Thomas Dimopoulos

Thomas Dimopoulos

City Beat and Arts & Entertainment Editor
Contact Thomas

Friday, 07 December 2018 14:51

Six-Story Condo Targets Putnam Street

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A plan to develop a new six-story, 40-unit condominium complex is moving through the city’s Land Use boards this month.

The “Five-Three,” located at 53 Putnam St., would be constructed opposite the Saratoga Springs Public Library and feature one-bedroom and two-bedroom units at a price range of $400,00 to $800,000, said Laura Manning, of First Fairfield Associates. 

First Fairfield Associates created Putnam Resources LLC - the applicant for the Putnam Street project - and first began negotiating with owners 53 Putnam St. Inc. in 2013 to purchase and redevelop the property. The initial intent was to develop a performance venue with a food service component. However, the site was revealed to be contaminated from its earlier use as a dry cleaning facility as well as sustaining oil contamination from an offsite source, according to a project narrative provided to the city by AND Architecture - a design practice located in Saratoga Springs.  Due to the contamination, it was determined the existing structure could not be salvaged for re-use, and a revised program submitted by Putnam Resources calls for the six-story mixed-use structure. 

The 40 condominiums would occupy space between the second and sixth floors, inclusively. The ground-level floor would feature a shared kitchen to be used as an incubator for restaurant start-ups, and a rooftop green space would feature a lounge area for residents. Parking would be provided for residents through an agreement with a nearby lot, Manning said.

According to sketch plans filed with the city for review, the roof deck would start at 69 feet above the sidewalk and be fitted with a pergola (the top of which would rise to 78-feet above the sidewalk), and a stair tower – which would top-off at 84 feet, above ground-level.

The purchase and subsequent development of the site by Putnam Resources would follow demolition of the existing building on the site and environmental remediation via the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program –an alternative to greenfield development and intended to remove some of the barriers to, and provide tax incentives for, the redevelopment of urban brownfields.

The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation - advocates for the preservation of Saratoga Springs’ architectural, cultural, and landscaped heritage - issued a statement to say that while it does not object to the demolition of the existing structure and supports a new use for the site, the Foundation has “significant concerns” about the project as it is currently proposed, specifically citing the proposed project height, scale, and mass, as well as claims that it is “not compatible with the neighboring structures and the character of the historic setting.”

The Five-Three project was placed on the respective agendas of both the Design Review Commission and the Planning Board this week regarding a sketch plan review for the mixed-use building proposal. 

Following all necessary approvals, the project would take about 14 months to develop at an estimated cost of as much as $30 million, Manning said.

In 2004, a six-level robotic parking garage and banquet facility to feature 189 vehicle spaces and street-level retail was targeted for the location. The proposal was created by Saratoga Parking and Banquet Inc., a group formed by Hank Kuczynski - who served as the deputy to former Mayor Kenneth Klotz, and John Franck, who is today the city's Finance Commissioner.

Friday, 07 December 2018 14:48

Saratoga Springs City News

City Fire Chief Williams Announces Retirement

The city announced the retirement of Fire Department Chief Robert Williams, effective Feb. 28, 2019. Williams, a third-generation Saratoga Springs firefighter, was hired by the City of Saratoga Springs Fire Department on June 23, 1984 and has worked his way through the ranks and has served as Fire Chief since 2009.

“The City is going to miss the Chief tremendously,” Public Safety Commissioner Peter Martin said in a statement. “Bob has a tremendous ability to focus on details and develop broad ranging plans for improved fire and health safety in our city. Every Public Safety Commissioner who has served since Chief Williams joined the force has benefited from his knowledge and work ethic.”

“I have been honored to serve as member and most recently the Fire Chief for the Saratoga Springs Fire Department. It was my dream, as a child, to follow in the footsteps of my father, grandfather, and join the Saratoga Springs Fire Department,” Williams said.

Martin will conduct interviews of eligible candidates for the position of Fire Chief and announce the appointment at a future council meeting. The newly appointed Fire Chief will work alongside Chief Williams as the department transitions to a new leader until Williams’ departure. 

