Masons to serve takeout chicken meal

LAURENS — The regular monthly all-you-can-eat chicken and biscuit dinner hosted by the Laurens Masonic Lodge will be held as a takeout-only dinner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6, at the Masonic Lodge at 7 Brook St. in Laurens. Included will be mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and strawberries and ice cream.

COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.

The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Proceeds will be used to fund lodge functions such as college scholarships, community assistance, scouting troops, as well as maintenance of the lodge.

SQSPCA returns to appointment-only, offers discount

HYDE PARK — Because of an influx of adoptable felines of all ages, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is offering 20 percent off all adoptions through Saturday, Sept. 12.

According to SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes, the shelter is now at capacity for cats and kittens and has a waiting list for new arrivals, prompting the “Back-to-School Adoption Sale,” while a recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Otsego County has necessitated the return to appointment-only adoptions.

Adoption fees at the SQSPCA include: spay/neuter; microchip; rabies/distemper/bordetella vaccinations and heartworm/Lyme testing (dogs, age appropriate); rabies/distemper vaccinations and Feline Leukemia/FIV testing (cats, age appropriate); fecal testing; deworming; flea treatment; and basic grooming.

Available kittens and cats range from 2 months to 14 years. Available dogs include mastiff, coonhound and pointer mixes.

For more information or to view the animals, visit www.sqspca.org. To schedule an appointment to adopt, call 607-547-8111.

Meeting on energy road map planned

The Otsego County Board of Representatives created the Otsego County Energy Taskforce, composed of citizens, organizations and the business community, to craft an energy road map for the county. OCET aims to develop strategies that balance the sustainability of the environment including climate, the needs of the business community and the health of its citizens, the county said in a media release.

As part of the process, the OCET developed a survey for businesses to provide input on the energy road map. The Otsego County Chamber in partnership with the OCET will host a webinar at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, about the process and survey, and businesses of all sizes are encouraged to participate. It takes 10 minutes and can be taken before or after the webinar. Those who wish to take the survey should visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/73GDGK2

To register for the webinar, visit https://tinyurl.com/yylnw3o8.

After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Studio to be closed through Labor Day

COOPERSTOWN — The Smithy Clay Studio at 55 Pioneer St. in Cooperstown will be closed until after Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7.

According to a media release, new space rental dates for September are posted at smithyarts.org/the-clay-studio- along with information on kiln rentals and private lessons. Bags of clay are also for sale.

Call 607-547-8671 or email Clay Studio Manager Adam Jennett at gallery@smithyarts.org for more information.

Cooperstown church to sponsor dinner

COOPERSTOWN — The First Baptist Church of Cooperstown at 21 Elm St. in Cooperstown will offer takeout chicken dinners from Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18.

Dinners will include a chicken half, baked potato, coleslaw, roll, cookie and bottled water for $12 payable by cash or check. A $1 convenience fee will be added for payment by PayPal to cover processing fees.

Preorders, strongly encouraged by Thursday, Sept. 10, may be placed by calling 607-547-9371 or emailing baptistcooperstown@gmail.com. A name, number of dinners and telephone number is required for all preorders.

League updates guide for voters

COOPERSTOWN — The League of Women Voters of the Cooperstown Area has released an updated online voter guide for September’s village election. It is available at www.VOTE411.org

According to a media release, issues brought up at the March candidates forum and topics related to COVID-19 and its impact on Cooperstown are reflected in the updated guide. The guide serves as a reminder to voters regarding concerns expressed early in 2020 while candidates were allowed to respond to life in the village today and describe their visions for Cooperstown’s future. 

Three candidates are running for two trustee seats. Incumbent Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh is unopposed. 

VOTE411 is described in the release as a one-stop-shop for election information that provides tools to help voters navigate the voting process. VOTE411 also includes voter registration tools, polling place locations and other Election Day information.

