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March / April 2012 Cover Photo by © Kitchen customized by Phinney Design Group Local home in Wilton

Home & Garden

Reviews 8 Food for Thought The Irish Times Pub and Restaurant 80 Bookmarks Peter Olsen’s “Saratoga: Health, History, Horses and Hi- Tech” Pg.




36 Room to Create Kids’ rooms let loose!

44 Kitchens & Baths All you need to know for home renovations

52 In Good Company Designer Lisa Bates’ new twist on old favorites

60 Dos and Don’ts for Spring Gardening The growing season is closer than you think 66 Simple Green Beginnings Twenty easy tips for going green Pg.


Things to Do


14 Taste of the Irish Irish recipes from local restaurants 27 Prom Fashion Hottest trends for prom 2012

74 Summer Camp Guide Summer fun for your little one


"flip through" the pages of this magazine at

24 Maple Weekend A sweet spring treat!

30 Save the Date Best events in Saratoga County


32 Wealth Advisor Caring for aging parents

34 Simple Truths Relationship spring cleaning

72 Doctors’ Notes Preventing colorectal cancer

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Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty General Manager Robin Mitchell Art Director Tiffany Garland Editor Daniel Schechtman Writers Kim Beatty Barbara Cook Helen Susan Edelman Yael Goldman Meghan Lemery Andrew Marshall Michael Okby Daniel Schechtman Saratoga Care/ Saratoga Hospital

Advertising Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Graphic Designer Katy Holland Copy Proofreader Christina James Contributing Photographers Š Printing Fry Communications Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 fax: (518) 581-2487

Simply Saratoga is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright (c) 2012, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper

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Food for Thought

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The Irish Times Pub & Restaurant: “Lá breá agat!”*

(*Irish for “Have a nice day!”) Story By Helen Susan Edelman Photos by ©

You might think – as I did, before a recent Wednesday evening – that an Irish restaurant would be all about “meat and potatoes.” But you would be wrong. While The Irish Times Pub & Restaurant on Phila Street spotlights both of these staples from the Emerald Isle, the menu is delightfully diverse, with unexpected fare like Dublin shrimp, grilled vegetable Napoleon, fresh spinach salad, Greek hummus and flatbread, the Nijinsky (grilled chicken breast with mango chutney, cheddar cheese, caramelized red onions and spinach,

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served on seared thick sourdough bread), potato and leek soup and a generous pub steak sandwich. But, if you insist on honoring tradition, you will be treated to some surprising twists on the theme, like Irish nachos (waffle-cut fries piled high with shredded corned beef, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, salsa and melted pepper jack), Boxty (a traditional Irish potato pancake stuffed with your choice of Irish-style chicken curry or Guinness beef stew) and Irish Times spring rolls (corned beef and cabbage with Swiss cheese in a wonton wrapper, fried and served with Russian dressing). For the hard-core Irish-food lover, there’s plenty of Shepherd’s Pie, fish and chips, Irish breakfast (two eggs, bangers, rasher bacon, black and white pudding, baked beans, grilled tomatoes and Irish soda bread) and bangers and mash (Irish pork sausage and mashed spuds covered in savory onion gravy).

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And don’t forget dessert – can anyone say Bailey’s mousse cake? Portions are large (enough to take some home) and prices are moderate. If you’re thirsty – and who isn’t in an Irish pub? – there are usually 16 beers on tap, as well as craft beers, wines and the usual non-alcoholic beverages. (Recently, restaurant proprietor Niall Roche brought his staff to a local brewery to participate in producing a custom beer – chocolate stout – to be served exclusively at the restaurant.) Niall Roche, along with his wife, Nikki, has every right to create a menu with both authentic and fanciful items. A native of Ireland who started working in his father’s hotel and restaurant at 14, Roche was managing an Irish pub in Manhattan when the couple decided to relocate to Saratoga Springs in 2009. His experience has included everything from working as a line cook to overseeing the business details that plague only an owner. “We checked the town out, talked to locals, looked at the bars and restaurants already here – and then we saw this property and it was the perfect spot,” Roche says. “We live near Skidmore now, and most days I can walk to work.” Niall is at the restaurant six days a week, and Nikki does the marketing and accounting, mostly from home, so she can care for the couple’s two young daughters. They also juggle a full social schedule of community fundraisers (Nikki serves on numerous boards) and still find time for leisure, sports and family. “We’ve gotten an absolutely great reception, right from the start,” Roche says. “A regular crowd gravitated to the restaurant right away, and it’s just gotten busier and busier.” He notes that when he first got to town, he met just a few guys from Ireland, who came to the restaurant regularly, but that there are at least 20 now, drawn to the area to work at GLOBALFOUNDRIES in Malta, and drawn to Irish Times for the camaraderie. The 6,000-square-foot, brick, multi-story building is a spacious setting for Roche’s dream enterprise. The streetlevel restaurant features a popular bar (many nights, standing-room-only) with large HD screens tuned into horse racing, soccer and rugby programs beamed in from Europe, and booths lining the walls. An enormous wooden stairwell

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brings diners to the second floor, which is set up for intimacy, with tables in nooks and balconies overlooking the first floor. A roof patio is open in the summer months. The second floor also has a separate bar for private parties. (The Irish Times hosts many events – from bridal showers to holiday parties, from 21st birthdays to retirement celebrations.) Roche says the first floor was conceived as an inviting country pub, but the second floor was designed to be “a castle.” To ensure that guests would be comfortable while they dine, Roche decorated with furniture imported straight from Ireland, including deep leather chairs with arms and special barstools. The atmosphere is further enhanced by photographs of horses from Ireland and framed pages from -- what else? – The Irish Times newspaper. “The place is transformed, depending what’s going on here,” Roche says, explaining that on Monday, wings are only 20 cents apiece, Reuben sandwiches are on special on Tuesday, Wednesday is Trivia Night (which is packed), there are happy hours Tuesday through Friday, and weekends feature live music. “And occasions like St. Patrick’s Day or Chowderfest, we are jammed,” Roche reports. “People are having a grand time, from morning ‘til night. Every stool and ledge is full.” Paddy’s Day is a particular hullabaloo with the doors opening early for “keg and eggs,” bangers and bacon, a huge buffet for lunch and dinner and music from noon until midnight. Roche says most of his regular patrons are local Saratoga residents, but there are frequent visitors from Schuylerville, Glens Falls and Albany. The summer is another story altogether, with a steady stream of out-of-towners who come for a meal and stay for an evening. Come early, stay late. You won’t leave hungry.


The Irish Times Pub & Restaurant 14 Phila St., Saratoga Springs (518) 583-0003 Hours Lunch: Wed-Sun: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Dinner: Mon-Sun from 5 p.m. Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 3-6 p.m. at the bar

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Photo by ©

Taste of the


Gaffney’s Irish Nachos

INGREDIENTS Waffle-cut fries - enough to fill a plate 1/2 cup sour cream Sliced scallions to taste 1/3 cup cooked chopped bacon Shredded cheddar cheese DIRECTIONS: Line an oven-proof dinner plate with fried wafflecut fries. Spoon dollops of sour cream over fries. Cover with shredded cheddar. Sprinkle with scallions and bacon, and place under the broiler until cheese has fully melted. Serve with salsa. Chef Kevin Myers Gaffney’s Restaurant

Gaffney’s Restaurant 16 Caroline Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 • (518) 587-7359 14 | Simply Saratoga

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Photo by ©

Taste of the


Irish Times Guinness Beef Stew

INGREDIENTS (6 Servings) 2 lbs stewing beef (cubed) 3 Tbsp. oil 4 Yukon Gold potatoes – washed & cubed 2 lg. onions (chopped) 4 stalks of celery (chopped) 2 cups large, diced carrot 1 Tbsp. minced garlic 1 tsp. fresh Thyme 2 cups Guinness beer 2 cups beef stock 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce Salt and pepper to taste DIRECTIONS: Heat oil in small stockpot over medium heat. Brown meat on all sides. Reduce heat and add garlic and vegetables. Cook for 15 minutes until potatoes are soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 2 hours. The Irish Times Pub & Restaurant 14 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 • (518) 583-0003

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Photo by ©

Taste of the

Irish INGREDIENTS 2 eggs Toast Irish bangers Home fries Tomato Olive oil Paprika

The Local’s Irish Breakfast 1 oz. vodka 6 oz. tomato juice Salt, pepper and celery seed Worcestershire sauce Fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS: Cook the two eggs to your liking. Slice tomatoes and season with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill until soft. For home fries, dice three large red potatoes and boil until soft. Drain, dry and season with salt, pepper and paprika and sauté until golden brown. For the Bloody Mary, mix 1 oz. vodka, 6 oz. of tomato juice, a dash of salt, pepper, celery seed, Worcester sauce and fresh lemon juice. Breakfast is served! The Local Pub and Tea House 142 Grand Avenue Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 (518) 587-7256

Photo by ©

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Taste of the


The Seven Horse Pub Dublin Coddle

INGREDIENTS 1 pound stewing beef 8 slices bacon 1 pound breakfast sausage 8 white potatoes 3 celery stalks 1 large onion 1 teaspoon garlic 2 large parsnips 6 large carrots 2 liters chicken stock 1/2 cup pearl barley 2 teaspoons sugar 2 garlic cloves 1 teaspoon basil, coriander, parsley Dash of the following: -Worcestershire sauce -Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) -Salt and pepper Corn starch and water

Photo by Š DIRECTIONS: Put a dash of EVOO in a pan and heat adding the garlic and onion. Then sear the stewing beef in the pan adding the Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 5 minutes or until the beef is browned. In a stock pot add half of the chicken stock, bacon and sausage that has been cut into bite-sized pieces. Then add barley, herbs and sugar and stir together. Add the contents of the stew beef pan to the stockpot, use salt and pepper to taste. Add the remainder of the chicken stock - enough to cover the contents of the pot. Cooking this in a stockpot takes approximately 3-5 hours on a low simmer. Just before it's finished, we like to mix a bit of corn starch and water to thicken the mixture. The Dublin Coddle goes well with a nice Irish Soda Bread. Enjoy.

