Track Season Attendance Rises 5.4 Percent; Mechanicville Native Wins Training Title

September 8, 2016

Track Photo - Hopeful Hc.jpg
Practical Joke, trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Jose Ortiz, won the 112th running of the Hopeful on the final day of racing at Saratoga Race Course, Sept. 5.

Courtesy NYRA

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) concluded its 2016 season at Saratoga Race Course with all-sources handle of $647.3 million, matching last year's record wagering that had shattered the previous high water mark by more than 10 percent, officials said on Sept. 6.

"The 2015 season, which saw uncommonly good weather and the presence of a Triple Crown champion, was historical and one for the ages," said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay.

The meet also saw Mechanicville native Chad Brown set the Saratoga record for wins by a trainer with 40, capturing his first H. Allen Jerkens training title while jockey Jose Ortiz collected 65 victories in securing his first Angel Cordero Jr. riding crown.

Total paid attendance for the 2016 Saratoga meet was 1,123,544, an increase of 5.4 percent over the 2015 season, officials said.

"This year's meet was outstanding in its own right despite severe storms which forced the cancellation of part of a Saturday race card for the first time in modern history, as well as inclement weather on three Sundays," he said. "Even with these challenges, the New York Racing Association generated total handle in line with last year's record-shattering numbers.

"Our success is a reflection of the confidence that our fans and horseplayers have in our ability to deliver a reliable and consistent product of world-class thoroughbred racing and great entertainment. We thank the owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, fans and the entire community who joined us this summer at Saratoga.

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First-Ever 'Equestricon' Convention To Be Held In Saratoga Springs In The Summer of '17

September 8, 2016

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Dan Tordjman, co-founder of Equestricon, addresses a group gathered outside Saratoga City Center, giving details about the horse racing convention and industry trade show set for next year.

Steve Crayne

Saratoga Springs has been selected to be the host city next year for a first-ever international horse racing convention and industry trade show.

The inaugural event--called Equestricon-- will bring together fans, horseplayers and stakeholders from every corner of the sport in an atmosphere of non-stop entertainment and lively discussion, organizers said.

Equestricon LLC., the group producing the show, announced the event on Sept. 2 outside Saratoga City Center in Saratoga Springs.

Equestricon 2017 is scheduled to kick off on Sunday night, Aug. 13 and continue through Tuesday, Aug. 15. It will be held at the Saratoga Springs City Center.

"Above all else, we are focused on one thing--the racing fan," said Dan Tordjman, co-founder of Equestricon and correspondent for America's Best Racing. "Equestricon is committed to creating an extremely fun and unprecedented outlet for any and all racing enthusiasts to engage with the sport like never before."

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'Fireball Run' Challenge, An Internet Network Series, To Stop In Southern Saratoga County

September 8, 2016

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'Fireball Run' participants begin and end each day with a public event.

Courtesy Fireball Run

The televised adventure travel series "Fireball Run" ( is coming to the Hudson Valley in late September, before arriving in southern Saratoga County.

Half of the entire season's schedule (13 of 26 episodes) will be filmed throughout New York state, including western New York, Dutchess County, southern Saratoga County and Putnam County.

"Fireball Run" is an adventure-travel television series and competition. It involves 40 teams of adventurers, taking the road less traveled, in a quest for obscure and historic artifacts.

The participants cover some 2,000 miles over the 26 episodes. Every driving team is assigned a child missing from their home of origin, and they are provided 1,000 missing child flyers to distribute along the journey, thus aiding in efforts to find them, according to the producers.

On the show, contestants perform various secret "missions" before visiting Ballston Spa the evening of Thursday, Sept. 29, having a reception and staying overnight in Clifton Park. They will leave the area the following morning with a send-off on Clifton Country Road.

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Tickets Are Available For 2016 Showcase Of Homes And Its 'Taste Of Showcase' Preview

September 8, 2016

Tickets for the 2016 Saratoga Showcase of Homes are on sale.

The event will be presented over three weekends: Sept. 17-18, Sept. 24-25 and Oct. 1-2.

Tickets are available at Adirondack Trust Co., Saratoga National Bank, Trustco Bank, Curtis Lumber in Ballston Spa and Queensbury, Realty USA in Clifton Park and Roohan Realty in Saratoga Springs.

Tickets, $20 each, are always available at any showcase home during tour hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or can be purchased online at

Each showcase ticket holder will receive a free tote bag at the first home visited.

This year's edition features 20 homes in Saratoga County from 16 area builders.

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Children Encouraged To Use Imagination, Not Computer Games, At Clifton Park Play Site

September 8, 2016

Giggle Lounge owner Traci Montanino works with a child at her Clifton Park business.

©2016 Saratoga

By Liz Witbeck

A new family friendly entertainment option for children has opened in Clifton Park Center Mall.

The Giggle Lounge offers a variety of fun, imaginative play activities for children. The space is designed for children ages 8 and younger.

It consists of an indoor playground that accommodates many kinds of activities. It stresses hands-on activities that allow for creativity. The facility features a car fix-it area, a bakery, a grocery store, wooden structures kids can play in, and more. There is also an art room that engages children in a variety of projects.

The space covers 1,500 square feet.

"My kids were my biggest inspiration" for starting the business, said owner Traci Montanino. She has two children, ages 11 and 2.

