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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

1,200 Fans Attend Nichols Concert at SUNY Cobleskill

Written By Cicero on 11/16/15 | 11/16/15

COBLESKILL - Country music star Joe Nichols chatted with, took requests from, and wowed an audience of approximately 1,200 fans at SUNY Cobleskill on Friday evening. 

Photo by Timothy Knight
Playing select hits from his three albums, Nichols took the makeshift stage in the university's gym and performed for little more than a hour, concluding the night with his chart-topping "Sunny & 75" while couples slow danced.

Photo courtesy of SUNY Cobleskill.
The event was the result of a collaboration between SUNY Cobleskill and WGNA 107.7, which brought the touring musician to the agricultural college with much fanfare. The concert was free and tickets were available through various contests and giveaways sponsored by the college and radio station.

Metroland's Offices Seized, Future in Doubt

Written By Cicero on 11/11/15 | 11/11/15

It truly is a difficult time to operate a newspaper in America.

After thirty-seven years of publication, the Albany based Metroland had its doors forcibly closed on November 3rd after its offices were seized by the state Department of Taxation and Finance for over $20,000 in unpaid taxes. 

Distributed free of charge to approximately forty thousand readers in the Capital Region, the alternative weekly has long been a cultural mecca for its coverage of local arts and the music scene. 

Photo by Times-Union reporter Casey Seiler
However, that has done little to prevent the newspaper from falling victim to the financial straits that currently plague the industry. Metroland was put on sale back in July by it's ownership. 

Despite editor Stephen Leon commenting, "We're not done pursuing our other options," neither the newspaper nor its social media functionaries have made any public statements since the seizure, with not even a single facebook status being published. 

With the Times-Union's photograph of the paper's closure still in mind, it is yet another dark moment in the continuing death spiral of print journalism.

Opinion: The DNC's Disgrace

Written By Cicero on 10/12/15 | 10/12/15

After two rounds of Republican fisticuffs on the big 2016 election stage, it's the Democrat Party's turn to debate tomorrow night. However, it's not entirely going well thus far, and that's without even a single word having been spoken yet. 
The DNC's latest antics
definitely fulfill their
party symbol as jackasses. 

You see, while the Republican debates have suffered from the inclusion of just way too many folks on the same stage, Democrats have been upset at their national leadership for scheduling only a handful of debates before the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary. 

The call for more debates has been led by former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley since he launched his presidential campaign in the spring. Since then, several candidates, many voters, and even high ranking Democrat officials have joined O'Malley's call. 

Which has prompted the Democratic National Committee to disinvite Tulsi Gabbard from tomorrow's CNN debate. Gabbard, a U.S. Congresswoman, military veteran, and DNC Vice-Chair, has used her position to urge the party to hold more than the currently six scheduled debates. 

Veterans like Gabbard
served to defend U.S.A
freedoms. The DNC
obviously didn't get the
Apparently dissent is not to be tolerated in Debbie Wasserman Schultz's reign... I'm not going to straight up agree with O'Malley's position that the lack of debates is a pro-Hillary Clinton conspiracy within the DNC, but it is definitely revealing that the party refuses to adapt to the reality that the rank and file want to have a true discourse. 

Perhaps Hillary was the presumptive nominee when the debate schedule was hashed out several months ago, but that just isn't the case anymore. Sanders is leading in the early states and even Biden has showed significant support, even though he has yet to officially launch a bid. 

Furthermore, I don't believe enough words can express how distasteful I find the disinviting of Gabbard, an Iraq War Combat Veteran, who volunteered to serve overseas with her Hawaii National Guard unit despite her being personally opposed to the conflict.

This is truly a disgraceful act on part of the Democratic National Committee and I applaud the Sanders campaign for offering Gabbard an opportunity to attend the debate as a guest of the Senator. 

Letter to the Editor: To the People I Call True Heroes

Written By Editor on 10/7/15 | 10/7/15

I would like to take this time to personally thank all of the volunteer fire personnel who risk their lives daily. For the countless hours of training they have to go through to save our lives and property. For the countless hours they are away from their families. For all the time standing in the streets on a very hot or cold day or having some other type of fundraiser to make sure they are well equipped to save lives and property. Whenever they are needed, day or night, good or bad weather they respond without any question or concern for their own safety.

