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.
I am Joan Nicols. I am the quiet one in my family. I came to Cooperstown with my husband 35 years ago. Since then, I raised my three children (Jennifer, Diana and Henry), who all graduated from Cooperstown Central School, and I am proud that my three youngest grandchildren now attend that same school. I was a student at the State University College at Oneonta and graduated from Hartwick College and serve as a Blood Bank team leader at Bassett Medical Center where I have worked for more than 30 years. I was one of the first women in the Cooperstown Fire Department serving on the Cooperstown Ambulance Squad in the mid-1980s. My husband and I attend St. Mary’s Church, where I serve as a Eucharistic minister. I was a proud leader of Explorer (Venture) and Boy Scout Troop 1254 Backpacking expeditions to Grand Canyon, Mount Rainier, Mount Katahdin and the Florida Everglades. I love being a member of our Cooperstown community. There are so many good things about being in this community.
As I approach the next phase of my working career at Bassett as a part-time employee I will have more available time and I would like to continue to serve my community, this time as a village trustee. I have no agenda and make no bold campaign promises, except to listen to my friends and neighbors and to represent their interests as I best can in our community. I pledge to work hard, to attend as many meetings and public functions as I am able and to do my very best to serve this community that has done so much for me and for my family.
I humbly ask for your vote on Tuesday, March 19, for trustee for the village of Cooperstown.
Joan M. Nicols
Keeping Redskins never stood a chance
The deed is done. The Cooperstown Board of Education has voted 6 to 1 to “retire” the Redskins, a name that has been here for nearly 100 years, according to some records. I applaud Tony Scalici, the only board member who looked beyond the political correctness of the issue. His statement (which I quote) says it perfectly: That “… any and all of the evidence is that the Cooperstown people past, present and the future never gave or would project any meaning other than endearment and pride for the use of Redskins.”
As with other controversial decisions, we will survive and move on with grace and resilience. My concern is for the many students, which includes my children and grandchildren, who have worn the Redskin uniform with such excitement and pride. The board’s action has taken this away from them and replaced it with the feeling of underserved shame. Most of all I am distressed by the method used to make this move. It has left a belief that those of use who did not see the need for this action never stood a chance — the die was cast, as it were. It is unfortunate and rather insensitive that the vote to remove the name had to be taken three days before the girls’ basketball team plays (without a name) in the Regional game. Our understanding was that no action would be taken quickly.
When does all of this end? How many generations will be called on to “pay for” what happened hundreds of years ago. In closing, I urge the board to take a more democratic approach in the process of adopting a new name.
No need to be demeaning
There is little doubt that the debate over the recent decision to not continue the use of the nickname “Redskins” at CCS has been heated. And while it is not surprising that there are strong feelings on both sides of the issue, it would seem unfortunate that there appears to have been those on both sides of the issue who have felt the need to demean those with whom they do not agree. But even more troubling are those, like the writer of the letter to the editor, entitled “Time for change” which appeared in last week’s paper, who seem to think it appropriate to judge decisions made in the early 20th century by values of the early 21st century. To say, as the writer did, “We can no longer hide behind the unknowing thoughtlessness of earlier generations” exemplifies “thoughtlessness” at its best. Does the writer not understand that there are families who have been here in the Cooperstown area for generations, the very generations which the writer has so casually labeled as being “unknowing” and “thoughtless?”
It is indeed unfortunate that the writer cannot make the case for change, with which we tend to agree, without denigrating others. Doing so would not only seem to weaken the argument for change, but also to strengthen the resolve of those who oppose the change. And for those with deep roots in the area, it is not only hurtful, but also exhibits a complete lack of understanding of local history, to have such things said about their families.
Catherine Lake Ellsworth