Displaying items by tag: saratoga
City Council Approves New Contract for School Resource Officer at High School
SARATOGA SPRINGS – At a special mid-day meeting of the City Council Aug. 27, the council approved a new contract to continue the School Resource Officer Program in the city’s public school system for the next two years.
The new contract represents some changes compared to the agreement which what had previously existed.
Previously, if the assigned SRO was not available – those cases including sick days and time off – a replacement had not been provided, explained Public Safety Commissioner Peter Martin. With the desire to have an armed and trained SRO present at the high school every day, the new contract stipulates that should the assigned SRO not be available on any school day, the city will provide a qualified substitute for the position. To meet that expectation, three additional officers began their SRO training on Aug. 27 to ensure there may be substitutes available.
The SRO will be assigned to the school on a full-time basis and on duty at the campus from 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. each school day, excluding summer school and summer programs. The School Resource Officer remains an employee of the city and within the chain of command of the Saratoga Springs Police Department.
Previous costs to the school were about $53,000. To meet the additional guaranteed time, the new contract sets costs at $65,000 for the 2019-2020 school year, and $70,000 for 2020-2021.
An additional officer, supplied by the Saratoga County Sheriff's Office, is designated for Maple Avenue Middle School, Dorothy Nolan Elementary and the Greenfield Elementary schools.
Among the duties of the School Resource Officer: assisting the Principal in developing plans and strategies to prevent and/or minimize dangerous situations which may occur on campus or during school sponsored events.
The SRO shall take law enforcement action as required. Except in an emergency situation, the SRO shall obtain the consent of the principal of the school prior to taking such action. At the Principal's request, the SRO shall take appropriate law enforcement action against intruders and unwanted guests who may appear at the school, and related school functions. And, except in an emergency situation, the SRO shall notify the principal before requesting additional police assistance on campus.
September 6 – September 12, 2019
Jeffrey D. Hulett, 27, of Saratoga, was sentenced Aug. 30 to 1.5 to 3 years state prison, after pleading to aggravated family offense, in Moreau.
Zachary M. Ives, 33, of Milton, pleaded Aug. 30 to unlawful surveillance in the second-degree. Sentencing Nov. 1.
Ryan M. Campbell, 26, of Saratoga Springs, pleaded Aug. 28 to attempted robbery in the third-degree. Sentencing Oct. 29.
James D. Stephens, 30, of Victory Mills, pleaded Aug. 29 to felony burglary, in Milton. Sentencing Nov. 20.
Joseph Murray, 44, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 26 with assault in the third-degree, and criminal trespass.
Joseph Chatterpaul, 25, of Richmond Hill, was charged Aug. 26 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, refusal of breath test, moving from lane unsafely, and operating a motor vehicle without a certificate.
Brian Wood, 26, of Gansevoort, was charged Aug. 26 in Saratoga Springs with harassment in the second-degree, and criminal tampering in the third-degree, a misdemeanor.
Meghan McCabe, 40, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 26 with petit larceny.
Roth Mitchell, 57, of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, was charged Aug. 27 in Saratoga Springs with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and failure to stop at a stop sign.
John Lavada, 29, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 27 with nine counts of petit larceny, and one count burglary in the third-degree.
Aldo Aburto, 40, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 27 with criminal trespass on Union Avenue.
Matthew Walters, 36, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 27 with assault in the third-degree.
Faith Wilson, 33, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 28 with assault in the third-degree, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon. The latter charge is a felony.
Kevin Thomas, 53, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 28 with failing to report change of address/ status as a sex offender within 10 days. The charge is a felony.
Cassandra Barden, 34, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 28 with misdemeanor criminal contempt.
Steven Brundage, 28, of Los Angeles, CA, was charged Aug. 30 in Saratoga Springs, with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle – a misdemeanor, and speeding.
Aziz Ahned, 47, of Niskatuna, was charged Aug. 30 in Saratoga Springs with criminal mischief misdemeanor.
Jayde Jasewicz, 43, of Johnstown, was charged Aug. 20 in Saratoga Springs with two counts felony grand larceny, two counts possession forged instrument, and one felony count identity theft/assume the identity of another to defraud.
Adam Allain, 25, of Malta, was charged Aug. 21 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, speeding, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Henry Ciccone, 44, of Round Lake, was charged Aug. 20 in Saratoga Springs with criminal contempt felony, aggravated family offense, criminal mischief, and resisting arrest.
Matthew King, 35, of East Haddam, Connecticut, was charged Aug. 22 in Saratoga Springs with felony DWI as a repeat offense, and operating a motor vehicle without signal devices/ reflectors.
Karen Street, 41, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 22 with misdemeanor DWI and aggravated DWI.
