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May 19, 2014

Cooperstown agog over president's visit to Baseball Hall

Itinerary still up in the air for Thursday



Over the weekend, local activists opposed to gas drilling were exchanging  emails, debating the tone of the message they want to send Obama, who has been supportive of shale gas development as a way to make the nation more self-sufficient in energy production.

Julie Huntsman, a town of Otsego board member, said she's like to get the opportunity to explain to Obama why so many people in the Cooperstown area are opposed to hydrofracking.

Her message to him, she said, would be: "President Obama - welcome to Cooperstown and Otsego County - one of the most beautiful regions on earth.  So many of us have been working so hard, for years, to protect our clean water and air here.  These are irreplaceable assets on which our health, tourism, agriculture, breweries and wineries absolutely depend.  And these irreplaceable assets are increasingly vanishing from the American landscape because of an irresponsible, toxic fracking industry run rampant.  We need you to lead a critical shift in our national energy policy towards clean renewable energy - now.  Lacking that, the American Dream, and clean water and air for all -plus the well being of the planet from climate change - are all imperiled."

Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr. said his deputies will be out in force, working cooperatively on security with the Secret Service, State Police and Cooperstown Village Police. He declined to discuss any specific plans for the day, citing the need for security. 

The visit comes on the eve of the kickoff of the busy summer season for the Hall of Fame, the local museums and the village itself. Among former big league stars slated to participate in teh Hall of Fame Classic on Saturday are Steve Garvey, Pedro Martinez, Hideki Matsui and Jim Thome. The Classic will be preceded by the Cooperstown Game Day Parade at noon, followed by the Home Run Derby at 1 p.m.

Obama's visit comes two month's before this year's Hall of Fame induction ceremony, featuring six retired major leaguers. 

The electees include: Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas, and three expansion era committee electees -- Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre. They will be enshrined in a July 27 ceremony at the Clark Sports Center.


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