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Thursday, 05 November 2015 11:16

Black Horses’ Undefeated Dream Season

Capture Class C Field Hockey Crown 

SCHUYLERVILLE – This team has been so good this year, it’s almost an upset when they get scored upon. 


Paced by senior Kaitlyn Gunter’s three goals, the Schuylerville Black Horses varsity field hockey team rose to the challenge of ending the two-year championship reign of top-ranked Hoosick Falls on Sunday, November 1, and captured the Section II Class C title by a 3-1 score. Gunter’s first two goals came in the first half - both assisted by senior Ali Burnham - with 25:35 and 14:29 remaining. 


Following a Hoosick Falls goal by Liz Ryan at 19:58 remaining, Gunter completed her hat trick with 3:31 to go, assisted by senior Joanna Gaertner. The Black Horses are now 19-0, and will advance to the state quarterfinals against Cazenovia at Cicero/North Syracuse next Sunday, November 8. During their rampage, Schuylerville’s stifling defense, anchored by junior goalkeeper Hunter VanArnum, recorded 14 shutouts and only allowed 2 goals in one match. 


In other action this Sunday, #1 ranked Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake shut out Queensbury in Class B, 2 - 0, with goals by senior Lexie Ball (assisted by freshman Sadie Mitchell) with 15:56 remaining in the first half, and senior Julia LeVan (assisted by senior Elise Zwicklbauer) with 28:09 remaining in the second. Senior goalkeeper Brittany Ryan recorded 3 saves in the Spartans’ win. 



In Class A, Number 1 ranked Shenendehowa bested Saratoga Springs by a 2-1 score. All the scoring came in the first half, with the decisive tally by junior Taryn Marra (assisted by Kelly Quinn, who also scored Shen’s first goal- with Marra assisting) with 14:30 remaining. Senior Captain Marisa Larkin (assisted by junior Mimi Liebers) scored Saratoga’s lone tally. Both Shenendehowa and Burnt Hills will advance to their respective class’ quarterfinals next weekend. 

Thursday, 05 November 2015 11:00

Scotties Keep It Going!

Advance To Regionals After Penalty Kicks vs. Shaker

COLONIE – Officially, it was a scoreless tie, but this game was so much more. 


Tied after regulation. Tied after two 15-minute overtimes. Momentum swinging back and forth; neither side able to capitalize on their chances. The Section II, Class AA boy’s soccer final between undefeated Ballston Spa and Shaker, on Monday, November 2, would come down to penalty kicks. 


This tie after overtime meant that both squads would share the Class AA title – but at stake was a single berth in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association regional against Cicero-North Syracuse this weekend. In that shootout, the Scotties were perfect, scoring five times in succession (by Connor DeFilippis, Griffen MacWatters, Thomas Preece, Ethan Thomas and Noah Grenier). A single miss by Colonie allowed Grenier to notch the clincher, 5-3, enabling Ballston Spa to advance and sending their throng of fans, who had ventured down to Colonie Central High School, onto the field to celebrate. 


Throughout regulation and the overtime periods, the Scotties exhibited superior midfield play by Schuyler Mann and MacWatters, and though Shaker had a few heart-stopping chances, goalkeeper Rylie Hall came through when called upon. The final box credited each side with 10 shots; each with 7 corner kicks, and both Hall and his Shaker counterpart, Keegan Flaherty, with 10 saves. As even as even can be – until the shootout.   


For Ballston Spa, the dream season continues. But it rightfully can be said that two champions left the field on this day.


Thursday, 05 November 2015 10:48

HS Football: Finals – Times Two!

Saratoga, Schuylerville Reach Title Games

SARATOGA SPRINGS – It’s what everyone plays for. 


