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LOCAL • INDEPENDENT • FREE Volume 11  •  Issue 50  •  December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017 • (518) 581-2480

2016 Team of the Year

2016 Saratoga Springettes succeeding at the regional, state and national level! Photo Provided.

A Christmas Miracle by Thomas Dimopoulos Saratoga TODAY BALLSTON LAKE — They were told they were the lucky winners of a contest that granted them a three-day stay in a North Country hotel. For the Lefebvres – wife Kristin and husband Andrew and the kids Angelo, and Te’a, and Milana, and Anamaria - it was a respite for a family that could use a break. Yet, still, there was more. The family of six shares a home on Ballston Lake with Kristin’s father and her older

brother, Tommy, who suffers from severe autism and for whom Kristin is co-guardian. Sevenyear-old Milana suffers from daily seizures and unexplained fevers and requires 24/7 care. Shortly after the Lefebvres’ 4-year-old daughter, Anamaria, was born, Kristin’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. “She passed very fast,” remembered Kristin, whose life as a parent to four children not-yet-in-their-teens can be stressful enough, to say nothing of the additional role as caregiver. See Miracle pg. 9

See Team pg. 47

First Night ‘17 • Schedules • Stories • Interviews by Thomas Dimopoulos Saratoga TODAY SARATOGA SPRINGS — The City Center was three years old, and First Night Saratoga not yet born when Pete Donnelly, Mike Gent, and Guy Lyons comingled their daytime studies at Saratoga Springs High School with their music at night to create The Figgs.

See First pg. 35

Year in Review See pgs. 10-11

Inside TODAY Blotter 5 Obituaries 6 Business 16-17 Education 19-20 Pulse 33-37 Sports 42-47


Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

Man on the Street “What are your predictions for 2017? ”

Senior Konstantinos Tsitos is the 2017 Senior class president of Saratoga Springs High School, and he predicts: “The Patriots will win the Super Bowl; virtual reality will become much more popular; and the class of 2017 will be very successful in their journeys after high school.”

Maydia Sorgie is the senior class president of 2017 at Schuylerville High School, and she plans on joining the Marine Corps after she graduates. Maydia predicts: “Uber will be coming to our area; the Patriots will win the Super Bowl; the color yellow is going to make a splash in 2017 fashion.”

Kyle Farmer is the senior class president of 2017 at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, and he plans on studying computer science in college. Kyle predicts: “Birkenstocks will go out of style; live video on Facebook and Twitter will be used for news reporting; Google will lead the smart home revolution.”

Clayton Bennice is the 2017 senior class president of Ballston Spa High School. He plans to study finance and economics in college. His predictions are: “Raiders will defeat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, and Tampa Bay Lightening will defeat Chicago Black Hawks for the Stanley Cup; there will be an increase in inflation and small jumps in interest rates – I would invest in defense and manufacturing; Star Wars Episode 8 will be the top grossing film of the year.”

Brigid Perry is the 2017 Senior class president of Saratoga Central Catholic High School, plans on becoming a pharmacist. Her predictions are: “The Mets are going to win the World Series; Rihanna and Drake are going to get back together; unisex bathrooms are going to be more mainstream. “

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


Hundreds Brave Storm to Honor Fallen Heroes Photos by Francesco D’Amico.

Christian Brother's Academy cadet Zander Poole lays a wreath on his uncle Thomas Center, Sr.'s grave.

Army reserve Sergeant and WWII historian Richard Fullam.

TOWN OF SARATOGA — In a tremendous show of support for our nation’s heroes, hundreds of volunteers braved snow and freezing rain on Saturday, December 17, to lay wreaths honoring America’s fallen veterans

at the Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery. More than 7,000 wreaths were placed at gravesites as a part of the Wreaths Across America ceremony and tradition. Civilian Air Patrol helped organize the event.


WEEK IN REVIEW Gun Brandished in Argument

SARATOGA SPRINGS — At about 12:55 p.m. on Tuesday, December 20, the Saratoga Springs Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call at 254 Washington Street, known as the Route 29 Garage. There was reported to have been an altercation inside the business between the owner (a 48 year old male) and Michael T. VanDenberg, 68, of Ballston Spa.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

Toys For Toga Collected More Than 3k Toys and $10k MECHANICVILLE — Thanks in large part to the support of the local community, the 4th Annual Toys For Toga campaign was a huge success, collecting more than 3,000 toys and raising over $10,000. DZ Restaurants (Forno Bistro, Chianti and Boca Bistro) and WOW Restaurants (Wheatfield’s Saratoga and Clifton Park, Beer Wine Pizza and 2 West Bar and Grille) raised nearly $4,000 combined, while Kings Tavern, Saratoga City Tavern, The Barrelhouse, and Quarters collected hundreds of toys and dollars each. Death Wish Coffee Company traded more than 600 pounds of coffee for new, unwrapped toys. The Skidmore College Ice Hockey Team raised thousands of dollars for Toys For Toga by raffling off custom jerseys. Toys and checks were presented to Franklin Community Center, CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services and Mechanicville Area Community Services Center Tuesday, December 20, at the Saratoga Brewing Tap Room located at 131 Excelsior Ave in Saratoga Springs.

VanDenberg allegedly brandished a loaded semiautomatic handgun. He was arraigned and charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon Second Degree, “C” felony; Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, “D” felony; Assault in the Third Degree/Intent Physical Injury and Menacing in the Second Degree, both misdemeanors. He posted $1,000.00 cash bail.

STOP-DWI Holiday Season Crackdown STATEWIDE — Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Arthur “Mo” Wright announced that Saratoga County police agencies are participating in a special enforcement effort to crack down on impaired driving, which will run from Dec. 16 through Jan. 2. While we spend this Holiday Season celebrating with friends and family and looking forward to the blessings of a New Year, the law enforcement community across New York State will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. New York State Police, County Sheriff and municipal law

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enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force. While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, in December 2015, drunk driving crashes resulted in 840 deaths statewide. Over a five year period, that total is almost 4,000 unnecessary and tragic deaths. The STOP-DWI Foundation has created a new Mobile App – “Have A Plan” – that is available as a free download for smart phones to help find safe rides home no matter where you may be celebrating. Go to mobileapp or visit your app store.

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Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

COURTS Richard N. Bowman, 47, of Corinth, was sentenced on Dec. 15 to five years in state prison and two years of post-release supervision, after pleading to criminal possession of a controlled substance. Adriano Sciocchetti, 31, of Clifton Park, was sentenced on Dec. 15 to five years in state prison and two years of post-release supervision, after pleading to felony burglary. Garret J. Herman, 20, of Malta, was sentenced on Dec. 15 to two years in state prison and three years of postrelease supervision, after pleading to attempted burglary in the second degree. William C. Durfee, 22, of Saratoga, pleaded on Dec. 15 to aggravated criminal contempt, a felony. Sentencing is scheduled to take place Feb. 9. Nicholas A. Phillips, 21, of Ballston Lake, pleaded on Dec. 15 to criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree. Sentencing is scheduled to take place Feb. 9. Kadi L. Nadeau, 28, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced on Dec. 14 to a five-year term of probation, after pleading to scheme to defraud in the first degree. Derick Henderson, 52, of Queens, pleaded on Dec. 12 to criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony. Sentencing is scheduled to take place on Feb. 10.

Gregory D, Moore, 21, of Schenectady, was sentenced on Dec. 12 to two years in state prison and two years of post-release supervision, after pleading to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance.

POLICE Carlton Lee Leffingwell, 47, of Malta, was charged on Dec. 14 with one felony count and one misdemeanor count of criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, felony DWI, driving while ability impaired by drugs, and driving an unregistered vehicle. Leffingwell was charged following a civilian complaint and a motor vehicle accident at the Malta Mall, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff ’s Department. It is alleged he operated a motor vehicle under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol and that he had in his possession cocaine, heroin and marijuana. Leffingwell was arraigned at Malta Town Court and sent to Saratoga County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash, or $10,000 bond. Nicholas R. Recheizer, 26, of Mechanicville, was charged on Dec. 11 with aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree, a misdemeanor, after being involved in a property damage accident. Mark W. Hurlburt, 29, of Buffalo, was charged on Dec. 11 with felony grand larceny.

Jeffrey R. Lawrence, 30, of Corinth, pleaded on Dec. 12 to felony DWI. Sentencing is scheduled to take place on Feb. 6.

Danielle M. Crandall, 21, of Schenectady, was charged on Dec. 10 with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.

Bjorn O. Burke, 31, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced on Dec. 12 to three years in state prison and two years of post-release supervision, after pleading to criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Daniel J. McMahon, 29, of Saratoga Springs, was charged on Dec. 10 with felony assault, and the misdemeanors: endangering the welfare of a child, criminal mischief, and criminal possession of

BLOTTER 5 a weapon in connection with an alleged incident that occurred at Jefferson Terrace. Michael J. Germain, 56, of Greenfield, faces a variety of charges in connection with an alleged incident that occurred Dec. 8 in the town of Greenfield, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff ’s Department. Charges include: three counts of criminal mischief, criminal tampering, menacing, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, trespassing, DWI, leaving the scene of a property damage motor vehicle accident, reckless driving, moving from a lane unsafely, and failure to use the designated lane. Rashon A. Warren, 17, of Saratoga Springs, was charged on Dec. 7 with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree.

Edwin J. Silva, 47, of Amsterdam, was charged on Dec. 7 with burglary in the third degree, a felony, and criminal tampering in the second degree, a misdemeanor. Kesha L. Michaels, 29, of Redding, Connecticut, was charged on Dec. 7 with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th- 2 counts/ a misdemeanor. Shannon L. Tracey, 32, of Gansevoort, was charged on Dec. 6 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle third degree - a misdemeanor, failure to yield at an intersection, and operation of a motor vehicle by unlicensed driver.



Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

Betty M. Drew

Hermina Clemente

Martha L. O’Connor Porter

VICTORY MILLS — Betty M. Drew, 77, a resident of Herkimer St., passed away Saturday, December 17, 2016 at Saratoga Hospital after a brief illness. Born February 28, 1939 in Saratoga Springs, she was the daughter of the late Vernon Eveland and Mary Eveland Wetherington. A funeral service was held Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at Flynn Bros. Inc. Funeral Home, 13 Gates Ave. in Schuylerville. Spring burial will be in Notre Dame Cemetery. Memorials can be made in Betty’s name to the Victory Mills Fire Dept. Online remembrances can be made at

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Hermina Clemente died early Sunday morning, December 18, 2016 at the age of 74. She was called to God in the comfort of her home, in the presence of family. Born Hermina Hendrina Johanna Bresser on January 27, 1942 in the small town of Silvolde, Netherlands, the oldest of three girls. Upon turning 21, she departed on a Holland America Lines boat from Rotterdam bound for the United States. She met and married a young engineer and Navy Officer named Carmine Clemente and was given four children. A Tridentine Latin Rite mass of Catholic burial was held at St. Clément’s Church in Saratoga Springs on Thursday. Donations in her memory will be made to the Society of Saint Pius X, and all are welcome to help their wonderful work in her name at www.sspx. org and click ‘donate’ Arrangements are under the direction of the William J. Burke and Sons/Bussing and Cunniff Funeral Homes of Saratoga Springs. Online remembrances may be made at www.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Martha L. O’Connor Porter, 97, died peacefully at the Wesley Health Care Center on Sunday, December 11, 2016. Martha married James Perry Porter, Jr. of Buffalo in 1952, living in Buffalo until moving to Clarence Center, NY in 1958. Relatives and friends gathered to remember her on Monday, December 19, 2016 at the historic Church of St. Peter in Saratoga Springs, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial by the Rev. Thomas H. Chevalier, pastor. Burial with military honors followed at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Salvation Army, 27 Woodlawn Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 or the “Memorial of Erin Fay,” c/o Trustco Bank - Northern Pines, 649 Rt, 9, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Online remembrances may be made at

Earl J. Derby SARATOGA SPRINGS — Earl J. Derby, 88, a long-time resident of Saratoga Springs, in the Town of Wilton, passed away Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at Saratoga Hospital surrounded by his family. Earl is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Fawn Elaine Harrington of Bakers Mills and five children. A funeral mass was celebrated on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at St. Clement’s Church in Saratoga Springs. Burial followed in the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville. Memorials can be made in his memory to St. Clement’s Retreat Program, Outreach Ministry, c/o St. Clement’s Church, 231 Lake Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Online remembrances can be made at

Elizabeth J. Izzo MECHANICVILLE — Elizabeth J. Izzo was called home on Tuesday, December 20, 2016. She is predeceased by her beloved and devoted husband John, her parents Jim and Virginia Sullivan, her sister Maureen Spear and many fur grandpuppies- of honorable mention is Zoe, her faithful companion and protector who helped her after the loss of her husband. Relatives and friends gathered in her name on Thursday, December 22, 2016 at All Saints on the Hudson South Church in Mechanicville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12 noon Friday, December 23, 2016 at All Saints on the Hudson South Church by the Rev. Thomas Morrette, pastor. Burial will follow in the family plot at St. Paul’s Cemetery, Mechanicville. Online remembrances may be made at www.

Helen G. Steele BALLSTON SPA — Helen G. Steele, age 86, passed away Thursday evening, December 15, 2016. She was born May 7, 1930 in Troy, and was married in 1954 to the love of her life, Leon Wallace Steele. Together they had four children. Relatives and friends gathered on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 at the William J. Burke and Sons/Bussing and Cunniff Funeral Homes of Saratoga Springs. Funeral services were held immediately after; burial followed at the Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville. Online remembrances may be made at www.

James Michael Dimock (Jimbo) SARATOGA SPRINGS — James Michael Dimock (Jimbo) passed away suddenly on Dec. 4, 2016. He was born on March 11, 1966 to the late James and Mary Dimock in Lincoln, NE. He was 50 years old. Jimbo lived most of his life in Southern California and moved to Saratoga Springs in June of this year to be closer to his family. Jim was a caring and generous man and will be greatly missed by all. A memorial and burial will be announced at a later date. He will be buried in Greenridge Cemetery in Saratoga with his maternal grandmother Esther Thompson. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s name to a charity of one’s choice.

Verdon Eugene Auman GANSEVOORT — Verdon Eugene Auman, 79, went into the arms of our Lord on Dec. 19, 2016. Born November 22, 1937 in Yuma, CO, he was the son of the late Arlie Lyle and Adeline Spiker Auman. He married the love of his life, Sharon L. Butler-Smith August 14, 1982. Together they share five children. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at Flynn Bros. Inc. Funeral Home in Schuylerville with Rev. Virginia Cornell, officiating. Interment will follow in the Saratoga National Cemetery. Friends may call on Tuesday from 11-1 at the funeral home prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in his memory to the Gansevoort Fire Dept. or the Moreau Rescue Squad. Online remembrances can be made at

William S. Clement SCHUYLERVILLE — William S. Clement, 86, a resident of Hessian Drive, took his final ride Saturday, December 17, 2016 surrounded by his family at St. Peters Hospice in Albany. Born on November 5, 1930 in Cambridge, NY he was the son of the late Seward and Helen Cromie Clement. A funeral service was held on Thursday, December 22, 2016 at Flynn Bros. Inc. Funeral Home in Schuylerville with Rev. Joyce deVelder, officiating. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. Cowboy hats welcome! Memorials can be made in his memory to the Saratoga Hospital Foundation, 211 Church Street Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-9987 or St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959. Online remembrances can be made at

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


“It’s a Wonderful Life”

Conner Whitman with her Uncle Eddie. Photo provided.

