Your Community

Your Community 06.08.23

A Big Thank You!

The Sand Lake Garden Club would like to say thank you to all of the people in our community who attended and supported our 2nd annual Garden Faire on May 20th. The money raised from these events helps to fund the scholarships we offer each year to Averill Park High School graduating seniors. 

We would also like to thank the vendors who took part in our endeavor: Reynolds Farm, Pike’s Pond Pottery, Joe Johnson Photography and Jan’s Jewelry. 

Our special thanks goes to the CCE Rensselaer County Master Gardeners for collaborating with us, the Salem United Methodist Church for hosting our event, the Sand Lake Kiwanis for providing the much needed tent and the following business for donating plants: Becker’s Farm, Hewitt’s and Tremont Lumber.

Share the Wear Clothing Swap – Troy Climate Action

Revamp your wardrobe and reduce textile waste at Troy Climate Action’s Share the Wear Clothing Swap! Join us on Saturday, July 1st, from 9am to 2pm at the Troy Farmers Market and be part of a sustainable fashion movement. The Clothing Swap is a fantastic opportunity for the community to exchange unused clothes for stylish pieces they’ll love.

This free event welcomes everyone to participate, whether you’re bringing clothes to swap, looking for new additions to your closet, or simply interested in learning more about divesting from fast fashion. Explore a diverse selection of pre-loved clothing items and discover hidden gems without spending a dime. Our aim is to create a sustainable resource for the community, and your participation plays a crucial role.

Don’t worry if you’re unable to contribute clothes; your presence and support are equally valuable. However, if you have gently worn clothes that deserve a second chance, we encourage you to donate them at the event. Every item donated contributes to reducing waste and supporting local charities.

Let’s take a stand against the fast fashion industry and divert clothing from ending up in landfills. Together, we can make a positive impact on our environment and promote a more conscious approach to fashion. Join us at the Troy Farmers Market and be part of the change!

See you there! Together, let’s reshape fashion’s future, one swap at a time.

Rensselaer County 4-H Member Attends 88th Annual 4-H Capital Days

A delegation representing 4-H members in New York State expanded their knowledge of state government when they traveled to Albany for the 88th annual 4-H Capital Days event. The delegation included 4-H members and their chaperones from counties across the state.

Representing Cornell Cooperative Extension Rensselaer County 4-H was MacKenzie Diamond of Wynantskill. Eileen DePaula, 4-H Program Coordinator accompanied the delegate. 

During this year’s event, 4-H members met with leaders in state government, members of the court system, and officials from a variety of state agencies. The delegates also toured the New York State Capitol, visited the Corning Tower, the New York State Museum and other significant features of the area. 

The New York State Association of Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Educators sponsored the 4-H Capital Days program. For more information about this and other programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County, please call 518-272-4210. No one shall be denied the opportunity to participate or receive information based on their ability to pay. If you have special needs that we can accommodate please let us know at the time of your call.

Hope Lutheran announces Operation Restoration VBS – Aug 7-11 8:30 – 12:30

MENDING as opposed to FIXING is about making things whole again, even if they look a little (or a lot) different than they did before. Kids will explore how mending means taking the pieces from something that is broken and putting them back together. As a community, we can practice gathering what’s been torn apart and working together to form something new and whole. 

As always, there will be MUSIC! Bible Stories! Creative Activities! Nature/Science and Service Learning! Arts and Crafts! Restorative Yoga! And of course, SNACKS! There will also be parachute fun and maybe even some water balloons! We will hear stories about Jesus Feeding Thousands, the Good Samaritan, and Joseph Forgiving His Brothers. We will explore the Psalms, Prayer, and Parables! all in kid-friendly ways that help them learn to be kind, forgiving, and thoughtful. On Friday at noon, we invite families to join us to share some of the songs and ideas we’ve experienced. Our celebration is followed by an ice cream social! A registration form is available at the church’s website: Children ages 4 (potty-trained) thru 12 are most welcome. 

As always, Vacation Bible School at Hope Lutheran is FREE! Our offering each day will be non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries which are in desperate need of supplies. We hope to see LOTS of returning campers as well as new ones in August. For questions or additional information, please email Marilyn Dyer (Mama Mare) at Hope is located at 470 Wintr St Ext in Defreestville.

