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MALTA – Prior to the Malta Town Board agenda meeting on Monday, April 28, Town Attorney Thomas Peterson read a letter of counsel arising out of findings from the town ethics committee, which had affirmed its earlier findings of misconduct by Town Clerk Flo Sickels.
The ethics committee recommended that the town board “…issue a letter of counsel to the Town Clerk expressing its disapproval with the violations…” to Ms. Sickels, and further that she be required to attend live ethics training and show proof of attendance.
The letter of counsel from the town board, which was approved by a 3-0 vote (with Councilperson Tara Thomas recusing and Councilperson John Hartzell absent), changed a key word “required” to “recommended” ethics training.
Tax Receiver Linda Bablin, who initiated the original complaint last September, noted this nuance:
“This letter of counsel is a joke,” she said “They couldn’t even follow the Ethics Committee’s recommendation, which stated Sickels should be “Required to attend live ethics training and furnish to the Town Board evidence of completing the training.”
“All they did was suggest she attend ethics training.” Ms. Bablin continued. “Every committee, every elected official and every department head was already “required” to attend the ethics training put on by the Town on March 7. Some of these people are paid employees and were not even compensated for that. Sickels chose not to attend that training. Since she is the only one who has been found “guilty” of unethical behavior, the fact that the Board opted for an even lesser consequence for her and her actions, is deplorable.”
Big Derby Party Is Just The Kick-off
SARATOGA SPRINGS – I’ve always had a soft spot for the unsung hero – the people behind the scenes who do the work. Particularly in the hospitality industry, where good planning and a lot of hard work behind the scenes enables us to just show up and enjoy.
One such example is Devin Sherin. She is one member of a big team that keeps Prime at Saratoga National humming, but a key one nonetheless. As marketing coordinator/sales assistant one of her duties is to program the music and entertainment calendar.
Having had a background in booking venues and festivals in a previous life, I can assure you that this is often not the easy, fun task that it might seem to be. To paraphrase a quotation, heavy lies the head that keeps the calendar.
But before one note is played, one song is cheered, indeed, long before an encore is called for, it is people who set up a balanced schedule of favorites (Devin estimates she has a rotation of about 10 regular artists, plus larger bands for special events) that assure a quality experience.
While I’m always happy if people check the gigs listings we compile each week (see page 28) there are a few venues in town that you can just show up and know that whatever entertainment is on the bill will be uniformly excellent. Just as you can expect to have a great meal each time at Prime, so can you count on the music as a key element in the overall atmosphere there.
A 2012 graduate of SUNY Cortland, Devin began as a server at Prime almost three years ago. The chief operating officer offered her a job in the marketing department. At the time the restaurant manager was doing the music booking; I’m guessing he probably felt like human flypaper and gladly turned the calendar over to Devin.
Her own music tastes tend to run toward acoustic songwriters, but she also enjoys the bigger bands particularly when it comes with planning a major event like the 70s party with the Audiostars or the White Party with Soul Session.
For next weekend’s 140th Kentucky Derby, Devin and Prime are holding a hot hand, with a couple of great options to enjoy race day topped off with an after party with Gravity playing.
And that’s just the beginning. Look for a bunch of summer fun to come. And if you see Devin there, thank her for the work she does to make your good times better.
For more information about all the offerings at Prime visit golfsaratoga.com
Highlights of the Project:
The 890,000 square foot Hudson Valley Casino and Resort will feature world-class gaming, dining and entertainment options, including:
•A 500-room resort style hotel;
•A full complement of exciting dining options, including fine dining, casual dining and buffet;
•Multiple entertainment venues, with a night club, sports bar and showroom;
•20,000 square feet of high end retail; and
•Convenient parking, with valet, plentiful covered parking and surface lots.
Located at the Crossroads of I-84 and I-87, Hudson Valley Casino and Resort Will Serve as Economic Catalyst for Entire Region and a Jobs Juggernaut for both the Town and City Newburgh, as Well as Communities on Both Sides of the River
NEWBURGH – Saratoga Casino and Raceway, which has gaming and casino interests in three states, announced on Thursday, April 24 that it will propose a world-class destination resort casino on a 70 acre site on Route 17K in Newburgh, across from Orange County Choppers and just minutes from Stewart Airport. The company has submitted a $1 million mandatory application fee to the state, solidifying its intent to make a bid for a commercial casino license to be awarded in the Catskill/Mid-Hudson region.
