Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mayor Sheehan will Present Albany's 2015 Budget October 1

ALBANY, NY - -  TomorrowOctober 1, 2014, Mayor Kathy Sheehan will present the 2015 City Budget to members of the Common Council and will be available for questions after the presentation.

What: Mayor Sheehan Budget Presentation to the Albany Common Council
Where: City Hall Rotunda, 24 Eagle Street, Albany NY 12207
WhenWednesday, October 1, 2014, 5:30 PM

Mayor Sheehan’s presentation will begin at 5:30 PM and will last approximately 45 minutes. After the presentation, the Mayor will take questions from Common Council members.

Siena to Celebrate Family and Franciscan heritage with Blessing of the Animals, Opening of New Student Lounge

This Saturday, October 4, Siena College will honor its Franciscan heritage and welcome families to campus for a day filled with fun, energy and exciting events. Here is a list of the day’s events, with times and locations.

·        SAINTS County Fair
10 a.m. – 2p.m. on the Academic Quad (Rain Location: Marcelle Athletic Complex) 
Siena College faculty, staff and administrators will join students and their families for a fun-filled day that brings the spirit of the county fair to the Siena campus. There will be several attractions, including live music, food, games, miniature golf and even a petting zoo.
·        Blessing of the Animals
2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the Academic QuadThis annual tradition and community favorite brings the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi to life. In remembrance of Francis’ love for all creation, one of Siena’s Franciscan friars will bless family pets of all kinds, including dogs, cats, hamsters, parrots and even a horse or two.

·       Grand Opening Ceremony for New Student Lounge, “Casey’s”
3:30 p.m. inside the Sarazen Student UnionAs part of Siena’s $50 million comprehensive campaign, which is near completion, the College renovated its Sarazen Student Union. The Union’s new signature space is a student lounge named Casey’s, which will officially open with a ribbon cutting and blessing. Complete with a coffee shop, grill, performance stage, game room and casual and comfortable seating, Casey’s has become the epicenter for student activity.

·       Mass for the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
4:30 p.m. on the Academic Quad (Rain Location: Marcelle Athletic Complex)In keeping with Siena’s Catholic and Franciscan tradition, the College community will celebrate the Eucharist in honor of St. Francis. The Mass is open to the entire community.

Please contact Manager of Media Services Ken Jubie if you have any questions or would like further information about any of the events listed above.

Siena College is a learning community advancing the ideals of a liberal arts education, rooted in its identity as a Franciscan and Catholic college. Located in Loudonville, N.Y., two miles north of the state capital, the 176-acre beautiful, suburban campus is home to 3,000 undergraduates. Siena offers 27 majors in the Schools of Business, Liberal Arts and Science. In combination with its minors and certificates, Siena provides students with more than 1,200 program combinations. Siena College: Providing the education of a lifetime for more than 75 years.

CDTA to Hold Annual STAR Town Meeting on October 23 in Albany

Informational Session Set For Paratransit Riders on October 23

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 30, 2014) The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) will hold its annual STAR town meeting on October 23, 2014. The meeting offers STAR customers the opportunity to provide feedback to CDTA employees and its transit partners.

STAR is Special Transit Available by Request; a paratransit service offering transportation alternatives to people whom at certain times cannot use, or may have substantial difficulty using the CDTA fixed-route bus system because of a disability or impairment. To become eligible to use STAR service, an individual must complete the certification process and receive approval as a STAR customer.

For more information or to schedule a free trip reservation call 482-2022. All trip requests should be made between October 8th and October 22nd. Please visit www.cdta.org for more information

When: Thursday, October 23, 2014 6pm-7:30pm

Where: Ramada Inn, 3 Watervliet Avenue Extension Albany, NY 12206

Oil Fumes Pose Health Risk to Albany South End Residents, According to Expert

Calls DEC’s Claim of No Health Risk “Irresponsible”

