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My Turn

March 8, 2010

My Turn: Making Main Street Oneonta the best that it can be

THIS WEEK’S “My Turn” column is by Rachel Lutz Jessup. Jessup is the assistant branch manager at the NBT branch on Wall Street, and the president of Main Street Oneonta.

I have the good fortune of being involved with many organizations whose goals are the continuing improvement of Oneonta and the surrounding area.

This year, I am honored to be the chairwoman for one of these organizations _ Main Street Oneonta. It is an honor to lead an organization that has such deeply imbedded roots.

Main Street Oneonta started as the Downtown Retail Merchants Association, during the heyday of Bresee’s Department Store, when Thursday nights downtown often included dinner at the Healthbar and shopping until 8 p.m.

Downtown Retail Merchants Association became the Downtown Oneonta Improvement Task Force, under the supervision of Mark Drnek.

Main Street Oneonta came about shortly after that and was led by local merchants and community members, including Nancy Scanlon, Karen Woods, Michelle Eastman, Grace Smith, Julie Carney and Kathleen Frascatore, to name a few, and was supported by a small group of very dedicated volunteers.

We continue to serve you today as Main Street Oneonta.

We are so fortunate to live in this community. Even with the losses that we have suffered over the last year (the closing of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, the loss of the Oneonta Tigers and the challenges to the Foothills Performing Arts Center) our hills are still bustling with a multitude of activities.

Our downtown offers a wide variety of stores. You could spend a day going shopping for musical instruments, health food, clothing and shoes, outdoor apparel and gear, hardware, handmade gifts, unusual gifts, slightly used clothing, art supplies, pet supplies, jewelry and books while you’re getting your car serviced, going to the gym, doing laundry, learning how to dance, taking taekwando, getting coffee or something to eat, visiting your lawyer or accountant, getting your eyes checked, going tanning, getting a haircut, going to the spa, getting a tattoo, admiring the talents of our local artists and performers or diving into local history.

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