The Seven Horse Pub 43 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 • (518) 581-0777

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Taste of the


Parting Glass’ Black Bean Soup

Chef Darren The Parting Glass

INGREDIENTS 4 - 19 oz. cans of black beans (unrinsed) 1 cup white onions 1 cup carrots 1 cup red peppers 1 cup celery 3 chicken bouillon cubes 3 beef bouillon cubes Fresh thyme, rosemary and sage tied in a bundle Sour cream for garnish 16 oz. pint of Guinness Stout DIRECTIONS: Finely chop white onions, carrots, red peppers and celery. In a thick bottom pan, sauté chopped vegetables until tender. Add all other ingredients, including the Guinness Stout, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Garnish with sour cream and serve with a pint of Guinness. The Parting Glass 40-42 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 • (518) 583-1916 Photo by ©

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Photo by ©

Taste of the


Gaffney’s Reuben

INGREDIENTS Rye bread Thinly-sliced corned beef Sauerkraut Thousand Island dressing Swiss cheese DIRECTIONS: Butter one side of each piece of bread and spread Thousand Island dressing. Add corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. Cook as you would a grilled cheese sandwich Chef Kevin Myers Gaffney’s Restaurant

Gaffney’s Restaurant 16 Caroline Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 • (518) 587-7359

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Taste of the


Irish Times Shepard’s Pie

MASHED POTATOES INGREDIENTS 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed ½ cup heavy cream 4 oz. unsalted butter Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Photo by ©

SHEPARD’S PIE INGREDIENTS 1½ pounds ground beef ½ cup minced garlic 2 cups diced onion 2 cups diced celery 2 cups diced carrots 1 cup peas 1 tsp. thyme Salt and pepper to taste 8 oz. beef stock 8 oz. Guinness beer DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the potatoes. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook potatoes until tender. Drain, return to pot and mash with potato masher. In a small pot heat heavy cream and butter until butter is melted. Mix cream and butter to the mashed potatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. In a large sauté pan, add minced garlic and ground beef over medium heat until golden brown. Drain fat. Add remaining ingredients and cook until vegetables are tender. Evenly divide into 4 (11 oz) ramekins. Top with mashed potatoes and bake in oven until potatoes are light brown on top. Approx. 25 minutes. The Irish Times Pub & Restaurant 14 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 • (518) 583-0003

Photo by ©

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Taste of the


Lake Ridge’s Boxty Potato Crusted Salmon with Bacon Leek Sauce Makes 4 Servings • Preheat oven to 425

CRUST INGREDIENTS 1 large russet potato, coarsely grated 1 minced shallot 1 minced garlic clove 1 egg yolk 1 tablespoon flour 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan Salt and pepper to taste 4 pieces 6 - 8 oz. salmon fillets ½ to ¾ cup white wine

SAUCE INGREDIENTS 1 leek cut into 3-inch pieces, julienne long ways and wash well 8 slices bacon, chopped 2 teaspoons minced garlic 2 cups heavy cream Juice from ½ lemon 1 tablespoon butter Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS: Mix together potato, shallot, garlic, egg yolk, flour, Parmesan and salt and pepper. Place salmon on baking sheet and divide potato mixture between fillets. Add wine and place in oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until potato is brown on top. While salmon is cooking, add bacon to the skillet and cook until it gets brown and crispy. Add leeks and cook for 3 minutes; add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and reduce by half. I like to serve on braised cabbage or greens and finish with sauce. Lake Ridge Restaurant • 35 Burlington Avenue, Round Lake, NY 12151 • (518) 899-6000

Chef Scott Ringwood Lake Ridge Restaurant

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Taste of the


Parting Glass’ Irish Soda Bread

INGREDIENTS 5 cups sifted all-purpose unbleached flour ¾ cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 ½ teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon baking soda ¼ pound butter 2 ½ cups raisins (optional) 3 ½ cups buttermilk 1 large egg, slightly beaten DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees; generously butter two 9 x 5 bread pans. Stir together the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in the butter and mix very thoroughly with your hands until it gets grainy. Stir in raisins (optional). Add the buttermilk and egg to the flour mixture. Stir until well moistened. Shape dough into two loaves and place in the pans. Bake for 1 hour. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy! The Parting Glass 40-42 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 • (518) 583-1916

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aple syrup production in New York has a long and colorful history. Maple syrup and maple sugar both played a large role during the Revolutionary War, as this was the only form of sugar available to the residents of New York and New England. Thankfully, we were, and still are, blessed with hard maple trees, one of the only varieties of maple tree that has a very high sugar content in the sap. When boiled for many hours, the water in the sap evaporates rendering maple syrup. Historically, maple production was a family affair: Producers would milk their cows in the morning, take the cleaned milk containers and go and collect the sap from the buckets in the woods; then, part of the family would go back and do the second milking while the rest of the family remained in the sap house to boil down the sap. This was an intense time with many sleepless nights and great dedication. The family would sell some of their harvest and reserve the rest for their own sugar needs. An interesting incident that occurred locally during the Revolutionary War happened in Harpersfield, NY, in April of 1780. A group of 14 men from the Schoharie Valley were

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Photos Provided


March 24-25 & March 31-April 1

ambushed while sugaring, thinking they were safely insulated in the woods away from the Indians and Tories. Unfortunately, they were caught making this precious resource, captured and marched to Canada. The harvest never made it home. A detailed account of this can be found in Jeptha Simms’ book, “History of Schoharie County.” Also chronicled in Simms’ book are details regarding who the real maple producers were during the war – the daughters! Since most of the young men were off fighting, in prison or worse, dead, the task fell on the capable shoulders of the girls in the family. Take these factoids with you when you go visit a maple producer this maple season. Maple weekends celebrate this sweet harvest during the last two weekends of March when open houses abound throughout the state. Participants include the New York State Maple Associations members, and they welcome all into their sugaring operations, large and small. Sample some history this spring – after all, some of the local maple trees may have seen the Revolutionary War themselves!


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Hollywood Glamorous



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Grecian Goddess Alluring



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Easter Eg Hunt

March 31

Savethe Date

Tails & Terpsichore Exhibit National Museum of Dance, 99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs The Tails and Terpsichore exhibit is where animals, humans and dance collide. Whether it’s animals dancing amongst themselves or people dancing alongside their furry friends, this exhibit has much to offer to experts and newcomers alike. Tails and Terpsichore opens Tuesday, March 20. For more information, visit

Taiko Project Skidmore College, North Broadway, Saratoga Springs Held in the Arthur Zankel Music Center on Thursday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m., this concert is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors. The Taiko Project is an ensemble of drummers dedicated to promoting and advancing the American art of taiko by incorporating unconventional and innovative concepts to expand artistic boundaries. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Saratoga Regional YMCA Chili Cook-Off & Carnival Saratoga YMCA, 290 West Ave., Saratoga Springs On Friday, March 23 from 6 – 8 p.m. the Saratoga Regional YMCA is hosting their Seventh Annual Chili CookOff and would like you to join the fun! For more information, visit the YMCA website at w w w. s a r a t o g a r e g i o n a l Capital District Garden & Flower Show Hudson Valley Community College, 80 Vandenburg Ave., Troy From March 23 to 25 welcome spring with 18 beautifully designed, fully blooming gardens, over 100 floral design arrangements and a garden marketplace. Visit for more information. 30 | Simply Saratoga

Upstate Golf Expo Saratoga Springs City Center, Broadway, Saratoga Springs Golf comes early this year at the Upstate Golf Expo on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25. The Golf Expo features a variety of golf-related exhibitors and displays. This is a great opportunity to gather a group of golf buddies and come to the expo. Visit for more information. A Taste of Ballston Spa HVCC Tech Campus, Malta On Monday, March 26 at 6 p.m., the Ballston Spa Education Foundation cordially invites you to "A Taste of Ballston Spa." Come enjoy an evening of food and friendship from our local restaurants with samples of dishes from each of our restaurant sponsors. Please visit for more information and to purchase tickets. A Night at the Brewseum New York State Military Museum, 61 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs On Friday, March 30 from 6 – 9 p.m., the Saratoga Springs Lions Club and the Friends of the New York State Military Museum will be cohosting a “Night at the Brewseum: Craft Beers and Military Gear.” The event will feature craft beers from the area courtesy of Saratoga Eagle Sales and Service, wine from area wineries, food courtesy of Maestro’s, and entertainment. Tickets are $25 for the public in advance or $30 at the door. Tickets are $20 in advance or at the door for active duty military personnel. Non-drinkers can purchase tickets for $10. Tickets can be purchased on the Lions’ website at, at the New York Military Museum store or from any Lions member. For more information, contact Jim Edwards at (518) 212-7752 or visit the Saratoga Lions’ website. Easter Egg Hunt Malta Community Center, 1 Bayberry Dr., Ballston Spa From 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 31, please register by March 26, by calling (518) 899-4411. Residents of Malta $6, non-residents $8. Please bring your own Easter basket to collect your eggs. Homemade Theater Presents “RUMORS” Homemade Theater, Spa State Park, South Broadway, Saratoga Springs Playwright Neil Simon delights audiences with this boisterously entertaining play. The Deputy Mayor of New York City is hosting a party in his elegant home when he is shot in the earlobe and his wife goes missing. Everyone tries to conceal the embarrassing events of the evening from the police and the media. A truly contemporary comedy of wit and political mischief. Playing April 20, 21, 27, 28, and May

