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Community 08.08.19

State Department Of Agriculture And Markets And Department Of Health Urge New Yorkers To Heed FDA Advisory Regarding Basil

FDA Issues Nationwide Advisory on Imported Basil from Siga Logistics

Product Potentially Linked to Multiple Cases of Cyclosporiasis in New York and Other States

The State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Health today urged New Yorkers to not eat fresh basil imported from Siga Logistics S. de R.L de C.V of Mexico following the release of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) nationwide advisory, which has potentially linked the herb to cases of Cyclosporiasis illness in New York and other states. The FDA is advising consumers who have basil in their home that originated from this distributor to not eat it and throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. The FDA is also urging retailers and restaurants not to serve or sell basil from the company until further notice.

Cyclosporiasis is a gastrointestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. People can become infected by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. Outbreaks of Cyclosporiasis have often been associated with imported fresh produce. Illness typically results in watery diarrhea, and can include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, nausea and fatigue. These symptoms can appear approximately 1-2 weeks after ingestion of the contaminated source. If untreated, symptoms can last as long as one month or longer and can return one or more times. Infection is generally not transmitted directly from person-to-person.

Four Albany-Schenectady-Troy Area TV Stations Changing Frequencies

Some local TV stations across the U.S. will be changing their over-the-air broadcast frequencies. Viewers will need to rescan their TV to continue to watch those channels.

As part of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) work to make more airwaves available for new high-speed wireless services, many TV stations in cities across the United States are changing their over-the-air broadcast frequencies.

While the channel numbers you see on the TV are not changing, you will need to rescan your television to update to the new frequencies, so you can continue receiving those channels. You will not need to buy a new TV or purchase a converter box. Only people who use an antenna to watch local channels need to rescan their TVs. Cable and satellite subscribers are not affected by these changes. You should be on the lookout for announcements on your local TV channels and rescan whenever the stations alert you to any changes that are taking place.

In the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area, four TV stations that will be transitioning to new frequencies from now through August 2, 2019: WTEN-TV (ABC10), WMHT-TV (PBS17), WCWN-TV (CW15) and WYPX-TV (Ch55).

A good rule of thumb is to rescan your TV anytime you notice that a channel is missing. If you haven’t rescanned in a while, you may be surprised by how many channels are now available.

Instructions and Tips from the FCC to Help TV Viewers Rescan Their TVs: · The FCC has posted an instructional video showing viewers how to rescan their TV.

· To rescan, viewers will need their TV remote control or analog TV converter box, then choose “Channel Scan,” “Channel Tuning,” or “Auto Search” in the “Setup” or “Channel” menu. Once you find either the “Channel Scan” or “Channel Tuning” buttons, choose the automatic option to rescan.

· By rescanning, viewers who watch TV for free using an antenna will keep their existing channels and may even discover new channels in their broadcast area.

How can I find more information? For more information and tips on how to rescan, visit or call 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322).

‘Just For Kids’ 2019 Free Summer Movie Series

July/August at Cohoes Music Hall, Wednesdays at 1pm on the Big Screen.  August 14: Ice Age: Collision Course, and August 21: The Jungle Book. Admission is Free to all children, parents and chaperones. Parking is Free across from the Music Hall. Doors open at noon with activities Just For Kids with chance to win some cool prizes. Children 12 and under receive a free small popcorn and small bottled water. Tickets may be picked up in advance at the box office 10am-1pm weekdays, day of show or reserved online. Please call 518-953-0630 for more info and group reservations. Cohoes Music Hall at 58 Remsen Street, Cohoes, NY 12047. Check out more movie info at

Campaign to Saratoga Talk to be Presented at Bennington Battlefield

Author Eric Schnitzer will deliver a presentation about his new book in collaboration with historical artist Don Troiani, Don Troiani’s Campaign to Saratoga – 1777: The Turning Point of the Revolutionary War in Paintings, Artifacts, and Historical Narrative. The free program will take place at Bennington Battlefield in the Caretakers House (30 Caretakers Road, Hoosick Falls, NY) on August 17 at 11:00 AM.

According to Schnitzer, “the Northern Campaign of 1777 was one of the war’s most important, formative military events. While there are many books out there on the subject, none are like this. Don Troiani’s Campaign to Saratoga – 1777 is a new publication which constitutes the campaign’s definitive history. Included are hundreds of full color artifacts, historical portraits and maps, thoroughly researched and exquisitely executed paintings, and fully cited historical narrative. New information unveils major, shocking truths never before revealed and forevermore obliterates ridiculous, long-standing myths.”

Schnitzer is an historian and park ranger at Saratoga National Historical Park. He is also a reenactor and member of the 62nd Regiment of Foot. He holds a degree in history from the University at Albany and is an authority on the Saratoga Campaign who has conducted exhaustive research into the British army. His work has been featured in the Bulletin of Fort Ticonderoga, The Saratoga Campaign: Uncovering an Embattled Landscape, the Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association. For more information contact David Pitlyk, 518-860-9094.

