Thursday, 23 March 2017 18:11

Copy of March 24th - 30th

COURTS

Gregory L. Lyons, 58, of Gansevoort, was sentenced on March 15 to five years of probation, after pleading to felony DWI. 

Fred F. Albright III, 35, of Saratoga Springs, pleaded on March 15 to felony DWI. Sentencing scheduled for May 10.   

James R. Wright, Jr., 26, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced on March 15 to one year in Saratoga County Jail, after pleading to felony DWI. 

Craig L. Johnson, 54, of Schenectady, was sentenced on March 15 to 4 years in state prison and 1.5 years post-release supervision after pleading to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third-degree. 

Jeanne Mosher, 38, and Michael R. Mosher, 38, were both sentenced on March 15 to aggregate sentences of 40 years-to-life, after each pleading guilty to two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, according to the Saratoga County District attorney’s office. The criminal conduct, which continued over the course of several years, involved two children less than 13 years old. 

POLICE

Charles W. Fosmire, age 41, and Julie M. Ramos, age 48 – both of Malta, were charged on March 10 by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department on the suspicion of selling heroin. Fosmire was charged with three felony counts each criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance, and three misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Fosmire was sent to Saratoga County Jail without bail. Ramos was charged with one felony count each of criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance, and one misdemeanor count of criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Ramos was released on her own recognizance. Both are scheduled to return to Malta Town Justice Court at a later date.

Brian D. Bowden, age 41, Gansevoort, was charged on March 5 with assault in the third degree, and criminal mischief – both misdemeanors.

Kimberly Loftis, age 44, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 5 with resisting arrest, and obstructing governmental administration – both misdemeanors.

Devin P. Robbins, age 23, Clifton Park, was charged on March 5 with criminal mischief in the third degree, a felony.  

Raphael V. Duncan, age 22, Albany, was charged on March 5 with assault in the third degree, and criminal mischief – both misdemeanors. 

Kyle P. Richman, age 22, Marietta, was charged on March 4 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. 

Benjamin B. Allen, age 21, Stoneham, Massachusetts, was charged on March 4 with misdemeanor DWI, refusing a pre-screen test, and failing to signal a turn. 

Zachary M. Turner, age 24, Norfolk, Virginia, was charged on March 4 with obstruction of breathing, a misdemeanor. 

Lamont L. Wilson, Schenectady, was charged on March 4 with criminal possession of a weapon, a felony, and menacing, a misdemeanor. 

John L. Yakush, age 35, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 3 with one felony count and one misdemeanor count each of criminal possession of a controlled substance and five counts of unlawfully dealing with a child in the first-degree, a misdemeanor. 

Angela D. Osberg, age 42, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 3 with five counts of unlawfully dealing with a child in the first-degree misdemeanor. 

Rick D. Teetz, age 54, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 3 with assault in the third degree, and two counts of criminal mischief. All charges are misdemeanors.

Nathaniel Harrington, age 34, Hudson Falls, was charged on March 14 with promoting prison contraband in the first-degree, a felony. 

Donavan A. Lair, age 44, Schenectady, was charged on March 3 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and an equipment violation.   

Kevin L. Dickinson, age 26, Troy, was charged on March 3 with speeding, following a motor vehicle too closely, and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, a misdemeanor. 

Heather A. Salerno, age 26, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 3 with refusing a pre-screen test, misdemeanor DWI, criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor, and two vehicle violations. 

Gregory N. Ralph, age 34, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 3 with misdemeanor DWI, and speeding. 

Satin L. Dewitt, age 29, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 2 with second-degree menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon – both misdemeanors. 

Wayne M. Bakken, age 19, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 2 with two felony counts of grand larceny, and misdemeanor petit larceny. 

Kip R. Chapman, age 27, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 2 with misdemeanor DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a felony, and use of portable electronic devices.   

Collin A. Hunter, age 28, Greenfield Center, was charged on March 2 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and following a motor vehicle too closely.  

Larry E. Baldwin, age 48, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 1 with misdemeanor petit larceny.  