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4 and 5 at 8 p.m. and April 29 and May 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $23 and $26. Visit for more information. Celebrate Earth Week Recycled Art Show Saratoga National Historical Park, 648 Rte 32, Stillwater Weekend-long exhibit beginning on Friday, April 20 through Sunday April 29, with original works of “recycled art,” with each piece containing at least 50 percent reclaimed or recycled materials. For more information, please visit or phone (518) 664-9821, ext. 224. Hadley Maple in April Festival Held on Rockwell St., Hadley Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29, this event runs all day from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Bring the family for everything maple! Visit for more information. kLaVoy5k Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs Held Saturday, April 28, this run helps to raise awareness and highlights the critical shortage of organ and tissue donations. To register for the race, visit Washington County Farm and Fiber Tour At Locations Across Washington County On April 28 and 29, bring the family along on this free tour to visit alpacas, bunnies, goats, sheep and lambs, llamas and meet the farmers and their families. Watch spinning, knitting, weaving and felting demonstrations. Learn about raising the livestock and pets that we cherish. For more information, visit Saratoga Horse Symposium Saratoga City Center, Broadway, Saratoga Springs On Sunday, April 29, have some fun at the 2012 Saratoga Horse Symposium. At this year’s educational symposium and equine expo, world class speakers will be sharing the latest in equine medicine, technology and research. Registration is $20 per person. This event is open to all. For more information, contact Jennifer Conte at (518) 8858995 or email To see details online, visit Guided History Walks Saratoga National Historical Park, 648 Rte. 32, Stillwater On Saturday, May 5 from 10 – 11:30 a.m., discover an amazing array of beautiful flowers and trees in lesser-known areas of the park during this leisurely nature walk with staff and volunteer guides. For more information, call (518) 664-9821, ext.224. Big Brothers Big Sisters - Chef Challenge Hampton Inn and Suites, 25 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region is hosting a new fundraising event Thursday, May 10. The Chef Challenge - Albany vs. Saratoga will feature a judged competition between a chef from Albany and a chef from Saratoga. Everyone will have an opportunity to sample the chefs’ winning culinary creations as well as food from two other visiting restaurants. This exciting evening promises to be filled with great fun, food and friends – and will play an important role in making a difference in the lives of the children served. For more information, contact Leigh Schrader at (518) 862-1250 or email

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Wealth Advisor...

Helping Care for Aging Parents Courtesy of: H. Michael Okby, First Vice President, Wealth Advisor The Okby Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Saratoga Springs Many baby boomers are finding that their aging parents are in need of health care assistance. Luckily, there are many options available today to help your parents grow old gracefully, either in their own home or in a facility, and several ways that you can finance the costs of the care.

Research Your Options

If your parents are healthy seniors who can look after themselves, they generally are eligible to enter a continuingcare retirement community that allows them to buy or rent an apartment and ensures them lifetime nursing care when it is necessary. Another option for healthy seniors is private long-term care insurance, which can help cover nursinghome costs or the cost of an in-home aide. There are a wide range of services and options available if your parent needs more substantial assistance and is not eligible for the above-mentioned services. Many families opt for moving an aging parent into their own home. If you are able to peacefully coexist with your parent, this may be a good idea because the arrangement frees you from worry about the upkeep of a second home, and you and your children can have valuable time to spend with your loved one.

Maintaining Their Own Home

When living together is not a workable plan, maintaining your parent in his or her own home is also an option. There are, however, several fairly expensive things that may be required to make a home environment safe and suitable for an aging person. Various safety features may be necessary, including first-floor bathrooms, grab bars in hallways and bathrooms, and a personal emergency response system in case your parent needs assistance while alone. If your parent is in need of daily assistance with meals or chores, he or she can apply for several services such as Meals on Wheels, which may be free for anyone over 60. If your parent needs more personal assistance, you may want to look into hiring an in-home aide at a skill level appropriate for the amount of help needed. Medicare will only pay the full cost of professional help if a physician certifies that your parent requires nursing care and if these services are provided by a Medicare-certified home health care agency. Adult day care is also an option

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and a good way to get your parent to socialize with other adults. Prices for day care can cost up to $100 a day or more, depending on the amount of attention and activities provided, and reduced rates may be offered for those who can’t afford the full charge. Call your local senior services groups and agencies to find one of the thousands of nationwide day centers that may match your needs.

Online Support for Eldercare

Administration on Aging: - A variety of print and online materials for elders, their families, and professionals regarding housing, medical, caregiving and services for seniors. ElderWeb: - A rich collection of resources for the elderly and their caregivers on financial matters, health care, living arrangements, and social, mental, and legal issues. There are other online support services, publications, and resources available that may meet your needs. Check your local library or senior services agency for information.

Financing Long-Term Care

One of the biggest worries of those caring for an aging parent is how to pay for the care needed. If you provide more than half of a parent’s support and his or her gross income is less than $3,650, you can claim your parent as your dependent, giving you a tax exemption for each parent so cared for and allowing you to write off much of the medical expenses. (Note: The dependent exemption phases out at higher income levels. Check with your tax advisor.) You may also be able to claim a federal tax credit that will enable you to take up to $3,000 off the cost of in-home care or day care. Another option is the flexible spending account (FSA), which lets you pay for a certain amount of care each year with pre-tax dollars. If sending your parent to a nursing home is inevitable, make sure you research each home extensively. Reservations at the home selected should be made at least a year ahead of the time that you expect your parent will need it, as waiting lists are typically long at well-respected facilities. Keep in mind, too, that the government offers limited financial help for those families paying for nursing home care. Medicare will only pay for care on a shortterm basis, and Medicaid only offers benefits to low income individuals with limited assets. And, with the average nursing home stay costing upward of $6,900 per month, financial planning has

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become even more crucial to the economic well-being of adult children responsible for the care of their elderly parents.1 Don’t wait until the last minute - start planning now to ensure the future care of your parents.

Publications for Long-Term Care Issues

• Caring for Your Parents: The Complete AARP Guide • Consumer Reports Complete Guide to Health Services for Seniors: What Your Family Needs to Know About Finding and Financing Medicare, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes, Home Care, and Adult Day Care, 592 pages, Three Rivers Press, 2000. There are other online support services, publications, and resources available that may meet your needs. Check you local library or senior services agency for information.

Helpful Resources

There are many resources that can help you by providing valuable information and referrals. In addition to the resources listed below, your place of worship, local hospital, and senior services groups and agencies may also be helpful. THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF HOMES AND SERVICES FOR THE AGING ( or (202)-783-2242) offers information on how to choose a nursing home or assisted-living facility, a directory of continuing-care retirement communities, and information on long-term care insurance. FAMILY CAREGIVER ALLIANCE (; (415)-434-3388) offers information for caregiver concerns, newsletters, fact sheets (English, Spanish and Chinese), and an online support group. THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR CAREGIVING ( is a national resource center that provides information on elder-care conferences, books and training for professionals. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF AREA AGENCIES ON AGING (; (202)-872-0888), an advocacy group for local aging agencies, offers The Eldercare Locator (800-677-1116) or, a service that puts you in touch with a local resource-and-referral organization, which, in turn, will recommend home health care aides. There are other online support services, publications, and resources available that may meet your needs. Check you local library or senior services agency for information.

Points to Remember

• As the population ages, many baby boomers may be called upon to care for an aging parent. • There are a range of options available to senior citizens, depending on their circumstances and the degree of care they require, including continuing-care retirement communities, moving a parent into the child’s home, or modifying a parent’s home to make it safe. • Certain tax breaks may be available if you can claim your parent as a dependent. • Research all your options, and consult the various resources available for the elderly.


For more information, contact H. Michael Okby at (518) 583-5601.

Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute, October 2010.


The author(s) and/or publication are neither employees of nor affiliated with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC ("MSSB"). By providing this third party publication, we are not implying an affiliation, sponsorship, endorsement, approval, investigation, verification or monitoring by MSSB of any information contained in the publication. The opinions expressed by the authors are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of MSSB. The information and data in the article or publication has been obtained from sources outside of MSSB and MSSB makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of information or data from sources outside of MSSB. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation by MSSB with respect to the purchase or sale of any security, investment, strategy or product that may be mentioned. Article written by McGraw Hill and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Financial Advisor H. Michael Okby. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

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Simple Truths

Letting Go of the Old and Making Room for the New Spring Cleaning Your Relationships s we approach the spring season we can look forward to lighter days, warmer weather, and the sweet sight of tulips and daffodils springing up through the thawing ground. The spring season renews our hearts and reminds us that we have survived the dark and chill of the winter season. Spring is about growth, renewal and hope. It represents a season in which we can spring ahead and prepare for new fresh growth in our lives. It is a season in which we are called to put away the old and prepare for the new seeds of growth in our lives. We’ve all spent time doing some spring cleaning to prepare for a fresh new season. Spring cleaning always calls us to evaluate what we need, and, more importantly, what we don’t. By throwing out the old we create space for something fresh and new to come into our lives. Like our closets, the relationships in our lives desperately require spring cleaning. Take a look at the relationships in your life. Do you surround yourself with healthy, positive people? Like an old ratty sweater that takes up space in your closet, your relationships with a significant other, family member, friend or colleague can sometimes do you more harm than good. To make room for new healthy relationships in our lives we have to let go of the old. The process of letting go of relationships that you have outgrown can be a very difficult process. Learning to take a step back and evaluate your feelings is always the first step in sorting out the relationships in your life.


