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Friday, 17 April 2015 14:19

Lily Saratoga under New Ownership

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Lily Saratoga, a full-service bridal boutique in Saratoga Springs, is under new ownership. Laura Palkovich, a “Lily Bride” herself, has taken over operations of the boutique.

Palkovich first set foot into Lily Saratoga in 2009 to shop for her wedding gown.

“I really fell in love with the shop and the whole experience,” said Palkovich. “The prior owner [Maureen Donaley] who I worked with at the time had been so attentive and the experience was so personalized that I canceled all of my other bridal appointments and just ended up purchasing my dress here.”

Not only did Palkovich find her perfect wedding gown; she also became the first bride to appear on the Lily Saratoga bride card. Palkovich and Donaley kept in touch over the subsequent five years and when Donaley and her business partner, Karen Canty, were preparing to sell the beloved boutique, both women thought Palkovich would be the best person to take the reins.

With some experience in working with brides and grooms – Palkovich worked at Frank Adams Jewelers and helped engaged couples find the perfect rings and bands – she says she loves every aspect of wedding planning…especially helping brides find the perfect dress!

“Last year, Maureen and Karen – the prior owners – were looking to sell the shop privately after owning it for 10 years,” said Palkovich. “They really wanted to pass it on to someone they knew shared that love for weddings and servicing brides. They knew, especially because I was a Lily bride and I had been through the experience, that I understood both ends of it…what it feels like to receive the service and also, through my experience at Frank Adams, what it’s like to work with brides and grooms.”

It seems like a business match made in heaven. 

Palkovich is keeping Lily Saratoga’s fresh approach to bridal fashion and continues to bring brides wedding gown designs they won’t see at every other bridal salon. From moderately priced to couture, Palkovich says the boutique carries something for everyone; she has even added a bridal gown collection and a bridesmaid line to boutique’s offerings. Lily Saratoga now carries six bridal gown collections and five bridesmaid collections, as well as a handful of dresses for flower girls.

Now, brides cannot only shop for their wedding gown at Lily Saratoga – they can complete their wedding day look at the boutique, too. Palkovich has added display cases featuring a variety of accessories, jewelry and shoes to enhance a look.

“We have some great competitors in the area and I think what sets us apart is that old Saratoga charm,” said Palkovich. “The boutique is so warm and inviting and I think we have a more relaxed atmosphere. There’s a lot of history here…it’s been a bridal boutique for 40 years, even before Lily Saratoga. I want [the boutique] to keep growing and evolving, but I never want it to lose its heart and its reputation.”

While walk-ins are accepted most weekdays, an appointment is recommended. To schedule a bridal appointment, call Lily Saratoga at (518)587-5017. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Lily Saratoga is located at 6 Franklin Square in Saratoga Springs. 

SARATOGA COUNTY – The Sage Colleges is expanding its Capital Region footprint. The private, liberal arts college has announced it will soon begin offering a Master of Business Administration program at the Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) TEC-SMART facility in Malta this fall.

Aside from Empire State College, no other higher education institution offers MBA programs in the Saratoga area.

“There really aren’t a lot of choices, particularly for an MBA, up towards the North Country,” explained Kimberly Fredericks, Ph.D., associate dean of Sage’s School of Management. “We know that there’s a niche up there. It’s a growing community – Saratoga, Malta…really Saratoga County in its entirety is a growing community, and we wanted to make education accessible and flexible.”

Administrators say classes will be offered in an accelerated format – two classes one night a week- evenings from 6 to 10 p.m. The fall 2015 classes will include “Management of Change and Innovation” and “Human Resource Management.” It is the same MBA program offered at Sage’s Albany location, only now it’s accessible in Malta. 

“So many kids and adults are driving a long distance, so I’m going to either catch them on their way to work or next door to their employers so education can be accessible, affordable and flexible,” said Frederickson. “We cater to working adults in all of our graduate programs currently. We have night classes and sometimes once a week or even once a month because everybody works.”

The professional MBA program is designed to develop leaders who can manage complex organizations and who have the desire and capability to move into high-level positions. For nearly three decades, Sage MBA graduates have taken major leadership roles in business, government, health care and non-profit organizations. The program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

Fredericks says the college may add coursework for additional programs in the future, but wanted to start with an MBA program because of Malta’s growing business community; like the Luther Forest Technology Campus (LFTC) for example.

