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Zan Strumfeld

Stories by Zan

Another hearing for notifications

At public hearing, support given for even larger neighbor notification radius

Colonie residents alternately expressed concern and support at a public hearing held Thursday, March 28, for an amendment to the town code that would require expanded neighbor notification requirements for developers.

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Play’s set is something special

Loudonville actor takes over production of ‘Drums Along the Mohawk’

This summer, Loudonville actor/producer Steven O’Connor will be the director of Drums Along the Mohawk Outdoor Drama. Emphasizing New York State’s relevance to the American Revolution, for the second year in a row DAMOD will showcase a historical fiction play before a live audience directly on the soil where the action took place hundreds of years ago.

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Cartography takes center stage

Rare historical maps on display at two historical Colonie locations

Running through May 5, the Historical Society of the Town of Colonie and the Albany County Historical Association are sponsoring the “Rare Historic Colonial Maps Exhibit” at the Pruyn House in Latham and King’s Place in Albany. More than 70 pieces are hanging in the two historic buildings, including maps ranging from the 1750s and 1760s depicting early colonies and drawings from the Revolutionary War, French and Indian War and Fort Ticonderoga.

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Colonie music gets national recognition

North and South Colonie districts selected among best communities for music education

Both North and South Colonie school districts have been recognized as two of the best districts at which to receive a music education nationwide.

Dick’s confirmed for Shoppes

Sporting good retailer first new business to join Latham Circle revitalization project

As the old Latham Circle Mall is destroyed, the first new tenant for the shopping center that will replace it has come forward: Dick’s Sporting Goods.

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'They don't make them like that anymore'

Former Republican chair remembered for his love of town, family, life

For those who knew him well, Harry D’Agostino was more than a longtime Colonie Republican party leader. He was a father figure.

Steakhouse sets its sights on Wolf Road

Planning Board sees no problems with LongHorn’s initial presentation

Sketch plans for a LongHorn Steakhouse were presented to the Colonie Planning Board on Tuesday, March 12. The 6,266-square-foot restaurant would be the first of its chain to make its way to the Capital District – the nearest franchise is in Newburgh – and it would settle in at 206-208 Wolf Road, next to the Best Western Hotel.

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Students show love for NOLA

Group from St. Rose spends spring break in Big Easy repairing homes

Though the world’s attention was fixated on New Orleans in 2005, in the years that followed the spotlight shifted elsewhere. But for Ashley Hartman, a sophomore studying communication sciences and disorders at The College of St. Rose, out of sight does not necessarily mean out of mind.

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Colonie grad lays down voice for school system

Rapper B. Martin’s ‘SUNY Anthem’ racks up views on YouTube

Brendan Martin turned his words into positive messages and not too long after graduating UAlbany 2010, and he showed off his skills to the entire SUNY system by writing “The SUNY Anthem,” released on YouTube on Feb. 27.

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Demolition begins on Latham Circle Mall

Demolition began Tuesday, March 12, on the rundown Latham Circle Mall, paving the way for construction for The Shoppes at Latham Circle.

Target age subject of apartment review

Murray Manor Apartments would be for 55-and-up

Members of the Colonie Planning Board have reservations about an apartment complex proposed to be built on Boght Road after learning the developer’s intended tenant demographic.

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Students extend a helping hand

Blue Creek classes collect books, PJs for Parsons Center Head Start kids

Charitable donations tend to skyrocket during the holiday season, but they’re also traditionally followed by a lull when the snow starts to melt. But for programs like the Parsons Child & Family Center’s Early Head Start, assistance is needed year-round.

Planning Board talks CAP COM traffic

Colonie seeks connector road to relieve Wolf Road traffic

The Colonie Planning Board is asking engineers working on a new CAP COM Federal Credit Union headquarters off of Wolf Road to find the best solution to reduce traffic congestion.

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Years later, fearless service recognized

Beltrone resident’s WWII volunteerism acknowledged by Red Cross award

Shirley Sheriff was honored as a 2013 Legacy recipient by the American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region on Thursday, March 7, for her humanitarian efforts during the war.

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South Colonie teen spells his way to the top

Ryan Devanandan to travel to Washington, D.C. for national spelling bee

For the third year in a row, South Colonie student Ryan Devanandan found himself standing on the stage of Proctor’s Theatre at the Capital Region Spelling Bee on Tuesday, March 5.

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McCoy: County can meet tax cap by 2015

County executive says consolidation is key to future

County Executive Dan McCoy said in his State of the County Address he wants to keep up momentum built in 2012 by continuing consolidations, establishing more partnerships, seeking ways to save money and making meaningful movement on the county nursing home.

Mabey’s in Latham to expand storage units

Plans submitted for 400 new units across three buildings on Route 9

Mabey’s Moving and Storage has hopes to expand its location on Route 9 in Latham by roughly 400 storage units in three new buildings.

