Displaying items by tag: saratoga springs
SARATOGA SPRINGS — A new six-story office building may soon be coming to Broadway.
This week, an application anticipated to be reviewed by the Saratoga Springs Planning Board calls for the site plan review of a proposed project at 269 Broadway which will see the construction of a six-story commercial and retail building for mixed-use, as well as an underground parking garage.
The building is slotted to stand on the west side of Broadway, between Broadway and Hamilton Street, just north of Saratoga Central Catholic High School.
The applicants – 269 Broadway LLC – are located at 85 Railroad Place, headquarters of Prime Group Holdings, which owns and manages over $2 billion of self-storage properties across the U.S. According to the Albany Business Review, the company currently employs 70 people downtown and the company’s founder and chief executive Bob Moser expects that number to expand by 50 to 100% with the development of a new
six-story corporate headquarters on Broadway.
The first floor of the building will consist of retail, with the second through sixth floors housing offices. A restaurant will be added to the second floor. At its tallest, the structure will rise to 70 feet in height.
There are currently 24 existing parking spaces on the otherwise vacant lot site where the building will be constructed. The application seeks to add an additional 47, creating a total of 71 spaces. Those spaces will be a part of a two-level underground parking garage accessible via Hamilton Street.
Here are four simple exercies you can do in 45 minutes outside!
Social distancing has many of us going on secluded, daily walks for fresh air, exercise and a small change of scenery. Pump up your fitness routine by incorporating these ‘Not Just A Walk in the Park’ exercises to get that lower bod ready for the beach. Be sure to stay safe and close to home!
• The council during its Tuesday meeting unanimously approved by a 4-0 measure a 30-day extension of the city’s State of Emergency declaration, initially declared in March. That State of Emergency now goes through May 12. City Mayor Meg Kelly was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
• Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton updated the latest known status of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, which is slated to begin July 16.
“My understanding is that NYRA is following the governor’s recommendations and they are preparing to be open and to run if they have the opportunity to do so - meaning the restrictions on mass gatherings and events will have to be lifted,” Dalton said. “If indeed that happens then they will be ready to run in July.”
Accounts commissioner John Franck added that there also is a possibility that the Saratoga meet may be staged with no fans present. “This is what I heard from various representatives and racing people; I guess the reason being there will still be gambling online, so there would still be revenues coming in to NYRA and the state. We just don’t know yet.”
Last year, the meet at Saratoga Race Course generated more than $700 million in all-sources handle for the first time in NYRA history at The Spa, despite losing one full racing day to a weather cancellation. The $705.3 million all-source handle bested 2018’s total by more than $46 million.
• Late Fees for City, County and Delinquent School Taxes: Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan said the city had looked into the potential waiver of fees and penalties as they relate to tax bills. “Last week the late notices went out to anyone who was late paying their taxes and that really kicked off quite the firestorm,” Madigan said Tuesday, during a meeting of the City Council via Zoom. “Unfortunately, legal research shows that the city has no authority to waive these fees. The only person who can do so during the State of Emergency is the New York State governor.” The New York Conference of Mayors legal team reports that local governments do not have unilateral authority to extend the interest-free period with respect to the payment of property taxes, she added.
Regarding other types of fees or late payments that are established via local law - such as water, sewer, garbage - local governments do have the ability to extend or modify late penalties and payments dates by promulgating an emergency order that suspends the relevant local law.
• Funds: Given anticipated revenue losses due to the COVID-19 emergency, Madigan asked each department to submit by April 29 suggestions on where to potentially cut or trim non-mandatory expenditures.
All city employees - full-time and part-time – had been paid full wages through April 17. “As of April 18, part-time employees have been furloughed, unless their departments deem them essential and they are actually working,” Madigan said. A temporary hiring freeze went into effect April 10. Until that order is rescinded, new hires may only be made on an emergency basis.
Options under consideration include payroll reductions, layoffs, securing loans, and using the city’s cash fund balance, the latter of which is already underway, according to Madigan.
• Land Use Board meetings will resume this week and will be held virtually with board members and applicants and may be viewed via live stream on the city’s website. Consult the city website for dates and times for meetings of the Planning Board, Design Review Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals.
ALBANY — There has been a noticeable shift among lawmakers during the past 10 days that points to a scheme of an eventual reopening plan for New York that may take the shape of a region-by-region easing of restrictions, as opposed to the state reopening in its entirety, all at the same time.
