Your Community

Your Community 05.21.20

Statement from NYRA President & CEO Dave O’Rourke

CAPITAL DISTRICT – “NYRA and the New York racing community are thankful for Governor Cuomo’s steady leadership throughout this public health crisis and we applaud his decision to authorize the resumption of horse racing, without fans, beginning on June 1,” said NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke. “This is a reasoned and responsible decision by Governor Cuomo that will enable horse racing to resume in a way that prioritizes health and safety while recognizing that NYRA is the cornerstone of an industry responsible for 19,000 jobs and $3 billion in annual economic impact.

“We look forward to the resumption of live racing at Belmont Park with all appropriate health and safety protocols in place to support the hundreds of small businesses, family-owned farms and thousands of hourly workers who form the backbone of thoroughbred racing in New York.

“NYRA has developed a comprehensive safety plan that builds on our experience of operating training safely and responsibly during the pandemic, and includes extensive protocols to keep our community safe.

“With this safety plan in place, NYRA will announce race dates and a corresponding stakes schedule for the 2020 spring/summer meet at Belmont Park in the very near future.

“The Governor has reiterated during these challenging times that sports provide much needed entertainment for New Yorkers. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and his team, fans across New York and around the country can look forward to the return of horse racing from beautiful Belmont Park.”

Keyes Scholarship Award Winner

TROY – The Center Brunswick United Methodist Church is pleased to announce that Gabriella Fisher, daughter of Jennifer and John Fisher of Cooksboro Road, Troy, NY, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Mabel and Harold Keyes Memorial Scholarship.  Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this award was sent to Gabriella instead of being presented at the Tamarac High School Awards Ceremony.  Gabriella has worked with the Tunnel 2 Towers charity which helps our critically Wounded Veterans, is a foster assistant for Out of the Pits organization, is a member of SADD, the Yearbook committee, Student senate and class council.  Gabriella has been accepted at Delhi for studies to become a veterinarian.  

The Keyes Scholarship is funded through a donation from the estate of Mabel and Harold Keyes.  It is limited to graduating seniors from Tamarac High School.  Mabel Keyes was a teacher in the Brittonkill School system and she and her husband Harold were known throughout the congregation and the community for their work with children and youth.  It is most fitting that this Scholarship be continued in their memory and in their honor.

Congratulations Gabriella!

Sew Many Masks!

East Side Quilters have been busy making masks for local groups. The members have made over 3,000 masks that have been donated to over two dozen local organizations and businesses. East Side also continues to make quilts to be donated to local homeless shelters and people in need. More about the guild can be found at

Books for Troops is Collecting Books Again

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Books for Troops is now taking books once again, but only in the Latham office at 688 Old Loudon Rd., Latham. The other sites will remain closed. To maintain social distancing. the books are to be left in the 3 collection bins OUTSIDE the building, The books MUST  be in very good to excellent condition to protect the troops. NO HARD COVERS! Please place the books in plastic bags and not singly or in boxes.  As always thank you for your supporting  our “new normal.” Ellen Keegan, Director.

Keeping Our Community Safe – Another Step to Take

You know the drill; wear a mask in public, wash your hands, and stay home unless necessary.  Another step we need to take to keep our community safe is to properly dispose of unused medications found in our homes.  For too many young people, substance abuse and addiction begins by using prescription drugs found in home medicine cabinets.  Unused medications need to be promptly and properly disposed of. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has caused Drug Take Back events to be postponed and has limited physical access to many safe drug disposal locations.  Flushing medications down the drain is environmentally unsafe, and mixing the drugs with nonpalatable ingredients does not deactivate the drugs.  

We can help.  Nopiates Committee has partnered with NYS OASAS to provide the community with a new and easy drug deactivation system you can use at home.  The Deterra pouch allows you to safely and permanently deactivate prescription medications, including opioids, at home. We have a limited number of Deterra pouches that we can provide to you at no cost.  For more information visit and to request a Deterra pouch, please email Together, we can keep our community safe!  Visit and like our Facebook Page,

Nassau Sunshine Fund Emergency Loan Program Needs Your Help

NASSAU – The Nassau Sunshine Fund is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable corporation that makes small, no-interest loans to residents of the Town and Villages of Nassau. Since this not-for-profit charitable organization began in 2009, it has made 54 loans amounting to over $21,000. The Nassau Sunshine Fund was formed to revive a neighbor-helping-neighbor organization that first came into existence more than 100 years ago in our town. Learn more about this history at Due to the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, even more people are struggling to make ends meet. The Nassau Sunshine Fund continues to offer no-interest loans that allow neighbors in emergency situations to get through the tough times. The Nassau Sunshine Fund Board feels it is important for our community as a whole to support all of its residents and we hope you agree.

