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Displaying items by tag: Lake George
Lake George Area Attraction Prepares for More Adventure
Bolton Landing — Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course announced the addition of its “Low Rider Zip Tour,” an introductory zipline course designed for first-time, novice zipline adventurers as well as seasoned obstacle course veterans consisting of 12 ziplines and 9 walking bridges. “The difference between our zipline-only course and other traditional zip tours is its proximity to the ground,” said Adirondack Extreme Owner, Jamie Johnson. “It’s a low-level zipline tour multi-generational families can enjoy together.” Each of the ziplines in the “Low Rider Zip Tour” will be 75 to 550 feet in length and traverse over naturally occurring, picturesque landscape features such as Alder Brook. Adirondack Extreme’s 8 other adventure courses offer an additional 22 ziplines as part of an ensemble of obstacles and range in heights of 15 to 65 feet. Johnson said, ‘Low Rider Zip Tour’ guests will be zipping closer to the water and forest floor with maximum zipline heights of 10-30 ft.”
According to operations manager Jaime Delong, the “Low Rider Zip Tour” will be offered as a stand-alone tour for $48 as well as an add-on for as little as $10. Guests aged 9 and up who meet the reach requirement will have a chance to experience the “Low Rider Zip Tour” when it is debuted on April 17, 2021. “We always get a lot of people asking about our opening date each year,” Delong said, Adirondack Extreme officially opens for its 15th anniversary season on Saturday, April 10.
Pro tip: If you’re afraid of heights, the “Low Rider Zip Tour” will quench your thirst for adventure without the threat of being too far off the ground.
There will also be packages including parts of our adventure courses combined with the “Low Rider Zip Tour” available for general admission as well as groups: Adirondack Extreme hosts birthday parties, field trips, and corporate events — Johnson said, “after all, there’s nothing like the thrill of a treetop experience to re-connect and foster the togetherness we now hold so valuable.”
Note: if this has you wanting to spend every day here: Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course is hiring. The course is looking to fill seasonal positions. If you are interested, DeLong recommends you apply at www.adirondackextreme.com/employment
Live - Lake George Music Festival “Drive-In” Series to take place in September
LAKE GEORGE – Accomplished world soloists, graduates of Juilliard, Curtis, Yale, Rice University, Carnegie Mellon, and members of major orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, and the Buffalo Philharmonic will perform at the Lake George Music Festival “Drive-In” Series Sept. 19-20.
Attendees are encouraged to watch the performance from their car/truck, or bring a chair to place within arm’s length of their vehicle. Performances will be visually enhanced with large screen video and audiences will have the option of listening to the amplified performance, or tuning into a high quality and synced audio feed (FM radio) to play through their car’s sound system.
The program will feature Beethoven Quintet for Piano and Winds, Schubert “Trout” Quintet, Rubinstein Octet Op.9, and more.
The event takes place at the Charles R. Wood Park - Lake George Festival Commons, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19 and Sunday, Sept. 20.
From organizers: We will begin parking cars at 6 p.m. Cars will be parked every other car and in single rows to comply with physical distancing recommendations. We encourage guests to arrive with members of your household. Early entry will not be permitted. We encourage attendees to use the restroom prior to arrival; however, we will have sanitized restrooms on site. The entire process will be “touchless.” Those who order their passes online will have no contact with festival staff or musicians. We will simply check you in and direct you where to park. Cars will be directed to vacate the premises immediately after curtain and will not be allowed to linger.
Passes for each concert sold at $25 per vehicle. Vehicles may contain the legal limit of individuals. Passes will be sold online in advance (recommended) or at the gate. Concert programs will be distributed digitally on the large screen or available to view on your Smartphone or Tablet.
For more information and to purchase passes, go to: lakegeorgemusicfestival.com.
SARATOGA SPRINGS - The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) will host a re-imagined “TRF BBQ at the Barn” summer fundraiser 4 – 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. at The Saratoga Winery. This year’s BBQ will be carry-out with a twist.
