JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 766
8 Projects to receive total of $100,000
By Arthur Gonick
BALLSTON SPA – At the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, October 20, the board unanimously approved the funding of eight trail projects throughout the county, granting $12,500 to each, for a total of $100,000. Included in this are funds for construction of the Crescent Avenue Connector - a 1-mile segment of the Greenbelt Trail in the City of Saratoga Springs; and funding for a feasibility study for the Bullard Lane Community Trail in the Town of Wilton to create a public trail on a 38 acre wooded town-owned parcel that would connect public lands and Gavin Park.
The Supervisors passed a total of 19 resolutions unanimously, including:
- Expressing support for state legislation to designate Route 9 in the county as “United States Submarine Veterans Memorial Highway”
- Expressing support for the Capital Region’s 20.20 Revitalization Plan,
- Proclaiming October as ‘Manufacturing Month’ and ‘Cyber-Security Awareness Month’ in the county,
- Accepting ownership of four roads in the Town of Malta at the Luther Forest Technology Campus;
- Accepting a security grant of $72,500 from the New York State Division of Homeland Security
- Appointing David Wallingford and Ralph Pascucci as Commissioners of the Saratoga Lake Improvement District.
Are you ready for some Playoffs?
SARATOGA COUNTY – Three of the area’s High School Varsity football teams, by virtue of concluding their regular seasons undefeated, have garnered the Number 1 seed in their respective divisions and will host games as the playoffs begin this Friday, October 23 at 7 p.m.:
- In Section II, Class AA Saratoga Springs (5-0 conference, 7-0 overall) sewed up the #1 seed in the Empire Division with a convincing 47-13 win over Ballston Spa last Friday, October 16. They will host the Liberty Division’s #4 seed Bethlehem (3-2, 4-3) – a rematch of a game on September 4, won in convincing fashion by the Blue Streaks, 42-0 to open their season.
The Blue Streaks have averaged 43.7 points per game, and the offense has featured a balanced rush and passing attack. They have surrendered only 13.4 ppg.
- In Class A, Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake (5-0, 7-0) has the #1 seed in the North West Division, and will host Gloversville (1-4, 3-4), seeded #5. This is a rematch of a game held two weeks ago on October 10, where the Spartans won easily by a 50-14 score.
BH-BL has averaged 39 points per game on offense, surrendering just 9.7 per contest.
- In Class B, Schuylerville (5-0, 7-0) is seeded #1 in the West Division, and will host Hudson (3-3, 3-4), seeded #4 in the Reinfurt Division. This will be the first meeting this year between the two teams. The Black Horses have averaged 47.3 points per game, while surrendering just 8 ppg, with two shutouts and never more than 14 in any contest.
Also in Class AA, Ballston Spa (2-3, 3-4) is seeded #4 in the Empire Division. They face a strong test as they begin the playoffs at Shaker (5-0, 7-0), which is the #1 seed in the Liberty Division. The two teams have not met this season. The Scotties’ wins have come at home against Colonie and CBA, and on the road at Albany. None of these three teams are in the playoffs this year.
Saratoga Springs HS Freshman Hugh Dempsey Named To International Children’s Games in Innsbruck this January
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Fourteen-year old Hugh Dempsey has received a big honor – one might say, an honor of Olympic proportions! Hugh, a ninth grade student at Saratoga Springs High School (SSHS), will be part of a team from the Lake Placid/Adirondack region that will venture to Innsbruck, Austria next January, to participate in the 2016 Winter International Children’s Games (ICG).
This will be the first time the Lake Placid area will be sending a team to the games, which draws delegations from as far away as China, South Korea and Australia in addition to several other locales in Europe and North America. Innsbruck will host the seventh winter ICG, which has been held since 1994. Hugh will be a member of the Team Lake Placid’s Alpine Skiing team. This major multi-sport event is designed for children aged 13 to 15 years. Other sports in the games include freestyle and cross-country skiing, and speed skating.
