The 2021 Empire State Winter Games have been canceled because of safety concerns posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Scheduled to take place January 28 to 31, 2021 in the Lake Placid region, in recent years, the Games have attracted more than 2,000 athletes from across New York and beyond — including 15 states and three countries — to compete in more than 30 winter sports events.
The challenges and uncertainty presented in appropriately planning, organizing, and producing events safely for the athletes of all ages and the nearly 20,000 spectators that the Games could draw proved insurmountable.
The first Winter Games were held in 1981 and have continued annually since. For its 41st year, organizers hope to instead host a virtual or social media-based event for the Games participants.
NEW YORK STATE —Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that ski resorts across the state can reopen under state-issued health and safety protocols starting Friday, November 6.
The following precautions have been put in place.
• Indoor capacity must not exceed 50 percent.
• Outdoor capacity on the mountain must be reduced by 25% during "peak" days or if multiple trails are closed due to unseasonable conditions.
• Gondola and lift riders must be members of the same party.
• Ski lessons are limited to no more than 10 people.
In addition, thorough cleaning of shared equipment, shuttles, food, beverage and retail services is required. Masks must be worn except when eating, drinking or skiing, and social distancing maintained.
The announcement conforms to New York State’s new "micro-cluster" strategy to tackle COVID-19 hot spots that may come with the Fall and Winter weather. Tracking cases based on address, the State will implement strict rules and restrictions directly targeted to areas with the highest concentration of COVID cases, known as red zones, and put in place less severe restrictions in surrounding communities, known as orange and yellow zones.
"One of the lessons we learned in New York is to look ahead and stay ahead. It's not checkers; we're playing chess with this virus. In the fall you're going to see an increased viral transmission rate — that's just a fact," Governor Cuomo said.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued the following information regarding steps to take when trick or treating.
Make trick-or-treating safer:
• Avoid direct contact withtrick-or-treaters.
• Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
• Set up a station with individuallybagged treats for kids to take.
• Wash hands before handling treats.
• Wear a mask.
These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives: Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them; Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends; Decorating your house, apartment, or living space; Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance; Having a virtual Halloween costume contest; Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with; Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house-to-house.
Moderate risk activities: Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard); If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags; Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart; Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart; Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart; If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus; Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing; Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart; If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus; Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.
Higher risk activities. Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19: Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door-to-door; Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots; Attending crowded costume parties held indoors; Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming; Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household; Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors; Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.
Note: A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face. Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
For more information, go to: CDC.gov.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The seats at Caffe Lena have been empty since March 14. But the venue’s stage has been busy nearly every night as bands play shows for three robotic cameras that stream live to audiences around the world.
The Sarah B. Foulke Charitable Fund, set up to honor Saratoga Springs attorney and café volunteer Sarah Foulke, supports Saratogians and others by investing in causes she believed in.
Sarah B. Foulke Fund advisor Suzan Nolan explains, “This is a double-your-gift challenge grant to help Caffè Lena survive the shutdown. Caffè Lena is a landmark venue. We want to help them evolve their online platform and we’re rooting for them to raise the full $50,000 this month so that we can donate $50,000. Unique cultural institutions such as Caffè Lena make our region special and deserve our help. We hope others who love Caffè Lena and Saratoga Springs will join our effort.”
Caffè Lena is seeking donations from individuals, businesses and musicians. The venue is offering underwriting and sponsorship slots for higher level donors who want their philanthropy recognized.
“If this pandemic has taught us anything,” emphasized Sarah Craig, Executive Director of Caffe Lena, “it’s that every expression of care, whether it's a $5 tip, or a $500 donation, or a special comment, they all add up to helping live music survive and grow during this time of extreme challenge.”
To make a donation to help Caffe Lena reach its $50,000 goal by Oct. 31, visit www.caffelena.org and click on the Sarah B. Foulke Donation Challenge link.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Oct. 12, the venue 9 Maple celebrated its 30th anniversary, albeit it in somewhat muted style due to pandemic precautions. Still, the group expressed its exuberance in virtual fashion with a social media post:
“To our 9 Maple family: Today we celebrate 30 years of being in business! It is beyond words to try to express the heartache of being closed during this very special day. The concern for the safety of our staff and customers alike, as well as the size of our bar, make for a frustrating combination of reasons that keep our doors closed during the pandemic. 9 Maple has been a safe and comfortable spot for many, for 30(!?!!!) years now; we intend to continue to offer that comfortable, safe place, and when we can assure that it is, we will definitely celebrate these 30 years! Missing all of you very much! Happy Anniversary 9 Maple! We hope to see everyone soon as possible!!”
