Recent Articles

From around the County:

Reality Check and Bassett Healthcare Team Up to Dispel Vaping Myths

Written By Editor on 6/10/19 | 6/10/19

Bonnie Peck, Reality Check/Youth Engagement Coordinator with Advancing Tobacco Free Communities in Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties and Hannah Pizza, nurse practitioner with the Middleburgh Healthy Zone- Bassett Healthcare’s school-based health program recently teamed up to help dispel vaping myths among Middleburgh school students. At the invitation of Matthew Sloane, Middleburgh Junior and Senior High School Principal, the duo set out to educate students and staff in grades 7-12 about the facts surrounding vaping and the use of e-cigarettes.

Schools and communities throughout New York State and the country are dealing with the epidemic of e-cigarette use among young people.  E-cigarette use among high school youth has soared 160 percent in just four years. This dramatic increase in e-cig use among youth is unprecedented among trends in youth substance use. E-cigs are now used by a third of the high school population nationally.

Ms. Peck shared how the tobacco industry’s marketing of e-cigarettes/vapes has attracted many youth to become replacement tobacco users as well as guinea pigs with the new and emerging nicotine products. Reality Check works to reduce the prevalence of youth smoking and tobacco product sales to minors by decreasing the impact of retail tobacco product marketing on youth. The program also educates about tobacco imagery in the media and its influence on youth tobacco use.

Ms. Peck indicated that e-cigarettes including vapes and JUULs are not regulated by the FDA, are not harmless and have not been proven to be a safer alternative to cigarettes. “The aerosol produced by e-cigarettes is not water vapor, but a mixture of chemicals like nicotine, formaldehyde and acrolein with some heavy metals. Don’t be fooled by e-juice and JUUL pods with fruity flavors because most e-cigarettes contain nicotine,” according to Ms. Peck. One JUUL pod contains the equivalent nicotine of twenty traditional cigarettes and the flavorings are not safe to be inhaled into the lungs.

Ms. Pizza emphasized that e-cigarettes and even combustible cigarettes are not the way to deal with anxiety or depression. She said, “Nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain. Confidential cessation assistance is available from the school-based, on-site primary care health clinic and there is a health educator for smoking cessation based at the Bassett Healthcare Clinic in Cobleskill.” Ms. Pizza urged the teens to get support to help kick their vaping habits.

Principal Sloan stated that life is about choices and educating students and staff about the health effects of vaping is critical. “While educational assemblies will not eliminate vaping use, hopefully the information presented will deter any student who has not tried to avoid that first attempt and possibly change the minds of some.”

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Reality Check to Host World No Tobacco Day at Crossgates

Written By Editor on 5/25/19 | 5/25/19

Youth and adults are invited to Crossgates Mall in the Albany suburb of Westmere, New York on Saturday, June 1, 2019 to play “Tobacco Trouble” – an interactive, life-sized board game hosted by Reality Check youth from the greater Capital Region.  Reality Check youth will observe World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) by educating community members about tobacco marketing tactics, youth tobacco use, and the benefits of tobacco-free outdoor areas.  “Tobacco Trouble”, and other educational activities, will be set up adjacent to Lucky Strike Social from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each individual who plays “Tobacco Trouble” will qualify to win a $25 Lucky Strikes coupon towards bowling and shoes. 

Local Reality Check youth participating in the World No Tobacco Day activities at Crossgates include Jasmine Neill and Ava Valetutto from Sharon Springs Central School as well as Gabe Oakley, Zachary Smoot, Lana Rockwell and Arianna Mosenson from Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School. Danielle Viscosi, a junior at UAlbany and a Reality Check alumnus from Cherry Valley, will share her experiences with tobacco-free advocacy in the form of a workshop for current Reality Check youth. Since 2001, Reality Check youth have been working across New York State to expose the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry, to produce change in local communities, to show youth that they are more than just replacement smokers, and to empower youth to become leaders in their communities. 

Crossgates Mall became a tobacco-free property on World No Tobacco Day, May 31, in 2012. Every year, on May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) marks “World No Tobacco Day” (WNTD) highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. WNTD 2019 is focusing on the multiple ways that exposure to tobacco negatively affects the health of people’s lungs worldwide.

