Your Community

Community 12.27.18

Volunteer Museum Teachers Needed

Do you enjoy working with children?  Do you love learning new things? Do you have a few hours at least once or twice a month to give?  Then join a team of volunteer museum teachers and guide children as they journey through the Hudson River Trading Game!   Based on the life of Hudson River sloop owner Philip Van Rensselaer of Cherry Hill, the interactive school program immerses 4th and 5th grade students in 18th century trade and travel on a 34-foot game board.  Teaching experience is not necessary, but teamwork and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment is a must. Training is provided. The program is 3 hours long, offered mornings November through June, at the Albany Visitors Center at Quackenbush Square in downtown Albany. Interested? Contact Shawna Reilly:, 518-434-4791.


AARP Tax Aide Program Volunteers Needed

AARP Tax Aide Program is looking for volunteers. The Tax Aide Program is a free tax preparation service for all members of our community. There are many opportunities that are available for our volunteers. Tax Preparers work directly with the tax payer to complete their tax return. Client Facilitators welcome taxpayers and help organize their paperwork. Technology Coordinators manage computer equipment. Local Coordinators who manage the site, volunteers and schedules. Communications Coordinators who help recruit new volunteers. We have sites in Columbia and Rensselaer Counties. Volunteers will receive training. To become a volunteer, you will need to register for the Tax Aide Program. You can register at In the upper right of the window click on Volunteer with AARP Tax-Aide link and follow the instructions. If you have any questions, please contact Jerry Seeley at



Help Keep Our Service Men & Women in Afghanistan Warm

Edward C. Swartz Southern Tier Senior Center’s Community Service Group is participating in a project for service men and women serving in Afghanistan. We are knitting and crocheting scarves for them to help keep them warm this coming winter. We are asking for donations of yarn or funds to purchase the yarn. Yarn needs to be heavy (no wool) and dark colors; black, navy, deep green, brown, or camouflage. We have a specific pattern available for any of you wishing to help by making scarves. Please stop by the center to pick up a copy of the pattern. Donations can be brought to the center or mailed to: Edward C. Swartz Southern Tier Senior Center, 1800 East Schodack Rd., Castleton, NY 12033. Please call 518-477-6581 for more information.


Search and Rescue Volunteers Needed

The Tri-State Emergency Team is recruiting volunteers to provide wild land and underwater searches within a 100-mile radius of Waterford, NY. This includes all aspects of field and underwater search. The Tri-State Emergency Team responds when requested by NYS Forest Rangers and other police agencies throughout New York State, Western Vermont, and Massachusetts. We are looking for certified scuba divers, experienced boat handlers, and people who enjoy hiking and the outdoors in general and who wish to help people in need. The Team will provide training and complete support as needed. Our headquarters is located in Waterford.

Applicants need not live in Waterford to volunteer. If interested, please call 518-237-6744 or visit our website at www.tri-state




Bingo is more than a game.  Many people laugh at the image of older people playing bingo, but it has benefits, that folks are not aware of.

Reflexes and coordination decline naturally as seniors age, but bingo requires players to identify numbers as they are called and mark their cards accordingly at a quick clip. Studies show that bingo can significantly improve the hand-eye coordination of many seniors.  As the game requires a great deal of mental flexibility and alertness to grasp, identify, and remember specific information, bingo may also help improve your loved one’s cognitive acuity and short-term memory.

Bingo events typically involve a lot of laughter and excitement. As laughter triggers a number of physical changes in the body that can boost the immune system, relieve stress, and even diminish pain, bingo can actually promote your loved one’s general health.  Players make friends and become more social, as well.

The Watervliet Senior Center offers bingo on Thursdays at 12:45 and after some of our monthly dinners; the third Wednesday of every month. Call 518-273-4422 for more information.



On-Going Bottle Drive

Drop-off your containers and say: “For friends of the North Greenbush Library”, at 6 Cent Redemption II; 461 Main Ave., Wynantskill. Donations will benefit the North Greenbush Library Friends.


Home Purchase & Repair Funding Available

This spring, the Troy Rehabilitation & Improvement Program (TRIP) and Rensselaer County Housing Resources (RCHR), will offer grant funding to assist local residents with obtaining and maintaining their homes.

TRIP & RCHR have been awarded funds to provide grant monies, which can be used for down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers and home rehabilitation projects.

The NYS AHC Program assists income-eligible homeowners with home repairs including health and safety repairs, roof replacement, structural, electrical, plumbing and heating system repairs or replacements and energy efficiency measures.

The HIP Program (serving Troy residents) and the Small Cities (serving Rensselaer County residents outside of Troy) Grant Program assist income-eligible first-time home buyers with grants to be used for down payment and/or closing costs at the time of purchase.

Rensselaer County residents may apply for these grant opportunities.  Applicants need to be income-eligible and current on their mortgage, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance at the time of application in order to qualify.

