Saturday, May 28, 2011

We salute our Vets with our favorite poem from WWI.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Inspiration for the poem — In Flanders Fields
During the Second Battle of Ypres a Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2 May, 1915 by an exploding shell. He was a friend of the Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae.

John was asked to conduct the burial service owing to the chaplain being called away on duty elsewhere. It is believed that later that evening John began the draft for his famous

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vale of Springs restored at Saratoga Spa State Park spearheaded by Heather Mabee and her mom, Marylou Whitney.

Vale of Springs renovation complete
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
By Lee Coleman (Contact)
Gazette Reporter

Text Size: A | A | A
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The renovated, enhanced Vale of Springs area of the Saratoga Spa State Park was officially opened Tuesday in celebration of the park’s 100th anniversary.

State parks Commissioner Rose Harvey, along with members of the Saratoga-Capital Region Parks Commission, helped cut the ribbon in the park’s Geyser Spring area. Heather Mabee, commission chair, and her mother, socialite Marylou Whitney, also helped to open the area, which was first developed in the 1930s.

Mabee and Whitney were also among those donating money to the $250,000 Centennial Campaign that paid for much of the work.

“This is a perfect model of a public-private partnership,” said Harvey, who was appointed earlier this year as commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

“This community identified a need within the park and worked tirelessly with friends and supporters toward its completion,” Harvey said in a prepared statement.

Alane Ball Chinian, director of the state parks’ Saratoga-Capital Region, said the Friends of Saratoga Spa State Park donated many volunteer hours to the project, and local businesses donated money, products and labor. For example, Bonacio Construction of Saratoga Springs rebuilt the Orenda Spring pavilion, Sunnyside Gardens of Saratoga Springs donated flowers and plantings and Moy Enterprises donated a portion of the masonry work it did for the project.

The Hayes Spring pavilion was renovated by volunteers from the Friends of Saratoga Spa State Park, Chinian said. The project includes a new mineral springs trail and a loop that takes a visitor to the park’s springs, and features educational signage.

State parks staff, including engineers and workers, also participated in the rehabilitation work.

Chinian said the plazas and pavilions in the Geyser Spring area were built in the 1930s and had become deteriorated. The state has also funded the updating and renovation of pavilion and restroom complexes in the park’s picnic area.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Umbrella fundraiser for Victoria Pool, Father's Day, Sunday, June 19th, noon-3pm.

Saratoga Spa State Park
Victoria Pool Umbrella Fund-Raiser

Sunday, Father’s Day, June 19, 2011, Noon-3 P.M.

Location: Victoria Pool Lobby at Saratoga Spa State Park.
For more information, call: Louise at 518-683-8476 or email:
Suggested contribution: $25
Checks payable to: Natural Heritage Trust for Saratoga Spa State Park.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Food for thought from the Post Star Editorial when getting water at the Joe Bruno Spring at Saratoga Spa State Park

Editorial: Time to end ‘monuments to me’
StoryDiscussionEditorial: Time to end ‘monuments to me’
Posted: Friday, May 6, 2011 7:52 pm | (1) Comments

Font Size:Default font sizeLarger font size.If the Charles R. Wood Foundation donates a million dollars to a hospital wing, they don't put the name of his bank on the building. They put Charles R. Wood's name on it.

So why is it when some politician directs taxpayer money to a building or an athletic field or an educational program, people feel it's appropriate to put the politician's name on it?

What's even worse is that when that politician is later disgraced through unethical or illegal actions, the name of the building in his honor remains.

Retired Sen. Joseph Bruno, a convicted felon who was forced out of office because of allegations he used his powerful Senate majority seat to direct state business to contractors in exchange for "consulting fees," has at least 16 buildings in Rensselear County named after him, one in each town and city in the county.

Among the many buildings bearing his name is Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, home of the Tri-City ValleyCats, a professional minor league baseball team. So did Mr. Bruno donate his personal fortune to help build the stadium, as the aforementioned Mr. Wood did in donating his own money to everything from hospital wings to theaters?

No, he didn't.

Was Mr. Bruno a famous baseball player or a beloved coach or Little League benefactor?

No he wasn't.

Mr. Bruno is so prominently honored because he used his job an elected official to guide $14 million of the taxpayers' money to the people who wanted to build the stadium. That $14 million works out to almost $1 for every man woman and child in the state. But are our names on the side of the building? No they aren't.

Mr. Bruno is the not the first, nor the last, politician to be honored with a facade. He's not the only unethical one. He's not even the most recent one.

Rep. Charles Rangel, a congressman from Harlem, last year was found guilty by a House ethics panel and censured by the full House of ethical violations for, among other things, soliciting millions of dollars in donations from companies doing business before Congress for an academic building at the City College of New York. That episode is just one in a long list of accusations made against Rangel for illegal or unethical conduct. By the way, the name of that academic building for which he was soliciting all that money: The Rangel Center for Public Service. Even after he was censured, the college said it had no plans to remove his name from the building. They're probably not giving the money back either.

