Larry Goodwin

Larry Goodwin

Thursday, 14 September 2017 15:32

Malta Farmer Battles Weather and CSA Members

MALTA — In his 37 years of farming at Malta Ridge Orchard and Gardens, Dave Bowman says the worst he lost to inclement weather were one or two crops—never an entire season’s worth of fruit from his apple trees.    

This year, something unusual transpired at the Malta Avenue farm that, in turn, has caused a number of people to sour on the idea of supporting Bowman as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) supplier. 

Bowman, one of the original founders of the popular Saratoga Springs Farmers’ Market on High Rock Avenue, claims that a brief but destructive hail storm on Aug. 12 ruined virtually all of his apples and seriously damaged numerous vegetable crops.

“I’m losing $10,000 a weekend” without the apple harvest, Bowman said earlier this week, after he had shut off and jumped down from his tractor to discuss the matter.

Four CSA members, who signed a Malta Ridge Orchard contract for the 2017 growing season, have contacted Saratoga TODAY to dispute the farmer’s account. They argue that Bowman is not honoring his part of the CSA obligation, nor being transparent.  

“Just be honest with people,” says CSA member Kristy O’Donnell, who moved to the area with her family late last year from Long Island. “I’m not looking for my 15 minutes of fame. I just want answers.”   

Phyllis Underwood, president of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market Association, reported that she is not aware of any other local farmers who experienced such extensive crop damage due to August storms.   

“While I certainly understand farmers can’t always stay ahead of Mother Nature, in this case I don’t believe that’s what happened,” wrote CSA member Catherine Morton in an email. “A short hail storm would not likely wipe out entire crops, especially root crops, and the greenhouses are still standing.”   

“I understand that when we sign up for the CSA we are taking a risk on the crop, but I didn’t expect to be taking a risk on the farm management,” wrote CSA members Pam and Greg Cooper in another email. “So we have lost out on more than half of our CSA for the season.”

The Coopers said they had paid Bowman about $400 in the spring. “We were not contacted with any offers for a refund or a way to recoup our losses,” they added, noting how they “even offered to help salvage some crops.”  

During a brief tour of the farm, which is located at 107 Van Aernem Road, Bowman insisted that he is doing everything in his power to honor the CSA contracts. There are more than 30 in total.

In the weeks after the Aug. 12 storm, Bowman enlisted the help of his son to post pictures of the spoiled fruits and vegetables on social media. As a seasoned farmer who spends more time in the field than behind a computer, Bowman admitted that he has difficulty even sending emails to people. 

He displayed two large wooden bins on wheels that he places in front of his shop every Saturday and Sunday for CSA members to take whatever fruits and vegetables he is able to harvest—and he performs practically all of the labor himself, with no staff to help.

Also, he said, Malta Ridge Orchard and Gardens is not protected by crop insurance.  

“You’ve got to paw through the rotten tomatoes to get to the good ones,” Bowman explained. “I put out what we can pick and it’s there.” Each fruit or vegetable type is considered an “item” by CSA rules, and members are currently limited to six items instead of eight as originally planned.

Bowman produced a sheet signed on the weekend of Sept. 9 by 26 CSA members, who had taken freshly picked tomatoes, eggplant and other items from the bins.

“We still have the CSA here. Whatever I can provide,” he said.  

Bowman further indicated that he is in discussions with the group Saratoga Preserving Land and Nature (PLAN) regarding a “purchase development rights,” or PDR, agreement for his property. He hopes a PDR would alleviate some of his financial burdens, while protecting the land from future development.   

“We have been working with him for a couple of years,” offered Saratoga PLAN Executive Director Maria Trabka. She said Bowman’s farm has “really good soil” and “a lot of good things going for it.”

According to Trabka, grants have been secured for the Malta Ridge Orchard PDR agreement through the town of Malta, Saratoga County and New York State. “We’ve done most of our due diligence,” she said.

