Displaying items by tag: saratoga

Thursday, 09 March 2017 15:25

“Utica Joe” Bonamassa Returns to SPAC  

 

 

SARATOGA SPRINGS -  ''Every time I sing something, I try to sound just like Paul Rodgers,'' declared Joe Bonamassa during an interview with this reporter many moons ago, while preparing to go onstage at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in support of Bad Company and Foreigner.

 His solo debut, ''A New Day Yesterday,'' had been released a year or two earlier, and the blues-rock guitarist, who grew up in Utica a musical child prodigy, came to Saratoga with a career full of promise.

 This week, Bonamassa announced a new US summer tour in support of his latest studio album, “Blues of Desperation,” which kicks off Aug. 4 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and pulls in to SPAC on August 15. Tickets are $66 to $156 and go on sale Friday, March 10. 

 Bonamassa’s musical talents were first recognized at the age of four - when his father bought a Stevie Ray Vaughan album, the young man said he was hooked on the sound for life – and began touring at the age of 12. He received mighty praise from none other than B.B. King and up to that point shared that his grandest musical moment came when he’d been joined onstage by members of the band Jethro Tull. 

 Fifteen years later, it’s safe to say Bonamassa has created some new career highlights; he’s been nominated for a Grammy Award – twice – and has been featured on the cover of virtually every guitar magazine multiple times. Bonamassa has secured 16 number 1 Billboard blues album hits, performed everywhere from Radio City music Hall to Royal Albert Hall, and has sold more than 3 million albums worldwide.

Published in Entertainment
Thursday, 09 March 2017 15:00

March 10th

COURTS

Brett W. Fox, 28, of Waterford, was sentenced on Feb. 22 to five years of probation on each on the charges of felony burglary, and felony DWI. 

Derick Henderson, 52, of Queens, N.Y. was sentenced on Feb. 21 to five years in prison and two years of post-release supervision, after pleading to criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony. 

Louis S. Guerra, 42, of the Bronx,  pleaded on Feb. 21 to first degree criminal contempt, a felony. Sentencing scheduled for April 11.

James J. Innes, 33, of Mechanicville, pleaded on Feb. 21 to felony DWI. Sentencing scheduled for April 11.  

Morgan J. Henness, 27, of Howes Caves, pleaded on Feb. 21 to felony DWI. Sentencing scheduled for April 11.  

Debra L. Berry, 57, of Halfmoon, pleaded on Feb. 21 to felony DWAI. Sentencing scheduled for April 11.  

POLICE

On March 5, Lamine Diakite, age 18, of Manhattan, was charged with attempted grand larceny, attempted possession of a weapon, and resisting arrest - all misdemeanors, and disorderly conduct, a violation; Kulsum H. Larry, age 20, of Albany, was charged with resisting arrest, misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, a violation, and Eudes B. Pierre, age 21, of Brooklyn, was charged with disorderly conduct. All three were related to an alleged incident that occurred during a private party at the Spare Time Lanes bowling alley in Halfmoon. According to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department, numerous fights broke out and patrons damaged property inside the establishment.  

A 17-year-old Corinth High School student suspected of making threats toward the school and some of its students was charged on March 1 with harassment and aggravated harassment, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said Thomas J. Ouimet allegedly made several statements in a private texting session with friends “deemed to be inappropriate conversations regarding known active shooter situations such as the Columbine incident.” The situation continued when Ouimet allegedly made another inappropriate comment that alluded to school shootings during one of the school’s lockdown drills on Feb. 28. He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to return to Corinth Town Court on March 14.    

Algenita O. Perry, age 25, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 21 with making a punishable false written statement, and welfare fraud in the fifth degree- both misdemeanors.   

Joseph J. Deschenes, age 46, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 21 with criminal trespass misdemeanor. 

Eddie Feliciano, age 34, Albany, was charged on Feb. 21 with aggravated harassment in the second degree, a misdemeanor. 

Eric H. Waite, age 22, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 21 with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. 

Chalmers D. Davis, age 38, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 20 with unlawful possession of marijuana, and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree, a misdemeanor. 

Heather L. Lackey, age 35, Greenwich, was charged on Feb. 20 with misdemeanor DWI, failure to signal a turn and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. 

