Displaying items by tag: saratoga springs

Friday, 11 September 2020 12:30

Five Points Market Begins New Chapter

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Some businesses shut their doors during the 2020 pandemic, but Maura Pulver, owner of Five Points Market & Deli, used the restrictions as an opportunity.

Pulver created Simply Food by Maura to continue her tradition of great breakfast sandwiches and homemade Take 5 Dinners. She also hopes to expand her business focus to private catering.

“Life comes with many opportunities. Sometimes I have even been fortunate enough to latch onto them, and while change can always be scary, it also brings new and exciting memories that we are not yet aware of. I call this a chance to Get to the Point,” Pulver wrote on Facebook. “I will only be down the street. I will still be making breakfast sandwiches…with some mad crazy additions. I will be adding additional Take [five] dinners during the week. And I will be catering. I will take some wonderful Five Point traditions with me and create some new and fantastic ones.”

Pulver plans to sell her breakfast sandwiches out of a commercial kitchen at the Saratoga Springs Senior Citizen Center. In addition to breakfast, she will begin a catering business and continue a popular take-out option she offered at Five Points, called Take Five Dinners. 

So far, Pulver has released menu details for Simply Food. Some items include: the Points Classic made up of two eggs, american cheese, choice of sausage, bacon or ham on toasted hard roll and the Blueberry Bomb made of two eggs, sausage, cheddar with a maple syrup drizzle on grilled blueberry bread.

The doors to Five Points officially closed Aug. 31 after Pulver had owned it for eight-and-a-half years. Just like other downtown businesses, Pulver had reduced her staff, menu and hours of operation due to the pandemic. She then used her extra time to create her new catering business. 

On her website, Pulver states that loyalty points from a Five Points account can carry-over to Simply Food by Maura. Free lunches on Saturday and Sunday will also continue at the new location.

“The support of the community has been so very generous, we look forward sharing this small gesture with our neighbors as long as there is a need to do so,” Pulver wrote on her website.

She added: “In a year of pandemic pivoting, I have arrived at a new point in my journey. Over these challenging months I have been fortunate to continue doing what I love…simply feeding my community. Whether our simple free lunches, deliciously simple Take Five Dinners and take out, or our creatively simple catered covid celebrations. I have been in my element.”

Simply Food by Maura will be located at 5 Williams Street and her website can be reached at simplyfoodbymaura.com.

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — With the return of students for the fall semester, Skidmore College announced it has developed contingency plans should the transmission of COVID-19 spike among the college community. 

As of this week, Skidmore reports 2 total positive tests to date – counting students and employees – and 6 people in quarantine. The dashboard may be viewed at: www.skidmore.edu/fall-planning/dashboard.php. 

The college contingency plan is framed by five “alert levels” of increasing severity. They are: 

Alert Level 1 - At this lowest level of alert, very few positive test results exist, and contact tracing shows a very limited number of employees and students on campus may have been exposed. Epidemiological analysis and contact tracing suggest that the situation can be contained, isolated and controlled. Affected students and employees are quarantined pursuant to DOH guidelines and this Plan. Affected areas are contained, isolated and decontaminated. Other campus operations or residential life activities are not affected.

Alert Level 2 - The number of positive test results and numbers of exposed individuals in quarantine are slightly higher than at the lowest level of alert, but Saratoga County Public Health is able to conduct effective and timely contact tracing and the college has been able to act swiftly to identify, isolate and contain transmission. There is no evidence of community transmission at this level. This level may require limiting operations in specific operations, areas or programs for a period of time to prevent ongoing exposure. A larger number of students, employees and/or facilities could be impacted but that impact is likely to remain time limited and is directly related to specific and already identified infections.

Alert Level 3 - A small outbreak has occurred on campus in a defined population, such as a building, department or residence hall. Confidence in the ability to accurately complete contact tracing in a timely way is moderate. It is also the case that it may be difficult to identify a specific area for containment, isolation and remediation. This level may require shutting down the areas impacted by the outbreak but does not require a campus-wide shutdown. Select programs may move back into an online-only environment with non-resident students staying off campus, resident students staying in their rooms and non-essential affected employees working from home. Individuals who test positive and who have been exposed are isolated and quarantined, potentially in bulk (e.g., entire building or more). The College may order shelter-in-place for students (stay and study in their rooms). Careful consideration will be given to whether on-campus services for employees, such those provided by the Greenberg Childcare Center, can be maintained.