To all of the ambulance personnel who constantly train to keep up with all the requirements and techniques to be E.M.T.s, Paramedics, and et cetera. For all the time they are on call day, night, or weekends. For the time they spend fund raising to insure that the communities continue to have a well staffed and equipped ambulance to help and save lives. For the caring and compassion they show during people's time of need.

To all the people and staff that work with the mentally and physically challenged. Sometimes I would be at a restaurant, movie, or other function and be amazed at the patience and courtesy shown by you and your staff to your clients. I would say to my wife thank God for giving us special people like you ensuring the proper care of our mentally and physically challenged people.

To all the missionary workers who travel throughout the world helping the poor and sick, shysically and spiritually without and regard for their own personal health and safety.

To all the dedicated coaches, cub scouts, boy scouts, and girl scout leaders who give up their time so that our children can become well rounded individuals. Doing things that a lot of us parents, including myself don't make time for or are too busy to do.

To all the people that work with the elderly. For the patients and understanding you have to perform the tasks that are involved to assure the quality of care and life that is well deserved by our elderly.

To all the people who at the holiday time cook and serve food to the poor and homeless, giving up their time with their own families to make sure the poor and homeless enjoy a good meal.

To all the people who give their talent and their time unselfishly to help others in need, regardless of their own personal families and lives.

You don't have to be a famous athlete, star, or personality with your face on a ceral box or endorsement of some famous product to be my hero. Because you are the real heroes and I thank God for you all.

Pete Coppolo

Middleburgh FD, Village Complete Major Handicapped Accessibility Project

Written By Editor on 10/5/15 | 10/5/15

The Middleburgh Fire Department and Village of Middleburgh teamed up over the last two months to complete a major obstacle for disabled access. The Village funded a project recommended by Fire Chief Mike Devlin and Assistant Chief Jerry Wayman.

Chief Devlin placed a notice on the Fire Department's Facebook page, thanking Mayor Matthew Avitabile and the Village Board for their diligence in getting the project done. As a result of the project, both the men's and women's bathrooms are fully ADA compliant and refurbished. This was an improvement that the Department had asked for for several decades.

Posted on the MFD Facebook Page
The Village announced in June that it would be working on a solution to improve handicapped access to the Village Hall after helping multiple businesses around the area improve or introduce access for the disabled.

County Unemployment Rate falls to Eight Year Low

Written By Editor on 9/26/15 | 9/26/15

Recently released figures from the State Labor Department show that unemployment in Schoharie County has fallen to its lowest level in seven years.

In August 2015, the most recent data available, the County's unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, compared to 5.7% in August. The last time unemployment was this low was in October 2007, when it was 4.7%.

Cuomo Calls for National Gun Control at Aide's Funeral

Governor Cuomo stepped into the national gun control debate this week at the funeral of his attorney Carey Gabay. Gabay was struck by a stray bullet during celebrations of the West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn.

Cuomo stated that he considered asking the Pope about why Gabay died, but was compelled not to due to his faith in God. Reuters covered the funeral, in which Cuomo also called for a national effort to reduce gun violence through much broader gun control.

 Cuomo told the assembled, "It's not enough for New York State to pass a gun law and close the front door when the guns are coming in the back door, when the guns can come up from Virginia or South Carolina for anyone willing to take a car ride."

Cuomo also described what he called "rampant violence" in poorer communities and those of people of color.

Earlier this month the Governor also spoke about Gabay's shooting, which was covered by the Times Union. "I can't pass a tougher law than we did or a smarter law than we did," he said.

A Nose Eyed View

Written By Cicero on 8/30/15 | 8/30/15

Author's note: written as part of a college assignment, this article not only attempts to capture the meaning of Vroman's Nose to Middleburgh residents, but to address the lapse in engagement that exists between SUNY Cobleskill and the surrounding community. I hope everyone appreciates it. (It was written in late winter/early spring, thus the emphasis on colder conditions)