David Pacheco, age 33, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 19 with strangulation, and unlawful imprisonment – both felonies, the misdemeanors criminal mischief, assault, and petiti larceny, and unlawful possession of marijuana.  

Graham M. Hall, age 27, Ballston Lake, was charged on Feb. 19 with misdemeanor DWI and making an unsafe lane change.  

Matheus T. Lima, age 21, Boston, Massachusetts was charged on Feb. 18 with  misdemeanor DWI, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver, and leaving the scene of an accident after being involved in a one-car personal injury accident. 

Vincent Buffolino, age 26, Malta, was charged on Feb. 18 with speeding and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.  

Carla A. Pastore, age 53, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 18 with felony DWI, failing to signal a turn and improper lane use.    

Johanna M. Whitman, age 32, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with fifth-degree welfare fraud, a misdemeanor.   

Walter E. Ruzycky, age 39, Amsterdam, was charged on Feb. 17 with misdemeanor criminal contempt. 

Brendan J. Flanigan, age 39, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.    

Jennifer L. Jones, age 41, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with fifth-degree welfare fraud, and making a punishable false written statement – both misdemeanors.   

Joseph Bongiorno, age 54, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with misdemeanor assault. 

Karen E. Person, age 38, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with misdemeanor DWI, aggravated DWI, failing to stop at a stop sign, improper right turn, and refusing a pre-screen test.   

Jeremy J. Gilboy, age 39, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with misdemeanor DWI, an equipment violation, consumption of alcoholic beverages, and unlawful possession of marijuana.     

James R. Prochilo, age 29, Ballston Spa, was charged on Feb. 17 with circumventing a court-ordered interlock device, and an equipment violation.  

Aaron M. Current, age 25, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with felony criminal contempt.   

Farren E. Rixter, age 28, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 16 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.   

Grigoriy L. Nemzer, age 27, Watervliet, was charged on Feb. 15 with felony criminal contempt, and misdemeanor stalking. 

Justin S. Gilboy, age 35, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 15 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. , and unlawful possession of marijuana.    

Kayla L. Ratigan, age 26, Ballston Spa, was charged on Feb. 15 with misdemeanor petit larceny.  

 

Richard E. Hileman, age 33, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 14 with making a terroristic threat, a felony.   

Published in Police Blotter

Neighbors: Snippets of Life From Your Community

 

Who: Dawn Oesch.

Where: Saratoga Sweets Candy Co., Washington Street.

Q. What are you doing today?

A. I’m making bunnies. Chocolate bunnies, and Tall Bunny - the big guy is 2-1/2 pounds.

Q. Where are you from originally?

 A. Lake Placid.

Q. How long have you been in Saratoga Springs?

A. Nineteen years. I love the city more than anything. Moving here, I loved that it had the same charm as Lake Placid, but on a bigger scale.

Q. How has Saratoga changed over the years? 

A. We’ve been getting more commercial with more big-box stores coming into our area, which is a little scary. There’s room for everybody, but you don’t want your quaint town to turn into Everyday U.S.A. because you can go anywhere and see these places. So, keep it to the minimum we have now. No more thank you.

Q. What’s the best thing about Saratoga? 

The people who live here. Some say this is a tourist town, that money falls from the sky, but any business person will tell you it’s not like that, especially when they first open. What makes it is the locals. I love that I know their names and what they want. That’s the best part of it.

Q. What is the biggest challenge you personally face?

A. My dogs destroying the garbage can every day. I have two dogs, both beagle mixes: a beagle basset I rescued last year who’s three or four, and Sawyer – a six-year-old beagle border collie who’s stubborn and smart I’ve had since he was a puppy.  With the garbage can, I even have a lock on it and they still get into it.

Q. What is the biggest challenge you face business-wise?

I’ve been here for 19 years and I love my little store. This is my baby and I would like to be here for another 19, but our landlord sold our building, or is in the process of selling it. We can possibly go in the new building (when completed), but where do you go while they’re building the new building?

Q. Tell me a joke

A. My favorite is a knock-knock joke. It goes like this:

Knock-knock.

Who’s there?

Interrupting cow,

Interrup—

Moooooo. 

 

Q. You are active in regional theater?

A. My favorite theaters to work in are Home Made Theater in the State Park, and the Local Actors Guild at the Arts Center.

