Displaying items by tag: black horses

Friday, 10 January 2014 10:46

Code Blue Diary

Note: Andrea Barry has been Saratoga TODAY’s intern for this past semester. She is currently a senior at Saratoga Springs High School. To complete her internship she was asked to choose an assignment based on current events and write about her experiences. She elected to become a volunteer at Saratoga Springs’ new Code Blue shelter, which is located on the campus of St. Peters Church and became active on December 24. She visited on what could be one of the coldest nights of the new year. SARATOGA SPRINGS - Going into Code Blue on Friday, January 3, I wasn’t sure of what to expect. I knew it would be eye opening and awakening to say the least. But what I didn’t realize was the power that strangers had to touch me in such a way. My experience there was undoubtedly life changing. In Saratoga Springs, the Code Blue facility at St. Peters Church becomes active when the temperature outside drops below 10 degrees (with wind chill factored in) or a foot of snow falls. On this night the forecast was severe: potentially falling to 20 degrees below zero or even lower. In circumstances so extreme, this facility could mean the difference between life and death for several in our community. Upon arriving, my first task was to help organize the donations table. Clients then would come and pick out the items they needed most. From something as simple as of pair of socks, or every day as jeans, the appreciation was tremendous. Later, I helped serve food. I don’t think there was a single person who didn’t say thank you. When I wasn’t involved with a task, I was speaking with the clients. I was touched by our differences, but even more was amazed about our similarities. Each person there had a story, a past and a purpose. Sadly, something went awry for them along the way. I got to know some wonderful, giving volunteers as well. Listening to what most endure on a daily basis was incredible to me. It was then that I realized just how fortunate I was. Although only for a night, the facility takes people off of the streets and provides them with a hot meal and a bed to sleep in. These simple things are so commonly taken for granted yet are capable of meaning the world to some. Thanks to Code Blue, I was able to engage in a life altering experience and encounter some of the strongest individuals I have ever met. If you wish to volunteer or donate, visit codebluesaratoga.org.
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Friday, 06 December 2013 10:41

The Big Picture - Ballston Avenue Improvement

SARATOGA SPRINGS – On Tuesday, December 3 the Saratoga Springs City Council approved plans and transferred funds to effectuate the beginning of an important project to widen, beautify and generally improve Ballston Avenue (Route 50) from the area around the Price Chopper Plaza to the intersection of Broadway. The $2.29 million dollar project was primarily funded from State and Federal sources, with Saratoga Springs needing to pledge about $120,000 of that total. In addition to high daily vehicular, pedestrian and other traffic, this segment of Route 50 is currently among the most dangerous, with 42 accidents recorded in a 42 month period in a traffic study from 2008 to 2011. Among the most notable features of the improvement project are medians, left-turn lanes and a reconfigured (and possibly relocated) bus stop at Price Chopper Plaza for pedestrian safety. The intersections of Perry Street and the south side of Union Street with Ballston Avenue will have access closed, which, with a traffic light at Lincoln and Ballston Avenues, will help to improve traffic flow. The city is currently in the property and right-of-way procurement phase, after which the project will be bid in the Spring of 2014. If all goes well, construction will proceed in earnest around September, 2014 with a 6-9 month timetable, with completion in time for track season of 2015. Thanks to Tim Wales and Kate Maynard of the City of Saratoga Springs Planning Department for providing graphics and annotations.
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Friday, 06 December 2013 10:35