For more information about these grants or other homeowner programs, visit or call the TRIP & RCHR NeighborWorks Home Ownership Center at (518) 272-8289.



Free Legal Help for Federal Tax Problems

The IRS is now using private debt collectors (PDCs) to collect unpaid federal taxes. You may receive letters and phone calls from private debt collectors, but all payments must be made directly on the IRS’ website ( or by check or money order made out to the “US Treasury.” You can request that your account be sent back to the IRS so that you can dispute the debt, request an installment agreement or to request a hold on collection. If you receive a notice from the IRS or a PDC you should call the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York. We can help you with this and many other income tax issues. The Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic can be reached at 518-462-6765 or 1-800-462-2922 if you need help. This clinic does not generally provide tax return preparation services.

~Submitted by Krzysztof Wendland, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York



Village of Nassau General Election

The General Election of the Village of Nassau, County of Rensselaer, will be held at the Village Municipal Building, 40 Malden Street, in said Village on the 19th day of March 2019, and the polls will be open at 12:00 noon, and close at 9:00 p.m.

The Village Clerk designates the following offices as vacant at the end of the current official year, to be filled for the following term:

Mayor for the term of Robert W. Valenty for the term of four years.

Trustee for the term of David Scaccia for the term of four years.

Trustee for the term of Randy Howarth for the term of four years.

Justice for the term of Michael Conway for the term of four years.

Election is open to voters registered with Rensselaer County Board of Elections.  The last day to register with the County Board of Elections is Friday, March 8, 2019.

~Melissa Turner-Bulan, Village Clerk




Warm PJs for Cold Nights Needed

CoNSERNS-U in Rensselaer is collecting Pajamas for distribution to children in needy families. This effort with its specific focus is an addition to the organization’s ongoing community support work. The continuing economic downturn keeps bringing new needs to the surface, and the number of families seeking assistance increases.

Colleen Pidgeon, Director of Co-NSERNS-U, reports that the list of families in need has grown again in the last year. Co-NSERNS-U is collecting sleepwear for youngsters aged new born to 18. Individual donations may be dropped off at 50 Herrick St across from the Train Station in Rensselaer. Ms. Pidgeon also hopes Church groups and Civic Organizations may see the opportunity for a project to help in this need. Co-NSERNS-U is open M-F, 8:30-4:30, 50 Herrick St, Rensselaer, and the phone number is 518-463-8571.


Center Brunswick UM Church Announces Financial Scholarship for Tamarac HS Grads

The Finance Committee of the Center Brunswick United Methodist Church has announced that it will award $500 to a student to be selected from the Tamarac High School Class of 2019. The money may be used for any type of expenses related to further education. Students do not have to belong to this Church, any other church or religion to be eligible for this award.

Interested students must apply for this award no later than March 1, 2019. The application can be obtained from the school’s guidance department or from our website at (www.Center

This award is given in memory of Harold and Mabel Keyes through a trust funded by their last will and testament. Mabel taught in the Brunswick schools and continued teaching Sunday School at Center Brunswick UMC for many years after she retired. Through this award, her love of helping young people learn and grow will continue to reach the youth of our community.

The Center Brunswick United Methodist Church is located at the intersection of Routes 7 and 142 in Troy.


Support the Averill Park Yearbook Club

Do you want to promote your business to hundreds of families, for years to come? Are you interested in supporting The Averill Park High School students at the same time? Consider a space in the Threshold, Averill Park High School’s Yearbook!

To secure a space in the Averill Park High School’s Yearbook, please send detailed typed information including: Business Name, Address, Email,

Website, Phone number, along with a design of your message, any photos (cannot be returned – Do Not Staple Photos!) and/or business cards. You may email, mail or hand-deliver your information and payment. You will receive email confirmation that your ad was received.

  • Full Page: $300 (Max. 6 photos)
  • Half Page $150 (Max. 4 photos)
  • 1/4 Page: $100 (Max. 2 photos)
  • 1/8 Page: $65. (Max. 1 photo)

All ads will be printed in color. Artwork and business cards are accepted.  (Do not submit Telephone directory/ Newspaper quality). Photos may be reduced or enlarged.

Digital files should be emailed to: Checks can be made payable to Averill Park H.S. Yearbook and mailed to:

APHS Yearbook, Averill Park High School- 146 Gettle Road Averill Park, NY 12018. Submissions should be received no later than February 1, 2019.



Special Gift for that Special Someone

This dollhouse gift will bring many days of joy and a lifetime of memories. Custom upgraded from the Greenleaf “Harrison” model (with movable walls). It has 3 stories and 8 rooms. Local architect builder has added unique features such as: skylight in the “secret play room” upstairs where you can see the Minnie Mouse wallpaper…hand crafted base and cornice molding in all rooms…hand crafted operable doors for all rooms. Wallpaper in all rooms. Roof shingles were separately purchased in sheets, but hand sanded and set in. There is even a small gold bead from antique jewelry used as the front door knob.

