Your Community

Your Community 02.10.22

News From Averill Park CSD

Seven Averill Park High School students in the Class of 2022 have fulfilled their academic requirements in an accelerated manner and have graduated at the mid-year point in January. Congratulations to Emily Shaffer, Avery Leveroni, Aydan Lachar, Meya Francis, Stephen Catalano, Morgan Browe, and Annalise Agostine!

Abby Wicks won the Section 2 Division 2 300-Meter Dash at the Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Way to go Abby!

Students from all three elementary schools are involved in Girl Scouts. Recently, these students made dog toys for a local shelter, created healthy food packages for the Backpack Program, surprised a school nurse with a basket of goodies, and built outdoor shelters for cats. Great job on working together and giving back to the community everyone!

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

Mission: Meeting the needs of and creating opportunities for every student every day. #AP_EveryStudentEveryDay

Jared D. Alderman named to Dean’s List at SUNY Brockport

BROCKPORT, NY – Jared Alderman of Rensselaer, NY has been named to the SUNY Brockport Dean’s List for the Fall 2021 Semester. To be named on the Dean’s List, a student must achieve a grade point average of 3.4 or higher and must be working toward at least 12 credit hours. Alderman is a Sports Management/Business Administration major. Congratulations Jared, we’re so proud! Love, Dad & Kristen

Moby-Dick Nominated for 2022 Audie Award

Berkshire County Producer Alison Larkin Competes with Major Publishers For Audiobook Industry’s Highest Honor

In the world of audiobook publishing, there is no higher honor than the annual Audie Awards. This year, tiny but esteemed audiobook producer, Alison Larkin Presents of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is competing with the goliath publishers of the audiobook business for the 2022 Audie Award in the Literary Fiction & Classics category.

Alison Larkin’s Moby-Dick, narrated by renowned beloved Berkshire actor Jonathan Epstein, is nominated alongside audiobooks published by giants of the industry: Macmillan Audio, HarperAudio, and Penguin Audio. 

Larkin’s small but charming recording studio in the Stockbridge welcomed Epstein last year when, during the pandemic’s darkest days, he drove all the way from Florida, sleeping in his car with a mini-harpoon at his side, to narrate Herman Melville’s classic tale, considered one of the greatest American novels ever written. 

The audiobook was launched at a release party/fundraiser last spring in Arrowhead, Melville’s 1840s home in Pittsfield, with proceeds from the evening’s sales supporting the home. 

According to Larkin, “Moby-Dick was a massive undertaking for a company our size, and we’re absolutely thrilled to be on the same line-up as Macmillan, Harper and Penguin audio.”

Alison Larkin Presents has always punched way above its weight in the audiobook arena. Larkin’s narration of The Complete Novels of Jane Austen is the Number One bestselling audio version of Austen’s masterpieces, garnering glowing reviews from The New Yorker and many others. Audiobooks released by Alison Larkin Presents have garnered 13 Earphones awards from leading trade publication AudioFile Magazine, and Larkin’s best-selling novel The English American was picked by Vogue and Redbook for book-of-the-month honors. On Valentine’s day, AudioFile’s featured Audiobook Break podcast will start featuring her narration of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Jonathan Epstein, the narrator of Moby-Dick, is best known locally for his more than 30-year association as actor, director, and teacher with Shakespeare & Company. He has also performed on and off-Broadway, in London’s West End, and at regional theatres here in the Berkshires and around the country. He is currently Teaching Professor of Classical Performance at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota, Florida. He has been, for most of his life, an avid waterman.

Moby-Dick is the product of 60 hours of audio recording and another 60 hours of sound editing, to produce 25 hours of listening. It can be purchased at Alison Larkin Presents, on CDs or as an audio download. For more information, please visit  Alison Larkin Presents

Rensselaer Plateau Alliance conserves sew Community Forest in Grafton

The Rensselaer Plateau Alliance (RPA) has conserved 394 acres, for what will become its 3rd community forest on the Rensselaer Plateau. A community forest is a model of keeping natural land undeveloped while serving the needs of the surrounding community for recreation, education, and more, while also providing clean air, water, and protecting homes and roads from flood damage. 