Aaron Benware, 48, of Malta, was charged Aug. 22 in Saratoga Springs with criminal contempt, and stalking.
Steven Whitcroft, 35, of Stillwater, was charged Aug. 22 in Saratoga Springs with operating a motor vehicle while impaired with drugs, possession of a hypodermic instrument, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Edward Murray, 40, of Queensbury, was charged Aug. 22 in Saratoga Springs with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second-degree, and passing a red light.
Gurjot Grewal, 26, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 22 with criminal contempt, and harassment.
Joseph Powell, 25, of Mechanicville, was charged Aug. 23 in Saratoga Springs with third degree assault, reckless endangerment, and aggravated family offense, a felony.
William H. Hicka, 63, of Middle Grove, was charged Aug. 26 following a motor vehicle crash on Lake Desolation Rd. with criminal mischief in the second-degree – a felony, misdemeanor DWI, making an unsafe turn. Hicka is accused of intentionally driving his vehicle into another person’s place of business causing damage in excess of $1,500.
August 30 – September 5, 2019
Michael E. Hammond, 49, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced Aug. 19 to 1.5 to 3 years in state prison, after pleading to criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth-degree, a felony.
George P. Manuel, 56, of Wilton, was sentenced Aug. 23 to one year in jail, after pleading to aggravated DWI with a child.
Gary G. Hayes, 50, of Schuylerville, was sentenced Aug. 23 to five years of probation, after pleading to attempted menacing of a police officer.
Edward J. Jones, of the town of Saratoga, was sentenced Aug. 23 to four years state prison and 10 years post-release supervision, after pleading to rape in the second-degree.
David J. Lais, 46, of Ballston Spa, was sentenced Aug. 23 to five years probation, after pleading to felony grand larceny.
Adam M. Current, 27, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in state prison, on the charge of felony grand larceny in the second-degree.
Dillon J. Ball, 25, of Fort Edward, pleaded Aug. 23 to aggravated family offense – a felony, in Saratoga. Sentencing Oct. 23.
Dominick A. Monge, 24, of Amsterdam, was charged Aug. 25 with unlawful surveillance in the second-degree – a felony. Monge is accused of using his cell phone to obtain footage of another person in a public restroom at the Wilton Mall.
Harry Pzefksy, 32, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 23 with aggravated harassment.
Raphael Basso, 33, of Poughkeepsie, was charged Aug. 24 with one felony count and one misdemeanor count possession of a controlled substance, and unlawful possession of marijuana, in Saratoga Springs.
Rachel Myott, 37, of Boynton, Florida, was charged Aug. 25 with obstruct governmental administration, and resisting arrest, in Saratoga Springs.
Justin Lebarron, 34, of Gansevoort, was charged Aug. 25 with felony burglary, on Ash Street in Saratoga Springs.
William Kurtzner, 36, of Boynton Beach, Florida, was charged Aug. 25 with misdemeanor DWI and aggravated DWI, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, unsafe backing of a vehicle, and refusing to take breath test.
Jayson Hooks, 34, of Schenectady, was charged Aug. 25 with assault, in Saratoga Springs.
Isaiah Robinson, 24, of Albany, was charged Aug. 24 with endangering the welfare of a child, and unlawful possession of marijuana, in Saratoga Springs.
Cody LaFlamme, 25, of Eagle Bridge, was charged Aug. 25 with third degree assault, in Saratoga Springs.
Kyle Smith, 32, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 16 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and failing to yield right-of-way.
Richard Borman, 66, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 16 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, driving with obstructed view.
Keokik Herring, 29, of Schenectady, was charged Aug. 18 with misdemeanor DWI and aggravated DWI, making an unsafe turn, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.
City police announced two arrests in connection with an altercation that occurred July 27 at 58 Kaydeross Ave. West, where authorities responded to a large fight and a man with a gun, according to police. Edward J. Lorman Jr., 29, unknown address, was charged with menacing in the second-degree; James M. Caron-Williams, 24, Kaydeross Ave West, was charged with criminal nuisance in the second-degree, a misdemeanor.
John J. Scott, 24, of Ballston Spa, was charged Aug. 20 with attempted rape in the second-degree and attempted dissemination of indecent materials to minors. Both charges are felonies. Scott is accused of initiating and continuing on several occasions online contact with an undercover police officer posing as a juvenile female, culminating in an attempt to meet the female for sexual relations at a park in Milton, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.
Jeanine Dalton, 29, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 13 with aggravated harassment.
Sarah Plude, 31, of Fort Edward, was charged Aug. 14 in Saratoga Springs with petit larceny, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Joelle Butler, 35, of Ballston Spa, was charged Aug. 15 in Saratoga Springs with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and speeding.
