Lori Mahan

Lori Mahan

SARATOGA SPRINGS — From 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15, at all elementary schools within the Saratoga Springs City School District, residents will be voting on five different proposals. $125,980,236 is proposed overall and calls for a 2.66 percent spending increase and a tax levy of 3.93 percent.

Proposition Two would authorize the school district to spend an estimated $1,040,000 to purchase eight 66-passenger school buses, one 30-passenger bus, one 23-passenger wheelchair bus, and one SUV. State aid would reimburse the district for 40 percent of the cost. In addition to the budget vote, district residents will elect three candidates to the Board of Education for three- year terms.

Proposition Three: The Great Outdoors Capital Project
Total project cost is estimated at $15,600,523 with no new additional taxes levied to support the project. A significant portion is being funded by Capital Reserves, $7.5 million. The remaining portion, $8.1 million, will be funded via issuing debt to replace existing debt that is due to expire. 52.37 percent of spending would be on shared community recreation: Eastside Recreation Park, Westside Recreation Park, and a portion of Gavin Park. “An investment in these spaces benefits both District students and community residents,” said the district. Several new developments for each school in the district are proposed: Saratoga Springs High School will have a new bathroom/ concession building, new storage building, expand automated irrigation systems of the football field, main courtyard, and other fields, new lighted multi-purpose turf field, replaced perimeter fencing, outdoor learning courtyard, and LED gymnasium lighting. Maple Avenue Middle School will also have a new courtyard for outdoor learning, library patio extension, dugouts, expanded automated irrigation systems for the baseball infield, softball, soccer, and lacrosse fields, expand field space by clearing trees, two new batting cages, new fencing at the soccer field, LED gymnasium lighting. Caroline Street Elementary School will receive new outdoor learning classrooms and LED gymnasium lighting. Division Street Elementary School will receive a new playground with social and ADA accessible equipment, new covered pavilion with benches, outdoor reading area at the library, LED gymnasium lighting. Dorothy Nolan Elementary School will remove relocatable classrooms, add outdoor storage, new outdoor pavilion, two new ADA accessible playgrounds, courtyard outdoor learning, new section of perimeter fencing, LED gymnasium lighting. Geyser Road Elementary School will receive ADA accessible playground, new nature trail with learning components, new interpretive signage, LED gymnasium lighting. Greenfield Elementary School will receive new outdoor learning space, new buddy benches and social equipment, natural playground at Grove, new section perimeter fencing, improved bus/parent drop off, outdoor pavilion, LED gymnasium lighting. Lake Avenue Elementary School will receive garden planting wall at sidewalk, gymnasium improvements. More information is available at www. saratogaschools.org for Gavin Park, Eastside Rec, and Westside Rec additions.

Proposition Four would authorize the purchase of Greenfield property located at 3190 Route 9N for $100,000. The purchase of this property would allow for parking, an improved bus loop, and improvements in front of the Greenfield Elementary School.

New Proposals Included in the Budget:
• Addition of a 12:1:2 Class Addition of 12:1:2 class for six incoming Kindergarten students with special needs.
• Special Education Teacher (Dorothy Nolan) Retainment of a Special Education Teacher added during the 2017-18 school year based on student needs.
• Teaching Assistant (Maple Avenue) 1:1 Teaching Assistant for a student with specific IEP needs.
• District Ell Teacher Additional support to meet the needs of our growing student English Language Learners population.
• Teaching Assistant (Division Street) 1:1 Teaching Assistant for a student with specific IEP needs.
• FTE – Occupational Therapist Increase Occupational Therapist position from 0.8 to 1.0 as approved during the 2017-18 school year based on student needs.

Thursday, 03 May 2018 17:11

Saratoga Springs Little League

[Photos provided]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Friday, April 27, Saratoga Springs Little League (SSLL) celebrated their opening day. SSLL is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that offers baseball to ages four to thirteen who live in or go to school in Saratoga Springs, games are played at West Side Recreation. The organization also has Saratoga Stars Youth Travel Baseball, competing at a higher level and playing teams across the Capital Region.

“Through proper guidance and exemplary leadership, the Saratoga Springs Little League program assists youth in developing the qualities of citizenship, discipline, teamwork and physical well-being. By espousing the virtues of character, courage and loyalty, the Little League Baseball® program is designed to develop superior citizens rather than stellar athletes,” said the official SSLL statement.