The estimated $670 million development will be a permanent economic engine for the region, creating approximately 2,400 construction and more than 2,500 permanent, good-paying jobs with benefits. Many of these jobs are expected to be filled through a dedicated hiring program with local residents, and participation in MWBE partnerships and veteran hiring programs, targeting chronically underemployed communities in the region. In addition to thousands of jobs the project will directly create through construction and operation of the resort and casino, the project is expected to have a significant economic development and jobs impact throughout the Hudson Valley, on both sides of the river, due in large part to its geographic location.
Offering seamless access from both I-84 and the New York State Thruway, the casino and resort will keep New York gaming dollars within the state, serving as a destination for residents from around the region. The project will include a 500-room resort hotel, dining, entertainment venues, and 20,000 square feet dedicated to high-end retail. This full-scale entertainment facility is designed to reinvigorate the Hudson Valley by complementing, not competing with, a potential casino and resort in the Catskills.
As part of its business and branding plan, the Hudson Valley Casino and Resort will incorporate iconic elements of the region into the project and will work with local restaurants, farmers, craft brewers and distilleries to feature their local wines, spirits and produce throughout the facility. Just minutes away from area attractions like the Walkway Over the Hudson, West Point, the Culinary Institute of America, historic Hyde Park, Dia Beacon, and the region’s many hiking and biking opportunities, the project will act as a growth engine for the area’s growing tourism industry and revitalize the local economy on both sides of the Hudson River.
"The Hudson Valley Casino and Resort is designed to showcase the best that the Hudson Valley has to offer and serve as a economic development catalyst that will help create jobs from Newburgh to Poughkeepsie, Beacon to Middletown, and beyond,” said Rita Cox, Senior Vice President of Marketing and External Affairs at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. "There is no other project being proposed that has the kind of robust transportation infrastructure in place like this one does, nor will have as dramatic an impact on existing unemployment like our project here in Newburgh will.”
“This project is good for Newburgh, good for Orange County, and good for the entire Hudson Valley region,” said Town of Newburgh Acting Supervisor Gil Piaquadio. “Not only will it provide annual revenue to the Town of Newburgh of $6.85 million per year, but it will spur local economic growth and ancillary jobs that do business with the casino. The Town of Newburgh won’t be the only beneficiary, however. With easy access to I-84 and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, the Hudson Valley Casino and Resort will have a dramatic impact on economic development and jobs in our neighboring communities like the Cities of Newburgh, Middletown, Beacon, and Poughkeepsie.”
Steven M. Neuhaus, County Executive of Orange County, said, “My economic development team and I have met with representatives from Saratoga Casino and Raceway, along with several other applicants with an interest in casino development in Orange County, and they are serious economic development partners. Saratoga Casino and Raceway has a national reputation for gaming and I was pleased to learn more about their development plan for our county.”
Led by a locally-based team of trusted owners with a proven track record and decades of gaming experience in three states, including Colorado, Kentucky, and New York, the Hudson Valley Casino and Resort will generate $51 million annually for the Hudson Valley/Catskills Region. The Town of Newburgh and Orange County will each receive $6.85 million per year. The revenue generated for both Newburgh and Orange County will help keep property taxes down and support area schools and vital local and county infrastructure and services.
“The Orange County Partnership is working with several casino proposals. There are unique aspects to each project. The Saratoga Casino and Raceway Project has selected a great location in the Town of Newburgh with minimal impact to residents, said Maureen Halahan, President and CEO, Orange County Partnership. “This 70 acre site is highly visible and is positioned in an area of the county that has historically struggled with unemployment and poverty issues. The benefits to the Newburgh School District are substantial. Saratoga has a stellar team of professionals that they are working with and it is evident by their progress and how well their initial renderings fits perfectly in the site’s topography. Furthermore, Saratoga has the financial wherewithal and proven track record of success in the gaming industry.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Center for the Family is a major community asset, yet many county residents are not fully aware of the incredible array of services they provide. This is the second part of a series about the Center and its activities. The first part appeared in Saratoga TODAY’s April 4 issue and is available at saratogatodayonline.com/index.php/publications/saratoga-today
The Saratoga Center For The Family (SCFF) has grown and diversified its program offerings in its 37 years of existence since it’s origins as a task force on child abuse and neglect. Under its umbrella motto of “Help. Hope. Healing.” are a variety of programs that certainly work to strengthen children and families, but also society in general via a multi-disciplinary model that could touch any life in Saratoga County.
