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Friday, 22 July 2016 10:01

Brown’s Beach Update

STILLWATER — Brown’s Beach will remain closed to swimming for an undetermined amount of days until a series of tests conclude water safety. Stillwater Town Supervisor Ed Kinowski said it is highly unlikely the contamination had anything to do with the July 4th spill of 5,000 gallons of untreated sewage into Saratoga Lake because Brown’s Beach is south of that location and the lake’s water currents would have carried the spill further north, not south. “We are only in week two of the closed beach,” said Kinowski, “and I know everyone is disappointed, but they won’t be disappointed with all the data we’re collecting.” The NYS Department of Health has issued the following statement: “Brown’s Beach remains closed for swimming and wading because of bacteriological water quality samples that have exceeded the state standard of 235 E. coli per 100 ml for fresh water. The Town of Stillwater has taken additional samples and once water quality improves and is below the state standard, the beach may reopen for swimming and wading. State DOH will continue to work with the town to evaluate potential sources of the bacteria and mitigation steps.
For more information about E. coli, please see: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/e_coli/fact_sheet.htm.” Currently, Brown’s Beach is the only regulated swimming area on the lake. It is the up to each municipality that touches the lake to decide whether to test any of the swimming locations in their respective areas. In order to assure the safety of residents and visitors, the Town of Stillwater began regular testing in April long before Brown’s Beach opened, and had E. coli levels that were well below the state health standard until the recent DOH test. “We’re always in the single or low double digits. We didn’t have a problem until the DOH test,” said Kinowski. “So we started a series of testing and we aren’t done. One test doesn’t answer for rainstorm or windstorm events, or bird populations. We want to build a database. Our aim is to see if there’s a temporary issue or a longer issue, which takes time. I’m hoping by the end of this week to gather enough data to decide if there’s as pattern. DOH, DEC, EnCon have all been very helpful. We’re doing actual counts, so someone is looking through a microscope counting bacteria because we want it done right.”
BALLSTON SPA — Grown men have been known to tremble in the witness chair, so you can imagine what it must be like for a child to describe a crime in a room full of adults. Two girls did just that, ending their nightmare by helping to close an investigation into six years of sexual assault against them. After a seven-week trial, Arthur Gannon, 48, of Corinth has been convicted of five counts of predatory sexual assault on children, including Class A2 felonies; the only higher level would be murder or kidnapping. The announcement came on Thursday, July 7, from Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen, shortly after the jury began and concluded its deliberations and reached the verdict that day. Heggen noted the extraordinary efforts of all involved in this case. “This case started with two brave young women coming forward to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department to report the horrific and repeated abuse they suffered. These young ladies demonstrated courage in facing the defendant Arthur Gannon in court, where they recounted the numerous crimes he committed against them. The jury’s verdict says that the jury believed the frightening details they testified about. It said to these victims that what happened to them was wrong and that Arthur Gannon is held accountable for his criminal actions.” The charges in the indictment stem from Gannon’s actions in the Town of Corinth, Saratoga County, from June 2009 through June 2015. His arrest in July 2015 alleged that he and his wife, Heidi L. Gannon, 40, subjected two young girls to repeated sexual abuse, restraining the children against their will, forcing them to perform or engage in sexual acts, photographing them in the process. The girls are relatives of Gannon, but their names are being withheld to protect their privacy. They and two other children in the Corinth home were put in the care of family members. Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo had nothing but praise for his two investigators, Curtis Brand and Roger Zalucky, and for the district attorney’s office for bringing the case to closure. “It was a team effort and I’m glad the end result was a conviction.” “Justice was served for these victims,” said Deborah Tomaso, executive director of Saratoga Center for the Family. “When justice is served, it comes about through the work and perseverance of many agencies. We were happy to be a part of that process.” Heggen also commended the efforts of the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department. “From the day this case was reported to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, the members of that department have worked tirelessly in assembling a thorough, detailed and complete case. The case investigation presented to my office allowed Assistant District Attorney Schettino to assemble a solid and cohesive case for the jury. ADA Michelle Schettino demonstrated each and every day during trial that her trial preparation and collaboration with the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department brought a full and comprehensive presentation of all of the facts and evidence for the jury to review and consider. Her dedication to this case was extraordinary.” Schettino’s successful completion of that work was greatly reinforced by the two children coming forward, and fortunately, the support available for child victims to enable them to come forward is excellent in Saratoga County. Zurlo spoke of the ongoing training investigators receive for interview techniques with children and victims of child sexual abuse. The Saratoga Center for the Family assists in that training, and investigators meet there once a month to review cases and critique different scenarios to perfect their work on behalf of the victims and their families. “From the minute this is reported to the members of law enforcement,” said Heggen, “they really follow through in so many ways that make a huge difference for all the victims in many cases involving young victims of sexual abuse, utilizing victims services including places like the Saratoga Center for the Family, such a valuable place to access information and to provide ongoing support, even after the case ends, because victims’ lives go on.” Zurlo said his office deals closely with the Center for the Family. “It’s a tribute to law enforcement to have the Center in the county,” he said, “with interview rooms where we can sit with a child away from our building to find out what took place.” The Saratoga Center for the Family, located at 359 Ballston Avenue in Saratoga Springs, provides child victims advocacy services that range from providing support in the courtroom for victims and their families to connecting them with additional services such as mental health counseling or medical services they might need, and more. Tomaso, said, “The work we do is very sensitive. Our child advocacy center is a child-friendly location for the investigation of alleged child abuse and neglect. It’s where law enforcement and child protective services can interview the child in a warm, child-friendly environment. We are all on the same page, one big team working together, which is about protecting the children and the families as well.” Heggen added that these kinds of crimes happen more frequently than the public may realize, and appreciates organizations like the Center because some victims don’t report to the police, but will still step forward to use the services these organizations provide and seek healing. “We live differently here [in a district attorney’s office], and know that there are people who pray upon vulnerable and innocent victims such as these,” said Heggen. “I’m fortune to have a very committed and dedicated team that primarily focuses on prosecuting with great compassion, dedication and very good results.” “The perception is Saratoga County is an affluent community and things like this don’t happen here,” said Tomaso, “but knowing the services we provide at the Center, we can tell you it most definitely happens.” Specifically, Gannon was convicted of five counts of Predatory Sexual Assault, Class A-II felonies, in violation of Penal Law Sections 130.95(2); 130.95(3) and130.96 (different theories); one count of Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance, a Class C Felony, in violation of Penal Law Section 263.05; two counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a Class D Felony, in violation of Penal Law Section 130.65(2), and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a Class A Misdemeanor, in violation of Penal Law Section 260.10(1). The jury returned a guilty verdict on all ten of the charges that were submitted to them. The top counts of the indictment, Class A-II felony charges, carry a maximum sentence of twenty-five years to life in prison, with the possibility for consecutive sentences. The trial was held before Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy, III. The case was investigated by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Michele Schettino and Alan M. Poremba. ADA Schettino called twenty witnesses, including the two victims, who bravely faced the defendant in court to testify. Sentencing is scheduled for September 7 at 9:30 a.m. Gannon faces the potential of consecutive sentences that could total more than 50 years to life.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Children’s Museum at Saratoga at 69 Caroline Street will be closed for renovations beginning Monday, July 18, for most of the summer, but according to Executive Director Michelle Smith, the results will be “phenomenal.” The $500,000 project will bring a facelift to the exterior and vestibule, as well as provide new programming space inside, including new exhibits such as the Sensory Integration Room and the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club STEM Room. In celebration, the museum is holding an Ice Cream Social on Friday, July 15 at 1 p.m. featuring Stewart’s Shops ice cream, activities, and a ground breaking. Museum admission is free immediately following. The new STEM exhibit will teach children about circuits and technology in a hands-on, entertaining way by building robots with Cubelets. According to the manufacturer, Cubelets are robot blocks that can be combined to build thousands of different robots. No wires, no wrong way to build; just snap the blocks together and discover what robot behaviors emerge, introducing children to robotics, coding, and design thinking. Another new exhibit involves anatomy and technology. Sponsored by the Saratoga Springs Lions Club, “Decibel Annie” is a manikin with an earpiece that allows visitors to connect a cell phone or other device to Annie, play music, and measure how loud the music is in decibels. The exhibit will provide information on safety levels and impact to the human ear. The renovations will also help increase existing programming, such as for the Making Connections program for children on the autism spectrum. “It’s been open once a month for free to children on the autism spectrum and their families,” said Smith. “We’ve seen over a thousand people come through our door for this program alone.” The museum has received some feedback that the Thursday evening free program is a challenge for families during the school year, so the museum plans to open up a similar program on Sunday mornings. The Sensory Integration Room exhibit is the creation of a daily-accessible exhibit space for children and families on the autism spectrum. Smith said, “It will allow children every single day to engage in a lot of what we do in Making Connections. It will engage all of the senses. What the experts say is that children on the spectrum either overreact or don’t react at all to the senses. A room like this – a nonjudgmental, total exploration room where there is no right or wrong – builds self esteem so they aren’t afraid to try things.” The museum’s program room will also be designed for additional programming on weekends. The museum is open primarily during school hours, and weekend time had been dedicated to private children’s events. “Birthday parties are a huge source of revenue,” said Smith, “the backbone of keeping the financial stability of the museum. Now can do both, the parties and meeting the programming needs for school age children.” The museum is seeking additional exhibit sponsorships, such as bringing an interactive map in the facility’s classroom under sponsor support. “We’d also like to bring in some international language,” said Smith. “We could use a technology piece in the diner. A child in the diner with a touch screen pad can look at an apple, touch it, and say the word in Italian or Chinese or Spanish. They can see the apple and relate, being in the diner. It’s all through the senses; we all learn through the senses. Then we ask them to create a healthy plate, bringing nutrition into it.” Smith says the educational focus of the museum exhibits is all about exposure. Hands-on discovery helps children learn STEM and other teachings through their own curiosity, taking complex subjects and simplifying them so the children can be captivated by it and want to explore more. “We had time to explore when I was in school,” said Smith. “A sponge doesn’t absorb when it is as hard a as a rock; sometimes the water even repels if we give them knowledge they aren’t ready to handle. What makes a child able to absorb is the ability to experience it, to give them time to be self-guided at their own pace. Today’s schools don’t have time to do that, so we can be a resource to the schools and parents. It’s all about us being able to serve the community in a better way but also in a more elaborate way.” The capital campaign has been led by Smith and the museum’s board of directors, who are listed on the website. The museum is seeking donations toward the campaign, as well as sponsors for additional new exhibits. To inquire about sponsorships, call Michelle Smith at 518-584-5540. As of June 12, the Capital Campaign Donors, with the heartfelt thanks of The Children’s Museum at Saratoga, include: Adirondack Trust Company; Advantage Press; AYCO; Bank of America Foundation; Charles R. Wood Foundation; J.M. McDonald Foundation; Live Oak Foundation; Pioneer Bank; River Farm America Foundation; Saratoga Foundation; Susan and Bill Dake Foundation; The Windhover Foundation; Catseye USA, LLC; Saratoga Springs Rotary; Saratoga Springs Lions Club; M&T Bank; Global Foundries Malta Foundation; Saratoga Casino and Raceway; William Gundry Broughton Foundation; Bender Scientific Fund; D.A. Collins; Bonacio Construction; and several private individual donors. The museum will be holding “Pop-Up Park Programs” free and open to the public at various times during the renovations, which will be announced on the website and social media. For more information about the museum and its programs, visit CMSSNY.org or follow them at facebook.com/ChildrensMuseumAtSaratoga.
