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Life After Adultery, Is Healing Possible?
Saratoga County Children’s Committee Chosen as Beneficiary of Mom Prom
SARATOGA SPRINGS —The second annual Saratoga Mom Prom—a ladies night out—to benefit Saratoga County Children’s Committee is April 26 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at The Saratoga Hilton. Pull out your old prom gown or bridesmaid dress (or head to a consignment shop), accessorize in your era of prom and come join the fun. There will be dancing, lite fare, raffle baskets as well as prom activities.
Register for $55 and learn more at www.saratogamomprom.com or call (518) 587-5392. Benefit a great cause and have fun reliving your prom memories. Age 21 and up are welcome and you do not need to be a mom to attend.
Saratoga County Children’s Committee serves the needs of children throughout Saratoga County. It is a completely volunteer organization and without a paid staff, 100 percent of monies donated are spent to provide relief to children in need.
The SCCC’s greatest effort is The Empty Stocking Project that provides over 800 children with holiday gifts. Requests are received from agencies such as Domestic Violence Services, EOC, Franklin Community Center, Project Lift, Saratoga Early Intervention, Saratoga County Social Services as well as Nurses in Saratoga County Schools. Throughout the year, the Committee provides such items as clothing, cribs and baby supplies, school supplies and sports equipment, along with special needs such as medical supplies and equipment and dental work.
New members are always welcome. At this time, there is a need for volunteers willing to sponsor a child for The Empty Stocking Project. To volunteer for membership or to sponsor a child, call (518) 587-1236.
Kidnapper’s Bail Increased
BALLSTON SPA — Bail was increased to $50,000 cash or 100,000 bond for the man who is accused of kidnapping a former girlfriend and tying her up for hours after it was determined he was a flight risk.
Ryan Place, 28, of 309 Greenfield Ave. in Milton, was arrested last July, a week after he allegedly kidnapped the former girlfriend.
Place is presently incarcerated in the Saratoga County Jail. Bail had previously been set in town court at $25,000 cash/$50,000 bond.
The charges of kidnapping in the second degree carry with them a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.The 11-count indictment alleges these crimes occurred on July 21 of this year in the Towns of Saratoga and Milton.
Prior to the sentencing of the charge of alleged kidnapping, Place fled New York to Texas and was extradited from Texas.
“We believe that because the defendant fled from New York and went to Texas to avoid prosecution previously, he has demonstrated that he is, in fact, a flight risk and that he disobeys the order of the court,” said Saratoga Springs District Attorney James Murphy III. “In addition, as a sex offender and prior felon, he faces an enhanced sentence and therefore we asked for bail to be increased.”
Interfaith Remembrance of JFK Assassination
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Congregation Shaara Tfille, 84 Weibel Avenue, Saratoga Springs will host “Remembering JFK” an Interfaith Service on Friday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m.
The service will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the death of America’s our thirty-fifth President. The service will be conducted by Dr. Kenneth S. Blatt, Rabbi/Cantor from Congregation Shaara Tfille and will include readings, music, songs, historical commentary and personal reflections of this tragic event from a broad cross-section of representatives from both the religious and secular community.
In addition to Rabbi Blatt, these community members will participate:
Father Paul J. Borowski C.Ss. R., St. Clements Church, Saratoga Springs
Rev. Coqui Conley, Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church, Saratoga Springs
Father Neil Draves-Arpaia, Saratoga Springs
Rev. Dr. James Fenimore and Rev. Dr. Michelle Bogue-Trost,
Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, Saratoga Springs
Rev. Dominic Ingemie, Church of St. Peter
Rev. Richard Hoffman, Saratoga Hospital and Nursing Home
Rabbi Boaz Marmon, Congregation Shaaray Tefila, Glens Falls
Michael Clement (pianist)
Thomas W. Hebert, Commandant and Color Guard
Spa Detachment 641, Marine Corps League, Ballston Spa
Former Saratoga Springs Mayor Ken Klotz, speaking on behalf of Mayor-elect Joanne Yepsen
Dr. Robert Orban (trumpet) will play “Taps”
A.J. Sarno, Longfellows Interfaith Prayer Meeting
Lou Schneider and Sid Gordon, Jewish Veterans of Foreign Wars,
Saratoga Springs branch
Congressman Paul Tonko
“The assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 was a monumental tragedy in American history. Not since Abraham Lincoln was killed in 1863, has the death of one man had such repercussions on our nation.” Rabbi Blatt said. “This youthful, inspirational and handsome leader had captured the imagination of the American public following a very close election and his sudden, violent death was a shock to the entire American populace.”
