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Reporter's Notebook

November 2, 2013

Rep. Boehlert is staying busy in retirement

Former area congressman Sherwood Boehlert recently talked to The Daily Star about troubles in Washington, D.C. While doing so, he spoke passionately about an area that he covered while serving as a Republican representative. He is on the board of environmental advocacy groups such as the National Resources Defense Council and the Climate Reality Project.

“It’s a longstanding interest of mine,” he said. “It boggles my mind that in this day and age there are climate deniers.”

He said 97 percent of world’s climate scientists from all over the world are calling for action, which is evidence that something needs to be done.

“If we don’t take action, we’re going to be the losers,” he said. “When did we stop caring about the future? We have to take a longer view on the world’s problems.”

He said he supports taking incremental steps to deal with the issue.

In discussing Brooks’ Bottling Company’s being awarded the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce Breakthrough Award, Ryan Brooks said it was overwhelming in a good way.

The bottling plant is a sister company of Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q. Initially, the expansion of the bottling business will mean the addition of six to eight employees, but if a second shift is added it could be even more, he said.

The two companies have about 105 employees. His long-term plans call for strengthening the restaurant and seeing it “getting better everyday,” he said.

There are no plans to ever franchise it, he said. He foresees another bottling plant, possibly offsite but in Otsego County.

“I was born and raised here,” he said. “It’s what a community should be.”

On Oct. 26, the Catskill Area School Study Council held its first Forensic Speech and Debate Tournament at State University College at Oneonta. It’s one of a regular series of tournaments hosted by CASSC during the season. Forty five students from five local schools participated in the first event.

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