Trabka added that “a fairly substantial report” for Malta Ridge Orchard and Gardens should be compiled and finalized by the end of the year.

That, Trabka said, may just be what Bowman needs to plant some new apple trees. She called the pending PDR agreement “a four-way financial deal to permanently secure this farm.”  

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Thursday, 14 September 2017 15:25

Father and Son Conquer High Peaks

In front photo: (From left) Elijah and Scott Fultz, with dogs Abbey and Kona, on the summit of Basin Mountain during their celebratory Aug. 27, 2017 hike; the view (from left) of Haystack, Little Haystack, Skylight and Marcy from the summit of Basin; and Abbey and Elijah enjoying the cloudy summit of Mt. Marcy on Aug. 27, 2012. Photos provided.  

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Dozens of times in the span of five years, Scott Fultz and his son Elijah left their home in Gansevoort before dawn. They drove north to accomplish a feat together that challenges the most serious New York hikers: climbing all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks.

On Sunday, Aug. 27, the pair officially reached that goal atop the 4,827-foot summit of Basin Mountain, along with trusted canine companions Abbey and Kona.

The weather was perfect and “it was a really cool father-son moment,” admits Fultz, a co-owner of the Saratoga Springs firm Mountain Media. At nearly 20 years old, the company ( specializes in website design, e-commerce and Internet marketing.

On the same day in August 2012, the Fultzs and Abbey hiked the 5,344-foot Mt. Marcy, long revered as New York’s tallest mountain. Fultz said he and Elijah (who was 11 at the time) resolved during that trip to climb all of the High Peaks.

Fultz added that he and his wife, Jeanette, had climbed about 10 in prior years.

According to records kept by the 46er Club (posted online at, the actual number of people who have climbed the High Peaks and then formally registered is approaching the 10,000 mark. 

Fultz acknowledged that he and Elijah each sent the required documents to the 46er Club with a $10 registration fee. The father also kept detailed records about every hike and signed, for safety purposes, the New York State logbooks found at all trailheads.

The 46ers Club, whose origins date back to the 1920s, presently coordinates Adirondack trail-preservation and maintenance efforts in conjunction with other groups and officials from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Club members are busy organizing a centennial hike on all 46 mountains—with parties of six individuals each—the weekend of Aug. 3-5, 2018 to commemorate the date that two brothers, Robert and George Marshall, and their guide Herbert Clark reached the 4,867-foot summit of Whiteface Mountain in 1918 and began keeping records.*

Lacking cars and modern hiking gear, as well as the easy access afforded by today’s well-worn mountain trails, it took the Marshalls and Clark seven years to finish the High Peaks with a climb up 4,040-foot Emmons Mountain in 1925, according to the 46er Club. 

There are four mountains identified as High Peaks that are below 4,000 feet: Blake Peak (3,960), Cliff (3,960), Nye (3,895) and Couchsachraga (3,820), the club reports.

Furthermore, the U.S. Geological Survey measures a 47th peak, MacNaughton, at 4,000 feet, but the 46ers Club does not require its members to hike it.

“As an avid mountaineer myself, I wish to congratulate Scott on this awesome accomplishment,” offered Mountain Media co-owner James Curley, in a statement released this week. “The fact that he included his son and dog on the mission speaks to his character and makes me proud to call him a partner.”

With presumably anticipated flair, the company was described in the statement as “a progressive, personable, ecommerce website services provider that offers online payment solutions as well as custom graphic design and digital marketing services that don’t require a mountain of cash.” 

*Due to an editing error, a previous version of this article incorrectly listed the date of Aug. 1 for the 46ers' commemorative hike. For more information, visit

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WILTON – During its regular meeting on Sept. 7, the Wilton Town Board voted unanimously to raise fees for certain sporting events in Gavin Park and to purchase a transport van for local residents who visit the Lillian W. Worth Senior Center each week.

