Times are tough. But so are we.
In Oneonta, and in towns and villages throughout the area, business owners struggle to pay the rent, the utilities, the taxes and payroll. They take what they can spare from the till to keep food on their own tables.
Maybe you have to be a small-business owner to truly appreciate that. (I am, and I do.) For their employees, things are uncertain at best. Few look for a raise. They hope to keep their jobs, even as friends, neighbors and family have lost theirs.
And when the workday is done, the grip of these grim times isn't loosened. If anything, it tightens with every drumbeat of bad news delivered by the TV and PC.
It's overwhelming. We need a hero, we think. But, what we really need is a mirror.
And so, we are bringing back First Night -- with a difference.
Not just as entertainment -- although it will be the largest in Oneonta this century -- but as a celebration of what our community can do and has done.
First Night 2011 has been dubbed "Imagine Oneonta," and it's our rallying cry!
This New Year's Eve, as thousands enjoy the most eclectic collection of entertainments imaginable, they will celebrate our community's collective successes as well. They'll be reminded of the hurdles we've cleared and the challenges we've overcome.
We are heroes. And we will make it through these tough times.
New Year's Eve is the one day in the year when everyone -- friends and strangers alike -- offers the gift of optimism, of hope for a better day. And we take it, gladly, even as we extend those wishes in return. That optimism about a new year's potential doesn't last long, sometimes just days. But if this year some 4,000 to 5,000 people leave Oneonta's historic downtown feeling just a little more empowered, just a little more hopeful… well, just imagine!
We're gathering an array of musicians, dancers and other performers the likes of which haven't been assembled in memory. Hundreds of volunteers are being recruited to assist downtown businesses in the transformation of their storefronts into mini-theaters. First Night's iconic puppets are receiving the TLC they've so long needed. The parade is forming. Fireworks are being readied.
But there's more!
In deference to the economy and the burden it has placed on local families, we're instituting a new admission policy. For the first time, children under 12 will be admitted for free.
In addition, we've moved our spectacular fireworks display to just after 10 p.m. so that the entire family can enjoy it.
Following the fireworks' finale, there will be a free show on the portable bandstand on Main Street. A toast to the New Year follows, and at midnight, a peal of bells will cascade from the hills of Hartwick to church after church in Oneonta's downtown.
We hope you'll join us this First Night, and help us Imagine Oneonta as the community that can.
These times may be tough, but so are we. (And we know how to party.) For more information about First Night Oneonta, see www.ImagineOneonta.com or look for us on Facebook. (Search Imagine Oneonta.)
Mark Drnek is chairman of First Night Oneonta.
Times are tough. But so are we.
- Big Chuck D'Imperio
There's no tough sledding when you're a youngster|
Winter weather is here. And so are outdoor winter activities.Continued ...
- Vroman's Nose hike is no walk in the park
- Being a grandpa will be better than just OK
- Some hits from the soundtrack of my life
- Some book picks from an avid reader
- There's no tough sledding when you're a youngster|
- Cary Brunswick
Instead of boycotting, buy locally
Buy Nothing Day, that international day of protest against rampant consumerism, is traditionally reserved for Black Friday in the United States and for the next day, Saturday, in other countries.Continued ...
- Don't expect high scores from hungry students
- Obama's stuck between a rock and a hard place
- Common Core had little input from educators
- This shutdown stuff is making me nauseated
- Instead of boycotting, buy locally
- Chuck Pinkey
- Guest Column
Balancing the city budget on kids' backs
It is ironic that the Nov. 12 issue of The Daily Star carried a story on Page 2 that the city is considering charging fees for recreation programs and paying the YMCA $65,000 for programming, staff and supplies, and on Page 3 a column by Cary Brunswick describes how poverty can affect the outcome of test scores for our youth.Continued ...
- Dude, where's my socioeconomic class?
- Congress playing hunger games
- Election choices: what are they, really?
- Nothing 'sustainable' about Otsego
- Balancing the city budget on kids' backs
- Lisa Miller
A view from above
Fire towers in the Catskill Mountains have always been destination points, built to capture some of the region’s best views. These sentinel stations served an important role for the earliest possible sightings of forest fires in the remote mountain ranges. But the fire towers and those who manned them fulfilled a multitude of other roles as well.Continued ...
- Being a parent is a constant learning process
- Healthy doesn't have to mean expensive
- A family era ends with close of Potter series
- Independent stores make up for loss of Borders
- A view from above
- Mark Simonson
Professional basketball exhibitions played at armory
Every now and then our region gets a visit from basketball show teams such as the Harlem Globetrotters. In recent years no one can say they saw NBA caliber teams play in Oneonta. In late 1948 and in early 1953 however, Oneonta could boast of watching both levels of basketball talent play on what was their premier hometown court.Continued ...
- Railroad, related developments expanded Oneonta in 1863
- Famous hobo discouraged youths from becoming wanderers
- Local college students pushed for equality in the late 1960s
- IBM thrived in region during Great Depression
- Professional basketball exhibitions played at armory
- Rick Brockway
Whitetail bucks are as smart as they come
I was on my hill deer hunting the other day. I sat on a pine hillside where deer usually wander. Quite a few tracks were in the snow when I got there. After about an hour, I decided to get up and wander. With little patience for sitting, I was lucky to have lasted that long.
- DEC makes deer season even better
- If you happen to come across a lynx, the DEC wants to know
- It's the right time to hunt, but you won't be alone
- Don't let time tick away if you contract Lyme Disease
- Whitetail bucks are as smart as they come
- Sam Pollak
50 years can't fade a day to remember
For the record -- and to ease the burden of research for my future biographers -- I was eating a tuna fish sandwich … on white bread … with lettuce and mayo.Continued ...
- Getting robbed of my untapped potential
- Here's what I've learned about the next generation
- I blame the liberals for America's mess
- Treat A-Rod like a player, not a gladiator
- 50 years can't fade a day to remember
- William Masters
Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues
As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.
Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner
An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.
Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity
Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.
Romney shows little regard for common man
The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.
Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists
The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.
- Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues