Larry Goodwin

Larry Goodwin

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Thursday, 20 July 2017 22:38

Housing Project Debate Ends in Milton

[Front photo shows town officials and the crowd at the Milton Community Center on July 19; gallery photos show a map prepared by Environmental Design Partnership (EDP); and Joe Dannible of EDP (at left) and attorney Michael Toohey. Photos by Larry Goodwin.] 

MILTON — A lively public hearing was held Wednesday inside Milton’s popular community center on Northline Road, focusing on the merits of a construction project that is planned about a mile away.

At the outset, Supervisor Dan Lewza said there was “not going to be a give-and-take between the resident and the applicant,” or Malta Development owner Tom Samascott.

Yet, through the course of about three hours, that’s basically what happened.

A majority of nearly 50 speakers were opposed to Samascott’s proposal to build a “senior apartment complex” of 83 leasable units in serene woods between Hutchins Road and Margaret Drive. Most cited concerns about increased traffic and the impacts on existing neighborhoods of single-family homes.

However, a vocal contingent of Samascott’s supporters showed up to argue in favor.

The formal public hearing was preceded by a lengthy presentation from Saratoga Springs attorney Michael Toohey.

“I’m very proud to be representing Tom Samascott,” Toohey told Lewza and the other four Milton Town Board members. “Very seldom in my career have I heard or read as much vehemence, as much misinformation...as I’ve heard with regard to this particular project,” he added.

For Samascott’s proposal to move forward, the town board would have to approve changing the current residential zoning to a Planned Development District. A vote on that change is expected soon.

Samascott, who also owns the much larger Winner’s Circle apartment complex off Geyser Road, grew up close to the intended project site. His mother still resides in the same house around the corner on Coachman Drive. (A family member of this writer lives on Coachman Drive as well.)

“I can only speak to the fact that I’ve been involved, and worked with Malta Development for nearly 30 years,” offered Randall Countermine, owner of the New Dimensions landscaping company in Gansevoort that maintains the lawns and shrubs at Winner’s Circle. “They deliver what they promise, and they better the communities that they choose to deliver in.”

Several Winner’s Circle residents also appeared at the podium in support.

“I grew up with Tom Samascott. He’s a very honorable man,” stated Wade Carter, whose family owns the 14-acre property off Hutchins Road that would be sold to Malta Development. “It’s time for us to sell. We have no choice,” Carter added, noting how his family has seen many changes in Milton. “I don’t feel we should be denied because some people are nervous about what it’s going to do.”

Hutchins Road homeowner Dorothy Christiansen led the opponents—both longtime area residents like her and newer arrivals. “We neighbors are not in opposition to having senior housing,” she said. “We are opposed to having it in the middle of an R-1 residential district.”

In the days before the July 19 hearing, Christiansen posted comments in an online forum called “nextdoor.com” that encouraged a large turnout and summarized her views.*

“The developer is promoting this as a 55-plus age housing community,” she wrote. “As anyone who lives in Milton has seen, there is a saturation of these housing offerings throughout the town, with more being built, and there is no dire need for more.”

“To allow such a development would detract from us being a well-balanced ‘family’ community as well as it undermining the community’s vision as expressed in the Comprehensive Plan,” Christiansen argued, referring to a document approved long ago by town officials. “Let your voice be heard as citizens, like myself, refusing to swallow the spot-zoning/anti-Comprehensive Plan pill that the developer has prescribed.”

Lewza repeatedly granted Christiansen opportunities to reiterate such points when numerous speakers had yielded their time to her. Early on the supervisor joked that she would “wear a path” to the podium.

Bruce Boghosian, a Saratoga Springs developer who has built condominiums in Milton, raised more serious concerns. He implored the town board to consider the ethics of several business relationships for the Hutchins Road project.

Boghosian also alleged that there was a “misrepresentation of the fact” that a public sewer system existed, when most of the affected area is served by private septic tanks.

“I stand by the fact,” Toohey responded, “that there’s something else going on with regard to these comments.” 