“Because we’re a smaller institution, we can be flexible. We have some skill sets in our faculty that not everybody has,” says Fredericks. “For example, we have an intellectual property attorney who can do things with patents, intellectual property or tech transfer that might be attractive to that market up in Malta.” 

Due to its location at HVCC TEC-SMART, Fredericks also explained it puts the college in a good position to potentially offer continuing education coursework or seminars to the more than 3,000 employees at LFTC.

“We love being part of the community. We listen to the business community and adapt to what skill sets they want employees to have and we listen to our students and I’m able to put on electives and try certain courses out, because we’re smaller,” said Frederickson.

So far it seems as though Sage’s MBA program in Saratoga County is being well-received. The program has reached its cap at 30 students for the upcoming fall semester. However, applications are still being accepted and Frederickson says adjustments can be made to fit a high demand. 

In the next year, school administrators say they hope to see the program grow and become a partner in the Saratoga County community.  The five-year goal for the college’s “Sage in Saratoga” initiative is to offer more graduate- and undergraduate-level programs.

The Sage Colleges is the university to have a presence in three counties – Albany, Rensselaer and now Saratoga.

 

To learn more about The Sage Colleges MBA program in Malta, visit sage.edu/management

Friday, 10 April 2015 09:58

Darlene Myers Builds a Dance Legacy

Myers Dance Center, Northeast Ballet See Continued Success

SARATOGA SPRINGS – For the last four years, Darlene Myers has taught dance to students from the Saratoga area through her studio, Myers Dance Center. Offering classical ballet, pointe, jazz, modern and pas de deux classes – Myers’ studio is a training ground for both aspiring and accomplished dancers; however, Myers’ reach extends beyond the Spa City. 

Myers, a Saratoga County native, opened her first dance studio in Schenectady in 1985 after coming home from her professional dance career with Pennsylvania Ballet. Upon returning to Saratoga, she taught dance classes at SUNY and Union College, but decided to open her own school of dance.

“What I was missing was creating young dancers from scratch,” said Myers. “I was working with dancers who had come from schools of their own from all over the country, of course, who had come to SUNY and Union…I wanted to start with young students.”

After starting the school and finding success as a studio owner and teacher, Myers started her own ballet company, which she named the Northeast Ballet Company. The company has been serving the Capital District since 1990 and has been the resident company of the historic Proctor’s Theater since 1991. Fast forward 20 years later, Myers decided to expand her school in Saratoga Springs, which opened in 2011.

While the Northeast Ballet Company is known for their annual sold-out productions of the Nutcracker, performed at Proctor’s during the holiday season, along with their performances at the Hall of Springs and SPAC – to name a few – the company is currently rehearsing for a performance with a more contemporary feel to it.

Their upcoming performance, “Before & Beyond Dance Concert,” takes place Saturday, April 11 at 8 p.m. in the GE Theatre at Proctor’s.

“It’s been very different for the dancers, they’ve grown a great deal and it’s been very good for them,” said Myers. “I’m pleased that my Board of Directors has allowed me to do this. It has really expanded the company and that’s really what I wanted to do because we’re known for our Nutcracker, but I want us to be known for other things, too…so this is my foyer into that. I want to be able to do a spring show that showcases other kinds of movement.”

The concert features contemporary dance works created by guest choreographers Matt Pardo, Ruben Graciani and Alexandra Lindsay. On the program will also be a new collaborative work co-created by Myers herself and Richard Lovrich, a master of the written word and photographic fame.

“It’s new music, it’s a new story, its new movement,” said Myers. “It’s been very exciting for all of us.” 

While Myers has been busy preparing for the Before & Beyond Dance Concert, her work doesn't stop once the curtains have closed; she will begin preparations for the Myers Dance Recital for her students and the Myers Ballet School Summer Intensive. 

Myers is accepting new students at both of her studios. For more information, visit myersnortheast.org. To purchase tickets for the Before & Beyond Dance Concert, visit proctors.org. 

Friday, 10 April 2015 09:49

Six for Six

Davawn Hartz Receives Six Acceptance Letters, Credits Sponsor-A-Scholar

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Davawn Hartz has a very tough decision to make. 

The 18-year-old senior from Saratoga Springs High School and Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar participant has waited anxiously for weeks since sending off his college applications, but he didn’t expect this – Hartz has been accepted by every single one, including two Ivy League schools.