Jennifer M. Fuller, age 34, Gansevoort, was charged on March 1 after being involved in a property damage accident with felony DWI as a second offense, refusing a pre-screen test, and following a motor vehicle too closely.  

David S. Riley, age 64, Glenville, was charged on March 1 with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, a felony, and two driving infractions. 

Tara F. Anderson, age 19, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 1 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, failure to keep right, and unlawful possession of marijuana.  

Kristen Insardi, age 25, Clifton Park, was charged on March 1 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and failure to keep right. 

Lisa R. Milo, age 55, Saratoga Springs, was charged on March 1 with first-degree criminal contempt first degree, and criminal mischief – both felonies. 

William M. Lentz, age 30, Wilton, was charged on Feb. 27 with criminal possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor.  

Timothy E. Amirault, age 27, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 27 with making a punishable false written statement, and petit larceny- both misdemeanors.  

Deborah A. Demarsh, age 45, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 27 with two misdemeanor counts petit larceny. 

Shawn M. Johnson, age 34, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 27 with criminal tampering in the third degree, a felony, and criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. 

Maite Cupp, age 32, Ballston Spa, was charged on Feb. 26 with assault, and criminal mischief – both misdemeanors. 

Ashay L. Waykole, age 29, Ballston Spa, was charged on Feb. 26 with felony DWI as a second offense, criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor, and two driving infractions. 

House Fire Claims Life in Northumberland 

NORTHUMBERLAND – A 63-year-old man has died in the aftermath of a fire at a residence at 307 Rugg Road, reports the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.

At approximately 10:22 p.m. on Sunday March 19, the Sheriff’s Department received a report of a possible structure in the town of Northumberland.  Fire, EMS and Sheriff’s patrols were dispatched to the residence and upon entry by fire personnel, Edward R. Wilusz was located unresponsive and removed from the residence.  He was transported to Saratoga Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.  There were no other occupants in the residence.  

The Saratoga County Cause and Origin Team was dispatched to the scene and is investigating the cause of the fire. 

Published in Police Blotter
Thursday, 16 March 2017 17:31

March 17th - 23rd

COURTS

Mychal A. Travis, 28, of Halfmoon, pleaded on March 2 to criminal possession of a controlled substance. Sentencing scheduled for May 3. 

Joshua J. Dray, 21, of South Glens Falls, pleaded on March 2 to felony criminal mischief. Sentencing scheduled for April 26. 

Cody J. Letourneau, 19, of Clifton Park, pleaded on March 2 to sexual abuse in the first degree, a felony, regarding an incident that occurred in Halfmoon. Sentencing scheduled for April 26. 

Zachary B. Sedefian, 24, of Malta, pleaded on March 1 to criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree, a felony. Sentencing scheduled for May 3. 

Jared A. Brockbank, 26, of Clifton Park, pleaded on March 1 to aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, regarding an incident that occurred in Halfmoon, and was sentenced to a definite term of two years incarceration. Brockbank was also sentenced to four years in state prison and 10 years post-release supervision related to felony rape, related to an incident that occurred in Clifton Park. 

James Lucatorto, 45, of Gansevoort, was sentenced on Feb. 28 to one year in County Jail, after pleading to criminal contempt in the first degree, a felony, related to an incident that occurred in Wilton. 

Denise N. Rush, 48, of Troy, was sentenced on Feb. 28 to 1.5 years in state prison and 1.5 years of post-release supervision, after pleading to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, related to an incident that occurred in Ballston.     

Matthew D. Miller, 34, of Rensselaer, pleaded on Feb. 27 to felony DWI. Sentencing is scheduled to take place April 17. 

POLICE

Benjamin J. Schreiber, age 27, of Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 25 after being involved in a two-car accident with misdemeanor DWI, refusing a pre-screen test, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and following a vehicle too closely.

Haripreet S. Kahlon, age 41, of Glens Falls, was charged on Feb. 25 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and speeding. 