Photo by Nate Simms – Kay and Bill Valentino donated funds to help the RPA conserve the new community forest.

The conserved land, which features beautiful ponds, streams, and waterfalls, combines two sales from two separate landowners. RPA will continue to own and manage this land and will ensure its conservation in perpetuity. 

RPA hopes to ready to open the forest to the public in fall 2022.

The first step in creating a community forest is inviting all interested people, including neighbors, to join a volunteer community forest committee. The volunteers will help guide decisions and goals for the forest. 

The Alliance’s other community forests, in East Poestenkill and East Nassau, include miles of hiking trails, youth programming, and accessible trails, all guided by volunteers. 

Neighbors to the land trust’s first community forest appreciate having the resource nearby. “We love having the Poestenkill Community Forest up the road from us. It brings us joy to see others drive up Legenbauer Road to the community forest as we know the natural treasures they will experience,” said Ernest Piazza of East Poestenkill.

With the project, RPA seeks to engage a new community in this part of the plateau while at the same time conserving an ecologically critical area. The new community forest will enhance the benefits of nearby forests.

“We are grateful to Kay and Bill Valentino, who donated funds to help match a grant from the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest Program,” said Jim Bonesteel, Executive Director. 

The Valentino’s hope that the forest serves the community for generations to come. “We hope that our grandchildren bring their grandchildren someday,” Bill said.

Coyotes and Other Carnivores on the Rensselaer Plateau with Dan Bogan

Part of Rensselaer Plateau Alliance monthly Lecture series

Thursday, February 17 at 7pm on Zoom. Registration is required; please visit to register. 

Dan Bogan, Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences at Siena College, researches behavioral ecology and human-wildlife interactions, carnivore ecology and conservation, and urban wildlife ecology and management. He will talk about coyotes and other carnivores in New York State.

Literacy Volunteers Of Rensselaer County Announces Appointment Of New Executive Director

 Troy, NY – Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Nancy Benz as the organization’s new Executive Director, effective January 13. Ms. Benz succeeds longtime Executive Director Judy Smith, who will retire early this year. 

 “We are excited to welcome Nancy Benz to LVORC at an important time for the organization,” said Laura Salkowe, President of the Board. “As our new Executive Director, we believe her skills and experience will be an asset to current literacy programs as well as growing our program offerings in Albany County and beyond.” 

 “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County,” said Nancy Benz, Executive Director, LVORC. “The organization is poised to strengthen its vision and build on its successes over the years. I look forward to being part of the effort to bring the organization to the next level and make a positive difference for even more people who are in need of help with language and communication skills.”

 Ms. Benz is a seasoned non-profit professional with more than a decade of experience in New York’s Capital District non-profit sector including as Vice President of Fund Development at Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson and Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region. She most recently served as Senior Director of Fund Development at the Animal Protective Foundation. 

 After serving for nearly a decade in the role of Executive Director, Judy Smith retired this year. 

 “It has been my pleasure and a gift to work with our Board, our staff, volunteers and our students over these past eight years,” said Ms. Smith. “I have also become even more aware of the great need for LVORC’s work in the community and the abundant generosity of our volunteers and community.” 

 “We are grateful for Judy’s leadership and all that she has done for LVORC to achieve the mission of our organization. On behalf of the Board, we wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement,” said Board President Salkowe.

 Troy resident Jessica Lee Cruz named Airman of the Year by the New York Air National Guard

New York Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jessica Lee Cruz, a Troy resident, has been named Airman of the Year for the 5,900- member New York Air National Guard.

Cruz is assigned to the 109th Airlift Wing, based at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia. She is an air transportation specialist in the wing’s 109th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

Cruz was chosen for the honor by a board which evaluated candidates from the New York Air National Guard’s five flying wings and its Eastern Air Defense Sector selected for their performance in 2021.

The award recognizes Airmen who exhibit outstanding leadership abilities, job performance, and personal achievement during the competition year.

As an air transportation specialist, Cruz is responsible for processing passengers and baggage aboard all Department of Defense and civilian owned military aircraft in accordance with all applicable Air Force rules and regulations.