 

PILOT Plan for Proposed Affordable Housing Project on South Federal Street

The City Council proposed a resolution authorizing exemption and payment-in-lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement for the “Promenade” Saratoga Springs Affordable Housing Project, proposed for development on South Federal Street. The Saratoga Springs Housing Authority is the legal and record owner of the property. 

The proposed development calls for the construction of 63 affordable multi-family rental units - up to 18 units for citizens having household incomes less than or equal to 40 percent of AMI, up to 27 units for citizens having household incomes less than or equal to 60 percent of AMI, and up to 18 units for citizens having household incomes less than or equal to 80 percent of AMI.

AMI – or Area Median Income for Saratoga County is approximately $86,400. Forty percent of AMI or less for a family of four equates to having a household income of up to about $34,500; Up to about $51,800 for 60 percent or less AMI, and up to about $69,100 for 80 pe4rcent or less AMI.   

 

City Leaf Pick-Up Ongoing

In response to some residents’ concerns regarding leaf pick-ups in the city, DPW Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco said crews have already been through the city three or four times and do continue making the pick-ups.

Scirocco said residents with leaves should “containerize them” –  that is, place the leaves in a bag or put them in a container so that they’re not in the gutter, and that resident are free to call the DPW.  “We came through three or four times already and now as we get through the rest of the city, just call and we’ll put you on the list,” Scirocco said.

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The cost to reconstruct and restore City Hall is anticipated to carry an approximate $11.2 million price tag, city officials said this week. Insurance proceeds are expected to cover roughly half of the total project cost.

City Hall was rendered unusable following a mid-August lightning strike after a drainage pipe on the roof was struck and melted, causing heavy rains to pour into the building which has served as the center of Saratoga Springs’ government since 1871.

The plans call for a new public elevator, which is not covered by insurance, to be installed in the building - with the existing elevator designated for employee use – the relocation and re-design of city department offices, and an audio/visual booth, concession area and entryway lobby installed in an upgraded Music Hall on the building’s top floor. Costs associated with the Music Hall and new lobby are estimated at $1 million.

Additional changes include state-mandated renovations of city courts and a new energy compliant heating and cooling system for all of City Hall. Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan said there are rebates available from National Grid to help offset the utility costs on the back-end, and that the improvements will help reduce utility costs in the future.

MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) systems are expected to account for about $1.4 million of the overall costs, court-related development costs account for just over $1 million, and cost of the new four-stop elevator set at about $200,000.    

The work is slated to take place in two phases, explained DPW Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco. The job of asbestos abatement, which will take four to six weeks to complete, will be put to bid in early December and awarded prior to the end of the calendar year, Scirocco said. The construction renovation phase of the job is anticipated to be put to bid in March, with construction to commence in the spring. The council is hopeful City Hall will be set to re-open by late 2019.     

Since the building’s closure, city employees have mainly been relocated to the southside city recreation facility on Vanderbilt Avenue. Saratoga Springs City Court sessions have been moved to 65 South Broadway, in the Lincoln bath building house, and public city meetings are currently staged at the Saratoga Springs City Center on Broadway.

The building’s ground floor will largely be occupied by the public safety department; The first floor will be comprised of the Mayor’s office, City Clerks office, Finance and Accounts departments and City Council room – all of which have traditionally been located on the first floor, as well as the addition of the DPW offices.  Floor two will showcase the city court, as well as house offices of the city attorneys, the human resources department and the public safety commissioner and deputy commissioner. The top floor will feature the Music Hall and lobby, as well as several building department and Land Use offices. The existing Saratoga Supreme Court Law Library will be relocated elsewhere. 

Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan, who this week brought to the council the proposed $47.1 million general operating budget for 2019, said the impact of the lightning strike was most evidently felt in the City's Capital Budget – with $5.3 million of the 2019 Capital Budget attributable to the reconstruction and restoration of City Hall. “The remaining $5.9 million for the reconstruction of City Hall will come from capital already bonded, city reserves, and insurance proceeds,” Madigan said. “The lightning strike at City Hall on August 17 resulted in a 2019 City Budget process unlike any I've experienced before.”

