Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thanks To Woman On A Mission, Banners Soon To Line River Street

Linda Gilmore’s Project Will Celebrate Neighborhood’s Diversity, Energy


Linda Gilmore and one of her banners.

When you marry someone from Willoughby, Ohio, anything can happen.
Just ask Linda Gilmore, a Bassett Hospital nurse who would often visit her husband Michael’s family in the Buckeye State.
During one visit, they were driving down a long street in Mentor, Ohio – long and straight, sort of like Oneonta’s River Street, where the couple lives – that was festooned with American flags on every pole.
“It was beautiful,” said Linda, and she got the idea in her head:  If Mentor, why not Oneonta?  Why not River Street?
“I got into it because I just love the community down here,” Gilmore said the other day.  “It’s a unique group of people.  We care about each other.  When things go awry in our community, we pull together.”
River Street is an access point to businesses and places of employment, so it’s well traveled.  And people walk and jog along its sidewalk.
“I just wanted something that would make River Street a little more pretty,” said Linda.  “I’m proud to live down here.”
This was a while ago.  She approached City Hall, but didn’t get much encouragement.  With the arrival of the Miller Administration, she tried again.
Both Mayor Dick Miller and Sixth Ward Alderman Veronica Diver encouraged her.
“I was really excited,” said Gilmore. “But I didn’t realize how much work it would be.”
Meanwhile, Linda had been thinking about what should be on the banner.   With the help of neighbors and friends, including Tony and Ann Mongillo, she came up with four themes.
The first banner, on a community theme, will feature a church and a school, and will be the wording, “Welcome to Oneonta; Celebrate Community.”
The second theme – suggested by the Mongillos – is diversity, and will feature flags from the many peoples – Syrians, Russians, Italians, Irish, Germans, Slavs – who populated the Sixth Ward during Oneonta’s railroad heyday.
(Former mayor Sam Nader calls the Sixth Ward “the League of Nations,” a reflection of the ethnic diversity there.)
The third theme, history, with a steam engine.  The fourth theme, activity, with the image of a sports team, given the ward’s soccer fields, the Boys & Girls Club and other activities.
Mongillo, a gifted draftsman, helped devise the graphic concepts, which were further stylized via computer by Jarod Miller of Prolifiq, the sign company a few doors up from the Gilmores.
In all, there are posts for 42 banners, stretching from the South Main Street intersection to the turnoff by the Hampton Inn.  They will be made of a kind of polyvinyl, and should withstand the elements for three or four years.
When she approached Verizon, whose poles she planned to use, she discovered they were too close to the street to hang banners:  They have to be at least 3 feet from the pavement.
So a means was figured out to hang the banners over the sidewalk. The banners will be 18 inches wide and 36 inches long, and will be attached to a rod at the top and bottom.
The set-up is $8 per pole, and the Sixth Ward Athletic Club, that neighborhood mainstay, contributed the $400 for that.
To cover the banners themselves, she is looking for sponsors, whose names will then appear at the bottom of the banners.  (Hometown Oneonta immediately signed on.)
The mother of three – stepson, Michael, OHS senior (and football player), and children Audrey, 10, and Sophie, 6, both at Valleyview Elementary – is confident sponsors will soon come forward.
For particulars, give her a call at 432-7894.

TO SPONSOR A BANNER, call Linda Gilmore at 432-7894 for particulars.

Diversity and Community are two of the banners’ themes.  The other themes are History and Activity.