Pearl Harbor Remembered

MECHANICVILLE – Note: This is a transcript of a speech Eugene Corsale made at the Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Program at Mechanicville American Legion Post # 91. Its message remains as powerful today. December 7th at 7:55 a.m. A Sunday morning in 1941 – 59 years ago – in an unheard place at the time to many Americans – Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – 353 planes of the Japanese Imperial Navy struck, the US Navy Pacific Fleet ships anchored at the Pearl Harbor Base – without a warning or declaration of war – a sneak attack – a cowardly attack – a premeditated attack. And to this day – the attack is still known in world history as a day of infamy. Five hours later, the holocaust was over. 2,335 valiant American Servicemen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines made the supreme sacrifice and became our nation’s first causalities of war since the great war of 1918. Our Country was at war, the world was now at war. Our main Naval fighting force, the Pacific fleet battleship row, was decimated in the savage attack. Three battleships were sunk and 14 other naval combat ships were damaged and rendered useless in the air raid. The destruction was so devastating that the country’s west coast was now defenseless against a foreign invasion. To state the situation was grim would be an understatement. Ironically enough that day, while the Japanese military celebrated their surprise naval victory, Admiral Yamamato, their fleet commander and architect of the raid, remarked to his fellow officers, “Today I am afraid that we have awakened a sleeping giant.” How true his prediction was. From that day forward a United America - the arsenal of democracy - their fighting spirit, courage and perseverance, carried our country to victory. In that victory, American ships damaged in the Pearl Harbor sneak attack had been repaired and participated in naval battles leading to the eventual destruction of the Japanese Navy. In that victory, every Japanese aircraft carrier who participated in that dastardly Sunday morning attack was sunk by American combat action. Retribution was complete. –unconditional surrender of the enemy was the order of the day. On that day and to that final victory four years later, began the saga in American History of the heroic efforts of American servicemen who fought and were victorious in the preservation of ours and the world’s freedom and who later became known as the our nation’s “Greatest Generation.” We pray not only for all of our World War II servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our Country and freedom, we especially pray for those 1,100 Naval and Marine personnel forever entombed aboard the sunken battleship, USS Arizona, now a naval shrine at Pearl Harbor Hawaii.. On September 11, 2001, we suffered a second Pearl Harbor of sorts. Regretfully those entrusted with our nation’s security and well-being failed their fellow Americans. Again, we survived another infamous attack, and live to fight another day. This War on Terror continues to this day. We pray to God that a sustained mission of eternal vigilance will prevail against the cowardly, barbaric enemies we face today. Our very survival depends on it. God bless all of our dedicated military people, those who preserve and protect our way of life, and God bless the United States of America-- Our nation that we love.
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Friday, 15 November 2013 14:16

Wilton Wildlife Named 50 States for Good Winner

WILTON — The Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park was one of 15 charities in the nation this week to be named a winner of the fifth annual Tom’s of Maine 50 States for Good program. The organization will receive $10,000, which it will use to fund the start of its accessible trail project. During the public vote, volunteer and nonprofit nominators were showcased as part of an interactive voting hub that highlighted inspiring stories across the country. From a pool of more than 1,000 nominations, 51 finalists were chosen by a judging panel of leaders in the nonprofit community. With over 58,000 votes cast online, Wilton Wildlife was chosen as one of only 15 charities to receive a share of $150,000 in funding from the program. “The ingenuity of this year’s winners to help their neighbors and the environment is incredibly inspiring,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine. “These community projects are an important reminder that we can accomplish so much more when we work together. Community support, passionate volunteers and creative thinking can bring lasting goodness to our communities in a way that matters every day.” To date, the 50 States for Good community giving program has benefited 5.5 million people and dozens of communities. To learn more about this year’s winners, visit www.50StatesforGood.com.
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Friday, 15 November 2013 14:13

Every Vote Counts

BALLSTON SPA — On Wednesday, November 13 the Saratoga County Board of Elections began the laborious process of opening, validating and counting every absentee ballot for each office that voters went to the polls for on November 5. Due to interest and because it could actually effect the outcome, closely contested races were counted first. Chief among these was the Town of Malta’s supervisor race, where incumbent Paul J. Sausville trailed Cynthia C. Young by 12 votes. There were a total of 83 absentee ballots that could impact this race. At the end of the absentee ballot counting, Sausville still trailed, but Young’s lead had been cut to four votes. There are still 13 military ballots to be counted, but this will not happen until Monday, November 18. Also, 23 absentee ballots were disputed by a candidate’s representative. These will be held for three days while the election commissioners rule on a given ballot’s status. If the commissioners all agree that a ballot is valid, it will be opened. If they are split, a judge will rule on a ballot’s legitimacy. The candidates have the right to dispute any ballot in court as well.
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Friday, 15 November 2013 14:10