Probably this one or the above one but not both

Commemoration to be Held at Bennington Battlefield

HOOSICK, NY – The Friends of the Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site and New York State Parks will host a commemoration marking the 242nd anniversary of the Battle of Bennington on Friday, August 16th at 7:00 PM. Representatives from the 2nd Continental Artillery Regiment, the Battle Monument in Vermont, as well as SAR and DAR chapters will help to mark the occasion. Historical accounts will be shared before a wreath laying and artillery salute. Local students will also participate in the ceremony. Beginning at 5:00 PM, visitors may tour the students’ encampment on the hilltop.

The site is located on Route 67 in Hoosick, New York. The program is free and open to the public. Information on how to become a member of the Friends organization will be available to visitors.

Other events will take place over Battle Weekend. Historian Eric Schnitzer will deliver a presentation on his new book created in collaboration with an historical artist, Don Troiani’s Campaign to Saratoga – 1777 on August 17th at 11:00 AM. The talk will take place in the Caretakers House (located at 30 Caretakers Road in Hoosick, NY). On August 18th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM tours of the battlefield will be offered to the public on the hour. Groups will meet under the flagpole.

The Battle of Bennington was a pivotal battle of the Revolutionary War resulting in an American victory. It provided a much-needed boost to patriot morale and inflicted severe losses on General Burgoyne’s army before the Battles of Saratoga, ultimately leading to the failure of the 1777 British invasion of New York and eventual independence.

For more information contact David Pitlyk, 518-860-9094.

Nøpiates Committee to Host Memorial Walk and Vigil

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 at 6pm

The Nøpiates Committee along with the support of other community members and organizations including New York National Guard – CounterDrug Task Force, Youth Voices Matter, and  Rensselaer County Heroin Coalition will participate in a Memorial Walk and Rally on Wednesday, August 28th at 6pm.  We gather to remember our lost loved ones, bring hope and support for those who struggle with substance use disorders and celebrate those who are in recovery.

Beginning at 6:00 pm, attendees will gather at the  West Sand Lake Elementary School, 24 Meeler Road, West Sand Lake, and will finish at the West Sand Lake Fire House at 3697 NY-43. The walk will be followed by a brief ceremony in which we will honor loved ones lost, provide support.  We continue to speak out and raise awareness as we continue to reduce the shame and stigma associated with substance use disorders. By coming together to remember our friends, neighbors, loved ones, we stand together to say that more needs to be done to end overdose in our community.

For anyone who has lost a loved one that would like to honor and remember them in a photo presentation at our ceremony, please send a digital photo along with  your loved one’s name, date of birth, date of loss to by August 20th, 2019.

French Course

La Fédération Franco-Américaine du NY will be offering a beginners French course.  Dr. Janet L. Shideler, Professor of French at Siena College will be the instructor.  In addition to beginners, this class will also be for anyone who has taken a beginners course in the past, and wishes to improve their French.  The cost of the course will be $70 for 8 sessions beginning September 5, 2019.  The classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at Siena College.  There will be a limit of 15 students.  For questions regarding the program, or to sign up for the course, call Tom Jacques, 518-541-3216.  Send checks payable to FeFany, PO Box 354, Cohoes, NY 12047 by August 29, 2019.

Hopes Kitchen Received Grant

Due to the tireless efforts of Emily Purtell, a Hope Lutheran Church member, Hopes Kitchen has been awarded a grant of $250! The grant was awarded by Thrivent Insurance, a company with a long history of affiliations with Lutheran Churches, and their community projects.

Hopes Kitchen is an outreach ministry of Hope Lutheran Church, Winter street extension Church in North Greenbush. Having been a sister congregation of St. Paul’s Lutheran 3rd Street in Rensselaer it was felt that Hope was in a position to reach out to the city of Rensselaer Community.

Pastor David Moore of Rensselaer Presbyterian church welcomed the idea of housing Hope’s Kitchen at his church. Free community meals are prepared and served the second Thursday of each month. Dinner is between 3:30 and 6:30. The dinners are open to anyone in the community, seniors, families, homeless, teens, and singles.

Hope’s head chef, Marion Daus, of Wynantskill has a crew of up to 15 helpers and servers, including some young people from the Rensselear Middle School. Marion has a history of preparing meals for groups as large as 150, it is the goal of this ministry to match those number. Please join us on August 8th.