It’s that big game with the trademarked name we can’t print, but you know what it’s called… and fans of our area teams are about to get a double dose of championship fever. And, more good news – the schedule-makers have been kind enough to put the finals’ games on different days:

  • -Saratoga Springs (9-0):  By virtue of a second, convincing 35-7 victory on Friday, October 30, over Shenendehowa this season, the Blue Streaks will face unbeaten Shaker (also 9-0) in the Class AA final in a game Friday, November 6, at 7 p.m. on Shenendehowa’s home field. It will be Saratoga’s first final game since 2009, and the Blue Streaks reached it in typical fashion, with a balanced attack led by Dakota Harvey, who rushed for 3 TD’s and 176 yards. QB Brian Williams had over 100 yards rushing and passing. Williams ran for one TD and threw for another to Brandon Hipsley as the Blue Streaks answered Shenendehowa’s initial score with 35 straight points to put the game away. 
  • -Schuylerville (9-0): The Black Horses avenged their loss to Schalmont in last year’s Class B Semifinal with a 42-0 thrashing of the Sabres on Friday, October 30. The win ended Schalmont’s streak of six straight championship games in the process. Schuylerville racked up an impressive 441 yards on the ground, led by Skyler Bateman with 125. Will Griffen and Zach Pierce each had 116 yards and two touchdowns, and Joe Vanderhoof contributed 66 yards with two TD’s. It was Schuylerville’s third shutout of the season, and they draw a rematch in the Class B final against Glens Falls (8-1), whose only blemish was one of those shutouts - a 33-0 loss to the Black Horses on October 9. The Class B final will be played at Burnt Hills- Ballston Lake High School on Saturday, November 7 at 3 p.m.


Enjoy the moment – it’s what everyone plays (and fans root) for.

Thursday, 05 November 2015 10:28

Battle of Saratoga To Be Featured On Quarter

Coin to be launched on November 17

SCHUYLERVILLE – The United States Mint and the National Parks Service have announced that a special new quarter will be launched on November 17 that will honor Saratoga National Historical Park and the British surrender at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. 


The Saratoga National Historical Park quarter is the 30th release in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, a 12–year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other national sites. The official launch will take place at Schuylerville High School on Tuesday, November 17, at 9:30 a.m. The public is invited to the launch ceremony. Invited guests include U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The event will also be streamed live on wnyt.com. 

The coin’s reverse design (tails side) depicts a close-up of the moment General John Burgoyne surrendered his sword to General Horatio Gates, a turning point many believe marked the beginning of the end of the American Revolutionary War.  Inscriptions on the quarter are “British Surrender 1777,” “SARATOGA,” “NEW YORK,” “2015” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” 


After the launch ceremony, Glens Falls National Bank will be the official sponsor of a “quarter exchange,” where individuals will be able to purchase rolls of quarters (up to 10 rolls maximum), for $10 cash per roll.  Friends of Saratoga Battlefield will also have a sales table for those wishing to purchase commemorative quarter sets, featuring the Saratoga quarter, for $8.50 per set.  


The evening before the launch ceremony - Monday, November 16, from 5 to 6 p.m.—the U.S. Mint will host a coin forum at the Saratoga Town Hall, 12 Spring Street, Schuylerville. This coin forum is an opportunity for the public to express their views about future coinage, and to learn about upcoming United States Mint coin programs and initiatives.


For more information, visit www.nps.gov/sara 


Thursday, 29 October 2015 12:21

10,000+ Heading To Head of the Fish!

New: Free shuttle between Downtown and Fish Creek

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A two-day spectacle celebrating the sport of rowing, featuring over 2,100 entrants, and representing over 200 organizations from all over the Eastern United States and Canada, is coming to town this weekend. The shores of Fish Creek will be lined with spectators for the 29th Annual Head of the Fish Regatta on Saturday and Sunday, October 31 and November 1. Given good weather, the races will be viewed by an estimated 10-12,000 people over those two days.


