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November 7, 2013

Proud grandparents now times two

Cooperstown Crier

---- — We are most happy to announce the arrival on Wednesday, Oct. 30 of our second granddaughter, Marin Chase Ellsworth. 

 She weighed in at seven pounds, nine ounces and measured 19.75 inches in length. She is now home in Mt. Vernon, Ohio with her older sister Abby, a.k.a. The Widge, her parents, Christopher and Annie, and her maternal grandparents, Judy and Hal Higby, who are visiting Ohio for the birth of their second granddaughter, but third grandchild.

Upon Marin’s arrival at home, The Widge spent some time showing Marin all the toys. We are not clear as to whether this was done to show Marin what she could play with or what she should keep her hands off of. We prefer to think it was the first. And come Christmas, we suspect Marin will be introduced to the toys in Cooperstown as she will be here for her first Christmas.

We note that the next meeting of the Literary Discussion Group, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Cooperstown, will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Village of Cooperstown Library. The meeting is being held on the third, instead of the usual fourth, Thursday as no one ever seems to want to meet on Thanksgiving. The program for this meeting will be the group’s book selection for 2014. Once again this year, those members volunteering to lead a book discussion will choose the book for selection. Those who did not lead a discussion, and hence choose a book, in 2013 will be given preference for leading a discussion in 2014. 

For more information about this meeting, please contact us at 547-8124.

We have been asked to announce that at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Woodside Hall is presenting a program, entitled “Our Winter Birds.” 

Patricia Szarpa, Executive Director of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, will talk about which birds live in our area over the winter months. What do they sound like? How do they survive winter? And what are the effects of climate change on our migratory and resident birds?

Patricia is an experienced birder, Buffalo Audubon Society program leader and former Executive Director of the Western NY Land Conservancy. This event is free, but seating is limited. Please call Debbie Ziegler at 373-7817 for reservations and information.

As luck would have it, about two hours after we filed last week’s column with the newspaper, we received from the village a very detailed accounting of the expenses for the concert held at Doubleday Field last July. As a result of having received that information, we now feel that we are able to sort out, to the best of our ability, the finances for that concert.

According to the contract for the concert, which we had received earlier, the village received a $10,000 rental fee for the field and $1,000 for the the Emergency Squad coverage at the concert. The $1,000 was passed on to the Emergency Squad. An additional $1,200 was received as a result of local ticket sales. The contract also called for a donation to the village, the amount of which we do not know, from the sale of food and beverage at the concert. This donation was earmarked for the fire department which has in the past sold food and beverage at the concert. Thus we conclude that the village coffers received $11,200 in revenue from the concert.

And from that money, according to our reading of the expense spread sheet, the village paid salary and benefits for Police, Street Department and Doubleday Field employees as well as the superintendent of DPW the amount of $7,195.47. Additionally there was an expense of $247.81 for trash disposal. Thus, the gain realized by the village from the concert was $3,756.52.

Additionally, the revenue for the trolley system received from trolley passes on the day of the concert was $944. The salary and benefits for running the trolleys that day were $458.94. Thus the trolleys realized $485.06 minus, we suppose, the cost of fuel, for the concert.

All in all, we are tempted to say that the concert made more money for the village and its attendant departments than many people thought and less money than most people would have liked. But, it would seem to us that one must conclude that the village was ahead of game in terms of finances although we suppose the debate will continue as to whether or not the concert was worth it.

However, that aspect to the concert is not what we were looking to answer when we filed our FOIL request. And for all of their help with our request, we would like to thank the village treasurer and the village clerk, as well as the mayor. We greatly appreciate their help.

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