Erik M. Gaylo, age 26, of Buskirk, was charged on Feb. 25 with misdemeanor DWI and two driving infractions. 

Zachary P. Michaels, age 22, of Schuylerville, was charged on Feb. 25 with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. 

Loretta A. Hoffman, age 51, of Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 25 with misdemeanor DWI, and speeding.   

Kristie J. Patterson, age 42, of Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 24 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and an equipment violation.  

Juliana S Dreweck, age 40, of Schenectady, was charged on Feb. 24 with three misdemeanor counts petit larceny, three misdemeanor counts criminal possession of stolen property, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Robert M. Herring Jr., age 51, of Saratoga Springs was charged on March 1 with two felony counts each of criminal sale of a controlled substance, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, on the suspicion of selling powdered cocaine in the city in 2016 and 2017.   

Nelson D. Bruno, 27, of Ballston Spa, was charged on Feb. 28 with promoting prison contraband in the  first degree, a felony, after allegedly introducing heroin and Adderall  into the Saratoga County correctional facility, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.   

Devan D. Hildebrandt, age 25, of Schenectady, was charged on Feb. 27 with felony burglary. The charge stems from an incident last July when it is alleged Hildebrandt entered Bailey’s Café, while it was closed for business, and stole liquor.  He was sent to Saratoga County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash, or $10,000 bond.  

Bradley E. Day, age 42, of Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 23 with the following felonies: assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and one misdemeanor count of menacing. It is alleged Day menaced another person with a knife. 

Juliana S. Dreweck, age 40, of Schenectady, was charged on Feb. 23 with felony DWI and a parking violation.   

Melanie R. Stracuzzi, age 69, of Clifton Park, was charged on Feb. 23 with unauthorized use of a rental vehicle, a misdemeanor. 

Joseph D. Powell, age 22, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Feb. 23 with misdemeanor assault. 

Joelle R. Delaney, age 27, of Ballston Spa, was charged on Feb. 23 with criminal possession of a weapon, a felony.   

Michael C. Gutto, age 29, of Ballston Spa, was charged Feb. 22 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and criminal possession of a controlled substance – both misdemeanors, and speeding and failure to keep right.    

Connor A. Berry, age 36, of Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 22 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and speeding.    

Paula A. Watts, age 34, of Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 22 with misdemeanor DWI, felony aggravated DWI, refusing a pre-screen test, endangering the welfare of a child, having a suspended registration, and operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver. The felony offense falls under Leandra’s Law, as there was a 5-year-old child in the vehicle at the time of offense. 

Casey E. Shuta, age 34, of Niskayuna, was charged on Feb. 21 with misdemeanor DWI, failing to stop at a stop sign, and to signal a turn, and unlawful possession of marijuana. 

Maryann Thrane, age 58, Leeds, of Massachusetts, was charged on Feb. 21 with misdemeanor DWI, felony aggravated DWI, refusing a pre-screen test, and endangering the welfare of a child. The felony offense falls under Leandra’s Law, as there was a 13-year-old child in the vehicle at the time of offense.  

Published in Police Blotter
Thursday, 09 March 2017 20:00

March 10th

COURTS

Brett W. Fox, 28, of Waterford, was sentenced on Feb. 22 to five years of probation on each on the charges of felony burglary, and felony DWI. 

Derick Henderson, 52, of Queens, N.Y. was sentenced on Feb. 21 to five years in prison and two years of post-release supervision, after pleading to criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony. 

Louis S. Guerra, 42, of the Bronx,  pleaded on Feb. 21 to first degree criminal contempt, a felony. Sentencing scheduled for April 11.

James J. Innes, 33, of Mechanicville, pleaded on Feb. 21 to felony DWI. Sentencing scheduled for April 11.  

Morgan J. Henness, 27, of Howes Caves, pleaded on Feb. 21 to felony DWI. Sentencing scheduled for April 11.  

Debra L. Berry, 57, of Halfmoon, pleaded on Feb. 21 to felony DWAI. Sentencing scheduled for April 11.  

