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Displaying items by tag: charlie samuels

Friday, 06 December 2013 10:41

The Big Picture - Ballston Avenue Improvement

SARATOGA SPRINGS – On Tuesday, December 3 the Saratoga Springs City Council approved plans and transferred funds to effectuate the beginning of an important project to widen, beautify and generally improve Ballston Avenue (Route 50) from the area around the Price Chopper Plaza to the intersection of Broadway. The $2.29 million dollar project was primarily funded from State and Federal sources, with Saratoga Springs needing to pledge about $120,000 of that total. In addition to high daily vehicular, pedestrian and other traffic, this segment of Route 50 is currently among the most dangerous, with 42 accidents recorded in a 42 month period in a traffic study from 2008 to 2011. Among the most notable features of the improvement project are medians, left-turn lanes and a reconfigured (and possibly relocated) bus stop at Price Chopper Plaza for pedestrian safety. The intersections of Perry Street and the south side of Union Street with Ballston Avenue will have access closed, which, with a traffic light at Lincoln and Ballston Avenues, will help to improve traffic flow. The city is currently in the property and right-of-way procurement phase, after which the project will be bid in the Spring of 2014. If all goes well, construction will proceed in earnest around September, 2014 with a 6-9 month timetable, with completion in time for track season of 2015. Thanks to Tim Wales and Kate Maynard of the City of Saratoga Springs Planning Department for providing graphics and annotations.
Published in News
Friday, 06 December 2013 10:35

Pearl Harbor Remembered

MECHANICVILLE – Note: This is a transcript of a speech Eugene Corsale made at the Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Program at Mechanicville American Legion Post # 91. Its message remains as powerful today. December 7th at 7:55 a.m. A Sunday morning in 1941 – 59 years ago – in an unheard place at the time to many Americans – Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – 353 planes of the Japanese Imperial Navy struck, the US Navy Pacific Fleet ships anchored at the Pearl Harbor Base – without a warning or declaration of war – a sneak attack – a cowardly attack – a premeditated attack. And to this day – the attack is still known in world history as a day of infamy. Five hours later, the holocaust was over. 2,335 valiant American Servicemen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines made the supreme sacrifice and became our nation’s first causalities of war since the great war of 1918. Our Country was at war, the world was now at war. Our main Naval fighting force, the Pacific fleet battleship row, was decimated in the savage attack. Three battleships were sunk and 14 other naval combat ships were damaged and rendered useless in the air raid. The destruction was so devastating that the country’s west coast was now defenseless against a foreign invasion. To state the situation was grim would be an understatement. Ironically enough that day, while the Japanese military celebrated their surprise naval victory, Admiral Yamamato, their fleet commander and architect of the raid, remarked to his fellow officers, “Today I am afraid that we have awakened a sleeping giant.” How true his prediction was. From that day forward a United America - the arsenal of democracy - their fighting spirit, courage and perseverance, carried our country to victory. In that victory, American ships damaged in the Pearl Harbor sneak attack had been repaired and participated in naval battles leading to the eventual destruction of the Japanese Navy. In that victory, every Japanese aircraft carrier who participated in that dastardly Sunday morning attack was sunk by American combat action. Retribution was complete. –unconditional surrender of the enemy was the order of the day. On that day and to that final victory four years later, began the saga in American History of the heroic efforts of American servicemen who fought and were victorious in the preservation of ours and the world’s freedom and who later became known as the our nation’s “Greatest Generation.” We pray not only for all of our World War II servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our Country and freedom, we especially pray for those 1,100 Naval and Marine personnel forever entombed aboard the sunken battleship, USS Arizona, now a naval shrine at Pearl Harbor Hawaii.. On September 11, 2001, we suffered a second Pearl Harbor of sorts. Regretfully those entrusted with our nation’s security and well-being failed their fellow Americans. Again, we survived another infamous attack, and live to fight another day. This War on Terror continues to this day. We pray to God that a sustained mission of eternal vigilance will prevail against the cowardly, barbaric enemies we face today. Our very survival depends on it. God bless all of our dedicated military people, those who preserve and protect our way of life, and God bless the United States of America-- Our nation that we love.
Published in News
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 11:49

Becoming Homeless in Saratoga Springs

By Barry Potoker

For Saratoga Today

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Barry Potoker, Executive Director of Saratoga Builders Association, was a participant in “A Day Without A Home” on Wednesday, November 20 sponsored by the Saratoga County Housing Committee which commemorated Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. He was given the profile of “Eric” and went through the intake process at the Shelters of Saratoga (SOS). This is his account:

I never thought that it could ever happen to me, but it did. It was a surreal experience and happened so fast. My girlfriend of several years kicked me out of her house with just the clothes on my back. I had no where to go or live. I had officially become homeless.