“These are memories that we will all cherish...  I am pleased that you too will enjoy watching your children learn baseball and grow as part of our Little League family," said Derek Legall, longterm SSLL president.

[Photos by SuperSource Media, LLC]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Great Outdoors Project is a huge project ($15.6 million) that will enhance every school and school owned property within the district.  Look on the school district website to see what it entails. How our specific sport is impacted:  It will give SSCSD a turf surface that they have needed for so many years. They would no longer have to pay out of their Booster Club funds to have games at the Dome and others would not have to scramble to find and pay for turf surfaces as they prepare for and play in post season play.  They wouldn’t have to get on a bus to go to practice on a turf surface.  Players would be able to stay after for class help without having to worry about catching a bus in time. It showcases their skill set and field hockey is meant to be played on a smooth, fast surface.  The quality of their play will increase even more. It puts them on a more equal playing field with the best teams in New York State.  Camps and tournaments can be played on it in the off seasons.  The benefits go on and on for not just field hockey but PE classes, many of the district’s other sports and the whole community.   The vote will take place on May 15 for the Great Outdoors Project from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.   The voting places are elementary schools with the Saratoga Springs City School District. Estimated New Taxes Levied to Support Project-Zero

Thursday, 03 May 2018 17:05

Local All-Star Moments

Spa Catholic Baseball
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Saturday, April 28, Spa Catholic played in the 30th Annual Phil Warring Memorial Baseball Tournament. In the first round, they played and defeated Corinth, 5-3. Nick Winslow had one run; Dante Marin had one triple and two RBIs; Jake Hart had one double and one RBI.

In round two, Spa Catholic played Schuylerville and won, 5-0. Nick Winslow had one double and was named Tournament MVP; Terel Tillman had two RBIs and one run scored; three Saratoga pitchers, Dante Marin, Terel Tillman, and Dylan Custer, combined for a three-hit shut out with seven strikeouts and one BB.Spa Catholic won for the 15th time in tournament history. On Tuesday, May 1, Spa Catholic played Greenwich, winning 3-0. Terel Tillman pitched seven innings and had zero runs and only two hits on Greenwich; Dylan Custer had one double and one RBI.

Saratoga Springs Girls Lacrosse
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Wednesday, April 25, the Saratoga Springs girl’s lacrosse team played Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and won, 17-6. Lindsey Frank and Katie Wendell had five goals and three assists; Reilly Hogan had two goals and three assists; Katie Silver had two goals; Ella Payer had one goal and one assist; Sylvie Waters had one goal and two assists; Elizabeth McGinn had one goal; Jackie Sauer had one assist; and Abigail Searles had two saves. 

Spa Catholic vs. Whitehall Charity Game UPCOMING
SARATOGA SPRINGS — At 7 p.m. in Veteran’s Memorial Park on Saturday, May 5, Spa Catholic will host Whitehall in a non-league games, both teams are currently undefeated in their respective leagues. This will be a benefit game, all proceeds collected by raffles, donations, and concessions will go to Kelly’s Angels Incorporated. Kelly’s Angels, conceived by WNYT-TV reporter and Whitehall graduate, Mark Mulholland, in memory of his late wife Kelly, who lost her battle with cancer in 2007 at the age of 37. Kelly’s Angels provides gifts to children under the age of 18 who have lost a parent of sibling to cancer. Raffles will include four field level tickets to a New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox game on Monday, August 27. Tickets are $10 apiece and will be available at Saratoga Central Catholic and the game. 

Saratoga Regional YMCA Basketball  [ OVER 25-YEAR-OLD LEAGUE ]
With Team Wink breaking the record for most points, 107, scored in any basketball league game at the Saratoga Regional YMCA and Team Lombardo also scoring 81 points the teams broke the record for total points in a game. The Darkwing scored 40 points and teammates Brian Travis and JR Michael scored 29 and 22 respectively in the win while Team Lombardo got 31 points from Chris Peroni, 21 points from Elijah Summersil, 12 points apiece from Dave Lombardo and Tim Herrick.

In a game that was tied at halftime and tied at the end of regulation, teams had to settle it in overtime where Team Duff finally got a 65 to 62 over Team Emery. Team Duff got a last second threepointer by Josh Demarais to send the game in to overtime. Team Duff were led by Josh Demarais, Carter Flanigan and Corey Harkins all scoring 16 points. Team Emery got a game high 23 points from Blake Rizzi while teammates Chantz Baudoux 16 points, Brendon Emery 13 points, and Chris Cameron 12 points.