Overall dimensions are: 34”W, 30”H, and 20”D . Scale is 1 in. to 1 ft. Asking price of $650 covers kit costs and materials for custom work. It is also 100% deductible as a donation to the Elmwood Cemetery Association. Please e-mail asap to assure your purchase. Make your check payable to Elmwood Cemetery Association and mail to their address at P.O. Box 415, West Sand Lake, NY. We thank you and wish you the best of the Holiday season.



Gifts Delivered at The County Office Building

Chairman of the Rensselaer County Legislature Michael Stammel delivered the gifts that were collected at the county office building. Legislators had a tree covered with gift wish tags for children from Unity House and Things of My Very Own.

Michael Stammel is pictured with Mandy Brown of Unity House. Mandy runs the Holiday Program that serves over 1,000 children in their various programs.

~Submitted by Harry J. Tutunjian, Legislative Liaison

Rensselaer County Legislature




Looking for a Bargain?

The Church of the Redeemer Thrift Shop has earned an excellent reputation by offering quality merchandise at very reasonable prices. We’ll be open on Thursday, December 27th, from 3 to 6; and Saturday, December 29th, from 9 to 2, weather permitting. You’ll be amazed at the vast selection of clothing, jewelry, household goods, puzzles, games, Avon collectibles, sparkly dresses for New Year’s Eve and many one-of-a-kind items. The shop is located at 1249 Third Street in Rensselaer on CDTA bus route #214.   Enter through the parking lot on the Catherine Street side and be pleasantly surprised.


Book Nook News

The Book Nook would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support of this great parish fund-raising effort as well as it is becoming a wonderful community project.   It could not happen without you. The Book Nook at Transfiguration Parish in Speigletown will be open on Saturday morning, January 5, from 9:00 am until noon, with our January sale.  All books whose author’s first or last names begin with “J” will be half-price.  For example, James Patterson, Iris Johanson, J.A. Jance, etc.   It’s a great opportunity to keep stocking up on your winter reading!  Please stop by and see all of the new donations that have come in.  Donations can be dropped off at either entrance of the church during office hours.



Defreestville Fire Dept. (DFD) Fire & Civil Functions News

On the firematic side of the house, Chief Brian McCrae, First Assistant Chief William Burkhart, and Second Assistant Chief Michael Russell, were all re-elected to their positions.

On the civil side, P.J. Facteau was re-elected as President.  He will be joined on the Executive Board by Erik Denny, Vice President; Jason Christie, Secretary; Jason Strosberg, Treasurer; and Bob Ewing, Membership Secretary; all re-elected to their terms at the same meeting.

Additionally, Firefighter/EMT Kylie Cotugno recently graduated from Hudson Valley Community College with an Associate in Arts degree in the area of Individual Studies.  A prior recipient of merit-based education scholarships through the fire service, FF Cotugno was also recognized by HVCC’s Center for Academic Engagement with a Certificate of Academic Excellence, given to those who excel in their studies.

If you are interested in volunteering with the DFD, please visit  http://www.defreestvillefire. org/becomeamember.html or our Facebook page at and send us a message.  We’ll get back to you right away with more information.  While you’re there, feel free to “Like” our page and keep connected.

Finally, the Defreestville Fire Department wishes you and yours a wonderful Merry Christmas season and all of the blessings you can receive in the coming New Year.



K-Kids Service Club for Students

L-R:  K-Kids co-advisor Stacey Rattner, Kiwanis President Deb Charlebois, CES Social Worker and K-Kids co-advisor Jen Sober, and MH Jr/Sr HS Social Worker Michelle Stillson

The Castleton-Schodack Kiwanis Club was grateful to have Maple Hill Jr/Sr High School social worker Michelle Stillson, CES social worker and K-Kids co-advisor Jen Sober and K-Kids co-advisor Stacey Rattner attend their meeting on December 12, 2019.  The club was briefed on the activities of the K-Kids. K-Kids is a part of the Kiwanis and is a service club for students in elementary school.

They held a penny drive raising $480- which was donated to the Red Cross.  A mix-it-up lunch was tried to get students to sit with others not in their regular peer group.  The November morning program featured the reading of “I Am Human.” A canned food drive was held to stock the shelves of the Anchor Food Pantry.  The 5th & 6th graders collected toiletries for the City Mission. The collection of hats & mittens is taking place during the colder weather to benefit CoNSERNS-U.  Letters are being written for Operation Gratitude to be sent to our military personnel. All three were very thankful to work with us on our Holiday Giving Program and grateful for the funds we extended towards this effort.




Monthly Column from Assemblyman Jake Ashby

As we get ready to kick off a new year, it is the perfect time to reflect on the previous one.