She has served in the New York Air National Guard since 2017.

During 2021, Cruz volunteered for a deployment to Ali Al Salem Airbase, Kuwait where she built pallets and checked in more than 27 tons of cargo. Additionally, Cruz deployed to Greenland to provide support for the National Science Foundation, where she moved over 141,000 tons of cargo and processed 133 passengers for 33 missions.

Cruz also volunteered to be part of Operation Allies Welcome, a mission to provide services to Afghan’s evacuated by the United States prior to the Taliban takeover of that country. She deployed to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in support of that mission.

She is currently serving on the New York National Guard’s COVID-19 response mission.

“It does feel good to be recognized. As a guardsmen, you spend a lot of time away from your family and from your home-life and to be recognized for those things feels great,” Cruz said.

“Staff Sgt. Cruz emulates the Air Force core value of service before self with her continual willingness to step up whenever the need arises,” said Chief Master Sgt. Mark Mann, her supervisor in the logistics readiness squadron.

“Staff Sgt. Cruz is an asset to the Air Transportation career field, the Air National Guard and the United States Air Force. She is a natural born leader, and has a great career ahead of her. All of us within the squadron are extremely proud of her and her accomplishments,” Mann added.

As the New York Air Guard’s Airman of the Year, Cruz will compete against Airmen from the other 53 states and territories to be the best in the entire 101,000-member Air National Guard.

In civilian life, Cruz is a Rensselaer County corrections officer. She resides in Troy with her daughter.

Community Caregivers Presents Lunchtime Chats

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Simply call (518) 992-6661 or you can contact us and we will set it up for us to dial you! 

February 2022 – Friday, February 11th Topic: Valentine’s Day Party; Tuesday, February 15th Topic: Travel to Alaska; Friday, February 18th Topic: Little Known Facts about Presidents and their Wives; Tuesday, February 22nd Topic: What is it like to be a Medical Student? Speaker: Meghan Goodard and Andrew Cyr, Medical Students; Friday, February 25th Topic: The Lives and Music of the Rat Pack – Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Friends. Community Caregivers Office: (518) 456-2898, Chat Number (518) 992-6661. 

All are Welcome! Our Lunch Time Chat program is open to all. Each call has an interesting program that includes an opportunity to discuss the topic. Chats are most Tuesdays and Fridays, always at 1:00 P.M. Simply dial-in to hear about a variety of interesting topics! It’s Free and easy to join! Community Caregivers is a non-profit agency supported by community donations, and grants from the Albany County Department for Aging, the NYS Department of Health and Office for the Aging & The U.S. Administration on Aging. 

Souper Bowl at Stephentown Federated Church

We celebrate the NFL’s Super Bowl with our own “Souper Bowl” on Sunday, February 13th at our service at 9:30am with Pastor Chris Garrison. Bring the groceries and monies you would like to donate to the Stephentown Emergency Food Pantry which we house at our church. The church is handicapped accessible. Mask required. The church is located at 1513 Garfield Road, Stephentown, NY 518-733-5813

East Greenbush CSD Opens Kindergarten Registration for 2022-23

EAST GREENBUSH – The East Greenbush Central School District is now enrolling kindergarten students for the 2022-23 school year. To be eligible for kindergarten in September 2022, your child must turn five years old by December 1, 2022.

Kindergarten registration packets are being mailed to all eligible families in the district database. 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. If you are not sure which school they will attend, call the Registrar’s office at 518-207-2062. 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.

Visit for more information.

Free Tax Help is Available and Can Help You Get Your Refund Faster

The IRS is experiencing massive backlogs because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It may take 9-12 months for your return to be processed and to receive your refund if you physically mail your return to the IRS. However, you can generally expect to receive your refund in three to four weeks if you electronically file the return. 

You can electronically file your 2021 return starting Monday, January 24, 2022. 

The IRS’s “Free File” Program may be able to help. Free File partners will e-file your return for free. This year, you can e-file with Free File if your adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less. Links to these free tax preparation and e-filing services are available at 

Free tax assistance is also available in many communities. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program provide free tax preparation and e-filing services. Locations can be found at or from your local United Way. The AARP Tax Aide Program also provides free tax preparation. VITA, TCE, and Tax Aide each have different eligibility requirements. 