The view is breathtaking, even in the desolate destruction of winter’s long, cruel and chaotic reign. For miles on end, all you can see is a vast expanse of half-frozen ground speckled with the promise of rebirth not far off. On top of the frozen earth lies human innovation: cars, houses, sheds, tools, tractors and whatever the case may be. Even farther in the distance, dividing the two sides of the valley floor with its meandering yet straight banks, rests the thawing Schoharie Creek, placid and peaceful now, but always a threat of flooding if its innermost demons are wrought upon the creek’s inhabitants on either side of its banks.
This seemingly photo-book visual is not easily obtained, however. One must first defeat the obstacles of nature and trek a half mile up a sloping and at times steep mountainside that culminates the figure of a nose, earning the mountain’s moniker among the natives of the Schoharie Valley as simply, “Vroman’s Nose.” Although the view of the surrounding farmland is barren in the winter, from early April to late October it’s teeming with beauty, fertility, and life. A rite of passage to becoming a true citizen in Middleburgh, New York, and its adjoining municipalities, it is a passage well-traveled. 
Middleburgh High School alum and current SUNY Cobleskill student Shania Marotta describes the mountain as a “fun and relaxing place to go when you’re bored and looking for something to do.” Spring and summer-time adventures are not uncommon for local teenagers, hikers, or even a couple looking for a romantic setting, to which Ms. Marotta personally testified,as does the author of this piece. But not everyone takes advantage of the beauty and fun-filled activity of an afternoon of the Nose.
Just fifteen minutes away from the Nose rests SUNY Cobleskill, a historically agriculture-friendly school that, mixed with liberal arts majors, boasts almost 2500 students, many of whom have never experienced the mountainside trek, or much of Schoharie County off campus, for that matter. 
 Erika Day, a Sophomore in the college’s Equine program, says there is little for students to do off campus outside of going to the local movie theater or the typical midnight trips to Wal-Mart. Day mentioned hiking trails as a possibility but to date hasn’t had the opportunity to experience local sites due to time restraints and a lack of knowledge about the accessibility of the trails.
She is not the exception, however. With limited transportation options and with most of what your typical college student needs within a three-mile radius, there is little to no incentive for students to go off venturing beyond that barrier to experience the remainder of what the rural county of 32,000 residents and its scenery of untold beauty has to offer, particularly in its southernmost regions.
Encompassing wide swathes of open land, fishing streams, ponds, hiking trails, and camping areas, the northern Catskills foothills are a paradise for outdoorsmen and adventurers alike, but few if any outside of native inhabitants are aware of what awaits just a short drive out of Cobleskill.
The failure is twofold on behalf of the college, which doesn’t actively encourage engagement with the surrounding community by students, and in particular with the rural areas despite the presence of a significant agriculturally inclined academic body. As well as with the community at large, which doesn’t adequately promote all that it has to offer to local youth and students, even though there is a prevailing concern in nearby municipalities of declining public utilization of recreation areas.
Blenheim Town Supervisor Shawn Smith, a native of nearby Jefferson and a SUNY Cobleskill Alum, commented that for him, “One of the things I enjoyed doing as an off-campus activity while I attended SUNY Cobleskill was visiting the Mallet Pond State Forest, which is located in the Towns of Fulton and Summit.
Only a fifteen minute drive from campus, the Mallet State Pond Forest is one of many natural parks within a half hour drive of students. In Gilboa lies the Mine Kill State Park, which offers a wide variety of fall, winter, and spring activities, with the smaller Max V. Shaul campsite in Fulton a peaceful retreat that is just minutes away from the Nose.
But the difference for Marotta and Smith is that they grew up in Schoharie County, and became well acquainted with the natural beauty it has to offer to people of all interests, while Day and thousands of SUNY Cobleskill students rarely even hear, let alone experience, what there is to see in the sprawling rural region beyond their dorm-rooms.
This is in part cultural, as an ever-increasing segment of the study body is trekking up from the New York City area, and are usually not so inclined to journey outdoors, while another aspect is societal, with most if not students becoming one with their technological devices – a bond that is hard to sever – no matter the beauty beyond their screens. 
Some are breaking the downward trend, however. Members of the SUNY Cobleskill Outing Club typically venture off campus on weekends to explore different activities located in the surrounding areas, including a recent trip to Mine Kill State Park in Gilboa to snowshoe before a temperature swing melted the snowpack, and in the fall they journeyed to the pearl of the valley, Vroman’s Nose.
But, more often than not, they are the exception to the rule. Smith, fondly remembering his old fishing trips to Mallet Pond, recalled that it was a “refreshing break from classes anytime of the year.” Although just graduating a handful of years before, the dynamics of college life have changed, with a constant need for connectivity by way of cellphones often replacing real, human interaction. A constant need that Smith just shakes his head to. 
Or, perhaps just a Nose. Located at the fertility of the Schoharie County, a gateway to the county’s southernmost beauties, Vroman Nose still stands; waiting for potential customers to cash in on its breathtaking sights. Middleburgh Mayor Matthew Avitabile, a lifelong resident of Middleburgh and an alum of SUNY Cobleskill, believes that the mountainside fortress is more than just a natural treasure, but a beacon of hope that all should experience. 
Often climbing the mountain twice per year with family and friends, the youthful official of twenty-eight years states, “Middleburgh has been through a lot in three hundred years of history, and throughout war, depression, floods, revival, peace, and prosperity, Vroman’s Nose remains the guardian of the Valley.”
And there she will continue to stand, after having protected centuries of Dutch and German settlers and their offspring, and centuries of Native American tribes that called the Schoharie Valley home before the Europeans moved in; and there she will stand for another three centuries, strong and robust, daunting yet inviting at the same time.
The question is: will the Nose and Schoharie County’s other natural beauties remain the area's best kept secret to college students?
The answer to that may be unknown for the time being, but not to Ms. Marotta. Planning to take more trips in the future, the Communication major stated that she has “always enjoyed the serenity of the hike and the view at the top.” A view that is unmatched in comparison to any enclosed room.