Hugh, who will be joining the SSHS varsity alpine skiing team when it begins it season next month, has been a member of teams from the New York State Educational Foundation (NYSEF) for several years. Hugh was grateful to his Coach, John Norton and other NYSEF coaches who nominated him for the Lake Placid squad last May, and to Lake Placid’s Mayor, Craig Randall, for the vision to start a Lake Placid team.
He and his teammates’ expenses will be fully funded for the trip to Innsbruck, Austria. All travel-related expenses will be paid by the Henry Uihlein II and Mildred A. Uihlein Foundation; lodging and meals while in Innsbruck will be covered by the Innsbruck 2016 Organizing Committee; and the travel will be arranged by NYSEF.
When he learned that he had been selected, “It didn’t sink in for a couple of days,” Hugh said, “but in addition to being very glad, I felt lucky and honored. It’s really flattering to be chosen for the first Lake Placid team.” It will be Hugh’s first time visiting Austria, but at a relatively young age he is no stranger to travelling. He has already participated in tournaments with NYSEF teams, competing at Mont Tremblant, Quebec for CAN-AM events, and at Copper Mountain, Colorado, where he will be returning next December.
Hugh’s favorite subject in school is global history, which has him excited about the other athletes from all over the globe he will meet in Innsbruck, “I like learning about other cultures and people,” Hugh said. When asked about the challenges of balancing schoolwork while competing in tournaments that might cross several time zones, he said, “I actually did better academically – the NYSEF coaches are very helpful in making sure we keep up with our homework.”
When not skiing, Hugh keeps his condition and stamina strong as a member of the Freshman Soccer team at SSHS, where he mostly plays forward, as well as by mountain biking and running. He keeps his mind sharp by playing Monopoly with his sisters, Norah (12) and Cara (8), and probably both in top form, as well as dexterity, by playing the piano, which he has done since age 6. He credits his parents, Jenn and Steve, for instilling a love for both skiing and music in him at a young age.
In the interests of journalistic research, I requested he give me a go-round across the ivories, and I have to say I was pretty impressed. But not surprised – you come away with the impression that Hugh can pretty much do what he sets his mind to do. And putting journalistic objectivity aside, Hugh Dempsey is just a likable young man who makes it very easy to root for him.
He would like to continue his skiing career in the college ranks and beyond. So, are we going to see him on the Olympic medal stand some day?
“I’m going to take this as far as I can.” Hugh said.
Madigan Proposes 0.14 Percent Property Tax Reduction
SARATOGA SPRINGS – At the Saratoga Springs City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 6, Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan detailed the proposed 2016 Saratoga Springs City Budget, under which City residents will see a 0.14 percent decrease in their property taxes.
The proposed 2016 tax rates are - inside district: $6.0593 per $1,000 of assessed property value; outside district: $5.982 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
What this translates to, for a taxpayer inside the district with a home with an assessed value of $250,000, their property tax bill in 2016 will be $1,514.83 – a reduction of $2.70 from 2015.
This is the fourth City budget that Commissioner Madigan has put forth with virtually no increase in property tax. The 2016 Budget year is also the second year of the NYS Property Tax Freeze Credit. If the City stays within the tax levy cap and receives State approval of its Government Efficiencies Plan, qualified homeowners will also receive a freeze credit. “Saratoga Springs taxpayers can expect to receive both a tax decrease and a tax rebate”, stated Commissioner Madigan.
The total budget in 2016 will rise by $2,081,557 over 2015, to $43,841,077. The majority of the increase, $1.65 million, or 79 percent, is due to contractual wage and health insurance cost increases. The proposed budget offsets these and other increases with forecasts of a two percent increase in sales and mortgage taxes over amounts projected for 2015, bringing in an additional $1.43 million. Also, hotel occupancy tax is forecast to increase by $140,100; building permits another $50,000, and franchise tax (collected on local gross cable revenue) about $45,000.
The budget does not contain any potential one-time revenues the city might derive from the sale/lease of either the Collamer or High Rock parking lot. Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) aid was projected at the 2013 level, or $1.827 million, in anticipation of a potential impact of expanded casino gaming in the region on city revenues.