Gavin Park Director Mark Marino appeared before the board to explain fee increases that he devised for Junior NBA and pickle ball sessions, in addition to field and gym rentals and field trips.

The fees that support all of the park’s activities and programs are divided into three categories. Those for town residents are the least expensive, while city residents, students and non-residents of Wilton pay proportionally higher amounts.  

“All of the costs have gone up,” Marino said, noting in particular the employee wages, maintenance and materials that factor into Gavin Park’s routine operations.

Councilman John Lant raised his concern about the fee increase for pickle ball sessions, which presently cost town residents $3 for two hours.

“My belief is, if they’re Wilton residents, they should play for nothing,” Lant said, admitting how customers at his Maple Avenue auto-sales business have complained about such fee increases.

After some discussion, the town board voted to keep that $3 fee the same, as Lant had proposed, in lieu of raising it to $5 for the other categories.

The additional fee increases were approved as Marino had proposed. They involve Junior NBA sessions (now $135 for Wilton residents and $195 for non-residents); gym rental (now $60 and $80); field trips (now $825 and $1,300); and field rentals (now $40 and $45 for locals; they remain $65 and $75 for the other categories).    

“I think residents will be happy with this proposal,” concluded Wilton Supervisor Arthur Johnson.

In other business, Comptroller Jeffrey Reale requested that the town board accept the lowest bid—slightly over $35,000—for the purchase of a van that will be used for transporting residents to the senior activity center at the town complex on Traver Road. 

Councilwoman Joanne Klepetar had inquired about the timing of the van purchase and the selection of a driver, but ultimately voted in favor.

Johnson said that Saratoga County would reimburse the town roughly $20,000 for the expense. A Buffalo-based company, Main Mobility Inc., will furnish the van.

Town officials are planning a $6 million construction project next year that includes the demolition of the existing Lillian W. Worth Senior Center. A completely new facility for seniors will be built on 20 acres of town land off Northern Pines Road. 

At present, Johnson informed the board, Director Robin Corrigan uses her personal vehicle several days each week for providing rides to senior center functions.

“Robin needs to be over there and not driving these people around,” the supervisor said.

The board also approved the purchase of a cellular phone for Corrigan, so that she no longer has to incur the costs of using her own phone for senior center business. 

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Thursday, 14 September 2017 15:22

City, Milton and Wilton Primary Results

BALLSTON SPA – In its “unofficial results” from the Sept. 12 primaries in Saratoga Springs, Milton and Wilton, the Saratoga County Board of Elections reports that there were both decisive and narrow victories.

Out of more than 200 votes cast in an Independence Party primary, the records show, Saratoga Springs City Court Judge Francine Vero defeated challenger Andrew Blumenberg by capturing 74 percent of the total.

Vero, a Democrat, and Blumenberg, a Republican, will compete again in November.

In a contentious Milton Republican primary for town supervisor, Councilman Scott Ostrander claimed victory with 716 votes over Councilwoman Barbara Kerr, who received about 500, according to the election records.

Republican primary voters in Milton also chose—with more than 1,500 votes— Councilman Frank Blaisdell and former Planning Board member John Frolish for two Town Board seats that are due for reelection in November.

A retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, Jim Frey, came in third by receiving more than 500 votes, or about 25 percent of the total cast by Milton Republicans.   

In the Wilton Independence Party primary, longtime Town Justice Gerald Worth lost by four votes to political newcomer Eric Rosenberg, the Board of Elections records show.  

Worth and Rosenberg also will compete again in November, having already received endorsements, respectively, from the town’s Republicans and Democrats.     

Thursday, 14 September 2017 15:19

Combined Bank and Stewart’s Plan Canceled

Photo by

WILTON – Adirondack Trust and Stewart’s Shops officials have canceled plans to build a second combined location at the intersection of Maple Avenue and Northern Pines Road in Wilton.

The companies’ proposed project would have followed the successful opening earlier this year of a combined bank and retail store on Luther Forest Boulevard in Malta.

