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Zan Strumfeld

Stories by Zan

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Cash cow

Fantastic Fall Festival serves to raise money for child with DMD

The Fantastic Fall Festival helps raise money for Derek Murphy, a 12-year-old boy from North Greenbush with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

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Colonie’s annual Harvest Fest approaches

The Crossings will come alive with food, music, crafts and fun for the entire family

The Crossings of Colonie will soon be full of fall cheer at the annual Colonie Harvest Fest, which will feature a full day of entertainment, crafts and food.

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History buff soldiers on

Reenactor wants to see the Henry Knox Trail designated an historic trail

Dave Fagerberg is on a mission, and he’s not going to stop walking until he completes his goal.

DiNapoli praises Colonie’s efforts

After being targeted as distressed, comptroller releases new profile on town’s finances

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has released an updated report saying the town has improved its financial situation significantly in the recent years.

Arts and crafts extravaganza

Shaker Heritage Society holds annual craft fair Sept. 7 and 8

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, on Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8, nearly 100 regional craftsmen will bring their goods to the Shaker Historic Site at 25 Meeting House Road in Colonie.

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Step back in time a town tradition

This year’s Old Fashioned Sunday to mark three decades running

Rolling into its 30th year, the Friends of the Pruyn House-sponsored Old Fashion Sunday will provide a free, family-fun afternoon reflecting an early-to-mid-19th century feel on the grounds of the historic site.

A taste of Italy, and of heritage

“Viva Italia” fundraiser replete with food, drinks and entertainment

Through a joined love of Italian culture, one local organization is hoping to share its heritage the best way possible – through Italian food and entertainment.

Candidates seek leg. seat in 14th

Alison McLean Lane, Mark Lansing want to officially replace Phil Steck

Two candidates are gearing up their campaigns for the Albany County Legislature’s 14th District.

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The line of duty

BC student starts a fundraiser to buy police dogs ballistic vests

Bethlehem High School senior Rachel Piccolino decided to take her canine adoration to the next level by raising money through local animal shelters and hospitals to purchase ballistic vests for police dogs.

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Running and gunning

Colonie cop takes top honors in international and unique biathlon competition

Colonie patrolman Louis DiNuzzo won the gold medal in the men’s individual biathlon at the World Police and Fire Games 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which was held Thursday, Aug. 1, through Saturday, Aug. 10.

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The brewers bring it on

Annual Battle of the Brews benefits the Red Cross

The 16th Annual American Red Cross Battle of the Brews will be setting up its tents this upcoming Travers weekend, with a taste for everyone from the occasional sipper to the certified cicerone.

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Lord & Taylor coming back to Crossgates

Retailer plans to open two-story department store in fall 2014

Lord & Taylor will be returning to Crossgates Mall under new ownership, with plans to open its doors in the fall of 2014.

New fracking law questioned

Republican lawmakers claim lack on environmental review compromises law

The Albany County Legislature passed a local law last week to keep hydrofracking waste out of the county, but some members of the Republican minority are asking the county executive to veto the law on procedural grounds.

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Perfect fit

Habitat ReStore finds new, larger home

After only five years at its original location, the Habitat for Humanity Capital District ReStore has outgrown its home on North Pearl Street in Albany and will be opening new, much larger doors on Fuller Road this month.

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Local dance studio's quest reaches the stars

Colonie dance team gains national traction

Just last month, The World of Dance studio’s dance team was named the Federation of Dance Competitions Studio of Excellence for 2013 at the StarQuest National dance competition in Virginia Beach, Va., making it the third year the studio took home the top prize out of 55 other studios nationwide.

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Making the right moves with ‘The Wrong Box’

Eleven-year project comes to fruition for local musician, composer

As an enthusiast of 19th century obscure literature, Kit Goldstein Grant stumbled across a goldmine when she found a rare novel by Robert Louis Stevenson in her childhood home. Goldstein Grant, who was beginning to get a knack for composing musicals, read the novel and immediately began writing songs and a script based on the story. She saw the characters coming to life and wanted to see them come across the stage.

State feeling good about real estate

Siena study finds attitudes about market are definitely positive

A study released by the Siena Research Institute at Siena College last week found that for the first time in almost four years, the state’s residents feel the real estate market is on the upswing.