Alert Level 4 - The College is experiencing a sizeable outbreak, as evidenced by numbers of current cases, increases in positive test rates or by multiple positive tests without clear sources of infection, and the College has clear evidence that contact tracing, containment, isolation and remediation efforts are not effective The College will “pause” and move to remote learning alternatives and remote work arrangements where possible. Non-resident students and employees whose presence on campus is not essential to the College’s daily operations will be restricted from coming on campus. Resident students will be required to shelter in place or return home for the pause. The “pause” is intended to be temporary (one to four weeks) and to control further transmission.

Alert Level 5 - The situation has escalated to the point where ongoing campus or community transmission is occurring at a significant rate. There is no realistic strategy to contain or control the situation. Given the timing in the academic calendar, the College has no other option than to shut down on-campus operations completely. All campus operations come to a halt, non-essential employees shift to remote work arrangements when possible, and students move to remote learning for the remainder of the semester. Campus will close for the rest of the semester and students will be moved out following the College’s protocol. Those unable to leave will appeal to remain on campus. Skidmore College will support any student who, for financial or other hardship reasons, cannot depart campus in response to a shutdown scenario.

If the College’s RO infection rate is < or = 1, meaning individuals who are infected infect no more than one other person, Skidmore says it will generally be able to continue in-person learning. Scenarios necessitating decreasing on-campus activities and operations or closing the campus will be communicated to all faculty, staff, students and parents by email and the College’s Fall Planning website.

Published in Education

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Unfortunately due to public health and safety concerns from the COVID pandemic, this year’s Showcase of Homes “live” tour event was cancelled. Exciting news as we are planning and filming a one-hour Showcase TV Special which will air this fall. It will include interviews, tours, and more, as we celebrate our areas finest builders, homes and developments. It will also provide a way for you to contribute to our two important and extraordinary local charities which normally benefit from ticket sales. The show is currently in production. Please check our website in September for show dates and times to tune in or DVR this show. 

This unique and special broadcast will be graciously hosted by CBS-6 News Anchor Liz Bishop airing exclusively on WRGB Channel 6. The 12 builders being featured are: Beechwood Homes, Bella Home Builders, Belmonte Builders, Caruso Home Builders, Degraff-Bloom Custom Builders, Heritage Custom Builders, Kodiak Construction, McPadden Builders, The Earth Source Company, The West Saratoga Condos, Whitbeck Construction & Witt Construction. There will also be an important segment on our two local charities Rebuilding Together Saratoga County and Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren & Washington Counties.

We are grateful for the support from many generous sponsors making this Special TV Show possible and thankful for your continued support of this fall tradition.  Furthermore, we look forward to presenting the “live” 2021 Saratoga Showcase of Homes tour next year as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary.

The Saratoga Showcase of Homes is the area’s premiere new home tour. This annual community event has contributed nearly $1.3 million dollars to our local charities - Rebuilding Together Saratoga County and Habitat for Humanity of Southern Saratoga, Warren & Washington Counties. For more information, please visit www.saratogashowcaseofhomes.com. Follow us on our BLOG & FACEBOOK for all the updates. SOH2020 Builders

ABOUT SARATOGA BUILDERS ASSOCIATION

The Saratoga Builders Association, Inc. (SBA) is a specialized professional trade association representing an industry basic to the well-being and economy of the people of Saratoga County. Its membership includes residential and commercial builders, developers, remodelers, building material suppliers, sub-contractors, financial institutions, architects, engineers, realtors, attorneys and other industry professionals. SBA is committed to the continued growth, prosperity and quality of life in Saratoga County.

Published in News
Thursday, 20 August 2020 12:00

Charter Change: Back on the Ballot

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Election Day, city residents will be asked to consider a change in the only form of governing that Saratoga Springs has known since its inception as a city in 1915. 

In 2017, the last time a citizen-led City Charter referendum proposed change, the measure was defeated by a razor-thin margin of 4,458 - 4,448. 