“There are regional economies within the state. Let’s talk about reopening economies in a regional context. Coordinated regionally. And that’s what we’re going to be doing,” state Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week, naming Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in charge of overseeing the Western New York region public health and reopening strategy, and former Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy as special advisor on public health and reopening in the Finger Lakes region.
Nearly two months since New York registered its first COVID-19 case, and three months since the first case in the U.S. was discovered, Cuomo surveyed the daily charted number of infections, hospitalizations and intubations in New York City - where more than 10,000 residents have died as a result of the virus – and cautiously explained “the numbers would suggest we are seeing a descent…the question is how long and how steep the descent? Nobody knows.” That descent will play a major role into when the state reopens.
Governors in each state will decide when to re-open, and President Donald Trump has recommended in advance of a phased-in approach to reopening there should be, among other things, a decline in COVID-19 cases for 14 days.
Regionally, however, the percentage of the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has been steady, or rising. A three-day sample in Saratoga County from April 15-17 indicates of 267 people tested, 17 (or about 6.4%) tested positive, while more recent tests of April 19-21 sample shows 13 of 175, or about 7.5% tested positive. Overall, as of April 21 in Saratoga County where about 3,500 people have been tested, 7.6% percent of those tested positive. Albany County shows a 9.8% overall rate, Warren and Washington counties each are over 11%, and Schenectady County is over 12%. And indications are that those percentage numbers have not fallen in any of the counties.
On April 17 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researcher Malik Magdon-Ismail discussed a new model showcasing the pandemic impact in smaller cities. The model indicated that with 75% of the population in the Capital Region in New York remaining at home, the COVID-19 pandemic will peak locally in about four weeks, in late May.
“How do you educate yourself on reopening? Testing,” said Cuomo, who explained he had a “productive” meeting with Trump at the White House April 21, and one of the results of that meeting is the expectation that the number of tests in New York State will as much as double in the near future - from approximately 20,000 to 40,000 per day.
“Make the decisions on the facts, not on political pressure. We make a bad move, it’s going to set us back,” said Cuomo, adding that it is vital to also understand the consequences of opening one region at a time, so as to not flood that region with unanticipated problems, presumably meaning an influx of people coming from areas still on “pause.”
“We can’t make a bad decision and we can’t be stupid about it. This is a marathon, not a sprint. More people will die if we’re not smart,” he said.
As Cuomo spoke inside the State Capitol, a rally organized by the group “ReOpen New York State” was staged outside on Wednesday to protest the New York on Pause coronavirus plan. While protest organizers told people planning to attend the rally to respect social distancing, most were crowded on the sidewalk and in the road, and many were not wearing masks, according to WRGB.
At the same time and of a different view, a letter signed by Saratoga Unites, Saratoga DSA, Saratoga Progressive Action and more than a dozen other area organizations and individuals was issued in support for efforts taken by New York state leadership with the current stay at home orders. The letter states, in part: “It is natural to feel like we need to ‘do something,’ and we encourage people to focus on support for healthcare and essential workers, the unemployed, and the small businesses which are all so vital to the Capital District.”
Cuomo said he anticipates “a rolling curve” of infections. That is, that different test-positive hotspots will flare up at different times. “New York City had the first curve and then they project higher curves in other states and in other parts of our state,” the governor said. “Buffalo will have a later curve, Albany will have a later curve, and we’re watching the curves in different parts of the state. Our strategy is: we deploy to wherever the curve is highest.”
ANTIBODY TESTING UNDERWAY
A weeklong statewide antibody testing survey that will randomly sample 3,000 people began April 19 in a handful of upstate communities, Saratoga and Schenectady among them.
The antibody test – which is different than the tests which currently identify the virus - will tell whether a person had previously had COVID-19. The state is hopeful this large-scale antibody testing will help determine the percentage of the population that is now immune to the virus, allowing more individuals to safely return to work. The finger-stick blood samples will be tested at the Wadsworth Center, which is located in Albany.
The “random” designation is particularly important. The other tests conducted – the ones which tell whether a person currently has the virus - are mostly conducted with people showing symptoms of illness, or those potentially exposed to it.
Preliminary data of the antibody tests - randomly conducted in grocery stores and box stores in 19 counties, 40 localities overall - showed 13.9% overall tested positive for antibodies – that is 13.9% of people randomly tested across the state have, at some point, had the virus.
Upstate New York specifically where one-third of the antibody tests were conducted, only 3.6% of those had tested positive for antibodies.
This is compared to 11.7% in Westchester/Rockland, 16.7% Long Island, and 21.2% NYC.