Hartz is six for six on his journey toward higher education. He received acceptance letters from Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, Swarthmore College, Syracuse University and Williams College.

“I didn’t expect the return on any of them…it’s weird, it’s crazy,” said Hartz. “I’m really lucky.”

Hartz says college was never a big discussion at the dinner table and while his family understood the importance of a college education, they didn’t necessarily stress high-performance in the classroom. Hartz took the initiative to take challenging courses and did well in them, which caught the attention of Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar.  

“He’s got a unique combination of intelligence, personality and a willingness to do community service,” said Jim LaVigne, Executive Director of Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar. “He’s the total package.”

SSAS, now in its eighth year, prepares 10 Saratoga Springs High School sophomores who are financially in need of assistance by supplying additional support and direction to help them meet their goals and enter college. Since its creation, more than 50 students have been accepted into the SSAS program and more than half of them have started a college career – an opportunity many nearly dismissed as an impossibility prior to the program.

Hartz’s success with SSAS adds to the program’s repertoire.

“We have three kids in the program who will be attending Skidmore and we have graduates in MIT, St. Lawrence and other good schools, but nobody has rung the bell like this boy,” said LaVigne.

Unlike scholarships and grants, SSAS begins during a student’s sophomore year in high school and works to reinforce a base of academic achievement during the next three years by providing resources to its participants through the help of volunteer mentors, academic tutors, the program's board members and two of Saratoga High School’s guidance counselors.

 If students are accepted into the program, they sign a contract to meet specific requirements during the term of the program. They are to meet with their mentor once a month, maintain their grades above 80 or attend tutoring, have a productive summer, behave in a manner consistent with the standards of SSAS, and attend mandatory weekly study skills programs.

“It’s a nice safety measure because you know they’re there to support you, but they’re not going to do the work for you. You’re responsible for your grades, extracurricular activities and community service,” said Hartz.

In return, SSAS dedicates $10,000 to "each scholar's enrichment" - $4,000 during their last three years of high school for supplies, study skill seminars, tutoring, PSAT and SAT training and entrance fees, seminars on the college application and scholarship process, college visits and attendance to cultural events; and $1,500 is dedicated to each scholar for each year they successfully complete in college.

But before Hartz can continue on his college journey, he first needs to make a decision. He’s currently planning visits to Columbia and Williams and says he’s interested in creative writing and theatre – from a behind-the-scenes aspect, such as playwriting and production.

Hartz has to make a decision by May 1.

 

"It's a tough decision to make and I feel spoiled saying that," said Hartz. "They're all amazing schools. I'm just flattered that they consider me to be on par with the students that go there." 

Former Bartenders Take Over Popular Saratoga Restaurant

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Mexican Connection, a staple in the Saratoga community for more than 25 years, is under new ownership. Sold to Brad Smith and Joe Parisi, both of whom were former bartenders at the restaurant; the co-owners are working toward updating Mexican Connection, while keeping the identity it’s known for. 

“We’re not trying to create a new identity for Mexican Connection…we’re trying to bring a freshness in here because it has been around for over 25 years,” said Parisi. “So many things have changed in the food industry and with restaurants these days. We’re trying to make a new atmosphere, try to liven it up a little bit and get more of a younger crowd in here while keeping our regular customers at the same time.”

Smith and Parisi, two years apart in age and childhood friends, say Mexican Connection is where they started their careers. Both bartended at the restaurant for more than four years in the early 2000’s before leaving to gain more work experience.

After returning to the Saratoga area and starting families, the two friends were ready to take the leap into becoming restauranteurs. Smith and Parisi purchased Mexican Connection from Jason Friedman in July of 2014.

“We both grew up bartending here through our formative years; we were spending time learning about the tequila, learning how to make the drinks here and learning about the clientele,” said Smith. “Both of us knew we wanted to go out into the world and get some experience…Joe going to St. Thomas and myself going to Las Vegas…we had thought about a couple of other different businesses, but we kept coming back to this one.”

Now that they’re back, Smith and Parisi have rolled up their sleeves and are working like old times. Smith says he works the front of the house while Parisi handles the kitchen.

“We kept the menu but I play around with the specials,” said Parisi. “I try to make the specials a little more authentic – Mexican street tacos and soups…we also offer chilaquiles and tamales. We do have food that appeals to everybody as well as traditional, authentic Mexican cuisine.”

