1980 • Our 34th Year! • 2014
Kate & Henry
U.S Postage Paid Glens Falls, N.Y.
Happy Mother’s Day!
PERMIT NO. 150
Section 2: Prime-Time Seniors
28,000 © Copyright 2014 The Chronicle
Memorial Day Issue is May 22
Northern New York’s Leading Newspaper • Down to earth and growing • Vol. 34, No. 1,535 • May 8-14, 2014
Seniors, beware ‘dump & run’ By Gordon Woodworth Chronicle News Editor
Tim and Hilda Olesky of Queensbury thought moving Hilda’s 84-year-old father nearer to them would be wonderful. Local It turned out to be a couple tell nightmare. Hilda’s of elderly father was livfather’s ing in Pennsylvania, in a assisted senior apartment. But he living had been diagnosed with plight Alzheimer’s disease, and wasn’t taking his medicine regularly. “We wanted him to be happy,” Tim said. “He was alone, he wasn’t socializing. He had just lost his wife, and we wanted to find a place where he could be around people.” They say they researched several local facilities before deciding on one, into which Hilda’s dad moved in November 2013. (Editor’s note: The Oleskys asked that the facilities not be identified. “We just want to educate other people so this doesn’t happen to them,” Hilda said.) Hilda said her father seemed to be settling into his new life in the
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It was only supposed to be a way to share baby updates across the country with a grandma who wasn’t so good with computers. Instead, Amanda Magee’s blog — her online stories about parenting, work, marriage and life — now Parlays reaches 300 to ‘mommy 800 readers a day around the blog’ into country and Huffington even internationally, and Post niche, one column that was picked book deal, up by the Beautiful Blog- party at ging Website Bon Jovi’s had 7,000 hits a day for two weeks, she reports. The blog has catapulted Ms. Magee to such heady Internet prominence she’s been a guest at the home of Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, for a 200-person seminar that included an after-party at Jon
Mike Allen’s logo suggestion: The long–time local hockey fan designed this logo and started an Adirondack Flames Facebook page that quickly has garnered more than 700 likes.
Amanda Magee lives in Queensbury Photo by Anne Lowrie
Bon Jovi’s penthouse. Ms. Magee’s work appears regularly on the Huffington Post Parenting site, among others. And she’s one of 10 essayists featured in This is Childhood, a new book launched, yes, in time for Mother’s Day. Ms. Magee, 40, is co-owner of
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Chronicle News Editor
The 25th annual 5.67-mile uphill Prospect Mountain Road Race takes place this Saturday, May 10, starting at 9 a.m. You can run it. You can walk it. “We’re trying to encourage more walkers this year,” said race co-director Chris CifoneClohosey. “A lot of people walk up the mountain on their own
Grills are here!
Hockey: Credit a save to Jack, Ed & fans By Gordon Woodworth
Chronicle News Editor
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Dix sfurn.com • Corner of Glens Falls88 • www.livingston 8 793-2
Chronicle Managing Editor
By Gordon Woodworth
9 vie for GOP nod for Wash. Co. judge º 14
By Cathy DeDe
25th annual uphill race on Prospect Mountain
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AD SEE OUPRAGE ON
The 3 who’ve run in all 24 races — from left, Larry Mancini, Brian Teague and Dan Olden.
