Thursday, May 5, 2011

Prime 289’s A Dream Come True

Co-Proprietors Zummo, Origoni Have Been Talking About It For Years


Walk into Prime 289 through the floor-to-ceiling glass entryway, and the impact is immediate.
It’s the circular dining booth, right in front of you, its round back 6-7 feet tall, something you’d expect to see in a Fred Astaire movie from New York City’s cabaret days of the 1930s.
In short, very neat.  Unique to these parts, certainly.
“We call it the coliseum,” said co-proprietor David Zummo on a tour of the “Chop House & Wine Bar” a few days after it opened in mid-April. 
The place had been packed every night. As your eyes get used to the dim coziness, they begin to wander.  White tablecloths and napkins.  Christine Alexander’s bright paintings enliven the exposed brick walls.
The brown-leather-backed chairs and booths were custom made in Connecticut for Zummo and his business partner, Adrian Origoni.  Greg Emerson, a craftsman with the Twelve Tribes, then echoed the simple floral pattern in the ironwork railings.
The heavy front door is built of vintage wood from an old barn, and the hammered metal handle has a Medieval feel, suggesting feasting is going on inside.  The sharp black iron-trimmed vertical windows were fabricated in Pennsylvania.
Zummo, proprietor of the popular Latte Lounge, and Origoni, who owns the Sip & Sail Tavern on Water Street, have been in the restaurant biz for decades, but Prime 289 – it is actually at 291 Main St., across from City Hall – is something both men have aspired to for years.
Zummo ticked off feature:  “Quality space, quality ingredients, a real quality staff.”
“We did not want to cut corners anywhere,” said Origoni.
Let’s get to what it’s all about:  the food.
If Zummo were a first-time customer, he’d order the 18-ounce boneless New York Strip.  Origoni is partial to the 22-ounce bone-in Delmonico.  Both prime cuts, of course.
For starters, both would go with the Tuna Tartare, “ahi tuna, roma tomatoes, fresh avocado, sprouts, horseradish sauce, balsamic glaze.” Yum.
For dessert?  The cheesecake – or rather, Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Raspberry Gelato – said Zummo.  Wines?  Origoni is enthusiastic about the  Wild Horse selections from California.
Of course, that just scratches the surface.  There’s fish – Cedar Plank Salmon, with sesame and orange ginger relish, plus.   Salads – roast beet and asparagus, among others.  Appetizers – Chesapeake-style Crab Cakes.  And many more “sinful” desserts.
Zummo, an Oneonta native and graduate of the CIA (Culinary Institute of America), got his first experience in the restaurant trade washing dishes locally at What’s Your Beef.
Returning home from a stint in Atlanta, he was involved with Marty Payton in launching The Farmhouse in Emmons, and also in the start of the Ponderosa.  He bought the Magic Bean in December 2003, ran it for two days, closed it for renovations, and reopened it as the Latte Lounge that January.
Origoni was born in South America and raised in Roxbury, entering the business in the banquet trade at the former Cathedral Farms, now Cooperstown All Star Village in West Oneonta.  He was head chef and manager at Sabatini’s before buying the Sip & Sail, the Water Street bar.
“Adrian was a customer of mine and I was a customer of his,” said Zummo, and the two learned they shared a dream.  For a couple of years now, they’ve been scouting out properties as they became available.
291 Main is the former Sego Cafe, and the two had looked at it a couple of times.
On Friday, the phone rang.  “I need to know by Monday,” said Rick Weinberg, the building’s owner.
“I called Adrian,” said Zummo, “and he said, ‘Why not?’”
And so they did.

Prime 289, Main Street, Oneonta.  Reservations, call 353-7032.  Check offers at

1 Dietz St. Also In For Restoration


Elise Johnson-Schmidt, the architect for Klugo Enterprises, Cortland, tells Common Council of plans to rehab Bresee’s into apartments and commercial spaces.  From left are Aldermen Kevin Honde, Lizbeth Shannon, and Madolyn Palmer, Mayor Dick Miller, and Aldermen Michael Lynch, Jr., and Paul Robinson.

