Larry Goodwin

Larry Goodwin

Thursday, 15 June 2017 15:35

City Salon Recycles Hair

[Front photo provided. Gallery photos, showing Lisa Liptak inside her South Broadway salon, by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com.] 

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The tall metal cans lining a wall inside Lisa Liptak’s modern hair salon at 182 South Broadway enable her participation in a growing movement to clean up her industry.

“There’s so much waste everywhere,” Liptak says. “I get really excited about recycling things.”

Nearly 100 percent of the hair, metal, plastic and paper products generated by Liptak and her several employees at Nurture Green Salon and Spa are discarded in those cans. The actual waste bin is tiny by comparison, she points out.

Trucks from United Parcel Service then transport Nurture’s carefully packaged waste products to a warehouse in Illinois. 

A Canadian organization called Green Circle Salons (GCS), which distributes them to various recycling vendors nationwide, operates the facility.

“The hair is such an incredible resource,” offers Amy Goei, a national director for GCS who is based in Michigan. “We work with many different types of organizations to find solutions for the hair.”

Since 2009, Green Circle Salons has reached similar agreements with businesses in each of the Canadian provinces and 45 states.

According to Goei, local drinking water supplies are potentially at risk because of the substantial amounts of hair salon waste. “The impact is just so great,” she said.

In a statement about her partnership with Green Circle Salons, Liptak reports how stylists like her across North America create over 420,000 pounds of waste every day.

“As a newly Green Circle Certified salon, we are proud to announce that Nurture is now part of a comprehensive recycling and sustainability program that sets out to significantly reduce our industry’s environmental impact on the planet,” Liptak said.

“From the sourcing of ingredients to the disposal of packaging and products, the salon and beauty industry has long posed many challenges to the environment,” she added. “With this in mind, we wanted to join forces with Green Circle to take a stand for our planet and work together to reduce our ecological footprint and make our industry more sustainable.”

When asked how many businesses in the Capital Region are part the GCS recycling program, Goei mentioned only one: Bloom Salon and Makeup Bar in Voorheesville.

Goei said 50 to 75 boxes of waste products are shipped daily by businesses like Bloom and Nurture to a GCS warehouse in Schaumburg, Illinois, northwest of Chicago.

As an example of what happens next, Goei said GCS works with Virginia Polytechnic Institute to create a new type of bio-plastic. Another common use for the hair lengths cut from so many individual heads is to aid in the remediation of oil spills.

Goei indicated that many recycling options exist for the foils, tubes, cans and hair-coloring byproducts that are discarded as well.

Liptak said a $2 fee is added to customer charges for her participation in the GCS program. It funds GCS labels that are required for the shipping process and handy recycling charts for reference in the salon, as well as additional efforts that Liptak makes to further advance her shop’s efficiency.

“By supporting our salon,” Liptak concluded in her statement, “our customers have the peace of mind knowing that they are taking meaningful steps to keeping our communities and environment healthy.” 

[Readers are encouraged to post respectful comments regarding the article below.] 

Thursday, 08 June 2017 19:07

Wilton Building Upgrades Ahead

[Photos show the existing senior center and town court on Traver Road in Wilton; and Robin Corrigan (center) tending to a roomful of seniors. Photos by Larry Goodwin.]

WILTON — Town officials have advanced a two-phase project to replace the Lillian W. Worth Senior Center with a new building located elsewhere.

On June 1, the Wilton Town Board voted to approve the preparation of formal design plans by the Clifton Park firm MJ Engineering and Land Surveying.

In the spring of 2018, construction of a new senior center is expected to begin on a 20-acre parcel of town land off Northern Pines Road.

The second phase of the $6 million project will involve demolishing the existing senior center and putting up a new Wilton Town Court on the same spot with 10,000 square feet of space, plus an additional 4,000 square feet of new offices at Town Hall.

The current town court building also will be razed, and replaced by a larger parking lot.

Christopher Dooley, an MJ Engineering associate, presented preliminary site plans to the town board at the June 1 meeting in Wilton.

Dooley said the new senior center is planned for “a beautiful piece of land,” and that the final design will most likely include a small park and recreation trail.

A much larger town court complex, Dooley added, may qualify Wilton for consideration as a regional district court.