My name is Eric and I’m 27. I do have a decent job at a restaurant working for minimum wage and unfortunately I have been battling chronic bronchitis for many years. Needless to say, I have no health insurance. My situation felt desperate and I had nowhere to turn. Embarrassed and ashamed, I showed up at the Shelters of Saratoga for help.

I was welcomed by a reassuring woman at the front desk and immediately turned over to a case worker. His name was Graham. In my uneasy state, he was encouraging, knowledgeable and supportive. We spent about a half hour reviewing the rules of the Shelter, filling out some paperwork, and most importantly talking about all the resources at my disposal to help get me back on my feet in 60 days or less. A sense of hope and relief came over me as I was accepted into this temporary home. 

Because I came to the Shelter, many services from other organizations and agencies were now available to me. I was eligible to have my bronchitis treated at the Saratoga Community Health Center run by Saratoga Hospital. I received a complimentary three-month membership to the YMCA. In addition, I was given a $50 certificate to obtain some more clothes at Treasures. If I had been a veteran, the Saratoga County RPC was ready to assist me. The critical element would be the ongoing work with my case worker to help me find an affordable apartment and look for a better job if I so desired. Graham showed me around the house, the community computer, living room, and the kitchen where all the folks staying at the Shelter cook for themselves. He then took me to my small, but comfortable room with bunk beds, which I will share with three others in transition situations similar to mine. This will be my place to begin anew. On the way however, we did make a stop at a closet brimming with clothes, for me to pick out some extra things to wear. I was so very fortunate to be in a caring, safe place to help me get through this difficult and scary time in my life.

My time taking part in “A Day Without A Home” was both enlightening and worthwhile. Not only did I feel the despair and helplessness of being alone without a home, but I was introduced to a world of unknowns and possibilities for those in need. Yes, my awareness of this unfamiliar topic (to me) was truly enriched. 

There was an evening wrap-up event at the Saratoga Arts Center focused on those who volunteered to participate in this special day. They each spoke of their personal “homeless” experiences and provided some meaningful insights of the various agencies. The Skidmore College Dance Improvisation class even performed a demonstration of abstract emotions, thoughts and ideas relative to homelessness and the associated challenges. It was excellent and moving to say the least. And to top it off, we had a homeless couple right from the street join us during the event. They sat in the crowd listening to us talk about the subject matter, jumping in from time to time. It was an incredibly sad yet sobering night for us all.  

On a final note, as I was leaving the Shelters of Saratoga, something happened that was quite profound for me. I passed a man that attended high school with me entering the Shelter. He did not look well, but I still recognized him. He not only appeared homeless but the receptionist had already called 911 to get an ambulance for him. The day certainly had a personal impact on me.


Published in News
Thursday, 21 November 2013 12:48

66 Franklin Down

SARATOGA SPRINGS – After a long history including years of litigation, the historic Winnans-Crippen House, located at 66 Franklin Street was demolished. All that remained by Tuesday was the foundation, and by the time you read this, you won’t see that either.  So we thought that we should chronicle the structure’s end. 

Regardless as to how you felt about this issue, I am reminded of the bittersweet irony of this building’s demise so soon after Kyle York’s untimely death, for he was relentless in his fervor to see 66 Franklin down. It’s hard not to imagine him smirking somewhere. 

- Arthur Gonick


Published in News
Friday, 15 November 2013 14:16

Wilton Wildlife Named 50 States for Good Winner

WILTON — The Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park was one of 15 charities in the nation this week to be named a winner of the fifth annual Tom’s of Maine 50 States for Good program. The organization will receive $10,000, which it will use to fund the start of its accessible trail project. During the public vote, volunteer and nonprofit nominators were showcased as part of an interactive voting hub that highlighted inspiring stories across the country. From a pool of more than 1,000 nominations, 51 finalists were chosen by a judging panel of leaders in the nonprofit community. With over 58,000 votes cast online, Wilton Wildlife was chosen as one of only 15 charities to receive a share of $150,000 in funding from the program. “The ingenuity of this year’s winners to help their neighbors and the environment is incredibly inspiring,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine. “These community projects are an important reminder that we can accomplish so much more when we work together. Community support, passionate volunteers and creative thinking can bring lasting goodness to our communities in a way that matters every day.” To date, the 50 States for Good community giving program has benefited 5.5 million people and dozens of communities. To learn more about this year’s winners, visit www.50StatesforGood.com.
Published in News
Friday, 15 November 2013 14:13