Albany, New York -- Residents of Albany’s South End face a significantly greater risk of cancer and other diseases because of chronic exposure to toxic pollutants associated with crude oil operations, according to a report submitted today to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) by a nationally recognized expert on the public health impacts of toxic chemicals. Dr. David O. Carpenter, the Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the State University of New York at Albany, reveals in the report that, according to the DEC’s own air quality monitoring data, benzene levels in the area exceed the long-term health standard. Benzene is a known human carcinogen. 
Dr. Carpenter’s report characterizes as “irresponsible” DEC’s conclusion in an August 2014 report that the South End air monitoring results do not raise a public health concern. He points out that the results show that benzene levels in 20 out of 21 air samples exceeded the long-term benzene exposure standard, and the mean value for all samples is nearly three times the long-term benzene standard. He also notes that benzene is only one of a number of toxic pollutants, called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), that were measured at high levels in the area. 
Charlene Benton, president of the Ezra Prentice Homes Tenants Association, stated, “Dr. Carpenter’s report confirms what the people who live next door to the crude oil facilities at the Port of Albany have known all along: that the oil fumes from those facilities make people sick. We don’t understand how DEC could have concluded that there are no public health issues without having spoken to a single resident of Ezra Prentice about what its like to live here and breathe this polluted air. Who is going to protect our children, our old people and everyone who lives here if DEC walks away from this?” 
Christopher Amato, an attorney with Earthjustice, which represents the Tenants Association, said, “Dr. Carpenter shows that DEC’s analysis of its air monitoring results is a whitewash. The families who live and work in Albany’s South End deserve to have clean air to breathe. Dr. Carpenter’s report makes clear that their health is at risk from crude oil operations at the Port of Albany, but DEC is pretending that there is nothing to worry about. This report underscores the need for a full environmental review of crude oil operations at the Port of Albany.”
Roger Downs, conservation director of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, said, "The Carpenter report highlights a troubling trend at DEC in which potential public health hazards are dismissed without adequate study and public review. The Albany crude oil terminals represent the most significant new threat to air quality in the Capital District. It is time for Governor Cuomo to take action to protect the health of local residents suffering from headaches, asthma, nosebleeds and potential long term health affects from crude oil operations. "
Mollie Matteson, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, said: "Crude oil transport is already risking the long-term health of nearby communities with toxic oil fumes, already endangering public safety with explosive oil trains, already threatening the Hudson River with oil spills. It would be unconscionable for DEC to allow more oil by rail through Albany until a thorough assessment of all the risks is conducted, and the well-being of people and the environment can be assured."

Save East Greenbush Attorney Says to Reject Capital View Proposal


East Greenbush, NY (September 30, 2014). In written comments submitted yesterday to the Gaming Commission Facility Location Board, Save East Greenbush attorney Jeff Meyer states in no uncertain terms why the Capital View application should be “summarily rejected from consideration.”

"It is evident that East Greenbush residents are unequivocally opposed to the siting of this team's casino on Thompson Hill Road," said Meyer. "It should be remembered that the residents of Saratoga Springs rejected this team, as well. Clearly these developers have had not a few missteps in their bid for a license in the Capital Region."

Meyer delineates further reasons for rejecting the Capital View application, including but not limited to: incompliance with local zoning and intended land use; impossibility of necessary infrastructure improvements; violation of the intent of the Upstate Gaming Act to locate a gaming facility in a host community in financial need; and standing litigation regarding the Town Board resolution of support. Additionally, Meyer scrutinizes Capital View’s market analysis.

Meyer: “The market analysis required in the Application was supposed to detail the recapture rate of gaming related spending by existing residents traveling to an out-of-state facility. The analysis and materials presented instead focus on maintaining existing video gaming revenue and preserving the profitability of the Saratoga Racino. Throughout the licensing process we have been inundated with propaganda on how the market is not saturated and the region can support multiple casinos, yet they constantly argue for their Capital View Casino based on the potential negative impacts to their existing business. Capital View Casino as proposed is simply another Saratoga Racino filled with video gaming machines. It is designed to keep the existing racino gamblers residing in the Albany area from frequenting a more convenient location.

“The Applicant should not be able to use the cannibalization argument as both a shield and a sword. If the market is not saturated, then Saratoga Racino should be able to remain profitable no matter where or to whom a gaming license is ultimately issued. They will have the opportunity to negotiate and structure agreements with any operator to further their own business interests. As they like to say, let the market decide, not the Gaming Commission through approving a local monopoly on gaming facilities.”

Albany County DA to Announce New Public Service Campaign

I'll be attending this tomorrow....