The current “Commission” form of governing features five council members – one mayor, plus four commissioners heading the departments of Public Safety, Public Works, Finance, and Accounts, respectively.  Each council member is responsible for administering their own department as well as serving as legislators. In this council of five, each of whom is elected to two-year terms, decisions are made by majority rule. 

The “Council-Manager” proposal calls for replacing that “Commission” form in favor of one that includes a mayor – elected by the voters of the city at large, and six members elected from city wards by the voters of those specific wards. Those six wards are to be comprised of equal voting population. 

That city council of seven would then appoint, set the salary for, and hire a City Manager. The idea is that residents would be represented through the ward system, and the manager held to accountability via the city council. 

A new group opposing the charter change proposal staged a gathering in Congress Park this week. They call themselves Saratoga Works and include co-chairs Connie Woytowich and Jane Weihe, and steering committee members Chris Obstarczyk, Courtney DeLeonardis, Janice Partridge, Jay Partridge, George Cain, and Joe Dalton. 

Weihe said a change in Saratoga Springs’ current form of government would be risky during a time of a pandemic and subsequent economic crisis, and that this “expensive version of charter change” would politicize neighborhoods by dividing them into wards.

Those financial concerns are specifically related to what the overall costs could be should the plan be implemented; even though some city deputy or assistant salaries would be saved, new workers would still need to be hired to conduct the work the current city employees are doing, she argued. 

“We don’t know what it will cost. This is more of a concept than a plan,” she said.  A website, saratogaworks.org, was launched in conjunction with the group gathering. 

Gordon Boyd is a member of the citizen group proposing the new charter for the city. Last summer, a group of 41 residents circulated the petitions necessary to place the proposition on this November’s ballot.  A total of 1,565 registered voters signed the petition to put the proposal on the ballot. 

“We’ve got a chance to start fresh coming out of this public health crisis,” said Boyd, adding that an information website is anticipated to be launched sometime around Labor Day, heading into the election season. If approved by voters, the measure is expected to take effect in January 2022.

The concept of a Commission form of government was founded in Galveston, Texas in 1901 after a storm ravaged the city, killing more than 5,000 people and creating the need for a useful way of post-disaster governing. It proved to be an efficient measure as well as a popular one. By 1912, 206 cities in 34 states had followed suit. Saratoga Springs adopted the commission form of governing shortly after it was incorporated as a city in 1915. Since its popularity in the early 20th century, however, many cities have since switched to other forms.

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — In January, Robin Dalton took office as city Public Safety Commissioner – the first woman to hold the position which oversees, among other things, the overall operation of the police and fire departments. 

She grew up in Manhattan “in a really loving, happy home, and attended classes at the Chapin School, an all-girls school on the Upper East Side that lists among its alumnae Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Vera Wang, and N.Y. Mets owner Joan Whitney Payson. “Ivanka Trump was two grades below me,” Dalton says. Shortly after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Cornell University, in 2007 Dalton relocated to Saratoga Springs where she lives with her husband and their four children.

FROM LOCAL RESIDENT TO CITY GOVERNMENT

In 2012, Dalton began digging into city politics and observing council meetings. “To me it was very important to have experience in Saratoga and get involved in the community in a way to really understand the spirit of the city so I can represent the people who live here to the best of my potential. So, I really waited until I was ready to take this on because I knew it would be challenging.

“One of the best things about it was I perceived partisanship as not being a factor in how the City Council was voting. It didn’t seem people were making politically based decisions. The decisions were being made as for what’s best for the city. And I think that’s also been my happiest revelation over these past seven months. I don’t think there’s been a single moment where anyone has invoked my party to persuade me to vote one way or another. It’s a non-issue,” Dalton says. “Partisanship doesn’t have any role in how the City Council votes. And to me that’s a really good thing. That’s been really awesome.” Seven months on the job, Dalton sat down this week to talk about the status of several pressing city issues in this most unusual year. 

COVID

When the city declared a State of Emergency in March, the city’s Emergency Management Plan directed the public safety commissioner lead a team to address the emergency. “That was a moment when our form of government was at its best,” Dalton says. The city’s Commission form of governing – which charges each commissioner with different responsibilities, yet equal political power was born specifically from emergency when it was implemented in Texas, in 1901 as a reaction to the Galveston hurricane. 