Friday, 08 July 2016 11:33

The Station: Your New Destination

MALTA — Bob McKenna, co-owner of Lake Ridge Restaurant in Round Lake, and his business partner, executive chef Scott Ringwood, decided it was time to take their casual fine dining talents deeper into casual territory. So they purchased a bit of history and, with their combined talent for creating a successful dining enterprise, they opened Dunning Street Station last week on Wednesday, June 29 with a ribbon cutting and samples of its eclectic bar and grill menu. The business partners, who will have worked together 15 years in September, were familiar with the bright silver diner at 2853 U.S. Route 9, which has hosted Quintessence and other establishments, but were delighted to learn the full history of 63-year-old restaurant. It was once famous for the filming there of the 1979 movie, “My Old Man,” starring Warren Oates and a young Kristy McNichol, about a cantankerous horse trainer and his jockey daughter. “It really is a historical place, believe it or not. It’s like a landmark,” said McKenna. The 19-employee facility has been completely renovated and boasts 16 beers on tap, an extensive wine list, and full bar. The Station’s head chef Vic Clavell [formerly of Maestros] and Lake Ridge’s Ringwood put their own special take on the menu of classic bar food such as burgers, wings and pizza, including delightfully unusual items such as Duckwich Sliders, comprised of house-made duck confit topped with seared foie gras, fig jam, arugula and balsamic drizzle; and a Pastrami Burger, featuring an 8 ounce patty topped with grilled pastrami, sautéed onions, tomato and Swiss cheese, Dijon peppercorn mayo. There’s a marshmallow jalapeno dipping sauce, a Shrimp and Lobster roll with 6 ounces of butter-poached shrimp and lobster meat; and a gluten-free Korean Chicken Pasta made of pan-seared chicken with carrots, bell peppers, onion and spinach, finished with garlic, sesame and soy. “People are raving about the menu, and that’s a testament to Vic and Scott taking the time to create it thoughtfully,” said McKenna. “Their creativity with the unbelievable ingredients from the sauces to the presentation, it’s phenomenal. The lobster and shrimp roll, people are already coming back for that and it’s only been just a week!” McKenna was quite clear, though, that Lake Ridge Restaurant will continue its excellent service, undisturbed by the addition of Dunning Street Station. “We’ve won all these awards,” said McKenna, “but the one that has made us most proud is ‘consistent greatness.’ You have to be consistent every hour of the day. We talked about this while training the Station’s staff. We take good care of our property, our servers do a great job, and the food and quality are consistently great. And that’s our mission at Dunning Street Station, to win that award.” Recognizing an industry need for quality, quick yet relaxed dining, no reservations are required at the Station. For more information, call 518-587-2000 or visit www.dunningstreetstation.com.
Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:21

Calbone Clarifies Hospital Changes

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Last October, Saratoga Hospital and Albany Medical Center (AMC) announced a new affiliation [see Visionary Healthcare, p. 1, October 30, 2015 edition of Saratoga TODAY]. The two health institutions signed a letter of intent to affiliate, paving the way for a more comprehensive, cost-effective and integrated health care system. At the fall press conference, Angelo Calbone, President and CEO of Saratoga Hospital, assured that under the terms of the letter of intent, Saratoga Hospital would retain its name, local leadership and governance, and oversight of services delivered in the community. Recently, that assurance has been called into question due to the use of the term “parent” in the formal application to finalize the agreement, which is currently being reviewed by the State Department of Health. That, combined with the announcement of the decision to close Saratoga Hospital’s nursing home, has raised some eyebrows on social media and in the community, so Saratoga TODAY sat down for an exclusive interview with Calbone for some clarity. “We take pretty seriously that we are the only hospital in the county and that is our primary mission,” said Calbone. Neither decision – closing the nursing home or affiliating wit AMC – came lightly, Calbone said. The nursing home discussions have been ongoing since 2007, when the hospital reduced its nursing home beds from 72 to 36 in order to create more inpatient and acute care space. “As we looked at future bed needs and growth, and as we continue to do the things the community expects us to do, we are running out of beds again. There’s really only one way to increase capacity and that’s to take that second floor. And we anticipated this would happen ten years ago. Now is the time to do it.” On Tuesday, June 21, Saratoga Hospital initiated the process of communicating with the residents and families of Saratoga Hospital Nursing Home that the facility will close in the fall, perhaps sooner. The nursing home will be renovated to create additional space for the hospital’s acute care patients. To close the nursing home, the procedure the hospital was obligated to follow with the New York State Department of Health is a complicated, time-sensitive process which limits what can be publically discussed about the closing. This is why the hospital could not share this information earlier. The formal closure plan was submitted June 1. The projected closing date is early Fall. The hospital has been working with local long-term care facilities to identify how best to find residents new homes. “Our discussions with these facilities have been encouraging,” said Calbone. “We believe we can find the right place for each and every resident. We are committed to help in any way we can during this transition. For our nursing home staff members, every effort will be made to secure a position for anyone who wants to continue employment, whether with Saratoga Hospital or another healthcare facility.” The current 36 beds in the nursing home include 8 short-term rehab beds; all 36 beds are included in the closing plan. There are currently 23 nursing home residents who will be affected by the closing. Regarding the AMC affiliation, Calbone explained that it was a multi-year process that involved many thorough discussions with the board. “The board has a responsibility to know and understand how this will work,” said Calbone. “We spent upwards of two years in negotiating the specific terms of the relationship, making sure a very high degree of local autonomy and control stays intact.” Calbone explained that creating a meaningful affiliation is done through a parent model in New York State, and it is how the State Department of Health regulates them. Although the model does list Albany Medical Center as the parent, the terms in detail are unique to this particular affiliation of the two institutions, and not readily apparent in the public eye. “So, internally we knew that is how this structure would work, but ‘parent’ is just a term that is used to describe how relationships are built, and doesn’t reflect the years of negotiations on specific terms. What I believe has happened is that individuals have probably looked at the regs as they are stated in somewhat generic form as to how parent relationships in hospitals work in the State of New York, and took it literally,” Calbone added. “But unless they were in the room with the board, they won’t know the details. This meets the spirit of those regulations, but leaves a high level of local control and autonomy in place.” The reason they had to use the parent model goes back to anti-trust laws and other legalities that protect the American public. “We are a business,” said Calbone, “and we cannot work closely as two institutions on regional planning, working to create programs, sharing of information and movement of potential medical education back and forth; you just can’t do some of those things without a relationship because it would break the law. You must connect yourself sufficiently to do it in New York State, and that’s called a parent model.” Calbone said unequivocally that Saratoga Hospital remains a licensed hospital, which by its nature requires a number of responsibilities to be maintained by the local board. He confirmed that the parent, AMC, would have to approve the local board members. Although it is a confidential agreement, Calbone could say, however, that the board members put before AMC would first be recruited, interviewed, and vetted by the local board before they are put forward for action by the parent. “Also, they can’t be denied and replaced by other candidates,” said Calbone. “They can only come through the local process of the local board. You wouldn’t know that unless you were part of the negotiations.” For Calbone’s role, the local board can unilaterally dismiss any CEO they don’t find acceptable, but in choosing a new one, it will be done collaboratively. He said the “parent model” term has been over-interpreted as too dominant, but emphasized that the standard written into regulations don’t reflect the very unique relationship established between the institutions that is very respectful of the history of the hospital and the value the local board brings to oversee the operations. “We weren’t forced to do this,” said Calbone. “The local board felt this was the best time to move ahead and it would be helpful to us and our patients. There is grave risk to institutions over the next five years and we choose to take this time to do this while we are successful.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Thursday, June 23, the Saratoga Springs High School celebrated its 143rd commencement, honoring 533 graduates at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. “The Class of 2016 will be truly missed at SSHS,” said Principal Brett Miller, Ph.D. “Beyond their extraordinary accomplishments inside and outside of the classroom, they are more importantly a caring, kind and positive group of students that will leave their imprint on our school district for years to come.” Emily MacDougall, daughter of David and Andrea MacDougall of Gansevoort, was named Valedictorian of the Class of 2016 and Julie Granger, daughter of Stephen and Michelle Granger of Greenfield Center, was named Salutatorian at Saratoga Springs High School. MacDougall is the secretary of Tri-M Music Honor Society, a member of National Honor Society, Fiddle Club, Drama Club Pit Orchestra, Saratoga Youth Symphony and Girl Scouts. MacDougall has received the following awards: Harris Crandall Math Award, Social Studies Department Award, University of Rochester Bausch and Lomb Science Award, and the Rensselaer Medal. MacDougall is planning to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where she plans to study architecture. Granger is the treasurer of Students Against Domestic Violence Among Young, a member of Generation Outreach and was on the J.V. Soccer team during her Freshman, Sophomore and Junior years. She has received the Latin Award, Respect Award, National Merit Commendation, and AP Scholar with Distinction. Granger plans to attend Johns Hopkins University to study Egyptologist. The following comprise the remainder of the top ten students in the Class of 2016: Jennifer Burke, daughter of Joseph and Martha Burke of Saratoga Springs. Burke is planning to attend Penn State, College of Engineering to study Biomedical Engineering. Christian Cianfarani, son of Remo and Lynn Cianfarani of Saratoga Springs. Cianfarani will be attending Brown University to study Software Engineering. Luke Wurl, son of Derrick and Kristine Wurl of Saratoga Springs. Wurl is planning to attend University of Notre Dame to study Computer Science. Nicole Marco, daughter of James and Ava Marco of Gansevoort. Marco is planning to attend Northeastern University to study Engineering. Ian Starnes, son of Dr. Hal Starnes and Dr. Elizabeth Valentine of Saratoga Springs. Starnes is planning to attend Cornell University to study Aerospace Engineering. Meredith Craig, daughter of Kevin and Roseanne Craig of Saratoga Springs. Craig is planning to attend Northeastern University to study Physical Therapy. Brenna Singer, daughter of Stephen and Wendy Singer of Wilton. Singer is planning to attend Northeastern University to study Biomedical Engineering. Madeline Chudy, daughter of Brendan and Robin Chudy of Saratoga Springs. Chudy is planning to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute to study Biomedical Engineering.