Meghan D. Lemery, LCSW-R

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Think about someone that you are close to in your life. When you spend time with this person, do you feel energized, positive and relaxed? Do you look forward to spending time with this person or do you have feelings of dread and heaviness? If you have a relationship with a person that feels stale, negative and toxic, it is time to let go and move forward. Do not continue to spend time with any person, place or thing that brings you down and causes you to feel confused, anxious and guilty all the time. Your feelings serve as a compass to lead you in the right direction. If you consistently feel bad in the presence of a particular person, then it’s time to let them go and make room for healthy, positive people to come into your life. It is very easy to stay in relationships that you have outgrown because of guilt. Perhaps you feel bad about dumping Debbie Downer because she has no other friends and you are her only social outlet; or maybe you feel guilty about distancing yourself from certain family members because we’re “supposed” to be close with our families and spend time with them. Guilt is a HUGE energy drainer. Guilt knocks on the door of our hearts to convince us that we have to do the right thing even if the consequences strip our energy and leave us feeling heavy and depressed. NEVER EVER stay in a toxic relationship because you feel guilty. You and you alone are responsible for your peace and happiness. Feeling guilty for letting go and moving on is placing someone else’s happiness over your own. Take back your power and commit to honoring your peace of mind and health above ALL else. Fear is another culprit that keeps us trapped in unhealthy relationships. Rather than letting

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go of someone that is not good for us we cling harder to the relationship because we are afraid there is nothing better for us. The best way to work through this fear is to know with certainty what you want and what you value most in relationships. Make a list of qualities that are important to you and ask yourself if the person you need to let go of has these qualities. If you want a consistent, reliable friend and the one you’ve got cancels plans and flakes out on you all the time then you are not honoring your values. Taking the time to know what you want and what you value provides clarity and empowers you to make good choices. When you truly take responsibility for what you want, then fear begins to loosen its grip on your heart, making it easier for you to let go and make room for healthy relationships. Trade guilt and fear for peace and clarity and you will feel more energized, positive and self-confident in evaluating what relationships need to go in the giveaway bin. As we celebrate the spring season and prepare for

new growth, take time to spring clean the relationships in your life. Let go of the people that you have outgrown and make room for fresh, new relationships. Letting go of the old will leave you feeling renewed, empowered and is sure to put a spring in your step! Wishing you a fantastic spring season full of hope and renewal!


Ms. Lemery is a psychotherapist practicing in Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs, NY. She is also the author of “Please Pass the Barbie Shoes.” For more information, visit

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oom R toCreate

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Story By Andrew Marshall Photos by ©

or a long time, the only thought that went into what a child’s room should look like depended on whether it was blue for boys or pink for girls. These days, parents see what their child’s room looks like as an opportunity to exercise their creativity, while providing their child with an engaging environment that will help them develop their imagination and sense of ingenuity. This could mean anything from a simple painted mural, to an entire room centered on a certain theme or motif. Finding a practical way to store all your child’s belongings becomes its own challenge. Shelving, closets or toy chests can all be modified to remain as kidfriendly as possible, while remaining practical for adults. This should help to transition the room as your child grows older and wants to be involved with their room. “With a new addition to the family you can start new and fresh,” said Erika Gallagher of Plum and Crimson Interior Design in Saratoga Springs. “At the same time, you might want to think about things that will grow with the child, and minimize things that they might grow out of when they turn 6 or 7,” she continued. A parent’s first chance at decorating comes before they’ve even brought their little bundle of joy to their new home. Obviously, your newborn won’t have much say in the initial design of the nursery. How you decorate depends on what kind of influences you’d like the child to grow up around and what you hope they learn at a young age to instill good habits. It can be as simple as a sports theme for your little baseball fan or something as important as our environment. The blue or pink standard for a baby’s room can be tricky. Perhaps you’ve decided not to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl until the day the baby’s born. Instead of waiting to begin decorating after they’re born, Gallagher says you can consider a more neutral color scheme ahead of time. “Some people are choosing more outside the box ideas, like a gray and yellow theme for a boy or a girl. Something like a robin’s egg blue is natural for a boy, but is still a pretty color for a girl.” While choosing what color the room will be might seem pretty easy, it’s only one decision in a long line of things to consider. Parents can do so many clever and inventive things with their children’s rooms when it comes to design, storage or theme. That could mean building a room around one unique piece of furniture, or making sure every detail of the room is up to the standard you want for your child’s environment. Simply Saratoga had a chance to take a look inside some of the coolest kids’ rooms in the area that might give you a few ideas about what you can do when it comes time to remodel.

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It’s easy being “green”

Tucked away in the hills surrounding Saratoga State Park, a renovated barn has been turned into a gorgeous home, complete with eco-friendly nursery. While your attention is immediately grabbed by the bright colors and wall-sized mural, what are unseen are the steps taken for better air quality. The insulation behind the walls is made from 100 percent recycled blue jeans. While traditional fiberglass insulation can be toxic, the recycled blue jean insulation contains no formaldehyde or carcinogens that can become airborne and cause illness or allergic reactions. That’s not the only part of the room featuring a more health-conscious alternative to traditional home design techniques. Standard interior wall paint can contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) that can be harmful after prolonged exposure. The paint for the walls, along with the accompanying mural, was done with a special noVOC paint that lacks the specific byproducts that can cause irritation or illness. “Normally when I create a mural, I use a latex base under the art, and then I’ll use acrylic paint,” said the muralist, Rosemary Prock of Sow’s Ear Studio in Schenectady. “The homeowner was very specific I use the no-VOC paint. It was a deal breaker.” The change station in the room is a hub of organically produced or recycled toiletries, including brands like Seventh Generation and California Baby. While the room’s focus is on remaining environmentally friendly, the architectural aspects of the room will help keep it practical and keep you from having to remodel in another few years. The nursery has a bench in front of the window that doubles as a hidden toy chest, which not only organizes the room but saves space combining two features in one.

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Storage Wars

Children have a lot of stuff. Toys, games, stuffed animals, clothing and shoes generally end up scattered across the floor of a child’s room unless you’ve addressed their storage concerns. Cubby-space in a closet or next to a dresser can store items that are used more frequently, perhaps causing less stress when looking for their favorite toy or blanket. In smaller rooms, a trundle bed can serve as both a bedframe and storage unit. Furniture like this is available at retail stores and online catalogs, but building your own (or having one built) can address the specific needs for the room. “There are so many materials you can use, and what material you choose depends on how long you want the product to last, as well as how much you’d spend,” explains Margie Miller of Curtis

Lumber in Ballston Spa. “You could start with something as simple and practical as pine or cedar, or you could use a more exotic wood like maple or cherry. How much you want to invest will determine how much of a beating the furniture will be able to take,” Miller continued.

Pickup Papa

Any parent will tell you their child is a one-of-a-kind, but how many can say that about their children’s bedrooms? For most of us, a pickup truck isn’t something you’d consider buying for your son until he’s at least old enough to drive. For Dave DePaulo, buying an antique truck meant creating a truly unique bedroom for his 4-year-old son. The room’s centerpiece is a 1918 Chevrolet pickup truck, which has been converted into a bed. The motor and transmission were removed, and a fresh coat of bright red paint was applied. The majority of the truck’s exterior is wooden, making it easier to work with when installing the hickory bed rails. The truck’s motor and transmission sit in storage, waiting for the day when Dave and his son can

rebuild the truck together. Dave’s clever idea is a far cry from the traditional “racecar bed” some may be familiar with, and is likely the only one of its kind. The room surrounding the truck is stylized to look as much like a garage as a bedroom could allow. An antique gas pump stands behind the bed, coupling with the antique automotive signs to add to the room’s garage theme. The tool chests sit across the room from one another and conveniently double as his son’s dressers, painted to match the fenders of the pickup truck’s bed. While Dave’s creativity allowed him to handle his son’s room, when it came to his two girls, he was more than happy to let his wife, Margret, take over.

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Daughter Designs

Both of the DePaulo’s daughters have their own room and each room takes on its own identity. The first room Margret decorated to resemble a French boutique. The ceiling was opened considerably on the far side of the room, allowing for a chandelier to be installed above the bed. A canopy sits atop a natural loft in the wall, next to elegantly wrapped gift boxes. While there’s no doubt it’s a room for a young girl, the elegance allows the room to adapt as their daughter gets older. The second room has a theme a bit more common for a younger girl than a French boutique. Horses, or more specifically ponies, are commonly found on the birthday or Christmas wish lists of little girls everywhere. Since Margret wasn’t quite ready to build a stable in the house, the elegant equestrian theme should make any young horse fan happy. A quartet of horse drawings center around show ribbons and reins, and multiple sculptures and stuffed animal ponies can be found throughout the room. The window treatments and furniture follow a floral pattern, an old standby for any room needing a feminine touch. Ideas for your child’s bedroom can come from anywhere. Whether it’s a concerted effort to ensure a healthy environment or tailoring the room to specific interests, parents are finding new and interesting ways to make a room as unique as the child that lives there. Who knows, the creativity you use may just influence your child’s own to decorate one day.


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Tips for tackling your kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects Story by Barbara Cook Kitchen and bathroom remodeling are big projects that should not be undertaken without some research beforehand. Here are some tips for choosing three of the major components - countertops, sinks and cabinets - for those essential rooms.


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There is a wide range of natural and man-made options for countertops that homeowners can choose from. Granite, marble and quartzite are the more common natural materials, while man-made quartz products are marketed under trade names like Caesarstone and Zodiac. Natural materials come in a wide range of colors, are durable and are easy to take care of and maintain. “When people are looking for a classic or timeless look, natural stone really offers that, whether it’s a new house or an older home,” said Margaret Roohan, co-owner of Granite and Marble Works. “They’re beautiful and a relatively green

product.” These natural materials have a depth of color that goes well with a variety of wood species for cabinetry and tile colors for flooring and showers. “The countertops really can be a focal point for either your kitchen or bathroom,” said Roohan. Roohan noted that marble is softer than granite and has long been used because it was easier to work with. But the advent of diamond tooling now allows for granite to be cut and shaped accordingly, so this “modern” material is now often found in kitchens. Marble was historically used in bakeries for rolling out pastry, but both marble and granite are suitable for that purpose. Roohan said both are

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durable surfaces, especially compared to the laminate that someone might be replacing in a kitchen. For those who like the look of natural stone (but not its price tag), another option for countertops is travertine tile. Craig Burrows, owner of Saratoga Tile and Supplies, explained that travertine is typically a softer stone than marble or granite. Tile is also available in porcelain, ceramic and glass. Contrary to what most people think, porcelain tile is less likely to break than ceramic tile because of its greater density. New products available on the market make tiling a countertop much easier than a decade ago, said Burrows. Metal edging that accepts tile on its face is very durable, and user-friendly epoxy grout creates a virtually maintenance-free countertop that is not likely to absorb stains.


