In response to the Crier’s Feb. 28 editorial entitled “Save the Weekend“, I can only say that the paper’s criticism of savethefamegame.com and the growing number of people nationwide who have voiced their own opinions is misguided.
Anyone who has read the website or the news stories that have appeared in the few weeks since savethefamegame. com was launched, or who knows me personally, knows that this campaign is about much more than what happens between the first pitch and the last out on that Monday afternoon.
I am not devoting much of my time, energy and personal resources just to save a Major League Baseball exhibition game. The Hall of Fame Game goes well beyond that, but it certainly includes having Major League teams and Major League players on Doubleday Field.
It’s the celebration of Major League Baseball in the sport’s celebrated home that makes the Hall of Fame Game what it is. True, Major Leaguers don’t play in much of the game, but there are tens of thousands of Americans who travel hundreds and thousands of miles and spends hundreds and thousands of dollars every spring to see baseball that is equally as “minor league” during Spring Training, and they do so happily and with great excitement. It’s not just about seeing your favorite players bat four times. The Hall of Fame Game is about the experience on the whole, the setting, the celebration, the history, and the memories that bond people to their heroes, to their families and friends, and to Cooperstown — an entire weekend to create memories that last a lifetime. In all honesty, I too have felt that an Old Timers Game would be an outstanding addition to the Cooperstown calendar, and I would make plans to be there if it ever becomes a reality. But it should not be a replacement.
There are 25 metropolitan areas in America that currently host Major League teams, and Cooperstown has a longer history of Major League Baseball being played within its village borders than over half of those metro areas.
It is my hope that by saving the Hall of Fame Game we are reminding MLB and the union why there has been a Hall of Fame Game on the calendar since 1940, and that many of the issues that you have cited are remedied moving forward.
On that note, I’ll simply continue to encourage people to visit savethefamegame. com and let their own voice be heard.
Katz gets the job done
I am writing a letter of support and to share my enthusiasm for Jeff Katz in his bid for reelection as a Village Trustee. Through working with Jeff on the Cooperstown Concert Series, both Ann and I have gotten to know Jeff and his family. The Concert Series has to work with varied musical tastes, funding, scheduling and working within the limits of a small volunteer organization. In that setting Jeff has been a leader in moving our group to sound financial footing, encouraging us to reach for the best possible artists and providing a quality experience for our community. Jeff excels at following through with the details and the between concert efforts. I think the same can be said for his work as a Cooperstown Village Trustee.
As with the Cooperstown Concert Series, Jeff puts aside personal interest and puts the needs of the village first. He does this by listening to a variety of ideas as well as maintaining a focus on the larger picture. He has created a Village website so the minutes of meetings are fully disclosed and readily accessible. Jeff has spent countless hours looking after the interests of the Village and its viability. He was involved in reworking the Doubleday Field contract to greater represent the real costs of maintaining and supporting this wonderful national icon and the Village. With the projected loss of the Hall of Fame Game and associated revenue, this appears to have been an even more important effort. Jeff was centrally involved in the efforts to have Bob Dylan and Paul Simon come to Cooperstown. These concerts resulted in significant funds being generated for the Fire Department and the Library. Jeff has also been very active with the Notre Dame village planning efforts both here and in South Bend as we attempt to envision our future Cooperstown.
We face many challenges in the near future here in Cooperstown. We have issues with our infrastructure and are looking at work to be done with the Water Treatment Plant and the Linden Avenue Extension. Parking remains an issue that needs to be worked through. There is a lot of concern as to how the recent tax reassessment will play out in practical terms. The broad issue is how best to maintain the wonderful national resource that is Cooperstown with its rich history and traditions.
We also need to make it an affordable, sustainable place for individuals and families into the future. Ann and I think that Jeff has the experience and skills for the job.
Please support Jeff in this election!
Ann and Rich Brown
'Bowls’ luncheon was a success
Many thanks to all those who helped make the 2nd Annual “Empty Bowls” Luncheon a success on March 1.
It took many hands to make this fund raiser so exciting, starting with the hard-working potters who crafted over 270 beautiful, hand thrown pottery bowls to be available for the guests to use and keep the day of the lunch. Over 21 potters from the local area donated bowls to the event. Students from the Cooperstown Central School and the Canajoharie Central School also joined in and helped out with this community service project by glazing some of the bowls.