Four budget workshops are currently scheduled: Thursday, October 8 at 5 p.m., Wednesday October 14 at 1 p.m., Wednesday, October 21 at 1 p.m. and Monday, October 26 at 6 p.m. Each workshop will be designated for specific departments, with time allotted at each workshop for general discussion after departments are finished. There will also be a Public Comment period at each workshop.
Also, two public hearings are required, with the first to be held at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20, before the regular City Council meeting and another to be scheduled once the City Council has made adjustments to the plan. Under the city’s charter, the finance commissioner proposes a comprehensive budget at the first City Council meeting in October. Through workshops and meetings, the City Council can vote to change the budget in November or simply adopt it as proposed. The council must adopt a budget by November 30; if it doesn’t, the proposed budget detailed last Tuesday will become the 2016 adopted budget.
The complete 2016 budget proposal can be viewed in its entirety on the city’s website at www.saratoga-springs.org
UPDATE #2 :
SPA CATHOLIC GOLF WINS SECTION 2 GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP!
For the 3rd consecutive year, Spa Catholic's Golf team has captured the Section 2 Class C/D Golf Title... The Saint's outpaced Hoosick Falls by a 345-367 margin... Three Spa Catholic Golfers (Drew Welcome, Terel Tillman and Colin Bradley) turned in scores which will advance them to the Section 2 ABCD playoffs at Orchard Creek Golf Club on Tuesday, October 13th!
Following the victory at the WAC Cup tournament last week, Drew Welcome was the medalist at that event recording a 77, and he was subsequently named the Most Valuable Player in the North division of the WAC. 1st team honors went to Terel Tillman and Peter Francomano while Colin Bradley, Emma VanDeCar and Chloe Ethier were named to the 2nd team as All-Stars.
UPDATE: Spa Catholic Golf won the WAC Cup tournament on Friday, October 2 at Stadium Golf Course in Schenectady. They won this event for the fourth consecutive time and was crowned WAC league champion for the third consecutive time. Spa Catholic’s score was 320 - in second place was Canajoharie at 359.
Spa Catholic Varsity Golf 56-0; 3+ Year Winning Streak
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Central Catholic High School varsity golf team is poised to contend for a title for a third straight year, while riding a phenomenal 56-match winning streak. This unblemished record stretches back over more than three seasons.
Their latest victory in the streak came on Monday, September 28, against Galway (by a 13-2 score) to close out a third straight undefeated season. The top six golfers (Drew Welcome, Terel Tillman, Colin Bradley, Peter Francomano, Chloe Ethier and Emma VanDeCar) will be defending their two-time championship in the Western Athletic Conference’s WAC Cup tournament this week, and then proceeding to the Section II Class C/D sectionals next Tuesday, October 6, at Eagle Crest Country Club, where the Saints squad will also be looking for a third straight title.
Coach Dale Long is justifiably proud of his team and it’s accomplishments. “This is a great group of kids, most of them have been together for years now, and they have the ethic to play on their own, and with each other,” he said. “It’s not just that they work hard at it. They’re friends who genuinely like and support each other.”
“They are very capable of defending their title,” Coach Long concluded.
In addition to their spotless record, the Spa Catholic golf team has several interesting backstories. Their winning streak began with the last six matches of the 2012 season (their last loss coming on September 17, 2012) under Coach Mike Beson, who became stricken with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, otherwise known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. Coach Beson courageously continued to jointly coach the squad with Coach Long in 2013, and together they guided the team through the first of three undefeated seasons, before Coach Beson’s untimely passing in October of that year.
“Dale’s done a great job with these kids,” said Stephen Ethier, Chloe’s father. “He’s too modest to say anything, but the parents know that he has done a lot behind the scenes – buying golf bags for some; working individually with them playing extra rounds on his own time when needed – that have helped to make this team so excellent.”
Coach Long also noted that among the squad’s top six players are two women – Senior Chloe Ethier and Junior Emma VanDeCar – who, in addition to more than holding their own on the links, are currently the top-ranked academic students in their respective classes. Ethier and VanDeCar are looking to continue their golf careers in the college ranks, as is Drew Welcome, a top golfer on the team who has advanced to the state tournament the past two years.