Rabbi Blatt continued, “For those of us who remember the events of November 22 and its aftermath, the commemoration of the 50th anniversary will be a very significant moment of reflection. Not only did we lose a great president, but we lost what many refer to as ‘our innocence.’ Through the use of Biblical scripture, inspirational and patriotic music and personal reflections from both religious and civic leaders, I hope that this commemoration can serve as a means of bringing this community together.”
Town of Malta Grapples with Ethics Issues
MALTA – The monthly Malta town board meeting on Wednesday, November 6 was moved back because of Election Day.
An extra hour was added for some anticipated public comment about the town’s 2014 budget, which turned out to be minimal. Later in the meeting, the town council passed a $9,521,866 budget for 2014 by a 5-0 vote, with Councilperson Tara Thomas needing to officially abstain from two payroll line items. The budget anticipated two percent sales tax growth from 2013 and estimates that $456,000 will be needed to be drawn from the reserve fund to balance 2014 expenses.
The major items on the agenda centered on the subject of ethics, in light of the town’s ethics committee recently citing Town Clerk Flo Sickels (who was at her seat during this meeting). Thomas, who is Sickels’ daughter, recused herself during this portion of the meeting and left the room.
A discussion about the merits of the ethics committee’s findings were handled in executive session and have not been made public at this time.
The public did hear a discussion led by Supervisor Paul Sausville as to other recommendations by the ethics committee which could be regarded as procedural.
The town council did reaffirm that attorney Christine Karsky of Saratoga Springs would continue to advise the ethics committee for the balance of 2013 as needed. Carsky was referred to the committee during its most recent deliberations.
The ethics committee made several recommendations arising out of that complaint filing, which ranged from making procedures for filing complaints clearer and less ambiguous, to recommending ethics training, to an examination and perhaps an overhaul of either the ethics section of the employee manual, or revise the entire manual. The committee also recommended an examination of how town employees report their work on behalf of not-for-profit (NFP) organizations, though it was unclear to many on the town board whether the committee was referring to those NFP’s that were doing business with the town, or any NFP.
Many of these recommendations were strongly objected to by town councilpersons Paul Hartzell and Maggi Ruisi, whose remarks indicated that they felt the town council was over-genuflecting in response to one incident, in the manner of using a bazooka to slay a hummingbird.
“A waste of time,” was Ruisi’s response to some of the committee’s recommendations.
Hartzell was even more strident in his objections, noting that the town had just completed an extensive review of its 100 plus page employee manual. Both of them said they thought that complaint procedures were clear at the present time
Hartzell also felt that the committee should make a list of specific items in the manual that might be worth examining and said that a list could be generated of NFP’s that did business with the town, which would be small and procedures developed around that limited universe.
In the end, the town board agreed to have Sausville draft a memo back to the ethics committee asking for specificity about areas in the employee manual they found troubling and to pay an outside consultant $300 for a general overlook of it.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — There’s never a good time to hear about bad news, and the news about the untimely passing of Kyle York, 59, hit me like a lightning bolt on Thursday morning.
Kyle would be proud to be remembered as an involved individual in his adopted hometown of Saratoga Springs. Though he had family roots in Warren County, he made his claim to fame in NYC and subsequently renounced the rat race for a life of human scale. Kyle was a writer, an excellent one, but his best mode of communication was always face-to-face.
He had a warm, engaging smile and a rare sense of tolerance. While he was passionate in his beliefs, his door was always open to different perspectives. You might not change his mind, in fact it would be a rare and special thing to do so, but with Kyle you knew that he thrived on the give-and-take, particularly over a lingering glass of wine.
Though we shared obvious common interests of writing and politics, what might surprise people is that more often than not music would be the subject of our chats. If they sold them, Kyle would have been a season ticket holder at Caffé Lena, for original music was truly his thing.
I was very happy that Kyle was part of our tenth anniversary of 9/11 issue here at the paper and I am confident that you will appreciate the perspective he brought to the table on this topic:
But most of all, I know Kyle would be most proud of seeing any tribute to him on his passing bearing a Saratoga Springs dateline. So there you have it.
Rest in peace, my friend. A seat at Damon Runyon’s and Studs Terkel’s table is waiting for you in heaven. They want you to order the wine.
Setting the Record Straight
SARATOGA SPRINGS – In the wake of recent accusations of a cover up, claims of police brutality and of an alleged choking of a female prisoner, Chief of Police Greg Veitch said he stands behind the men and women of his department and the investigations into the incidents.