--Danielle Sanzone

Who: Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares and Representatives of the City of Cohoes and the Cohoes School District

WHAT: Public Announcement and Media Availability

WHEN: Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 1:00pm

WHERE: Cohoes High School Auditorium, 1 Tiger Circle, Cohoes, NY 12047

Please join Albany County District Attorney David Soares as he makes an announcement regarding a new and dynamic public service campaign.  The DA will be joined by Representatives of the City of Cohoes and the Cohoes School District. Media is invited to document the unveiling of this campaign and promote the good work of youth in our community.    

Equinox to Particpate in Domestic Violence Awareness Month Activities

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
Equinox Partners with ACCADA for “These Hands are Made for…” Campaign

Equinox, the home of Albany County’s only comprehensive program for survivors of domestic violence and their children, is partnering with Albany County Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (ACCADA) for its “These Hands Aren’t Made for Hurting.  These Hands are Made for…” Campaign.

During October—Domestic Violence Awareness Month—purple paper hands will be available at various locations throughout Albany County, including Equinox, In Our Own Voices, recreation centers, libraries and participating businesses, for people to take and write a non-violent activity that their hands are made for, such as: These hands are made for helping; These hands are made for gardening; These hands are made for cooking. The purple hands will be displayed throughout the community to help raise awareness. The color purple is linked to domestic violence advocacy.

“Domestic violence happens in all parts of our community – regardless of socioeconomic level, ethnicity, age, religion, or sexual orientation,” said Kathy Magee, Director of Domestic Violence Services. “October give us an opportunity to shine a light on this insidious abuse, and encourage everyone to support efforts that help victims escape their abusers and take control of their lives.”

Equinox offices will be decorated in purple. Staff, along with the general public, is encouraged to wear purple on Wednesdays throughout the month, and participate in awareness activities, such as:

October 3 – First Friday Domestic Violence Resource Table. Equinox is partnering with In Our Own Voices from 5:00-9:00 pm on Lark Street in Albany to kick off “These Hands” Campaign.

October 7 – Equinox Paint Nite Fundraiser6:00-8:00 pm, Portofino’s Restaurant, 831 New Loudon Road, Latham (north of Latham Circle); $45 per person; advance ticket purchase required through www.paintnite.com/pages/events/view/albany/845432

October 15 – B’yond Style Hair Studio, 573 New Scotland Ave., Albany, will be selling purple hair extensions for $10 to raise money for DVAM.

October 16 – Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil, 7:00 pm, Albany Law School

October 25 – 1st Annual Albany Police Department 5K Run/Walk for DV Awareness, 11:00 am race start at Jennings Landing, 1 Quay Street, Albany; register on-line at www.zippyreg.com   

Visit facebook.com/EquinoxAlbany for DVAM events and weekly information, such as: What You Can Do to Help, Prevention, Holiday Stress, and more.

Manufacturing Day Throughout the Capital District

CEG & CEN to Participate in MFG DAY

Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY) is an initiative of the National Institute for Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) and co-producers including the Fabricators & Manufacturers Assn. Int’l, the National Assn. of Manufacturers, and others.

The Center for Economic Growth (CEG), as the Capital Region’s designated Regional Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center, and its affiliate, theChief Executives Network for Manufacturing (CEN), have been involved again this year with the planning and implementation of regional events for MFG DAY.

MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

“There's a realization that we can't just research and develop things here in the Capital Region and rely entirely on our service economy; we need to make things here. It takes advanced mechanical knowledge to participate in this workforce, and we have a lag in the number of workers who are qualified to take these jobs, and a lag in popular perceptions of what it means to pursue a career in manufacturing. MFG DAY aims to address these issues and foster interest in manufacturing careers,“ said Jeff Lawrence, Executive Vice President, Technology at CEG.

Local events throughout the week are listed below:

RPI’s Third Annual National Manufacturing Day | October 7, 2014 | 9am

Jeremy Bout of the Edge Factor will be presenting a high impact, multimedia presentation at EMPAC during RPI’s Third Annual National Manufacturing Day. As part of his presentation, Jeremy Bout will moderate a panel discussion with recent graduates of RPI who are working in manufacturing. This presentation will also be streamed live to surrounding school districts with the technical support of NERIC.  More

Manufacturing Week – Schenectady | October 3 - 9, 2014

Oct 3 – 3pm
Press Conference Kickoff Event at Schenectady City Hall

Oct 4 - 10am to 2pm
Open House & Factory Tours at Tough Traveler (1012 State Street)

