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

August 22, 2013

Our Readers' Opinions

Cooperstown Crier

---- — Thanks to all who made day special 

The Otsego Lake Association’s board of directors appreciates the many people and organizations who contributed to the success of our recent annual meeting on Saturday, Aug. 17. 

The Clark Foundation generously provided use of the venue, historic Camp Minnetoska (a former Girl Scout Camp), which was a big draw. We lucked out with good weather and early morning timing (allowing people to enjoy the rest of their day on the lake).

The Cooperstown Graduate Program’s (CGP) contributions were outstanding. Professor Cindy Falk produced a clever arrangement of images of early camps juxtaposed against contemporary views recently shot by noted photographer Richard Duncan. Professor Will Walker shared an overview of his oral history program, including stories from local residents about memories of past lake experiences.   

The New York State Historical Association (NYSHA) also played an overarching role in making the event special. The NYSHA library staff generously allowed access to their files. Freelance Curator Sue Friedlander found a treasure trove in NYSHA’s special collections to bring to life her research on overnight children’s camps on Lake Otsego. The large photographic panels (also shot by Richard Duncan) from the exhibit, “Lake Otsego, Past & Present” (which originated from NYSHA and generously loaned to OLA from the Otesaga Resort Hotel), added a special touch and created instant ambiance.

Dr. Paul Lord and Joseph Zarzynski from the SUCO/Biological Field Station’s Volunteer Dive Team shared video footage of recent wrecks found at the bottom of Lake Otsego and displayed diving equipment and maps. 

The meeting was also supported by local businesses and individuals, who contributed refreshments (Chobani Yogurt, Price Chopper, Stagecoach Coffee) and to the silent auction (Cooperstown Gift Bags, Cooperstown Wine & Spirits, Doubleday Cafe, Firehouse Market Gourmet, Ann Kiehm, David Kiehm, Lake Classic Outfitters/Blue Mingo Grill, Mount Wellington Market, Natura Productions/Scottie Baker, Otesaga Resort Hotel, Otsego Golf Club & Joseph Zarzynski.)   

OCCA, Otsego County Conservation Association, provided assistance with logistics.

As an all volunteer organization, OLA depends on a dedicated and hard-working board of directors who roll up their shirtsleeves to get things done. Joining us on the annual meeting committee were OLA board members Mickie Richtsmeier, Carolyn Mook and Paul Lord. Board members Scottie Baker, Mary Crouthamel, Carl Good and David Sanford worked hard both before and during the event. 

Saturday’s turnout (approximately 100 people) proved to the OLA board that there is substantial local interest in hearing more about Otsego Lake history. There were many suggestions that OLA plan future meetings to focus on specific locations around and activities associated with the lake (such as the two hotels at 5 Mile Point and the mail steamboat dock at the north end, now Otsego Golf Course). OLA would be very supportive of continued partnerships with other community organizations to encourage collecting, preserving and sharing the rich local history of beautiful Lake Otsego.

Wayne Bunn, Immediate Past President and Pati Grady, Annual Meeting Chairwoman of the Otsego Lake Association

No concert would be better than reckless one 

The number of Cooperstown residents talking with me about my letters to The Cooperstown Crier regarding the Grateful Dead/Furthur concert has continued. One guy I know made me laugh. He was mowing and drove his lawn tractor over to where I was on the sidewalk to tell me how angry he was about it. There is considerable disagreements with the mayor and village board about bringing this particular concert to town. 

Anyone acquainted with Grateful Dead/ Furthur concerts knows that they are fraught with alcohol and drug abuse and lawlessness on the part of many who attend. Knowing the obvious means that the mayor and village board were complicit because they brought the Grateful Dead/Furthur group to the village and used village property for the venue. Consumption of alcohol on our village streets and the the use of drugs on village property is illegal, period! 

Now consider this ... an accident due to heavy drinking or a drug overdose could have happened and someone could have been seriously injured on village property as a result. Does anyone believe a lawsuit against the village would not have ensued. Does our mayor have any common sense in such matters? And, Cooperstown’s reputation as a good place would have been marred for years. 

Many people find the mayor’s comments about the Grateful Dead/Furthur concert being the only one Cooperstown could get this summer a bit strange. In closing, I ask the mayor: Is it not infinitely better to have no concert at all, than one that is reckless and lawless with high risk for the the village? 

The answer is pretty simple for most people.

Stan Hall