Tuesday, May 3, 2011



With public schools in Otsego and Delaware counties tightening     budgets and expecting class sizes to rise this year, some parents are assessing the options they have for educating their children. In Oneonta at least two Christian schools have survived the tests and   trials of time.  On Route 7, St. Mary’s School celebrated 85 years of education in 2009.  And on River Street, the Oneonta Community Christian School is celebrating 25 years of education this year. Register now for the fall.

St. Mary’s: ‘We Live Our Faith’
Fewer Students Mean Individual Attention


In 1924, St. Mary’s Church first opened a Catholic school on Walnut Street. Then, around the turn of the 21st Century, recently deceased Father Paul Roman spearheaded the transition of the school to its new building, which opened in 2001.
The early-childhood through sixth grade school follows the New York State curriculum and performs state testing just as in the public schools.
“We add to that the Catholic faith values,” said St. Mary’s Principal Patricia Bliss, “we take care of the intellectual, social and physical needs of students like all schools do, but we also have the opportunity to address spiritual needs.
“Here we are able to live our faith,” said Bliss, “We’re not in math class counting angels and subtracting
devils, but when there are teachable moments we can use our faith to talk about it.”
The 116-student school will be making some changes in the upcoming school year, Bliss said. With a drop in enrollment over the last few years they have reevaluated their class sizes and have made the decision to move to a multi-age classroom setting.
In this new set up, they will be combining certain grades in one classroom as dictated by the enrollment. Bliss anticipates first and second grades, third and fourth grades, and fifth and sixth grades will be combined, the idea is to not only meet the social needs of students, but also their learning needs.
Currently the sixth grade class at St. Mary’s only has two students; other classes have just four or seven. While the school embraces small class sizes as an opportunity to work with students one on one, Bliss said it does not provide much of a social outlet for the students.
In the multi-age classrooms teachers will be using technology to better meet the learning needs of the students they work with.
“With differentiated instruction we will be able to meet each child at their individual needs and we will also be more technology based,” said Bliss.
She explained that if students are learning to add fractions and one student has mastered the concept, they can move on using computer software programs and they will not be “set in the curriculum.”
The school received a Smartboard in recent weeks thanks to an anonymous donor and a few other donations made by community members to use towards that purchase. They are already set up with wireless internet and they have applied for a few grants to fund the purchase of laptops to help with the differentiated instruction.
When they started reassessing the school to see how to make the new classroom setup work best for the students, Bliss said they realized they were already doing a lot of the same things they will make regular next year, such as differentiated learning.
“We are building on our strengths,” said Bliss.
Next year the school will also work more closely with students from SUNY Oneonta who have been studying in their coursework about multi-age classrooms, but have never had the opportunity to see them in action.
“It will hopefully be beneficial for both,” said Bliss about working with SUNY Oneonta.

OCCS Stresses ‘Three Rs,’ But Christian Mores, Too


There’s Room At River Street School For ‘Spontaneity,’


In 1985, a feasibility committee made up of local pastors, parents and teachers launched the Oneonta Community Christian School.
“They wanted more than just the ABCs, reading, writing, and arithmetic,” said the Rev. C. Norman Moran, who was pastor at the Main Street Baptist Church at the time and has since retired.  Parents wanted their children to receive Bible-based education and a Biblical world view, he said.
Moran had some experience with Christian schools and had been a school teacher in public schools prior to coming to Oneonta in 1979. The group approached him about its interest when he first came to Oneonta and they started meeting regularly three years prior to the school opening,
The group represented a variety of evangelical churches in the Oneonta area and they wanted to make sure it was a community-based Christian school not just under the wing of one church, this is where the name Oneonta Community Christian School originated.
“We wanted to do it right,” said Pastor Moran.
“We had no money to start the school,” said Ruth Brown, one of the school’s first teachers, who also participated on the feasibility committee. “We were totally dependent on the Lord.”
Pastor Moran said most of their meetings were comprised of prayer, “we prayed for people, resources and wisdom.”
“In the early days, school board meetings were prayer meetings,” Brown said, “its how we survived.”
The school originally located at the Main Street Baptist Church, then moved to the West Oneonta Baptist Church, later to the building at 32 Chestnut Street, and finally found its home on River Street in Oneonta 15 years ago.
“The Lord always provided a place for us to have a school,” said Brown.
The school is registered with the Association of Christian Schools International as well at New York State, so students who graduate from the K-12 school receive a New York State diploma. It remains non-denominational and has students from many different area churches represented.
School Principal and Administrator Jane Cook said the school also houses students whose families are not religious but wanted their children to learn the moral values taught at the school. The school has also become an option for parents who homeschooled their children but do not feel comfortable teaching high school subjects such as physics or upper level algebra yet still want their children to receive individualized attention.
“Our smaller class sizes allow us to have more one- to-one learning,” said Cook,
She also explained that the class sizes allow them to do field trips and hands-on learning experiences at a moment’s notice. If the class is studying ecology they can walk to the greenway and learn in the environment.
“There is a spontaneity in our teaching style, teachers are free to do that,” said Cook.
Oneonta Community Christian School tries to stay on the forefront of education for their student. They teach Latin in the junior high grades and Spanish in high school. This year the kindergarten class started learning sign language as well. They recently received a donation of 8 up-to-date computers for the computer lab and the students have been learning web design.
The school may lack a large athletic program like public schools, but they have a soccer team that had a 10-2 season against other Christian schools. For students that want to be very involved in athletics, Cook said their parents often find other outlets for them to play beside high school athletics, such as traveling and club sports.
“OCCS is a very family-oriented school. Academic excellence and spiritual development are hallmarks of our reputation,” said Cook.

