Marissa Gonzalez

Marissa Gonzalez

BALLSTON SPA — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County will be hosting a workshop on April 11 for anyone who’s ever considered making and selling food or their favorite recipes. The workshop will include speakers from Cornell University Food Venture Center, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, NY Kitchen Company Food Consultant, SCORE Business Marketing and Counseling, Healthy Living Market, and more.

The workshop is a day-long crash course beginning at 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Topics covered include getting permission and licensing to sell your food product at retail locations, making sure your food product is safe, becoming a small-scale food processor, the value of a good business plan, marketing, insurance requirements and getting your food on the shelf. 

“I was getting quite a few calls every year about people who wanted to start a small food business selling their own you know, salad dressings or baked goods and they wanted to know how to go about it so I decided to put together a workshop,” Diane Whitten, Food and Nutrition Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County and organizer of the workshop. 

“It could include anyone who wants to sell jam from their farm stand or somebody who wants to sell frozen food through Price Chopper,” Whitten added. 

This is the third time the workshop has taken place, and roughly 50 to 60 have been in attendance each year according to Whitten. 

According to Whitten most foods, aside from baked goods and jellies in jams, have the potential to be hazardous. 

“Like if you want to sell your own Kimchi, those are foods that have to be properly prepared so that it can be safe, to try and make a shelf-stable product,” Whitman said. 

The workshop will take place at 50 West High Street in Ballston Spa. Attendance will cost $60, which includes lunch. To purchase tickets, visit

WILTON — On Feb. 17 Wilton Town and County Supervisor Arthur J. Johnson announced that he will not be seeking re-election for another term this fall.

In releasing a statement, Supervisor Johnson stated: “After serving the Town of Wilton as Supervisor for 17 years, I have made one of the toughest decisions of my career, that is to retire and not seek re-election. With my newfound time, I plan to make frequent visits to my first grandchild who lives in Virginia and do some traveling with my wife.”

“I am very proud of my accomplishments and I believe Wilton is a better place for my efforts. I have worked diligently on improving the quality of life and always put the best interest of the residents as my priority. I will be leaving the town in great financial condition. There is no town General Fund or Highway taxes and there is a fund balance of 7 million dollars. I will miss my other Town Board members, our dedicated employees, and volunteers on other boards. I want to thank them for their hard work and cooperation.”

Republican Chair Charles Foehser II said, “During Supervisor Johnson’s tenure, he has worked more than full-time in whatisofficiallyclassifiedasapart- time job. With his hard work and leadership, Art has demonstrated what good stewardship can do for a community.”

Supervisor Johnson was first appointed Supervisor in 2002 due to the election of then Supervisor Roy McDonald to the Assembly. Before that, Mr. Johnson served as Wilton Assessor, Councilman and Deputy Supervisor. He served as Chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors in 2009.

In just 2018, the town of Wilton celebrated it’s Bicentennial which Art Johnson helped the town commemorate with a flurry of events throughout the year. One of the most notable events was the Wilton time capsule burial, buried in front of Wilton Town Hall located at 22 Traver Rd. The capsule was filled with memorabilia celebrating the event, maps of both the old and new Gavin Park, this year’s Historic Homes Tour brochure, a Saratoga TODAY commemorative magazine, a Parkfest brochure and a documentary titled “Wilton 200” produced by Tim Welch, among many others. It is to be opened in 100 years.

Thursday, 21 February 2019 12:20

Malta Strategic Plan Creates Controversy

MALTA — The town of Malta is grappling over what could be the blueprint for the town’s future. Many prominent voices within Malta have stark contrasting opinions as to what is the driving force behind the town’s economy: residential versus commercial growth.

A strategic plan and report put forward by Malta Economic Development Committee was accepted by the Malta Town Board last week. The report tackles many facets that make up the town’s residential and commercial development, agriculture and agri-business, open-space, big attractions and small business.

The Malta Economic Development Committee is a team of local business and economic development professionals that serves as consultants and advisors to the town board. The committee was established in 2016.

The report is a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats (SWOT) Analysis on the town’s economic development, commercial investment and ongoing positive growth.

“We wanted to try to help Malta find some better balance between commercial and residential. The town had really focused on residential development. So we said if we’re going to try to encourage more commercial development in the town, we should try to focus it geographically and try to preserve the rural integrity and the balance of the town and prevent growth in green areas,” said Timothy Dunn, Malta Town Board Member and Chair of the Economic Development Committee.

Dunn calls the report a blueprint for the town and also hopes it prevents the creation of a general town tax. Malta is one of the few towns in Saratoga County that does not have a general town tax.

“The fact that without a clear strategy over 1,500 apartments in downtown Malta have been built or approved prior to our team coming into office... 1,500 apartment units in a town with a population of 16,000 is so far out of balance that I can’t even describe that,” Dunn said.

