Opal Jessica Bogdan
BALLSTON SPA – Saratoga 4-H staff delivered trophies to winners of the Youth Video Challenge for the Virtual Saratoga County Fair. 4-H members were asked to be submit videos about the animal species they would typically bring to the Saratoga County Fair. This Video challenge provided youth an opportunity to show case their animals and knowledge of the species they care for. Educators and animal science professionals judged the videos on Wednesday, July 22 and winners were awarded on Thursday the 24.
The Saratoga County Fair is the most anticipated event of the year for 4-H members. Youth work year round to breed, care for, and prepare their animals to be shown at this annual event. In the past, around 200 youth across the county participate in animal shows, species including: dairy cattle, beef cattle, horses, rabbits, sheep, goats and more. Youth and their animals are judged for cleanliness, animal confirmation, genetics, and other aspects of animal health. The cancelation of the Saratoga County Fair was devastating, yet youth came together to exhibit their animal in a fun and educational way.
The Youth Video Challenge for the Virtual Saratoga County Fair had three categories, Cloverbud, ages 8 and under, Jr., ages 9-12, and Sr., ages 13-18. Cloverbuds receive participation awards and first, second and third place trophies were given to the top three videos submitted.
Trophy Winners are as follows:
First- Kohlby Himelrick with his Goat
Second- Julia Bodien with her Rabbit
Third- Collin Anderson with his Sheep
First- Eva Anderson with her Rabbit
Second- Aaron Myatt with his Guinea Pig
Third- Eva Anderson with her Chicken
SARATOGA SPRINGS – In order to keep her business surviving through the
pandemic, Happy Hound Pet Sitting Service owner Kathy Lovelace completely reinvented herself and the business.
Knowing dogs love social contact more than most people do, Lovelace wanted to continue her dog sitting and walking service to her clients. To achieve this, Lovelace first became COVID-certified by Pet Sitters International. In order to become certified, Lovelace learned about COVID-19 and how to not only protect herself but those around her as well.
“I learned all about the virus and the best ways to avoid it,” Lovelace said. “I want to keep my clients and their pets safe. I have also educated myself on the local regulations, such as stay at home orders, to know specifically how everything can impact our local area.”
Pet Sitters International is an international educational association for professional pet sitters based in North California. The pet-sitting association represents nearly 7,000 independent professionals, Lovelace being one of them.
After becoming certified, she made some modifications to her daily routine as well as her business. Previously, Lovelace would meet and great clients and their pets inside. However, she recently changed the meet and great to be outdoors with masks and staying socially distanced.
“For home visits, if the client is home they will stay social distance with a mask or they agree to go into a separate room into their home. Sometimes they’re home because, well, they’re working from home. While I’m in the home, I wear a mask and while walking the dogs, I simply stay socially distanced,” Lovelace said.
She now enforces a strict hand washing routine as well and asked all clients to complete a COVID-19 form, asking recent travel, contact and quarantine questions. Her clients only have to fill it out once, and will sign to agree to report any changes of the form. Despite making those multiple changes, Lovelace still faces a challenge: clients working from home.
“I feel that the challenge is that I have established some nice clients who I really miss. Now, more and more people are working from home, so I’m not seeing my clients as much. I would see their dogs up to five times a week sometimes and I have became attached to them,” Lovelace said.
She believes that if other independent businesses adopt similar methods, they can be successful as well. However, one benefit to owning a professional dog service is that adoption rate has increased these past months.
“Pet adoption and dog ownership has gone way up. Adoption has helped bring sunshine into homes and it’s a great to see,” Lovelace said. “At the end of the day we are all in this together and we’ll make any and all changes as we need to.”
Lovelace can be reached by phone at 518-583-6561 and is located at 72 Waterview Drive in Saratoga Springs. To learn more about Lovelace and her business, visit https://www.petsit.com/pet-sitter-saratoga-springs-ny-happy-hound-pet-sitting-service-llc.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The anticipated opening of Darling Doughnuts happened this past Wednesday, July 29.
The store will operate as a grab and go counter with limited outdoor seating. Owner of Darling Doughnuts Natascha Pearl-Mansman designed a rotating menu to feature ten different flavors of doughnuts each week.
They offer full size doughnuts for $3.74 each, mini doughnuts for $2 each and a recent addition of “box of holes” that sells 12 holes for $6. Doughnut flavors range from fruity to savory and all flavors can be found online at https://www.darlingdoughnuts.com/menu.
