to be a scare tactic.
Raising issues that are super sensitive and controversial is not putting your best foot forward in managing the future of our village.  Please vote for Potts, Schuermann, Lewis and White for Village Trustees on March 15.
Equal?  Maybe, But None Better Than Dr. Franck
To the Editor:I am writing in support of Walter Franck, a two-year village trustee candidate.  I worked for Walt for 15 years as a member of the Department of Medicine at Bassett.  First, I loved working for him – seldom do I meet a person who says that of a boss!
Second, he was a marvel to work with:  He grew the department from a $1 million business into a $30 million business, from a dozen doctors to about 90 attending physicians, and daily worked with those docs on development and sustainability of a multitude of programs, each a little business in itself.
He was a force of common sense, creativity, fiscal responsibility, consensus-building and supportiveness to all Bassett employees.  And he was a crucial mediator of successful judgments made by Bassett at the highest levels.  No matter the issue, he kept others focused on one goal – the best possible care for people.
Recently, Walt and I have been partners in managing the Columbia-Bassett medical school program.  This new program depends on the creative efforts of numerous Bassett doctors and staff and involves collaborative decisions on a daily basis.  It requires ongoing development of strong relationships at Columbia University.
Once again, it is a pleasure working with Walt – he yet again consistently delivers remarkable insights, builds relationships, and creates an atmosphere of self-discipline, where the only important outcome is quality. 
In consequence of his leadership and the coordinated efforts of many other Bassett physicians, the program has attracted the cream of medical school applicants from around the country – a benefit to Cooperstown’s future in a great many ways.
Walt speaks glowingly of Phil Lewis (the alternative candidate).  Hearing that, I’d say someone may be an equal, but can’t imagine anyone being a better choice than Walt Franck!   
Republican Team Will Help Incumbents To Keep Asking One Question: Why?
To the Editor:When I ran for trustee two years ago, before the election I went to every board member and mayor to find out what the issues facing the village were, what the background was and what the village was doing to work on these issues.
With eight candidates running for a position this year, I figured my time would be much in demand answering their questions and helping them understand the issues facing the community.
To date, I have been approached by Matt Schuermann, Jim Potts, Phil Lewis and Joan White. They have been willing to ask questions, do research, search for new insight, and present their own thoughts and ideas on ways to improve the village. Listening to them I have heard great questions and new angles to explore.
In the several months I have had the privilege of working with Matt Schuermann on the board, I have consistently been impressed with his perspective and his ability to ask difficult questions. He understands the issues with an insight that is special and is willing to put forth the effort to work on answers. He questions what is best for the residents in every instance, and works to figure out how to get the most benefit for the resident’s tax dollars.
While Jim Potts has only been on the board for a couple of months, I see in him the same type of toughness that is needed to ask difficult questions and to get the solution that benefits the entire village. His background of investigator for New York Central Mutual insurance gives him the questioning mindset that is needed now on the board. 
With Phil Lewis’ background in political science and as a business person, he will bring a wonderful perspective to the board. His wife Carolyn is the director of economic development for Otsego County, and has several times provided insight and help in answering questions for the village. When talking with Phil, I can hear the strong beliefs and smart ideas that will make him an asset to the board.
I have had the pleasure of working with Joan White in different areas, including her work with the Lake & Valley Garden Club. Her organization and efficiency along with her strong ideas will make her a wonderful board member. With so many ties to the village, she truly has her hand on the pulse of the village and will bring her ideas and understanding of the Village to the Board.
This is an important time for the village. We are dealing with a difficult economy and many challenges facing our village. Our answers must not be to simply raise more money with higher taxes, or increase short-term revenues at the cost of long-term stability.
When I asked that we re-examine our overtime policy to see if we can save the village money, the response shouldn’t be “why do that; we already have a policy in place; it isn’t my job to micromanage that.”  Instead, I hope that we keep asking these questions and others to make sure we are getting the most benefit for our tax dollars.
I am voting for Matt, Jim, Phil and Joan, and hope you will join me.
Deputy Mayor, Cooperstown
Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, Public-Spirited Leader
To the Editor:It was exciting to see that Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch is a candidate for our Village Board.  I have known Ellen for most of her life, in part because she is a close friend of our daughter, Melissa Peters Barry.
Ellen and her family are well known among Cooperstown’s most public-spirited citizens.  She herself has an impressive list of meaningful participation in our community:  president of the League of Women Voters, of the Friends of the Village Parks, where she procured a state grant for a new pavilion and caretaker’s quarters at Fairy Spring, of the CCS Friends of Music and Art, and of the Cooperstown Rotary Club, where after her active term she went on to initiate and chair a foundation for tax-free donations to local community charities.  The Rotary Club in 2008 awarded her the Chris Warrell Prize for Community Service.
Ellen has been a leader in the Girl Scouts, her Methodist Church, and in our schools.  In whatever she undertakes she participates actively.  I am glad that, with her two daughters educated, she is now finding time for participation in our village government, and let’s wish her luck for the sake of our village. 
Ellen is one of a strong slate of candidates offered by the Democratic Party for the March 15 election.
Anesthesia Machine Serves Jamaica Hospital
To the Editor:I wish to thank all those individuals who made the donation of an anesthesia machine to Princess Margaret Hospital in St. Thomas Parish, Jamaica, possible. Many individuals donated funds to ship the machine and the Nightingale Fund of Bassett Hospital also provided a generous donation.
Without you all lending your time and talents this project would not have happened and I am eternally grateful. As they say, “It takes a community” to accomplish great things and many people pitched in and helped without question when I asked.
My “Team” at O’Connor Hospital in Delhi consisted of Mike Howard and Betsy Morales; at Bassett Hospital, Tony Bailey, Dave Cook, Madilyn Gonio and Linda Emerson.
Building the crate, which took an entire Saturday afternoon, was done by Gil Terry, Joe Tedisco and Jim Havener.
Many thanks to Bruce Hall Corp., which generously donated the lumber and materials for the crate, which safely carried the machine over the Atlantic to Kingston.
For those of you who are wondering: I have been in touch with Princess Margaret Hospital and the machine arrived in excellent condition. Their bio-med engineers are setting it up this week for use in their operating theater.
Thank you.

Democrats Support Diverse Perspectives
To the Editor:How fortunate we are to have four intelligent, energetic, honest, willing candidates running for trustee on the Democratic ticket.
Jeff Katz is a known and proven entity.  He has served Cooperstown well for six years and has more experience in village politics than any one else, either currently on the board or running for office.
Ellen Tillapaugh is well known as a hard worker and volunteer for many organizations in Cooperstown.  Among them, The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan organization that studies all sides of an issue.  This background will serve her well as a trustee.
 Walter Franck, as a physician at Bassett Hospital, has had many years of experience dealing with people and finances. What a wealth of knowledge to bring to the village government.
James Dean has been a well known businessman in the area for many years.  Running his own successful business gives him the experience in financial matters that is needed on the village board.
All four of these candidates have a love of Cooperstown and a willingness to give of their time, energy and expertise to serve as Village Trustees.
All you have to do is vote the Democratic ticket across the board to get the best candidates for the job.  It’s as simple as that!

Matt Schuermann Good Dad, Uncle, Trustee
To the Editor:We are writing to express our support for Matt Schuermann for election as village trustee.
Matt is everything we could hope for in a person.
He is first and foremost a dedicated family man:  Matt is a loving husband and father to his wife Maureen and their three  beautiful daughters.   He is also a caring uncle to his many nieces and nephews here and a very supportive brother, son and son-in-law.
It was 17 years ago when he and Maureen decided to move back to Cooperstown and make Matt’s hometown the place they would raise their family and pursue their careers.
Matt is an entrepreneur who started his successful business from scratch right here in Cooperstown.  His success as a local businessman exemplifies his work ethic and talents in dealing with people and financial issues.  These unique qualities have made Matt an effective trustee and our village is fortunate that he would like to continue to serve.
When we made Cooperstown our home 15 years ago, Cooperstown was a far more unified community.  The local political dialogue used to be appropriate, civil and respectful.  Over the last few years, the personal political ambitions of a few have driven a wedge in our relations.  Now more than ever, we need trustees like Matt who understand we need to repair our community.
The people of Cooperstown simply want trustees to work together toward real solutions for our village.
 The most important quality we are looking for in a candidate is the willingness to put community ahead of personal political ambition and nobody exemplifies this quality more than Matt Schuermann.

