Thursday, April 30, 2015

Washington Park Tulip Tour on May 7 in Albany

Spaces available for a guided tour of the Washington Park tulip beds with City Gardener and Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center Education Coordinator; call 434.0405 for reservations
ALBANY, NY – The Washington Park Tulip Tour originally slated for tomorrow afternoon as part of the City of Albany’s Tulip Festival activities has been rescheduled for Thursday, May 7 at 2 p.m.  A guided tour of the famous Washington Park tulip beds with City Gardener Jessica Morgan and Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center Education Coordinator Carol Ann Margolis, the Tulip Tour will present fascinating information on the vast quantities and varieties of flowers planted for Albany’s Tulip Festival, the history of the park and the festival, and the cultural significance of the tulip to the City of Albany. The tour was postponed to allow visitors to view the largest variety of tulips, most of which will be in full bloom next week.

A $5 ticket and reservations are required; call 518.434.0405 to secure your spot.

Morgan and her small City of Albany gardening staff planted roughly 135,000 tulip bulbs in 150 different varieties, as well as 40,000 muscari and 5,000 spring bulbs throughout the city in preparation for the 67th Annual Albany Tulip Festival. Held May 9 & 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily in historic Washington Park, the free spring festival features two stages of live music, kids’ activities, craft and food vendors and much more amid this colorful backdrop. 

For additional information on the 67th Annual Albany Tulip Festival, call 518.434.2032, visit or follow albanyNYevents on Facebook and Twitter. The Tulip Festival is presented with the help of hundreds of community volunteers. Positions are still available; call 518.434.5411, email or for more information.

A Scams Reminder from the Cohoes Police Department

From the Cohoes Police Department:

Important Spring Time Safety Reminder from the Cohoes Police Department:
The Cohoes Police would like to warn citizens that with the coming of spring, communities tend to experience two common types of scams; gypsies hit the area and black top scam artists.  Traditionally, the targets are upper middle class residential areas that have a larger population of elderly residents.  More often than not, the con artist will target females.

Gypsy Scam:  The typical gypsy scam involves two females with a male driver in close proximity to the females.  Gypsies will hang around banks or businesses, as well as following meals on wheels deliveries, looking for an easy target.  Gypsies will follow targets home.  Once a victim is selected, the gypsies will use one of the following ruses to get inside a house-feigning illness, asking for a drink of water, pretending to have a package to deliver to a neighbor, asking for paper to leave a note for a neighbor, asking if the house is for sale, selling flowers or candy, or looking for a lost cat or dog, etc.  Once a homeowner is engaged in conversation and has been successfully distracted, the other female enters the house looking for currency, jewelry, or other valuables.  They are careful not to disturb anything so that many times the victim does not even know that anything has been taken.  If the gypsies get into your home, get out right away and go to a neighbor for help and call 911.

Blacktop Scam:  One of the most common scams in our area every year is the black topping of driveways.  The common approach is a black topper going door to door and telling people that they have extra black top left over and will black top the homeowner’s driveway for a good price using substandard materials.  Once the job has been completed, the scam artist will come up with different reasons for increasing the price.  For example: the original price did not include labor or they had to use more material than what was anticipated, etc.  Typically, there is an agreement that the black topper will seal the driveway too, but in fact, only applies another light coat of the same material used to do the initial job.  It is best not to have work done immediately.  Get the business name and phone number, and a written estimate.  Then, contact the Better Business Bureau for references or complaints regarding the blacktop business.

Anyone going door to door must have a valid vendor license issued by the City Clerk.  Citizens are urged to call the City Clerk or the Police Department to verify the license is valid.

If you feel you have been approached by, or a victim of a scam, call the Cohoes Police Department, 237-5333.  Note any physical descriptions of individuals, uncommon speech patterns, clothing, content of conversation, direction of travel when they leave.  If operating a vehicle, a description of the vehicle, color, make, model, plate #, etc.

Citizens should never open their door to anyone claiming to be selling a product or looking for directions.  DO NOT OPEN your door to anyone you do not know.  The citizen should always, immediately contact their Police Department to make them aware of any situations like this.  The City of Cohoes also maintains a list of residents that do not want solicitors or vendors to come to their homes.  To have your address added to this list call the City Clerk at 233-2140.  To stop solicitors and vendors from entering your property you can also post a sign on your property stating “Solicitors/Vendors Prohibited” “Do Not Enter.”  We recommend that you have your name on the City Clerk’s list and to post signage on your property.  Any solicitor or vendor that violates either is subject to arrest and police should be called immediately. 