Clergy To Cuomo: Extend Fracking Moratorium

‘We Are Compelled To Speak Out When Good Stewardship Of God’s Creation Is At Stake And Injustice Is At Hand’

Dear Governor Cuomo,
Gas drilling under way in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the country has proved to be damaging, both below and above ground.
Care of the Earth is of great importance to us and also to future generations, and gas drilling as presently proposed could potentially constitute a grave danger to the water resources of our entire region.
Farm life in our region has been in a steady economic decline, and the possibility of signing a lease for gas drilling, even though the terms may differ greatly from neighbor to neighbor, is tempting.
However, we agree with the Session of First Presbyterian, Cooperstown, that has adopted a resolution stating, “We are compelled to speak out when the good stewardship of God’s creation is at stake and injustice is at hand.”
Therefore, we, the undersigned clergy and religious leaders, are asking you to continue the moratorium on gas drilling using horizontal hydrofracking until the State of New York has had time to examine the complete federal Environmental Protection Agency study currently under way.
New York would then be in a better position to ascertain whether high-pressure hydrofracking can be done safely and then write and enforce stringent regulations sufficient to ensure the future protection of our region’s water, air, and other natural resources.
We hope that all in our area would agree that a comprehensive scientific study is necessary before the state takes irreversible action that would risk endangering our health and the health and beauty of our land.
Sincerely yours,
Rev. Fred Albrecht
Retired, United Methodist Church, Otego
Rev. Lisa Jo Bezner
Otego and Sand Hill United Methodist, Otego
Rev. Dr. Leonard B. Bjorkman
Retired, Presbyterian Church (USA), Owego
Frederic Chrislip
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Judy A. Gage, CLP
Bovina United Presbyterian Church, Bovina
Rev. Caspar Green
First Baptist Church, Glens Falls
Trustee Ron Guichard
The Presbyterian Church of Andes
Rev. Dr. Janet Adair Hansen
PPAN Moderator, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Rev. Douglas A. Horne
Otego Presbyterian Church
Rev. Betsy Jay
Presbyterian Church (USA), Cooperstown
Rev. Darcey Laine
Unitarian Universalist Church of Athens
and Sheshequin, Pa.; Resident of Ithaca
Paddy Lane
Clerk, Butternuts Friends Meeting (Quaker)
Rev. Thomas Langdon
St. Innocent Orthodox Mission, Oneonta and Otego
Rev. John R. Long
First Presbyterian Church, Buffalo
Rev. Mark Montfort
First Presbyterian Church, Oneonta
Rev. Harry G. Myers
Laurens Presbyterian Church
Rev. Brooke Newell
Upper NY Conference, United Methodist Church
Rev. Randolph Palada
First Baptist Church, Oneonta
Rev. Allen L. Presby
First Presbyterian Church of Delhi
Mother Raphaela and Sisterhood
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery, Otego
Orthodox Church in America
Rev. Elsie Armstrong Rhodes
First Presbyterian Church, Cooperstown
Rev. Sundar R. Samuel
United Methodist Church of Cooperstown
Rev. Eric Santamont
Southside Wesleyan Church, Oneonta
Rev. Craig Schwalenberg
Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta
Dr. Janet Schwengber, CLP
Stamford Presbyterian Church
Rev. Jerald Shave
Elder Barbara Epley-Shuck
Presbytery of Utica
Rev. Teressa M. Sivers
First United Methodist Church, Oneonta
Rev. Dr. Steven R. Swanson
The Presbyterian Church of Andes
Rev. Douglas Taylor
Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Binghamton
Rev. Judith A. Thistle
Director of Chaplaincy Program, Fox  Hospital, Oneonta
Pastor, Second Baptist Church, Worcester
Father John Udics
Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church
Herkimer (Orthodox Church in America)
Rev. James L. Ulrich
Niccolls Memorial Presbyterian, Old Forge
Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Walton-Leavitt
First United Presbyterian Church, Oneonta
Susan Woodworth
United Methodist Church of Andes