We are asking for your support of our efforts with a donation. Anyone making a donation can be featured in a “made possible with the support of” acknowledgement on our website (, in our literature and at any of our fundraising events. You may send a check to “Nassau Sunshine Fund”, PO Box 10, Nassau, NY 12123 or make an online donation on our website. All contributions are fully tax deductible.

Highest Average In US History Winners

RENSSELAER COUNTY – Congratulations to seniors in the graduating class of 2020! Fort Crailo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution would like to honor the following seniors from Rensselaer High School: Elaine Gillan, Francesca Lopez and Arieonna Thomas. The following senior from Columbia High School: Alexander Gore. These seniors had the highest average in US history.

Are you interested in service to your community? Do you have a patriot in your family tree from the American Revolution? Would you like more information on who the Daughters of the American Revolution are? Please visit our web page:

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County Holds Curbside Tomato Seedling Pick-up

RENSSELAER COUNTY – Every year Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Rensselaer County offers a Container Gardening Program. For this program, the organization orders tomato seedlings from Becker’s Farm, and then offers the seedlings to schools and 4-H members in Rensselaer County (along with information on how to properly plant them and other gardening topics) at no cost. This year’s program looked slightly different with schools closed and social distancing orders due to COVID-19. On May 5th, a curbside pick was held at the office in Troy for participants to come pick up their tomato plants. The remaining plants were given to The Troy Boys and Girls Club, Tamarac School, and Hoosic Valley School to pass out with meals that they were to deliver to students later that week. The organization extends a huge thank you to those principals and educators willing to work with them and help get the seedlings to more youth in the county. CCE of Rensselaer County is proud to still be able to offer opportunities such as this to the community during these times of COVID-19. If you are interested in what they are offering at this time, follow CCE of Rensselaer County or Rensselaer County 4-H on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook or call the office at 518-272-4210. Cornell Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity employer

Sand Lake Town Library Board Meeting

SAND LAKE – The Sand Lake Town Library Board of Trustees will hold their monthly meeting virtually on Thursday, May 21 at 6:45pm. Connection info will be posted on our website the day of the meeting. Please email questions or comments in advance to

News from Averill Park CSD

AVERILL PARK – The school budget vote and Board of Education election has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 9. Per an executive order from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, there will be no in-person voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, all voting will be done exclusively by absentee ballot. Absentee ballots with prepaid return envelopes will be sent to all qualified voters and need to be received by the District by June 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Averill Park Central School District invites residents to hear from the three candidates running for the Board of Education during a Virtual Meet the Candidates Night on Wednesday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. There are three (3) candidates seeking two (2) seats on the Board of Education this year. Each carries a new three-year term beginning July 1, 2020. The candidates are D.J. Hansen, Douglas Kelley and Ann M. Morone.

APCSD will hold a budget hearing remotely via Zoom on June 1. Community members should expect to receive a newsletter in the mail detailing this year’s budget after the hearing.

Submitted by Dr. James Franchini, Averill Park CSD Superintendent

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

A Call to Artists for a Summer Juried Art Show “The Power and the Glory”

RENSSELAER COUNTY – Artists of all media are invited to submit up to two works for a juried art show titled The Power and the Glory! at Sand Lake Center for the Arts. The exhibition opens on July 1, 2020 and ends August 31, 2020. Twenty pieces will be selected with first, second, third, and people’s choice cash awards ($300., $200., $100., and $100.,) will be given. The juror for this show is Matt Crane.He is a Capital Region Artist and Adjunct Lecturer of Art, University at Albany.

Submissions should be sent to in jpeg format by May 29, 2020. Selections will be announced by June 6, 2020 and selected works must be delivered to Sand Lake Center for the Arts – (2880 NY 43, Sand Lake), NY 12018, from June 8 to June 19, 2020 between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm, or by appointment (call 518-674-2007). For more information go to www.slca-ctp.corg.

All artwork chosen will be on display from July 1 to August 31, 2020. There is no submission fee.

There will be an artist reception on July 8 from 5-7pm that is free and open to the public.

Awards will be announced and given out at the reception.

Juried Art Show Specifications:

-No more than two submissions per artist

-Two dimensional pieces should be framed or otherwise ready to hang

-Submissions should reflect the concept of or be inspired by lyrics from the song “The Power and the Glory” written by Phil Ochs. See lyrics below.