Friday, 01 July 2016 10:13

100-Year-Old Time Capsule Revealed

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Adirondack Trust Company (ATC) celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the placement of the Main Office Headquarters cornerstone on Tuesday, June 28, with the opening of a 100-year-old time capsule that was placed there by Senator Edgar T. Brackett, the bank’s founder, in June 1916. The centennial celebration of the historic and iconic Saratoga Springs Headquarters was attended by more than 200 community leaders and members of the public of all ages, gathered on the corner of Broadway and Church Street in the warm summer afternoon. Retired teacher and Saratoga Springs native Claire Tarantino was among the crowd, cherishing memories of her father, Angelo Tarantino, who was born two years after the capsule was embedded in the bank building’s cornerstone. She said she could just imagine him as a little kid running around that neighborhood. “He used to have a business at 8 Church Street, Spa Liquors, which is now a lobby and drive-through area of the bank,” said Tarantino. “He rented his space from Adirondack Trust.” For her, ATC’s time capsule celebrates everyone of that time, bringing her to thoughts of the past 100 years, her dad serving as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in the Pacific Theater before she was born all the way through her life with him before he passed away. “This is a little emotional and nostalgic for me to be here,” Tarantino added, “and it’s very exciting.” Her thoughts were echoed in the remarks of some of the speakers, including ATC Board of Directors Member Douglass M. Mabee, who highlighted key events occurring the past 100 years, such as the World Wars, Pancho Villa, the flight of Boeing’s first aircraft, the invention of Coca Cola’s original formula, and Rockefeller becoming the first billionaire in the world, as well as the generations of Mabees involved in ATC, including his son, Douglass T. Mabee. Charles V. Wait, ATC Chairman and CEO, announced some of the items found in the time capsule, which included: a typed letter from President/Senator Brackett to the Directors of The Adirondack Trust Company 100 years in the future; a letter written by Douglas W. Mabee, president of the Adirondack Landlord dated June 10, 1916 describing the organization of the Adirondack Landlord; two ten-cent bills, one circulated and one uncirculated; signatures of employees and directors; and coins, pamphlets and newspapers. Wait also read from a letter he will be placing in the new time capsule, to be opened in June 2116. In the letter, he spoke of financial innovation and destruction, inflation rates, Great Britain’s departure for the European Union, chaos in the Middle East, and the successful survival of thoroughbred racing and Adirondack Trust over the past 100 years. He ended the letter urging the future Board of Directors to pledge anew to the high ethics and philosophical foundations of ATC, ending with, “I’m confident that if these tenants of fair dealing and honest behavior are followed, this company will prosper for another 100 years.” The new time capsule will also include a June 10, 2016 copy of Saratoga TODAY; the book “With The Strength of the Adirondacks - A History of the Adirondack Trust Company 1901-2001” by Field Horne, Charles V. Wait, and Douglas M. Mabee; a 2015 Saratoga National Historical Park 5 oz. Silver Uncirculated Coin; a 1902 American Silver Dollar; stills and video of 2016 time capsule removal and ceremony; signatures of employees and directors; and other books, coins, financial statements, records and items. The bank’s website is AdirondackTrust.com. More photos from the time capsule can be seen at www.facebook.com/AdirondackTrust.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Kenny Kakaty, 13, of Saratoga Springs enjoys Independence Day as much as any other boy – the fireworks, the food, the festivities – but while most boys might impatiently shift from one foot to another during the reading of the Declaration of Independence, Kakaty listens with his whole heart. The post-millennial teenager is a musician and a patriot, and has played the National Anthem on guitar for local crowds at Little League baseball games and a national audience on C-SPAN. A baseball player himself with a pretty good pitching arm, Kakaty is looking forward to playing on the team for Saratoga Central Catholic School this year as he enters 7th grade. He recently played the National Anthem for Coach Phonsey Lambert’s 500th career win game at Spa Catholic, and also at the Mayor’s Cup and other Little League games. But Kakaty’s audience expanded in 2016 as he played the anthem at the FreedomWorks conference in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in February, and was then invited to open for the March 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord Resort in Maryland with the national anthem on electric guitar in front of 10,000 plus attendees and all the viewers of C-SPAN, where it aired. His father, Joe Kakaty, reminisces how impressed Kakaty was as young as 4 years old at ball games when everyone removed their caps for the National Anthem. “I think that was his favorite part of the game,” said his dad. His mom, Josey, said the family would go every year to the Revolutionary War Memorial at Saratoga National Historic Park. “We’d say a prayer for all of them, for people we don’t even know,” she said, “and thank them. I know that means a lot to Kenny. He’s always been an old soul. He asks a lot of questions, and does a lot of listening.” Kakaty said he began to realize how strongly he feels about America through his history lessons at school. “The more I learned about the troops that have fought and died for us, how bravely they defended liberty for all – you can’t help be impressed.” He said he could feel it, and was really moved, when he visited the Vietnam Moving Wall Memorial, and expressed how much he wants to see the memorials for the World Wars. “I need to study more,” said Kakaty. “I need to understand deeply the questions the Founding Fathers asked and what they studied to make the Constitution.” Kakaty has family that has