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From around the County:

Esperance Elks Haunted House Tomorrow

Written By Editor on 10/24/14 | 10/24/14

Esperance Elks 18th Annual Haunted House Saturday October 25th 5:30 to 8:30. FREE for the community, Route 20 Esperance Elks Lodge.

Iroquois Museum's Exhibit: Standing in Two Worlds: Iroquois in 2014 Open Through November

HOWES CAVE, NY -- The Iroquois Indian Museum’s newest exhibition, Standing in Two Worlds: Iroquois in 2014, is open until Nov. 30 with new November hours from Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 12 Noon to 4 p.m.
The exhibit features over 30 Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists and focuses upon contemporary concerns that warrant their attention and creative comment.  Exhibition works (artwork and poetry) include those that explore boundaries and borders, environment, hydro-fracking, economy, gaming, the digital/disposable age, sports mascots, the impact of national/international events and decisions, the role of tradition and community, and the state of the arts.
For more information about the exhibition and admission, visit www.iroquoismuseum.org and like the Museum on Facebook
Standing in Two Worlds: Iroquois in 2014 is supported in part by grants from the New York Council for the Humanities and the generous donations of individuals.

Arrest in Schoharie Over Drug Charges

Written By Editor on 10/23/14 | 10/23/14

Sheriff's deputies arrested Joseph Lostritto of Schenectady following an incident on Terrace Mountain Road in the Town of Schoharie. Mr. Lostritto was arrested after an investigation in to an odor of marihuana coming from his vehicle after he had requested deputies to perform a vehicle unlock. Mr. Lostritto was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Schoharie court at a later date.

Knight: 'Tis the Season for Rhetoric

Written By Editor on 10/22/14 | 10/22/14


Ahhh, rhetoric, how splendid 'tis is. 

The great Greek philosopher Aristotle once opined that rhetoric is, "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion," but that was in a time when words held meaning and democracy was not made a mockery of by ideological blowhards. 

Today the persuasive device can be described as little more than members of a particular party, or a media organization for good measure, shilling for their preferred point of view. Granted, it is often wrapped with a red bow of literary or oral flourish, but it remains shilling, none the less. 

Such is the case in Schoharie County presently, with the unveiling of the 2015 Tentative Budget by County Treasurer Bill Cherry. 

I will not parse words: this budget is brutal. The county is facing a significant tax increase, a stagnant stream of sales tax revenue, and a fundamental change in county operations if the Planning and Economic Development Department is split into two. 

Covering the proposed budget's announcement at a press conference last week for the Mountain Eagle, I read through page after page of preliminary expenditure marks and left with a vile taste in my mouth. Not for the budget itself, but in anticipation for the coming political maelstrom. 

Some might question why I, as a journalist, would dread a coming battle of rhetoric when it would result in a steady stream of news for me to cover? My reply: because I am a citizen of this county, first and foremost, and more often than not, what doesn't kill us makes us bitter in this county. 

Bitter against our neighbors, bitter against our politicians, and bitter against our taxes. And sadly, it appears after this past week of coverage and debate over the proposed fiscal road map, this budget season is going to be more bashful than usual. Oh joy to the world. 

It's bad enough our county is in the fiscal situation that is, but must it be compounded by the blind ideology of our political elite as well?

There are things I dislike about the proposed budget, but is not my place to state them due to my journalistic responsibilities, but if truth be told: no one wins in this budget, however, if we travel down this road of ill content and ill will without even an morsel of understanding, we will all lose as well. 

Therefore, let us gird our loins, for 'Tis the Season for Rhetoric, and like the impending doom of winter, there is nothing we can do to delay its coming.

Vote in our Poll: What do You Think of Common Core?

Make sure to vote in the poll on our right hand sidebar. This week's poll is if you agree with the implementation of Common Core in New York State.