Oct 5 – 2pm
Facility Tour & Presentation at the Edison Tech Center (136 N Broadway)

Oct 8 – 6pm & 7pm
Hosted by the Museum of Innovation & Science (MiSci)
6pm: Showcase of modern manufacturing educational programs from Capital Region BOCES and the Mohonasen CSD
7pm: Presentation & Panel Discussion on the new Center for Advanced Technology at Mohonasen (a partnership between Mohonasen Central School District, Capital Region BOCES, & SCCC). Moderated by Congressman Paul Tonko

Oct 9 – 1pm
Manufacturing & Technology Open House at Mohonasen High School to illustrate Mohonasen’s Mo-Tech programs and the Capital Region BOCES advanced machining and manufacturing program

Oct 9 – 6:30pm
Free screening of the American Made Movie (documentary on manufacturing in the US) followed by panel discussion at SCCC (in Stockade 101)

Albany County and New York State Officials Comment on Rail Car Safety

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy announced that his office has formally submitted comments to US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in response to the agency’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) entitled: Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for in High-Hazard Flammable Trains.

“The monumental increase in crude oil shipping through our community demands a strong response,” said McCoy. “We cannot wait any longer. It is my duty to protect the health and safety of county residents and we need the federal government to strengthen the rules. This report provides our response to the proposed rules and they will help address the safety concerns we have.”   

“I thank the County Executive for the opportunity to join in these important comments to the proposed federal regulations which seek to ensure the proper standards for rail transport of high-hazard materials, said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “It is imperative that the concerns of Albany residents be heard and considered throughout the process. The safety and well-being of our community and of communities around the country are at stake.”

Peter Iwanowicz, the voluntary chair of the County Committee on Crude Oil Safety said: “As big oil moves to make Albany a bigger piece of the oil patch, it is important that proper standards are put in place to protect the health and lives of those living along the rail lines and near oil storage facilities and the fragile environments rail lines traverse. The comments and recommendations Albany’s leaders filed with the federal Department of Transportation represent the strong advice of those on the front lines of the oil by rail boom and should be adopted in the final regulatory package.”

McCoy noted that while the US DOT has taken positive steps to reduce the risk posed by increased oil-by-rail shipping in the region, swift action is needed in the short term to mitigate the risk to the public.

The comments on the NPRM recommend that the USDOT undertake the following measures immediately:

·         The agency should exercise emergency authority to reduce public hazards now:
·         To reduce risk, the department should mandate stabilization or conditioning of crude oil prior to shipment;
·         The proposed new shipping standards should apply to trains transporting smaller volumes of oil;
·         The implementation of positive train control should be accelerated;
·         The DOT must mandate reduced speeds for trains carrying Class 3 flammable liquids in or near densely populated areas;
·         Carriers of Class 3 flammable liquids should be required to provide more disclosures to local first responders;
·         Carriers of crude oil should have adequate financial assurance; and
·         The department should adopt the most protective tank car standards and follow the recommendations of the NTSB.

NYS also submitted comments from the DEC, the DOT, and the DHS in two letters:

“Governor Cuomo remains committed to the partnership fostered between New York State and relevant federal agencies on these issues. Further, enhancing practices and strengthening regulations to ensure public health and safety and the protection of natural resources are critical. New York State urges USDOT to expedite the promulgation of these regulations to ensure the safety of those living and working along crude oil transportation corridors.”

NYS Taxpayer Advocate Warns Consumers to Beware of “Tax Rebate” Scammers

NYS Tax Department does not call taxpayers to confirm eligibility for tax credits

