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Friday, 11 November 2016 13:35

A Loss Avenged!

SHENENDEHOWA — Forty-three is the magic number. It’s the number of days that have passed since Averill Park handed Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake their only loss of the season. But on Saturday, November 5 the Spartans got their revenge by defeating Averill Park by a final score of 24-6 in a 2016 NYSPHSAA Class A Football playoff game. The Spartans opened up the game dominant on the offensive side of the football. Sophomore quarterback Darien LaPierta threw a perfect spiral thirty-seven yards to senior running back Danny Dahlin. This in turn led to a touchdown run by Junior running back Jacob Stanko, breaking the 0-0 score and giving the Spartans a 7-0 advantage. The second quarter began with a twenty-three yard run by Stanko. The quarter also shed light on the Spartan’s defense. Sophomore defensive back Vincent Daviero caused a sack for the defense. At the end of the quarter Daviero recorded a touchdown by scoring on a twenty-two yard run. Quarter three found both teams’ defenses putting up a strong performance. To begin the final quarter of play Stanko scored a touchdown for the Spartans off of an untouched, fifty-seven yard run down the right field line. A group effort by the Spartan defense caused an Averill Park offensive fumble, giving Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake possession of the football. Averill Park would remain scoreless until deep into the fourth quarter, thanks to a touchdown run by Ryan Long. However the Spartan defense was quick to respond. Thanks to dual efforts by Senior defensive back Riley Holzman and Junior running back/line backer Jonathan Shaw, the duo forced another offensive fumble. Darien LaPietro, Jacob Stanko, and Vincent Daviero led the offensive charge for the Spartans. LaPierto ended the night with fifty-six total passing yards. Stanko recorded fifteen carries, one hundred forty five rushing yards, and two touchdowns. Daviero ended the game with nineteen carries, one hundred-fifty-three rushing yards, and one touchdown. Senior Cannon Martucci, Junior Jonathan Shaw, and Senior Riley Holzman led the dominant Spartan defense. Martucci contributed five tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, and one quarterback sack. Shaw finished with 4.5 tackles and one forced fumble. Holzman recorded 4 tackles and one recovered fumble. BHBL outlasted Averill Park in total yards by a final margin of 352-205 as well as in rushing yards by a final mark of 296-101. This victory marks the eighth sectional title for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, and their first title since 2012. The Spartans will take on Massena in the 2016 NYSPHSAA Football Class A Championship game on Friday, November 11 at Massena. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Friday, 11 November 2016 13:33

Shedding Light on a Ride

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Imagine having minimal facial expression, swinging your arms as you walk, or a tremor in one of your hands. These are some of the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. This progressive disorder of the nervous system affects one’s movement. Any symptoms tend to continue, and worsen over time. According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, “as many as one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease.” Research conducted at the Cleveland Clinic exhibited a 35percent reduction in symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by exercising. One effective method is pedaling a bicycle. In a separate study known as “forced exercise” conducted by Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Jay Alberts, it was determined that “forced exercise,” such as riding on a stationary bike, showed marked improvement in mobility and fine motor skills. Dr. Alberts discovered these improvements when he rode a tandem bike with a friend who suffered from Parkinson’s disease. Forced to keep up with him during the ride, Dr. Alberts found that his friend’s fine motor coordination and handwriting significantly improved. In an effort to keep this discovery operative, the Saratoga Regional YMCA has a specialty program called “Pedaling for Parkinson’s.” The program has two missions. The first mission is to improve the quality of life of Parkinson’s disease patients and their caregivers. The second mission is to educate patients, caregivers, and the general public about the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle after a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Anyone who is between the ages of thirty and seventy five years old is allowed to participate. Anyone who has been diagnosed with Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease is also encouraged to participate. Parkinson’s patients with cardiac or pulmonary disease, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, uncontrolled hypertension or stroke, dementia, or any other exercises that will make exercise dangerous may not participate. All participants must complete and provide a signed consent form, as well as a medical clearance form. This program is free for YMCA members. For more information please contact Allison St. Pierre by phone at 518-583-9622 ext 118, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Friday, 11 November 2016 13:23