POLICE

On March 5, Lamine Diakite, age 18, of Manhattan, was charged with attempted grand larceny, attempted possession of a weapon, and resisting arrest - all misdemeanors, and disorderly conduct, a violation; Kulsum H. Larry, age 20, of Albany, was charged with resisting arrest, misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, a violation, and Eudes B. Pierre, age 21, of Brooklyn, was charged with disorderly conduct. All three were related to an alleged incident that occurred during a private party at the Spare Time Lanes bowling alley in Halfmoon. According to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department, numerous fights broke out and patrons damaged property inside the establishment.  

A 17-year-old Corinth High School student suspected of making threats toward the school and some of its students was charged on March 1 with harassment and aggravated harassment, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said Thomas J. Ouimet allegedly made several statements in a private texting session with friends “deemed to be inappropriate conversations regarding known active shooter situations such as the Columbine incident.” The situation continued when Ouimet allegedly made another inappropriate comment that alluded to school shootings during one of the school’s lockdown drills on Feb. 28. He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to return to Corinth Town Court on March 14.    

Algenita O. Perry, age 25, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 21 with making a punishable false written statement, and welfare fraud in the fifth degree- both misdemeanors.   

Joseph J. Deschenes, age 46, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 21 with criminal trespass misdemeanor. 

Eddie Feliciano, age 34, Albany, was charged on Feb. 21 with aggravated harassment in the second degree, a misdemeanor. 

Eric H. Waite, age 22, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 21 with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. 

Chalmers D. Davis, age 38, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 20 with unlawful possession of marijuana, and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree, a misdemeanor. 

Heather L. Lackey, age 35, Greenwich, was charged on Feb. 20 with misdemeanor DWI, failure to signal a turn and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. 

David Pacheco, age 33, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 19 with strangulation, and unlawful imprisonment – both felonies, the misdemeanors criminal mischief, assault, and petiti larceny, and unlawful possession of marijuana.  

Graham M. Hall, age 27, Ballston Lake, was charged on Feb. 19 with misdemeanor DWI and making an unsafe lane change.  

Matheus T. Lima, age 21, Boston, Massachusetts was charged on Feb. 18 with  misdemeanor DWI, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver, and leaving the scene of an accident after being involved in a one-car personal injury accident. 

Vincent Buffolino, age 26, Malta, was charged on Feb. 18 with speeding and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.  

Carla A. Pastore, age 53, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 18 with felony DWI, failing to signal a turn and improper lane use.    

Johanna M. Whitman, age 32, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with fifth-degree welfare fraud, a misdemeanor.   

Walter E. Ruzycky, age 39, Amsterdam, was charged on Feb. 17 with misdemeanor criminal contempt. 

Brendan J. Flanigan, age 39, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.    

Jennifer L. Jones, age 41, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with fifth-degree welfare fraud, and making a punishable false written statement – both misdemeanors.   

Joseph Bongiorno, age 54, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with misdemeanor assault. 

Karen E. Person, age 38, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with misdemeanor DWI, aggravated DWI, failing to stop at a stop sign, improper right turn, and refusing a pre-screen test.   

Jeremy J. Gilboy, age 39, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with misdemeanor DWI, an equipment violation, consumption of alcoholic beverages, and unlawful possession of marijuana.     

James R. Prochilo, age 29, Ballston Spa, was charged on Feb. 17 with circumventing a court-ordered interlock device, and an equipment violation.  

Aaron M. Current, age 25, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 17 with felony criminal contempt.   

Farren E. Rixter, age 28, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 16 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.   

Grigoriy L. Nemzer, age 27, Watervliet, was charged on Feb. 15 with felony criminal contempt, and misdemeanor stalking. 

Justin S. Gilboy, age 35, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 15 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. , and unlawful possession of marijuana.    

Kayla L. Ratigan, age 26, Ballston Spa, was charged on Feb. 15 with misdemeanor petit larceny.  

 

Richard E. Hileman, age 33, Saratoga Springs, was charged on Feb. 14 with making a terroristic threat, a felony.   