This is the largest of three major regattas hosted annually by the Saratoga Rowing Association (SRA) and has grown steadily over the years in every category imaginable. This year, with five weekends in October, the Head of the Fish has been moved back one week, and now will not conflict with the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta (another major regatta in the Philadelphia, PA area) as it has in previous years. While that may explain part of the increase in participation, SRA’s Regatta Director Chris Chase believes a general advance in the popularity of rowing is the key to the Head of the Fish’s growth.


“The highest concentration of junior (middle and high school) rowers is right here between Albany and Saratoga,” Chase noted, “at SRA, the number of participants is up to 205 from 175 last year, and this is something we are seeing with many other teams in the region.” The impact extends beyond the region, as evidenced by the fact that, year after year, regatta weekends generate the highest hotel/motel occupancy of any weekend outside of the “traditional” summer tourist season.


As one might expect, moving all these rowers, buses, cars and fans in and out of the area around the Lee’s Park boat launch area always presents unique challenges. Chase noted, “The actual racing is the easiest part of the whole regatta. We’re very glad that we are able to put this on for the kids and the participants each year, but with a regatta of this size, it’s always the logistics that take up most of our time and effort.” Indeed, Katherine Smith, President of SRA’s Board of Directors also has the key role of managing the volunteer staff, whose ranks also grow each year. “This year, we’ll have the assistance of about 210 volunteers, not including the EMS and Sheriff’s department, which always does a great job on our behalf. We estimate that over 1,800 volunteer hours will be logged during the weekend.”


In an effort to both alleviate traffic pressure around Fish Creek and enhance the overall fan experience, SRA has combined with the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau (SCTB) to offer continuous shuttle buses on both days between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Two free shuttle buses, underwritten by SCTB, will make stops at Saratoga Lake and Downtown Saratoga Springs. The two stops will be in front of the state boat launch next to the site of SRA’s future headquarters, and at the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center on Broadway. 


Announcing the new shuttle, Todd Garofano, President of SCTB said, “It really is a win-win. Parents and fans here to watch their athletes compete often have long periods of time in between races and search for things to do. They can take advantage of the shuttle now to come downtown to shop, dine or stroll. And for those folks here visiting that are interested in watching an amazing free event, they can take the shuttle to the regatta site and not worry about finding a place to park.” 


Smith echoed those thoughts, “The shuttle service will provide an efficient way for visitors to experience a little more of Saratoga and I also really hope local families will use the shuttle as an opportunity to come see what a regatta is all about. First timers are always amazed at the size, the excitement and the camaraderie at Saratoga Regattas and this fascinating sport!”


Also, SRA will be drawing the winning ticket for its raffle of a 2015 Audi A3 convertible, or $30,000 in cash, at the regatta on Sunday at 1 p.m. The proceeds from this raffle will be used to support SRA’s Capital Campaign, which includes the construction of a new Regatta Headquarters and Training Facility, which is now underway and scheduled to be completed next spring (see Saratoga TODAY - September 25, 2015). Raffle tickets may be purchased at SRA’s Headquarters, or during regatta weekend up until the drawing on Sunday. 


At press time, the weather forecast is calling for moderate winds, highs in the 50s and next to no chance for rain. In other words -ideal viewing conditions should be in effect. Saturday’s schedule will begin at 8 a.m. and the day’s racing will showcase the Masters (adult), Collegiate, and Open Divisions, as well as some Junior single’s events. Sunday’s races begin at 7:30 a.m. (Note: This takes into account Daylight Savings Time – set your clocks back!), and are dedicated to Juniors in different divisions, in boats with varying numbers of rowers from two to eight. 


Whenever you decide to go, by all means make it a point to put this one on your calendar. The Head of the Fish Regatta is always a highlight of the fall, and yet another example of a world-class event that occurs in our region. 