The restaurant’s bar continues to feature over 150 premium sipping tequilas, a wide selection of Mexican beer and hand-shaken margaritas.

In the last nine months the co-owners have updated the décor and the seating area of the restaurant, as well as the playlist. They’ve also opened Mexican Connection on Monday evenings from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and have an all-night happy hour.

Mexican Connection’s happy hours have been so popular that Smith and Parisi have extended them. Aside from Monday, happy hours from Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday are from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. as well as 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.; happy hour on Friday and Saturday is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The restaurant will partner with Zuppler, a food delivery service, this spring. In the meantime, Smith and Parisi are preparing for Mexican Connection’s Cinco de Mayo festivities. The restaurant will have a three-day celebration featuring live music and food and drink specials. 

“People have a vested interest in this place and to see two owners genuinely caring and putting everything into it is getting them excited and rejuvenated to come back into Mexican Connection,” said Smith.

 

Mexican Connection is located at 41 Nelson Ave in Saratoga Springs. Business hours are Monday-Thursday 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit mexconx.com. 

Creator Hanson Grant Fundraised More Than $10K for Popular Product

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Think Board is aiming to change the game of note-taking, list-making, and plenty of other tasks. The product is essentially a clear, removable and adhesive panel that turns any surface into a dry erase canvas. It can be overlaid onto desks, walls and doors, to name a few.

Now, nearly three months shy of the one-year anniversary of the product’s launch, Think Board has had an increasing number of sales – proving the consumer support for the product is strong.

Hanson Grant, a 2012 graduate of Saratoga Springs High School and current third-year student at Boston’s Babson College, is the creator of Think Board.

Grant says back in high school, he created and sold whiteboard t-shirts that his peers could draw on, and used that same layering process and technology to create Think Board. He began using the prototype in his dorm room at Babson.

“I needed a place to write down ideas and stay organized and I felt that these resources from high school could really benefit my personal use,” said Grant. “Then a lot of people started to see it and thought it was cool and wanted purchase it.”

From there, Grant started a fundraising campaign through Kickstarter and was able to raise $10,100 through 199 “backers” to help bring his Think Board project to life.

“I wasn’t expecting it…upon starting the Kickstarter, I mainly did it for customer and market validation,” said Grant. “I wanted to make sure people thought the product was cool and that it was a viable idea. People loved it way more than I imagined.”

Through the fundraiser, Grant was able to improve the manufacturing process, create unique packaging and start mass-producing Think Board. He even set up Think Board’s headquarters – located at 610 Maple Avenue in Saratoga Springs. It’s currently staffed part-time by SSHS students John Layden and Jack McCarthy. Grant’s brother, Garrison, serves as the office manager. Because Grant is a full-time student, he works remotely from Boston.

Grant says the three goals of Think Board are to give college students a place to write down ideas and stay organized; give elementary students a platform to practice writing and math; and distribute the product in schools developing countries who cannot afford a whiteboard, chalkboard or paper. 

An even heftier goal – Grant says he’d like to see Think Board on every desk in school’s across the country.

“We’re in two classrooms right now in Watertown Middle School out near Boston and we have a waitlist now of 60-70 teachers who are waiting to get Think Board into their classrooms. It’s an incredible learning tool,” said Grant. “I’ve had teachers tell me that it has increased the effectiveness of their teaching, the efficiency, the engagement of the students and the excitement within the entire class.”

It seems as though there’s no chance of Grant or Think Board slowing down any time soon. Grant says he and his team are exploring different markets and uses for the product, such as hospitals, offices, even bar countertops.

Think Board and those whiteboard t-shirts haven’t been Grant’s only business ventures. The business major, with a concentration on entrepreneurship, started EyeCare for Boston his freshman year at Babson – a venture selling “Boston Strong” sunglasses to support the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon and raise pride in the city.

“After these couple businesses, I realized that I’ve got something here that I really enjoy doing and I’m good at it, so I might as well keep going,” said Grant.

Think Board is available for purchase. The product comes in three different sizes and costs less than $30. Each Think Board kit comes with one Expo marker, one spray solution, one Squeegee for installation, one set of Velcro dots for the marker, and an instructions card.

 

For more information or to purchase Think Board, visit www.think-board.com. 