As my family celebrates the holidays and my Uncle Eddie’s Christmas birthday, I reflect on the impact his life has had on mine and the blessings he gives to everyone each and every day… The first thing that I see when I look at someone is their eyes. In fact, to me eyes are the most noticeable feature on a person. Each person’s eyes are unique whether they are large brown eyes, oval green eyes or small blue eyes. Uncle Eddie is gifted with an especially distinctive set. He was born with Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder which many consider an abnormality to me it is quite the opposite. My blue eyes see him as extraordinary. Individuals diagnosed with Down Syndrome have an extra chromosome, whereas most people have 46 chromosomes. Their 47th chromosome results in certain characteristics, including a flat, oval shaped face, small ears and usually small skin folds in the inner crease of their eyes. People seem to be turned off by these features, but to me they are beautiful. Uncle Eddie has a

bright smile, cute pointed ears - one with the hearing aid he wears and eyes that are a pale blue that always seem to be beaming. Uncle Eddie is one in a million. He never fails to disappoint me when I need someone to hug or to give me a good laugh. His charisma turns any day into an excellent one. I celebrate the fact that Uncle Eddie is different because different is wonderful! Beginning at a very young age, my heart has been full because I have experienced the joy of being so close to Uncle Eddie. Every day I thank God for being put on earth. There is not a single day that goes by where I would change my family or take them for granted. This past summer Uncle Eddie went missing and I have never been so scared in my life. He was missing for three hours and was finally rescued across the street from where he lives by a police officer. During those three long, worrisome hours, I realized the value of family and I know we would not be whole if Eddie was not a part of it. His safe return was indeed a blessing.

Sometimes I wonder what it is like for Uncle Eddie -- knowing that he will never be able to drive, live on his own, attend college or pursue his dreams. Does he know that the world is so vast and great? And yet, it is really not these things that matter. Uncle Eddie demonstrates that the simple things in life are the most important. When I see him joyfully using sign language to ask for strawberry ice cream (his favorite flavor), smiling as he listens to the Sound of Music on his radio or being completely content when he is swimming at my Grandma’s camp, I know he is purely happy. They say good things come in small packages. For me, my Uncle Eddie is definitely one of those best things. Through his unconditional love, I have learned to accept everyone I meet and to not judge others just by their appearances. I have learned great patience and that everyone will not be identical to me. I have learned that humans come in all shapes and forms and we are all put onto this Earth for different purposes. I have learned the true meaning of life is family and that I can excel beyond every obstacle I endure. But mostly, I have learned to celebrate the differences we each have. Thanks to Uncle Eddie, I am confident that I will be able to face the challenges I may encounter in the next chapter in my life. Now I completely understand it is not about what someone has or what someone looks like. It is the impression that one leaves on this world and for that I am forever grateful. By Conner Whitman, a Senior at Stillwater Central High School

Sears Ramp-Build Program

Rebuilding Together Saratoga County was able to install a ramp for a veteran in Wilton thanks to a grant through Sears – Heroes At Home. The work was completed with volunteers and Am-Ramp. Photo provided.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


A Christmas Miracle Continued from front page.

Since Milana was born, there have been frequent visits to Boston Children’s Hospital to see a variety of specialists in the hospital’s Complex Care Service, which provides comprehensive, coordinated and centralized care for children with complex medical needs. Milana’s illness is one for which there is no known medical reason. “There isn’t an overlying diagnosis to explain everything. She has had all kinds of genetic testing, and there is no explanation,” Kristin said. “I think it’s a good thing they can’t tell me she’s going to live for X number of years. I actually like that better. We ask, ‘Is she going to walk?’ because she has something like a walker and there’s a chance she can walk a little better in her equipment, but they don’t really say either way. They tell us, ‘I don’t know.’” Securing outside help for assistance with the management of the home has been difficult, because people get frightened with her daughter’s daily seizures, she said. The three-day respite at the hotel was most welcome. “It was just so nice to not have to cook or run to appointments,” Kristin said. “We just stayed in the hotel the whole weekend.” Yet, still, there was more. At the family home 40 miles away, creatures were stirring all through the house. “I was somewhat in on it,” Kristin admitted. “I knew they

The kids: Angelo, Milana, Te’a, and Anamaria Lefebvre. Photo provided.

were coming, but until we got home I had no idea of the full picture of their work.” When the family returned to their home on a Sunday afternoon, they were amazed at what to their wondering eyes did appear. “When we arrived, what we saw was overwhelming. There was Santa. There were carolers and elves. There were 100 people outside the house - people who

didn’t even know me,” she said. “The kids were looking out the window and were just completely surprised.” The welcome committee was the creation of a partnering between the nonprofit organizations The Giving Circle and Jake’s Help from Heaven. The Giving Circle - an all-volunteer organization based in Saratoga Springs, was founded a decade ago by

Mark Bertrand with a mission to seek out communities in need, connect them with the resources that could help, and to work locally with underserved families in Saratoga County. “My two girls had met Mark from The Giving Circle. I explained they were special people who knew elves and when they saw all that was going on, I said: ‘You know, this is the magic of the elves,’ Kristin said. “They were just floored.” And yet, still, there was more. When the Lefebvres departed for their three-day Lake George vacation - under the pretense of winning a contest - a team of volunteers descended on the family home and got to work. They created new rooms for the kids, renovated some rooms and reconfigured others; they decorated a Christmas tree and placed gifts beneath it; they painted walls, constructed shelves, installed interior paneling, and hooked up new efficient appliances to replace the cranky old appliances of a generation ago. Years of accumulated clutter was removed.

“It was an amazing sight. When we got back and looked, we were: Oh my gosh,” Kristin said. A special surprise also awaited her brother, who is a Yankees baseball fan. “My brother is autistic and hadn’t gotten a lot of attention since my mom passed. He got a big new room done up in a Yankees’ theme and during all the celebrating with the Christmas tree and the presents, one of the elves handed him a phone - it was a call from Mariano Rivera,” she said. “Being a caregiver all the time, your world could get really small, really fast. You can feel you’re on an island sometimes and that’s why this project is so touching,” Kristin said. “For these people to come in and show that kindness, you know that we’re not alone, like we’re part of a community and that people do care. Having those people come in reminded me that people are out there.”


Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

SC Chamber’s #LeapOfKindnessDay Goes National, Feb. 26.

“Why should the City pay for it?” Anthony “Skip” Scirocco, Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Public Works. Taxpayers to Foot Mayor’s $12k Bill, Aug. 5 issue.

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“I don’t know where I’m going, but I know who’s leading me.”


SPAC’s 50th Anniversary Year Marcia White, former SPAC Pres/ED. Photo by White Set to Take Her Bow, Feb. 26

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Alpine Sports Shop Celebrates 75 Years Jan. 8 Caffè Lena Transformation Begins Jan. 29

Schuylerville Elem. Only NYS School Nominated for Nat’l Green Ribbon Feb. 5

Crowded Classrooms: Dorothy Nolan Parents Speak Out May 6 Gavin Splash Park to Open June 10

Shelters of Saratoga Celebrates 25 Years Apr. 1

City Center Parking Structure Passes 3-2 Apr. 8

Center for the Time to Privatize Family’s 40 Years NYRA Apr. 15 Apr. 8

“I feel that it is well past the time for Saratoga Springs to embrace a form of government that is both democratic and responsive without the conflicts of interests and the inefficiencies that we continually see with the Commission form of government.” Public Safety Commissioner Christian Mathiesen. Viewpoint, Apr. 15


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Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


“Governor Cuomo, you need to man up and keep your promise!”

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Exercise Rider, Heather Coots #WhoaCuomo! June 17

“He perished doing what he was made to do, lending a hand.” Honorable David Towne, Wilton Town Justice. Region Mourns Fallen Trooper, Oct. 28.

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Saratoga Springs Commissioner Christian Mathiesen Hospital Expansion: Decision for Many in Hands of Few, Apr. 8


Smart Girls Take On the World, Apr. 29. Photo provided.

NYRA Turf War June 17 Mayor Censured, City Council Votes for AG, JCOPE Review July 22

Red Flags for Code Blue Oct. 7

A SPAC-tacular History, Celebrating SPAC 50 June 17 Elizabeth Sobol: SPAC’s New Leader Aug. 19 Meg Kelly Takes a Bow, Leigh Berenis Becomes New ED for Saratoga Children’s Theatre June 3

Find full back issues at: www. saratogatodayonline. com/our-publications/ saratoga-today.html

Earl B. Feiden Appliance Celebrates 90 Years June 17

175 Years: Saratoga County Agricultural Society June 24 ATC Reveals 100-Year Time Capsule July 1 Stewart’s Celebrates 70 Years July 15

“The reason we can’t build renewables in New York is the interconnect and permitting costs are very high. And worse than that, they are unpredictable.”

Louis Schick, partner, New World Capital Group, LLC Grid and Growth in Saratoga County, June 24

NYS DOT Deliberating Fate of Nelson Ave. Ext. Bridge Aug. 5

SOS Donation Boxes Aug. 19 City Center’s Mark Baker Retires Nov. 11 After the Fire: Caroline Street Dec. 2



Community Celebrates Preservation of Pitney Farm SARATOGA SPRINGS — After 154 years, the Pitney Farm has a new owner, following its purchase from the Pitney family by Pitney Meadows Community Farm, Inc. (PMCF), a new non-profit organization that will guide the farm into its communityand education-focused future. The formal closing took place last week. “We’ve come a long way, but we have still further to go to fully achieve our vision for the entirety of this amazing 166-acre property,” said Sandy Arnold, a family farmer from Argyle, who with her husband Paul is championing the project with help of a group of board members, advisors, volunteers, and donors. “We can now fully embark on creating a large, community-supported farm and agricultural resource center with trails. The programming will be educationally based to bring agricultural appreciation to people of all ages,” said Arnold, president of the PMCF board, in a statement. The city of Saratoga Springs purchased the development rights in a conservation easement for $1.13 million, to ensure that the property will

be used in perpetuity for agricultural, forestry, wildlife habitat, water resource protection, educational and other open-space purposes. PMCF is laying the foundation for a large, self-supporting teaching and training farm that’s similar to those that are thriving in other Northeastern communities. Renovating the property’s existing buildings and adding new facilities, PMCF will support educational programs and inter-generational community engagement opportunities, including a community garden, a children’s garden, a year-round farmers’ hub, a farm apprenticeship program, and a commercial kitchen. The property has two distinct parts that are separated by railroad tracks. To the east on West Avenue are 131 acres that include 90 acres of rich farmland, farm buildings, trees and wetlands radiating outward from Geyser Brook, which form the farm’s western boundary. To the west of the tracks are 37 acres with deciduous trees in some areas and groves of towering, 100-yearold white pines in others.

Members of the PMCF Board, community stakeholders, and political dignitaries celebrate on Dec. 16, 2016 the completion of a multi-year effort to preserve the 166-acre Pitney Meadows Community Farm. Photo by

The property’s purchase price of $2,425,000 was determined by a “very conservative appraisal,” says Cathy Allen, a local realtor and PMCF board member who assisted in packaging the loan. The City of Saratoga Springs funded $1.13 million through the purchase of the development rights documented by the conservation easement on the property. In addition to accepting a conservative valuation, the Pitneys

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017 donated $645,000 of the purchase price. The remaining $650,000 of the price and the additional $150,000 in closing costs associated with the transaction were provided by PMCF. PMCF funded its contribution through private donations and a bridge loan from The Adirondack Trust Company. To date, community support has brought in donations of approximately $435,000 towards purchasing the land with an additional $130,000 donated for use as operating capital and program seed money.

At the centerpiece of its fundraising effort, PMCF is extending an invitation to all who make contributions of $2,500 by December 31 to become “Founding Patrons.” Those providing this early support will be acknowledged with a plaque to be placed on the silo at the Pitney Farm and an invitation to a free annual Founders’ event. To become a founding patron, go to: founding-patrons/.

Notes from City Hall by Thomas Dimopoulos Saratoga TODAY SPA Affordable Housing Ordinance Presented SARATOGA SPRINGS — With an eye on addressing affordable housing needs in the city, a presentation of an Inclusionary Zoning ordinance, first floated in 2006 and recently revived by Sustainable Saratoga, was presented at City Hall Tuesday. The IZ ordinance calls for a small percentage – 10 to 20 percent - of all future units built in the city be designated for moderate, or low-income households. In exchange, builders would receive a bonus that allows an increased density of the project - the idea being that mixed-use affordable housing would be spread across the community. “What is affordable housing? It means different things to different people,” Harry Moran, board chair for Sustainable Saratoga told the council Tuesday. In this instance, “affordable housing” gives its nod to HUD guidelines, which stipulates that no more than 30 percent of a person’s income should be used on housing.

In Saratoga Springs, more than one-third of residents are currently exceeding that standard, Moran said. The proposal currently sits at the city and county planning boards for their respective advisory opinions, after which it will be required to pass through the city’s Land Use boards before being returned to the council for a potential vote. The city Planning Board remains deadlocked on the issue, while the county Planning Board has requested clarification on some matters, such as quantifying housing needs for the respective income levels, and clarifying terminology as it relates to “workforce” housing and “affordable” (lowincome, moderate-income) housing. The SPA Housing Ordinance is one of many possibilities to increase affordable housing the council is investigating. By recently adopted federal rule, Saratoga Springs must address affordable housing needs and come up with a consolidation plan to carry out actions by October 2019.