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County DPW Official, Schoharie Councilman Arrested

Written By Timothy Knight on 1/4/19 | 1/4/19

County DPW Official, Schoharie Councilman Arrested
By Timothy Knight

Cooper
Two Schoharie residents with significant positions in local government were arrested over the past twenty-four hours as part of a New York State Police investigation.

Investigators based out of the Latham Troop G barracks arrested Benjamin Cooper, age 45, on multiple felonies on Thursday, January 3rd. 

Mr. Cooper, who is a Public Works Administrator in the Schoharie County Department of Public Works, was charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th Degree, Falsifying Business Records 1st Degree, and Conspiracy 5th Degree, with the last of the charges being a misdemeanor. 

Additionally, James P. Schultz was arrested on the morning of Friday, January 4th, when he surrendered himself to State Police. Mr. Schultz, age 37, is a member of the Schoharie Town Board and he was charged with Conspiracy 5th Degree. 
Schultz

According to a press release issued by the State Police, the arrests stem from an investigation which began after a former tenant of Mr. Schultz reported that his vehicle was missing to the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office.

After further investigation, the vehicle was located in a local scrap metal yard in the City of Albany. The Schoharie County Sheriff's Office turned the case over to the New York State Police Investigators in Latham.

Both men were issued appearance tickets to appear in the City of Albany Court on Thursday, January 17th, 2019.

Mr. Cooper, whose son Cody serves on the Schoharie Town Board alongside Mr. Schultz, was named the 2018 Schoharie County Republican of the Year in May. 

Public Notice: Town of Blenheim End of Year Meeting

Written By Editor on 12/16/18 | 12/16/18

Please take Notice: The Town of Blenheim will hold their end of the year Town Board meeting
Friday, December 28, 2018 at 4pm in the Blenheim Town Hall, 1748 State Route 30 North Blenheim,
NY. Any other town business which comes before the board will also be discussed.

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Public Notice of CDBG Hearing

Written By Editor on 11/15/18 | 11/15/18

Notice is Hereby Given that the Delaware County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing at
the Charles Cook County Office Building, located at 111 Main Street, Delhi, NY, on Wednesday,
November 28, 2018 at 12:45 PM to seek public input regarding the New York State Office of
Community Renewal’s Community Development Block Grant Program and a completed economic
development program project which provided financial assistance, in the form of a matching grant to a local business. Written comments may be forwarded to the Clerk of the Board at 111 Main Street,
Delhi, NY 13753.

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Cobleskill Regional Hospital’s Therapy Dogs Visitation Program Delights Patients

Written By Editor on 10/17/18 | 10/17/18

Cobleskill Regional Hospital’s Therapy Dogs Visitation Program Delights Patients
Cobleskill Regional Hospital (CRH), part of the Bassett Healthcare Network, wants to
provide a proverbial scratch behind the ears and a pat on the head to the five therapy
dogs and a thank you to four therapy animal handlers in the hospital’s Therapy Dogs
Visitation Program.



“Our therapy animal program exists to take stress and burdens away from our
patients,” said Marie Dropkin, chaplain at CRH. “Petting the dogs brings back
memories of their childhood, pets they have had, or may still have at home and are
missing.”

Heather Johnson, TDI therapy animal handler, said, “when the patients hold the dogs and interact with
them, I can tell they are experiencing joy. It’s a wonderful way we can brighten our patients’ stay.”
Therapy animal dogs must be certified through a rigorous training process with an organization like
Therapy Dogs International (TDI). TDI is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and
registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes,
hospitals and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.

“I absolutely love volunteering,” said Heather Johnson, TDI therapy animal handler. “It’s so rewarding to see patients’ eyes light up whenever I come into the room with my poodles Sampson and Delilah.”
Johnson visits with her two poodles; Betty Lou Adamovich visits with her golden retriever, Nika; Tara
Keyser visits with her Doberman pinscher, Elle; and Suzanne Vortkamp visits with her German shepherd Chester.