Simply put, there is no one, with or without children, even a solitary individual with no family, who could not partake in and benefit from SCFF’s programs activities.
And yet, because of the often necessary confidential nature of some of what this facility has to deal with, for instance child abuse or criminal behavior, there is a certain mystery about their facility, which in turn leads to misimpressions, or myths, about SCFF and the work they do.
While we may not be able to clear up all these myths, we can certainly illuminate several with the help of the staff, which is led by Executive Director Deb Tomaso, along with Clinical Director Kelly Barry and Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center (CAC) Coordinator Jennifer Wormley.
The first one is how warm, inviting and bright the entire environment is, as these pictures show. Everything, including the examination room (which we saw but did not photograph) expressed the concept of “healing.” Regardless of age, class or status “It’s never too late for healing.” Jennifer Wormley notes.
One other surprise is the way people come to SCFF. In the case of the CAC, the overwhelming majority comes as referrals from Child and Family Services or a law enforcement unit. Yet, according to Kelly Barry, about half of the people who come for counseling are self-referred. Which give rise to another myth, according to Deborah Tomaso.
“People tend to think that the Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center (CAC) and Saratoga Center for the Family are two separate agencies under the same roof,” she said, “but in fact we are all one. The Harriet M. West CAC is one of the programs that Saratoga Center for the Family offers to further its mission to build stronger families throughout Saratoga County.”
She described a three-program focus that operates in concert with each other:
1) Child Advocacy (via Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center)
2) Mental Health Counseling
3) Prevention and Educational Programming
I asked Ms. Tomaso to detail some of the other myths or misconceptions she encounters when she interacts with the public. “Number one by far is: ‘All children who come to this facility for counseling have been abused.’”
“This is absolutely false.” She said “While we do help many children heal from trauma or abuse, children come here for other counseling needs such as; a family divorcing, coping through the loss of a loved one, anxiety, or behavior and attentional disorders. Our therapists are trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is the most effective treatment for children healing from a trauma.”
A second major myth, Ms. Tomaso notes, is that ‘Saratoga Center for the Family only has services for children and families.’
“Actually,” she said, “one-third of our counseling clients are adults who are looking for someone to talk to about a variety of needs such as: anxiety, trauma, life transitions and depression.” A glance at SCFF’s group and program calendar confirms this. See saratogacff.org for detailed information.
“People are also under the impression that we use a monolithic approach, in that all children who come through the CAC see a therapist for counseling.” Ms. Tomaso said, “But while this often happens, it’s not universal. If a child comes through CAC for an investigation of alleged abuse or neglect, we always offer counseling resources. But not all victimized children seek out our counseling or a healing group service.”
The biggest service that SCFF offers is hope and it is done through a multi-pronged approach that is tailored to the individual and their needs at any age or life stage. It bears repeating that ‘it’s never too late for healing.’
“Prevention and education are the major keys to stopping child abuse and family dysfunction.” Ms. Tomaso concludes. “When we are able to raise awareness, we really can make a difference.”
- $300 Million E. Greenbush Casino Bid
- Planned $30 Million Local Expansion Submitted To State
"When one door closes another door opens…”
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Never has the above expression been truer for Saratoga Casino and Raceway (SCR) than this week.
In a dramatic announcement on Tuesday, April 22 that could prove to have extensive regional economic implications, SCR revealed plans for a $300 million world-class destination resort casino in the Thompson Hill area in the Town of East Greenbush. The Rensselaer County site has strategic proximity to Albany, the entire Capital Region and, via access to nearby interstate highways, the entire Northeast.
At the same time, plans are proceeding with a local $30 million expansion on the SCR grounds. This plan had been originally announced on May 28, 2013 and had been billed as part of SCR’s necessary strategic development plans, regardless of the results of the outcome of an expanded gaming scenario on its grounds. These plans are proceeding at it’s own pace through the appropriate government agencies.
