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August 16, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 16, 2012


— Reinstate the noon whistle

I am one of the “old timers” in Cooperstown, having lived here for 55 years. During those years I had come to rely on the noon whistle to keep me oriented in my day. It was somehow comforting to know when that time of day was reached. I thought it was only I who felt that way, but I have talked to many people since the whistle no longer sounds and was surprised to learn that many of them feel the same way. They feel disoriented. It is as though we have lost a friend on whom we depended to keep us informed as to how our day was progressing. It wasn’t just a reminder that it was lunch time.

I wonder what precipitated the decision to stop the noon whistle? Had people complained about the noise? If so, how many? Have some people become hearing impaired by the sound? I have not heard of any over all these years. I was a trustee for six years and know how many important decisions they are called upon to make and I don’t in any way mean to trivialize what they do, but, really, was it necessary to stop the fire whistle from blowing for a few  seconds each day at noon?

Yes, it was loud and raucous, but it was a welcome sound to many people, some who didn’t realize how much they would miss it until it was gone.

Is there any possibility of it being reinstated, perhaps with a lower decibel, or even for fewer seconds? I hope so. It feels as though Cooperstown has lost an integral part of its personality.

Grace Kull

Cooperstown

 

Read the fine print

For over a year, my wife and I have been planning a two-month trip of our dreams, Virginia through New York (to watch our grandson play ball at the Field Of Dreams) and then out west to Yellowstone. We have been saving for this  trip for years. We made 17 campground reservations, the first for seven nights with Hartwick Highlands Camp ground in Milford, near Cooperstown.

We were to arrive on Aug. 3. On July 23, I was diagnosed with a severe rotator cuff tear that required immediate emergency surgery. Two different surgeons advised me that not having the surgery immediately would have greatly lessened the chance of success, which is already less than 75 percent.

I immediately called all 17 campgrounds to cancel our reservations and all did so with a maximum fee of $19, some with no forfeiture at all, except one. Hartwick Highlands. I had paid them in full, $293, and they flatly refused to grant any refund what-so-ever, even after I offered to have my doctor send a letter explaining the situation. Jennifer, who said she was the owner, referred to their cancellation policy, which stated no funds would be allowed after July 20, no exception.

I appealed to compassion, stating that not only were we going to miss a trip of our dreams, but also I would be out of work for at least eight months, which will create a major financial hardship for us. She offered only to reschedule this season, which we obviously can't do because I will not be able to drive. Explaining my displeasure about their "no exceptions" policy only got one, repeated response: "I am sorry you feel that way."

I am asking you to print this letter to warn our fellow RVers to read the “fine print” when they make a reservation, especially at private campgrounds. Some, like Hartwick Highlands, apparently value the almighty dollar more than goodwill in the RVing community. This policy creates a very bad image for the Cooperstown area, which host thousands of kids and families every year.

Don and Ruth Anne Brown

Portsmouth, Va.