Every Vote Counts

BALLSTON SPA — On Wednesday, November 13 the Saratoga County Board of Elections began the laborious process of opening, validating and counting every absentee ballot for each office that voters went to the polls for on November 5. Due to interest and because it could actually effect the outcome, closely contested races were counted first. Chief among these was the Town of Malta’s supervisor race, where incumbent Paul J. Sausville trailed Cynthia C. Young by 12 votes. There were a total of 83 absentee ballots that could impact this race. At the end of the absentee ballot counting, Sausville still trailed, but Young’s lead had been cut to four votes. There are still 13 military ballots to be counted, but this will not happen until Monday, November 18. Also, 23 absentee ballots were disputed by a candidate’s representative. These will be held for three days while the election commissioners rule on a given ballot’s status. If the commissioners all agree that a ballot is valid, it will be opened. If they are split, a judge will rule on a ballot’s legitimacy. The candidates have the right to dispute any ballot in court as well.
Published in News
Friday, 15 November 2013 14:10

150th Racing Season Draws Surge of Tourism

SARATOGA SPRINGS —The City of Saratoga Springs and the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors this week announced record-breaking revenues from hotel room reservations during the 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course. Officials from the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors and the City of Saratoga Springs joined representatives from the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau and the Saratoga 150 Committee to formally release the numbers during a news conference at the Saratoga Springs City Center. Saratoga County netted $327,034 for its general fund from occupancy taxes levied on room reservations during the period from June 1 to August 31, 2013, an all-time record, and a 3.5 percent increase over the corresponding quarter from the previous year. Saratoga County receives one percent of revenue from all taxable room reservations which reached a record-high of $32,703,401 during the summer of the 150th anniversary celebration at Saratoga Race Course. The city of Saratoga Springs reported even higher gains with a net record windfall of $1,152,500 from room reservations within its boundaries, a 4.1 percent increase over last summer. Overall net revenue from room reservations within the city reached a record high of $23,049,996 between June 1 and August 31. “Saratoga Springs has a rich heritage as a tourist destination and resort town, especially in the summer months. The numbers announced today highlight the region’s stature as one of New York’s premiere travel locations,” City of Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson said. “The record-breaking revenues gained from the strong summer tourism season will only further elevate the city’s standing as we continue to draw visitors from across the nation to experience the Spa.” “These numbers unequivocally demonstrate that the lure of Saratoga Springs is stronger than ever, with record-breaking figures across the board in conjunction with a milestone anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course,” said Saratoga Springs Supervisor Matthew Veitch. “Our success is a reflection of the many signature attractions that bring tourists to our region: the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Casino and Raceway, the many fine museums and cultural attractions, and our vibrant downtown with its shops and restaurants. Primarily, however, today’s announcement validates the demand for thoroughbred racing in Saratoga Springs and is a testament to the strength and vitality of Saratoga Race Course and its current 40-day meet.” The city’s portion from occupancy taxes is divided among three entities: the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau nets $461,000; the Saratoga Springs City Center receives $461,000; and the city’s general fund garners $230,500. This year’s numbers have also nearly doubled from the start of the millennium. In 2001, Saratoga County netted $166,815 from hotel room reservations during the summer months or just a little more than half of the current revenue total of $327,034. Dating back to 2009, the last year when Saratoga ran a 36-day meet before increasing its length to 40 days, county revenue has increased by 32 percent while the city of Saratoga Springs has benefitted from a 27 percent increase. The record intake for the county and city stemmed from solid increases in both occupancy and room rates. Demand for hotel rooms in Saratoga County surged to 87.7 percent in August 2013, a 3.1 percent increase over the previous year, and to 81.7 percent in July 2013, a 3 percent increase over the previous July. Demand for rooms in the City of Saratoga Springs was similarly robust, with an 89.2 percent occupancy rate in August 2013, a 2.4 percent increase from August 2012, and an 82.9 percent occupancy rate in July 2013, a 2.7 percent increase from July 2012. Strong demand also helped spur higher pricing. Hoteliers were able to charge more during the 150thanniversary season, with nightly room rates in the city of Saratoga Springs averaging $252.46 in August 2013, a 7.3 percent increase over the previous August, and $191.34 in July 2013, a 5.5 percent increase over July 2012. Nightly room rates in Saratoga County averaged $219.73 in August 2013, a 6.6 percent increase over August 2012, and $170.97 in July 2013, a 4.9 percent increase over July 2012. “The success of the summer season as represented here today is a testimony not only to the popularity of Saratoga Race Course and the 150th anniversary celebration, but also shows that Saratoga Springs is a destination in its own right,” Saratoga Springs City Center President Mark Baker said. “The racing season, programming at Saratoga Performing Arts Center and our spectacular downtown scene create a truly desirable location for visitors and tourists.” The months of July and August coincided with The New York Racing Association’s annual summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course and marked the culmination of the year-long celebration honoring the 150th anniversary of the first organized thoroughbred race meeting in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in August 1863.
Published in News
SARATOGA SPRINGS —The League of Women Voters of Saratoga County will host a Public Forum, “ Democracy in America: A Post- ‘Citizen United’ Agenda for Reform “ to discuss the impact of US Supreme Court rulings allowing ever greater sums of election campaign contributions to elections. Bob Turner, Skidmore Government Department and Blair Horner, New York Public Interest Research Group, will each highlight their views from a national and state perspective, with potential reforms. This will be followed by an open discussion and a Question and Answer session with the audience. Further details may be found at www.lwvsaratoga.org. The Forum will be held at the Saratoga Springs Public Library, in the Dutcher Room, on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. and is open to the public
Published in News
Friday, 15 November 2013 12:48