Jose Munoz, 30, of Duarte, California, was charged Aug. 15 in Saratoga Springs with criminal trespass.
Harry Pozefsky, 32, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 15 with criminal trespass, and charged Aug. 24 with aggravated harassment.
August 23 – August 29, 2019
Robert Loya, Jr., 31, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced Aug. 12 to 2.5 to 5 years in state prison, after pleading to felony forgery.
Travis J. Varney, 31, of South Glens Falls, pleaded Aug. 12 to aggravated DWI, a felony, in Saratoga Springs. Sentencing scheduled Oct. 7.
Patricia A. Washco, 63, of Albany, was sentenced Aug. 14 to five years of probation, after pleading to felony DWI, in Saratoga Springs.
Nathan J. Suprenant, 32, homeless, Saratoga Springs, was sentenced Aug. 14 to one year in jail after pleading to felony assault.
Joe L. Still, 29, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced Aug. 15 to one year in jail, after pleading to two felony counts of criminal contempt in the first-degree, and two misdemeanor counts of tampering.
William Allen, 25, of Ballston Spa, pleaded Aug. 15 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon, and assault – both felonies, in Greenfield. Sentencing Oct. 17.
Joel M. Burgess, 39, of Ballston Spa, was sentenced Aug. 16 to five years of probation, after pleading to criminal contempt in the first-degree, in Milton.
Matthew R. Tucker, 30, of South Glens Falls, was sentenced Aug. 16 to time served, after pleading to failure to register or verify as a sex offender.
Collin A. Morency, 20, of Greenwich, pleaded Aug. 16 to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony, in the town of Saratoga. Sentencing Oct. 17.
William B. Shafer, 32, of Ballston Lake, pleaded Aug. 16 to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony, in the town of Wilton. Sentencing Oct. 10.
On Aug. 15, the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office concluded a lengthy investigation into alleged illicit activities occurring at the Oriental Spa at 357 Milton Ave. in the village of Ballston Spa. As a result of the investigation, several people including three Chinese nationals were arrested.
Xiu Fen Feng, 56, and Lawrence B. Boutillette, 71, were each charged with the felonies promoting prostitution in the third-degree, and unauthorized practice of a profession. Limei Ning, 43, was charged with the unauthorized practice of a profession – a felony, and prostitution – a misdemeanor. Kanjwei Liu, 48, was charged with unauthorized practice of a profession. They are alleged to have operated a business that allowed and promoted prostitution. The business was licensed as a massage parlor however did not employ any licensed massage therapists.
Paul Ferrara, 40, of Ballston Spa, was charged Aug. 9 in Saratoga Springs with criminal contempt and harassment.
Chris Siemonidis, 51, of Latham, was charged Aug. 10 in Saratoga Springs with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, operating an unregistered vehicle, and failure to use designated lane.
Danielle Montville, 25, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 10 with disorderly conduct, criminal tampering, resisting arrest and second-degree assault.
James Saleh, 21, of Troy, was charged Aug. 10 in Saratoga Springs with criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Kimberly Sargent, 34, of Ballston Spa, was charged Aug. 11 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, refusal to take a breath test, and making an improper turn.
Aamar Cotton, 34, of Latham, was charged Aug. 11 in Saratoga Springs with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, operating without stop lamps, operating without an inspection certificate.
Stacia Sheehan, 49, of Ballston Spa, was charged Aug. 11 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, and driving a motor vehicle across a sidewalk.
Kevin Sullivan, 29, of Menands, was charged Aug. 12 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, driving the wrong way on a one-
way street, and license restriction violation.
Terry Chatman, 62, of Lexington, Kentucky, was charged Aug. 12 in Saratoga Springs with operating a motor vehicle while impaired with drugs, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
Arturo Fragoso, 51, of Elmont. was charged Aug. 12 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, and refusal to take breath test.
The City Council this week announced an experiment on Henry Street which will see the two-way road transformed into a one-way street for motor vehicles. The free lane space created will then be turned into a two-way cycle track. The pilot project – which will run from Saturday, Sept.14 through Sunday, Sept. 29 - will measure the impact of implementing this low-cost engineered design to create the urban segment of the Saratoga Greenbelt Trail from Lake Avenue to Spring Street.
Henry Street, which runs adjacent to the rear-side entry of the Saratoga Springs Public Library, was named after Henry Walton – a man of high culture and polished manners who possessed the faculty of binding to himself close social ties to the educated and the refined, according to William Stone’s late 19th century writings, “Reminiscences Of Saratoga.” Walton was a judge and landowner during the early development of the local community.
