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Local Small Business Wins Free TV Ad On Super Bowl Sunday For Its 'Death Wish Coffee'

February 5, 2016

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Death Wish Coffee Co. will have a 30-second television ad during Super Bowl 50 on CBS.

©2015 Saratoga Photographer.com

Round Lake-based Death Wish Coffee Co. calls its product "the world's strongest coffee," and soon people around the country--even other parts of the world--will hear about it.

The company won a competition held by software maker Intuit for a 30-second spot during the third quarter of the Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7. They beat more than 15,000 other small businesses in voting by the public and Intuit employees.

According to Adweek, companies are paying CBS, the network carrying the big game this year, $5 million or more for a 30-second spot--a prohibitive price for a small business. Last year's Super Bowl had an audience of over 114 million people, officials said.

The Death Wish ad features a Viking ship sailing on treacherous seas before segueing into the moment of a man enjoying a cup of the coffee.

It can be viewed at: www.smallbusinessbiggame.com/contests/sbbg.
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Saratoga Home & Lifestyle Show Admission Is Now Free; Event Slated For February 26-28

February 5, 2016

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Spectators browse booths at last year's Saratoga Home & Lifestyle Show.

The Saratoga Home & Lifestyle Show, the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club's largest annual fundraiser since 1973, will take place Feb. 26-28 at the Saratoga Springs City Center.

New this year, admission to the show is free of charge, courtesy of the its major sponsor, the Adirondack Trust Co.

Also new for 2016, the Rotary Club will host a Fine Art & Crafts Show on the second floor of the City Center, concurrent with the Home & Lifestyle Show. The second floor will have artisans such as painters, photographers, wood crafters, sculptors, jewelers, botanical artists, and wine and spirits makers selling their work. Also on display will be artwork from Saratoga Springs High School students.

The Home & Lifestyle event features 120 regional exhibitors showcasing a wide range of home improvement services, décor and furnishings, energy-saving products, outdoor living and landscaping, family recreation, and lifestyle products and services, as well as prizes.
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Project Will Renovate, Modernize Caffè Lena, Plus Add Mixed-Use Structure On Phila Street

February 5, 2016

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This architect's rendering shows a building proposed by Bonacio Construction that would include eight residential units, coinciding with upgrades to Caffè Lena, located just to its left.
BY R.J. DELUKE

"Our goal is that 50 years from now people will still be flocking to this room," Caffè Lena Executive Director Sarah Craig said at a Jan. 26 news conference, standing on the stage of the historic folk music venue on Phila Street in Saratoga Springs.

Those words were spoken at the announcement of a $500,000 philanthropic partnership between the venue and Saratoga's Bonacio Construction that will further revitalize not only the 55-year-old Caffè, but its neighborhood, because as part of the Campaign for Caffè Lena, Bonacio assumes the Caffè's parking lot at Phila and Henry Streets.

Sonny Bonacio announced from the stage plans to construct a mixed-use building, which will feature an elevator and stairwell shared with the Caffè, at 47 Phila. The apartment space, with an address of 55 Phila St., will have eight residential units.

He said if all goes well, the project could be started in the spring and completed in a large part by the end of 2016, with interior work being finished up into early 2017.
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Annemarie Mitchell Of Legacy Timber Frames Given Award From National Builders Group

February 5, 2016

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Annemarie Mitchell is president and CEO of Legacy Timber Frames in Stillwater.

Annemarie Mitchell, president and CEO of Legacy Timber Frames in Stillwater, was honored as the Member of the Year for the Professional Women in Building (PWB) Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Professional Women in Building members work in all aspects of the building industry--as owners, builders, remodelers, architects, suppliers, marketing experts, designers and in finance and real estate.

Mitchell was instrumental in forming a local PWB council at the Capital Region Builders & Remodelers Association (CRBA), and served as the chairwoman for the council for four years.

More recently she served as president of CRBA for two years and she remains an active member in both the local and state associations. She has received the CRBA Builder of the Year Award and the Three-Legged Stool Award from the New York State Builders Association honoring her commitment to the building industry at the local, state and national levels.
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Chef Danny Petrosino Opens 'Osteria Danny' At 26 Henry Street Spot In Saratoga Springs

February 5, 2016

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Chef Danny Petrosino's has opened Osteria, a restaurant at 26 Henry St.

BY MAUREEN WERTHER

Danny and Patti Petrosino have opened their newest culinary venture, Osteria Danny, at 26 Henry St. in Saratoga Springs, formerly home to Capriccio Saratoga and Dine restaurant.

The Italian term "osteria" refers to places that serve mainly wine and simple food. The menus are typically short and focus on local specialties. Chef Danny Petrosino has been using local products for his entire culinary career.