Normally held in March and rescheduled because of COVID-19, the election is open to all village residents who are registered to vote. The registration deadline is Friday, Sept. 4. Voters may register at the Otsego County Board of Elections in Suite 2 of Meadows office building at 140 County Highway 33W in Phoenix Mills. Registration information is also available at otsegocounty.com.

Absentee ballots will be provided by Village Clerk Teri Barown at the village office at 22 Main St. by calling 607-547-2411 or visiting cooperstownny.org. Those choosing to vote absentee because of concerns about COVID 19, should check “illness” and write “COVID” as the reason for absentee voting. Absentee ballot applications must be mailed no later than Sept. 8, or delivered no later than Sept. 14. The ballot must be delivered no later than the close of polls on the day of election.

Polls will be open from noon until 9 p.m. at the Cooperstown Fire Hall at 24 Chestnut St. on Election Day, Sept. 15.

Virtual run/walk to benefit center

COOPERSTOWN — The “One Too Many NY 5K,” a virtual run/walk, will be sponsored by the Otsego County Child Advocacy Center from Sept. 17 to 20.

According to a media release, the event was created to provide a safe way for individuals to get moving by jogging, walking, skipping or even dancing, while staying apart and practicing social distancing; all in support of the Otsego County Child Advocacy Center.

The $35 entry fee includes an event T-shirt, bib and a chance to win prizes.

The availability to register will be at https://tinyurl.com/ybspx3ev until Aug. 22.

Contact 607-547-1770, purdys@otsegocounty.com, or #OneTooManyNY5K for more information.

Gardeners wanted for CCE program

Cornell Cooperative Extensions of Delaware, Herkimer, Schoharie and Otsego Counties are seeking applicants to participate in the Master Gardener volunteer program.

According to a media release, the Master Gardener Volunteer Program is open to anyone with a genuine interest in flora and food gardening and a willingness to share their knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm with constituents in his/her local communities.

Classes that accommodates Zoom conferencing will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays from Sept. 21 to March 15.

Trainees may participate from home or from respective CCE county offices while observing C-19 safety protocols. Participants will need access to a computer with audio and camera components for interactive discussions. The cost is $150 per person, including all materials. Applications will be accepted through Friday, Aug. 21, and will be followed by a personal interview.

Contact David Cox at 518-234-4303, ext.111, or schoharie@cornell.edu for more information.

Visit https://tinyurl.com/y6ruye2w for a position description and application.

Volunteers needed for plant removal

SPRINGFIELD — The Otsego County Conservation Association is looking for volunteers to help with the removal of European frog-bit, an invasive aquatic plant said to have the capability of disrupting local ecosystems.

According to a media release, last year a small population was discovered on Clarke Pond in Springfield.

Volunteers are needed who don’t mind getting wet, muddy and possibly a few leech bites as they search for and remove the plant before it can spread to Otsego Lake or other water bodies. Training will be provided.

Contact Jeff O’Handley at programdirector@occainfo.org for information and to volunteer.

Online food source features local items

COOPERSTOWN — The SourceWhatsGood online farmers market is up and running, according to a media release from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Otsego and Schoharie Counties.

Local meat products, eggs, mushrooms, early greens, garden plants, herbs, spices, rubs, teas, jams, pancake mix, baked goods, honey, a selection of artisanal fermented cabbage and items suitable for gift giving are among the items now available. The selection of products is expected to grow as the growing season progresses and more farms go online.

Customers interested in shopping from local farms and food producers may order products online at https://sourcewhatsgood.com/. On the designated delivery day, customers may pick up their orders at one of six drop sites in Schoharie and Otsego counties. Visit https://tinyurl.com/ybazv3ym for more informtion about the sites.

Call 607-547-2536, ext. 231 or email otsego@cornell.edu for more information about SourceWhatsGood.