Bresee’s is back on the fast-track to rebirth.
And it’s not just the former department store.
“This project is about breathing new life into downtown Oneonta,” architect Elise Johnson-Schmidt declared at a press conference Tuesday evening, May 3, in Common Council chambers.
The principal of Johnson-Schmidt & Associates was describing her anticipated outcome of her firm’s association with Klugo Enterprises of Cortland.
Doug Gulloty, Otsego County Development Corp. president, had just announced that Klugo had been awarded the contract to complete renovations of the downtown landmark and, additionally, yellow-brick 1 Deitz St., adjacent to the property.
Work is due to begin on Jan. 1.
The plan will create commercial space on the first floor, and apartments above – five two bedrooms and 10 one-bedrooms – on the second, third and fourth floors.
In particular, the proposal raves about “the delightful fourth floor, (which) would be rehabilitated to capture its special character.  Windows were nicely preserved due to the benefit of a Moderne facade protecting its historic fabric – and would be restored.”
Additionally, six apartments, or five apartments and commercial space, are planned in what’s being called the Deitz Building.
OCDC assumed ownership of the former Bresee’s from the city in 2007, with the intent to have it redeveloped.  To date, almost $4 million has been received in state grants to stabilize the property and bring redevelopment costs down to the point that it would be financial viable with market-rate housing.
A firm from Cincinnati, Ohio, Bloomfield/Schon, which had done work in Ithaca, was hired in 2008, but dropped out of the project in 2010, citing concerns about the economic dip.
OCDC had solicited new proposals, narrowed the candidates to five, and Klugo is the choice.
The company’s owner, Chip Klugo, was at the press conference, and said, “I saw the opportunity to turn a space in Oneonta into something fabulous.”
He said he doesn’t anticipate a quick return: “My commitment to the city will be my investment.  My value is at the end, not at the beginning.”
Klugo asked anyone whose has photos of Bresee’s in the old days to share them with him, to ensure the result is as historically exact as possible.
For years, Johnson-Schmidt was downtown manager in Corning during its revitalization, so is intimately familiar with the challenges being faced here.

This is Klugo Enterprises’ vision of the completed Bresee’s.

Pacherille Pleads Guilty In Shooting, But Not To Hate Crime


Amanda Hoepker/
The Freeman’s Journal
Anthony Pacherille, 17, is led to the van that carried him back to Otsego County Jail after he entered a guilty plea.