Let’s Continue To Share Challenges Together
To the Editor:I would like to tell you, the residents of Cooperstown, how much I appreciate the privilege of serving as one of your trustees, and before that as a member of the Planning Board.
During the past year, I’ve talked with so many of you about your views and concerns, and I’ve gained more and more understanding of what is important to you. From our conversations, I’ve learned much about what I can take to the board and the mayor to influence debate and promote practical, sound decisions.
I know the best thing I can do is to represent you fairly in all village matters.  If you elect me to continue serving as a trustee, I can promise that I will keep doing what I believe is right.
We face many challenges, and I will continue to ask you to share your thoughts so that together we will arrive at the right choices.
I have always had a firm trust in people and hope that you will maintain a similar trust in me.
Village Trustee, Cooperstown

Only Jim Dean Raised Fracking Issue
To the Editor:I strongly urge voters in the Village of Cooperstown to vote for James Dean as village trustee.
As Jim rightly points out, the major issue facing the
village is fracking for natural gas in our area. There may not be wells drilled in the village itself, but the industrialization and pollution of the  surrounding landscape will be devastating to the village and its way of life.
The village needs to make clear its opposition to fracking, as the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce and other local groups have already done, and Jim will help lead the way.
Furthermore, as a longtime resident active in civic issues from Kid City to attempts to expand Lakefront Park to saving Brookwood Point from falling into private hands, Jim has a proven track record.
Anyone who knows Jim knows he is refreshingly outspoken and direct in his views. Hard times are coming, and the Village will need Trustees like Jim who have the courage and intelligence to make tough decisions.
Adrian Kuzminski
Sustainable Otsego

Signs Litter?  How About A First Amendment Right?
To the Editor:It is dismaying, if not exactly unexpected, to find a strong constituency in the village of Cooperstown advocating doing away with the use of political signs during local campaigns.
In a letter to the editor (Feb. 3) Michael E. Trossett, local Republican chairman, reported on a recent village public hearing during which the proposal was made to urge candidates not to give out or have residents post such signs in their yards.
Why? The signs “degrade the atmosphere of the village, pit neighbor against neighbor” were some of the comments on the matter. They are environmentally harmful and waste money. (As much as SUVs?)
John Irvin, manager of the Otesaga, said they “junk up the village.” Bill Weldon said going without such signs “makes a strong statement to our community.”
I must be living on another planet. When in recent years I started to see a growing proliferation of campaign signs springing up like daisies all over the village, I found it encouraging and even rather exciting, evidence that democracy is well and thriving in Cooperstown.
That citizens eager to contribute their energies to its good governance are not wanting and that many more have strong ideas about who their leaders should be and what they should be doing.
Political activism and vigorous debate means pitting neighbor against neighbor? The neatly made and modestly sized signs that are put out for a few weeks a year amount to littering, junking, and polluting the village? Tourists will turn away in disgust?
In recent days, the world has witnessed the outpouring of Egyptians into the streets in the hundreds of thousands - a million in Cairo’s Tahrir Square alone - demanding the ouster of President Mubarak, who for some 30 years has brutally suppressed all forms of independent political speech and democratic activism in Egypt.
The pro-democracy protesters have braved gangs of violent thugs hired by Mubarak to intimidate them with rocks and Molotov fire bombs. In spite of hundreds of casualties, the protesters managed to eject the thugs from the square.
The number of protesters has grown since then by the day until, on Feb. 11, Mubarak at last let go his hold on power and resigned, to the jubilation of Egyptians across the country.
Many protesters would no doubt find it incredible that American citizens could consider modest displays of campaign signs a form of littering. Egyptians are risking their lives to be able to enjoy the freedom of speech that is a commonplace here.
Doing away with the signs makes a strong statement all right. As it happens, in another letter in the same issue, James V. Johnson decries what he calls a “coordinated campaign of misinformation and false accusations against Mayor Booan” by advocates of the “business-as-usual politics of the village government’s past.” He says such politics “won’t cut it anymore ... Those who were responsible are becoming less and less relevant.”
I hope he’s right, but Mr. Trossett’s description of the strong feeling against political signs, the preference for a pristine village devoid of visual evidence of political activity, makes me wonder if Cooperstown is there yet.
The consensus at the village hearing sounded all too much like the tepid, go along to get along politics of the past, in which discourse and decision-making have been dominated by a few individuals, and competition from outside a select circle, such as Mayor Booan has offered, has not been welcomed.
Certainly the campaign against him that Mr. Johnson describes suggests a backlash against his attempts to invigorate village politics and broaden citizen participation, such as revisiting the paid parking law that was adopted by the board of trustees in the face of strong opposition. Let’s hope Mayor Booan’s difficulties are only the growing pains of a new political culture in Cooperstown.
Springfield Center

President Garfield Was Family.  But Universalist Founder?  No
To the Editor:
What fun to open The Freeman’s Journal to the delightful article about my second cousin, four times removed, President Garfield!
As a public library director with limited resources available for preservation efforts, your story reminded me of how grateful we are for the steady, enthusiastic work of historical society and museum volunteers who preserve and protect the precious artifacts and ephemera that fuel historical research and spark our imaginations.
And – speaking of intrepid volunteers, how about the folks who have guarded the Egyptian Museum these past few weeks!
I would suggest one correction to the article: Cool as it would be to be related to Hosea Ballou, one of the founders of Universalism, I suspect this is not the case. 
The famous Hosea was, of course, an itinerant Yankee preacher, who lived and died in the Northeast.  My ancestry.com research leads me to believe that Garfield’s mother Eliza was actually the daughter of James Ballou.
Continuing thanks to you and your staff for keeping our local newspaper of record alive and thriving always an adventure to read – and indispensable to our democracy!
Library Director
Waterville Public Library