France Magnifique

La Fédération Franco-Américaine du NY is sponsoring a trip to France, featuring the 75th Anniversary of D-Day & Normandy, April 23 – May 7, 2020. Rates include round trip air from New York, air taxes and fees/surcharges, hotel transfers, and 20 meals. Highlights of the trip: Paris, River Seine cruise, Normandy, Omaha Beach, Le Mont St. Michel, Loire Valley, 2-night Chateau stay, winery tour, Lyon, Les Halles de Lyon, Paul Boscuse Market, Avignon, Creme Brûlée Cooking demonstration, Nice, Monaco. Plenty of time to explore on your own. For more information, pricing or a brochure, call Lisa at Plaza Travel at 518-785-3338 or

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

Feel Good

Nobody To Call

Old man picks up the phone,

Fixing to call his mother.

Had a question ‘bout the old days.

She would have the answer.

And then, he remembered…

His mother was gone;

Died a few years back…

Leaving a void in his life

He could ask his brother,

Or maybe call his cousin, but

Hell, they were his age;

Knew ‘bout what he did.

He quickly took stock:

Mom was gone…

Grandpa gone a long time ago.

Not a single aunt or uncle left.

There was nobody to call…

His kids/grandkids called him these days

He suddenly realized he was perched

At the top of the family tree.

He put the phone down….!

~Lloyd Barnhart

West Sand Lake

A Family Outing

I almost didn’t walk that way this morning after hearing a warning bark from he third house on the right where a hostile dog flings doggie insults at my dog, Sophie whenever we pass. FOrtunately our enemy was just hopping into the family car; the coast was clear, so we proceeded. This section of Eastern Union Turnpike is straight but dippy. Up ahead I saw a large buck unhurriedly crossing the road. There was a car approaching.

Close behind the buck was a doe, and behind the doe straggled three tiny fawns. I was enthralled by the scene but almost paralyzed with fear. With the dips in the road, would the driver see them, and brake in time? Holding my breath, I watched as the little family made the crossing safely. The tableau had been so beautiful, the relief so great, I had to share it with someone, but no one was there except Sophie, and she didn’t get it. As the car passed me; I gave an enthusiastic “thumbs up” and waved wildly (Actually, I almost did a cartwheel). From inside the care there were vigorous answering waves and happy smiles. Mutual wonder and relief flowed between us. There was joy in the sharing — no words were necessary. It lifted my day, even my week.

Naomi Boel

Averill Park

Memoirs of an Amnesiac:  Lake and Field Days​

​The township of Sand Lake includes several lakes, but Crystal is the one I know​ best.  Back when it had a public beach, that was the place to be on a Summer ​day.  The cool kids hung out there, and coolest of all were the lifeguards. 

   Some of them used baby oil to expedite their suntan.  UV radiation wasn’t a big​ worry back then.​

At one time Crystal Lake had a carousel.  From an outside animal you might snag​  a ring as you went around.  A brass one meant a free ride.  My arms weren’t long​ enough then, but I did find an iron ring in the sawdust, and I’ve kept it these 60 years.​

​One of the highlights of Summer was the Firemen’s Field Day in August. Maybe a​ dozen local fire companies took part, starting with a long parade from Averill​ Park’s Central School (now Homeroom Lofts) to Crystal Lake. That’s where​ several fire-fighting competitions took place.​

There were carnival games for civilians, too. I spent a lot of time at a table​ covered with shallow glass dishes. All I had to do was land a nickel into one​ of the dishes, and it was mine. By the time I finally did, I had probably tossed more nickels than it was worth. Never mind, I was proud as a peacock,​ and ran home to give it to my Mom. For years that dish was reserved for cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving.​

As night fell, more adults arrived, and people converged on the dance pavilion.​

At my age, I could barely imagine life beyond high school; so the world of​ dances and grown-up girls was a fascinating mystery. I remember a young fireman with a beer in one hand and the other around his girlfriend’s waist. Was​ I looking at my own future? Sweet!​

The one down-side to the Firemen’s Field Day was that it marked the beginning of​ the end of Summer. Next stop was Labor Day and another school year. Doom was​ closing in.​​

Ron McKee​

Averill Park

Letters to the Editor

Motor Fuel Taxes

The cry is out again for motor fuel taxes to be raised because of a lack of funds for highway maintenance and infrastructure.

A new proposal is to raise motor fuel taxes and turn all roadways into de-facto toll roads, charging motorists a fee for each mile driven. The current excise tax on automobile tires is already a per mile tax, tires need to be replaced as they wear.

Elected leaders don’t recognize (or maybe they just don’t care) new and higher taxes will adversely impact those of lower income the most. Isn’t that the constituency about which they claim to care the most?

The chief cause for a lack of highway funds is politicians continually raid highway funds for other programs, causes advocated by vocal pressure groups, which also afford glitzy ‘photo ops.’ I’ve never seen any public demonstration for better roads. If the raiding of highway funds were to cease, far more money would be available for roads. Shouldn’t we repair the leaky bucket before opting for a bigger hose to refill it? Do we need a bigger pile of cash (more road taxes) for politicians to raid for their pet projects?

Steve Sevits

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