A native of Amsterdam and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Petrosino is a highly regarded chef who honed his culinary skills at such restaurants as Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia and Saratoga National Golf Club. In 2012, his restaurant, Mio Posto, captured the attention of Bill Donovan, a faithful patron and one of the owners of Maestro's at the Van Dam and Harvey's Restaurant & Bar, both in Saratoga Springs.

After closing Mio Posto, Petrosino became executive chef of Maestro's and Harvey's. When Donovan and his partners decided to open Symphony Catering, Petrosino became its executive chef. He will continue to be in charge of menu development there, concurrent with the operation of Osteria Danny.
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CMC Design Studio Occupies New Space In Carlsbad Hotel Building On Franklin Street

February 5, 2016

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Colleen Coleman, principal, has owned CMC Design Studio since 2008.

CMC Design Studio LLC has opened a new office at the historic Carlsbad Hotel, 6 Franklin Square, in Saratoga Springs.

Colleen Coleman, principal, has owned and operated her independent interior design firm since 2008. The studio specializes in new construction and renovation projects for the residential market with a nod to small business interiors and private offices.

Coleman presents her design ideas in a 3D format, allowing clients to "walk through" their new space before making final decisions. By adding the client's selections into a scaled virtual model, the process of making otherwise difficult decisions is simplified, she said.

Coleman is well versed in all areas of design and construction and is certified as an associate kitchen and bath designer.
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Empire State College Gets Grant To Develop A Bachelor's Degree Program In Health Science

February 5, 2016

SUNY Empire State College was awarded $400,000 to develop a Bachelor of Science degree program in health science, a new program that will contribute to achieving SUNY's system-wide completion agenda of awarding 150,000 degrees each year by 2020, officials said.

Modeled after the college's successful RN-to -B.S. in Nursing program, SUNY Empire's new bachelor's degree will provide a clear, direct and efficient path for radiologic technicians, emergency medical technicians, dental hygienists, physical therapy assistants and many others who have earned an associate and want to complete their bachelor's degree, according to the college.

"The B.S. in health science is the latest example of SUNY Empire's dedicated faculty and staff using innovative, alternative and flexible approaches to higher education that transform people and communities through rigorous programs that connect individuals' unique and diverse lives to their personal learning goals," said Associate Professor Kim Stote, who was a member of the team that developed the successful proposal. "The B.S. in health science is designed to promote seamless academic progression for students moving from the associate to completion of a bachelor's degree."

Graduates of this program can become directcare providers, managers, educators or individuals focused on state-population health issues.
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April 1 Is Deadline For Students To Apply For Saratoga Builders Association Scholarships

February 5, 2016

The Saratoga Builders Association Inc. announced its continued monetary commitment to education with the awarding of a $1,000 student scholarship in 2016.

The organization makes this scholarship available annually to high school seniors who are planning to pursue a construction industry education at a two- or four-year accredited college or university or to students who would like to purchase tools for employment in construction.

The association said students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to be eligible. They must also demonstrate current or past involvement in the construction field, including classes taken in high school. Each applicant must also submit a high school transcript or list of construction classes taken, plus a short essay describing why they are interested in a construction industry career and what events led to this decision.

Applications for the scholarship program must be postmarked on or before April 1. Only the first 25 completed applications will be accepted. The winner and their school will be notified by June 1.
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Russo's Bar And Grill To Open In Ballston Spa, Third Restaurant Since 1920 For Area Family

February 5, 2016

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Michael Russo is set to open Russo's Bar and Grill at 15 Prospect St., the site of the former D-Line Pub. Russo also owns restaurants bearing his family name in Amsterdam and Broadalbin.
BY JENNIFER FARNSWORTH

Some new Italian cuisine is coming to downtown Ballston Spa with the opening of Russo's Bar and Grill.

The restaurant will be located at 15 Prospect St., formerly the D-Line Pub. It will be part of the Russo family restaurant business that started in Amsterdam many years ago.

Owner Michael Russo said his great-grandfather started the family business with Russo's Grill on Route 5 in Amsterdam in 1920, after coming to America from Sicily. Since then, the successful operation has expanded with Russo's Adirondack Grill on Route 30 in Broadalbin, and now Ballston Spa.

Russo said they are hoping to open the restaurant between the second and third week of February.
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'Nuance' Boutique Salon Moves Its Services From Halfmoon To Dunning Street In Malta

February 5, 2016

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Holly Garofano moved her Nuance boutique salon to 513 Dunning St. in Malta.

BY JENNIFER FARNSWORTH

The owners of Nuance, a boutique salon, are enjoying their new Malta location after closing their former location at the end of 2015.

The salon opening its new doors at 513 Dunning St. in Malta shortly after the new year.

Owner Holly Garofano said after being in Halfmoon for nine years, she felt like it was time to make a change. A resident of Malta, she used to drive by what would become the new location every day, admiring the building and more importantly the convenient location.