2018 was a life-changing year for my family and me, highlighted by the fact that our community, twice, entrusted me with the honor and responsibility of representing each of you in the state Assembly. I was raised to believe that service to country and community is of the utmost importance. I remember this every day when working as your assemblyman.

Due to the special election being held in April, I was only able to participate in just over a month of the 2018 Legislation Session. Despite the abridged nature of my first session, I was able to pass multiple bills, and more importantly, cultivate the bipartisan relationships that will be essential over the next two years as I represent our district.

The recent passing of President George H.W. Bush highlights our need to work together with all people, despite our differences. I am committed to standing as a strong bipartisan voice and will not be afraid to fight for what is best for our district, regardless of political or ideological affiliation.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be releasing a survey on the many issues facing our state and local communities, and I hope you will take part so I can best represent each of you and your ideas.

I also invite you to use my office as a resource for solving any issues you may be having. Please don’t hesitate to call (518) 455-5777 or email me at




Cornell Cooperative Extension of Renss. Co. Annual Meeting

Top L-R: Our Golden Shovel Awards for 2018 – Michael Reger, Cathy Kilby and Irving Stephens

Bottom L-R:  Wagner Farms, the Wagner Family – Hayden Wagner, Bob Wagner, Kim Wagner, Louise Wagner and Pete Wagner

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) recently held their Annual meeting.  The 2019 election results wereannounced.  Mary Lee Kopache of Sand Lake was re-elected, and Carmen Gonzalez of Troy was elected for

her first full term as a Board of Director At Large.  Andy Brizzell of Johnsonville and Donna Murray of Schaghticoke were re-elected and Marsha Chavin of Nassau elected to the Agriculture Program

Development Committee.  Wes Malik of Averill Park was elected to the Horticulture Program Development Committee.  Kevin Retell of Troy was elected to the 4-H Program Development Committee.  Christine Nealon of Troy and Molly Chatt of Rensselaer were re-elected, and Wendy Beckman of Troy was elected to the Family and Consumer Science Program Development Committee.  2019 terms will commence January 1, 2019 and conclude December 31, 2021.

Additionally, recognition of the 2018 Golden Shovel Awards, outgoing Program Development Committee volunteers and staff milestones were included at this annual event.  The Golden Shovel recipients this year were – Aung Naing Oo of Rensselaer, Michael Reger of Rensselaer, Irving Stephens of Troy, Cathy Kilby of Schaghticoke and Wagner Farms of Poestenkill.  CCE is rich with many dedicated and hard-working volunteers and are very thankful for all their supporters and volunteers year-round.  We look forward to Growing the Next Century.  Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.



Christmas News from Chandler-Young Veterans Assoc

Thanks to our supporters and the Advertiser for putting our event dates out. The Chandler-Young Veterans Association Inc of Nassau had another successful year. We were able to fulfill all of our charity donations, both national and local. Plus, we are now in the process of helping nine local families to provide a Merry Christmas for their children! Thanks again and Happy New Year.

~The C.Y.V.A. Inc Auxiliary


Algonquin Middle School Honor Roll Membership for the First Marking Period

It is a pleasure to list the 420 students who qualified for the Algonquin Honor Roll by attaining one of the following standards of scholastic achievement.

Merit Roll — Average of 88-91, with no grade below 70 and no incompletes

Honor Roll — Average of 92-95, with no grade below 70 and no incompletes

High Honor Roll — Average of 96 to 100, with no grade below 70 and no incompletes

Grade 6: High Honor Roll:

Lindsay Agro, Kayleigh Ahern, Samantha Alberino, Kayden Amadon, Alexis Ames, Mason Barber, Corey Basle, Pamela Berger, Hailey Bergmann, Reese Bergmann, Marissa Bertos, Keirsten Bonner, Brooke Bourgault, Khloe Bruce, Madisyn Bulson, Drew Canaday, Veronica Cardillo, Ella Conlee, Cooper Cox, Cameron Daley, Theodore Dangler, Carter Dee, Trinity Demars, Willow Dorr, Isaac Erickson, Kaitlyn Farron, Anna Finnerty, Declan Flanigan, Tayeshawn Frost, Henry Gaylord, McKenzie Gee, Madison Grusczak, Jacob Hanlon, Sofie Harrington, Matthew Hoff, Jacob Hotaling, Carly Hunter, Sarah Hurst, Ian Joseph, Abigail Juneau, Grace Kelley, Isabelle Kieley, Glendora Kilmer, Kaylie Koops, Elijah Kreisher, Ayla Locci, Nicholas Lubas, Hailie Lucier, Sara Ludke, Madelyn Malley, Jill McKinney, Sydney Meeks, Sophia Mercier, Nicholas Middleton, Sophie Miller, Chayce Moak, Joycelynn Momrow, Ayla Morse, Thomas Murray, Jack Norton, Emma Padalino, Jayda Palmer, Nicholas Paratore, Madison Passineau, Riley Pember, Jacob Phelps, Ciara Pogue, Anthony Polaro, Nicholas Premo, Skylar Quackenbush, Wyatt Relyea, Cecilia Rifenburgh, Aidan Riley, Eleanor Schabses, Lucca Smith, Piper Smith, Eva Sollohub, Timothy Stallmer, Rachael Strickland, Delaney Swinson, Chava Thiell, Cole Thompson, Cameron VanSleet, Tucker Whitbeck, Jeremy Wing, Lillian Wohlleber and Bethany Zimmerman.