A Public Hearing was held Aug. 13 regarding traffic congestion and the safety of students being dropped off and picked up at the Lake Avenue School, which faces Lake Avenue and is bordered by Regent Street and Marion Place. Potentially converting one of the two-way streets into a one-way street, as well as implementing “traffic calming-solutions” such as a large, billboard-esque electronic speed monitor were among the topics of discussion. The public hearing remains open and will be revisited by the council.
A Public Hearing was scheduled and will take place at 6:40 p.m. during the Sept. 3 City Council meeting regarding a Local Law to amend the City Charter as it relates to terms of office, eligibility and salaries of officers. The law seeks to increase the compensation of the elected City Council members from $14,500 per year to $30,000 annually, beginning on Jan. 1, 2020. Member salaries have not increased since at least 2001, Mayor Meg Kelly said.
City Center Parking Garage Hearing Scheduled
A Public Hearing was scheduled to also take place Sept. 3 regarding the crafting of a lease between the City and the City Center Authority that will potentially see the City Center develop and operate a 600-space parking garage near High Rock Park.
The project proposal includes two phases of development along the city-owned 2-1/2-acre parcel that runs from High Rock Park to Lake Avenue, and Maple Avenue to High Rock Avenue, one block east of Broadway. The City Center Authority has applied for a building permit, and if the lease agreement is approved, the project may begin development this fall and be partially completed by next summer, according to a spokesman for the City Center.
Current plans involve only Phase 1 of the project – on 1.75 acres directly east of the City Center and the Algonquin lot.
Phase 1 call for a multi-level, 600-space parking garage, a “pedestrian connector” atop Maple Avenue to run between the City Center and the parking structure, and an extension of the Green Belt Trail along High Rock Avenue, where there is 50 feet of space between the potential structure and the curb line. A small “pocket park” has also recently been added to the plans and will sit at the southeast corner of Phase 1 plans.
Capital Plan – Announcement on Code Blue Coming Oct. 1
City Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan will bring the proposed 2020 comprehensive city budget to the council Oct. 1 and “will include a financial plan to move the city forward with a permanent Code Blue Shelter,” Mayor Kelly said this week. “Commissioner Madigan and I have been working very hard to find land for a permanent location and we are making great progress.” The city is working with Shelters of Saratoga on the emergency homeless shelter.
A separate, six-year proposed capital plan totaling just under $17 million was also announced this week. The plan ranks 36 city projects according to importance. The highest ticket item is $6.6 million for an Eastside Fire/EMS Facility. The city currently has two stations – one just off Broadway and one on the west side. The potential of an east side facility has been discussed for several years. At present, no land where the station would specifically be sited has been determined. The fire/ems station ranks third highest in order of importance.
Other high-cost items include a Loughberry Lake Dam Embankment stabilization and spillway project – ranked 2nd overall and carrying a cost of $1.75 million, and the Geyser Road Trail construction – specifically related to the area in and around Route 50. The project would ultimately connect the Geyser Crest neighborhood with the Saratoga Spa State Park and Railroad Run. The council will likely vote on the Capital Budget at its next meeting, Sept. 3.
New Parking Garage at City Center: “Our Hope Is To Break Ground This Fall”
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Members of the design team involved in the development of a 600-space parking garage project near High Rock Park made the rounds of the city Land Use boards and the City Council last week. The Goal: to provide project updates and secure additional feedback regarding the Phase 1 proposal of a construction project to take place adjacent to the Saratoga Springs City Center.
“Our hope is to break ground this fall and have occupancy next year,” Mike Ingersoll, of the LA Group - which is part of the team advancing the project – told the Planning Board late last week. The Design Review Commission and City Council were also each provided with an in-person update by a group that included Ingersoll, Saratoga Springs City Center Executive Director Ryan McMahon, and City Center Authority Chairman Tom Roohan.
The project proposal includes two phases of development along a city-owned 2-1/2-acre parcel that runs from High Rock Park to Lake Avenue, and Maple Avenue to High Rock Avenue, one block east of Broadway.
The city owns the land and a lease agreement between the city of Saratoga Springs and the City Center Authority regarding the parking structure is currently being negotiated. It is expected to be completed in short order. City Mayor Meg Kelly said she anticipates two public hearings will be held at upcoming City Council meetings in September – those meetings will take place Tuesday, Sept. 3 and Tuesday, Sept. 17, after which the City Council is expected to vote on the lease agreement.
The City Center Authority has applied for a building permit, and if all goes well the project may begin development this fall, and be partially completed by next summer, explained City Center Executive Director Ryan McMahon. The center will oversee management of the structure. That partial completion may allow drivers of vehicles to be capable of parking their vehicles on the new structure’s new first level, should it be completed in time, he added.