"My husband and I were excited when the for sale sign went up and were able to purchase it," she said. "I am so happy to be a part of the growing Malta community. I am so excited to be more involved in the community here and continue to provide our guests the same incredible service they received at our former location. It has always been a priority to give back to the community that supports our business so I am thrilled to work with my fellow business professionals."
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State Brewers Association Starts Certification Program For Draft Beer Systems Cleanliness

February 5, 2016

The New York State Brewers Association (NYSBA) launched its Draft Beer Quality Certification Program, the first of its kind in the U.S. for a state brewers association, intended to help retailers consistently pour great beer and preserve profits through industry-accepted best practices.

The program "could be the best thing to happen to craft beer in New York state," said David Katleski, owner of Empire Brewing Co. and NYSBA president. "NYSBA will work closely with retailers to help ensure that their draft beer systems are cleaned and maintained in accordance with the association guidelines."

He said poor draft line maintenance is the number one factor affecting the quality of draft beer. Over time, deposits such as yeast and bacteria begin to build up in draft lines. Without proper cleaning these deposits can affect beer flavor and the system's ability to pour properly. Not to mention, dirty draft lines are extremely unsanitary for consumers.

When draft lines are cleaned properly, using the right equipment and chemicals, it prevents the build up of deposits and eliminates the flavor changing microbes, Katleski said. Industry experts say draft beer lines should be properly cleaned every two weeks.
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First Of Three Adelphi Eateries, Salt & Char, To Open This Spring As Upscale Steakhouse

February 5, 2016

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Salt & Char, an upscale steakhouse, will open this spring at 353 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.
BY MAUREEN WERTHER

The trifecta of restaurants scheduled to open in the Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs and at the site of the former Maestro's restaurant are only the first of many projects envisioned by Adelphi Hospitality Group.

Toby Mildé, president of Richbell Capital LLC and owner of the historic Adelphi Hotel, 365 Broadway, formed the Adelphi Hospitality Group after meeting with renowned chef Gray Kunz and finding that they shared a vision for the culinary future of the region.

Mildé said he met Kunz through a mutual friend in the hospitality industry. After sitting down together on several occasions to talk about Milde's vision for the Adelphi Hotel-and the Saratoga region in general, they found their visions aligned and decided to form a partnership. They envision three projects.

The first--Salt & Char--is expected to open this spring in the Van Dam building, 353 Broadway, formerly home to Maestro's.
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NYRA Made Money At Its Tracks In 2015; Plans Continued Upgrades At Saratoga Race Course

February 5, 2016

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) concluded 2015 with a second consecutive operational profit, officials said in December.

NYRA officials said an operating profit of $4 million was achieved, exclusive of statutorily-guaranteed VLT revenue, which NYRA received starting in 2010, following transfer of its real estate holdings to the state.

The operating profit of $4 million exceeds the original budget of $2.2 million, as projected within the 2015 NYRA budget. The operating surplus reflects the first time NYRA has achieved back-to-back operating profits since the 1999 and 2000 fiscal years.

"This is an important milestone and a very meaningful achievement," said Christopher Kay, NYRA chief executive officer and president. "Working together with our board and numerous stakeholders, we are fulfilling Gov. Cuomo's vision of a reformed, revitalized and financially sustainable thoroughbred racing leader."
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Wesley Community Offers New Services For Those Diagnosed With Parkinson's Disease

February 5, 2016

Five therapists from the Wesley Community's outpatient therapy program have completed training and received certification in both LSVT Big and LSVT Loud methodologies through funding from an anonymous donor.

The certification allows the outpatient therapy program to provide new services to those diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

"We are grateful to our anonymous donor for funding the training needed to achieve these certifications and allowing the Wesley Community to better serve those who need specialized therapy as a result of having Parkinson's disease," said J. Brian Nealon, CEO of the Wesley Community.

LSVT certification programs, run by LSVT Global in Tucson, Ariz., are designed to train rehabilitation therapists in an evidence-based treatment approach for individuals with Parkinson's disease.
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Third Annual Leadercast Event Is Scheduled For May 16 At Skidmore College In Saratoga

February 5, 2016

Leadercast, the annual one-day leadership conference, broadcast live from Atlanta and simulcast to hundreds of locations around the world, is scheduled for Friday, May 6, at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.

This year marks the 16th year of the annual leadership conference and the third year that Roohan Realty, Leadership Saratoga and Performance Industrial will be hosting the event at the Gannett Auditorium in Skidmore College.

The theme of this year's conference is "Architects of Tomorrow," focusing on visionary leaders who imagine and build a future that is rich in innovation, collaboration and hope.