Using a balanced scoring attack and getting points from everyone on the team, which was led by Zach Manrique’s 14 points, Team Sikora pulled off a victory over Team Reed 64 to 56. Ryan O’Rourke dropped in 21 points and Vonzel Legal added 17 points in the loss.  

[Photo by Lori Mahan and SuperSource Media, LLC]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Tuesday, May 1, five seniors at Saratoga Central Catholic signed their letters of intent for the college of their choice.

Michael Halligan, Nordic skiing, attending St. Michael’s College; Kevin Cronin, cross country, attending Clarkson University; Victoria Alvord, softball, attending Russell Sage; Grace Fornabia, volleyball, attending St. Michael’s College; and Ani Crocker, volleyball, attending Russell Sage.

On Monday, April 30, 28 seniors from Saratoga Springs High School signed their letters of intent for the college of their choice.

Lee Gnau, baseball, attending Mt. Aloysius College; Nick Chudy, basketball, attending Muhlenberg College; AJ Lawton, basketball, attending Cortland State University; Jackie O’Reilly, cheerleading, attending Tampa University; Catharine Griskowitz, crew, attending Boston University; Alanie Genter, field hockey, attending Cortland State University; Jesse House, field hockey, attending RPI; Emily Leonard, field hockey, attending Hobart and William Smith; Grace Ziehnert, field hockey, attending Cortland State University; Cameron Adams, football, attending Union College; Wes Eglintine, football, attending Cortland State University; Michael Eglintine, football, attending Cortland State University; Mark Leuchten, football, attending RPI; Demetri Swann, football, attending Brockport State University; Kevin Toote, football, attending Pace University; Nick Guzi, ice hockey, attending Okanagan Hockey Academy; Ryan Flatley, lacrosse, attending Clarkson University; Megan McCoskey, lacrosse, attending Clarkson University; Ethan Morrison, lacrosse, attending Hartwick College; Briana DiBlasi, soccer, attending Penn State Behrend; Aidan O’Malley, soccer, attending Ursinus College; Morgan Siewert, soccer, attending Nazareth College; Olivia Jones, softball, attending Russell Sage College; Danielle Priester, softball, attending Coppin State University; Nicole Murphy, swimming, attending Merrimack College; Taylor D’Andrea, tennis, attending Hartwick College; Jensen Kinglsey, track and field, attending UMass at Amherst; Samantha Vetter, track and field, attending University at Buffalo; and Carley Vetter, track and field, attending Stony Brook University.

Thursday, 03 May 2018 17:00

Athlete of the Week: Lindsey Frank

[Photo provided]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Lindsey Frank, a 17-year-old junior from Saratoga Springs High School, has been playing field hockey since the third grade, picking it up from her oldest brother. She is also a field hockey player. Frank’s lacrosse coach, Elaine Anton Lotruglio, has nothing but praise for the junior. On Thursday, April 26, Frank had five goals, four assists, 10 draw controls, and 12 ground ball controls in a game against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

“She had an all around stellar effort in that game,” Anton Lotruglio remarked.

Academically, Frank is a high honor roll student and has already committed to the University of Richmond in 2019 to play two Division I sports: field hockey and lacrosse.

“She is a consistently strong presence on both fields,” Anton Lotruglio said.

Frank is fully committed to both sports.

“I don’t have a job because I am so busy playing both field hockey and lacrosse throughout the year. For free time I like to hang out with my friends or watch Netflix,” Frank explained.

“Our team this year has a great dynamic and we’re really fortunate to have such a strong defense as well as a creative attacking offense with a great goalie in the cage,” she said.

She cites her parents as her biggest supporters.

“They have made it to each and every one of my games ever since I can remember,” Frank said.

Thursday, 03 May 2018 16:58

Spa Catholic Goes to Disney

[Photo provided]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — In March, the varsity softball and baseball teams, coached by Brett Simpson and Alphonse Lambert, respectively, went on a week-long trip to Disney World in Orlando, FL for a week of training and scrimmaging. This was the first year the softball team was able to attend, and the baseball team has gone several times in the past. Both teams do multiple fundraisers to attend from selling coupon books to 50/50 raffles.