Further, there are strong indications that SCR will file another application for a casino site in the Catskill Region, specifically around Newburgh and Route 17K. These plans were scheduled to be presented after press time to the Newburgh Town Board at a special meeting 7 p.m. Thursday at the Town of Newburgh courthouse. Readers are advised to look for an update at saratogatodayonline.com
But meanwhile, there is plenty that is known on the two pending projects that have been announced:
$30 Million Expansion in Saratoga Springs
A comprehensive site plan, complete with environmental impact statements and supporting documents has been filed with the New York State Gaming Commission. Locals who are interested in reviewing these documents can find a copy in the Planning office in Saratoga Springs City Hall.
The notable highlights of this expansion plan includes:
- A 120-room hotel with guest spa, indoor pool and lobby bar
- A 24,000 square foot multi-purpose event center
- A signature fine dining restaurant.
According to the summary provided by SCR officials “The expansion plans include the creation of 260 additional jobs at the facility, and an additional $9 million in annual payroll expenses, bringing the total number of employees to 900 and yearly payroll expenses to $27 million.”
“From the beginning, we have worked closely with our local leaders to drive increased tourism to our community and are excited to be able to use these plans to bring more focus to Saratoga as an international resort destination,” said Rita Cox, Senior Vice President of Marketing. “With these plans, we will be expanding our marketing efforts to attract visitors from areas outside the Capital District and throughout the entire Northeastern Region.”
Ultimately, approval of this project, or portions of it, rests with the state. The City of Saratoga Springs has been designated as an “involved agency,” in that they will need to provide extra water and sewer hookups and other services. So they can be described as having a “seat at the table,” if not ultimate decision-making authority. SCR had previously stated its intentions to have its plans reviewed by city land-use boards although they are not required to do so.
Next Steps: At some future point (expected to be soon) the Gaming Commission will start the clock on a 30-day “review period” in which the City Council, and through them, presumably other concerned parties may be heard. Mayor Joanne Yepsen has stated that she might call a special council meeting on this subject alone should the timing warrant it.
There have been concerns expressed by downtown Saratoga Springs entities and other interests, including the Saratoga Springs City Center and Saratoga Performing Arts Center about the scope of the project in general and the multi-purpose event center particularly.
According to SCR officials, given timely approvals the construction timeline anticipates work beginning in spring 2014 and the opening of the expansion project in spring 2015.
$300 Million Facility in East Greenbush
The bullet-point highlights of this project:
- 100,000 square foot overall destination resort casino development
- 300-room hotel
- 20,000 square feet of high-end retail
- Multiple entertainment venues including a nightclub, sports bar and showroom
- An estimated 1,700 construction jobs and an estimated 1,700 permanent jobs at the facility.
This does not even begin to include the spillover effects, ancillary businesses, hotels and enterprises throughout the adjacent area. If you need a visual, search out a picture of Kissimmee, Florida before and after Disney World arrived and you’ll get a general idea.
Next Steps: Many. The application-filing deadline is here. The review process begins, with an expectation that siting decisions will occur this fall.
SCR bills their E. Greenbush casino proposal as a “game changer,” and if it comes to pass, there can be no doubt that it would be, on several levels. Of course, it is one of a few possible proposals in the Capital/Saratoga Region for a casino and only one will eventually be sited – at this time. This is also true in the Catskills area, which may be a more crowded application field.
"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."
- Alexander Graham Bell
On second thought, never has this expression been less true for Saratoga Gaming and Raceway than on this week.
SaratogaArtsFest marks eighth year with dynamic celebration
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Saratoga Springs is known for its lively summer arts scene, and to get the season off to a roaring start SaratogaArtsFest will once again present an arts festival that serves as a prelude to a full summer of arts happenings in the city.
The eighth annual SaratogaArtsFest will take place June 11-15 at venues throughout Saratoga Springs. The varied schedule will span music, dance, visual art, film, theatre, and literary art with featured performances by national, regional, and local artists. ArtsFest presents programs that appeal to audiences ranging from avid arts enthusiasts to families with young children.
Admission to most events during the five-day festival is free with the purchase of a SaratogaArtsFest ARTSPASS. For some of the major events, including the Opening Night performance and Friday night’s Signature performance, the ARTSPASS provides an admission discount.
Among the festival highlights will be the Opening Night on Thursday, June 12, featuring the acclaimed Martha Graham Dance Company at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Sponsored by SPAC, the performance will include pieces from such classics as Appalachian Spring and The Rite of Spring, as well as other compositions.
On Friday, June 13, ArtsFest will present its signature event, “An Evening with Duncan Sheik,” at the Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College. Sheik, a Grammy and Tony award winner, launched his musical career in 1996 with the Grammy-nominated hit “Barely Breathing.”