“We took a targeted approach in trying to increase that value by encouraging commercial development, and since we’ve undertaken this effort, we’ve seen a significant uptake over half a percent increase in revenue to the town. That is pretty big number in a $10 million budget, a half a million increase in revenue is pretty significant,” he added.

However, Michael York, President of the Malta Business and Professional Association, believed that increase in revenue has been caused by residential development. “If you look at the tax revenue growth in the town of Malta, those properties are taxed as commercial. So, the big boom in property tax revenue that you’ve received in the last three to five years has been because of those properties being built. They bring in a substantial amount of tax revenue for the county,” York said. York believes the report is largely based on opinion and does not include enough numbers and data.

Malta Supervisor, Darren O’Connor, maintains that the report is a list of recommendations and expects the board to act on some of the recommendations outlined in the report.

“... The board is the policy making body for the town so the board will be... considering the report and then acting on the recommendations. Hopefully the board will be able to put some more definition to it," O'Connor said. 

Thursday, 14 February 2019 15:08

Panza’s Heading to S. Broadway

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Panza’s Restaurant, a staple on Saratoga Lake for nearly 81 years, is closing up shop and moving to 129 S. Broadway, formerly Paradiso il Ristorante. Panza hopes to re-open at the new location in mid-April.

“The building has got so much character that we’re trying to work with what we have... They’ve got that beautiful grotto area in the bar and the dining room with those beautiful windows. It’s a great location and the building is in terrific shape,” Tony Panza said about the 129 S. Broadway location.

“Hopefully we can make it better; we want to maybe elevate our menu just a little bit to spice it up,” he added. Panza signed a lease for the new location with the option to buy. The Southern portion of Broadway, long described as the “the gateway to the city,” is undergoing a transformation with a long vacant diner slated for demolition and re-development this year.

Panza’s current location, at 510 Route 9P in Stillwater, is in the approval process to rebuild the establishment with the addition of a boutique hotel. On April 19, 2018 an application was submitted to the town of Stillwater for a proposed Planned Development District  (PDD) regarding the expansion for Panza’s Restaurant and a possible four-story hotel. Panza says he decided to rebuild around two years ago.

“We’re still working with the town and we don’t have all our approvals and right now. If we can’t do the hotel then we probably won’t be doing the project because it won’t work without the hotel portion,” said Tony Panza, owner of Panza’s Restaurant. Which could mean the new Panza’s will remain on Broadway.

However, if all goes according plan, Panza’s lakeside location could re-open in two years. He is still seeking permits from the city.

“Kind of sad and excited at the same time, I’ve been at this location my entire life. We thought we’d be under construction right now, re-doing it, but there’s just certain criteria the town wants,” Panza said about the new location.

Thursday, 14 February 2019 14:50

Severe Flooding Affects Malta Commuters

Photos provided. 

MALTA — Multiple neighborhoods in the town of Malta, located almost three miles west of Luther Forest Technology Campus, have been struggling with severe flooding in recent years. So much flooding, according to one resident of Fox Wander West Neighborhood Association, that school buses have been re-routed.

“It looked like a river,” said Mary Mahoney who lives on Arrow Wood Place, just one of the neighborhoods that were affected by the flooding. She says this happens a couple of times a year. However, on Feb. 8 it was the worst it has ever been. She’s lived at her home in Malta for over 30 years.

Most residents of the Fox Wander West neighborhood also have “little lakes” at the bottom of their driveways due to the neighborhoods design. “The road crests highest in the center, which is obviously a good thing and our houses are all built on a little tiny hill so the driveways go up so what we end up with is a lake at the bottom of all our driveways,” Mahoney said.

Typically the flooding occurs after snow, when temperatures rise and the snow melts, and the freezing temperatures return again. 

According to Malta Supervisor Darren O’Connor, the soil in and around Luther Forest is generally good for drainage, because it is mostly sand.

“The problem is in the winter, it doesn’t drain and we have this recurring problem, O’Connor said.

“The day I went over there, there were two very significant collections of water on the road that were impairing even just passage through the roads; it was a definite problem,” he added.

On Friday, Malta Highway Department employees successfully pumped the water out over the course of 12 hours on three streets, Arrow Wood Place, Thimbleberry Road and Wineberry Lane.

“So we're on it and we're dealing with it… In terms of a longer-term permanent fix, I mean its something that the town board kind of has to address because it is a lot of money but we're very concerned about it,” O’Connor said.

Friday, 08 February 2019 10:39

Sharing the Love: Saratoga CBD Company

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Ella DiPietro is the owner of the first Saratoga based CBD brand. She started her business in 2017 after undergoing ACL surgery and solely relying of Cannabidiol (CBD) instead of opioids and painkillers.

