JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 766

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 768

Displaying items by tag: charlie samuels

Friday, 21 March 2014 11:20

The Wine Bar Uncorks New Menu

New Executive Chef Renews Its Unique Flare on Broadway

By Taunia L. Kipp

For Saratoga TODAY 


SARATOGA SPRINGS – Don’t let the name fool you, The Wine Bar of Saratoga has been a culinary gem in the spa city for many years in addition to its great selection of wine and spirits. Recently, the Broadway-based restaurant and lounge announced a new Executive Chef and dinner menu to even further enhance the restaurant’s dining experience along with some other recent and planned changes to help revitalize their unique flare.


In recent months, Owner and Operator Melissa Evans has been taking progressive steps to renew the restaurant’s energy and to create a refreshed customer experience. 


“We’ve been in business for 14 years now and have been generally happy with the experience that we’ve been able to create for our patrons,” said Melissa Evans. “But I’m excited to make some changes in order to create some new energy. My goal is to encourage new customers to visit us for the first time and previous customers to discover The Wine Bar all over again. We’re not just about great wines. We¹re also about great food, a welcoming atmosphere and exceptional service.”


In December, Evans hired hospitality veteran Matt Campion as the Restaurant’s Manager. Campion studied hospitality management and boasts several years of high-end restaurant management experience including his most recent work with Mazzone Hospitality having worked at both 677 Prime in Albany and serving as Restaurant Manager at Prime at Saratoga National.


Changes since Campion’s arrival include the introduction of a new cocktail menu and plans for a regular live entertainment schedule along with planned events such as wine parings, cigar tastings in the restaurant’s NY state certified smoking lounge and other activities at the restaurant and lounge.


“We need to offer a unique experience,” says Campion. “Broadway has so many great bars and restaurants that we need to make a distinct impression on those who visit us. We do that by offering a variety of outstanding reasons to come in the door: the food, the wine, the smoking lounge, the entertainment and the service. There’s a reason for everyone to come in and we know that once they do, they¹ll always come back.”


Also this month, Evans introduced her new Executive Chef, Cameron Nealey to the team and unveils a new menu. Nealey studied under renowned chefs from Thomas Keller's world famous French Laundry located in California¹s Napa Valley and also at Keller's Manhattan-based, Per Se Restaurant. Getting his start in the Saratoga Springs area at Siro's under Chef Tom Dillon, Nealey says that the new menu at The Wine Bar will be a collaboration of his experience with multiple cuisines, his passion for fresh ingredients and his goal of producing flavors that "Everyone can relate to".


The new menu will feature what Chef Nealey refers to as “elevated comfort food.”  He says that these are dishes that give you the warm, homey feeling of eating something delicious while being presented in a new and modern fashion. “I've been really fortunate to train under some world class chefs throughout my travels,” says Nealey. “To be able to return to my hometown of Saratoga and to showcase what I've learned is truly a dream come true.”



The new menu is now available. The restaurant is located at 417 Broadway and is open Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. until Last Call with dinner being served until 10 p.m. Reservations are recommended for parties of four or more by calling (518) 584-8777. For more information, visit thewinebarofsaratoga.com.