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Looking to update your bathroom sink? Donna Shea, Saratoga Springs branch manager of Capitol District Supply, said bathroom sinks can be integrated into a countertop made of a cultured marble or an acrylic product, like Corian or Swanstone. Vessel sinks, which are like large bowls that sit on the countertop, are another option for homeowners redesigning their bathrooms. Vessel sinks are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and materials. However, they require specialty faucets that either come out of the wall or are tall so the handles are accessible. Even stainless steel sinks can be found in bathrooms, although Shea indicated that they’re not as popular for residential use as they are for commercial. Stainless steel sinks are more common in the kitchen. The metal is gauged from 18 to 26, with the lower numbers designating better quality. “The higher the number, the thinner the gauge,” said Shea, “just like wire.” Thinner gauge sinks are more likely to dent, and the lower nickel content in the metal can even cause them to rust, making a thicker gauge purchase usually worth your while. Other choices for the kitchen sink include composite sinks, which are quartz, and enameled cast iron. All three choices are available in undermount or top mount, single or double bowl and come in a variety of sizes, shapes and depths. The most popular depth is eight inches. Shea explained that undermount sinks require a solid surface countertop like granite, Corian or Cambria. There is an acrylic composite sink that can be undermounted in

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a laminate countertop, but it is only available in two shapes and sizes and colors are limited. “Drop-in sinks can be used in any type of countertop,� said Shea.


The third critical element in any kitchen and bathroom is the cabinetry. Cabinets can be made of wood, laminate or medium-density fiberboard, according to Michael Bannon, owner of The Signature Cabinet Group. The choice of material has more to do with the look that the homeowner wants to achieve for the space rather than the specific rooms. Laminates are simpler and cleaner looking. Bannon said about 85 percent of the cabinets in upstate New York are wood, although some younger clients or those from downstate who own vacation homes tend to use the more modern, metropolitan-looking laminate and synthetic materials. Grays and shades of white are popular laminate choices, while deeper, darker woods are replacing the lighter natural shades. One trend Bannon has noticed is that people are seeking a furniture-type look in cabinetry. He said when cost is a factor, one piece - a hutch or an island - may be given a furniture feel while the perimeter cabinets are left more utilitarian.

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Bathroom cabinets are easier and less expensive to make furniture-like by adding moldings and feet because vanities are usually two to seven feet long. The bathtub and shower walls, as well as the kitchen backsplash, are a blank canvas for individuality. Combinations of different tiles, like travertine mixed with glass, are also popular, and Burrows indicated that tiles can be handcrafted into beautiful, stunning murals. “Creating visuals for people is very important,” Burrows said. And thanks to the use of computerassisted drawing, homeowners don’t have to just imagine what a designer is describing to them. They can see it for themselves, before the physical work begins. “Your creativity is only limited by your budget,” Burrows said. “If you really want to get creative, anything goes.”


Granite and Marble Works, Inc. 8 Commerce Park Drive Wilton, NY 12831 (518) 584-2800 The Signature Cabinet Group 8 Commerce Park Drive Gansevoort, NY 12831-2240 (518) 580-4546 Capitol District Supply 252 Washington Street Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-5907 (518) 584-4499 Saratoga Tile & Supply 4249 Rt 50 N Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 (518) 584-6700 Glens Falls Tile & Supplies Inc. 287 Dix Avenue Queensbury, NY 12804 (518) 745-6875

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In Good Company Neglected homes, discarded furnishings and misfit materials find new purpose in harmonious design


Story by Yael Goldman

Photos by ©

s the design director of Bates & Good Company and owner of LBates Design, Lisa Bates specializes in architectural rescue and rehab. She guts and revives historic structures, using re-claimed materials (obtained through auction, roadside rescue or her network of ultra-niche dealers) to harmonize new and old, to create soothing living spaces that naturally feel like home. Now, 20 years into her career, the Saratoga Springs designer is still carving her niche as a sensitive restorer who recycles materials whenever possible. A number of her projects, both high-end and budgetfriendly, have earned features in national publications like “Better Homes and Gardens” and “Cottage Style.” The Long Island native might be a third generation builder, but she hadn’t always planned on picking up the family trade. Lisa came to Saratoga Springs in 1976 as a freshman art major at Skidmore College. In between studio art and ceramics, Lisa enrolled in an American architecture course with James Kettlewell, who introduced her to the neighborhoods of Saratoga Springs. “I fell in love with houses,” she said, adding that the restoration process always intrigued her. After graduating in 1980, she stayed in the area, started a family, and bought a house on Madison Avenue in Saratoga Springs. It wasn’t until 1995, when casual conversation between soccer parents turned to real estate, that Lisa picked up her first project. She agreed to buy 97 Ludlow from a friend who

Lisa and “good company” hard at work on 20 Mitchell Place: Steve Manning, Keith Boggan, James Caron and Lisa Bates.

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Lisa incorporated many re-purposed items in the design of 144 Spring Street, a mid 1860s brick farmhouse she rehabbed and sold in 2007. A wood-framed chalkboard, rescued from a school in Rochester, hangs from a wall in the mudroom.

had partially restored it. That first project taught her a lot about renovation, about the handiwork and craft, but the design aspect came naturally. She understood the relationship between light, space, color and form, and began to rely on her artistic eye to use period-appropriate materials in a way that respected the home’s past. It was important to Lisa that the space felt “worn.” “That first house inspired me,” she said. From Ludlow, Lisa went on to revive many homes in neighborhoods across Saratoga Springs. In 2006, she partnered with her sister, Cynthia Stackler-Zeigler, to launch Bates & Good Company, rallying an excellent team of workers (they’re the “good company”). Bates & Good Company is a build/design/renovation firm. Lisa and Cynthia, who handles the business side, purchase properties to restore and sell and are also hired to design and build. In addition to her successful firm, Lisa has made a name for herself as a designer and consultant with LBates Design. She is always scouting for unique objects to add to her stockpile and is particularly drawn to obscure standalone items, like a 400-pound fire escape ladder or accordion barn door. Lisa is not a dumpster-diver or a hoarder, although “finding storage space is always a killer”; rather, she is an artist with an ever-evolving vision. When she finds something unique or thought-provoking, she stores it away until the right project presents itself. These misfits have become her palette. For Lisa, who designs as she moves through a project, the details of a space define its atmosphere. “It’s important to be careful of the materials you choose,” Lisa said. “You have to be mindful that they all reside in the same home.” She typically selects no more than five materials– wood, stone, appliance surface, tile and paint – and applies each consistently from room to room. All of the pieces relate to one another. Simply Saratoga |55

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In the kitchen, she installed a window over the sink to add more depth to the space and re-purposed an old work bench as a unique center island.

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“I think it creates a sense of calm,” she said. “The eye can settle and focus.” For some, the concept may seem too simple, but for Lisa that’s the point. Her idea is a home should be a soft, soothing backdrop – a canvas for the furnishings and decorative elements that are brought in, that make the space truly lived in. “You’re not supposed to notice the things a home is made of,” she said. But when you step into any one of Lisa’s finished houses, it’s impossible not to notice the elements she’s painstakingly paired together. Lisa’s attention is currently devoted to the details of 20 Mitchell Place, a late 19th century carriage house turned mechanic’s garage that was previously converted into a loft. The 3,000 foot space will become her new home (at least until she decides to sell), and it couldn’t be a more perfect fit. Not only does the open and quirky structure have a history of repurpose, but it’s also located on the same block as three other Bates projects, including 2 Mitchell Place, a 2001 design/build project situated right next door. The house, which she expects to complete this summer, will have three bedrooms, three baths and a sleeping loft – an addition that finally makes use of the fire escape ladder. Lisa is mixing old and modern design elements throughout the open “warehousey” floor plan, but out of all the details, she seems most excited about 3,000 square feet of re-claimed maple hardwood flooring. She ordered the boards from Buffalobased ReUse Action, a company that salvaged them from an old John Deere factory in Syracuse. The material arrived on a flatbed truck covered in oil and dirt, and has since been restored to a fabulous patina in what Lisa admits was a bit of a “luck stroke.” “It turned out to be the prettiest floor I’ve ever used in a house,” she said. “It now has a new life in Saratoga.” With plenty of scratches and “blemishes,” the floors are perfectly worn, like they have always been a part of 20 Mitchell Place, although they predate it. In all of her work, the Saratoga Springs designer takes advantage of natural light, and this project is no different. She has opened up the interior rooms, even the master bath, with windows that draw light from a neighboring space that has access to the sun. She borrowed the windows from an old garage door. In the kitchen, Lisa has installed another interior window built over the sink. This element is a trademark. “We spend a lot of time at the sink; it’s nice to have something to look out at,” she said. Lisa rescued the wood frame from another space in the house; she thinks it is original. Above the sink hangs a 1920s lamp that was taken from a fabric factory, and all of the kitchen cabinetry will be recycled from the previous setup. Re-claimed pieces are everywhere. “I believe in restoring and recycling wherever possible,” she said. “Rescue, repair, reuse and reinvent are my guiding principles. In my mind it is the right thing to do – there is no need