“In today’s world, it’s really not a lot of money,” offered Wilton Supervisor Arthur Johnson, in response to comments from Councilwoman Joanne Klepetar that the project’s price tag had seemed excessive to her.

Klepetar acknowledged that the buildings slated for replacement are “all very dated,” and specifically how the senior center provides a valued social gathering spot in Wilton.

Still, she prefers more review of the costs. “I’m a very frugal person,” Klepetar said.

Councilman John McEachron pointed out that town officials had originally discussed a figure of $8 million to complete both phases of the project.

Johnson expressed confidence that Wilton can cover the costs with a combination of general fund expenditures and borrowing, both of which are made easier, he said, by the town’s lack of long-term debt.

Robin Corrigan, the senior center director, said the Traver Road facility opens its doors two or three days each week. She anticipates a new facility will allow an expansion to five days of operation. 

“I love seniors,” Corrigan said, before returning to various activities that she was coordinating among dozens gathered inside the center on a rainy afternoon. 

Thursday, 08 June 2017 18:50

Malta Residents Petition for Safer Roads

MALTA – In response to petitions from residents, the Malta Town Board voted Monday in favor of a state law that would allow the town to set speed limits on local roads.

State Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) is proposing a bill specific to Malta that would bypass a process normally handled through the state Department of Transportation.

A summary of the bill says simply that it “requires department of transportation to defer to Malta town board requests for speed limit, signage and signal changes.”

This week, a spokeswoman in Woerner’s office could not confirm if the measure had received enough support from other lawmakers. Previously, the Malta town board had passed a resolution calling on Woerner to make the effort.

“This was a response to an awful lot of petitions that we’ve been dealing with,” explained Malta Supervisor Vincent DeLucia. He declined to say what town roads seem to have problems with excessive speed by drivers.

“We do not have the authority to just arbitrarily change speed limits, even on town roads,” DeLucia added, noting how that process involves both county and state agencies.

At the June 5 town board meeting, DeLucia was informed about a separate petition drive among residents of Old Post Road who claim that dozens of tractor trailers per day are violating a 4-ton weight restriction for the roadway.

Its eastern end connects to a busy stretch of Route 9 near Exit 13 of the Adirondack Northway, which poses challenges for the most effective placement of signage.

Rick Weiss, an Old Post Road homeowner who is gathering petition signatures, told the board that law enforcement appears to be making minimal efforts to ticket 30 or 40 truck drivers daily who violate the weight restriction.

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said that particular problem on Old Post Road “is not new to us,” and vowed to step up patrols.

“The board has chosen to concern themselves with big issues in the downtown area and ignore long-time residents,” Weiss wrote in an email. “We are tired of it.”

“We want government to do its job,” he concluded. “The approach being taken by local, county and state officials is a laughable example of the ignorance everyday citizens see daily. It’s a classic case of ‘pass the buck.’” 

Thursday, 08 June 2017 18:22

Summer Fun in Wilton Wildlife Preserve

[In photos: Proud Pop JB with his aspiring artist daughters Jillian and Megan (front photo); Ava, Isabel and Christian working with watercolors; Predators Live Animal program presented by Adirondack Wildlife Refuge; Cora makes a splash with parents Kate and John; Mom Jersey gets the snap with her family posing pretty in a sea of blue lupine. Photos by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com.] 

GANSEVOORT — Despite continued wet weather, many families turned out on June 4 for a Wildlife Festival that marked the start of the summer season at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park on Scout Road.

A promotional flyer referred to the Sunday festival as “a day of nature walks, live animals, crafts, and hands-on fun as we celebrate the Karner blue butterfly and the animals of the Saratoga Sandplains.”

In a report submitted to the Wilton Town Board ahead of the event, Margo Bloom Olson, executive director of the wildlife preserve, said she anticipates a “great year for lupine.” The flowering plant is widely known to attract Karner blue butterflies.

Olson reported that the “first brood” of the famed butterflies appeared in the park in late May and “should be out for the next few weeks.”

“After the lupine sets seed, volunteers will go out and help pick seeds to plant in other areas,” Olson wrote.

Aside from monthly “wellness walks” and a slew of other events planned for the summer season, Olson indicated that park staff are involved in a trail mapping project with local groups and habitat research in association with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

For a full listing of events and programs at the Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park, call 518-450-0321 or visit the website www.wiltonpreserve.org

[Front photo shows a display case of Grillo’s Essential Insect Repellent at Fallon Wellness Pharmacy of Saratoga. Gina Grillo replenishes her stock at Fallon Wellness Pharmacy. Photos by PhotoAndGraphic.com.] 