She said she had been considering the idea for a while and as her children grew older. It was her observation during those years that "the industry had not changed at all. There was nothing available for good old-fashioned imaginative play."

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Japanese Steakhouse In Congress Plaza Offers A Variety Of Steaks, As Well As Asian Cuisine

September 8, 2016

The chef at Kin Jo Japanese Steakhouse cooks in front of customers at the new eatery located in Congress Plaza in Saratoga Springs.

©2016 Saratoga

By Maureen Werther

Kin Jo Japanese Steakhouse, 68 Congress St., Saratoga Springs, is the third restaurant for owner Allen Dong. But, it is his first venture in Saratoga Springs.

For Dong, who owns two other Japanese restaurants in Albany, he is very excited about operating a business in Saratoga, located in Congress Plaza.

"Saratoga has so much to offer, with the racetrack, SPAC and the Spa State Park. I think it is a very good place to open a restaurant," said Dong.

Kin Jo opened its doors on July 12, after extensive renovations to the property. Renovations took approximately eight months to complete.

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Sage Wine & Spirits Owner Enjoys Educating Customers About Locally Produced Products

September 8, 2016

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Jes Rich is the owner of Sage Wine & Spirits on Front Street in Ballston Spa.

©2016 Saratoga

By Maureen Werther

Jes Rich chose the name of her new shop wisely. Sage Wine & Spirits, which opened at 55 Front St. in Ballston Spa in July, is all about helping people learn more about wine and spirits.

With a focus on sustainable, local, organic and craft products, Rich feels the village of Ballston Spa is "ripe for this kind of boutique business," and she is excited to share her knowledge with customers as they expand their palates and try locally produced wines and spirits.

Rich is encouraged by the reception she has already received from other shop owners, customers and local residents, calling the village "a wonderful community."

Rich has an eclectic background and is something of a "sage." Originally from the area, she moved away to attend college, receiving her undergraduate degree in sociology from Amherst College in Massachusetts. From there, she went on to receive masters degrees from University of Chicago, Tufts, and the University of Sterling in Scotland.

In between her academic studies, she worked in the fields of college administration and resident life, as well as gaining knowledge and experience in horticulture and sustainable practices while working on organic farms around the country.

After returning to school once more, this time enrolled in the doctoral program at Tufts, she decided that the world of academia was not for her and, in the spring of 2014, she returned to her roots.

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Manufacturing Plant In Mechanicville Is Set To Expand By 10,000 SF, Add Nine More Jobs

September 8, 2016

Rajat Ghoshal of Polyset says the company plans to expand its warehouse space.

©2016 Saratoga

By Maureen Werther

Polyset, a designer and manufacturer of protective coatings, resins and filtration adhesives, is preparing to expand its operations in the coming year.

A manufacturer of polyurethane adhesives, elastomers and foam systems for the air filtration industry for more than 30 years, the Mechanicville-based company has continued to diversify and expand its market share over the past three decades.

Under the leadership of its partners and brothers Rajatat and Nil Ghoshal, the company has expanded into other markets. In addition to its strong presence in the air, liquid and water filtration industries, the marine, construction and petro-chemical industries constitute a large and growing share of their business.

The company has been ISO 9001-certified since 2008 and is also a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) in New York state.

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Business Briefs: September 2016a

September 8, 2016

Members of the Women in Business Committee of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County gathered on Aug. 17 for the ninth year in a row to assemble new backpacks filled with school supplies to benefit chamber member Wellspring, formerly Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga.

The committee donated over 100 filled backpacks, thanks to donations from members and the community.

Backpacks of Hope is part of the committee's charitable initiative, which benefits families who seek the assistance and refuge of Wellspring. As financial hardships only add to the burden of a family facing domestic violence issues, providing a child with a brand new backpack filled with school supplies helps ease that burden at the start of the school year, committee officials said.

The Baskets of Hope program has assembled over 4,000 baskets with personal care items and provided 700 filled backpacks to Saratoga County domestic abuse victims since the program began in 2005.

Donations for women's personal care items are accepted year-round at the Chamber office, 58 Clifton Country Road, Suite 103 Clifton Park. For further information, contact member services manager Liz Roggenbuck at 371-7748.

* * * 

Fall class registration at the Academy for Lifelong Learning (A.L.L.) continues through mid-September.

Thirty-seven classes, including several lecture series run through Nov. 10. Fall term class registration and membership application packets can be found in area libraries, the Academy office at 111 West Ave. in Saratoga Springs or on the website at

Registration forms are being accepted for open classes through the beginning of the term. Two classes have filled: Great Decisions and Legend, Literature and Mythology in Music. Waiting lists have been started. Call the Academy office for current class availability at 587-2100, ext. 2415.

The classes cover a wide range of genre including: history, art, media, health, religion, writing and economics. Volunteer-led classes typically meet for two hours once a week for eight weeks. Most classes are held in SUNY Empire State College classrooms at 111 and 113 West Ave. in Saratoga Springs, and there are several offerings at a variety of local outdoor venues.

New this term: History of Religious Ethics, Genealogy in the 21st Century, the 2016 Election, Transitions in Life Series, Shakespeare's Unhappy Comedies, Mind the Gap: Selected Studies of Political & Cultural Conflict in America, Medical Ethics & Controversies, Victorian Novels and Religion, History in Our Capital Region Towns Series, Art Talk: The Language of Art, Behind the Scenes On & Off Broadway, and a one-day Creative Writing seminar.