“I was also fortunate to have a City Council that was supportive of how I was sourcing and disseminating information, which was taking it from our governor. It was disappointing to me we didn’t have a leader of our country who led by example – handling it with science and data rather than partisanship, so I was going to stick to the guidelines laid out by Governor Cuomo. I would say I love what he’s doing right now. Will I love what he’s doing six months from now? A year from now? Probably not, but that’s not going to prevent me from saying he’s done a great job handling the virus.” 

A member of the Republican Party, she is unafraid to step outside any pre-conceived limitations regarding party and is something she says she was upfront about when first interviewing with the city GOP Committee.  “I went through a list of things I knew they weren’t necessarily going to be happy about: I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-immigrant – but I wanted to be clear upfront about what I stand for.” 

POLITICIZING A VIRUS

“Unfortunately, everything has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s not about your health necessarily, it’s about what you stand for, what party you’re with. I think that’s really sad and destructive. It’s been divisive but at the end of the day all I care about is that the city is as healthy as possible and simultaneously that our economy is strong. There is an incredible importance in both and we’re not here to put one above the other.” 

SCHOOLS

 “We have models we look at and we’re working very closely with the hospital. We are expecting positive cases to go up because kids are coming back to school. We need to predict these things. I don’t think it’s going to take us back to where we were at our peak, which was about 10% positive cases. Right now, we’ve dropped to under 1% which is fantastic. There’s a huge mental health component and our children have suffered immensely. We’re trying to give kids a little bit of normalcy.”

ADDRESSING THE NEED FOR A FIRE/EMS STATION TO SERVE RESIDENTS OF THE EAST SIDE

“We have done a site plan and needs analysis of the Henning Road location and put out an RFP for a design firm. We had planned on moving on this aggressively, but when the pandemic hit everything got paused.” The question now is how best to move forward in a tough economic climate. To that end, the city is exploring state aid and grant possibilities to assist moving forward. “I think this is a smart way to handle it that doesn’t put us in a situation of it being a financial liability. But we’re setting ourselves up such that we can use money from the state to complete the project and deliver for our east side residents their emergency medical needs while also not putting the city in a precarious financial position.”    

HOMELESSNESS AND THE NEED FOR A PERMANENT CODE BLUE EMERGENCY SHELTER

 “With this pandemic and this ensuing financial collapse, we’re going to be seeing a lot of people who are in distress in terms of keeping a roof over their head. And (homelessness) is not a one-size-fits-all problem. There are some people who are drug-addicted, people who have mental issues, people who have no interest in finding or seeking shelter and have established a lifestyle outside, downtown.  That works for them, but it’s not something that as a city the residents want to tolerate. If you go over to the Woodlawn parking lot you can see it almost every day; it’s almost an encampment and really a struggle for the neighbors there. So, we’re addressing that – but homelessness is not something that can be solved by law enforcement. It can be solved by having community partners working together in the spirit that the Saratoga Collaborative to End Homelessness is working in. You need the county on board, you need all the social services to be on board and everyone needs to come at this issue wanting to get rid of all the roadblocks and challenges that are in place, to get people into housing and work through them in difficult and sometimes scary ways.  Without that, I don’t know that there is a fix for this issue.” 

“We also have this enormous need for a year-round shelter, and we don’t have that place right now. We’re just pushing people from one area of the city to the other, going around and around and it’s an enormous waste of time, energy, resources and ultimately isn’t helping the people who we want to help.  So, It’s incredibly frustrating and incredibly challenging. That’s really a critical part of this problem. We have to have this permanent, year-round facility, and then it comes down to whose responsibility is it to financially provide this. I am very committed to solving this problem, but I also know the roadblocks and challenges ahead of us are significant.

RALLIES AND PROTESTS AND ISSUES OF RACE

“Emotions have been running extremely high – not just about race but of all these contributing factors, all over America. I can’t recall a time when people have been this traumatized and have had such heightened emotions and reactions. 

“For any kind of significant change to happen it needs to happen as a community, not just as law enforcement. This is a Saratoga Springs conversation. We all need to be addressing how the experience of being white in Saratoga is very different than being black in Saratoga. (Our officers) have reached out to Black Lives Matter protesters locally, taking a knee with protestors, walking arm-in-arm with them. They’ve exercised incredible professionalism and the only thing they want is for people to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech and the right to gather and protest and to be able to do that in one piece. The absolutely last thing I wanted was for anyone to be arrested and any kind of violence to break out. 