-Two-dimensional work should not exceed 3ft x 4ft.

-Three-dimensional work should not exceed 14 inches H x 15 inches W.

*All work must be labeled with the following:

Last name, First name, Title: Medium, Size-(HxW)-Year

Questions or more information please contact Brian Sheldon at 518-674-2007,

Chorus: Here is a land full of power and glory

Beauty that words cannot recall

Oh her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom

Her glory shall rest on us all (on us all)

Attention Poestenkill High School Seniors

POESTENKILL – The Leo B. Clement/ Poestenkill Library Scholarship of $500 is ready to be claimed by a High School Senior who is a resident of the town of Poestenkill. The student, from a public, private or home school must be planning to attend a two or four-year college after graduation.

A 500-750-word essay based on the applicant’s love of reading is due by May 31, 2020. No specific font or spacing is required. Applicant’s name should not be on the essay page since the judging is done solely on the content of the essay.  A cover sheet must be attached which includes: applicant’s name, address, phone #, High School currently attending (or equivalent) and College attending in the Fall.

Essay can be e-mailed to:, sent by regular mail to PO Box 305, Poestenkill, NY 12140, or hand delivered to the library. 

Dunham Hollow West Stephentown Scholarship

AVERILL PARK – The scholarship committee announces the availability of the Dunham Hollow-West Stephentown Scholarship. The scholarship is in memory of Frank Johnson. It is open to anyone (graduating senior, post graduate, or adult wishing retraining) living within the boundaries of the Averill Park School District and has been accepted to a trade or vocational school. The deadline for submission of an application is June 1. Scholarship applications may be obtained by contacting the Averill Park High School guidance department at 518-674-7025 or by emailing 

Salute to all Poestenkill Graduates

POESTENKILL – The Poestenkill Fire Co. would like to salute all school graduates for the year 2020. If you know anyone that lives in the Town of Poestenkill and is graduating this year from elementary school, middle school, high school, or college, please email Brian at with the students name, physical address, and what school they are graduating from. On June 20th the Fire Company will be doing a drive-by for each graduate to honor them for a job well done.

HVCC’s Teaching Gallery Presents Virtual Exhibitions to Showcase Student Work

TROY – Hudson Valley Community College’s Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Digital Media Department moved its annual end-of-year student exhibits to virtual galleries after the COVID-19 pandemic kept students out of on-campus classrooms and studios for much of the spring 2020 semester. Three exhibits that normally draw patrons and proud parents to the college’s Teaching Gallery can be viewed at The online galleries are available through Aug. 31, 2020.

“Pulse 5” features class work in drawing, 2-D design, photography, graphic design, video, digital imaging, animation, and web-based and interactive media completed during the summer 2019, fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters. The college’s Digital Media program offers either an Associate of Science degree or certificate, preparing students for further study or immediate employment in digital media fields.

The Fine Arts End-of-Year Student Exhibit includes drawing, 2-D design, painting and photography, also completed in the current and past two semesters by students pursuing an Associate in Science degree in Fine Arts.

Advanced Study in Drawing and Painting is two semesters of guided study for students who have completed foundation art courses and wish to pursue their own body of work.

Graduates in both the Fine Arts and Digital Media programs may choose to continue their education or enter the workforce. In 2020, the college expects 11 students to graduate from the Fine Arts program and 29 to graduate from the Digital Media program.

The virtual exhibitions were developed by the participating artists with Digital Media and Fine Arts faculty members, and assistance from the Information Technology Services and Graphics departments. The Teaching Gallery is supported by the Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Digital Media Department, Cultural Affairs Program, and the college’s Foundation. Arlene’s Artists Materials of Albany provided student awards for the year-end exhibitions.


Correction Ilium Literary Club

TROY – The Ilium Literary Club of Troy will be celebrating its 100th anniversary October 2022 not October 2020. We are looking for members & former members to help us plan our celebration. If you have memorabilia, stories of different events and/or history of the Cub, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Barbara at or call 518-274-2949.

Problem Gambling – Northeast Resource Center Here To Help

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Isolation due to the COVID-19 can be especially difficult for those struggling with gambling problems. Extra time, stress and anxiety, access to gambling on the internet, and an increase in online gambling options are a recipe for trouble. People struggling with gambling problems, or in recovery from problem gambling, may find this isolation to be especially difficult. If you have noticed extra stress, anxiety, anger, uncontrollable urges to gamble or an increase in gambling activities there are options for help. If your loved one is struggling to control their gambling, help is available for you too.