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Former Prosecutor Settles Into Life As A Beekman Street Antique Store Owner

September 8, 2016

Laura Kruegler, a former prosecutor, has opened A Touch of Dust LLC, an antique store in the Beekman Street Arts District in Saratoga Springs.

©2016 Saratoga

BY Molly Congdon

A Touch of Dust LLC is a new antique store at 30 Beekman St. in Saratoga Springs.

Its owner, Laura Kruegler, is a former prosecutor, having begun her career in the Rensselaer County District Attorney's Office in 2001. She stayed through three administrations. 

"While there, I specialized in domestic violence and sex crimes," Kruegler said. "I also prosecuted homicides and other major crimes. I'm sure I handled over 20,000 cases during my time there. The last two years, I prosecuted child abuse and neglect for the Saratoga County District Attorney's Office."

In April, after 15 years as a public servant, she resigned.

"One of the biggest factors in that decision was the toxicity of the job," Kruegler said."Hearing horrid details of child abuse every day is like living an episode of 'SVU' every day. It affects your entire life. So, after careful consideration, I decided I would rather not know if aliens exist, and live my future life without that plague."

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After Five Decades, JIMAPCO Decentralizes Operations And Segues Into New Ownership

September 8, 2016

After 50 years in business, JIMAPCO has closed its flagship building on Route 9 in Clifton Park in order to decentralize its operations.

It also involves a change in ownership.

When Dave Fisk's father, Jim Fisk, started the new speculative map-making venture in 1966, neither of them had any idea that the company would still be in business 50 years later.

"In those days, we'd split $60 at the end of the day and consider the day a success", said Dave Fisk, president of JIMAPCO. "Now the company is 50 years old, and still synonymous with premiere mapmaking, including custom, retail, online, mobile, and digital production.

But he and his wife sought retirement, so it was time for some changes.

"Fortunately our long-time employees want to keep JIMAPCO moving into the future, so we are delighted to report that the business will essentially continue, just at different locations and under different leadership," he said.

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Woman Chosen As New SPAC President Has Background In The Arts, Recording Industry

September 8, 2016

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Elizabeth Sobol is the president and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center as of Oct. 1

Courtesy Dario Cantatore

Elizabeth Sobol, a veteran of the music and recording industry, is the new president and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center, beginning Oct. 1.

She replaces Marcia White, who held those positions for the past 11 years and who decided earlier in the year to step down at the end of the 2016 season, the 50th anniversary for the renowned performance venue.

Sobol has a three-year contract that was finalized in August, SPAC officials said.

White came into the position with no experience in arts administration but with ties to the community through her previous career as a political staffer. During her tenure, the organization reconstituted its board of directors and operated in the black every year.

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Bucketlist Vacation Planners Wants To Give Customers Dream-Fulfilling Adventure Trips

September 8, 2016

Tony Mariotti says he 'caught the travel bug' after college and has opened Bucketlist Vacation Planners to help customers find and enjoy adventure trips.

©2016 Saratoga

By Jennifer Farnsworth

Tony Mariotti is doing what he loves and says his clients are loving what he's doing.

With a passion for travel, he has developed a new travel agency service in Saratoga that is spreading his infectious affinity for hitting the road.

"I caught the travel bug after college when I spent two months touring Europe, on a shoestring budget," said Mariotti.

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Ferraro, Amodio, Zarecki CPAs Specializes In Fraud And Financial Investigation Services

September 8, 2016

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The staff at Ferraro, Amodio and Zarecki CPAs in Saratoga Springs focuses its tax expertise in the field of forensics accounting, including fraud and financial investigations.

©2016 Saratoga

By Jennifer Farnsworth

Steve Ferraro said people who call his accounting firm during tax season will not find basic tax preparation services.

Instead, in calling Ferraro, Amodio and Zarecki CPAs, they will have contacted an office that has focused its tax expertise in a different direction--forensics accounting.

Ferraro said the specialized service his firm provides is not only greatly utilized, keeping him and his partners more than busy, but one that is exciting as well.

Ferraro and his partners, Charles Amodio and Paul Zarecki, are all certified public accountants that specialize in fraud and financial investigations. The firm opened an office at 18 Division St., Suite 413, in Saratoga Springs earlier this summer. Ferraro said the location was an obvious win for both he and his colleagues.

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Windsor Development Group Has Plans For A Hotel, Apartments, Retail Space In Clifton Park

September 8, 2016

By Jill Nagy

Windsor Development in Clifton Park is planning a large development that will consist of a walkable town center clustered along Route 67 east of Northway Exit 12 in Malta.

Bob Miller Sr., the company's CEO, has filed plans with the town for a hotel, 11 apartment buildings and at least four retail complexes, to be built on 46 acres the developer owns.

Windsor has owned the land for 10 years and plans to develop it gradually, Miller said.

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Personnel Briefs: September 2016

September 8, 2016

P Brief - Mike Kelly.jpgMichael Kelly was named personal banker at Ballston Spa National Bank.

Kelly will be supporting the branch and playing a key role in enhancing the customer experience by providing financial solutions for new and existing customers.

He will also assist branch management with daily operations and staff supervision.