If you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), you also qualify for free tax help by IRS-trained volunteers. You may qualify for the EITC even if you’re single and have no children. EITC eligibility can be complicated. Check if you qualify at 

In addition to e-filing, you will usually receive your refund faster if you ask for the payment to be directly deposited into your bank account. 

If you have questions about e-filing, refunds or other income tax issues, the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) may be able to help. The Clinic’s services are free of charge. You can call the LASNNY Legal Line at (833) 628-0087 and ask for our LITC. The Clinic does not generally provide tax preparation services.

Do You Have An Hour a Week to Spare to Help Someone in Our Rensselaer County Community? Community Caregivers Could Use You! 

RENSSELAER COUNTY – We need drivers to take folks to appointments, or to the grocery store. We also need help checking in on isolated people in our community by making weekly phone calls or visits. Our clients and volunteers must be fully vaccinated to participate. Our volunteer orientation is online several times a month. Please call Heidi Buono, Service Coordinator for Rensselaer County at (518)366-9173,, or Meredith Osta, Volunteer Coordinator, at (518)456-2898, Information on, and donations to, our programs can be seen at

Seeking Tax Assistance Volunteers

CAPITAL DISTRICT – TaxAide, the free income tax assistance program sponsored by the AARP Foundation and the IRS, is seeking volunteers for the coming tax season.   TaxAide volunteers answer questions, prepare and file returns for low to moderate income taxpayers and seniors from February 1 to April 15 at various sites in the Capital District.  

Volunteers typically participate one day per week, with flexible schedules to accommodate volunteer availability. No experience is required, but computer experience is helpful for tax counseling.  Volunteers who do not wish to prepare returns are also needed to greet taxpayers and confirm appointments. Training is provided for all positions. Volunteers may be reimbursed for a moderate level of necessary travel expenses. 

For more information on how you can join our team in Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties contact Communications Coordinator [your name], [your phone number or] at [your email address]. For further information, visit 

Youth Scholarships at Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center

 Grafton – A gift of time spent in nature can benefit a child for years to come.  The Friends of Dyken Pond are proud to announce that scholarships are available to youth and schools for 2022.  Rensselaer County schools can apply to the Friends of Dyken Pond for field trip scholarships for a day of STEAM exploration at the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center, covering costs of bus transportation and field trip fees.  For summertime, the Friends of Dyken Pond will sponsor youth aged 11 – 17 to attend a DEC summer youth overnight camp. Youth may apply by contacting the Center for an application. Deadline for DEC camp scholarships is February 15.  Registration opens on March 6, 2022. For more information on this opportunity, please visit:  

Beginning March 1, youth ages 6 – 13 can also apply for a scholarship to attend our own Dyken Pond Center’s Outdoor Adventure Camp. This week-long day camp runs from mid-July through mid-August and provides age appropriate activities in ecology, wildlife and outdoor living skills. Games, hikes and hands on discoveries will give campers a lifetime full of memories. Scholarship applications, camp schedules and details can be found at or by contacting the Center at (518) 658-2055 or  Funds for scholarships are provided in part by McCarthy Charities and Stewart’s Holiday Match.

Albany-Tula Alliance Seeks Entries for 2022 Multimedia Contest

CAPITAL DISTRICT – The Albany-Tula Alliance is seeking Capital Region students from high school to first-year college to enter a multimedia contest on the importance of discerning fact from fiction.

For the past quarter-century, the Albany-Tula Alliance has been a cooperative sister city initiative between New York’s Capital Region and the Tula Region in Russia. Through the years there have been many cultural, educational, scientific and business exchanges between the two. Even though government relations remain strained the friends of the Alliance continue to work together as citizen diplomats.

The annual Essay Contest is asking students to submit a creative response to the prompt: “How can you form an unbiased opinion of another culture without being able to travel there?” Students can submit their responses in dozens of different forms from a poem to podcast, from a sculpture to a collage, from an essay to a song or video.