In Schenectady, where the information regarding the random testing was not made public, those showing up to be tested included “several county legislators” according to the Gazette. In Saratoga County, where the information was made public by Saratoga County on its Facebook page, many more people turned out than were anticipated.
“It should not have been posted on Facebook – both for randomizing purposes, but also a (Price Chopper) manager told me at one point there were nearly 300 people in there just to get tested,” said Saratoga Springs Supervisor Tara Gaston, who visited the Price Chopper store in Malta where the testing took place. “That 300 is in addition to the people who were just shopping. My understanding is those (tests) are going to take place, but not in the same spot and they’re not going to be announced. My hope is no one puts it on the county website or Facebook page. That shouldn’t happen (again). I’m not going to say that it won’t – but, that’s our goal.”
While different parts of the state may open at different times, Cuomo said regardless of where reopenings occur, schools and businesses will be open at the same time in that particular region.
There is no specific committee charged with specifying reopenings. A region-by-region determination will be addressed via discussions in a collaborative effort between state and local governments. Cuomo did not specify whether a “local” government make-up would consist of county, city, town, and/or village officials.
SARATOGA SPRINGS —Alpine Sky, a 7-year-old mare owned by Old Tavern Farm, delivered a colt by More Than Ready at 10:56 p.m. on April 15 as part of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s Foal Patrol Season 3. This is the fifth foal of the season delivered on Foal Patrol. Both the mare and foal are healthy and doing well.
Foal Patrol is a one-of-a-kind interactive web project. Season 3 features a collection of live cameras where people can view real-time streams of six mares and their foals, as well as the Three Chimneys stallion Gun Runner. The site also features a blog, numerous educational videos and articles, and much more.
For additional information and to sign up for alerts, please visit www.foalpatrol.com.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Maura Pulver stood behind the counter of the Five Points Market & Deli, which she has owned the past eight years. The east side eatery has served the neighborhood for more than a century.
Last week, one of the neighbors reached out to Pulver to express some concerns.
“One of our regulars - she has three elementary school age kids – she said she and her husband were concerned about kids perhaps not getting meals,” Pulver explained.
Maura Pulver poses inside Five Points Market & Deli with a pair of handmade signs that will be fixed to a table on weekends offering “free lunch, for anyone who needs it,” while supplies on the table last. Photo by Thomas Dimopoulos.
With New York State on “PAUSE” and the closure of schools extended through at least May 15, the woman, Jenn McMahon, was brainstorming an idea for weekends that would complement breakfast and lunch availability for students provided via the Saratoga Springs School District.
“She was thinking about that kid, just riding by on their bike, who maybe didn’t get breakfast this morning,” Pulver said. “I thought, oh my God, I love that; Let’s make it happen.”
The fruition of the idea was to set some sandwiches upon a table outside the store during weekends providing a free lunch for anyone who needs it.
“So I asked her kids to make the signs for it and this past Sunday was our first day of doing it. I put them out there - sandwiches, a nice little package. Some cold cuts, some peanut butter & jelly, some cheese, an apple and potato chips, and some baked cookies,” Pulver said. “There were about 15 of them and by 1 o’clock they were all gone. Jenn ants to do it every Saturday and Sunday, from 11 to 1, and she said: ‘We’re just very fortunate right now that we can help out, and I can probably pay for a month’s worth.’”
Area residents either out for a walk or perusing social media where images of the table fixed with bright blue and yellow hand-made signs topped by an offering of small brown lunch bags went viral were moved by the gesture.
“Let me tell you what happened: when the neighbors heard about it, they came by and took pictures of the table and since Sunday people have been handing me money to have it continue,” Pulver said. “Now we’re thinking about maybe adding another day, or maybe increasing the numbers. We want to keep it going for as long as we can.”
Here are some great yoga poses designed for runners to improve hip mobility, knee stability, and ankle strength.
These poses can be done quickly and safely after a run. Please note that these poses should not be painful, and should feel like a gentle stretch. If you experience pain please reach out for assistance!
In an effort to help our community Goodemote Physical Therapy and FysioFit Physical Therapy will be offering virtual therapy and posting exercises to help keep you active.
Find us on our website: GoodemotePT.com or Fysiofit.com
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Darling Donuts, a shop dedicated towards creating unique donuts, was set to open this month, but COVID-19 restrictions has pushed the store towards a new opening date.
Owner of Darling Donuts, Natascha Pearl-Mansman, set her new opening date at 441 Broadway to early June. Due to COVID-19 restrictions placed over the community, renovations have slowed the opening for her new store.