Scholarship Inspiration

ALBUQUERQUE — Scholars provide inspiration. For Dr. Elana Michelson, Professor of Cultural Studies and Adult Learning at Empire State College, that inspiration came in the 90’s thanks to works from Donna Haraway, Sandra Harding, and Miranda Flicker, just to name a few. She found it difficult to work vigorously all day, and have to go home and write about the Victorian novel. Recalls Dr. Michelson, “these works invited me to continue that work at home. These wonderful scholarships actually talk about works in practice.” Author of the acclaimed Gender, Experience, and Knowledge in Adult Learning: Alisoun’s Daughters, Dr. Michelson invites readers to revisit the basic understandings of the ‘experimental learner.’ Divided into four parts, the book offers readers to develop a new way of thinking about their everyday assumptions, theories, and practices. The book has two main notions. The first being the idea that an individual is an ‘expert’ in terms of their own experiences representing knowledge. Dr. Michelson questions if life experiences can have any sort of academic merit. The second notion questions the manipulations of life experiences. It is a far more complex issue than meets the eye. Those experiences can be manipulated per each person’s perspective. It’s almost as if that experience is put through a lens. The book goes on to question whether or not those experiences are genuine and deserve appreciation, or if they have been manipulated and merit credibility. According to Dr. Michelson, two concepts may be taken away from this book. Those concepts can be represented as the two sides of a coin. On the one side she explains that, “students are already knowledgeable adults.” On the other side of the coin, she illuminates that “ we can’t celebrate experiential learning to the highest degree. People act on gut feelings, and that can be dangerous.” This idea becomes prevalent during this year’s election season. A person acting on their gut feelings on a particular candidate has led to his or her experience in politics being manipulated. These manipulations stem from a combination of emotions and preferences, which in turn causes that particular experience to lose some of its authenticity. Dr. Michelson is one of two authors whose book will be receiving the 2016 Cyril O. Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education on November 10 at the 2016 Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The award was established in 1981 to honor Cyril O. Houle, Professor of Adult Education at the University of Chicago. It is given annually for a book published in English within the previous year that reflects universal concerns of adult educators. Dr. Michelson does not have any specific goals in mind with her book winning this award. Above all else, she hopes that people take the time to read it. She also hopes that winning this prestigious award combined with the book inspires future scholarships. Recalls Dr. Michelson, “one hope that many professors have is to inspire student’s passion. That passion may not be what we are necessarily teaching. But if I can cause a student to become passionate about his or her own ideas, then I have done my job.”
Friday, 11 November 2016 12:34

Breaking Records and Taking Titles

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A sunny Friday afternoon paved the way for the 2016 Section II Cross Country Championships at Saratoga State Park. Both the Saratoga Springs High School boys and girls cross-country teams entered the day’s competition with undefeated overall records. The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys cross-country team also entered the run with an impressive record of 11-2. The highlight from the Class B Boys section of the race was Evan Brennan. The Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa runner finished the race with a time of 15:34.94. This time was enough to earn him the third place finish. The Spartans also captured the best overall team score for the event. As a whole the team finished the race with a final time of 1:19:58.05. With these victories the Spartans improved their overall record to 13-2. Saratoga Springs High School boys finished strong in the Class A standings. Senior Declan Hines finished second overall in the race, crossing the finish line with a final time of 15:06.90. His teammate Shea Weilbaker finished in fourth. The team earned the top spot in the team scores with a time of 1:17:53.20. While both the SSHS boys and girls cross country teams entered the day’s competition undefeated, arguably the most impressive highlight of the race came on the female side. At the conclusion of the day’s event, the Saratoga Springs High School girls cross country team captured its 17th straight XC title, their first title victory dating all the way back to 1999. The team earned the top spot in the team scores with a time of 1:30:10.79. Kelsey Chmiel made history for the Blue Streaks. The sophomore captured first place in the Class A girls section of the race, finishing with a time of 16:41. 12. This time becomes the new course record, previously set by Saratoga alum Nicole Blood with a time of 16:41.9 back in 2004. Through these impressive victories both Saratoga Springs High School Cross Country teams keep their undefeated records in tact. The boys improve to 15-0, while the girls improve to a remarkable 11-0. With this meet in the books, all three teams will gear up for the New York State Championships. The event will take place at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, New York. Last year’s meet ended fairly well for each team. The Spartans’ boys finished with third overall as a team. While the SSHS girls finished second overall as a team, and Kelsey Chimel finished with the third-best individual race time of the day. Those interested in more information can visit www.section2harrier.com.
Friday, 04 November 2016 11:58

Bullying: A Father's Story

Corinth — Losing a child is unbearable. How do their parents move on without them? How can they honor their child’s memory?

On October 7, 2003, John and Kelly Halligan were faced with this harsh reality when they lost their thirteen-year-old son Ryan to suicide. After Ryan’s death it was revealed that he was ridiculed and humiliated by his peers at school and on-line.