[* Due to an editing error, all print copies of Saratoga TODAY mistakenly listed this website as "neighbors.com." Dorothy Christiansen's comments were posted in the "Hutchins/Whippletree" section of "nextdoor.com."]

[Readers are encouraged to post respectful comments regarding the article below.] 

[Photos by www.photoandgraphic.com.]

WILTON — Adirondack Trust and Stewart’s Shops officials are planning a second combined location at the intersection of Northern Pines Road and Route 9, several months after fire ravaged a bank branch behind the existing convenience store.

Maria D’Amelia, a spokeswoman for Stewart’s, said this week that initial discussions had occurred among officials at both companies after a March 14 blaze decimated the Adirondack Trust in Wilton during a heavy snowstorm.

D’Amelia confirmed that a new structure is being planned to accommodate the bank and replace the current Stewart’s store, which was originally built in 1994.

“We would actually be shifting our building over slightly,” she explained, as a means to improve and “increase the flow” of traffic.

“We’ll be ready to go as soon as we receive the approvals,” D’Amelia added.

The first combined Adirondack Trust and Stewart’s location, in Malta’s Luther Forest, was celebrated with a grand opening in May.

The Wilton Planning Board this week tabled the new proposal instead of sending it to the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals. D’Amelia said a variance is required because there will be setbacks that are beyond “what the current zoning calls for” at that location.

The property is divided into three lots, one of which would have to be purchased to build the new Adirondack Trust and Stewart’s complex.

Lucy Harlow, the planning board’s executive secretary, indicated that it could be several months before a public hearing is set and the project receives its final approvals. 

[Readers are encouraged to post respectful comments regarding the article below.] 

[Front photo: An information board dedicated to Robert Eastman in the city's Waterfront Park, photo by Larry Goodwin; and Saratoga Lake Association members at Doc Brown's restaurant, photo provided.]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Even as they took cover from a strong thunderstorm this week, members of the Saratoga Lake Association (SLA) were determined to honor the late Robert Eastman.

On Monday, SLA members were joined by Stillwater Supervisor Ed Kinowski at Brown’s Beach to unveil one of three information boards dedicated to Eastman. But severe weather conditions forced the group inside Doc Brown’s restaurant to mingle instead.

A second information board stands at the bottom of steps leading to the Saratoga Springs Waterfront Park, while a third will eventually be placed at the state boat launch. The boards contain detailed maps of Saratoga Lake, and small metal plaques “in memory” of Eastman are affixed to them.

Eastman, the former SLA vice president, died suddenly in the spring of 2016. He was an avid photographer and “genuine ‘can do’ type of guy,” according to a flyer circulated among SLA members for a photo contest that was also organized in his memory. “Bob was a great individual with a gentle soul and incredible integrity. His counsel, wisdom and leadership skills were exceptional and he was very well liked by everyone.”

This month, Tina Pamper and Sal Fusco were announced as the winners of the SLA photo contest. They both received tickets to Hal Raven’s Adirondack Cruise and Charter Company, plus gift certificates to a local tavern and marina.

For more information, visit the website http://saratogalake.org. 

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Thursday, 13 July 2017 23:57

Zegers Campaign Takes Shape

[In front photo: Morgan Zegers at East Eden Farms in Stillwater, photo provided; and the candidate with her parents, Art and Amy Zegers, photo by Larry Goodwin.]

MALTA — The age of a candidate for state office is not the most important thing to Morgan Zegers and her supporters. They simply share this young woman’s strong beliefs in reducing taxes and removing government regulations, so that more New Yorkers can start or expand businesses; or at least afford to remain in New York for life.

The 20-year-old Zegers, who looks forward to graduating college next spring, is already working hard to promote such causes. She is devoting her summer break to building a genuine campaign for the 113th State Assembly District seat, which she hopes to win in November 2018.

Earlier this year, Zegers enlisted Jack Moulton to serve as her campaign manager. The two met last year during U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik’s successful re-election bid. Moulton has worked on both of Stefanik’s political campaigns.