The conference is designed to equip attendees to create their own visionary path. Key speakers will inspire the more than 200 people who attend locally, and the more than 100,000 people who will attend live in Atlanta or at hundreds of other simulcast locations in more than 20 countries.
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Maestro's At McGregor Scheduled To Open At The Golf Course In March; Pietrocolo Is Chef

February 5, 2016

Maestro's at the Van Dam restaurant on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs closed in November, but its owner is opening a restaurant in the spring at the McGregor Links Country Club.

Maestro's At McGregor has retained the services of chef Mike Pietrocola who will take over the helm at the new location, scheduled to open in late March, according to owner Bill Donovan.

Pietrocola has been executive chef at the Mohawk Golf Club in Schenectady. He will be chef and director of food and beverage services at Maestro's.

"When we closed Maestro's, we did not expect to reopen," said Donovan. "The Adelphi Group was not interested in the Maestro's brand, so we maintained ownership of the name and all branded items, including things such as signs, menu covers, the website, and the Facebook page. We thought someone in a start-up situation might be interested in purchasing the brand."
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Adirondack Thunder Offers Free Tickets For Teachers Feb. 12 At Glens Falls Civic Center

February 5, 2016

The Adirondack Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, announced Teachers Appreciation and Blades For Grades Night, to be held on Friday, Feb. 12, as the Thunder host the Wheeling Nailers at 7 p.m. at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Any teacher can get a free ticket to the game, while students can get a free ticket by showing their report card with a grade of 85 (B/satisfactory) or higher at the Thunder offices in advance of the game.

Both teachers and students can get their tickets by visiting http://bit.ly/Thunder_Blades_For_Grades, calling 480-3355 x1 or visiting the Thunder front office before the game.

Family and friends of both teachers and students can purchase additional reserved seats for $15 per ticket for this game.

The Adirondack Thunder has several minipacks on sale now, consisting of two or four tickets, combined with a "taste of downtown" gift card.

For more information on all Thunder ticket plans, call 480-3355 x1 or visit echlthunder.com.

Hodgson Russ LLP Law Firm Names Kennedy Its New CEO As John Amershadian Retires

February 5, 2016

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Rick Kennedy was named the new president and CEO of Hodgson Russ LLP.

Law firm Hodgson Russ LLP has named attorney Rick Kennedy its new president and CEO.

Kennedy replaces retiring president and CEO John Amershadian, who will remain a partner at the firm until March.

Kennedy joined the firm as an associated attorney in 1983 and was named partner in 1990. He holds a bachelor's degree from SUNY Buffalo and a juris doctorate from SUNY Buffalo Law School.

"In my opinion, there is not a finer individual who could now be given this significant responsibility for the future of this firm than Rick Kennedy, a man for whom I have enormous respect as an attorney and as a human being," Amershadian said in a press release.
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Law Office Of Carolyn A. D'Agostino Moves To New Plank Road Location In Clifton Park

February 5, 2016

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Carolyn A. D'Agostino, left, stands with paralegal Rebecca Srygley in new office space at 634 Plank Road, Suite 102 in Clifton Park.

BY MAUREEN WERTHER

The Law Office of Carolyn A. D'Agostino PLLC has moved to a new location at 634 Plank Road, Suite 102 in Clifton Park.

D'Agostino opened her private practice in 2007 after working 21 years for the state of New York, where she was director of hearing administration and the matrimonial unit at New York State Retirement Systems.

The law firm moved to Clifton Park from its former location in Latham in order to be more centrally located for her clients. D'Agostino sees Clifton Park as a fast-growing area, with opportunities to provide valuable services to residents of the surrounding community.

She said she is also excited to be working with other local professionals.

"It's a real pleasure to work and do business here," she said, in particular noting that the Ballston Spa court system is excellent.
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Business Report: Things Change, But Remain The Same

February 5, 2016

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James T. Towne, Esq., principal at Towne Ryan & Partners PC, Saratoga.

BY JAMES T. TOWNE, ESQ.

Growing up most of us heard the French proverb "the more things change the more they remain the same" at least once from our parents. So, too, it applies to the state of the legal profession in upstate New York, which continues following a pattern ongoing since the start of the Great Recession in 2008-09.

Part of the barometer for the profession's condition can be measured by the condition of New York's law schools. They prime the pump of the profession.

In the first decade of the century, they flooded the profession's engine, leading to a lack of jobs and entry level opportunities. In recent years, New York's law schools showed a continuing decline in enrollment as those schools continued to shrink faculty and admissions in an effort to catch up with the realities of employment in the profession.