Rent-A-Cops Can’t Do Village PD’s Job
To the Editor:By law, the village police are dedicated “first responders” in the village – first and foremost.  Rent-A-Cops from the Sheriff’s Department would not be.
County sheriff’s deputies are, under the law, first-responders to emergencies and 911 dispatched calls in the county, not the Village. Meaning, wherever they are – including the village – their first obligation is to county-wide dispatch calls. Such a  response could easily take them out of and away from the village. 
This would leave the village without its Rent-A-Cop.  The backup  deputy sheriff Rent-A-Cop could likewise be called away on a countywide dispatch.
The irony is that, while the village is paying full time for full-time coverage, it would only be getting Rent-A-Cop coverage as long as the deputy sheriffs were not fulfilling their first-responder duties elsewhere in the county.
Under those circumstances, the village would not only have no one handing out parking tickets, it would have no police force at all. Note that the village police have some obligation to back-up the Sheriff’s Department on calls.  But only secondary to their obligations to the village, because they are village police first and foremost, not county deputy sheriffs.
As long as Cooperstown wants to be a first-rate place to live and work, it will have its own dedicated first-responders - its village police.
In Downtown Cooperstown, Why Do The Handicapped Get All The Breaks?
To the Editor:Now that the stores on Main Street are almost all monolithic, selling the same merchandise to the tourist, let’s talk about access.
As a handicapped person, I find it challenging to enter some of the establishments located in that area.  Certainly, all should have the same degree of difficulty if we are to maintain consistency.
Healthy individuals will be able to overcome the numerous impediments, stairs both up and down, heavy double doors and dark vestibules.
These impediments will only add to the consistency and keep the handicapped out.  (Besides, people in wheelchairs are only interested in running over your toes or bumping into you.)
Some of the stores have a few steps going up, while others have a whole flight to overcome. Those stores that are now easy to enter should think about building some kind of barrier to maintain control over the wheelchair crowd.
Let’s keep the village businesses accessible for healthy people, only.  The handicapped should be left to fend for themselves.  Baseball is for the strong and healthy.
Ellen Tillapaugh Thorough, Thoughtful
To the Editor: 
We are writing to encourage voters to support Ellen Tillapaugh for village trustee.
Ellen has strong roots in Cooperstown. She was born and raised here, in a family that has always been community- and civic-minded. Following her marriage 30 years ago to Gary Kuch, they chose to return to her native home in order to raise their own children here.
Their two daughters graduated from CCS and during their school years Ellen contributed her time and talents to numerous groups including Girl Scouts, Red Hot Ropers, school reading programs, FOMA (Friends of Music and Art), CCS musicals and church youth programs.
Her community service also included village committees, including 10 years of service on the Friends of the Parks.
Under her leadership a parks master plan was developed and state grant applications were completed which provided funding for the construction of a new pavilion and caretaker’s quarters at Three Mile Point Park.
All this while being self-employed in Tillapaugh Art Conservation, the business she founded 25 years ago, to provide preservation services to museums and private clients.
Her dedication to community and public service has been gratefully acknowledged by many and she is the recipient of the 1998 League of Women Voters Public Service Award as well as Rotary’s 2008 Christopher J. Warrell Community Service Award.
To all her endeavors, Ellen brings a thorough and thoughtful reasoning process, and her dedication and competency will be an asset for our village government.
Hugh & Eleanore MacDougall

When Needed, Village Police Officers Were There
To the Editor:
Here’s what having our own police force in Cooperstown means to me.
When my husband was in the last days of his life and I was keeping him home, as was his wish, he fell on several occasions and I was unable to get him up.
I called the police department and within five minutes an officer was at the door and assisted me in a kind and gentle manner. 
When my sister-in-law was beginning to lose her sense of reality, she called me in the middle of the night to say there was an intruder outside her bedroom door.
I called the police department and within five minutes an officer was there and found her cowering in her bedroom, terrified.  He searched the house from top to bottom and with great care and sympathy, assured her there was no one there and that she was safe.
I had a friend visiting me and she fell when she got up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t get her up.  Yes, again within minutes, a police officer came to the rescue.
I’m sure I’m not the only one in Cooperstown who has had this type of experience. If we have to depend on a force outside our village, will we get such swift and personal help?  How long will someone have to lie on the floor or sit cowering until help arrives?  
If the department is dissolved police would not be available for “non-safety duties” and residents would lose this kind of personal contact with officers. 
How much money would be saved by having the county Sheriff’s Department take over?  I’m guessing not as much as Mayor Booan would have us believe. 
Sheriff Devlin says his office would require the equivalent of an additional 4.5 deputies to provide the same coverage the village department now provides.  Presently our force consists of four full time officers, a couple of part-time officers (this varies), plus the chief and sergeant.
Do you know that we have a foot patrol that, among other duties, checks for open/unlocked doors at night?  This is a service especially to stores and public buildings in the downtown district.  Sheriff Devlin says, “We will not walk.” 
 If the mayor had not been so short sighted in rescinding the paid-parking law so that paid parking could have been instituted beyond Doubleday parking lot, the Village would have realized a substantial increase in revenue without hurting anyone and this discussion of dissolving our police department would not be necessary.

Reps Shouldn’t Vote To Benefit Selves To the Editor:
It shouldn’t matter what your political views are, you should be equally appalled and outraged at the unmitigated, self-serving arrogance of the Otsego County Board of Representatives. 
The full extent of their conflicts of interest concerning gas drilling have come to light. They publicly flaunt that they are all for gas drilling. Their actions speak louder then words.
Here are some examples: appointing people to gas committees who like themselves will profit from gas drilling, belonging to gas-lease land coalitions, having gas leases on their own properties, publicly saying they will vote pro drilling every chance they get, doing nothing to safeguard the county from the damaging, life-changing effects that go hand-in-hand with gas drilling.
In other words, we have the foxes in charge of the hen house.
They totally disregard the fact that thousands of Otsego County residents have made it perfectly clear WE DON’T WANT GAS DRILLING IN OTSEGO COUNTY.
We’ve done this by showing up in the hundreds at county meetings, staging anti-gas-drilling rallies, submitting letters to the papers, signing petitions, putting no-drilling signs all over the county, not to mention all the scientific data that we have collected proving the dangers of gas drilling.
We can’t make ourselves any clearer that we don’t want it here and our county representatives can’t make it any clearer that they are representing THEMSELVES and NOT US!
 To make matters worse, they perpetuate the lie that there is nothing we can do to stop it from coming here. That is the biggest lie of all.
Our best chance of stopping gas drilling is though our local town boards, especially if your town has a comprehensive plan that states the town wants to retain it’s rural life style. Our local town laws CAN prevent gas drilling from coming to our towns.
Go to your next town board meeting and find out everything you can how to go about putting laws into place to stop drilling before it can start.
If the county reps think they can blatantly do what they want and get away with it and we the “common” people can’t do a thing about it, I say to them, turn on the news and look at what just happened in Egypt. If you ignore the concerns and demands of enough “common” people, watch out, you might find yourself out of a job.
The superior man does what is right. The inferior man does what is profitable. Shame on all of you.
East Springfield

Being Obese Is A Bad Idea
To the Editor:I am concerned about our country being obese or overweight. I really want our country to be strong and fit.
Being obese is painful. You can’t move around as well. You struggle to lose weight. People even could make fun of you.
Being overweight affects your heath. You could even could die, or have a heart attack. It is more difficult to give birth. You spend so much time and money at the doctor’s office.
You don’t feel good about yourself. You may have all different kinds of surgeries. You can change the way you look at yourself. Don’t be obese if you just eat healthy and work hard you can make a difference.
I hope my letter changed the way you think about obesity. Your friend,
Fly Creek

Worry About Streets, Not Political Signs
To the Editor:
I find it absurd that the Cooperstown Republican Party is making such a big issue of whether candidates should or shouldn’t post political signs during the current campaign – a campaign which will last just a few short weeks.
Not only does this stance impinge on candidates’ freedom of speech, but it strikes me as a meaningless red herring, masking as it does some very real issues facing the village, and the seeming incompetence of the current leadership – the Republicans – to deal with them.
First, why have Cooperstown’s streets been in such a deplorable and dangerous condition during and following the past few storms? Second, is the Cooperstown police force being properly supported, and are residents and visitors receiving adequate protection, given the apparent hostility by the mayor toward the department and its chief?
And third, what in the world is happening with what I thought a few years ago was the promising development of Cooperstown’s southern gateway? These are just the more visible of many issues that concern me.
In the 38 years I’ve lived in this area, I have never been a resident of the Village of Cooperstown, but I travel there from Hartwick several times a week, if not more, and am a longtime close observer of and participant in what goes on in the community that I fell in love with at first sight in 1972.
To be honest, in many ways I don’t recognize that place anymore, and it makes me sad. Every town has its problems and challenges, but in Cooperstown I always admired folks for working together, regardless of party affiliation, to resolve issues as they came along – working together as adults, amicably and constructively for the most part, I might add.
That doesn’t happen now. Every problem prompts a bitter, petty and personal fight. The very atmosphere seems poisoned, infecting discussions with childish partisan bickering and making rational compromise impossible. And am I the only person who wonders at the strange and frequent turnover in board members during the past year? Political circus indeed!
The Cooperstown Republicans claim to care about the village. I’d like to see them prove it, not with silly sniping over bogus issues, but by tackling the real problems facing residents and visitors, negotiating sensible, meaningful solutions, and achieving positive and tangible results.
Placing a higher priority on clearing the streets during storms would be a good start.