After pleading guilty to attempted murder – in the end, not as a hate crime – in last year’s Good Friday shooting, Anthony N. Pacherille, 17, will return to Otsego County Court at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 22, to learn his fate.
Appearing before Judge Brian D. Burns Friday, April 29, at a hearing punctuated with drama, the teen pleaded guilty to a single charge for the attempted murder of classmate Wesley M. Lippitt in the second degree.
The plea Pacherille agreed to with District Attorney John Muehl would send him to state prison for 11 years, followed by five years of post-release supervision.  With time served and good behavior, he could be home in eight years, when he is 25.
On Friday, April 2, 2010 – Good Friday – Pacherille discharged two rounds from a .22-caliber rifle at Lippitt, who was struck in the arm by one round. The other round missed Lippitt but came close to hitting Cooperstown Police Officer Jim Cox. Pacherille then fired a third bullet into his chin; it lodged behind his eye, centimeters from what would have been a fatal spot. 
The shootings occurred in front of the glass window of the Cooperstown police station in the lower level of the Village Hall, where Lippitt had fled from Pacherille after he was chased from nearby Cooper Park, where the encounter began.
Pacherille had been charged with second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, but the hate-crime component, which could have had Pacherille serving up to 25 years, was dropped.  However, Muehl required Pacherille to say on the stand that he chose to shoot Lippitt because he was black.
The three-page, hand-written suicide note, which included derogatory references to several races, was not read aloud.  However, it became part of the court record and copies were provided to the Lippitt family and members of the media.
Responding to a series of questions from Judge Burns, Pacherille said he intended that day to “shoot myself and someone else.” Twice, Pacherille stated he chose to shoot Lippitt “because he was an African-American.”
Pacherille asked the judge to repeat questions several times and also occasionally consulted with his lawyer, E. Stuart Jones of Troy, before answering, “Yes, your honor,” or, “No, your honor.”
The hearing, which had been scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., was not called until 2:08 p.m. It concluded at 2:38 p.m. The Pacherille case was delayed as the court heard other matters and allowed time for consultations regarding last-minute refinements to the plea agreement.
Pacherille’s guilty plea forestalls what may have been a lengthy trial, scheduled to commence on May 23. Otsego County officials were about to issue jury summonses to 300 county residents, and weeks of court time had been set aside for the trial.
From Pacherille’s standpoint, by pleading guilty, he avoids the possibility of receiving a substantially longer sentence, particularly if convicted of a hate crime.  However, the defendant’s father, Tony Pacherille, that evening characterized the plea bargain as “extortion,” and would use it as the basis of an appeal.
According to the father, Burns summoned the son and his lawyer to a conference Tuesday, April 26, where he pointed out that, even if found not guilty by reason of insanity, the boy could find himself in the state psychiatric system, perhaps for life.  He said any plea agreement must be completed by Thursday, April 28.
That, said the father, amounted to coercion.  He added that community leaders had encouraged the plea deal so a racially charged trial would not be under way when the tourism season began.
The judge said that, due to constraints under which he must operate, he was unable to comment.  However, the district attorney in an interview denied any coercion and said tourism influenced the case in no way.  He said the judge had to convene 300 potential jurors by that Friday and, if he did, the trial would then go forward.
The courtroom’s spectator area filled up to near-capacity by 1 p.m.,  Eventually, more than 100 persons were seated on the pew-like benches which roughly divide the stained-glass main courtroom into two sectors.
Members of the Pacherille family and many of their supporters sat in the spectator area behind the defense counsel’s desk, where Pacherille and his lawyer were sitting. Seated with the Pacherille family was Father John P. Rosson, pastor of St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Catholic Church, an adherent of his young parishioner’s innocence.
Earlier, as their son
was brought from the Otsego County Jail to the courthouse at 12:50 p.m., Pacherille’s parents and several relatives and friends stood waiting near the entry to the building for security officers to admit members of the public.
As correctional guards escorted their son to the entrance, dressed in a horizontally striped jail jumpsuit, shackled and handcuffed, with his head bowed.  The defendant’s father called out, “Be strong, Anthony.” A woman in the group also called out, “Say hello to your mother,” as the prisoner was led through the door.
The Lippitt family, including Wesley, took seats in the spectator area behind prosecutor John Muehl’s desk. Cooperstown Police Chief Diana Nicols was also present and a number of Wes’ CCS classmates were seated directly behind Lippitt and his parents.
As the hearing began, Judge Burns warned spectators that outbursts or disruption by spectators during the proceeding would not be tolerated.
At the judge’s invitation, prosecutor Muehl described a taped telephone conversation that took place the night before, where Pacherille’s father, a lawyer, instructed his son in what the D.A. characterized as a plan to disrupt, and potentially nullify, the results of the hearing.
(The father said later that he indeed called his son in prison, and knew the conversation was being taped, but did so out of concern that the son’s lawyer might have agreed to concessions that would not be in his son’s best interests.  His concern was prompted by an erroneous report on Thursday afternoon – repeated in the print edition the next morning – that the teen had agreed to plead to a hate crime.  If that appeared to be happening, the father intended to signal the son to declare he was firing his lawyer, which would have ended the hearing.)
Judge Burns then reiterated his warnings regarding court decorum, speaking directly to the father and to other members of the Pacherille family and their supporters.
Minutes later, as Judge Burns questioned the defendant regarding his intentions on Friday, April 2, 2010, a voice from the Pacherille section was heard saying, “It’s a lie.” The statement was repeated three times by the same person. Other members seated in the Pacherille section were heard muttering and there were sounds of crying.
County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin approached the seating area and reported to Judge Burns, “I can take the whole row out,” referring to the Pacherilles. In the end, only one man – an uncle – was escorted from the room and the judge allowed the others to remain, including the defendant’s father. No further interruptions occurred. 
As part of the plea agreement, Pacherille agreed to waive his rights to appeal. However, by statute in New York, there are only three reason to appeal a plea:  “ineffective counsel,” “an involuntary plea” or the “imposition of an illegal sentence.”  The appeal must be made within 30 days of sentencing.
Muehl said he settled on the 11-year proposal only after serious soul-searching.  If he sought the 20+ years a hate-crime conviction could trigger, Anthony would be incarcerated until his mid-30s.  In eight years, he would be in his mid-20s, young enough to fit in at college and begin to rebuild his life, the prosecutor said.