The proposed general operating budget for 2019 shows an increase of roughly 2.1 percent, or $960,000, over the 2018 budget. Contractual wages and new hires account for the bulk of the year-over-year change, with personnel up 4.4 percent in total in 2019, said Madigan, adding that the city is in excellent financial health.

GREENFIELD – Photographs and figurines line the shelves of the room accented by a wide assortment of blazers and blouses, masks and uniforms, framed posters, furniture and one particularly wicked looking doll that sits beneath a wall hanging that reads: Chinga.

The collection of items, many of them iconic one-of-a-kind, are related specifically to “The X-Files” television series. It is Jim Thornton’s passion-project.

“The X-Files,” featuring Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully, and David Duchovny as Special Agent Fox Mulder, debuted in September 1993. Thornton has been a fan since the first episode was broadcast.

“I loved the show and thought: wow, I’d like to own something from it, but back in ’93, ’94, there wasn’t a lot of stuff out there,” Thornton says.  A mid-90’s visit to a store called That’s Entertainment at Crossgates Mall brought him in contact with X-Files trading cards. Thus began his collecting. “That’s when I first thought: I own a piece of the show,” he says.  

Thornton has collected items related to the show ever since. “I have commercial stuff, I have promotional stuff, I have things given out to crew members as gifts, screen-used props, wardrobe,” he says. “It’s hard to pick my favorite, but one of them would probably have to be from the (1998) episode ‘Chinga.’ It was (co-)written by Stephen King and there’s a doll in it that the lead actress throws in the microwave and it burns it all up. I have that doll.”  

Thornton grew up a fan of the 1970’s show “Kolchak: The Night Stalker,” watching the show with his brother. “That got my hooked on the horror genre and when the X-Files came out, that brought me right back to the Kolchak days, it sucked me right in,” says Thornton, who is a professional painter by day. His kids, he says, for the most part think the collection is “pretty cool.” His wife, Kelly Anthony, is an office administrator.

“I do most of the collecting. If my wife sees stuff, she lets me know. She supports me a lot,” Thornotn says.

“The whole point is to preserve this part of American television history as much as possible,” says Kelly Anthony. “It’s a part of our life. When we find a piece, it’s like: it’s found its forever home. It’s not going anywhere.”

Among the one-of-a-kind items are props used on the show, obtained through the couple’s networking skills. “We’ve acquired some pieces from one of the prop-masters who had worked on the show when it was still up in Vancouver.”

The first five years of the show’s run, which was filmed in Vancouver, are among the toughest pieces to find.  

“The Vancouver years are the absolute hardest stuff to get.  Some of the wardrobe from the first five years is on a dream list. It’s out there, somewhere. If anyone’s got any contacts, or any stuff: let us know.” 

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Josey Kakaty joined a “caravan of moms” earlier this month on a trip to the Texas-Mexico border where she hoped to gain first-person insight of activities occurring at one of this country’s southern boundaries.

 “The whole purpose of this event was to witness and interview people who have been affected by undocumented or illegal immigrants crossing the border,” says Kakaty, a mother of three who lives in Saratoga. She was joined by her 15-year-old son on the journey. The caravan migrants, who are largely from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, are fleeing their native lands to escape violence and political upheaval.

“If you listen to just what the media says, I think the whole truth is not presented. We need to have some more awareness. I wanted to see with my own eyes.”

One of the lead sponsoring groups for the trip was Moms for America, a non-profit educational corporation which explains that its purpose is to teach families how to nurture a love and understanding of liberty within their own homes.  The purpose of the trip to the border, said MFA President Kimberly Fletcher: “to meet with families who experience the impact of illegal crossings first-hand, in an effort to share their stories with the American people.”

“It was a full day of travel and we spent two days of going to different locations,” Kakaty says. “We went to an elementary school that was close to the border – Rio Grande Valley, Texas – where the entire perimeter of the school was surrounded by fencing. We also walked to the border and got close to the Rio Grande River just to see what kind of barriers we do have set up.