For more information, visit SaratogaRowing.com 

Thursday, 29 October 2015 12:15

City Candidates Square Off

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The League of Women Voters (LWV) hosted their second ‘Meet the Candidates’ forum on Tuesday, October 27, at Saratoga Springs High School. With one week before Election Day on November 3, this was an opportunity for voters to hear the contrasting viewpoints of candidates vying for important offices in the city: Saratoga Springs Mayor and Commissioner of Finance. 


The forum, which was moderated by Deb Peck Kelleher of LWV, began with statements from the unopposed candidates for the two County Board of Supervisor positions that represent the city. Matthew Veitch (R, C, I) recapped the initiatives he helped to bring about in his year as Chairman of the Board, including funds for trails in the city. Peter Martin (D, I) reviewed some of the services that the county (such as emergency and social services) provides to city residents. Both candidates briefly touched upon their priorities for the coming two-year terms and thanked their supporters.  


In the race for Commissioner of Finance, the candidates are incumbent Commissioner Michele Madigan (D, WF, I) and challenger Ken Ivins (R, Ref) who is a former occupant of that position. Therefore, both candidates had compiled a record in office that could be scrutinized by their opponent, and lets just say that neither passed on an opportunity to do so throughout the segment. If you wish to view a video of the exchanges, LWV has posted the entire candidate forum on its website (as well as the first forum, with candidates for Commissioners of Accounts, Public Safety and Public Works), visit www.lwvsaratoga.org.  


In addition to completely different perspectives on each candidate’s records while in office, the two candidates expressed differing views on water connection fees for developers, the best plan to provide increased parking for the Saratoga Springs City Center (both candidates used their ‘red cards’ – providing them extra time to speak on a given subject - on this question), civility at City Council meetings, and paid parking in general.


In the race for Saratoga Springs Mayor, the candidates are incumbent Joanne Yepsen (D, WF), seeking a second term, and challenger John Safford (R, C, I). There were several points of differences between these two candidates as well. In his opening statement, Safford stated that he hoped those differences would be made clear. He made his case around the fact that he was not a career politician and hoped to bring transparency and civility to the office. Mayor Yepsen cited her two years of accomplishments in office, 14 years of running her own business, and articulated a record that was centered around balancing growth and open space and doing so in a manner that was both inclusive and transparent. 


The candidates differed on a variety of issues. Like the Finance candidates, they had different approaches about the best way to satisfy the City Center’s parking needs; and they also offered differing perspectives on many issues, including the Saratoga PAC, pending litigation against the city, investigating the sale of a contaminated parcel of land adjacent to the city’s landfill site, the Mayor’s role in city government, the Greenbelt and Saratoga National’s expansion plans. 


Clearly, in both the Finance and Mayor races, voters are being offered a choice. It appears unlikely that many minds were changed this evening, but that is really not the point of these forums. All the candidate’s supporters did have plenty to feel good about at the end, and if it intensified more people’s intent to get out to the polls next Tuesday, then all parties can agree that the League has performed a valuable service. 



Having said that, and as a veteran of attending several candidate forums, I would be remiss if I did not divert to discuss the structure of these programs. This is not meant to be critical of LWV and the fine, often unappreciated and certainly important work it does.


Throughout the evening, candidates, unfortunately, had to entertain questions on subjects that were improperly vetted and therefore not germane – such as Finance Commissioner candidates being asked their views on the Mayor proposing a tax on rainwater (they both looked perplexed before responding that they knew of no such plans). Also, the candidates and the audience were not well served on those occasions where several people submitted questions about the same topic (which would tend to indicate an increased level of interest); these were attempted to be combined “on the fly” by the moderator.  


The League is wise to choose someone to moderate these forums that is a resident from outside the city, as that would tend to make that person more objective. But that same strength becomes a weakness when they are less familiar with a given topic. It is also clear that the moderator has a host of other important tasks (e.g.: enforcing timekeeping) and this task, as well as screening questions for relevancy, should be the responsibility of people who have some knowledge about a given topic and still be objective. The result, on this evening, was too often a vague, watered-down version of the question – (e.g.: “tell me your views about transparency”) that end up being too generic to be useful.   


