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Displaying items by tag: ballston spa

Thursday, 25 May 2017 13:40

Scotties Stampede a Success Once Again

BALLSTON SPA – The second annual Scotties Stampede was another success for the Ballston Spa Central School District. Held on May 20, the 5K race and fundraiser brought in over 200 participants. While an exact figure is not yet available, race director Madeleine Petraglia estimates that several thousand dollars were raised at the event.

Proceeds from the race will go to support the Ballston Spa Partnership for Innovation in Education Fund, a part of the larger Community Foundation for a Greater Capital Region. Some of the programs that the fund supports include Sponsor-A-Scholar, the robotics club, “Performing & Fine Arts” programs, STEM enrichment initiatives, and the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries Early College High School. Many of these programs are key reasons why Ballston Spa Central School District has recently been highlighted as featuring one of the best high schools in the nation, being ranked 1,374 out of 22,000 schools by the US News & World Report’s Best High Schools list.

This year’s top three male finishers were Joey Vesic, 16, of Malta – who finished first overall across the entire race – Tyson Evensen, 35, of Saratoga Springs, and Vincent Mascardi III, 15, of Malta. The top three female finishers were Gabby Schreffer, 23, of Betnal, Dana Wiwczar, 41, of Malta, and Katherine Quinn, 20, of Niskayuna. Full race results can be found online at www.albanyrunningexchange.org.

Additionally at the event, the Ballston Spa Teachers Association distributed over 1,200 free books to attendees through their Book Bonanza program. This brings the total number of books the group has distributed over the course of 2017 to over 9,500.

The third annual Scotties Stampede is tentatively scheduled for May 19, 2018.

All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com

Published in Sports
Friday, 19 May 2017 10:16

School Budgets Pass Across the Board

SARATOGA COUNTY – Voters across New York State took to the polls at their local schools to vote on proposed budgets, board of education elections, and the odd proposition. Across the board in Saratoga County, budgets were passed and propositions were approved. Here are some of things that area voters decided to approve:

Saratoga Springs City School District:
-$122,712,342 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Purchase of six 66-passenger school buses, four 30-passenger buses, one 23-passenger wheelchair bus and one SUV: Passed
-Establishment of Capital Reserves Fund to ““finance future construction, general improvements, reconstruction and renovations”: Passed

Ballston Spa Central School District:
-$90,340,742 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Purchase of buses and vehicles, $907,000: Passed
-Public library funding, $55,650: Passed
-Creation of Ballston Area Recreation Commission, $30,000: Passed

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District:
-$64,492,019 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Creation of student-held school board position: Authorized

Schuylerville Central School District:
-$34,849,537 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Bus leasing proposition: Passed
-Schuylerville Public Library funding: Passed

South Glens Falls Central School District:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         -$57,842,074 2017-18 budget: Passed -Purchase of five buses, one with wheelchair option, and one vehicle: Passed

Galway Central School District:                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -$21,058,918 2017-18 budget: Passed                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Proposition to purchase four school buses: Passed

Mechanicville City School District:                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -$25,480,499 2017-18 budget: Passed                                                                                                                                                                                                              -Proposition to purchase school bus: Passed                                                                                                                                                                                               -Sale of 0.44 acres of land on Elizabeth St. to Saratoga County for $1,000 for expansion of the Zim Smith trail: Approved 

 

Published in Education

SARATOGA COUNTY – On May 16, residents across New York State will be able to vote on the proposed budget for their local school districts. In the interest of helping potential voters in the Saratoga County area make an informed decision, we have gathered together information about what will be on the ballots for a number of major local school districts.

Saratoga Springs City School District residents will be voting on four major things: the 2017-18 budget, the Board of Education election, and two propositions. This year’s proposed budget amounts to $122,712,342, which calls for a 3.64-percent spending increase over last year. According to the district’s website, this proposed budget was designed to “preserve the outstanding quality of education for students within the district.” On the Board of Education election ballot are three candidates running for three-year terms: Anjeanette Emeka, who works in academic affairs at SUNY Empire State College, Jennifer Leidig, President and CEO of Ambiance Commerical Systems and Vice President of Ambiance, and Dr. Stephan Verral, a Board Certified Dermatologist in private practice at Gateway Dermatology in Glens Falls and Malta.

Proposition Two will authorize the district to spend $1,075,000 on six 66-passenger school buses, four 30-passenger buses, one 23-passenger wheelchair bus and one SUV. Proposition Three will authorize the creation of a “Capital Reserve Fund” to, according to the district website, “finance future construction, general improvements, reconstruction and renovations.” The fund would pull from existing funds and would not result in a tax increase.