Opera Guild Programs Preview Opera Season



The Glimmerglass Opera Guild is once again presenting “Talking Opera,” briefings on this summer’s performances:  Handel’s “Tolomeo,” Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” Puccini’s “Tosca” and Copland’s “The Tender Land.”

The 2010 programs will be at 7 p.m. Mondays in the Parish House of Christ Episcopal Church, 69 Fair St.  Free of charge.

The schedule is as follows:
• May 10, Dr. Fiona Dejardin, Hartwick College professor of art history, “The Tender Land.”
• May 17, Glimmerglass Opera’s General & Artistic Director Michael MacLeod will talk about “Handel, Mozart and the Early Music Movement.”
• May 24, a four-member panel of Glimmerglass Opera orchestra members, discussing how they approach the season.
• June 7, the Young American Artists Program.
• June 14, Music Director David Angus will preview the season.



Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com

The joint is always jumping if the joint’s Mac’s Barbershop, 9 Oneida St., photographed during a Saturday, April 17, walking tour of Oneonta’s West End. In front, Howard Barton, Worcester, gets a trim from Mac himself.  Barber Ken Lowe, Burlington Flats, awaits a customer.  At rear, barber Mary Archibald, Portlandville, clips Vin Van Steenburg, Oneonta.

Mechanic Roger Chamberlain, right, Otego, advises alignment technician Zach Louden, Laurens, on a job at Monser Brothers, 375 Chestnut St.

Nick’s Diner  proprietor Sal Sarno whips up an omelet at the 220 Chestnut eatery.

Proprietors Louis and Maria Gatanas pack an order at the spotless Phoenix Grill, formerly Gyro Stop, 381 Chestnut.

“Great,” this table cheered, when Joe Plue, shift supervisor at Pondersosa Steakhouse, 333 Chestnut, asked, “How is everything?” At right are Connor LaMonaco, Jackie Frank and Erika Williams, all of Oneida, prospective students visiting Hartwick College.

American Storage Systems

American Storage Systems has been at 330 Pony Farm Road since 1988, originally named Century Storage. American Storage Systems is a moving and storage center catering to the DIY mover. As an authorized U-Haul dealer we provide state-of-the-art moving equipment at the lowest cost: Trucks, trailers, auto-trailers, dollies and furniture pads. American Storage Systems also carries a full line of moving boxes and supplies to make your move easy. We take pride in our self-storage facility always keeping it clean, dry and secure; making improvements along the way. We look forward to working for you now and into the future. Check us out online at www.AmericanStorageSystems.com or call (607) 432-7870.

The Village Printer

The Village Printer, located at 330 Pony Farm Road, has been well known for over 20 years. The VP has become an excellent resource when doing any type of production work.  On-site graphic designers, state-of-the-art equipment and premium knowledge result in 100% costumer satisfaction.  From printing on paper and making T-shirts, to enlarging your favorite photograph, the Village Printer services all requirements, large or small. Come down and test our ability! You will love the customer service and be completely satisfied with the outcome of your personal project.  Contacts us: www.thevillageprinter.com, (607) 432-5259, sales@thevillageprinter.com

Action Lube

The Auto Repair with that HOMETOWN feel. We offer:
• AC Delco certified technicians and quality parts.
• A small line of affordable used cars.
• A comfy waiting room set up like a 60’s diner with a juke box.
• Alignments, air conditioning service, major and minor repairs.
• We offer oil changes with no appointment needed.
• Diagnostics and Evap Smoke Testing. Action Lube is located at 458 Chestnut Street.