Opinion: Finding Success in Failure

Written By Cicero on 8/25/15 | 8/25/15

Life was going pretty well: I was working as a freelance journalist for a local newspaper; my college GPA was a 4.0; and, although less than desirable, my part time job of working in a local deli was tolerable. 

Then I decided with my soon to be had Associate's Degree set to be in my hands, that I would try something risky. I would open my very own newspaper in a media landscape where four papers were already present.

Risky and ballsy. 

I knew the trends: online advertising was going up, newspaper circulation was going down, and uninformed bloggers would be all that remained. It's actually rather ironic, because I got my start in local media as a citizen journalist online, and from there, I have never looked back. 

My thought process went a little something like this - I was twenty-one years old - therefore, if I found success in print media, then wonderful. But, if not, which was more likely, I would still likely be in my twenty-something years and I would be more than capable of recreating myself. 

I just didn't imagine how quick I would have the chance to recreate myself. 

After thirteen weeks of publishing a weekly newspaper that I reported in, got ads for, designed, edited, managed, and then on every Tuesday afternoon when everything else was completed, I delivered 90% of the product countywide, the paper and I reached our inevitable end. 

The paper's finances were in rough shape and my sanity was teetering on the verge of being totally lost, due to overworking and lack of reward. 

A labor of love does not come remotely close to describing how soul crushing it was to invest so much time (40-50 hours per week) for so little payoff (often less than $200 per paycheck), because that's all the business could afford. 

As everyone could probably guess, I love writing with a passion, but I do not enjoy working for $4 per hour running my own business when I made over $11 per hour cutting hot capicola before.

So, in retrospect, was it worth the trouble? The answer is: absolutely yes. 

My lifelong dream was to own a newspaper, and I had just enough money and just enough foolishness to actually attempt it, while still being young enough to recover if it did not pan out as I had hoped. 

Although most of my supporters have been understanding of the difficulties I faced, many have been far less understanding and have either branded me a quitter for not sticking it out or incompetent for not incurring debt. 

To the first set of naysayers, I ask of you: how many newspapers have you tried launching in the twenty-first century? Oh... none. That's what I thought. You may be seated and be silent for the rest of this article. Thank you. 

To the second set of naysayers, I offer the following explanation: I lost thousands of dollars in this endeavor; more than half of my pre-paper net worth has been lost forever, as well as investments from friends with no strings attached. There was and is simply no way I was willing to further put my and others financial stability at risk for a dream.

A dream that I have learned a lot from, but I was not willing to give everything up for, because you will always have your dreams, but they don't always pay your bills. 

I am a writer and I am a journalist. I strive to cover the news objectively and to hold the corrupt accountable... but I am not an entrepreneur. I do not have the business prowess of Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan, but the drive of Upton Sinclair and Bob Woodward. 

The Schoharie News print edition was a failure, but a necessary one. I not only learned more about the news media landscape of Schoharie County and of the financial struggles that rural newspapers face nationwide, but I also learned about who I am and what I am capable of. 

