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BALLSTON SPA - The Ballston Spa Athletics Hall of Fame Committee announced plans for the 2018 induction ceremony to take place on Saturday, May 5 at the Ballston Spa High School auditorium (220 Ballston Avenue). The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m., followed by a reception with light refreshments and is open to the public. Tickets are available for $10 per person.
The 2018 Ballston Spa Athletics Hall of Fame inductees: • Sylvia Bertrand (coach) • Sandy Stanislowsky (coach) • Lisa Miranda Brassard (athlete) • Donald Goble (athlete) • Casey Wright (athlete) • Gregg Thomas (athlete) • 2002 Women’s Volleyball Team: Dana Bertrand, Abby Wright Burchett, Margaret Cornelius Casey, Phoebe Doran, Desiree
Farley, Ashley Hoin, Kristen Lipscomb, Nancy Negron, Brittany Coleman Richards, Catelyn Samoranski, Stephanie Stanislowsky, Melissa Townsend, Mary Janczak Yager, Coach: Sylvia Bertrand • 1973 Baseball Team: Walter Breason, Paul Brown, Frank Cinella, Rick Currier, James Dempsey, Rick Gardner, Steve Grandin, Steve Pratt, Phil Rankin, Robert Smith, Robert Talbot, Dean Thomas, Mark Thornhill, Coach: Ronald Ravena
The mission of the Ballston Spa Athletics Hall of Fame is to recognize athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty and community members who have made significant contributions to the Ballston Spa Athletics program through their service, performance, dedication, commitment and accomplishments.
[Photos by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com]
SARATOGA COUNTY — With eight matches at a time taking place, it can be a little hard to catch up on who pinned who and in what amount of time. On Saturday, Feb. 10, Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa, Schuylerville, and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, among other local schools, took to the mat. At 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 23 and 24, NYSPHSAA Division I and Division II Championships will take place, venue TBA.
170 - Tyler Barnes pinned Liam Mooney (Colonie), 1:27.
182 – Jake Cooke pinned Dom Nassivera (Queensbury), 1:05.
285 – Jake Stangle dec. Paul Brown (Mohonasen), 3-2.
BURNT HILLS-BALLSTON LAKE:
113 - John DeConno dec. Brennen Rivas (Amsterdam), 3-1.
126 – Orion Anderson pinned Austin Lints (Schoharie), 1:16.
BALLSTON – The Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association (BSBPA), in partnership with Curtis Lumber, recently honored business owners and residents whose renovation, restoration and beautification efforts have enhanced the Ballston Spa community over the past year.
The winners were chosen from nominations submitted by others in the community. On Monday, Oct. 23, at a reception in the Curtis Lumber Kitchen and Design Center, each award recipient was given a framed certificate along with a Curtis Lumber gift card in recognition of their efforts.
Michelle Burlingame, the BSBPA vice president and Beautification Chairperson, Sandy Hassfurter and Curtis Lumber representative Doug Ford spoke prior to the presentation. The award winners were announced and certificates presented by Pete Bardunias from the Southern Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.
The BSBPA congratulated the following winners. Best Residential New Build: 9 Tomaselli Court, Chris and Jessica Tomaselli; and 3 Independence Trail, Philip and Amelia Pesez.
Best Residential Renovation: 97 East High Street, Ken Fish; and 59 Hyde Boulevard, Michael and Barbara Jordan.
Best Landscaping and Hardscaping Improvements: 30 Pleasant Street, Christopher and Meghan Zito.
Best Commercial Interior Renovation: Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, 132 Milton Avenue, accepted by Michelle and Dan Larkin.
Best Commercial Exterior Renovation: Route 67 Café, 1958 Amsterdam Road, Eran Wasserman.
Best Commercial Complete Renovation: CMK and Associates Real Estate, 108 Milton Avenue, Christian Klueg, accepted on his behalf by Jamie Sittner.
Best Community Renovation Project: 9/11 Memorial Park, Front Street, the Rotary Club of Ballston Spa accepted by President-Elect Donna Dardaris and Pete Champagne.