anyway.” Co-director Jill Pederson said, “You can almost power-walk as fast as many run-
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After months of anxious waiting and fears of futility, it’s finally official — Glens Falls will have an American Hockey League team next season — and Glens Falls seasons beyond that. lands AHL At 7:14 p.m. Monteam of day evening, Calgary the American Hockey Flames League announced that its Board of Governors has approved relocating the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate from Abbotsford, British Columbia, to Glens Falls. It’s Please turn to page 24
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Trampoline Design ad agency in Glens Falls, alongside her husband, Sean, and another husband-wife couple, Derek and Paula Slayton. The Magees have three daughters: Briar, 9; Avery, about to turn 8; and Finley, 6. They live in Queensbury. Ms. Magee said she got started writing when she and Sean were living in Boston with a new baby. Her mom, back in Washington State where Amanda grew up, couldn’t figure out how to open e-mail photo attachments. “I’ll just start a blog,” Ms. Magee told her, “and you can see it there.” “I’m not a scrapbooker,” she says. “It soon became a way for me to chronicle the early years of the kids and communicate with family. Before I knew it, I was writing every day. It eclipsed chronicling the kids, and became an outlet, something restorative for me.” Amanda’s is often a startlingly honest voice. She wrote about a conflict with one daughter she caught lying. She says that Huffington Post declined the story, concerned it was unfair to her daughter. Ms. Magee says, “I did some soulsearching. If you think there isn’t lying in children, you’re nuts.” The parenting site Mamalode did run the piece. It is powerful and thoughtful, focused on communication, with a positive outcome for both child and parent. Ten years into her blog, Ms. Magee describes herself as a “dinosaur” of the online world. The genre, called (mostly kindly) “mommy blogging” has reached vast proportions. Our own Kate Austin-Avon, who writes the bi-weekly Family Time column, is another local mommy blogger. Ms. Magee says, “I think it’s great that there are all these venues for people to say what they want. No matter who you are or what your issue, you can find someone who is saying something that will resonate with you. It’s like different breeds of dogs.” She worries over the level of “snark” online at times. “There’s some real mean writing and commenting out there.” She says, too, “There are different motivations for writers. Some want or need to get some fame, some just want to get free samples, some have a drive to write.” While others have launched whole ca-
A piece written by Amanda: Can I have your hand? By Amanda Magee
Special to The Chronicle Editor’s note: The article below originally appeared on Amanda Magee’s own blog — then called The Wink, now called AM&A Magee. Seen by a Huffington Post editor, the article was the first one republished on high-profile Huffington’s Parenting page. Ms. Magee is a regular at HuffPost now, among other blog sites. • She asks me each night with an impish grin, “Mama, can I have your hand?” It’s part and parcel of bedtime, this game of gentle tug of war. “Just let me hold your hand, but you’ll be too tired to pull, so you’ll sleep here.” Her eyes shine, big and bright and as perfect as they were in those early weeks of hours spent gazing at her. She quivers with an implicit, “C’mon, mom.” I say ok. Holding hands, I lean toward the door, she makes campy moves to fall out of bed, I swing toward the bed, back and forth we go until I stop.
reers from their blogs, “I’ve kept it an offhours passion,” Ms. Magee says, “though I cheat around the edges of that.” Some outlets that pick up her posts do pay for them, sometimes by the number of hits a post receives. Huffington does not pay, but Ms. Magee said the exposure and credibility it affords her, and even Trampoline, make it worthwhile. “I think what is most compelling is that my writing has extra facets, the challenge of not being a traditional stay-at-home mom or a traditional full-time worker.” She tried but rejected running ads on her own page, comparing it to “meeting other moms on the playground at Kensington (Elementary School), versus the playground at McDonald’s.” For Ms. Magee, writing is the point. “Sometimes, something will hit me and I know I need to write about it, in the way a baseball player just knows he is going to connect with a pitch. Those are the ones that tend to come out in one joyous stream. “I’ll say I need to write, and maybe Sean will do bedtime with the girls, or I will get up at 4 a.m. and write. It usually gets tucked in around the girls.” Fellow bloggers have become her parenting community. “It wasn’t playdates in person, but there was a lot of swapping stories. I’ve made some really great friends. We