Last fall I directed “Shrek The Musical”  at Home Made Theater. We had  a cast of 32 and a tech crew of 15.  There was a three-week run and it was awesome. The next thing I’m going to do is “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” That has a cast of about 50. that will be next spring, so I can start planning now. I’m a planaholic. I like to be uber-organized.  

 

 

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Did you know a freight train disaster at the Saratoga Railroad Station in 1940 resulted in nine injuries and two deaths? How about the mid-1970s incident that saw a sniper open fire on a west side elementary school playground that wounded two children?  Or, that the Saratoga Race Course provided the scenery for a handful of Hollywood movies - from “Saratoga” in 1937 to “Seabiscuit” in 2003 - to say nothing of novelist Ian Fleming’s visit to the track to conduct research for his James Bond book, “Diamonds Are Forever.”

Saratoga’s history, from the well-documented to the obscure, can be unearthed in a handful of places in the city, most of which are readily open to the public and provide a wealth of resources, if one knows where to look.

“The city historian, the museum, and the library are three separate entities – we all work together - and there are others,” says city historian Mary Ann Fitzgerald, as she muscles open the heavy vault door inside her office at the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center. Here, Fitzgerald says, people need to know what they’re looking for before they come in, because of the overwhelming number of primary materials and other original documents.  

Inside the vault, the shelves reveal handwritten council meeting minutes dating to the city’s incorporation in 1915, criminal dockets from 1876, fire disaster records, urban renewal papers, and countless other original documents, including a prized signature by Saratoga Springs founder Gideon Putnam that dates to 1810. The vault is perused largely by archivists and historians searching for original source material.

Across the street, the Saratoga Springs History Museum is being prepped for its upcoming exhibition - “Internationally Famous” – featuring Cris Alexander - a celebrity photographer and artist, and Shaun O’Brien, a dancer with the New York City Ballet. The couple moved to Saratoga Springs in the early ‘70s and were together for more than 60 years. Collectively, their lives trace a line through the art, dance and celebrity world of much of the 20th century. 

In addition to its changing exhibitions and its permanent displays – original furniture and gaming equipment sit in the historic 19th century casino – the museum’s library houses research-friendly manuscripts, diaries, and business records of prominent local families like the Batchellors and the Walworths, as well as rarities documenting Caffè Lena, and the life of Frank Sullivan.

A third aspect of the museum’s offering is the George S. Bolster Collection. Culled from approximately 360,000 images, glass plates and negatives, the compilation depicts a long-gone era of city hotels and lake houses, public events, visiting celebrities, and time-captured scenes of the race course and private homes in their original splendor.

“People looking for pictures come to me,” says Bolster Collection Curator John Conners. “Some of them date back to the 1870s and every time I look at the pictures I still find something different, something I haven’t seen before.”  

In 1928, the city’s borders cradled 14,000 year-round residents and housed 16 churches, 287 retail stores, five grade schools, one high school and two parochial schools. The house numbers and owners’ names can be found in the pages of the city directories - beginning in 1868 - at the Saratoga Room, located inside the Saratoga Springs Public Library. A few yards away, visitors can unearth the everyday lives of early 20th century residents in Sophie Goldstein’s oral narratives in the Saratoga County Jewish History Project.

The Saratoga Room also boasts a multi-media collective of Saratoga-related films and documentaries, publications, illustrated newspapers, cookbooks, street maps with numbered houses dating to the 1800s, and a popular collection of Saratoga cookbooks. Frank Sullivan’s personal library consisting of more than 100 books and his personal typewriter are here, as are a treasure-trove of high school yearbooks, a century old.   

 

Discoveries To Be Made: Did You Know?

The New York Knickerbockers and Boston Celtics played an NBA exhibition game at Convention Hall in 1955.

Sylvia Plath found peace on earth during her residence at Yaddo in the winter of 1959.

The Olympic Torch passed through Saratoga Springs in 2001.

True Crime: The bullet-riddled body of the victim of a suspected “mob hit” was found on the steps of Saratoga Hospital in 1936; A grisly discovery of the dismembered body of a young woman was made at Saratoga Lake a decade later.