Council Approves Complete Streets ‘Plan’

The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a draft

of the Complete Streets Plan. The plan provides a summary of existing conditions and proposed recommendations for city-wide bike, pedestrian and transit activities. A public open house to first introduce the community to the proposal was staged in June 2015. Last month, a plan proposed to the City Council was met with concern by some council members who expressed anxiety about the financial ramifications of the proposal’s recommendations should the proposed “plan” become city “policy.” Those concerns seem to have subsided however with the understanding that the “plan” acts as a guideline, and is expected to undergo further discussion and revision before returning to the council for potential acceptance as a “policy.” The Draft Complete Streets Plan is available for review at www. The council also unanimously voted to accept a negative declaration in regards to the Complete Streets SEQR (New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act) Review, meaning it would not significantly have a negative environmental impact.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017




Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

Saratoga County Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Plot to Kill Muslims ALBANY — A 52-year-old Galway man was sentenced this week to 30 years in prison for plotting to kill Muslims with a weapon of mass destruction. In April 2012, Glendon Scott Crawford approached local Jewish organizations seeking financial support for his plan to acquire a device to be used against people he described as being “enemies of Israel,” in evidence presented at trial, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of New York. “This case shows both the dangers we face from extremist views, and our resolve to stop those who plan to act on those views,” said U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian in a statement. “Crawford planned to kill Muslims on account of their religion and other people whose political and social beliefs he disagreed with, including government officials. Our Albany FBI

Joint Terrorism Task Force prevented Crawford and his co-conspirator Eric Feight from carrying out their diabolical plan. Counter-terrorism is our highest priority, and we will continue to identify and hold accountable all those who seek to commit acts of terrorism within our borders.” On Aug. 21, 2015, following a week-long trial, a jury voted to convict Crawford on all charges of a three-count indictment: attempting to produce and use a radiological dispersal device, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, and distributing information relating to weapons of mass destruction. He is the first person in the U.S. to be found guilty of attempting to acquire and use a radiological dispersal device, in violation of the “dirty bomb” statute passed by Congress in 2004. Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe imposed the

sentence, which also included lifetime, post-imprisonment supervised release. Crawford, a self-professed member of the Ku Klux Klan, drove from the Albany area to North Carolina to directly solicit funding for his plan from senior members of the Ku Klux Klan. Crawford was an industrial mechanic working in Schenectady. His goal was to acquire and modify an industrial-grade x-ray radiation device and use it to cause death or injury by exposing people to lethal doses of ionizing radiation. Crawford, with help from co-conspirator Eric J. Feight, took steps to design, acquire parts for, build, and test a remote-control unit that would activate a radiation dispersal device from a distance. Evidence presented at trial showed that Crawford sought and eventually received a radiation dispersal device from

people he believed were businessmen affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan, but were, actually, FBI Special Agents acting in an undercover capacity. Before providing the device to Crawford, FBI Agents had rendered it safe. Feight, acting at Crawford’s direction, built and delivered a remote-control unit. Crawford wanted the lethal radiation device to be used against Muslim Americans, and he scouted mosques in Albany and Schenectady, and an Islamic community center and school in Schenectady, as possible target locations. Other targets considered by Crawford included the White House and the New York Governor’s Mansion in Albany. Feight pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists. Judge Sharpe sentenced him to a 97-month term of imprisonment, to be

followed by three years of supervised release. The case was investigated by the Albany FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes FBI Special Agents as well as members of the New York State Police, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Albany Police Department, the Troy Police Department, and the New York City Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen C. Green and Richard D. Belliss of the Northern District of New York, who represented the United States during trial, and U.S. Department of Justice Senior Trial Attorney Joseph Kaster, with support from the National Security Division and Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017




9 North St., $230,000. Timothy and Dolores Bethel sold property to Justin Boyd and Nicole Franciola.

14 Featherfoil Way, $309,000. John and Kathy Bourdeau sold property to Timothy and Sarah VanVorst.

19 Saddlebrooki Blvd., Lot 89, New York Development Group Eastline LLC sold property to Legacy Custom Homes LLC.

18 Thimbleberry Rd., $185,400. Christina Leber sold property to Timothy Perez.

19 Saddlebrook Blvd., $397,991. Legacy Custom Homes LLC sold property to William and Leslie Liccardi.

CHARLTON 1272 Sacandaga Rd., $90,000. Mark and Debra Spagnola sold property to Michael and Kristin Eidens. 133 Valentine Rd., $225,000. Susan Green Claudia Germain, Wayne Graton (by Agent) and Karen Whittier (Ind and as Agent) sold property to Eric Clark. 955 B Charlton Rd., $346,842. Katz Excavating and Construction LLC sold property to Staci Grandy.

15 Maple Forest Dr., $410,894. Darren Herbinger Construction LLC sold property to Mark and Linda Klompas. 72 Pepperbush Place, $173,500. Joseph Bazarnick sold property to Brooke Comley. 12 North Ridge, $329,900. JP Excavation LLC sold property to Brian and Amber Stephenson. 15 Maple Forest Dr., $93,000. H and L Development LLC sold property to Darren Herbinger Construction LLC. 53 Weston Way, $309,194. Barbera Homes Malta Springs LLC sold property to Carla Dabiere.


4055 Jockey St., $345,000. Dorothy Rainey sold property to Timothy and Kathleen Sicko.

25 Court St., $165,100. Crystal and Jeffrey Moore sold property to Phillip and Melissa Kutas.

22 Maplewood Dr., $190,500. Timothy and Kathleen Sicko sold property to Andrew and Kelly Oakes.

420 Stone Church Rd., $267,000. Giovanni and Julie Warren sold property to Kellie Summerville and Joshua Burks.

GALWAY 2809 Shaw Rd., $240,000. Chester Piecuch sold property to Andrew and Stephanie Rendo. 7105 Fishhouse Rd., $184,000. John Borowski sold property to Christopher Mead.

GREENFIELD 32 Lincoln Mountain Rd., $325,000. Douglas and Samantha Ernst sold property to Bradley and Elizabeth Linendoll. 312 Spier Falls Rd. $44,189. US Bank National Association as Trustee (by Atty) sold property to Audrey Cottone. Lot 3 No. Creek Rd., $40,000. John and Rebecca Keyzer sold property to Mansfield Custom Homes LLC. Locust Grove Rd., $136,000. Bloedel LTD sold property to Frank Akawi.

501 Leahy Lane, $138,500. Elizabeth Paraszczak sold property to Kenneth and Susann Getsch. 1029 Middle Line Rd., $139,620. Fannie Mae (by Atty) sold property to Lauren Rabbitt and Aaron Petteys, Jr. 37 Wood Thrush Ct., $222,000.

James LaPointe sold property to Christopher and Claire Greco.

SARATOGA Hill Rd., $42,000. Calusa Ira LLC sold property to Cedar Bluff LLC. 1310 NYS Rt 9P, $172,000. Albert Stanley (as Trustee) sold property to Eileen and Michael Stewart. 186 Franklin Beach Rd., $850,000. Patrick and Dorothea Clarke sold property to William and Karis Bernardo.

SARATOGA SPRINGS 35 Joseph St., $613,260. Bonacio Construction In c. sold property to Shannon Gould and Karyn Shenker-Gould. 3 Callagan Dr., $290,000. James Graeff and Jane Foley-Graeff sold property to National Transfer Services LLC. 3 Callagan Dr., $290,000. National Transfer Services LLC sold property to Christopher and Kathryn Marsh. 133 Washington St., $349,900. Jeffrey Miller sold property to Pio Dimeo and Kimberly Griffith. 32 Seward St., $490,000. Robert and Sheri Williams sold property to Jonathan and Michele Sperber. 117 Regent St., $925,000. Christopher Dragone sold property to John Battaglino and Sharine Sweet-Battaglino. 1 McKenzies Way, $421,000. Gabriel Padron-Wells and Neda Padron-Wells sold property to Daniel and Cynthia Damboise.

16 Tamarack Trail, $230,000. Tammy Reyna sold property to Jamison Avallon and Melissa Stellone.

STILLWATER 11 Artillery Approach, $25,000. Brigadier Estates LLC sold property to Dave Adams Builders LLC. 9 Fathom Dr., $93,000. Patricia Mac Casland sold property to Charles Elting and Christopher Lyons. 9 Champlain Rd., $138,000. Jason Miller sold property to Nicholas Brady and Danielle Stables. 18 Independence Row, $222,000. Gregg and Bonnie Minick sold property to Charles Hamm. 11 Ridge Court, $292,000. Sandra Garbrandt (by Agent) and

15 Dwayne Garbrandt (Ind and as Agent) sold property to Priya Almelkar. 59 Major Dickson Ave., $250,000. Richard and Laurie Hathaway sold property to Sharleen and Eugene Coogan, Jr. 1 Franklin Court, $185,000. William and Michelle Fitch sold property to Adam Potter. 15 Whitney Road South, $357,000. Mark and Amy Coffey sold property to Kaitlin and Ronald Dobies, Jr. 123 Hudson Ave., $55,000. Anthony and Karen Cavotta sold property to Kevin and Regina Wood.

WILTON 13 Margaret Dr., $313,000. Michael and Amy Baringer sold property to Michael and Jillian Veitch.



Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

A Pet Lodge and a Wine Bistro Coming to Saratoga? by Norra Reyes Saratoga TODAY SARATOGA SPRINGS — Matt Sames thinks it makes sense to open a Pet Lodge with a focus on “doggie daycare” in dog-friendly, walkable Saratoga Springs. And when he stumbled upon some great property, perfect for a little wine bistro, he thought he’d give that a try, too. The successful businessman opened his first Pet Lodge in 2005 with his partners, Bill Davis and veterinarian Tom Brown. The business offers doggie day care, kitty camp, pet boarding, webcams, and everything possible to assure a safe, healthy, happy experience for pets. Pet Lodge has now grown to five locations: Latham; Glenville;

The Sames family, left to right, Madison, Lori, Matt, Hannah, and Reagan. Photo provided.

Clifton Park; Plattsburgh; and Williston, Vermont. Sames said he is trying to

get approval to build the Pet Lodge near the Hibachi Sushi Bar restaurant on Route 9. “We started discussions with the City about a year ago,” he said. “It’s going a little slower than we would like, but it seems to be an extremely thorough process. The project currently lies somewhere between the zoning board and the planning board. There are a lot of layers in the planning process, and they won’t meet again until after the holidays.”

Sames said he’s had his eye on that area for years, but his business plan was forestalled when his daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with a rare disease a little over 8 years ago. He turned his attention to fund raising through Hannah’s Hope Fund and hiring a scientific team to come up with treatment, which it looks like they have done. “We are really ecstatic, it looks like it may be helping her,” said Sames. “It was pretty monumental. One of the doctors said it would take ten years and $10 million to save her, and it ended up 8 years and little less than $8 million. We also treated five other children with the same rare disease.” All that joy couldn’t help but spill over into his business life, so following his dream to put a Pet Lodge off exit 13N was natural. And then when he discovered the 20 Bowman Street property that is zoned for a restaurant, he thought he could also fulfill his dream of owning a wine bistro. “It’s going to be small,” he said. “The whole bottom floor will only be 1,500 square feet, including the kitchen and bathroom. It’ll have a robust

Hannah Sames takes turns posing with beagle/French bulldog mix, Elmer (top) and mini-schnauzer and Yorkie mix, Jake (bottom). Photos provided.

wine list and small plates, some assorted vodkas and a couple craft brews – we’d like to have some local flavor.” Sames said they went in front of the planning board, but the vote was tabled when some of the neighbors came out against it. “I guess they were worried about noise,” said Sames, “but the board members are going to go look at it, and it will be on the agenda again. We’re not going to have outdoor music, and the whole place is only 54 seats. I’ve never seen a raucous wine place, and I don’t intend to be the first.” Sames said he just really liked the location, and since it’s already zoned for it he thought why not, and he’s already found a great couple to operate the place, but if it falls through, he won’t look elsewhere. His family and Pet Lodge are his priorities.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

900 Pounds of Pork Donated to Food Pantries WEST CHARLTON — West Wind Acres, a West Charlton farm that raises and sells pasture-raised meats, is donating six pasture-raised pigs (no GMO, antibiotics or hormones) to help feed people in need this holiday season. Salt & Char’s butcher, Emily Peterson, is donating her time to help break down the pigs, which will then be donated to local food pantries. Each pig yields about 150 pounds of meat, which will help feed 400 to 600 people per pig, up to 3,600 people in all. West Wind Acres owner Joshua Rockwood said through a spokesperson that the local community has helped him both personally and in his business throughout the years and wanted to give back. For more information about the farm and its CSA and products, visit WestWindAcres. com.

Saratoga Guitar is Moving SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Guitar, owned by Matt McCabe, is moving one of its stores from 60 West Avenue to 75 Weibel Avenue. The new

location is scheduled to open in January. As well as offering new, used, and vintage instruments, the store also provides school band rentals and professional instructions. In addition to these services, Saratoga Guitar has been part of the Capital Region Guitar Show for over 20 years, with its next show taking place on April 7 and 8, 2017. The main store will remain located at 492 Broadway. For more information, visit

BSPA Networking Breakfast BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Business and Professionals Association is holding its January networking breakfast at Ye Olde Wishin’ Shoppe on January 17 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Ye Olde Wishin’ Shoppe (YOWS) is a vintage boutique specializing in mens & womens vintage clothing, jewelry, vinyl records, decor and local handmade items. Cost: $5 with advance reservation, payable online or at the door,or $10 walk in at the door.


Adirondack Trust Donates $42,270

The 2016 Lend-A-Hand Grant recipients at a reception held on December 14 at The Adirondack Trust Company.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund announced that its Independent Advisory Committee has awarded $42,270 in Lend-A-Hand

Grants to 23 local nonprofit organizations. The grants were presented at the Community Fund’s annual grant award reception on Wednesday, December 14. For more

information on the organizations awarded and the use of the grant funds, visit http:// The Community Fund’s website is

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


Christmas Cards and Carols in Corinth Photos by

Gracie strikes a Christmas pose.

Theodore shows off his artwork.

Merry Christmas indeed Valerie.

CORINTH — On Friday, December 16, children and parents gathered at the Corinth Elementary School cafeteria to make Christmas cards to donate to the elderly

and homebound. The children also sang Christmas carols. The cards were delivered to: The Jesse Nursing Home; Meals on Wheels; and The Stanton Nursing Home. Earlier

this year, the school celebrated its 20th anniversary. For more information about the Corinth Central School District, visit them on Facebook or visit

Mom Ashley has her hands full with Madeline, Genevieve and Nash.

20 Saratoga Central Catholic School Hosts Their Annual Winter Gala School Community Comes Together to Raise Funds For Technology Upgrades SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Central Catholic School is hosting their 4th Annual Winter Gala on Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 6 to 11 pm at the Excelsior Springs Ballroom, 47 Excelsior Avenue in Saratoga Springs. The evening will include cocktails from 6 to 7:30 followed by a plated dinner, live and silent auctions, and music by Cool Cat Entertainment. Tickets are $100 per person. Proceeds from the event will be used

EDUCATION BRIEFS to upgrade technology in all classrooms for all subjects. For ticket information for the Winter Gala or to find out how to support the event, email SCCWinterGala@yahoo. com or contact the Event Chair at 845-798-2896.

Time Warner Cable and Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region present 9th Annual Girls’ Summit One hundred-fifty 7thgrade girls from Ballston Spa and Stillwater school districts are invited to “Investigate your love of STEM” at the 9th Annual Girls’ Summit STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering, and math) event at Hudson Valley Community College’s TEC-SMART

(Training and Education Center for Semiconductor Manufacturing and Alternative and Renewable Technologies) campus in Malta on December 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Attendance is FREE. 
 Contact: Jennifer Holick – Director of Government and Community, Charter Communications jennifer.holick@ Kerry Gribbon – Grant Development and Partnerships Manager, Girls Inc. 315-750-0338,

Nominee Recommendations for the Saratoga Springs City School District Hall of Distinction SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs City School

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

District is seeking the public’s input on candidates for the fourth annual Hall of Distinction. The program was designed to instill in our students the concepts of achievement and excellence with the Hall of Distinction Inductees serving as exceptional role models. Potential candidates must have graduated from Saratoga Springs High School at least ten years ago, and must exemplify our District’s educational philosophy through an outstanding social contribution to the broader community by making a difference in the lives of others; and/or outstanding professional contribution to, or achievement in,

their field of endeavor. A committee composed of community members, students, board of education members, former and current high school administrators, and former and current high school teachers will review the nominations and select the honorees. Two outstanding individuals will be honored during the Saratoga Springs High School Awards Night on Wednesday, May 24. For more information about the Hall of Distinction and for the nominee form, please visit the Saratoga Springs City School District’s website at

Schuylerville Elementary School Awards

Nine students from Schuylerville Elementary School were identified as Bucket Fillers on Friday, December 19.