Discussions regarding a parking garage behind the City Center initially began in 2013 and has been at times contentious.
Current plans involve only Phase 1 of the project – on 1.75 acres directly east of the City Center and the Algonquin lot.
Phase 1 call for a multi-level, 600-space parking garage, a “pedestrian connector” atop Maple Avenue to run between the City Center and the parking structure, and an extension of the Green Belt Trail along High Rock Avenue, where there is 50 feet of space between the potential structure and the curb line. A small “pocket park” has also recently been added to the plans, and will sit at the southeast corner of Phase 1 plans.
The 600 spaces in the parking garage represent a net gain of about 380 spaces overall, as some currently existing spaces will require removal to make space for the structure and the trail. Vehicle access points to and from the structure will be on High Rock and Ellsworth Jones Place
The structure’s “facades respect the streetscape,” and the pedestrian connector bridge has been altered since initial plans to feature “a more transparent, open element (and) not as obtrusive and blocking as it was before,” Ingersoll said. The pedestrian bridge will be closed when the City Center is not in use, although the parking garage will remain open.
The garage will house “flat” floors rather than “ramp” incline floors, so re-utilization is possible, and the lower level specifically may be used as an extension of the Farmers’ Market, or as an exhibition space for vendors. City Council member John Franck inquired whether a traffic light would be installed in conjunction with the increased activity anticipated with a new parking garage, but was told there are no plans for a traffic light at this time.
The remaining .85 acres of the lot will be part of Phase Two of the project – plans for which have not yet been determined, but will likely be addressed “over the next year or two,” Ingersoll said.
August 16 – August 22, 2019
Timothy D. Febbie, 50, of Ballston Spa, pleaded Aug. 7 to aggravated family offense, a felony, in Milton. Sentencing Oct. 9.
Samuel Heroux, 22, of Ballston Lake, was sentenced Aug. 8 to 6 months in jail and 5 years of probation, after pleading to criminally negligent homicide, regarding an incident in Clifton Park that took place in Aug. 2017.
Isaiah Depiazza, 19, of Clifton Park, was sentenced Aug. 8 to 1 to 3 years in state prison, after pleading to criminally negligent homicide, regarding an incident in Clifton Park that took place in Aug. 2017.
Maximilian J. Bruno, 27, of Ballston Spa, pleaded Aug. 8 to felony burglary, in Milton. Sentencing Oct. 10.
Maverick J. Bush, 31, of Ballston Spa, pleaded Aug. 9 to attempted burglary in the second-degree, a felony. Sentencing Oct. 10.
Melissa S. Goodhue, 35, of Milton, pleaded Aug. 8 to felony grand larceny. Sentencing Oct. 10.
Sean M. Halper, 30, of Oxford, Alabama, pleaded Aug. 8 to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony. Sentencing Oct. 11.
Nestor L. Baez, 32, of Cohoes, was sentenced to 3 years prison and 2 years post-release supervision, regarding a charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance, in Saratoga Springs.
Adam J. Rouse, 34, of Hudson Falls, pleaded Aug. 9 to felony identity theft, in Wilton. Sentencing Sept. 27.
Shaun Beagle, 36, of Gansevoort, was charged Aug. 6 in Saratoga Springs with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and having a suspended registration.
Jose Munoz, 30, of Duarte, California, was charged Aug. 7 in Saratoga Springs with criminal trespass.
Owen Taylor, 23, of Albany, was charged Aug. 7 in Saratoga Springs with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and an equipment violation.
Jessica Scott, 32, of Ballston Spa, was charged Aug. 9 with criminal mischief.
Bryan Browne, 54, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 9 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, operating an unregistered vehicle, making an unsafe turn, and possession of a controlled substance in a non-original container.
Michael Hodson, 29, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 3 with false impersonation, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Erik Chuley, 21, of Watervliet, was charged Aug. 3 in Saratoga Springs with assault.
Sylvester Carmouche, 36, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, was charged Aug. 3 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, and failure to keep right.
Ramon Diaz, 59, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was charged Aug. 3 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, failure to keep right and failure to stop at a stop sign.
Darnell Butler, 24, of Hudson, Massachusetts, was charged Aug. 4 in Saratoga Springs with criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Nicholas Valenti, 24, of Brunswick, was charged Aug. 4 in Saratoga Springs with criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Joseph Dunne, 36, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Aug. 4 with unlawful imprisonment, and criminal obstruction of breathing/blood circulation.
Luis Chiffone, 55, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was charged Aug. 5 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, moving from lane unsafely, and refusal to take a breath test.
Mychaela Downing, 26, of Malta, was charged Aug. 5 in Saratoga Springs with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and failure to stop at a stop sign.