Grade 6: Honor Roll:

Nathan Angrisano, Kayla Bradley, Michael Broscko, Collin Browe, Bao Bui Nguyen, Sophia Bushey, Jack Charron, Maeve Clements, Loretta Colton, Lucas Coonradt, Gideon Covert, Tyler Cox, Trevor Cross, Hayden Dingee, Nancy

Douaihy, Olivia Durocher, Danielle Fazioli, Angelica Fiacco, Liam Fitch, Katharina Gaboury, Benjamin Giuliano, Eleanor Grimard, Elizabeth Hansen, Angelina Hayes, Mikayla Isby, Lilly Jacobson, Paine LaBounty, Lauren Laferriere, Kaysie Lane, Keegan Lange, Meaghan Leahey, Tanner Lettko, Thomas Mahar III, Alexander Matice, Justin Matthews Jr., Jaylin McCoy, Sylas McCraw, Gavin Mitchell, Lilly Molitor, Talia Moore, Kiah Morey, Omaji Morris, Cody Morrissey, Olivia Overlock, Cameron Parker, Krishten Petersen, Gabriel Price, Shawn Ratigan, Vincent Ring, Edword Rivera, Austin Rouleau, Payton Santacrose, Margaret Schwenke, Jasmine Scribner, Mackenzie Sheldrick, Delaina Stevens, Jenna Stevens, Carter Sweet, Alexander Swinton, Cloe Tobey, Arianna Verardi, Izabella Wagner, Owen Wallen, Bailey Walsh and Joshua Whitmore.

Grade 6: Merit Roll:

Jeremy Ali, Connor Ames, Riley Beebe, Hailey Bishop, Logan Bloomfield, Tannis Bonesteel, Sebastian Brown, Tyler Bushey, Logan Collins, Abigail Creech, Anthony Damiano, Jesse Damiano, Annalise Dowdell, Emma Forino, Karen Foster, Ellie Graham, Ethan Grignon, Marguerite Guerrero, Olivia Hill, Malahkai Hoffman, Morgan Holohan, Spencer Kapusta, Colin Kutzer, Nathan Lemner, Jameson Lott, Alana Malone, Aubrey Multunas, Luca Ogno, Hailey Premo, Mia Rodriguez, Matthew Rumenapp, Luke Smith, Kaleigh South, Nathan Webster, Christopher Williams and Joshua Ziobroski,

Grade 7: High Honor Roll:

Cristian Abate, David Allegretta, Zareena Ansari, Sophia Bendetti, Paige Bidwell, Thomas Biette, Laney Brown, Zachary Bumpus, Connor Byers, Christopher Chenette, Kevin Clark, Shannon Colwill, John Culliton, Aiden Dahl, Julia Davies, Paula DeAndres, Mary DeMerchant, Kayla Dette, Christian Ducharme, Violet Dupuis, Jack Evans, Grace Faragon, Ava Ferriero, Caitlyn French, Eleanor Garrison, Lila Gazoorian, Samuel Hart, Cavan Hicks, Hailey Hoen, Madisyn Locci, Andrew Loucks, Olivia Maddalone, Mikayla Malenfant, Sophia Meissner, Merrik Nalewjka, Caroline Nero, Peter Nizinkirck, Evan O’Connor, Nathan Ortega, Julia Pollock, Carson Roenfeldt, Megan Rounds, Ethan Ruppe, Margaret Scannell, Polina Shabashova, Hannah Stewart, Kay Tichy, Tatiana Tune and Delphine Williams-Mitchell.

Grade 7: Honor Roll:

Sydney Ainsworth, Brady Battista, Jack Behan, Isabella Bernstein, Leah Browe, Nicholas Bult, Sophia Carey, Cecelia Colton, Marlee Cooke, Kevin Cooper, Edwin Corbin IV, Sarah Crosby, Morgan Cross, Leo Curley IV, Connor Dee, Taytum Dudley, Ian Ferlito, Joseph Finelli, Ella Fizzuoglio, John Grimmick III, Katie Guyer, Grace Hanlon, Jack Hyde, Hannah Jansen, Haylee Jansen, Jonah Jones, Benjamin Keens, Michelina Lopez, Tahlya Lott, Leah Lovell, Kyla Martin, Ava McCoy, Tessa Milks, David Morelli, Angela Nailor, Anna Nichols, Raegan O’Brien, Jessica Olson, Alexander Phelan, Liam Rogers, Simone Schwarz-Eise, Benjamin Stewart, Anna Wicks and Gianna Zatorsky.