GREENWICH — Gina Grillo says she was happy to spend last weekend in her basement, switching her small business plans into high gear.

Local sales of her roll-on oil to repel deer ticks and mosquitoes seem to be picking up, and she needed to fill 250 more bottles for distribution.

A horticultural nursery in Hudson Falls had sold all of its bottles not long after a whole case was delivered and was calling for more, Grillo said.

“I’m off and running with this,” she admitted. “Let’s just say the repellent is flying out of the workshop.”

Her Grillo’s Essential Insect Repellent is sold locally in Fallon Wellness Pharmacy of Saratoga, Four Seasons Natural Foods and Brookside Nursery in Ballston Spa. The 10-milliliter bottles retail for $14.95 each.

Grillo promotes additional products as well, which are listed on her website (http://grilloessentials.com), but much of her time is currently devoted to the insect repellent.

Her newly invented product has given Grillo national attention. She is one of about 100 small-business owners nationwide flown to Dallas, Texas in April to compete for $25,000 in seed funding for their plans.

From that group, three winners will be selected in August and Sam’s Club will provide the funds. The company runs a program to benefit small-business owners, primarily women, in low- to moderate-income communities, in association with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE).

Bill Edwards, vice chairman of a SCORE Northeast New York chapter, says he acted as a mentor for Grillo after learning about her products through economic development partners in Washington County.

Grillo herself said her relationship with Edwards started last fall at a small-business course offered by Adirondack Community College.

Edwards reported that one other local company— ExtendHer in Clifton Park, which offers clothing specially designed for pregnant women—has qualified for the national Sam’s Club competition.

He added that it was “unique” and showed the “creativity” of the Capital Region that two local women did qualify.

“It works. That’s the important thing,” Edwards said of Grillo’s product, which he also called “environmentally friendly.”

For several years, Grillo explains, family and friends have “field tested” her product, each bottle of which normally lasts for the whole season that bugs are active.

She calls the product a “powerful proprietary blend of essential oils, known for its ability to repel ticks, mosquitoes, and other pesky insects.”

Many public health officials point to deer ticks as the most common carrier of Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that can lead to chronic health problems.

Catherine Duncan, director of the Saratoga County Public Health Department, said there were 73 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the county in 2016. There have been 16 cases confirmed so far this year, she said.

Duncan said she is not yet familiar with Grillo’s product, but knows how people “look for natural tick repellents.”

Duncan indicated that her department also educates and advises people in how to make their own “tick kits.” She said her department has a limited number of such kits on hand, but will distribute them later in the summer at the Saratoga County Fair.

“All you have to do is get a good set of tweezers,” Duncan said. “There’s a proper way of removing” ticks.

“No matter what you use, use more,” Grillo said. The recent outreach to promote her own products is rooted in a genuine concern for people’s welfare during active tick seasons, she added, especially “vulnerable” children.

“We have a lot of customers who are being treated for Lyme,” offered Dianna Lenz, who manages the Fallon Wellness Pharmacy on Broadway. She was grateful when Grillo delivered another case of her Essential Insect Repellent earlier this week.

“People love it,” Lenz said. “We’ve been selling out.” 

Thursday, 01 June 2017 14:04

Camp Boyhaven Sale Pending

MILTON — This week, a deadline passed for bidders interested in purchasing a handsome parcel of land in the northwest corner of Milton, which the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has owned for the better part of a century.

“The whole situation is very sad for us,” stated Richard Stockton, the chief executive and CEO of the BSA’s Twin Rivers Council.

The Twin Rivers Council holds the title for the popular, 300-acre Boyhaven camp off Route 29 that has been utilized for Boy Scout training since the 1920s.

Recently, Stockton said, council officials had determined annual usage at Boyhaven was down far enough to sell the well-forested land, and to put more emphasis on three more Boy Scout properties in Fort Ann, Malone and Poestenkill.

“We need to be able to provide the best programs possible for our kids,” Stockton said.

He added that “a wide variety of people” have expressed interest in buying the Boyhaven property, including at least one private landowner in the area.