New York State Taxpayer Rights Advocate Margaret Neri cautioned New Yorkers to beware of scam artists seeking personal information to “confirm” taxpayers are eligible for a tax rebate.
“Tax scammers will take advantage of any opportunity to solicit information—including social security numbers—from taxpayers,” said Ms. Neri. “If you receive a call seeking personal information, hang up and report the call to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection line: 1-800-771-7755.”
The New York State Tax Department has learned that scam artists have contacted taxpayers to allegedly help them receive a tax rebate.  
Initial reports are that the calls have been made in Central New York. However, the Department cautions all New Yorkers to be vigilant when being asked for personal information.
The Department always makes first contact by letter, which includes a phone number you can contact to verify that it was sent by the agency.
For the new Family Tax Relief and Property Tax Freeze Credits, the Department confirms eligibility using available data; taxpayers are not being contacted by telephone.  
To report a scam, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau – 1-800-771-7755.
About the Advocate
The New York State Taxpayer Rights Advocate leads an independent office within the New York State Tax Department.   The office works with taxpayers who are unable to resolve an issue with the Department, or whose New York tax debt creates an undue economic hardship.   In addition, the Advocate works with the agency to resolve systemic issues.
Deputy Commissioner Margaret Neri was appointed as the Advocate in July of this year. Neri served as an attorney with the Office of Counsel for 15 years prior to her current assignment, gaining valuable insight into the processes and administration of tax laws. Before joining the Department, she was in private practice, serving for several years as a law guardian in Albany County Family Count.

UAlbany Unveils State-of-the-Art Data Center

Enhanced Capabilities Designed to Better Position University for Increased Research Funding, Recruitment and Public-Private Partnerships

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 30, 2014) -- The University at Albany inaugurated a new advanced-capacity Information Technology (IT) building and Data Center, housing the equipment and systems to support the computing, research, information, storage, and telecommunications services for the University.

The new IT building and Data Center will provide faster, more efficient computing, improved network capability, and IT applications for the 23,000-plus UAlbany students, faculty and staff.  The facility’s services will range from student registration, library systems, and online learning, to research by the RNA Institute and others. Its enhanced capacities will also support key UAlbany initiatives such as the NYSUNY 2020-driven Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship Complex (E-TEC) and the expansion of new academic programs in high-needs fields including computer engineering and big data analytics.

"The new IT Data Center is key to advancing the University at Albany's research enterprise," said University at Albany President Robert J. Jones. "By enhancing the University's computing capacity, we can further develop our innovative academic and research programs in big data management, digital forensics, biomedical sciences, and the work of our renowned weather and climate science faculty."

"This state-of-the-art facility will be one of the most efficient, innovative, and secure data centers operated by public higher education,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “It is also a major contributor to the success of SUNY’s system-wide shared services initiative, accommodating data from Hudson Valley Community College and SUNY Empire State College in addition to the University at Albany. As the capacity of the center continues to grow, it has the potential to be an even greater asset to SUNY and to New York State."

Hudson Valley and UAlbany became the first two of SUNY's campuses to share IT facilities, a collaboration that won a SUNY Award for Systemness Innovation in October 2013. The new IT building's Data Center will serve as the primary facility for SUNY's Empire State College beginning later this year.

The new IT building, on the western end of the campus, sits in an original 1960s repurposed grounds building that was refurbished with $29.3 million in capital funds. The building increases the campus's green footprint with its LEED Silver-certification, and has received Tier III design certification from the Uptime Institute, the certification authority for the enterprise data center industry.

“Our new state-of-the-art facility will support the expanding research, academic and business needs of the campus community,” said UAlbany Chief Information Officer Christine Haile. “It marks a turning point in the University’s capacity to grow strategically, both now and well into the future.”

Initially, the IT building's Data Center will house hundreds of physical and virtual machines and more than 600 TB of storage. In-house hardware includes sophisticated systems for power and building systems management, two 1,000KW generators, and advanced cooling and fire suppression systems. As a Tier III facility, any building component can be taken offline for maintenance without affecting the University's computing or network availability.

Some 5,400 square feet of raised floor area and more than 16,000 square feet dedicated to office space will house 50 ITS staff. The IT building will start out with 110 server racks with the goal of the design capacity of 158 racks. Three levels of security access control all monitoring functions.

In addition, the completion of the IT building adds a chill plant and generator, shared by the campus plant, to serve dorms and podium. The IT building move also returns the old Data Center space to the campus for alternate use in facilities and building projects. The new IT building represents adaptive repurposing of an aging campus building, and creates an attractive anchor for west campus entry.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Judge Resigns After Served with Formal Disciplinary Charges

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct announced that Domenick J. Porco, a Justice of the Eastchester Town Court, Westchester County, resigned from office after being served with formal disciplinary charges. Pursuant to a stipulation, Judge Porco agreed not to seek or accept judicial office in the future. On that basis, the Commission proceeding against him was closed on September 18, 2014.