Ralph Weddle, 62, of Saratoga Springs, was charged July 30 with assault in the second-degree, and criminal possession of a weapon – both felonies.
Michael Scoville, 24, of Saratoga Springs, was charged July 30 with petit larceny.
Mario Flores, 57, of Santa Paula, California, was charged July 31 with criminal trespass.
Emily Vick, 41, of Saratoga Springs, was charged July 31 with criminal mi8schief, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Daniel Dudley, 43, of Queensbury, was charged Aug. 1 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI and failure to obey traffic control device.
City Democratic Committee Elects New Chair
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Several members of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee staged a walk-out last week, voicing their opposition to a candidate chosen by city voters for a seat on the City Council.
In this summer’s Democratic Primary for the party’s representation for Commissioner of Finance. challenger Patty Morrison defeated incumbent Michele Madigan by a 736-705 vote count. The city Democratic Committee (SSDC) had endorsed Madigan prior to the primary.
“We are resigning because we are unable to support Ms. Morrison for the position of Commissioner of Finance,” announced Charles Brown during an Aug. 1 press conference at High Rock Park, flanked by nearly a dozen others who presented themselves as resigning members of the SSDC.
“We cannot support Patty Morrison for this position and stay on in the Committee,” Brown said, adding the resigning members believe Morrison “unqualified and ill-suited” for the office. “We’re all strong lifelong Democrats and plan to be Democrats, but we are Democrats that are independent of party (now), meaning therefore we can support a candidate without crossing the dictate of the party.”
The resignations follow last month’s walk-out of five members who served on the SSDC Executive Committee.
Morrison countered that what matters most is the voice of resident city voters. “Saratoga Springs citizens have spoken and the message is clear -- from what was said at the doors and most importantly at the ballot box in the recent election -- we are not happy with the current Commissioner of Finance, poor decisions at the Council table and we ultimately voted for change,” Morrison said in a statement.
Morrison - on the Democratic line, and Madigan – who will appear on the Independence Party and Working Families Party lines, will face one another in the citywide general election on Nov. 5 when all five City Council positions, as well as two Saratoga Springs Supervisor seats, will be up for vote.
There is no Republican candidate challenging for the seat of Commissioner of Finance.
“The June primary was about whose name will appear on the Democratic line for the office of Finance Commissioner this fall. But in November, every voter will be able to take part in choosing who actually wins this office,” Madigan said.
“I have a strong record of achievement and a well-earned reputation for integrity, ethics, and transparency,” said Madigan, announcing the launch of a non-partisan coalition called One Saratoga, “to unite voters from across the political spectrum who share a common purpose of sustaining and enhancing the vibrancy of our great city.”
The Democratic Primary on June 25 returned 1,447 total ballots - there were 6 non-named write-in ballot votes - representing about 21.5 percent of the 6,730 registered city Democrats. The 1,447 number of votes represents an increase over the last Democratic Primary in Saratoga Springs, where a total of 913 voters participated in the 2015 vote for Public Safety Commissioner.
The SSDC elected Sarah J. Burger as its new chair at an Aug. 7 meeting. A native of Saratoga Springs, Burger is founding partner at Burger Law Group PLLC and has been a longtime committee member. The committee also elected Cassandra Bagramian as its new treasurer. Bagramian is the Democratic deputy commissioner for Saratoga County Board of Elections.
Brown said the resigning members made a concerted effort to announce their departure as soon as was possible to allow remaining committee members “to follow through with the work that they needed to do. We’ve left them with $10,000 that we have earned over the years, we’ve left them with ramp-up manuals for procedures, and procedures for sub-committees.”
Todd Kerner, chairman of the Saratoga County Democratic Committee, said “the Democratic Committee is like a family, we sometimes argue and disagree due to the passion we bring to public service. We want to thank those who are leaving for their hard work and dedication. We continue to move ahead with an excellent slate of candidates and look forward to the November elections.”
"There are a number of citizens eagerly waiting to join the committee and work in accordance to the will of the voters we are elected to serve,” Morrison said. “It is not unusual for there to be a change when leadership and the will of the electorate are misaligned. Our City Democratic Committee will be stronger going forward.
August 9 – August 15, 2019
Cendno Rahaman, 29, of Schenectady, was sentenced Aug. 2 to 40 years in state prison. Rahaman was convicted by a Saratoga County jury June 7 of attempted murder in the second-degree, three counts of attempted assault in the first-degree, one count assault in the second-degree, and one count of tampering with physical evidence. The cumulative 40 years determinate in state prison will be followed by post-release supervision and three orders of protection – in connection with three victims – which will be in effect until August 2067. According to the Saratoga County District Attorney’s office, Rahaman’s conviction stems from a late night incident in Saratoga Springs in August 2018 during which Rahaman pulled a knife from his pocket during a verbal altercation with three victims, proceeded to chase them up Caroline Street, swung his knife at the heads of two victims and repeatedly stabbed the third, causing the victim to bleed profusely.