Local restaurants, chefs, individuals and businesses of all kinds went out of their way to be involved in everything from donating soup, bread, coffee, flowers, water, paper supplies and other miscellaneous items to make this event possible. The Gordon B. Roberts Agency was our corporate sponsor and covered advertising costs and other upfront expenditures. The Tunnicliff Inn completely donated the use of their dining room and staff to make this event possible. The Cooperstown Crier helped us get the word out week after week.
Thank you to all who donated items, who volunteered their time and energy the day of the event and also to all who attended. This was a true “community” event that resulted in over $4,000 being raised to support the Cooperstown Food Bank. Once again, we’re reminded of what a unique and generous community we share here in our little corner of the world. Let’s keep working together until there are no more “empty bowls.” Thank you to one and all.
Rate hike was unfair
I am one of the players that have been participating in the Legends of Baseball tournament since 1996. I come up every August with my wife and three children. For over 12 years, Cooperstown has become a second home for me and many other families that participate in the August Legends camp. We are respectful to the town and the people and patronize their businesses.
I am writing you because as a business owner with 23 employees and over 500 clients, I did not understand the rate hike that was directed at our group. The initial sum of a $1,000 appeared to be “gouging.” Why was it necessary to penalize us for being loyal customers? Why weren’t we treated more fairly? The Legends players as a group have been loyal to Cooperstown for many years and have donated tens of thousands of dollars to help maintain the field.
No one likes to be the target of greed. Fortunately, the merchants of Cooperstown stood behind us and appealed to have the rate reduced to something more fair.
Now I find out that the Village doesn’t have time for our camp on the field. For 15 years, we have had five days in August. Now we have been reduced to two. It’s very disappointing to know that the Village Elders are very willing to take our gifts but feels no obligation to treat us fairly. After 15 years of the same dates, how could anyone think that we are not being punished for standing up for ourselves?
Ironically, I read in the paper that members of the community are upset that Major League Baseball (MLB) has decided to end the Hall of Fame game tradition. Why do the residents of Cooperstown expect MLB to continue its loyalty when the Village of Cooperstown feels no obligation of loyalty to groups like ours?
For the last 12 years, my family has enjoyed the tradition and camaraderie of the Legends camps in Cooperstown. It has brought together hundreds of families to enjoy friendships and the sport of baseball. I was looking forward to 2017, when my boys, ages seven and eight, would be old enough to take the field with me and the other players they have watched growing up. Traditions like these are what have made Cooperstown unique. But that doesn’t appear likely now. Why would we want to continue to support your community when your board treats us so unfairly? Today, the Village Board of Cooperstown, much like MLB fails to recognize the importance of traditions, loyalty and sense of fairness. Is it greed or ignorance? Either way, the players and the families of Legends of Baseball and the fans of MLB are both thrown under the bus because elected officials and team owners have lost sight of what is important. The phrase “Cooperstown, the birthplace of baseball” should be changed to: “Cooperstown, our elected officials are as greedy as they come!!” I hope that this letter gets published and that those in charge of the town reconsider the steep hike and the reduction in playing days on Doubleday Field. We love baseball.
We love Cooperstown.
And tradition is important to us. We want to enjoy all that Cooperstown has to offer for future generations.
Basking Ridge, N.J.
Vote Waller, Walker, Weiller
This is a critical time for the Village of Cooperstown. It is imperative to have an understanding of the variety and numerous concerns and problems that Cooperstown faces every year. It takes thoughtful time and consideration to do the research work for new initiatives as well as maintaining the existing infrastructure. It is critical that any decisions respectfully maintain the character and integrity of the community.
The real challenge is finding ways to keep the costs down while examining all points of view. That’s why I feel the positive approach is to vote for Mayor Waller, Doug Walker and Neil Weiller. They would make a positive impact on Cooperstown. All have run successful businesses and have lived in the village for many years. They understand the complexities of the village. They would listen to the pulse of the community, and would look for feasible solutions to keep costs down. The “Perfect Village” is in need of “Perfect Leadership.”
Katz for trustee
I urge you to vote for Jeff Katz for Village Trustee. Jeff can be counted on to fulfill all the demands of the job, from attending all committee meetings to doing comparative background research on issues facing the village.
I trust his judgment. He has a track record of accomplishments that have benefited all of us. Jeff Katz deserves our vote.
Katz has improved quality of life
We have been told that “the Cooperstown way” is that things take years to happen. A wait and see, and then wait a little longer approach was embraced. This timid approach resulted in missed opportunities for our Village. When he became trustee, Jeff Katz joined with others to challenge the status quo and achieve solutions that others said “just can’t be done.”
