SUCO not as 'green' as it may seem
Earlier this spring, The Daily Star carried an item reporting that the State University College at Oneonta had been recognized as a "Green College" by the Princeton Review. Evidently the review does not consider a school's approach to toxic chemicals in its rankings.
SUCO's "green" designation would be more credible if visitors to the campus _ during Earth Week, no less _ were not greeted by a phalanx of pesticide application warning signs along sidewalks and other public areas. These are places where simple mowing keeps weeds at bay _ there is certainly no need to expose students and others to such dangerous materials.
The Star article went on to state that SUCO's Biological Field Station was a factor in the "Green College" designation. Although the Field Station has done good work, it has been conspicuously absent in the efforts to protect Otsego Lake and surroundings from pesticides. Even worse, a 2011 fundraising letter from Lewis Hamilton of the Field Station claimed that it had sampled Otsego Lake for pesticides for more than four decades. A Freedom of Information Act request and a review of the Field Station's research showed no testing for these dangerous compounds, even though the lake serves as the village of Cooperstown's drinking water supply.
As a publicly funded institution, the Field Station should be concerned about this environmental and public health issue. Lewis Hamilton's false and misleading claims reflect badly on the college and the otherwise quality science the Field Station carries out.
When SUCO truly addresses the use of pesticides on its own facilities, and takes a hard look at pesticide use around Otsego Lake _ including the Leatherstocking Golf Course and along state highways _ it might be considered a "Green College." Until then, the designation rings hollow.
Laurens band deserves accolades
Congratulations to the Oneonta Yellowjackets baseball team for such a spectacular season. You were absolutely wonderful.
Not to be forgotten is another powerhouse, the Laurens Central School concert, jazz, small ensemble, drumline, color guard and marching band for earning a first place for every possible award at the two-day "Battle of the Bands" competition in Sherburne. Twenty-nine bands competed from schools with all sizes of enrollment, one from as far away as North Dakota. Laurens, once again, was superior, winning in its class and all of the overall categories for 17 of the past 20 years. Mr. Dan Martin was honored as the best band director with his record of 16 wins. The band and drum majorette's choreography and music were truly innovative and very entertaining. Ms. Heather White received the top drum majorette award and clearly deserved it for her quick change and dance routine which was repeated throughout the mile-long parade.
For all of those who didn't see the OHS baseball team play this year, you can still see the other powerhouse perform. Laurens Central School Band will be performing at numerous parades this summer; the next one is the Schenevus Fireman's Carnival on July 21. I hope to see you there.