The deadline for registration and essay submission is Friday, February 28, 2022. The participant of the winning essay will win $1,000, second prize is $750, and third prize is $500.

For complete rules and detailed information on the Albany-Tula Alliance Essay Contest visit

Glass Lake Men’s Golf League

RENSSELAER COUNTY – Attention all golfers. The Glass Lake Men’s League at Burden Lake Country Club is looking for new members. Open to the public and members of Burden Lake Country Club. 

The league plays Tuesday nights from mid-April to mid-September, with tee times from 3:00-4:00pm. The league will also have two tournaments. The first being at a local golf course and the second at Burden Lake Country Club. All skill levels are welcome. For more information on dues and how to become a member, contact Kean Toomey at

Poestenkill Area Food Insecurity

POESTENKILL – Any greater Poestenkill area residents currently experiencing temporary or long term food insecurity can turn to The Bread of Life Food Pantry at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Poestenkill for supplemental food assistance. We provide basic nutritional foods and related items the first and third Thursday of each month from 4:30 to 6:30 PM in a very discreet, nonjudgmental manner. We offer drive-thru service where each guest receives a product list to form your order, we then fill your order and bring the completed order back to your vehicle. Delivery service to Poestenkill Seniors unable to visit our Pantry is also available. Please try us, we are here to help. Our phone number is: 518-283-6045 to leave a message. Thank you.

Hope 7 Food Pantry

TROY – The Hope 7 Food Pantry located at 520 Pawling Avenue, Troy NY serves the East Side of Troy, Wynantskill and Northgreenbush.

Pantry Hours: Mon-Fri – 9:30am-11:45am; Thursday – 5pm-7pm. Last Saturday of each month 9:30am-11:45am

What to bring: Proof of residence (Troy’s East Side, North Greenbush, or Wynantskill) – (utility bill to your address in your name). ID’s for each person residing in household.

Johnsonville Thrift Shop

JOHNSONVILLE – The Johnsonville Methodist Church Thrift Shop, located at 22 Bridge St., Johnsonville, NY 12094, is open 9-12 every Wednesday and the first Saturday of each month. Closed on holidays. Look for our sign at the corner of Route 67 and Route 111. We have a great selection of adult and children’s clothing, boots, shoes, coats, purses, special occasion and career clothing, jewelry, toys, linens, household and decorative items. Our well-organized book room has over 1,000 books available.

Gilead’s Body and Soul Pantry

Hopefully by the time you read this the weather will be a little warmer. The weather forecast for the week of this writing is cold. Whatever the temperature is for February 24th, you can be assured that our pantry will have a nice meal for you. Our menu this month is baked chicken breast, rice, carrots, salad and dessert. 

This once again has to be a takeout only, with hours from 3:00 – 6:00 PM. First time visiting the pantry, please ask for Lisa, so she can get you setup. 

Where is Gilead? We are located at the junction of Routes 7 & 278 in Center Brunswick.

The Anchor Food Pantry 

SCHODACK – The Anchor Food Pantry  in an attempt to keep the residents of the Town Of Schodack apprised during these Covid 19 times has an update regarding hours  of operation and procedures. The Pantry is open on the following days for servicing clientele and the general public.

Monday Evenings-5pm-7pm, Tuesday and Thursdays -9am-2pm, and the first saturday of each month 10am-1pm. We ask to call ahead at 518-732-4120 for food calls so staff can prepare order for delivery to your vehicle.

The Anchor food Pantry would like to inform the public and clientele of following guidelines that as set forth by governing bodies.

All clientele will be required to show proof of income example( Pay stub, retirement  statement, social security or unemployment benefits) proof of residency, and verification for those residing in the household . The Anchor asks that those using the pantry for food benefits abide by these policies so that the pantry can obtain necessary funding and donations to aid all those needing its services and goodwill in these pandemic and uncertain economic times.

Donations are currently being accepted clothing wise for fall /early winter apparel preferably during business hours. As always we thank  the citizens of Schodack for their present, past, and future support of aiding those in need during these seemingly never ending difficult economic times.