Ballston Spa Central School District residents will be voting on a proposed 2017-18 budget, to fill three Board of Education seats, and on additional propositions. This year’s proposed budget is $90,340,742, and represents a 2.1-percent spending increase, which would result in a 0.6-percent tax increase across the district. On the Board of Education ballot, voters will chose between candidates Michael O’Donnell, Katie Thimineur, Lillian McCarthy, and Jeanne Obermayer to fill three seats. Propositions on the ballot this year include a “School Vehicle Replacement Proposition” that allows the district to spend up to $907,000 to purchase and replace buses and vehicles, permission to collect $55,650 for public library funding, and $30,000 for the Ballston Area Recreation Commission.

Schuylerville Central School District residents will vote on a proposed 2017-18 budget, to fill two Board of Education seats, and on a few propositions. This year’s proposed budget is $34,849,537, representing a spending increase of 2.1-percent. The district’s website claims that this budget will allow for the continuation of programs and services for students, and for the continued “investment in literacy and technology with the continuation of a literacy coach and technology integration specialist.” On the Board of Education ballot, voters will choose from Stanley Barber, Michael Bodnar, and Veronica Wood to fill two seats. Additional propositions will include a proposition for bus leasing and another for the Schuylerville Public Library budget.

Finally, voters in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District will vote on a 2017-18 budget, on three Board of Education candidates, and on an additional proposition. This year’s proposed budget is $64,492,019, which will represent a 2.48-percent spending increase. The Board of Education ballot will include candidates Peter Sawyer, John Blowers, and Don Marshall. Proposition Two would authorize the district to create a new Board of Education position to be held by a student from the high school.

The state-wide school budget vote will take place on May 16, from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Visit your district’s website to find out where your polling place will be this year.

Published in Education
Thursday, 13 April 2017 14:18

Scotties’ Winning Debut

BALLSTON SPA – It was the warmest and sunniest day of spring so far on April 10 when the Ballston Spa High School baseball team took to the diamond for the first time.  Heading out onto solid turf that had recovered from recent bouts of rain, the team warmed up for the first game of their spring season against Albany High School as a playlist of high-energy hip-hop filled the air.  Varsity head coach Curtis Nobles stood to the side near the dugout, monitoring his players and directing them to help improve their play-styles. 

“[We’re] very confident,” Nobles said about his faith in the team heading into the season. “Everyone’s chasing the same thing, getting sectionals, and trying to make a run at a sectional title.”

This goal to grab a sectional title got off to a solid start, as the Scotties bested the Albany High Falcons with a strong 11-5.  Standout players from the game, according to Nobles, were sophomore Luke Gold, who put up two hits and two RBI’s, and senior Aaron Hinman, who scored two RBI doubles.

Practice began for the spring season on March 7, but it was mostly indoors on account of the damp and frigid weather that only let up recently. 

“They’ve been productive,” Nobles said about the Scotties’ spring preparations.  “Lately they’ve had to be short and sweet because we’ve been inside so much.  So, just to kind of keep things efficient but not over-dragged we made sure that we come in and gets quality reps rather than quantity.”

Nobles expressed particular excitement for senior Grady Gawrys, citing impressive relief appearances last season and the hard work that he has been putting into practice for this season.

“He looks like he’s prepared and ready and willing to do whatever it takes to have a winning season,” Nobles said about Gawrys.

Jared Winkle, a team captain, was also singled out as a strong, quiet leader for the team, one that leads by example on and off the field

The Scotties are coming into spring off of one of their strongest runs ever.  Last season, they became Ballston Spa’s first ever state-ranked baseball team, being ranked 11th in the state, and put up a 15-5 win-loss record.

“The best [season] in school history from what I hear,” Nobles said.

All photos by Photoandgraphic.com.

Published in Sports

SARATOGA COUNTY – Two local robotics teams stole the show at a recent regional competition, paving the way for their trips to the national level in April.

Robotics club teams from the Ballston Spa and Schuylerville school districts competed at the NY Tech Valley FIRST Robotics competition, a regional division of the FIRST Robotics Competition, an international youth event designed to give student practical engineering experience.  Each school put in strong work at the competition, which ran from March 16-18 at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with Ballston Spa receiving the prestigious Chairman’s Award, and Schuylerville finishing in second place and putting up the highest score of the weekend during the quarterfinals, 450 points.  Both teams will be competing at the national championships in St. Louis, MO, which will run from April 26-29.