Local Residents Packing Joy For Needy Children

SARATOGA SPRINGS — With holiday supplies already covering the store shelves, Saratoga Springs individuals, families, churches and groups are working to make Christmas a reality for needy kids around the world by filling shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, is ramping up as Saratoga Springs residents prepare to collect 800 gift-filled shoeboxes during National Collection Week from Nov. 18 to 25. At this local collection site in the Saratoga Springs area, anyone can drop off a gift-filled shoebox to send to a child overseas. Then using whatever means necessary – trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants – the shoebox gifts will be delivered to children worldwide. For many children, the shoebox gift will be the first gift they have ever received. Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 100 million shoebox gifts to suffering children in more than 100 countries since 1993. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9.8 million gift-filled shoeboxes in 2013. Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (518) 437-0690 or visit samaritanspurse.org. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoeboxes is Nov. 18-25. However, shoebox gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C. Participants can also build a box through an online tool offering a personalized and convenient way to send a gift to a child in one of the hardest-to-reach countries. SARATOGA SPRINGS COLLECTION SITE: New Life Fellowship 51 Old Gick Road Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Operating Hours: Mon. Nov. 18 - Fri. Nov. 22: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Sat. Nov. 23: 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Sun. Nov. 24: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Mon. Nov. 25: 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. NEARBY COLLECTION SITE: Calvary’s Family Life Center 100 Sherman Avenue Glens Falls, NY 12801 Operating Hours: Mon. Nov. 18 - Fri. Nov. 22: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sat. Nov. 23: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sun. Nov. 24: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Mon. Nov. 25: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. For more information regarding these collection locations, call 1-800-567-8580.
Published in News
SARATOGA SPRINGS — As part of National Memory Screening Day - an annual initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) — The Wesley Community in Saratoga Springs, NY, will offer free, confidential memory screenings on Tuesday, November 19. Qualified healthcare professionals will administer the memory screenings and provide educational materials about memory concerns, brain health and caregiving. The face-to-face screenings consist of a series of questions and tasks and take five to 10 minutes to administer. “Participating in National Memory Screening Day is just one more way that we can demonstrate our daily commitment to those afflicted with and affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementia,” said The Wesley Community Memory Care Program Manager Trudi Cholewinski. “We hope the free screenings provide one more way for us to raise awareness of these diseases and provide a crucial service to the community beyond our own residents and clients.” Screenings will take place from 10 to 11 a.m.; 1 to 2 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Individuals are also invited to attend special programming to support the day titled, “Normal Memory Loss vs. Dementia — When to Be Concerned” from 11 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3 p.m. All screenings and programs will be held at Woodlawn Commons at 156 Lawrence Street. Refreshments will be served. AFA suggests memory screenings for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; who believe they are at risk due to a family history of dementia; or who want to benchmark their current memory for future comparisons. Screeners emphasize that results are not a diagnosis, and encourage individuals who score poorly as well as those who still have concerns to pursue a full medical examination. Such screenings are becoming increasingly important as the number of Baby Boomers turning age 65 — the at-risk age group for Alzheimer’s disease — continues to climb. The federal government’s historic “National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease” urges a greater emphasis on both early diagnosis and education about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. However, an AFA survey of 2010 National Memory Screening Day participants found that 92 percent of those polled had never been given a screening by their primary healthcare provider; and 83 percent who were worried about their memory had not discussed their concerns with a healthcare provider. “Brain health should be on everyone’s radar screen, especially as you age. Memory screenings are a first but critical step toward finding out where you stand now and what additional steps you might need to take,” said Carol Steinberg, president of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Some memory problems, like those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid issues, are readily treatable and even curable. Others might be due to Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Although there currently is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, early intervention can improve the quality of an individual’s life; available medications may help slow progression of symptoms and diagnosed individuals can more readily participate in long-term care planning. Warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetting people’s names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills, confusion and personality changes. Dubbed by many as a “silver tsunami,” the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple to 13.8 million by mid-century. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. For more information about National Memory Screening Day, call (toll free) 866-232-8484 or visitwww.nationalmemoryscreening.org. For more information about The Wesley Community, visit www.thewesleycommunity.org.
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  • 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…
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