Friday, 27 March 2015 11:11

Staccato Barre Hits Stride in Saratoga

Studio Helps Clients Achieve the “Best Tush in Toga”

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Nestled on Broadway in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs is a fitness and wellness studio unique to the Capital District – Staccato Barre and Bodyworks.

The studio officially opened in August of 2014 and has since been steadily growing its client list. With “barre” workouts gaining popularity across the country, Staccato Barre fills that fitness demand and is the only barre-focused studio in the Saratoga area and greater Capital District.

Owned by Renée Taliana, founder of the Staccato method, Staccato Barre offers a variety of fitness classes and wellness services, such as: Staccato Barre Bootcamp, Staccato Barre, Warm Yoga, Iron Arms & Abs, Cardio Kickboxing, Cardio Barre, massage therapy and Chinese cupping.

“Staccato” is a word used to describe each sound or note sharply detached or separated from the others and Taliana says it appropriately describes the pace of her classes.

Using a combination of principals inspired by ballet, yoga and Pilates, the barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training while shaping and sculpting the body. Light handheld weights, resistance bands, weighted balls and other props are also incorporated.

“The biggest misconception is that it’s ballet but it’s not,” said Taliana. “We’re using the ballet barre as a prop and yes there’s some ballet in it, but it’s a good mix of yoga, Pilates, dance conditioning, interval training…every day is different, every class is different.”

Taliana, who is a licensed massage therapist and a certified yoga, Pilates and barre instructor, says Staccato Barre offers total body conditioning and long, lean muscle development.

“Specifically for women, it’s the one workout that defines and tones the thighs, glutes, arms, waist and abdominal in a way that they’re looking for,” said Taliana. “I didn’t find anything that gave me the same results that barre did, which is how I became addicted to it.”

To create a focus on overall wellness, massage therapy including: Shiatsu, Thai, Swedish, hot stone and Chinese cupping, are also offered.

Because Staccato Barre isn’t a chain or a franchise rather, Taliana’s own creation, she says she doesn’t see herself opening multiple locations. However, she has developed her own Staccato Barre Certification and is educating and training potential instructors of Taliana’s Staccato method.

Staccato Barre offers classes every day of the week with the six instructors who work at the studio – Taliana included – in a welcoming atmosphere with no mirrors and no judgements. Taliana says people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels will experience a great workout.

Staccato Barre is currently offering a special introductory rate for new clients – five classes for only $50. Single classes are available for purchase as well as a 10-class pass and several options for monthly and annual unlimited passes.

Staccato Barre is located at 489 Broadway. For more information or to register for a class, visit staccatobarre.com or call Renée Taliana at 542-3955. 

Friday, 27 March 2015 10:58

Record Donations, Record Need

Wilton Food Pantry Expanding, Prepares for Empty Bowls

WILTON – Since its inception in late 2010, the Wilton Food Pantry has been steadily growing - both in the number of people the non-profit serves and food donations received – however, 2014 proved to be record-breaking year for the pantry. 

Volunteers report 616 Wilton residents, with 214 being children, received assistance through the Wilton Food Pantry – a 26 percent increase.

“What’s interesting is, of that 26 percent, children made up 32 percent and seniors made up 30 percent,” said Dennis Towers, WFP Board Member. “To me, what that also reflects is that our confidentiality procedures are working and seniors are trusting us more.”

“It’s been hard for us to get the seniors to come in because of transportation or pride issues,” added Connie Towers, WFP Vice President. “So it’s good that they’re starting to visit us.”

In 2014, WFP distributed groceries totaling to 28,935 meals and more than 305 Wilton families have beenserved to date – with an average of 72 families per month.

With proof of Wilton residency, a person in need can stop by the pantry up to 12 times a year and receive a three-day supply of food for the size of his or her family. Board members say the pantry was founded as a way to help people get through difficult times with an emergency food supply.

While the number of people using the Wilton Food Pantry has increased, board members say it was something they anticipated. Prior to opening the pantry, the founding members conducted a Needs Assessment to survey the need and fully understand the issue of hunger in Wilton. Dennis says the group interviewed local food pantries, gathered data through social service organizations, local utilities and even the U.S. Census Bureau. Local schools were also polled on enrollments in subsidized meal programs.

“We’ve hit a point now where we’re running out of room and we need to grow,” said Dennis. “[Trinity United Methodist Church] has been a wonderful landlord all along and supporter of the program. The church has given us some options for expanding and that’s also part of the reason why we need to expand our board.”