“Construction has been dramatically slowed. Part of the issue was some of the supply warehouses that we were getting the materials from were closed,” Pearl-Mansman said. “Little by little things are happening. This process…in the best of times takes longer than you hope it would, and in the worst of times it seems to drag on forever.”
Despite the slow progress, Pearl-Mansman said electrical work has finally finished and plumbing would start this week. After renovations are finished, Darling Donuts would wait for inspections once COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
“Its really just a waiting game,” Pearl-Mansman said.
Darling Donuts started in 2018 after Pearl-Mansman had her first child. After experiencing difficulties in the past with pregnancy, Pearl-Mansman said she didn’t feel right putting her child in daycare.
“I decided not to go back to my regular job right away. The thought of putting her in daycare and working fulltime-after everything I went through just to have her in the first place-it was just too hard,” Pearl-Mansman said.
She began to spend more time at home with her new daughter, attempting to still earn an income to pay for loans she had. She took to her roots as an avid baker and started to bake cupcakes and cookies.
“There is a ton of people in this area that make [baked goods] and I didn’t want to feel like I would be competition against a ton of people early on just to get my name out there. I wanted to make something that was going to be different from everybody else,” Pearl-Mansman said.
The idea for Darling Donuts was inspired after visiting her sister in Brooklyn years prior. While there, Pearl-Mansman and her sister visited Doughnut Plant, a shop making different kinds of gourmet donuts. After experiencing not only the taste, but the feel and smell of the atmosphere Pearl-Mansman knew she needed to create something similar for Saratoga.
After testing her own recipes on family and friends, she decided to venture in a serious route and developed a business plan. New York only allows homemade food to be sold at farmers markets, and she realized she needed a proper kitchen to sell her donuts.
Pearl-Mansman found a commercial kitchen to rent and started to bake orders in summer 2018. She purchased her location on Broadway in November of 2019, partnering with Glenn Severance to expand Darling Donuts.
“Once I [started], things took off and started to get crazy. I increased my production as much as I could, with the equipment that I had in the kitchen that I was working in. A year and a half in, I realized it was time to move to the next step,” Pearl-Mansman said.
Pearl-Mansman creates all her donuts from scratch. Using brioche style dough, which creates a yeast raised donut. The brioche style gives Pearl-Mansman a neutral base that allows her to get creative with her donut flavors.
“I have really simply natural recipes and there is actually no sugar in the dough itself, just enough to get the yeast to rise. All of the flavor comes from the glazes and the toppings. And all the glazes and the toppings are made with real fruit and real nuts. Even the cake glazes that I do, such as funfetti, has actual cake that’s in the glaze,” Pearl-Mansman said.
Along with sweet donuts she creates, savory donuts are also listed on the menu. She creates an everything-bagel donut, which has a savory cream cheese glaze, everything-seasoning and a bagel chip on top. She also creates a pizza donut, which starts with a san-marzano tomato base topped with fresh mozzarella and pesto.
“The biggest compliment that I get from people is that it really tastes like you say it will. My donuts taste like what I say it will because that’s what I used to make them,” Pearl-Mansman said.
Until renovations on her Broadway store have finished, Pearl-Mansman will not be producing any donuts. The commercial kitchen Pearl-Mansman has been using belongs in a religious institution, which has since closed. However, once the Broadway shop finished, they will explore to-go and delivery options if the restrictions are not lifted.
“I like showing my children that if you work really hard and if you follow your dreams, that pretty much anything is possible. I never would have thought when I was writing my business plan that I’d be opening a store on Broadway. Things happen as long as you work hard and you are dedicated, then things fall into place,” Pearl-Mansman said. “There will be donuts.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shelters of Saratoga (SOS) Executive Director Karen Gregory announced Sunday that The Holiday Inn, located in downtown Saratoga Springs, will serve as a temporary location for the city’s homeless.
Isolating people experiencing homelessness in individual hotel rooms with access to private bathrooms is the best possible solution to facilitate safe distancing and the ability to practice good hygiene thus preventing a community-wide spread of COVID-19. Food service, basic necessities and case management is being provided to those staying in the hotel. The shelters on Walworth Street remain open and SOS is serving over 100 people through the outreach program, which provides people with food and hygiene products.
“Our number one priority is the health and safety of people we are helping each day. Social distancing and hygiene is the only way to slow the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, people experiencing homelessness don’t have the ability to stay home.” Gregory said. “People experiencing homelessness don’t have regular access to sinks where they can wash their hands and those staying at homeless shelters can’t always remain six feet from another person. There are simply too many people and not enough space.” Quarantine for a sick or exposed individual would not be possible in these settings.