Judging by the stories my team and I were able to produce: I know my place is in journalism, because if our material was that good under that much pressure, there's no telling what our potential is in the future under better conditions. 

And that, despite the failures and lessons encountered, is why I consider the endeavor a success in the end, because although I didn't become the next great media mogul in the fashion of William Hearst, I gave it my best and I now know that for whatever success I have in the years to come, it wouldn't have been possible without this bump in the road. 

Letter to the Editor: County Fights to Ensure Pipeline Safety

Written By Cicero on 8/24/15 | 8/24/15

Dear Editor,

Residents of Schoharie should know that many of us are working very hard to make sure that gas pipelines will not be approved unless they can be shown to be safe.
The County Board of Supervisors has authorized an outreach to every other county in the state, asking them to join us in supporting a comprehensive look at all health and safety impacts, to be conducted by independent, prominent public health professionals.
This effort has been reinforced by the American Medical Association, which supports the creation of a law requesting regulatory agencies to properly evaluate and guard against the many health risks presented by gas pipelines, compressor stations, and related activities.  The AMA is clearly unsatisfied with the way in which these reviews are currently conducted.
A group of doctors from around the state is being formed to meet with and educate legislators and high-ranking state officials.  These doctors know from their research and private practice that many risks and impacts of pipeline infrastructure are being overlooked by what is basically an amateur staff at regulatory agencies.
One of these research projects has just included the compressor station in the Town of Wright, which is slated to be much larger if the Constitution Pipeline is given final permits.  Air and water quality testing and health interviews with nearby residents will provide much better information than anything the Dept. of Environmental Conservation is currently using to guide its decisions.
I am calling, now, on all of you who are rightly concerned about the way in which pipeline projects are expanding so rapidly and being reviewed too quickly, to join those of us who have written to Governor Cuomo.  Ask him to place the same kind of moratorium on gas pipelines as he did on fracking and for the same reason; to have time to fully understand the risks, to determine if they can be avoided, and to decide if they outweigh the benefits.

Gene Milone,
Town of Schoharie Supervisor

Mburgh Republicans Back Coppolo for Supervisor

Written By Cicero on 8/21/15 | 8/21/15

By Timothy Knight

Middleburgh - Incumbent Democratic Supervisor Jim Buzon will face a challenge after all in the Town of Middleburgh. 

Convening Thursday evening to nominate their slate of candidates for the fall elections, it appeared Middleburgh Republicans would have no candidate to challenge Buzon, but a last second nomination changed all that. 

With no nominations on the floor after several minutes, Pine Street resident Pete Coppolo nominated himself for the position, which was seconded by Village Mayor Matthew Avitabile. Mr. Coppolo, a former county employee, has no political experience. 

Mr. Buzon, who was present as an observer, announced his intention to seek re-election in The Schoharie News in July, and is expected to secure the Democratic nomination on Monday evening, when Middleburgh's Democrats meet. 

Incumbent Town Councilpersons Sue Makely and Frank Herodes were unanimously nominated for their positions on the Town Council, while incumbent Town Justice Michael Guntert also received Republican backing to seek re-election.  

Little is known of Mr. Coppolo, but his entrance into the race guarantees a contested election this fall between Mr. Buzon and himself.

Opinion: Farewell, Stewart - A Legend Departs

Written By Editor on 8/4/15 | 8/4/15

The end is nigh. 

After sixteen years at the helm of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart is in his final week as host of the popular Comedy Central program. Conservatives are relishing the departure of a major thorn in their side while liberals are sobbing over the loss of an ideological comrade. 


I'm sorry to see a comedic genius exit stage right. 

There are few times that I am in total agreement with Stewart, due largely in part to my conservative background, but I respect his tenacity and his underlying motives for the way he addresses the news and ridicules the news makers. It is truly an amazing thing to behold. 

The New York Times today published a list of nine essential moments that mark Stewart's long reign over political comedy, including his coverage of the 2000 Election debacle, his appearance on CNN's Crossfire, and President Obama's first appearance on The Daily Show.

While obviously pivotal moments in the rise of Stewart, the New York Times missed something very crucial to cracking the nut that is the comedian's shtick: his ability to make young viewers care.