These awards were given to recognize students who exhibit positive behavior and participate in kindly acts.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017




Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

Latkes, Saratoga Farmers’ Market Style Last Minute Potato Latkes Recipe adapted from ‘Easy Potato Latkes’ recipe by Martha Stewart Makes about 2 dozen

Saturdays, 9 to 1 Lincoln Baths Saratoga Spa State Park The Jewish festival of Hanukkah begins this year on December 24, which is also the final shopping day before Christmas. Throughout this season, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market has invited shoppers to to get creative by giving longstanding traditions an innovative twist. Now, as the countdown to both Christmas and Hanukkah come, we turned to our local latke-making expert, Kelley Hillis, owner of Puckers Gourmet Pickles, for her best tips on making these savory fried potato cakes. Hanukkah celebrates the reclamation of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem from the Greeks in the second century before the Christian era. With only a single cruset of olive oil, the Jewish army led by Judah the Maccabee kept the temple’s menorah lit for eight days. In honor of that oil, it is customary to dine through the eight days of Hanukkah on fried foods. Over time, latkes, which are of Eastern European origin and are made in a manner similar to pancakes, became a central item for at least the first night’s meal. But, says Hillis, a one-time winner of a latke cook-off at the temple she attends, it is not just oil and potatoes that make the savory cakes special. “It’s also the toppings. Play with them, experiment, get creative.” Walking around the market reveals a host of tempting toppers: Saratoga Apple’s applesauce, Laurie’s Jams, Argyle Farm’s Greek yogurts, Longview Farm’s soft cheeses, and Hillis’s own kraut, kimchi, and pak dong. Hillis favors sweet potatoes as the base for her cakes but also

Potato Latke Toppings

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers.

Potato Latke. Photo byPattie Garret.

will use Yukon golds for their soft yellow hue. Regardless of what type is used, fine shredding is essential. “Also, be sure to press out the excess liquid,” she says. “Otherwise, they won’t fry properly.” Hillis likes to flavor her latkes with green onion, a touch of garlic or garlic salt, as well as a “touch of cayenne” for some heat. Hillis serves matzo ball soup, a special Hanukkah beer, and doughnuts, also Hanukkah fare. She sometimes

tops her latkes before serving them, matching colors and flavors of both the cakes and the toppings but also advocates giving guests choices. “Create a toppings bar,” she says. “It’s all about having fun and being creative.” The Saratoga Farmers’ Market will be open Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its usual location at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park.



* Ingredients can be found at the market

1. In a large bowl, combine onion, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add eggs, and stir until incorporated. Add matzo meal, and stir until incorporated. Add potatoes, and toss until combined and evenly coated. 2. Fill a large skillet with about 1/2 inch oil. Place over medium heat until oil is almost smoking. (To test, drop a small bit of batter into the skillet; it should sizzle upon contact.) 3. Working in batches so as not to crowd skillet, carefully spoon about 2 tablespoons batter into oil for each latke. Lightly tamp down to flatten. Cook, turning once, until golden on each side, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to a paper-towel-lined wire rack to drain. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with desired toppings.

*Ingredients currently available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market - 1 yellow onion, grated or minced* - 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt - 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper - Pinch of cayenne pepper - 2 large eggs, lightly beaten* - ¼ cup matzo meal - 3 large potatoes, peeled and grated * - 1 sweet potato, peeled and grated* - Oil for frying (peanut or vegetable oil) - Select your topping(s): Sour cream, applesauce, kimchi, yogurt, jam*

-The bright green cilantro pesto hummus from Freddy’s Rockin’ Hummus. - Cheesy treats from Longview Farm such as their herbal cheese balls, Serendipity logs, goats milk Looking for last-minute gifts or fudge, and jars of caramel-like small items to tuck into stockings. Cajeta. Several Saratoga Farmers’ Market - Baby bow-tied honey bears vendors have created special stock- from Ballston Lake Apiaries. ing stuffer items, such as the two- Mini maple syrup bottles pack bon-bons from Bon Bon Brazil from Slate Valley Farms. and the Bon Bon Mittens knitting - Essential oil infused room kits from Blind Buck Farms. Also, sprays and other products from consider the following items: Wash Green and Clean.

Stocking Stuffers

- Maple cream from Sheldon Farms. - Apple chips and lemon verbena from Saratoga Apple. - Cheese curds and Sweet Greeks from Argyle Farm. Also, keep in mind fresh produce. Think tomatoes in hues of green, red, and yellow; red, purple, yellow and orange carrots bunched together; purple, red, yellow, and white russet potatoes bagged together; kale bouquets; and more. And, if all else fails, Farmers’ Market tokens make a perfect gift.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


The Christmas Eve Feast

by John Reardon for Saratoga TODAY Hello my Foodie Friends. Our most relished Christmas treasures come with the decorations, the scents of pine, the sounds of music and jingles, and for many, what happens in the kitchen! As I reflect on the Christmas traditions of mine and Paula’s Italian families, the Christmas Eve Feast cannot be overlooked. Coming together to celebrate the holidays becomes a time of giving. It is a time to be with your family and show your gratitude and appreciation of what you have. Cultures all over the world celebrate holiday seasons. One of the most unique and food-centric celebratory meals during the Christmas season is the Italian Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes. The Christmas Eve Feast is often referred to as La Vigilia or the vigil – the period before midnight which Christians believe the son of God was born. In meeting my wife over several decades ago, our first Christmas Eve together was spent at her parents’ home celebrating the Feast of Seven Fishes with all of the fish dishes presented that evening. I watched with a calm expression as my wife ate and relished the marinated fresh anchovies as part of the antipasto (I cannot say I would even put one in my mouth). Jumbo shrimp, baked clams, and fried calamari were also part of the first course, in which I consumed mass quantities. Next, an array of dishes began to come out of the kitchen. These included: the seafood salad, which is a combination of crab, shrimp, calamari, and lobster with celery, olive, and parsley in citronette; the Baccala salad with salted cod tossed with

sweet cherry peppers, capers, and olives in a lemon dressing, and then the octopus salad, also known as Inslata di Polipi. This is where I stopped and stared at the cut up octopus tentacles sitting in front of me. No matter how good I was told it tasted, I just could not bring those tentacles to my lips!! The next course included fried Baccala and the incredible Linguini (or spaghetti) ai Fruitti di Mare’ which is the heart of the meal. It includes pasta with clams, mussels, calamari, scallops, shrimp, and lobster in a light tomato sauce. Here is the recipe: Spaghetti/ Linguini ai Frutti di Mare Serves 4 people Fish: 10 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined 8 medium calamari (squid), cleaned and cut into rings 10 clams 10 mussels, scrubbed 1/2 pound scallops (also add Lobster) *Note: With this recipe you will start out with the scallops and the clams since they are in the shell. Once the clams and mussels open and you have increased the stock mixed with wine, you then add the shrimp, calamari (squid rings), and scallops; add the lobster last. They steam and cook within 10 minutes or less. Seasoning & Pasta: 6 Italian Tomatoes Chopped 1 medium shallot, minced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 bunch of minced parsley Sea Salt Red pepper flakes 1/4 cup olive oil 1 T. butter 1/2 cup of Clam Juice or Fish Stock 1/2 cup dry white wine 3 Packages of Spaghetti, Linguini, or Spaghettini, whichever one you find 1 bottle of good wine, to enjoy a glass while you cook this dish (hey, this should be fun!) Directions: 1. In a large deep sided pan, heat ½ cup of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. When melted add 4 cloves of minced garlic and saute for approx 1 min. Increase heat to medium/ high, then add the mussels and

clams (make sure you have discarded any with broken shells or that have already opened). 2. Add ½ cup of the wine, and ½ cup of the fish and clam juice, ¼ cup of chopped parsley, cover with a lid and allow to steam until the mussels and clams open. CAREFULLY shake the pan occasionally. If the liquid level (wine) decreases too rapidly you can add more wine or stock when necessary. Cover with the lid to steam. 3. While mussels and clams are cooking / steaming, place a stock pot of water on to boil for your pasta. Season the water with a quarter teaspoon of salt once the water starts to boil. 4. Once the mussels and clams open (identify the ones that won’t open and throw them out) season with salt and red pepper flakes. Add the chopped tomatoes, and cook for about 5 more minutes (lid on). If you need to add more stock or wine, this is the point to do so. 5. Next add the calamari, shrimp and scallops, lobster and 2 cloves of minced garlic and sprinkle a little more parsley. Cook over medium heat stirring as necessary. 6. Cooking time left is approximately 5 to 6 minutes so the shrimp should start to be pink and in a “c” shape, the scallops and calamari should go from translucent white to a solid white. 7. While the Frutti di Mare is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente

(slightly firm in the middle). Drain pasta and have it ready to transfer to a serving bowl. 8. Into a VERY large serving bowl, add sauce from the seafood and the pasta. Toss together to combine and mix. Next add the seafood and GENTLY toss again. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional parsley. Now you are ready to serve! Enjoy this recipe. It is our family’s favorite. We recommend a white wine during dinner and Limon cello

and espresso to sum up your dinner. Christmas Eve is about getting together and having a good time. It is about enjoying yourself and the people you are with. Cooking for the people you love is a gift in itself. Enjoy your holiday season. We hope that 2017 brings many blessings, laughter, health, and happiness to you and your families. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen” - Merry Christmas. Paula and John Reardon


Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

Happy Holidays

from our Saratoga TODAY family of publications! LOCAL • INDEPENDENT • FREE Volume 11 • Issue 49 • December 16 – December 22, 2016 • (518) 581-2480

Made from Scratch: Deli20Celebrates Years by Norra Reyes Saratoga TODAY

Spring Street Deli and Pizzeria co-owners Anthony Gargano, left, and Brian Brumley celebrate 20 years of success for the popular neighborhood eatery. Photo by

Hunter Heads to West Point

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Imagine two young men, 22 and 23 years old, riding their mountain bikes to a meeting that could make or break their dream of creating a local deli and pizzeria, and walking in with their caps still on backwards. That was 20 years ago, and the man who then owned the 132 Spring Street building, George Lega, tossed them out

Photo provided by Mike Miller, Student Council Advisor, SSHS.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Senior goalkeeper Hunter Choy has been

named Athlete of the Week. This season Hunter was a co-captain and standout for the varsity boy’s soccer team. Leading the defense on See Hunter pg. 45

See Deli pg. 16

Federal Deadline Urges City to Action on Affordable Housing by Thomas Dimopoulos Saratoga TODAY

by Kiersten Racela Saratoga TODAY

on their ears. “He wouldn’t even talk to us,” remembered Spring Street Deli and Pizzeria co-owner, Brian Brumley. “Fortunately, our attorney was a good friend of Mr. Lega’s, so he convinced him to give us a second chance. We went back – without hats – and sat with him for four hours. We really hit it off, and he later sold the building to us and held the papers, a pretty big deal for

SARATOGA SPRINGS — City Mayor Joanne Yepsen looked up at the 50 or so people who crowded into City Hall Wednesday afternoon and spoke to the reason for the gathering. “We don’t want to become a community that only the elite can afford,” the mayor said. The City Council’s special mid-day meeting on Dec. 14 effectively kicked-off an 18-month project to address affordable housing in Saratoga Springs. “Residents are saying, ‘We are pricing ourselves out of our own

city,’ meaning that the market rates are higher than what they can afford. I think it’s time for us as a council to address some of the short-term needs as best we can with some longterm solutions,” Yepsen said. “And affordable housing may not just be an option any more – it may be required by the federal government.” The 1968 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), was amended in 2015 with a final rule that states communities must address affordable housing needs and come up with a consolidation plan to carry out actions. That plan is specifically due from Saratoga See Dealine pg. 14

Gift Guide

See pg. 28-31

Inside TODAY Blotter Obituaries

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Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017



Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

y a d i l o H

e d i u G t f i G

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017



28 Adirondack Christian Fellowship   8 Mountain Ledge, Wilton 587-0623 | Services: Sunday 8 a.m. & 10 a.m. Adirondack Friends Meeting 27 Saratoga Ave, South Glens Falls 793-3755 | Regina Baird Haag, Pastor Services: Sunday 10:30 a.m. Assembly of God Faith Chapel 6 Burgoyne St, Schuylerville 695-6069 | Rev. Jason Proctor Services: Sunday 10:45 a.m. Assembly of God Saratoga 118 Woodlawn Ave, Saratoga Springs 584-6081 | Services: Sunday Worship 10 a.m. Bacon Hill Reformed Church* 560 Route 32N, Bacon Hill | 6953074 Rev. Janet Vincent | Services: Worship service 10 a.m.; Sunday School 10 a.m. Baha’i Community of Saratoga Springs 584-9679; 692-7694 | Ballston Center Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church 58 Charlton Road, Ballston Spa | 885-7312 Services: Sunday Worship, 10:30 a.m. Ballston Spa United Methodist Church 101 Milton Ave, Ballston Spa 885-6886 | Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Bethesda Episcopal Church* 41 Washington Street, Saratoga Springs | 584-5980 The Very Rev’d Marshall J. Vang Services: Sunday 8:00AM & 10:00AM Calvary Capital District 17 Low Street, Ballston Spa | Pastor Andrew Holt Services: Sunday 10 am | calvarycd. com Church of Christ at Clifton Park 7 Old Route 146, Clifton Park 371-6611 | Services: Sunday 10:30 a.m. Christ Community Reformed Church 1010 Route 146, Clifton Park | 3717654 | Services: Sunday 10 a.m

RELIGION Christ Episcopal Church Routes 50 & 67, Ballston Spa | 885-1031 Services: Sunday 8 & 10 a.m. Christian Restoration Ministries Saratoga Senior Center 5 Williams St, Saratoga Springs 796-4323 | Pastor Pat Roach Services: Sunday 10 a.m.; 6:30 p.m. Christian Science Church 107 Circular St, Saratoga Springs 584-0221 | Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Community Alliance Church 257 Rowland St, Ballston Spa 885-6524 | Services: Morning Worship 10:30 a.m. Congregation Shaara Tfille* 84 Weibel Avenue, Saratoga Springs 584-2370 | Services: Saturday 10 a.m. Corinth Free Methodist Church   20 Hamilton Ave, Corinth 654-9255; 792-0271 Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Corinth United Methodist Church 243 Main Street, Corinth 654-2521 | Services: Sunday 10:30 a.m. Cornerstone Community Church 516 Park Ave., Mechanicville | 6645204 | Pastor Frank Galerie Services: Sunday 10:30 a.m. Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Community 2001 Route 9, Round Lake 877-8506 | office@ Services: Saturday 4 p.m.; Sunday 8 & 11 a.m.; Eastern Orthodox — Christ the Savior 349 Eastline Road, Ballston Lake 212-7845 | Services: Sunday 9:30 a.m. First Baptist Church of Saratoga Springs 45 Washington St, Saratoga Springs 584-6301 | Services: Sunday 11 a.m. First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa 202 Milton Ave, Ballston Spa 885-8361 | Services: 10:30 a.m. worship, 9 a.m. Sunday School (all ages) First Presbyterian Church of Ballston Spa 22 West High St, Ballston Spa 885-5583 | Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Full Gospel Tabernacle

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

207 Redmond Road, Gansevoort 793-2739 | Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Galway United Methodist Church 2056 East St, Galway | 882-6520 galway-united-methodist-church. com Services: Sunday 9:30 a.m. (9 a.m. in July and August) Grace Fellowship Saratoga 165 High Rock Ave, Saratoga | 6910301 Pastor: Mike Adams Services: Sundays 9 & 11 a.m. Grace Brethren Church* 137 W. Milton Road, Ballston Spa 587-0649 | Rev. Dan Pierce Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Greater Grace Community Church Pastor David Moore | 899-7777 Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Greenfield Center Baptist Church 30 Wilton Road, Greenfield Center | 893-7429 Services: Sunday School for all ages - 9:45 a.m.; Church Service - 11 a.m. Highway Tabernacle Church 90 River Road, Mechanicville | 6644442 Services: Sunday 10:30 a.m. Hope Church 206 Greenfield Ave, Ballston Spa 885-7442 | Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Jonesville United Methodist 963 Main St, Clifton Park 877-7332 | Services: Sunday 8:30 & 10:30 a.m. Sunday School 9:30 a.m. Living Springs Community Church 59 Pine Road, Saratoga Springs 584-9112 | Services: Sunday 10:30 a.m. Living Waters Church of God 4330 State Rt. 50, Saratoga Springs 587-0484 | Services: Sundays 10 a.m. Malta Presbyterian Church Dunning Street, Malta 899-5992 | Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Malta Ridge United Methodist Church 729 Malta Ave. Ext, Malta 581-0210 | Services: Sunday 10:30 a.m. Middle Grove United Methodist Church* 581-2973 | Pastor Bonnie Bates Services: Sunday 9 a.m. Mt. Olivet Baptist Church Corner of Jefferson St. & Crescent St.