Grade 7: Merit Roll:

Tyler Cordero, Jace Cusson, Hannah Daly, Matthew Dangler, Thomas DeCrescenzo, Eamon DeLair, Emma Doyle, Brad Fitzgerald, John Galvin, Mackenzie Goyer, Kaylin Granger, Taylor Holohan, Grace Hulihan, Anthony Jubrey, Clara LaRose, Lily Madison, Ruby Mainville-Geerholt, Brianna Martin, Khloe McKeown, Molly Molitor, Romeyn Murray, Jack Nolan, David Orologio, Christina Patanian, Tyler Pierce, Charles Ratigan, Avery Reynolds, James Richards, Zachary Rogers, Anikka Ruschmeyer, Takiyah Ryan, Griffin Sleicher, Chance Thibeault, Nicholas Walsh and Daniel Zelenke.

Grade 8: High Honor Roll:

Tessa Adamo, Elizabeth Aiossa, Caroline Antolick, Samuel Bonesteel, Hannah Colwill, Jacob Crupi, Mairi Cumming, Emma Deo, Samantha Evanchick, Aiden Fedorowicz, Lucas Ferguson, Emma Hanlon, Rory Iwaneczko, Hayden Kiehl, Bailee Lange, Bailey Leone-Levine, Kimberly Mazzacco, Ashlyn McGarry, Tyler Michaels, Owen Perala, Louis Reale, Ryan Richter, Christian Romer and Jason Strickland.

Grade 8: Honor Roll:

Abigail Alberino, Olivia Apfel, Logan Barsalow, Nathan Bergmann, Mary Bryant, Luke Cellucci, Cole Davidson, Bridget Denley, Olivia Dugan, Gregory Effman, Madison Filarecki, Matthew Frost, Kaiden Goddard-Hathaway, Curtis Gorman, Ava Graziano, Julie Hale, Alec Hansen, Savannah Hansen, Mary Harmer, Gwendolyn Jamison, Brendan Kasuba, Grace LaLiberte, Isabella Mancino, Marisa Mazzacco, Payton McCue, Julia Miorin, Isla Multunas, Clotilde Mussett, Riley O’Brien, Nathan O’Connor, Kadi Palmer, Emily Prest, Isabelle Relyea, Ella Roenfeldt, Saeryn Sawyer, Karissa Scheeren, Semen Shabashov, Lillian Slavin, Payton Stelling, Tyler Strock, Dylan Sutton, Nicole Tilley, Bailey Vooris, Dane Wiedman and Nicole Wing.

Grade 8: Merit Roll:

Alexandra Bendett, Cameran Bennett, Sydney Bloomfield, Harrison Bourgault, Emily Bradley, Mason Brown, Colin Brunelle, Grace Bursey, Brenden Crotty, Maisie Dawson, Matthew DeJulio, Joshua Durocher, George Fudge III, Nicholas Galuski, Samuel Griswold, Ella Hinman, Carynne Jewell, Tyler Kalinowski, Anthony Martuscello, Ava Mieczkowski, Daniel Milanese, Katherine Momrow, Olivia Pascarell, Kasie Phillips, Angelina Polaro, Faith Rescott, Jake Rizzo, Erick Rudin, Annika Silver, Cooper Smith, Taylor South, Nathan Stay, Ashley Svensson, Kara Teal, and Wyatt Thorsen.



News from Tufts University

Pearl Herzig, from West Sand Lake, has joined more than 1,500 undergraduate students from around the world as they begin their academic careers at Tufts University, located in Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts.

In all, only 14.6 percent of a record breaking 21,501 applicants were admitted to the university, the second-lowest acceptance rate in university history.



Carolyn Corcoran named to Elmira College Dean’s List

Carolyn Corcoran of Mechanicville has been named to the Elmira College Dean’s List for the Fall 2018 Term. Full-time students who achieve a grade point average of 3.600 or higher at the end of any Term I or Term II are placed on the Dean’s List at the college.



Blooming Grove Reformed Church Dedicates Chrismons

The Blooming Grove Reformed Church in Defreestville, NY dedicated their Chrismons on December 9th at their regular church service at 10:00 am. The idea of making Chrismons to adorn the sanctuary Christmas tree was presented to the congregation in early spring by church member, Sharon Cory Johnson. A group of church members met regularly from May to November to cut out the designs and finish the Chrismons with gold glitter. A total of 87 Chrismons were made. This is the introduction story of Chrismons.

At Christmas, not only does the star lead us to Bethlehem, but also to Nazareth, Galilee,

Capernaum, Jerusalem, Calvary, and heaven. For as part of Jesus’ birth, we also celebrate his life and ministry, his death and resurrection, and his ultimate victory over the powers of sin and death.