“I will be very candid and say I don’t think having a Back The Blue rally was an appropriate choice at this time. I thought it was a bit tone-deaf and likely to make the challenges of addressing Black Lives Matter and racism and bias larger and make people louder and angrier and divide people more than it would bring people together. I’m looking at this in a bigger picture context. Because of this moment of time that we’re in, I really do feel we need to be focusing on how being black in Saratoga is extremely different than being white in Saratoga, and that’s not something people are necessarily ready to acknowledge, to work toward something better.

“I believe in my department, I believe in our professionalism. I also understand the families who have someone working in law enforcement wanting to show their support for what these officers have been doing, but unfortunately in the national context that immediately gets misconstrued or associated with racism or fascism or all sorts of political extremism. I know locally that wasn’t the intention at all, but it all led up to this horrible, stressful, awful moment where these two groups of people are screaming at each other, (figuratively) ripping each other apart, and it was so sad to watch because there’s no reason why one group should be pitted against another group. I think we all want a lot of the same things. To see how both groups expressed how emotional and angry they were was just a sad state of affairs. 

“Believe in law enforcement. Believe that black lives matter. I think it’s perfectly normal to have both those things live in the same person. But what I’m seeing is people thinking you can’t be both these things, and that’s disturbing and sad. I think we’ll get through it, but we have a lot of healing and work to do. 

IN 12 MONTHS TIME

“I hope we return to some sense of normalcy in terms of our behavior and how we interact with one another. I’m hoping that our health is good and that our economy is recovered. Life as we knew it. But, with this new and real threat of a Pandemic it’s going to be a challenge. We still don’t know everything we need to know about it. We still don’t have a vaccine. There are all these variables that need to be answered before we can say with confidence that we’re good, we’re safe.” 

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The Beatles and The Stones. Elvis to Metallica. Kiss to Dolly Parton, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Alice Cooper to The Who. There’s something for most everyone to see and interactively experience at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame exhibition, which opened this week at Universal Preservation Hall. The show runs through late September. 

Part of the Machine: Rock & Pinball beginning Sunday, July 26 for a two-month run. The interactive exhibit showcases rock-themed, playable pinball machines and combines them with merchandise and artifacts to explore the artistic portrayal of artists and bands. 

On display are 16 playable rock ‘n’ roll themed pinball machines in all, in addition to an assortment of music artifacts on display hailing from the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll. 

A “Tommy” pinball machine – owing a nod to the Who and the group’s opus Tommy is here, as is group guitarist Pete Townshend’s acoustic guitar – which he used to compose “Pinball Wizard” and several other songs for the ’Tommy,’ album, and which fortunately he did not smash. 

Making its debut as part of the exhibit is Alice Cooper’s new pinball machine –  “Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle,” a horror adventure game narrated by Cooper himself and featuring songs spanning Cooper’s career. The pinball machine is joined by the exhibit of the Alice Cooper group’s original electric chair show prop, upon which the band’s singer sat and performed on stages across the world in 1971. 

Additional items on display include Peter Criss of KISS’ drum set, Dolly Parton’s dress, memorabilia connected to the early days of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley, as well as a metallic ode tracing their legend to Metallica and Judas Priest.    

As for the pinball machines, which are playable, they deliver the bings, bongs, and dual flipper action polyrhythms associated with the likes of Elton John, KISS, AC/DC and others. 

UPH, a partner in the Proctors Collaborative, will sell tickets for 90-minute blocks throughout the run. Tickets will be available for admittance at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day and hours will be extended to include 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. admittance on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The event concludes on Saturday, Sept. 26. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and are available now at universalpreservationhall.org.    

“Part of the Machine: Rock & Pinball,” is presented at UPH by Adirondack Trust Company. 

UPH will follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention and New York State safety guidelines in establishing safety protocol for exhibit visitors. Each visitor, staff person and volunteer will be required to bring and wear a face mask and to wear provided gloves while playing the pinball machines. All individuals will also be required to maintaining proper social distancing. UPH staff will also take and record each individual’s temperature and procure proper tracing information, and sanitize all surfaces including handrails, light switches, elevators, exhibit pieces, restrooms and common surfaces before new groups are admitted. Capacity will be initially limited to 20 guests per time slot and will re-evaluated regularly. 