Thursday, 29 October 2015 12:10

“Big 3” All Win Big

Area Number 1 Seeds Win Their First Playoff Round Matches Handily

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Playing at home as number 1 seeds, the area’s Varsity High School football squads certainly looked the part. All three won decisively, and, for the most part, in the manner expected from number 1-seeded teams:


  • -In Class AA, Saratoga Springs (8-0) won handily in its second game against Bethlehem this year, 42-14, paced by Dakota Harvey’s five rushing touchdowns. The game was put away after Ryan Manlapaz romped for a 53-yard TD to put the Blue Streaks up 21-0 in the first quarter. However, Saratoga’s special teams did keep things interesting in the first half - fumbling away two punts and allowing Bethlehem to score on a kickoff TD of 83 yards. But then three straight Harvey TD’s snuffed out any faint hope that the Eagles had for an upset. 


Saratoga looks to repeat the victory it had on September 25, when it hosts Shenendehowa (5-3) again on Friday, October 30. The Blue Streaks romped 40-14 over the Plainsmen, ranked third in the Empire Division, in that first meeting.


  • -In Class A, Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake (8-0) alsowon easily against Gloversville, 48-13. Josh Craig had three touchdowns and Mike Leveroni had two for the Spartans. This was BH/BL’s second dominating win over Gloversville in less than a month, having won 50-14 on October 10. 


BH/BL next hosts a first time opponent in Amsterdam (5-3), ranked second in the South East Division, on Friday, October 30. At stake is an incredible tenth consecutive berth for BH/BL in the Class A finals.


  • -In Class B, Schuylerville (8-0) literally ran away from Hudson, 48-6, rushing for nearly 300 yards by halftime and scoring 48 unanswered points before Hudson could manage one late score. Both Joe Vanderhoof and Zach Pierce had two touchdowns, and Skyler Pierce, Derek Willson and Anthony Carpenter added one each – all on the ground. The Black Horses played many of their reserves for much of the second half. 



Schuylerville hosts Schalmont (7-1), ranked number two in the Class B Reinfurt Division, for the first time this season, on Friday, October 30. 

Thursday, 29 October 2015 12:02

Scotties’ Boys Soccer Rolls On!

Shuts out CBA to Begin Playoff Run

BALLSTON SPA – After receiving a bye for the first round due to their number 1 ranking and undefeated (16-0) regular season record, the Ballston Spa Boys Varsity Soccer team was back in action, hosting a quarterfinal match against number 8 CBA. 


After a relatively even, scoreless first half, the Scotties began to notably assert themselves with several corner kicks and good scoring chances, before Connor DeFilippis connected to put Ballston Spa on the board with 10:19 left in the second. DeFilippis scored again with five minutes left in the match. Anchored by Goalkeeper Rylie Hall (who made several key saves) and Ballston Spa’s defense, a 2-0 shutout was earned to begin their run in the playoffs. 


Ballston Spa is now 17-0 for the season. Should they win a semi-final match against Saratoga Springs, they will play in the finals for Section II, Class AA on Monday, November 2. The semis and finals will be hosted at Colonie High School.


Thursday, 22 October 2015 10:57

BSpa Boys Soccer # 1 Playoff Seed

Scotties: 16-0 in Regular Season

BALLSTON SPA – With a 2-0 victory at home against Schenectady on Monday, October 19, Ballston Spa’s Varsity Boys Soccer has finished their regular season at 16-0, and has earned the #1 seed in the Suburban Council’s Section II Class AA Boys’ Soccer Tournament. 


That #1 ranking assures Ballston Spa a bye in the first round, and a home game in the quarterfinals. That quarterfinal contest will be at 3 p.m. on Monday, October 26 at 3 p.m. against the winner of a first-round match between eighth-ranked CBA and ninth-ranked Niskayuna. 