Many on the right (most in a serious demeanor) bemoan the involvement of my generation in the political process, because, as a whole, we tend to lean to the liberal end of the political spectrum (me being the exception to the rule), but this has always rubbed me the wrong way. 

Sure, the more liberal inclined voters that are involved = the more votes a Democratic candidate is likely to receive in the political process. However, wouldn't a smarter line of thought be to reason with these voters in a way that might entice them to consider what conservatism is about? 

I digress. 

Stewart's success has come at the relatively easy cost of listening to the outcry of muffled Millennials who want to right a world they see as rife with injustice. Are they necessary right? No. But do they have a right to see their voice represented at the podium? Absolutely. 

Recognizing this sleeping giant of young, socially aware, technologically advanced, and wannabe reformers has made Stewart into what he is: the voice of my generation, our Walter Chronkite, if not in style, then definitely in substance and reverence.

I understand Trevor Noah to be a capable comedian, and from what few clips I have seen, he is quite similar to Stewart's style, but regardless of his success, I highly doubt he will come close to toppling the creator of meaningful political comedy, Mr. Jon Stewart. 

Addendum: I'm sure every conservative in reading distance of this status wants to burn my entrails for reflecting positively on Stewart's tenure as host of The Daily Show... Oh well, life is but a finite amount time on earth, might as well make a few enemies at the expense of the truth. 

Reality Check Makes Impact at Heritage Day

Written By Michael on 8/3/15 | 8/3/15

By Schoharie News Staff

JEFFERSON - The Reality Check and Tobacco Free program of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties participated at the recent Heritage Day event in Jefferson, where their team of Reality Check Youth Advocates were hard at work.

Willow Thompkins, Gage Griffith, and Bumbaco, all eighth graders, worked during the festivities to educate Jefferson's community youth and to help prevent them from initating tobacco use.

Currently in its second year of a five year grant with the New York State Department of Health, Reality Check operates out of SUNY Cobleskill and has engaged in a strong community outreach at various events across the county.

The organization reported that they discussed ways to quit smoking and other progressive steps to reduce tobacco use with members of the Stamford Fire Department at the event, which was well attended by the community.

Fulton Considers Repeal of Outdated Sign Law

FULTON - The Fulton Town Board has introduced a local law to repeal an ordinance restricting the display of permanent signs and outdoor advertising.

Adopted in 1979, the ordinance cited the municipality's desire to "preserve the open, rural character of the town" in approving the sign prohibitions, which limited the amount of distance a sign could be from the business it was advertising and outlawed all neon lit signs.

However, in an attempt to reduce the number of unnecessary regulations or potential burden on residents or businesses, the local law was written.

Set for a public hearing and possible adoption at last Monday's town board meeting, the law's discussion had to be postponed due to a failure to advertise the hearing in the town's official newspaper.

The public hearing is expected to be held at the August town board meeting instead.

Letter to the Editor: Pipeline Threat Remains, but County is Taking Steps to Address Issue

Written By Michael on 8/2/15 | 8/2/15

While the threat of another pipeline running through our county looms, my efforts, along with some other supervisors, to secure a comprehensive health impacts assessment (HIA) pertaining to pipelines and compressor stations continues. The oil and gas industry has been exempted from environmental regulations such as the Clean Air and Water Acts for decades. Unfortunately the American public has been exposed to numerous health concerns because of these exemptions and it is time that big energy has its feet held to the fire just like everyone else.

It is important for you to know that four weeks ago the American Medical Association passed a resolution calling for legislation to have serious, all-inclusive health impact studies conducted on pipelines and compressor stations. Our county generated a letter to Governor Cuomo apprising him of what the AMA is calling for and requested that the DEC not issue the necessary permits for Constitution or any other pipeline to be placed in the ground until these studies are conducted.

I am pleased to say that our county has been leading the struggle to secure proper attention to health impacts and we now have Albany, Rensselaer and Putnam counties that have joined this effort. I will be reaching out to many other county legislators on this issue in the upcoming weeks to request them joining us on this issue. We as a county must not be discouraged the struggle to protect our county from becoming a corridor for pipelines will not be easy and all local elected representatives should be involved.

The health and safety of many Americans in close proximity to pipelines and compressor stations is felt to be at risk by the medical community. It is extremely important that we receive the assistance from our representatives at the next levels of government on this issue as well. Please take the time to write them about your concerns.