In 2015, 11,565 students enrolled in New York law schools, down from 12,033 (3 percent) the year before. New York lagged the national trend which showed the total number of students fell by almost 6,000 or a 5 percent decrease in national enrollment. The National Association for Law Placement found that overall employment for recent law graduates fell for the sixth straight year in 2013 (to 84.5 percent) and that unemployment among 2013 grads was 12.9 percent, nearly double the national unemployment average for the same period of 6.6 percent.
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Technology And The Internet 'Cloud' Have Altered The Shape Of Accounting Practices

February 5, 2016

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Jonathan Rutnick, founder of Rutnick & Co. PC in Clifton Park, surrounded by staff.

BY JILL NAGY

Green eyeshades and sharpened pencils are things of the past for today's accountants. They are more likely to deal with QuickBooks in the cloud. And they rarely see their clients face to face, although they may be in daily communication with their business data.

They also have to guide clients through an increasing thicket of government regulations.

Kelly Reinhart of Reinhart & Associates LLC in Saratoga Springs, recently restructured his business operation completely so that clients pay a fixed monthly fee for needed services, instead of paying by the hour or task. Each client's workload varies from month to month, he found, but they balance each other out.

Clients "enjoy having one fee," he said. If they have a question, they can ask it without worrying about the time clock ticking away. He feels that his business is "growing by leaps and bounds, really skyrocketing" because of the change.
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Albany Law School To Offer Course Work In Law And Cybersecurity Starting This Fall

February 5, 2016

In an increasingly technology-driven, globally connected world, there is an escalating need for legal specialists in data protection, privacy and cybersecurity. In recognition of this need, Albany Law School announced it will be offering a new concentration in law and cybersecurity beginning in the fall.

The program--a collaboration with the University at Albany's School of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC)--will prepare J.D. graduates to provide counsel to a broad range of industries and individuals on an array of legal matters, including: data breach; cybercrime; compliance with state, local, federal, and international privacy laws and regulations; implementing security policies; records management; digital media privacy; litigation; and more, college officials said.

"The security of our personal information and technological infrastructures in business and government is an ever-growing concern. The need for legal experts in this field will only become greater as networks expand and the value of data increases," said Alicia Ouellette, president and dean of Albany Law School. "Our law school, located in New York's capital and the heart of Tech Valley, is an ideal lab for studying these areas."

"This program is precisely the kind of collaboration we envisioned when we developed an affiliation with Albany Law School," said UAlbany President Robert J. Jones. "Together, our two institutions are leveraging capacity that will provide highly specialized training for cybersecurity professionals and meet a massive and growing need both regionally and nationally."
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Eagle Crest Makes Changes To Food Services; Housing Development May Be In Its Future

February 5, 2016

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Eagle Crest continues business as usual, but a housing complex may be in its future.

BY MAUREEN WERTHER

A proposal to build a 170-unit housing development on the site of the Eagle Crest Golf Course could take six months or more to be approved by the Town of Clifton Park Planning Board. But, that's OK said owner Bill Paulsen.

He has owned and operated the golf course since 1991 and he has no plans to close anytime soon.

According to Paulsen, ultimately, the parcel of land would be worth more as land for construction than as a turnkey golf operation. So he is looking into the housing situation.

"If we are planning for retirement down the road, this kind of project is a very long process. If I decide to retire in 10 years or so, I don't want to wait five additional years [for the housing project to take shape] to finally have the project ready to go."
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Construction Projects Abound In Region As Contractors Are Hopeful For A Busy 2016

February 5, 2016

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This rendering shows what the Bonacio Construction project at 130 Excelsior Ave. in Saratoga Springs will look like when the 65-unit apartment complex is done.
BY R.J. DELUKE

Construction season in the Saratoga County will be in full swing weeks from now. Area contractors say work is steady and 2016 is looking like a solid year.

"Indicators are strong," said Mike Munter, vice president of Munter Enterprises in Middle Grove. "We're seeing a lot of bidding activity. We sense it's going to be another busy year ahead.".

Bob Fortune of BCI Construction said there is a lot of activity in the construction field this year, "but it's still a very, very competitive business. Margins are very tight. You can't afford to make mistakes."

For Munter, his company is wrapping up work on a new building for Greenfield Manufacturing in the Grande Industrial Park in Saratoga Springs. That is a 35,000-square-foot project on five acres.
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110-Unit Rental Complex Being Constructed In Saratoga Springs For People Age 55 And Up

February 4, 2016

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The Summit at Saratoga being built off Route 50 will have 110 living units for rent.

In a move designed to provide greater choice to Capital Region seniors seeking independent housing, Summit Senior Living LLC is constructing a 110-unit rental complex called The Summit at Saratoga on Perry Road off Route 50 in Saratoga Springs.

The three-story apartment project, already underway, will be situated on 12 acres and will comprise one building with an integrated clubhouse featuring an indoor pool and hot tub, sauna, fitness center, full-service salon, tavern, movie theater and a variety of other recreational areas, including bocce ball and pickle ball courts, according to Adam DeSantis, principal of Summit Senior Living.