Saratoga Springs | 584-9441 Rev. Dr. Victor L. Collier, Pastor New Horizon Church 150 Perry Road, Saratoga Springs 587-0711 | Services: Sunday 9:30 a.m. New Life Fellowship 51 Old Gick Road, Saratoga ­­ Springs 580-1810 | Services: Sunday 10 a.m. NorthStar Church Gowana Middle School, Clifton Park 371-2811 | Services: Sunday 9:30 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. Old Saratoga Reformed Church* 48 Pearl St., Schuylerville oldsaratogarefo Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Old Stone Church (American Baptist) 159 Stone Church Road, Ballston Spa 583-1002 | Services: Sunday 9 a.m.; Adult Sunday School 9 a.m.; Service 10:30 a.m. Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church* 73 Midline Road, Ballston Lake 399-5713 | Services: Saturday 5 p.m. Sunday 8:15 & 10:15 a.m. Presbyterian-NE Congregational Church 24 Circular St, Saratoga Springs 584-6091 | Services: Sunday 10:45 a.m. Quaker Springs United Methodist Church* 466 Route 32 South, Quaker Springs 695-3101 | Pastor Al Johnson Services: Sunday 9 a.m. River of Hope Fellowship 100 Saratoga Village Blvd, Malta Cmns, Ste. 3 | 881-1505 Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Roman Catholic Church of St. Peter 241 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 584-2375 | Services: Saturday 5 p.m.; Sunday 7:30, 9 and 11 a.m. St. Clement’s Roman Catholic Church 231 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs 584-6122 | Services: Saturday 4 p.m.; Sunday 8, 9:30, 11:15 a.m. and 5 p.m., 1 p.m. Spanish Service St. George’s Episcopal Church 912 Route 146, Clifton Park

* — Handicap Accessible

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017 371-6351 | stgeorge@csdsl. net Services: Saturday 4:30 p.m.; Sunday 8 & 9:30 a.m. St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church* 3159 Route 9N, Greenfield Center 893-7680 stjosephs churchgreenfieldcenter .org Services: Saturday 4 p.m.; Sunday 10:30 a.m. St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church* 167 Milton Ave, Ballston Spa 885-7411 | Services: Saturday 4 p.m., Sunday 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., Noon. St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church* 771 Route 29, Rock City Falls 893-7680 | sjoegctr@nycap. Services: Sunday 8:30 am. St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church 149 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs 584-0904 | Services: Saturday 5 p.m.; Sundays 8:30 & 11 a.m. St. Peter Lutheran Church 2776 Route 9, Malta | 5834153 Services: Sunday 8:30 & 10:30 a.m.; Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church 1 Grove Street, Schuylerville 695-3918 | Rev. Donna J. Arnold Services: Sunday 8 & 9 a.m. St. Thomas of Canterbury 242 Grooms Road, Halfmoon st-thomas-of-canterbury. org Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Saratoga Abundant Life Church 2325 Route 50 South, Saratoga Springs 885-5456 | Services: Sunday 9:30 a.m Saratoga Chabad 130 Circular St, Saratoga Springs

526-0773 | saratogachabad. com Saratoga Friends Meeting (Quaker) Rts. 32 and 71, Quaker Springs 587-7477; 399-5013 Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Saratoga United Methodist Church* Henning Road, Saratoga Springs 584-3720 | saratogaumc. com Services: Sunday 9:00am and 10:45am Saratoga Seventh-Day Adventist Church 399 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs 882-9384 | Services: Sabbath School: 10 a.m. Worship Service: 11:30 a.m. Schuylerville United Methodist Church* 51 Church St, Schuylerville 695-3101 | Services: Worship at 11am Shenendehowa United Methodist 971 Route 146, Clifton Park 371-7964 Services: Sunday 9 & 10:30 a.m. Simpson United Methodist Church Rock City Road, Rock City Falls 885-4794 Services: Sunday 10:45 a.m. Soul Saving Station for Every Nation Christ

RELIGION 29 Crusaders of America 62 Henry St, Saratoga Springs Services: Sunday 10 a.m. www. SOULSAVINGSTATION CHURCH.COM Stillwater Christian Fellowship Meeting at Liberty Ridge Farm 29 Bevis Road Schaghticoke, NY 12154 Stillwater United Church (Presbyterian U.S.A.) 747 Hudson Avenue, Stillwater | 664-7984 Services: Sunday 10:30 a.m. Temple Sinai* 509 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 584-8730 | saratogasinai. org Shabbat Services: Friday 6 p.m. or 8p.m. (rotating schedule) Saturdays: 10:30a.m. Terra Nova Church* 45 Washington St, Saratoga Springs 833-0504 | Services: Sunday 5:30 p.m. The Salvation Army/ Worship, Service & Community Center 27 Woodlawn Ave, Saratoga Springs 584-1640 Services: Sunday School 10 a.m.; Praise & Worship 11 a.m.

Trinity United Methodist Church 155 Ballard Road, Gansevoort 584-9107 | Rev Keith Mann Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saratoga Springs 624 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs 584-1555 | Services: Sunday 10 a.m. Unity Church in Albany 21 King Ave., Albany 453-3603

Services: Sunday 9 a.m. & 11 a.m. West Charlton United Presbyterian Church 1331 Sacandaga Road, West Charlton 882-9874 | westcharltonupc. org Rev. Thomas Gregg, Pastor Services: Sunday 10:30 a.m. Wilton Baptist Church 755 Saratoga Road, Wilton 583-2736 Services: Sunday 11 a.m.



Free Beginner Dance Lessons with Spa City Swingers Come check out different styles of partner dances on Friday, January 6 and February 24, from 7 to 8 p.m., and see what makes it so much fun. No partner is necessary. Preregistration is required. Call 518-899-4411 or log-on www. to reserve your spot. For ages 12+. New Saratoga Friends New Saratoga Friends is a social group for baby boomers in the Saratoga area who are interested in making new friends to socialize with. This is not a dating or “singles” group! Couples and singles are welcome and there is no membership fee. Group members plan social activities based on their interests. You are welcome to join us in the Dutcher Room at the Saratoga Springs Public Library on Tuesday, January 17, 6:30-7:30 p.m. For more info or questions contact newsaratogafriends@ or join our New Saratoga Friends Meetup group (go to 99th Annual Dinner The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce cordially invites you to the 99th Annual Dinner on Thursday, January 26, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. The event will kick-off with a Cocktail Hour, from 6 to 7 p.m. and will be followed by dinner and the program, from 7 to 8:30 and will conclude with a dessert reception, running until 9:30 p.m. Sponsorship opportunities are available ranging from $500 to $3,500, which includes admission to the event. If you are interested in having your business name and/or logo displayed for members to see, please contact Keith VanVeghten,, or call 518-584-3255.

AARP Tax Prep Tax-Aide, a volunteer tax preparation program will be offering free tax preparation and filing of tax returns for low to moderate incomes, with a preference for seniors beginning February 1, 2017 through April 13, 2017 at the Malta Community Center. Appointments are required by calling 518-899-4411. AARP tax prep volunteers will be available, Wednesdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Thursdays, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Please make your appointment after you have received all of your income and tax documents. The Wizard of Oz The Maple Avenue Middle School Musical Club presents, “The Wizard of Oz” in the Trombley Auditorium at the Maple Avenue Middle School. All tickets are available at the door. Doors open 30 minutes before show time. Show times are on Friday, February 3 and 10, at 7 p.m., Saturday, February 4 and 11 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saratoga’s Chowderfest Saratoga’s Annual Chowderfest, February 4, 2017, is one of the area’s most highly anticipated events of the year. Family-friendly, fun and utterly delicious, Chowderfest features more than 80 vendors—including Saratoga County’s best restaurants and caterers—who open their doors to the public and serve hot bowls of chowder to event goers. Sponsored by Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau, the 19-year anniversary of Saratoga Chowderfest starts at approximately 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will feature live music, family-friendly activities and, of course, a wide variety of chowders. For more information, visit chowderfest. Saratoga Winterfest and Camp Saratoga Snow Shoe Races The Saratoga Winterfest 5K Snowshoe Run/Walk will be held on Sunday, February 5 at 11 a.m. in the Saratoga Spa State Park. Camp Saratoga 8k

Snowshoe Race will be held on Saturday, February 18 at the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park at 10:30 a.m. Go to to download an application or link to online registration at A limited supply of Dion Snowshoes will be available at a $5 rental charge. Email Laura Clark at laura@saratogastryders. org to reserve a pair or phone 518-581-1278. For information about the entire Dion Snowshoe Series and for snow updates visit www. Annual Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe Join us on February 11, 6 – 9 p.m. at the popular and highly anticipated Annual Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe at Camp Saratoga on Scout Road. Luminaries will glow along 2.5 miles of groomed trails. Along the way you will find fields and forests, warming bonfires, and plenty of hot chocolate! The terrain is suitable for all levels and ages and includes a smaller 1 mile loop. Participants can drop-in anytime during the evening; no registration is needed. Snowshoes and crosscountry skis will be available on a first-come first-serve basis in the I.P. Winter Lodge off of Parking lot #2. The rental fee is $5/ person for non-members. Parking will be directed by WWPP. This event is weather permitting. Please call or email for more information or if you are interested in volunteering for this event, 518-450-0321; Got An Hour? Why not give it back by spending time volunteering in your community? The Saratoga County Office for the Aging is in immediate urgent need of volunteers to help deliver meals to homebound seniors in the following areas: Ballston Spa, Greenfield, Malta, Saratoga, Wilton, and Mechanicville. We are also currently seeking substitute drivers for many communities throughout Saratoga County. Please call Billie Jo or Ashley at 518-363-4020 or 518-363-4033 for details.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017 Dharma Meditation with Pierre Zimmerman

Family Friendly Event

Friday, December 23 Eagle Watch Moreau Lake State Park, 9 a.m. - Noon Grab a pair of binoculars and join park staff on their weekly Bald Eagle survey. Moreau Lake State Park’s section of the Hudson is home to wintering bald eagles. It is important for us to monitor their population and health, please come and help us! Registration is necessary.

Saturday, December 24 Christmas Eve Market 65 South Broadway, Lincoln Baths, Saratoga Spa State, Saratoga Springs, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Shop for the freshest food for your holiday feast and pick up last minute gifts and stocking stuffers all in one place. Our Holiday Boutique Market will run through January, so don’t miss this unique collection of talented local artisans and coveted local products. We are proud to be a community gathering place, so bring your family and friends and take some time out of the house to enjoy what Saratoga Springs has to offer. We will also have live music by TuneFolk

Sunday, December 25


One Big Roof, Center for Mindful Practices, 538 Maple Avenue, Saratoga Health & Wellness Building, Saratoga Springs, 9-10:15 a.m. Weekly meditation followed by short discussion. All contemplative traditions honored. By donation. For more information call 413992-7012 or visit www.

Monday, December 26 Italian Dinner Saratoga-Wilton Elks, 1 Elks Lane, Rt. 9, Saratoga Springs, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Soup, antipasto salad, Fettuccine Alfredo, baked ziti, chicken riggies, meatballs, Italian sausage and peppers, garlic bread and butter, dessert, coffee and tea. Donation Requested: $12 adults, $11. Seniors (62 years) and Military (Active or Retired) with ID Card, $8 Children 5-12. Children under 5 Free, $12 All Takeouts. Cash Bar Available. Call 518-584-2585 for more information.

Tuesday, December 27 World of Nativities Exhibit Parks-Bentley Place, 53 Ferry St., South Glens Falls, 1 – 4 p.m. A project of the Historical Society of Moreau and South Glens Falls, the nativity exhibition is in its third year and many of the sets on display for 2016 have not been included in previous exhibitions. Several of the rooms on the first floor of the house are filled with the nativities and are arranged to challenge visitors to discover the theme of each grouping. For more information call Nancy at 518-636-3856. Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children 12 years of age and younger.

Send your local briefs to two weeks prior to the event.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


Wednesday, December 28

Friday, December 30

adults; kids under $12 are free with a paying adult.

The Puppet People Present: A Christmas Carol

Kids Storytime

Sunday, January 1

Saratoga Springs Public Library, H. Dutcher Community Room, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. A Charles Dickens holiday classic, this show features beautiful handcrafted marionettes, shadow puppets, gorgeous masks, lavish costumes, vivid sets, a professional soundtrack that includes many holiday favorites, and a giant 9-foot parade puppet. For ages five and older. For more events at the library, visit

Ozobot Afternoon Schuylerville Public Library, 52 Ferry St., Schuylerville, 2 p.m. What to do with no school? The Schuylerville Library has the answer – Ozobots. Ozobots are robots you command with markers, computers, or an app (we have iPads). Make our little Ozobots spin, zip, and more! Open to Grades 3 and up. For more events at the library, visit www.schuylervillelibrary. or call 518- 695-6641.

Thursday, December 29 Comedy for a Cause The Comedy Works, 388 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Join us for a great night of comedy to benefit Shelters of Saratoga, featuring eight local comedians: Tommy McClellan, Moe Haskins, Terrance Green, Dee Watson, Carlisle Carey, Grandy Dixson, Ellory Smith and Jaye McBride. Tickets are $20 per person in advance, $25 day of show. There will be a full light fair menu and bar service available at your table both before and during the show.

Moreau Lake State Park, 11 a.m. – Noon This class is intended for children ages 2-5 and their parents/guardians. We will discover different themes of nature with a short story and hands-on experiences. Registration is necessary with 24 hours advanced notice. Call Rebecca Mullins 518473-0511.

Saturday, December 31 First Night Saratoga Church Dinner The Presbyterian New England Church, 24 Circular Street, Saratoga Springs, 4 – 8 p.m. The church is sponsoring a Baked Ziti & Meatballs. Warm up and fill up with a hearty pasta meal that also includes salad, garlic bread, beverage and dessert. $8 adults, $4 children 5-12, 50 cents children 4 & under. Proceeds benefit church youth work programs. “Helping youth grow through service education and global awareness.” For more information, call 518584-6091 or email office@

First Night Saratoga 2017 and 5 K Road Race Downtown Saratoga Springs, 5:30 p.m. First Night is the most affordable, accessible, familyfriendly, safe and exciting way to spend New Year’s Eve in the region. Join over 15,000 revelers as Saratoga Arts hosts over seventy regional and touring performing groups in thirty venues throughout Historic Downtown Saratoga Springs, starting with the 5K road race at Skidmore College at 5:30 p.m., culminating with the fireworks in Congress Park at midnight and packed full of live music, dance, comedy, and magic in between. Cost is $20 for

HAPPY NEW YEAR! First Day Hike Saratoga Spa State Park, 11 a.m. Savor a taste of history as you saunter through the park and sip from several of our natural mineral springs. During this one hour tour, patrons will experience some of the most outstanding architecture, geology and natural history in Saratoga Springs. Registration required, call 518-584-2000 ext. 116.