Gene Milone, Supervisor
Town of Schoharie

Letter to the Editor: Middleburgh's Made Strides Under Avitabile & Co.

Written By Michael on 8/1/15 | 8/1/15

Dear Editor,

I would like to recognize the hard work that our Mayor Matthew Avitabile and the Village Board has done to bring Middleburgh back after Irene. The business are thriving downtown, the Fire Department is finally being help-ed, and our tax bills haven't been going up. We are very fortunate to have these dedicated people doing their best to rebuild and revitalize the community. They have done more in three years than the last decade beforehand. Look at the wonderful wildflowers, new parks, and events and enjoy Middleburgh's miracle.

Adrienne Bartholemew,
Middleburgh, New York

The Schoharie View: The Future is Bright

Written By Michael on 7/31/15 | 7/31/15

SUNY Cobleskill has gone through some tough times as of late.

This past May's commencement continued a worrisome string of graduating classes that have made their walk without a president of their own to congratulate them. Sure, there have been acting and temporary figures at the helm, but it is just not the same in a position where there has been a vacuum in leadership.

The good news is: this is about to change.

After almost two years of steady leadership by Doctor Debra Thatcher, who served effectively as acting president for the college, SUNY Cobleskill welcomed its first full time president since 2011 with the start of Doctor Marion Terenzio's tenure on July 1st.

However, as our own Joslen Pettit reported on July 7th, "Terenzio will be stepping into a difficult position as Cobleskill has a frequent turnover rate due to weak leadership."

Although I was admittedly excited to see the university welcome a new, full time president into the fold, it wasn't until I sat down with Doctor Terenzio last week that I knew the college had made the correct choice in selecting her as its new leader.

Blessed with a wealth of knowledge from both inside and out of academia, Terenzio was eager to not only further engage the campus with the community, which has been a short coming of previous administrations, but to expand on what the college already exceeds in on both the agricultural and liberal arts sections of campus.

Furthermore, in addition to the doctor's visible eagerness to begin her work, Terenzio surprised me with her desire to learn from others. Discussing the college before we began the interview, she took out a notepad and began scribbling down my suggestions and thoughts as we talked. Leaving her office, the impression that she is open to all trains of thought in moving SUNY Cobleskill forward, made me that much more invested in seeing her succeed as an alumnus.

Good impressions speak measures and the good doctor left me with a sense of optimism for the campus. However, with a staff of alums, students, and professors that have been engaged with that university, we will be watching her progress with great attentiveness.

Timothy Knight,
Editor and Publisher,
The Schoharie News.
Tuesday, July 21st, 2015.

Inside Focus: Meet New SUNY Cobleskill President Doctor Marion Terenzio

By Timothy Knight

COBLESKILL - After serving for years as a revolving door, the presidency of SUNY Cobleskill has a new full time occupant.

Taking charge as the rural university's first non-temporary president in four years on July 1st, Doctor Marion Terenzio steps into her new role with an eagerness to build on the successes of the campus while utilizing her experience from multiple disciplines to chart the college's best possible course moving forward as SUNY Cobleskill's twelfth president.

Although Doctor Terenzio has received one baccalaureate degree, two master's, and one doctorate in the fields of music therapy and community psychology, she said that she truly "began my education when I started playing the organ at the age of five." There, she added, is when she learned how to coordinate her mind and body in educational study.

Education being the "largest social movement in which a society can be engaged that the community and individual levels," according to the new president.

An educator long before entering the administrative portion of academia, Terenzio's background never quite matched the main stream. Her educational path took her down both the roads of theory and action, where on one hand she became a professor at the age of twenty-four, while also working as a music therapist, which she credited for teaching her how to learn from others.

Describing her experience of working as a music therapist with children with disabilities as "the most profound educational experience of my life that shaped me," Dr. Terenzio said that she learned the power of diversity and that it has become one of her strongest influences.

Just weeks into her position, the new president admitted that "if you ever asked me if I waned to be a college president: it was never on my radar."

Doctor Terenzio would go on to state that her resume has always been outside of the norm of academia.

However, so has SUNY Cobleskill's string of tumultuous years following the failed presidency of Don Zingale, who was disgraced by the State University Faculty Senate Visitation Team in 2011 for having issues with personal interaction, ineffective communication, and inconsistent management. Following Zingale's departure, the college has had a series of acting and temporary heads.