Some menu items includes: Café Latte, espresso and cream glazed doughnut with a latte art design; Banana Split, banana glazed and topped with chocolate banana chips; and even a Pizza doughnut, topped with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and pesto, then baked until bubbly.
BALLSTON SPA – Nearly a month into phase 4 of reopening New York and local gyms are still not allowed to open their doors.
For one gym in Round Lake Ballston Spa, those doors will now never open. Global Express Fitness opened their doors to a new location in Malta in early January. With almost two months of being opened, the gym was forced to shut doors at their previous location in round lake, with no plans to reopen them.
“We did close our Round Lake location due to the impacts of COVID-19. We appreciate everyone who kept their membership during this time. Unfortunately because of the amount of people who decided to cancel, we just could not sustain both locations,” Express Fitness Owners wrote on Facebook. “Four months without a gym is unbelievable.”
All workout equipment has moved to their new facility built in Malta. Any memberships will be valid at the new Malta location once they’re allowed to open their doors.
Saratoga Peak Performance wanted to open their doors in Phase 2, when “specialty gyms” were allowed to reopen.
“For the time being, we will abide by the state guidelines for Phase 4 opening…It’s putting myself and our great staff of personal traners at great economic hardship and simply makes no sense when you consider the hundreds going into big-box retail stores daily, yet we can’t open with just eight clients,” Bryan Briddel, owner, wrote on Facebook.
As on July 20, each of NY’s 10 regions have reached the final phase of the four-phase reopening process. To date, movie theaters, gyms, and gatherings with more than 50 people are not allowed. With outbreaks increasing around the country, Governor Andrew Cuomo has not mention a Phase 5 when the remaining industries will be allowed to reopen.
The City of Saratoga Springs' Commissioner of Public Works Anthony Scirocco announced this week that Saratoga Springs based gyms, fitness trainers, and yoga studios are able to use Congress Park, High Rock Park, Geyser Road Veterans Memorial Park, and the Waterfront Park to host workout sessions without paying rental fees. The proposed rental and use policy was unanimously approved by the City Council at their July meeting.
Gym classes and workout are not the only to move outside, as street dining has seen a massive increase this past month. The village of Ballston Spa, downtown Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville announced this week they will expand outdoor seating options. In order for a business to reopen they must meet general requirements such as strict cleaning and sanitation, mandatory face masks for all employees and customers and coronavirus cases must be traced, tracked, and reported to regional public-health officials.
The strength studio called Evolution Strength and Performance moved to the virtual world when the pandemic began, and their online on-demand training portal has been successful since. Not only did the gym change the face of its company, they also expanded the gym and rebranded themselves to be called Kettlebell Works.
“Back in May we restructured everyone’s gym memberships. We made the decision to predominantly become a remote based business with minimal in-person work, and that’s our direction moving forward,” Owner Chris Abbott said.
The new studio is double the size of the old one, and has been ready to open since April. Kettlebell Works is located at 26 Commons Blvd in Clifton Park and can be reached at 518-235-3896. Global Express Fitness is located at 43 Round lake Rd in Ballston Spa and can be reached at 518-400-1428. Saratoga Peak Performance is located at 30 Gick Rd in Saratoga and can be reached by phone at 518-505-9542.
BALLSTON SPA — The Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) can now provide financial assistance to COVID-19 impacted small businesses and nonprofits within the county.
This past month, Govonor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that gives IDAs the authority to provide grants and loans to businesses and nonprofits with 50 or fewer employees. The new bill will expire on Dec. 31, 2021 or when the state of emergency for coronavirus ends.
A grant of up to $10,000 per applicant is one option IDAs can provide. The grants can be used for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and, according to the law, “installing fixtures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” such as safety shields. IDAs can also provide interest free loans up to $25,000 per applicant to pay for employee salaries, rent, utilities and other expenses. The loans have a one-year term after a grace period.
How each IDA loan program works, however, is based on local agency leaders. Rod Sutton, president of Saratoga County IDA, said the board would host a discussion this week about their program.
“Right now we are going to gather and review the legislation. We’re going to get our seven-member board to sit down and discuss the grant loan program,” Sutton said. “One of the biggest problems we have now is we can’t meet in public, so we are going to coordinate a Zoom or phone meeting. We expect to meet sooner rather than later to set up a program so we can go public with it and decide what the parameters will be for any applicant.”