Cobleskill Partnership Hosting Facebook Marketing Seminar

The Cobleskill Partnership Inc. is holding a seminar to teach residents how to use Facebook to promote their business. The event is Monday October 27 from 7-8 pm at the Cobleskill Methodist Church on Chapel Street. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

Schoharie Las Vegas Night This Saturday

The Schoharie Fire Department is holding their annual Vegas Night fundraiser at the Fire House this Saturday, October 25th. The event, from 7pm until midnight features food and drink as well as blackjack, craps, and a money wheel. RSVP on the invite page on Facebook here.


Long Island Man Arrested in Richmondville on Drug Charges

Written By Editor on 10/21/14 | 10/21/14

On October 17, 2014, State Police in Cobleskill arrested David J. Willmott III of Hampton Bays, NY for Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. Willmott who was operating a 2006 Toyota on I-88 in the Town of Richmondville was stopped by Troopers for speeding. While Willmott was being interviewed an odor of marijuana was detected inside his vehicle. A Search of the vehicle led to the discovery of marijuana in his glove box. He was issued a traffic ticket and an appearance ticket for unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, and is scheduled to appear in the Town of Richmondville court at a later date.

Schoharie Woman Arrested on Aggravated DWI

On October 19, 2014, State Police in Cobleskill arrested Karen L. Wagner of Schoharie, for Aggravated DWI and multiple traffic violations. Wagner was stopped in a 2011 Jeep on Colby Road in Schoharie after multiple lane violations were observed by Troopers. Wagner refused to perform field sobriety tests and was transported to SP Cobleskill for processing. Wagner was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.25%, more than three times the legal limit. She was issued tickets and is scheduled to appear in the Town of Schoharie Court on October 27, 2014.

Opinion: Anybody but Cuomo

There is much talk about the divide between Upstate and Downstate-- as there has been for ages. However, the divide between the two regions is at its furthest point under the divisive and combative administration of Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo promised to be a fiscal hawk and responsible administrator. He turned out to be neither.

- Governor Cuomo has waffled on the issue of fracking. He has upset both camps by not banning the practice. He has placed unnecessary risk to local ecology by not encouraging a ban. If he is to take a position, he should come out and do so, rather than stringing along those that support and oppose it.

- His draconian gun laws inadvertently made hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers into felons for owning guns they legally purchased. His pushing through of the SAFE Act violated both his campaign promise and the essence of the Second Amendment.

- His campaign against teachers and embracing of Common Core has upset both the teacher's unions and parents' advocates. His waffling over whether or not to strip teachers of privileges has enraged teachers, parents, and administrators while slashing education aid.

- His broken promises in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene have left thousands in the lurch. Cuomo didn't even properly utilize federal disaster funding until after it was clear that Downstate would not use it all to repair after Sandy. The administration of NY Rising and FEMA buyouts have been disastrous, rubbing salt in the wounds of people that already suffered catastrophic flooding.

- Cuomo disbanded an anti-corruption commission after it became clear they were investigating those around him. He has made the Albany culture of corruption worse, not better.

- Pushed for increased regulation that is further stifling business, especially Upstate. The whole region has essentially been ignored unless there is a photo op or fundraiser here.

Andrew Cuomo is not fit to lead New York State. Whether you vote Green, Republican, or write in Zephyr Teachout, you will find a better candidate.

County Board Passes Anti-Depression Initiative

The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors took a positive step in dealing with emotional trauma. Last Friday, the Board unanimously approved an effort to deal with depression. This was spearheaded by Blenheim Supervisor Shawn Smith and introduced by Sharon Supervisor Sandra Manko. The text of the resolution reads as follows:


WHEREAS depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and other mental illnesses, impact the lives of Schoharie County residents on a regular basis, including up to approximately a quarter of the student body at the State University of Cobleskill, and an unknown number of students within Schoharie County's six school districts; and