Sophie Tucker, Senor Wences, and “a breathtaking ensemble of lovely girls!” performed at The Piping Rock in 1947; 16-year-old Philip Seymour Hoffman studied acting at Skidmore in the 1980s; The band U2 performed at Saratoga Raceway – the current grounds of Saratoga Casino – in 1992, and Bob Dylan earned $50 for a two-night stand at Caffè Lena  during his first visit to Saratoga Springs in 1961.

Fires: The city’s worst occurred in 1955 on Caroline Street and claimed the lives of eight people; The “Great Fire of 1957” destroyed a block of the downtown business district on Broadway, and eight years later the 5,000-seat Convention Hall was destroyed in a mammoth blaze.

Activism: In 1965, more than 600 Saratogians took part in a “Stand Up To Be Counted” silent March down Broadway in support of Civil Rights.

 

Some Saratoga History Resources – note some are by-appointment.

Brookside Museum, Saratoga County Historical Society. 6 Charlton St., Ballston Spa. Phone: 518-885-4000. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Web: www.brooksidemuseum.org

Crandall Public Library, Center for Folklife, History, & Cultural Programs, Glens Falls. Phone: 518-792-6508, Todd DeGarmo (Director) x237; Erika Wolfe Burke (Archivist) x238. Web: www.crandalllibrary.org.       

Saratoga Springs History Museum and George S. Bolster Photographic Collection at The Casino, Congress Park, Saratoga Springs. Phone: 518-584-6920. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Web: www.saratogahistory.org.

National Museum of Racing, 191 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs. Phone: 518-584-0400. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Web: www.racingmuseum.org.            

Saratoga County Historian, 40 McMaster St. Ballston Spa. Phone: 518-884-4749. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Web : www.saratogacountyny.gov.

Saratoga National Historical Park, 648 Route 32, Stillwater. Phone: 518-664-9821 ext. 224. E-mail: Contact Form at website - www.nps.gov/sara.    

Saratoga Springs City Historian, Mary Ann Fitzgerald, at the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center, 297 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Phone: 518-587-2358. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Research hours by appointment.

Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, 112 Spring Street, Suite 203, Saratoga Springs. Phone: 518- 587-5030. www.saratogapreservation.org.               

The Saratoga Room at the Saratoga Springs Public Library, 49 Henry St., Saratoga Springs. Phone: 518-584-7860, x255. E-mail: Contact form at website - https://www.sspl.org/research/local_history/collections/.

Skidmore College Library, Department of Special Collections, Saratoga Springs. Phone: 518-580-5509. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Web: www.skidmore.edu.

NYS Military Museum & Veterans Research Center, 61 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs. Phone: 518-581-5100. Web: www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/mil-hist.htm.

 

 

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The City Council held a lengthy and at-times heated discussion Tuesday night about whether to fund a Special Election in May or June as requested by the Charter Review Commission, to potentially change the way the city is governed.

Since its inception as a city in 1915, Saratoga Springs has operated under a Commission form of Government – that is, with four commissioners and one mayor each running separate departments and all having equal say. Mandated to review the City Charter every 10 years, the Charter Review Commission, a 15-person group appointed by members of the City Council, recommended bringing to voters a proposal that the city adopt a Council-Manager form of governing. Under such a plan, the council would be charged with hiring a professional city manager to carry out policies.

A measure to fund the Commission’s $46,000 administrative budget – which includes fees for legal consulting, sending informational mailers to residents and a clerk to transcribe meeting minutes – received unanimous council approval, but a $37,000 request to fund a Special Election in May or June was rejected by a 3-2 vote.

City Mayor Joanne Yepsen, who voted to support funding the Special Election, said if the Charter Commission desired to hold a vote in May, then it was their right to do so. “I think we’ve got to let the voters decide. I don’t think it’s up to us - when it should be, or what they should put on the referendum,” Yepsen said. “I think it’s in our best interests to move this forward regardless of what we all think personally.”

Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan, who vehemently opposed funding a Special Election, argued that the council’s actions are not politically motivated whereas the Charter Commission’s are, and received like-minded commentary from Accounts Commissioner John Franck. “To say this group has not advocated for a change in the form of government is blinking at reality,” Franck said. “They’ve been disparaging the current form of government, but telling about this new form of government. They’re not supposed to be doing this. They’re supposed to be educating.”

