Your Community

Your Community 02.02.23

History of Barbering

Back in the days of the early Dutch settlers all communities needed a barber-surgeon. In the settlement of Wiltwyck (today Kingston) there was Gysbert Van Imboch.  A barber-surgeon had many functions in 17th century Dutch society.  He was responsible for shaving, bathing, cutting hair, dressing and treating wounds mending fractures, pulling teeth, and performing surgery.  

As a learned man, Gysbert became an avid collector of books on history.  Some of his other areas of interest were medicine, religion, music and gardening.  Over the years things have changed, but one thing has not and that’s loyalty to the one who cuts your hair.  It is hard to cut the cord with a barber.  Harry Rosenfeld, The Times Union opinion writer says in one of his old essays.  “Having through fortitude, perseverance and good luck finally found that practitioner who will cut your hair to your unique needs, you enter into a lifelong commitment”.

A few years ago, Arthur Rubinoff opened the NYC Barber Museum Shop on Columbus Ave near 74th Street.  The museum will contain antique and vintage barbershop equipment like chairs, striped poles towel steamers and straight razors.  Reading about this museum I thought of one of Sand Lake’s barbers, Botsy.  Botsy’s shop includes several antique barber poles and old barbering photos.  Last summer I ran into an old friend Peter in his shop and had lots of laughs listening to Botsy’s jokes and reminiscing about long-ago parties on Lark Street, my first Albany address.  Botsy was recently given a book of Henny Youngman’s one liners, of course he claimed most of the jokes were stolen directly from him.  In the end he reminded us, “Barbers are all the same, they just want to get ‘ahead’ “.

Sand Lake Ambulance Receives Challenge Grant

Sand Lake Ambulance has received a challenge grant of $1200 that will be donated to the Ambulance if the ambulance can raise $1200 in donations made in the name of Charles Van Brocklen.  The grant, from the Van Brocklen family will be used by the Ambulance to pay for expenses incurred in the upcoming year.  

The cost of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and fuel has skyrocketed in the past year, as has the cost of medicines and other life-saving items.  This grant and any matching contributions are VERY welcome. The mailing address for Sand Lake Ambulance is PO Box 222, West Sand Lake, NY 12196.l

Sand Lake Ambulance is a not-for-profit corporation that contracts with the Town of Sand Lake to provide ambulance services.  Many of the town’s residents have used this service.  The number of calls received increases every year.  Not only are financial contributions welcome, but we are in great need of volunteers.  Providing assistance to a neighbor in need is very rewarding!  Anyone interested in learning to drive the ambulance or being trained as an EMT should call 518 674 2221 for more information.  

Transfiguration Parish Book Nook Open

The Book Nook at Transfiguration Parish on Hillview Drive in Speigletown is open on Saturday, February 4 & 18 from 9:00 am until noon. 

The February buy-one, get-one specials are on authors James Patterson and Nora Roberts. All romance novels are12/$1! Stop by and check out the new donations and add to your winter reading supply! Thanks for your continued support and see you at The Book Nook!

News From Averill Park CSD

Averill Park High School returns its Spring Musical with three performances of “Little Shop of Horrors” from February 10-12. A great team of instructional leaders have come together and reorganized the structure of the musical with a long-term vision of developing an in-house, district-supported production each year. We can’t wait to see the performances!

The VFW Patriot’s Pen scholarship contest was held recently at Algonquin Middle School. Daniel McAlonie placed first, followed by Stella Marcy in second and Anastazia Valachovic in third. Congratulations to all of our students who participated in the contest!

The boys varsity basketball team recently held its annual Teacher/Staff Appreciation Night, recognizing 11 Averill Park High School employees who have had an impact on player’s lives! Congratulations to Susan Baines, Dave Beck, Catherine Eagan, Sarah Engel, Kierstin Lambright, David Linde-Darrow, Sean Organ, Kimberly Quesnel, Kyle Radley, Sue Sector and Louisa Sorriento.

As always, for the latest news from the District, please visit our website – You can also follow AP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Submitted by Dr. James Franchini, Averill Park CSD Superintendent

Bingo at South Schodack Volunteer Fire Co.

The South Schodack Volunteer Fire Co. is having Bingo the first and third Sundays each month through May. Doors open at noon with card sales starting at 1:00 PM and games start at 2:00 PM.

South Schodack Volunteer Fire Co. 1563 Bame Rd., Castleton, N.Y. 12033 (518-732-2082).