“While the girls weren’t playing games or practicing, they were free to go to the parks and downtown Disney. Part of the package they get is a 5-day park and hopper pass, meaning they can go to any of the parks for 5 days. We are there for six full days, so the girls were in the parks every day or laying by the pool relaxing.
We took Easter Sunday off from playing and attended Easter mass, along with the boy’s program. This was something special for us to partake in Easter mass, as a whole,” Brett Simpson explained.

Simpson had plenty of thank you’s to disperse: “First to Brooke O’Reilly who without her we wouldn’t of been able to do this trip. She is awesome! To the parents who helped fundraise and help look over the players while in Disney. It’s awesome to not only play in Florida, but then to have multiple parents down there to watch and support the team makes it that much more special. To the School and our AD Alphonse Lambert for allowing us to make the trip and supporting us in this journey. And lastly, to the players who made our job easy while down there. They behaved well and played well. Seeing the smile on their faces every day made it that much more worth it. Thanks again to everyone else involved, can’t wait to be back next year.”

Thursday, 03 May 2018 16:55

Local Kids Blow Into the Windy City

[Photos provided]

BALLSTON SPA — The KidWind Challenge, a middle and high school student challenge is the “ultimate wind energy learning experience for students,” said the official website.

When students partake in the challenge they discover the promise and limitations of wind energy technology, design, build, and test a functional creative wind turbine, and compete with their peers in a supportive environment. Students from Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School in Malta, team name Cool Breeze, are traveling to Chicago for nationals on May 8-10. Cool Breeze is made up of juniors from Galway School and Fort Edward School; Erik Malanoski, Lindsey Gilesky, Jacob O’Brien, and Christian Hines from Galway and Derek Lyons from Fort Edward. The team is coached by John Balet, an instructor with the Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School Program at Ballston Spa. He facilitated the KidWind project in the classroom for the past three years within a transdisciplinary classroom of juniors with a math and English teacher. On March 17, the team qualified to participate in the KidWind Regional Competition at the GE Renewable Energy Headquarters in Schenectady. Placing second in that competition secured them an invitation to the national competition in Chicago.

“They did not simply design a turbine to produce power. Although this design was a big part of the competition, the team’s knowledge of wind energy, production, marketing, and ultimate environmental implications brought them to a qualifying position at the GE competition,” said Balet via email.

The team is attaining the funds for the trip through a variety of sources, it is not gifted to them through the school or competition.

“The engineering design process we use in this 2-week unit plays a significant role in the students’ competitive edge.  The concepts of wind energy are researched and then students apply what they learn to basic blade designs.  As the students form self-selected teams to complete the classroom KidWind challenge, the instructors do not simply provide the answers, but rather the guidance to suggest different ideas and approaches to the designs.  There is a lot of trial and error throughout the process.  This student team relayed this fact to the judges at the GE competition as they discussed their successes, the challenges they faced both with the design and with their peers as they collaborated on the project, and all that they learned from the numerous failed designs. Ultimately, the judges were impressed with the students’ knowledge of wind energy as well as their candid discussions of the real challenges they faced and how they overcame them,”  he explained.

This is the third year that the Clean Tech ECHS has had a team participate in the National KidWind Challenge.

[Photo provided]

BALLSTON SPA - The Ballston Spa High School Odyssey of the Mind team will be holding an Odyssey Fair on Friday, May 4, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.at the First Presbyterian Church in Ballston Spa, 22 West High St., as part of Ballston Spa’s First Friday Village-wide series of events.

Visitors to the Odyssey Fair will enjoy carnival games, a talent show, baked goods, and raffles.  The Odyssey Fair will also feature a performance of the award-winning skit that earned the team a trip to the Odyssey of the Mind World Championship in Iowa on May 23.  The Fair is one of several initiatives to help raise funds for the trip to Iowa.  The team has a fundraising goal of $10,000 for their trip, and has raised over $3,200 so far on the web site gofundme.com/bshs-odyssey-2018.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving competition for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. Getting to World’s requires exceptional dedication, teamwork, and creativity.  The team started in September, meeting every Saturday and Monday.  Their dedication and talent helped them win the regional tournament and place second in the state tournaments, qualifying them to advance to the World Championship.

Now the team has a chance to meet and compete with over 800 teams from all over the United States and around the world.  Grace O’Connor, team member and high school junior, says, “We are beyond thrilled to go to Worlds.  We’ve really put our hearts and heads together for nearly 8 months, and it’s incredible to see all that hard work paying off.”