Guests will drive thru the grounds to enjoy a TRF “Experience” with miniature ponies, racing celebrities, goodies for the kids, and a special appearance by Joey, the TRF Herd Ambassador, who will be returning to Saratoga from the TRF Second Chances Program at Wallkill. The event will feature BBQ from Barnsider BBQ in Lake George; a TRF Specialty cocktail created by the Winery; and locally made pies from Mourningkill Bake Shop. Items will be individually ordered online for carryout (only). Proceeds from the event will benefit the hundreds of TRF horses in the organization’s national herd.
The Saratoga Winery is located at 462 NY-29 in Saratoga Springs. Tickets and donation options available by visiting the TRF website at www.trfinc.org/event/bbq-at-the-barn-2020/ .
Founded in 1983, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is a national organization devoted to saving Thoroughbred horses no longer able to compete at the racetrack from possible neglect, abuse and slaughter. As the
oldest Thoroughbred rescue in the country, the TRF provides sanctuary to retired Thoroughbreds throughout their lifetime.
For more information visit: www.trfinc.org.
David Cassidy Celebration 2019 to Be Staged May 19-20
Last year, several dozen David Cassidy fans – some of whom embarked on their journey from a few thousand miles away – descended on the Spa City last year to celebrate the life of David Cassidy. The popular singer died in November 2017 at the age of 67.
The inaugural event, billed as “A Celebration of David Cassidy’s Life,” was initiated by Cassidy fan Samantha Cox, from her home in Indiana. “I chose Saratoga because he was into horse racing and he mentioned it as his favorite place in the world,”said Cox, adding that she took on as her New Year’s Resolution a mission to do something to honor Cassidy’s life.
Cassidy appeared on The Partridge Family TV series, which aired on ABC from 1970 to 1974, and subsequently launched a solo music career. He charted more than one dozen Top 100 hits in the early 1970s, both as a solo artist and in his role as a member of the Partridge Family. Cassidy’s passion for equines frequently brought him to Saratoga, where he bought his first yearling and where in 2001 he purchased a home.
This year, a gathering to honor Cassidy will be held May 19-20.
Sunday May 19
10 a.m. - Re-dedication of the David Cassidy Benches at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs.
6 p.m. to midnight - Author Johnny Ray Miller will sign copies of his book “When We're Singin',” and will be joined by Michael V. Pomarico – the multi-daytime Emmy Award winner who for over 27 years directed the soap opera “All My Children.” Live music will be performed by 45rpm and the event will include a silent auction. Up for auction: a boat once owned by David Cassidy, donated by his friends Dr. Jerry Bilinski and his wife, Darlene. Horse trainer Gary Contessa is also scheduled to perform on stage for a couple of numbers. Location: King Neptune's Pub, 1 Kurosaka Lane, Lake George. Tickets: $35.
Monday May 20
Noon to 4 p.m. at King Neptune's Pub - Johnny Ray Miller and Michael V. Pomarico will return for a brunch catered by King Neptune's Pub. The celebration of David Cassidy's life will take place with people giving testimonials of how much David meant to them, live and on video. The silent auctions will also continue. Tickets: $50. Proceeds will go to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Columbia Greene Humane Society, Adirondack Save A Stray.
For more information on all events and to purchase tickets, go to: www.kingneptunespub.com.
Swimming for Polio: Two Women Relay the 32-Mile Queen of Lakes
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Louise Rourke, a retired teacher from Porter Corners, contracted polio at just six months old. She was in leg braces for the majority of her life and had several corrective surgeries. Spending her summers on Rockhurst, a small peninsula on the east side of Lake George, Rourke never felt more graceful than when she was swimming in the lake.
“I always felt more graceful and free in the water than I can on land because I walk with a limp,” Rourke explained.
Since 2007, Rourke has been back in a leg brace.