In addition, homeless individuals face a variety of issues when it comes to COVID-19. Age, poor health, disability, and living conditions make them highly vulnerable to illness. Once the virus is introduced to this high-risk population, further transmission will be very difficult to contain. As such, Shelters of Saratoga initiated this proactive, rapid response plan for this crisis.
Gregory stated “I made several requests to Saratoga County to move our shelters into a local hotel before someone was symptomatic or tested positive for COVID-19. I was told over and over again that would not be possible until somebody tested positive, although I explained at that point it would be too late and I was afraid we would have a shelter full of very sick people including my staff. Ultimately, I did not want anyone to die.”
When Gregory voiced her concerns and ideas to Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly, the Mayor was immediately aligned with her worries. They met the next morning and started going door to door to find a hotel. Kevin Tuohy, General Manager of the Holiday Inn in Saratoga, offered his support immediately and without hesitation.
While the guests will be staying at the hotel, Gregory has opted to move in as well to keep operations running smoothly. “Although, I miss my family tremendously, it is critically important to me, to keep both my family safe as well as the people SOS is serving.”
Kelly shared this, "As Mayor, it's my job to protect all of my citizens, including and especially those most vulnerable. Current federal and state guidelines for COVID-19 and homeless individuals set a reactive threshold - quarantine only after an individual presents with symptoms. For our city, this was not a high enough standard. I'm proud that Saratoga Springs is joining a short, but growing list of communities across the country prepared to prevent infection and spread among our homeless population by using hotels to practice social distancing and enable access to adequate hygiene, hand washing, and quarantine. This will save lives. And I'm grateful to Shelters of Saratoga’s Executive Director, Karen Gregory for her agility in the face of this crisis and to Kevin Tuohy, General Manager of the Holiday Inn here in Saratoga for stepping forward."
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Hospital is tapping technology to continue to meet patients’ needs during the coronavirus pandemic. The hospital offers telehealth appointments to outpatients who can’t or don’t need to be seen face-to-face, including video urgent care appointments at Malta Med Emergent Care.
“Our patients come first, and we want to make sure they feel safe and cared for,” said Kimberly Leon, director of specialty practices for Saratoga Hospital Medical Group. “Caring for patients doesn’t stop simply because the world is experiencing a crisis.”
Saratoga Hospital Medical Group is the hospital’s multispecialty practice of doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The group has more than 250 providers in over 30 medical specialties. Many whose patients can be served remotely are taking advantage of the telehealth option.
“In some cases, maybe the patient can wait,” Leon said. “But if they’re anxious and would feel better being seen by their healthcare provider, a telehealth visit can provide some much-needed and beneficial reassurance.”
Telehealth technology also appeals to sick patients who are worried they will be exposed to the new coronavirus if they seek treatment at a healthcare facility. For these patients, Malta Med Emergent Care, a joint venture of Saratoga Hospital and Albany Med, offers virtual urgent care appointments from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
To request an appointment, patients can go online, click on“Book a Telehealth Appointment,” and answer a list of questions. If their condition can be diagnosed and treated remotely, patients receive a text notifying them of their appointment. At the scheduled time, depending on the make of their device, patients receive a video call via FaceTime or an email invite from Webex to join their visit.
“We’re hearing that people are afraid to come in,” said Lisa West, site administrator at Malta Med Emergent Care. “As long as we can see the patient, we should be able to diagnose most urgent care problems. We’d rather see them virtually as soon as possible, so we can begin treatment and prevent them from getting worse.
“We’ve always been here for the community,” she added, “and we don’t want that to change because of the coronavirus.”
Saratoga Hospital also is sensitive to the concerns of family members who cannot visit hospitalized patients during the pandemic. Dr. Kevin Dooley and physician assistant Seana Mosher, of the hospital’s Inpatient Transition Program, provide phone updates to keep families in the loop.
“We know that our restricted visitation policy, while necessary, places an extra burden on patients and family and friends who cannot visit,” said Dooley, medical director of the program, which helps high-risk hospital patients successfully transition to home. “Seana and I are checking in on inpatients and updating their families.
“We’re letting them know the extra steps we’re taking during this unprecedented time and reassuring them that their loved ones are receiving the best possible care,” he added.
Family members can request an update from Dooley or Mosher by calling 518-886-5060.