That also includes the Town of Milton, which submitted its own sealed bid this week to the council. The Open Space Committee, chaired by Councilman Frank Blaisdell, prepared Milton’s proposal and it was signed by Supervisor Dan Lewza.

Council representatives accepted formal bids until Wednesday. A final determination on the winning bid could be made by early July, Stockton said.

Milton Planning Board Chairman Larry Woolbright, who sits on the Open Space Committee, is among the leading advocates for acquiring the Boyhaven land.

“The town would like to see it preserved...for passive recreational purposes,” Woolbright said.

Many local families, he added, “have very fond memories of that place.”

At the Town Board’s May 17 meeting, Woolbright called the sale of the Boyhaven camp a “unique opportunity” to expand the Middle Grove State Forest, which could benefit the town in various ways.

“The state would pay the town of Milton property taxes,” Woolbright explained to the board members. State grants also may be available through the process, he said.

Lewza joined Councilman Scott Ostrander in questioning Woolbright about the actual conditions of the property. They apparently include dilapidated structures and rusted vehicles “sinking into the ground,” as Lewza found.

“There’s a lot of renovation that needs to be done up there,” Ostrander said, noting how he personally visited the site and took pictures.

Councilman Benny Zlotnick said he made inquiries about the Twin Rivers Council process for selecting the winning bidder, and expressed to Woolbright the importance of estimating the property’s correct market value.

The council’s bid selection process remains confidential until a decision is announced, according to Stockton.

There are also opponents to the town’s plans for the Boyhaven property.

Jason Miller, who oversees buildings and grounds in Milton and sits on the Facilities Committee, is actively advocating for large renovation projects at the town complex because of leaking roofs and constant plumbing problems.

Miller said this week he opposes a purchase of the Boyhaven land because “the finances in this town are in shambles.”

If the town makes a major land purchase, Miller said, it will effectively render current efforts to renovate town buildings “done.” 

MILTON — With leaking roofs and faulty plumbing regular subjects at town meetings, soon officials and taxpayers in Milton may have to consider borrowing a lot of money for renovations at the municipal complex.

Town Councilman Benny Zlotnick, as chairman of the Facilities Committee, has been leading discussions for weeks focused on upgrades needed at Milton’s town offices, which are located at the Geyser Road and Rowland Street intersection.

The buildings at the 8-acre complex were put up in stages starting about 50 years ago. 

Aside from abundant talk about new facilities for the town Highway Department, the discussions have included persistent roof leaks and aging sewer pipes that, according to town employees, keep disrupting work routines in several offices.

“Our major concern is, what is this building going to need to be livable again?” stated Zlotnick. A presentation will be made at the town board meeting on June 21, he said.

Zlotnick said the committee is working with Joel Bianchi, a director of municipal contracts for the Clifton Park firm MJ Engineering, to finalize its presentation. Bianchi was present at the meeting on Tuesday and attempted to address various concerns.

Town Building Inspector Wayne Howe, a member of the Facilities Committee, described a meeting in his first-floor office the same day when an older sewer pipe happened to burst in the ceiling above. The tainted water started dripping on his desk.

“Whatever the strategic plan is, we need to come up with that plan,” Howe said.

Howe opined that town leaders should consider approving two separate projects, either of which would require significant borrowing by Milton.

The first would involve moving the entire highway department to a separate location off site, which Howe said is warranted by the town’s rapid growth in recent years; the second project would involve demolishing the current highway department structures as part of renovating the main town office building.

“You can’t really re-do town hall until highway is gone,” Howe said. He added that he favors moving weekly Town Court proceedings to the spacious second floor, where the full town board now meets twice each month. 

Howe also expressed his frustration with the slow progress toward solving these problems in Milton.

“I’ve been on this committee for three administrations and we still don’t have a town hall,” Howe confessed. “The ball never gets carried to the finance level.”

“With the exception of the salt shed falling down, we’ve made no progress,” concurred town employee Jason Miller, who also sits on the committee and oversees buildings and grounds in Milton.

Miller referred to the collapse in early 2016 of the town’s storage shed for road salt. A new shed was then built on another 8 acres of town property off Rowland Street that border the Saratoga County Airport.

Rather than pursuing large projects, which often require the town board to borrow money after public votes of approval, Bianchi advised making expenditures in smaller amounts as a solution.

Zlotnick said that any recommendations from the Facilities Committee should be prepared well enough to garner public support, especially if the total dollar amount for renovations “has a couple of commas in it.” 