Rourke has carried the idea of swimming the whole lake for the majority of her life, “when I was four, there was a woman named Diane Struble, who was a single mom, and she swam the length of Lake George back in 1958. I remember my parents telling me about that and all the publicity around it. I just remembered thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be awesome if I could do that?’”
Two things occurred to make Rourke revisit that thought decades later: Her two sons, Devin and Sean, participated in volunteer work in Nepal. When she and her husband went to visit them, it was the first time she had ever been in a developing country, seeing firsthand people with shriveled limbs, like herself, and they were crawling instead of walking with a limp. They had no benefit of bracing or corrective surgeries.
“Of all of the wonderful things that are available to me as a citizen of the United States. The trip was a significant event that planted the seed of, ‘I wish I could do something for the people of Nepal in general,’” Rourke explained.
Rourke will be doing a relay swim with Brigette Simpson for the Saratoga Rotary Club to fundraise and raise awareness for polio and public health immunization.
“Abilities rather than disabilities,” said Donald McPherson, a Saratoga Rotary Club member, in a press release about the event.
Simpson swam the length of Lake George last year on her own. Rourke met her in the fall and swam with her with a triathlon club.
“She was very encouraging to me. She said, ‘you could do the lake if that’s what you want to do.’ So, I considered it. She did it for her 50th birthday, and I just turned 64 in May, so, I wasn’t so confident about doing the whole lake. She suggested a relay and that appealed to me. I’ve been practicing all winter long. I’ve always been a swimmer, all my life, but this past fall, after meeting her, I ramped up my swimming at the Y in Saratoga and I started training. We’ll each end up doing 17 miles. Our plan is to swim the first mile together and the last mile together, and then the 30 miles in between we’ll alternate fivemile sections,” Rourke said, explaining how the relay swim will work.
Both women will be accompanied by at least one follow boat and two paddle boats per swimmer.
“When I decided that I wanted to do a relay and Brigette agreed to help her, she wanted to do it with a purpose in mind and then the Saratoga Rotary Club decided to back them,” Rourke said.
“We’re hoping by the week of July 30 we would be able to do the relay, so either July 30, 31 or August 1, 2, or 3,” Rourke said.
Contributions can be made at various sponsorship levels from $100 to $1,000 or beyond. To donate, checks can be made out to Rotary District 7190/Polio and mailed to District 7190, PO Box 306, Clifton Park, NY 12065.
Recusal Or Refusal?
Mayor/Hospital Communication Submitted to Board of Ethics
Introduction: This is a story about transparency in government, overlaid on a timeline.
Mayor Joanne D. Yepsen, Running for Re-Election
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Joanne D. Yepsen, 56, (DEM, WF) is seeking a second term as Mayor of Saratoga Springs. We met for her interview in the Beekman Arts District, where it became clear that it was a favorite place because she had a history to tell of several of the buildings and businesses as we walked along the street.
“I love the arts and this mixed-use district,” she said. “Everything about this section is a microcosm of our city history.” She recalled a cleanup party at 69 Beekman; noted Beekman Street Bistro as the city’s first farm-to-table restaurant; and spoke highly of the growth of the Textile Studio. She said she was proud of her contributions to the area and throughout the city during her time in public service.
Among her accomplishments as mayor, she listed the resolution of labor contracts; ending homelessness for veterans in the city; preservation of the Pitney Farm; the first updated comprehensive plan in 14 years; opening the waterfront park and more. “What an amazing year, Centennial Year 2015,” Yepsen said. “Moving forward, we need to be really proactive regarding the economy. The Textile Studio is an example of the creative economy creating jobs, but we also have the performing arts, the high tech industry, hospitality and tourism, and encouraging the film industry here.”
If elected to another term, Yepsen also wants to – among other things – continue work on the greenbelt-downtown connector; increasing the city’s walkable and bikeable status; and start to do a full Complete Street plan. Yepsen prioritizes the “city in the country” theme, and is seeking to balance City Center parking needs with potential mixed-use proposals, such as workforce housing.
