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January 7, 2014


The Daily Star

---- — To those who organized, participated in and attended Oneonta’s First Night festivities on New Year’s Eve. 

The family-friendly celebration has had its ups and downs over the years, and weather is often a factor in attendance figures. 

“The event is weather sensitive,” David Hayes, a member of the First Night organizing board, told The Daily Star last week. “For people who braved the cold, I think they had a blast.” 

Temperatures were below freezing, with strong winds making it feel even colder, for the annual parade, fireworks display and series of performances around the city. But the attendance of 2,500 was only down about 500 from last year’s figures — not bad considering the weather. 

Hayes described this year’s First Night as “very successful.”

“There certainly will be one next year,” he said.

We’re glad to hear it, and we’re thankful for all those who work hard throughout the year to put on this celebration, as well as the sponsors who made it possible. 


To the State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill students who replaced a local veteran’s D-Day flag. 

The five young men were notified by a neighbor that Howard Coger’s treasured American flag, which had flown outside his Cobleskill home for years. 

Coger, a veteran of the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion of Normandy, died a week before Christmas. But his children got an unexpected Christmas gift from Christopher Satriano, Ethan Fervan, Evan Dutcher, Jake Woodward and Kevin Hanson, who purchased a similar flag to replace Coger’s missing keepsake, and fashioned a new mount to secure it to Coger’s garage. 

“They really took ownership to right something that was wrong,” one of Coger’s daughters, Linda, told The Daily Star. “They were very kind to my dad.”

The millenial generation, of which today’s college students are members, get pigeonholed as being entitled and narcissistic. This story is a moving reminder that such generalizations are not always useful. We thank these young men for what they did. 


To the 25th Ross Cordell Rotary Tournament, held Saturday at Oneonta High School. 

The annual wrestling tournament was dedicated to founder and longtime director Tom Marks on Friday night. Marks was presented with an award and a banner was raised in his honor. 

OHS coach John Nealis called it “a longtime overdue honor.” According to a media release, the event began as “a brainstorming idea around a table” led by Cordell, a former Oneonta Rotarian. Since then, the release said, it has become one of the oldest and most successful wrestling tournaments in the state. 

The tournament continues to be led by the Oneonta Rotary Club. We are thankful for their continued support, as well as to Marks and the many other people who have made it such a success.