J. Luke Construction Co. Inc. of Schenectady is the general contractor on the project.

"The Saratoga Springs market is underserved in terms of luxurious, yet affordable housing options for those over 55," said DeSantis. "This community will give seniors tremendous value for their money as there are no entrance fees. Included in each month's rental fees is access to our Senior Engaged Life (SEL) program, which allows residents to remain active in mind, body and spirit as they enjoy everything from regular speakers and outings to pilates and cooking classes."

Completion is expected by this summer.
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Firm Eyes Mixed-Use Buildings On Malta Land

February 4, 2016

BY LIZ WITBECK

Two new mixed-used retail and office buildings are being planned on Route 9 in Malta. The parcels are behind the CAP COM Federal Credit Union building.

The buildings are being designed by Lansing Engineering.

"There was a need for additional retail in Malta," said Yates Scott Lansing, owner of Lansing Engineering. "People needed more office space."

Currently the project is in the conceptualization phase.

"We hope to get through the process fairly quickly. The Town of Malta has always been pretty good about moving things forward. We hope to break ground by the end of summer" he said."It's still early in the project."
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First-GIG Operates Career Placement Services For Military Veterans, High School Students

February 4, 2016

First-GIG LLC, a business that operates two career placement services, is relocating its headquarters from Madison, Wis., to Saratoga Springs.

First-GIG operates 1stGig.com, which focuses on jobs for college graduates, and VetsBridge.com, which specializes in the employment of returning veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

After operating for more than three years out of Madison, First-GIG is relocating to Saratoga Springs, in part because of the thriving IT industry in the Albany-Saratoga area, officials said. The company plans to continue its active role in the national marketplace.

First-GIG officials said the company has developed proprietary algorithms for both programs that make it easier for potential employees and employers to find each other. The service is available to students and veterans at no charge.
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Office Wellness Programs May Include Creating Healthier Work Spaces For The Employees

February 4, 2016

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Dorothy Rogers-Bullis, owner of drb Business Interiors, supports office health initiatives.

BY RACHEL SPENSIERI

With the new year, many people have resolved to improve their overall wellness. Similarly, many businesses are considering ways they can help their employees stay happy, healthy, and satisfied with their jobs in 2016.

"During the recession, the workforce was generally thankful just to have a paycheck," said Dorothy Rogers-Bullis, owner of drb Business Interiors, a workspace design firm located in Saratoga Springs. "Now that the economy has turned around, employers can't take that top talent for granted."

Indeed, a 2014 LinkedIn study found that over three-quarters of the global workforce was actively or passively looking for a new job, so companies have to up their game to keep the best-of-the-best on their team.

The way to employees' hearts may just be, well, through the heart. Rogers-Bullis increasingly notices that one approach her clients' are using to encourage employee retention is with wellness programs. But today's workplace health initiatives go way beyond putting a gym in the building. From hiring nutritionists to work with the cafeteria food service staff to bringing in a yoga teacher for lunchtime Zen sessions, companies are coming to understand the sorts of perks that truly make employees loyal and even improve productivity.
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Business Report: Make The Payroll Process Work

February 4, 2016

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Jeannine Dubiac is the owner of Priority One Payroll LLC based in Malta.

BY JEANNINE DUBIAC, FPC

Payroll should be that process that just flows. As a business owner you know first-hand that your employees need to be paid on time, correctly, every time.

Unfortunately, for many companies, it's anything but smooth. Staying on top of payroll can be a time-consuming and stressful process, especially when relying on outdated payroll methods to get the job done. With the multiple of IRS and state penalties looming over every business, and great employees anxiously waiting for payday, it's best to adopt the most efficient payroll tools and resources at an organization.

To avoid unnecessary payroll-induced headaches, for employers and employees alike, here are a few suggestions to help improve efficiencies in your payroll process.

1. Managing payroll.

Issue: Undertaking various job duties and titles is often a necessity skill for business owners. Unfortunately, the more tasks there are to juggle, from marketing to human resources to accounting, the greater likelihood of dropping the ball on one of the many fine details related to payroll and payroll taxes.
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Business Report: Obligations Under Fair Labor Standard Act

February 4, 2016

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Jim Marco, president, Consultant of Saratoga Human Resources Solutions Inc.

BY JIM MARCO

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the piece of federal legislation that established minimum wage and overtime requirements, and defined which employees are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the act, and which employees need to receive overtime pay.

The FLSA provides definitions under which employee can be exempt. These exemptions fall under certain categories such as executive exemption, administrative exemption, professional exemption, outside sales exemption, and the computer employee exemption. Exempt employees are often referred to as salaried employees.