Kelly went to John Jay College of Criminal Justice and received a bachelor of arts degree in political science. Prior to joining BSNB he had held several retail management positions.

* * *

Maria Nadoraski was named senior mortgage loan officer at Ballston Spa National Bank.

Nadoraski will be responsible for working with new and existing customers to originate residential mortgage loan products while maximizing customer relationships and enhancingP Brief - Maria Nadoraski.jpg the customer experience.

She will be working out of BSNB's Latham office. The branch is a full-service location offering commercial and personal banking services, mortgage and consumer loans as well as trust and investment services.

Prior to joining Ballston Spa National Bank, she was a senior mortgage loan officer in Latham for a regional bank and also gained extensive experience working for a multi-state mortgage bank as a loan officer in their Albany office.

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HealthPlex Fitness, Over 30 Years, Has Moved To More Specialized Programs For Customers

September 8, 2016

Michael Kurkowski, fitness professional, works with a young athlete at HealthPlex Fitness in Clifton Park, a specialized fitness facility offering customized programs.

©2016 Saratoga

By Jill Nagy

HealthPlex Fitness in Clifton Park, one of the area's first private fitness centers, is still going strong after 30 years.

Over the years, it has morphed into a specialized fitness facility offering customized programs for young athletes, middle-aged and older folks getting back into shape, and people recovering from illness or injury.

Recently, HealthPlex started a partnership with physical therapists from OrthoNY , an orthopedic medicine practice, in a program called MedX. The focus is on "functional movement," according to HealthPlex manager Steve Kerkowski.

The program is designed for people who have completed physical therapy but still need to go somewhere to build strength and improve overall physical fitness.

"If the doctors don't have to fix things or refer a patient to physical therapy, they send them to us to screen and develop a program of corrective exercise," he said.

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Southern Saratoga YMCA Upgrades Wellness Center With New Equipment And A Face-lift

September 8, 2016

Jeanette Lang, a personal trainer at the Southern Saratoga YMCA, works with a customer in the facility's wellness center, which has upgraded its equipment.

©2016 Saratoga

By Jill Nagy

Members of the Southern Saratoga YMCA have been enjoying an upgraded wellness center, thanks to a $250,000 grant from the Capital District YMCA.

The branch, at 1 Wall St. in Clifton Park, was one of three chosen for upgrading. The others are Guilderland and East Greenbush. Funds for the upgrades came from membership dues from the Capital District YMCA, of which Southern Saratoga is a part. There was no separate fundraising campaign.

The Clifton Park facility was built in 1994. The project was the first major renovation of its wellness center, according to Executive Director Sarah Heslin.

In the process, the exercise machines were replaced. New flooring and ceiling tiles were installed, along with energy-saving lights. Everything received a fresh coat of paint.

In addition to the machines, which can be programmed for each user's needs, the center has an area equipped with free weights.

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CORE Insurance Consultants Opens Office In Clifton Park; Offers Varied Coverages, Services

September 8, 2016

Cory O'Brien opened his own agency, CORE Insurance Consultants.

©2016 Saratoga

By Jill Nagy

After 11 years in the insurance business, Cory O'Brien has opened his own agency at 1539 Crescent Road in Clifton Park.

The company, CORE Insurance Consultants, sells property and casualty insurance, provides home, auto and business coverage, and can also provide a life or health insurance policy if necessary.

O'Brien represent three insurance companies. His main supplier is Erie Insurance Group. He also sells policies from Travelers and Progressive insurance companies.

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Business Report: Become Familiar With Benefit Packages

September 8, 2016

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Rose Miller is president of Pinnacle Human Resources LLC.

Courtesy Pinnacle Human Resources LLC

By Rose Miller

Benefits are a very important issue for current and potential employees. In past years, surveys show employees place a higher importance in health insurance than even wages.

The representative of management needs to be knowledgeable about all the organization's policies and benefits programs. Although administering benefits and explaining all the details is usually the job of human resources, employers need to know basic information about employee benefits for a variety of important reasons.

First, a small employer may not have an HR department and employees will look to the person who handed them the large packet of information to answer complex questions. Even some HR departments are not a part of the benefits purchasing resulting in large gaps of knowledge regarding plan documents.

Job candidates, during a job interview, are likely to inquire about benefits, and the hiring manager will want to be able to provide decent answers (or the correct answers). Benefits are a selling point when interviewing job applicants.

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Business Report: Handling Health Insurance Premium Hikes

September 8, 2016

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Amelia M. Klein is an attorney with Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC.

Courtesy Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC

By Amelia M. Klein

Health insurance premiums are expected to increase by double-digit percentages for 2017. What are you going to do about it?

Many employers will choose to increase deductibles, co-payments and/or coinsurance amounts in order to reduce the premium cost. This shifts some of the cost of health coverage to employees without violating the "affordability" requirement of the Affordable Care Act.

Under the ACA, an employer health plan is considered to be affordable if the employee's share of the 2017 premium for individual coverage under the lowest-cost option does not exceed 9.69 percent of the employee's 2017 W-2 wages, 9.69 percent of the 2017 individual federal poverty line, or 9.69 percent of the employee's rate of pay multiplied by a 30 hour "full-time" work week.