Operations resume at Convenient Care

COOPERSTOWN — Bassett Healthcare Network’s Convenient Care at 1 Atwell Road in Cooperstown is operating from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The Bassett Convenient Care location at One Associate Drive in Oneonta is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

According to a media release, same and next-day appointments are available for minor illnesses and injuries including sprains, rashes, minor cuts, minor burns, colds, sore throat, vomiting/diarrhea and urinary problems.

Safe care processes in place include protective gear for staff, masks for visitors and patients, temperature checks at entrances, frequent disinfecting and cleaning, frequent hand sanitizing and social distancing measures.

Patients are also encouraged to enroll in MyBassett Health Connection, the network’s secure online patient portal, by calling 607-547-5900 or 877-498-5715.

More information is available at BassettConvenientCare.org.

Help for renters available to eligible

COOPERSTOWN — The Otsego County Board of Representatives has authorized a $200,000 COVID-19 Emergency Rental Relief Program to assist eligible resident-renters facing financial hardship as a result of layoff, reduced employment, or non-retention by their seasonal employer.

According to a media release, the program will provide rental payments for three consecutive months directly to landlords on behalf of eligible households. The program will be implemented by Otsego Rural Housing Assistance Inc., in collaboration with the Otsego County Planning Department. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Criteria for eligibility will include annual household incomes as of the application date. Annual household incomes may not exceed 80% of the county median. Examples would be $43,600 for a household of two or $49,050 for a household of three.

Applicants must provide documentation of job loss arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. This could include a layoff notice, notice of reduced hours or physician’s letter. The layoff or job loss must have occurred on or subsequent to March 13. Applicant-renters must also have a written lease agreement with the property owner which states the monthly rental amount – utility payments are not covered. Tenants and landlords must sign written agreements attesting to the terms and conditions of the assistance.

Full eligibility information is available along with application forms from ORHA at P.O. Box 189, Milford NY 13807, 607-286-724), or www.otsegoruralhousing.org.

Help available to seniors in need

COOPERSTOWN — Seniors who are unable or reluctant to go out because of COVID-19, and who need groceries or medications may call 607-547-2213 or email coopseniorcenter@gmail.com. Volunteers from the Cooperstown Senior Community Center and/or Cooperstown Lions Club will assist them with their needs.

Grief counseling available locally 

Helios Care in Oneonta is offering free bereavement counseling to anyone experiencing the loss of a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a media release, counseling will be provided by telephone or video by licensed clinical social workers who specialize in grief counseling.

“Grief can be isolating and lonely to begin with,” said Helios Care Director of Family Support Services Alisha Rule, “There’s no need to face grief alone.”

As further stated in the release, social distancing requirements have disrupted one’s ability to be with family or friends at the end of their life. Commonly practiced mourning rituals that accompany death have had to be altered or put on hold. The added challenges can complicate one’s grief whether the death is directly related to COVID-19 or a loss during the pandemic.

The free telephone and video grief counseling service available during the pandemic will transition to a sliding fee scale and sessions where counselors and individuals will meet together once normalcy resumes.

Contact Alisha Rule at 607-432-5525 or alisha.rule@helioscare.org or visit www.helioscare.org/grief for more information.

Volunteers needed by Big Buddy group

The Big Buddy program for at-risk youths needs adult volunteers in Delaware and Otsego counties.

According to a media release from program sponsor Delaware Opportunities, youths between 5 and 14, are matched with an adult role model who is at least 18 to serve as their big buddy.

Big buddies, serving as mentors, generally spend at least four hours each month with their little buddy engaging in mutually agreed upon activities.

The program also includes group activities that may include community service, educational, recreational or cultural experiences.

Contact Heather McAdams at 607-746-1746 or hmcadams@delop.org for more information and to volunteer.

Otsego County seeks day care providers

Child Care Support Services of Catholic Charities of Delaware and Otsego Counties can help guide individuals in Otsego County through the process of becoming registered family day care providers. Once registered Child Care Support Services can help providers establish a quality child care program. Startup reimbursement funds may be available. Call 607-432-0061 for more information.

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