Maria D’Amelia, a spokeswoman for Stewart’s Shops, confirmed in an email this week that her company’s “great relationship with Adirondack Trust” will continue, regardless of the apparent setback in Wilton.   

“We are no longer moving forward as the project became too complicated with constraints we faced at the site,” D’Amelia said.

On Sept. 7, the Wilton Town Board voted to refund more than $9,400 in engineering fees to Adirondack Trust that had been previously allotted for the canceled project.

Wilton Supervisor Arthur Johnson indicated this week that Adirondack Trust officials are now focusing on plans to build a regular bank branch at the Northern Pines Road intersection, as a means to replace the one destroyed last winter in a fire. 

Thursday, 07 September 2017 17:34

Cancer Warriors Unite

In front photo: Saratoga Hospital intern Elizabeth Johnstone (at left) with hospital staffers Kweilyn Taylor, Renee Russell, Jennifer Baldwin and Joni Richter. Kweilyn Taylor next to a poster announcing the event arranged in her honor. Photos by

SARATOGA SPRINGS – With small amounts of money deducted from her paychecks over the last 10 years, a Saratoga Hospital employee has donated more than $25,000 to lift the spirits of local cancer patients.

Hospital managers were so inspired by the efforts of Kweilyn Taylor, a transport aide, that they have organized a special retreat next week in her honor, so people diagnosed with cancer may find some comfort and make new friends.  

“This is very exiting for us,” says Renee Russell, the program director in Saratoga Hospital’s Radiation Oncology Center (ROC). “We wanted to create something that would be a legacy of her donations.”

The first “Kweilyn Taylor Survivor’s Retreat” will be held all day on Saturday, Sept. 16 at The Barn at Bassett House in Greenwich. There are about five slots remaining out of 45 total for those interested in attending, Russell said.

Earlier this week, Taylor explained that her donations were borne out of the loss of a friend’s mother, who passed away in 2007 after a short battle with esophageal cancer—only seven weeks after the official diagnosis. 

“I still have days where it’s, like, yesterday that she’s gone,” Taylor said. “She was like a second mother for me.”

Taylor said the retreat is intended to help cancer patients relax, as much as it is to overcome their weaknesses and find inner strength.

“It takes a strong person to fight this,” she insisted. “This is definitely something you can’t go through alone.”

The retreat is open to patients diagnosed with any type of cancer. It includes a “YMCA Livestrong” exercise session, sound-healing hypnosis, and talks focused on the use of essential oils and arts in cancer treatment, among other related activities.

Jennifer Baldwin, an ROC social worker, and her Rutgers University intern Elizabeth Johnstone joined Russell and numerous other hospital volunteers in making the necessary arrangements.

Johnstone said the Greenwich retreat is designed to ensure that cancer patients will find a “shared connection.” 

For several years, the ladies noted, staff members at Glens Falls Hospital have organized similar retreats for cancer patients, many of whom report their satisfaction with the genuine relationships that result.

According to Russell, the Saratoga Hospital Employee Campaign includes a Cancer Patient Fund that receives between $9,000 and $14,500 each year from generous hospital staff.

Russell said money from that fund is typically used to assist cancer patients in meeting various expenses—every day roughly 45 people receive treatment at the ROC and its affiliate offices—through the purchase of gas cards and lodging. Patient visits to massage therapists are also covered, she added.

A related fundraiser is being planned for October, called “Comics Care,” and Russell said those proceeds will also be added to the Cancer Patient Fund.

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Thursday, 07 September 2017 17:21

Town Primaries Straight Ahead

MILTON – Two contested primaries in Milton and Wilton will be resolved at the polls on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Earlier this year, Milton Supervisor Dan Lewza announced his intention to relinquish the position he has held for almost six years this November.

That opened up a drawn-out contest for Milton supervisor between incumbent Councilwoman Barbara Kerr and Councilman Scott Ostrander, who was appointed to the town board this year shortly after the resignation of former Councilman Bruce Couture.