“There was barbed wire fencing and somewhat of a wall. You keep hearing about this wall – or lack thereof – so it was interesting to witness what’s there. It looks like rusted steel, maybe about 15 feet tall, but this was only 100 feet of it, and then the river just had some barbed wire fencing, no taller than five or six feet,” she says.     

“This was an organized group and I think they asked me to go along because I was on a Fox News panel for Security Moms, so I already had a public voice in this matter,” Kakaty says. The Security Moms are featured on segments of the broadcast network that showcases “a panel of moms” discussing timely issues with a host. 

“The ‘caravan’ is what prompted it and I was there to learn and get my own perspective,” Kakaty says.

The “Caravan”

Across the U.S. border, more than 2,000 people arrived in Tijuana this week, with another 7,000 not far behind, according to Mexican authorities. And that doesn’t include the roughly 3,000 migrants already in Tijuana seeking legal entry into the United States, according to The Washington Post.

“I don’t know what the solution is, but I believe we do need a wall. We have nothing to protect us right now. We live in a bubble in Saratoga, we’re not affected on a daily basis, but it is in our backyard,” Kakaty says. “This is America and we should all be safe. We welcome immigrants, clearly, this is a land of immigrants, but we have a lot of new social issues we have to address and enforcing our security will help with that. It’s a security matter, protecting our national security, that’s the main concern.”

President Donald Trump recently ordered 5,200 active-duty troops to join about 2,100 National Guard forces sent earlier this year to bolster the border, according to Military Times.com, an independent news source which focuses on news and information for service members and their families. The active-duty troops are limited in what function they may perform, however, under federal law, which restricts military engagement in law enforcement on American soil.

The president has also been accused by some of ramping-up the rhetoric strictly for political purposes. For three weeks leading up to Election Day, President Trump posted nearly four dozen tweets mentioning the U.S. border – a number of times specifically referencing the approach of the migrant "caravan" – a practice mostly non-existent since the election. Trump did resume posting about the matter briefly this past week, tweeting that “illegal Immigrants” asking for U.S. asylum will be detained or turned away and that “the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it…Go Home!” 

The timing corresponds with a Trump-issued proclamation - “Addressing Mass Migration Through the Southern Border of the United States” which institutes new rules for those seeking asylum by insisting “aliens” must test their eligibility for admission into the country at an official entry port, rather than presenting themselves to Border Patrol after crossing into the country illegally. The American Civil Liberties Union has since filed a lawsuit to challenge the president’s new asylum ban, claiming it violates federal law, which recognizes the right of people to seek asylum regardless of where and how they entered the country.

After more than a month on the move, the caravan of migrants from Central America has come to a halt just a few yards from the border wall that divides Mexico and the United States, the New York Times reported this week. It could take several months for the claims of migrants seeking asylum to be heard at ports of entry. 

Kakaty says she visited with mothers whose children were killed by people who entered the U.S. illegally and shares the natural considerations of any mom, regardless of where they live.

“There’s a concern for moms and children on both sides of the border. The people who are coming, they are in jeopardy too, for so many things, including human trafficking,” Kakaty says.

Before even reaching the U.S. border, migrants making an often long and perilous journey suffer assaults, robberies, and abductions – the latter as many as 20,000 each year - by criminal gangs, as well as becoming victims of extortion by police and immigration officials in Mexico, says Salil Shetty, who served as Secretary General for the human rights organization, Amnesty International, from 2010 to 2018. “Health professionals report that as many as six in 10 migrant women and girls are raped on the journey,” writes Shetty, “and activists repeatedly raise concerns that abducted women and girls are vulnerable to trafficking.”

“One thing we saw at the border, it was just horrific; they call it ‘the rape tree,’” Kakaty says. “Some of the stories were just appalling.”

The Moms group visited a local dentist who told them she caters to many clients living in the U.S. without legal permission but who nonetheless are able to obtain medical coverage for dental work, and with local women who say they sleep with a shotgun under their bed, because, they say, people come into their homes at night.