Like the three kings, we present our gifts to Jesus and to one another. CHRISMON is a combination of two words: CHRIST and MONogram. A Chrismon is a symbol of Christ.

Christian symbols date back to the early church. They are found on the walls of the Roman catacombs, on jewelry and utensils from excavations in Palestine and elsewhere. Early Christians used them to identify themselves to one another, to designate meeting places, and sometimes, to show nonbelievers where they stood. These symbols of the early church served to transmit the faith and beliefs of the followers of Jesus Christ.

Christians continued to use symbols to express their faith and these symbols often held a variety of meanings or messages. Today, we still use symbols to represent many things and the Chrismons that were dedicated on December 9, 2018 are a 21st century form of symbol.

Chrismons were first used in 1957 to decorate a Christmas tree in the Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Danville, Virginia. These were composed of white and gold materials. White is symbolic of our Lord’s purity and perfection, gold, of his majesty, glory and triumph. The green balsam is symbolic of promised healing. The little white lights on the tree point to the Christ as the light of the world.

Each Chrismon is described in Scripture in the Bible and refers to some aspect of Jesus Christ.

Blooming Grove Reformed Church has a service each Sunday at 10:00 a.m.


Free Knit and Crochet Group

Rensselaer County’s Everett Wagar Senior Center, 2 Roxborough Road, Grafton NY– Would you like to help crochet or knit hats, mittens, lap robes, teddy bear sweaters or scarves for nursing homes, veterans, the homeless and school children?



North Greenbush Councilwoman Sabo’s Report for December

As 2018 comes to a close, I find it hard to believe that my first year as North Greenbush councilwoman is almost over.  When I ran in 2017, I pledged to work towards a more transparent government that put the needs of North Greenbush residents first. The following are some of my accomplishments:

Sponsored a correction to the town’s zoning code that increased the amount of greenspace required for developments

Encouraged the formation and the meeting of the ethics committee to consider conflict of interest issues involving building inspections in the town

Met with neighborhood associations to hear residents’ concerns

Participated in a county-sponsored workgroup with other municipalities to work on a trail running from Rensselaer to North Greenbush to Troy along the river

Wrote a monthly column about town happenings in this paper

Provided agendas for town meetings and updates on town events on my Facebook page

Led a well-attended discussion on the future of a dog park in town

Assisted Friends of North Greenbush Library with becoming a New York not-for profit corporation

Much more work needs to be done in North Greenbush. The town has received a lot of press coverage in the past year, many of it centering on ethically questionable behavior and bad decisions by the town leadership.  A recent article in the Times Union discusses individuals who are being charged for a water district that they will likely not benefit from.  In the new year, I intend to examine how relief may be given to them.

I encourage you to “like” my Councilwoman Mary Frances Sabo Facebook page and follow me on Twitter @MFSaboNGCouncil.

As this article goes to press, we have learned that the New York Attorney General’s Public Integrity Bureau has subpoenaed records of sewer hook-ups in the town, focusing on the line that runs to the home of the Supervisor.  I have been leading the effort to make sure that everybody is paying required fees before the Town Board acts on their proposals.

I wish you all a blessed holiday season and happy New Year!


EGCSD Schedules Meetings About Proposed Changes to School Boundaries for Bell Top, Genet & Red Mill

East Greenbush Central School District has scheduled three informational meetings to discuss boundary changes for Bell Top, Genet and Red Mill Elementary Schools to alleviate capacity issues at Bell Top due to current and projected enrollment growth in that zone.

The proposed changes will enable the district to maintain its class size goals, alleviate space concerns at Bell Top, maintain efficiencies of staffing levels and transportation services and provide continuity of instruction to all students.

It is important to note the proposed changes do not affect students who currently attend these schools or incoming students who will have siblings in these schools during the 2019-20 school year.

These changes will affect incoming Kindergartners and any newly registered Grade 1-5 students for the 2019-20 school year whose primary residence is within one of the affected areas of the district and who will not have siblings within these schools in 2019-20.

Parents of both incoming kindergarten students and current students are invited to attend the following informational meetings: January 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Bell Top Cafeteria; January 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the Red Mill Library; and January 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Genet Conference Room.

If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar’s office at 518-207-2062.



Katie Orecki Recognized for Leadership at SUNY Oneonta

Katie Orecki of Wynantskill, NY, was one of 83 SUNY Oneonta students recently recognized for attaining leadership milestones through the college’s LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) program.

LEAD@Oneonta is a comprehensive leadership program based on current research and guidelines from the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. All students can choose to participate in the LEAD program, which aims to better prepare them for life after college by providing a comprehensive picture of leadership and the skills needed to be a good leader.

Students can attain a silver, gold or platinum level. To attain each level, students must meet a mix of programmatic and experiential leadership requirements, including completion of online courses, attendance at educational events, and membership and leadership in one or more of SUNY Oneonta’s 100+ student-run clubs and organizations.

