Uncontested races the norm locally, some use paper ballots to keep costs down
Locally this month, there are elections in both the Village of Colonie and Voorheesville, with only the Colonie race seeing a contest. There is also a contested race in the Village of Ravena. Most village elections, however, don’t inspire the same political discourse of town, county or state races and the county Board of Elections often isn't involved.
Village officials say little progress made with county on accessing grant
Around three months ago, Albany County legislators unanimously awarded Voorheesville $27,500 to complete an engineering study outlining the installation of a quad gate at its railroad crossing. Village officials, though, are still waiting to get their hands on the money.
Expert estimates moving building as-is could cost around $500K, smaller scale options possible
Raising the LeVie barn was a townwide effort 115 years ago, and relocating the building will likely take a similar effort.
Public hears about $4.1M plan for Albany-Bethlehem pathway portion
The Albany County Department of Public works held an open house Thursday, Feb. 20, on the third phase of the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail at Bethlehem Town Hall. The project as proposed is estimated to cost $4.18 million, with county officials needing to cut around $40,000 to stay within budget.
Thacher Nature Center to host annual environment-inspired art exhibit, offering art classes
Artistic inspiration comes from a variety of sources, but one local art show is rooted in Mother Nature’s visual appeal.
Albany County gets $656k grant for Counsel at First Appearance program
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced the county was awarded $656,000 of state grant funding for the Counsel at First Appearance Project on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The three-year grant will be used to provide legal representation during arraignment to those who cannot afford an attorney.
Forum focuses on Common Core problems facing special education
Senators Cecilia Tkaczyk and Neil Breslin and Assembly members John McDonald and Phil Steck listened to comments from several speakers Tuesday, Feb. 11, discussing how implementation of the Common Core curriculum has exacerbated challenges for students with special needs.
Board members surprised by lack of timecard system, retroactive fix being implemented
New Scotland is tweaking the pay system for its recently created position of public works commissioner, but a resident questioned how hours were being maintained and some board members were surprised to find the system lacking.
Some supporters weary of shifting operations, McCoy wishes board selected sooner
The Albany County Legislature approved creating the nursing home LDC by 27-10 at its meeting on Monday, Feb. 10, with votes split across party lines, and appointed its board of directors.
Benedict steps down, but returns as deputy to ease party's transition
Albany County Legislature Minority Leader Lee Carman announced Monday, Feb. 3, that Christine Benedict was appointed as deputy minority leader, along with two new positions within GOP caucus.
Developers appear agreeable to allowing time for LeVie Barn relocation
The New Scotland Planning Board on Tuesday, Feb. 4, returned to Country Club Partners’ application seeking an 18-lot residential subdivision for a 22.4-acre property, which holds the 115-year-old barn town officials are trying to relocate locally.
McCoy signs executive order citing health concerns, lack of regulation
The growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs, has not gone unnoticed by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, who signed an executive order Thursday, Feb. 6, banning the use of the devices to match restrictions placed on tobacco smoking on county property.
Mayor expects agreement signed this month, hiccup over reserve account
Voorheesville officials have not reached an agreement with its local ambulance service provider for this year, but negotiations are progressing without the contentious debates of prior years.
Tkaczyk proposes moving primaries to June, or state covers $50M price tag
Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, held a press conference Wednesday, Jan. 29, to highlight a bill she recently introduced, which would move state primaries to coincide with federal primaries. The legislation also puts the onus on the state to cover state primary costs if the date is not moved.
Forum focuses on effects of lost state aid to schools, rallies for funds to be returned
The regional forum, “NY Schools Still in Fiscal Peril: Our Kids Can’t Wait Another Year,” drew around 1,000 people to South Colonie High School on Thursday, Jan. 30, with a gym opened as an overflow room to broadcast it.
District projects $22.75M spending plan, small state aid increase
Staying within the state-mandated tax cap means the Voorheesville school district will have to cut around $630,000 from next year’s spending plan, and where those reductions are made will be decided in the coming months.