Looking for ways to help The Anchor Food Pantry. Just a suggestion: 

 Return your recyclable cans and bottles to The 6  Cent Redemption Center 550 South Street-Rensselaer  – Rt9J.

Just inform the staff you are donating to the Anchor  Food Pantry account and account will be credited automatically.

How to Prevent ‘Domestic Abuse’

Domestic abuse is also called Domestic violence (DV). It is a crime under the Violence Against the Women 1994/96 which affords equal protection to women and men. DV can be emotional, financial, verbal, psychological, physical, sexual, and technology-facilitated abuse. It is affecting millions of individuals across the United States regardless of age, gender, economic status, religion and education. We can prevent DV by spreading awareness, challenging the myths and confronting the abusers.


NEVER BLAME THE VICTIM: We tend to ask “What did the victim do to deserve the abuse?”. Instead, we need to ask: “why does the abuser choose to abuse?”. 

TRUST THE VICTIM’S PERSPECTIVE: Listen to and believe the victim to empower them to make their own decisions. Tell the victim that the abuse is not their fault and they deserve safety and respect. Ask them what they need to be safe. 

TAKE A CLEAR STAND THAT DOMESTIC ABUSE IS NOT A “PRIVATE FAMILY MATTER.”: One in three women and one in four men will be a victim of severe physical violence at some point in their lifetime. Each day, an average of three women die at the hands of someone who claims or claimed to love them. Every abused person is someone’s sibling, parent, friend or co-worker. 

TELL THE VICTIMS about the DV Hotlines: Equinox 518.432.7865; Unity House 518. 272.2370; YWCA NENY 518.374.3386; Wellspring 518.584.8188 and the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline 800.799.7233. If the victim is in immediate danger, call 911. Support your community by volunteering or donating to the DV agencies.

CONFRONT THE OFFENDERS: If it is safe, tell them that their abusive behavior is unacceptable. Impose social consequences like not welcoming for family dinner or to hang out, until they stop their abusive behavior. Study ‘bystander intervention training’ on youtube and put it into practice. 

EDUCATE THE CHILDREN AND YOUTH about healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships. It is some of today’s children who will become tomorrow’s abusers and victims. Discuss DV at the family table and encourage everyone to respectfully speak up without fear when something doesn’t feel right. Set a healthy example by not using coercive measures to control your children’s’ behavior under any circumstance. Be respectful to everyone, irrespective of their age and sex. Losing your ‘cool ‘, is a big “No,’. If parents have difficulty managing their emotions, they need to seek help.  


CHALLENGE THE WIDELY-HELD MYTHS ABOUT DV AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY: That ‘DV means physical violence’, it’s a “private family matter’, ‘the victim is weak’ and the victims can “just leave”. In reality, the woman is at the greatest risk of being hurt or even killed when trying to leave or after leaving. She has to carefully plan her escape, to protect herself, her children and pets and ensure financial security.

CHALLENGE THE MYTH THAT THE ABUSERS “LOSE CONTROL”: Not true. They don’t “lose control” at work, with friends and other family members! Abuse is a conscious choice rooted in power and control over the partner. Challenge the inequalities and ‘isms’ like sexism, racism, classism and patriarchy on which DV thrives. 

GIVE SUSTAINED PUBLIITY TO THE DV HOTLINE NUMBERS through all the media until they are as well-known as ‘911’. Make sure DV brochures are always visible at public places like libraries, town halls, workplaces, doctor’s offices, religious places, community centers.  

ORGANIZE DV AWARENESS CAMPAIGN EVERY OCTOBER. DV agencies can provide the publicity posters, brochures and speakers. 

What’s the Big Deal with Sports Betting?

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Mobile Sports Betting was legalized in New York State last year, and the regulators have been approved to launch as early as this weekend, Saturday January 8, 2022. Access and availability to gambling outlets continue to increase across New York State. For many, gambling is a form of entertainment and causes little to no harm. But there is another side to gambling that often is not discussed.

