EOC Settles Into Ballston Spa

The Hayner House in Ballston Spa, where Saratoga County EOC recently moved in. Photo by Marci Revette/The Ballston Journal

The Hayner House in Ballston Spa, where Saratoga County EOC recently moved in. Photo by Marci Revette/The Ballston Journal

BALLSTON SPA — Despite past differences with village government, the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council (EOC) seems to be settling nicely into the Ballston Spa community.

The EOC’s new location is in the former Hayner House at 30 Bath Street in Ballston Spa.

In the past, there was an on-going court battle between EOC and the village over the right of the EOC to move their headquarters to Ballston Spa.

In January of this year the state Supreme Court ruled the EOC had a right to move to Ballston Spa because it provides a “vital human service”.

EOC Executive Director Julie Hoxsie is optimistic for a good relationship between EOC and the village, especially local businesses that they are visiting, as well as others they plan to visit in the future. [Read more…]

Emergency Corps Get New Tools

Ray Otten demonstrating the ventilator

Ray Otten demonstrating the ventilator

BALLSTON SPA – Ray Otten, the Executive Director at Ballston Spa Community Emergency Corps, is always looking for “tools in our toolkit,” as he put it. Recently, due to a donation by Milton Town Board member Dr. William Blaisedell and his wife Nancy, the corps received three emergency pet ventilator kits for each of their ambulances that will enable responders to possibly save a life of a pet injured during an emergency such as a fire.

“The whole purpose is, if you are at a fire and the only victim happens to be an animal, we’ve got something that can help them out,” Otten said. “Imagine how upset the owner would be if there was a way we could save their pet and we didn’t have the equipment.” [Read more…]

BSCSD Updates Code of Conduct

The Ballston Spa School Board. Photo by Marci Revette/The Ballston Journal

The Ballston Spa School Board. Photo by Marci Revette/The Ballston Journal

BALLSTON SPA –  The Ballston Spa School Board held a public hearing July 24 to highlight changes that will be implemented to the current Student Code of Conduct in order to keep in compliance with the New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act.

The Dignity for All Students Act amends the Dignity Act of July, 2012 and is effective July 1 of this year.

Most of the changes are to the code of conduct and the main focus of the 2013 act is cyber-bullying.

Assistant Supervisor Denise Jones said that cyber-bullying was not included in the 2012 act. [Read more…]

Film Fest Rolls in Aug 2

Festival Organizer Pam Grandin at Old Iron Springs location. Photo by Marci Revette/The Ballston Journal

Festival Organizer Pam Grandin at Old Iron Springs location. Photo by Marci Revette/The Ballston Journal

BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Film Festival, entering its sixth year, promises to be a fun, family-friendly event according to organizer Pam Grandin.

The festival will showcase the work of local filmmakers and area students along with worldwide award-winning short films. It runs from August 2 to 3.

Grandin is hopeful that this year’s festival will be a huge success. [Read more…]

Valedictorian Gets Rotary Scholarship

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BALLSTON SPA — Stefani Schmitz was named Rotary Student of the Year and given a $1,000 scholarship during the Ballston Spa Rotary Club‘s July 23 luncheon.

“No award meant as much to me as your recognition,” said a grateful Schmitz during her acceptance speech. “Rotary embodies everything I hold most dear. Your motto of ‘service above self’ both at home and abroad aligns beautifully with my commitment to volunteerism.”

GeorgeAnna Henderson, who recently retired from the Ballston Spa School District as a science and biology teacher, and was chosen by Schmitz to be her mentor, spoke highly of her when introducing her for the award. She described the teen as “demure” and “humble.”

“Every teacher knows the truth of the old adage ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make her drink’,” Henderson said. “Stefani chose to maximize her natural ability and imbibe her rich, nurturing environment. You can understand if someone so talented and accomplished also chose to be a bit proud, even a tad arrogant, but Stefani made a further choice to be quietly humble, to be a servant.”

Henderson also predicted a bright future for Schmitz.

“A few years hence, when Stefani has finished schooling and has a string of alphabets after her name, we will not find her in a Manhattan high-rise office complex, earning a seven-digit income,” Henderson said. “Rather, we will find Stefani in the under-belly of the world, where the suffering is rife and the need is overwhelming.”

Henderson was honored that Schmitz chose her as her mentor.

“That’s a gross exaggeration, but I will accept it,” she joked. “It’s terribly humbling. When I look at all the people she has had for classes, it’s been wonderful for me to have time with her and her family. It has been very satisfying as a teacher to see her fine work and fine character.”