Columbia Kicks Cancer Campaign

Julia Harbour and Rachel Ostiguy, two seniors at Columbia High School, are leading the Columbia Kicks Cancer campaign for 2023. The campaign runs from February 2,2023-March 23, 2023. 

Together they have compiled a multi-generational team to help in their fundraising efforts and would love your support. Every dollar will be donated directly to LLS, as they continue their mission to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. 

Please consider making a tax deductible donation at the link below or visiting the Columbia Kicks Cancer Facebook page. 

Follow along with their campaign to see upcoming events and more! We thank you in advance for your generosity.

Creation Care Series

The Eco-Team of the First United Methodist Church of East Greenbush, 1 Gilligan Road, will hold a monthly video and discussion series starting February 5th. 

In each session, participants view a short minute TED Talk and follow with discussion. The sessions are held in Room 16 and will run from 11:00-Noon. If you would like to participate via ZOOM, please send a request to and he will send you a link. This series is intended to inform, but just as importantly, encourage us to talk to one another about the climate emergency that we are in and learn what actions we can take to protect and heal the earth. Topics for the series are shown below. Participants can attend one or all of the series.

• February 5 – The global opportunity to accelerate Africa’s sustainable future, Vanessa Nakate and Mary Robinson

• February 26 – A new social contract for global climate justice, Huma Yusuf

• March 26 – How wind energy could power Earth … 18 times over, Dan Jørgensen

• April 30 – What seaweed and cow burps have to do with climate change, Ermias Kebreab

Sand Lake Pandemic Remembrances

The Sand Lake Historical Society is putting together a book of remembrances by residents and businesses of the Town of Sand Lake so future generations will understand and appreciate all we went through during the Covid-19 pandemic. We’d love to include your story!

Did you:

• Work from home or in an “essential” job?

• Have a relative in a nursing home or sick with Covid?

• Have children learning at home?

• Have to close or make changes to your business?

• Spend more time outdoors or doing home repairs?

• Have some other experience you’d like to share?

Please submit your prose or poetry of 600 words or less describing your pandemic story. All experiences can be shared, whether they made you happy, sad, scared, crazy, brave, thankful, exhausted, etc.

Submit your story or any questions to:

Deadline for submissions is February 28, 2023. (SLHS reserves the right to edit stories.)

Find us on the Internet at; “Like” us on Facebook!

Artwork needed for Community Wide Art Show

The First United Methodist Church at 1 Gilligan Rd. East Greenbush is looking for artwork of all kinds done by all ages for a Community Wide Art Show. The Art Show will debut on March 25th, 2023. All artworks will be due by March 19th at 2:30 pm. 

The theme of the art show is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Art can have one item of the theme or incorporate the full theme. Please email Amber Telford at for the Art Work agreement form and any questions. You can also call 518-477-9693 and leave a message for Amber.

The Anchor Food Pantry

The Anchor Food Pantry after experiencing a significant increase of over 30% demand from 2021 to calendar year 2022  is seeking support from our Schodack Community for canned goods and toiletries to meet our clientele’s needs at the present time.

Donations can be dropped off at the Anchor Food Pantry Mondays 430-630 pm, Tuesday& Thursday from 9am-130pm ,and  the first Saturday of every month from 10am-1230pm. Additionally donations can be dropped off at Village Hall -Castleton or Schodack Town Hall during their regular business hours.

Bottles and Cans can also be dropped off @  6Cent Redemption Center-9J, Rensselaer,NY;  Monday-Saturday.

Wynantskill UFSD Kindergarten Registration Now Open

The Wynantskill Union Free School District has begun the process of registering new Kindergarten students for the upcoming school year.

Please visit our website at or contact Kathy Fazioli in our main office for more information regarding registering for Kindergarten. You may call the main office at (518) 283-4600 or email

Wynantskill UFSD Pre-K Lottery Applications Are Now Available for the 2023-24 School Year

The Wynantskill Union Free School District has begun the process of registering students for the 2023-24 Pre-K program. Eligible students must be Wynantskill residents and be 4 years of age by December 1st, 2023. Applications collected will be entered into a random lottery in the event that there are more applicants than spots available.

Lottery applications must be submitted by March 16th, 2023 in order to be eligible for the lottery drawing being held on March 20th, 2023. Parents will be notified of the results and have until April 1st, 2023 to accept their seat and fill out the remaining registration forms.

Applications received after March 16th will go on a waitlist should a seat become available. 