Problem gambling and gambling disorder affect upwards of 8 million Americans every year (National Council on Problem Gambling). While most who choose to gamble are able to do it responsibly, it is important to understand the risks associated. When there is an increase in access and availability to something, the risk of developing a problem also increases. The New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG) simply defines problem gambling as anytime gambling causes problems in your life. Problem gambling can cause personal, family, relationship, and/or career issues. These can include arguments over money and time spent gambling with loved ones, missing deadlines and being distracted at work, or feeling depressed or anxious because of one’s gambling.

With the launch of mobile sports betting, bettors will have access to wager 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are endless amounts of bets that can be made in a 24-hour period, expanding from simply betting on the outcome of a game to also include in-game bets, point-spreads, the over/under, parlay bets, futures, and many more (The Game Day).

Recent research has estimated that 6-9% of young people and young adults experience problems related to gambling — a higher rate than among adults (National Center for Responsible Gaming). A concern with mobile sports betting and the technology utilized is that it engages a younger generation of bettors, including individuals who may have never gambled before or at traditional venues for gambling. The potentially endless access to gambling in the palm of a young person’s hand could quickly escalate to be problematic for them and their loved ones.

Unlike substance use disorder, the warning signs of problem gambling and gambling disorder do not always present themselves in a physical way. It is often referred to as the hidden addiction. Warning signs include:

• Gambling to escape or avoid worries, frustrations, or disappointments

• Neglecting other responsibilities to concentrate on gambling activities

• Increasing amounts of money bet in an effort to win back losses

• Gambling with money needed for necessary expenses, such as groceries, bills, or medication

• Borrowing or relying on others to get out of debt

• Feeling desperate, depressed, or having suicidal ideations because of gambling

There is help available for anyone impacted by problem gambling. Problem Gambling Resource Centers (PGRCs) are located in every county and borough across New York State. PGRCs are designed to provide information and access to support to anyone seeking help as a result of problematic gambling. This includes help for the individual betting, for their loved ones who are impacted, as well as community partners seeking to provide support.

For more information on your local PGRC, please visit

Poestenkill “Bread of Life” Food Pantry 

POESTENKILL – We are open two times each month on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays beginning at 4:30 pm and ending at 6:30 pm. Bring proof of your current residence and grocery bags for your food request.

Starting in November 2021, we will now greet our guests inside the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 772 Route 351, Poestenkill, side entrance.

Please wear a mask and check the extra’s tables. Two guests at a time, fill out food selection forms while waiting in your car. We will continue to practice social distancing and safety for our volunteers and guests.

Delivery service to Poestenkill Seniors unable to visit our pantry is available. Call and leave your name and number at (518) 283-6045.

Our newest program offers infant and baby items (food, diapers and wipes) for those who reside in the Poestenkill area. Pre-orders only by a phone message at (518) 428-0124, a private Facebook message, or email: We do not currently stock these items in our pantry as selections are very individualized. 

Newly Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? Consider Attending PD SELF – Parkinson’s Self-Efficacy Learning Forum

CAPITAL DISTRICT – A national program being offered in Albany. The program provides people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s with an in-depth understanding of the disease and the tools to manage it with confidence.  There is no cost to attend.  Registration is required.  Space is limited. Care partners are encouraged to attend.

This year the program, starting in September, has been adapted  to be fully online. Find out more at

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!

Team “Knocking Out Alzheimer’s” Bottle Drive, The Fundraising Continues …

WYNANTSKILL/RENSSELAER – Team “Knocking out Alzheimer’s” is partnering with the  Alzheimer’s Association. Return your bottles and cans and help the Northeastern New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Through an arrangement with: Six-Center Redemption 

Two Locations: 461 Main Ave Wynantskill (Corner of Sharpe and Main Ave) & 550 South Street Rensselaer.

No need to count the cans or bottles, no waiting or standing in lines to feed your cans or bottles into a machine.

The Alzheimer’s Association will receive six cents for every container you donate to the cause. Simply drop off your containers and say: “These are for the Alzheimer’s Association.”

The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. The first survivor of Alzheimer’s is out there, but we won’t get there without you.  Join the fight with your bottles & cans! Check us out on face book  – Knocking out Alzheimer’s

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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