In response to emailed questions, Moulton said the race will pick up speed early next year, when political committees “begin conducting endorsement interviews.” He reported that roughly $10,000 has been raised so far to support Zegers.

Zegers is seeking the Republican nominations in both Saratoga and Washington counties, which could make her a viable contender. Thus far, according to Moulton, no other registered Republicans in the district have announced intentions to challenge incumbent Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake).

“Right now we are building a network of grassroots volunteers who will be able to help us with the petition process, and making sure Morgan has the opportunity to meet as many voters as possible,” Moulton said.

“Saratoga and Washington counties are very unique and the community staples, from fly fishing on the Battenkill to the horse racing at Saratoga, are very dear to me and are a large factor of the person I am today,” Zegers says in an email. “I only want what’s best for our community and that means getting leaders down in Albany who will work to get New York back to business.”

“I’d put up a good fight against the three-men-in-a-room type of politics that goes down in our state,” Zegers continues, “and that’s why I’m running for the 113th. We need good people up front to take the lead and make New York business friendly and more respectful of taxpayers.”

In a previous statement, Zegers described her recent visits with area farmers and how she found them facing a “daily grind.” She called a pending proposal by Assembly Democrats to pass a $15 minimum wage “damaging legislation” because of its potential negative impacts on farmers statewide.

“The business of farming already faces an array of challenges, ranging from weather to pricing,” Zegers said. “The added costs and burdens will continue to hurt small family farms and prevent them from competing with nearby states.”

Another key volunteer for Zegers is Sarah Valentine, a former acquaintance of hers at Ballston Spa High School.

“It’s evident that her age will stand out to voters, although I see this as an advantage,” Valentine offered, when asked by email to comment on her commitment to the Zegers campaign for the next year and a half.

“Morgan is well aware of New Yorkers’ hardships and understands the need for a new generation of leadership,” Valentine said. “Morgan provides a new lens to solve these issues that I think voters will appreciate.”

“I firmly believe,” she added, “that it’s important for young people to get their voice out there as these issues are, or soon will become, crucial to their everyday lives.” 

[The campaign website for Morgan Zegers is http://morganzegers.com/ and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner's official site is http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Carrie-Woerner.]

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Thursday, 13 July 2017 21:52

Grant Cottage Gets More Funds From Wilton

[Photos by http://www.photoandgraphic.com.]

WILTON — “Our historic sites are a study in human nature.”

That was the observation earlier this week of Ben Kemp, a staff member and volunteer coordinator at the U.S. Grant Cottage State Historical Site on Mt. McGregor.

Kemp was busy preparing for a luncheon offered there Monday to a group of nearly 20 volunteers who take pride in preserving the condition of Grant Cottage.

The former president and famed Civil War general Ulysses S. Grant chose to spend his final days there with family before succumbing to throat cancer on July 23, 1885.

On July 6, the Wilton Town Board voted to provide $5,000 to support a Civil War re-enactment called “The Yanks are Coming” scheduled for October 7 at Grant Cottage. The town is an official sponsor of that event, which may attract hundreds of visitors.

Wilton Supervisor Arthur Johnson said Grant Cottage, situated on a rocky slope just beyond the barbed-wire fences of the idled Mt. McGregor prison complex, “brings in thousands of visitors over the season.”

The town had previously approved a $3,000 contribution to Grant Cottage for this year. Johnson said the extra funds represent “a great economic development move.”

Tim Welch, president of the Grant Cottage Board of Trustees, explained that the town’s additional support helps defray the traveling costs of Civil War re-enactors who live in southern states but plan on attending the October 7 event.

According to Melissa Swanson, the historic site’s executive director, contacts with Grant’s descendants are still maintained after 132 years. 

She said the writer Samuel Clemens—better known as Mark Twain—had convinced Grant to complete his memoirs for the historical record before he died. That project occupied most of Grant’s time at the cottage.

During a brief tour this week, Swanson called the cottage “a time capsule.” She pointed to the same two leather chairs facing each other in which Grant had found comfort because lying in bed to write his memoirs was too painful.

