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

September 15, 2012

We'll never hear the end of our bovine blunder

Denise Richardson
The Daily Star

---- — If cows could laugh, they surely would be bellowing now.

Some beef cows wrangled their way into a photograph to illustrate a Page 1 story Thursday about local dairy farming and the growing demand for milk from the producers of Greek-style yogurt.

You, our dedicated Daily Star readers, let us know those brown cows pictured weren’t milkers.

The newsroom staff received multiple calls about the mistake. A simple clarification doesn’t seem to mitigate the error, which prompted raised eyebrows in the newsroom and chatter.

One editor said with a straight face he didn’t know the difference between beef and dairy cows, then made a joke about the “udderly” unbelievable situation. The futility of crying over spilled milk was apparent. Another editor said there was “plenty of blame to go around.”

The owner of the property where the photographed cattle grazed called Thursday to say that a dairy farm was just down the road. “Beef cows do not produce milk for yogurt,” another caller told me. I could almost hear her laughing.

On Thursday morning, I had taken the newspaper out of its box on my way to work and was surprised not to see traditional black-and-white Holsteins in the Page 1 photograph. I pulled over during my drive to the office to look again at the picture — were they a different dairy breed — red Holsteins? I squinted but saw no udders.

New reporters at The Daily Star often hear stories about big-city children who visit local county fairs and learn the answer to “where does milk come from?” Some are lessons worth repeating, including: Don’t forget the basics, and if in doubt, check it out.


Some changes are afoot at City Hall in Oneonta.

Mayor Dick Miller said he is moving out of his first-floor corner office to an office on the second floor.

Oneonta’s first city manager, Michael H. Long, officially will start his new position Oct. 1 and will occupy the first-floor office, the mayor said. Miller said he would be out of his office by Friday.

Long is leaving a job in Poughkeepsie, where he has been city manager since 2008. And he is taking a pay cut to join the Oneonta City Hall staff.

In Poughkeepsie, Long said, his salary was about $118,800. The annual salary for working as city manager in Oneonta will be $115,000.

Long didn’t seem to mind the difference.

“It’s not necessarily about the dollars and cents but about the job satisfaction,” he said recently during a telephone interview. Long said he shares his philosophy at speaking engagements with the message that if he enjoys his job, he “never does a day’s work.”


The ad hoc committee that formed in May to consider issues tied to student behavior included members appointed by the mayor of Oneonta and by presidents of the two local colleges.

Mayor Dick Miller, who convened the group, said he appointed Chief Dennis Nayor. The group was established with the support of Margaret L. Drugovich, president of Hartwick College, and of Nancy Kleniewski, president of the State University College at Oneonta, the mayor said in a memo to the Common Council earlier this month.

The college presidents’ appointments to the committee were:

•  Tom Kelly, director of campus safety at Hartwick College;

• Dan Chambers, interim chief of SUNY Oneonta University Police;

• Meg Nowak, vice president for student affairs at Hartwick College;

• Steve Perry, vice president of student development at SUNY Oneonta.

Miller said he also invited Regina Betts and Lee Fisher, members of the Local Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, to participate.

The informal group was asked to review behavior by college students because several incidents in the spring involved some students who show lack of respect for police, Miller said.

Nayor previously said most college students are well-behaved, but incidents in the spring prompted concerns that defiant behavior might grow into situations with serious consequences.

The ad hoc group adopted some initiatives and will continue to meet. The group will invite some students from each campus to join.

Effective interaction among the police department, colleges and NAACP chapter previously existed, Miller said, and the committee’s work will enhance efforts.  

“We should all be grateful to those involved for their special concern and efforts over the summer,” Miller said in concluding his memo.

DENISE RICHARDSON can be reached at