Orecki, who is studying Adolescence Ed: Social Studies, attained the silver level.

Completion of a leadership level is recognized on campus as a credential that can be used, for example, when running for office or applying for STEP (Student Travel for Excellence Program) funding. The program also provides students with a leadership record that can be submitted to potential employers.



News from New York National Guard

Army National Guard Pvt. Anthony Delbalso from Mechanicville begins military career. Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York, announces the recent service accomplishment of members of the New York Army National Guard in recognition of their initial commitment to serve community, state and nation.

The newest Citizen Soldiers to complete Army basic combat training and advanced individual training will now be welcomed to their units during their next drill assembly with the New York Army National Guard.

The ceremony on December 2, 2018 marks their completion of the National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program, a preparatory training program that provides new recruits with training, lessons and skills to excel at their initial military training.

The New York Army National Guard welcomed 40 new Soldiers to their units during the December ceremony around the state.

Pvt. Anthony Delbalso from Mechanicville, N.Y., was formally welcomed into the Company C, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry during a transition ceremony held December 2, 2018 at the Queensbury Readiness Center in Queensbury.


Village of Castleton-On-Hudson House Decoration Contest Results

This year’s winners for the Village house decorating contest are as follows: First Prize went to Scott & Diane Van De Wal of 72 Seaman Avenue; Second Prize went to Larry Hughes of 10-12 Campbell Avenue; and Third Prize went to John Somerville & Jacquelin Griffin of 10 Lynch Avenue. The Honorable Mentions were given to Stephen & Carol Phelps of 1 Stimpson Avenue and Joseph Watroba of 76 Green Avenue.

The winner of the Main Street decorating contest went to Deborah and Robert Hammond of 4 North Main Street.

We want to thank everyone for taking the time to decorate your home for all to enjoy.


YWCA of the Greater Capital Region, Inc. Celebrates More Than $80,000 Raised

Troy, NY- More than 400 people attended the 19th Annual Resourceful Women’s Awards Luncheon, presented by Groff Networks and Troy Web Consulting on Monday, November 19, 2018 at the Albany Marriott.

This year’s RWA Luncheon raised nearly $80,000 to benefit YWCA of the Greater Capital Region’s economic empowerment, homelessness prevention, food security services and programs, including safe and affordable housing to 104 women and over 50 children every day.

Benita Zahn, DPS, NewsChannel13 and Dan Bazile, Spectrum News served as emcees for the event honoring Nathaalie Carey as Resourceful Woman of the Year, Sandra Winnie as the Woman of Inspiration, and SEFCU as the Community Partner recipient, along with thirteen Resourceful Women and a Young Girl On A Mission.

Nathaalie Carey, Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Chief Financial Officer of New York State Department of Labor, manages the agency’s $4 billion portfolio and oversees all internal operations. Nathaalie is an experienced executive at local and state levels of government with a strong background in finance, operations and technology. Nathaalie is a champion of women and girls and it was an honor to recognize her as the 2018 Resourceful Woman of the Year. Mrs. Carey shared with us her blessings, such as her husband, children, family, friends, network, etc., and reminded us to count our blessings, go beyond our blessings and give to YWCA of the Greater Capital Region to make a difference.

”Use your blessings to give to others, show your empathy for that which may not be directly affecting you…Give what you can spare and what you have, if it’s not money, give your time; if not time, give your knowledge, because there isn’t a shortage of need” said Nathaalie Carey.

“We could not have accomplished our ambitious fundraising goal without the support of our sponsors, honorary committee members, attendees, raffle donors and devoted Special Events Committee members, and YWCA-GCR staff,” said Daquetta Jones, Executive Director.”

I am overwhelmed with gratitude and moved by every single person’s contribution and presence. We cannot make the differences in the Greater Capital Region without the compassionate community minded people who helped us nearly reach our goal of $85,000, especially during such a special year as we celebrate our building’s centennial.”



News from Averill Park CSD

At Algonquin Middle School, students spread holiday cheer with the goal of teaching the positive impact that comes with acts of kindness. Students and staff members from the “No Place for Hate” group planned, and helped to implement, this activity in order to support the caring, inclusive school community that we foster.

Our high school students in the Youth in Government Club attended their second regional conference and were impressive as they debated bills which will be presented at a state conference. Nice job!

The High School Robotics team competed in a scrimmage with other area schools and all of our teams made it into the semifinal round. Team 5111B was selected for the Judges’ Choice Award. Way to represent our school everyone!

Our K-Kids from West Sand Lake Elementary ventured out to the Eddy Geriatric Center in Troy to sing songs to residents. The club also presented holiday snowmen as gifts. Great job WSL K-Kids!

As always, for the latest news from the District, please visit our website –

~Dr. James Franchini, Averill Park CSD Superintendent


Grant graduates from Western New England University

David Grant of Rensselaer, graduated from Western New England University with a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership on October 15, 2018.


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