Is Police Department Effective?
To the Editor:
This past weekend Mayor Joe Booan mailed to village residents a letter in which he outlined his thoughts on replacing the village’s police force with Otsego County Sheriff’s deputies. 
In the letter he raised and answered a number of key questions.  It is obvious that he has devoted a great deal of thought to this matter.  The letter, however, prompted me to ask some additional questions, which follow below.
1.  Is the current village police force carrying out its duties effectively and professionally?  Because change entails risk, proposals involving change should begin with an assessment of the current situation.  The mayor states that he “would not under any circumstances, compromise the security of our village residents.”  How do residents rate their current level of safety?
2.  Does having a village police force deter potential crime?  Deterrence is different from, and maybe more important than, response to crime once it has been committed.  If we have minimal crime in Cooperstown, why is that so?  Does the incidence of crime within the village compare favorably with that in the surrounding county?
3.  Does having a police force make Cooperstown a more attractive home for young families and retirees, for whom personal security is often a major priority? 
4.  How will natural-gas drilling in Otsego County affect public security?  Will rapid growth and economic development place new demands on law enforcement?  Who would be more nimble in handling this challenge, a village police chief or a county sheriff?
The mayor has asked for public comment.  Before I decide whether or not to support his proposal, I would like to hear what village residents have to say about the questions I raised above.

Without Community, Winter Carnival Wouldn’t Be Going Strong After 45 Years
To the Editor:
The 2011 Sun, Surf & Snow Cooperstown Winter Carnival Luau was a great success. The carnival committee would like to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers and community members who made the weekend possible.
Feb. 11-13 marked the 45th anniversary of the carnival. It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort and resources from area businesses, officials and organizations to put together a weekend full of events. This year was no exception.
We’d like to thank the Cooperstown Lions Club, Paraco Gas Corporation, Cooperstown Event Rentals, the Village of Cooperstown and all of our Big Kahuna and Golden Fire Dancer sponsors:
Bank of Cooperstown, Brewery Ommegang, Caruso Orthodontics, Church & Scott Pharmacy, Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, Cooperstown Dreams Park, Cooperstown Price Chopper, Curtis 1000, Dog Wild Canine Supply, Hotel Pratt, Lamont Engineers, Maines Paper and Food Services, Mohican Financial Management, NBT Bank, National Baseball Hall of Fame, New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway, Northern Eagle Beverages, Tallman Enterprise Tree Service, TJ’s Restaurant, Wells Fargo Advisers and The Freeman’s Journal.
We hope the Cooperstown community enjoyed the weekend vacation to a tropical paradise right here in Cooperstown. We look forward to another wonderful year in 2012.
Cooperstown Carnival
Committee 2011
Samantha Carr and Sarah Purdy, co-chairs; Christine Baker, Sonia Brauer, Geoff Bell, Mike DeSimone, Stephen Light, George Macaluso, Emily Voss, Bill Weldon and Kim White.

Natural-Gas Wealth An Illusion
To the Editor:
“Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” is a phrase often used to describe trivial, irrelevant gestures made while a major catastrophe occurs. Well, welcome to the SS Otsego County Board.
Chairman Sam Dubben (who has signed a natural-gas lease) has rotated Steve Fournier out of the chairpersonship of the county Gas Advisory Committee under pressure from an increasing number of voters expressing mounting dissatisfaction with Fournier’s pro-gas stance.
But Dubben, giving a nod to the Titanic, has appointed Jamie Powers as the new chairperson in Fournier’s place. Powers has openly stated that he is in favor of gas drilling, is part of a coalition trying to extract as much money out of the gas companies as it can, and intends to vote pro-drilling on every issue that comes up.
The arrogance of Dubben thinking he can put new window dressing on a dysfunctional committee and pass it off to Otsego County voters as being responsive to their concerns is an insult to our intelligence.
We will not be distracted watching a rearranged chairperson committee perform on the deck of the SS Otsego County Board. Otsego County voters will not tolerate rabid slash-and-burn greed by a small group that could destroy our health, livelihoods, property values and lifestyle.
Many people across the political spectrum champion all citizens being able to do what they please with their property. They do not support a few people turning Otsego County into an industrial toxic waste sinkhole while they run for the exits with a fistful of dollars.
And there will be less booty there than they think. After the signing bonus and royalties, their properties and homes will be worthless. Un-sellable. The value doesn’t just diminish; it disappears. And the royalties will only last (if they hit gas at all) for about seven years.
Worse, everyone’s property around leased land also becomes worthless. And therein lies the crime. It’s one thing if you volunteer to let bad things happen to yourself, but it is a crime to take innocent residents down with you who never consented to be a part of it.
Sustainable Otsego

The Right Team Is Running
To the Editor:Let’s thank our present village trustees for eliminating the potential for paid parking on Main Street.
This has been another tax-and-spend hope of the village Democrats.  They claim $120,000 being taken out of Doubleday Field is a win-win for the Village.  $120,000 is a lot of money.  Unfortunately we don’t know the repercussions.  No one has mentioned the net dollars; why do you think that is?
Once again it looks like Doubleday Field is going to produce less revenue than it ever has before.
It’s hard for me to understand, when common sense is involved, the insistence of the Democrats bragging about the monies they are making charging for parking and writing tickets by the hundreds.  Why do they want to make visitors to Cooperstown unhappy by receiving a $35 ticket and/or not having a place to park?
The future of Cooperstown needs to be in the hands of the Republican families that are running for office on March 15.  These families are made up of the past, present and future of the Village of Cooperstown.  They represent the financial and safety of our citizens, each one having strengths that the Democratic Party doesn’t.  Jim Potts, law enforcement; Matt Schuermann, finance; Phil Lewis, finance; Joan White, business.
Please help these members of our community to bring up their children and our children in a safe and financially sound village. Please vote for these candidates for Village Trustees on March 15.

TED HARGROVE, Cooperstown
Why Not Ban Political Signs?
To the Editor:
Why does the Democratic Party in Cooperstown refuse to cooperate with Republicans about political signs? I thought Joan Clark’s idea was great when she floated it at the village meeting the night before the caucuses. Nobody wants to look at political signs. They litter the village and divide our community.
I attended the Republican caucus and was very happy that everyone in the room agreed with Joan Clark’s no-political-signs idea. Why doesn’t the Democratic Party feel the same way? I heard 75 Democrats attended their caucus, but nobody bothered to ask their opinions about signs.  Was the no-sign idea intentionally kept quiet by the leaders of their party hoping the issue would simply go away? I have news for them – it will not.
Why do Democrats feel they need to put up signs? Katz has been a trustee for six years and ran for mayor last year. The other three candidates have lived here 30+ years. It cannot be about name recognition. There must be something else going on. Perhaps the candidate that voted to raise taxes and put up parking meters needs political cover by “signing up” with the other three.
Cooperstown has become a political circus the past six years. We need trustees who just want to go to work and get the job done without all the political garbage. The Republican candidates already show they listen and understand the people by putting the village first and politics last.
The Democrats are showing they are just the opposite by putting their personal political ambitions ahead of the interests of the village.

Diego Rivera’s Lover? Really!
To the Editor:
Many thanks to Jim Kevlin and The Freeman’s Journal (Jan. 20) for the exciting news of the art exhibits that will be presented at The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown this summer. 
Most especially, a big thank you for the photo of Jackson Pollock’s glorious “Number 48.”  
But, really, Mr. Editor, I think you could have come up with a better description of Frida Kahlo’s place in the art world other than the fact that she was “Diego Rivera’s lover.”