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Activists, lawmakers urge to pass Local Law C

Anti-fracking protesters say process byproduct is toxic

Lawmakers and local and statewide activists stood outside of the Albany County Courthouse last Tuesday voicing their concerns about keeping hydrofracking waste off the streets of Albany County.

Town tightens leash on motels

Colonie passes new restrictions on the expansion of motels

After a second public hearing Thursday, July 25, the Colonie Town Board voted unanimously to pass a local law that would regulate the expansion and construction of hotels and motels along Central Avenue.

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Longtime public servant takes on another role

Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider named to top post with State Association of Chiefs of Police

Steven Heider has never left the Colonie Police Department and has moved up its ranks to become the fifth chief of police in the town. Just last week, he took on his newest responsibility as the president of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, a voluntary agency created to help serve the people of New York, maintain law and order, as well as exercising democracy in government, a role Heider was eager to fill.

Tour helps seniors find best fit

Local facilities present options at ‘parade’

The Capital Region branch of Choice Connections, a free senior housing advisory service, is putting on their second Senior Parade of Homes this September right in Colonie. The full-day “parade” will take a busload of seniors to explore some of the area’s independent and assisted living senior communities.

Another hotel eyes Wolf Road

Planners say the need is there, based on occupancy rates

Developer Howard Carr presented his project as a sketch plan review before the Colonie Planning Board Tuesday, July 16, for a five-story hotel, two national chain restaurants and a national retailer on one location at the current site of the Lazare Lincoln dealership at 144 Wolf Road.

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Now hear this: Bypath launches audio tour

Fourteen historical sites featured at local historic points along the Erie Canal

By using modern tools, the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc., has set out to change that with a brand new walking audio tour to help history seekers uncover knowledge most passersby will miss out on.

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County corrects child car seat confusion

County inspectors rarely find correctly installed car seats at checks

A three-hour child safety seat inspection at Crossgates Mall this past Wednesday came up par for the course when not a single car seat brought to the experts was installed correctly.

State feeling good about real estate

Siena study finds attitudes about market are definitely positive

A study released by the Siena Research Institute at Siena College last week found that for the first time in almost four years, the state’s residents feel the real estate market is on the upswing.

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Albany County keeps it cool

Residents seek relief during blistering heat wave

After weeks of heavy downpours with no sun in sight, the weather took a sharp turn last week, as the Capital District grappled with grueling temperatures in a heat that lasted Monday, July 15, through Saturday, July, 20.

Colonie GOP chairman steps down

Successor unclear as Brian Hogan gives up position for time reasons

Albany County Legislator Brian Hogan has decided to step down from his position as chairman of Colonie’s Republican Committee.

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Locals keep it local

Viola’s Café, started by hometown duo, focuses on fresh

Viola’s Café, located inside the Monte Mario Motel at 947 Loudon Road, officially opened its doors Monday, July 15, and aims to supply the area with homemade, locally-grown breakfast and lunch.

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Music and memories

Colonie Town Band connects area’s musicians with one another, and the community

Enter the Colonie Town Band, an intergenerational group of local musicians who all share a combined passion for community and traditional music. As the band approaches its 50th anniversary next year, the roughly 70 musical connoisseurs are spending their summers and holiday seasons playing throughout the Capital District.

Court rejects landfill lawsuit appeal

Town says it has spent $40k fighting two-year old lawsuit

A court sided with the Town of Colonie earlier this month in an appeal of a lawsuit that had been leveled by Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners and other residents challenging the town’s landfill operating agreement.

Residents want motels cleaned up

Talk of new law brings complaints of sex offenders and loud parties

As the Town of Colonie considers a new law to regulate expansion and construction of hotels and motels along Central Avenue, residents seem more concerned with the ones that are currently standing.

New battle in nursing home war

Legislature pushes forward with LDC plans, extends home’s support through August

Albany County legislators are examining the county-run nursing home issue with a new focus, advancing plans to form a local development corporation after sparring for months with Albany County Executive Dan McCoy over his proposal to privatize operation of the home with Upstate Services Group.

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Business diving in head first

Colonie native starts his own learn to swim business

Kevin’s Swim School is comprised of a local team of early- to-mid 20s swim instructors focusing on making a pool a comfort zone, rather than a fearsome pit.