Franck, Madigan, and DPW Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco rejected the funding request, and each stated the public would be better served – both in cost savings and by a larger voter turnout - should the referendum be held in November.

“I think it disenfranchises people. This is voter suppression, I don’t care what anybody says,“ said Scirocco.

Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen, like Mayor Yepsen, voted in favor of funding the Special Election. He argued that the issue requires its own attention rather than it being added to this November’s Election Day slate, which will include all five council member seats up for vote.

“I think this is such an important issue and a vital part of looking at where our city is going that it needs to be decided upon separately, and in an environment not muddled by the political intrigue that often comes with our November elections and all the special interests that rise up,” Mathiesen said. Following the vote, Yepsen attempted to provide information about the ramifications of the council’s vote and what the next steps might be regarding the Charter Commission’s potential actions, but was not permitted to do so by other members of the council.

“This will come down to a lawsuit, I suspect, and the courts will decide what they’re going to do with this,” Franck said. “There may even be a lawsuit at the City Council level.”

Published in News
Friday, 24 February 2017 11:33

750-seat Venue Targets Fall 2018 Opening

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Galleries, museums and classic architecture. A cinema. Public parks. Taverns, restaurants and cafes. Together they are the elements that contribute to community vibrancy.

But, for the past half-century, one noticeably missing piece in this walkable city has been the lack of a year-round, mid-sized venue – an unfulfilled need since Saratoga’s 5,000-seat Convention Hall was destroyed by fire in 1966.

With an extensive renovation of Universal Preservation Hall set to get underway, that cultural vacancy is set to soon be filled. “This will be an acoustically perfect theater-in-the-round and will hold about 750 people,” said Teddy Foster, campaign director at UPH. “There will be a lot of music, Broadway cabaret and live theater.”

The current schedule of events will conclude in five weeks and a $5.5 million renovation of the historic building is slated to get underway in June. When UPH re-opens in the fall of 2018, it will house new heating and air conditioning systems, a kitchen, an elevator and new light and sound fixtures with acoustic treatments.

“It will have everything,” Foster said. The main room’s flexibility will allow for the relocation of seats as events dictate and a community room located on the building’s lower level will hold another 140 people. New entry doors will be set on the building’s Broadway facing-side to provide theater-goers close proximity to a 450-vehicle public parking garage on Woodlawn Avenue.

The Victorian Gothic structure on Washington Street was built in 1871 and served as a Methodist church and a gathering place. Teddy Roosevelt, Frederick Douglass and William Howard Taft to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg have each taken a turn atop the main stage during the building’s 146-year history. A century after its construction, the building began to fall into disrepair and the church sat empty for several years. In 2000, the city condemned the building and members of the community rallied to save the structure from demolition.

Today, the nonprofit group UPH owns the building and maintains a 21-person board of directors. A local Baptist congregation – which continues to host weekend services at the hall - owns the land on which the church sits. An initial wave of renovation work began in 2003 after $3 million was raised. The current Capital Campaign - The Road To Opening Night – is ongoing and has secured about 90 percent of the $5.6 million it seeks to raise, Foster says. A fundraiser will be held in May at Saratoga National.

In 2015, UPH got an added boost when it became an affiliate of Proctors. The Schenectady based organization will lend their expertise in securing programming and coordinating ticket sales and marketing, in addition to other areas. Proctors was built in 1926 in downtown Schenectady and was one of a dozen vaudeville houses along the east coast of the country. A half-century later, it was among the last standing theaters of a deserted downtown landscape. Like UPH, it also was saved from the wrecking ball.

Last week Proctors’ creative director, Richard Lovrich, and its publicist, Michael Eck, staged a slide show presentation and discussion at UPH based on the release of their new coffee-table book, “Encore: Proctors at 90,” which depicts everything from the backstage application of character makeup for a production of “The Lion King,” to images capturing gracious remembrances of a theater visit by Sophia Loren. It is a narrative of renewal and rebirth, and a tale of a city and a theater taking turns saving each other, the authors say.

After undergoing a transformative restoration of its own, the historic theater today features everything from ZZ Top, this weekend, to the staging of “Hamilton,” during its 2018-19 season. Of UPH, Proctors CEO Phillip Morris says he envisions a welcoming place to gather and a cultural heart of the city.