Saratoga Springs City Council: Future Revenue
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Tuesday, November 4 meeting of the Saratoga Springs City Council was notable both for its content and its length. Despite the fact that this meeting was less than half as long as the preceding one on October 15, the council was able to accomplish significant business while allowing for adequate discussion where it was relevant.
Chief among these items was the passage, by a 5-0 roll call vote, of the amended 2014 city budget. In a concise presentation of general fund requests and changes, Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan detailed each department’s requests and why or why not they were selected to be added to the amended budget.
The bottom line was that the general expense fund was increased by $113,000, with only $13,000 of that balanced with revenue from increased property tax. The remaining $100,000 came from increased revenue projections that Madigan felt confident could be reached. This means that the original 0.68 percent property tax increase projection was increased slightly to 0.76 percent. On a home with a $350,000 assessed value, this works out to an annual increase of $16.05 in 2014. Comments were generally supportive around the council table, and given the fact that the next day was Election Day for many of them, notably concise before unanimous passage.
Earlier in the meeting, a presentation by Saratoga Children’s Theatre’s (SCT) executive director Meg Kelly detailed a potential source of additional revenue for the city.
The Saratoga Music Hall, on the third floor of City Hall, is unused during 72 percent of its potential hours. Two systemic factors were identified that have led to this. The floor of the hall is not soundproofed to any extent, and thus the Music Hall cannot be used at all without disturbing the city court below when it is in session. Further, the hall currently cannot be used during the entire summer season because of the fact that it lacks air conditioning.
While Kelly certainly felt that SCT could increase its use of the Music Hall if these two conditions were resolved, she felt a more important role was to have her organization partner with the city to assure that the Music Hall had everything in place to make it available to many organizations as frequently as possible.
The presentation was very well received, notably by Commissioner of Public Works Anthony Scirocco, who sponsored the SCT presentation and noted that the Music Hall was a wonderful, underutilized space and that the city’s investment in these types of improvements would pay for themselves rather quickly. Scirocco also recommended exploring acoustic augmentations as well.
This would have to go through the RFP and capital budget process to actually proceed, but the council is rarely presented with an opportunity of this nature for an existing facility.
In other council news:
- Commissioner Madigan also delivered her third quarter financial report for the city, noting that they were generally on track against projections. She also detailed five excess fund balance recommendations from the 2012 budget, which the council passed unanimously.
- Commissioner Scirocco announced a Veterans Day ceremony at the Tempered by Memory memorial in High Rock Park
- Supervisors Matthew Veitch and Joanne Yepsen both gave their perspectives on the proposed 2014 Saratoga County Budget (see Week in Review, page 4).
- Public Safety Commissioner Mathiesen received unanimous approval to amend the city code to allow for a stop sign on the intersection of Ludlow Street and Jumel Place; and to have alternate side-of-the-street parking in effect each day during the Saratoga Thoroughbred racing meet.
Mathiesen called upon Police Chief Greg Veitch to read a statement regarding the SSPD’s conduct during and after the late night incident involving Darryl Mount, Jr. (See the featured story).
Chamber Music Society Will Have SPAC Residency
SARATOGA SPRINGS—On October 28, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) announced a historic partnership that will lead to the world-class chamber music company to a residency at SPAC beginning next August 2014.
A three-week six-concert residency will be programmed by CMS. Performance dates will be August 11, 12, 17, 19, 24 and 26. Artist and repertoire details will be announced in the near future.
On the Spa Little Theatre stage where the announcement was made were CMS artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han, Marcia White, SPAC president and CEO, Susan Read, SPAC board chairperson and Suzanne Davidson, CMS executive director.
Following the announcement, in their roles as Musical America’s 2012 musicians of the year, cellist David Finkel and pianist Wu Han enchanted the audience with a musical interlude. The duo’s international engagements have taken them to the Far East and Europe to unanimous critical acclaim.
Fire at Wilton YMCA Branch
WILTON — A late night fire on Monday, October 28, which may have suspicious origins closed down the Saratoga Regional YMCA’s Wilton branch building on Old Gick Road.
There were no injuries reported from the fire, which was reported to begin about 10 p.m. The branch was open at the time and a total of about a dozen members and staff were evacuated without incident.
The building affected by the fire was the oldest at the Wilton complex, which led to a complete closure of the branch on Tuesday.
However, the tennis court building and additional facilities which were part of a $7.5 million expansion of the branch were reopened the next day.
At the scene, Greenfield Fire Chief John Lant was quoted as calling the fire” very, very suspicious,” saying that State Police dog had found something at the site that is being investigated as a possible accelerant.