Published in Police Blotter

SARATOGA SPRINGS — In a city known for its horses, it is still a sight to behold: standing about five-and-a-half feet tall, weighing 1,800 pounds and steadied atop four sturdy legs, they represent the city’s most unique police officers.

The Saratoga Springs Police Department initiated the use of a mounted patrol in 2000, following in a long tradition first documented when London’s Bow Street Police established its horse-mounted branch more than 250 years ago. This week, Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen announced one of the longest serving members of Saratoga Springs’ mounted division will be, well, stepping down.

“Jupiter is 23 years old and ready for retirement,” Mathiesen explained. The standard-bred gelding, originally named Jo Jo Geronimo, was donated to the police department in 2003, and has patrolled the city for more than a decade.

Jupiter became the city’s third equine officer, following the initial experiment in 2000 of a horse on loan from the state Park Police, and a 17-hand standard-bred gelding named Of Course I Can - later renamed Zeus- who served the department for three years, until his death as the result of West Nile virus. More recently, Jupiter was joined on the equine staff by the 1,800-pound black Percheron named King Tut. A healthy Standardbred horse will usually live to the age of about 25, and Jupiter’s golden years will be spent in the familiar surroundings of a farm just off Route 29 where the police horses are boarded.

“We have somebody who is going to care for him,” said Assistant City Police Chief John Catone. “He’ll retire and be able to play on the farm with all of his friends.”

Serendipitously, horse owner Charles “Chuck” Harrison on Jan. 30 penned a letter to the city police department, offering to donate his 11-year-old Standardbred, named Most Fun Yet, to the mounted division of the department. “I claimed him back in 2011 and he’s always been a pleasure to be around. I wanted to find a real good home for him,” Harrison said. “He’s a special horse. His personality makes him special and he’s as easygoing as they come. In the barn, we call him ‘Fat Boy,” Harrison laughed. “Now we call him ‘Officer Fat Boy.’

Most Fun Yet had been a frequent competitor at Saratoga Casino Hotel. He was foaled on Feb. 25, 2006 in Thornville, Ohio and sired by Full of Fun. The bay gelding had 223 starts overall - finishing in the money 87 times, winning 19 races outright and earning more than $190,000. “He actually raced until the end of the meet here in December,” said Most Fun Yet trainer Scott Mongeon. “He’s still viable as a race horse and could still race, but he is getting up there in age. Chuck thought it would be better off finding him a home, as long as it’s the right home.“

Most Fun Yet is being readied for training. The process is expected to take four to five weeks and if all goes well, he could be ready to serve by early May. The equine officers are employed in Saratoga Springs year-round and are a visual magnet for area children and out-of-town visitors alike. They patrol the racecourse in the summer, attend special citywide events, and bear witness to the occasional mayhem that can ensue downtown. “During fight calls, if there is a fight between two people, I can put a horse between them and that’s it - the fight’s over,” SSPD mounted patrol officer Glenn Barrett said in 2015.

“Most Fun Yet will be trained and become one of our police horses, and Most Fun Yet will probably have a lot of fun at four o’clock in the morning on Caroline Street,” Commissioner Mathiesen said with a laugh. The city’s newest equine officer, its fifth overall, is expected to undergo a name change prior to being put into service and plans are underway to host a contest among area schoolchildren to rename the horse.

Published in News

Jerry Carpenter Jr. died in June, a few hours shy of his 21st birthday, his family by his side.

In an emotionally moving ceremony Tuesday night at City Hall, Carpenter’s family thanked Saratoga Springs Police Officer Bill Arpei for answering the call to tend to the Saratoga Springs High School graduate in his time of need. 

“On that day, June 2, that afternoon, the call was received by an officer for a young man in cardiac arrest,” family friend Donna Flinton told a chamber room crowded with residents and council members gathered to decide the city’s business. The call was placed by Carpenter’s sister. From Jefferson Terrace, the emergency was reported as a young man in severe medical distress.

