Thursday, February 24, 2011


CANCER UNIT:  Oneonta’s Bassett Cancer Institute is moving into the FoxCare Center on Route 7, and is planning a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28. Light refreshments planned.

LOT REOPENS:  With demolition complete on Bresee’s back end, parking has returned to the Wall Street parking lot.

WRESTLING TOURNEY:  The 6th Ward Athletic Club will sponsor the 5th annual Royal Rumble Wrestling Festival for Grades 3-6 at 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, in the OHS gym.

LET’S NETWORK:  The Otsego County Chamber’s next Networking Luncheon begins at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 2, at the Holiday Inn Southside.  To register, call 432-4500 or e-mail

‘GASLAND’ CREATOR:  The Sustainability Task Force is seeking to raise $1,000 to bring Josh Fox, director of “Gasland”, later this year.

Dan Pope of Davenport sweeps out what remains of L.P. Butt’s familiar front window on Market Street as demolition began on the 127-year-old structure, which closed at the end of 2010.  Pope works for Pierce Excavation, West Oneonta, which is doing the job.

Chamber To Honor Country Club Auto, Erna McReynolds

Annual Dinner April 16 At SUNY

The Otsego County Chamber has announced the winners of two of its top awards:
• County Club Auto Group, operated by partners Tom Armao and Scott Davis, is NBT Distinguished Business.
• Erna Morgan McReynolds, managing director at Morgan Stanley, Oneonta, and a civic leader, is the Eugene A Bettiol, Jr. Distinguished Citizen.
The awards will be presented at the chamber’s annual Banquet & Celebration of Business at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at SUNY Oneonta’s Hunt Union Ballroom.

“Their dedication to our communities is felt far and wide,” said Roxana Hurlburt, chamber president, of the Country Club Auto Group.  “They are the backbone to many organizations with their continued contributions year after year.”
Said chamber President Rob Robinson of McReynolds, “You look around this area and you will see her many signs of the positive impact on the quality of life here in Otsego County.”
The Country Club dealerships, founded in 1960 as Otsego Automotive by partners Bill Davis and Paul Donowick, has been central to chamber and community efforts for decades.  In 2009, the dealerships were sold to partners Tom Armao, a longtime associate of the firm, and Scott Davis, the founder’s son.
McReynolds, raised in Gilbertsville, was a TV producer and executive in New York before returning to Oneonta with her husband, Tom Morgan, to establish the practice as financial advisers.
Erna has been active in the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, the Girls Scouts, Hartwick College, the United Way, NYSHA and other initiatives and organizations.  She was a founder of the local Executive Service Corps.
Last year’s honorees were Northern Eagle Beverage as Distinguished Business and former mayor Sam Nader as Distinguished Citizen.
Due to limited seating, attendees are encouraged to make reservations for the dinner at or by calling 432-4500, ext. 201.  Tickets are $77.50, or $750 for a table of 10.

Task Force Aims To Use Arts To Lift City Profile

First Effort May Bulk Up Tag Sale, Soccer Weekend


The city’s 11-member Arts Task Force – its first official meeting was planned at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, in City Hall – is aiming to organize the first “Oneonta, Life Enjoyed” Weekend around the Grand & Glorious Tag Sale and Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament this fall.
“They run together,” said Kellie Place, Task Force chair, in describing her group’s agenda.  “Maybe we can add to them.”
Mayor Dick Miller – the Task Force grew out of two Arts Summits he organized, one in January and the other Thursday, Feb. 17 – endorsed the plan, saying several hundred players and their parents will be in the city that weekend, plus both colleges will be in session.
“That is an idea at this point,” said Miller. “I wouldn’t mind doing something before that. But that seemed to be an obvious opportunity.”
Place, a realtor with Prudential Fox who is also co-director of the New York Summer Music Festival, hosted annually at SUNY Oneonta, volunteered to join the Task Force after the first Arts Summit.
When it met a few days later to organize, its members ranged from Kathy Tobiassen, Orpheus Theater president, to Doug Halberg, an Edmeston Central arts teacher who also operates his own stained-glass studio.  Place emerged as chair.
The first task to also emerge from that meeting was creation of a “Master Arts Calendar” to assist collaboration and prevent duplication. 
(Responding to that call at the first summit, Hometown Oneonta agreed separately to take on that responsibility; see Pages C1-4, a special pullout section in this edition that will appear in the last edition of each month.)

Also at the first Arts Summit, Mayor Miller had diagrammed the arts community as arrows heading off in different directions.  After the second, David Hayes, MSO’s downtown coordinator, prepared a chart showing three sectors heading in the same direction:
• One, entities charged with economic development, such as the Otsego County Chamber and the Otsego County Economic Development Office.
• Two, entities with a private-sector mission to encourage prosperity, such as Hometown Oneonta and Sweet Home Productions.
• Three, entities specifically charged with the growth of Oneonta’s artistic community, such as the Foothills Performing Arts Center and Orpheus.
In addition to the tag sale/Mayor’s Cup weekend, Hayes said the Otsego artist Charles Bremer suggested an arts festival that would be ongoing over the course of the summer.