With the nice weather approaching, citizens should be cognizant of some basic security for their home and vehicles.  Always leave your doors locked, even if going on short trips to the store or working in the yard.  Always lock your vehicle, even if it is in your driveway.  If you have a tool or garden shed, any unattached garage on your property with valuables, it should be locked when not in use. 

Surveillance camera prices are now very affordable and it aids the police if a crime does occur on ones property.  The video certainly will aid the apprehension of the subjects and furthermore it is a deterrent to many criminals.

Burglars, thieves generally look for the easiest targets and with the simple security tips, they usually move on to places and properties that are less secure.

The City of Cohoes Police Department has a Crime and Drug Tip Hotline.  All calls are confidential and messages can be left anonymously.  The number is 233-2161. This line is not monitored especially nights and weekends so emergency calls should be made directly  to 911 immediately.

All Vendors MUST HAVE A VALID VENDORS PERMIT issued by the Cohoes City Clerk.  If they do not everyone is urged to call 911 to report it immediately.   

"Walk A Mile In Their Boots" to Benefit Veterans Miracle Center in Albany

The Veterans Miracle Center, a 501 c3, based in New York’s Capital Region
invited the community to “Walk A Mile In Their Boots.” The event, created by the Center is a
fundraiser where the community can show their support for our area’s veterans by donning
Mickey Mouse, Cold Weather Boots and walking a specially created course at the Hudson
Crossing Park in Schuylerville on June 21st.
“This is really a symbolic tribute to the men and women who have answered the call to defend
our country,” said Event chairwoman Amy Amoroso, who in addition to volunteering works for
the Veteran Business Outreach Center, SBDC to help veterans start their own companies. “Our
hope is that in addition to raising awareness, we will raise funds to continue the mission at the
Veterans Miracle Center.”
The Center provides clothing, personal care and hygiene products, household items and
ambulatory equipment to veterans and active-duty military free of charge. In addition, they
provide counseling for personal needs, jobs and housing. All services are provided through the
generosity of donors and community sponsors.

“Obviously providing these services costs money and thanks to the commitment of the
community and our sponsors AT&T, Shop Rite, Adirondack Tire, Logo Wearhaus and Martins
Point, we will be able to expand the scope of services offered,” added Amoroso. “Yet, we are
just scratching the surface on the work that must be done so please consider sponsoring and
joining us at Hudson Crossing on June 21st.”
Businesses interested in sponsoring can visit for more information
or call Melody at 518-486-8398. Veterans or active-duty military who would like to inquire about
services from the Center can make an appointment Monday-Friday from 9AM to 5PM by calling
the number above.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Local author launches first book with signing

Wynantskill native, Kit Farrell’s, debut novel Am I Doing This Right? strikes cord with millenials

Local author, Kit Farrell, will be holding her first book signing Monday, May 4th at Ryan’s Wake in Troy.  The signing for her book, Am I Doing This Right? will begin at 6:00 PM

Farrell’s book is fiction, and centers on a recent college graduate.  Unemployed, living with her parents, and rarely wearing pants, Quinn discovers that her college diploma didn’t come with the perfect job.  Thankfully life can lead you down some strange paths.

To say Quinn Kelly is not in a good place in her life is an understatement.  Since moving back in with her parents, the college grad has started drinking too much wine and stopped wearing pants.

Working for a fake-food-display company is a far cry from Quinn’s dream job—a career in one of Chicago’s elite art galleries.  But she’d rather make up stories than admit she spends her days painting clay vegetables.  Meanwhile her sister is pregnant, and her mother is trying to hook Quinn up with an old high school boyfriend.

Quinn isn’t about to give up on her dream job, but that’s the funny thing about dreams: when they come true, they aren’t always what you expect.

A story of one young woman coming to terms with life’s inherent chaos, Am I Doing This Right? offers a humorous look at being twenty-something in the twenty-first century.

Farrell, a graduate of Averill Park High School and SUNY Oswego, self-published her first novel though Amazon after literary agents and editors encouraged her to change her story to make it more traditional and marketable.  Am I Doing This Right? is available on Amazon and Kindle.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shaker Pointe hosts special presentation from Dick Edwards Titled “Mom, Dad…Can We Talk?”

The retired Mayo Clinic eldercare specialist and author helps adult children open the door to conversations about their parents’ care and safety at home

WATERVLIET >>Leading Capital District senior living community, Shaker Pointe at Carondelet, announces that it’s hosting two presentations on Tuesday, April 28 titled “Mom, Dad…Can We Talk?” These events support the community’s overall dedication to helping Capital Region seniors
research and make decisions on the next chapter of their lives.