Published in News
When I think of spring, I think it’s time to clean my gut! Now I usually take care of my body in general, and am pretty careful of what goes into it. And I’m not a “clean freak” (just ask my close compadres.) But I like to think of the spring as a time to rejuvenate, reboot and recharge in order to look and feel my best! While I am careful with optimizing my health, there are many toxins I could be exposed to just following my daily routine. For instance, if I walk into a building, my skin, which happens to be the body’s largest organ, can absorb any number of toxins in the air, or in direct contact with building materials, furniture, or other equipment. Also, when I walk down the street, I am inhaling environmental pollutants from buildings, factories, motor vehicles, viruses as well as allergens such as mold in the air. This weighs on the immune system, creating a more susceptible situation for getting “sick”. And then there is the water and food supply, which can potentially add to the burden on the body’s organs, blood and immune system. Since a significant number of these situations are out of my control, I take the time to follow a purification program to clean out all the gunk that has accumulated since fall (yes, I clean twice a year.) With any detox or chelation program, you want to check with your practitioner or dietitian to ensure your medical history, medications and current condition will allow a program, and if so, which program will be the most suitable for your history and degree of exposure. What you can expect with even the mildest of detox programs, if done right, is a noticeable increase in energy and stamina, more mental clarity including increased attention span and memory, the common “brain fog” disappears, lessened or elimination of a large variety of symptoms including digestive disorders, skin conditions, migraines, mood swings, fatigue/insomnia and libido issues. In addition, skin, hair, nails and the aging process naturally improves and many state they feel more ALIVE! This has become such a hot topic that I find myself answering a large number of questions pertaining to cleanses, detoxification programs, juicing, purifying the blood, fasts and heavy metal chelation. However, not everyone wants to change up his or her routine for a week or up to a month, and doing a detox takes a little extra time and effort for anyone. Let me share some easy and safe tips with you. Here are a few things that can easily be done to help you reduce your risk to exposure on a daily basis. Eat Organic: You don’t have to go crazy with buying everything organic if you can’t afford it. Get savvy on which foods are higher in chemical pesticides, antibiotics and hormones that you may want to choose organic. Some high pesticide produce you may want to switch to organic are: Berries, cherries, bell peppers, celery, potatoes, lettuces, kale, herbs, peaches, plums, nectarines, apples and grapes. I also recommend organic meat, eggs, corn, soy and dairy if these are part of your regular diet. Avoid Heavy Metals: Exposure to heavy metals is nearly impossible unless you live under a rock. That’s why it is so important to be aware of the sources in order to minimize your daily contact. Heavy metals are found in the food supply, water, agricultural soil, antacids, pain relievers, cosmetics and antiperspirants to name a few common sources. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is in a large number of processed foods and drinks, and up to 70 percent of HFCS is made using methyl mercury. Avoid consuming processed foods, snacks and drinks where HFCS is found. This one tip alone will be a great way to create a healthier family in many ways! Alternative Choices to Household Cleaning Products: There are many alternatives to toxic household cleaners. Some easy do-it-yourself finds that are effective and harmless including using white vinegar, baking soda, white cider, or lemon juice with water. Lastly, recharge your gut with live active enzymes, antioxidants and natural detoxifiers. Here is one of my favorite recipes...enjoy! Monique’s Green Goddess Nectar This will enliven your whole body, lower blood pressure, aid digestion, boost the immune system and eliminate toxins. Also good to help your body handle stress. 2 oranges, apples, or pears 1/4 lemon juice Handful of beet greens Handful of spinach and/or kale 2 stalks of celery or 1 cucumber 1-2 tbsp. cilantro 1 large carrot 2 tbsp. aloe pulp 1/2 stalk lemon grass 1-inch cube of ginger root Peel the orange and lemon, then juice with the rest of the ingredients. This makes about 2 large glasses. Cut in half if you only want one glass.
Published in News

- John Travolta To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

SARATOGA SPRINGS— Attention dance and pop culture enthusiasts: Mark down August 9 on your calendar, as the National Museum of Dance (NMD) will have it’s own version of “Saturday Night Fever.”


Saratoga TODAY has learned that at NMD’s August 9 Gala, legendary dance/actor/singer Gene Kelly and former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer/Choreographer Jacques d'Amboise will be enshrined in the NMD Hall of Fame.


Also, John Travolta, whose iconic performance in Saturday Night Fever pushed the dance and cultural phenomenon of Disco to the forefront, will be the recipient of the Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 


Ms. Michele Riggi, President of the Museum’s Board of Directors, also stated that the August 9 Gala will mark the grand opening of a special facility at the Museum— The Mr. and Mrs. Ronald A. Riggi Theater. This will be a 48-seat film screening theater, but will provide the additional community asset of serving as a “black box” theater for live performances as it will be equipped with a stage.


“The foundation laid out by our founders (Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney and Mr. Lewis A. Swyer) gave us a great platform to grow upon,” Ms. Riggi said. “In my nine years as Board President, I’ve been fortunate to help elevate and broaden our program offerings.” 


But the Museum’s robust financial health during Ms. Riggi’s tenure, through our economy’s uncertain economic times is a remarkable achievement. “We’ve gone from $5,000 in our bank account to over a million,” Michele Riggi noted. 