The group also visited a bridge, which has a walkway above ground, where people with their documents in order are legally checked in and allowed to cross the border. Below the bridge, strands of barbed wire cling to posts spiked into the earth. It is here where the group witnessed a border patrol apprehension of a man and woman who tried to mingle in with the visiting group. “We had about 35 people there. One of the women let the border patrol know (about the people attempting to mingle in). They went to hide in the bushes and were trying to call someone, and they were apprehended.

“What is the impact on US citizens who live close to the border? They say the border is supposed to be the safest place, but it’s not what we understand by talking to people there,” Kakaty says.

“The bottom line is: illegal immigration is illegal. I’m a proud immigrant and my family emigrated here (from Sicily) and we came the right way. We used the right process. Why is there all of a sudden a discussion of having people come here not legally?” she says.

“We know these things happen; we just need to create an awareness, because it’s just not working the way it is. I’m glad that I went. I think it’s time we are informed and learn on our own. We need to educate ourselves to know what’s really going on.” 

Friday, 09 November 2018 19:44

Saratoga Election 2018

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Similar to the higher-than-normal turnout of voters across the country Tuesday, the tallied number of locals casting ballots in Saratoga County on Election Day is expected to register among some of the highest in recent local midterm history. 

County-wide, more than 91,000 votes were counted regarding the 2018 vote - nearly 60 percent of active county voters, and dwarfing previous mid-term election tallies. Those elections - held in 2014, 2010 and 2006 – typically have returned 70,000 to 84,000 voters.

Those 2018 figures have yet to include absentee or affidavit ballots. When the Board of Elections officially certifies the vote, the tally could reach triple figures, which is typically in range with Presidential Election years.

The county Board of Elections is currently organizing data related specifically to city voters on Election Day 2018, but those figures are not yet available for comparison to previous years.

 

PROPOSAL TO CHANGE CITY CHARTER DEFEATED

In Saratoga Springs, a proposal to amend the City Charter was soundly defeated, with 6,537 votes against the change and 3,610 in favor. A second ballot question to further amend the Charter by providing two additional City Council members for decision-making purposes met a similar fate. 

“I respect the outcome and the will of the people and the votes cast,” said city Attorney Vincent DeLeonardis, chairman of the Charter Review Commission.

A 2017 City Charter referendum which proposed a greater change – to change the city’s form of government - was narrowly defeated last November, by a 4,458 - 4,448 vote. That Charter Commission was headed by city residents and conducted 16 months of study. This time around, the commission board was run by City Council members and city staff as selected by the mayor, and proposed more modest changes.

“The very subject of Charter is contentious in this city. It has a very long-rooted and deep history and I respect that,” DeLeonardis said Tuesday night.  “I respect that the debate over our form of government is going to continue, but I think there was some confusion over this round as to what was on the ballot. This year, the ‘form’ of our government was not on the ballot. It was just an effort to update and amend the current form of government we have and the form of government the voters decided to keep, just last year.”

DeLeonardis said he was pleased with the group’s effort in regard to public awareness and education, but that those efforts of providing information “had to compete with misinformation and disinformation.”  The status of any future study and public vote regarding the City Charter, DeLeonardis said, “is up to the people and up to the elected officials.”

    

DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN SEATS MAINTAIN STATUS QUO

In the 20th Congressional District – which includes parts of Saratoga Springs as well as Charlton, Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Malta, Mechanicville, Stillwater and Ballston, Democrat incumbent Paul Tonko bested GOP challenger Joe Vitollo by a near 2-to-1 margin.

 “I am very thankful and humbled for the support of the voters,” Tonko told supports at the Inn at Saratoga, where Democrats gathered on Election Night. “Whether they voted for me or not, whether they voted or not, I’m there and I want to bring us together in the 20th Congressional District to address the issues of our times.”

With Democrats set to regain control of the House in January, Tonko offered a glimpse of the party’s priorities moving forward.  

“We have pledged as a Democratic Caucus in the House, If chosen to lead the House of Representatives, we need most certainly to not repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, but to strengthen it, and to strengthen it in a way that absolutely includes protecting the pre-existing clause,” he said.    