“Officer Arpei responded within minutes of the call and assessed everything. He started chest compressions and continued to do so even after EMS came to take over,” Flinton said. “Unbeknownst to the officer, Jerry had only one working lung as well as a host of other complications. With Officer Arpei’s CPR, his not giving up on our boy and EMS’ help, Jerry was resuscitated.”

Although resuscitated, the young man whose obituary remembers him as an innocent soul with a brave heart who spread love to all who knew him, passed away a week later.

“The officer was asked to be kept in the loop, and we did,” Flinton said. “We informed Officer Arpei that Jerry had passed, and of the funeral arrangements, hoping he would perhaps come. He sure did. And in full uniform. It gave the family and myself great pride to know the Saratoga Springs Police Department would allow Officer Arpei not just to attend, but to salute as we passed by,” she recalled. “With that, my friends, everyone just cried. That was our time. And that was the time he gave us. He not only refused to give up on him, but he cared - and caring and compassion is not always prevalent in today’s society.”       

One of the young man’s sisters handed Arpei a keychain, to signify the day her life forever was changed and the moment the officer was welcomed as a member of the family. With the presentation of a statue she noted how they would never forget the officer’s actions.

“When we look at you, we see Jerry,” Flinton said. “Because of you, his mother was able to sit with him for the last few days he had, hold his hand and tell him he could go dance in heaven with his grandfather. His grandmother was able to kiss him one last time and tell him that she loved him.  His sisters were able to say goodbye and lay with him as he took his last breath - and we celebrated his birthday - because in some country he was 21,” she told the officer, who joined the city police department five years ago. “These are the moments the family will cherish forever and they know they wouldn’t have had them if it wasn’t for you.”  In the crowded council chamber overcome by silence some in the crowd choked back tears.

 “We feel it was time to express our family’s gratitude towards one of our own,” she said. “Saying just thanks, we think, is not appropriate. But that’s all we’ve got.” Residents and council members alike stood up and the chamber erupted in a lengthy ovation.  

 

City Approves Purchase of Pitney Farm: Westside Farm to Stay a Farm Forever

After much deliberation, the council unanimously approved the city purchase of the development rights of the 166-acre Pitney Farm on West Avenue.

The city is spending $1.165 million - $1.13 million outright and $35,000 in closing costs –   to purchase the development rights to ensure the farm land will remain a farm in perpetuity.

Members of the council had expressed hope that a portion of the 166-acre farm could be used to house recreation fields for youth sports such as soccer, field hockey and lacrosse. DPW Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco was especially adamant that the city may have done a better job negotiating the fields into the land contract, as the city lacks those resources.

The closing is scheduled to take place in mid-December. At the same time, the city will issue a bond anticipation note. The interest will be 0.95 percent, Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan said.       

A contract of sale for the farm was signed between the Pitney Family and the newly created 501(c)(3), Pitney Meadows Community Farm. The vision for the farm includes the creation of a community agricultural resource center to function as a teaching facility and incubator, as well as offering access to the community to cultivate gardens and enjoy nature trails on the property.

 

City Amends Sidewalk Sitting Ordinance – Penalties Reduced, Law Still in Effect 

The city's controversial “sit and lie ordinance,” which was adopted in June and makes it unlawful for any person to sit or lie down upon a public sidewalk, was amended by the City Council this week. The changes include a streamlining of exceptions to the law; those exceptions allow for medical emergencies, or in curbside areas permitted for street performers, as well as easing penalties for code violators. 

The previously adopted penalties called for a minimum $50 fine for first offenders, escalating to misdemeanor charges with the potential of up to 30 days of jail time and fines of up to $500 for repeat offenders. The new penalties call for a maximum $50 fine for first offenders. Subsequent offenders would be subject to a fine not exceeding $250 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, according to the city’s general penalties for offenses, posted on the city website.   