Grace Kull: ‘I Stand By Everything I Said’
To the Editor:
I do not intend to debate with Mayor Joe Booan, but feel compelled to defend myself against his accusations that my Jan. 13 letter to the editor is full of inaccuracies and misinformation. 
First of all, let me say that I agree with Mr. Booan about the headline.  It is inflammatory and not to the point of my letter.  That heading was put there by The Freeman’s Journal, not me.  However, everything else that I say in my letter can be corroborated.
The Otsego County budget clearly shows that there was no money requested by Cooperstown this year. It is item #6420. As I stated in my letter, the request for funds has to be done during a certain time period to be considered. 
Mayor Booan explains in great detail that he requested $100,000 from the county and what his intended use was for the money.  However, he fails to say that he was late with his request and therefore it could not be considered and was listed as a zero request. 
The Otsego County budget is available for anyone who would like a copy of it.  It can also be viewed online.
It is also true that negotiations for the four police officers have always been done in house and that it cost $11,000 this year to bring in an outside negotiator.  Nowhere do I say anything derogatory about that individual. 
However, I am not convinced that with all the intelligent minds at our disposal in our Cooperstown government, there was not someone who could have negotiated a favorable deal for the village at no cost.
It is also true that the village is being charged $3,000 in late fees by CLA Site.  This is general knowledge and was printed in the newspaper.  The situation should not be muddied by references to “millions of dollars in expenses for engineering and construction,” which were legitimate costs.
I stand by everything I said in my letter.

False Accusations Against Mayor Booan Won’t Stick
To the Editor:
I feel it necessary to correct some misinformation in a letter from Grace Kull in your Jan. 13 edition.
When I had the honor of being elected to the Otsego County Board of Representatives to represent the Town of Otsego (including most of the Village of Cooperstown) in 2007, I pledged to make securing bed-tax revenue for the village my first priority.
Many years had gone by and the discussions between the county board and village officials had turned toxic, and there was little hope of the county board allocating such money.
Fortunately, I was elected with several other freshman representatives, and as a member of the voting majority, I was able to reintroduce the idea and plead the case for the village.
I asked Trustee Eric Hage, as well as Trustee Katz, to attend Intergovernmental Affairs Committee meetings to support my efforts.  Additionally, I received the support of state Sen. Jim Seward, who, through written correspondence, encouraged the rest of the county board to support my efforts.
We were successful and the county awarded $100,000 in bed tax revenue to the village for tourism-infrastructure support.
The following year, despite the difficult budget situation, we were to secure an additional $100,000. The following year, as budget difficulties continued to worsen, the board then agreed to help the village but the amount was reduced to $50,000.
So, after a quarter-million dollars for the village, we entered the 2011 budget process. During this effort, I worked closely with Mayor Booan to secure as much funding for the village as was possible.
Again, I was able to get $100,000 into the tentative budget despite significant cuts to other budget items. Then, when the budget was brought to the full board, a majority voted to remove that funding. As a result, the Adopted 2011 budget has no funds for the village despite my, and Mayor Booan’s, efforts.
Ms. Kull alleges the funding was denied due to inaction, or lack of follow-through by Mayor Booan. That is simply not true. Mayor Booan has joined with me as an aggressive and vocal advocate for the village, and we will continue to work together to secure appropriate funding and other county resources for Cooperstown.
After all, it is the Village of Cooperstown that fuels our tourism economic engine, and we must not take it for granted.
There seems to be a coordinated campaign of misinformation and false accusations against Mayor Booan. – an effort that I, and many others, find reprehensible.
Village residents, however, understand that the business-as-usual politics of the village government’s past won’t cut it anymore and those who were responsible are becoming less and less relevant.
Fly Creek
Vice Chairman
Otsego County Board
of Representatives

We Can’t Afford NO Police
To the Editor:
Farming out the village’s police protection to an outside agency is yet another bone-headed idea.
Whatever money it might save would be directly a function of reduced police coverage. It would relinquish one of the village’s primary responsibilities – police protection – to another agency, the County, over which the village has no control.  
It’s axiomatic that the best police coverage is focused on the tasks at hand – in this case, the security requirements of the village.  Removing that coverage would reduce the village to a second-rate municipality.
Most of the problems with the Police Department have been self-inflicted by the mayor’s browbeating of the police chief. That has been willfully divisive.
The facts of that case are in the chief’s complaint, which documents a pattern of harassment – over trivialities. 
Getting rid of police coverage won’t change the outcome of that lawsuit. It will only jeopardize the quality of coverage that the village has long enjoyed from its exemplary police force.
Think we can’t afford the police department?  We can’t afford not to have them.

Adams Gives His Take On Declaration 
To the Editor:
Jan. 25, 2011, was an eventful day in the history of Cooperstown: President John Adams (portrayed by Sam Goodyear) spoke at the Cooperstown Rotary luncheon meeting at The Otesaga.
President Adams, dressed in period clothing and sitting in his high-backed chair, provided a dissertation on his relationship with his wife Abigail, Jefferson and the writing of the Declaration of Independence.
The former president, NOT Sam Adams, as he most assertively stated, took us back to July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
He did state that the document wasn’t written by Jefferson, but by a committee of five. I do believe that Jefferson did write the document, which was revised by some five other members.
President Adams was in fine form, standing/sitting in front of Rotary in his white wig, reading from various letters he had beside him on a candle lit table. Cantankerous as he might have been some 185 years ago, President Adams had the explicit attention of all Rotarians.
My question, though, was how John appeared in such robust health on this, July 4, 1826, the day of his and Thomas Jefferson deaths, which were within hours of one another.
Cooperstown Rotary again comes through with another very interesting program thanks to the efforts of Tom Heitz. Our very active club does many interesting projects, tackling community and worldwide problems alike. Our weekly luncheons are filled with great conversation, great Otesaga food, and exceptional speakers.
Cooperstown Rotary - It’s what we do.
Past President
Cooperstown Rotary


When You Need Us, We’re There
To the Editor:
I guess we know how you feel about law enforcement.
I was very disappointed by your editorial, but after 25 years of police work, not much surprises me anymore.
Just remember this...
It only takes one critical incident to question the wisdom of “cost-effective law enforcement.”
We don’t sell widgets. We don’t turn a profit.
We keep your villages, towns and cities safe, and let you go to sleep at night knowing we’ll come in droves when your family needs us, whether you like us or not.
San Diego, Calif.
(Formerly of Cooperstown)

U.S. Slip, Slidin’ Away As World Power
To the Editor:
The tire of the car caught in the edge of the road, I then lost control.
You know how the road people only put on black top and hardly ever bother with filling in the shoulders? Well, the tire was caught and, with the ice and snow, the car shot into the gully, or should I say the trench they did along the road.
$1,200 plus for the repair. I should send the bill to the county, as they don’t understand what a road is for, or how to construct them. If the road was designed properly, the car would have only slid off to the side of the road.
A road is a place for cars to travel on. Cars need to be able to pull off the road safely from time to time for various reasons – answer a cell phone, change a tire, so the driver can use a tree...
What if another car passes and both lanes are filled? You have a choice – head-on or rolling into the trench. This idea of digging trenches along the road causes more problems than it solves.
The trench causes greater damage to cars, thereby increasing car insurance. Water collects in the ditches and increases mosquitoes and disease.
The trench allows the water to easily get under the road’s surface and decrease the life of the road, there by costing the taxpayer more money.
What are we paying taxes for? We deserve the best possible return for paying these government people with all their benefits. They owe us a service, not the other way around.
Where are the road engineers? Is this the best they can do?
No wonder America is slipping as a world power and America’s influence is becoming a joke.