Marie Dropkin coordinates the 20 volunteers who have patient contact: pastoral care visitors, “friendly”
visitors as well as the therapy animal visits.  Margaret Walker, physical therapy aide, accompanies the
handlers and their dogs. To learn more about volunteer opportunities at CRH, visit Bassett.org/CRH or call
518-254-3482.

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Editorial: Cuomo’s “Not Great” Embarrassment

Written By Editor on 8/23/18 | 8/23/18

In this Friday's edition of the Mountain Eagle.

You’ve seen the video by now. Governor Andrew Cuomo told a crowd that America wasn’t ever that great. The next day he backtracked and said the exact opposite. His primary opponent Cynthia Nixon said, “"I think this is just another example of Andrew Cuomo trying to figure out what a progressive sounds like and missing by a mile.” Republican nominee Marc Molinaro said “‘Inartful’ isn’t an apology, it’s a cop-out,”

I’m not going to spill a lot of ink refuting the Governor’s first statement, even though it’s one that I fervently disagree with. There’s plenty of state and national writers that could do so better than I could.

However, I would like to talk about the context of the Governor’s flubs. We don’t write a lot about national politics but Governor Cuomo has made it a point to be a prominent figure in our entire coverage area.

Governor Cuomo’s statement doesn’t make sense. However, it makes perfect sense that he would say it.

Andrew Cuomo is the embodiment of why America is great. Not because of his actions, but because of how the country has treated his family.

His father Mario was born to two Italian immigrants and grew up in Queens. He went to public school, then St. John's Law, and played in minor league baseball. In one generation, the United States took a poor son of immigrants, sent him to a private law school, made him governor, considered by Bill Clinton for the Supreme Court, and allowed him to flirt with the presidency several times.

Andrew grew up in the shadow of his father's political rise, attending the private Fordham University and Albany Law School. He founded a charity for the homeless, married (and divorced) the niece of President Kennedy (and daughter of Senator and likely-future-president Robert F. Kennedy), served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, NYS Attorney General, and now may win a third term as Governor. His brother is a prominent CNN anchor.

What other nation would allow such a rapid rise? For all of America’s faults, it provided the crucial backdrop for political success that Andrew Cuomo does not appreciate. He is a child of privilege and his 2018 statements are far from his immigrant grandparents’ small shop in Jamaica, Queens.

Power-- from the way he governs in Albany-- is a means to its own end rather than a way to improve public welfare. His waffling on just about every issue-- gay marriage, taxes, fracking, pipelines, the tax cap, and even the ethos of the United States show why he’s being challenged from the left by Cynthia Nixon for having no true political moorings and from the right by Marc Molinaro for acting in a way that earned him the popular Upstate moniker of “King Andrew.”

His father used a similar line of thinking in his keynote address supporting Walter Mondale in the 1984 Democratic National Convention. He jabbed at Ronald Reagan: “Mr. President you ought to know that this nation is more a "Tale of Two Cities" than it is just a "Shining City on a Hill.” The speech did as little good for Mondale as Andrew’s did last week. President Reagan carried 49 states compared to Mondale’s 1.

Politicians triangulate and pander from local boards to state houses and DC. That’s nothing new. It’s the cold political calculus that makes Governor Cuomo different. America is great-- and the Governor should start taking notes instead of potshots he thinks will get him applause.


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NEAC Conference Honors 43 Cobleskill Student-Athletes with Scholar-Athlete Awards

Written By Editor on 8/20/18 | 8/20/18

Cobleskill, N.Y. – The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) announced today that 43 SUNY Cobleskill student-athletes have been selected as recipients of the league's Scholar-Athlete Awards for the 2017-18 academic year. In order to be eligible for the award, recipients most have earned a 3.40 grade point average (GPA) or higher during the academic year. For the 2017-18 academic year, 890 student-athletes from the league's 14 full-member institutions and six associate member institutions received NEAC Scholar-Athlete honors representing 36 states, Puerto Rico and 15 different countries.

During the 2017-17, the 318 student-athletes in the Fighting Tigers program posted an overall GPA of 2.75 with 147 student-athletes earning over a 3.0 GPA for the year. This marks the most NEAC Scholar-Athlete Award honorees in program history since Cobleskill joined the conference in 2008.

