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In These Otsego Hills

February 16, 2012

In These Otsego Hills: Pancakes, prognostication and potholes

We note that Christ Episcopal Church is once again sponsoring its annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, featuring pancakes, bacon, sausage, applesauce and beverage.

This year it will be held on Feb.21 in the Parish House, 69 Fair Street, from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. The suggested donation for the dinner is $8 for adults and $4 for children under 12. Proceeds from the supper will benefit the Christ Church Global Mission outreach. For more information, contact the church office at 547-9555.

We also want to mention, while on the subject of church suppers and such, that we partook of the First Baptist Church’s Super Sub Sale which was held on Super Bowl Sunday. It was held as a fundraiser for the First Baptist Church Youth Group’s trip to Haiti.

Interestingly enough, when we perused the flyer for the event, which appeared on our front porch, we realized we could have our sub delivered  to our door. What a deal! Weimmediately ordered up two subs, one for lunch before the game, and one for supper during the game.

Just before noon, the subs arrived on cue, thanks to a young gentleman who told us he was looking forward to the trip. We wished him well with the fundraising event and then proceeded to gobble down the roast beef sub which we found to be not only most delicious, but also most generous. During the Super Bowl we prepared soup to go with our ham sub, which was equally delicious and generous, only to discover that we had to save half of the sub for Monday as we simply could not eat it all. All in all, we greatly enjoyed our subs and certainly hope that if the church offers such a deal again, we will be able to partake of it then also.

And while we, being football fanatics, enjoy the Super Bowl, especially if it was a good game as it was  this year, we were somewhatsurprised to realize that somehow Super Bowl Sunday has been elevated to the level of “holiday.” We find ourselves wondering why, and when, this happened. It seems somewhat of a stretch to us. But if it gets us subs from the First Baptist Church, we think we will go along with it.

We are also somewhat bemused by the Feb. 2 groundhog’s spotting of his shadow and thus predicting six more weeks of winter. We can’t help wondering if he was predicting six more weeks of winter from Feb. 2 or six more weeks of winter from whenever it might seem that winter actually arrives this year. Thus far it seems we have but had small teases of winter weather that have left us, at least, waiting for the real thing. No doubt the answer to our musing will be known by April or maybe May.

However, we were not surprised to read in last week’s paper the village of Cooperstown  Board of Trustees isconsidering overriding the so called 2 percent property tax cap. In fact, such a possible decision came as no surprise to us. And after further investigation, we have learned that the village has the same convoluted rules for the property tax cap as does the school district, which makes it most difficult to figure out exactly how much the tax levy can actually increase.

And added to this, we have discovered, is the fact that if any governmental entity miscalculates and does not ultimately fall within the 2 percent allowance, there will be fines which will have to be paid to the state. And, since any such fines would have to be paid by the taxpayers, we find it most ironic that the state would then be hurting the very taxpayers they claim to be wanting to help. To say that we don’t understand it is a huge understatement.

Therefore, we were most amused to discover that while going through columns that we wrote in 1986, we came across this item in the April 30 column: In closing, in these particularly stressful times in the area of village finance, we pass on to those concerned with formulating a village budget for the next fiscal year a practice of William Cooper’s which appears to have been unique for the time and a real boon to the economic growth of the new village. Cooper allowed the settlers here to pay for their land on the installment plan. Now, this hardly seems new to us in these days of monthly payments, but in Cooper’s day such an idea was certainly revolutionary. Cooper also allowed the settlers to make these installment payments with community service or with goods instead of cash.

We hope, those who now guide the affairs of Cooper’s village will remember the good Judge’s practice as they ponder what appears to be a rather hefty tax increase. Some will be willing to pay the increase without much complaining.

For those who find the increase burdensome, might not a payment plan similar to Cooper’s work to the advantage of all? We are sure that many citizens, for their community service, would be willing to repair the nearest pothole by stuffing their village tax bill into said depression thereby solving two problems at once.

About a month later, on  May 28th, we added thispostscript: In closing we wish to thank Jack Nevile for an article he sent us from The Sun News in Myrtle Beach which relates to a somewhat unusual method used in Conway, South Carolina, for repairing the ubiquitous potholes. Each year, for the past four years, on “Pothole Saturday” it seems that residents and city officials divide into teams and roam the streets filling the potholes.