150th Racing Season Draws Surge of Tourism

SARATOGA SPRINGS —The City of Saratoga Springs and the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors this week announced record-breaking revenues from hotel room reservations during the 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course. Officials from the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors and the City of Saratoga Springs joined representatives from the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau and the Saratoga 150 Committee to formally release the numbers during a news conference at the Saratoga Springs City Center. Saratoga County netted $327,034 for its general fund from occupancy taxes levied on room reservations during the period from June 1 to August 31, 2013, an all-time record, and a 3.5 percent increase over the corresponding quarter from the previous year. Saratoga County receives one percent of revenue from all taxable room reservations which reached a record-high of $32,703,401 during the summer of the 150th anniversary celebration at Saratoga Race Course. The city of Saratoga Springs reported even higher gains with a net record windfall of $1,152,500 from room reservations within its boundaries, a 4.1 percent increase over last summer. Overall net revenue from room reservations within the city reached a record high of $23,049,996 between June 1 and August 31. “Saratoga Springs has a rich heritage as a tourist destination and resort town, especially in the summer months. The numbers announced today highlight the region’s stature as one of New York’s premiere travel locations,” City of Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson said. “The record-breaking revenues gained from the strong summer tourism season will only further elevate the city’s standing as we continue to draw visitors from across the nation to experience the Spa.” “These numbers unequivocally demonstrate that the lure of Saratoga Springs is stronger than ever, with record-breaking figures across the board in conjunction with a milestone anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course,” said Saratoga Springs Supervisor Matthew Veitch. “Our success is a reflection of the many signature attractions that bring tourists to our region: the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Casino and Raceway, the many fine museums and cultural attractions, and our vibrant downtown with its shops and restaurants. Primarily, however, today’s announcement validates the demand for thoroughbred racing in Saratoga Springs and is a testament to the strength and vitality of Saratoga Race Course and its current 40-day meet.” The city’s portion from occupancy taxes is divided among three entities: the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau nets $461,000; the Saratoga Springs City Center receives $461,000; and the city’s general fund garners $230,500. This year’s numbers have also nearly doubled from the start of the millennium. In 2001, Saratoga County netted $166,815 from hotel room reservations during the summer months or just a little more than half of the current revenue total of $327,034. Dating back to 2009, the last year when Saratoga ran a 36-day meet before increasing its length to 40 days, county revenue has increased by 32 percent while the city of Saratoga Springs has benefitted from a 27 percent increase. The record intake for the county and city stemmed from solid increases in both occupancy and room rates. Demand for hotel rooms in Saratoga County surged to 87.7 percent in August 2013, a 3.1 percent increase over the previous year, and to 81.7 percent in July 2013, a 3 percent increase over the previous July. Demand for rooms in the City of Saratoga Springs was similarly robust, with an 89.2 percent occupancy rate in August 2013, a 2.4 percent increase from August 2012, and an 82.9 percent occupancy rate in July 2013, a 2.7 percent increase from July 2012. Strong demand also helped spur higher pricing. Hoteliers were able to charge more during the 150thanniversary season, with nightly room rates in the city of Saratoga Springs averaging $252.46 in August 2013, a 7.3 percent increase over the previous August, and $191.34 in July 2013, a 5.5 percent increase over July 2012. Nightly room rates in Saratoga County averaged $219.73 in August 2013, a 6.6 percent increase over August 2012, and $170.97 in July 2013, a 4.9 percent increase over July 2012. “The success of the summer season as represented here today is a testimony not only to the popularity of Saratoga Race Course and the 150th anniversary celebration, but also shows that Saratoga Springs is a destination in its own right,” Saratoga Springs City Center President Mark Baker said. “The racing season, programming at Saratoga Performing Arts Center and our spectacular downtown scene create a truly desirable location for visitors and tourists.” The months of July and August coincided with The New York Racing Association’s annual summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course and marked the culmination of the year-long celebration honoring the 150th anniversary of the first organized thoroughbred race meeting in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in August 1863.
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SARATOGA SPRINGS —The League of Women Voters of Saratoga County will host a Public Forum, “ Democracy in America: A Post- ‘Citizen United’ Agenda for Reform “ to discuss the impact of US Supreme Court rulings allowing ever greater sums of election campaign contributions to elections. Bob Turner, Skidmore Government Department and Blair Horner, New York Public Interest Research Group, will each highlight their views from a national and state perspective, with potential reforms. This will be followed by an open discussion and a Question and Answer session with the audience. Further details may be found at www.lwvsaratoga.org. The Forum will be held at the Saratoga Springs Public Library, in the Dutcher Room, on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. and is open to the public
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Friday, 15 November 2013 12:48