She shared the nominating and election processes for the Museum’s Hall of Fame Induction and Lifetime Achievement awards, which are different. “For The Hall of Fame, we have a nominating committee of about 50 dancers, educators and others in the discipline. A preliminary list of several is generated and this is discussed for about six month among the committee members.” Ms. Riggi notes. “Eventually the Board of Directors receives a list of six nominees, and votes on the eventual winner(s).” 


For the Lifetime Achievement Award: “This is initiated by the Board and the President. We are looking for a person who has had a broad impact on popular culture, which includes dance but includes much more.” She said.


At press time, Michele Riggi could confirm that Patricia Ward Kelly, Gene Kelly’s widow will be in attendance at the NMD Gala, and will also be delivering a presentation about Gene Kelly’s life and times the following day at Skidmore’s Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Center.


As for an appearance by John Travolta?


“We’re trying.” Ms. Riggi said. 


So that may or may not happen. But if history tells us anything, in the long run it’s a losing proposition to bet against anything Michele Riggi is “trying” to do.

Published in News
Thursday, 13 March 2014 15:02

Go2Snax: Your (Healthy) Refreshments are Served

SARATOGA SPRINGS— As parents, local entrepreneurs Lauren Rose and Lynn Pohl can relate to the dilemma a mom or dad faces when walking or wheeling their children past brightly colored vending machines that have become a part of the landscape. 


The siren call of bright colors, TV marketing campaigns and of course, high fructose corn syrup makes an attack of the “mommy, mommy I want’s” an inevitable result. 


Somehow, to most kids, something that comes out of a vending machine just tastes better.  


And thus, parental resistance has often been futile — until recently. Lauren and Lynn explored some options and decided there was a better way: a way to satisfy a child’s vending mania and still provide nutrition. 


They founded Go2Snax, an affiliate of the international firm Grow Healthy Vending – a company whose mission is to offer “an alternative to the standard junk food and sugar-laden drinks that dominate the marketplace.”


Lynn and Lauren have begun to place their high-tech vending machines at various places in our market with many more likely to come this year. Currently, you can look them over at Cutting Edge Martial Arts (175 Ballston Ave, Saratoga Springs), Global Fitness (in the Shoppes of Malta at 19 Kendall Way) and at The School of The Arts at The National Museum of Dance (99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs). 


“We view our company as a community-based social wellness partnership.” Lauren Rose said. “Our machines are customizable, but all the products are designed to meet or exceed nutritional guidelines, including the USDA’s “Smart Snacks in Schools” mandate.


There are hundreds of different items to choose from and with the growing popularity of healthy foods there are many names you will recognize: Stacey’s Pita’s, Kashi Foods, PopChips, Horizon Organic Milk and Clif Bars are some brands that have already carved out markets for themselves, and their taste will get a welcome reception from your discerning X-year-old.  


The machines themselves utilize a touch-screen that is user-friendly, accepting cash, coin and debit/credit cards. Your kids might find it to be as fun to navigate as a Wii game, but for parents, an important feature is that when a product is touched, the nutritional information label is displayed to encourage a quality, thoughtful selection before purchase. 


The shelves within each machine are customizable depending on the needs of your location. The basic configuration is with three rows of snacks and two rows of drinks. But they can be made up as “snack-heavy,” “drink heavy” or “snack-only” as needed.


Best of all, the machines are delivered, installed and do not cost the location anything. In fact, Go2Snax has a generous commission and profit-sharing partnership that any location can participate in. 


“With the growing awareness of childhood obesity and healthy eating, from the White House on down, this is something we are very proud to be a part of,” Lauren said. “It’s a business that works in concert with a greater mission.”


Indeed, it would be a surprise if you don’t see Go2Snax machines in many local schools, large retail facilities and offices in the near future. The confluence of good taste and good nutrition can be an irresistible combination.