In order to qualify for exempt status, employees must meet three critical criteria related to job duties, a minimum level of weekly pay, and they must be paid on a salaried basis, which is also defined by the FLSA. Companies who pay all employees a weekly salary, thinking they are avoiding overtime payments, are taking a substantial risk. Both the federal and state departments of labor enforce these laws, although it is usually the state that you will be dealing with during an audit.

This can result in back pay, for several years, fines and other penalties. Your best defense is an accurate and compliant job description, good job analysis, and a thorough documented review of the requirements.
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Business Report: Don't Put Off Business Succession Plan

February 4, 2016

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Razzano is an associate with the Herzog Law Firm in Saratoga Springs.
BY BRITTINY B. RAZZANO

Excuse Number 1: Too Busy.

As a successful business owner, you may have your hand in the day-to-day operations and management of your business. It seems like there is never enough time to sit down and formulate a plan for your business when you retire or after you pass away.

You have worked hard to make your business thrive. It's worth taking the time to ensure its continued success. If you wait too long, it will become more difficult to retire when you want to, you may get a lower price, or ultimately generate a greater tax liability. In the worst case scenario, you may pass away unexpectedly without ever formulating a plan, putting the fate of your business in jeopardy.

If you plan ahead, you will be able to clearly state your intentions and put your important business operations in writing, to act as a road map and guide for the future generation of your business.
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Bank Warns Tax Identity Theft Is On The Rise, Offers Prevention Tips, Info On Reporting It

February 4, 2016

As Americans begin the process of filing tax returns, identity thieves are scheming to get their hands on that money, the Adirondack Trust Co. warned during Identity Theft Awareness Week in January.

Tax identity theft has been the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission for the past five years, bank officials said.

"Identity thieves look for every opportunity to steal your information, especially during tax season," said Charles V. Wait Jr., executive vice president. "Consumers should be on high alert and take every step they can to protect their personal and financial information."

Tax identity fraud takes place when a criminal files a false tax return using a stolen Social Security number in order to fraudulently claim the refund. Identity thieves generally file false claims early in the year and victims are unaware until they file a return and learn one has already been filed in their name.
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Wesley Community Eyes More Senior Housing On Malta Medical Site Off Northway Exit 12

February 4, 2016

BY JENNIFER FARNSWORTH

Seniors will one day have another option for community living, thanks to a project underway through the Wesley Community.

Wesley Community CEO Brian Nealon said the new project will offer high-end luxury apartments, along with some more affordable options, located in Malta, west of Northway Exit 12 and off Route 67.

Wesley is partnering with Saratoga Hospital on the project, which will be located on property behind the hospital's Malta Med Emergent Care building, 6 Medical Park Drive.

Nealon said the area is owned by Saratoga Hospital, who Wesley has partnered with before. He said they are excited to once again join forces and offer living options to the senior population.
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Quad/Graphics Plant Expected To Save $380K Annually Thru National Grid Incentive Plan

February 4, 2016

Although energy efficiency measures are often thought of as a way for residential customers to save on cost, the same principles apply to larger, commercial customers.

Recently, Quad/Graphics in Saratoga Springs took advantage of National Grid's Energy Efficiency Incentive Program and installed equipment that officials said not only boost production but also save more than 4.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity.

That's about the equivalent savings of taking about 380 homes off the electric grid for an entire year, according to National Grid officials, who said the upgrade will save Quad/ Graphics more than $380,000 a year in energy costs while helping it increase production to stay competitive.

National Grid provided $1.1 million to Quad/Graphics to install a more efficient printing press that replaced two older presses and has increased production by more than 60 percent. The company said the incentive is the second largest single incentive provided by the upstate New York program since its start in 2009.
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Some Commercial User Fees For Trucks Entering U.S. From Canada See An Increase

February 4, 2016

Commercial user fees for entering the United States changed Dec. 28, with fees for commercial trucks arriving without a transponder increasing from $10.75 to $13.05 per crossing, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced.

"Commercial trucks prepared with an ACE manifest and user fee transponder are generally processed 50 percent faster than non-prepared commercial crossers," said Ann Marie Paul, assistant director at the Customs and Border Protection Buffalo field office. "For carriers arriving at the border without a transponder, they should be prepared to pay the $13.05 fee with exact change or a credit card to minimize delays."

She said commercial truck drivers and companies are strongly encouraged to purchase a commercial truck transponder which will assist with a more expedited crossing at the border. Trucks with transponders do not have to undergo a commercial fee transaction when crossing into the United States, potentially saving precious commodity movement time. Commercial transponders are available for an annual fee of $401.67.
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Re-Designed Excelsior Park Development Continues Under Burns Management Auspices

February 4, 2016

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A portion of this Excelsior Park neighborhood being developed was sold to James Burns and Peter Rosecrans Jr. of Burns Management, an Albany-based real estate management company.
BY MAUREEN WERTHER

The path of real estate development rarely runs swiftly or in a straight line, as evidenced by the changes occurring at the Excelsior Park development site located just minutes from downtown Saratoga.