At the regional competition, teams were challenged to design and build robots that could receive and place gears, fire wiffle balls, and climb five feet.  Each challenge would net the teams a certain amount of points, and it was up to the teams which actions they designed their machines to specialize in.  Ballston Spa chose to design a robot that could do all three actions, with club advisor and coach Darrel Ackroyd being particularly proud of the machines ability to place gears by itself.

We can receive gears from the human player station and place the gear on the peg via an active placement of the gear,” Ackroyd said.  “Most teams have a passive gear system where the pilot has to pull the gear out of the robot.”

Schuylerville, on the other hands, chose to focus on gear-placing and climbing, as they determined that shooting wiffle balls would be too difficult to design for, and would not yield as many point as the other challenges.

Every team competing in the FIRST Robotics competition was informed of the challenges they would face in January, and then had six weeks to design and build the robot they would take to the competition.  After that, their machine had to be submitted, or “bagged and tagged,” so that they could not utilize it again before the competition weekend.  Both teams, however, built practice robots at the same time as their competition robots, so that they could continue practicing after the six week time limit. 

“Our robot performed incredibly and we won quarterfinals,” Ackroyd said about his team’s performance.  “We came up short in semi finals, but our alliance with Cambridge and Troy was a great one to be apart of in eliminations.”

“I couldn’t have ask for anymore,” said Mark Belden, advisor and coach for the Schuylerville team.  “We’re not a big team, but we went right out there.  Our team, our mentors, our alliance partners… it went as well as I could’ve expected.”

This will be Ballston Spa’s third time competing at the national level, and their second time in a row, having made it to the finals at RIT last year.  This will also be Schuylerville’s second year in a row competing at nationals.  Neither team has won at that level, but they are hopeful heading into the event. 

We are making changes to our climber and gear mechanism for our competition this weekend at Rockland County,” Ackroyd said.  “I feel with these changes we should be a top-performing robot at the competition”

“We’re feeling really good,” Belden said.  “Some other teams we competed against have already gotten in touch with us with suggestions.”

Schuylerville is currently raising money to help fund their trip to St. Louis.  Belden estimates that it will cost around $20,000 to transport the team.  They will be hosting a spaghetti dinner and raffle to help raise funds on March 31 in the elementary school cafeteria, from 5-8 p.m.  Donations can also be made directly at www.gofundme.com/schuylerville-robotics-team-4508.

Published in Education

SARATOGA COUNTY – Victory was earned for two local high school wrestlers this past weekend.  Competing in the NYSPHSAA wrestling championships, which ran from Feb. 24-25, Ballston Spa junior Tyler Barnes and Schuylerville junior Orion Anderson fought through four rounds of competition across two days to claim state championship titles.  Barnes won in the Division I, 170-pound weight class, while Anderson won in the Section II, 120-pound class.  With this win, Barnes becomes the first ever state champion to come out of Ballston Spa.  Anderson, meanwhile, fought through illness and injury to not only win the title, but also be voted one of the Most Outstanding Wrestlers out of the whole competition. 

“He’s a very focused young man,” said Coach Harold Staulters of Barnes.  “He has goals, he always has goals, and he sticks to them.”

After finishing in 5th place at last year’s championship, Barnes, supported by in Staulters’s estimation 40 or more Ballston Spa residence in attendance, went all the way this year to become the town’s first ever state wrestling champion.  Winning his first match by pin on Friday, Barnes made it to the finals on Saturday, where he bested John Glenn High School’s Mike Ancewicz 5-2.  Well aware of the import of his potential victory, Barnes wore a singlet with Ballston Spa’s school colors, purple and gold. 

Staulters said that consistency was important during Barnes’s training leading up to the event.  He stuck to his usual practice routines, and stuck with his longtime friend and practice partner, Jake Cook, who also competed over the weekend.

“They know each other pretty well,” said Staulters of Barnes and Cook. “They’ve been friends since they were six… Probably been workout partner since the same time.”

For Anderson, the run-up to the championship was fraught with hindrances.   At the Section II state qualifying event two weeks prior at the Glens Falls Civic Center where Anderson secured his spot in the state finals, he suffered a cut to his forehead that required stitches.  For the month prior to the state finals, Anderson had also been suffering through bouts of mononucleosis and upper respiratory infection, the latter of which sometimes made it difficult for him to breathe.

“I don’t think he even realizes what a big deal it is,” said Buck Anderson, Orion’s coach and father.