City of The Hills

Community Bank’s CEO Plans Visit

Mark E. Tryniski, president & chief executive officer of Dewitt-based Community Bank, was expected to be in Otsego County Friday, May 6. Tryniski was planning to visit former Wilber Bank branches which were purchased by Community last month. He joined Community in 2003 as CFO.


SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher was expected back at the Oneonta campus as featured speaker during the 2011 Conference on Instruction & Technology (CIT), Tuesday-Friday, May 24-27.


The Otsego County Chamber’s next Networking Luncheon is Wednesday, May 18, at SUNY Oneonta.

Oneonta’s Allie Baker has the climbing skills of a spider-monkey as she scales a giant inflatable Moai head provided by Fly-By-Night Entertainment in Muller Plaza during OH Fest Saturday, April 30, which brought hundreds of revellers downtown and into Neahwa Park for music and fun.

Strings Featured At Final Concert Of OCA Season

The String Orchestra of New York City – describes itself as “no conductor, no bow ties, just strings” – will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 14, at SUNY Oneonta’s Hunt Union, the final concert of Oneonta Concert Association’s 2010-11 season.
The concert is free to subscribers to the OCA’s 2011 season.  The association’s subscription drive is now underway.
Now in its 12th season, SONYC has established itself as one of the leading young ensembles in New York City, with regular performances at Merkin Concert Hall and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. SONYC members rehearse collaboratively, allowing each musician to have an impact.



Doreen Sosa, a recently retired Center Street School teacher, had no idea she was receiving the Trailblazer Award for Career Achiever for 2011 when she was invited to City Hall on Tuesday night, May 3.  Her work included developing first- and second-grade “looping” teaching programs, as well as choral reading programs that showed how singing could help youngsters read better.  Despite her retirement, she still substitute teaches at the school she loves.   Students who came to see their former teacher honored are, from left, Nate Kuhlmann (Grade 3), Lennon Gelbsmann (Grade 4) and Emily Kuhlmann (Grade 6). Presented annually by the Oneonta Commission on Community Relations & Human Rights, the Trailblazer recognizes women who demonstrate outstanding achievement, enhancing the visibility and stature of women.


Alderwoman Veronica Diver presented “Shake It Up, Shake It Out:  Unleashing Your Inner Calm” on Saturday, April 30, at the District 65 Spring Toastmasters Conference held in Syracuse.  A member of Toastmasters since 2003, Diver is an award-winning competitive speaker and sought-after presenter.

Sweeney, Johnson Offered City Firefighting Jobs

Common Council Tuesday, May 3, offered firefighting positions to Kevin Sweeney and J. Erik Johnson, pending satisfactory completion of Civil Service requirements.
Additionally, George Palladino was named to the Environmental Board to serve out Rudy Laguna’s unexpired term.

Chancellor’s Awards Given To 3 At SUNY

A member of the faculty, a member of the professional staff, and a member of the classified service staff at SUNY Oneonta will receive 2011 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence.

They are:
• Devin Castendyk, assistant earth sciences professor, for Excellence in Teaching.
• Lynda Bassette, director of special programs, for Excellence in Professional Service.
• Donna Baker, Creative Media Services secretary, in  Classified Service.