[Front photo shows well-adorned door to WSPN studio. Gallery photos show a section of the WSPN music library; and Skidmore students (from left) Monica Hamilton, Simon Klein, Will Scott, Clara-Sophia Daly and Adam Simon. Photos by Larry Goodwin.]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Most Saturday mornings, anyone near Skidmore College can turn on WSPN (91.1 FM) to hear the cheerful rhythms and lyrics of “Polka Magic.”

On Sundays at noon, Godfrey Smith (DJ Godfada) sends good vibes through the air with his evolving lists of new and classic Jamaican tunes on “The Reggae Show.”

For her first broadcast each month, Skidmore student Monica Hamilton (DJ Harmonica) fills her allotted airwaves with songs created by women artists—because they deserve that honor, not just because Hamilton wants to see a lady elected president. 

According to recent Skidmore graduate Simon Klein (DJ Psymon Spine), the outgoing station manager, WSPN remains on-air all year long due to the dedicated efforts of students and “community members” alike.

“It’s all a labor of love,” said Klein—a guy from Yonkers who aired multiple WSPN shows of his own over several years.

A formal student board meets once a month during Skidmore’s academic year, Klein explained, to approve WSPN’s programming and oversee its operations. In fact, student funding is what makes every WSPN broadcast possible.

Klein said the new station manager will be Skidmore student Nell Mittelstead (DJ Cold Brew), who opted to study abroad last semester. As the station librarian, Mittelstead helped arrange the expanding collection of music on WSPN’s shelves.

The station’s low-power signal fades away after about 15 miles in any direction. In addition to FM radios, though, listeners anywhere can tune in by visiting the WSPN website (http://academics.skidmore.edu/blogs/wspn/). 

In his time at the helm, Klein found that the “tight-knit community” of DJs makes WSPN more sustainable than other college radio stations. He also said the “non-homogenized” music and commentary itself clearly separates WSPN from local FM stations that tend to inundate listeners with overplayed songs and commercials. 

During a recent interview in WSPN’s mellow Jonsson Tower studio, Hamilton smiled and said her “Ay-Oh-River” show on Mondays compared to fellow student Will Scott’s—though “in a less funny way.”

“We all have our different interests and different skills,” added Scott (DJ Wheels), who chose to broadcast “The Dog Talk Variety Hour” on Wednesday evenings.

Hamilton gets excited about her role in an ongoing class archiving project focused on WSPN. It traces the station’s history back to its origins on campus in the 1970s.

For summer break, both Hamilton and Scott returned to their home bases in Massachusetts far from the WSPN control boards. 

But that only means—until next semester—more airtime for other DJs, whether they are students who have remained on campus or community members.

If no DJ is available for actual programs, 91.1 can broadcast digital loops that are carefully “curated” by Adam Simon and other student music directors. They also manage the 100-slot “Hot Box” of fresh compact discs sent regularly to the station.

At a chilly Earth Day festival on campus, Simon was among several at the station who organized WSPN’s first live outdoor broadcast, featuring various artists and bands. He said plans are in the works to renovate the main studio and create a new live recording space there as well.

Simon, who had a show called “It’s Cozy Inside” and is preparing for his own trip abroad to India, admitted that Skidmore students are prone to creating a “bubble” around their Saratoga Springs campus.

But he also knows from experience how WSPN “breaches that bubble.”

Simon pointed to the community DJs who act as a vital “bridge” for WSPN listeners. In general, he said, they should “feel respected and at home here.”

“Skidmore College students have been good to me,” confessed Smith of the Sunday Reggae show, which at 27 years old is the second-longest running show on WSPN behind “Polka Magic.” 

Students “really got their act together,” Smith added.

With Jamaican relatives in the area, Smith relocated to the Capital Region in the early 1970s. “I loved Jamaican music from day one,” he said. “I’m full-time dedicated to this show. Reggae music is big all over the world.”

Klein, Simon and the others indicated that WSPN’s longevity is further assured by the efforts of Robin Adams, a 2000 Skidmore graduate who now provides key support to student clubs as a college administrator.

Adams “understands the importance of radio,” offered Clara-Sophia Daly, a California native who recently completed her first year of studies at Skidmore. She started a show called “Opposition Radio” and is eager to promote the station’s merchandise. 