The Spa Catholic golf team is as deep as it is strong, which bodes well for their continued success in years to come. “I’m very proud of the fact that we have nine players on our squad with scores averaging 47 or below,” Coach Long said. “We are graduating four seniors, which can be tough, but we’ve built a strong nucleus.” He cited Terel Tillman as one example. Tillman is one of three ninth graders on the 2015 team, and a regular member of the top six that compete in matches against other high schools.
Something that was noticeable about each member of the team was the quiet confidence and overall joy they exhibited as they went about their warm-up routine before the Galway match. No winning streak pressure here.
Just setting a standard of excellence, and having fun doing it. This is what high school sports should be all about.
Saratoga Rowing Association’s Mission: A Year-round Premier Rowing Destination
SARATOGA SPRINGS – With Saturday’s Tail of the Fish Regatta scheduled to launch about 8 a.m., it is important to celebrate the year-round impact that the Saratoga Rowing Association (SRA) has on the local economy. Yes, they put on world-class regattas, but an important part of their greater mission is: To grow Saratoga into a premier rowing destination. That mission got a big boost earlier this week, with the beginning of construction on a new Saratoga Training and Regatta Center on Route 9P.
This center, scheduled to be completed in February of 2016, is the cornerstone of a $1.25 million capital campaign that began earlier this year with contributions from Bonacio Construction, Stewart’s Shops and the Dake Family, Adirondack Trust Company and other community leaders as well as the public.
According to SRA Board President Katherine Smith, the fundraising for the campaign is about 70 percent complete, and donations are still welcome (visit SaratogaRowing.com/campaign).
Smith, citing statistics from the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau, the impact from the Regattas (including the Tail of the Fish, Head of the Fish and Saratoga Invitational, and others) already generates impressive numbers:
- 10,000+ hotel room nights
- An overall $8.9 million annual local impact on the economy
It is worth noting that this impact is generated between Labor and Memorial Day – outside the height of the traditional Saratoga tourism season.
So, the new training center will serve to increase an already robust economic impact that SRA fosters locally. Once complete, it will also greatly expand the ability for year-round indoor training of athletes. “When it’s up and running, we will have the capacity to train 200 young athletes in grades 7-12, plus 40 adults, all in one day.” Smith noted.
Saturday’s Tail of the Fish Regatta is a success story begun by SRA Regatta Director Chris Chase in 1997. This one-day event will bring over 300 boats and 36 registered teams, from as far as Cope Cod, MA and throughout the Northeast, to compete on Saratoga Lake, along with thousands of viewers and supporters who will line the shore. This regatta has several important early-season functions for the teams involved.
“It gives an opportunity for teams that are just beginning the season to settle on the lineup(s) that work best,” said SRA Executive Director Eric Catalano, who also is the Varsity Girls Head Coach. “It gets newer rowers an initiation into the competitiveness of regatta action, with an emphasis on local rivalries, such as with Albany, Shenendehowa, Niskayuna, Burnt Hills and Emma Willard that traditionally field strong teams. Chris Chase always does a great job reaching out to the other squads and putting together a solid lineup.” Chase, like many on SRA’s dedicated staff, wears more than one hat – he is also the Freshman Boys Coach.
As far as SRA’s teams, Catalano said, “…the squads are deep and evenly balanced – from both an age group and gender standpoint. We are coming off a strong showing at the Head of the Hudson in Albany.” Catalano notes that the Tail of the Fish is also a great opportunity for someone new to view the sport of rowing, as “the weather is nearly always ideal,” he said. This early prelude to some of the major fall regattas, including Saratoga’s two-day Head of the Fish (on Saturday October 31 and Sunday, November 1 this year) also gives Smith, who also serves as SRA’s Volunteer Coordinator, a chance to work out logistics with about 125 volunteers, whose ranks will nearly double at the end of next month.
The new training center will be faithful to the rich heritage of rowing in Saratoga that SRA has stewarded since their founding in 1996. In a nice piece of symmetry, the architect of the new building is Tom Frost, who is the creator of the iconic and highly treasured Head of the Fish Trophy. It will also have expanded facilities, Smith noted. “The new facility will have locker rooms and showers. In addition, the bottom floor will have a regatta office that will have staff and serve as a headquarters for day-of- event activities. It will be a much better situation for logistics.”