Nearly 10 years ago, John Witt of Witt Construction originally envisioned the property to contain more than 200 condominiums. But, as the market for condominiums lessened, the project was shut down after the first 30 units were built and sold.

As the real estate market surged, Witt resurrected his project, albeit with a different focus on the types of units being built. In response to the need for affordable rental units in and around town, Witt sold a portion of the Excelsior Park neighborhood to James Burns and Peter Rosecrans Jr. of Burns Management, an Albany-based real estate management company.

The company paid $1.58 million for the property and plans to invest another $20 million on construction of the units.
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Family-Owned Development Company Plans To Build Homes And More In Luther Forest

February 4, 2016

BY JILL NAGY

A proposed development on 200 acres in Luther Forest-- if approved by the Stillwater Town Board--could result in of 40 "rural residences" and commercial space designed to meet the needs of GlobalFoundries.

It would include single-family homes on lots ranging in size from three-quarters of an acre to 12 acres, and some commercial development.

The project is being proposed by the Luther/ Mackay family, which owns the land. The fifth generation of the Luther/Mackay family, four siblings and a cousin, took over the reins of the Luther Forest Corp. when Alec Mackay (father of the siblings) retired and moved to New Hampshire last July.

According to Marissa Mackay who, with her brother Cailean is responsible for the day-today management of the company, the development would help grow the business community around the Global Foundries manufacturing plant. It may include an extended-stay hotel and will probably have office and warehouse space but probably no retail tenants.
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Work On Warehouse Expansion Is Started At Ace Hardware's Location In Northumberland

February 4, 2016

BY MAUREEN WERTHER

Ace Hardware Corp. has begun work on a 400,000-square-foot addition to its existing warehouse at 55 Northern Pines Road in Northumberland.

The company said the new space will be devoted exclusively to warehousing inventory and providing order fulfillment to the more than 500 Ace locations throughout the northeast.

"This facility is part of Ace Hardware's supply chain network of Retail Support Centers strategically located across the globe," said a statement from the office of Frank Nesbitt, Wilton Retail Support Manager for Ace Hardware Corp. "These warehouses supply merchandise to the more than 4,800 Ace retail stores worldwide," and the new space at the Northumberland facility "will support current and future inventory levels and sales. In addition, much of the space will have pallet racking installed to house greater quantities of inventory."

The Northumberland location is strategic to the company's mission of serving its retail stores with service and prompt order fulfillment so it can "provide the best possible products to customers," said Nesbitt.
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LA Group Expands By Acquiring Ithaca Firm

February 4, 2016

The LA Group, Landscape Architecture and Engineering PC announced the acquisition of HMH Site & Sports Design in Ithaca.

The expansion brings a new office in Ithaca, six new staff members, and an increased focus on resorts and recreation, including a niche in athletic fields, the company said.

Founded in 1974, The LA Group is a 46-person landscape architecture and engineering firm based in Saratoga Springs. It's built a regional and national reputation working for the Veterans Administration, the National Park Service, developers and municipalities for urban revitalization and clients such as the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta.

HMH was founded in 2005 as a boutique firm specializing in athletic facilities. Over the past 10 years, it has worked on projects for Farmingdale State College, SUNY Cortland, Binghamton University, and the Niagara Falls City School District, among others.
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State Approves 10-Year Fund To Stimulate Clean Energy Business, Lower Bills For New Yorkers

February 4, 2016

The state Public Service Commission has approved a 10-year, $5 billion Clean Energy Fund designed to accelerate the growth of New York's clean energy economy, address climate change, strengthen resiliency in the face of extreme weather and lower energy bills for New Yorkers starting this year.

Additionally, the fund will attract and leverage third-party capital to support the governor's aggressive Clean Energy Standard, one of the nation's most ambitious goals to meet 50 percent of our electricity needs with renewable resources by 2030, officials said.

"New York is a national leader in combating climate change and growing the clean energy economy and today we are taking the next big step forward," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "This unparalleled $5 billion investment will leverage more than $29 billion in private sector funding and open the door to new clean energy opportunities for years to come. We are raising the bar when it comes to increasing the use of renewable energy and reducing harmful carbon emissions, and I am proud that the Empire State is continuing to set the example for the future."

The fund, to be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, builds on the progress the state is already making in developing a robust clean tech sector. It is projected to result in more than $39 billion in customer bill savings over the next 10 years through innovative projects and private-public partnerships focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, making energy more affordable through energy efficiency and renewable energy, and mobilizing private-sector capital.
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