Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame


May 19, 2011

Your Opinion: May 19, 2011

It’s time to take signs down

The time is past for “Save Anthony” signs to be taken in and allow Wesley and his family the time they deserve to heal.

I accept the sentiment these posters were intended to express as I believe the young man’s troubled spirit stole his rationality toward what he did. But the continued presence of the lawn signs now seems an insensitive reminder that Wesley’s ordeal was somehow less important.

It surely was not, both physically and psychologically. He needs every encouragement to regain trust that his well being is equally valued in our community.

The posters present a confusing message, and especially as they remain as they remain on and around Linden Avenue, make every day an obstacle for Wesley and for all our young people.

As a more mundane issue, how do these signs fit with Cooperstown’s zoning “sign” laws? If they were allowed as a form of political campaign, I believe they get 30 days and have to be removed the day after an election. In this circumstance, the judicial action ended weeks ago. The village should clarify what is permitted as personal, non-election, statements under sign laws and whether such posters can advertise websites.

Anthony Scalici


Town dealt blow to gas industry

The first domino fell in the gas industry’s phony wall of inevitability about gas operations coming to New York state. The town of Otsego, which includes Cooperstown, ripped the mask off their mirage built on lies. The town board reaffirmed its existing “Home Rule” right to prohibit uses not permitted by local ordinances by clarifying an existing prohibition against heavy industry (including natural gas operations) in its land use law.

 Make no mistake. History was made by this action. It is the first rural town in New York state to block gas operations by identifying it as a type of heavy industry that is incompatible with the town’s Comprehensive Plan. This action struck a blow to the heart of the gas industry. They were self-assured because they knew the Department of Environmental Conservation had authority to regulate gas operations wherever they occurred in New York. I’m sure their confidence was shaken when they discovered “Home Rule” trumps that authority. It leaves it up to local municipalities to define if gas operations occur at all.

More dominos will fall. The success of the town of Otsego  was due to a tremendous outpouringof citizens, businesses, services and political will.

Those efforts were fostered, in part, from groups like The Otsego Neighbors that were spawned from the early and continued efforts of Sustainable Otsego, Otsego 2000 and a coalition of groups that joined together. Other groups in other towns are actively proceeding to exclude heavy industry gas operations as you read this article. Springfield, Cherry Valley, Middlefield, Westford, Worcester, Milford, Plainfield and Oneonta to name a few. Beyond Otsego County towns in Sullivan and Tompkins counties are also looking to prohibit fracking.

We are witnessing the beginning. Stay tuned.

John Kosmer

Sustainable Otsego

Fly Creek

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