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

Your Opinion

May 18, 2012

Your Opinion: May 17, 2012

Committee’s values need rethinking

Cooperstown is moving in the direction of realizing that we have too casually accepted the use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers to keep our lawns green and weed-free. There is increasing evidence that we are paying more of a price than we realize for what we consider necessary to maintain the appearance of our village.

Our NYS legislature, as of 2011, has banned the use of pesticides on the grounds of public and private schools and day care centers. This bill was enacted in spite of strong opposition of the pesticide industry because there is accumulating knowledge that exposure to pesticides has harmful effects on soil, water and life, especially of young children. Too, there is growing awareness that the ultimate consequences of our zealous use of pesticides for better, bigger crops and greener, weed-free turf is not fully known. This prompted NYS to act on the precautionary principle and reduce the exposure of children to chemicals.

Where is Cooperstown in realization of the precautionary principle? Both our schools and our much-used Clark Gym have ceased to use pesticides on their grounds.

The village is addressing a recommendation from its committee on conservation and environment to cease the use of pesticides on any village property. Meanwhile, Doubleday Field, which is the mecca for both adult and  young baseball lovers, has notadopted the precautionary principle. Roundup for years has been used there two or three times a year. It had been presented by its maker, Monsanto, as safe to people and harmless to soil, water and wildlife. Studies are finding this is not true. Roundup has been found to be carcinogenic; it also affects the foetus of various living creatures. While the governing committee is doing a great job of maintaining Doubleday Field as a national shrine, it uses chemical pesticides to do so.

While the Doubleday Field committee acknowledges that some change probably should occur, it plans only to experiment this year using both Roundup and Burnout (an organic herbicide) to see if the latter is as effective as Roundup. Presumably, they will return to the full use of Roundup if Burnout does not work as well.

In my opinion, the values of the Doubleday Field committee need rethinking. Can we afford to keep Doubleday Field entirely weed-free at the cost of exposing those who come there to chemicals known to be harmful to life

Sam Wilcox

Cooperstown

Market says thanks

Getting ready for opening day at the market… well, it takes a village! The Volunteer Firemen power washed the market floor. SUNY Oneonta Into the Streets volunteers enthusiastically cleaned windows, and scrubbed and painted. The Cooperstown Central High School Art Department and the very talented student scenery painters donated the wonderful sets from the Fiddler On the Roof performance for display on the market walls. Stretch Redding, Glen Falk, and Brian Clancy transported the sets and Red Point Builders installed them. Cooperstown’s village merchants contributed over 500 coupons for handing out to shoppers for all sorts of goodies, and discounts, all in celebration of Opening Day at the Market. Local restaurants contribute prizes to the summer raffle series, fondly called, ‘A Free Lunch.’ Customers take a chance to win ‘A Free Lunch for Four’ at a local restaurant and the proceeds go towards the market’s operating expenses. Volunteer Musicians add a festive flavor to the market all season while local non-profits and businesses support the program’s expenses and volunteer Scott Anderson recruits and schedules the thirty-three performances.

For the Halloween Warming Tent, the Cooperstown Lions’ Club Leos decorate and carve pumpkins to turn the market into a spooky venue for parade-goers. As a public service, there are many community volunteers that run the SNAP Program, EBT services (the electronic version of the old food stamp program). Non-profits come to offer shoppers information regarding their programs and services. The Farmers’ Museum prints our authentic 19th century posters.

And among all the things that Otsego 2000 does as the sponsor of the Cooperstown Farmers market, they promote the Friends of the Market program, a group of people that support the growth and improvement of the market. The Market is truly a community effort!

The Cooperstown Farmers’ Market farmers, artisans, and staff, would like to thank all of the volunteers that got the market ready for opening day, as well as the work done on our behalf throughout the year which contributes to the success of this community market!

Lyn Weir

Cooperstown Farmers’ Market

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