Cooperstown’s parks are in better shape today because of his efforts, and soon our youngest residents will have a playground to call their own. He brought Paul Simon and Bob Dylan to Doubleday, generating revenue that benefited the Fire Department, the Village Library renovations, and the entire community. His work on the Doubleday Field Committee shows his ability to question the status quo as well as his willingness to compromise.
Most importantly, Jeff Katz looks out for the financial well-being of this community, and is dedicated to finding new sources of revenue “besides taxes” to raise the money Cooperstown needs to be a vibrant and vital community. He takes a creative, business-minded, and solution-oriented approach, and is eager to listen to all sides.
It seems some trustee candidates were motivated to run because they are against one issue. It’s interesting to know what a candidate is against, but much more important to know what a candidate is for. We have seen Jeff Katz work diligently to ensure a high quality of life of Cooperstown. Thank you, Jeff, for your good work. We look forward to your future efforts. Please vote for Jeff Katz on March 18.
John and Peg Odell
Article needs clarification
In an article entitled “Legends of Baseball Calls Foul” in The Freeman’s Journal of Feb. 29, there are several misconceptions that are important to clarify.
According to the article, Thom Lach, head of the for profit Legends of Baseball, blamed one Trustee, Jeff Katz, for the decrease in the amount of games that his tournament was allocated for the 2008 season. Village residents should understand that no single Trustee, or the Mayor, has the power to make an individual decision on any Village policy. The Doubleday Field Committee, which is made up of Trustees Eric Hage, Paul Kuhn and Jeff Katz (who is also Chairman), as well as Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey, Doubleday Field groundskeeper Joe Harris and Howard Talbot, is only empowered to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees then votes to enact Village policy. Any items in the contract for usage of Doubleday Field, including fee structure, were approved by the entire Board.
As to Mr. Lach’s complaint that he was unfairly “punished” in his scheduling, a few words are in order as to the scheduling process. The Office of the Village Clerk is responsible for scheduling all games. The applications are opened on a first-come, first serve basis. Application is for the current year only. There is no guarantee that an applicant will receive the same dates as he or she was given in previous years. According to the article, Mr. Lach says that in the past he has submitted three separate applications for his three separate tournaments. In the 2008 version of the Doubleday Field contract sent to all applicants, it is stated that “only one application per entity may be submitted for consideration. If more then one application is sent, only the first application received will be considered for scheduling purposes.” Mr. Lach represents only one entity, Legends of Baseball, and is only permitted to send in one application. Let is also be noted that while the Legends of Baseball allocation for 2008 was 38 games rather than the 55 requested due to the order in which applications came in, the next largest user of Doubleday Field will play 15 games. This year alone Mr. Lach’s scheduled games account for over 10 percent of the approximately 350 games that are normally played during one season at Doubleday. There were many applicants that were not able to get even one game scheduled on the field this year from those they requested. We appreciate and welcome Legends of Baseball’s interest in using Doubleday Field for its games. As stewards of the field and the Village, our goal is a scheduling process that is fair to all baseball lovers, including Legends, who are interested in playing in our historic field.
Carol B. Waller
Mayor, Village of Cooperstown
Board of Trustees
Milo Stewart, Jr.
We need Katz’s leadership
The Village of Cooperstown has seen a lot of growth and change over the past 10 to 15 years. Along with those changes have come some very real challenges. In order to rise to the challenges we face, the village needs strong, smart leadership. Jeff Katz has worked tirelessly for the past three years as a village Trustee to find solutions to the many problems Cooperstown faces. He is the first trustee I’ve ever heard discuss the need to look for increased funding for Cooperstown outside of taxes. He researches the issues, listens carefully to differing angles (contrary to what some might think), and thinks things through thoroughly before making decisions. He doesn’t always make popular decisions, but he makes the ones he believes are best for our village. This is the type of thoughtful leadership our community needs.
Jeff and his family have only lived in Cooperstown for five years, but in those five years they have contributed a tremendous amount to this community. Jeff has volunteered his time and talents to many causes, including the Cooperstown Concert Series and Rotary, in addition to working hard as a village Trustee for the past three years. We are incredibly fortunate to have such an intelligent, dedicated, proactive person willing to serve on the Village Board of Trustees. I hope you will join me in voting for him on March 18.