Town officials granted access to site after several years, push to relocate structure begins
A reignited proposal to create an 18-lot residential subdivision adjacent to the Colonie Country Club has New Scotland officials scrambling to save the historic LeVie barn.
Living Resources unveils state’s first barrier-free home
Living Resources unveiled the Smart House, located off Ardsley Road in Guilderland, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, which harness technology to allow residents to maintain an independent lifestyle.
Town Board member preparing to form Economic Development Advisory Committee
New Scotland spans 58 square miles, encompassing seven hamlets and a village, and is home to more than 8,500 residents. Noticeably missing from the rural landscape is commercial development, but town officials are developing a group to tackle the disparity.
Program seeks better outcomes for at-risk youths, save taxpayers money
Albany County announced on Wednesday, Jan. 22, it would be taking part in the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) aimed at reducing the number of young people placed in secure and non-secure detention facilities, along with enacting reforms to the juvenile justice system.
Cuomo touts focus on classrooms in speech, GEA absent from remarks
Local school leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have clashed on several issues during his three years in office, with state funding to schools being a major spot of contention. Cuomo’s recent State of the State address left some educators wondering if this year would bring any substantial change.
Puppet show aims to inspire through musical tale and colorful characters
Two twin brothers from Southern California who grew up admiring Jim Henson’s “The Muppets” are now following in his footsteps as they travel across the country with their handmade puppets.
Cuomo pitches two-year property taxes freeze, local leaders plan to stay within cap
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced details of a $2 billion tax relief proposal two days before his State of the State address on Wednesday, Jan. 8. The proposals aim to reduce taxes and spur economic development, with homeowners benefiting directly from some initiatives.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined several new initiatives and built upon existing ones during his State of the State address Wednesday, Jan. 8. Check out a highlight of some initiatives affecting local residents and businesses outside of the governor’s proposed two-year property taxes freeze.
Graffiti tags Voorheesville High School sign and employee’s car, village library
A pair of teenage boys allegedly went on a vandalism spree, spray-painting bigoted wording and images, as well as cat faces, which caused damage estimated to total more than $8,000, according to police.
Democrat incumbents sworn in before meeting amid snowstorm
Town Supervisor Tom Dolin, town board members Douglas LaGrange and Daniel Mackay, and Highway Superintendent Ken Guyer were sworn in Thursday, Jan. 2, in front of a few residents. The four incumbents, along with incumbent Town Clerk Diane Deschenes, faced no opponents in bids to keep their posts.
McCoy touts passion and experience for tapping outgoing Albany Deputy Mayor
Philip Calderone, who served as deputy mayor of Albany for 17 years, was sworn in Tuesday, Dec. 31, as deputy county executive, with Albany County Dan McCoy announcing his selection a few days prior. Calderone replaced Bradley Fischer, who is leaving for a job at the state Gaming Commission.
Guilderland native pens first book with a cast of zany characters and adventures
More than a decade after a local man started writing a book in college, he dusted off the novel of absurd comedy to see the words finally make it to the printed page.
New take-out program generating additional revenue for district
Balancing the books of a school’s food service program amid more strict federal lunch guidelines has led some districts to opt out of the new requirements and lose the funding tied to those guidelines. Voorheesville Central School District though is coming closer to getting out of the red without the federal funds with meal options for students and families.
Rail Trail comes closer to being completed; arts venues receive grants
Nearly $83 million will flow to the Capital Region through the latest round of Regional Economic Development Council awards, and nearly 30 projects in Albany County nabbed funding. Most of them focused on highlighted projects, but several local priorities were also granted funding.
Legislators amend proposal to fund nursing home through 2014
Albany County lawmakers adopted its first budget within the state mandate tax cap amid an amended proposal to continue funding the county nursing home through next year.
Severe snowstorm leads to sparse turnout at school’s polls
Fewer than 200 people cast a ballot Tuesday, Dec. 17, on Voorheesville’s proposed $2.7 million bond project, which passed with 131 votes in favor and 52 votes against.
District proposes reconstructing roof, upgrading technology for future demands
Voorheesville school officials are hoping a scaled-back capital project targeting what it has deemed to be essential improvements will be approved by voters.