The Milton Republican Committee has endorsed Ostrander, a semi-retired Village of Ballston Spa police officer with nearly 30 years of experience.

Ostrander reports that he is a “part owner” of a private security consulting firm called Saratoga International Group, which provides details for such events as the recent wedding of U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro).

In addition, the town committee has endorsed Councilman Frank Blaisdell and political newcomer John Frolish for two seats on the town board, placing road signs with all three candidates’ names in many locations. 

Another contender, Jim Frey, is seeking a Republican primary victory for one of Milton’s town board seats as well.

Steve Bulger, chairman of the Saratoga County Republican Committee, said this week that the county committee typically does not provide endorsements for primaries, leaving such decisions to the town committees.

“We support all endorsed Republican candidates,” Bulger said.  

Kerr, a retired Skidmore College administrator first elected to the Milton Town Board in 2011, did receive the Upstate Conservative Coalition (UCC) endorsement.

In a statement released last week, UCC President Ben Potiker indicated that both Kerr and Ostrander were invited by the coaltion to explain their positions on various matters earlier this year at the Milton Community Center.

“Potiker thought that the deciding factors in Kerr’s favor were her experience in town government and her commitment not to vote to override the tax cap for the Saratoga County budget,” the statement reads.

“It was a privilege to receive an endorsement from such a serious and well-respected organization,” Kerr responded. “It validates my fiscal conservatism.”

According to the Saratoga County Board of Elections, among four separate precincts in Milton, almost 600 votes were cast in a September 2016 election for Republican Committee members, including Ostrander.

In Wilton, longtime Town Justice Gerald Worth is facing a challenge in an Independence Party primary from political newcomer Eric Rosenberg.

Rosenberg has practiced as an attorney in Florida since 1994, and he resettled last year in Wilton. He volunteers at the Wilton Food Pantry and maintains an active involvement in the local arts scene, according to his campaign literature. He has the support of the town's Democrats. 

All votes in the Sept. 12 primary must be made at the Wilton Town Hall Annex at 20 Traver Road, according to the county Board of Elections.  

Worth has served as the town justice for nearly 40 years, following in the footsteps of his parents Lillian and Wesley, who also served in that position.

When contacted this week, Worth said, “People can’t be too mad at me; they’ve been electing me for 40 years.” 

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Thursday, 07 September 2017 17:13

County to Double Animal Control Fee

BALLSTON SPA – If, say, a dog is on the loose in any of Saratoga County’s municipalities and local animal control officers are unavailable, the county has to send its own officers to handle the matter. The county then charges the municipality $45 for the trouble.

On Tuesday, the county’s Public Safety Committee voted to double that fee upon the request of Animal Shelter Director Jason Hayes.

“Percentage wise, it’s a pretty steep increase,” noted Galway Supervisor Paul Lent, who chairs the seven-member committee. “Prior to 2015, the fee was zero,” he added.  

Lent was the sole committee member opposed to the increase, which must receive a final approval by the county Board of Supervisors at its Sept. 19 meeting.

The proposed $90 fee in question is separate from the charge levied on owners who fail to contain their pets. When an animal control officer is called, the county charges owners $10 for an initial “redemption” and $50 for each additional one.

According to Hayes, last year there were only 14 calls countywide that were not handled by local animal control officers—of whom there are nearly 30 spread across more than 20 municipalities.

“Our budgets are very tight,” Hayes said. “It’s not to be punitive. It’s just to cover our basic costs.”

The Saratoga County Animal Shelter operates with 19 staff members, Hayes said, including seven full-time and the remainder part-time or seasonal.  

Lent also called for the appointment of a subcommittee to review disbursements from the animal shelter’s trust fund, which exists largely because of personal donations.

Supervisors Preston Allen of Day, Daniel Pemrick of Greenfield and Kevin Tollisen of Halfmoon will form that subcommittee.