Launching an exhaustive search process that lasted several months, the university selected Terenzio earlier this year to replace acting president Doctor Debra Thatcher.

Although she believed her resume to be out of the norm, Terenzio's experience as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Bloomfield College caught SUNY Cobleskill's attention, and thus far, so has SUNY Cobleskill for its new president.

Commenting, "I'm not here to change SUNY Cobleskill but to enhance what's already here," Dr. Terenzio described the college's academic offering as unique for its applied learning in liberal arts and the hands on experience that is agricultural technology.

One of Terenzio's biggest goals during her presidency "is to help bring SUNY Cobleskill forward to the community," where the college can, "become a very good neighbor and partner."

Identifying potential avenues of connecting with the community such as by helping a business through the Start Up New York program, engaging with area school districts, or inviting residents on campus for open houses, the community oriented president emphasized that, "I want to get to know the people."

Particularly the student body.

Seeing her job as not just to lead, but to be a symbolic presence for the students, Doctor Terenzio wants to "be there as a mentor and role model" because "we're here together to enhance their future."

Together with a diverse faculty that Dr. Terenzio describes as exceptional due to the success stories of students who have passed through their classrooms. Commenting that the faculty's love for SUNY Cobleskill "speaks volumes," the president stated, "the faculty are the front-line educators of youth."

Just a few short months away from the college's centennial, Doctor Terenzio has stepped into her position with a college on the verge of both marking a significant historical milestone and of turning the corner from a series of recent administrative lows.

Concluding that "It's not just the faculty, but the entire institution of faculty and staff," President Terenzio remarked that they have already shown her, "their extreme willingness to do what it takes."

Esperance Moves Forward on Town Projects

Written By Michael on 7/30/15 | 7/30/15

By Joslen Pettit

ESPERANCE - Last Thursday the Esperance Town Board approved several important municipal projects, including: a municipal sewer, restoration of Village of Esperance Firehouse Rescue Facility and Town Hall, as well as the Arboretum Shelter Emergency Structures.

These projects are all part of the continued efforts to rebuild the village as well as protect it from future flooding with help from GOSR, the new acronym for the New York Storm Recovery Resources Center.

The projects include the construction of a municipal sewer system for the Village of Esperance. Restoration of the Town Hall and the Firehouse Rescue Facility, which were both damaged. As well as the construction of emergency structures at the Arboretum. The Esperance town board unanimously approved supervisor Earl Van Wormer III to sign off on these applications. The town board were hopeful that these projects would help aid the community as they had done before and in the case of the new structures ensure their continued safety from heavy storming.

In other news, the Esperance town board:

• Discussed a possible tax raise after spending far over projected budget on snow removal in the town of Esperance over the last winter. The town board is reluctant to go through with the change, taking pride from being one of the lowest taxed towns in the county. However, if the coming winter proves to be as intense as the last in terms of snowfall the board may have no choice. Town supervisor Earl Van Wormer III voiced his reluctance to go through with the change, “No one could have possibly predicted we would exceed the money allotted for last winters snow removal, but we do have some options we need to consider before raising the taxes.” No changes will be made as of yet, as the board is hoping the coming winter may not take such a heavy toll on their budget.

• Appointed Robert Bensinger and Richard Benninger to the planning board as permanent members. This action was taken after two planning board members resigned.

Conesville-Gilboa to Hold Annual Garage Sale August 1st

The Conesville Fire Department Auxiliary will be hosting the Annual Conesville Gilboa Garage Sales starting August 1st at 9:00.  Over thirty homes will be offering for sale a wide variety of items in this increasingly popular event with more participating locations each year.  
Maps of the participating homes will be available at the Conesville Firehouse, 1292 State Route 990V, Conesville Town Hall at 1306 State Route 990V, Gilboa Town Hall at 373 State Route 990V, Clark’s Restaurant at 653 State Route 990V and the Manorkill Store at 684 Potter Mountain Road.    
During the event breakfast, hot dogs and refreshments will be available at the firehouse and starting at 11:30 the Conesville Methodist Church directly across from the Fire House will have a Chicken Barbecue and Bake Sale.

A fun and interesting day in beautiful Southern Schoharie County.  

The Best of the Summer

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