A bureau with Grant’s personal effects and garments stands close by, complete with a large glass jar on top containing a mixture of water and cocaine that was utilized to relieve the former president’s throat pain.

“It’s a love story,” offered Kemp, noting how Grant was a man of “simplicity” and solid moral character.

After serving his country and falling ill, Kemp said, Grant chose the peace and quiet of Mt. McGregor to write the memoirs and make the best of his remaining time with his wife Julia, their four grown children and grandchildren.

Kemp reported that the recent closure of the Mt. McGregor prison complex resulted in a noticeable increase in visitors to Grant Cottage over the last several seasons. The guides who give tours also play a crucial role in telling Grant’s story, according to Kemp.

“People need to feel the connection,” he said.

“We would not be open without our volunteers,” added Swanson, before heading back out to the cottage’s spacious front porch to arrange food and drinks for them.

A special information session is planned for Sunday, July 16, to recruit more volunteers. “They are the heart of our organization,” Swanson said.

For more information, call 518-584-4353 or visit the website www.grantcottage.net

STATEWIDE — Last week, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) and other federal lawmakers wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin opposing the planned elimination of a federal tax deduction related to state and local tax payments. 

The congresswoman indicated that, every year, more than 3 million New Yorkers deduct property and state taxes paid from their federal returns. It has been considered standard practice—primarily among homeowners—for more than a century, according to Stefanik.

She said a “tax reform plan” presented this year by President Donald Trump proposed eliminating that deduction. Specific parts of the president’s plan will be negotiated in the months ahead during the congressional budget process for fiscal year 2018.

“We write to you—on behalf of the hardworking, middle-class taxpayers we represent—to express our deep concerns about the proposed elimination of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction,” Stefanik and the lawmakers wrote to Mnuchin in a June 27 letter. “Without the SALT deduction, taxpayers in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia would be doubly taxed—they would pay federal income taxes on the money they pay to their state and local governments.”

Jeffrey Many, a certified public accountant in Saratoga Springs, cited the example of a taxpayer with $150,000 in annual income who deducted more than $13,000 paid in local property and state taxes. That saved the taxpayer between $3,000 and $4,000 on a federal return, Many said.

Many, who routinely monitors developments at the federal level, called it “a very complicated issue” because of the various tax deductions that are at stake. He said the matter being addressed by Stefanik and her colleagues applies mainly to heavily taxed states like California, Massachusetts and New York.

“It’s a long way from getting passed,” Many added.

According to a fact sheet provided by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Trump’s plan follows years of debates in the U.S. Congress that have focused on reducing tax rates nationwide for businesses and individuals.

“This means that to ‘pay for’ the lower rates, Congress would need to limit or repeal widely utilized deductions, which could include state and local tax deductions,” the realtors’ group explains.

Critics of the deduction for state and local taxes, the NAR statement added, argue that it “subsidizes irresponsible spending by certain states, and forces taxpayers in lower-tax jurisdictions to pay more federal tax.”

In the June 27 letter, Stefanik countered that New York “has been a net payer to the federal government for decades.”

She cited a current example of $96 billion in personal income taxes paid to the federal government by New York City residents. Federal agencies, in turn, provided the city with roughly $61 billion in funds and services.

“Because we laud and support the goals of growth and job creation, tax simplification and tax relief, any reform package must equal the benefits that state and local tax deductibility have already provided for over 100 years,” Stefanik and the others wrote to Mnuchin.

“We hope you will consider the impact on the people we represent,” the letter concludes, “as we continue crafting an innovative plan that also respects long-standing principles of federalism.” 

[Readers are encouraged to post respectful comments regarding the article below.] 

Thursday, 06 July 2017 18:23

Cell Service Upgrade?

MILTON — In a bustling part of town, within sight of the Saratoga County airport, many cellphone users still find that reception can be spotty.

That may change later this year if town officials approve a proposal by Verizon Wireless to put up a new communications tower in a wooded area off Rowland Street.

In late May, David Brennan, a partner in the Albany law firm Young Sommer, appeared before the Milton Zoning Board of Appeals on behalf of a partnership that was formed between Verizon Wireless and a Florida company called Tarpon Towers.