“I’m like a broker for CBD but I have my own brand too so like I’m connected with a manufacturer... in Kentucky,” DiPietro said.

DiPietro also works with doctors who have their medical marijuana licenses.Thedoctorsrefer patients who want the benefits of CBD without tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive constituent of cannabis.

CBD products are being used for treatment of inflammation, chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia and much more. However DiPietro doesn’t just carry CBD products, in addition she carries a “Full Spectrum” product, which has CBD and Hemp seed extract. The two differ depending on the type of relief that is needed.

“What I learned is everybody wants CBD but not a lot of people have it,” DiPietro said.

Saratoga CBD Co. products range from tinctures to roll on gel, capsules, soft gels, body oils soluble powder and edibles for humans as well as pets. All of the products can be found on Saratoga CBD Co.’s website.

“I want to make this available to as many people as possible and because I’m working with doctors there’s a compassionate side to this... But I really want to base my brand in the wellness, that’s our real goal,” DiPietro said.

“I want our brand to be known for healing,” she added.

DiPietro currently has an office location at 63 Putnam St. in Saratoga Springs. She uses her office to host workshops for retailers that are interested in selling her products.

Right now DiPietro currently sells all of her products in Menges & Curtis Apothecary located at 472 Broadway in Saratoga Springs and inSaratoga Botanicals located at 80 Henry St. also in Saratoga Springs.

The company is currently working on manufacturing locally as well. DePietro is working on creating a product line of spa products with Saratoga Botanicals as well as partnering with Uncle Sam’s All-American Chocolate Factory to create an herbal candy line.

On Feb. 9 at Menges and Curtis Apothecary, Saratoga CBD Co. is hosting a pop-up so the public can learn more about CBD and the benefits. DiPetro will educate the public on how CBD can help people and their pets, the difference between Full Spectrum and Isolate, different delivery systems (tinctures, Roll-ons, Body oil and more) and common drug interactions. The pop-up will begin at 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

To find out more about Saratoga CBD Co. visit or call 518-450-7510.

Thursday, 07 February 2019 16:21

A Community Remembers: Kaitlin Bowman

Photos provided. 

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A beloved member of the Saratoga community, 13-year-old Kaitlin Bowman, passed away on Jan. 30. She was surrounded by her family. A funeral took place on Feb. 5 at Burke and Bussing Funeral Home in Saratoga Springs and was followed by a gathering at the Saratoga Eagles Club.

Most recently on Aug. 25, 2018 the community rallied behind Bowman and her family for her birthday and for the 10th annual barbeque to support Bowman, “Coming Together for Kaitlin.” She suffered from Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (NCL) or Batten’s disease. The disease refers to a group of conditions that affect the nervous system. Symptoms vary from person to person but include vision impairment/loss, epilepsy and a decline in motor skills. Bowman suffered from all three including a Myoclonic jerk.

“Sweet, full of life, vivacious and brave. She had been brave in the face of this disease,” said Debra Park, Bowman’s aunt.

“People who have lived with her, for example, Becky’s (mother) husband Jeffery, I have heard him say ‘she made me into the good man that I am,’” Park recalled and says that Bowman brought out the good in people.

Aside from the lasting impact Bowman made with those she encountered, she leaves a lasting legacy in the community as well.

Just over two years ago Kaitlin’s Korner was erected in at Gavin Park in the town of Wilton. Kaitlin’s Korner is an inclusive playground made for children of all abilities. Swings include bucket seats with buckles, a horizontal slide and all solid surfaces.

“Becky, that was an initiative of hers. We wanted to do this on Kaitlin’s behalf and she made it almost all the way, she raised the money and she oversaw literally all the things that would go on the playground and then the Wilton town board got us across the finish line,” Park said.

While vacationing in Lake George,a family with an Autistic son thanked Becky Manning, Kaitlin’smother,for having built the play ground, Manning shared in a previous conversation.

“This one picture she’s got her hand on her mothers face and it’s all I can think of because she said ‘mommy, I okay;’ she was not okay, she was never... she was a brave little thing,” Park remembers.

An obituary can be found at obituary/kaitlin-bowman and online remembrances can be made at

Thursday, 07 February 2019 16:13

Why D.I.Y. When You Can D.I.T.?

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Chalked Painting Workshop, which opened on Jan. 2, is taking a new spin on Do-It- Yourself (DIY) projects. At the new business located at 33 Church St. in Saratoga Springs in a shared space with Green Conscience Home and Garden, customers can revive old furniture and Do-It- Together (DIT) with the help of Pam Krison.

DIY projects has become massively popular, with even a network on television dedicated to reviving or building things without help of a professional.