Published in Entertainment

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Mike Dubb and his Beechwood Organization spent 35 years building 7,500 downstate homes.

For the first time in his career, Dubb is starting to build homes in Saratoga Springs, less than three miles from Saratoga Race Course, the thoroughbred racetrack he has been visiting since he was 17-years-old.

Dubb and Beechwood outlined details of the 53 homes they are building at the Oak Ridge development between the track and Saratoga Lake. Homes will range in size between 2,200 square feet and more than 6,000 square feet. They will be priced in the $850,000 to $2 million-plus range.

Now, Dubb is looking at other properties around the city for future projects.

He is convinced the Covid-19 pandemic will only increase the number of downstate New York and New Jersey residents who are interested in moving to or building a second home in Saratoga.

“I know people prior to Covid who were saying, ‘I want a better life or I want a town and something not so dense as New York City and the surrounding suburbs,’” Dubb said. “Home has taken on a new importance with people because of Covid.”

The founder of Beechwood Organization secured the remaining 53 lots at Oak Ridge from Jeffrey Snyder and Oak Ridge Development in April after looking at the 135-plus acre site on a whim in October.

“I really wasn’t looking to develop in Saratoga,” Dubb said.

The pastoral setting off Meadowbrook and Dyer Switch roads and the ability to construct four-, five- and six-bedroom homes with large porches, high-end finishes and garages tucked behind the houses caught his attention. Dubb sees the Oak Ridge by Beechwood project as a way to recreate what he describes as the “old Saratoga” architecture that exists along North Broadway and Union Avenue.

He expects the 53 homes will sell over the next three to four years, and he is not worried that the coronavirus pandemic and economic slowdown will jeopardize the project.

“Covid and the economic effects cannot take away the beauty and desirability of Saratoga,” Dubb said. “We may lose some restaurants and hotels. A few individuals may struggle. Long term, Saratoga is too strong ... One or two economic rough years does not a town make.”

Dubb, 64, started visiting Saratoga Springs as a teenager and became heavily involved in thoroughbred racing over the years. He is a seven-time leading owner at Saratoga Race Course and serves on the board of the New York Racing Association, the nonprofit that manages the track.

Dubb and Beechwood also are currently building a daycare center in Saratoga Springs that will be donated for use by children of the backstretch workers at Saratoga Race Course. They constructed and donated a similar facility at the Belmont Park thoroughbred track nearly 20 years ago.

Dubb, who has owned a home in Saratoga Springs for 10 years, remains bullish in the track and Saratoga Springs despite the fact that the pandemic is preventing Saratoga Race Course to operate without fans for the first time this year.

Published in Local News

Two months before Dr. Timothy Brooks was set to retire as medical director, chair and chief of emergency medicine at Saratoga Hospital, COVID-19 struck New York City. “We saw what was happening—and that it could happen here,” Dr. Brooks said. “I couldn’t in good faith walk away.”

Instead, he stayed for what would become some of the most challenging months of his more-than-30-year career. As he’d done so many times since coming here in 1987, Dr. Brooks helped lead the hospital and community response.

Now, with COVID-19 numbers down throughout the region and systems in place to identify, treat and protect patients and staff, Dr. Brooks can move ahead with his plans. He retires July 31 with the respect, admiration and gratitude of patients, medical and emergency response professionals, organizations and officials throughout the region.

Those who know Dr. Brooks weren’t surprised that he put the community first.

“In many ways, Dr. Brooks is a rock that we built the hospital on,” said Dr. Richard Falivena, vice president and chief medical and physician integration officer at Saratoga Hospital. “He has been instrumental in helping us launch almost every clinical program we offer. We can’t overstate his impact.”

Making a difference for millions If you’ve received emergency medical care, been an inpatient at Saratoga Hospital, or visited one of its urgent care centers, Dr. Brooks has made a difference in your care. He’s also informed public health policy and
decisions in Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County, and he’s been instrumental in bringing people together to improve emergency preparedness.