A hydro-geologist, Dr. Castendyk teaches courses for the Water Resources major in the Earth Sciences Department at SUNY Oneonta. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, a master’s degree from the University of Utah, and a bachelor’s degree from Hartwick College.
Ms. Bassette has served as director of the college’s Educational Opportunity Program since 2002. She holds a master’s degree in English from the University at Albany and a bachelor’s degree from Hartwick.
Donna Baker began her career as a cleaner before becoming the secretary to the director of the Instructional Resource Center.

Ahlqvist, Austin Cudmore Expand Newpapers’ Reach

Seeking to expand its service to the Otsego County community, Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal this week adds a sports editor, photographer and reporter to its editorial effort.
They are Eric Ahlqvist, Ian Austin and Libby Cudmore respectively.
“Without community support, this simply wouldn’t have been possible,” said Bill Reeves, Hometown Oneonta publisher.
“We thank Cooperstown for its enduring commitment to one of the country’s oldest newspapers, and Oneonta for embracing one of the youngest,” added Jim Kevlin, editor of both papers and Freeman’s Journal publisher.
Eric Ahlqvist, after graduating from Hartwick College in 1990, worked for the Daily Star and Cooperstown Crier until February.  During his tenure with the newspapers, he won five New York State Press Association Awards for sports writing.
He has been a familiar presence on both the Oneonta and Cooperstown sports scenes, and has wide experience in covering local sports.
He lives in Laurens with his wife, Kelly, and daughter, Emily.
Ian Austin is a Oneonta artist, illustrator and photographer.  As a working artist, Ian has painted sets for The Oneonta Stage Players, Orpheus Theater and the SUNY Oneonta Theater Department, contributed drawings to the O-Town Scene, freelanced for the Daily Star and still finds time to manage the Oneonta Teen Center. 
He is a graduate of Sage college at Albany and The School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he studied graphic design and illustration.
Ian has been freelancing for Hometown Oneonta since he was observed climbing onto a roof to get pictures during the initial Bresees’ demolition.
Libby Cudmore’s stories and essays have been published in PANK, KneeJerk, The Postcard Press, Connotation Press, The Yalobusha Review, the MacGuffin, Criminal Class Review, The Midnight Diner (where she is also an editor) Crime Factory, Celebrities in Disgrace, Xenith and many other magazines.  
She was Long Story Short’s Author of the Year in 2004, wrote The Subway Chronicles Essay of the Year in 2004, was a 2005 Finalist for the Writers of the Future Award, a 2009 Bullet Award winner and a 2010 Derringer Award Finalist.
She attended Binghamton University.
Libby and Ian live in Oneonta with Bosco, The World’s Cutest Kitten.

Where’s Henry?


Editor’s Note:  “Where’s Henry?” by Jennifer Walsh was the winner of LEAF Inc’ poetry slam Friday, April 29, at UCCCA.

A loving mother,
the true definition of the word
a medic in the Air Force,
A conservative follower of our Lord

Full of beauty and honor,
Gambling her only vice!!!
It wasn’t until now I saw that gambling was her life…

Last year cancer stole her
From her kids and grandbabies
It’s strange how now after
I really learned of her disease

I remember coming home
to presents on our beds
I never thought how she got them
I was only a kid

As I grew older
my mind still naïve
She’d start sharing her secret
A new side of her I would see

OTB’s, tables, and games
This was how our surprises were won
Now I know what to blame,
For how she had become

We took trips to Turning Stone.
Starting out as so much fun.
The food, the luxury, and happiness,
But only if she won!!!

Jealously would strike her
as others nearby would win.
“I wanted that machine.”
As she punched in her pin.

Her fingers danced across the screen And she changed the lucky numbers.
“It helps my chances, you’ll see.”
As she awaited the result of the tumblers

$300 dollars she’d win
Thrice what she brought
She’d dwindle it down
Saying, “Just hold my spot!”

She’d check her accounts
No more funds to bet
A quick call to her husband
Would settle that debt

To her chair she’d return,
Sending us off to eat,
“I will meet you there soon,
If I leave now, I’m beat.”