Oneonta NAPA Auto Parts, Inc.

NAPA Auto Parts, Inc. has been established since the 1980s. Before moving to the west end NAPA Auto Parts was located on the Southside of Oneonta.
In November 1999 they were combined as one and a new building was built at 436 Chestnut St. where they are now located. NAPA Auto Parts carries a variety of auto parts and accessories.
It is Owned and operated by Vince Crounse. Oneonta NAPA Auto parts is located at 436 Chestnut Street.

The Oneonta Redemption Center

The Oneonta Redemption Center has been in business for 8 years. Jimmy bought the business in August of 2008. The redemption center is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 7pm and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm. The Oneonta Redemption Center accepts all New York State five cent containers including water bottles. The center helps local organizations with bottle drives as well as offers bulk pick up services. All containers brought to the center must be clean and cannot be crushed or have missing labels. We count customers containers at no cost.

Satellite Central

Open for more than 20 years, Satellite Central has been selling, installing, and servicing all types of Satellite TV & Internet systems as well as closed circuit security cameras, cell phone boosters, wireless internet, WiFi systems and TV antennae systems. Satellite Central is located at 321 Chestnut Street Oneonta and can be reached at 607-432- DISH
 ( 3474 )

Monser Bros.Tire & Auto Repair

With over 80 years in business, we offer the best tires and auto repair in the area. Monser Brothers’ motto is “Service you can Trust.”  Monser offers passenger tires, truck tires, farm tires, industrial tires, full automobile repair, transmissions, inspections, alignments, tune-ups, and air conditioning repairs. Monser offers a wide range of brands including Michelin, Bridgestone, General, Cooper, Yokohama, Firestone, BF Goodrich, Uniroyal, Continental, and Pirelli. Monser is open Monday thru Friday from 8am to 5pm and Saturday from 8am to 1pm. Monser is located at 325 Chestnut Street.


AAA (referred to as Triple A) is organization that provides 24-hour roadside assistance, travel planning, auto pricing, buying, and maintenance services, as well as a host of insurance plans. For 100 years, member satisfaction has been the hallmark of AAA. And the company is very confident that its members will be happy with the services it provides and furthermore, offers a money-back guarantee. If at any time during the year AAA members decides that the product is not for them, the company will give them a pro-rata refund of their membership dues, exclusive of the new member admission fee. For any reason. The club also publishes “Going Places” magazine, which offers travel guides and tips. AAA is located at 195 Oneida Street, Oneonta - (607) 432-4512

West End Billiards

Bill Stone, owner of the newest West End treasure ,West End Billiards, is set to open its doors on May 1 in the basement of the Iron Chef Buffet. The new billiards operation consists of nine full size billiards tables, cue sticks (in case you don’t have your own), seating and snacks including soft drinks. Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 3:30pm until 11pm Saturday from 1pm to midnight  and Sunday from 1pm until 9pm. Stop down and enjoy our beautiful new facility. We can be reached at 267-4771. 

