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Displaying items by tag: charlie samuels
GLENS FALLS – After securing numerous awards on the international film circuit, Spa City director and photographer Charlie Samuels will see the debut local screening of his feature documentary film, “Virgin Blacktop: A New York Skate Odyssey,” at the Adirondack Film Festival on Oct. 19.
An uplifting story shot over four decades, “Virgin Blacktop” tells the story of the lives of a disparate crew of kids from Hudson River towns who had almost nothing in common when they met in the 1970s. The film uses the vehicle of skateboarding to tell the story which will make its world debut as an official sport in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Samuels – whose photography has appeared in the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, Vogue and The New York Times, among others - directed the film. He was also the spokesperson for over 3,000 skateboarders who lobbied the city of Saratoga Springs to re-open “The Bowl” on Lake Avenue eight years ago.
“Virgin Blacktop: A New York Skate Odyssey" premiered at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival in California in 2018. The uplifting and sometimes heart-breaking coming-of-age story is about a super funky crew of suburban New York City kids who first met in 1977 with nothing in common except a passion for skateboarding. Despite their vastly different ages, races and economic backgrounds and with their parents hands off approach, they formed a competitive, traveling team of spirited outsiders called the “Wizards.” Now, nearly 40 years later, they remain lifelong friends, but their lives have followed very different paths, from boardrooms to jail cells.
The 83-minute documentary feature film screens locally at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19 at The Wood Theatre, Adirondack Film Festival, 50 Elm St., Glens Falls. A Q & A session will follow. For more information, go to: adkfilmfestival.org, or call 518-798-7479.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – At the Saratoga Springs City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 19, Ted Mallin, AIA, a Principal at Envision Architects, made a presentation about five options for making space in City Hall to accommodate a second courtroom, which has been mandated by the state.
When the call came in from Saratoga TODAY reporter Arthur Gonick last Thursday, I was at a dinner in Troy with other regional Mayors accepting an award on behalf of Saratoga Springs as one of the 22 cities across the nation who ended veterans' homelessness by the end of 2015. After the dinner, I listened to the message and was stunned to hear that a "story" that I was the subject of was going to run in the paper the following day and they had gone to press without even giving me a chance for a comment, response or clarification of the facts. In my dozen years of public service, I've never not had a chance to respond to an article relating to me or, at the very least, asked for a comment prior to publication.
Inn at Saratoga Gets Victorian-Era Makeover
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The 173-year-old Inn at Saratoga, located at 231 Broadway, celebrated the completion of many of its extensive renovations capitalizing on the venue’s old world charm on Thursday, April 21 with a grand opening event that included menu samplings and cocktail tastings, as well as the sounds of acoustic guitar player Jeff Walton, a regular entertainer on Thursday nights at the Inn.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Now more than ever, guns are at the forefront of political debate in the U.S. The right to bear arms is a hot button subject, and one that many find difficult to discuss openly. Spring Street Gallery, located at 110 and 112 Spring Street, seeks to breach that communication barrier with their new exhibit, “The Gun Show.”
“The Gun Show,” which opened on April 9 and is on display until May 28, includes artwork, historical artifacts, discussions and film screenings all centered on firearms. Maureen Sager, the Executive Director at Spring Street Gallery, came up with the idea for the show after seeing how current events are spurring people to proclaim and defend their gun ideologies.
“Maureen noticed that people talk about guns a lot on social media, but no one ever has a real conversation about them,” said Benj Gleeksman, one of the exhibit’s organizers. “She felt that having a show like this would be a great catalyst for people to have actual conversations about guns, instead of just posting about it on the internet.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Regional YMCA (SRY) has a goal: to make sure that everyone who wants to go to the Y is able to. Through their Annual Scholarship Campaign program, SRY has provided countless memberships over the years to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it. This year, the Scholarship Campaign is called Mission 443, and represents the goal of the 443 memberships SRYMCA hopes to provide in 2016.
Mark Ventra has been going to the YMCA Saratoga Springs Branch for over five years, sometimes going five days a week. As a traveling salesman, the Y staff was sometimes the only people he would see on a regular basis besides his family, and he loved how welcoming and caring they all were. However, if it wasn’t for the Y’s Scholarship Campaign last year, Ventra would have had to stop going.
“A year ago, I was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. At the same time, my job was going through financial difficulties and couldn’t afford to pay me any longer, so I was let go,” explained Ventra.
When Ventra approached John Higgins, Director of the Saratoga Springs Branch, and explained to him how he wasn’t going to be able to afford to renew his membership, Higgins simply told him, “We’ll take care of it.”
“I never thought I’d need a scholarship,” said Ventra. “I always thought the scholarships were for people that weren’t as well off as I had been. I used to never give it a second thought about volunteering or giving $100 to the scholarship fund, and now, I couldn’t even pay for my own membership. I wasn’t looking for a handout, but they helped me anyway, no questions asked.”
Presidential Candidates Hold Rallies throughout Region
SARATOGA SPRINGS – For one day, Monday, April 11, the dateline of this story could be CENTER OF THE POLITICAL UNIVERSE. This would accurately describe the activity that took place throughout the Capital Region. On that day, political junkies enjoyed a feast – a triple crown, if you will. On that day:
- Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump held a rally at Albany’s Times Union Center that drew an estimated 17,000 people,
- Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders held a capacity-bursting rally at Albany’s Washington Avenue Armory,
- And Republican candidate John Kasich, after making appearances in Albany and Troy, wound up his busy campaign day with a stop locally for a Town Hall style meeting before an SRO audience at the Saratoga Springs City Center.
No Murder Charge in NYS for Dealing Death
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Another young victim was lost last week to the war on drugs, a 23-year-old local woman who died of a drug overdose right here in Saratoga Springs. For her, and many families like hers, the drug war is more of a street fight, one that lurks in every home medicine cabinet, haunts every playground, and boldly grins through every neighborhood here and across America.
Mayor/Hospital Communication Submitted to Board of Ethics
Introduction: This is a story about transparency in government, overlaid on a timeline.