Photos of the winning properties can be found at www.ballston.org.
[Photo by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com]
BALLSTON SPA – Dylan Jacobs, a shy senior from Ballston Spa, has been named this year’s Mr. Ballstonian. The Mr. Ballstonian Contest is a fundraiser held to raise money for this year’s prom. Mostly seniors partake but some juniors also get involved. There are five categories for this contest; the talent portion, sports wear, formal wear, spirit wear, and a clever pick-up line.
Jacobs chose the pick-up line, “are you a90-degree angle because you’re looking right.”
When asked why he decided to do the contest, he had a simple answer, “I had friends who wanted me to do it. I went to it last year and thought, ‘I should do that.’ I’m really not the most popular person so it was kind of a surprise for me.”
“It was so cheesy and I wanted to make sure the crowd understood it,” Jacobs laughed.
Jacobs is on the Robotics Team at school, the yearbook staff, and is in the National Honor Society. He is also an artist who displayed some of his 10x10 work at galleries over the summer and also participated in a New York City origami work exhibition.
For the talent portion, Jacobs decided to do something a little different.
“People know me for making weird noises so I just got on stage and made weird noises. It made people laugh, I’m not sure why. I just went up there and made some bizarre noises and the crowd loved it,” he said.
Prom will be at the end of June and will have a rustic theme. Jacobs won a free prom ticket for being crowned Mr. Ballstonian.
“I was a little surprised I won, but also not at the same time because I had a lot of fans. I accumulated a lot of fans throughout the contest so I had a feeling I was going to win. It was really exciting and I’m not a huge stage personality either so that was new to me,” Jacobs said.
BALLSTON SPA– On Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. the Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School (Clean Tech ECHS) will host the first student project exhibition of the school year at the Hudson Valley Community College’s TEC-SMART.
Families, teachers, and community members are invited to come see what the students present their projects ranging from proposed activities for the Girls in STEM event, a mechanical car challenge, innovative solutions to problems identified in the environment, and marketing ideas incorporating nanotechnology. Over 275 area students in grades 9-12 (representing over 20 high schools) will attend to discuss their projects in the TEC-SMART Atrium.
BALLSTON SPA – Four minors were charged in connection with a Tuesday morning incident at the Ballston Spa Central School District which resulted in the middle school and the high school going into lock-down mode.
The most serious allegation – making a terroristic threat, a felony – was charged to a 14-year-old boy suspected of posting a threatening message on-line via Instagram. Three other boys – a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old from the town of Milton, and a 15-year-old from the village of Ballston Spa were each charged with the juvenile offense of unlawful possession of weapons by persons under the age of 16.
Tuesday morning, Ballston Spa Central School District administrators contacted Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office school outreach officers with information that there had been an on-line threat made by a student about a shooting at the school.
While investigating the allegation, authorities discovered that another student had brought a weapon into school that morning. School administrators located the weapon and turned it over to Sheriff’s Office Investigators. An investigation by Sheriff’s Office personnel revealed that the weapon was a blank pistol that looked identical to a real firing pistol.
All the juveniles were referred to the Saratoga County Probation Department.
Last Friday, a 16-year-old Saratoga Springs High School student was charged with making a terroristic threat after allegedly posting a story on Snapchat about "shooting up the school.”
[Photos courtesy of Ray Toohey.]
BALLSTON SPA – Coach Ray Toohey has an amazing lineup for his Varsity football team this year including four “vital” players.
Jake Cook is the starting linebacker and tight-end.
“A natural leader and phenomenal player with a very sound technique. He had 94 defensive tackles last year,” Coach Toohey said.
Tyler Barnes, starting defensive end and offensive tackle, “he’s also a state champion wrestler. He’s a tough kid, about 185 pounds but playing like he’s 210,” Toohey said of Barnes.
Jason McCarthy, only a junior but is on his third year on the varsity team, is the two-way starter running back linebacker.
“Jason was one of our top running backs and defensive players last year, he is an exceptional player,” Toohey said.