For the golf resort proposal by Saratoga National, she said she is seeking a “full conservation easement assurances, assurances that the greenbelt trail will be built on the property, nothing short of a 3,000 foot setback, and minimum of 90 percent open space preserved.”
She said the applicant keeps changing the proposal, but she wants to work with them because she doesn’t want to see the property sold and turned into 40 houses. “To me, that’s sprawl,” Yepsen said. “There’s going to have to be some very tight clustering to keep as much green space as possible. We’ll be working with the special assessment district and downtown businesses – which are our staple – because we can’t have retail and commercial sprawl there, either. We have to be careful not to set precedents and look at the overall plan.”
For Yepsen’s biographical information and endorsements, please visit LWVSaratoga.org.
City Officials Question Appointment of County Mental Health Director
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen, joined by Commissioner of Public Safety Christian Mathiesen, Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan, and several community members on the steps of City Hall Tuesday June 2, expressed concern regarding the appointment of the Saratoga County Mental Health Director Michael Prezioso, Ph.D.
The concern centered on a New York State Office of Mental Health January 28, 2008 finding of sexual harassment by Prezioso to a member of his staff from early 2006 to late spring of 2007 while they were both employed at the Capital District Psychiatric Center in Albany. Additional concerns about current working conditions at the Saratoga County Mental Health facility located at 135 South Broadway in Saratoga Springs under the new director have been brought to the City’s attention by county staff and concerned citizens.
“We hope that the County will take the appropriate steps necessary to ensure the protection of our citizens and that all charges are properly addressed to ensure top notch and reputable community service to all,” said Yepsen. “Sexual harassment is never okay. This should have been disclosed.”
Mathiesen agreed. “I have three daughters, four sisters, and staff who should be able to work every day and not be harassed,” he said. “Mental health needs are not being met, and the last I looked, this facility is in our city and serves our city residents. All I’m saying is there should be a thorough investigation.”
Madigan said, “Dr. Prezioso has denied allegations of prior misconduct; however, serious concerns have been raised about the work environment at the Saratoga County Mental Health Center since his appointment. Doctors and clinicians have resigned, claiming that the facility is falling apart and that they find working with Prezioso untenable and toxic. There are suggestions that more resignations with follow.”
Prezioso referred requests for comment to Saratoga County Administrator Spencer P. Hellwig, who said in a prepared statement, “For the record, the County Director of Personnel has personally met with every staff member who has asked or expressed an interest in speaking with her to voice their concerns with the new Mental Health Director. Each employee was provided with a detailed explanation of the process for initiating and following through with a claim where they believe their rights have been violated… Relative to the hiring of Dr. Prezioso the Personnel Department supported his appointment after multiple interviews and a background check was performed which included verification of his licenses, education and prior employment.”
Here is Hellwig's full statement:
There has been an ongoing undercurrent of opinions being voiced by members of the public who appear to be taking a position based on limited information about what is being done or not being done to manage personnel activities and the delivery of services in the Saratoga County Mental Health Department.
For the record, the County Director of Personnel has personally met with every staff member who has asked or expressed an interest in speaking with her to voice their concerns with the new Mental Health Director. Each employee was provided with a detailed explanation of the process for initiating and following through with a claim where they believe their rights have been violated. Many employees complained that the facility needs to be provided with more psychiatrists. Grievances were filed by employees to the CSEA union in regards to the County actions to stop flexible time and the amount of payment associated with on-call pay. These issues have been settled by the CSEA and the County.
The demand for Psychiatrists is likely to grow and is a problem State wide, as fewer medical school graduates opt for careers in Psychiatry and many currently practicing are at or near retirement age. The American Psychiatric Association has concluded that the demand for psychiatrist is strong and the need for more psychiatrists will continue to grow.