Young Pitchers Excel On Mound For CCS



This spring, young pitchers are shining on Cooperstown mounds.
In softball, CCS junior Anna Sams has taken the team to a 3-1 record as the team has charged forward into the new season. Her goal this year is to get the team a banner to hang in the gym – to do so the girls must make it to sectionals and win.
“I think softball is the only sport that doesn’t have a banner,” Sams said, adding that the team made it close last year and she thinks they are capable.
On the baseball team, sophomores Ryon Bennett and Jarrett Hotaling have both shone as starters. Their team has a 4-1 record and these two young men have each brought home wins. As freshmen, Bennett and Hotaling were both given the opportunity to pitch two varsity games and both got wins.
All three of these pitchers have something in common. They have all played since little league, they all like the position because of the control they have on the mound and they all have a specific person who has been influential in their success.
Hotaling grew up playing tee-ball.  He threw his first pitch when he was in fifth or sixth grade, he liked it and decided to keep at it, along with his other position of catcher. As a freshman he threw 87 pitches; most of them were strikes, something he is proud of.
For Hotaling, senior pitcher Kyle Liner has been the person he turns to for guidance. Hotaling catches for Liner and Liner catches for Hotaling. Liner has taught him a lot about mechanics and has been somebody to throw to, he said. The pitcher said his baseball coaches have also been influential.
His favorite part about playing pitcher, “You control the game.”
Bennett has also been playing since tee-ball, but it was his aunt Cynthia Gland who taught him how to pitch. Gland, of Hartwick, passed away in 2005 and Bennett said he plays for her.
Bennett said that pitching is hard, because “you can only control yourself and not your fielders,” and “there is a lot of pressure.”
As far as advice for younger players, Bennett said, “Go from batter to batter and don’t beat yourself up.”
“Stay away from the curveball until your older,” said Hotaling.
Sams has also played since she was in Kindergarten or first grade. Her sister who is four years ahead of her in school was a pitcher and Sams followed closely behind in her footsteps learning from her along the way.
They both learned from the same pitching coach Tom Weeks – who Sams said she is very close to. During the off season she practices at least a few times a week with her coach and plays on the STPS Ponies a travel softball team based out of Binghamton.
Sams likes pitching the best because she is in every single play.
“I enjoy the control I have of whatever is going on,” she said.
Her advice for younger players is that” it’s all about the placement of your pitches,” “it takes hard work and practice,” and “keep your head.”

‘What A Wonderful Town’


Sam Nader Piles Praise On Oneonta

Editor’s Note:  Former mayor and Oneonta Tigers’ promoter Sam Nader recounted his “wonderful journey” to 275 attendees at the Otsego County Chamber’s Annual Dinner & Celebration of Business Saturday, April 10, at SUNY Oneonta’s Hunt Union Ballroom.  Nader received the annual Eugene Bettiol, Jr., Distinguished Citizen Award.

Thank you John!
When I asked him (son and former mayor John S. Nader) to introduce me, he wanted to know what I would like him to say.
I told him to just mention something good about me.  I would say he overdid it!
I want to compliment The Northern Eagle Family and all of the Budweiser people for being such great community-minded people! I am flattered to be sharing this evening with them.
Believe me, even though I did not sell beer at the ball park, in my day, I had many a Bud on you!
What a night for me!
Being introduced by my son, honored by community, AND surrounded by family and friends.
I am very pleased that my daughter Suzanne and many of my grandchildren are here.
I regret that circumstances prevented my daughter Alice and my sister Jem from being here.
I am especially happy to be joined here tonight by my closest friend. We have been friends through thick and thin for over 70 years.  George Steinbrenner said we should be in the United Nations.  Sid Levine – please stand up!
What a man!
Gene Bettiol Jr. 
I served on the FOF board with Gene and can attest to what a wonderful person he was.  He was taken away from us too fast and too early!  But in his brief years, he truly left his mark on our community!
To receive his award is a special honor which I shall always cherish.
This may be my last hurrah and so I want to tell you a little bit about this wonderful journey of mine. No one makes it alone. I’ve been lucky.  But I’ve been helped along the way by wonderful parents, five siblings and by many people in all walks of life – too numerous to mention.
But most of all, I was blessed with a loving, caring wife:  Alice supported and encouraged me in all my endeavors. She raised our children while I was out doing my thing at Bendix, politics, baseball and you name it.  Without her participation, I would not be here tonight. Alice, you’re the greatest!
As you can see, I am a firm believer in remembering my roots.  “Remember from whence you come, lest you lose sight of where you are going.”
I was lucky to have worked for a great company: Bendix Scintilla. I started work there in 1940 at 40 cents per hour.  I intended to work for a short time – one college semester – then go back to college.
So much for intentions.
I retired from Bendix as the director of purchasing in 1983 after 43 years of service.
Then came the war – The Big One – WWII.  I was inducted and took my physical in Utica.  The examiner said I had very bad eyes, but not to worry:  They would put me right up front where I wouldn’t miss a thing!
He didn’t lie to me.
I landed overseas and joined the 28th Infantry Division as a machine gunner, just in time to participate in the Battle of the Bulge.
When I got home from service, Oneonta had a team in the Class C Canadian-American League, The Oneonta Red Sox.  My friend and my future brother-in-law Sonny House used his influence with the club president (who, incidentally, was his uncle), and I became the public address announcer.  A short time later I was made a director. 
The league folded in 1952.  Sid and I are the only living board members of the Oneonta Red Sox.
When I became mayor in 1961, one of my goals was to bring back professional baseball.  I felt it was a good cohesive force in the community. The ‘60s were the protest years.
I was able to bring professional baseball back in 1966 as a farm team of the Red Sox.  In 1967, we affiliated with the Yankees and stayed there for 34 years.  Then came the Detroit Tigers for 11 years; then the came the flight to Norwich, Conn.  Thanks to Dick Miller, we will have a new team here in 2011.
Baseball is a great equalizer, a great fraternity.  The memories I have acquired from my 50 years of involvement will never leave me.
Joe Molinari started me in politics in 1949 – he asked me to run for alderman in the Sixth Ward. 
I will never forget my first day of campaigning.  It was a late September morning and I began calling on my Italian friends on West Broadway. It was wine-making time, so I had to taste the Mongillo wine, the Pizza wine, the Manti wine and the Mastro wine. By the time we stopped saluting each other, I had to go home – ending my first day on the campaign trail.
Commitment to community and community service has been a genuine pleasure for me.  In my High School civics class, I was taught that civic responsibly and service were a duty, essential to good citizenship.
I believed that then and I believe it now. I have tried to follow that principle.
The heart and soul of a community is not brick and mortar.  The heart and soul of a community is its inhabitants.
In my 90 years, I have travelled far and wide and met many people – some great and some not so great – but the best people I know live here in my Hometown – Oneonta, New York!
Old Blue Eyes sang “NY, NY, What a Wonderful Town.”
Well, Old Brown eyes can’t carry a tune, but I can borrow his theme and shout – “Oneonta, NY What a Wonderful Town!!!”
As long as I’m so philosophical, I want to pass along a bit of Duffy Shakespeare advice to my golfing friends – Tony Drago, John Brooks and Dick Miller.  “The longest drive matterith NOT, if thou fails to maketh the second shot”
In closing, I would like to be remembered as a devoted husband, a loving father and a doting grandfather who served his city and country to the best of his ability.
I want to thank everyone for making this such a memorable evening and most especially, I want to thank this community and all its people for letting me serve them.
It’s been a great ride – good night and God bless you all.