For more information, visit Go2Snax.com. To contact local owner/operators Lynn Pohl and Lauren Rose, call (518) 290-3131, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Published in News
Friday, 07 March 2014 12:14

Fit To Be Tried

What a fantastic way to kick off National Nutrition Month by writing a column that shares all the many exciting Health and Wellness Initiatives that are forming and currently taking place in and around Saratoga Springs! I feel so grateful to live in the Spa city that represents Health, History, and Horses! First, let me give you a bit of background about me, as your reliable health source and connection to one of the largest growing industries in the country, health and wellness. With a huge passion to help my community strive for a healthier way of life, I became a Registered Dietitian over 15 years ago. Knowing that people can indeed make changes in their lifestyle, leading to their improved health, shifted my research into why some clients were successful in maintaining their goals, while others struggled. So, when I moved back to the area from Key West, FL, I dove into the world of holistic living and became a certified fitness instructor, a self-care coach and a motivational speaker for corporations, hospitals and wellness events in the Northeast. In my practice, I tied together the need to not only change the way my clients were physically living, but to also create a shift in perceptions about core beliefs that tend to be obstacles to successfully achieving one’s goals. In general, we tend to view the body, what we should look like, and how others view us, based on ultra-thin models, and body image campaigns. For instance, I saw many high school friends acquire eating disorders as a result of this. I chose a proactive approach to self-care, and work with the younger generation who continue to be influenced by super sized meals and empty calories, in addition to the deficit in energy burned with the bombardment of video games, TV and the computer. Not only has this way of life become more of the norm, society has a whole continues to redefine what was once considered an inactive lifestyle as more acceptable. One of my most important jobs as a mom is to be a positive role model in living a healthy life, loving my body (flaws and all) and backing it all up with words of encouragement for my daughters to exude the same respect for themselves. What we tell ourselves daily, good or bad, becomes the image we see when we look in the mirror. Giving ourselves the gift of gentle loving kindness is the catalyst to the shift we see as we begin to reach our goals! So now that you have a better understanding of my passion in my approach to the success of my clients and in my own personal life, I am thrilled to be working with Saratoga TODAY as a Health Advocate and share the many wellness opportunities we are fortunate enough to have at our fingertips here in Saratoga Springs. I will be sharing the latest and greatest that businesses offer locally, and their added value of contributing to the growing interest with optimal health care for the prevention and treatment of disease and imbalance. I will also be giving you the inside “scoop” on food establishments in the area that have stepped up in making changes in providing healthier food options, allergy alerts and even gluten free options on their menu. In addition, there is growing concern with health and wellness in the workplace, and I will highlight area businesses that excel above and beyond the norm to ensure their employees are getting the added benefits of a wellness program within the workplace setting. This includes Healthy Lunch and Learns, Move It or Lose It walking challenges, stress management classes and even Corporate Wellness Challenges. As a result of these wellness programs, employers have seen a reduction in employee injuries and sick days, increased customer satisfaction, improved morale and energy levels and a significant reduction in health insurance premiums paid to the insurance company. In 2014 there is no slowing down for the general population, with the never-ending stresses of work, deadlines, child-care and bills. However, the Spa City has one of the largest and most diverse options for health and wellness services to help you get fit, feel your best and limit the degree of stress you carry. I will help to steer you in the direction of living and breathing a healthier, more vibrant lifestyle. If you are a business, corporation, or non-profit organization and have some news you would like to share, I welcome the information. We are, after all, working together to create one of the healthiest areas in the world! Don’t forget March 12th is National Registered Dietitian’s Day! Before using a nutritionist, I encourage you to first find out that he or she is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist (CDN) to accept insurance claims in New York State. Monique Boulet RD, CDN, CPT www.organiquebymonique.com (518) 312 6309 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Published in News
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Home & Lifestyle Show, organized by the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club takes place this weekend, February 28-March 2, at the Saratoga Springs City Center. Show hours are Friday, 5-9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Among the displays from the show’s 120 exhibitors will be landscaping and outdoor living, home improvement, storage and organization, home décor and furnishings, builders and contractors, elder care, legal, financial services and more. The show also features hourly door prizes, a major prize of an exterior home washing, and the grand prize of a 50” flat-panel TV. A scavenger hunt will also give participants additional chances to win valuable items. Admission is $6 for adults, $1 for kids 5-12, under 5 free. Adults with a Buy Local rewards card will receive $2 off admission. A discount coupon for $1 off adult admission is available at www.rotaryhomeshow.com. All proceeds support Saratoga Rotary’s charitable donations, youth scholarships, and humanitarian aid. New This Year Friday: Wine Tasting From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, the Saratoga Winery will offer complimentary tastings of several of its hand crafted varieties including Chardonnay, Saratoga White, Cabernet Franc and Steeplechase. Wine by the glass and bottle will be available for purchase. Saturday: Cooking Demonstrations Executive Chef James Frese of Pasta Pane Rustic Italian Bistro in Clifton Park (at right) will demonstrate how to make fresh fettuccine pasta with pomodoro sauce. Pasta Pane is part of the DZ Restaurants family, which includes Saratoga’s Boca Bistro, Chianti Ristorante and Forno Bistro. Demonstrations will be held at noon, 1 and 2 p.m. Sunday: Kids Day The show will admit kids under age 17 for free all day on Sunday. JoJo’s Face Painting and Balloon Gal Jenny will entertain between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Also, the Saratoga Springs Police Department’s child safety and fingerprinting table will be present throughout the entire weekend. Local Sponsors Support Club’s Efforts Several local businesses sponsor the show, which is the Rotary Club’s largest fundraising event each year: The Adirondack Trust Company (major sponsor), Allerdice Ace Building Supply (door prizes), Champion Window (grand prize), Granite & Marble Works (supporting sponsor), The Saratogian (advertising sponsor), Saratoga TODAY (magazine sponsor), BuyLocalDeals.com (digital media sponsor), and Saratoga Springs City Center (community sponsor).
Published in News
Friday, 28 February 2014 10:38