Already the 2013 Ballston Spa High School Valedictorian, Schmitz has achieved a lot in her young life. Her drive is apparent, especially when it comes her ultimate goal: to be a doctor in rural and under-served areas.

“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor,” Schmitz said. “There was never any doubt in my mind.”

After becoming a physician, Schmitz hopes to work both in rural areas of New York and developing nations, using vacation time to work with Doctors Without Borders.

Criteria for the scholarship include accomplishments in school, a dedication to the community and commitment to volunteering.  Schmitz has demonstrated all to a very high degree.

While in school she excelled in academia, music and athletics.

Last summer she flew to Cordova, Argentina to volunteer on a medical mission. She said as a future medical student, she welcomed the chance to scrub into surgeries.

“I hadn’t prepared myself for the phenomenally powerful impact the Argentinian people would have on me, especially the children,” Schmitz said. “I hadn’t prepared for the international language of hugs and smiles. Those fragile little souls touched me deeply.”

Schmitz said hospitals there are different than those in the United States and people had to wait hours for simple procedures.

“People were coming up to me and asking for help,” Schmitz said. “I wasn’t a doctor, so I couldn’t do much. It just made me even more determined to become a doctor.”

Schmitz also volunteered in the Ballston Spa community. She worked in the Bridges classroom, a learning environment for students with special needs who don’t get a lot of opportunity to interact with mainstream students.

Schmitz said two of her classmates, who were orphans, taught her that the greatest way to honor those who’ve had a positive impact on others’ lives is to do the same.

“It’s more than paying it forward, because this kind of giving multiplies,” Schmitz said.

Schmitz also volunteered at the 4-H training facility in Milton, NY as the health ambassador.

“I helped to teach the little kids the importance of eating healthy foods and exercising,” Schmitz said. “We mixed in science experiments, too.”

Schmitz has been accepted on a scholarship for full tuition at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY and said this scholarship will help pay for living expenses.

Rotary club members were very impressed with Schmitz and felt they made the right choice in selecting her.

“We did make a good selection, didn’t we,” joked current Rotary President Jere Blackwelder.

To e-mail the author of this article, e-mail Marci@theballstonjournal.com

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(All photos by Marci Revette/The Ballston Journal)

Rotary a ‘Helping Hand’ in BSpa

Left to right, incoming Rotary president Pet Champlain, past president Doug Ford, current president Jere Blackwelder. Photo courtesy of Melissa Ward

Left to right, incoming Rotary president Pet Champlain, past president Doug Ford, current president Jere Blackwelder. Photo courtesy of Melissa Ward

BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Rotary club has been an active presence in the village for many years, and has received recognition for their hard work and dedication to the community in the form of  the prestigious “Helping Hands” award, which recognizes the impact a club has had on their community. [Read more…]

BSpa Reimbursed Residents $100K

The Ballston Journal- Ballston SpaBALLSTON SPA — The July 22 Ballston Spa Village trustees meeting was a short one, but a lot of housekeeping was performed that will help the village to continue running smoothly.

Among the actions taken, the board authorized $9,402.45 for engineering services for the recent repair of the broken sewer line on Maple Avenue.

Also, the board authorized $1,059.18 for sidewalk repair reimbursements. Under this program, residents receive $2.50 per square feet as an incentive to repair the sidewalks in front of their businesses and residences.

The program has so far reimbursed residents more than $100,000 over the last 15 years. [Read more…]

Milton Adopts Revisions

The Milton Town Board

The Milton Town Board

MILTON — On July 17 the Town of Milton adopted the first revisions to its comprehensive plan since 2001. 

The town board unanimously adopted the changes.

The updated plan includes several important changes to the zoning laws. One important revision concerns the Town Center district, which extends to the Saratoga City line on Geyser Road, goes south on Rowland Street to Ebert’s Automotive and goes north on Rowland Street to the proposed new park. [Read more…]

Maplewood Manor Lawsuit Dismissed

Maplewood Manor/Photo by Marci Revette/The Ballston Journal

Maplewood Manor/Photo by Marci Revette/The Ballston Journal

BALLSTON SPA – State Supreme Court Judge Robert Chauvin has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) to prevent Saratoga County from selling the county –run nursing home Maplewood Manor.

Chauvin ruled July 9 that CSEA Local 1000, which represents county employees who work in the facility, had no grounds to sue over the county’s privatization plan.

“The factual allegations within the petition do not set forth any alleged illegal actions,” Chauvin wrote. “The allegations within the petition fail to establish any basis of standing and fail to present a justiciable controversy or otherwise set forth a basis for relief.” [Read more…]