Center Street School Opens Window On Oneonta’s Past


Many kids dream of finding buried treasure in their own backyards or a trap door in their closet that leads to a secret room.
So imagine Center Street School students’ surprise and delight when they found out there was a time capsule enclosed in a wall of their school.
On Monday, March 8, Angelo Ignone, of Eastman Associates, the Oneonta-based contractor, worked for two hours with a hammer and chisel to find and retrieve what Center Street School Librarian Mark Parmerter believed to be hidden behind the 1960 date stone on the newer half of the building.
Parmerter had been doing some research about the school a few years ago when he found a newspaper article from 1960, when the addition to the original 1897 building was dedicated. The article described a ceremony and mentioned a time capsule had been put in place.
With the 50th birthday of the new portion of the building approaching, he thought it would be neat to wait until now to retrieve it.
On Wednesday, April 7, Center Street students laid eyes on the time capsule for the first time when the shiny copper box with the lid almost completely closed went on display in a glass case in the mezzanine outside the school library.
Parmerter and a few other administrators are the only ones who know what is inside – apart from any community members who may remember from a half-century ago.
 “It is recommended when opening a time capsule to check and make sure what is inside has not rotted before making any large announcement,” Parmerter said.   He added enticingly: “What is in it is very well preserved.”
At their usual Friday assembly on April 9, fourth-graders taught their schoolmates about time capsules and the types of things people put in them. Then on Monday, April 12, Parmerter launched a contest in the library encouraging students to guess the contents, with prizes going to the three closest guesses.
“I think there is a teacher’s handbook and a kindergarten planner,” fourth grader John Michael Mikolaicyk, 10, guessed while peering in at the copper box.
Mary Lynch, 9, also a fourth grader listed off her guesses, “A teacher’s handbook, a class list, a test someone got back and many letters.”
The contents of the 1960 time capsule will be revealed at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18 during a school-wide birthday party celebrating, among other things, the 113th anniversary of the 1897 building, the 50th birthday of the 1960 building, and the retirement of Principal John Cook after 26 years at Center Street School.
A teacher who was at Center Street School when the new portion of the building was dedicated will be giving a speech in addition to other guest speakers, a multimedia presentation about the history of the school, party games and an ice cream social.
The opened time capsule and its contents will be on display after the party until the end of the school year, when it will be placed back in the wall with items from today’s school including class photos, a copy of the Center Street School history book produced by last year’s fourth-grade class and a letter to the class of 2060.