Brennan told the zoning board that Verizon engineers regularly aim to find places where cellular service can be improved. He said engineers found a “very large area” east of the airport where there is a “trickle of coverage.”

The approximately 150-foot communications tower would be built on land owned by the Village of Ballston Spa. For decades, that property has been utilized as a water supply for village residents; it is already home to a 55-foot-tall water tower.

That part of Milton, close to the town complex, is currently experiencing steady development of businesses and neighborhoods.

Zoning Board Chairwoman Kimberly Weaver could not be reached for comment.

The zoning board agenda for the May 25 meeting listed the matter simply as a “use variance review.”

Milton Building Inspector Wayne Howe explained that a town variance is required—even if Ballston Spa owns the land—because the site has “R-1” residential zoning.

The Rowlands Hollow development of single-family homes is close to the site.

Both the zoning and planning boards would need to approve a zoning change to allow the proposed cell tower after scheduling public hearings, Howe added.

“I like it to have this extensive review,” he said. “It can be a negative impact to the neighborhood.”

Brennan, after acknowledging that some local residents may be opposed to a new tower, said it would be “not very visible at all.” He added that company officials recently flew a balloon to verify its actual height.

“If we could spend a million dollars elsewhere and not do it here, we would find a different place,” he said.

Ballston Spa Mayor John Romano confirmed that village officials were first approached about building the tower more than a year ago. He said it would be adequately fenced in with access restricted only to Verizon Wireless and village officials.

Romano explained that the village could derive more than $20,000 in annual revenue from the land-use fees paid by Verizon Wireless.

According to industry experts, other companies could contract with Verizon Wireless to utilize the same tower for additional cellular service in the area.

Brennan said that, in 2017, improving reception anywhere makes sense when nearly 50 percent of homes use only cell phones, having “cut the cord” to land lines. 

[Readers are encouraged to post respectful comments regarding the article below.] 

[In gallery photos, left to right: A fixed radar sign on Dimmick Road in Wilton, photo by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com; and a portable radar sign on Geyser Road, photo by Larry Goodwin.] 

WILTON — They appear along roadsides more and more: digital signs that clearly reveal to drivers the extent to which they are violating posted speed limits.

“They do slow people down,” stated Councilman John McEachron in early June, as he and the other Wilton Town Board members were approving a purchase of two more of the radar devices at roughly $3,000 each. 

Wilton Supervisor Arthur Johnson said the new units arrived this week, and that they will be placed on Smith Bridge Road. They get mounted to existing speed limit signs and alert drivers traveling in either direction, he explained.

Local drivers know Smith Bridge Road for a sharp turn that has seen its share of accidents through the years, often due to excessive speed. The roadway has a speed limit of 40 m.p.h. and two permanent warning signs with flashing yellow lights on either side of that turn.

Johnson said that land on Smith Bridge Road has been donated to Wilton. Plans are in the works to utilize the donation for modifying that hazardous curve, he added, possibly next year.

In his nearly 30 years of service in local government, Johnson admitted, he has not noticed a distinct rise in speeders—though he knows the radar signs help.

“It makes people at least pay attention to what the speed is...People have to respect” other motorists, he said, “and drive prudently.”

Sergeant Andrew Prestigiacomo, who heads the Saratoga Springs Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit, said the city first started using its own remote speed radars nearly 20 years ago.

Most modern radar units are either fixed to signs or portable, and they cost between $3,000 and $9,000, he added.

The police department owns a total of three portable units, two of which were situated recently in the city’s outer limits on Geyser Road and Hutchins Road. Both roadways intersect with Route 50.

Prestigiacomo said numerous complaints have been received about Hutchins Road in particular, which has a posted speed limit of 30 m.p.h.

Several months ago, after fresh snowfall had affected road conditions, an early morning accident claimed the life of a young woman on a woodsy stretch of Hutchins Road close to the spot where the city’s portable unit was placed.