Monday, January 2 Henry Cornell Post 234 American Legions Auxiliary Meeting 23 Pleasant St., Ballston Spa, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 3 Monthly Meeting Catholic Daughters of America Court 422 Knights of Columbus Hall, 50 Pine Road, Saratoga Springs, 6:30 p.m. Members gather at 6 p.m. for refreshments and social time, with the meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. New members are always welcome to attend. For more information about the Catholic Daughters or any of their events, contact Regent Aileen Thomas at 518-5832905.

An Affirmative Prayer for the New Year Workshop Woodlawn Commons, 156 Lawrence St., Saratoga Springs. 6:30-8 p.m. Albany-Saratoga Spiritual Adventures is hosting this workshop which includes a

visioning session (employing the method of tapping into Divine Guidance developed by Dr. Michael Beckwith), followed by a primer on how to write an affirmative prayer. Then, attendees will be led through the process of writing their own powerful affirmative prayers for the New Year, assisted by Rev. Joanne. Suggested donation is $20. For more information, visit www. or call 518-366-9918.

Wednesday, January 4 Concerned About Paying for College? Saratoga Springs Public Library, Susman Room, 10 a.m. College costs are rising at unprecedented rates; Are you properly prepared to handle the expense of higher education? Join us any first and third Wednesday of the month for an informal meeting to discuss different options to pay for college education. Receive $1000 credit towards your personal Scholars Tuition Rewards* program for attending. *As recognized by U.S. News and World Report. (7 Ways to Save for Children’s EducationSeptember 2014). Sponsored by, the Vermont Foundation.

2017 Winter Storytellers Series Begins SUNY Empire State College, 2 Union Avenue, Room 126, Saratoga Springs, Noon – 1 p.m. The Academy for Lifelong Learning presents the ninth annual storytellers series every Wednesday through February 22, starting with Kate Dudding: “People Who Made a Difference.” Sponsored by Prestwick Chase at Saratoga. Free and open to the public. Postponed if Saratoga Springs city schools are closed. For more information, call the Academy at 518-587-2100 ext. 2415.

Guided Mindful Meditation Saratoga Springs Public Library, Susman Room, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Take a break from the daily grind and clear your mind with guided Mindful Meditation led by professionals from One Roof Holistic Health Center. Sessions are free and open to the public, and will be held on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Everyone is welcome!For more information, call 518584-7860 ext. 205.

Artists in Action Saratoga Springs Public Library, H. Dutcher Community Room, Noon – 1 p.m. This month featuring Jim Schreiner of Great Sacandaga Designs who will demonstrate rustic furniture making. No registration required. For more information visit www.

Open House at the YMCA 209 West Ave., Saratoga Springs, 5 – 8 p.m. Try the Y for free. Chair massage demonstrations, meet YMCA personal trainers, get information on the LiveSTRONG at the YMCA and pedaling for Parkinson’s program. For more information visit, www.

Poetry Reading Caffè Lena, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 7 p.m. Poetry reading by Kathleen McCoy. An open reading will follow. Doors open for signups at 7 p.m. and the readings will start at 7:30 p.m. The host for the event will be Carol Graser and the cost is $5. For more information, call 518583-0022,

Send your calendar events to two weeks prior to the event.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


FIRST NIGHT SARATOGA 2017: A Night of Magic

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Fifteen thousand revelers are expected to attend First Night Saratoga, Saratoga Arts’ annual New Year’s Eve festival in downtown Saratoga Springs. The event features more than 70 regional groups performing in 30 different venues and takes place 6 p.m. to midnight on Dec. 31. Admission, in the form of First Night button, is $20 - $15 if purchased by Dec. 25 and provides access to all First Night venues and performances as well as free CDTA bus service. The event will be preceded by a 5k roadrace at Skidmore College, which starts at 5:30 p.m., and concludes with a fireworks exhibition at midnight in Congress Park. THE MAGIC The theme for First Night Saratoga 2017 is a “Night of Magic,” and features performers who boggle the mind. Jon Stetson, one of the most well-known mentalists in the United States, will read thoughts with unbelievable accuracy, and comic hypnotist Michael Ray will bring the most suggestible of attendees up on stage for some ridiculous New Year’s hijinks. Patrick Davis will amaze with feats of levitation and up-close magic and the event includes tarot card readers, rune readers and psychic mediums. For the youngest of magic lovers, Boston-based Scott Jameson will return to the stage at Lake Ave Elementary, pulling umbrellas out of thin-air, and making foam balls appear inside the closed hands of his unsuspecting helpers.

A history of First Night posters line the walls of Saratoga Arts, at 320 Broadway. Photo by Poster artist Sharon Bolton and Saratoga Arts Executive Director Joel Reed unveil the First Night 2017 poster. Photo by

MAINSTAGE The mainstage this year kicks off with The Figgs, followed by returning favorite Sirsy, who played standing room only crowds last year. Headlining the night is the Wild Adriatic who is following up their spring European tour and summer cross-country jaunt in the US with a new CD due out just after the new year. Expect to get the jump on some fresh new grooves from this internationally acclaimed rock trio as they usher in 2017. COMEDY Looking for laughs? Check out local improv troupe Mop & Bucket Company and comedians like Dwayne Murphy Jr., who was recently a semi-finalist at the Boston Comedy Festival, award winning local singersongwriter Erin Harkes - who has also happened to work every major comedy club in NYC and Toronto or Comedy Works sponsored comedian Matt Bergman. Do you want to be a performer? Join Will Shakespeare at the Saratoga Springs Post Office for adventures full of merriment, sword fights, mistaken identities, star-cross’d lovers, shipwrecks, musical numbers… and being chased by a bear all in under 40 minutes. Jump on stage or sit back and enjoy the fun.

Patrick Davis will perform at PNE Congregational Church during First Night.

DANCE The Saratoga Savoy will MC a dance party in the City Center with the regional favorite Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra and the hottest local swing group, Nitro Jive. Come to hear the music, watch the fun, or learn a few moves yourself- no partner necessary. For the littlest dancers be sure to visit Seth & the Moody Melix at the Lake Avenue School where they can dance all night with plenty of space to show off. MORE MUSIC NOT TO BE MISSED The WEXT stage features Ramblin Jug Stompers playing some toe-tapping favorites that have earned them a steady following in the 518

area. They are book ended by upand-coming folk-roots group Living Roots Trio and the multi-instrumentalist pop-rock sensation Darling Valley. Saratoga Arts provides a showcase opportunity for young performers as well, including 17-year-old award-winning Elvis impersonator Matthew Boyce and his band the Suspicious Minds, and talented 19 year-olds Arianna Stewart, Maddy Hicks and Shane Guerrette. A full range of genres are represented, from country-rock (Grit N Whiskey, Crow Ridge) to retro coverband and tribute artists (Big Fez and the Surfmatics, Harold Ford) to jazz (Hetko, Seibel & Syracuse, Hot Club of Saratoga) to Irish infused groups (Kevin McKrell, Grafton Street Trio). BUSES & FOOD CDTA will provide free

shuttle and bus trips to all venues as well as service from the Wilton Mall and Skidmore College. Throughout the night, you can grab a quick bite to eat from food vendors stationed around town, including Green Mountain Cotton Candy Concessions, Moby Dick’s Fish Fry, Reggie’s Veggies and a full dinner at the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church to benefit their youth group. BUTTONS Buttons cost $20 - $15 through Dec. 25 - and kids 12 and under may attend all First Night Saratoga events for free with the purchase of one adult button (one child per adult). Buttons are available at dozens of locations across the city or online at Saratoga Arts. Go to: http://www.saratoga-arts. org/firstnight/buttons.


34 S A R A T O G A

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017



F I R S T N I G H T S A RAT O G A 2 0 1 7 IMPORTANT: Please refer to the Program Guidebook or the website for the most updated information. VENUE








Saratoga Springs City Center (Main Hall)


Memorabilia for sale here

The Figgs


Wild Adriatic

The Figgs


Wild Adriatic

Saratoga Springs City Center (Downstairs Meeting Room)


WEXT Stage

The Living Roots Trio

Ramblin Jug Stompers

Darling Valley

The Living Roots Trio

Ramblin Jug Stompers

Darling Valley

Saratoga Springs City Center (Upstairs Meeting Room)


Dance the night away


Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra


Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra


Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra

Saratoga Hilton Broadway (Broadway Ballroom)


Jon Stetson- America’s Master Mentalist

Michael Ray - Comic Hypnotist 7-8:30

Hampton Inn & Suites


Erin Harkes

Holly & Evan Band

Erin Harkes

Holly & Evan Band

NYS Military Museum


Grafton Street Trio

Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus

Grafton Street Trio

Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus

Lake Ave School (Auditorium)


The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

Lake Ave School (Gym #1 Boys)



Magic by Scott Jameson


Magic by Scott Jameson

Lake Ave School (Gym #2 Girls)


Pete and Chris Magic Show

Seth and the Moody Melix

Pete and Chris Magic Show

Seth and the Moody Melix

Lake Ave School (Cafeteria)


Silent Wing Raptors

Meet the Birds

Silent Wing Raptors

Meet the Birds

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church


Big Fez & the Surfmatics

Cutting Edge Innertainment, Sword Swallower- Dan Meyer

Mop & Bucket Company

Big Fez & the Surfmatics

Cutting Edge Innertainment, Sword Swallower- Dan Meyer

Mop & Bucket Company

Empire State College (Rotunda)


The Comedy Works

Corbie - Mitleid Past Life Expert

The Comedy Works

Corbie - Mitleid Past Life Expert

The Comedy Works

Corbie - Mitleid Past Life Expert

Empire State College (Meeting Room #104)


Cheryl the Medium

Empire State College (Meeting Room #105)


Blues Journey

Two Guys

Blues Journey

Two Guys

Blues Journey

Empire State College (Meeting Room #108)


Joan Scannell ~ It’s in the Cards

Empire State College (Meeting Room #125)


MJ Henion ~ Runes

Empire State College (Cafeteria)


Patrice Gandalfa - Intro to Tarot Workshop

Patrice Gandalfa - Intro to Tarot Workshop

Patrice Gandalfa - Intro to Tarot Workshop

Patrice Gandalfa - Intro to Tarot Workshop

Presbyterian ~ New England Congregational Church




Matthew Boyce & the Suspicious Minds

The Magic of Patrick Davis

Matthew Boyce & the Suspicious Minds

The Magic of Patrick Davis

Church of St. Peter


Saratoga Youth Symphony Saratoga Youth Symphony Opera Saratoga

Opera Saratoga

Racing City Chorus

Racing City Chorus

Heavenly Echoes

JV & the Cutters

Heavenly Echoes

JV & the Cutters

Heavenly Echoes

JV & the Cutters

Hot Club of Saratoga

Nisky Dixie Cats

Hot Club of Saratoga

Nisky Dixie Cats

Hot Club of Saratoga

MaryLeigh Roohan

Better By Morning

MaryLeigh Roohan

Better By Morning

MaryLeigh Roohan

Seina Shirakura

Aaron Civic

Seina Shirakura

Aaron Civic

Seina Shirakura

Hetko, Siegel & Syracuse

Comedian Dwayne Murphy Jr.

Hetko, Siegel & Syracuse

Comedian Dwayne Murphy Jr.

with Saratoga Savoy Mind Arts Stage

FREE Balloons, Origami and Comics

Moby Dick’s Fish Fry - out front

Ziti Dinner

Two Guys

Jon Stetson- America’s Master Mentalist 8:30-9:30

Michael Ray - Comic Hypnotist 9:30-11

Jon Stetson- America’s Master Mentalist

Erin Harkes

Haven’t decided on your New Year’s Resolution? Make ART a part of your 2017!

A huge “THANK YOU” to the hundreds of First Night Saratoga Volunteers – without whose committment and support First Night Saratoga would not be possible!

Church of St. Peter Parish Center (Building behind Church)


NBT Bank


WAMC Stage

Nisky Dixie Cats

NBT Bank (Parking Lot)


Lila’s Laidback BBQ

Alpacas of Breezy Hill Ranch

Saratoga Visitors Center



Better By Morning

Saratoga Arts (Gallery)


Buffalo Brass Machine Aaron Civic

Saratoga Arts (Dee Sarno Theater)


Reggie’s Veggies Cider Ballston Spa Film

First Baptist Church


Grit n Whiskey

The McKrells

Harold Ford - The Spirit of Johnny Cash

Grit n Whiskey

The McKrells

Harold Ford - The Spirit of Johnny Cash

Caffè Lena


Phil Henry & Gary Moon

Brass & Blues

Phil Henry & Gary Moon

Brass & Blues

Phil Henry & Gary Moon

Brass & Blues

Lifestyles of Saratoga


LB Walker

Mike Campese

LB Walker

Mike Campese

LB Walker

Mike Campese

Adirondack Trust Bank


Reggie’s Veggies

Shane Guerrette

Maddy Hicks

Shane Guerette

Benjamin John

Arianna Stewart

Benjamin John

Saratoga Springs Post Office


FREE Caricatures

Shakespeare Approves

The Blackouts

Shakespeare Approves

The Blackouts

Shakespeare Approves

The Blackouts

Temple Sinai


Street Greek & Anna Spackman

Crow Ridge

Street Greek & Anna Spackman

Crow Ridge

Street Greek & Anna Spackman

Crow Ridge

Festival - Best of the Fest



Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


First Night ‘17 Continued from front page.

On New Year’s Eve, members of the band present and past are headed on a collision course with the future to ring in the new year and celebrate the start of the group’s 30th anniversary. “It’s a pretty extraordinary milestone. We’re coming in on 30 years and we’re very aware of it,” Donnelly explained. “There’s been plenty of ups and downs, but our relationship is pretty solid, and we’re still able to function as a band, and as friends.” While the three current band members – Gent, Donnelly, and drummer Pete Hayes make their respective residences in different states, Saratoga Springs maintains a special place as home. “All of us have a warm spot in our hearts for Saratoga. My parents are there and it still pretty much feels like home. Every

time we come to Saratoga it feels like a mini-reunion and we don’t do it that often anymore,” Donnelly said. “New Year’s Eve is special and this time Guy Lyons is joining us - he’s an original member- so there is a culmination of 30 years and New Year’s Eve in Saratoga. It’s representative of a lot of history.” On a night to usher in the New Year that features more than 70 regional groups performing in 30 different venues, The Figgs stand at the top of the list, with performances at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the big stage at the Saratoga Springs City Center, which stands less than two miles from the school where they played one of their earliest shows on a December night in 1987. In between, there have been more than a dozen albums - their 13th studio record, “On the Slide,” was

released earlier this year – and some 1,500 shows staged at hallowed venues like the QE2, CBGB’s, and the Whisky A Go Go, various solo releases, side projects, and a 2013 TV commercial for a luxury car that featured the catchy post-new wave riffs of their song “Je T’adore.” “As a kid I loved jazz music, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, and I think a lot of people are surprised by that. Those were my idols, but with The Figgs, we love all music of all eras,” Donnelly said. “Our main influences coming up were the ‘80s underground bands coming out of Minneapolis like Hüsker Dü, and Black Flag out of California. When we began, we felt we were counter to the cheesy, schmaltzy ‘80s pop world we grew up in during the Reagan Era. Our music

was an affront to that. It was an expression of searching for an identity in a banal world. It almost feels like it’s a return to that now.” Donnelly’s first instrument was the bass, an Ibanez Roadstar II, purchased at Drome Sound in Albany on his 13th birthday. The family piano and his two brothers’ guitars and drums also received a lot of attention. When the band scored a major record deal with BMG’s Imago in 1994, the first thing Donnelly did was secure a classic 1965 Fender Jazz Bass from Lark Street Music – a classic instrument which he still plays today. It is a far different world than when The Figgs first started, and the band has rolled with the changes. “With the Internet, I feel that the music industry has been castrated. People treat music like it’s something on the

side, an accessory. Some people claim that it’s leveled the field, that everyone can play, but I think you have a much lesser pool of quality. The bar has been lowered. It’s like there’s an ocean of mediocre work and it’s hard to find your way through it,” Donnelly said. “But, I’m not one of those people who are angry, or resentful. It is what it is. “Where the Internet is great is that it allows a band like us to maintain contact with our fans, and what’s the same is what’s been true forever: that there is a percentage of quality work, too. Musicians have to play. It’s their desire. And we play for the exact same reasons,” Donnelly said. “I know for me and for many of my dear friends and family, music is so precious that they couldn’t live without it - and I couldn’t live without making it.”



Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

Northshire Bookstore Saratoga - January Events New Year’s Eve Night in Glens Falls SARATOGA SPRINGS — Northshire Bookstore will host a series of public events, free and open to the public, at 424 Broadway. Saturday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. on: Melissa O’Brien – “The Accidental Pastor.” An evening with pastor & memoirist Melissa O’Brien, celebrating a collection of essays and photographs chronicling her journey from her childhood in upstate New York, through accident, divorce, alcoholism, motherhood and midlife dating, all the way to the pulpit of the Pawlet Community Church, the last place she ever thought she would find herself. Saturday, Jan. 14, at 5 p.m.: Vernon Benjamin – “The History of the Hudson River Valley: From the Civil War to Modern Times.” An evening with historian & author Vernon Benjamin, who shares the second volume of his history of the region. Richly illustrated and meticulously researched. Sunday, Jan. 15, at 11 a.m.: Coffee & Pastries with Sharon Morgan, author of “Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a

Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade,” in an event co-sponsored with the Saratoga Springs Martin Luther King Jr. Day planning committee. Sunday, January 15, at 5 p.m.: Steve Sheinkin - Book Launch Party for “Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team.” Three-time National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin celebrates the release of his new book. Sheinkin will be in conversation with award-winning author Joseph Bruchac. Friday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m.: Penny Gill – “What in the World is Going On: Wisdom Teachings for Our Times.” An evening with scholar and author Penny Gill. Do you worry about our planet, with its environmental crises, global warming, widespread violence, and global poverty? Do you feel powerless to change your life and impact your world? This book reframes these crises as an invitation to open our minds and hearts to a new awareness of our fundamental interdependence with all beings.

Sunday, Jan. 22, at 2 p.m. - A fun party celebrating “Spy Ski School,” the latest book in Stuart Gibbs wildly popular Spy School series. Enjoy an afternoon of spy training, code breaking and spy games. Costumes - either spy themed or ski gear - are encouraged. Wednesday, January 25, at 2 p.m. - Homeschool Afternoon. Join bookseller Leah Moore, graduated homeschooler, for a talk on new books families can use in their k-12 curriculum. All ages welcome. Friday, January 27, at 7 p.m. - Jane Klonsky – “Unconditional: Older Dogs, Deeper Love.” An evening with author and photographer Jane Klonsky, and her dog Charlie. This captivating collection of photographs and anecdotes is a one-of-a-kind celebration of people’s special bond with, and love for, their senior dogs. For more information on these or other events, call 518-6824200 or 1-855-339-5990, or visit the Northshire Bookstore website at

- Hockey and a Dance Party

GLENS FALLS — Celebrate the last day of 2016 with Adirondack Thunder hockey and then head down to Heritage Hall for the party. The Glens Falls Collaborative teams up with

the Adirondack Thunder to celebrate the new year with a New Year’s Eve Dance Party at the Glens Falls Civic Center’s Heritage Hall on Saturday, Dec. 31. The party starts at 8:15 p.m. - after the conclusion of Adirondack Thunder versus Reading Royals hockey game and runs until 10:15 p.m. Face off is 5:30 p.m. The event features a cash bar, gift certificate raffle, live music by Double Vision, and food available at $5 a plate.

‘Wizard of Oz’ to Stage at Maple Ave Middle School The Maple Avenue Middle School Musical Club Presents:

Trombley Auditorium Maple Avenue Middle School All tickets available at the door. Doors open 30 minutes before show time. Show Times: Friday

February 3

7:00 PM


February 4

1:00 and 7:00 PM


February 10

7:00 PM


February 11

1:00 and 7:00 PM

THE WIZARD OF OZ By L. Frank Baum With Music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg

ing tur a e Foy F g by n i y Fl

Background Music by Herbert Stothart Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard Orchestration by Larry Wilcox Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Co. Based upon the Classic Motion Picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co, and distib in all media by Warner Bros.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Auditions began in early October and rehearsals ongoing for the past two months at the Maple Avenue Middle School where the musical club will present their production of “The Wizard of Oz” in early 2017. More than 100 middle school students are part of the enchanting production – which includes Dorothy,

Tot o

br o Wm ught to Th .B us erl ea tri o ni by ca lA nim als

the Scarecrow and Tinman, a collection of Munchkins, a Cowardly Lion, and a real dog cast in the role of Toto. The show will be staged Feb. 3,4, 10 and 11. Tickets are $7. Previous Maple Avenue Musical Club productions have included “Seussical the Musical,” “Willy Wonka,” “Shrek,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” among others.

37 PULSE Kettle Collections Down, But Spirits Still Up

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Tuesday, December 20, volunteers gathered at the Salvation Army location at 27 Woodlawn Ave. to help distribute presents, food baskets, turkeys, and hams to over 120 families, almost double the number of families last year. 
 “Thanks to all the generous donors who chose an angel to sponsor this Christmas!” said Lt. Bree Barker, commanding officer and pastor of the Saratoga Springs Salvation Army. She mentioned that winter storms have been hampering the red kettle collection efforts, though, and added that a good New Year’s Resolution might be to volunteer for The Salvation Army. “At our website, www., those wishing to volunteer can

James Morrow (President Local 343 IAFF) and Assistant Chief A/C Peter Shaw of the Saratoga Springs Fire Department lend a hand to the Salvation Army on Tuesday, December 20. Photo provided.

register and they will be contacted by the officer in their community. It’s a good way to start the New Year!”

For more information, please contact The Salvation Army at (518) 584-1640.

week of 12/23-12/31 friday, 12/23:

friday, 12/30:

Rich Ortiz, 6:30 pm @ Bailey’s — 583.6060

Garland Nelson of Soul Session, 6:30 pm @ Bailey’s — 583.6060

2096, 10 pm @ Caroline St. Pub — 583.9400 Frankie Lessard Band, 9 pm @ Gaffney’s — 587.7359 Joe Barna Trio, 9 pm @ 9 Maple Avenue — 583.2582

saturday, 12/24: Saving Atlantis, 9 pm @ Gaffney’s — 587.7359 Rob Aronstein, 7 pm @ Wishing Well — 584.7640

monday, 12/26: Steve Candlen, 6:30 pm @ Brook Tavern — 871.1473

thursday, 12/29: Jess Marcotte, 8 pm @ Gaffney’s — 587.7359 Marshall Tucker Band, 9 pm @ Vapor — 581.5775

Jukebox, 10 pm @ Caroline St. Pub — 583.9400 Rich Clements Band, 9 pm @ Gaffney’s — 587.7359 Steve Lambert Quartet, 9 pm @ 9 Maple Avenue — 583.2582 Big Medicine, 9 pm @ The Parting Glass — 583.1916 Rob Aronstein, 7 pm @ Wishing Well — 584.7640

saturday, 12/31: Tailspin, 8:30 pm @ Bailey’s — 583.6060 Frankie Lessard, 6:30 pm @ Brook Tavern — 871.1473 Ubuntu, 9 pm @ Gaffney’s — 587.7359 Forthlin Road, 8 pm @ The Parting Glass — 583.1916 Rob Aronstein Trio, 7 pm @ Wishing Well — 584.7640


Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

Puzzles Across 1 Staples Center team 9 Not flat 15 Minor issue? 16 Brazilian ballroom dance 17 Tiny cylindrical structure 18 Without a key 19 B’s 5 and C’s 6 20 Home entertainment option 22 Label for the Poison album “Poison’d!” 23 Links acronym 24 Crawford of the NBA’s Clippers 25 40% of DX 26 Common doo-wop soloist 27 Radar screen blip 28 It has a ring to it 29 Shoe attachment? 30 Clubby type 31 Works up 34 Places to see arrows 35 Sat for a bit 36 Semblance 37 Kitchen additions? 38 Prepare for winter flight, in a way 39 Energy Reorg. Act of 1974 creation 42 Pounds 43 Elegant 44 Krombacher output 45 Keats’ “Sylvan historian” 46 Farm deliveries 47 “Taxi” actor 48 “Soon” 50 “You’ve got to be kidding me!” 52 Debussy’s “__ Suite” 53 Title I of the Agricultural Act of 1956 54 Dug 55 Betrays Down 1 Outdoor sitting areas 2 Dame of mystery 3 Former heavyweight champ __ Lewis 4 Knock for __ 5 Little beavers 6 Cassowary cousin 7 Trunk structures 8 __ trunk 9 Insignificant

See puzzle solutions on page 46

See puzzle solution on page 46 10 How some busy people run 11 Maker of SteeL kitchen products 12 Scaly reproductive organ 13 Free West Coast daily 14 Gets the job done 21 Pound sound 24 Wasn’t serious 25 Leek relative 27 Sacks of diamonds? 28 Presence 29 Soft 30 Risqué 31 Seat of Peru’s Constitutional Court 32 Made a comeback? 33 Repeated musical pattern 34 1994 film about a scandal

36 Demand to split 38 Calendario entry 39 Time to flip the sign, perhaps 40 Change in boundaries 41 Stimulates, with “up” 43 Like many boats on lakes 44 Tale of a whitetail 46 Big affair 47 Birdbrain 49 Douglas __ 51 Labor gp. that initially supported FDR

Writing the Right Word by Dave Dowling

Accuracy in word choice is a key to effective communication. In your daily writing and speaking, try to make sure you use the right word in the right place with the right spelling. By doing so, its effect will affect your communication in a positive way. This quick weekly tip will help you filter the confusion in some of our daily word choices. This Week: Hear, Listen Hear means to be aware of sounds in your ears. Can you hear me over there despite all the noise? Listen means to pay attention to something you can hear. You usually need the preposition to with it. Try to listen to what the instructor has to say about the test. Dave Dowling is the author of The Wrong Word Dictionary and The Dictionary of Worthless Words. Both books are available from many book retailers, and signed copies can be obtained by contacting Dave at


It’s where NEED to be.


Publication Day:



Ad Copy Due: Wednesday, noon

Space Reservation Due: Monday, 5 p.m.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

Call (518) 581-2480 x204 AUTO DONATIONS Donate your car to Wheels For Wishes, benefiting Make-A-Wish. We offer free towing and your donation is 100% tax deductible. Call 518-650-1110 Today!


HELP WANTED ROLL-OFF and DUMPTRAILER DRIVERS, Must have CDL. A or B, Prior Experience A Must! Apply in person. NHKelman Inc., 41 Euclid St. Cohoes, NY 12047, or email resume to

CA$H BUYER, Old Comic Books 10c to 35c covers, also Guns, Gold Coins. I travel to you and Buy EVERYTHING YOU have! Call Brian 1-800-617-3551

DIVORCE DIVORCE $349 - Uncontested divorce papers prepared. Only one signature required. Poor person Application included if applicable. Separation agreements Custody and support petitions. - 518-274-0380

MISCELLANEOUS SAWMILLS from only $4397.00- MAKE & SAVE MONEY with your own bandmill- Cut lumber any dimension. In stock ready to ship! FREE Info/DVD: 1-800-578-1363 Ext.300N


Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

It’s where NEED to be.


Publication Day: Friday

Ad Copy Due: Wednesday, noon

Space Reservation Due: Monday, 5 p.m.


Call (518) 581-2480 x204 DONATE YOUR CAR

Wheels For Wishes Benefiting

*Free Vehicle/Boat Pickup ANYWHERE *We Accept All Vehicles Running or Not *Fully Tax Deductible

Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York Call: (518) 650-1110 * Car Donation Foundation d/b/a Wheels For Wishes. To learn more about our programs or financial information, visit





Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

2016 Athletes of the Year by Scott Alvarez Saratoga TODAY The year 2016 certainly has been one to remember as far as sports accomplishments are concerned here in the Saratoga area. We would like to congratulate

our section 2, as well as our state and league championship athletes, who have succeeded both on and off the court. While there have been so many successes in various sports, we have narrowed down the best of the best for 2016.

Kelsey Chimel- Saratoga High School- Sophomore

Aidan Tooker- Saratoga High School – Saratoga High School

Placed 1st in her cross-country sectional races for 2016. Kelsey has competed in track and field since the 7th grade in both the 1500m and 3000m events. While winning the sectional title, Kelsey also finished 5th in nationals. Kelsey plans on continuing to work hard to bring her times down with the goal of running track in college while majoring in Biology.

Aidan, who is now a runner at Syracuse, was a NYSPHSAA Section 2 champion while leading Saratoga Springs to the team championship. Aiden is also a meet championship runner-up at the class A NYSPHSAA championships and runner-up at the NIKE cross regional races.

Marissa Verro – Saratoga Springettes

Marissa has put together an outstanding career and is a well deserved recipient for athlete of the year. Marissa Verro is a senior this year and a team captain. She’s been a team member for 12 years, and has progressed from a level 3 to a level 9 this year. Although she has been a state and regional champion many times before, her biggest accomplishment was last year, placing 3rd in the allaround final at the 2016 YMCA Gymnastics National Championships in Long Beach, California. She is a strong team leader and sets a great example for her teammates. She has an exceptional work ethic. Marissa always goes above and beyond and does more than is asked of her. Not only does she work extremely hard at practice, but always steps up as a leader supporting her team-mates and encouraging others. She respects her coaches and truly tries to work on the things we tell her.

2016 Athletes of the Year Orion Anderson – Schuylerville High School

Emily Vallee – Schuylerville High School

Orion is a returning 2016 state wrestling champion and is currently ranked number 1 in the state. During the season Orion did not allow a single point in any of his matches while going undefeated with a 9-0 record. His career record now stands at 108-6.

Emily has had quite the year. She was the Foothills Player of the year in soccer and as a 3rd year starter for the girls varsity basketball team, she averages a whopping 23 points per game. “Emily stands out among student-athletes due to her dedication on the athletic field and in the classroom.”, says basketball coach Jason Mehan. “Emily works hard year round on improving her skills for every sport, while challenging herself in school with a jam-packed schedule. Emily is one of the top students in her class, while being one of the top athletes in the school. She is a great leader and teammate and sets the example that all athletes present and future should follow.”

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


2016 Athletes of the Year: Skidmore College Men Edvinas Rupkus

Sr., Naujoji Akmene, Lithuania, Men’s Basketball: 2016 Liberty League Rookie of the Year. Represented his native Lithuania in the FIBA U20 European Championships over the summer. As the only NCAA Division III player in the tournament, his team advanced to the championship game against Spain.

Kai Yuen Leung

Sr., Sha Ting, Hong Kong, Men’s Tennis: five time All-American is ranked fifth nationally in Division III singles.