The Northeast Problem Gambling Resource Center (NE PGRC) is a program of the New York Council on Problem Gambling and has been working to increase the awareness of problem gambling and connect those adversely affected by problem gambling to the care they need. The NE PGRC provides referral and treatment options, including connections to the recovery community, to individuals and families in need. We also provide education and training to groups and organizations who want to learn more about this disorder. The NE PGRC works with a network of qualified clinicians trained in problem gambling to provide barrier-free treatment to anyone seeking assistance.

Contact the Northeast Problem Gambling Resource Center

Call: 518-801-1491




CCE of Rensselaer County – Harvest Connection

RENSSELAER COUNTY – If people did not realize it before, they definitely are now- that no farms, equals no food. With most farmers markets and even some farms closed due to COVID-19, consumers are struggling to find local, fresh, products. The news has mentioned the need for vegetables, dairy, and eggs. However, it has recently brought up that we need to think about our meat supply. All of those products are available and that is the goal of Harvest Connection; to connect consumers with those products.  Harvest Connection is a farm to table initiative that connects consumers with farm fresh products. Consumers are able to use our website and app, search a specific product, and Harvest Connection presents a list of farms and farmers markets closest to them. We advise that all consumers call the location first to confirm what is available and any special measures they are taking to connect with consumers while following public health recommendations for distancing. Check out all of the current farms and farmers markets apart of Harvest Connection:

If anyone has any questions about Harvest Connection or if there are any producers in the Capital District who would like to join, reach out to Kayela at

Cornell Cooperative Extension Outreach Initiative

RENSSELAER COUNTY – As educators we are doing our best to keep the community informed about updates and opportunities regarding everything going on with COVID-19.

Please see some of the most recent ones below:

Miss local Farmers Markets? They may be closed, but you can still buy from and support local producers! Check out this link that the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market released with vendors who are offering delivery services by going to their Facebook page. Looking for other locations, not listed? Check out the Harvest Connection website, Harvest Connection Facebook page, or a specific farm’s website. Don’t forget to contact them to make sure they are open and that their hours of operation are correct!

Looking for Educational Opportunities? 4-H, farms, and other businesses/organizations are offering virtual tours and activities to keep youth engaged during this time.

Looking for Information about COVID-19? Due to the large amount of speculation regarding COVID-19, this is a reminder to rely on OFFICIAL sources for accurate information. Help control the spread of rumors by checking out FEMA and Federal Agencies website as well as sign up for the latest updates from your local & state officials.

We are trying our best to stay up-to-date. Check out our website or follow CCE Rensselaer County on Facebook for information about these various opportunities as well as other updates regarding COVID-19. Questions? Send Kayela an email at

Vaping – Public Service Announcement

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Vaping has become almost more common today then cigarettes. Originally marketed as being more safe than other tobacco products recent events have made it clear that this is not the full story. One study found that those who vape the equivalent to a pack of cigarettes a day had a 70% higher risk of stroke. This is only one of the health risks that can arise from vaping. For more information visit:

Addiction Screenings – Narconon can help you take steps to overcome addiction in your family. Call today for free screenings or referrals. 1- 800-431-1754.

Fentanyl – Public Service Announcement

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Fentanyl has been making headlines recently, this is because the incredibly potent chemical has been contributing to the increase in overdose deaths across America. Most people however do not know much about the chemical. For instance many don’t know that one of the things that makes fentanyl so dangerous is the fact that it can be absorbed into the system through skin contact. Meaning getting it on your skin could cause a potentially fatal overdose.

To learn more about Fentanyl visit:

Addiction Screenings – Narconon can help you take steps to overcome addiction in your family. Call today for free screenings or referrals. 1- 800-431-1754.

Rensselaer County Recovery Helpline

RENSSELAER COUNTY  – 1-833-467-3123 – Do you need help with substance use issues? Are you interested in volunteering for the helpline? The Rensselaer County Recovery Helpline offers information, local resources, and referrals for individuals and their families regarding substance use issues. The toll-free line is available 7 days a week from 9am-9pm. Each volunteer chooses shifts of 4 hours at a time to be on-call. When someone calls the number, a volunteer answers on their own smartphone, and can enter information to a database on their own computer, allowing for easy and quick access to resources. The information is sent to one of the 9 leaders, who will then assist the caller. If you or someone you know needs information, resources, or a referral for a substance use problem, call 1-833-467-3123. For more information, or if you are interested in volunteering, contact

Six Center Redemption is partnering with Alzheimer’s Association

WYNANTSKILL/RENSSELAER – 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.

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.”

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

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 Massachesettes.   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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