Judge Porco was served with a Formal Written Complaint dated April 2, 2014.  The allegations in the Formal Written Complaint included: not sufficiently overseeing and approving dispositions of a significant number of Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) cases in his court; and in or about June 2012,
certain records of VTL cases that were reviewed by the judge, photocopied and produced in response to a request from the Commission, were deficient and raised questions as to whether and when he had approved the dispositions. 

The Commission has accepted 49 such stipulations since the procedure was instituted in 2003.

Dollar General Hosts Customer Appreciation Event in Pittsfield, Mass.

Celebration includes donations to local schools, free gift cards and giveaways

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. – September 29, 2014 – Dollar General will host a specialCustomer Appreciation Event this Saturday, October 4 beginning at 8 a.m. at its recently-opened store at 2 Callahan Drive in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to thank customers and the local community for its support since the store’s opening in August. 

The event will include free $10 Dollar General gift cards to the first 100 adult shoppers and tote bags for the first 200 adult shoppers, in addition to other giveaways.  The Dollar General Literacy Foundation will also award Stearns Elementary School with a grant to support local literacy initiatives. 

“Dollar General is excited to host this Customer Appreciation Event for the Pittsfield community to show our gratitude for welcoming us to the community,” said John Bohl, Dollar General local district manager. “We continue to be committed to helping area residents save time and money on a wide variety of merchandise while being good community citizens through our mission of Serving Others and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.”

Now and in the coming months, Dollar General will carry a selection of items to prepare for the upcoming holidays with national name brands and private brands of food, housewares, seasonal items, decorations, cleaning supplies, apparel and health/beauty products. Customers can also save more on Dollar General’s everyday low prices by using its new Digital Coupons program, available on the Dollar General app and online at www.dollargeneral.com.

For additional information, photographs or items to supplement a story, please contact the Media Relations Department at 1-877-944-DGPR (3477) or via email atpr@dg.com.

About Dollar General Corporation
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for 75 years. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. With more than 11,500 stores in 40 states, Dollar General has more retail locations than any retailer in America. In addition to high quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America's most-trusted manufacturers such as Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg's, General Mills, and PepsiCo. For more information on Dollar General, please visit www.dollargeneral.com.

About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation
Dollar General gives its customers more than everyday low prices on basic merchandise. Dollar General is deeply involved in the communities it serves and is an ardent supporter of literacy and education. At the cash register of every Dollar General store, customers interested in learning how to read, speak English or get their General Education Diploma (GED) can pick up a brochure with a postage-paid reply card that can be mailed in for a referral to a local organization that offers free literacy services. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $97 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 5.8 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education. For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit www.dgliteracy.com.

Upcoming Events Can Shed Light on What Dogs are Really Thinking

Thursday, October 16, 6-8 p.m. - Battenkill Books, Ltd. (15 E. Main Street, Cambridge) hosts author, artist, visionary Elizabeth Cockey. She will sign copies of The Reincarnation of Piggy Pie-Pooh: A Dog Trilogy, a short story collection that shares the beautiful connection between dog and man. Bring a photo of your pet for a tarot card reading. Your $5 donation supports the Rutland Humane Society. 

Saturday, October 18, 2-4 p.m. - Gardenworks (1055 County Route 30, Salem) hosts author, artist, visionary Elizabeth Cockey. She will sign copies of The Reincarnation of Piggy Pie-Pooh: A Dog Trilogy, a short story collection that shares the beautiful connection between dog and man. Bring a photo of your pet for a tarot card reading. Your $5 donation supports the Rutland Humane Society. 

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elizabeth Cockey (Greenwich, NY, www.thepaintedword.info) is dedicated to enhancing the personal and mental development of others. A national authority on the use of art therapy in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke and schizophrenic patients, she has been acclaimed for her work in long-term and palliative care facilities. Also an animal therapy enthusiast, Elizabeth often brings her Pekingese Oliver to her one-on-one sessions with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. He brightens their day, serves as a great prop for someone who is depressed, and connects them with memories of their own pets.

Rensselaer Mayor Sends Updated List of Hard Rock Casino Supporters to Gaming Commission

A revised list of supporters of the Hard Rock Cafe Hotel and Casino in Rensselaer includes a list of Troy businesses.