served in WWII and relatives in the Middle East among the refugees. His extended family pulled together to help get them safely to Montreal. Kakaty asks questions and gets answers, dedicating himself to developing a greater understanding of current events and the world in which he is growing up. “When I go to school, nobody seems to care about politics,” acknowledged Kakaty. “While I don’t want people to care about it a lot at my age, I just want to encourage them to be aware of what is going on. I have the passion of loving my country, and I think if people stay up-to-date with current events it will help them also to love their country. In school I explain to my class when caucuses and primaries are coming up and some kids in my class are starting to get interested, and I’m very happy with that.” His friend, Matthew Apy, also in 7th grade at Spa Catholic, knows Kakaty is a patriot, right down to the American flag wallpaper on his phone. “He cares a lot about who would be a good president or a bad president. The things he likes most are politics and the guitar – he makes it look natural. It doesn’t look forced when he plays. And family – that always comes first.” Apy’s brother John, 9, a 3rd grader at St. Clement’s, added, “He’s the best I know because I’m a guitar player, too, so I know. I like the way he uses the pedals to record so it sounds more complicated than it is.” He also shares Kakaty’s patriotism, and said he feels proud to live in this landmark-filled country, his favorite being the Statue of Liberty. Kakaty received his first guitar for Christmas just before he turned 9 years old. He had been playing piano since he was 4, which he still plays, but acoustic and electric guitars are his passion. “I love getting into the blues and really feeling it when I play,” said Kakaty. He loves Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, the three Kings (Albert, BB, and Freddie), and had a great time at the recent Dead and Company concert at SPAC. He plays everything from Santana to One Direction, and rocks the Seven Horse Pub at 43 Phila Street during happy hour every Tuesday, his confident fingers never hesitating over challenging chords. He also records backtracks while playing there, adding an extra layer to his solo. “You put a backing track down with the chords and then play on top, it’s called lead, and it’s basically improvisation with guitar,” said Kakaty. “Or if you’re playing with another guitar player, they can play the chords and you can play on top and it’s all live. I love doing it.” Giovanni DiMatteo of Saratoga Springs, an employee of the City Center and owner of Giovanni Concrete Services, has heard Kakaty play at the Seven Horse. “He’s pretty good,” he said. “You listen to it, and you’d think he was someone older.” Seven Horse owner Dan Polidore agrees. “He’s been playing here a couple of months, now. Kenny’s such a talented musician,” he said, “but he’s even a nicer kid.” The best advice Kakaty’s ever gotten? “To be the best at whatever I do and have good character,” said Kakaty. “My parents taught me that.” Kakaty 3 is the name of his band, with his sister Bella, 11, on vocals, and brother Joey, 9, on drums. “We play a lot of 80s music and some other songs,” said Kakaty, “like Stray Cat Strut, Summer of ’69 by Brian Adams, and Love Story by Taylor Swift.” The band just played at Beekman Street Café in June as part of the art festival. Ian Sondhof, 10, a 4th grader at St. Clements, goes to school with Bella Kakaty, and has heard the Kakaty 3 band. “She’s really good at singing,” he said. “I like how they play.” Kakaty is a typical boy with many interests. He was part of his student council, served as class president, enjoys theater camp, and really loves math. His favorite foods are Mediterranean, such as pasta and stuffed grape leaves, not surprising given his Italian and Arabic descent. Kakaty is interested in West Point or the Naval Academy in the future, and wants to take his math skills into finance or engineering. But wherever he lands, there will be music and politics, both as natural to him as breathing. Kakaty’s uncle Paul, an occupational therapist, remembered when the family moved temporarily to Las Vegas, Nevada. “And here’s ten-year-old Kenny,” he said, “his first question was wondering whether Nevada was a swing state!” While at the CPAC event in March, he met a number of national figures including Governor Scott Walker, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin. Kakaty most remembers meeting author and lawyer Mark Levin, host of the American syndicated radio show “The Mark Levin Show.” Levin worked in the administration of President Ronald Reagan and was a chief of staff for Attorney General Edwin Meese. Kakaty said he felt honored to meet Levin. “I enjoy listening to him on the radio,” said Kakaty. “I’m reading his book right now, ‘Liberty and Tyranny.’ I think he’s a really cool guy.” While some might argue that exposure to conservative thinking such as Levin’s work may play a role in Kakaty’s ultimate choice in party one day, it is generally understood that Kakaty’s Generation Z are born conservatives, primarily due to the influence of 9/11, the recession, and deep respect for the values and sacrifices of The Greatest Generation. Gen Z, the most diverse generation in history, has a respect for plurality, liberty, family and financial caution that is so like America’s Founding Fathers that MTV actually coined the phrase that labels Kakaty’s cohort as the Founder Generation. The broadcast company conducted a survey that found, among other things, that these kids see a system that is broken, but refuse to be the generation that will break it even more; according to a statement by MTV President Sean Atkins to Time magazine this past December. Whether Kakaty realizes his generational role or not, for now, he’s happy sharing his music and love of America with his family, friends, and anyone who would like to hear him play. “It’s not really about leaning left or right as much as being proud of living in your country,” said Kakaty. And he expresses that pride through his music. “Anywhere I can play the National Anthem, I play,” he said. “It’s becoming my thing.”