Realty USA VP Vows To Rebuild On Site Of Fire

Within hours of a fire gutting RealtyUSA’s Oneonta headquarters, the regional vice president was vowing it will rise again at 447 Main St.
“We like the location,” said RealtyUSA’s Thad DeMulder.  “Traffic count on that road is one of the highest in Oneonta.  And it has pretty good parking.”
The building, which DeMulder said he owned jointly with RealtyUSA President Merle Whitehead, caught fire at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3.
After firefighters left the scene, the fire rekindled and broke out again at 4:30 a.m., and that was when most of the damage occurred, DeMulder said.
Fire officials told the realty executive it appeared that one of two young men who lived on the top story of the white, be-pillared former home had tossed a cigaret onto the back porch, starting the blaze.
At first, the company’s 20 Oneonta agents were working out of RealtyUSA offices on Route 28, Hartwick Seminary, and the Sidney office, but a temporary locations was being sought for them in the city.
The office manager, Realtor Brad Vohs and DeMulder planned to meet with the sales agents and staff at Morey’s Restaurant Wednesday morning, March 9, to discuss options.
Most of the current files and some computers were salvaged from the building, but the structure, purchased for $300,000 in 2006, is a “tear-down,” DeMulder said.
The phone number remains the same for customers seeking to contact the agency.
The building was just down the street from 540 Main, where Hartwick professor Norma Hutman died in a blaze last month.

Mayor Vows ‘Great’ OPD

Chief Redmond Retires; Full Report On ‘Review’ Anticipated In 2 Weeks


•Police Chief Joseph Redmond resigned, effective April 15, but immediately went on administrative leave.
• Officer Michael Breen, the target of police-brutality allegations in a Jan. 28 arrest, was suspended for 30 days without pay pending a hearing he may request on the charges.  Meanwhile, the case has been referred to District Atty. John Muehl for possible further action.
• Lt. Dennis Nayor, Redmond’s deputy, was appointed officer in charge of the Oneonta Police Department, effective midnight Monday, March 7.
• It was announced that an “experienced individual” was already being sought to act as temporary chief until a permanent replacement to Redmond is found, a process that could take a year.
A year and a half of unease about the Oneonta Police Department ended Monday, March 7, with not a whimper but a bang, as Common Council made those decisions, rapid fire, on the future of the 22-officer force.
“While this is a sad day for Oneonta, it is also a new day,” the mayor said in a statement issued at 9:37 p.m. Monday, March 7.  “The mayor and Common Council are committed to providing the community not with a good police department, but a great police department.”
The mayor and Common Council had brought in Joseph F. Loszynski, retired deputy superintendent, internal affairs, New York State Police, a month ago after the police-brutality allegations surfaced.
Loszynski brought in two colleagues, retired troopers Robert Hughes and Maynard Cosnett, who in the past month conducted interviews, reviewed statements and took some sworn testimony -- including from “highly credible civilian witnesses -- in the course of their “review,” according to a press release issued by the mayor’s office at 9:37 p.m. on the day of decision.
The chain of events began at mid-afternoon on Friday, Jan. 28, when Bradford Shanks, 39, was pulled over on Market Street.  He fled the vehicle, and when he was captured, he later reported, an officer held him down and punched him in the head.
The Loszynski review concluded the OPD “did not follow their established standard operating procedures beginning with the incident itself, and subsequently in the handling of Mr. Shanks, the investigation and communication within the Department. 
“Further,” the mayor’s release continues, “there were repeated failures in communication of the actions surrounding the incident and its aftermath to the mayor and Common Council, who have ultimate authority over the police department.”
In discussing the “post-incident conclusions” and resultant changes in departmental procedures, the chief chose to retire.
“Joe Redmond has served the City of Oneonta with distinction for over 30 years and is to be thanked for his commitment to our citizens,” the mayor’s statement said.
It further stated, “The Oneonta Police Department is made up of individuals who have done a good job insuring the safety of our city ... We are confident that the current officers and their continuing leadership will be part of that group.”

CANstruction Comes To SUNY Oneonta


The Bee CANstruction team, representing SUNY Oneonta’s frats and sororities, included, seated from left, Elizabeth Hertweck, Ali Rossi, Jessica Lott, Kay Brewster and Lora Schaller from Sigma Gamma Phi.  Standing are, from left, George Lenz, Tyler Grable, Ryan Kelly and Michael Vanza from Alpha Phi Delta.