Local Residents Packing Joy For Needy Children

SARATOGA SPRINGS — With holiday supplies already covering the store shelves, Saratoga Springs individuals, families, churches and groups are working to make Christmas a reality for needy kids around the world by filling shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, is ramping up as Saratoga Springs residents prepare to collect 800 gift-filled shoeboxes during National Collection Week from Nov. 18 to 25. At this local collection site in the Saratoga Springs area, anyone can drop off a gift-filled shoebox to send to a child overseas. Then using whatever means necessary – trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants – the shoebox gifts will be delivered to children worldwide. For many children, the shoebox gift will be the first gift they have ever received. Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 100 million shoebox gifts to suffering children in more than 100 countries since 1993. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9.8 million gift-filled shoeboxes in 2013. Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (518) 437-0690 or visit samaritanspurse.org. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoeboxes is Nov. 18-25. However, shoebox gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C. Participants can also build a box through an online tool offering a personalized and convenient way to send a gift to a child in one of the hardest-to-reach countries. SARATOGA SPRINGS COLLECTION SITE: New Life Fellowship 51 Old Gick Road Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Operating Hours: Mon. Nov. 18 - Fri. Nov. 22: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Sat. Nov. 23: 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Sun. Nov. 24: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Mon. Nov. 25: 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. NEARBY COLLECTION SITE: Calvary’s Family Life Center 100 Sherman Avenue Glens Falls, NY 12801 Operating Hours: Mon. Nov. 18 - Fri. Nov. 22: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sat. Nov. 23: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sun. Nov. 24: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Mon. Nov. 25: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. For more information regarding these collection locations, call 1-800-567-8580.
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SARATOGA SPRINGS — As part of National Memory Screening Day - an annual initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) — The Wesley Community in Saratoga Springs, NY, will offer free, confidential memory screenings on Tuesday, November 19. Qualified healthcare professionals will administer the memory screenings and provide educational materials about memory concerns, brain health and caregiving. The face-to-face screenings consist of a series of questions and tasks and take five to 10 minutes to administer. “Participating in National Memory Screening Day is just one more way that we can demonstrate our daily commitment to those afflicted with and affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementia,” said The Wesley Community Memory Care Program Manager Trudi Cholewinski. “We hope the free screenings provide one more way for us to raise awareness of these diseases and provide a crucial service to the community beyond our own residents and clients.” Screenings will take place from 10 to 11 a.m.; 1 to 2 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Individuals are also invited to attend special programming to support the day titled, “Normal Memory Loss vs. Dementia — When to Be Concerned” from 11 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3 p.m. All screenings and programs will be held at Woodlawn Commons at 156 Lawrence Street. Refreshments will be served. AFA suggests memory screenings for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; who believe they are at risk due to a family history of dementia; or who want to benchmark their current memory for future comparisons. Screeners emphasize that results are not a diagnosis, and encourage individuals who score poorly as well as those who still have concerns to pursue a full medical examination. Such screenings are becoming increasingly important as the number of Baby Boomers turning age 65 — the at-risk age group for Alzheimer’s disease — continues to climb. The federal government’s historic “National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease” urges a greater emphasis on both early diagnosis and education about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. However, an AFA survey of 2010 National Memory Screening Day participants found that 92 percent of those polled had never been given a screening by their primary healthcare provider; and 83 percent who were worried about their memory had not discussed their concerns with a healthcare provider. “Brain health should be on everyone’s radar screen, especially as you age. Memory screenings are a first but critical step toward finding out where you stand now and what additional steps you might need to take,” said Carol Steinberg, president of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Some memory problems, like those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid issues, are readily treatable and even curable. Others might be due to Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Although there currently is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, early intervention can improve the quality of an individual’s life; available medications may help slow progression of symptoms and diagnosed individuals can more readily participate in long-term care planning. Warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetting people’s names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills, confusion and personality changes. Dubbed by many as a “silver tsunami,” the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple to 13.8 million by mid-century. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. For more information about National Memory Screening Day, call (toll free) 866-232-8484 or visitwww.nationalmemoryscreening.org. For more information about The Wesley Community, visit www.thewesleycommunity.org.
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Friday, 15 November 2013 12:44

Life After Adultery, Is Healing Possible?

One of the biggest reasons people seek counseling is to help them let go and forgive past hurts and offenses caused by the loved ones in their life. I often see people who have gone through adultery in their marriage and while they want to heal the relationship and move forward, they find it hard to forgive their partner for going outside of the relationship. The anger, betrayal, hurt and confusion take over and while their partner may be remorseful and ready to heal the relationship, the person who was cheated on can’t let the offense go. The fact is, when someone cheats in the relationship it has very little to do with their partner and everything to do with their character. It takes courage and vulnerability to let your partner know that you are no longer invested in the relationship. To face this fact can seem overwhelming and terrifying and most people seek an escape through a fling or affair rather than confront the root of the problem. Cheating is not the root of the problem, rather it is a symptom of a bigger problem that speaks to the disconnect in the relationship, and more importantly the disconnect to yourself and your conviction. The only way you can truly heal and move forward is to recognize that the crisis taking place is a crisis in character, not the relationship. I hear the phrase “I hate confrontation” a few times a week in my practice. Many people who look outside the relationship have massive difficulty confronting problems in their life. Rarely is this difficulty limited to relationships but it also seeps over into other areas of their life such as disappointment about their career, stress over finances or deep hurts rooted in a dysfunctional childhood. Escape can come in many forms such as alcohol, drugs, porn, Facebook or another relationship. All of these things provide a numbing and escape from facing our problems. This escape provides us relief from the nagging feeling that something is very wrong in our lives. Rather than confront the problem, people seek ways to escape and numb the hurt. Adultery is one of the most common ways people seek to avoid the problems in their life. Many people who have been the victim of adultery blame themselves for the situation. “I should have listened more, I knew we were disconnected, I didn’t try hard enough.” While all of these things may be true, you cannot be responsible for the actions of another person. You can only own your actions and your contribution to the disconnect of the relationship. When someone goes outside the relationship that is their choice and action. Do not make the mistake of blending the two together. This will only lead to self loathing and confusion. Each party in the relationship must own their actions separately without blurring the act of adultery as equal blame. It is possible to move beyond adultery but only when both parties are willing to take the steps necessary to heal the relationship and change the dysfunctional patterns that led to the demise of the relationship. The first step is honesty. You have to search your heart and spirit and ask yourself if you want the relationship to work. If you are certain you want out have the courage to honor that certainty with yourself and your partner. I see way too many couples who panic after an affair and both immediately enter a honeymoon phase to make things work. This action is almost always based out of fear not love. Decisions made from the basis of fear are always poor decisions. Have the courage to be honest with your partner about where you stand in committing to make things work. You hurt your spouse much more by pretending to make things work than if you let them know you cannot continue the relationship. You also hold your spouse back from finding a partner who loves them and wants to share a committed partnership. When people say “I don’t want to hurt my spouse by leaving” what they really mean is “I’m afraid to be honest with myself and my spouse.” This fear of confrontation only leads to more hurt and great pain for you and your family. Before you make any decisions about your relationship be honest about where your heart is. Even if you feel confused and are not sure if you can make it work, be honest about that confusion and take the space you need to be certain about what you want. Once you are clear about where you stand make a plan. Many couples go through the crisis of adultery, enter a honeymoon period to make things work and go back to the normal routine. This is a recipe for disaster. The only way you can get through this process is to work with a trained professional to help you both deal with your feelings and help you get to higher ground. Making promises that you will never hurt your partner again are unrealistic and immature. Take a step back and formulate a specific plan of how you will move through the healing process. It is possible to heal and move forward but only when both partners are equally invested in continuing the relationship. I often see couples who decide to stay together for the sake of the children. The fact is your children will be screwed up if you stay and screwed up if you leave. Take the path that makes you the best person you can be. Being miserable in a marriage and staying for your children only models dysfunction, anger and misery. Even if you are “faking it” children intuitively know what the state of the marriage is. You are not helping your kids by modeling disrespect and a lack of warmth, love and affection in your relationship. I have worked with many couples who have survived adultery. The model for their success is the same in each success story. The person who was cheated on refused to take responsibility for the act itself. They admitted their fault in the relationship but did not blame themselves for their spouse’s actions. The spouse who cheated admitted wrongdoing, remorse and clarity in wanting to move forward and heal the relationship. Both chose to forgive and made a pact to move forward without dwelling on the past hurts and grievances. I have worked with couples who fell in love again and moved forward stronger than they ever were. It is possible. I have also worked with couples who sought help after adultery and were unable to reconcile. This is usually because one partner is certain they don’t want to continue the relationship and fail to be honest about this decision. You can’t help two people move forward when they are not on the same page. Do not make the mistake of forcing things to work if they are beyond repair. Make a mutual decision that you are not on the same page and make a plan for an amicable split. No matter what you decide to do, know that we are all worthy of love, acceptance, honesty and commitment. Choose the path that will honor and value this basic human need. Know that you are resilient and capable of forgiveness and healing. Recognize that you are stronger and more courageous than you know. Even on your darkest day, the sun rises every single morning providing us with a chance to live each day anew. Wishing you honest, healthy relationships today and always. Ms. Lemery is a psychotherapist practicing in Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs, N.Y. email [email protected] or visit Meghanlemery.com for more information.
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