do see each other sometimes,” for example at BlogHer, a convention run by a website for women bloggers. After friend and fellow blogger Dawn Gentz of Michigan died last April from skin cancer, the Magees invited Ms. Gentz’s husband and young sons for two days of respite on Lake George. Ms. Magee says, “With my schedule, if you’re not a client or an organization that I’m involved with, chances are I’m not going to see you. That’s what’s so great about this. You can connect with other moms in the hours that you wouldn’t normally be meeting.” She said, “I have always wanted to be a good parent, like everyone I guess. The barometer for me isn’t what anyone else is doing, but how I feel after I’ve done something. I think about, what are the memories they’ll have of this? If I get upset, will they understand why? As her daughters grow up, they become more part of the equation: “They’ll ask, ‘Are you going to put us on Huffington?’ I’ll ask, ‘Do you want to be?’” A certain potentially compromising picture that Amanda finds charming, they’ve forbidden her to post “ever.” She sticks to that. She launched into the blogosphere when Huffington Post Parenting senior editor Farah Miller found the story we reprint adjacent to this article. “I’m too tired. I. Need. To. Sleep,” and I collapse (delicately) over her. I feign magnificent snoring and thrashing, she laughs with her whole body. It’s perfect and yet some nights, the ugly secret I try to keep secret rears its nasty head. I don’t want to tug. It’s been a 14-hourday and I had set my sights on being done before 9. I don’t want a request beyond what I’ve said we’d do. I want someone to let good enough be good enough. I don’t want to be held or cried for and I hate myself for it. I make nice with people during the work day, I banish the futile worry about petty crap that I can’t control and I juggle the balls I create as well as those flung at me. We do dinner and homework, playtime and reading. We talk about our day, but somehow at bedtime my elasticity fades. Brittle and jerky. “Mama, can I have your hand?” she asks. “Sure, Fin, go ahead, take my hand.” I bend a knee ready to lurch spectacularly for the door before being pulled back. I sway, she pulls me back. When I begin to sway again she says softly, “It’s ok mom, you can just go,” as her fingers slip from mine and she lets my hand go, she holds my gaze and then turns to her pillow. The cat’s in the cradle...
11 The Chronicle - May 8, 2014
Amanda Magee striking it big in the ‘mommy blog’ world
Amanda and Sean Magee, with daughters (from left) Avery, Briar and Finley.
“She contacted me and said, ‘I’m lying on my bedroom floor sobbing. I would be honored if you would share your writing with Huffington.’” After it ran, Arianna Huffington herself Tweeted it. “Okay,” Ms. Magee said she realized, “I’m in.” That was December 2012. The book project, This is Childhood, started with two frequent HuffPost contributors, Ms. Magee says, who invited 10 favored bloggers to each write an essay set in one year of a child’s life. (Amanda was assigned age 8.) The writers first posted the pieces on their own blogs, then on Huffington. An editor from the website Brain, Child approached them to package the essays as a combination book-journal. Not all sugar and roses. Ms. Magee says it was a challenge coming to contract terms with 10 different writers on the project. Now she aims to complete a book of her own before her 41st birthday. To that end, she’s enlisted husband Sean. “I wouldn’t get to it,” she says, with so much else on her plate. Knowing she’d bristle if only offered straight directives (“time to get going on this”), instead they’ve started a series of “She said/He said” blogs about marriage. As their daughters begin the natural process of detaching, she realizes, “The children are going to leave. If that’s been
your only focus, you’re going to be left with a stranger. To not address that, I do at my own peril.” “It’s a really strong angle,” she says of the dual essays. One post takes a frank look at keeping romance in a marriage when work, kids, house and dinner prep all vie to intrude. His take, understandably, is different from hers. That post, too, has garnered multiple hits and shares. Ms. Magee says she’s known in the Trampoline office for an uncanny instinct that she also brings to bear in her writing. Seems that instinct keeps bearing fine fruits. ©Copyright 2014 Glens Falls Chronicle
Where’s Amanda? Well, everywhere Find Amanda Magee’s blog online at amandamagee.com. Her columns are featured on several Huffington Post pages, including Parents, Wedding, Women, Crime, and Third Metric. The book This is Childhood is available online at www.brainchildmag.com and at Amazon.com. She’s also been published online in at mamalode.com and in the Mamalode print magazine, at mothering.com, and on www.scarymommy.com.
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