Some time later John Halligan was asked to speak about Ryan at a school in Vermont. Recalls Halligan, “a guidance counselor in Vermont asked me to talk about Ryan. I presented a slide show with various video clips and songs. I remember struggling with my words while I spoke.”

The presentation then led to a question and answer session. Halligan did not believe that he would leave such an impact on those who listened to him speak. “You could hear a pin drop in the auditorium.”

Over time he started to receive multiple emails complimenting him on his presentation on Ryan. Emails poured in by the bundles. Many filled with compliments on the actual presentation, and some were filled with stories from students apologizing for their involvement in the bullying of other students. Halligan initially thought that his first presentation was going to be his last.

“Multiple presentations weren’t planned at first. But it was an issue that I felt needed more coverage.” However, John found himself giving multiple presentations to various schools. With each presentation, word of its message and its popularity grew. After giving several presentations John decided to leave his job at IBM in 2009 and speak to students full time. For John each presentation is therapeutic.

“It is my way of keeping Ryan’s memory alive. If I can get through to these kids and even save a life then I feel accomplished.”

When asked about his favorite memory of Ryan, John could recall one father-son activity that they shared. “Ryan loved the outdoors. He loved camping. It was sort of our father-son tradition.”

He also recalls his favorite picture of Ryan from a family vacation. The picture shows Ryan in a pool. The expression on his face shows one of pure happiness and his love of life. But these fond memories also serve as warning signs. The last summer that Ryan was alive his father had planned another camping trip. However, Ryan did not seem interested.

“He said that he didn’t want to go. It surprised me since that was one of the things that he loved to do. I didn’t know it then, but looking back now I am fairly certain that that was one warning sign that something was not right. It wasn’t like Ryan to pass on an activity that he always enjoyed,” recalls John.

On Tuesday, November 1, John Halligan will be speaking at Corinth High School. It will be his third time giving this presentation. Says Halligan “since Ryan’s death, we have forgiven the kids who bullied him. It’s not about them. It’s about forgiving them for what they have done and spreading more awareness to an issue that deserves the utmost attention.”

Halligan hopes that his story format touches his audience. “Listen, I don’t have a magic wand in terms of getting my message across to each kid I speak to. I just do it in the best way I know how. Kids learn more from the story-format, rather than just beating facts over their heads. If I can grab the attention of an entire room, and even leave an impact on some students, then I know I have done Ryan justice.”

Since Ryan’s death, his parents have come to forgive those kids who bullied their son. “We’ve since had closure with all who were involved in bullying Ryan. We want kids to realize that this incident really isn’t about the kids who bullied Ryan. It’s more about being an example for these kids in terms of forgiveness,” says Halligan.

Ryan’s Story Presentation for Parents and Students has been given in more than 1,600 schools, and more than one million students have been in the audience throughout the United States, Canada and Columbia. Anyone interested in learning more about Ryan’s story are encouraged to visit www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org for more information.

Friday, 28 October 2016 16:50

In With The New

SARATOGA SPRINGS – On Monday, October 24 St. Clement’s Regional Catholic School held a ribbon cutting ceremony and blessing to unveil new playground equipment. Exercise on a playground provides significant physical and connotative benefits. It can ultimately lead to students becoming more attentive in the classroom. Acknowledging this notion, St. Clement’s used proceeds from this past May’s Spring Ball to support the playground’s development. Lead donors from The Spring Ball were the Prime Group Mid-Atlantic and the Apy Family. Back in June, students in grades K-5 received a homework assignment to sketch their ideal playground. A committee of parent volunteers reviewed all of the drawings. Over the past four months they have gathered quotes and proposals from various companies to bring this dream into fruition. This past summer volunteers power-washed existing equipment, removed equipment that no longer met safety requirements, and cleared the grounds to make room for additional equipment. All of the hard work concluded on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15 as members of the Skidmore College Men’s Basketball team along with twenty parent volunteers installed five new pieces under the experienced direction of Parkitects, Inc. The company graciously donated their installation services to help cover costs for the school. Landscape Structures’ Lunar Burst Net Climber, Cozy Dome, OmniSpin Spinner, Talk Tubes, and Zip Kroonz made tremendous additions to the already-existing equipment. The finished product will allow for age-appropriate fun for all St. Clement’s students. Reverend George Blasick, C.Ss.R. Pastor of St. Clement’s Church was in attendance, along with Jane E. Kromm, Principal, St. Clement’s Regional Catholic School.
Friday, 21 October 2016 10:24