A Voice For Veterans: Vietnam War Commemoration

Setting aside political views and personal perspectives involving the Vietnam War era, let’s focus on those individuals for their service and sacrifice to our nation—leaving loved ones behind for a tumultuous unknown—and honor our Vietnam War veterans and their families as the 50th Anniversary to the war’s end approaches. Since decided upon by the Saratoga Springs City Council in the fall of 2013, to commemorate the ending of the Vietnam War, a committee was established with its goal to honor those veterans. In doing so, on Saturday, March 29 from 1-3 p.m., a Vietnam War commemoration will be held at the NYS Military Museum located at 61 Lake Avenue. This tribute is sponsored by the Capital District of New York Chapter (CDNY) of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA). It will incorporate a discussion from the Panel of Vietnam War Veterans, conveying their personal stories and experiences from theirs tour(s) in Vietnam and answering questions from the audience. There will also be a presentation to the NYS Military Museum. It will be the first time the Panel will be together as a group, as it was created solely for this March 29 event. It is one of many events the organization will be planning for the future (for further information regarding the Capital District of NY Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army, visit www.ausacdny.com for details). Also highlighted is a Proclamation by Mayor Joanne Yepsen as well as the presentation of Jungle Warriors—Service and Sacrifice, a spectacular celebratory print offered to the Museum by artist and photographer, Jim Ryan, who is an executive with Media Solutions, Ratheon Technology Services Group. Mr. Ryan incidentally creates a painting each year capturing the very essence of our military fighting forces and has received numerous awards in recognition of his paintings. Nicholas M. Laiacona, President of the Northern NYS Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) and retired Lieutenant Colonel (LTC), with over 24 years of service in the U.S. Army, served from October 1968 to October 1969 as a First Lieutenant in Vietnam. Barry Hartman, who served 31 years in the U.S. Army and 14 years in the New York Guard, is a retired Brigadier General (BG) who also served his country with two tours in Vietnam (August 1967 to August 1968 and June 1972 to March 1973) and Vice President Retiree & Veterans Affairs of the Capital District of NY Chapter of the AUSA. The AUSA is a private, non-profit educational organization that meets monthly and supports all aspects and ranks of America’s Army—from active Army to National Guard and Reserves, to retired and wounded soldiers as well as their family members. This organization has 125 chapters throughout the United States, five in New York State, and there are 308 members within the Capital District of NY Chapter, consisting entirely of dedicated volunteers working tirelessly to provide recreation and educational opportunities to soldiers and their families. Another important factor of the organization is providing support to deployed soldiers as well as their family members who are left home, enduring the daily challenges from having a loved one overseas. The AUSA’s mission is straight forward and their vision and core values are equally as important, representing soldiers and families, from being their voice when lobbying in Congress to advocating support for these service members. Becoming the Premier voice of all components of America’s Army and fostering public support, LTC Nick Laiacona and BG Barry Hartman affirm harmoniously. LTC Laiacona recites, “The AUSA represents every American soldier by being the voice of all components of America’s Army, fostering public support of the Army’s role in national security, providing professional educational and information programs. Our main interest is supporting soldiers directly and their families.” BG Hartman agrees, “Yes, we are here for the families of those soldiers, too. Supporting the families is an important part of the AUSA.” This non-profit organization accomplishes its mission to its members and the community by fostering public support through the various chapters located within the state, as well as nationwide, by their Institute of Land Warfare, Industry Affairs meetings and events and through the Government