Sutton said they would discuss the terms of how much they have to offer for each grant and loan. The board plans to project a three-year income expense that allows them to have a better idea on the monies available for the grant and loan.
“We’ll be sitting down with our chief financial officer and the full board to see how much money we can afford to allocate,” Sutton said.
When the legislation passed to make this program possible, Clifton Park IDA Chairman and Clifton Park County Supervisor Jonathan Schopf, with the unanimous support of the Board of the IDA, made the decision to provide direct grant support to our small business community, allocating $100,000 of its fund balance towards this grant program which will be available to businesses located within Clifton Park, according to their website. Grants will be available in tiers of $1,000, $3,000, $5,000, and $7,000.
Schopf said in the release: “Simple, easy to apply for financial relief for our small business community is a priority for the IDA. These grants are easy to apply for, 100% forgivable, come with no strings attached and will be locally distributed and administered to support our business community.”
To receive any funding from IDAs, businesses and nonprofits must be located within the County or Town of the IDA agency. Notification will be given to the community for any public meeting of the IDA.
The Saratoga County IDA is located at 50 West High Street in Ballston Spa and can be reached online at www.saratogacountyida.org/about-us/ or phone at 518-884-4705.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Members of the community should smash their piggy banks and collect change to deposit at local banks this upcoming month.
To help aid the nation-wide coin shortage or coin circulation disruption, the Adirondack Trust Company along with other banks have started an initiative to motivate the community to deposit coins.
“Like other banks, we’re taking certain steps to be aware of what our positions are. There are certain things happening in retail all over the country that lots of different banks are responding to,” Patrick Reilly, chief marketing officer at Adirondack Trust, said.
USA Today reported the coin shortage is due to an increased demand in coins. As the coronavirus spread across the world earlier this year, business closures and crippled economic activity in the United States developed as a result. That caused the circulation of coins to drop off significantly. The U.S. Mint, which manufactures the nation’s coin supply, also decreased staffing in response to the pandemic.
On June 11, the Federal Reserve acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the “normal circulation patterns for U.S. coin.”
“In the past few months, coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve have declined significantly and the U.S. Mint’s production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect its employees,” the Federal Reserve wrote in a statement. “The Federal Reserve is working on several fronts to mitigate the effects of low coin inventories.”
Now, as the nation’s businesses have reopened, demand for coins has exceeded the available supply. Many businesses are posting signs outside asking for exact change or another form of payment.
To help out these places of business, Adirondack Trust is going to start a mini campaign for coin return. Reilly said their financial institution has coin machines that sort and deposit coins for a fee.
“We are implanting to make our customers and the community aware that they can take their coins and turn them in fee free,” Reilly said.
The goal is to encourage members of the community to return change that the bank then recycles. The machines allow a direct deposit or can be converted into cash and other banks are thinking along similar lines in regards to returning coins. CNN reported the Community State Bank in Wisconsin launched a Coin Buy Back Program, which offers a $5 bonus for every $100 worth of coins turned in to any of its seven locations. Anyone who brings by coins, whether they’re a bank customer or not, can receive up to a maximum coin bonus of $500.
Forbes reported that actions were being taken to try and boost coins back into normal circulation to help stop the shortage. The Federal Reserve said they’re working with the U.S. Mint to minimize any constraints on Mint production and is advising banks and other depository institutions to only order what they absolutely need in terms of coins.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Local Paint and Sip studio announced the start of its weekly Kids Day Camp Painting program.
Hosted every Tuesday and Thursday, each class features a different theme to incorporate different painting techniques. The students will create and complete different paintings each class.
“We’ve never done summer camp at Paint and Sip before, so its been a whole new world for us to start this journey,” Catherine Hover, owner of Paint and Sip said.
A main focus of the day camp is to give an outlet to kids who are ready to get out of the house. Socialization is important and right now everyone is losing that aspect as time goes on.
“It’s important to provide these programs that will get kids out of the house and get them creating. It’s a great therapy for kids who are feeling frustrated too,” Hover said.