The total list had 11 Capital Region counties, two Rensselaer County towns, the city of Troy, nine elected officials in Albany and Rensselaer counties, and 75 local businesses, according to a letter sent out by Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer on Monday to the Gaming Commission.

Businesses included: the Tri-City Valley Cats, Katie O Weddings and Events, the Franklin Hospitality Group, Lucas Confectionery, Weathered Wood, Heartspace Yoga, Ekologic, Collar City Hard Pressed, The Ruck, Bella Napoli, the Trojan Hotel, O'Brien's Public House, and Jose Malones.

The Board appointed with the task of deciding casino locations is expected to make a decision before the end of fall.

Lyme Disease Event Slated for October 4 at The Crossings of Colonie

Lyme Disease Turned Her Family's World Upside Down
  Now she's striking back with a "Race Against Lyme" this Saturday, Oct. 4, at The Crossings of Colonie park

COLONIE, NY---Heidi Buono knows first-hand how Lyme disease can turn a family's world upside down---and she doesn't want others to go through the same thing.

Buono and her three children have all fought Lyme disease. Heidi became very ill six years ago, suffering from symptoms that so many with Lyme experience: extreme fatigue, achey joints, severe migraines, and heart palpitations. She underwent countless medical tests, but all returned negative. She couldn't find a doctor near her Albany home who could help her. 

Barely able to walk and unable to care for her children, a distraught Buono sought out answers, eventually finding a Lyme-literate physician two-and-a-half hours away who diagnosed her with late-stage Lyme and other tick-borne co-infections. 
Heidi and Michael Buono with daughter, Leah
Then her children became ill. Her eldest son was hit the hardest with neurological issues and was unable to attend his sophomore year of high school. Once again, doctors were stumped, but told Buono that "no way" could her son have Lyme. 

She found a doctor closer to home who specialized in Lyme and tick-borne diseases, and her son was diagnosed and treated for Lyme and several co-infections. Today Buono and her children (she's pictured left with her husband and daughter) are still being treated, and like most individuals diagnosed with tick-borne diseases their ailments come and go. 

To raise awareness about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, Buono has organized a 5K Walk/Run "Race Against Lyme" to be held this Saturday, October 4, at The Crossings of Colonie, Loudonville, NY. Proceeds from the event will benefit Lyme Research Alliance (LRA), the nation's largest private funder of Lyme and tick-borne disease research at the university level. 

The 5K run, open to all ages and abilities, will start at 11 a.m. inside The Crossings of Colonie park and a 1.5 mile walk will follow; registration for all will open at 9:30 a.m. The Race will cover a flat 5K loop on designated routes, ending back inside the park. The event will be held rain or shine.

Individuals can pre-register for $30 each; families (up to six participants, same household) can pre-register at a family rate of $70. Registration on the day of the event is $35 for individuals and $75 for families. Participants who pre-register for the event will receive a t-shirt; those who register on Race day will receive the t-shirt while supplies last.

"Many people in upstate communities falsely believe they are not at risk of contracting Lyme or other tick-borne diseases, " said Buono, a job coach for special education teens. "They also don't know how little information---or misinformation---surrounds Lyme in our medical communities. I'm on a mission to change that." 

Plans call for Korey DiRoma, N.D. of The Stram Center for Integrative Medicine to speak at the event. Also, Top Form, a local personal training/gym, will lead pre-and-post-workouts, Albany Massage therapists will offer free massages and Piece of Cake Bakery and Cafe will hand out gluten-free almond or granola bars. 

"We're really excited about this upcoming Race since this is our first race in upstate New York,"  said LRA Executive Director Peter Wild. "Besides raising the awareness and funding that are so important to fighting Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, we hope the Race will also provide an opportunity for those who've been affected by them to come together and find a sense of community through shared experiences and a common purpose---finding reliable and effective tests and treatments for these devastating and mysterious diseases."

Sponsors for the event include Pioneer Bank, The Nuss Family, Colonie Police Benevolent Association, Needham Risk Management, C.T. Male Associates, Stram Center for Integrative Medicine, Cat's Eye Pest Control, Top Form, Albany Massage, Dairy Direct Milk, Piece of Cake Bakery and Cafe and Steven Morton, DMD. 

To register, sponsor, or volunteer to help with the Race Against Lyme to Benefit LRA, go to albanylymewalk@gmail.com or call 518-577-3316.