The New York Civil Liberties Union submitted testimony alleging both the original law and the amended proposal targets homeless people and is unconstitutional and should be rescinded altogether. Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen – who brought forward both the original and amended proposals – argued that the ordinance was based on other municipalities’ existing ordinances and that “it does pass constitutional muster.”  The council members were in general agreement in expressing belief that the ordinance is related to pedestrian safety issues and does not target the city’s homeless population. The amended ordinance was approved 4-1, with city Mayor Joanne Yepsen casting the lone vote against. “I don’t like this law and I don’t see a need for it,” said Yepsen, who also cast the lone voted against the initial proposal in June.    

 

On a High Note, City Center President Says Goodbye

Longtime Saratoga Springs City Center President Mark Baker delivered the City Center Authority’s annual report for 2015 to the council on Tuesday. In 2015, the City Center hosted 154 events and secured 252 days of paid activities - marking the highest number of annual paid events in the building’s history. The 2016 schedule already tops that number, Baker added, and reported $2.1 million in sales tax revenue was generated in 2015 for the local community. More than 155,000 people attended events last year.

“For 33 years it’s been a pleasure to serve for you and with you,” said Baker, who last week announced he will retire as the organization’s president at year’s end. “In the last 33 years I think it’s become most obvious that there is no place like Saratoga Springs – our history, our style, our grace,” Baker said..   

 

‘Eyesore’ at Interlaken to be Demolished, Replaced by Single-Family Homes

The council unanimously voted to support a Planned Unit Development SEQRA determination regarding a property on Crescent Avenue in the Interlaken community. The long-abandoned home will be demolished and the land subdivided into four parcels where four single-family homes will be developed. Residents of the neighborhood addressed the council, alternately referring to the existing building as “an eyesore” and “a neighborhood blight,” and outnumbered those opposed to the building’s demolition by a 10-1 margin.  

 

City Public Art Policy Approved; Changes Coming for City Arts Commission

The council unanimously approved a public art policy that will provide a civic planning process for the acceptance and placement of artwork in public areas.

The city Arts Commission – a 20-member advisory board appointed by the mayor in 2015 - will review submissions using artwork and site selection criteria and may recommend to accept or reject an artwork. The Commission is tasked with reviewing proposals for consistency with the city’s goals and where appropriate, recommending acceptance or rejection of such acquisitions for the city. “Public art,” in this scope, is defined as publicly accessible artwork that enriches the city through its aesthetic qualities, considers the social and physical context of the site, and addresses the goals of the city.

The Arts Commission will also undergo changes to its member bylaws. Starting in January 2018, the committee will be comprised of a maximum of 11 members; four will be selected by the commissioners and the balance appointed by the mayor. Currently, all 20 members have been selected by the mayor.

 

 

 

Published in Today in Saratoga

Blotter

  • COURTS Gregory L. Lyons, 58, of Gansevoort, was sentenced on March 15 to five years of probation, after pleading to felony DWI. Fred F. Albright III, 35, of Saratoga Springs, pleaded on March 15 to felony DWI. Sentencing scheduled for May 10. James R. Wright, Jr., 26, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced on March 15 to one year in Saratoga County Jail, after pleading to felony DWI. Craig L. Johnson, 54, of Schenectady, was sentenced on March 15 to 4 years in state prison and 1.5 years post-release supervision after pleading to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON SPA 4 Harvester Way, $417,930. Legacy Custom Homes LLC sold property to Legacy Custom Homes LLC. 33 Forest Rd., $220,000. Louis Hoebel sold property to Michael Turgeon and Cynthia Thomas-Turgeon. 412 Goode St., $190,000. Charles Sammons sold property to Geoffry and Karley Hoffman. 8 America Way, $412,391. Briarwood Brooks Development LLC sold property to Joshua Terranova. 76 Church Ave., $180,000. Jean Dahlgren sold property to Scott, Rosemary and Avrum Tabachneck. GREENFIELD 3483 Boyhaven Rd., $79,900. Donald Sanders and Joyce Caver sold property to Geoffrey and Jillian Jones. 342 Middle Grove Road, $95,000. Thomas Merrills, Jr. sold property to Joyce…
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  • Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau
  • Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association
  • Saratoga Mama