There is limited seating allowed to practicing safe social distancing. The camp will be offered through August, and a schedule of the July camps can be seen on their website. Each camper will be seated six-feet apart and have their own set of brushes to use and keep. A painting will be completed each class on 11×14 inch canvas panel to bring home. Paints will also be portioned out into 2-ounce paint tubes the campers can keep.
Amanda Demarco of Paint and Sip said interested community members can sign up directly on their website. Currently classes run from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. but Demarco said the hours will change to 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for the month of August.
“The camp is $50 for the week and includes equipment the students can take home. Tables are six-feet apart and although seating is limited, parents can request to sit with friends or family they are comfortable with,” Demarco said.
Hover added: “[the campers] are accumulating different arts and crafts and by the end of the session we’ll do a little art show, which may be done digitally.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The official First Edition City of Saratoga Springs Monopoly game was released this week, featuring beloved businesses, destinations and attractions that make the area unique.
The Hasbro-produced classic Monopoly game is completely customized to celebrate the City of Saratoga Springs. Created by the Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund (ATCCF), 100% of the proceeds from game sales will go directly to ATCCF’s Lend-A-Hand Grant program. The program puts dollars in the hands of nonprofits that impact the communities in Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties.
Leah Ferrone, Marketing Operations and Outreach manager at ATC, says everyone who has grown up, lived, moved or studied in Saratoga can relate to this customized board.
“The whole board is completely customized, from the tokens to different real estate properties and the photographs that are on the board. But I think one of the things that make it so special and unique are the ‘Community Chest’ and ‘Chance’ cards. For our board, we reference something unique in Saratoga on every card,” Ferrone said. “Whether you come to Saratoga for what you love—the track, SPAC, the healing aspects of the waters—there is something in those cards that everyone can relate to that will bring up a really fun memory of Saratoga.”
Each board costs $50 and references Congress Park, the Saratoga County Fair, being a Blue Streak, and even attending Skidmore. This isn’t the first time Saratoga was featured on a Monopoly game board. In the early 1980’s, a custom game board called Saratogaopoly was created. Photos reveal the collectors box saying “a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Saratoga Hospital Foundation.”
The creation of the new game board started in February and was created with help from the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Cooley Group in Rochester, NY.
“When we heard about all of the success the game could have, we knew it would be a lot of work, but it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Ferrone said.
ATCCF Chair Brian Straughter said in a release: “at a time when local nonprofits need our support more than ever, we are thrilled to introduce the City of Saratoga Springs Monopoly game as a way to not only create memories with your loved ones, but to also give back to the community. This game has been made possible through the support of local community members, many of which are featured on the game board. We are proud to share this project with all Saratoga Springs enthusiasts.”
There is only a limited quantity of games, and sales will last until they are sold out. However, Ferrone said they have the ability to order a second edition depending on demand.
“We wanted to announce the game though a big launch party, but the world had different plans. While it’s not how we envisioned it, this is a really special time to be putting this out there. The game celebrates the community and brings us together…this is something that will bring joy to people,” Ferrone said.
The local retailers who will be selling the game includes: Allerdice Building Supplies, Cudney’s Cleaners, Dark Horse Mercantile, Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs, Homewood Suites by Hilton Saratoga Springs, Impressions of Saratoga, Northshire Bookstore Saratoga Springs, PJ’s BBQSA, Putnam Market, Saratoga Hospital, Spoken Boutique, and all Adirondack Trust Company convenient branch locations. Games also may be purchased online at SaratogaSpringsMonopoly.org.
ATCCF’s website is ATCCF.org and is located at 31 Church Street. They can be reached at 518-584-5844.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Henry Street welcomed outdoor tables filled with customers this past weekend as local eateries in Saratoga have expanded their outdoor dining to the streets.
Participating restaurants such as Scallions, Henry Street Taproom, Flatbread Social, Paint and Sip and other businesses can now offer outdoor seating on the street with concrete safety barriers between customers and traffic. The concrete blocks extend down Henry Street and Short Alley between Lake Avenue and Caroline Street. Eateries saw full capacity after beginning the street dining this past Friday.
“It was really exciting to see so many people enjoying it,” said Erin Maciel, Complete Streets Advisory Board committee member. “This is the step we need to take as a city. I think by working with the business association, we have really seen how streets can be flexible. That’s really what we are promoting with Complete Streets. Streets are public space and this is a great example of how streets can keep us safe as a community, allow for social distancing and allow for people to be outdoors and support businesses.”