WHEREAS treatment for mental illnesses, both medicinal and therapeutic, have a high success rate for those afflicted with either clinical or conditional bouts of mental distress, but approximately two-thirds of American students choose not to seek help for fear of embarrassment, of shame, or of the social stigma associated; and
WHEREAS the United States Congress established the first week of October as the National Mental Illness Awareness Week in 1990, and that mental health advocates continued to bring awareness to those afflicted between October 5th and October 11th of this year; and
WHEREAS a collection of local students, government officials, and young adults have joined efforts to form a depression awareness organization, Light the Way, to disseminate information and host events in support of increased education on mental illness with the hope of decreasing the social stigmatization associated with depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, while working to serve as a torchlight of hope, by way of sharing personal stories and providing information and resources to the afflicted, to light the way for troubled souls in the shadows; and
WHEREAS the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors desires to aid those suffering from depression and other mental illnesses in any way that it can.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors hereby declares that it supports the efforts of the County Mental Health Department, Light the Way, and other national, state, and local government agencies and organizations to bring continued awareness to mental illnesses both in and outside of Schoharie County.

Canjo Woman Arrested in Cobleskill on Drug Charges

On October 16, 2014, Troopers from SP Cobleskill stopped a 2000 Plymouth for rear window tint traveling on State Route 7 in the Town of Cobleskill. While interviewing the operator Jasmine E. Freeman, 29, of Canajoharie, an odor of marijuana was detected inside the vehicle. A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a clear bag containing marijuana. Freeman was issued an appearance ticket for Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, a violation and is scheduled to appear in the Town of Cobleskill court at a later date.

Join Jefferson FD for Hunter's Dinner November 14th

Written By Editor on 10/20/14 | 10/20/14

Please join the Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department for their Annual Hunter's Dinner on November 14th. Prime Rib, Clams, Door Prizes, Gun Raffle, 50/50 and more. Call Marc Lawrence at 607-287-4681 or Lynn Vroman at 607-376-2262 for tickets.

New Cuomo Ad: No Common Core Scores for Five Years

In what appears to be an about face from the fast-tracked implementation of Common Core in New York, Governor Cuomo has released a commercial saying that no Common Core scores will be at least for five years. After that, it will only be used if it 'works.'

The governor also criticizes overtesting of students.

Halloween Events: Zombies, Scares and Pumpkins -- Oh, My!

Halloween-time makes its grand entrance with all types of events guaranteed to give you a hauntingly great experience in the Schoharie Valley.
The focus on Oct. 25 is the Scare Fair and Zombie Run at the New York Power Authority in North Blenheim.  The Scare Fair that takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., , held in conjunction with Mine Kill State Park, features food, craft vendors, laser tag, music, a haunted house and children’s costume parade and contest at 12 p.m., with one pumpkin for each parade participant. The Scare Fair is free and the public is invited.
The Zombie Run 5K, sponsored by the Middleburgh Library Association, is a strike back against the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. The fun begins at 9 a.m. There is a fee of $35 for adults, $25 for those under 18 years of age, and $25 for Zombies (must be 16-plus).
At the Middleburgh Library, Ghost Detective with author Michael Worden, takes place at 1 p.m. Worden is a police detective and seasoned ghost investigator.
            The Pick--A-Pumpkin Pumpkin Patch is open through Halloween (closed Sundays) with hayrides, mazes and much more. Night Terrors Haunted Farm in Schoharie. continues through Halloween with appropriate frights for all!
            At the Landis Arboretum there is a full-moon Owl Prowl, led by the Arboretum’s Science Educator George Steele.             The next day, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lansing Manor on the site of the Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center in North Blenheim, will be the scene for “Exploring the Spirits and Senses.”  At the Iroquois Indian Museum, there are stories in the log cabin at 1 p.m.
            But, for those who want an early start on fun-filled times, on Oct. 24 there is a Star Party that evening at the Arboretum and in conjunction with the Albany Area Astronomers. And, make a stop by the Dr. Christopher Best House in Middleburgh to see the life of a Victorian-era doctor’s family through Oct. 30.
Along the way from one event to another, businesses are ready to welcome you including HiveTerrace Mountain OrchardsWellington’s Herbs & SpicesSchoharie Valley Farms/The Carrot Barn and Barber’sFarm.