In addition to capturing the speeds of passing vehicles, the equipment gives “very detailed data” about traffic patterns over time, Prestigiacomo said.

The portable units can be charged in a garage and they utilize solar power when deployed. If they run low on power, Prestigiacomo said, they tend to give inconsistent readings.

Without the appropriate traffic laws being passed, the sergeant explained, no tickets can be issued to drivers based on speeds recorded by the radar signs. He added that such laws are not likely to be passed “at any time in the near future.”

However, new legislation related to speedy drivers is being supported by officials in Malta, where a fixed radar device appears in a 30 m.p.h. zone near the town complex.

This month, the state Legislature passed a home-rule traffic bill sponsored by Senator James Tedisco (R-Glenville) and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake).

The bill, which is specific to the Town of Malta, would empower local officials to set lower speed limits on town roads and avoid a time-consuming process that is normally regulated by county agencies and the state Department of Transportation.

“It’s not law yet,” offered Malta Supervisor Vincent DeLucia, noting how the bill has not been signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The governor has until the end of the year to take action, according to Adam Kramer, a spokesman for Tedisco.

Many residents in Malta have pressured DeLucia and other leaders to address a growing problem of drivers speeding in several parts of town. “The traffic just goes too fast, there’s no question about that,” DeLucia said.

The supervisor voiced his concerns about speeders on Round Lake Road, Chango Drive and Ruhle Road in particular. He also expressed gratitude for residents who speak up, as well as the efforts of Tedisco and Woerner.

If the law gets signed and goes into effect, DeLucia explained, town roads would need to be “studied individually” with assistance provided by engineers. The town, he added, would not be able to “arbitrarily make decisions.”

“We still need to find out all the details and determine what the costs will be,” DeLucia said. 

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Thursday, 29 June 2017 22:46

City Marketers Give to Foster Care Kids

[In gallery photos, left to right: Contents of "Sweet Cases"; Fingerpaint staffers Lindsay Eisinger, Brendon DiSanto, Zoe McGuire and Bo Goliber, photos by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com; staff assembling bikes and decorating "Sweet Cases"; staff gathered for a presentation by Bill Marszalek of Northern Rivers; and Bill Marszalek up close, photos by Larry Goodwin.]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A host of family difficulties can force a child into foster care. Direct physical abuse, domestic violence and drug addiction on the part of parents are the most common causes, experts say.

In some of the worst situations, kids in that type of trouble have to leave their homes in a hurry with nothing of value to them.

That is where philanthropy specialist Bo Goliber and 90-plus staff members and interns at the Fingerpaint marketing agency hope to make a difference.

On Friday, Goliber is leading an effort at the company’s headquarters on Broadway to build several bicycles and fill 94 duffel bags, called “Sweet Cases,” as a means to boost the spirits of children served by the Albany-based Northern Rivers Family of Services.

The Sweet Cases, Goliber explained, are a simple but effective way to make kids who suddenly enter the foster care system “feel normal in the moment.”

Many times the reasons behind family separations are “heart-wrenching when you really think about it,” she said, noting how an estimated 1,200 kids nationwide enter foster care every day.

Goliber billed the June 30 event as “our first company-wide philanthropy day,” since employees at Fingerpaint’s Pennsylvania and Arizona offices also will build bikes and fill the same blue Sweet Cases with teddy bears, coloring books and personal care items to be distributed. 

The reality of kids in foster care “really resonated with our staff,” Goliber said, adding that a ”values-based” approach to employee relations at Fingerpaint attracts those who genuinely care about others.

At least one Fingerpaint employee in the Philadelphia office actually had an experience in foster care. “She’s so excited to be able to share her personal story,” Goliber said.

Fingerpaint is making the effort in partnership with a California organization called Together We Rise. “There’s a ton of coordination, but that’s why we partner with them,” Goliber admitted.

Fingerpaint employees were expected to raise $6,000. But with the aid of social media and flea markets offering homemade goods—and a company contribution of $3,000—they raised a total closer to $10,000.

