Citizen Gloria

"I have to be open now," she said. "So I say, 'OK, passive solar " yes, it is more expensive but still, it would be something very special in Colonie.'"

A history to build on

The home itself has a very special meaning to her. It has been passed down through generations from her grandmother, to her mother and now herself. Her grandmother died in what is now the dining room at age 85 from what Knorr said was old age or clogging of the arteries. As a registered nurse, Knorr took care of both her grandmother and mother before their deaths.

She said when her grandmother died, she was with her daughter Jeannie Seanor, now 45, and they walked through the kitchen to the bedroom where Gloria's grandmother had passed and said a prayer by her side.

"I said, 'Look at that sunrise,'" Knorr said. "She said to me, 'When Momma went to heaven she lit up the sky.'"

Knorr was also the caregiver for her mother when she developed Alzheimer's, from 1992 until she died in 2007.

The property was also home to her daughter from her second marriage, Suzanne, a lawyer for the New York State Democratic Assembly, after she gave birth to Jackson. She moved to Cohoes in September.

Getting involved in the community

All of these experiences with the farm have led to Knorr's constant involvement in town issues, and, most important, her effort to promote affordable, sustainable housing and housing for seniors. She realized by going to the Town Board meetings and the planning board meetings, it would help her understand what she would need to do to be able to build the type of housing she wanted on her land.

"I've been going a lot," she said, trying to recall just how long it has been since she first attended a meeting. "I call up the hotline for the planning and economic meeting, and they tell you an agenda of that day. If it has something to do with housing, I usually go."

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