Please go to our website to find the application at

Wynantskill UFSD Pre-K Lottery Applications Are Now Available for the 2023-24 School Year

The Wynantskill Union Free School District has begun the process of registering students for the 2023-24 Pre-K program. Eligible students must be Wynantskill residents and be 4 years of age by December 1st, 2023. Applications collected will be entered into a random lottery in the event that there are more applicants than spots available.

Lottery applications must be submitted by March 16th, 2023 in order to be eligible for the lottery drawing being held on March 20th, 2023. Parents will be notified of the results and have until April 1st, 2023 to accept their seat and fill out the remaining registration forms.

Applications received after March 16th will go on a waitlist should a seat become available. 

Please go to our website to find the application at

East Greenbush CSD Kindergarten Registration Information for 2023-24

The East Greenbush Central School District is now enrolling kindergarten students for the 2023-24 school year. To be eligible for kindergarten in September 2023, your child must turn five years old by December 1, 2023.

Kindergarten registration packets will be mailed to all eligible families in the district database during January 2023. If your child is not currently in the district database, please call the school your child will attend to have the registration packet mailed to you. The packet will provide you with a list of all the documents you need to bring as well as all the forms you need to fill out prior to registration.

For more information, visit

Averill Park CSD Announces Kindergarten Registration for 2023-24

The Averill Park School District has begun the process of registering boys and girls for the 2023-24 Kindergarten Classes. If you, or someone you know, has a child who will be 5 years of age on or before December 1, 2023 please contact the district registrar at 674-7050 extension 7201 to make sure that the child is listed on our school census. This will guarantee that you will receive all upcoming kindergarten information by mail. Registration paperwork will be started online and completed by appointment with the district registrar at the district office at the Averill Park High School during the month of February. Registration hours are Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 3:30 PM. Registration forms are accepted by appointment. All paperwork must be completed by 02-28-2023.

New York State Public Health Law, Section 2164, requires certain immunizations (shots) to enter kindergarten and attend school. Please check with your health care provider as soon as possible to make sure your child has all the needed immunizations. They are listed below.

Required Immunizations for Kindergarten (Number of Doses)

*Polio 4 (3 doses if 3 rd dose received after 4 th birthday)

*Hepatitis B 3

*Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis 5 (4 doses if 4th dose received after 4th birthday)

*Measles/Mumps/Rubella 2

*Varicella (Chicken Pox) 2

Age Requirements

Children who are five years of age on or before December 1, 2023 are eligible to attend Kindergarten this September. As a parent you have an option to enroll your child in school at age five or withhold your child until the school year in which he/she turns six. Children born between 7/1/17 and 6/30/18 must attend kindergarten in the coming school year. Children born between 7/1/18 and 12/1/18 may attend during the 2023-2024 school year or may wait until the following year.

Sand Lake Historical Society Announces 2023 Schedule

SLHS will be presenting the following public programs, from January to June 2023:

February 14th, Edmonia Lewis. East Greenbush Town Historian Bobbie Reno will discuss Edmonia Lewis, noted American sculptor of mixed African American and Native American heritage, born right here in Rensselaer County. You’ve seen her on a postage stamp, now come hear her story.

March 14th, The Rensselaer Glassworks. Phil Bernnard of the National Bottle Museum will discuss Rensselaer Glassworks, one of Sand Lake’s early industries (and gave us “Glass Lake”). Hear the history of the works, the succession of owners, and the technology of 18th and 19th century glassmaking. Phil is asking attendees to bring any “Glass Lake glass” specimens they have, too.

April 11th, Covid-19 History Project. Committee report and presentations and a sharing of experiences from the SLHS Covid History Project. Let’s make Covid history!

May 9th, Annual Meeting. Elections, annual report to the membership – and more!

June 3rd, (tentative) Annual Gala. Final date and location to be announced. Don’t miss this highlight of our year!

June 13th, The Pretty Fantastic Mr. Fox. Albert Rodmond Fox, industrialist, glassworks owner, State Senator, mover-and-shaker, and the Fox who gave us Fox Mansion. Learn about one of Sand Lake’s early leaders and speculate on why we live in Averill Park and not “Foxboro.”

All SLHS programs (unless otherwise noted) are held at the Sand Lake Town Hall Courtroom, 8428 NY Rte. 66, Averill Park, beginning at 7:00 pm. More information at Like us on Facebook.

Hudson Mohawk AHEC Announces Scholarship Opportunity

Scholarships available to support healthcare education

Hudson Mohawk Area Health Education Center (Hudson Mohawk AHEC) will be awarding ten scholarships of $500 dollars each to individuals who will be entering an approved healthcare related certificate or degree program at a local community college, university or training entity within New York State. Applicants must reside within the Hudson Mohawk AHEC ten-county service region, which includes: Albany, Essex, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties. 