In the 21st Congressional District – which includes parts of Saratoga, Galway, Greenfield, Milton, Moreau, Northumberland, Providence, Wilton, and some parts of Stillwater and Ballston – Republican incumbent Elise Stefanik defeated Democrat challenger Tedra Cobb by a 55.9 percent to 41.2 percent margin.

In the 43rd Senate District – which includes parts of Saratoga Springs as well as Greenfield, Halfmoon, Mechanicville, Moreau, Northumberland, Saratoga, Stillwater, and Wilton – Daphne Jordan – a prodigy of Kathy Marchione, garnered 63,540 votes to defeat Democrat Aaron Gladd – who secured 53,902 votes. The seat is currently occupied by Kathy Marchione, who received the GOP nod in 2012 after fellow Republican Sen. Roy McDonald voted to back gay marriage. 

At the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs where Republicans gathered on Election Night, Jordan thanked Marchione - “my friend and mentor” - as well as fellow Republicans Chris Gibson and Joe Bruno.

“I’m a mom, a former small business person and a community leader,” Jordan told supporters. “I’m a real fighter for upstate.”

In the 49th Senate District – which includes Ballston, Charlton, Clifton Park, Galway, Malta, Milton, Providence and parts of Saratoga Springs, Republican incumbent Jim Tedisco secured more than 58 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat challenger Michelle Ostrelich. 

Republican Mary Beth Walsh, running unopposed, secured the 112th Assembly District. The district includes Ballston, Charlton, Clifton Park, Galway, Greenfield, Halfmoon, Milton and Providence.  And Democrat incumbent Carrie Woerner retained her seat in the 113th Assembly District, defeating Republican challenger Morgan Zegers by a 28,199 – 21,737 vote tally.

“It truly takes a village to win a campaign and you are my village,” Woerner told supporters of the district, which includes Malta, Mechanicville, Moreau, Northumberland, Saratoga Springs, Saratoga, Stillwater and Wilton.

“I am so looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Assembly and my new colleagues in the State Senate…to fight for women’s reproductive health, to ensure quality health care, to once and for all fix the funding formula so our rural schools, our schools that have high rates of poverty - get the kind of funding they need,” Woerner said. “And to make sure that we have quality farms that are viable and continue to produce good, locally-produced nutritious food for all of us to eat.”    

Republicans Karen A. Heggen and Andrew B. Jarosh, retained their seats as County District Attorney, and county Treasurer, respectively, after running unopposed.

 

STATE

Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo was re-elected to a third term by statewide voters – although Saratoga County voters rejected Cuomo, instead choosing Republican Marc Molinaro with 54.5 percent of the vote to Cuomo’s 37.6 percent     

Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand was re-elected to the U.S. Senate, defeating Republican challenger Chele Farley by a 2-to-1 margin statewide, although in Saratoga County, that margin of victory was significantly closer, with Gillibrand securing 49,000 votes to Farley’s 40,900.  

Democrat incumbents state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul also won re-election; Democrat Letitia James was elected as the attorney general.  

According to the New York State Board of Elections, as of Nov. 1, Saratoga County counts 153,325 active registered voters. The breakdown: 39.2 percent are registered as Republicans, 27.5 are registered as Democrats, 25.1 percent registered voters opted for no specific party affiliation, and the remaining approximate 8 percent are comprised of members who designated their affiliation with the Independence, Conservative, Green, Working Families, or other party.    

In the city of Saratoga Springs specifically, the 2016 Presidential Election 14,239 city votes cast their ballot.

Friday, 02 November 2018 19:59

Neighbors: Jeff Goodell

Who: Jeff Goodell, Award-Winning Author, Energy and Environment Expert and Contributing Editor to Rolling Stone Magazine

Q. How long have you been in Saratoga Springs?
A. Sixteen years.

Q. How has the city changed during that time?
A. I like the progress in Saratoga and the changes that I’ve seen here. It’s become more prosperous, but it feels healthy and alive. I love the mix of nature and culture: I can go skiing at Gore, hiking in the Adirondacks and get on a train and go to Manhattan. I do wish there was more live music, besides SPAC.