Austin D. Hanna, 22, of Moreau, pleaded Aug. 1 to failure to register as a sex offender. Sentencing Oct. 3.
Ryan A. Winkelman, 19, of Moreau, was sentenced to five years of probation on July 31, after pleading to vehicular assault in the second-degree, a felony.
Eric D. Weinstein, 24, of Vorheesville, pleaded July 29 to felony assault, in Saratoga Springs, Sentencing Sept. 30.
Brent L. Pecor, 51, of Galway, pleaded July 29 to felony DWI, in Milton. Sentencing Sept. 30.
Ivan M. Erchak, 45, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced July 29 to 1 to 3 years in state prison, after pleading to felony burglary, and criminal possession of stolen property.
Gerson Valverde, 36, of Scotia, was sentenced July 29 to 1 to 3 years in state prison, after pleading to aggravated family offense, in Saratoga Springs, and attempted assault, in Milton. Both charges are felonies.
Kade D. Lapointe, 21, of Hudson Falls, was sentenced July 26 to one year in jail, after pleading to felony assault, in Moreau.
Robert N. Lakus, 36, of Minerva, was sentenced July 29 to 1 to 3 years in state prion, after pleading to felony DWI, in Ballston Spa.
Austin J. Demarest, 24, of Corinth, was charged Aug. 1 with felony grand larceny. He is accused of stealing jewelry from a residence he was lawfully in at the time.
Lakey McNeil, 38, of Wilton, was charged Aug. 1 with felony criminal mischief, and the misdemeanors: assault, criminal mischief, and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, after the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 hang-up call. McNeil is alleged to have damaged a motor vehicle resulting in damage in excess of $250, as well as intentionally causing physical injury to another person by applying pressure to that person’s throat, and of intentionally disabling equipment while another person was using it to seek emergency assistance, according to police.
Christopher Wallace, 39, of Saratoga Springs, was charged July 23 with criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.
Ada Clute, 66, of Saratoga Springs, was charged July 24 with welfare fraud, and intent fraud. Both charges are felonies.
Ryan Campbell, 26, of Saratoga Springs, was charged July 24 with felony robbery, felony burglary, two misdemeanor counts petit larceny, and one misdemeanor count criminal tampering.
Brittany Sader, 30, of Saratoga Springs, was charged July 25 with misdemeanor petit larceny.
Mario Flores, 57, of Santa Paula, CA, was charged July 25 with criminal trespass, a misdemeanor.
Henry Jenkins, 31, of Saratoga Springs, was charged July 25 with aggravated family offense, and criminal mischief – both felonies, and the misdemeanors: criminal mischief, endangering the welfare of a child, and assault.
Tammy Bowman, 56, of Ballston Spa, was charged July 27 with misdemeanor DWI.
Michael Morgan, 36, of Stillwater, was charged July 28 with criminal mischief felony, in Saratoga Springs.
Saratoga: On The Backstretch
SARATOGA SPRINGS – It is sunrise at Saratoga Race Course. On either side of Union Avenue, the work of tending to the horses by members of the backstretch community is already underway.
Here at the barns, many will work through the morning. For some, there is a mid-day break before returning for a few more hours of work in the late afternoon and early evening. Others have second jobs at the main track across the street. They work in food service, as parking attendants, or among the cleaning crews.
It is a routine much like any other year, but in the summer of 2019 the normal rhythm of the week is different. For racing fans, racehorse owners, trainers, managers, and the community of backstretch workers who live temporarily on-site, an adjustment is underway.
Saratoga as a thoroughbred racing mecca was inaugurated in August 1863 on the north side of Union Avenue as a four-day meet. By the early 1900’s the length of the meet was extended to five weeks, the dates mostly congregated during the month of August. Overall, there were 24 such days in the 1960s as the Northway extended through the Spa City. Three decades later the number of race days incrementally increased: first to 30, then 34, and eventually 36. For the 2010 season, the New York Racing Association expanded racing days in Saratoga from 36 to 40 racing days – which is where it remains to this day. The racing goes on six days a week. Tuesday had been designated as the “dark” day off.
In February, NYRA announced it was adjusting the racing dates for both the 2019 Belmont Park spring/summer and the Saratoga summer meet. The adjustment was made to accommodate the construction of an arena for the National Hockey League's New York Islanders at Belmont Park. This week, Michael Anderson of the website Fansided, reported that groundbreaking for the arena will get underway after Labor Day, with a completion and opening for the start of the October 2021 hockey season.