“After 9/11 we realized we had to change our approach,” Dr. Brooks recalled. “We formed a countywide committee and developed plans for managing mass-casualty situations, including biological warfare and pandemics. We’ve been meeting quarterly ever since.”

The committee, which Dr. Brooks chaired from its inception until his retirement, included dozens of health and safety officials. It also caught the attention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which asked Dr. Brooks to serve as a consultant on educating physicians on bioterrorism.

“He is so respected, within and outside the hospital,” said Ann Marie Cross, MS, RN, administrative director for emergency and urgent care services at Saratoga Hospital. “People know who he is, what he’s done, and how much he cares about everyone.” 

Ms. Cross and Dr. Brooks were “a tag team” for 11 years. She attributes his impact to a combination of exceptional clinical skills and bedside manner, a genuine love of teaching and mentoring, and a fundamental belief in collaboration.

“He knew that what we did in the Emergency Department would affect other providers and departments, so he always involved them in the decision-making,” Ms. Cross said.

“He set the stage for so much of what we do,” she added. “He was constantly striving to improve care, and that affected the way we develop protocols, learn from every experience, and collaborate to do what’s best for our patients.

“That’s not going to change,” Ms. Cross said. “It will be his legacy.

Published in Local News

BALLSTON SPA – With a sense of resignation at the inevitability of no mass gatherings during pandemic of COVID-19, the organizers of this fun, family festival have reluctantly cancelled this years event. 

Initially scheduled for June 19 to 21 at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds, the event was pushed to August 14 to 16, hoping for a break from the onslaught from the coronavirus. However, there was no such luck.

While the promoters regret the circumstances surrounding the cancellation, they are optimistic about hosting the event in 2021 at the Fairgrounds. They hope for a vaccine to pave the way back to a semblance of normalcy by next spring.

According to Todd Monahan, the balloon meister, “we already have 30 balloons lined up for 2021. They are all psyched to come to Saratoga to fly here again.”

To keep informed about the Saratoga Balloon and BBQ Festival, check on the website www.balloonandbbq.com.

Published in Local News

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Local antiques specialist and auctioneer Mark Lawson secured an exceptional result in the sale of an antique Chinese bronze censer for his long-time client Jim Kambrich, the recently retired
anchor for WNYT Channel 13 News. 

The bronze censer had come down through Kambrich’s family from his grandparents and was among the items Jim and his wife Susan sold through Mark Lawson Antiques in an effort to downsize and move after Jim’s retirement. 

The censer was about 11 inches tall and took the form of a “foo dog,” the mythical Chinese guardian lion that typically stands in front of Imperial palaces. An initial sale price for this piece was $300 to $500. When the gavel finally fell, the sale price was $20,000. Remarkably, this kind of thing happens regularly with the sale of good quality Chinese antiques to a new and growing population of native Chinese collectors. 

Mark Lawson Antiques is currently cataloguing its next sale, a live auction with online-only bidding scheduled for Aug. 1, 2020. Live previews will be held on July 30 and 31. Please see marklawsonantiques.com for details. 

Published in Local News
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Blotter

  • COURT Richard Carr, III, 29, of Galway, was sentenced Jan. 14 to time served and five years of probation, after pleading to endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the first-degree, a felony.  Joseph T. Sims, 52, of Middle Grove, was sentenced Jan. 14 to time served and five years of probation, after pleading to felony DWI, in Saratoga Springs.  Rakim L. Johnson, 29, of Lake George, was sentenced Jan. 15 to four years in state prison, after pleading to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth-degree, a felony, in Saratoga Springs.  Dung T.…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON Colleen Sellick sold property at 537 Hop City Rd to Patrick Miter for $242,500. Daniel Piper sold property at 2 Evergreen Ct to Samantha Robinson for $369,900. Heritage Builders Group LLC sold property at 37 Cypress St to Sean Connolly for $391,811. Traditional Homebuilders and Developers Inc sold property at 9 Mallory Way to Mark Gratton for $437,429. David Fahr sold property at 7 Forest Rd to Amanda Aftab for $274,900. Richard Dempsky sold property at 69 Paradowski Rd to Michael Clikeman for $257,000. TMC Property Management sold property at 2 North St to REO Home Services LLC for…
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