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for wastefulness when at our fingertips through the Internet we can find resources of all kinds.” As of deadline for this piece, the under-construction loft left plenty to the imagination, but it will be exciting to see how 20 Mitchell Place comes to life – how this latest project balances old and new, and reflects the many aspects of Lisa. Lisa is equal parts artist and utilitarian. She is both upscale designer and “salvage scout,” meticulous and unpredictable. As a designer and artist, she is difficult to characterize and her ever-evolving process is equally so. But with each finished product comes a consistency that is always so evidently Lisa: open, airy, light-filled and harmonious, from the “bare bones” to the finishing touches. She creates great spaces with good karma. For more information about Bates & Good Company, visit


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DOS AND DON’TS for Spring Gardening Story by Sharie FitzGibbon Photos by Spring is finally on its way after a lackluster winter and we gardeners are starting to get antsy for good weather. I don’t know about other gardeners, but I’m tired of looking at dead, brown grass. The least it could have done was snow so I wouldn’t have to see it. I’m ready for some gardening action; the annual clean up, visits to the nurseries and the feel and smell of good green growing things. Sadly, the month of March is not the best time for these things. It is still much too early for planting and even uncovering our darlings could spell disaster if a late cold snap, or worse, snowstorm, comes along (remember the blizzard of ’93? It hit on March 13 and dumped 26 inches of snow on us). What’s a gardener to do? The longer days and milder temperatures are pushing us to get out there, but prudence advises patience. Here are some things to keep you occupied until the weather settles and wholesale gardening can commence.

create a To-Do list. It might be a bit early to actively be working in the garden, but it’s an excellent time to be thinking about what you want to do. Review the pictures you took of the garden last year (you did take photos, right? Add taking photos to the To-Do list for this year) and decide what worked and what didn’t. Having a list of things also helps with prioritizing when the season really hits and you have limited time to do it all.



enjoy the early flowers such as the crocus and snowdrops, or perhaps the hellebores. What? You didn’t plant any of those last year? Well, put them on your ToDo list for the fall!

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inventory your gardening tools and prepare them for the season. Are any still dirty from last year? Now’s a great time to scrub them up and see if they are damaged or broken. If they are damaged, can they be repaired or should they be replaced? Perhaps the dented edge on that shovel could be ground down and reshaped by someone knowledgeable and broken handles can often be replaced. As a corollary to this...


believe the hype over the latest and greatest gardening gadgets. Yes, there are some great time-saving devices out there and some new innovations worth investing in (look up the broad fork if you turn over your beds every year), but quite of few of these “must-haves” end up on the back shelf of the garage gathering dust because they did not perform as advertised. Don’t buy any tool unless it can do a better job than one you already have.


work in beds which are still wet. It’s still too early to be walking around in beds which have not shed all the moisture left from the winter. Soil compaction in wet ground can lead to plants not having enough oxygen around their roots, which can kill them or at least set them back.


get your birdhouses in place, if you have not already done so. Migrant birds will be returning soon, following the insects, and will be scouting for nesting sites. If you leave your houses up year-round, take them down and clean them out to prevent parasites from infesting new birds.


be in a hurry to cut down last year’s dried stalks. Chances are good that most of the seeds left in your cosmos and purple coneflower were eaten by birds over the winter, but there might still be some insect larvae for the returning birds to eat. With little else out there, these little tidbits can help early arrivals survive.


prune trees and shrubs with winter damaged branches. Broken and badly damaged branches do nothing for the health of your plants and should be removed whenever time allows.


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however, do regular pruning of shrubs which bloom in the spring, like forsythia. You will lose all the flowers for this season. Wait until they are done blooming and then give them a snip.


prune your roses until the forsythia is in bloom. Pruning roses always stimulates them to grow, and that tender new growth is very sensitive to cold snaps. Start too early and you may lose a lot of flowers. Forsythia only seems to bloom when the danger of a severe frost has passed and is a good marker for when to get the roses in shape.


visit your local greenhouses and nurseries to see what’s new. I always start making the rounds of my favorites as soon as I see they are stocking up for the season. Not to buy, but to plan my designs. Take a notebook along and note new varieties you want to try and where you might use them. Compare prices so you get the most bloom for your buck.


start slowly and build up your physical endurance. If you’re like me, winter is best appreciated as a spectator sport, preferably from a comfy couch, wrapped in a quilt with a good book and a mug of tea. Over the course of the season, my muscles turn to goo. Once the sun comes out in the spring, though, my mind thinks I’m Wonder Woman. I sprint for the garage, load a wheelbarrow (the big one, of course) with shovels and rakes and implements of gardening destruction and launch myself at the nearest bed in need of grooming.


Last year, I combined bed grooming with mulching over the course of a long weekend and ended up walking like Quasimodo for six weeks with a back injury. Six weeks of prime gardening time. The moral of the story? Go easy on yourself and have patience. A few hours of work a day is plenty at the start of the season before your muscles regain their strength.

Lastly, DO enjoy the season!

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Simple Green Beginnings 20 Easy Tips to Living a Sustainable Lifestlye Story by Daniel Schechtman Photos Provided

Your health. Your wallet. The environment. Even your quality of life. There are many reasons to live a more sustainable lifestyle in this modern age, whether it be for the health of the planet or the well-being of your bank account. But with new and emerging energy technologies still unattainable to many, and an overwhelming amount of “green” information being thrown at consumers, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to begin. That’s why we spoke with local experts at Sustainable Saratoga, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and instructors with Sustainable Solutions for Healthy Homes to gather a series of quick, easy, simple and affordable solutions homeowners can take to live a more efficient, sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Energy: • Free Energy Audit from NYSERDA. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. Most New Yorkers qualify for a free or reduced-cost comprehensive home energy assessment, also referred to as an energy audit, and low-cost financing through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program. A one page application and a year’s worth of energy bills will get you started. NYSERDA will provide you with a list of local Building Performance Institute Accredited Contractors, who help you craft an energy plan specific to your home. Based on household income, a range of incentives to offset implementation costs are available. Enjoy benefits such as increased energy efficiency, increased health and safety, consistent temperatures throughout rooms, increased ventilation and lower utility bills. Visit to learn more.

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• The Light of Your Life. Incandescent light bulbs may still be popular for many, but compact fluorescents light bulbs, or CFLs, provide some huge savings for homeowners who make the switch. Not only do CFL bulbs last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, they also use 75 percent less energy and will save you up to $30 PER BULB on your energy bill during the life of the light. And, if you were turned off in the past by the harsher, white light found in CFL bulbs, know that manufactures have come a long way since those early days, and now feature bulbs with softer, yellow light – among other options. • Control Costs with… Curtains? Believe it or not, opening and closing your curtains during the right time of day can save you lots of wasted energy in the summer and winter. During the summer, keep the curtains closed in the day to keep out the warm sun, and open them up at night to keep your house cool and comfortable. Reverse in the winter to help naturally heat your home. It’s one of the cheapest, easiest ways to save on your energy bill. • Turn Down the Heat! It can get pretty cold during a typical upstate New York winter, but turning down the thermostat even a few degrees during the day will save you a bundle on energy costs. Keep the thermostat set at 68 degrees during the day to save and stay comfortable. Save even more money by turning the heat down even further while you sleep. The myth that it takes more energy to reheat the house than it does to keep the setting constant is just that – a myth! • Unplug the Toaster. Do you have unused kitchen appliances like a toaster, microwave, cell phone charger, radio, etc. plugged in even when you’re not using them? These appliances still draw power even if they’re not in use, so consider unplugging them or using a strip cord to turn them on and off when you need to. The savings will add up quickly.

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• Mind the Gap. You can lose a lot of energy through poorly sealed windows and doors during the cold and hot seasons. Use caulk and weatherstripping to plug the holes and keep your home tight and right. • People are not Lobsters. No need to set your water heater so high that you boil in the bathtub. Lower your water heater to 120 degrees – still hot enough to wash dishes and people, without wasting extra energy to heat water to unnecessary levels.

Sustainable Home: • Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. Perhaps it goes without saying, but finding a way to reuse old items, reduce your usage, and purchase recyclable materials will go a long way to creating a more sustainable planet. Organizations, such as, operate on the “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” mentality and will help send your unwanted “junk” to someone else who can reuse your unwanted materials. • Stop Junk Mail! That’s right – there’s a way to stop all those useless flyers from crowding your mailbox day after day, saving you the headache and the planet the paper. Simply visit and register your address. Just like that, your junk mail is no more! • Pay Bills Online. Another easy way to cut back on your paper use. Most companies now offer their customers a way to pay their bills online – saving hundreds of tons of paper annually and helping you to manage your finances in a quick and simple manner. • Waste Not, Want Not. How much water do you let pass from faucet to drain as you wait for the temperature to heat or cool? The amount may surprise you. Instead of wasting all that water, use an empty gallon jug to collect it and reuse it to water plants, flush your toilet, or refrigerate to drink later.

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• Compost Your Leftovers. Instead of tossing all that organic waste in the trash, buy a special container for composting. Everything from leftover food, coffee grounds, fruit skins, egg shells and more can be composted and used later to help grow your flowerbed or garden in the spring.

Health: • Use Natural Scents. Many air fresheners and scented candles use chemicals that are actually harmful to our health and pollute a home’s air quality. Poor air quality can cause asthma attacks, itchy skin, burning eyes and even behavioral problems for growing children. Instead, open the windows for some fresh air, use essential oils or leave a slice of lemon out on your stove top for a cheap and easy way to naturally freshen your air. • Choose Natural Paints and Finishes. Many traditional interior paints and finishes include neurotoxins, formaldehyde and other volatile chemicals that will slowly release harmful substances into the home. Instead, purchase No-VOC paints and finishes and skip the chemicals altogether. Also be aware that many wallpapers, fabrics and carpets also contain such chemicals – so stay informed when purchasing such products for your home. • Bring the Outside Inside. Houseplants are a great way to make the inside of your home not only more attractive but healthier as well. A recommended 15 houseplants per 1,800 square feet are advised to better the air quality inside. • Bottled Water Expires. But it’s not the water that goes bad – it’s the plastic bottle that degrades after time, releasing harmful chemicals into the purified water. Avoid plastics, especially “softer” plastics (measurements are listed on the plastic itself, with softer plastics rated as a three, six or seven) and opt for a reusable bottle over a plastic counterpart.