Town weighs expanding development notification

Petition circulates to have more neighbors notified of impending projects

Colonie officials are considering an amendment to the town code that would expand neighbor notification requirements for developers after receiving complaints from concerned citizens.

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County advocates infant safe sleeping

Albany officials say 12 infants died preventable deaths in past three years

Local health and child welfare officials, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, District Attorney David Soares and the county’s Child Fatality Review Team on Wednesday, March 6, to stress the seriousness of unsafe sleeping with babies and to announce the launch of the “Safe Sleeping” campaign to educate the public on preventing infant deaths.

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Crane teachers give hope to music students

SUNY Potsdam faculty visit high school, speak about state of music industry

Several Crane teachers came to Colonie Central High School on Thursday, Feb. 28, and Friday, March 1, where they performed and gave advice to students about where they can go with their musical skills. Performances included concerts by the Crane School of Music Symphony Orchestra and the Potsdam Brass Quintet.

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25 years of stepping up to CF

Stair Climb at the Plaza will take place March 7

Running up 42 flights of stairs will make pretty much anyone out of breath, but for those living with cystic fibrosis, experiencing that tightness in the lungs is just part of a normal day.

Technology turns teaching upside down

North Colonie students watching lectures at home, doing work in class

Since September 2012, 60 North Colonie teachers have started dramatically changing how they teach their courses. Instead of the standard note taking in class and homework outside of class, they are making instructional videos for kids to watch at home and then spending the classroom time doing activities and labs based on the videos. It’s part of a teaching method called Flipped Learning.

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Gun sellers take stock of new law

New York’s SAFE Act changing landscape for auctioneers, dealers

With tighter restrictions on guns setting in under the state’s SAFE Act, businesspeople who deal in firearms are also dealing with the new normal in New York.

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The love bug gets traction

Mother seeks help in starting foundation for late Colonie child

Coping with the loss of their daughter is a daily challenge, but the Rizk family wants to make sure their little girl stays alive within the community.

McCoy vetoes legislature’s ‘stall tactics’

Executive wants legislators to pick from his list of consultants

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has vetoed the County Legislature’s resolution to hire an outside consultant to study the nursing home issue, calling it a method to stall any decision.

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New lighting goes up in airport

Investment expected to save $1.2 million over two decades

Over the past six weeks, the Albany County Airport Authority has been working on a new project to replace its 15-year-old lightning fixtures in the airport’s terminals with brand new, high efficiency LED and florescent bulbs.

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New county legislator appointed

Democrat Alison McLean-Lane replaces Phil Steck

After living and working in Colonie for the majority of her life, Democrat Alison McLean-Lane says she is more than ready to take on her new role as county legislator for the 14th Legislative District.

Executive bemoans lack of action

Nursing home discussion creeps forwards as word of second bidder emerges

Debate within the Albany County Legislature on the future of the Albany County Nursing Home seems to be slowing down, and that has Albany County Executive Dan McCoy frustrated.

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Grannies turn attention to gun control

Group makes domestic issue target of vigil

Dot Richards joined more than 20 other grannies and grandpas on Thursday, Feb. 14, at the busy intersection for a vigil calling for an end to gun violence, both in wartime and domestically. Cars beeped their horns every few minutes in support as protestors held signs reading “More Peace” and “War Breaks Grannies’ Hearts.”

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Club works to stem budget bleeding

South Colonie embarks on budget process with bleak picture

Last fall, when members of Colonie Central High School’s Key Club heard reductions meant the school’s health office was having trouble budgeting for Band-Aids, the club took action. In a few months, the students organized a donation drive and collected more than 200 boxes of Band-Aids to hand over to nurses.

Town filters out water problems

Emergency declared to expedite filter repairs

A number of filters at the Mohawk View Water Treatment Plant need major repair, and although it will not impact the town’s drinking water, the Colonie Town Board passed a resolution on Thursday, Feb. 7, declaring an emergency so as to immediately inspect and fix the faulty filters.

Town approves mercury remediation

Cleanup at water treatment plant said to cost up to $670k

Nearly one year after mercury was discovered in the floor drains at a town water treatment plant, the Colonie Town Board passed a resolution on Thursday, Feb. 7, allowing mercury spill remediation to begin.

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Coalition pitches Cohoes Crescent Road improvements

Popular options has $3.7M price tag, public to get a closer look Feb. 14

The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition and the Town of Colonie are seeking the public’s opinion on plans to improve Cohoes Crescent Road.

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Love forever

76 Diner owner Athena Loupessis has witnessed scores of Valentine’s Day engagements, including her own

The first time he proposed, she said she would think about it. He didn’t get down on one knee, but told her he thought she was the right girl for him. It was not love at first sight, she said, and she was cautious. The second time, only a few weeks later, he came to her holding a huge heart filled with candy, a single rose and a card that read “Love Forever.” This time, she said yes. It was Valentine’s Day.