Sheik is more recently known for his role in composing the musical Spring Awakening, which earned two Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Sheik’s December 2013 debut of the stage production of American Psycho in London opened to rave reviews. Tickets for the Sheik performance at Skidmore are priced at $50, or $25 with an ARTSPASS.
A full day of activity is slated for Saturday, June 14, when SaratogaArtsFest will present more than 25 events throughout Saratoga Springs. Broadway will take center stage for the en plein air Paint Out, in which artists will demonstrate their craft as they paint downtown cityscapes. Programs around town will range from family activities, such as storytelling and a circus workshop, to arts demonstrations, dance and theater performances, concerts, and more. ARTSPASS holders will want to take advantage of exclusive offers on Saturday, such as a $25 discount for Opera Saratoga’s performance of The Magic Flute at The Spa Little Theater.
Arts enthusiasts will not want to miss two unique theater and musical programs on Saturday night. No. 11 Productions, a New York City-based troupe of Skidmore College alumni, will perform Coosje at Universal Preservation Hall. The play is a whimsical love story about two sculptors who “learn to collaborate in life and art.” Downtown will be the setting for SaratogaArtsFest’s After Dark, a celebration at Javier’s on Maple Avenue with music by The Costellos, a band whose maverick pop music redefines rock for the new millennium.
On Sunday, June 15, families will have full access to the arts when ArtsFest presents two popular community events: Kids Do Art and the Beekman Street Art Fair. Kids Do Art will again present an afternoon of hands-on arts activities for children of all ages, so that they can rip, cut, paste, and explore the arts in all of their forms. Beekman Street Art Fair returns this year to the Beekman Street Arts District with a full line of local artists, food vendors, and afternoon musical performances.
New to this year’s arts festival are two programs that take a look at art from a different perspective. “Sport as Art,” a program led by Skidmore professor Jeffrey Segrave, will take place Sunday morning in the Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College. Segrave, who will be joined by college and professional athletes for his presentation, is a noted expert on the Olympic Games and on the impact of sports on society. The second featured program is a Sunday afternoon screening of the documentary Fame High at the downtown Dee Sarno Theater at Saratoga Arts. Directed by Academy Award nominee and Skidmore alumnus Scott Hamilton Kennedy, the film depicts the trials and tribulations of young art prodigies attending the famous Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.
Art aficionados will want to end Sunday with some classical art performances, including the evening program Serenata Italiana—Exploring the Music of Italy by Hubbard Hall Projects at Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center.
Festival Admission Packages
The prices for the admission packages are $40 for adults and seniors, and $35 for military personnel. Admission is free for youth (12 and under).
With benefits before, during, and after the festival, the ARTSPASS is your ticket to the arts in June. ARTSPASS holders will be able to enjoy discounts to performances outside the festival weekend, such as exclusive offers to see the June 8 Roscoe Workshop produced by Opera Saratoga on Skidmore’s campus, and the Craftproducers Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival, to be held June 20-22 at the Saratoga County Fair Grounds. The ARTSPASS also includes year-round benefits and discounts at area arts organizations, including galleries, theaters, and museums.
For More Information
More information about the festival, including exclusive offers and volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, is available at www.SaratogaArtsFest.org.
- Estimated $300 Million Project will be an Economic Game Changer, Creating Approximately 1,700 Permanent and 1,700 Construction Jobs
- Local Team of Experienced Gaming Operators to Lead World Class Casino Development at Thompson Hill
EAST GREENBUSH – Saratoga Casino and Raceway today announced that it will propose a world-class destination resort casino at a site on Thompson Hill in East Greenbush, Rensselaer County. The company will also pay the mandatory applicant fee to the State today, solidifying its intent to bid for the Capital Region’s full commercial casino license.
The estimated $300 million development will be an economic revival for the region, creating approximately 1,700 construction and 1,700 permanent good paying jobs with benefits, in addition to thousands of additional jobs in the community and region.
Offering seamless access from I-90, the Casino will keep New York State gaming dollars within the state – instead of losing them to a proposed casino in Springfield, Massachusetts – and will draw Massachusetts residents to New York for its many recreational and tourism offerings. The project will truly reinvigorate the region, making it an exciting destination for visitors from near and far.