‘Anti-Drillers’ BIG LIE’ Isn’t A Lie At All
To the Editor,
In his Jan. 13 letter, Dick Downey of Unatego  Area Landowners Association, asserts:
“So what’s the TRUTH?  First be aware of the anti-drillers’ BIG LIE. They say the chemicals used in fracking defy gravity and rock mechanics to migrate thousands of feet upward through strata into your water well.  Without this core lie, the fear factor necessary for the anti-drilling agenda loses its potency.”    
Not so at all.  You can never be assured that the contaminated water left in the crust of the lithosphere will be contained in perpetuity. This contaminated water has a high probability of migrating through natural geologic and manmade fissures in the bedrock.  And with time this will allow the contaminated water to rise and ultimately contaminate exiting groundwater wells as it is withdrawn, or when the contaminated water reaches the surface. 
How can the contaminated water, to use Mr. Downey’s phrase, “defy gravity”?  Simple. There is no guarantee that contaminated water will not be under some pressure, especially if the water is left in the vertical portion of the well.   This would create a pressure gradient where the elevation of the water would exert a static pressure of 1 pound per square inch (psi) per every 2.3 feet of  depth.
When you have a well a mile deep, this could result in a pressure of up to 2,295 psi.  Although the pressure would be much less if  the standpipe were emptied, there is the potential for a great deal of pressure.  Even at low pressure, less than 100 psi, there are forces still in place where the contaminated water could migrate upwards in fissures and impact other water supplies.
There is also concern about the contaminated water returned to the surface.  Would the driller do this in accordance, knock wood, with whatever SPEDES requirements the DEC  imposes?  Would this – or could this – contaminated water then be properly treated and regulated?  Given the record in other states, the answer is no. 
Moreover, bear in mind that the DEC itself has historically been slipshod, at times derelict, in dealing with water resources, as witness – just a small sampling – power plant fish kills on the Hudson; the obliteration of the Chateaugay River, possibly the best wild trout stream in the state, with 4,000 cubic yards of sludge; and the department’s decision to allow Niagara Mohawk to demolish the Fort Edward dam, as a result of which at least 500,000 pounds of PCBs surged down the Hudson, making the river the largest Superfund site in the nation.

Mayor Booan:  Letter Full Of Inaccuracies
To the Editor:
It is typically not my practice to respond to letters to the editor.  However, it is important to respond to Grace Kull’s letter of Jan. 13, as it is filled with inaccurate information. 
It is unfortunate that our residents are subjected to misinformation that clouds the issues, spreads fear and attacks the honest efforts to face and address difficult issues in the Village of Cooperstown. 
The letter, titled, “Mayor Booan Wastes Money, Not like Mayor Waller” stated, “ …the mayor (Booan) did not ask the County of Otsego for any money generated by the county bed tax this year.”
This is categorically untrue.  In a letter dated Aug. 20, 2010, to Mr. James Johnson, chair, Administration Committee, I sent an application letter requesting $100,000. 
Additionally, I attached a plan for the use of such money: to replace the failing light fixtures on Main Street, replace the failing conduit that powers these lights, and replace the sidewalks downtown.  A copy of this letter was also sent to Otsego County Treasurer Daniel Crowell.
I then followed up my written request with multiple conversations with Mr. Johnson. Kindly, Mr. Johnson, who has been instrumental in securing such funds over the years, pointed to the reality of the fiscal crisis at hand. 
The information in Ms. Kull’s letter regarding this issue is false and therefore very misleading to the public.  This creates harm where public service is at work.
Ms. Kull indicated that we spent $11,000 to hire a consultant, Mr. Jack Henson, to negotiate the new police contract.  She also stated that this had been negotiated in-house in the past at no cost. 
Those facts are correct, but Ms. Kull leaves out the real story.
Mr. Henson has over 20 years of experience negotiating union contracts and, more specifically, direct experience negotiating with the Teamsters Union.  We were very fortunate to secure his services at a cost savings of $160 per hour over the next potential consultant.
Total cost for his services was $11,000 and with that bill Mr. Henson effectively SAVED the village taxpayers $104,840 versus carrying over the previous agreement negotiated in-house. 
The residents should ask themselves if this was money well spent. I am proud that four board members supported this idea.  Contract negotiation, particularly with the Teamsters, is a complex ordeal.  Mr. Henson’s work ethic and professionalism were impeccable. 
The contract negotiated is more fiscally responsible, reflects more reasonable salary adjustments, and shares cost for health insurance. 
Again, the information in Ms. Kull’s letter was misleading and I would have gladly discussed these facts if asked directly.  It is irresponsible and wrong to publicly claim that $11,000 was wasted when in fact we accomplished a net saving of $93,840.
Ms. Kull’s letter also indicated a $3,000 expense in late fees on payment to the CLA Site invoices.  While this much is correct, it focuses on the smallest part of a big story involving millions of dollars in expenses for engineering and construction.
I would remind Ms. Kull that it was during her tenure as trustee that the village missed out on $960,000 in funding to reimburse those expenses.  Ms. Kull is aware of the larger story and misleads the public by avoiding it.
I am thankful that we have the right to freedom of speech and free press in our society, but we also have the responsibility to use accurate facts if we wish to be productive in a positive manner.  I respect Ms. Kull’s public service to our community in the past, but she has done a disservice to the village with her letter. 
We are on the right track and working hard to improve the quality of life in the Village of Cooperstown.  We will continue to work in the best interest of the village and represent the views of our residents – with honesty and integrity.  All residents are urged to understand the facts and speak up with your questions. 
Village of Cooperstown

Wrong Time To Limit Paid Parking
To the Editor:Unfortunately, it costs money to provide certain services that are essential for Cooperstown to continue to be a desirable place to live and to visit.
New York’s economy is in a difficult situation, and it’s likely that in the coming years our village will be getting less economic help from the state. In turn, we will need to pick up the slack ourselves.
It seems a poor time to do away with potential revenue streams. That is why I am perplexed as to why the mayor and some village trustees would consider repealing the current paid-parking law.
Cooperstown’s paid-parking law was passed in late 2007 and went into effect only in Doubleday parking lot starting in the summer of 2008. Since that time it has generated more than $300,000 in revenue for the village.
Village trustees listened to the concerns of residents and business owners and consequently proceeded extremely slowly in implementing the law fully. Parking on Main Street and Pioneer Street is allowed under the current law, but it has not yet been initiated.
There is nothing in the law that says paid parking on these streets HAS to be implemented, just that it may be. It can be debated whether now is the time to begin on-street paid parking, but to take that option away is incredibly short-sighted.
As an aside, the idea of adding the service of plowing for village sidewalks sounds lovely; however, it will cost $$$$. It is not budgeted for, and it is something that will be an on-going cost. To entertain the idea of providing sidewalk plowing while at the same time doing away with the current paid-parking law, which provides a potential for future revenue, makes no sense.