SARATOGA COUNTY — When people reach for a light switch, they assume the lights will turn on. They want the air conditioner working through the summer, heat in winter, and the dishwasher all year long. The dismay is genuine if the cell phone and laptop cannot charge. Personal reliance on the electrical grid is but one piece of the demand for power. Businesses lose money every minute their lights don’t run. Manufacturers the size of GlobalFoundries can use as much power as can feed 150,000 homes. The demand on today’s grid is great, but with two economic development agencies and other stakeholders working to bring more manufacturing to Saratoga County, are we ready for future demand? “That’s the question. I don’t know,” said Dennis Brobston, president of the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC). “There are a lot of factors that go into that. The beauty of this thing, and thing that makes you mad, is the grid is always shifting. It’s a living organism. People are building homes over here, a factory over there, putting in a new dam over here and something else over there – all this growth has to be engineered through the utility for transmission and distribution.” Here, in the third fastest growing county in New York State, SEDC and National Grid and other stakeholders and regulators are constantly measuring and predicting demand. Patrick Stella, National Grid’s U.S. Digital Communications Manager, said, “We have a very robust economic development team in upstate New York. We work hand in hand with a lot of economic development agencies to spur on growth in the area. We do that with our engineers putting in new lines and beefing up infrastructure but also with water, sewer, roadways and those types of things. We were very involved in the last decade or more of a lot of the growth in Saratoga County, and we’ve invested in two major transmission lines on both the east and west side of Saratoga to keep up with that growth.” Brobston gives plenty of credit to National Grid and the other stakeholders involved, but on his economic development wish list is more land zoned appropriate for industrial use and power lines, as well as a transmission tower at 345 kilovolts (kV) rather than the typical 115 kV. Getting the approvals to triple a tower’s kilovolts can take up to ten years, said Brobston. “Everything feeds into the line, all the small hydro dams and other power generation sources. We see the grid continuing to be built out in concentric circles,” said Brobston. “So we’re getting there, but we’re not getting there fast enough. That’s the issue. We’re not running out of power, we’re stopping other growth from coming in.” As an investor, Louis Schick, Partner at NewWorld Capital Group, LLC on Madison Avenue in New York City, is not as worried about the role of National Grid or manufacturers such as GlobalFoundries as he is concerned about the other people at the table. “They can make it stop or go slowly,” said Schick, “and I have no assurance that will not happen. It’s large sums of money and long lead times with numerous stakeholders that will have something to say about the project, so as an investor I have no confidence it won’t all fall through. And it’s that confidence (that you cannot see it through to the end) that makes me nervous.” NewWorld Capital Group is a private equity firm investing in the Environmental Opportunities sector, including providing project finance for Environmental Infrastructure projects. Schick said that with deregulation, utilities like National Grid had to give up ownership in generation and transmission. That was given to independent power producers. It is the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) that operates competitive wholesale markets to manage the flow of electricity across New York—from the power producers who generate it to the local utilities that deliver it to residents and businesses. Utilities are just responsible for distribution, operations, and the maintenance that goes from the connection at the grid to the meter. “We told all those utilities that they were not allowed to own generation,” he said. “So a new system was set up so power producers would competitively sell their power. The utility would buy enough energy to supply their end users. What that means now is I can build a power plant if I want to, and get permits and permissions to connect to the grid.” And that’s what Schick and other investors do. Third party financiers build power plants; they can build anything from a hydro plant to an array of solar panels. “We at NewWorld Capital have financed the construction of solar power installs or wind turbine projects,” said Schick, “but no matter what we look at, there is nothing in New York we can finance, and the reason we can’t build renewables in New York is the interconnect and permitting costs are very high. And worse than that, they are unpredictable.” According to Schick, it is unpredictable because there are too many people who get to say no to a project at any point along the way from the very beginning to near the end five years down the road. Federal, state and local processes include many stakeholders who can comment on impact to the community, environment, historical factors, and more. “The effect of this is that you can feel like you’ve got 90 percent of the paperwork done,” said Schick, “but no confidence that it is just about to finish. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but we’ve not seen any projects in NYS that we’ve been able to do.” Brobston understands where investors like Schick are coming from. “For the type of investment we’d like to do here,” said Brobston, “it’s harder to do here with the regulation and length of time to get things done. Much easier in Texas or Florida, where they’ve partnered with utilities and other stakeholders.” Currently, NewWorld Capital is investing in projects in Massachusetts, Wyoming, California and Ontario. Brobston spoke about the approval processes to get a 400-megawatt substation in at Luther Forest in preparation for the semiconductor industry. “The State and National Grid paid for it. We ran the project,” said SEDC. “That substation is not operating at 400 MW because we don’t have enough power going to it. We needed 200 MW to start and it runs about 250 to 280, but for future growth, we have to get it to 400 MW. If Luther Forest can put a generating plant in there on their own, that would solve that and future needs, but we don’t have enough natural gas to do that. But that’s another story.” Brobston said that once GlobalFoundries decides to expand again, it will take about three years to build it, and that State and utilities have committed to making sure that there’s a way to make it happen power-wise. The electric grid will be substantially beefed up for what GlobalFoundries will need to do within five years. Stella emphasized, “We want to expedite these projects. As a business, it doesn’t make sense for us to delay this. We want the regions that we serve to do well.” “We don’t do what we do in a vacuum,” added National Grid Regional Executive Laurie Poltynski. “We work in partnership with local and state economic development agencies and companies and find ways to break down barriers so these companies can find the least costly solution and invest here and grow here locally.” Brobston agrees, but says the real question is beyond 2020. “The plans we have in process do work, they take more time than we’d like, but they do work. Technology is changing enough that we may see better ways to generate electricity, more solar more wind or other new tech. We’ll always need to generate more, but we can be more efficient at it.” “One of the things we are looking at here is modernizing the grid,” said Stella. “We call it distributed generation. Any sort of alternative energy, it’s something we’re focused on more currently, how to connect those things into the existing grid. It’s built to have large power stations in certain locations. We’re trying to configure the grid to accommodate other location sources. We’re looking at smart grids, micro grid systems in smaller areas, we have a demonstration project in Potsdam right now, and a community solar type of thing in Buffalo.” Stella said the average person can help by staying informed, going to public hearings, and asking questions. Schick agrees and added that is especially important to ask candidates for office these questions, too. “It is a complicated issue, and it frustrates me how little voters get a chance to weigh in,” he said. Stella said utilities are in a unique spot to help create the future, regardless of whether it is wind or solar or something not yet invented. “Whatever it is, we have to adapt,” he said. “We are still the conduit and it’s an exciting time.” For more information about NewWorld Capital Group, LLC, visit www.newworldcapital.net. For more information about SEDC, visit www.saratogaedc.com. For more information about National Grid, visit www.nationalgrid.com.
Friday, 17 June 2016 12:07

Shucks and Lures at Fish at 30 Lake

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Sometimes the best way to enjoy seafood is to roll up your sleeves and dig in. Several prominent members of the community did just that this week at Angelo Mazzone’s latest venture, Fish at 30 Lake, shucking inaugural oysters during a sneak preview of the new restaurant on Monday, June 13, alongside executives from Mazzone Hospitality. “Our goal in conceptualizing Fish at 30 Lake was to create an approachable and comfortable space with the same quality and service we are known for at Mazzone Hospitality, yet different from our existing restaurants and unlike anything in Saratoga Springs,” said Mazzone Hospitality Owner Angelo Mazzone. “We look forward to providing an exciting new option for diners throughout the Spa City as we open our doors just as the summer tourism season is getting underway and weeks from the start of the racing season.” The industrial-style setting contributes to a fresh, seaside feel that makes eating with your fingers the most natural way to enjoy some of the day-boat caught menu items. Fish at 30 Lake features natural touches of reclaimed wood and industrial influences, including a hand-crafted wine cabinet and a large mural painted by a local artist. The biggest lure to Fish at 30 is its fresh seafood menu with such items as Petite Lobster Rolls, Grilled Octopus, a one pound Lobster Cocktail, Seared Tuna crusted with wasabi peas and pistachios, and Thai mussels in green curry and coconut milk. The menu also includes hardwood grilled fish and pizza, and a free-standing raw bar, as well as plates to share. And if that’s not enough to lure you in, Fish at 30 Lake also includes a mixologist-led bar program with hand-crafted cocktails, local spirits and an approachable wine list. In addition to the restaurant, Fish at 30 Lake will provide catering and event services to guests at the adjacent Pavilion Grand Hotel, including in-suite dining and rooftop events, as well as private wedding brunches and innovative packages for travelers, such as in-suite DIY (do-it-yourself) dinners. Mazzone Hospitality Chief Operating Officer and Partner Mark A. Delos and Corporate Executive Chef William Brown will oversee the new venture. They are assisted by Saratoga Springs restaurateur Ron Farber, who joined the Mazzone Hospitality team as a restaurant specialist in April. Fish at 30 Lake is located at the corner of Lake Avenue and Pavilion Place in downtown Saratoga Springs. The restaurant will formally open to the public on Saturday, June 18. Reservations will be accepted beginning on Monday, June 20. The restaurant will open at 2 p.m. daily for light fare and cocktails, with dinner service beginning at 5:30 p.m. Dinner service on Sunday begins at 3 p.m. Seating is available indoors for 80 and on the patio for 40. For more information about Mazzone Hospitality, visit www.mazzonehospitality.com.
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