“Also, the second floor will have temporary adult housing space for visiting coaches and race officials, and will give us room for our youth and adult summer camp.” Smith added.
At any major well-run event, such as the Tail of the Fish Regatta, there are many things that go on behind the scenes that the public often doesn’t see until they arrive on event day; this is also the case with a lot of the Saratoga Racing Association’s activities to make Saratoga a premier destination for rowing – but we need not wait for the eventual ribbon-cutting to salute their dedication to that cause.
“We’re very grateful to all that helped bring us to this point with their support,” Katherine Smith said, “I’m happy to point out to any of our contributors that 100 percent of our Board, and all of our members, about 170 families, gave to this campaign before the public kickoff.”
“It set us up for an exciting future that everyone will enjoy.”
For more information, visit SaratogaRowing.com.
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Blondes vs. Brunettes®, a volunteer-driven, all female gridiron event to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York, will host their 5th annual Powderpuff Football Game at 5:30 pm on Saturday, September 19 at Skidmore College. Tickets to the event are only $10 and children 16 and under are free-of-charge. A victory party will be held after the game at Peabody’s in Saratoga Springs.
In this seriously athletic, but fun flag football game, two all-female teams are divided based on the age-old rivalry blondes and brunettes. The players, trained by experienced football players and coaches, have been practicing all summer. The Brunette Bombers are eager to defend their title, while the Blonde Bombshells are looking to reclaim the title.
Blondes vs. Brunettes was created in the fall of 2005 in Washington DC, and has since made its way to many other cities nationwide. Since its entrance into the Capital Region five years ago, Blondes vs. Brunettes has raised over $180,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association Northeastern New York chapter. Thanks to this year’s presenting sponsor Philly Bar and Grill and The Bull and Barrel and to the team sponsors: NH Kelman, Inc and Morris Ford, the game is not only a fun competition, but an inexpensive, family friendly event.
Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and over 5.6 million Americans are currently living with the disease. As our population ages, the number of people affected is expected to grow considerably. All funds raised by Blondes vs. Brunettes are donated to the Northeastern New York Chapter, which provides vital services and support to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their family members in a 17-county area of the state.
To buy tickets or for more information, visit www.bvbsaratoga.com.
Ballston Spa 7-0-1 to Begin Season
BALLSTON SPA – The Ballston Spa boy’s soccer varsity team has served notice that they intend to be a force this season.
“We’ve got 23 seniors on our roster, it’s very deep.” Coach Garry Preece said. “They’ve got a very high skill level, and, because they have played so much together, a very good level of communication with each other.”
Indeed, crisp passing and a stout defense, anchored by goalie Rylie Hall, have been hallmarks of their play this season. Heading into Thursday’s matchup with Shenendehowa, the Scotties are undefeated, with a record of 7-0-1, with seven straight victories and three consecutive shutouts: Versus Troy (4-0) on September 10), at Columbia (5-0) on September 12, and a 1-0 shutout versus Colonie on September 15.
Coach Preece described the match against Colonie as “… a big win. Colonie has 17 seniors on their roster, and one of the top goalies in section 2, as well as other top prospects. It was a tough battle, a very physical game.”
“It showed that our kids are in great shape. That, combined with a deep roster, we were able to overcome having one of our top players (Griffen MacWatters) sitting out for this one.” Coach Preece said
The win over Colonie was the fourth shutout this season for Ballston Spa, and this does not include a scoreless tie that they had to begin the season against Shaker on August 27. Their first shutout (2-0) of the season was recorded at a September 1 match at Niskayuna.
Ballston Spa’s other victories were registered against Proctor of Utica (2-1) on September 1, Saratoga Springs (5-2), both at home, and a win (2-1) against Albany on September 8 at Bleeker Stadium.
Overall, the Scotties have scored 21 goals in their eight games to begin the season, while surrendering a paltry four!