"I am proud of our student-athletes for their efforts in the classroom and on the field of play," said SUNY Cobleskill Director of Athletics Marie Curran-Headley. “I am also proud of the direction and efforts our coaching staff has taken in finding and recruiting quality young people who are capable of such impressive success at the NCAA level of competition"
The 43 NEAC Scholar-Athlete Award honorees marks the most honored with the award in program history since the Fighting Tigers joined the conference in 2008.
SUNY COBLESKILL NORTH EASTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE 2017-18 SCHOLAR- ATHLETE AWARD RECIPIENTS
Daniel Beavers
Fr.
Cobleskill, N.Y.
Liberal Arts & Sciences
Matthew Blumer
Fr.
Jordan, N.Y.
Ag. Engineering
Caliber Bolt
Sr.
Castleton, N.Y.
Bio-Technology
Anthony Bouchard
Sr.
Wantagh, N.Y.
Renewable Energy
Jacob Bunker
Fr.
Broadalbin, N.Y.
Animal Science
Nate Carinci
Jr.
Oneida, N.Y.
Business Administration
Katie Clute
Sr.
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Wildlife Management
Gabrielle Danthine
Jr.
Sloansville, N.Y.
Business Administration
Sean Degnan
Jr.
Monroe, N.Y.
Information Technology
Mouhamed Diop
So.
Manhattan, N.Y.
Business Administration
Joseph Fitzgerald
Sr.
Washingtonville, N.Y.
Turfgrass Management
Alli Fortin
Fr.
Riverdale, N.Y.
Information Technology
Mike Girolamo
Jr.
Waverly, N.Y.
Culinary Arts
Jill Gordon
Fr.
Rockyhill, Conn.
Animal Science
Mary Greagan
Sr.
Selkirk, N.Y.
Wildlife Management
Will Griffin
So.
Schoharie, N.Y.
Accounting
Colin Hizny
Jr.
Endicott, N.Y.
Business Administration
Hannah Hoffman
Sr.
Troy, N.Y.
Sports Management
McKenzie Holbert
Jr.
Sauquoit, N.Y.
Early Childhood
Karyn Knaul
Fr.
Central Square, N.Y.
Early Childhood
Cody Latimer
Jr.
Maryville, N.Y.
Renewable Energy
Eric Lilland
Jr.
Saugerties, N.Y.
Psychology
Olivia Madison
So.
Sharon Springs, N.Y.
Social Sciences
Alexia Massaroni
Fr.
Worcester, N.Y.
Animal Science
Annelyse Matzinger
So.
Cogan Station, Pa
Wildlife Management
Ashley Maye
So.
Westport, N.Y.
Culinary Arts
Josh Mazur
Fr.
Terryville, Conn.
Business Administration
Ja'Quan McGill
Jr.
Brockport, N.Y.
Business Administration
Islam Mustafa
Sr.
Gloversville, N.Y.
Information Technology
Abigail O'Brien
So.
Stockton, N.Y.
Horticulture
Fred Peters
Fr.
Guilderland, N.Y.
Wildlife Management
Joslen Pettit
Sr.
Gloversville, N.Y.
Communications
Quinn Porter
Jr.
Ballston Spa, N.Y.
Animal Science
Emily Potter
So.
Fort Plain, N.Y.
Animal Science
Michelle Randall
Fr.
Mattapoisett, Mass.
Animal Science
Shannan Rooney
Fr.
Staten Island, N.Y.
Therapeutic Horsemanship
Jordan Spina
Jr.
Worcester, N.Y.
Business Administration
Stacey Sprague
So.
Grand Gorge, N.Y.
Business Administration
Samantha Springstead
So.
Staten Island, N.Y.
Animal Science
David Vosatka
Sr.
Schenevus, N.Y.
Business Administration
Cory Walton
Fr.
South Headley, Mass.
Business Administration
Katrina Weingarten
So.
Carlisle, N.Y.
Business Administration
Zach Wightman
Sr.
Kerhonkson, N.Y.
Horticulture

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