Your Chariot Awaits

SARATOGA SPRINGS ­— What was your parent’s biggest worry when you were four years old? Sending you off to pre-school? Helping you distinguish colors, letters, and shapes? Or even learning the concept of time? These worries were obsolete for Kim and Lori Rossiter. Their daughter, Ainsley, was diagnosed with Infantile Neuroazonal Dystrophy (INAD) at the tender age of four years old. INAD is an extremely rare terminal illness which slowly causes global paralysis. There are less than twenty known active cases in the United States. In order to help their daughter cope with this dreadful disease Kim and Lori took their daughter on her first road race in Virginia in 2008. Her positive energy was infectious to the other runners around her. This led to the first of 100 races that Ainsley has since completed, most notably 20 half-marathons, as well as the 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Marine Corps Marathons in Washington D.C. This had led to the founding of Ainsley’s Angels of America. According to Jill Burwell, ambassador for the organization’s Adirondack chapter, “our focus is to spread awareness of inclusion as well as general awareness of the special needs community.” This is accomplished by providing individuals with paralysis-associated disabilities a chance to be active by pushing them in chariots throughout the duration of an entire road race. It provides those with mobility disabilities and opportunity to stay active amongst fellow runners. Recalls Burwell, “I learned a lot about this organization through the Ainsley’s Angels-Power to Push journey. It made me want to become an ambassador for such a wonderful group.” The Power to Push initiative began in 2013. Through Ainsley’s Angels then eight year old Seamus Evans, born with cerebral palsy, was provided a running chariot. This granted him the opportunity to participate in road races with his father. The organization has been a part of various local road races, the most recent being the Burnt Hills Ballston Lake Rotary Club’s annual Apple Run. The Rotary Club managed to raise $2,000 for Ainsley’s Angels. This money will go toward the purchase of two racing chariots, giving even more people with mobility-associated disabilities the opportunity to be athletes. The organization’s biggest event each year is the Firecracker 4 mile race in Saratoga Springs. Last year the organization had six angel teams, the biggest turnout for the event thus far. Ainsley’s Angels is located across thirty states in the US and continues to grow. Their next race will be the Christopher Dailey Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day in Saratoga Springs. The organization is always looking for more opportunities to speak with various groups and organizations about this tremendous cause and help spread their mission of inclusion awareness. Burwell encourages others to visit the group’s website www.ainsleysangels.org to learn more about this tremendous organization.
Friday, 21 October 2016 10:24

Paddock Mutuel Building To Receive Makeover

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The New York Racing Association, Inc. today announced that a series of upgrades will be made to the historic paddock mutuel building at Saratoga Race Course. The work is anticipated to be complete in advance of the 2017 meet. The project, which is slated to begin in November, will update the building to feature a new slate roof and will also repair and replace the current rafters. The last series of renovations completed on the building was in 2004. “We at the New York Racing Association have great respect for the history and traditions of our three racetracks, including in particular the Saratoga Race Course – – the oldest active sporting venue in America,” said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. The 15,400 square-foot paddock mutuel building, which is located in the center of the track grounds, was built in 1902 and originally used as a saddling shed for horsemen to complete the pre-race saddling ritual in lieu of the open-air paddock area when inclement weather arose. The building was converted to racing offices and mutuel bays in the 1970s. The structure is recognized for its dramatic roofline, which features wood trusses with iron tie rods. “The historic Saddling Shed is a significant building because it is representative of the improvements made to the Saratoga Race Course at the turn of the century by the Saratoga Association under the leadership by W. C. Whitney. ” said Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation Executive Director Samantha Bosshart. The New York Racing Association is collaborating with Frost Hurff Architects of Saratoga Springs and reviewing additional contractor bids for work on the project. Since 2013, the New York Racing Association has invested more than $23 million in capital improvements at Saratoga Race Course, including the addition of the Walk of Fame, which honors and showcases the achievements of those who have made significant contributions to the sport of thoroughbred racing and to the advancement of Saratoga Race Course. Walk of Fame honorees include all-time Saratoga leading riders John Velazquez, Jerry Bailey and Angel Cordero; Hall of Fame trainers Allen Jerkens, D. Wayne Lukas and William “Bill” Mott; owners W. Cothran “Cot” Campbell, Ogden “Dinny” Mills Phipps and Marylou Whitney; and longtime New York Racing Association race announcer Tom Durkin. Visitors to Saratoga Race Course in 2016 enjoyed a series of capital improvements and upgrades, including three new high-definition video boards; as well as the addition of two dozen high-definition televisions in the Fourstardave Sports Bar. NYRA also unveiled two new hospitality areas: The Easy Goer, which sits above the Fourstardave Sports Bar and welcomes guests for a sit-down dining experience underneath a new copper roof; and the new Travers Bar, featuring Moet & Chandon champagne, located on the Clubhouse porch near the maître d stand. Other enhancements since 2013 have included the addition of more than 1,000 new HD televisions across the venue, stronger Wi-Fi coverage, an enhanced sound system, premium hospitality areas, differentiated food and beverage offerings, the planting of more than 850 new trees throughout the facility, and renovations to the backstretch dormitories. The 2017 season will see the implementation of the connected venue technology platform VenueNext at Saratoga Race Course. The all-new mobile experience will provide fans with convenience and control over how they experience racing at Saratoga, and is designed to enhance the overall guest experience and improve business outcomes.
Friday, 21 October 2016 10:23