This year, 12 teams, with four members per team, filled 1,183 potholes. Last year, the pothole patchers filled 1,237 potholes which saved the city $6,100. Since we enjoyed the article we thought we would pass it on for what it’s worth.

PLEASE NOTE : Comments regarding this column may be made by mail at 105 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326, by telephone at 607-547-8124 or by e-mail at

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In These Otsego Hills
  • Reflecting on the noon whistle Over the years we have been taken to task by readers who do not agree with our thinking. And we have never thought that to be a problem. Opinions differ and it is always good to hear all points of view on an issue. However, for what we think is perhaps the first time, we have been taken to task by a complaint that while we had taken what was an obviously unpopular position on buses within the village, we had been negligent in commenting on another issue, namely the noon whistle. In the writer’s opinion, the current issue, which we now think we understand to be the elimination of heavy traffic on residential streets, is just like the issue of the noon whistle.

    August 14, 2014

  • Summer heading toward destination We were pleased to learn that general reaction to the Hall of Fame Induction Weekend was most positive. From what we read in newspaper reports as well as what we heard from people who attended various events, the crowds really enjoyed themselves. The parade on Saturday got rave reviews from everybody who talked with us about it. Plus, in spite of what we thought when the rain hit Sunday morning, the weather overall seemed to be cooperative. And we gather that the merchants were pleased with the weekend. So we have to think it is probably safe to say it was a win-win for everyone who partook of the weekend's activities.

    August 7, 2014

  • Bringing up a matter of poetic license Since we seem to spend time each week both reading and writing, we have always found the English language interesting to say the least. It seems that it always follows the rules until it doesn't follow the rules. Thus we found Jim Atwell's column "From word to phrase to sentence," which appeared in last week's paper, to be most delightful. But more importantly, it gives us something about which to write this week.

    July 31, 2014

  • Visitings with the Widge, Mare Bear This past week we found ourselves enjoying a delightful visit from the Ohio Ellsworths. And while our daughter-in-law Annie had to attend a conference at Hamilton College during part of the visit here, we greatly enjoyed our time with them. We were, of course, quite surprised to realize how much the granddaughters, The Widge and Mare Bear, had grown since we last saw them at Christmas. Obviously, their parents had not put bricks on their heads to retard their growth.

    July 24, 2014

  • Thoughts on traffic and roads We recently enjoyed a brief visit from Jon Battle, one of our late husband's college buddies, who always enjoys visiting Cooperstown and passing howdy on the front porch. And while the front porch is not as welcoming as it used to be since there are no chairs on it, we were able to pass howdy from the comfort of our family room. And during the many subjects that we covered in our conversation, the topic of potholes came up.

    July 17, 2014

  • Potholes and oversights bring bumps We have received a number of comments regarding our discussion on potholes in last week’s column. And most of them were in agreement that the potholes are indeed a problem.

    July 10, 2014

  • Potholes need place on village agenda We have long thought that the concepts of perspective and priorities have the ability to present problems for people. As we are inclined to say, getting one's ducks all in a row is often difficult. And as we have learned about issues currently under consideration by the Village of Coopertown it does make us wonder about their ducks.

    July 3, 2014

  • Summer unofficially begins with ice cream Although summer officially arrived this past weekend, we have long thought that the kick off event for the summer season in Cooperstown is the annual Ice Cream Social sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church on Pioneer Street.

    June 26, 2014

  • Splitting logs gives splitting headache We are happy to report that Woodside Hall is continuing with its presentation of programs which are open to the public. This evening at 6:30 p.m., they are hosting Glimmerglass Festival designers Troy Hourie and Erik Teague who will discuss their role in the company's summer production of Strauss' opera, "Ariadne in Naxos: Unplugged."

    June 19, 2014

  • Summer right for driving in the streets We have realized, having consulted our trusty calendar, that next Sunday is Father's Day. And thus this past weekend we were online looking for an appropriate printable Father's Day greeting card which we might send to the wee-we. Since we have been somewhat housebound this year, we have discovered the convenience of printable holiday cards. We used them rather successfully, we thought, when we sent them to the granddaughters for both Valentine's Day and Easter.

    June 12, 2014