Paid Parking Deters Shoppers
To the Editor:We need to draw shoppers to the village core, not deter them.  Paid parking is a deterrent to shopping downtown – we are already struggling to keep Main Street viable.
Pair parking is not an effective policy mechanism we need to support.
Village Needs Parking Revenue.  Don’t Repeal Law
To the Editor:
At the December Board of Trustees meeting, Mayor Booan introduced a motion to repeal the on-street section of the village’s paid parking law. With a public hearing on this rescission scheduled for Jan. 24, it is possible that action may be taken on this motion with minimal public discourse.
As the only two current trustees to have served during the discussions that led to the creation of the paid-parking law in 2007, we believe it would be short-sighted to take hasty action to discard a law that was developed over many months and with extensive public input.
Between January and November 2007, there were 26 Police Committee, town hall and trustee meetings at which the paid parking law was researched, developed, revised and ultimately adopted.  The paid-parking law states that the village “may” implement paid parking on village-owned parking lots and streets in the business district.
In deference to concerns raised over the impact of paid parking on Main Street, the board chose to begin implementation of paid parking in the Doubleday Field and Chestnut Street parking lots and to delay on-street paid parking.
Each year since 2007, the board has reviewed rates, hours and dates of operation, and other details of paid parking to continually fine-tune the implementation of the law and evaluate its impact on the community.
The input of residents and merchants has been invaluable throughout this process. At our last review, the board agreed to set up a task force for on-street paid parking. This task force was never appointed.
So far, paid parking has been implemented for three summers in the two parking lots (Doubleday Field and Chestnut Street) and has raised some $300,000 in revenue.  The initial investment in Pay & Display machines was less than $30,000.
The creation of this new revenue stream was a decisive factor for us and other board members who voted to approve the Irish Hill road reconstruction project that was completed last year.  Paid parking revenue more than covers our annual bond payment for Irish Hill.
Many other village roads, sidewalks, and curbs are still in need of repair, and paid parking revenue can be a useful tool for the Village to use to address these needs.
We believe that the option for implementing on-street paid parking should remain open to this and future boards. A benefit of paid parking is that it is one of the few revenue sources besides property taxes that we, as a Village, have under our control.
Sales tax revenues have been declining since 2007; a county grant from Bed Tax revenues went from $100,000 three years ago to zero this year. It is much better for the village to seize control of its own financial destiny than to over-burden our taxpayers or to depend on monies from the state or county that they are under no requirement to give.
Using $150,000-$300,000 as a reasonable annual figure for on-street paid-parking revenue (depending on rates and hours), the village would be able to do a major streets project every 2-3 years, rehabilitating the village in a way we all agree it needs.
On-street paid-parking revenue at a level of $150,000 is the equivalent of an 8.8 percent tax increase that we would never need to impose on Cooperstown taxpayers. The proposed low-cost parking permit option included in the on-street parking plan would further ensure that most parking revenues would come from non-local sources.
During the 2007 paid parking discussions, some Main Street merchants argued against the plan, and much of the law was changed to address their concerns: length of season, need for a low price alternative for Main Street employees (which was done via the Chestnut lot).
Some have argued that paid parking affects store revenues. We don’t know if that is true, but it is indisputable that the Village receives approximately 1 percent of all sales tax generated throughout Otsego County. If on-street paid-parking resulted in $300,000 in revenue, sales tax county-wide would need to increase by 100 percent for the Village to receive that same amount via sales tax.
There have also been concerns that on-street paid parking would lead to reductions in commercial property assessments, thus shifting a burden to the residents/homeowners. After the most recent revaluation of properties, commercial properties pay 15-20 percent of all property taxes raised; residential property owners pay the other 80-85 percent.
If anything, on-street paid parking will alleviate the necessity to put future infrastructure costs on the backs of the already disproportionately taxed homeowners.
On-street paid parking makes sense for the village as a whole. Doubleday Field paid parking, which was opposed by many, is now accepted as productive and welcome. That is not to say any paid parking is unanimously loved, but if we are to continue to tackle our huge infrastructure needs and take control of our own financial destiny, it is crucial to allow the law to stand as is, whether on street paid parking is implemented now or in the future.
This law, which took a year and 26 meetings to create, should not be repealed in one month’s time.  Instead, we call on the mayor and the board to move forward with the establishment of a task force to examine all aspects of on-street paid parking prior to making any decisions.
Cooperstown Village Trustees

Mayor Booan Wastes Money, Not Like Mayor Waller
To the Editor: 
Did you read in the newspaper that Cooperstown is not getting any money from the County of Otsego this year?  Did you wonder why?  The answer is simple: The mayor did not ask the County of Otsego for any money generated by the county Bed Tax this year.  I am told that they were twice reminded of the deadline.  This is unconscionable.
Former Mayor Carol Waller and then-Deputy Mayor Jeff Katz spent months building a positive relationship with and petitioning the  county for continued Bed Tax money for Cooperstown, and they succeeded in getting it.
Each year, Mayor Waller requested an allocation from the County.  In 2009, it was $100,000; in 2010, it was $50,000, and in 2011 the county board tentatively put $25,000 in the budget. However, since the village did not request any allocation in a timely fashion, that amount went down to ZERO.
Another new expense that the village incurred this year was an $11,000 fee paid to hire an outside negotiator to negotiate the salaries of four policemen.  In previous years this was done in house by the mayor and trustees at absolutely no cost.  This seems to me to be an unnecessary expense.
The new administration, which promised to get Cooperstown on a better financial footing, has failed miserably to do so.
Through gross errors the village has to pay CLA Site $3,000 extra in late fees and now because of the error of simply not requesting the money from the county, we are out a possible $25,000.  Add to this another $11,000 for the outside negotiator and that brings us to $39,000.  Is this being fiscally responsible?
The funds for supporting our village have to come from somewhere.  Mayor Booan wants to rescind the paid-parking law for increasing revenue.  He says he is bothered by having a law on the books that isn’t enforced.  The solution to that isn’t to rescind the law, but to act on it and expand the areas for paid parking.  This is our only dependable and controllable source of revenue.
There will be a public hearing on paid parking at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24, in the village meeting room.  If you are FOR paid parking you should attend and be heard.
If you are against it you should attend, bringing with you concrete ideas for alternative ways for earning the much needed revenue and with valid reasons why paid parking should not be instituted. There is no reason to rescind the law even if paid parking is not expanded at this time.  The law will be there for possible future use.

Otsego County Farm Bureau Supports Fracking – If It’s Safe
To the Editor:
New York Farm Bureau supports responsible natural gas drilling.
Our members have benefited from vertical gas drilling for many years, using the royalty payments to re-invest in our farms.  New York Farm Bureau appreciates Governor Paterson’s recent veto of the legislature’s moratorium, which would have jeopardized ongoing vertical drilling in New York.
As for hydrofracking, we support any technology that allows for the safe extraction of natural gas from our wells.   We are looking forward to a fair and reasonable determination from the state on the permitting of hydrofracking and hope our farm families can profit from this natural resource that abounds underneath our farmland.
Otsego County Farm Bureau supports road building, not road blocking, in order to get the state back on track.
East Springfield
Otsego County Farm Bureau

GOP Proves Gub’mint Doesn’t Work
To the Editor:Chuck Hage writes that money collected as taxes isn’t really money because “public officials who allocate non-dollars do not feel any personal monetary loss.” Judging by his actions in the Gateway Project, maybe he was thinking about himself.
Here’s some news, Mr. Hage: That $3,000 in late fees Cooperstown paid CLA Site was really money and would still have been money even if it were saved in the village coffers for something useful.
It’s one more data point for the observation that Republicans get elected on the argument that government doesn’t work – then go about proving it.