Joe McDonald, “Joe took a couple years off and came back to the game last year. He ended up being a starter on defense last year and now he’s a two-way starter for us. A great athlete and a great leader.”
Ryan O’Reilly, Jason Onsman, Matt Corwin, and Matt Murphy assist Toohey.
“Right now, it’s all about getting the scheme down,” Toohey said.
There are five sophomores on varsity and, “every single one of them is either starting or involved in the rotation somewhere. They are very good players. They are kids that have earned out trust through off season commitment too,” Toohey spoke highly of the sophomores.
“More than anything, we’re thrilled at the amount of kids we have this year. We have 41 kids and I know compared to some of the other Double A’s that may not sound all that impressive but we’ve never had 40 kids on the roster that I’m aware of. We’re very happy with where we’re at numbers wise. These are all kids that really buy in and care a lot about team goals,” Toohey said.
“We don’t have a ton of seniors,” Toohey continued, “but the ones that we do have are great. And most of our starters are sophomores and juniors so the future looks bright. We know that playing at the Double A level, there is never a week where it’s anything other than competitive. It’s a war every week.”
The Ballston Spa Scotties play their first game against the Albany Falcons on Saturday, September 2 at 1:00 p.m.
BALLSTON SPA - “After Hours,” an exhibit featuring the vintage photography of Bradford J. Smith, will be displayed Aug. 7-10 at the Brookside Museum.
Smith (1925–2016) was a photographer for over 75 years, during which he amassed a multitude of stunning photographs. A New York City fashion photographer during the 1940s and ‘50s by day, he shot nude portraits of aspiring actresses by night.
After Smith left his Madison Avenue studio, he returned to upstate New York and purchased a home in Ballston Spa, which today is the Saratoga County Historical Society’s Brookside Museum and fittingly, the site of the “After Hours” exhibit- where 50 of Bradford’s original vintage fashion and vintage nude prints will be on display and available for purchase, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Saratoga County Historical Society.
Brenda Dentinger, Bradford’s daughter is carrying out her father’s dream to share his work with the world. “These are originals that Brad had safely hidden away for over 50 years. Most of these vintage prints have never been displayed and the fashion and nude work have never been shown together,” Dentinger said, in a statement. “My father loved to share his stories with people and I am delighted to honor his memory in this creative way.”
The exhibit is free and open to the public and will take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 7-9. The After Hours at Brookside Soiree will take place 7 p.m. Aug. 10 – during which Brookside will be transformed and attendees will have the chance to own a piece of the historic collection before it is auctioned in New York City in October.
After Hours at Brookside Soiree will feature a runway room with Bradford’s vintage fashion photography. Nude portraits will be discreetly displayed in a curtained-off area.
Tickets to the After Hours at Brookside Soiree are $50. VIP tickets are $150 and offer entry into the Soiree, the opportunity for pre-sale purchase of prints and a copy of the newly published companion After Hours book. Reservations may be made at AfterHoursVintage.com.
BALLSTON SPA – Ankie Meuwissen, a science teacher from Ballston Spa High School, recently completed a special program that will help her to bring the stars to her students.
From June 15-19, Meuwissen took part in the Honeywell Educators in Space Academy (HESA) program in Huntsville, Ala. The program gives educators from across the country a chance to learn more about space and space-related technologies, so that they can ideally bring back the things they learned to share with their students. Meuwissen mentioned that there were also activities focused on incorporated engineering design, which she said would be “much needed from our graduates.”
The HESA program was created in 2004 by the Honeywell Company in conjunction with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center with the intention of helping math and science teachers become more effective STEM instructors. This year, Meuwissen was among over 200 other educators from 45 states and 33 countries. Over the years, 2,776 instructors have taken part in HESA, from 52 U.S. states and territories and 62 countries, with official estimates putting the numbers of students impacted by the program through their instructors at over 3 million.
