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In These Otsego Hills

August 22, 2013

Trip fuels thoughts about natural gas use

One of the things we always enjoy when we have the opportunity to travel outside our little corner of the world is the chance to explore places we have never visited before.

While on our recent sojourn we visited the New Richmond Bridge Park located at the historic village of New Richmond in the northwestern part of Allegan County, Mich. The centerpiece of this historic park is a fully restored swing bridge that spans 400 feet across the Kalamazoo River. This bridge, which was originally built in 1879, was restored to its original splendor in 2004. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and connects park property on both the north and south sides of the river.

Needless to say, we found the park most interesting and are somewhat chagrined to admit in all the years we spent in Allegan County at the family cottage on Lake Michigan we had never before even seen the swing bridge. And we must admit that we were also taken with the sign posted prominently at the park that read:

“Revenue derived from oil gas and mineral production from state owned lands provides funding for this public recreation site. Funding is made possible through a grant provided to the citizens of the State of Michigan by the: Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.”

We could but conclude that development of natural resources in Michigan results in revenue used to benefit not only residents of Michigan, but visitors from Ohio and New York as well.

Thus we find it doubly distressing to have returned home to discover that battle is still being waged here over the benefits of natural gas development. In fact, we were completely taken aback by the comments made regarding the possibility of both Otsego County and Bassett Healthcare being able to use compressed natural gas in order to save energy costs. According to an article in the Aug. 14 edition of The Daily Star, those opposed to such a move are on the record of saying that there would be “... fears if Bassett becomes a customer of Boston-based XNG (Xpress Natural Gas) it would lead to more businesses and homeowners converting to natural gas in Cooperstown, with a network of underground feeder pipelines needed to supply them.”

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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