Affairs Office. For example, a local fundraising event held at the Glens Falls Civic Center is being sponsored by the AUSA. On the evening on March 29, a Military Appreciation Night with a Gongshow hockey game between the Phantoms and the Springfield Falcons begins at 7 p.m. with giveaways throughout the entire game. For further information and cost for this specific event contact the Phantoms Office (518) 480-3355 or visit Phantomshockey.com. Turning back to the main event and panel discussion, March 29 is a date specific and intentional, reflective of Vietnam War Commemoration Day. It was that particular date in 1973 that the last U.S. Forces left the Republic of Vietnam (RVN). As one will recall in a very brief overview, Vietnam was a French colony. Vietnamese rebelled for independence, destroying occupying French forces. In 1962-63, the United States provided “military advisors” to oppose North Vietnam from imposing a communist system over that entire nation. It slowly developed into war and was fully engaged in 1965. Fighting continued until the Fall of Saigon in 1973. “I have many memories, some more vivid than others,” BG Hartman ruminates. “The salient memory for this event is that I was the last American to leave Hue (January 28, 1973) and on the last plane out of Da Nang (March 29, 1973) and the next to last plane out of the Republic of Vietnam, which will be the essence of my remarks on the Panel.” LTC Laiacona’s memories of his tour are more unrefined. “I remember my first combat operation and seeing green tracer bullets flying over my head…The US Army uses red tracer bullets,” LTC Laiacona said. “Another vivid memory is finding out my best friend from Infantry Officer Candidate School (Fort Benning, Georgia) was killed while serving as a Platoon Leader of a Long Range Recon Patrol (LRRP). I escorted his body back to the United States; he was 21 years old.” As the country approaches this significant date, March 29, and the 50th Anniversary of the ending of the U.S. Military involvement in the Vietnam War, the AUSA has collaborated with the City of Saratoga Springs and the NYS Military Museum to honor our nation’s Vietnam War Veterans and family members for their service and sacrifice, which wasn’t as recognized back during war time and the years following shortly thereafter. The CDNY Chapter of the AUSA will continue with its quest to honor those serving during the Vietnam War by sponsoring and working together with their various chapters nationwide to pay tribute to these veterans. For more information about the Association of the U.S. Army, visit the national website www.AUSA.org. For further details regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, contact (877) 387-9951 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.vietnamwar50th.com for additional details. Please take a moment to honor our Vietnam veterans and their family members, and as always, we thank all of our veterans and their families for all that you do. See you next month, here at SaratogaTODAY.
Published in News
Friday, 28 February 2014 08:13

Don’t Drop Out – Drop In!

SOS Youth Outreach Drop-In Center Provides Services For Young Adults In Need

SARATOGA SPRINGS— The Shelters of Saratoga (SOS) Youth Outreach Drop-in Center at 20 Walworth Street is completing its fourth month of operation and is making an impact in a variety of ways.  


The Drop-in Center, which is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., serves an important demographic: young adults, ages 16 to 21. The services provided are diverse and can make a difference on both the quality of a young person’s day-to-day life as well as providing increased potential for their futures. 

On any given day, the clients and their individual needs determine the services provided. As SOS Youth Outreach Coordinator and Case Manager Crystal Swinton puts it:


“You never know what the flavor of the day will be.” 


But the Drop-in Center appears quite ready for anything.


A new client, or first-time visitor might be very surprised by the array of services available here. The basic necessities we often take for granted, such as a shower or laundry facility with materials provided, or a healthy lunch or snack is always available (provided weekly from Sweet Mimi’s Café on Phila Street. Two volunteers from St. Peters youth group coordinate this: Tori Los and Max Liebers.) 