Her temper would rise
as her money would fall
If we asked when we were leaving
The loss was OUR fault!

I remember her always saying,
“Just a little while longer,
I need to keep playing!”
In the van we could slumber

We’d be there til 1,
Sometimes 2 or 3.
We’d wish she were done,
We had school the next day!
I remember the good times
The times that she won
But mostly she would lose it all
And swear she were DONE

One time she promised
No more gambling, no frowns.
I was so proud of her
Until she confessed of Vernon Downs

The last weekend of her life
She requested a gambling trip
I was hesitant to take her
But it was for Isabel’s crib

So delicate and fragile,
She could not even walk
She finally shared a meal with me
By the end of the week she was gone.

She’d say she was sorry
For the money she’d lost
Call herself a loser
All this pain, at what cost?

Gambling would take her
From mother to monster
The things that she would say to us
While gambling we lost her

It seemed like she’d blackout
Once finished she’d return
The image and words stuck with us though
In our hearts and minds forever burned
She held the reigns
To forfeit her guilt
To overpower the pain
She just needed to quit!
So many memories of her,
Of her love, so pure and pristine.
But one that stands out the most
Is her and that damn “Where’s Henry” machine…

Please, Get Rid Of Those Absurb Prison Uniforms

If nothing else good comes out of the Anthony Pacherille case, can we at least get rid of those anachronistic black-and-white striped uniforms the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department reintroduced with the election of Sheriff Rich Devlin?
They are ridiculous and heart-sinking at the same time, bringing to mind both Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane and mistreatment of prisoners, many black, in the Jim Crow South.
Previously, county inmates wore bright orange jumpsuits with “inmate” clearly marked on the back.  No one was in danger of mistaking anyone of them for Scouts.
Anyone of us who aspires to see Otsego County as a buoyant, forward-looking, problem-solving community must cringe every time a striped and shackled crew comes into view.
Most county jail inmates are local people, shorttermers who will be back among us in a few months.  Treating them with respect and consideration certainly is a more successful strategy then demeaning and humiliating them.
Let’s get with the 21st Century.

The poster from a Paul Muni movie from 1932 shows the black-and-white striped uniforms, the common garb for chain gangs in the South.

Amanda Hoepker/The Freeman’s Journal
Almost 80 years later, Anthony Pacherille and another inmate in the same black-and-white when led into Otsego County Court Friday, April 29.



Bert Blyleven, who with Roberto Alomar will be one of two players inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame at the end of July, made his orientation visit to Cooperstown Tuesday, May 3, to get prepped for the event.  Walking through the Hall of Plaques gave him “goosebumps,” the former pitching standout said.  Born in the Netherlands, he will be the “first Dutchman” in the Hall.

Outlaw Manager Returns For Year 2
The Oneonta Outlaws (NYCBL) have announced manager Greg Zackrison will return to lead the team in 2011 after guiding the Outlaws to a second best league record of 26-16, including a league best 18-4 at home and playoffs in 2010.
Zackrison also coached the Saratoga Phillies to a third place finish and playoffs in 2009 before the team’s relocation to Oneonta. Greg is presently an assistant coach at Massasoit Community College in Brockton Massachusetts.
Outlaws Co-Owner and Managing Partner Keith Rogers said, “Greg’s a leader and has the rare ability to get the most out of his players while keeping a fun, loose clubhouse.’’
The season begins in June.

Second Hartwick Hill Race Is Here
The second annual Hartwick Hill Race will be Saturday, May 7.
The Family Resource Network and the Hartwick College Fellowship of Christian Athletes have organized the race for the second year. Registration begins at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Saxton Hall and the race begins at noon.
The route is from the base of the Hartwick College campus to Elmore Field at the top, where the Hartwick College men’s and women’s soccer teams will be hosting the EDD Fund Soccer Clinic for individuals with disabilities from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
Registration fee, $10. The fee for the Caterpillar Race (a team of four which runs the race tied together) is $40.  There are prizes for first, second and third place. There will also be a prize for the individual or team with the most spirit, inspired by last year’s Hobart Fire Department Bagpipers, who ran the race in their kilts.  An ice-cream social follows.
To pre-register, visit, call 432-0001 or e-mail