"The Casino at East Greenbush is an absolute game changer for the Capital Region's economy and will become one of New York's premier destination spots for years to come," said Rita Cox, SVP of Marketing and External Affairs at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. "We have a team in place that has deep roots and the most experience in the Capital Region. And this project is situated on the best site to showcase the natural beauty and history of the Hudson River and Albany skyline."
Led by a locally based team of trusted owners with a proven track record and decades of gaming experience, the Casino at East Greenbush will be the best project for the Capital Region’s long-term prosperity. The Casino will generate $35.5 million annually for the Capital Region and $11.4 million annually for the Town of East Greenbush and Rensselaer County. This funding will help local governments keep taxes down, stay below the tax cap and support local priorities.
In addition, local partnerships will be a cornerstone of the project, including formal partnerships with local entertainment venues, businesses, community groups, educational institutions and non-profits. It will also create strong, long-term opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses and veterans.
The 100,000 square foot Casino at East Greenbush will feature world-class gaming, dining and entertainment options, including:
•A 300-room resort style hotel;
•A full complement of exciting dining options, including fine dining, casual dining and buffet;
•Multiple entertainment venues, with a night club, sports bar and showroom;
•20,000 square feet of high end retail; and
•Convenient parking, with valet, plentiful covered parking and surface lots.
More details including renderings of the proposed facility will be in Friday's Saratoga TODAY
By Arthur Gonick
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Casino and Raceway (SCR) has informed Saratoga Springs city officials today that they will be putting an application to seek a casino license in the Town of East Greenbush in Rensselaer County.
An application fee of $1 million is due by the end of the month. The Saratoga Springs City Council had passed a resolution in March expressing several points of objection with the state law regarding expanded gaming.
Mayor Joanne Yepsen’s office released the following statement:
“Today we learned that the owners of Saratoga Casino and Raceway have finalized their decision to apply for an expanded casino license for a location outside of Saratoga County.
“As the casino process moves forward in other areas, it is crucial we remember that the original intent of the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act was to breathe new life into economically struggling regions of our state. Here in Saratoga Springs, we are fortunate to have a wonderful community that features a thriving downtown, successful City Center, two horse race tracks and a wealth of natural beauty and cultural assets. It's clear that the Saratoga Casino and Raceway owners feel that Saratoga Springs does not meet the economic criteria set forth by our state legislators in the bill that passed and recognized that the majority of our citizens expressed their opposition to a full casino resort in our city.
“We look forward to working constructively with them and the New York Gaming Commission as the city considers their $30 million proposed expansion. Saratogians should have a say in this project just as every other important project within the city.”
Attempts to reach Rita Cox, Vice President of Marketing at SCR were unsuccessful, although it is expected that SCR will issue a statement and this posting will be updated.
Sara Boivin, a steering committee member of SAVE Saratoga, which had opposed any sort of expanded gaming in the city made this statement: “SAVE Saratoga is cautiously optimistic at this point. If we are successful (in preventing expanded gaming in the city) it will be because of the people of Saratoga Springs and how hard they worked. We are also grateful for the efforts of the city council in representing its citizens.”
Charlie Samuels, a member of the anti-expanded gaming group Saratoga 58% said “I can assure you that the majority of Saratoga Springs residents are very relieved that a casino will almost surely not be sited here. I am very encouraged by today’s news but (SCR) is not the only company in the world who may want to build a casino here so we are not celebrating yet.”
Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan confirmed that she had been contacted officially by a member of Destination Saratoga, a group that is at the forefront of support for expanded gaming at SCR. She also noted that “we’ll have to see how this plays out as far as the fiscal impact goes; once we see who and where the regional casino is placed we can estimate and analyze based on that. There was going to be an impact whether a casino was placed in the city or outside it.”
ALBANY – The AIDS Council of Northeastern New York will hold the 11th Annual Dining Out For Life® event on Thursday, April 24. Over 60 area restaurants – from Plattsburgh to Hudson and throughout the Capital Region – will donate a percentage of their sales to help fight HIV/AIDS. Patrons simply have to donate their appetites on April 24 to support the AIDS Council.
“We are delighted that so many restaurants have joined us for Dining Out For Life this year,” said the AIDS Council’s Executive Director, Michele McClave. “In addition to our longtime participants, we have 10 new locations participating.