But a client can also get educational help or job search guidance including resume writing assistance, all designed to improve a client’s work readiness. Those without a physical address can utilize the SOS P.O. Box. A computer and printer are available with Internet access. Once a week, Siobahn A’Hearn, a nutrition program educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension’s “Eat Smart New York” program is in-house to provide nourishment guidance and techniques. Public health nurses visit regularly also. 


“The small group of volunteers we have are extremely resourceful,” Ms. Swinton notes, “We are fortunate to have most everything we need.” Although, she notes that there is an ongoing need for bottled water (should someone wish to drop off a case or two during the week, please note that it should be clearly marked for the youth drop-in center so it gets to the right destination.) Ms. Swinton cited one need for consistent transportation down to the CAPTAIN Youth and Family Center in Clifton Park twice a week so that clients could take advantage of CAPTAIN’s high school diploma equivalency programs. 


There are also outreach activities to stimulate the mind and body, said Ms. Swinton, such as a recent rock-climbing trip, with other off-site activities planned as the weather brightens. 


But it is obvious that there is never a day with anything less than a warm and sunny atmosphere, combined with several rays of hope, on any day one visits the Youth Drop-In Center. Crystal Swinton, her volunteers and the SOS staff make sure of that. 



To learn more about the services at the SOS Youth Drop-in Center, contact Crystal Swinton at (518) 321-8239.

Published in News


SARATOGA SPRINGS – Behind a large gray, unmarked door on Phila Street is a nearly two-year-old software and web design company MadGlory. Out of view of passerby, it is a fast-growing company that was a small offshoot of yet another tech startup. Today the company employs 20 individuals and is able to accept projects at discretion – typically ones that serve between 5 million – 20 million customers.  


Shipping projects with this extensive reach is a “sweet spot” for their company’s enthusiasm, teamwork and professionalism, said Brian Corrigan, MadGlory president. However, this year Corrigan; Clarke Foley, director of operations; and Seth Louey, creative director, created the “Level Up: Creative Tech Conference 2014” scheduled for October 8 and 9 and what is intended to be the spark that ignites the community of Saratoga Springs and its talent to set the ground work for attracting and retaining tech startups closer to home.


 After only having announced the conference a week ago, Corrigan said that word has already spread. They are speaking with “big brains” such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to be guests at the event.


 With a planned 200 ticket capacity and about eight to 12 keynote local and national speakers, the responses that MadGlory has received have only confirmed interest in the creative technology field. The type of experience the event is expected to encompass is to be a personable one, allowing for plenty of opportunities for people to connect, as well as give the chance for local businesses to represent themselves alongside some of the “big” invitees. 


 “What better way to inspire people than to show them a bunch of people who already did it (developed careers/companies in web technology); people they can work with to bring outside companies in,” Corrigan said. “We want to show them this area. The amount of engineering talent that bleeds out of this area every year is astounding. We sent former employees to Microsoft, Brightcove, Blizzard, Activision, Disney and SoundCloud. We've got people everywhere that have just left, and it's too bad because it's a really nice place to live.”


 The break-neck speed by which MadGlory has progressed since it was established July 11, 2012, and whose products have reached 55 million users in 145 countries for publishers such as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Riot Games and Atari was attributed to the aspect of teamwork balanced with individual drive to do successful work.


 At MadGlory, everyone is outdoing you all the time, but in a good way, Foley said. “It’s a friendly competition and a collective goal.”


 As MadGlory continues to keep its door revolving; filling a niche in the professional fields of software design, programming languages and web design, from their location in Saratoga Springs but shipping projects out to customers nationally and internationally, they are looking to help establish the reputation of having infrastructure to support tech startups in the Spa city.


 Establishing that kind reputation is the first step to addressing the disconnect between talent resources and job opportunities, Chris Wink said, editor of Technical.ly, a publication that covers early stage tech companies in Baltimore, an area which attracted two tech startups from New York within the last several months. “One thing you see is that across the country in all markets and regions is the interest in technology, its development and finding a regional distinction.”


Stephen Wilcox, head of interactive group at Fingerpaint and a Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau board member is helping MadGlory with the logistical aspect of the conference. He recalled an earlier discussion with Corrigan about the option of hosting “Level Up” in Troy, as opposed to Saratoga Springs, as a tech-centered community and event host. (See correction at end of story)


“There are other companies making those kinds of decisions, and it has a lot to do with the support of what is around as far as getting jobs,” Wilcox said. “There is a groundswell going on, and this conference is a big part of bringing national attention to Saratoga Springs as a tech destination.”