Dennis says some terms are expiring for current board members and those positions will need to be filled. The Wilton Food Pantry has been under the direction of a “working board” to date and now needs to transition into more of a “development” board.

To help manage and direct the growth, WFP has also recently appointed its first-ever director -- Peter Maynard.

“The board has done a really good job over the last four years to get the pantry to this point,” said Maynard. “We’re lucky in the sense that the board has gotten us to a point where we can operate from strength.”

WFP also cultivated more community ties in 2014, leading to beneficial relationships with two large supporters -- Hannaford and Skidmore College. WFP’s relationship with Hannaford, which took off last May, provides a great amount of food for the pantry; while the Skidmore Ceramics Department incorporated WFP’s Empty Bowls fundraiser into its curriculum thanks to Professor Matt Wilt.

Empty Bowls is Wilton Food Pantry’s single largest source of funds. Now in its fourth year, the fundraiser allows donors to enjoy a simple meal in a unique, handcrafted bowl or a produced ceramic bowl - both of which can be kept as souvenirs -- bid on silent auction items and enjoy live music, all while benefitting the pantry.

“That so many people come together at Empty Bowls to enjoy company and camaraderie with their neighbors, while assisting us to support those in need in Wilton is heartwarming,” said Debi Zellan, WFP President. “We are thrilled to provide this opportunity to gather and to reflect on what it means to be a good neighbor.”

This year’s Empty Bowls fundraiser is Sunday, April 12 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge #161 located on Route 9. Tickets are still available for purchase either through WiltonFoodPantry.org or at Saratoga National branches in Wilton.

The Wilton Food Pantry is always in need of volunteers. If you're interested in volunteering or becoming a board member, visit WiltonFoodPantry.org. 

Students Learn How Experts Study Severe Storms

BURNT HILLS – Students at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School got a chance to check out some of the latest devices used by meteorologists to study severe storms. 

Doppler-on-Wheels, one of only three mounted Doppler Radar units in the country, was on display at the high school Friday, March 6. Hobart and William Smith Colleges Associate Professor, Neil Laird, says the Doppler-on-Wheels, or DOW, gives scientists a chance to go where the storm is; unlike the radars available through the National Weather Service, which are stationary. He says this traveling DOW helps scientists better understand severe weather.

“Severe weather doesn’t always happen where a radar is positioned, so the Doppler-on-Wheels are able to go to where these storms are,” said Laird. “It’s also what we call a very high-resolution radar, so it’s able to see great details about a storm.”

In fact, the details the DOW is able to pick up are so great, that one of the radars caught what is believed to be the first recorded observation of the inside of a 300-MPH tornado.

The high-tech radar system is on loan through a grant from the National Science Foundation. Students and professors at Hobart and William Smith Colleges are learning how to use and operate the radar to collect weather data. As an extension of that, Hobart and William Smith, along with some severe weather experts from the Center of Severe Weather Research in Boulder, Colorado, take the DOW to local communities for educational outreach.

“We’ve been to a variety of different science museums and schools, mostly in western New York,” said Laird. “We decided to stop at Burnt Hills for two reasons. The first is I am an alum and I graduated from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in 1986.”

The second reason was that the group was on its way to the Northeastern Storm Conference (NESC) which took place Saturday, March 6 in Saratoga Springs. The NESC is a three-day event where hundreds of attendees, including students and faculty from over a dozen schools, professional meteorologists from the National Weather Service, television stations and the private sector, discuss atmospheric science.

“The participants of the conference [were] able to see the Doppler-on-Wheels,” said Laird. “The National Science Foundation puts an emphasis on education, in addition to research and things like that, but they like to fund educational opportunities also. We’re very fortunate to have gotten this grant from them and be able to provide these opportunities to a variety of people.”

BH-BL students seemed to be impressed by the DOW, which some may recognize from the popular television show, “Storm Chasers.” The $1.5 million truck weighs close to 26,000 pounds, sits two to three researchers and fits eight computer screens in the cockpit. The large satellite on the outside of the truck can extend 55 feet above the truck bed, allowing the radar to see weather patterns and occasions at a more in-depth level. Students were able to tour both the outside and inside of the DOW and learn about its antenna, footings, telescoping instrument tower and the radar data displays.