The presentations, taking place at noon and 6 p.m., will be given by Dick Edwards, the author of the book, “Mom, Dad…Can We Talk?” He will share his insights and perspectives about how adult children can help care for their aging parents. There are currently over 70 million Americans between ages 40 and 60, and Mr. Edwards has gathered nearly 100 real-world experiences in his book as a guide to these adult children on discussing next steps with older parents.

Mr. Edwards has 36 years of experience working with older adults and families to find the best care and lifestyle for seniors, and for the last 20 years he served as administrator of Charter House, a nationally recognized model for excellence in retirement living and long-term health care affiliated with the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Shaker Pointe, located at One Bell Tower Drive in Watervliet is excited to welcome the public to this free program. At the noon event, attendees will enjoy a free lunch, and those at the evening event will leave with a dinner for a family of 4. All attendees will be gifted a copy of Mr. Edwards’ book.

For more information about Shaker Pointe or to RSVP for the presentations, please visit or call (518) 595-3483.

About Shaker Pointe at Carondelet

Shaker Pointe at Carondelet is a nonprofit, independent senior living community sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. It is being developed by the Sisters to further their mission of serving the needs of the dear neighbor. Over the last 150 years the Sisters have been active in sponsoring and providing education, health care, social services and hospitality services in many areas of New York State, including the 14 counties of the Albany Diocese. For more information, please visit

Monday, April 6, 2015

Photos: Rally for man killed by APD

Friday evening, around 200 people gathered in downtown Albany in response to the death of Donald "Dontay" Shaw Ivy, a black man who was killed with a Taser by Albany Police Officers.

Photo courtesy of Jon Flanders
You can see more of local photographer Jon Flanders' photos from the rally here.

In his photos you'll see "Black Lives Matter" and "Disarm the Police" signs -- and folks of all ages and races.

Ivy was stopped near his home along Lark Street and Second Street by three officers around 12:30 a.m. Thursday morning. At some point, the encounter became physical and Ivy was Tasered. He was later pronounced dead at Albany Medical Center.

Albany Police Department have provided the names of the officers: Joshua Sears, Michael Mahany and Charles Skinkle. Police have not yet said why Ivy was stopped in the first place.

Ivy's family told local media he suffered from schizophrenia and heart problems.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Legislators File Resolutions Opposing Pipeline Project as Now Proposed; “Not a Good Deal” for County

Members of the Rensselaer County Legislature Thursday announced opposition to a pipeline proposed to be routed through areas of southern Rensselaer County, saying the planned project as now introduced has the potential to damage quality of life, the environment and fiscal well-being of residents and property owners.

The legislative resolutions are submitted for consideration amid a growing chorus of opposition from residents and local elected officials regarding the project proposed by Kinder Morgan to rout natural gas through the Northeast for possible overseas export. There are plans for a large gas compressor station to be located in Schodack as part of the pipeline project.

“We believe the pipeline project as now proposed is not a good deal for the people and property owners of Rensselaer County on a number of levels,” said Legislator Alex Shannon, chairman of the Legislature’s Environmental Committee.

Three resolutions have been filed for consideration at the April 14 legislative meeting, including one stating opposition to the pipeline proposed for routing through the towns of Schodack, Nassau and Stephentown. A second resolution opposes the granting of federal eminent domain rights and a third asks U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to take a stand on the proposed project.

Shannon is joined by Environmental Committee member Legislator Judith Breselor and Chair of the Legislature Martin Reid in sponsoring the resolutions opposing the proposed pipeline as now introduced.

Legislators said the pipeline proposal will have little benefit for the county, especially since the county and residents will be given no access to the natural gas carried on the lines. Property owners could lose significant portions of acreage where the project is not routed on rights of way while being compensated only a fraction for the project. That situation could result in a reduction of taxable value, causing budgetary difficulty for municipalities and the county, and a loss of property that can be used for future economic development efforts.

The gas compressor station has prompted concern from residents, as the project is likely to be over 20 acres and possibly located near residential areas. The station and the pipeline present numerous environmental, safety and quality of life issues for residents, municipalities and local emergency services.

“There is real concern about locating a gas compressor station as part of the pipeline project adjacent to neighborhoods in Schodack. Residents are rightly concerned about the possible reductions in safety, quality of life and property value,” said Breselor.

The pipeline project is being reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Congressman Chris Gibson and Congressman Paul Tonko recently noted the public opposition and interest by asking FERC to extend public comment on the project.  Legislators are hopeful U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand can take a stand on the project.

“Hundreds of residents have turned out for a series of meetings on the pipeline project, registering very reasonable concerns about the impact of the project on their home, the environment, safety, quality of life and property values. We would like to see our Senators use their considerable influence to protect upstate residents from unfairly being hurt by this project,” said Reid.