Hartwick College President Margaret Drugovich poses with Hartwick alumni and trustees who are also Cooperstown Rotarians after speaking to the club Tuesday, Feb. 22.  From left are attorney Martin Tillapaugh and wife, Meg, Dr. Drugovich, attorney Bob Schlather (a former Hartwick trustee), Bob Hanft (alumnus and Hartwick trustee) and Will Monie.

‘Maestro Madness’ Attracts Top Talent

The Catskill Symphony Orchestra’s “Maestro Madness” guest-conductor program has attracted top competitors this year.
They are Tony Avanzato, proprietor, Stella Luna Ristorante; SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski, and John Remillard, Fox Hospital’s CEO.
Whomever raises the most for CSO will conduct during “John Howell Sings Favorite Neapolitan Songs,” at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at SUNY Oneonta’s Alumni Field House.

ISD’s Hurlburt To Chair Chamber Board

Roxana Hurlburt, vice president of ISD (Information Systems Division), has been elected chair of the Otsego County Chamber Board of Directors for 2011-12.
Other officers are Tanya Shalor, first vice chair, and Brian Hutzley, second vice chair.  Chamber President Rob Robinson, in his 16th year as chief executive, will continue as secretary/treasurer.
New directors include Colleen Brennan, senior assistant to the SUNY Oneonta president; Caprice Eckert, senior director of finance and HR, Pathfinder Village; Bill Reeves, publisher, Hometown Oneonta; Romona Wenck, Laurens Central School superintendent, and Kelly Zack-Decker, senior assistant to Hartwick College’s president.
Shalor is director of Head Start at Opportunities for Otsego, and Hutzley is SUNY Delhi vice president, business & finance.

Teaching Moment

A former sergeant, having served his time with the Marine Corps, took a  new job as a school teacher; but just before the school year started, he injured his back.
He was required to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. Fortunately, the cast fit under his shirt and wasn’t noticeable.
On the first day of class, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in the school.  Having already heard the new teacher was a former Marine, his rowdy pupils were curious about  just how tough he really was.
Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, the new teacher opened the window wide and sat down at his desk.
When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he picked up a stapler and  promptly stapled the tie to his chest.
Dead silence. He had no trouble with discipline that year.

An Ounce of Prevention

Last semester, a new system was implemented via Web Services, to help ensure the safety of the students who  attend SUNY Oneonta. One of the main parts of the system is the option that students now have to give their cell phone numbers, and God forbid an emergency occurs such as a shooting like the Virginia Tech massacre, they would be able to send a widespread text message to everyone who is signed up for the system. It sounds like a good plan, but many students don’t think it is necessary.

The fact that we just passed the one year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting got me thinking about this topic. The downfall at that campus was the reaction of the administration and the inability to inform the students in a timely manner. The gunman was able to move effortlessly throughout the campus to students who didn’t know that he was coming. If the school had been more prepared for an event of this magnitude, people that are no longer with us may still be alive today. The events also got many on the SUNY Oneonta campus thinking. If it can happen there, does that mean it can happen here? Well, Oneonta doesn’t have many students going for their master’s degree or degrees on a higher level, and those are the students that statistics show are more likely to go over the edge. That doesn’t mean that an undergraduate student doesn’t go bonkers from time to time, but it does mean that the likelihood of such an event happening on a campus like ours is extremely low.

But, for some reason, people still worry. I will tell you why: numbers are just numbers. Even if statistics say something is unlikely, and it happens on your campus: statistics mean absolutely nothing. So that leads me to the following question: why wouldn’t students give the administration their cell phone numbers in case, God forbid, an emergency of that magnitude takes place here? Are we that ignorant that we think it just can’t happen to us? I believe it is naive to think that way. All I know is I would much rather be alerted, so I would be able to protect myself and those around me from a dangerous threat.
Mike Ganci
Editor in Chief
The State Times

11-Member Task Force Forms

The 11-member Oneonta Arts Task Force consists of:

• Kellie Place, Prudential Fox realtor and co-director, New York Summer Music Festival
• Diane Aaronson, program director, BOCES Arts in Education Program; also active in Future for Oneonta Foundation
• Doug Halberg, Edmeston Central art teacher who runs a stained-glass studio
• Diana Staley King, singer; active in Oneonta Concert Association, Arts Otsego and, formerly, UCCCA
• Gary Koutnik, retired teacher and school administrator, active in community theater
• Chris Laguna, arts educator
• Michelle Miller, consultant, Success In Training: Diversity Consulting & HR Outsourcing
• Duncan Smith, Ph.D. in dramatic arts, Hartwick College professor, Orpheus Theater past president
• Marcel Smith, artist
• Pam Strother, poet
• Kathy Tobiassen, Orpheus Theater president