Adebare Oyeniyi

Sr., Lagos, Nigeria, Men’s Soccer: 2016 Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year, Second All-American in program history.

Women Kelly Donnelly

Jr. Wynantskill, N.Y., Women’s Basketball, 2016 Liberty League Co-Player of the Year as a sophomore. 2016 All-American (third in program history).

Dani DeGregory

Graduated, Greenwich, N.Y., Softball (2016)— First softball All-American in program history. First-team All-Liberty League in softball. Twosport All-American (Field Hockey-2015).

Rachel Talanian

Sr., Norwell, Mass.—Women’s Lacrosse—2016 All-American, 2016 Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year.

Krista Lamoreaux

Becca Halter

Sr., Avon, Conn.—Field Hockey—2016 Second Team All-American

Sr., Fort Collins, Colo.— Field Hockey— 2016 Third Team All-American



Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

All Outdoors Kicking Off the Season

by Tim Blodgett Saratoga TODAY A fisherman I once knew stated “I’d rather be lucky than good.” Planning and preparation go a long way but when it comes right down to it, luck is what brings all your efforts

together. Of course luck can work against you, especially when it comes to the outdoors. We sportsmen and sportswomen stand defiant in the face of adversity and savor its seasoning when things go our way and we taste success! This year, winter is making a bold statement and we could not be happier. The most wonderful time of the year! Last year’s anemic winter left us cold. No snow and not enough ice disappointed outdoor lovers and the businesses that cater to them. It even caused grief for trout and the fishermen who angled for them in streams that started low and diminished to trickles. DEC was forced to close some and issue advisories for many. Simply put,

un-wintery weather is bad. I don’t think that will be a problem this year. Skiers and snowmobilers have already hit the trails, now it’s the ice fisherman’s turn to hit the local waters. Most years, we don’t see fishable ice conditions locally until January, much less before Christmas. This year is different. Ice reports have been coming in for better than a week now and the early anglers are catching fish. I’m always a little reluctant to pass on early ice reports as they are usually second or third hand and I often don’t know the original reporter. As of last Sunday, December 18, 2016, I have received reliable information from trusted sources about ice conditions. The consensus is to head north and up into the hills for the best ice. If you want

the latest updates on local lakes and ponds, call me at the shop before you head out. All I’ll say in this column is that we are very close and I will try to check conditions myself so I know for sure. I have found that not all fishermen use the same ruler to report depths, lengths and thicknesses, so I prefer to see first ice conditions for myself. Always consider the source of the report and use extreme caution when venturing out onto the ice. Check ice thickness as you go using a spud bar or auger and stop if you find three inches or less. Personally, I’m not comfortable on less than six inches of ice. Ice thickness can vary by several inches depending on current, weeds, snow cover or exposure the direct sunlight. Be safe not sorry, even if it means you miss the early bite. While you’re waiting for safe ice, take the time to inventory and organize your gear. If you put away your fishing gear like I did, this will be a necessity. At least take the time to change the line on your jigging rods and the leaders on your tip-ups. Last year’s line will fail, guaranteed, if you don’t. How you will fish at the start of the season will likely be very different from the way you finished last season. My tackle usually looks like it was dumped out, swept up and poured into the first container I could get my hands on by the end of the season. It has been said that time spent fishing is not subtracted from your life span but time wasted searching for a misplaced lure or worse, a lure lost last year, does not count as fishing time and may be charged at twice the normal rate. On top of that, you’re not catching fish and that is a truly regrettable circumstance! Dull auger blades will end your day before you have a chance to get started. Change them at the beginning of the season or at least carry a spare set and the proper tools to make a trip-saving repair. Power augers need to be checked and serviced if they are not running at peak performance. Shelters should be set up at home and checked

for tears or damage caused by rodents during the off season. Minor damage can easily be repaired and broken or missing parts can be replaced or found. This “pre-game” planning and preparation trumps luck until you’re on the ice where luck reclaims its crown. I know that you know all this stuff, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded to do these things. The main goal is to have a safe and enjoyable day on the ice. Use caution and don’t be a pioneer on unfamiliar bodies of water. That goes for any time of the ice season. Follow your gut if it tells you to stop or get off the ice. Remember that no fish is worth swimming this time of year. Use the buddy system any time you go out and keep emergency tools handy. A strong rope with a large loop at one end and knots to help a person to grip it is something you hope never to use but may save a life if it’s needed. Spare gloves, an extra coat, emergency blanket, ice creepers and hand warmers make good sense. Pay attention to signs of hypothermia in you, your fishing partners and especially in children. Don’t get frostbitten. It only takes a few minutes for exposed skin to freeze in the right conditions and the after effects can last a lifetime. Why we do it. Ice fishing is enjoyed by a growing number of people each year. It’s an activity that gets people outside, is safe with the proper precautions and has the bonus of providing you and your family with a tasty fish fry. Ice fishermen are not crazy. Time on the ice allows them to disconnect from the busy world they live in, focus their attention and detect the slightest tug at the end of their line. You can’t help but be optimistic while jigging a lure or watching tip-ups, otherwise, what would be the point of fishing in the first place? We all need positive energy in our lives and fishing provides that, even when you’re sitting on a bucket watching your rod tip and willing it to bend. All you need is ice and a little luck.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


‘Tis the Season to be Jolly!

by Damian Fantauzzi for Saratoga TODAY I would like to extend my holiday wishes to all of the people who have followed my columns over the years. Whether you be of a Christian faith, Jewish faith or whatever your beliefs might be, I wish you the best. I have done a lot of research over the past few years to ensure you all that I was factual about my subjects and/or points I made. I will tell you it has been work, and there were times when I sat in front of my computer as if it were a blank canvas. That is something I can actually relate to, since I was an art education major in college, with a double minor in English and Social Studies. Maybe that’s where this writing thing comes from. A rare thing about me is having an “artsy” background, combined with athletics, a strange pair to some people. As an athlete who has a propensity towards the arts, let me explore this idea with all of you. As a young boy I was involved in sports, from Little League Baseball to CYO basketball. CYO

basketball was where my love for the game evolved as a seventh grader. Developing my love for basketball was an uphill battle, mainly because of how some of my schoolmates resisted my skills because they had me marked as being deficient in their “normal” way of existence, or in other words, they associated me as a slow learner due to a speech malfunction I was born with. I had a condition that was called Velopharyngeal Incompetence, causing me to have an obvious nasal sound when speaking. Their ignorance about my condition gave them the opinion that I couldn’t live up to their expectations of what they felt was part of their tightly knit world that they had fabricated, especially in their acceptance of me as a basketball player. Later in my evolution of life my condition was remedied through corrective surgery; I was 20 years old. As I was emerging as a basketball player, I also was a kid who had artistic talent, I loved to draw and it seemed that I was pretty good at it. I look back to where I started in sports, especially basketball, and I see the many changes that evolved in the game since my time as a player. For example, the shot clock wasn’t in existence, there wasn’t a 3-point shot/arch, uniforms were fairly uncomfortable with short shorts and sown on school names and numbers. Sneakers were mainly white and sometimes black. All of the sneakers were dominated by a manufacturer named Converse, which were called Chuck Taylors. In high school, each quarter started

with a jump ball, there wasn’t a possession arrow, any tie ups resulted into a jump ball. When I started college basketball the old idea of four quarters turned into two 20 minute periods, currently the NCAA is rethinking the game’s format by going back to four quarters (the NCAA’s women game is currently back to four quarters). Not to mention that during my high school and college playing days, girls’ basketball did not exist. Baseball has had some transitions that are now part of the game. For example: The Designated Hitter (DH) in the American League has replaced a turn at bat for the pitcher, (something that high schools and colleges have adopted). The National League still gives the pitcher a turn to hit. Pitching has gone from the starter to a reliever, to today’s modern era of a starter, mid-innings reliever, middle closer and then to closer. Pitching staffs are currently huge. Football has evolved into bigger, stronger players with better equipment due to the size and strength of these athletes creating an increase of injuries, like more concussions. Today’s game has a more concentrated awareness of protecting the athletes, which doesn’t always work. The game is faster, tougher and I think more exciting because of the physicality of these super athletes. In my time I have also seen a major change due to the African American athlete. As a college basketball player, back in the mid to late sixties, I witnessed a positive effect that the black athlete has had

on this country. I saw the nation’s obsession with sports as a platform for civil rights activists and athletes who were able to radically change the role of African Americans in society, and resulting as a move toward achieving racial equality. In basketball, the movie “Glory Road” was a true story about the Texas Western University basketball team of 1966. Texas Western won the 1966 NCAA national Basketball Championship by defeating the University of Kentucky. Texas Western was the first college in NCAA history to start five African Americans. Kentucky was ranked number 1 in the country, a team led by local All American and graduate of Linton High School of Schenectady, Pat Riley. A note of interest here is I had the good fortune to play

against Pat Riley in a summer basketball league in south Albany’s Hoffman Park Playground, during the late sixties. My recall is a segment of American history from a person who lived through that time and one with the rare combination of art and athletics. I can say that I have witnessed so much in my life through my involvement in sports. To think it was my obsession with the game of basketball that helped pave a way through my experiences. I feel that many people can agree with me that sports has a way to continue writing American history, all because athletics has been a major contribution of our heritage. I hope that never changes, that’s truly American. Happy Holidays!



Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017

COMMUNITY SPORTS BULLETIN First Night Saratoga 5K Run SARATOGA SPRINGS — The 19th annual First Night Saratoga 5K Run, presented by the Saratoga Arts, will be held on Saturday December 31 at 5:30 p.m. The run is limited to the first 1,500 registrants. There will be no day-ofrace registration. A ChronoTrack B-Tag computerized scoring system will be used. The USA Track and Field certified course starts and finishes on the Skidmore College Campus. Awards will be given to the top three overall male and female finishers as well as the top three male and female finishers in five-year age categories. All finishers will receive a FIRST NIGHT COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL. Register by November 25th for the early registration fee of $25 and a guaranteed long-sleeved shirt. Registration will be $30. Save time by registering online, or download an application and map at .For further information contact First Night Saratoga by phone at 518-584-4132.

Breakers Club 2016 Christmas Break WILTON — From December 27 through December 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. the Breakers Club will be offering their Holiday Break

Send your sports stories or briefs to Kiersten Racela, Sports Editor at Kiersten@Saratoga

program. This is a school break program offered for grades K-6. The event will take place in Gavin Park. Activities for the event include gym games, crafts, movies, bingo. All of these undertakings are weather permitting. Participants are asked to bring the appropriate attire. The club will supply an afternoon snack and drink. The fee for this program is $40 per day for a resident with a three-day minimum per break. Nonresidents will be charged $50 per day for a threeday minimum per break. A $10 cancellation fee will be enforced. Those looking to register may do so by visiting

Saratoga Springs Recreation Center Holiday Hours SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs Recreation Center will be closed on Saturday, December 24 and Sunday, December 25. On Monday, December 26, holiday hours will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It will also be closed from Saturday December 31 and January 1 for the New Years holiday. On Monday, January

2 holiday hours will be observed from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. For additional information please call 518587-3550 ext 2300.

be interested is encouraged to contact the Recreation Deparment by email at recreser

BARC Winter Basketball Registration 2017

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Learn to Swim

BALLSTON SPA — Boys and girls in grades third through ninth who reside in the towns of Milton, Malta, or Ballston, or the Village of Ballston Spa are encouraged to sign up for BARC Winter Basketball. Games will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Ballston Spa area Rec Center.

North Side Playground Volunteers Needed SARATOGA SPRINGS — Volunteers and community support are needed on Saturday December17 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to begin bringing the North Side playground to life. Anyone who would like to help is requested to bring a rake and shovel suitable for spreading wood chip fiber (mulch), and a pair of gloves. Volunteers must be fifteen years of age or older. Anyone who might

Puzzle solutions from pg. 38

BURNT HILLS — Student Learn-to-Swim Classes will continue their winter session starting January 7 and will run through February 18. These fifty-five minute classes will last eight weeks. Children in grades K-6 are grouped by ability within each time period. This year there will be an addition of an advanced level class for students up to age fifteen years old. All participants must pre-register. Anyone looking to register may do so by visiting the school district website at www.bhbl. org/communityswim.

Spartan Junior Girl’s Basketball BURNT HILLS — The Spartan Junior girl’s basketball team is accepting registrants for girls in grades second through eighth. This program is run by BHBL Varsity Coach Gestwick, with the help of the girls varsity basketball team. Session

will occur on the Saturdays through February 11 at the Middle School, located at 173 Lake Hill Road in Burnt Hills from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The cost for each session is $50.00. Checks should be payable to BH-BL Girls Youth Basketball, and should be brought to the first session. Any questions can be directed to Coach Gestwick at 518-810-6675.

The Anthony Bellai Leadership Award SARATOGA — This award is presented to an athlete who has exhibited extraordinary leadership, commitment and perseverance during their athletic career at Saratoga High School. The scholarship is maintained by the Saratoga Springs City School District. Anyone wishing to donate, checks may be sent to: Saratoga Springs City Schools Attn. Linda Doyle Business Office 3 Blue Streak Boulevard Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Checks should be made out to Saratoga Springs City Schools and Anthony Bellai Scholarship needs to be noted in the memo of the check.

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017


Team of the Year by Scott Alvarez Saratoga TODAY SARATOGA SPRINGS — Nadia Comenici, Mary Lou Retton, Aly Raisman and Simone Biles are all Olympic gold medalists who have performed on the biggest and brightest stage in front of the world. However, before those amazing gymnasts became Olympic champions, they put in hours and hours of hard work, far away from the bright lights. During the early years, those Olympic athletes were once much like our very own Saratoga Springettes. The Saratoga Regional YMCA Springettes Gymnastics team, coached by Kim Hewitt and Vicky Plitt, is currently made up of 59 athletes who train year round in their sport. The athletes are currently levels 2-9 and are between the ages of 8 and 18. This impressive group follows the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic program, competing against mostly

A focused Anna Martindale.

YMCA gymnastics teams. Fourteen athletes from the Saratoga Regional YMCA Springettes Gymnastics team traveled with their families to Long Beach, California for the YMCA Gymnastics 2016 National Championships. The Springettes routinely put in 2-3 hours of practice a day, up to four times a week. “We are blessed with a group of very dedicated, very disciplined girls, who work very hard at what they

Anna Martindale practicing with Coach Kim Hewitt at the YMCA in Wilton.

do.” says Coach Kim Hewitt. “They strength train and work on flexibility at every practice, and sometimes even at home. They spend hours in the gym practicing skills over and over, to make sure they can do them perfectly for competition.” These gifted athletes push through fears to try to be the best they can be on each event. They do routines over and over to make sure they are flawless, graceful

and powerful. The tremendous opportunity for these local athletes would not be possible without the support of the YMCA. Coach Kim Hewitt explains “The four core values of the YMCA are caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Those play a major part in how we run our team, and how we develop our team culture. The coaches are here because they have a passion for gymnastics, and want to share

that passion with others. “ It is crystal clear after attending just one of the Springettes practices how much time and dedication is involved to become such an elite sports team. The program succeeds not only at the local level but the national level as well. Perhaps one day we will watch the Olympics, cheering on one of our very own Saratoga Springettes , on the world’s biggest stage.

Volume 11  •  Issue 50

Week of December 23, 2016 – January 5, 2017



First Night Saratoga. The year 2017 kicks off with a fireworks show in Congress Park. Photo by John Seymour.

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