McCoy announces green initiatives alongside signing bill, looks to expand ban past chains
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy signed the Food Service Waste Reduction Act into law Thursday, Dec. 12, at Bethlehem Town Hall flanked by local officials. The law bans polystyrene foam food containers and requires such businesses using disposable food service ware to use a “suitable, alternative product” that is compostable or biodegradable.
CarFit helps older drivers stay safe behind the wheel
CarFit volunteers converged at Westmere Fire Department on Wednesday, Dec. 4, to make seniors aware about vehicle safety equipment and to fit cars to each individual. Information is given to enhance driver safety, too, along with recommending certain items that can be purchased to make driving safer.
Community group to host annual Victorian celebration
The village will be transformed into a festive hot spot during Altamont Community Tradition’s 12th annual Victorian Holidays Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 15, from noon to 6 p.m.
McCoy holds public hearing on proposed law, most residents urge approval
Leading supermarket chains voiced qualms over the Albany County Legislature’s recently adopted Food Service Waste Reduction Act, but not over the most contentious proposal banning Styrofoam containers.
Village and service company near agreement after sheriff intervenes
Voorheesville Area Ambulance Service members and village officials have locked horns for months over contract differences, but in recent talks, the atmosphere has become surprisingly civil as next year’s agreement deadline nears.
Colleagues praise retiring Voorheesville Library Youth Services director’s passion and creativity
Connecting with young readers of all ages is what attracted Joyce Laoisa to Voorheesville Public Library around 16 years ago. Although a library’s role has changed over time, her mission to inspire children remained steadfast.
Party set to celebrate Rail Trail portion opening; further improvements eyed for bicyclists
Friends of the Rail Trail will celebrate the official opening of a new three-mile section running through New Scotland as efforts continue toward expanding the trail’s size and usage.
Old Songs hosts monthly gatherings featuring simple moves and a social element
Dancing isn’t everyone’s favorite activity, but one local man bets he can get even the most reluctant of dancers off the sideline and moving in no time.
Company spending $3B to upgrade electric infrastructure
Tackling some of what the worst winter storms inflicts has National Grid “hot stick” workers preparing for the chilly reality of living in the Northeast.
Rock climbing, caving, mountain biking and more trails pitched for park
A series of improvements are being planned for John Boyd Thacher State Park and Thompson’s Lake Park. Capital improvements and operational enhancements will occur during the next 10 to 15 years.
Town Board adopts spending plan raising taxes 1.7 percent, reserves tapped for $334k
The New Scotland Town Board on Wednesday, Nov. 13, unanimously adopted next year’s budget totaling almost $7.16 million and holds an overall property tax levy increase of 1.7 percent.
DA's Office provides tips for consumers and retailers to combat crimes
Albany County District Attorney David Soares is warning people to be aware of the potential for identity theft and counterfeit currency as the holiday shopping season kicks off.
Local events let people run, walk or dance away those Thanksgiving calories
With Thanksgiving a few days away, some people are looking for ways to keep themselves off the couch and the calories at bay.
Albany County Legislature makes decision amidst community support, industry outcry
The Albany County Legislature on Tuesday, Nov. 12, approved the Food Service Waste Reduction Act by a vote of 24-12, which prohibits usage of polystyrene foam containers, commonly known as Styrofoam, at chain food service businesses. The ban will be effective in six months.
Final approval granted for extension to build new kiln, strengthened pollution standards
Lafarge North America has received the final approval on an amended settlement granting additional time to construct a new kiln while further reducing pollution at its Ravena cement plant.
Thacher Nature Center holds annual celebration connecting families to natural gifts
Fast approaching is the mad dash to retail stores for once-a-year deals on the hottest merchandise, but there’s one event coming up that allows people to slow down and connect with nature before the big feast that kicks off the holiday season.
Give thanks to area farmers, businesses by buying local ingredients
A bounty of area businesses and markets make shopping local for all the ingredients of a customary Thanksgiving dinner a relatively easy task.