But employees don't like cost shifting. To ease their concerns, an employer might offer to reimburse all or a portion of the actual amount of the out-of-pocket costs that the employee is required to pay. However, you can't just reimburse the expenses on an ad hoc basis as employees come in with their receipts - you must follow one of the three IRS-approved methodologies or there will be some serious tax penalties to pay.

The Health Flexible Spending Account (HSFA) is the least flexible of the options available to reimburse the additional out-of-pocket costs. In addition to the employee's pre-tax contribution of up to $2,550, the maximum amount that the employer may contribute on behalf of the employee is $500. Contribute more than that, and the FSA will not be exempt from the ACA's requirements for a full-fledged health plan. Unspent amounts are forfeited after the end of the year, subject to either a $500 maximum carryover or a 2.5-month grace period.

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Sherry Hoffman Relocates State Farm Insurance Office Into Larger Space On Geyser Road

September 8, 2016

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Sherry Hoffman operates her State Farm Insurance office at 415 Geyser Road.

Courtesy Sherry Hoffman

By Jill Nagy

Sherry Hoffman cut the ribbon in August on the new home of her Ballston Spa State Farm Insurance agency at 415 Geyser Road.

The actual move took place earlier in the year but, she noted, it took a few months to complete the signage and get organized.

The new office is across the street from her former office space in the Country Club Plaza. However, the new space is some 500 square feet larger, meaning there is now room for a computer for her part-time assistant and room to expand her business, she said.

The new site is a free-standing building.

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HVAC Industry Professionals See Technology Improvements Leading To Lower Utility Bills

September 8, 2016

John V. Bove, left, CFO of G. A. Bove and Sons says customer service is a priority.

©2016 Saratoga

by Susan E. Campbell

Trends in the heating, cooling and insulation fields and the sciences behind them project lower costs and greater efficiency, say the experts.

John V. Bove Jr., CFO of G. A. Bove and Sons Inc. of Mechanicville, said his company is experiencing an uptick in propane systems and delivery, especially in new residential construction.

"Propane is very versatile," said Bove. "The fuel is very similar to natural gas, but gas lines have to stop somewhere."

A new residential neighborhood may not have been piped for natural gas, although the utility may add lines later on. Meanwhile, propane gas has diverse uses, including heating, hot water, cooking, cooling, fireplace inserts, outdoor grills and fire pits, even for heating the pool, Bove said.

"It's one source for winter, summer and everything in between," said Bove.

Among older homes or businesses, it is an easy conversion to propane or natural gas as older oil furnaces reach their life expectancy.

"Schools used to use oil, but it was not good for the environment. You cannot retrofit an old number six boiler, so the schools converted to gas or propane, which was cleaner and cheaper," Bove said.

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National Grid Gets Approval For Project In Clifton Park To Reduce Electricity Demand

September 8, 2016

National Grid recently received regulatory approval to move ahead with two additional demonstration projects, bringing the total to four diverse initiatives that will test various business models in support of New York's Reforming the Energy Vision, also known as REV.

Company officials said the demonstration projects include integration of distributed energy resources and automated demand management capabilities at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and introducing solar options in a nearby neighborhood in western New York; business model innovation in developing a community resiliency microgrid within the Village of Potsdam; and more energy cost control for customers in Clifton Park.

"Through these initiatives we are creating the utility of the future," said Ken Daly, National Grid's New York president. "What we hear and learn about these demonstrations from our stakeholders--our customers, regulators, policy makers, market participants and local communities--will help inform the way ahead and create an exciting future energy marketplace."

Carlos Nouel, National Grid's vice president of New Energy Solutions, said, "Each of our projects will help us build new business models, better serve our customers and create new opportunities for market participants." Nouel and the New Energy Solutions team are dedicated to delivering the innovations and technologies in the demonstration projects.

The "smart grid" demonstration in Clifton Park will explore various ways to control and reduce electricity demand through customer education. Participating customers will be provided with new metering equipment that will give detailed information on usage, the company said.

With "smart metering" and a customer portal, customers will have direct access to their energy usage information, allowing them to make energy savings changes and earn points for rewards based on reductions in usage. The company will work with the town of Clifton Park and various energy services companies on the project.

Read More >

Local Habitat For Humanity Anticipates Two New Homes Will Be Complete By Year's End

September 8, 2016

The Clements family of Saratoga Springs has occupied 195 Division St., a new construction carried out by Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties.

©2016 Saratoga

Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties is set to break ground on its second build of the year.

Officials said the build represents a "new period of growth for the affiliate," as it sets a new record with the completion of two homes in one year.

Both homes are in Saratoga Springs. Officials said the Glens Falls area will be the location, yet unnamed, for a project in 2017.

"We've experienced an unprecedented amount of generosity this year, which has allowed us to expand our model to accommodate building multiple homes," said Tammy DiCara, president of the local affiliate. "The people of Saratoga County have really come forward to address the affordable housing issue with some major donations of time, labor, materials, and land. It's been a pleasure to see the community come together to support the advancement of our affiliate."

The organization dedicated its 26th build, at 195 Division St. in Saratoga Springs, on Aug. 25 for the Clements family. The city of Saratoga Springs donated the property to Habitat for Humanity. Habitat partnered with the Saratoga Builders Association, Rebuilding Together Saratoga and community volunteers to build the home.

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NYSERDA Has $16M For Energy-Efficient Homes, Building Projects Across NY State

September 8, 2016

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has $16 million available to support the design and construction of new energy-efficient housing and to complete similar improvements in existing buildings across New York state.