Should Ballston Spa advance, they would play a semi-final match on Thursday, October 29. The finals are on Monday, November 2. This year, Colonie will be the site of the semi-final and final rounds. 


In the win against Schenectady on Monday, Griffen MacWatters scored Ballston Spa’s first goal with 4:30 left in the first half. Connor DeFilippis scored the second goal with 27:30 remaining in the second half.


For the regular season, the Scotties have notched 48 goals while surrendering just 5, recording 9 shutouts in the process. 


Thursday, 22 October 2015 10:38

City Council Approves PBA Contract

SARATOGA SPRINGS – At the Saratoga Springs City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 20, the council unanimously approved a 5-year contract with the Police Benevolent Association (PBA). The contract is for 5 years, retroactive to 2013. 


The PBA agreement calls for an 11.5 percent pay increase over the 5-year term: a 3 percent increase for 2013 (effective mid-year); 2.5 percent for 2014; and 2 percent for each of the years 2015-17. The PBA contract will save about $92,000 by the elimination of one (the most expensive) health insurance option, and save about $25,000 by increasing the annual individual contribution level from $1,000 to $1,500. 


Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan stated that she had prepared for a contract settlement by setting up reserve accounts that would cover the required retroactive pay, and that the necessary adjustments for the coming year’s budget (estimated at $490-580,000) would be able to be made without impacting the stable tax rate she had proposed in the 2016 Comprehensive Budget message on October 6. There might be some impact on some expense lines as a result, though Madigan regarded these as minimal. 


Mayor Joanne Yepsen noted that this was the fifth of seven open contracts that had been settled since she took office. Currently, the fire chiefs’ and firefighters’ contracts remain to be settled. 


In other Council News:


  • Mayor Yepsen appointed Tamara Tepper and re-appointed Andrew Jarosh to the Community Development Citizen Advisory Committee.
  • A 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration Event was approved. It will be at the Saratoga Springs City Center on Saturday, November 21.
  • Appointments by each Council member to a High Rock parking lot technical review committee were requested by Wednesday, October 21 - with a goal to have each respondent to the RFP appear before the Council on November 9-10.
  • A second public hearing on the 2016 Budget was set for Monday, November 2 at 6:50 p.m. before the next City Council meeting. This public hearing will remain open until a budget is passed. 
  • Commissioner Madigan delivered a third-quarter financial report. Details are on the city’s website: saratoga-springs.org 
  • Commissioner of Public Safety Chris Mathiesen reported that an RFP went out for firms to examine and make recommendations to improve pedestrian safety at city intersections. Responses are due by November 12. 
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  • Saratoga County Court  Sara N. Babinski, 35, of Schuylerville, was sentenced to 3 months incarceration/ 5 years probation, after pleading to felony DWAI, charged January 2024 in Saratoga Springs.  Thomas R. McCall, 35, of Rensselaer, pleaded to criminal possession of a weapon in the second-degree, in connection with a March 2024 incident in Saratoga Springs, when city police initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle on South Broadway and located a Magnum .357 revolver with ammunition underneath the driver’s seat, according to a statement by Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen. Further investigation determined that the firearm belonged to the defendant,…

Property Transactions

  •   BALLSTON  Frederick Wright sold property at 78 Beacon St to Jacqueline Zielinski for $361,000 Barbera Homes Kelley Farms sold property at 30 Paddock Pl to Erik Weiskopf for $716,959 Harold Tomlinson sold property at 429 Devils Lane to Amy Hotaling for $575,000 CORINTH Khalil Grant sold property at 5049 Rt 9N to Colin Murray for $239,500 Angela Wingle sold property at 83 Clothier Dr to Brittany Dunston for $249,900 Foothills Builders sold property at 49 Black Bear Path to Zachary Yetter for $455,605 Gwendoyln Matson sold property at 116 County Route 10 to Victoria Bourque for $169,000 MALTA  David…
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