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Arts Board of Directors has announced that Louise Kerr will serve as the new Executive Director of Saratoga Arts.
Founded in 1986 by and for artists and audiences, Saratoga Arts’ mission is to enrich the region by cultivating a vibrant arts community and by ensuring that the arts are accessible to all. In its 30-plus years, Saratoga Arts has brought the arts to over 1,000,000 people through its programs and provided performing and visual artists opportunities to earn over $3,000,000 in art sales and performance fees. Saratoga Arts is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that relies on the support of our members, friends and community.
Kerr is working currently with the staff on the first exhibit under her new role, which will take place late Fall. “As the new Executive Director of Saratoga Arts, this is a wonderful opportunity for me to return to what I love best – connecting and nurturing artists across all genres, at all points of their careers and working collaboratively on a local and regional level to promote and sustain the meaningful impact a public arts center can have serving the community,” said Kerr, in a statement.
Born and raised in Scotland, Kerr comes to Saratoga Arts from The Olana Partnership, The Historic New York State Park and Home of Frederic Church, the famed Hudson River School painter, where she served as the Director of Engagement and Visitor Operations. Prior, she was the Operations Manager for The Betty Cuningham Gallery in Manhattan's Lower East Side. She brings more than 20 years of diverse business management experience, both in New York and California, to her new post.
Saratoga Arts is located at 320 Broadway in Saratoga Springs. For more information go to: www.saratoga-arts.org.
LOS ANGELES — The new series of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp will kick off with exclusive events with Alice Cooper – to benefit his charity Solid Rock, and Rock the Socks – at 8 p.m. on Halloween Oct. 31. Roger Daltrey, of The Who (Nov. 14), Joe Elliot of Def Leppard (Nov. 28), and Styx (Dec. 12) will follow. The sessions, conducted over Zoom, connect with fans with the musicians in a meaningful way, raising funds for a variety of organizations.
The RRFC - a longtime rock ‘n’ roll institution where students learn from real-life rock stars – presents the new ‘Front Row Live’ series in partnership with Southern California’s Rock Station, 95.5 KLOS-FM. In addition to the interactive tickets where fans can directly speak to the stars, the event may be viewed by fans to watch and submit online questions for $25 dollars.
With no live music due to COVID-19, RRFC launched an interactive, online Masterclass Series in June, allowing musicians and music enthusiasts alike to learn from and speak with artists from the comfort of their own homes. Unlike typical meet and greets, attendees are able to hang for 60-90 minutes with their favorite stars, hearing intimate stories and asking at least one question directly to the artist. Since its launch, there have been over 100 classes. Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster or at: www.rockcamp.com.
Saratoga Springs — The Saratoga Springs Varsity Soccer team won 3 to 0 against Schenectady High School this week.
During the competitive play, scores during the second half were made by Jack Donnelly on a breakaway off an assist from Garrett Farr, Evan Hallett shot a screamer from a distance off an assist from Jack Donnelly, and Stefanos Tsitos scored a poacher’s goal from close range off a low cross from Timothee Boyer on his first Varsity touch.
Schuylerville — Schuylerville High School’s FFA Chapter of has been named a 2020 recipient of two National FFA Organization grants, totaling $7,555. Both grants will be used to fund agricultural education and experiential learning initiatives at the high school.
The Chapter received $4,955 from the Grants for Growing program to begin a maple syrup production operation. They plan to purchase a maple syrup evaporator, canning unit, taps and other equipment for maple syrup production.
Also awarded the Living to Serve Grant in the amount of $2,600, the Schuylerville FFA plans to build raised bed gardens to grow fresh produce for donation to both the school cafeteria as well as S.A.F.E.R, Schuylerville Area Food Emergency Relief. This project will be done in conjunction with the high school technology program.
The funding for both grants is provided by the sponsors of the National FFA Organization, including: CoBank, Tractor Supply Company, Cargill, CSX, Dominoes and Elanco.
The Grants for Growing program is funded through the donations of customers who purchase $1 paper emblems at Tractor Supply stores at checkout during National FFA Week
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Julie & Co. Realty has announced Emily Frost as the newest member of the brokerage.
A licensed real estate salesperson, Frost was born and raised in Queensbury. In 2011, she graduated from the State University of New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Communications. She applied her knowledge to a hands-on sales role managing representatives throughout the state of New York for five years.
Frost specializes in residential sales and leases, first time home buyers, condos, and townhomes.
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