State officials said homes and buildings that take advantage of this support are projected to see annual energy cost savings of more than $9 million and total lifetime savings of as much as $180 million, as well as improved household comfort and indoor air quality.

"Ensuring New York's buildings are constructed to the highest standards of energy efficiency is crucial to both our long-term sustainability and prosperity of the state," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "Smart choices about efficiency can simultaneously save money and protect the environment. This investment promotes that principle in order to build healthy communities and save consumers hundreds of millions of dollars."

Approximately $8 million will be offered to housing developers and builders of low-rise housing, including single-family homes and multi-unit buildings generally three stories or less, through NYSERDA's Low-rise Residential New Construction program. The other $8 million will be offered to housing developers and builders of mid- and high-rise housing, generally multi-unit buildings of four stories or more, through NYSERDA's Multifamily New Construction program.

Officials said approximately 75 percent of the entire $16 million in funding is designated for housing for low- to moderate-income residents, who are most vulnerable to high energy cost burdens and whose homes are often especially susceptible to the impacts of extreme weather.

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Emily Wright Is Administrator At Malta Med Emergent Care, Joint Venture Of Two Hospitals

September 8, 2016

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Emily Wright oversees all Malta Med Emergent Care operations and staff.

Courtesy Malta Med Emergent Care

Emily Wright was appointed site administrator at Malta Med Emergent Care, a joint venture of Albany Medical Center and Saratoga Hospital.

The two hospitals opened Malta Med, at 6 Medical Park Drive in Malta in June 2013 to provide residents of southern Saratoga County with easy access to high-quality urgent and emergent care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In her new role, Wright is responsible for all Malta Med operations--emergent care, medical imaging, and laboratory services--and provides oversight over all staff, while working with emergency medicine physicians from Albany Medical Center, as well as healthcare providers from Saratoga Hospital.

"We are happy to appoint an experienced, clinical professional such as Emily as Malta Med's site administrator to help ensure that we continue to provide high-quality care to Saratoga County residents," said Dr. Steven Frisch, senior executive vice president for the integrated delivery system at Albany Medical Center and Chair of Healthcare Partners of Saratoga.

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Saratoga County Gets $600,000-Plus To Get Better Access To Nutrition Services For Seniors

September 8, 2016

Some $74.6 million in state and federal funding has been set aside for New York state's 59 county-based agencies on aging, it was announced Aug. 30.

The money will be used to support programs that improve older individuals' access to nutritional and disease prevention services.

State officials said these services currently help more than 238,000 older New Yorkers prevent or reduce the effect of chronic disease associated with diet and weight; strengthen the link between nutrition and physical activity for a healthy lifestyle; and improve access to nutritional information, education, counseling, and healthy foods.

This year's commitment will generate an additional $98.3 million in funding from municipalities, plus an additional $11.5 million in direct voluntary contributions from program participants, officials said.

Of that amount, Saratoga County will receive $646,554.

"New Yorkers help their neighbors in their time of need and, with this funding, we will help ensure some of our most vulnerable citizens are not in danger of going hungry, maintain their health, and manage or reduce chronic diseases," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "I thank the members of New York's Congressional delegation for their efforts to secure this funding."

The nutritional needs of older adults become more critical with advancing age, officials said. Poor diet and physical inactivity are among the leading causes of disability among Americans, and cause one-third of premature deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Spa Garment Care Opens Its First Storefront In The Hamlet At The Fresh Market Plaza

September 8, 2016

Spa Garment Care, a dry cleaning company in Saratoga County for eight years, recently opened this retail drop-off store in The Hamlet in Fresh Market Plaza.

©2016 Saratoga

By Maureen Werther

Spa Garment Care, a dry cleaning company that has been providing valet services throughout Saratoga County for eight years, recently opened a retail drop-off store in The Hamlet in Fresh Market Plaza.

For owner Tom Nigro, who has been in the dry cleaning business for 20 years, this is the company's first retail location. Its main cleaning facility is located in Clifton Park.

Opening the store was the next step in the process for Nigro's business and something that he has wanted to do for a long time.

"While our valet services are still doing extremely well, in order to grow a business, you have to have a storefront," he said.

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Wesley Community To Expand Its Activities Program With The Help Of A $6,000 Grant

September 8, 2016

In an initiative to enhance and expand its existing resident activities program, Wesley Health Care Center Inc., part of The Wesley Community, has been awarded a $6,000 grant from the Marjorie Rockwell Fund for the Disabled of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.

The grant will fund new equipment and supplies for the program and expand the number of resident trips and activities for the next year.

The resident activities program at Wesley Health Care Center provides a year-round program of activities and outings for long-term care residents. Officials said the grant funding will help the program through the purchase of a portable sound system to improve sound quality of musical programs and lectures. In addition, equipment--such as a grill and gardening planters--will expand the outdoor opportunities for residents through the program.

Kitchen equipment is also to be augmented to offer residents expanded opportunities for baking with assistance from staff. Additionally, the grant will allow for expansion of both on-site performances and community-based outings and trips for one year.

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'Grandeville At Malta' Development To Consist Of Apartments And Townhomes Near Exit 12

September 8, 2016

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This is a rendering of one of the apartment buildings in the Grandeville at Malta development that will be located south of Northway Exit 12 on the west side of Route 9.