Katz best man for job
We are writing this letter supporting the reelection of Mr. Jeff Katz for another term as a Cooperstown Village Trustee. Mr. Katz has assembled a commendable record during his first term in office, and the residents of the Village of Cooperstown as well as surrounding communities have benefited from his hard work.
While any newly elected Village Trustee becomes inherently busy with local government, Mr. Katz has embraced his position and worked tirelessly for the village residents. Mr. Katz has chaired the Parks Board, Fire Committee, Planning Committee, Doubleday Field Committee and Concert Committee. He has also been a member of the Finance and Personnel committees. Mr. Katz’s efforts helped stage amazing performances by Paul Simon and Bob Dylan at Doubleday Field, granting all local residents an unbelievable opportunity while raising substantial funds for the Cooperstown Fire Department and Village Library.
His work on the Planning Committee helped to create the new Village Website, keeping residents more informed than ever by allowing anyone to read the minutes of every Village government meeting.
After many years, a Village playground at Badger Park may finally come to fruition because of the efforts of Mr. Katz, the Parks Board and other vital members of the Cooperstown community.
As Chairman of the Doubleday Field Committee, Mr. Katz pointed out problems in the rental contract for Doubleday Field, and helped rewrite it to better protect the Village’s interests. After investigating who was actually using the field, Mr. Katz presented, to the Committee and Board of Trustees, his findings and his feeling that there was an opportunity to raise more funds for the Village. After doing so, he also demonstrated a willingness to compromise when opposition arose regarding what were considered excessive fee schedules. Fortunately, Mr. Katz and the other stalwart members of the Village Board stood steadfast in the midst of hostile opposition to support a long overdue paid parking program, which will undoubtedly benefit the vast majority of Cooperstown residents and provide substantial critical revenues for the community.
Mr. Katz is a hardworking, intelligent, innovating and progressive member of the Village Board who is clearly worthy of another term. We encourage you to vote for Mr. Katz.
Patrick and Carina Franck
Walter and Linda Franck
Katz for re-election
I felt compelled to take the time to offer my opinion on the reasons we should reelect Jeff Katz to a second term on the village Board of Trustees. Jeff Katz not only serves on the Board, but immerses himself in many community quality of life issues, projects and decisions affecting our community. He makes the difficult decisions based on his knowledge and careful consideration of “all” the facts; not just the apparently popular opinions of one or two community public hearings. At the end of the day, I believe his decisions result in the betterment of all those in our community. I urge all my community residents to look at this man’s entire record, his dedication and accomplishments, and I am sure you will arrive at the same decision I have. Jeff Katz deserves re-election to a second term on the Board of Trustees.
Richard D. Abbate
- Please Click Here Never have I written back-to-back letters to the editor, but so many Cooperstown people have called our home or talked with me on the street to comment on my previous letter about the Furthur concert.
- Our Readers' Opinions Once again nature is wreaking havoc with our properties surrounding the lake! The amount of rain we have received in the last month is approximately 13 inches -- three times the normal amount!
- Honest Brook Music Festival to celebrate 25th anniversary The Honest Brook Music Festival has announced its 25th anniversary summer season classical concerts.
- Our Readers' Opinions After living in the western southern tier for 10 years, my wife and I decided to visit the Hall of Fame today, June 20, before moving out of the area in a few weeks. We enjoyed the museum, but parking in Cooperstown proved to be a formidable gauntlet.
- Our Readers' Opinions To Those members of the local government who care about the economic future of Cooperstown and the maintenance of its character: Has Town Hall gone mad here?
- Our Readers' Opinions I applaud the Baseball HOF's move of the Classic to Memorial Day Saturday. I just wished it had not been rained out.
- Our Readers' Opinions Regarding the April 4 letter from Margaret McGown et al, I understand why the letter's authors are disappointed with the decision of Otsego Land Trust to discontinue renting private dock space. All concerned should understand that we did not take any actions without careful consideration and ultimate approval by our Board of Directors.
- Please Click Here We read, with great interest, the article regarding Brookwood Point and the statement by Mr. Harry Levine that the Otego Land Trust is in need of donors to keep up the property and raise enough money to match the Historic Byways grant.
- In Our Readers' Opinions The organizers of the seventh annual Empty Bowls fundraiser would like to thank everyone who volunteered, donated and attended our event on March 2.
- Our readers' opinions I find myself in the awkward position of asking for your vote for the unopposed position of village trustee for a three-year term in the March 19 election.
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