Interested applicants can learn more about the scholarship opportunity by visiting the Hudson Mohawk AHEC website or emailing 

Applications are due no later than Monday, March 17, 2023. Awards will be made in May 2023.

Hudson Mohawk Area Health Education Center (Hudson Mohawk AHEC) seeks to develop, and strengthen the healthcare workforce in Albany, Essex, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington counties. 

For more information about Hudson Mohawk AHEC please visit our website at:

Raise Your Voice Singing Competition Sponsored by CASA

The 8th Annual CASA “Raise Your Voice” Singing Competition which will be held June 29th, 2023, will be holding auditions on May 2nd and 3rd, 2023 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church, 603 State St., Schenectady, NY. We need to advertise now for Teens and Young Adults, ages 13-24 so they can schedule appointments for the auditions.

It would be very helpful to have it run more than once. Singers will be competing in one of two categories: Show Tunes, Theatre, & Opera-or-Rock, Pop & Country(no profanity). Solo or Duo performers can qualify. Top 25 Finalists will perform at Proctors for the chance to become the winner! Cash prize and trophy for the First and Second Place Winners in each category! 

This is a major fundraiser for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Abused and Neglected Children). To schedule an appointment for an audition, please call the Center for Community Justice at 518-346-1281 ext. 330 or 518-709-6288 or email

Tutoring Changes Lives for the Better

Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County helps more than 160 adults each year to gain the skills they need to be employed, participate in community life, and become U.S. citizens. LVORC needs volunteer tutors to do this work, and you can help! 

As a tutor you can develop new skills, make friends, and see how your efforts make a difference in your community. Would you like to help someone to read and write, or to speak English as a new language? We can train you. To find out more, join us for a Volunteer Opportunities Information Session via Zoom at 12:00 noon on February 7. Contact to register. Visit the website for more information:

Center Brunswick UM Church Announces Financial Scholarship for 2023 Tamarac Graduates

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 2023. 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, 2023. The application can be obtained from the school’s guidance department or from our website at (

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.

Bread of Life Food Pantry Donation Request

The “Bread of Life” food pantry in Poestenkill has just begun our 8th year of serving our community and neighbors. As we see food costs rising dramatically, we realize more donations of food will be needed.

When you are shopping for grocery’s, we would greatly appreciate it if you would pick up a few food items to donate to our pantry. Here is a list of our most requested staple food items that our guests want..

Breakfast cereal for adults and kids, sugar, flour, baking oil, bottled apple juice, canned fruit, canned hash, canned chili, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, cookies and snacks, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, Parmesan cheese, canned baked beans, instant and ground coffee.

Just a few of these items two times a month would be so helpful for our neighbors in need. You may drop them off at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Poestenkill,side entrance in the container. We check it daily and date and shelve each item for our open dates. Please check use by and expiration dates before donating. Thanks so much for your help. Our contact number is (518) 283-6045.

St. Jude the Apostle Knights of Columbus Bottle & Can Donations

WYNANTSKILL – Help Support Local Charities – St. Jude the Apostle Knights of Columbus has teamed up with 6 Center Redemption located at 461 Main Avenue in Wynantskill to accept bottle and can donations that have a NYS deposit.

This is to support local charities and those in need.

• Bring your clean, NYS deposit empties to 6 Center Redemption in Wynantskill.

• Say they are to support the St. Jude the Apostle Knights of Columbus.

• They do the rest, that’s it! 

Thank you for your support!

Hudson-Mohawk Search & Rescue is Looking for Volunteers to Join our Team

CAPITAL DISTRICT – If you enjoy being outdoors in the wilderness, working with others to help people, follow directions well and have a willingness to learn, then our SAR team might be for you! Prior knowledge is helpful, but definitely not required as we provide the training. Check out our website at: for more information.

Search and Rescue Volunteers Needed

CAPITAL DISTRICT – the Tri-State Emergency Team is recruiting volunteers to provide wildland and underwater searches within a 100 mile radius of Waterrford, 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 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

New York State Commission for the Blind 

CAPITAL DISTRICT – The New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) provides free vocational rehabilitation and other services to legally blind New York State residents, including children, adults, and older adults.  NYSCB assists participants in   achieving economic self-sufficiency and full integration into society.  Call toll-free (866) 871-3000 or visit our website:

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