Courtesy Morgan Communities

By Maureen Werther

Two Rochester-based property management and development companies have partnered to build a new residential community in Malta.

Grandeville at Malta will consist of one-, two- and three-bedroom bedroom apartments and townhomes, with the first units available for occupancy by Nov. 1. The project began about a year ago and, when completed, will have a total of 18 buildings.

The leasing office, located at 1 Hemphill Place, is handling layout selection and pre-leasing.

According to Jonathan Katlan, regional manager for national property management company Morgan Communities, the pre-leasing phase is going well and they expect to have one building per month become available for occupancy between November and May of 2017.

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107-Suite Hotel Opens In Malta, Adding Another Option For Visitors To Saratoga County

September 8, 2016

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This is a rendering of the Home2 Suites Hotel by Hilton that will be built at 103 Saratoga Village Boulevard in Malta. It will have 107 suites, plus amenities.

Courtesy Malta Commons Hotel LLC

By Jennifer Farnsworth

Visitors to Saratoga Springs have another hotel option with the opening of Home2 Suites Hotel by Hilton.

The hotel chain landed a location at 103 Saratoga Village Boulevard in Malta, allowing for easy access to Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga State Park, SPAC, museums, and the restaurant and retail district.

The 107-suite hotel is designed to meet the needs of travelers during the height of the city's busy months.

Adrian Kurre, global head of Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites by Hilton, said the decision to build in Saratoga was an easy one to make.

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NYRA Privatization Still In Limbo, But 2015 Was Another Solvent Year; 2016 Track Improved

August 4, 2016

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Laoban, a 27-1 long shot, wins his first race on July 30 at Saratoga Race Course, which was the Jim Dandy Stakes. NYRA said opening day this season saw an all-sources handle of $17.8 million.

Courtesy NYRA

By R.J. DeLuke

Matt Jones, chairman of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, mentioned at the Chamber's breakfast meeting in July at Longfellows Hotel, Restaurant and Conference Center, that pushing the plan to privatize the New York Racing Association (NYRA) "was not fully successful, but that effort will continue."

It was one of few mentions of the situation regarding NYRA, which controls the three major thoroughbred horse racing tracks in the state--Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct.

The board was to revert to private, nonprofit status in 2015 and again this year. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not liked the proposed bills and has proposed capping the amount of money that would go to track operations.

That spawned the creation of Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing which is lobbying, with the support of the Chamber, to push re-privatization while ensuring steady funding.

A new agreement extended state control until October 2017.

Jones remarks were made prior to the keynote address by Chris Kay, CEO of NYRA, who spoke mainly about improvements made for the 2016 season, which is in progress, having begun on July 22.

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Two Teachers, Home Brew Enthusiasts, Start Their Own Craft Brewery At 41 Geyser Road

August 4, 2016

Kurt Borchardt, left, and Colin Quinn put their love of beer and brewing into the formation of their new business Artisanal Brew Works on Geyser Road in Saratoga Springs.

©2016 Saratoga

By Maureen Werther

For Kurt Borchardt and Colin Quinn, brewing beer is both an art and a science.

The owners of Artisanal Brew Works at 41 Geyser Road in Saratoga Springs opened their craft beer brewery the third week in July.

Borchardt and Quinn have a lot in common besides beer. Both men teach at Saratoga Springs High School. Both have been involved in homemade brewing for years. And both share an "incredible attention to detail," according to Borchardt.

That characteristic was something Borchardt worried would drive his new partner "a little nuts," he said, until they started working together and found out they were "cut from the same cloth."

Borchardt worked for 13 years as a chemical engineer specializing in automation and controls. He always knew he would leave the corporate world and embark upon a teaching career. When he got married and began to raise a family, he decided it was a good time to make the transition to education. He currently teaches digital electronics, biotechnology, principles of engineering and woodshop.

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Dock Space Expanded On Saratoga Lake At Property Home To Lake Local And 550 Marina

August 4, 2016

These docks on Saratoga Lake are part of 550 Marina and Board on the Lake Local property.

BY Molly Congdon

Lake Local, the restaurant located on Saratoga Lake just off Union Avenue, has spawned a marina and dock rental business on the property that expanded its space and rental offerings this year.

The marina's name is 550 Marina and Board, the same address as Lake Local, and both are a part of the same property, said marina manager Matthew Rickard. "The core owners are John Boyle, Michael Phinney and Ray Bryan, with some silent partners."

Lake Local, the bar/restaurant located at 550 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, is known for its pub fare, catch-of-the-day and farm-to-table locally grown veggies.

This summer, the boat business expanded on the property, growing from last year's 40 dock spaces to 110.

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Rochester-Based Development Group To Build Apartments In Malta With Below-Market Rents

August 4, 2016

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This is a rendering of apartments Conifer Realty plans to build on Route 67.

Courtesy Barton Partners

By Susan E. Campbell

A 17-acre plot on Route 67 next to East Line Road will soon provide 163 apartments for people working in and around Ballston Spa, according to the developer, Conifer Realty of Rochester, which closed on the purchase of the property on July 1.

The land was purchased from Hal Schultz, a real estate developer who had been working to develop and market the property since 2007.