Hamm SUNY Oneonta Athlete of Week

Edmeston graduate and Oneonta State freshman Kori Hamm was named the school’s Athlete of the Week for the week ending May 1.
Hamm placed second in the triple jump for the women’s track and field team at the Lion’s Invitational hosted by the College of New Jersey this past Saturday.
Her hop, skip and jump of 37.27 feet automatically qualifies her for SUNYAC’s, ECAC’s and the NCAA provisional list. It was also her personal best on the 2011 outdoor season.

E-mail items for The Sports Beat to Eric Ahlqvist at

OHS’ O’Connor, Gollin Expected To Shine At Don Howard Invitational

By ERIC AHLQVIST - Sports Editor

With star power in Christie O’Connor and Beth Gollin, and balance throughout the team, head coach Dave Forbes and the Oneonta girls track team have their sights set on a second straight Don Howard Cooperstown Invitational title Saturday, May 7.
“Our goal is to win,” said Forbes. “I think we can balance our events well enough to score and win the title.”
The Yellowjackets boast two athletes who have posted section-best times this season in O’Connor and Gollin.
O’Connor’s 5-4 in the high jump is the area’s best, and Gollin, a five-year runner, has posted area-best times in both the 2,000 steeplechase and 3,000. Gollin has the area’s second-best time in the 400 hurdles.
Forbes said O’Connor suffered an injury in practice last week, but is expected to compete on Saturday. Cooperstown’s Lucy Ford (5-2) and Oneonta’s Brittnay Herrick (5-0) should give O’Connor competition. 
Gollin and O’Connor are two of just five seniors on the team of 35 this season.
Juniors Jenn Jelic (high hurdles, sprints) and Lauren Ward (400, sprints) are ones to watch, Forbes said, along with fellow junior Kim Scofield in the triple jump. Senior Kayleigh Ward is also a threat in the discus, Forbes said.
The Oneonta boys’ team lost 12 seniors to graduation, and most of this year’s team is comprised of freshman and sophomores, said fourth-year head coach Brady Cotter, a 1997 Milford graduate.
OHS senior Zach Rabeler and Cooperstown’s Will Reis could have the race of the day in the 800. Reis has recorded the best 800 time this season, but Rabeler is just one second behind.
“That should definitely be a race that should get the fans out of their seats,” said Cooperstown track coach Joe Kennedy.   
Cotter said junior Levi Anderson posted a personal best in the 1,600 at a meet last Friday, and freshmen Wendell lee and Mat Robinson “keep surprising him” in the sprint events.
The Yellowjackets are one of 11 teams scheduled to compete at the meet, which begins at 2 p.m. Host Cooperstown is the heavy favorite to win the title, paced by senior Alec Silvera, who won a gold medal in the 110 hurdles at last year’s state meet.
The Redskins won 12 of 17 events last season and amassed over 200 points in winning the title.
“It will be good for us to see that type of competition,” Cotter said. “This is when the season really gets going.”
Oneonta will host its own Invitational beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, May 6.


Dylan Wade, Bradley Jacobs, Dayne Bissel-Smith, Ryan Miller, Logan Monroe and Reisen Sheldon of the 6th Ward Athletic Club sprint across Doc Knapp Field as their team was introduced on Saturday, May 2, during the opening day ceremonies.

Oneonta Little League teams line up on the third-base line at Doc Knapp Field as each team and its players are introduced to a crowd of families and fans Saturday, April 30, during opening day ceremonies.

Pals on the Royal Group team watch the festivities.  From left, they are Matt Searo, Jordan Goble, Brandon Gregory and Tyler Bruce of Oneonta.

Kiraki Gillespie (of the Police team) holds her sister Nolana Gillespie (of the Benson Agency team,  named after Nolan Ryan) after opening ceremonies.

For more pictures visit our facebook album -- Little League, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

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