Visiting New York City, SUNY Oneonta administrator Tom Rathbone and Miriam Murray observed CANstruction under way and said to themselves, that would be fun on campus.
CANstruction is a nationwide effort that involves building sculptures from cans of food, which are then donated to food banks, said Linda Drake, director of SUNY Oneonta’s Center for Social Responsibility, which took on the project.
Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13, three teams – Bees for the Greeks, Union for the dorms, and Dragons for the sports teams – who had raised almost $2,000 spent the weekend building Oneonta’s first CANstruction sculptures.
The Bees did a bee.  Union, a representation of the ponds behind the Hunt Union, where the event occurred.  And the Dragons, a dragon.
When the sculptures were completed, they were dismantled and the food removed to the Lord’s Table on Elm Street, where representatives of various food banks shared canned delicacies ranging from tuna fish to ravioli.

to see more pictures, check out our pictures page and facebook album -- CANstruction 2011

Hartwick’s Abramo’s Teaching Recognized

Hartwick College Assistant Professor of Music Joseph Abramo has received the 2011 Outstanding Emerging Researcher Award from the Center for Music Education Research at the University of South Florida.
The award, established in 2009, honors music education researchers at early stages of their careers who are producing high-quality researchers.


CHANCELLOR DUE:  SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is expected at SUNY Oneonta Thursday, April 14, for Student Research Day, to view students’ projects.

QUICK, BUY:  The gold tickets for the Gordon Lightfoot concert March 31 at Foothills are sold out, and the rest are selling fast.  Stop by the Green Toad Bookstore for yours.

A FUN TIME:  If you’re interested in Oneonta artifacts, don’t miss the GOHS’ seventh annual Postcard & Ephemera Show & Sale, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the St. James Church Hall, Main and Elm.  Admission $2.

RESERVATIONS:  For tickets to the Otsego County Chamber’s annual Banquet & Celebration of Business, call Pam at 432-4500.

SPRING THING:  Have you smelled the skunks in the past few?  They’re out of hibernation.  Can spring  be far behind?

ACTUALLY, NOT:  This Sunday, March 13, Daylight Saving Time begins; turn your clock forward one hour.  Monday, March 21, is the first day of spring.

OHS students Amanda Moore and Josh Jones were checking out the offerings at “An Artistic Discovery,” the Congressional Art Competition for Otsego County high school students, which opened Friday, March 4, at the Cooperstown Art Association.
For more pictures visit our album -- "An Artistic Discovery" Congressional Art Show 2011



The Badra Bahlya Dellydancing troupe added exotic and mysterious flare to Carnevale of Animals Mardi Gras Masquerade Party at My Father’s Place Saturday evening, March 12.  Dancers included Caroline Huxtable, Leslie Palmerter, Jo Boring, Barb Sanders, Jenny Mannion, Jennifer Butler and Erica Jones.

to see more pictures visit our pictures page or visit our facebook album

Milford Girl Wins Valentine Contest

Milford’s Lia Solensten won the Green Toad Bookstore’s Happy Valentine’s Contest with this card to her teacher, Hillary Stocking
“Happy Valentine’s Day!  You have been my huggable, bubbly, laughable, overall extraordinary teacher!  You inspire me everyday and make me feel inspired to do new things.  Hope shines from every corner of your smile! 
“Even your toe-touch cheer is great and filled with enthusiasm.  You can change one child at a time.  Hope you have the greatest Valentine’s Day filled with love.  Give your loved ones my best... and thank you.”

SUNY Names Todd Foreman VP Of Finance

Todd Foreman was named SUNY Oneonta vice president for finance and administration, effective Jan. 3. He succeeds Dr. Leif Hartmark, who retired in December after more than two decades at the college.
Foreman joined the college in 1993 as coordinator of customer service for telecommunications. He served as director of telecommunications, and director of computing and telecommunications prior to becoming the college’s associate vice president for administration and technology in 2006.
Foreman resides with his wife and two children in Oneonta. He holds both bachelor and master of science degrees in telecommunications from the SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica.