Your Community

Community 06.27.19

Brownie Troop 1028 participates in SL Memorial Day parade

Brownie Girl Scout Troop 1028 participated in the annual Sand Lake Memorial Day parade and ceremony. The girls marched in the parade and helped lead the pledge of allegiance along with other fellow Scouting troops. Thank you for including us in this important town event and day of remembrance.

Rensselaer County Recovery Helpline


Do you need help with substance use issues? Are you interested in volunteering for the helpline? The Rensselaer County Recovery Helpline offers information, local resources, and referrals for individuals and their families regarding substance use issues. The toll-free line is available 7 days a week from 9am-9pm. Each volunteer chooses shifts of 4 hours at a time to be on-call. When someone calls the number, a volunteer answers on their own smartphone, and can enter information to a database on their own computer, allowing for easy and quick access to resources. The information is sent to one of the 9 leaders, who will then assist the caller. If you or someone you know needs information, resources, or a referral for a substance use problem, call 1-833-467-3123. For more information, or if you are interested in volunteering, contact

Girls Scout Troop 1580 builds a garden for Visually Impaired

Girl Scout Troop 1580, in partnership with Sand Lake Town Library and Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension earned their Bronze Award by building a scented perennial garden at the Sand Lake Town Library. The garden is intended to share the joy of a garden with individuals who are visually impaired. All the plants are flowering and some can be cut so the library can occasionally have fresh flowers.

The girls from Junior Troop 1580 are in 5th grade this year. The Bronze Award is the highest award Junior Girl Scouts can earn. It requires girls to identify needs in their community, plan and complete a project, and make a difference in the community. The girls spent a year learning about gardening and various plants. Along the way, they learned about scented gardens, which are gardens with specially selected plants with high scents for individuals with visual impairment.

The troop decided they wanted to build the garden for the Sand Lake Town Library so the most number of people from the community could enjoy it. When they approached the library, they learned that Sand Lake Town Library holds the largest Braille collection in the Upper Hudson Library system. The troop also reached out to Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Sand Lake Garden Club for guidance and expertise. Master Gardeners and Garden club members Joan Gross, Barbara Nuffer, and Eileen VanOrt identified the best plants for the project, design and layout of the plants, as well as securing donations. Herrington Farms donated the soil and Valente Lumber donated all the materials to build the raised bed!

On June 2 everyone gathered to build the garden. Library director Melinda Fowler donated ALL the perennial plants! Her support of the project was endless! The garden was completed on that day by the girls and their community partners pictured below. There will be a dedication of the garden on Saturday, June 29 at 11:00 the library.


Grandpa picked the boy up from school

Two or three days each week.

Once at Grandpa’s house, the boy would ask,

“Will you push me on the swing?”

Grandpa always said, “Yes!”

But first he made the boy an ice cream cone.

Swinging with his ice cream cone,

The boy would plead, “Tell me a story, Grandpa.”

“Tell me about that road job you worked on…

The one where there were lots of rattlesnakes.”

Grandpa would tell that story…and many more

As the boy listened intently.

This swinging…ice cream…storytelling

Would go on for close to an hour every day.

It was time well spent

By two guys who loved each other dearly.

Every man and boy

Should be so lucky !!

~Llyod Barnhart

West Sand Lake, NY

Leave Fireworks to the Professionals!

The Fourth of July holiday is rapidly approaching, and with it, the annual fireworks shows. Although sparklers and similar items can be bought and sold in much of New York State, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) urges New Yorkers to leave these devices to trained professionals. Instead, FASNY encourages New Yorkers to attend one of the many professional fireworks displays offered throughout the State.

All fireworks, including sparkling devices, are extremely dangerous. Despite their toy-like appearances, sparklers can seriously harm their users. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of approximately 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which can cause severe burns. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), sparklers cause roughly 25 percent of all fireworks-related emergency room visits, the most of any type of fireworks-like device.

“FASNY warmly wishes all New Yorkers a happy, safe Fourth of July holiday. Should any emergencies arise, do not hesitate to dial 9-1-1. New York’s brave volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians will be ready to respond, as they always are,” said President Klein.

Letter to the Editor,

We, in the Prospect Ave and Marcy Ave. neighborhood, are very grateful to Councilwoman Erickson, Supervisor Perry, and the Town Road folks for their responsiveness to our needs.

I reported to town officials that too many of the cars driving through our neighborhood are traveling at a speed much higher than the posted 25 MPH and thereby endangering playing children as well as walkers, dog walkers, runners, bike riders and others who also use our roads. Then, just two days later, additional speed limit signs were installed, and the town’s electronic reminder sign was in place!

Thank you so very much for acting quickly to remind drivers of their role in keeping our town residents safe.

Peggy Goold, Averill Park, NY

The Joys of Country Living

How lucky we are that my pet possum poem inspired Naomi Boel’s delightful story of the precious pet squirrel that dropped happily into her family’s lives. That’s one of the joys of country living.

A sudden wildlife intrusion happened to me ten years ago before I moved to Wynantskill. As I was having breakfast one morning, a large green frog suddenly hopped out from behind the television set and proceeded to hop rapidly past me toward the door. Astonished, I raced after him…or her…caught him after a brief struggle and took him outside where he hopped away without so much as a thank you. I couldn’t figure out how he got into my house. He was too big to squeeze into any openings, but I soon forgot about it.

A week or two later I noticed hundreds of tiny black spots in the huge plastic child’s swimming pool I had filled with water for my dog’s wading pleasures. Puzzled…I soon realized they were tadpole eggs. My green froggy visitor had left her calling card.

I researched tadpole food and hoped it would sustain the hundreds of tiny tadpoles that appeared and grew bigger every day. In desperation, I found a young woman who agreed to scoop out some of them for her pond, but the crowding got worse, possibly harming them. So, I began scooping out dozens at a time and driving them quickly down to the nearby creek and watched as they swam gaily into the clear rushing water.

Soon the hundred or more I had left turned into tiny perfect little green frogs before my eyes. One by one they were able to hop out of the pool and hop away into the nearby wetlands. I missed them all, every perfect little big frog replica.

I try to imagine why this mother frog found or chose me to be the godmother, but I was honored. I suspect that animals instinctively know who will take care of them when they are in need.

Naomi Boel’s baby squirrel had hit the jackpot. My hundreds of baby frogs were almost as lucky. But the big winners were Naomi’s family and me: godparents to a few of nature’s wildlife.

~Sylvia Honig

Wynantskill, NY

Journalist and Author John Gray Receives Outstanding Citizenship Award

Vice-Chair of the Rensselaer County Legislature, Kelly Hoffman, presented John Gray with an “Outstanding Citizenship” resolution at the May meeting of the Legislature.

Gray is an Emmy Award winning journalist with over 25 years in the news business. He has written several books about his dogs and has brought joy and comfort to those that read them. Gray has donated over $25,000 from the proceeds of his book sales to animal shelters.

Hoffman praised Gray as a great humanitarian who grew up in South Troy, delivered The Record newspaper as a boy, and still lives in Rensselaer County. John was joined by his wife Courtney and their adopted blind and deaf dog Keller, who was featured in Gray’s recent book “Keller’s Heart”.

American Red Cross urges donors to fill the Missing Types by giving blood

American Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaign to raise awareness for lifesaving blood donations and urge the public to make an appointment to give blood or platelets this summer.

During the Missing Types campaign, the letters A, B and O – the letters representing the main blood groups – are disappearing from brands, social media pages, signs and websites to illustrate the critical role blood donors play in helping patients. When the letters A, B and O vanish from everyday life, the gaps are striking. And when A, B, O and AB blood types go missing from hospital shelves, patient care and medical treatments are affected.

Blood transfusion is the fourth most common inpatient hospital procedure in the U.S. Blood can only come from volunteer blood donors, yet only 3 out of 100 people in the U.S. give blood. That’s simply not enough to help patients who need transfusions.

Donors can help fill the missing types by making an appointment to give by visiting, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities June 11-30


6/27/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion Melvin Roads Post, 200 Columbia Turnpike


6/29/2019: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Hope Lutheran Church, 470 Winter Street Ext.

Check Out Flipster!

Wynantskill, New York— Flipster provides digital access through your library to the magazines you know and love. Read the complete contents of over 60 popular digital magazines on your computer or mobile device. There is no separate account to set up, your library card grants you access from wherever you are. Titles include People, US Weekly, The New Yorker, Forbes and many more. The free Flipster app for your mobile device is available on the iTunes Store and on Google Play. For links and more information, see the library website:

North Greenbush Public Library, 141 Main Avenue, Wynantskill, NY 12198

Stephentown Heritage Center increases visiting hours

The Stephentown Historical Society has announced that the Stephentown Heritage Center will welcome visitors on the first Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., beginning on July 6, in addition to the regular weekly Friday hours of 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. These weekend open hours will allow more Stephentown residents and visitors the opportunity to explore what the society offers in genealogy research and local history. The other Saturdays are August 3, September 7, October 5 and November 2. The center is closed during the month of December. The Heritage Center is the former Stephentown Methodist Church at 4 Staples Road at the corner of Garfield Road. It is free and handicapped accessible.

Book Nook News

The Book Nook at Transfiguration Parish on Hillview Drive in Speigletown is open again on July 6 from 9:00 am until noon. There have been a lot of new donations so please come by and see what’s new! The July half-priced specials are on Fern Michaels, James Patterson and Jonathan Kellerman. As always, the history, biographies, cookbooks, religious, self-help are all 6/$1. School will be out by July and so to keep your kids reading, all children and young adult books are 10/$1 this month. Stop by and check us out. Please no VHS tapes, textbooks or encyclopedias. See you at the Book Nook!

July Membership Meeting

Rensselaer County’s Everett Wagar Senior Center, 2 Roxborough Rd, Grafton, will hold the Eastern Membership meeting at 11:00 am on Friday, July 5th. All residents 60 and older are encouraged to attend. Upcoming activities, events and fundraisers will be discussed at this meeting. Please join us at noon for a nutritious meal (Sausage & Peppers). Call 518-279-3413 to sign up for lunch.

Bennington Battlefield Announces Upcoming Events

The following events will be taking place at Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site, located off of NY-67 in Walloomsac, New York. For more information, visitors may contact Site Assistant David Pitlyk by e-mail, at, or by telephone, 518-860-9094. Tours of the battlefield may also be arranged by appointment.

July 7th at 10:00 AM the site will offer an “early bird” tour of the main areas of the First Engagement of the battle. Some driving is required to travel between the three stops. Visitors will meet under the flagpole.

July 20th at 1:00 PM Historic Site Assistant David Pitlyk will deliver a presentation on the Battle of Bennington for the Riders Mills Historical Association at the schoolhouse located at Riders Mills Road and Drowne Road, Old Chatham NY.

July 25th at 4:00 PM the trustees of the Friends of the Bennington Battlefield will be meeting at the Barnett House (30 Caretaker’s Road, Hoosick Falls, NY).July 27th at 7:00 PM there will be a Fireside History presentation. The subject will be cannon at the Battle of Bennington. Visitors will meet near the upper parking area and enjoy an open fire and refreshments.

August 3rd at 4:00 PM there will be a guided hike of the Battle Loop Trail. Visitors will meet under the flagpole.

August 16th at 7:00 PM the Friends of the Bennington Battlefield will host the annual commemoration of the Battle of Bennington. The program will include DAR and SAR representatives and students from Hoosick Falls. The ceremony will take place near the flagpole.

August 17th at 11:00 AM Park Ranger Eric Schnitzer of the Saratoga National Historical Park will present on his new collaboration, Don Troiani’s Campaign to Saratoga – 1777: The Turning Point of the Revolutionary War in Paintings, Artifacts, and Historical Narrative. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. The program will be held in the Caretakers House (30 Caretakers Road, Hoosick Falls, NY).

August 18th, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM: Tours of the battlefield will be available to interested visitors. Groups will meet under the flagpole.

August 31st at 12:00 PM the battlefield will host Volunteer Day at the Tory Fort. Volunteers will be arranging small fence rail logs at the Tory Fort. Work gloves are recommended.  Refreshments will be served to participants. Parking will be available on the grounds of the Barnett House (30 Caretakers Road, Hoosick Falls, NY).

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