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• The Power of the Sun. Use the sun to whiten or “bleach” dirty dishes, or other natural products such as vinegar, baking soda or tea-tree oils instead of artificial dish soaps and detergents. Some detergents have been known to exacerbate asthma, cause itchy skin, and in some studies have even been linked to cancer. Avoid the mess entirely by using natural products.

Sustainable Community: • Shop Local. With a year-round farmers market based in Saratoga Springs, shoppers have plenty of great produce and products to choose from – all grown locally in our region. By buying locally, you: 1.) Reduce the amount of fuel used to transport the goods. 2.) Avoid many of the chemicals and preservatives used on foods to ship them long distances. 3.) Support your local community and local businesses by reinvesting and recycling your dollar back into the region – and not with a farm in another part of the world that has no stake in the health of Saratoga Springs. • Shop in Season. Purchase produce during its growing season to avoid preservatives and support your local farmers and growers. For every $10 spent locally, an average $25 is reinvested back in the community. At larger chains, $10 will only get you $4 back. • Reuse Cloth Bags. Instead of collecting hundreds of plastic bags beneath your kitchen sink from trips to the grocery store, pack a cloth bag to carry your goods instead. Not only is this better for the environment, but many supermarkets will now actually credit you a small fee for bringing your own bag because it saves them money on plastic. Some bags are designed to even fit in small packages no bigger than your cell phone, making them easy to carry to the store and reuse again and again. Photo by

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There are many other ways you can live a more affordable, healthy and sustainable lifestyle, but the above tips are a great and easy way to get you started. For more information, visit the Sustainable Saratoga website at, where they’re always up-to-date on the latest sustainable practices and always looking for volunteers. To learn more about NYSERDA and their energy saving programs, visit To learn more about Sustainable Solutions for Healthy Homes, email or attend an upcoming class on March 21 at Saratoga High School called, “How to get a Healthy Home for Less Money.” §

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Doctors’ Notes

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Saving Lives by Preventing Colorectal Cancer Story Provided by William M. Gusten, MD of Saratoga Hospital March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to focus on how routine screening can help prevent colorectal cancer—and can save lives. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer, affecting both men and women. Each year, approximately 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with either colon or rectal cancer. Of these, about 50,000 die, accounting for roughly 9 percent of all cancer deaths. That’s too much, especially since colorectal cancer can easily be prevented with appropriate screening. We must focus on preventive strategies to decrease these numbers. Colon and rectal cancers arise from cells that line the colon and rectum respectively. Genetic and environmental factors have been proven to increase risk. When patients develop symptoms, it is often already too late. That’s why we must be proactive and screen patients for early signs of colon cancer. Current guidelines suggest that average-risk individuals―patients without a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps and without symptoms or risk factors―start screening at the age of 50. If patients have symptoms or are at higher risk, screening should start sooner. Various screening tests are available, but the colonoscopy is the gold standard. Unlike other colorectal screening exams, the colonoscopy is performed under sedation, resulting in the best possible experience for the patient. Colonoscopy not only allows for complete visualization of the colon and rectum, but also the ability to biopsy and remove polyps. 72 | Simply Saratoga

Barium enemas and the virtual colonoscopy, also known as CT colonography, are radiologic tests. They require the same, dreaded bowel prep as the colonoscopy. But if polyps or other abnormalities are identified, the patient will need further testing. Other less accurate options include fecal occult blood stool tests and flexible sigmoidoscopy. The simple “do-it-at-home stool test” detects microscopic traces of blood, which may be due to any number of conditions. Flexible sigmoidoscopy uses a short fiberoptic scope, and the exam is limited to the last part of the colon. The bottom line is that having any of these screening tests is better than doing nothing. But by far the best option is the colonoscopy. Patients should be proactive about their health and discuss their screening options with their doctors. Those who need reassurance may also want to talk with others who have already undergone screening. Remember: Early screening reduces the potential for further, more invasive procedures and often debilitating treatments. Most important of all, early screening saves lives.


William M. Gusten, MD, is a gastroenterologist on the medical staff of Saratoga Hospital. He is in practice with Saratoga Schenectady Gastroenterology Associates.

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Main Streets “Go Blue” in March Campaign raises awareness of colorectal cancer The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Saratoga County is participating in the Main Streets Go Blue campaign to raise awareness of colorectal cancer and remind people that cancer screenings save lives. The campaign kicks off March 2, with National Dress in Blue Day. In downtown Saratoga Springs, sidewalks along both sides of Broadway will be painted blue for the month of March. The sidewalk on Church Street, in front of Saratoga Hospital, will also be painted blue. Other campaign highlights include:

including instructions on how to perform the screening in the privacy of your home. Watch for more information on these and other events throughout the month of March. Be on the lookout for blue ribbons in storefronts, on streetlights and in other public places. For more information on the Main Streets Go Blue campaign or CSP and its free screening programs, contact Tasha M. Ostapczuk at (518) 580-2078 or

• A Winter Blues Walk, March 10, from 9 a.m. - noon at the East Side Recreation Field on Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs. This family-oriented event will feature music and vendors and will include a balloon release to honor survivors of colorectal cancer and those who died of the disease. • Free screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer March 24 for individuals who do not have health insurance. Screening will be performed from 9 a.m. 3 p.m. at Saratoga Hospital’s Wilton Medical Arts at 3040 Route 50, Saratoga Springs. Breast and cervical cancer screenings are available for uninsured women ages 40 and up. Appointments are required and can be made by calling (518) 5802132. Colorectal cancer screening is available to uninsured men and women ages 50 and older. No appointments necessary; simply come by and pick up a “FIT Kit,”

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Summer Camp Guide 2012

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Cutting Edge Martial Arts

Cutting Edge Martial Art’s A+ After School and Summer Camp Program is a year-round child care solution that provides a positive, structured environment for children after school and during the day in the summer. During the school year, children are picked up directly from the local elementary and middle schools and provided an hour lesson that starts with “Mat Chat,” a 10-minute character education lesson for the day, followed by a full 50 minute martial arts class. Parents have a window between 5-5:45 p.m. to pick up their children while children have the opportunity after class to get their homework started. During the summer, children get all the benefits of the A+ Program but on a grander scale. The summer program offers eight weeks of full-day camps and there is no minimum or maximum number of days per week or number of weeks that a student can attend. Each week of camp includes a curriculum of character education lessons, fun games, and a one-hour martial arts class every day. Children watch a movie in the afternoons twice a week, have a video game morning on Fridays, and all campers take an educational outing on Wednesdays and a fun and exciting outing every Friday. The average camp size is 20-30 students, and the camp has three full-time staff members working with the students. The goal is to provide a family-friendly and fun environment that feels like a home away from home. Students have fun learning skills that can be used every day of their lives, while building memories that will last a lifetime. For many, these summer camps are a wonderful introduction to the martial arts. For more information, visit or call (518) 587-5501.

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Ndakinna Ndakinna Education Center, located in Greenfield Center, offers a wide variety of summer camp programs and activities that will provide campers with a greater respect and understanding for the natural world as well as the Northeast’s rich Native American history. Hosted by renowned author and wilderness and survival expert James Bruchac, these programs are ideal for children with a sense of adventure and natural wonder. Summer programs are divided into two groups, children ages 3 to 8 and older campers ages 9 to 14. Programs range in duration from one to two weeks, each covering a different skill or activity such as animal tracking, basic wilderness survival skills and shelter building. Native American storytelling and games and nature-based arts and crafts projects will teach campers to have fun in the great outdoors. Each camp program promotes team building, natural awareness, patience and confidence. Ndakinna also offers family camp programs, which allow children and their parents to experience the outdoors together. Family programs can accommodate children ages 1 to 14. These programs offer the same skills training and teambuilding activities. To view the finalized calendar of programs and events, visit

Wilton Recreation

Wilton Recreation offers a full-day summer camp program for children in grades one through nine. With available pre-camp and post-camp care, working parents can ensure their children are having fun in a safe environment before and after the camp’s regular 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. hours. Parents who register their children for before and after camp care can drop off their children prior to camp opening at 8:30 a.m. and can pick them up at 5:30 p.m. Bussing is available for Wilton residents who register for regular camp hours (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.). Wilton Recreation Camp offers a full schedule of daily on-site activities, themed events, and exciting trips for kids who register for off-site adventures. Daily on-site activities include arts and crafts, sports, playground fun and other organized group games. This year’s scheduled field trips include: Million Dollar Beach in Lake George, Saratoga County Fair, bowling, white water rafting and at least two swimming days per week at nearby pools and beaches. The Summer 2012 camp will open June 26 and run until August 10. Registration begins March 12 at Gavin Park and will close June 13. As there are only 300 spaces available, be sure to mark your calendar! Camp registration forms are available online at, or can be picked up, weekdays, at Gavin Park 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. For any other questions, call the park office at (518) 584-9455. 76 | Simply Saratoga

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Skidmore Skidmore College offers a variety of programs for children of all ages during the summer months. Camp Northwoods, Skidmore’s day camp for children entering grades one through six, offers an exciting program of sports, cultural arts, nature study and relaxed play. The goal is to provide a variety of fun activities that happily challenge the imagination, intellect, and body. The camp's home base is Falstaff's Pavilion on the Skidmore College campus, but campers frequent the Williamson Sports Center, Schick Art Gallery, Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, and Zankel Music Center. The daily enrichment activities led by the qualified staff are supplemented by weekly field trips to recreational and historical sites and visits by special guests. Children will also enjoy arts and crafts, ceramics, games, hiking and daily swim time. One and two-week sessions are available from June 25August 10. Skidmore College also offers a wide array of Sports Camps from June through August for children of all ages. Choose from baseball, lacrosse, swimming, basketball, tennis, soccer, volleyball and field hockey. Children learn the concept of teamwork while acquiring the necessary skills for his or her sport of choice. Adults, novice or experienced, can participate in a rowing program offered throughout the spring, summer and fall at the Boat House located on beautiful Fish Creek. All other programs are held on the Skidmore Campus at the Sports and Recreation Center and/or the adjacent fields. For more information or to register online, visit or call the office of the Dean of Special Programs at (518) 580-5596.