For each champion, wrestling is a family affair.  Barnes’s father, Terry, wrestled in the 1995 state championships and was runner-up that year.  Anderson, meanwhile, has seen many members of his family in the state finals, with his older brother and sister each having competed in the finals in years prior, and he himself has been wrestling since the age of two.

Barnes’s is currently planning to compete in the Cadet Greco Nationals in Fargo, ND, where he also competed last year, making it all the way through the semifinals.  This year, he’s aiming to win it all.  Anderson, conversely, will be taking things slower to let his body heal and to recover from his illnesses.  Once he feels better, he intends to get back to practicing and compete in off-season matches. 

Published in Sports

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Building a mouth-watering lasagna from scratch can be a real challenge for busy moms on-the-go, which is one reason why Augie Vitiello, chef and owner of popular mainstay Augie’s Family Style Italian Restaurant in Ballston Spa, is bringing his famous recipes to Saratoga Springs at a new take-out-only location coming in January.

“It’s so exciting to have Augie’s To Go moving into the neighborhood!” said Katrina Lucas of Saratoga Springs. “A quick weeknight meal just got so much easier. We can pick up the kids from after-school activities and pick up a fresh, amazing Italian dinner down the street.”

Augie’s Family Style Italian To Go will continue the Augie’s concept, with familiar menu items as well as prepared foods such as packaged homemade pastas and sauces. There will be homemade cannoli, seasonally flavored gelatos, and other desserts as well.

“You can come in and pick up a pound of fresh pasta and quart of marinara at your convenience,” said Vitiello. “Or you can call ahead to pick up a pan of eggplant parm, lasagna or meatballs and salad to have for company at home the next day. Fresh and hassle-free.”

Vitiello said he often heard from his restaurant customers that they wished he had a location in Saratoga Springs.

“We’re making life easier for our great customers in Saratoga so they don’t have to drive to Ballston Spa,” said Vitiello. “It’s a great Eastside location, across from the park where there’s lots of activity and a big population of families that want good, wholesome Italian food at a reasonable price just a phone call away. I see a niche for that, and I think it will do really well.”

Vitiello is taking over the former pizzeria at 223 Lake Avenue, just across from East Side Recreation Park, which has been empty for about a year.

“The landlord has been doing extensive renovations to the property,” said Vitiello, “and he’s excited having me join the property and bring it back to life. We’re anticipating an opening date in mid-January.”

Vitiello has originally opened his restaurant in Larchmont in 1990, and moved to Ballston Spa in 2004.

“It’s been great,” he said. “We’ve been growing all the time, constantly expanding what we do. We’ve expanded our footprint in the restaurant and now have two private dining rooms for private parties and banquets. It’s been pretty active and promising.”

Vitiello sees that success growing with this new take-out venue, which will be its own entity, with a phone number, website, and social media sites separate from the existing restaurant. For questions about Augie’s Family Style Italian To Go, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For questions about Augie’s Family Style Italian Restaurant, located at 17 Low Street in Ballston Spa, call 518-884-8600 or visit AugiesRestaurant.com.

Published in Business

BALLSTON SPA— On Saturday, May 7, The Ballston Spa Athletics Hall of Fame Committee held its 2016 induction ceremony at the Ballston Spa High School auditorium, 220 Ballston Avenue.  A reception with light refreshments will follow at the school. The BSAHF recognizes Ballston Spa alumni who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in the field of athletics.

 

The 2016 Ballston Spa Athletics Hall of Fame inductees:

 

1. Carl Barney – “Old Timer” Athlete

2. Briana Borgolini - Athlete

3. Frank Cinella - Athlete

4. Steve Cook - Athlete

5. Joseph King - Coach

6. Olivio “Tete” Monaco - Athlete

7. Anthony Spensieri - Athlete

8. Arlington Uline – Athlete

9. 1954 Basketball Team – Team Members: Frank Ascenzo, Clarence “Daisy” Evarts, Jim Funiciello, Burton Green, Roy Hodsoll, Arthur Isenberg, Jack Leahy, Harry Monaco, Pasquale “Patsy” Monaco, Louie Thomas and Arlie Uline                                                     

 

For more information visit ballstonspaathleticshalloffame.com

Published in Sports

WILTON – In spite of pleas from residents to take more time to consider the proposed zoning changes, Wilton’s Town Board members voted to approve the majority of them – over 100 in all – wrapping up what has been a contentious three months since residents first learned of the proposed changes.  

Published in News
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