Your Community

Community 08.29.19

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.

Troop 525 Summer Camp Perfection!

Troop 525 of West Sand Lake had an excellent time at summer camp this year. Earning merit badges in Basketry, Leatherwork, Art, Photography, Shotgun Shooting, Rifle Shooting, Small Boat Sailing, Animation, Exploration, Sports, Athletics, Environmental Science, Finger Printing, Geology, Archery, Wilderness Survival, First Aid, Climbing, Orienteering, Soil and Water Conservation, Nature, Chess, BSA LifeGuard and CPR certifications, and multiple awards including Matt Donnelly and Aiden Fedorwicz ( photo above ) earning first place in the team shotgun shoot!

You can learn more about us by visiting our Troop. We meet every Tuesday from 6:30 PM- 8:00 PM at The Salem United Methodist Church in West Sand Lake, NY. Anyone ages 11-17 are welcome to come check us out. You can email us at for more information. It is never too late! You don’t want to miss out on all the fun!

Defensive Driving Class at Gilead Lutheran Church, Brunswick on October 5

Gilead Lutheran Church will host a 6 hour defensive driving class on Saturday, October 5, from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. This is a NYS DMV approved class that will offer a 10% reduction off your auto insurance and up to 4 points off your NYS driver’s license! Exciting and interactive PowerPoint presentation and never a test to pass the course!

Cost of this class is just $30 per person and must be paid at the door. Doors open at 8:30 AM. Lunch items will be available for sale for an additional cost.

Gilead church is located at 308 Brick Church Road (Route 278), Troy, New York 12180. We are handicapped accessible and have loads of free close parking. SPACES ARE LIMITED and will sell out fast -again- at this price!! To reserve your seat please call John at 518-279-9552. Please drive safely!

ALL proceeds from this class will be donated to the church.

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

EG Fire Company Announcements

East Greenbush Fire Company President Michael F. Lansing II proudly announces the recipients of the Barbara J. Lehmann Memorial Scholarship Program for 2019. Through the Barbara J. Lehmann Memorial Scholarship Program, the East Greenbush Fire Company provides scholarship grants to qualified applicants seeking to advance their education in their chosen field of study. The 2019 recipients are Michael Preston, Adam Riley and Nicholas Cullum. Michael is entering The University of South Caroline and will major in Sports Management. Adam will be attending Springfield College majoring in a Physical Therapy curriculum. Nicholas will begin his studies at the College of Southern Maryland majoring in Fire Service Technology. The East Greenbush Fire Company commends these three college freshmen for their admirable academic achievements and pursuit of higher education.

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

Do You Miss Him..??

We were going through some old pictures

When we came upon one of my Grandpa,

The most important male figure in my life.

“Do you miss him?”, my grandson asked.

“Yes, I do!”, I responded, and

I again ached with that feeling of loss.

He asked me how my Grandpa had died.

I told him of an abdominal aneurysm

That burst and led to Grandpa’s death.

Later, when we were riding our bikes,

He asked, “How old was your Grandpa when he died?”

To which I replied, “He was 78.”

“Yeah, but” he said……

“You don’t have that condition, right?”

I assured him I did not.

His concern for such things

Touched my heart…..

He felt the past…and worried about the future!

I hope to live to the age Grandpa did

And much longer if I can:

My grandson needs me…and I need him!!

-Lloyd Barnhart

West Sand Lake, NY

Kids Can Teach Us


We often hear,

“All things are relative.”

What does that mean…

Relative to what..??

Is this part of that genius’s theory,

That few can understand?

Want “relativity” explained simply….

Take a kid fishing…a kid 5-8 years old.

Then watch and listen to the reaction

After catching a small sunfish or creek chub…

“WOW…This is a Whopper!!

“Biggest fish EVER!!

And, there you have it:

The theory of relativity explained..!

-Lloyd Barnhart

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: 101 Recipes for Blubber

As a kid, I used to dread the start of a new school year. But when that first​ day arrived, it was mostly tame; and the only homework was to put a cover on my​ newtextbooks. Usually that meant slicing up brown paper bags, but one year my​ Dad brought home some novelty book-covers with clever titles. My Math book​ might be disguised as: “Cough Your Way to Success” or “Raising a Pet Mosquito”​ or “Concrete Blocks, a Love Story”. With cool books like that, I was sure to​ impress.​ I was custodian of each book, and had to write my name in the back, below names​ from previous years. I wondered which one had written these instructions inside​ the front cover: “IN CASE OF FIRE, THROW IN”. Whoever it was probably thought​ he had invented that gag. But I’m pretty sure it dates back to ancient Egypt,​ maybe the library at Alexandria. Anyway, my name was now on the list of​ graffiti suspects.​ Soon I’d have to learn what was in those books, and there wasn’t always enough​ time. If I had started them during the Summer, I might have gotten a jump​ on the school year. And let’s face it: ten weeks of vacation weren’t all​ packed with fun. I sometimes caught myself watching old TV reruns. Even​ worse: during a presidential election year, I might be reduced to watching​ political conventions. That was rock-bottom! What if I had made better use of​ those boring times plus lightened my load during the school year?​ It makes perfect sense to me now, but I’m not sure what my nine-year-old self​ would have said. He might have preferred listening to his arteries harden,​ rather than crack open a textbook during Summer.​​

Ron McKee​

Averill Park

Letters to the Editor

The Importance of Youth Sports

Youth sports are necessary for kids to stay active and healthy as well as develop socially. Many youth sports programs have been in decline and this is very detrimental to upcoming generations.