Robert Manasier, CEO of In Focus Brands, a company that has previously raised millions for tech startups in Saratoga Springs as well as started them, said: “There is a lot of talent here but not a lot of investment. Now, you have state government involved and it’s helping to create traction in the area. Most of our companies weren’t local in the beginning. It takes time to drive the conversation and the collaboration that’s needed.”



 Correction: Stephen Wilcox is aiding MadGlory with the logistical aspect of the conference, but his quote was in regards to MadGlory moving their company to Saratoga Springs, not the conference itself 'Level Up'.

Article before correction said that Robert Manasier was the director of Diamond Point Advisory  Group -this is incorrect. Diamond Group was sold and Manasier is now currently the CEO of In Focus Brands.


Published in News
Friday, 21 February 2014 11:20

New Mission For Neumann

Senior Housing Proposed For Lake Avenue

SARATOGA SPRINGS – For weeks, residents had seen the signs.


First, the signs said that The St. John Neumann Residence on the St. Clement’s campus at 233 Lake Avenue was “for sale.” Then later, “sale pending.” And though there was some buzz that the Bonacio Corporation was the pending buyer, the actual development details were a closely guarded secret. 


The big reveal took place at the Saratoga Springs City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 18 as a contingent led by Attorney Michael Toohey, The LA Group’s Principal-in-Charge C. Michael Ingersoll, Bradley Birge of the Saratoga Springs Planning Office and Sonny Bonacio detailed plans for an “adaptive reuse” of the residence – converting it into senior housing. 


A total of 85 senior apartments have been proposed for the residence. These would not be assisted living facilities but rather accommodations designed for ages 55 and older. 


The item before the council, which passed unanimously, was to “merit for review” a change in the comprehensive plan and zoning maps that would re-designate the parcel containing the residence to UR-1, which Mr. Toohey noted was the zoning designation for the surrounding neighborhood, and allow for the senior apartment project to be a permitted use. Currently the building is zoned for Institutional/Educational use.  


The design proposed to the council involved minimal modifications to the building’s façade, which Mr. Toohey described as an important building to the city as well as a major “entrance statement” for those entering the city from the East. 


The major structural adaptations would not be visible from Lake Avenue. Two additional wings will be built onto the residence’s rear side, and parking will be increased. Mr. Toohey detailed to the council a tree survey that had been completed prior to developing the plan, with the intent of minimizing the loss of trees on the property. 


The sale of the property is contingent on the zoning change, and there will be many meetings (before Design Review and Zoning committees as well as further planned neighborhood information meetings) before the zoning modification can actually be made official. 



Should the project proceed, there will also be a need to attend to several environmental issues at the St. John Neumann Residence. These include asbestos and mold abatement, the costs of which Mayor Joanne Yepsen noted, in expressing support for the project, had driven other developers away. 

Published in News
Page 17 of 25


  • Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office  A 20-year-old Watervliet man was charged with first degree manslaughter after allegedly “striking another person with a large wrench and causing that person’s death,” according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office said they received a call of a fight in progress on Sparrow Drive in the town of Malta and the Investigation into the complaint led to the arrest of Cyrus J. Tetreault, 20, of Watervliet.  The victim was identified as 53-year-old Malta resident Brian M. Miller.  “It is truly tragic that this situation resulted in a loss of life,” county Sheriff Michael Zurlo…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON  Richard Burt sold property at 921 Route 50 to 921 Route 50 LLC for $173,000 GALWAY Rita Werner and Erin Forlenza sold property at 1064 West Galway Road to Karen Crandall for $145,000 GREENFIELD John Mishoe sold property at 463 Allen Road to Michael Forlini for $390,000 John Duffney sold property at 288 North Greenfield to Kelly Rozembersky for $270,000 MALTA  Timothy Albright sold property at 54 Shore Ave to Joseph DiDonna for $800,000 Jennifer Hogan sold property at 5 Plum Poppy South to Dustin Mullen for $475,000 Nicolas Aragosa sold property at 10 Scotch Mist Way to Steven…
  • NYPA
  • Saratoga County Chamber
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • Discover Saratoga
  • Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association