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North Country Horses Horses, horses, horses! That’s what you get at North Country Horses Summer Horsemanship Camp. North Country Horses offers a full-day summer camp program for children ages 6-16. Pre and postcamp care is available for working parents to ensure that children are in a safe, fun-filled environment before and after the camp’s regular 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. hours. From the first feeding in the morning until it’s time to go home in the afternoon, the focus is on horses. Campers will enjoy riding time, group and individual lessons, and many other horse related activities. They will be introduced to all aspects of horse care and handling. Our 2012 camp dates are the weeks of July 16 July 20, July 23 - July 27, July 30 - August 3, August 6 - August 10, and August 20 - August 24. Sign up early! Spots are limited and filling quickly. More information is available by emailing or calling Amanda at (518)-441-5959.

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Saratoga Children’s Theatre

For kids who have a passion for performing arts, Saratoga Children’s Theatre summer camp is a dream come true. Saratoga Children’s Theatre offers performance camps, which means each camper will be working on a full-fledged production throughout their session. Campers will learn all aspects of performance and will have the opportunity to perform in two shows at the end of camp: a matinee and an evening show are both open to the public. Campers will perform on stage at St. Peters’ Auditorium in Saratoga Springs. Camp hours are 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Performance camp is divided into two age groups. Ages 6-9 will participate in one-week camps. These camps will include Disney’s Sleeping Beauty kids; Cinderella kids; Aristocats kids; 101 Dalmatians kids; and Lemonade. These camps will be directed by Megan O’Sullivan, a local elementary school music teacher, and assisted by Karey Trimmings, also a local elementary school music teacher. Ages 10-18 will participate in two-week camps. Each camp will practice and perform a different show. These camps include Thoroughly Modern Mille Jr.; Cinderella Jr.; Fiddler on the Roof Jr.; and Once on this Island Jr. These camps will be directed by Michael Lotano, local actor and elementary school music teacher, and choreographed by Sarah Sutliff. Saratoga Children’s Theatre also offers a one-week camp at the end of the summer, “Master your Audition.” This camp will help your child get ready for fall and winter auditions. These audition workshops have been very popular and sell out quickly. Any child at any skill level with an interest in the performing arts is welcome to join in on the fun. Saratoga Children’s Theatre Executive Director, Meg Kelly, aims to give each camper the most rewarding and enjoyable camp experience and every camper will get to perform. The Saratoga Children’s Theatre hires professionals to help your child gain the most from their summer camp experience. The cost for a two-week session is $450 and $250 for the one-week session. For more information, visit or call (518) 580-1782.

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Peter Olsen:

Expands the Saratoga Brand to Include Hi-tech


Story By Helen Susan Edelman Photo Provided

aratoga Springs is recognized around the world for its historical and present connections to “health, history and horses,” a slogan that has become emblematic of the city’s high public profile. Now, author, photographer and marketer Peter Olsen has extended the brand. In his new book, “Saratoga: Health, History, Horses and Hi-Tech,” Olsen heralds and documents the momentous influx of groundbreaking hightech industry surrounding the Spa City. The 600+ photographs (including 80 panorama photos) and expansive annotation in the coffee table paperback usher the region from its bygone era to its modern incarnation. Olsen, and his wife, Marjorie, (a poet, painter and author of “Hollow-Ways”) came to Saratoga Springs from New York City in 1986, after the birth of their first child. “We looked around, deciding where to raise our kids,” Olsen says. “We decided that Saratoga was remarkable and we moved here for the schools.” The choice paid off. Olsen’s children were involved in sports and the arts, as well as academics, landing spots at Dartmouth, Alfred University and Union College.

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Meanwhile, working out of his Victorian home on Lake Avenue, Olsen cultivated his career as a copywriter and marketer. In New York City he served accounts including Nabisco, Nissan, Minolta, Seagram’s and R.J. Reynolds. In the Capital Region, his agency serviced tech sector accounts including General Electric, SEFCU, MapInfo and, most recently, the spate of emerging high-tech industries. Through the years – as many transplants do – Olsen developed a fascination with his adopted hometown. He estimates he read about 80 books and a variety of articles on the subject, many made available by the Saratoga Springs Public Library or John DeMarco at Lyrical Ballad bookstore, and talked to at least 15 knowledgeable historians about tales of the city. “All were good resources,” he says of those who generously shared time, information and insights with him, giving special thanks to James K. Kettlewell, Skidmore College professor emeritus of art history and a renowned architectural historian and scholar; Jamie Parillo, executive director of the Saratoga Springs History Museum; and Hollis Palmer, author, storyteller and owner of Derby Tours of Saratoga. (Note: Olsen’s roster of those who provided valuable input is too long to include here, but he is grateful to the individuals and organizations that supported him in pro-

ducing a portrait of the city.) While he was immersing himself in the history of Saratoga – from the time of the Mohawk Indians to the American Revolution, from the early popularity of the springs to the vivid days of racing, gambling, huge hotels and conventions – Olsen also was struck by the not-sosubtle burgeoning of world-class companies bringing economic growth, intellectual stimulation, social diversity and technological advancement to the area. The landscape was shifting from a downtown-centric culture catering to visitors to a countywide web of manufacturing productivity, drawing permanent residents to communities up and

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down the Northway. The untold story was ready for telling. Starting with a long section on the charms of the city – from its restaurants to its yoga centers, from Yaddo to the Fasig-Tipton auction hall, from Caffé Lena to the Gideon Putnam, from classic car shows to polo – Olsen builds a mostly visual narrative that leads readers across time and space from the iconic Casino in Congress Park to the streamlined clean-room environment at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Among the new companies he features in the book are Momentive Performance Materials Inc., a global leader in the silicones industry; The Radiant Store, a leading alternative energy provider; M+W Group, delivering technologically advanced facilities; STEP (Saratoga Technology + Energy Park), created by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority; TEC-SMART, a college-level training center offering semiconductor industry courses; nfrastructure, a top computer information technology company; SEMATECH, the international consortium of leading semiconductor manufacturers; the College on Nanoscale Science and Engineering (in nearby Albany); and, of course, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the most technologically advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility on the planet. Through a professional network in the tech world, Olsen was able to photograph areas on the tech companies’ properties that are rarely seen. Commenting on historical images, especially from private collectors, Olsen mentioned “I am always on a mission for new stuff. I’m a photo-ferret. Some of the artifacts I’ve recently encountered for the next book are incredibly beautiful.”

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Olsen says he wanted to present “a snapshot of the explosive growth to show people where we are at this point, as the extended concentric circles of tech business around Saratoga improve our quality of life.” The book doesn’t stop there. To show why the region has become a magnet for the tech industry – and why it’s here instead of in Austin or Silicon Valley – Olsen includes in his book sections on Washington County (where he and his wife own a second home) and the Adirondacks, explaining that, just as the geography and natural features of the region attracted tourists in the 1800s, these factors still are enticements today, especially in a location three hours from New York City, Boston and Montreal. The region, he emphasizes, offers cosmopolitan and rural allure in a terrain dotted with lakes, forests and fields. It features cities and small-town streets, welcoming neighbors, fabulous shopping and dining with opportunities for comfortable daily living and enough to keep a vacationer as busy as he or she wants to be. “The place would excite anybody,” he remarks. “People move here from Europe, Saudi Arabia and from across the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people come in the summer. They bet at the track, they bicycle through the park, they attend concerts, they shop, go to restaurants and museums. Thousands attend college in the city. People who live here take it for granted, but this book is like a catalog – you can flip through and see the variety of things to do here. Saratoga is a great environment for the tech industries, and it will encourage the establishment of new businesses to support the incoming people and companies – compelling restaurants, stores, activities and entertainment. It will deepen the area’s quality of life.”

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Some 30 area businesses – including the Adirondack Trust Company, Steve Sullivan at Longfellows and the Olde Bryan Inn, Skidmore, The Gideon Putnam, M&W Group, Momentive and GLOBALFOUNDRIES – invested in the book by purchasing advance copies at a wholesale rate, to either sell them, distribute them as gifts or donate them to charity. A great example is the Adirondack Trust Company. The book is available for sale at any Adirondack Trust branch. All proceeds benefit the general fund of the Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund. The general fund provides support to nonprofit charitable organizations in Saratoga and Warren counties and the surrounding region. The self-published book is available at a variety of local stores, including Pangea, Lyrical Ballad, Barnes & Noble, Crafters Gallery, Impressions, Soave Faire, the Gideon Putnam, the Hampton Inn, Mrs. London’s and Longfellows, among others, and at, and is being distributed nationally by North Country Books.

Olsen already has started a second book on Saratoga history that will showcase anecdotes from about 100 people with a relationship to the city, including writers, professors, business and civic leaders, educators, politicians, historians and entrenched residents. “The impact of the changes going on in Saratoga Springs will be substantial in the next year or two. Saratoga has always had an international event – the track – and now there is a new international event – the arrival of the semiconductor industry.”


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Simply Saratoga MARCH 2012_Layout 1 3/15/12 3:01 PM Page 84

Simply Saratoga March  

March issue of Simply Saratoga