Aside from the DOW, the educators also brought a tornado pod -- portable surface stations that can withstand extreme winds and have been used in many severe-weather field projects, such as VORTEX2. Students also learned about the mobile weather balloon system researchers use, which is essentially a helium-filled balloon with rawinsonde - an instrument to collect data during flight and communication with the receiving station. 

First in New York State to Feature the Brand's Latest Design Concept 

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Embassy Suites Hotels, the Hilton Worldwide brand of upscale all-suite hotels, recently announced the opening of the new 149-all-suite Embassy Suites in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs. 

The full-service hotel, located within walking distance to shopping, museums, casinos, parks, restaurants, entertainment, and more, is the first Embassy Suites in the state to feature the brand's latest design concept, Design Option III. Embassy Suites Saratoga Springs is owned byDCG Development and managed by Veeder Hospitality Management LLC.

“We’re excited to continue our expansion in this popular leisure market with the new Embassy Suites Saratoga Springs,” said John Rogers, global head, Embassy Suites Hotels. “The innovative Design Option III prototype will enhance the guest experience by offering a great sense of space and more natural light in both guest rooms and public areas like the atrium, while maintaining Embassy’s signature amenities.”

“From horse racing to arts and outdoor recreation, Saratoga Springs is an internationally-recognized leisure and business destination,” adds general manager Dan Fortier, Embassy Suites Saratoga Springs. “The opening of our hotel comes at a peak time as both business and leisure travelers will be planning for Saratoga Springs seasonal horse racing, which starts July 24 and attracts guest from around the world.”

The hotel’s design offers guests a variety of side-by-side suites, shotgun suites and one room suites. The contemporary open air atrium is complimented with Adirondack elements, a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and unique, hand-selected art pieces. In addition, guests can enjoy delicious American fare, beer or cocktails at The Diamond Club Grill, which offers indoor and outdoor dining for lunch and dinner.

Located just 30 minutes away from Albany International Airport, Embassy Suites Saratoga Springs is just minutes from the award-winning Saratoga National Golf Club, Saratoga National Historic Park, Saratoga Casino and Raceway, Canfield Casino, Saratoga Winery & Tasting Room, and the internationally-renowned Saratoga Race Course, a historic thoroughbred horse racing track considered to be the oldest sporting venue in the country. In addition, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), the official summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra, is a popular nearby venue for rock concerts, operas and festivals.

Saratoga County is also the heart of New York State’s Tech Valley and home to a growing number of high tech companies such as Global Foundries, IBM's R&D, and NANO technology growth, and the relocation of several computer companies to the community. The hotel’s 6,000 sq. ft. versatile event space, including a 3,500 sq. ft. ballroom and seven flexible conference spaces, complete with state-of-the-art A/V technology and dedicated catering staff, is ideal for business meetings, social events and weddings for 220 people.

 

The hotel features the brand's signature amenities including its free made-to-order breakfast, a two-hour complimentary Evening Reception* with snacks and beverages, two-room suites with a separate living area, private bedroom, WiFi, 40-inch HDTV’s, a wet bar fitted with a microwave, a mini-fridge and a coffee maker. Guests also have access to the 24-hour business and fitness centers and an indoor swimming pool.

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Blotter

  • COURT Dylan K. Vella, 28, of Corinth, pleaded guilty to murder in the second-degree, in Saratoga County Court on Nov. 17. The charge – which also included three felony counts of assault – date to an April 7, 2020 incident in the town of Corinth during which Vella was accused of intentionally driving his vehicle into three motorcycles, causing physical injuries to one victim, serious physical injuries to two other victims and resulting in the death of a fourth victim – Paul Hollenbeck of Corinth. Vella additionally pleaded to one felony count sexual abuse in the first-degree regarding an incident…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON Eastline Holdings LLC sold property at 14 Timber Creek Dr to Bradley Gregg for $492,676. Manoj Irala sold property at 11 Timber Creek Dr.to Kumar Padala for $535,000. Charles Schewe sold property at 119 Ballston Ave to 838 Rentals LLC for $175,000. Volney Larowe sold property at 3 Lakehill Dr to Michael Cyrus for $195,000. CORINTH Sean Homes Excavating LLC sold property at 504 main St.to Anthony Villano for $190,000. GALWAY Thomas Shippey sold property at 5999 Greens Corner Rd to Laura Mancini for $405,000 GREENFIELD Valerie Bellon sold property at 70 Sand Hill Rd to Lauren Halligan for…
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