The supervisors will ascertain whether or not disbursements from the trust fund are being used for unintended purposes, such as to cover operating expenses.     

Tollisen said it may take up to two months for that review to be completed.   

Hayes explained that the Board of Supervisors controls all disbursements from the animal shelter’s trust fund.

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Thursday, 07 September 2017 17:02

Overdose Vigil in Congress Park

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Nearly 100 area residents congregated in Congress Park before sunset last Thursday to remember the victims of drug overdose. They listened intently to the personal experiences of surviving family members.

“Many of us feel we lost our loved ones long before they left this Earth,” said Karine Montanye, whose brother died nearly 30 years ago from a heroin overdose. More recently, Montayne’s son Nico also passed away, even as he was in the midst of addiction treatment. She said her daughter is currently in treatment.

“It’s been my life,” Montayne confessed to those gathered near a weeping willow tree and the Spirit of Life fountain. “One of the biggest things…when we’re dealing with addiction is that it’s very isolating. As a family member who’s trying to help, you never know if you’re making the right decisions.”

“You’re being ignorant if you say that will never happen to my child,” concluded Eve Cascone, who lost her 30-year-old daughter Katie three years ago to a heroin overdose. She explained that Katie had struggled first with an addiction to prescription painkillers.

“One day, Katie went to her dealer and he didn’t have pills. He offered her heroin,” Cascone said. “She promised me that was the only time she was ever going to use.”

Cascone proceeded to read a graphic poem written, she said, by the author “Heroin.”  

The group Recovery Advocacy in Saratoga (RAIS-OurVoice!) had organized the Aug. 31 event in conjunction with the Healing Springs Recovery and Outreach Center and the Prevention Council of Saratoga.

It was preceded by a Narcan training session at Saratoga Springs Public Library. Similar events were held in communities nationwide to mark Overdose Awareness Day.

Maureen Provost, a spokeswoman for RAIS who emceed the Congress Park gathering, indicated that it may become an annual occasion.  

As darkness fell and candles were being lit, even in a steady breeze, Provost invited any of the attendees to speak briefly about those they have lost. The microphone was passed from one individual to the next, and people said “this is for” friends, cousins, ex-boyfriends, brothers and many others who succumbed to overdoses.

Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen was also in attendance along with U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-Amsterdam) and other elected officials. Tonko said communities across the whole nation are dealing with an “epidemic” of drug addiction.

“This epidemic is destroying our families,” he said. “We need to respond in epidemic proportions.” 

Thursday, 31 August 2017 16:56

County Agency Hosts Economic Consultants

In photos (from left): SUNY professor Michael Fancher (center, right) discusses the future of interior spaces in the ZEN building atrium at the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany; Fancher describing the layout of SUNY Poly’s Albany campus; Tom Lawton of New Jersey observing a SUNY Poly clean room; SUNY Poly tour guide Alex Oscilowski (center) offers an explanation; Marty Vanags (center, in bow tie) and Shelby Schneider of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership with the tour group at GlobalFoundries on Aug. 28; and a hallway view of front-opening unified pods, or FOUPs, at SUNY Poly. Images by  

SARATOGA SPRINGS – In the comfort of a shuttle bus that departed from a city hotel, and through informative personal visits, leaders of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership (SCPP) promoted both regional culture and local commercial sites this week to potential investors from as far away as Texas.  

Marty Vanags, the SCPP president, and Shelby Schneider, the agency’s business-retention and expansion specialist, took turns on a bus tour Monday describing how steady streams of people routinely golf, bike, walk and run (or fill up jugs of famously healthy spring water) in the Saratoga Spa State Park; as well as the daily operations of companies in the Grande Industrial Park, including Quad/Graphics and Ball Metal.

The small Embassy Suites bus chartered by SCPP—the county’s official economic-development agency, with an annual budget of $775,000—passed next through the Target and Ace Hardware distribution sites near Adirondack Northway Exit 16; then proceeded to the Exit 12 campus of State Farm Insurance in Malta.