“A lot of people have furniture that just doesn’t suit their decor or style any longer but it’s really solid well made furniture that is hard to find so re-purposing it using chalk just go on with one maybe two coats and it has a totally new look,” said Krison. Chalk paint is commonly used in re-designing items because it does not require any sanding or priming.

After retiring from the Capital Region Builders and Remodelers Association (CRBRA), Krison decided to share her passion with others in the community.

Saratoga Chalked Painting Workshop offers weekly workshops to learn and explore the basics of chalked painting. Workshops are a two-hour hands on experience using different paints, colors, techniques and waxes.

“I started looking at furniture differently, overlooking the color and finish on everything and simply look at the shape and the lines. It is refreshing and inspiring to think you can have the look you wantinyourhomeusingfurniture you have,” said Krison.

Novice to experienced chalked painters can use the studio on their own which includes all paints and tools, called “open paint.” The workshops cost $10 an hour.

Saratoga Chalked Painting Workshop will also revive your items for you as well. Prices are based on the size of the product and the tools that are used. The only rule is that the item must fit through the door and the customer has to be able to carry it.

For a schedule of workshops, visit

SARATOGA SPRINGS — In November of 2018 the Heritage Garden Club of Saratoga Springs received $1,100 from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust. The club oversees the garden spaces at a few well-known locations in the community, which include the Saratoga Heritage Visitor Center on South Broadway, the Gideon Putnam Burying Ground, and the Garden of Hope at the Radiology-Oncology Center at Saratoga Hospital.

Though it may not seem like much, this garden club uses it not only to maintain their three public gardens in the city but to support garden workshops for the residents of Woodlawn Commons retirement community in Saratoga Springs, and for presentations for the members.

The club was founded in 1987 and is a member of the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State District 4, which includes Saratoga, Schuylerville, Ballston Spa, Charlton and Lake George.

“Oh it’s a big help, it’s a tremendous help because it gives each garden also money to replenish the garden, to put perennials and annuals in for the coming year, and we use it for fertilizer and soil for the three gardens,” says Mariann Gold, Vice President of the Heritage Garden Club of Saratoga Springs.

The Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust is well-known for granting organizations funds throughout the capital region, and this isn’t the first time the club received this grant. The Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable trust was founded by the estate of Alfred Solomon who was a philanthropist from Saratoga Springs who was a leader in fashion and the horse racing industry.

Gold believes the club received the grant because of all of the other charitable projects the club does outside of gardening. The club also gathers food for food pantries, purchases gifts for the “Empty Stocking Project” and collects gloves, mittens and scarves for those in need, seniors and children. “They’ve been extremely gracious to us. We use it for the gardens in the community and to help the community, and we’re all very happy that they do that for us; its really a big help,” Gold said about the Grant.

Thursday, 31 January 2019 13:22

Ballston Spa Republicans Name Ticket

BALLSTON SPA — On Jan. 24 Ballston Spa Republicans held a caucus to select their candidates for the village elections, which will be held on March 19. Current Mayor John Romano and two village trustees, Stuart Hodsoll and Robert Cavanaugh are not seeking re-election this year. The three have held their seat for nearly 24 years.

Larry Woolbright, a member of the Ballston Spa Finance Advisory Committee, is running for mayor. Woolbright chaired the committee. Woolbright is a retired professor from Siena College and former head of the Biology Department and Dean of Science. He has a background in government service and served as chair of the Town of Milton Planning Board and the Open Space Committee.

“The village will need strong leadership moving into the next year and I am confident that, as a team, we will be able to listen to the concerns of residents and deliver results,” said Woolbright.

“Working collaboratively and with a true vision has always served the people well. I know we can create that environment in theVillage.”

In September it was announced that treasurer Christopher Hickey and deputy treasurer Darryl Purinton had resigned from their positions. Soon after, in October an audit from the state Comptroller’s office was released and stated the village was in poor financial condition and that records were kept inadequately. The town is still seeking a treasurer.

Running for trustees on the republican ticket include Peter Martin and Rory O’Connor. Both Martin and O’Connor were also Ballston Spa Finance Advisory Committee. Their job on the committee was to advise trustees and give recommendations to remedy the faulty financial conditions in the village.

“I am eager to get out there door-to-door meeting voters to discuss issues and solutions relating to our village,” said Martin.

“We have the skills and financial background to get our village books in order and, in turn, invest in the areas which matter most. I am looking forward to earningthesupportofvotersinthe village.” Martin operates 18-year- old business Village Photo located in Ballston Spa.

“I am thrilled to take this step to better help my neighbors in the village. There are so many wonderful things aboutour community which are worth preserving and fighting for,” said O’Connor who is a real estate broker who owns Saratoga Real Property and 199 Professional Building.

“My goal is to ensure our village is on a strong financial footing so our services and quality of life is protected and further improved,” he added.

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