“WSPN is the best,” Daly said. “It’s been such an important part of my life.” 

MILTON — After about a month of labor, town Highway Department workers have completed a large float that will be featured in the Village of Ballston Spa’s Memorial Day parade.

“It’s really fantastic,” said Milton Town Historian Kim McCartney, noting how the float pays homage to the town’s “long history of mills” situated near the Kayaderosseras, Gordon and Glowegee creeks.

Ballston Spa’s Memorial Day Parade on Saturday, May 27, is set to begin at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of Ocean State Job Lot on Route 50. It will proceed to Wiswall Park on Front Street in the village.

The float from Milton includes a giant saw blade in the middle and a miniature water wheel on the end. A sign on the back indicates that Weaver’s Saw Mill on Geyser Road supplied the lumber used in its construction.

“We’re proud of our history as a mill town and our float represents that pride,” McCartney said.

Milton Highway Superintendent David Forbes said the current float is smaller than a previous version constructed several years ago. In their spare time, he added, several town highway workers chipped in to build it.

“I really like helping with those types of projects,” Forbes explained.

There are 14 workers under Forbes in Milton’s highway department; in wintry weather, they were routinely thanked by town officials for so promptly clearing roads.

At the May 3 meeting of the Milton Town Board, Supervisor Dan Lewza also praised McCartney for her research into the life of a town native, Henry Cornell, who died overseas in World War I. The board then passed a proclamation in his honor. 

“I think Kim should be greatly recognized for the work she does for the town," Lewza said of McCartney. 

The American Legion post in Ballston Spa, a primary organizer of the May 27 parade, is named after Cornell. The village’s Veterans of Foreign Wars post is equally involved in parade planning. 

[Front photo shows Downtown Business Association President Maddy Zanetti in her office at Impressions of Saratoga. Photo by Larry Goodwin.]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The New York Racing Association (NYRA) is expanding its promotion of Saratoga Race Course season passes, aiming to provide an additional economic boost to city businesses.

“At our store, we get the racing fans,” admits Downtown Business Association (DBA) President Maddy Zanetti, a co-owner of Impressions of Saratoga on Broadway. The store offers all sorts of decorative household furnishings and clothes that feature horses.

Zanetti said some of her store’s customers would “definitely” take advantage of an opportunity to purchase NYRA’s grandstand or clubhouse season passes, which have been offered for several years through local Stewart’s Shops.

Levi Pascher, a spokesman for the Albany firm Ed Lewi Associates, which handles public relations for NYRA, said the goal of recruiting the city’s DBA members is “to bring value and drive business to downtown Saratoga.”

Pascher indicated that season pass holders qualify for 10 percent discounts at participating local businesses, including concert and sports venues. The same discounts apply at NYRA concession stands. Several restrictions do apply, however.

Aside from Impressions, Zanetti said about 40 of the roughly 240 DBA members are participating in the expanded program. She mentioned such businesses as Lifestyles of Saratoga, G.Willikers Toys, Wheatfields and Druthers Brewing Company, explaining that a large group of service providers in the DBA (doctors, real estate firms, etc.) are unable to participate.

Zanetti said customers can purchase vouchers at individual stores but must complete the transaction online through NYRA’s website (www.nyra.com/saratoga.) 

At a cost of $65 for the clubhouse and $40 for grandstand seats, NYRA season passes are then mailed to recipients. The passes do not include reserved seating and are valid for one admission, according to Pascher.

Lynn LaRocca, NYRA’s vice president and chief experience officer, said the track’s “most loyal fans...realize there’s inherent value” in buying season passes. She said they pay off after about seven trips to the racecourse, which is scheduled to open on Friday, July 21. 

Though obviously related in direct ways, LaRocca said the season passes are considered separate from NYRA’s Season Perks program, which runs every year from June 1 through March 31 and yields the stated discounts for customers.

Maria D’Amelia, a spokeswoman for Stewart’s Shops, said the NYRA season pass promotion has been “a great partnership” during the several years it has been offered through nearly 160 of the company’s stores.

A number of Stewart’s customers have expressed support for the “convenience factor,” D’Amelia said. Company officials evaluate the results of the promotion for each season at the track, she added.

NYRA’s Season Perks program was already quite popular, according to D’Amelia. So the season pass promotion, she said, “certainly adds to that value.” 

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