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A touch of imagination

Local artist balances work, family and life in quest to perfect his style

For some, it might take some trial and error to find a driving passion. It wasn’t until David Arsenault's mid-30s when he decided to study painting at the University at Albany that the light bulb finally flickered on.

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A band of (geeky) brothers

Group of self-proclaimed geeks starts up website from Colonie

Like most startups, the breakthrough idea for “The Brotherhood of Evil Geeks” was a combination of ingenuity and luck.

Rare opportunity

Shaker teacher selected for Holocaust Museum fellowship

Each time Shaker High School English teacher Thea MacFawn adds a book to her curriculum about the Holocaust and other genocides, she receives the same type of response from her students.

Law would make life tough for motels

On heels of sex offender effort, Colonie seeks to discourage hotels entirely from Central Avenue

The Colonie Town Board wants to hear from the public about the possibility of a new local law that would make it more difficult to renovate or build any hotels or motels along Central Avenue.

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Menands market marks 80 years

Outlet serves as buy local point for wholesale and retail buyers

Since it first opened in 1933, the Capital District Cooperative, Inc. has traveled a road of changes. With the rising “buy local” movement, the Menands-based farmers market is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a bigger presence than ever.

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Honest Weight settles into new, larger location

New services, same philosophy at co-op’s redesigned store on Watervliet Avenue

On Wednesday, June 19, the Honest Weight Food Co-Op opened its brand new doors to 2,500 customers at 100 Watervliet Ave.

Mixed feelings over proposed project

Developer wants to bring retail, restaurant and apartment space to corner of Boght and New Loudon Roads

A developer is looking to knock down the Boght Road Firehouse and build a minimart, retail/restaurant space and an apartment building in its place.

Colonie’s finances ranked among the worst

Supervisor says news expected, while her opponent attacks her administration

Colonie is one of the most fiscally stressed municipalities in New York state, according to a report conducted by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. The news has also drawn the first political pot shot of in this election year.

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This old house

Group looks back three decades to start of Pruyn House renovations

When architect Vincent J. Lepera stood before the Casparus Pruyn House in 1983, he knew he had his work cut out for him.

Primary brews on Independence line

Longtime Indy figure Ken Champagne secures party endorsement

The Albany County Independence Party is breaking with tradition and electing to endorse one of its own members rather than Democrat and incumbent Paula Mahan for the office of Colonie supervisor.

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Umbrella celebrates five years

Seniors helping seniors program completes 5,000 jobs

More than 200 guests joined together Wednesday, June 12, at the Beltrone Living Center to celebrate Umbrella of Colonie’s fifth anniversary. The home maintenance program helps 600 seniors annually, with a total of more than 5,000 jobs completed.

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UAlbany unveils RNA Institute

State-of-the art facility will be home to genetic research on Alzheimer’s, HIV, cancer and more

A unique, state-of-the-art concept turned into a reality Tuesday, June 11, when the University at Albany opened the doors to its brand new biomedical technology development facility.

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Life by the strings

Colonie Central grad and cellist inducted into school's Hall of Fame

Kenneth Olsen has been the assistant principal cellist for the symphony for the past eight years. Because of his accomplishments, Olsen is joining two other alumni to be inducted in the Colonie Central High School Hall of Fame this year.

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A hairdresser’s homecoming

Family and friends greet sailor upon her return home

Danielle Martinez went from hairdresser to sailor right out of Colonie Central High School.

Menands chooses new superintendent

Eight-month search yields Maureen Long, currently at Scotia-Glenville

The Menands School District Board of Education has selected Maureen A. Long as superintendent after an eight-month search.

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Custodian acts quickly when student chokes

Steve O’Connor performed Heimlich maneuver on Roessleville first-grader

Last Wednesday seemed like just a typical day for Roessleville Elementary School Custodian Steve O’Connor. Students were packed into the school’s cafeteria, enjoying their food and talking with one another. O’Connor was dumping some of the lunchroom’s garbage when he noticed one of the first-graders jumping up and grabbing her throat.

SCCC contract approved

Project at county offices will cost $87k more due to delay

Renovations paving the way for Schenectady County Community College to fill a floor at the Albany County’s offices can now officially begin, after some lawmakers questioned the contractor’s legitimacy.

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