As an incentive to dine out, the AIDS Council holds a drawing in conjunction with the event. “Diners can enter our drawing at a participating restaurant on April 24,” said McClave. “We have two amazing prizes - A two-night stay at the Atlantis Bahamas and a two-night stay for two at Loews Portofino in Orlando with tickets to Universal Studio. It’s a wonderful and easy way to support people living with HIV/AIDS in your community just by going out to eat.”
This year’s local Dining Out For Life participating restaurants include:
The Brook Tavern, Circus Café, Hattie’s Restaurant, Longfellows Hotel, Restaurant and Conference Center,
Mexican Connection Restaurant & Tequilaria, Olde Bryan Inn, Scallions Restaurant, Wheatfields Restaurant & Bar
Angelo's Prime Bar + Grill, T.G.I. Fridays, Wheatfields Bistro & Wine Bar
Rare Earth Wine Bar, Rock Hill Bakehouse Café
For a complete restaurant list and more information about the AIDS Council or Dining Out For Life call (518) 434-4686 or visit aidscouncil.org.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – With the approach of Easter, many people hard-cook eggs, perhaps coloring them for vibrant displays in a holiday centerpiece. After the holiday, the question arises, “What should I do with all these eggs?”
Several farms at Saratoga Farmers’ Market bring eggs regularly to sell. You’ll find it easy to see the displays of stacked cartons and signs. Ask each farm about how it raises its hens if you are curious; the farmers are happy to help you learn about their approaches and how they differ from large-scale, industrially produced eggs you might find elsewhere.
Brown eggs are most common at the market; ask around if you are seeking only white. Brown eggs can be dyed just like white eggs, with a subtler and very pleasing effect. Sometimes your dozen from the market may have a few green-shelled eggs in them, a lovely surprise. No matter the shell color, eggs of the same size have similar nutritional properties.
While hard-cooking an egg is a relatively easy task, cooking it in just the right way will ensure a more tender egg, without a green ring between the yolk and white, and one that peels easily.
The Martha Stewart website suggests placing eggs in a large saucepan, covering the eggs with an inch of water. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pan, and remove from the heat. Let the eggs sit for 12 minutes and then place eggs in a colander and run cold water over them. Peel the eggs right away or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (To begin peeling, tap the rounder end of the egg on the counter or with a spoon. This end is usually where there is an air pocket, which is an easy starting point for peeling.)
Another respected source, Cooks Illustrated magazine, suggests a very similar method, with a few important deviations: once the water comes to a boil and you remove the eggs from the heat, let the covered pot sit for only 10 minutes (not 12) and then place the eggs in a cold water and ice bath to cool for 5 minutes before peeling or storing.
For easiest peeling, some methods suggest cracking cooled eggs all over (gently roll on the countertop) and returning to the cold water bath for 5 minutes, to allow water to seep into the shell and make removal easier.
Though you might be tempted to hard-cook eggs you have just purchased, in fact, you are better off choosing those that are at least a week old. Older eggs will peel more easily, as the air space between the shell and the whites increases as the eggs rest.
DEVILED EGGS, TWO WAYS
(*Items available at the market.)
On your serving platter, to keep the eggs from slipping around, use a bed of fresh herbs or greens, such as parsley*, arugula*, or mesclun lettuce.*
Chutney-Curry Deviled Eggs
6 peeled hard-cooked eggs*
3 Tbsp. mango chutney
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 to 1 tsp. curry powder
2 Tbsp. chopped chives*
2 Tbsp. toasted almonds, chopped
Slice eggs in half lengthwise, put yolks into bowl, set whites aside. Chop up any large pieces of mango in the chutney into very small pieces.
Blend yolks, chutney, mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder, and chives. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, adding reserved 1/2 teaspoon curry powder if desired.
Fill reserved egg whites with yolk mixture. Garnish with chopped almonds.
Mustard-Basil Deviled Eggs
6 peeled hard-cooked eggs*
2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
3 to 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. finely chopped basil*
6 cherry tomatoes*
1 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion*
Slice eggs in half lengthwise, put yolks into bowl, set whites aside.
Blend yolks, mayonnaise and mustard until smooth, then add basil. Fill reserved egg whites with yolk mixture.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Garnish each filled egg with a sprinkling of chopped onion and a tomato half. Or, alternate the two garnishes on the eggs to create more variety on your serving platter. Use any leftover tomatoes to garnish the platter.