After the Saratoga Springs venue reopens with its 45-foot-tall ceilings, bell tower and walnut and ash staircases that feed into the main hall, it is anticipated it will stage 200 or so annual events. “I like to say I imagine the hall as Saratoga’s living room,” Foster said.

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Four months into her new job, SPAC President Elizabeth Sobol says she is learning the Saratoga Performing Arts Center has a uniqueness all its own.

One factor is the location of the venue - nestled among 2,200 acres in the state park sitting on the cusp of a culturally vibrant city, she says. Another is the relationship forged with other performing arts organizations during the venue’s 50-year existence which continue to deliver everything from the whirring pirouette of the ballet dancer, to the delicate air strike of the conductor’s baton and the amplified clamor of an electric guitar.

“Having traveled all over the world, all over the United States, all over North America and having seen festivals of all kinds, I’m here to tell you there is nothing like this anywhere in the world,” says Sobol, a classically trained pianist. She relocated to Saratoga Springs from Miami Beach last fall and will mark her first season at SPAC this year.

“Thinking about the programming, I listened to community voices about what they wanted to see this summer.”

The spectrum of responses offered an array of varied opinions. “Part of my job has been listening to those voices and creating something cohesive that would speak to different aesthetic desires and visions,” Sobol says.

This year, the New York City Ballet will stage 18 ballets by six different choreographers during their residency, from July 5 to 15. The Philadelphia Orchestra season, from Aug. 2 to Aug. 19, will feature a balance between the new and the traditional and include one piece not performed at SPAC since the 1960s. And the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center will return to the Spa Little Theater with six concerts, from Aug. 6 to Aug. 22. The schedule of performers and performance pieces will be publicly released Sunday.

“One thing I wanted to do was also create mini-festivals within a festival. It immerses you in a sound, a narrative and a concept. In dialogue with the Philadelphia Orchestra, we created a mini-Russian festival, a mini-American festival and a mini-French festival. So, if you look across all our programming – the New York City Ballet, the Chamber Music Society and the Philadelphia Orchestra - you’ll see some of the same themes arising.”

Sobol also noted a new series titled “SPAC on Stage” to target young, musical genre-crossing fans and featuring several hundred audience members seated onstage. “What we’re envisioning is an experience that is intimate and extremely visceral and will feature artists unique and different than anything else that has appeared on the SPAC stage."

With pop concert promoter Live Nation, Sobol says there is an ongoing dialogue to maintain the delicate balancing act of scheduling dates at the venue between the pop and classical worlds. A variety of pop concerts have already been announced: Dave Matthews (two solo shows in June, sans band), Train, Nickelback, Dead & Company, and classic rock bills such as Foreigner/Cheap Trick, Rod Stewart/Cyndi Lauper, and Chicago/Doobie Brothers, among them. Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival will be staged June 24-25 and will feature headliners Chaka Khan and the Gipsy Kings, returning artists Jean-Luc Ponty, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, a musical tribute to Ray Charles and more than one dozen other artists.

Responding to recent reports that President Donald Trump may severely cut or altogether eliminate cultural programs that receive federal funding such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Sobol says while concerned about potential cuts to NEA funding for the national well-being, it’s not something that will greatly affect SPAC. “We are being much more strategic about arts funding, but it’s not something that, if it goes away, it’s going to put us in a compromising position.”

 

*Note, an initial version of this story misstated the number of acres in the Saratoga Spa State Park. The correct number of acres is 2,200.  

 

Published in News
Friday, 03 February 2017 10:28

Mayor’s Outlook for 2017

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Extending the Greenbelt trail and combatting racism. Developing more affordable housing, diversifying the city’s economic portfolio and forging new collaborations with Nashville, Tennessee, and the Land of the Rising Sun are among the mayor’s goals for Saratoga Springs in 2017.

Approximately 250 city residents, business leaders, elected officials, and a handful of political hopefuls considering a future career in city government gathered on Monday night in the Sen. Joseph L. Bruno Meeting Room at the Saratoga Springs City Center, where Mayor Joanne Yepsen delivered the annual State of the City address.