There are numerous other examples of politicians being honored for helping direct our tax dollars to a project. In many cases, the politician isn't accused of being corrupt or doing anything wrong. But having a permanent campaign ad on a prominent building is a pretty strong incentive for an incumbent legislator to lobby for funds for a particular project.

In 2007, for example, state Sen. Michael Nozzolio directed $1.5 million of state taxpayer money to an athletic facility in Monroe County. He also secured a $25,000 state grant for a youth soccer program. Guess who the soccer complex is named after. You can't buy that kind of campaign advertising. Or maybe you can.

Not everyone is taking this practice lying down.

In several states, there are movements afoot to outlaw the practice of naming public buildings and other property after incumbent or retired politicians. In addition to buildings, highways and airports are popular places to attach a legislative benefactor's name. Joe Bruno once had a bronze bust prominently displayed in the Albany airport. It's since been relocated.

Ending so-called "monuments to me" has been an uphill battle for New Mexico state Sen. Mark Boitano, who objects on the basis that it's "free 24/7 advertising" for the incumbents. "It's not right," he said. He not only wants the naming practice stopped, he also wants the names of sitting politicians removed from existing buildings. But so far, he's not getting much enthusiastic support from his fellow lawmakers. His bill has been tabled in the New Mexico state Senate.

Congress has also toyed with the idea of banning "monuments to me." The late Sen. Richard Byrd of West Virginia had more than 30 public entities named after him during his tenure in Congress, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Our public officials must reject any practice that makes it appear as if they're trading their office for personal gain.

Rather than naming public buildings after the politicians who secure taxpayer funding, why not name the buildings after the people who actually provide the funding?

John Q. Taxpayer Stadium has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Local editorials represent the opinion of The Post-Star editorial board, which consists of Publisher Rick Emanuel, Editor Ken Tingley, Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney and citizen representative Tom Sullivan.

Copyright 2011 The Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

.Posted in Editorial on Friday, May 6, 2011 7:52 pm

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Library "brown bag" by Saratoga's City Historian on "ten Springs", th.,5/12/11@noon.

Welcome to the Valley of the Ten Springs

Saratoga Springs’ City Historian Mary Ann Fitzgerald will take us back into time
spotlighting the neighborhood of the Valley of the Ten Springs for the May Brown Bag Lunch Program. Currently home to the Spring Run Trail which runs along the old railroad bed, Mary Ann will bring us back to the days when the railroad travelled to the famous mud baths and mineral springs in the valley and then continued to Saratoga Lake. Industry and tourism once surrounded the residents of this neighborhood, but today one can enjoy the tranquil two mile trail surrounded by the sounds and smell of nature.

The program will be held May 12th from 12 Noon to 1 PM in the Dutcher Community Room at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. The Brown Bag Lunch is cosponsored by the library and the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center.

For further information call 587-3241.

kentucky derby upon us, Saturday,May 7,2011.

2011 Kentucky Derby Post Positions
This first race in the coveted Triple Crown of horse racing attracts plenty of attention. Since 2005, when the purse went from one million to two million dollars, the "Run For The Roses" offers the biggest prize of all the Stakes races.

The May 7th running of the Kentucky Derby will be the 137th time that the race has been held. Meanwhile, here are the post positions announced at 5PM ET on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 from Churchill Downs:

2011 Kentucky Derby post positions

Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Archarcharch Jon Court. Jinks Fires 10-1
2 Brilliant Speed Joel Rosario Tom Albertrani 30-1
3 Twice the Appeal Calvin Borel Jeff Bonde 20-1
4 Stay Thirsty Ramon Dominguez Todd Pletcher 20-1
5 Decisive Moment Kerwin Clark Juan Arias 30-1
6 Comma to the Top Pat Valenzuela Peter Miller 30-1
7 Pants on Fire Rosie Napravnik Kelly Breen 20-1
8 Dialed In Julian Leparoux Nick Zito 4-1
9 Derby Kitten Javier Castellano Michael J. Maker 30-1
10 Twinspired Mike Smith Mike Maker 30-1
11 Master of Hounds Garrett Gomez Aidan O'Brien 30-1
12 Santiva Shaun Bridgmogan Eddie Kenneally 30-1
13 Mucho Macho Man Rajiv Maragh Kathy Ritvo 12-1
14 Shakleford Jesus Castanon Dale Romans 12-1
15 Midnight Interlude Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert 10-1
16 Animal Kingdom Robby Albarado Graham Motion 30-1
17 Soldat Alan Garcia Kiaran McLaughlin 12-1
18 Uncle Moe John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 9-2
19 Nehro Corey Nakatani Steve Asmussen 6-1
20 Watch Me Go Rafael Bejarano Kathleen O'Connell 50-1

Picking a Derby winner