Sports in general keep us healthier and give us a sense of community within our teams. For kids these teams allow them to develop socially and make friends. Many kids are so absorbed in electronics and are not establishing social skills necessary for the world. Youth sports provides a great way to connect kids and allow them to explore socially.

Sports also help kids stay active which has many health benefits for them short term as well as long term. Kids love to eat junk food and it is easier than ever to access it now. Youth sports help combat the negative effects that a poor diet can have and naturally leads to a healthier diet for those involved.

By having youth sports programs available to all kids we raise a healthier generation. They are more socially aware and prepared as well as physically healthy. The availability of these programs is important for communities to support the generations to come.

Adam Limoges

Join a CSA Today!

Eating healthy is a goal of many and finding new ways to do so can be hard. Luckily many places have an easy solution to this problem: join your local CSA!

CSA or Community Supported Agriculture is a way that local farmers can gain a more stable income and support themselves. The premise of them is you pay upfront a certain amount and in turn you get a share of their crop yield.

Supporting local agriculture lets you keep your money in your community, know where your food comes from, and eat healthier, among others. Knowing where your food comes from is important because it allows you to know what you are putting in your body everyday. For example you can ask what pesticides (if any) are being used and also ask about their sustainability practices.

With a CSA you always get what’s in season so it’s always the freshest. It also makes you try new foods because you are already getting it. This broadens your horizons to new fruits/vegetables that are often highly nutritious and can become a great addition to your diet. Many items you get you many not see in grocery stores let alone pick up and buy the ones that are; by joining a CSA they remove that obstacle and bring new foods right to you.

They also bring you vegetables that you may already eat but they make sure you have them stocked and ready for you to cook, eat, and stay healthy.

Adam Limoges

Sand Lake’s Community Van

The Community Van was quietly eliminated when Supervisor Perry’s 2019 budget was approved in November 2018. The Van itself was later sold as surplus!

R.I.P. Community Van, you served us well for six years.

As an original volunteer driver, I found it rewarding to assist our residents who couldn’t drive themselves. How frustrating that must be to need medical services and not be able to access them.

Our riders were of all ages. Some used the van intermittently, some more regularly. If a request meant we needed two drivers, we were asked to drive our own car. I was told that I was covered by the Town’s insurance.

Demand varied over time as some of our riders recovered their health or their ability to drive, moved or sadly, passed away. Some of our drivers wintered in the South. Demographics suggest demand, if low now, will rise again. No other service has replaced the Community Van.

Supervisor Perry’s letter lists reason it was “necessary” to terminate the van. I see only justifications for an unnecessary decision to eliminate a good program that had withered from a lack of effective Town support. Our non-driving neighbors are the victims.

The letter lists budget hearing as “opportunities” for public objection. While technically correct, was this item flagged for discussion? Were the people active in the program engaged by the town? I wasn’t!

The van was not a big dollar program. 2017 program expenditures we $3946. 2018 listed them at $6500, $3000. of which was paid to the coordinator.

Recent declines in van usage and drivers are an issue. But, shouldn’t the Town have formed a committee to explore past utilization trends and future needs before flat out eliminating the program? Maybe our remaining drivers, past and present riders, area churches and seniors could have provided us with their input.

I am running for Town Council to represent ALL residents. I want to bring your perspective and mine together in assessing our need for services such as the Van.

Mary Ellen Trumbull, Candidate

Sand Lake Town Council

NY Plates

Let’s hurt the poor and pollute the environment. Neither seems to be an endeavor worthy of doing, but the latest money grabbing scheme coming out Albany seems to do both.

An executive proposal would reestablish statewide uniformity of appearance of NY license plates by mandating replacement of all blue and white NY motor vehicle license plates with new plates of a different design. As long as plates in use identify NY and are readable there is no need for wholesale replacement.

The state believes there is adequate reason for plate replacement in that motorists will be assessed a fee of between $25 and $45 per vehicle. As long as highway funds are continually being raided for other purposes, the plate replacement proposal is unworthy of consideration. It’s only a money raiser.

Those who can ill afford this new fee will be hurt the worst, to say nothing of the environmental consequences of the production of possibly millions of new plates and wholesale disposal of a like number.

What is Albany thinking? Perhaps a better question might be: Is Albany thinking at all?

Steve Sevits

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