The Complete Streets Advisory Board was established via the Complete Streets Policy as adopted by City Council on May 1, 2012.
“Having that outdoor space is pivotal. People do feel safer outdoors and that’s something that we have to acknowledge and support. We want them to come out and feel safe downtown. The outdoor step is essential and necessary to save our local economy,” said Catherine Hover, owner of Paint and Sip.
Street dining helps to increase revenue for participating businesses and allows for COVID-19 safe dining. To help this initiative, Maciel said she’s happy the city passed a temporary outdoor seating that allows businesses to expand to city property, which streets are included in.
“With the ordinance that is out there right now, each business needs to provide insurance that allows them to go out onto sidewalks and into the street. That’s our next step throughout our community…to expand outdoor dining.”
The Saratoga City Council approved the permit system late June, which allows city restaurants to expand their outdoor seating to sidewalks and other public locations. The permits have no cost.
Henry Street isn’t the only roadway to see outdoor dining. Maciel said she has seen businesses on other streets joining together to take over parking lanes or shift around the cross section of the roadway to accommodate seating in the street. Hover, also owner of Palette Café, expanded her outdoor seating to the sidewalks on Broadway.
“Right now, I think we are seeing a silver lining and I think that’s something we need to talk about…that we can accommodate and support local businesses with new ideas and thinking creatively,” Maciel said. “We on the Complete Streets Board and design professionals here in the city just want to support businesses to keep our city what it is and make sure everyone can weather this storm.”
Maciel is also a Senior Landscape Architect at CLA SITE Landscape Architecture, Engineering & Planning, P.C, which is located at 58 Church St in Saratoga Springs.
Hover added: “We have to keep moving forward and we have to have hope. We have to evolve and we have to adapt. We need people to be vocal and speak up. There is real change coming and it’s exciting.”
Dining on the road will continue through Labor Day, at which point the Complete Streets Advisory Board and city officials will re-evaluate to determine if the ordinance and permits should be extended.
“It really depends on COVID and how safe we can be indoors,” Maciel said. “We have a climate here that does not allow us to be outdoors year-round. Talking with everyone, why can’t we have heaters out there? You look at a lot of cities around the globe and I think there are ways to make accommodations for folks to enjoy it longer. Once we go into winter and if we are not able to be indoors safely, that’s going to be a huge hit for our small businesses. We really need to expand it as far as it can.”
MALTA — Recently known as 101 State Farm Place, Malta Grove was auctioned off earlier this year to the new property owner Flaum Management Co. Inc.
Flaum Management is a commercial real estate agency based in Rochester, New York. They purchased the 25-acre property for $2 million, which holds a 120,000 sq-ft building.
Flaum Management is highly motivated to fill the building and will demise the space to accommodate tenants requirements. The building is currently available for lease in suites ranging starting at 10,000 sq-ft. Loren Flaum, CFO of Flaum Management, said the family business is very tenant-orientated.
“We are very tenant focused…good tenants come first in our business. We’re very hands-on, we're not an absentee landlord, with over 500 tenants we put them all first,” Flaum said. “We service our tenants and give them whatever they need such as a cost effective solution. We have a very attentive 24/7-customer-service.”
Flaum said the management team enjoys the redevelopment opportunities Saratoga County and the Capital Region offers.
“We found that the economy in the capital region is very strong we like the prospects,” Flaum said. “We have a property management team in Albany and we’re gearing up to do more in the capital region.”
Flaum management is known for taking vacant properties and used properties to redevelop them and bring life back to them. Flaum mentioned re-naming the property to Malta Grove would fit better within the landscape.
“The location is phenomenal, it’s right off the highway and across the street from the new hospital and YMCA. We have been very successful in re-developing and we will use that same model for this building,” Flaum said. “We love the economic prospect of the area and the growth. We only look at acquisitions that we can really help benefit tenants because without them, we would have nothing.”
Flaum Management worked with Peter Struzzi, SIOR at Cushman & Wakefield. Struzzi joined the company in 1998 and serves as the Real Estate Broker for the Albany Office. As for the future of Malta Grove, Flaum and his family are excited for the opportunity to expand in Saratoga County.
“We just want to see this building become vibrant again and have more life,” Flaum said.
Flaum Management is also the owner of Latham Farms, located at 579 Troy Schenectady Rd and Queensbury Plaza.
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