East Greenbush CSD Launches New Online Registration Form

In an effort to simplify the Registration process and make it more user friendly for parents and guardians, the East Greenbush Central School District has launched a new online registration form.

Parents/guardians can register their child online at any time, whether the child is a new student transferring from another school district (K-12) or they will be entering as a Kindergarten student in the future.

To learn more, visit

Bethlehem Grange 137 Garage Sale  

SELKIRK – Bethlehem Grange 137 will once again host the Annual June Garage Sales.  For the first ever, we will have 2 full floors of items, plus a big tent of additional items in the back. The 2nd floor is also handicap accessible. We have housewares, kitchen items, linens, toys, puzzles, small kitchen appliances, small wooden furniture, 1 rolltop desk, 1 regular desk, records, cd’s, dvd’s, men’s, ladies & children’s clothing & shoes, jewelry, decorative items, holiday items, dishes, glassware, pictures, mirrors, outdoor furniture, tools, books, collectibles, craft items,  antiques, pet items, lots of indoor and outdoor plants, an Aquarian, a reptile Aquarian, dolls, and so much more.  You name it, you’ll most likely find it here!! If you don’t see it, please ask us!!  It’s probably here!!  New Items will be added daily!!  There will be lots of indoor tables of items, and lots of outdoor tables of items. 2 Handicap Accessible Ramps. Cash or Checks only accepted for payment.  No Credit or Debit Cards accepted!!

  We are also adding something new to our Garage Sales!! Flea Market Vendors Wanted for outdoors during the Garage Sales.  For more information about becoming a Flea Market Vendor during the Garage Sale, please call Charles Ryan at 518-227-8954.

   Bethlehem Grange 137 Garage Sale Dates are Friday & Saturday June 9th and 10th, June 16th and 17th, and June 23rd and 24th.  All days are 9am to 3pm. 2 Handicap Accessible Ramps. 

Bethlehem Grange 137 is located at 24 Bridge St., Selkirk, NY 12158

News From Averill Park CSD

A number of our Track & Field student-athletes won Section 2 Group 2 championships recently. Congratulations to Abbie Wicks (100M, 100M Hurdles, 200M, 400M), Marisa Mazzacco (Long Jump), Colin Brunelle (3000M Steeplechase), and the relay team of Arianna Verardi, Kim Mazzacco, Mary Bryant and Bailee Lange (4x800M)!

Algonquin Middle School held its 20th annual Richtol’s Read All Day, which is an event named in memory of Literacy teacher Ms. Richtol. The day was full of guest readers and a special presentation by award-winning author Steve Sheinkin. Great job by all who made this day possible for our students!

Three APHS French 5 students earned their Seal of Biliteracy, which is a NYS Department of Education graduation distinction that recognizes high school seniors who have attained a high level of proficiency in a world language. Congratulations to Sam Bonesteel, Emma Hanlon and Cooper Smith!

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

The Anchor Food Pantry

The Anchor Food Pantry would like to advise that if you cannot make it to the Anchor,  we have 2 locations at Schodack Town Hall-Town Clerks Office and Castleton Village Hall during business hours for these municipal locations, to drop off food items in the bins provided.

Also you can redeem and donate bottles/cans for credit to our account at 6cent redemption center located on 9J -Rensselaer. Just inform staff to credit the Anchor Food Pantry account. As always we thank the Schodack Community for their past and continued support in our efforts to help those in these uncertain economic times.

Columbia High School Annual 70’s Reunion

Mark your calendar for the annual CHS 70’s Reunion on Saturday, August 19, 2023 at the Schodack Island State Park – noon until dusk.  1970-1979 attendees/graduates/teachers – but ALL alumni are welcome!  $20 entry fee includes food, provided by the Committee members.  

Join our Facebook page: Columbia High School 70’s Reunion for more info and updates OR contact Caroline Lynch Zeyak at  Spread the word – see you there!

Looking For Arts & Craft and Food Vendors for June 16th-18th Kiwanis Summerfest

The Kiwanis Club of Sand Lake is reaching out to Capital Region crafters and food vendors to take part in our annual, weekend-long Summerfest, one of the largest summer fairs in Rensselaer County. 

The carnival rides, major area bands, adult and youth activities and evening fireworks during the June 16-18th event attract hundreds of people each year. 