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Local girl is on a mission

Recent college grad looks to community in helping Nigerian kids discover art

This spring, 22-year-old Megan Ambrosino will have a one-way ticket to Ilorne, Nigeria in order to be the sole art teacher at an all-girls boarding school. If teaching halfway around the world wasn’t a big enough challenge, the school has only the bare minimum when it comes to art materials, and Ambrosino isn’t sure what kind of access she’ll have in the city to purchase supplies.

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Colonie offers CPR training

Officials say 13 percent of heart attacks treated with CPR last year

In recognition of National Heart Month, the Colonie EMS Department is hosting four separate events at locations around the town for any community members to come and learn hands-only CPR.

Condo project comes back to life

Mohawk Riverfront Estates would be located near Crescent Bridge

There is renewed movement on a condominium and apartment project along the Mohawk River that has been before the Colonie Planning Board for the past three years.

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Desire for utility drives donation

Beltrone resident’s ride will be used by Meals on Wheels program

When driving became more of a burden than a convenience for Beltrone Living Center resident Marge Pecoroni, she tried to figure out the best way to get rid of her 2001 maroon Mercury Sable. Selling it would be a lot of extra work and it was in too good of a condition to just send it to the junkyard. She quickly realized she could donate it straight to her residency at Colonie Senior Service Center.

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Restaurant Depot opens for business

New warehouse caters only to eateries and similar businesses

Restaurant Depot, at 22 Warehouse Row in Colonie, is a 68,000-square-foot facility that sells fresh meat, poultry, seafood, produce, dairy, beverages and supplies to restaurant owners. With 100 locations nationwide, this is the only Restaurant Depot in Upstate New York, the next closest being in Hartford, Conn.

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Morning traffic takes its toll

Spike in parent drop offs spur safety concerns at North Colonie school

An unexpected wave of morning traffic at a local elementary school led educators to plead with parents to keep safety in mind and send their children to school on the bus if at all possible.

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Vet supporters spend a cold night raising awareness

Frigid call for help brings donations of winter clothing rolling in

The first-ever “Freeze Out” took place on Saturday, Jan. 26, into the following morning. More than 20 people slept outside on the lawn of the VFW Post at 525 Delaware Ave. to experience the grueling Capital District temperatures the way homeless veterans do.

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Kid composer hits a high note

Roessleville student’s work recognized at a young age

Come April, Shashaank Narayanan will take his one of his compositions, “Mystery Cave,” to the Young Composer Concert in Hartford, Conn., where his piece will be performed as the winning entry in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Eastern Division Young Composers Contest. Narayanan’s piece was one of 14 winning compositions selected among entries from elementary through graduate school-aged applicants.

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Feeding the northeast

Huge food donation results from record holiday giving

Part of what was labeled an historic food donation rumbled into the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York Tuesday, Jan. 15, ensuring thousands of people will have food on the table this winter.

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Students respond with acts of kindness

Colonie Central club asks peers for 26 kind acts in wake of Newtown

Colonie Central High School’s iCARE program, which launched last year, aims to promote anti-bullying but also inspire good character. After the Newtown, Conn., shooting, the group came up with a campaign for the school’s nearly 2,000 students to commit 26 acts of kindness over 26 days in honor of each of the victims. I

Safer strolling planned for Route 9

State project will see sidewalks from Fiddlers Lane to Newtown Plaza

Come next year, the Town of Colonie will hopefully have something it’s been lacking: sidewalks.

North Colonie braces for tough times

Meeting’s audience supports exceeding tax cap to meet fiscal challenges

Nearly 100 North Colonie residents, students, parents and teachers filled the Shaker High School Media Center on Monday, Jan. 14, to hear the problems that lay before the district in the coming years.

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Project sheds new light on tech class

South Colonie students build, sell sheds as spring project

As part of their yearly tradition, students in the Colonie Central High School construction classes are building garden sheds available for purchase by the public. The sheds are sized 8 feet by 10 feet, and according to technology teacher John Gehres, they are better than anything you can get at the big box stores.

Lia Honda to expand parking lot

Plans redrawn after neighbors bring forward concerns

After hearing complaints from those living on neighboring streets, Lia Honda on Central Avenue has changed its plans for a parking lot expansion and received a new concept acceptance from the Colonie Planning Board.

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2012 called a ‘banner year’ for Colonie

Supervisor says coming year will see more growth and progress

In her sixth State of the Town speech, Supervisor Paula Mahan described Colonie as a town that has returned to fiscal stability and is on the brink of embracing a slew of changes in 2013.

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Smaller legislature pitched

County executive wants term limits on his office

As 2013 begins to take shape, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy is urging changes in the legislature. Specifically, its size.

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