“People are investing in Saratoga Springs and we cut 102 ribbons for new and expanded businesses in the city last year, a symbol of our stable and growing local economy,” said Yepsen, heralding 2016 accomplishments while pointing to a diversification of the city’s economic portfolio to continue to attract small businesses and future entrepreneurs. The mayor noted the appointment of Democrat Francine Vero as the first-ever woman city court judge in the city, while publicly thanking longtime Republican City Court Judge Jim Doern for his service – an appointment perceived as a slight among Doern supporters when announced last month.

Yepsen applauded the ongoing development of the Greenbelt Trail - a 23-mile multi-use trail that will connect city neighborhoods with the downtown district. The city was awarded $1.134 million in state funds – which it will match – as well as $932,000 in federal funding to complete the trail system that will run from the town of Milton border and adjoining an expanded Spa State Park trail system. She also advocated for promoting smart development that includes affordable workforce housing.

“Every day I hear that we are in danger of out-pricing ourselves, right out of our own city. We need to integrate more price points and housing options into our comprehensive development,” Yepsen said. An Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance specifying a percentage of all new development be targeted as “affordable housing” is currently on the table. “l do hope our City Council has the political will to make that ordinance law for the sake of thousands of residents and potential residents,” Yepsen said.

The mayor also noted a “distinctly disturbing problem” that “racism and intolerance may be on the rise here in our city,” according to a report issued by Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen. Yepsen cited anti-Semitic and racist messages discovered spray-painted on city streets and appearing on at least one local-targeted blog. Yepsen stressed the importance of education about the history of racist policies and the terrible impact it has on innocent people as one measure to combat hate speech, as well as announcing the creation of a Saratoga Springs Human Rights Commission to be charged with unifying positive efforts and providing education and advocacy resources. “We need to stay strong together, to treat each other with kindness and respect, to appreciate our differences, and to build a community where all people are important and treated equally,” Yepsen said. Five members will serve on the core founding group of the commission.

“We must always be inclusive and I think that’s something this community is known for; your acceptance of others in great diversity,” N.Y. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul remarked during her eight-minute introductory remarks.

It was a topic the mayor also addressed off-script from the stage. “Because of last weekend’s events in our nation, I want to just say something: Our constitutional rights are not Republican rights, they are not Democrat rights, they are the rights held by all Americans and we should honor them above all else,” Yepsen said. “The only rights that should matter to all of us are human rights, because how we treat our fellow human beings defines our community.”

In arts and cultural matters, Yepsen said she visited the Mayor and Arts Commission of Nashville, Tennessee, and is involved in discussions about a plan to establish an exchange program with the Music City. Nashville has a population of more than 600,000 and its legendary music venues include the Grand Ole Opry House, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Johnny Cash Museum. In October, The Metro Nashville Arts Commission announced its first funding of temporary public art and civic practice projects, following up on its strategic plan of “Crafting a Creative City,” which re-imagines public art as a tool for creative community investment, citizen engagement and neighborhood redevelopment. “Could Saratoga Springs be the New York State designated ‘City of the Arts?’ I think we can,” Yepsen said.

The Spa City which counts Chekhov, Russia as a “Sister City,” is also looking to expand its international partners. “I will be proposing, in the near future, new cultural development and sister cities so we can strengthen our relationships with other cultures and economies, and boost our international reputation and economic opportunities.” Yepsen said. “Japan has expressed some interest and that’s intriguing.”

Published in News
Friday, 27 January 2017 12:10

New Tang Museum Exhibition Opens Saturday

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College will present its latest exhibition - Janine Antoni and Stephen Petronio: Entangle - beginning on Saturday.

This exhibition presents three works that combine action, video, and installation. “Rope Dance,” “On the Table,” and “Honey Baby,” explore a range of ongoing multidisciplinary collaborations, which Antoni and Petronio began more than three years ago, setting out to blur the lines between artist, dancer, choreographer, and audience. Each offering has one element in common — a wooden floor — that frames different activities understood through the body.

“Rope Dance”, an interactive experience created by legendary movement artist Anna Halprin, with Antoni and Petronio, will run Jan. 28 to March 19.

“On the Table” - during which the gallery serves as set and dining room and features a tablecloth woven out of 200 neckties – will be on exhibit April 6 - 30. The artists will be on campus to visit with classes and participate in the first dinner from April 3 - 7. Between dinners, the installation will be offered to the community as a tool for dialogue.

