The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

November 2, 2013

Rep. Boehlert is staying busy in retirement

By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star

---- — 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.

The program offers students and advisers both training and experience in the art of speaking and delivery as well as the opportunity to experience public speaking and debate.

Students compete in a variety of events including reading of prose, reading of poetry, memorized drama scenes, Lincoln-Douglas debate, public forum debate, extemporaneous speaking on current event topics and limited preparation events.

Trophies are awarded to the winners in each category at the varsity level and medals to the winners at the junior high level at each tournament. The top two-placing teams at the end of the competition also receive a “sweepstakes” trophy for their school.

In the first event, the first place trophy for overall performance went to Delaware Academy Central School in Delhi, second place went to Walton and third place was awarded to Worcester Central School.

At the recent Tractor Fest at the Farmers’ Museum, Central New York Tractor Club President Gary Allen was one of those showing restored farm machinery.

“Farming has changed so much over the years,” he said. Riding in the new equipment is like driving a car, he said, while the tractors he grew up with were a lot different.

He said he’s been doing restorations since he was 16.

“I love to see them cleaned up and looking good,” he said. He grew up with an Allis Chalmers WD45, and has three of them in his collection.

“You don’t do it for the value,” he said. “It’s history that will never be repeated again.”

MARK BOSHNACK is a staff writer for The Daily Star. Contact him at