The Saratoga County Department of Mental Health actively collaborates with Saratoga Hospital's office of Human Resources to recruit Psychiatrists for the County Mental Health Center. Center Psychiatrists are Hospital employees, deployed per the County's contract with the Hospital. Candidates have recently toured the Mental Health Center as part of the recruitment process and others are scheduled. The Hospital is working cooperatively with the County and collectively we are in the process of placing Psychiatrists.
In addition, Saratoga County is working actively to establish a Nurse Practitioner-Psychiatry position at the Mental Health Center. Nurse Practitioners may diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders, prescribe medication as indicated, and engage in triage and crisis intervention services. The addition of a Nurse Practitioner is specifically designed to enhance access to services.
We have seen random letters being written by individuals outside the department and are aware that Dr. Prezioso’s enforcement of departmental policies has irked some tenured staff members, but County Directors do not adopt County policies or approve the collective bargaining agreements that they are expected to follow and enforce.
The County has and will continue to work with administration and the employees to resolve any personnel issues that are enforceable, but we cannot and will not be a part to any course of action that violates any employee rights to operate in a fashion that serves the interests of the mental health clients or the general public at large.
Relative to the hiring of Dr. Prezioso the Personnel Department supported his appointment after multiple interviews and a background check was performed which included verification of his licenses, education and prior employment.
Mayor Announces Waterfront Groundbreaking; Appointments
SARATOGA SPRINGS – At the Saratoga Springs City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 16, Mayor Joanne Yepsen announced that the long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony for the Waterfront Park project, on the Northwest corner of Saratoga Lake, would occur on Monday, September 22 at 11 a.m. The public is invited. “We are looking forward to seeing this parcel developed into a major community asset.” She said.
Also, the Mayor made several appointments, including the initial round of appointments to her Junior Committee, which is composed of students and young people who will be involved in community service projects. The initial appointees to this committee are: Katya Leidig, Alexander Shaw, Kaitlyn O’Donnell, Ethan North, Emily MacDougall, Sarah Marlin, Serena Egan, Michael Chille, Logan Briscoe and Lillian Doern.
Also appointed were John Ellis to the city’s Ethics Committee and Cheryl Smith to Recreation Commission. Re-appointed to the Community Development Citizens Advisory Board were Rick Ferguson, Pam Polacsek and Lu Lucas; while Elisabeth Garofalo was a new appointment to that Board.
Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan announced the first in a series of public hearings on the 2015 Comprehensive Budget. It will be on Tuesday, October 21 at 6:45 prior to the council meeting.
Commissioner of Public Works Anthony Scirocco announced that a hazardous waste collection day would take place on Saturday, October 11 near the Weibel Avenue skating rink. Pre-registration is required. The details and form is available for download on the city website: saratoga-springs.org
Commissioner of Public Safety Chris Mathiesen invited the public to attend the next public safety forum next Thursday, September 25 at 7 p.m. Topics that the commissioner indicated he was seeking feedback on were the impact of the noise ordinance, the revised traffic pattern near the Saratoga Racecourse and Siro’s Restaurant, and the recent land transaction involving the Collamer parking lot on Broadway and a parcel East of Northway Exit 14.
Commissioner of Accounts John Franck had no agenda items, but got the biggest laugh of the night when he indicated that was because he had advance notice that there would be no TV cameras in attendance this evening.
- Arthur Gonick
ONLINE EXTRA: Mayor- No Challenge to State Gaming Commission re: Lead Agency
SARATOGA SPRINGS - In a statement released late Thursday, May 15 Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen announced that her office will not challenge the State Gaming Commission regarding it's status as lead agency for SEQRA review of Saratoga Casino and Raceway's expansion.