“Honey Baby” - billed as an immersive experience created by Antoni and Petronio to confound the notion of the body’s relation to gravity – will be on exhibit May 13 to July 16.


Janine Antoni was born in Freeport, Bahamas, in 1964. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at numerous institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

Stephen Petronio was born in Newark, New Jersey, and was the first male dancer of the Trisha Brown Dance Company. A leading contemporary dance-maker, Petronio has built a body of work with some of the most talented and provocative artists in the world, including composers Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and Diamanda Galás. Founded in 1984, Stephen Petronio Company has performed in 26 countries. In December, The Stephen Petronio Company bought a 175-acre property in the Catskill Mountains, according to the New York Times. Called Crows Nest, the $1.3 million property, near Cairo, includes about 9,000 square feet of residential and studio space and will house the Petronio Company and the Petronio Residency Initiative, which is to begin in summer 2018.

“With Crows Nest, I’m hoping to leave the world an intimate place where dance can be made, where history happens, and where the dance community can feel at home,” Petronio said in a statement. Janine Antoni & Stephen Petronio: Entangle, is organized by Dayton Director Ian Berry, in collaboration with the artists. Antoni and Petronio will be in residence at Skidmore College as the 2016-17 McCormack Endowed Visiting Artist-Scholars from March 1 - 4 and April 3 - 7 to engage with students, faculty, and the public. Public talks will be held 5:30 p.m. March 2, and 7 p.m. April 6, both at the Tang Teaching Museum, located on the campus of Skidmore College. For more information, visit: More information at http://tang.skidmore.edu.

Published in Entertainment

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A week-long effort by Shelters of Saratoga is currently underway to create a real-time, by-name registry of the homeless population in Saratoga Springs.

The data gathered from surveys, which are voluntary, will provide the community knowledge of the needs of people experiencing homelessness, and the work that needs to be done to end homelessness in Saratoga Springs, organizers say.

“Registry Week” has taken place in 186 other US communities. This is the first time it is being conducted in Saratoga Springs.

Coordinators say the surveys will help agencies connect people to the services they most need, and that the by-name list will provide insight as to specific vulnerabilities for each person, enabling agencies to provide specified care for each person. Meantime, the Code Blue emergency shelter – which is under the auspices of Shelters of Saratoga – has been operating at near full-capacity this winter. Adhering to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandate that shelters service the homeless when temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit has increased Code Blue’s hours of operation.

“It’s been a challenge,” noted shelter director Cheryl Ann Murphy-Parant.

In its two full years of operation, the shelter - previously located at the Salvation Army building on Woodlawn Avenue - was open 85 and 88 nights, respectively, in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Code Blue had averaged 35 nightly guests during the two years and was open a combined total of five times during the daylight hours. This winter season, through Jan. 18, the relocated shelter on Caroline Street has already been open 62 nights and 12 days, and has housed an average of 41 guests – 10 to 12 of which are women. “That (women guests) is a big jump this year,” said Murphy-Parant.

It is anticipated the data gathered from the surveys this week will be compiled in the spring and that a second “registry week” survey will be conducted locally during the warm-season months.

Published in News
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  • Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office  A 20-year-old Watervliet man was charged with first degree manslaughter after allegedly “striking another person with a large wrench and causing that person’s death,” according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office said they received a call of a fight in progress on Sparrow Drive in the town of Malta and the Investigation into the complaint led to the arrest of Cyrus J. Tetreault, 20, of Watervliet.  The victim was identified as 53-year-old Malta resident Brian M. Miller.  “It is truly tragic that this situation resulted in a loss of life,” county Sheriff Michael Zurlo…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON  Richard Burt sold property at 921 Route 50 to 921 Route 50 LLC for $173,000 GALWAY Rita Werner and Erin Forlenza sold property at 1064 West Galway Road to Karen Crandall for $145,000 GREENFIELD John Mishoe sold property at 463 Allen Road to Michael Forlini for $390,000 John Duffney sold property at 288 North Greenfield to Kelly Rozembersky for $270,000 MALTA  Timothy Albright sold property at 54 Shore Ave to Joseph DiDonna for $800,000 Jennifer Hogan sold property at 5 Plum Poppy South to Dustin Mullen for $475,000 Nicolas Aragosa sold property at 10 Scotch Mist Way to Steven…
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