The OM performance problem this year is to perform an eight-minute skit of a "Stellar Hangout" where there are alien creatures, food, a 'puppet', entertainment, a map that transforms from 2D-3D, and a quest for a treasure. Everything in the skit needs to be created by the team, from writing the skit to the creation of costumes and building of props, no adult assistance is allowed.  Additional information on this year’s challenge and tournament is available at http://www.nysoma.org/.

Photos provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga/Wilton Youth Baseball’s season has commenced! Opening day was Saturday, April 21, at Gavin Park and Saratoga Eastside Recreation. Five-hundred families came out to enjoy a day of friendly competition on both fields. Joe Rigabar, board president as of this season, kicked off the opening day ceremony with a reminder, “develop your love of the game and most importantly, have fun.” Before the games started and after the opening ceremony, which was also attended by Mayor Meg Kelly and Saratoga Springs varsity baseball coach Andy Cuthbertson, along with some of his varsity players, the league had a small competition.

“We took two kids from each division and had a little relay race around the bases. We had 500 kids screaming and yelling and cheering for these little t-ball kids. Some of the high school kids were there recording it on their phones and having a good laugh about it, it was really cool,” Rigabar explained.

The league has close to 50 teams divided into four divisions: t-ball, rookie, minors, and majors, ages 4-12 Rigabar coaches his oldest son’s minors team, and has done so for a number of years. The league is set-up to be selfcontained, meaning all teams play each other, sorted by division. It is $25 to play t-ball, $50 for rookie, and $90 for the minors and majors. Costs stay low due to community and local business support.

“We had an incredible year of raising money through amazing sponsors. This year, we had the Glens Falls Hospital and Hoffman’s Car Wash donate two new scoreboards each, so four total. We also have field sponsors, dug out sponsors, and team sponsors, where the name of their firm is on the jerseys. That’s really what allows us to do what we do and keep the costs down for all the kids and the families,” Rigabar explained.

Games are twice a week on Saturday and a mid-week game. Teams rotate between Gavin Park and Eastside Rec so the kids have a chance to play at both fields and break up the monotony.

“The families have been really supportive of the rotating fields. Initially, last year when we merged, there was some concern about living closer to one than the other but now that the families see how much the kids enjoy it and how much it adds to the experience, they’ve been very supportive of it,” he said.

The league merged last year for a number of reasons: “Number 1, there’s no reason we should have a bunch of separate leagues in the community. The westside still has Saratoga National Little League, although we are trying to convince them to join us. Number two, the number of kids in each distinctive league were starting to wane a little bit, so you’d have maybe only four teams in the majors division in Wilton for example. Then you’re playing the same kids and same teams all the time. It just made sense for us to come together and be one big happy family and now we have several teams. It just creates a better experience for the kids overall,” he said.

“The league is growing, which is our goal. It’s all about providing opportunity for as many kids as possible to play baseball and our numbers are up across the board, in terms of number of kids, number of teams, and number of sponsorships, so the health of the league is better than its ever been. Most importantly, we had a beautiful day where we had 500 families on the baseball field having a good time, and for us that’s really what it’s all about,” Rigabar concluded. 

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  • COURT Anthony J. Paradise, 39, of Ballston Spa, was sentenced May 9 to one to four years in state prison, after pleading to felony robbery, related to an incident that took place in Saratoga Springs.  Richard A. Faria, 40, of Mechanicville, was sentenced May 9 to one to three years in state prison, after pleading to felony grand larceny, related to an incident that took place in Ballston. Barkim H. Tomer, 24, of Schenectady, was sentenced to 1.5 in state prison, after pleading to criminal possession of a controlled substance – a felony, related to an incident that took place…

Property Transactions

  • TOWN OF BALLSTON  431 Robert Dr., $330,000. Christopher and Lori Santilli sold property to Thomas and Katherine Davies.  CLIFTON PARK 3 Beresford Rd., $459,000. Kenneth and Rebecca Weyrauch sold property to Ahmet and Nilay Kabaktepe.  1 Courtland Blvd., $260,000. Michael and Lauren Hastings sold property to Patrick and Kimberly Cornell.  33 Northcrest Dr., $249,000. Mark Musco and Valerie Carley sold property to Bryan Lacivita and Jingjing Li.  16 Oakhurst Court, $432,000. Stephen and Paula Burke sold property to Cartus Financial Corporation.  16 Oakhurst Court, $432,000. Cartus Financial Corporation sold property to Joseph and Joanne Bender.  84 Tallow Wood Dr., $159,000.…
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