Keep the Wheels Spinning!

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The ability to walk is an overlooked luxury. Some people even see it as a chore. They would rather sit around and catch their breath than use that extra effort to move. Imagine those who have a mobility-related disability. How heartbreaking it must be for those around them to move about as they please, while they are bound to a chair or dependent on someone else as their means of transportation. Now imagine being a child who suffers from a mobility-related disability. While those around them play tag on the playground or play jump rope on the blacktop, they are bound to a chair with no other option but to watch. One of the primary goals of the Dake Foundation for Children is to bring awareness of various disabilities to the local community. On Saturday November 5 the foundation will host its ninth annual Stationary Bike Race. Up to thirty teams, four members per team are expected to participate. The event will be held relay style with a ten-minute ride minimum. Teams will ride on stationary bikes for a total of one hour. Whoever rides the most miles at the end of that hour wins. Proceeds will go towards the purchase of adaptive tricycles and other equipment for local children with disabilities. At first glance some might question a stationary bike ride as a foreign concept. However one of the goals of this particular event is give children with mobility-related disabilities the opportunity to be active. The average cost for an adapter bike can cost anywhere from $500-$4,000. Since the bike is not considered medical equipment, it is not often covered under medical insurance. Susan Koppi, president of the foundation believes that, “one of the most rewarding aspects from participating in this great event is that people get a visual of watching the event come full circle. Everyone can participate. While people ride an ordinary bike, others will be able to ride their adapter bikes on the YMCA track. It helps bridge the gap between those children who can freely move, and those whose mobility is restricted. People can see first-hand where their money is going as the event is taking place. The smiles on these kid’s faces are indescribable.” This event not only gives kids the opportunity to be active but to raise money for those who long to enjoy simply moving, even if it’s for a short period of time. The foundation also has some help from a few corporate sponsors who will be contributing various prizes to the cause. Recalls Koppi, “aside from the financial side of this event, what is more important is seeing the look on these children’s faces. They get the opportunity to directly see where their money is going. It’s going towards giving more children the chance to be active amongst their fellow bike riders.” The event will be held at the Saratoga YMCA, located at 290 West Ave in Saratoga Springs. Anyone who is interested in more information on the event or the Dake Foundation for Children is encouraged to visit www.dakefoundation.org or contact Susan Koppi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Blotter

  • COURT Adam J. Ross, 38, of Greenfield Center, pleaded Oct. 8 to felony DWI in Saratoga Springs. Sentencing scheduled Dec. 10.  Brandon H. Welfinger, 24, of Malta, was sentenced Oct. 7 to two years state prison, after pleading to criminal sexual act in the third-degree. He was originally charged Dec. 10,2019.  Bruce Stanley, 76, of Halfmoon, pleaded Oct. 5 to sexual abuse in the first-degree. Sentencing scheduled Dec. 7.  POLICE Parvatie Sukhram, 29, of Schenectady, was charged Oct. 16 with three counts of criminal possession of stolen property, and grand larceny – both felonies. She is suspected of the thefts…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON Tracine Companion sold property at 30 Beacon St to Letty Rudes for $280,000. Gary Guilfoyle sold property at 738 Goode St to Lance Decker for $325,000. Michael Attanasio sold property at 36 Beacon St to Matthew Eberlein for $269,000. Rachel Schwendinger sold property at 25 Nolan Rd to Michael Dorsher for $308,400. David Barclay sold property at 18 Kingsbridge Ct to Zachary Ellis for $573,000. GALWAY Stephen Raeburn sold property at 4916 Jockey St to David Miller for $432,500. Richard Alkinburgh sold property at 1070 Palmer Rd to Barry Dibernardo for $369,000. Dennis Decker sold property at 5079 Jersey…
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