The opening of the Saratoga meet, which typically has started July 20 or later, this year began July 11. The number of racing days – 40 – remain the same. To compensate for the extended time in the Spa City a second “dark” day was added, extending Tuesday’s typical off-day to Monday and Tuesday each week. The changes, at least at this point, appear to be temporary.
“It’s been a learning experience for us and for the people and for the agencies to learn what are people going to do and where are they going to be,” says Nick Caras. Caras helps coordinate events and activities, among other things, for the backstretch community as programs director of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America’s New York Division. “But, so far, I haven’t seen one person who doesn’t like the two days off. Not one,” he says.
Mother Nature has also provided her own kinks. Two weeks into the meet, live racing was shortened to four races due to heavy rain on July 25, and the entire racing card was cancelled July 20 due to excessive heat.
The NY Racetrack Chaplaincy assists with the challenges facing the community of backstretch workers and their families, and helps provide resources to address those challenges at all three N.Y. racetracks, providing extensive programs and daily one-on-one meetings and counseling. The backstretch community numbers more than 800 people.
“Right now people are just getting accustomed to the two days off, there’s no norm yet,” Caras says. This is only week two, so people are still testing the waters: what do I do with these extra days? I definitely see a lot of that.”
Eduardo Roa works in the jockey silks room. He has used the extra day off to take a ride to Cooperstown with three of his friend, as well as make it back home downstate and see his family. “I’ve been coming to Saratoga a long time, maybe 20 years or more,” Roa says. “It’s a very big difference between last year and now. The six days of races (in the past) was a lot. To have two days off, now I can go back home to the Bronx and see the family.”
“We feel more comfortable now with two days off,” says worker Fausto Morrocho, who spent some down time in the backstretch Recreation Hall, flanked by a quartet of pool tables, a foosball game and ping-pong table. Twenty chairs sit in a semi-circle aimed at a pair of wall-mounted TVs, framed by a two vending machines: one dispenses candy snacks, the other, sodas. A posted sheaf of paper tacked to the wall announces the Monday night soccer tournaments in red hand-written marker.
“I’ve been coming up here 16 years now,” Morrocho says. ”The two days off are nice because we can go back and see our families. My family - my wife and my step-daughter – are back in New York. So, it’s much better. And it helps the riding work with the horses.”
“This week, with the extra day off from the horses, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association paid for a bus for 55 people to go to New York. In the past, with one day off out of those 55, that may have been one person who was able to go back,” Caras says. “They’re able to schedule their day off and go home. So right there that’s a big difference.”
About 70 percent of the Saratoga backstretch population come up to work from the Belmont and Aqueduct areas, says Caras, who has been involved with the Race Track Chaplaincy for several years and previously worked for NYRA for more than a quarter-century. “They’re loving the extra day off. Whether they get to go home, just sleep an additional 10 hours or go shopping. Eight people I know of went over to Brown’s Beachand another group of people went up to Lake George. The biggest difference this year with years past is they’re doing things more – even recreation – with a relaxed frame of mind.”
Backstretch activities include soccer games on Mondays and learning English as a Second Language on Tuesdays and Thursdays – the latter run by Saratoga EOC. John Hendrickson and the late Marylou Whitney helped create backstretch programs that this year run through August. The backstretch calendar depicts trips to the bowling alley and the rodeo, bingo games, a cruise on Lake George and a series of Sunday dinners that range from Italian to Mexican and a night of hot BBQ.
Downstate racing with days off is a different scenario because the majority of the backstretch community people are home, Caras explains. “When you’re at Belmont or Aqueduct you’re home. You have familiar surroundings. You know where you’re going to go to shop, where you do your laundry, you know where the eateries are and when things are open, so the lifestyle and our role in activities is much different at Belmont and Aqueduct than it is here, because that’s home base for 70 percent of the people. And when you’re home base, you’re a lot more self-sufficient. While we still pitch in and create activities, it’s not as necessary,” he says.
“Our Chaplaincy in New York is located in all three racetracks. As a matter of fact, right now I’m fine- tuning a trip today that’s going to leave Belmont and Aqueduct and go to South Street seaport and they’re going to ride that speedboat called The Beast,” Caras says. “Last week, 55 people from both those racetracks, families and those who work there, went to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. We received some free tickets for that, and the Horsemen paid for the bus. On Thursday, 55 people went to Coney Island and used the beach. Friday night the families gathered, and there were 25 kids at a soccer clinic at Belmont. So, there’s still stuff going on down there, because while Daddy may be up here working, the majority of the families and kids by far are still there.”