At HESA, Meuwissen went through around 45 hours of classroom and laboratory instruction. Some of the activities that she took part in included a jet simulation, scenario-based space missions, land and water survival training, interactive flight dynamics programs, and more. Some of the activities that stood out to Meuwissen the most were mock water landing drills and a simulation of gravity on the Moon, which is about 1/6 the gravity found on Earth. Attendees were also able to hear from important pioneers in the realm of space travel, including space flight advocate Ed Buckbee, “Rocket Boys” author Homer Hickam, and astronaut Clayton Anderson.
Meuwissen said that she first heard about the program from “a friend of a friend,” and thought that it sounded both interesting and like something that would have meaningful benefits for her students.
“I learned sometime in the spring,” Meuwissen said about getting the opportunity to attend HESA. “I was really excited! What a wonderful opportunity!”
Meuwissen’s students were initially excited to hear about her involvement with the program, however, she said that the now-previous year’s students did not really see any benefit from it. Next year’s class will be the one to experience the significant changes in her curriculum.
“Currently I have plans to alter my bottle rocket project and incorporate better engineering practices into it,” Meuwissen said. “I also want to create a lesson around thermal heat shields into my physics class, and challenge students to keep an egg-stronaut safe as it re-enters Earth's atmosphere.”
Meuwissen has been with the Ballston Spa school district for five years and currently teaches astronomy, physics, and earth science.
Dozens of Saratoga County residents spoke out at Ballston Spa’s Board of Education meeting Wednesday against a controversial online lesson plan that has been linked to the Ballston Spa school district.
The lesson plan, titled “Dying to be a Martyr,” allegedly takes what opponents feel is a sympathetic view towards radical suicide bombers.
“These biased global history lessons are not educational. Our local schools, public schools, are intentionally indoctrinating our youth,” said Renee Murtens of Ballston Spa. “Being sympathetic to any terrorist group, any religion...does not constitute education, nor does it belong in our high schools.”
Word of the plan reached Saratoga County when an article on conservative news site theBlaze.com revealed a Ballston Spa history teacher to be its author. However, school officials say the plan has never been taught.
“It’s about fourteen years old,” Ballston Spa Superintendent Joe Dragone said. “It has never been taught. And we stand by that.”
The plan was created over ten years ago for PBS’s LearningMedia program, which provides over 100,000 free educational resources for teachers and students, and it is still available on the website. It had been relatively unknown until it was dredged up in April.
The lesson plan uses multimedia pieces to “examine the roots of the conflict in the Middle East,” including interviews with individuals linked to suicide bombings.
Many of the meeting’s speakers commented on the apparent lack balance in the history curriculum. Kate Thimineur of Ballston Spa first grew concerned when she flipped through her daughter’s ninth-grade history textbook two years ago.
“I looked into her history book and I noticed that there were 15 pages on Islam and five pages on Christianity and Judaism,” she said. “I asked if that was going to be corrected within the classroom. Long story short, it wasn’t.”
Thimineur requested to observe a class’s lesson on the creation of the state of Israel, but she said she was referred to a different class.
“As I understand it, Mrs. Thimineur has been in the classroom a number of times,” Board of Education President Kevin Schaefer said. “We try not to let parents into the classroom this late in the year when the kids are prepping for regents and end of the year finals.”
Thimineur has expressed her concerns to the board multiple times, she said. The board responded in a letter, writing that though she could discuss other issues, further public comment on the topic would be limited to avoid “rehashing the same issue.”
Other speakers shifted focus to Christianity. Schenectady resident Earl Wallace is a pastor at Liberty Christian Fellowship Church and a former teacher at Saratoga Springs high school. Though the lesson is not taught, Wallace suggested a solution for the speakers’ complaints.
“I teach a course called the Biblical Basis of the Bill of Rights,” Wallace said. “I have programs designed to teach children that which we have suppressed in our society. Our society has become more brutal, more hateful.”
The board plans to respond formally to the torrent of comments. Though they often respond only to specific questions, the board feels reciprocal action is appropriate to resolve some of the confusion around this particular issue.
“The reality is it’s never been taught,” Dragone said. “There’s nothing of that nature going on.”
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