So this is an event you will not want to miss. Please contact Janet at for more information and to sign up.

Western Governors University Offers Two Scholarships for Rural NY Residents

To help remove rural barriers to higher education, accredited nonprofit and online Western Governors University (WGU) has announced the new Learn Where You Live Scholarships exclusively for residents of rural communities. Valued at up to $3,000 and awarded at $750 per six-month term for up to four terms, the scholarships are available to new or returning WGU students living in rural areas, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

According to the latest Census figures, 2.5 million New Yorkers live in rural areas, including 31.7% of residents (392,263) in the Capital Region. 

“For many rural New Yorkers, it’s just not feasible to drive an hour or more to a college campus, especially if they have work and family obligations,” said Rebecca Watts, who oversees operations in New York as regional vice president for WGU. “Completing a degree program can change lives, families and communities, and WGU is doing what we can to remove the barriers of distance, time, and cost.” 

In addition, for those New Yorkers who live in a T-Mobile service area for internet service, WGU offers the Online Access Scholarship, which provides students with a laptop, internet service and a webcam to pursue their education studies.

WGU has more than 60 online bachelor’s and master’s degree program in business, IT, education, and healthcare. WGU serves more than 3,400 students and more than 6,300 alumni in New York.

Both scholarship application deadlines are June 30 and more information is available at and

10 Tips for ‘Nonviolent Communication’ (1) 

Let me remember that myself and all the other persons (2) have the same needs (3).

Let me reflect every day on how compassionate I am towards myself and other persons. 

Let me check my intention to see if I am as interested in the other person getting her or his needs met, as I am, in mine.

When I am unable to fulfill a person’s request (4) let me say what needs of mine are preventing me instead of saying “I can’t do it.”

When I am feeling (5) upset, let me think about what needs of mine are not being met and what I can do to meet them instead of blaming other persons or myself.

Before agreeing or disagreeing with the other person let me tune into what she or he is feeling and needing at the moment.

Before asking a person to do something let me decide whether I want to request or demand (6).

Let me say what I want the other person ‘to do’ instead of saying what ‘not to do’.

Instead of vaguely saying to a person “I want you to be responsible/kind etc.” let me clearly express what I want that person ‘to do’ to be such a person.  

When a person does something, I like, instead of appreciating the action or the person, let me offer my gratitude (7) by saying what needs of mine were met by that person’s action.

(1) Nonviolent communication (NVC), also called ‘Compassionate communication’ is our natural state of being according to Marshall Rosenberg who developed it in the 1960’s. His teachings are available in his books and YouTube videos. Visit the ‘Center for Nonviolent Communication’ at for more info.  

(2) A ‘Person’, includes a boss, cashier, child, coworker, convict, customer, doctor, infant, in-law, janitor, judge, self, partner, parent, patient, police, president, priest, relative, student, teacher, etc. A just born infant is a ‘little person’!

(3) Needs: Basic human needs are – Autonomy, Connection, Honesty, Meaning, Peace, Physical wellbeing and Play.

(4) Request: A request is action specific, doable, positive, time specific and doesn’t put the other person under any pressure. The other person is more likely to fulfill a request with a positive attitude than a demand. 

(5) Feelings:

Pleasant feelings arise when a person’s needs are met – Affectionate, Confident, Excited, Exhilarated, Graceful, Hopeful, Inspired, Joyful, Peaceful, Refreshed, etc.

Unpleasant feeling arises when a person’s needs are not met – Afraid, Annoyed, Aversion, Confused, Embarrassed, Fatigued, Pain, Sad, Tense, Vulnerable etc. 

(6) Demand: A demand focuses on one’s own needs without concern for the other person’s needs and deprives them of choice. A demand is likely to discourage a potential helper or they may help with a grudge, resulting in a negative relationship.

(7) Gratitude: The primary purpose of expressing gratitude is to celebrate the awesome power we have, to help each other fulfill our needs, thus making life better for everyone. The secondary purpose is to let them know that they have enriched our life. Gratitude infuses energy and motivation to make each other’s lives more wonderful. 

When we regret not following Nonviolent Communication though we love to, we can draw inspiration from Marshall Rosenberg’s quote: “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. We don’t aim at perfection. We try to be progressively less stupid!”. 

(Adapted from “10 Steps for Peace”

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

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!

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