Coach Preece declined to name any particular team that might present a challenge to Ballston Spa’s undefeated record, stating “there are many fine teams in the Suburban Council.” He did say that he was looking forward to the match against Bethlehem on Tuesday, October 6 under the lights (7 p.m. start) during Homecoming Week. But he left no doubt that he was proud of his squad and its future prospects. “I’m looking forward to a great season.” He said.
UPDATE:After this story went to press, Ballston Spa visited Shenendehowa on Thursday afternoon and posted it's 8th win of the season with a 2-1 victory. Despite a 0-1 deficit at the half, the team bounced back to tie the game with 32:41 remaining in the second half.
Colby Obrecht finished a deflected cross for the equalizer. After dominating play for the majority of the second half, Connor Defilippis found the back of the net with a free kick with under a minute remaining. The team played hard despite the heat and improves to 8-0 for the season.
Peter Shaw, class of 1978, was a Versatile Three Sport Star.
COBLESKILL – Peter Shaw, a native of Malta, will receive a major honor on Friday, September 25, when he will be inducted into the 2015 class at SUNY Cobleskill’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Shaw, a graduate of the class of 1978, excelled in soccer, wrestling and baseball while a member of SUNY Cobleskill’s Flying Tigers. A Ballston Spa High School alumnus, Shaw established himself as one of the most diverse players in the athletic program’s history while at SUNY Cobleskill, earning the athletic program’s 1978 Male Athlete-of-the-Year Award.
A three-sport performer during his playing career, Shaw earned distinction by garnering the men’s soccer team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player Award in 1978, and was an All-Mountain Valley Conference Team selection at the goalie position.
As a member of the college’s wrestling program, he provided the team with both depth and flexibility, competing in every weight class from 145 to 190 pounds during his career. He also demonstrated a similar type of flexibility on the baseball field –playing positions in the field as catcher, at first base and in the outfield.
Professionally, Shaw has spent the last 30 years as a member of the Saratoga Springs, Fire Department currently holding the rank of Assistant Fire Chief. He also serves as a member his hometown Malta Volunteer Fire Department, where he currently serves as the town’s Fire Chief.
SARATOGA SPRINGS—Skidmore College has appointed Dartmouth assistant Tucker Kear as head men's lacrosse coach.
Kear comes to Saratoga after a year as the offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator for the Big Green.
Prior to Dartmouth, he spent two years as the head coach at Bard College. He was the second head coach in Raptor history and first since the revival of the team after it lost varsity status in 2011. He guided Bard to its first-ever win in the opening game of the 2014 season and finished with six victories with a squad that included only three upperclassmen and 14 freshmen.
"We are excited to have Tucker Kear join our staff and we look forward to watching our team thrive under his leadership," said Gail Cummings-Danson, Skidmore athletics director."The young men in our lacrosse program will be served well by Coach Kear's knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the sport of lacrosse. He has a proven record of recruiting young men who are successful in the classroom and on the field."
Kear served as the assistant coach at Union College from 2007-11, until he was named the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. He helped lead the Dutchmen to their first Liberty League championship and NCAA Division III playoff bid in program history. He was part of the 2008 Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year and was named the 2011 NCAA Division III Assistant Coach of the Year.
Kear received a degree in English literature from The University at Albany in 2006. He played Division I lacrosse at UMASS Amherst and Butler University.
"I would first like to thank Gail Cummings-Danson as well as the search committee for the opportunity to become the next head coach here at Skidmore College," Kear said.
"I eagerly look forward to building upon the exemplary job that Coach (Patrick) Hart did here over the past two years and to get started with the young men who are a part of this program. I believe this team is ready to take a big step forward and I am confident that the guys know what it takes to win in the Liberty League and are ready to get to work.
"I've had the great fortune of working for some terrific leaders and coaches in my career and would like to thank both Coach (Brendan) Callahan and the whole Dartmouth Athletic community for the year I spent up in Hanover helping to build a championship culture around the lacrosse program.
"I look forward to seeing what we are capable of as a squad on the field this year as well as to building a program that is capable of competing for Liberty League championships year in and year out. This is a truly great place to learn and compete and it is my intention to build a solid foundation around those two concepts and to help the student athletes who are involved in our program to become great in whatever ventures they aspire toward."