Scientists Don’t Deal In Absolutes: ‘Remote’ Is ‘Never’ To The Rest Of Us
To the Editor:
Fires on the hillsides.  Broken roads in the valleys.  Streams bubbling with methane.  A radioactive landscape, childless, without commerce.  A post-apocalyptical nightmare from Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road?”  
NO,  if you believe antidriller propaganda, it’s the future Otsego County.  Given the steady dose of we read in the papers, it’s hard for the average person to know the truth.
So, how do you find the truth? Start by driving to Chenango County or Bradford and Susquehanna counties in Pennsylvania.  Look around.  Talk to people.  Yes, go into “the belly of the beast” – Dimock, Pa.  After two years of contaminated water wells, 13 families along Carter road will finally be compensated by the drillers.  A civil suit continues.  I wish them well.  The driller did them wrong. 
However, while you’re on Carter Road, look around.  The road?  No worse than the one I live on.  The secondary roads?  About a foot of gravel added to the secondaries.  Check the reclamation.  After two years of reseeding - not bad. 
Note the traffic on the road to Montrose.  Each truck means a job.  Truckers mean truckstops, rentals, equipment repair.  Gas production depends on over 50 different lines of work.  Talk to people in town or even people just down Carter Road.  Drop in on the hospital.  Ask about the increase in charitable donations.  Leaving Dimock, turn south to Bradford County.  Note the activity   Closer to home, visit Plymouth and Smyrna in Chenango County.
Back home, get on your phone or computer. Talk to people in the industry, to their regulators, to neighbors who are in coalitions.  Check wwwjlcny.org.  As much as possible, seek primary sources and first-hand experience, be it people, legal records, data from regulatory agencies.  Be suspicious of those with an agenda, including me.  Although a necessity, be wary of the internet, including the website above.
Preliminary homework done, ask yourself a question: Do you really believe the antidrillers’ doomsday scenario?  90 percent of all oil and gas is hydrofracked.  Do we ban hydrofracking?  About 28 states produce gas, each with a regulator for mineral extraction.  A JLCNY researcher asked each state supervisor if aquifers and drinking water were harmed by hydrofracking. They all answered NO.   Are ALL these regulators in the tank for the drilling companies? 
So what’s the TRUTH?  First, be aware of the antidrillers BIG LIE.  They say the chemicals used in fracking defy gravity and rock mechanics to migrate thousands of feet upward through strata into your water well.  Without this core lie, the fear factor necessary for the antidrilling agenda loses its potency.  (Google Engelder, Groundwater Protection Council Presentation, slides 49 to 66 for supportive technical data.) 
All reputable scientists characterize this possible occurrence as “REMOTE.” Scientists are wary  of absolutes.  They never say “never.” “Remote” is science-speak for “almost no chance at all.”  However, antidrillers would have you believe it given that frack toxins will bubble up through fissures to pollute your water and poison your children.  That’s a lie.
Drinking water can be contaminated by stray gas and salinity from below and surface spills from above.  How common are these occurrences?  Professor Ingraffia of Cornell notes 30 serious environmental mishaps involving stray gas and spills attributable to the approximately 2,000 Marcellus wells drilled and hydrofracked in Pennsylvania over the last two years, a rate of 15 per 1,000.  However, this statistic rests on a chain of references that, when traced to the primary source, the primary source never mentions the drilling target.
Given that wells are drilled for many purposes and target formations, the actual number of wells drilled in Pennsylvania from January ‘09 to the present is 4,855 (Roger Dietz, System Coordinator, PADEP).   These include coal-bed methane wells,  combination oil and gas, gas only (various formations), oil only, storage, and test wells.  Using the actual number of wells drilled, the mishap rate falls to 6 per 1,000. 
Further analysis reveals that 9 of the 30 mishaps are the result of new drilling interfacing with abandoned wells.  Pennsylvania has between 225,000 and 375,000 abandoned wells.  The Southern Tier has less than 100, all registered and easily located.  Factoring this into a Southern Tier drilling scenario, expect to have 4 environmental mishaps per 1,000 wells drilled.  That’s the ratio, as best I can calculate it.
A word about environmental mishaps.  They are mostly spills.  Anti-drillers would have you believe that nothing gets cleaned up,  the environment is trashed forever.
Finally, all that’s written above is the result of getting in a car, talking to people, observing, examining documents.  Anyone who wants to check this out can get in their car, come over to my house.  I’ll put the coffee on for you.  We’ll talk.  But better make it before July 1, 2011.  After the moratorium lifts, drillers will be out tearing up the roads, exploding charges, gassing cattle in the fields.  Better hurry!
Unatego Area Landowners Association

The Wolf Exists.  How Do We Live With It?
To the Editor:
I have read much of late about prejudice and bullying in The Freeman’s Journal. As one who lived among you for 37 years, I’d like to share an old story.
Gubbio was a beautiful Italian town, its residents justly proud. One night a wolf came out of the nearby forest attacked one of the residents. All were amazed that this could happen in their town.
Despite varying efforts, the attacks continued until the desperate people decided to seek out a holy man named Francis, who reputedly spoke to animals, to ask him to persuade the wolf to leave Gubbio.
He spoke with the wolf and told the good folks of Gubbio that they must feed their wolf, not the solution they were looking for. However, one by one each of the residents reluctantly fed the wolf until every man, woman and child had done so, and the wolf remained with them in the peace of acknowledgement.
Every human being is prejudiced toward someone – tall people or short people, fat people or skinny people, smart people or those not so gifted, athletes or artists, those who live in town or those who live out of town, professionals or tradesman, those of a different skin color, faith or part of the country.
And the list goes on. Unfortunately, it is easier for us humans to note differences rather than similarities.
Cooperstown is called “America’s Perfect Village,” its residents justly proud. It seems the wolf of prejudice lurks in the nearby woods.
The school tries very hard to educate and monitor its students in this regard, but remember every man, woman and child must “feed” the wolf. Until this happens, it will continue to prey on the community and its spirit.
My best wishes for peace in 2011.
Elizabeth Lewis
Saint Helena Island, S.C.

The Beer-Can-Tossing Mentality And Gas Drilling
To the Editor:
I’m one of those very lucky people who lives right on Lake Otsego, in a house built on land that once belonged to the Hyde Hall estate.  To my knowledge, ours is the first house to occupy this particular site, and the unspoiled character of the area is one of the great quiet pleasures of living in Upstate New York.
Given the beauty and character and beauty of The Glimmerglass, you can imagine my surprise when, a few summers ago, I came upon 12  empty beer cans strewn next to the water’s edge.  Very old cans, they were steel, opened by a churchkey and heavily decomposed, yet still intact enough to be recognizable and unsightly. 
My guess is they had been lying undisturbed for a good 40 years, a relic of a long ago forgotten boozy party of fishermen or teenagers, who had left the cans behind under the misapprehension that they would somehow, miraculously, disappear.  Not in 40 years, sadly, but maybe in 80.  Who knows?
Nowadays, beer cans are aluminum, and there can be no solace that they will eventually rust away.  Fair to say, they will probably stay where they are left until tripped over and (hopefully)  disposed of by our great grandchildren.  The same with plastic Snapple and glass Smirnoff bottles.  No chance of environmental absorption. 
Using our beautiful surroundings like an outdoor toilet just doesn’t work, and one is left to wonder if all the littering around Lake Otsego is the product of ignorance, indifference or malice.  It is enough to make me despair.
The same mentality that tolerates throwing trash out a car window seems to afflict those who embrace gas drilling.  Who cares if we destroy our beautiful country so long as it pays well and serves our purpose?  What difference if we leave our children with a home in an industrial wasteland, water pollution and noxious air?
After all, when the trash is piled too high or the land too heavily poisoned, someone or some government agency will surely come along and fix it.  It’s not our responsibility to keep our land heritage whole. 
Besides, with money lining our pockets from the gas industry, we can always move to Florida, throwing our beer bottles out the window as we go.
Springfield Center

Adrian Kuzminski Balances Practical Steps, Philosophy
To the Editor:
I have worked with Adrian Kuzminski since he began the Sustainable Otsego group in 2007, with about 14 attendees at the first organizational meeting.
Adrian brought his vision, leadership and wisdom to the group. His decisions have balanced practical organizational issues, local, state and national politics, with an inclusive philosophical overview.
It was a few months after Adrian began Sustainable Otsego that the group realized shale gas was going to totally overtake our initial concerns about sustainable practices in Otsego County.
Adrian stepped up to the challenge and organized the early shale gas educational efforts for Sustainable Otsego in Cherry Valley, Cooperstown and Oneonta in March 2009.
These were the first organized presentations given by local citizens about the issues of shale gas production and extraction. Adrian recruited Ron Bishop, Colleen Blacklock and me to develop presentations.
At that time, just two years ago, very little media exposure was given to shale gas and the issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing. Exposure has grown and more citizens are aware that our health as well as our air, water, and land will be deleteriously affected by gas drilling should we allow it to be implemented on the scale that is proposed by the State of New York and the gas industry.
Adrian has played a major role in this community effort. Thanks for your leadership and friendship, and congratulations to Adrian, our Citizen of the Year.

Let Cooperstown Voters Decide
To the Editor:Let me begin by thanking a good personal friend, Chuck Hage, who recently stepped down from his position as trustee, for a job well done. His service to our village is greatly appreciated.
To ensure no candidate has an advantage out of the starting gate,  I ask our esteemed mayor to refrain from appointing an interim trustee.
The caucus is in less than three weeks and the election is just over 60 days away; let’s let the people of Cooperstown decide who will be the next individual to fill this trustee position.
Democratic Committee