The Mayor's statement reads as follows:
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR JOANNE YEPSEN ON NYS GAMING COMMISSION ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING SARATOGA CASINO AND RACEWAY PROPOSED EXPANSION
“Today, we received a letter from the New York State Gaming Commission indicating that the Commission, with the New York State Office of General Services acting as sponsor, will seek “Lead Agency” in the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process in relation to the proposed expansion of Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
After careful consideration and a thorough legal consultation, the majority of the City Council of Saratoga Springs believes that it would not be prudent to initiate a challenge to the Commission for “Lead Agency” status. Based on the state law that governs the existing operation, and after looking at the 2006 decision where the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation denied the city’s efforts to be named “Lead Agency”, we feel that it would be irresponsible to invest a significant amount of taxpayer dollars in additional legal actions that are extremely unlikely to produce a better outcome for the City of Saratoga Springs.
As Mayor, my utmost priority remains the horse racing industry – harness and thoroughbred, and I continue to take great pride in having an excellent working relationship with Saratoga Casino and Raceway. As result of that on-going relationship, they have brought this project before the City Council and the City Planning Board for public discussion, even though they were not required to do so. Over the next thirty days, we look forward to listening to our citizens’ thoughts on this project, and we will be relaying public comments to the New York State Gaming Commission and Saratoga Casino and Raceway on behalf of the city. We remain committed to working productively with all parties to produce an outcome that is mutually beneficial and that works together with the economic and cultural vision our citizens have for our city.”
Saratoga Springs Centennial
Centennial to Kickoff Mayor’s Focus on Health
SARATOGA SPRINGS— Planning for the 100th anniversary of Saratoga Springs’ incorporation as a city, is underway.
The centennial celebration is to highlight the city's heritage, much of which had started taking shape when the city was still a village. Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen has appointed a centennial committee to highlight the milestones as well as the current accomplishments of the city, and to hallmark the city’s headline monikers: health, history and horses. The arts and education will also get its share as a mainstay of the city’s identity and represented on the board, with Skidmore College President Philip Glotzbach sitting in for education.
Everybody that will be coming together to serve on the committee will focus on a different aspect of the celebration, whether it’s Field Horne, a local historian with a book release scheduled during the centennial year (history), or Susan Halstead, owner of Family Vision Care Center and chair of the Saratoga County Chamber’s Health and Wellness council (health).
The committee’s honorary chairs are philanthropists and socialites Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson in light of their enthusiasm for the city itself, Yepsen said.
“They will be wonderful leaders and assets to the celebration,” Yepsen said. “They were excited when I called them to ask if they would do this because they just love Saratoga Springs so much.”
Whitney and Hendrickson already have some “special ways to celebrate the city”, she said.
Attorney at Law Eleanor Mullaney and Steve Sullivan, who was previously a strategic advisor for the New York State Restaurant Association, will act as the planning committee’s co-chairs for the centennial.
There have already been many people and a lot of different organizations that have plans in motion for Saratoga Springs’ centennial. “It’ll be a matter of collaborating and coordinating ideas and activities and making sure that we touch on different aspects,” Yepsen said.
Looking ahead, of health, history and horses, Yepsen said that she is thinking of concentrating on the health and wellness aspect of Saratoga Springs to not only compliment the already growing interest in this area, but also to use the centennial as an event to further renew a focus on health.
What once revolved around the springs, health as a focal point has been gaining energy as organizations and businesses are finding new ways to channel interest.
“This health and wellness issue is bubbling up all around me and this is how things work in Saratoga Springs: they happen organically,” Yepsen said. “I think we can really focus on Saratoga Springs in the future as a healthy community and looking for the centennial to be the kickoff for that.”
Halstead echoed Yepsen in a separate interview that the city has a lot of organizations and plans to help promote the city as one of the healthiest in the country.
“I can’t believe what the county has already accomplished. We started making a list of what we already have, and what we need,” Halstead said. “Saratoga County is just packed with healthy stuff already.”
In retrospect of the changes that have taken place to make Saratoga Springs the city it is today, Deputy Mayor Joe Ogden commented: “The individuals that built the public and private sector have done a good job of keeping the soul of the city”.