“Giving our employees the opportunity to engage with each other through these kinds of activities strengthens our relationships and our success as a company,” Fingerpaint Founder Ed Mitzen said in a statement. “We’re here to benefit clients and their customers, of course, but we also know we’re a force for good in the world.”

Bill Marszalek, the executive program director of foster care services at Northern Rivers, admitted that connections with businesses like Fingerpaint have a noticeable impact.

“The reality is it costs a lot to provide these services,” Marszalek said. “We’re taking kids in and caring for them every day.” 

Children in foster care need shelter, food, clothes and personal care items like anyone else. Marszalek estimated that between 60 and 70 percent of the kids served by Northern Rivers remain in the system for 9 or 12 months.

There are approximately a dozen Saratoga area kids in foster care at present, he added.

In its latest annual budget—for a coverage area that stretches as far west as Binghamton and as far north as Queensbury—Northern Rivers reported an expense for services alone of more than $72 million.

“Our goal is not to make money,” Marszalek said. “Our goal is to provide service. We’re here for families. It’s hard, hard work.” 

[Readers are encouraged to post respectful comments regarding the article below.] 

Thursday, 29 June 2017 22:23

Ride Sharing Launched in City and Beyond

[In gallery photos, from left: Shelby Schneider of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership; and state Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner with her first Uber driver. Photos provided.]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — State Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) took an inaugural ride to Spring Street Thursday to mark the arrival of Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services statewide.

In April, the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to enact a ride-sharing law, which was favored by many New Yorkers. A minor amendment in May made it effective Thursday, prior to the July 4 holiday weekend.

“Bringing ridesharing to the communities that I represent has been a priority of mine since taking office, and I am pleased that all of us in state government have worked together to make that happen,” Woerner said in a statement.

“Ridesharing will not only support small businesses and tourism in the Saratoga community, but will also provide job opportunities and reduce chances for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol,” she added. “I look forward to seeing how these benefits improve the quality of life for all of us in the City of Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County.”

Shelby Schneider, the director of business retention and expansion for the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, said this week that the availability of ride-sharing services will be a “game-changer” for local employers.

For workers who experience difficulties in commuting to work, this “completely new” option could prove to be reliable, according to Schneider.

During a trip last year to Minnesota, Schneider reported, she tried a ride-sharing service for the first time herself. “I was very impressed,” she said.

The two primary ride-sharing companies, Uber and Lyft, do not accept cash payments. All transactions and rides are managed online or through smartphone apps, making it more convenient for customers.

For more information, visit the websites www.uber.com/cities/upstate-ny/ and www.lyft.com

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Page 10 of 19

Blotter

  • COURT Paul J. Sims, 26, of Stillwater, was sentenced Nov. 29 to 16 months-to-4 years, and 1.5-to-5 years in state prison, after pleading, respectively, to felony DWI in connection with an incident in Malta, and criminal mischief in Saratoga Springs.  Nicholas L. Moon, 28, of South Glens Falls, pleaded Nov. 30 to felony DWI, in connection with an incident in Saratoga Springs. Sentencing  scheduled Feb. 1, 2018. Jared M. Tenace, 27, of Schenectady, was sentenced Dec. 1 to 1.5 to 3 years in state prison, after pleading to criminal possession of stolen property, a felony.   POLICE  Brian F. Egan,…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON SPA 1443 Route 50, $600,000. New York Development Group Kensington LLC sold property to Kensington Court Apartments LLC. 70 Lake Rd., $498,000. Bretton and Erica Adams sold property to Wei Huang. TOWN OF BALLSTON  6 Van Vorst Dr., $209,000. Mary Nixon sold property to Charles Fernandez and Kim Vo.  3 Kaleen Dr., $360,000. David and Danielle Donnelly sold property to Andrea Stankovic.  936 State Route 67, $221,500. Jason Serra sold property to Jason and Stephanie Savaria.  CHARLTON 1403 Cosgrove Dr., $481,452. Bordeau Builders Inc. sold property to Daniel and Vikki Mazzone. CLIFTON PARK 92 Balsam Way, $460,190. Heritage Builders…
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