Q. You grew up in California. How have you adapted to the change of seasons in the Northeast?
A. I always think of myself as a westerner, so I can’t figure out how I’ve spent the last 30 years on the east coast – but for work, at Rolling Stone, it’s the place to be. I do miss the west, but I travel so much so I get there a lot. And I like cold weather, too. I’m a freaky California guy. It still feels exotic to me: Oh, look, there’s snow!

Q. You spent some time with President Barack Obama in 2015 for a Rolling Stone interview piece. What can you say about the former president that people may not know?
A. That time with Obama seems very surreal now, even though it was only a couple of years ago. I spent three days with him in Alaska and we spent a lot of time together. The thing about Obama that struck me was his essential humanness. He was so unpretentious in how he carried his power, the way he treated me and the way he treated people around him. There was no sense of: I’m the President and you’re not and so what I have to say is more important than what you have to say. That may sound like a such a simple thing and a cliché, but it was very powerful and true.
I spent a couple of hours talking with him about climate change and it was just amazing the degree to which he was engaged in the conversation – not checking his watch, not looking for aids to help him. He’s a very intellectually serious person.

Q. What are you working on now?
A. I literally just finished a story about the new EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for Rolling Stone, it’ll be out in a couple of weeks. And I am planning a trip to Antarctica in January, where I’ll be for two months with British Antarctic Survey scientists who are looking at the melting ice sheets there.

1 12 restaurant week

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A week-long celebration of Saratoga culinary delights will take place Nov. 5-11 during the 14th Annual Restaurant Week, offering a glimpse into the unique dining options within Saratoga County.

Nearly 50 participating restaurants will participate in the event - presented by Discover Saratoga and Spa City Brew Bus – which serves up a variety of prix fixe menu options ranging from $20 and $30 three-course dinners to $10 lunch specials, plus tax & tip. 

As opposed to last year, when the event took place Dec. 1-7, this season’s staging will be held prior to the Thanksgiving holiday and begins Monday, Nov. 5.  

For more information about Saratoga Restaurant Week, go to: www.discoversaratoga.org/restaurantweek, or call 518-584-1531.

THE FOLLOWING RESTAURANTS WILL
BE PARTICIPATING IN THE EVENT:

 

$10 Lunches
BurgerFi - 460 Broadway
Diamond Club Grill - 86 Congress Street
Esperanto - 4 Caroline Street
Falafel Den - 10 Phila Street
Gaffney's Restaurant - 16 Caroline Street
Local Pub & Teahouse - 142 Grand Avenue
PJ's Bar-B-QSA - 1 Kaydeross Avenue West
Saratoga Stadium - 389 Broadway
Sweet Mimi's Café - 47 Phila Street
Thirsty Owl Bistro - 184 South Broadway

$20 Dinner
2 West Bar And Grille - 2 West Avenue
Boca Bistro - 384 Broadway
BWP Your Local Bar & Grille - 74 Weibel Avenue
Cantina - 430 Broadway
Chianti Il Ristorante - The Lofts @ 18 Division Street
Diamond Club Grill - 86 Congress Street
Dizzy Chicken Wood Fired Rotisserie - 102 Congress Street
Forno Bistro - 541 Broadway
Gaffney's Restaurant - 16 Caroline Street
Jacob & Anthony's American Grille - 38 High Rock
Local Pub & Teahouse - 142 Grand Avenue
Longfellows Restaurant - 500 Union Avenue
Olde Bryan Inn - 123 Maple Avenue
PJ's Bar-B-QSA - 1 Kaydeross Avenue West
Ravenous - 21 Phila Street
Saratoga Stadium - 389 Broadway
Scallions Restaurant - 44 Lake Avenue
The Brook Tavern - 139 Union Avenue 

$30 Dinner
Braeburn Tavern - 390 Broadway
Chez Pierre - 979 Rt. 9 (Saratoga Road), Gansevoort
Hamlet And Ghost - 24 Caroline Street, Suite 1
Hattie's Restaurant - 45 Phila Street
Jacob & Anthony's American Grille - 38 High Rock
Lake Ridge Restaurant - 35 Burlington Avenue, Round Lake
Morton's The Steakhouse Saratoga Casino Hotel - 342 Jefferson Street
Mouzon House - 1 York Street
Prime at Saratoga National Golf Club - 458 Union Avenue
R & R Kitchen + Bar - 43 Phila Street
Salt & Char - 353 Broadway
Sperry's – 30-1/2 Caroline Street
The Blue Hen - 365 Broadway
Thirsty Owl Bistro - 184 South Broadway
Wheatfields Bistro & Wine Bar - 54 Crossing Blvd., Clifton Park
Wheatfields Restaurant & Bar - 440 Broadway
Wishing Well Restaurant - 745 Route 9, Gansevoort

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The Friends of the New York State Military Museum will host its annual Veteran of the Year Ceremony at noon on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the museum, on Lake Avenue.

The 2018 Awardee is LTC (Ret) Nicholas M. Laiacona, who served as a Platoon Leader and Company Commander in the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF), 9th Infantry Division, Mekong Delta, Republic of Vietnam.

Laiacona entered the Army in 1966, graduated from Infantry Officers Candidate School in 1967 and upon returning to the US after Vietnam transferred to the Ordnance Corps. He served in a number of Ordnance assignments in the US, Germany and Korea. In 1985 he was selected as one of the first certified US Army Material Acquisition Managers and became one of the first officers in the Army Acquisition Corps. He retired in 1991.

The event is free and open to the public. U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik is anticipated to make the award presentation.

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The legacy of Alexander “Sam” Aldrich will be honored on Saturday with the dedication of a custom designed bench along the Geyser Creek Trail at Saratoga Spa State Park. It is a location that Aldrich enjoyed visiting with his wife, Phyllis.

Sam Aldrich was first cousins with Nelson Rockefeller and served as the then-governor’s executive assistant during the 1960s. 

Aldrich was dispatched to Washington, D.C. in 1963 – where he was up on the dais during Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and was sent to Alabama two years later to join King on a historic 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery.

The speech - “so moving and so peaceful, extraordinary," Aldrich told this reporter, during a visit to his Saratoga home in January 2012. "I think (King) knew that he was a symbol, that he was at risk and that he would probably die on this mission."

The bench dedication ceremony in honor of Aldrich will take place at noon Saturday, Oct. 27 at Creekside Classroom, Saratoga Spa State Park – located on the Geyser Loop Road in the south end of the Park. Aldrich died in 2017.

Page 1 of 30

Blotter

  • COURT Timothy A. Martin, 40, of Ballston Spa, was sentenced Dec. 6 to 2 to 4 years in state prison, after pleading to felony burglary.  John R. Bellon, 25, of Porter Corners, pleaded Dec. 6 to criminal possession, and criminal sale of a controlled substance, in Malta. Sentencing scheduled Jan. 30.  Scott F. Luciano, 32, of Galway, and Shane A. Nadolny, 41, of Ballston Spa, each pleaded Dec. 5 to robbery in the first-degree, admitting that they forcibly stole money from a man in Saratoga Springs on July 9, 2018. Sentencing is scheduled Jan. 30, 2019.  Isaiah M. Robinson, 23,…

Property Transactions

  • TOWN OF BALLSTON  7 Currie Court, $135,000. Anne Dunbar (by Exec) sold property to John Welch. 650 Goode St., $280,000. Jean Walsh (as Trustee) sold property to Andrew Travaly and Carla Welch. 9 America Way, $416,294. Briarwood Brooks Development LLC sold property to Michael and Deborah Caschera.  80 McLean St., $307,500. Eric and Danica Andersen sold property to Thad and Andrea Smith. 151 Lake Hill Rd., $340,000. David and Tara DeLuke sold property to Michael Hazard. 335 Schauber Rd., $712,000. Frank and Denise Volpe sold property to Peter and Tammy Kalker. MALTA 30 Cooper Ridge Dr., $487,002. Abele Builders  sold…
  • NYPA
  • Saratoga County Chamber
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau
  • Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association