As part of a corporate consolidation at the campus, Vanags informed the eight consultants on board, an office building was recently vacated by State Farm employees and is ready for a new commercial tenant. 

Schneider and Vanags made a point of revealing precisely how many acres are available for commercial development at the locations visited.  

Three of the consultants on the tour had traveled from Dallas, Texas: Dean Barber of Barber Business Advisors; Tim Feemster of Foremost Quality Logistics; and David Schrock, of NAI Robert Lynn. Two men, Joe Gioino and Christian Volney, represented the global real-estate broker Newmark Knight Frank. 

In addition, the SCPP had invited Austin Dimitri of Cushman and Wakefield in New York City, another large real-estate brokerage; Mitch Jacoby of Beacon Street Realty Advisors in Boston; and Tom Lawton of Webster Global Site Selectors in New Jersey. 

The Embassy Suites bus also went beyond Saratoga County’s borders for a walking tour of the SUNY Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany (commonly called SUNY Poly). 

Michael Fancher, a SUNY professor and “nanoeconomics” expert, led Schneider, Vanags and the consultants through several parts of the facility, answering their specific questions about the rapid advancement of technology since SUNY Poly’s Albany campus was established with state support several years ago. 

Alex Oscilowski, a spokesman for Tokyo Electron, joined Fancher in guiding that part of the tour. Tokyo Electron is a primary corporate sponsor of research at SUNY Poly. 

“Nanotech is driving a much closer collaboration,” Fancher explained, between large companies that are normally staunch competitors. That filters down to the local level, he added, compelling “low-tech” businesses in the “supply chain” to find ways of being more efficient. 

Fancher opined that “integration” of various types of technology will be a dominant theme in the future, especially benefitting fields such as “biologics” and hastening the development of “smart cities.”  

And he praised New York State officials for enabling collaborative efforts to flourish at SUNY Poly, alongside cutting-edge research into data storage, analytics and cyber security.  

“It’s very unique to have this together in a university,” Fancher said, adding later that local school districts have been encouraged to “build a pipeline of students” focused on science, technology, engineering and math as a means to continue the most relevant research at SUNY Poly. 

One of the consultants had pressed Fancher and Oscilowski about the presence of hazardous chemicals and materials. “The point is you can handle them safely, and that’s what we do,” Oscilowski responded. 

Jack Sloan, a Skidmore College senior along for the tour, did not hesitate to express his satisfaction as the prosperity partnership’s summer intern. 

“You learn so much,” Sloan said of his experiences at SCPP. “It was great.”   

Schneider, Sloan, Vanags and their guests returned to Saratoga County for a close-up view of GlobalFoundries and the Fab 8 complex. A photographer and reporter for Saratoga TODAY were denied access to that part of the tour.  

In a subsequent email, Vanags said “plenty of team members” in the SCPP office on Route 9 in Malta made the promotional trip possible with many hours of phone calls and arrangements, etc.—a first for the two-year-old county agency. He added that SCPP and the consultants’ firms shared travel expenses. 

The bus tour was preceded by a welcome reception on Sunday hosted by the Saratoga Polo Association. Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen and county Supervisors Jack Lawler and Matthew Veitch were among those in attendance.

The cultural exposure for the eight businessmen continued Monday afternoon with a visit to the Saratoga Race Course. According to Vanags, that was followed by another dinner with key representatives of Empire State Development, the Center for Economic Growth and the Capital Region Economic Advisory Board.  

“Usually,” Vanags said, “the site selectors don’t have an ongoing project slated for the region or community in which they agree to attend” such a familiarizing, or “fam,” tour. “The ethics on that would be too fraught with issues. 

“Instead this is an opportunity for us to build a relationship with them to plan future projects,” he summarized. “They need information about communities and they usually need it quickly. This is all part of the long-term economic development sales process.”   

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