Brian Donato, project manager at Conifer, said his company paid approximately $2.5 million for the land that will become Blue Heron Trail, a four-phase residential development that may also include about 10,000 square feet of commercial lease space in the final phase.

That's approximately $150,000 per acre and on the low side of market value, Donato said.

"The property was appraised for more," he said. "Things are going for up to $200,000 per acre in the area."

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Boutique on Caroline Street Offers A Range Of Goods From Southeast Asia And Morocco

August 4, 2016

Molly Reed is the owner of rōv & reeds boutique at 24 Caroline St. that sells a range of imported goods like soft furnishings, rugs, hand-crafted Moroccan leather goods, pillows, textiles and art.

©2016 Saratoga

By Maureen Werther

A new boutique, rōv & reeds, has opened at 24 Caroline St. in Saratoga Springs, selling a range of imported soft furnishings, rugs, hand-crafted Moroccan leather goods, pillows, textiles and art, along with other items from Southeast Asia and Morocco.

The shop also offers hand-crafted furniture, sculptures, wall art and handmade jewelry by local artists such as Jenny Horstman, who creates horse sculptures using scrap iron, and Peter Reed, owner of Rusticworks canvas and leather designs.

Owner Molly Reed partnered with her father, Tim Reed, who is also the owner of reeds on Exchange Street in Glens Falls.

Molly and her father decided to team up in her endeavor after she returned from a four-month shopping trip across Southeast Asia and Morocco. During her travels, she purchased rugs, pillows, silks and textiles from artists in Thailand, Myamar, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal and Morocco, with a plan to sell them on her online boutique,

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Personnel Briefs: August 2016

August 4, 2016

Roohan Realty announced that Emmy award-winning cinematographer and director Derek Hallquist has joined the company.

He will be handling professional real estate photography, including drone piloting, video production, editing, signage and graphic design. He will provide images of locations and properties.  

Hallquist has a history in commercials and feature films, and just returned from premiering his documentary, "Denial" in Los Angeles at the 2016 LA Film Festival. 

He started in real estate TV shows, having three years of experience as director of photography creating the visual style for the television station TLC's "My First Home." The show was about first-time home buyers, profiling a new family each episode while touring more than a half-dozen homes.  

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Lisa Frawley recently joined the team at Mannix Marketing Inc. as a digital marketing strategist and Kathryn Tracey was hired as a strategic content developer

Frawley will provide clients with search engine optimization, paid search, social media marketing, and other digital-marketing strategies.

Frawley brings with her 18 years of marketing and copywriting experience. She has worked with national brands, including 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Marvin Windows & Doors and General Electric, as well as several regional businesses. She holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from Hofstra University.

Frawley returned to her hometown of Glens Falls four years ago. Outside of Mannix Marketing, Frawley is a group fitness instructor.

Tracey provided communications and marketing support for the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP) at the University of Maryland.

Adding to an undergraduate degree in writing and economics from Loyola University Maryland, Tracey recently completed her M.B.A. at the R.H. Smith School of Business with a focus on integrated marketing communications.

She brings over a half decade of experience in technical and scientific communications to the Mannix team.

Tracey will be using her expertise in inbound marketing, certified via Hubspot, to strengthen the content marketing arm and enhance the effectiveness of online copy for the company and its clients.

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Cole's Woodwinds Takes Temporary New Home While Caffè Lena Undergoes Its Renovations

August 4, 2016

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Cole's Woodwind Shop has temporarily relocated to 6 Butler Place while renovations take place at the historic 47 Phila Street address that also houses Caffè Lena.

Courtesy Cole's Woodwinds

Cole's Woodwind Shop has temporarily relocated to 6 Butler Place (behind 3 Franklin Square), while renovations take place at the historic 47 Phila Street address that also houses Caffè Lena.

Saratoga's Bonacio Construction is doing a major renovation at the 55-year-old Caffè Lena. The company will also construct a mixed-use building on the corner of Phila and Henry streets. The project will feature an elevator and stairwell shared with the Caffè and the eight apartments that will be on the upper floors of the mixed-use structure.

"These are exciting times," said owner Bill Cole, who is known internationally for his personal service, unique inventory and deep knowledge of wind instrument history, construction and repair. "The long-anticipated renovation of the Caffè is finally happening and we're proud to be a part of the project."

Cole's shop, in operation in Saratoga Springs since 1977, will also benefit from the extensive renovation. Cole said he is grateful for the support of the Caffè and Bonacio Construction Inc., which is handling the construction work.

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Orthopedic & Spine Physical Therapy Grew To Staff Of 15 During Its 20 Years In Business

August 4, 2016

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Orthopedic & Spine Physical Therapy PC has been in business for 20 years.

Courtesy Orthopedic & Spine Physical Therapy

By Maureen Werther

Orthopedic & Spine Physical Therapy PC is celebrating its 20th year in business.

Owner Denise Buher opened the business in 1996, after working for several years as a senior therapist on the staff of Glens Falls Hospital. Buher is a certified therapist in mechanical diagnosis and therapy of the spine from the McKenzie Institute. She is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

Starting out as a solo practitioner, she hired a physical therapy assistant the following year, and he is still part of the practice today.

Gradually, she added more employees and now, 20 years later, she manages a staff of 15 people, including four full-time and two part-time physical therapists, one full-time and two part-time PT assistants, with six administrative and support staff.

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