For more information about all there is to do and see in the Schoharie Valley, visithttp://schoharievalley.org.

Ceremony thanks Mayer for 41 Years as Middleburgh Clerk

Dozens of well wishers arrived at the Middleburgh Fire Department Saturday to give their thanks and best wishes for retiring clerk Janet Mayer. Mayer served as Village Clerk for 41 years and stepped down at the end of September.

Speakers included current and former Mayors of Middleburgh, Mayor John Borst of Schoharie, Congressman Chris Gibson, Assemblyman Peter Lopez, County Treasurer Bill Cherry, and others.

Past and present mayors Matthew Avitabile, William Ansel-McCabe, and Arthur Wargo present Janet Mayer with a retirement plaque

Mrs. Mayer said that she would "do it all again" if she could. Zoning Board of Appeals Chair John Wingfield said that it was obvious that Janet loved serving the community. Former Mayor Arthur Wargo said that Janet's character could be seen from her great love of her family.

Deputy Clerk Melanie Laraway took office as Clerk on October 1st.

Photo and information credit: Sheila Donegan.

Large Majority Disapprove of County Board

By a large margin, Schoharie News readers disapprove of the performance of the current County Board of Supervisors.

Yes 13% - 20
No 86% - 134
Don't know 1% - 2
 156 total

Letter to the Editor: Thank You for Making the Weekend a Success

The Schoharie Chapter, NSDAR wishes to extend our deepest gratitude to all those who helped to make our Columbus Day "Open House" weekend of events a huge success.  We could not have been able to open up historic Lasell Hall without the support, labor and volunteer efforts of many over the past 3 years.  We wish to express our appreciation to Ky-Mar Distillery, Under the Nose Bakery, Harpersfield Cheese, and Ralph and Irmgard Buess for all their generous donations of food and drink for our Friday evening cocktail party.  We also wish to honor and recognize our several distinguished guests including Johanna Shogun, District III Director for the NYS DAR, Larry Wilson of Mesick-Cohen-Wilson-Baker Architects, Rich Rappleyea from Dimensions North, Tom and Dusty Putnam of Fenimore Asset Management, and several members of the Captain Christian Brown Chapter, NSDAR.

During the open house events Saturday and Sunday we were very pleased to host a variety of visitors to Lasell Hall.  We had a very special visit on Sunday afternoon from members of the Oneonta Chapter, NSDAR.  The Oneonta Chapter, NSDAR has been very sympathetic to the challenges that our chapter has faced since Hurricane Irene.  Their member has been here to volunteer during cleanup efforts, they have contributed financial donations, and on Sunday presented the Schoharie Chapter with a beautiful new American Flag and flag stand for its business meetings.

We are so happy to open up Lasell Hall and to make it accessible to our community once again.  Please keep Lasell Hall in mind as a venue for any future social events.  For more information please contact the Schoharie Chapter membership at SchoharieChapterNSDAR@gmail.com.

Jennifer Schultz, Vice-Regent
Schoharie Chapter, NSDAR

Wright Man Arrested on Two Counts of Reckless Endangerment

Written By Editor on 10/18/14 | 10/18/14

Sheriff's Deputies arrested Patrick Slavinski, 35, of the Town of Wright on an arrest warrant stemming from an incident that occurred on State Route 443 on 10/08/2014. He was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment in the second degree Mr. Slavinski was arraigned in the Town of Schoharie court and released to return to the Town of Schoharie court at a later date.

State Police Arrest Woman After Altercation in Cobleskill

State Police in Cobleskill arrested a local woman following an altercation that occurred at a residence on State Route 145 in the Town of Cobleskill.

Troopers arrested Kayla E. Tyree and charged her with Harassment 2nd following an altercation, Tyree allegedly spit and punched two women during an argument. Neither of the victims was injured during the altercation.

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