Monthly Archives: February 2013

And They’re Off…


Friends of  Sanford Stud Farm started the 2013 season on February 26, with their annual meeting held in the Sanford Room of the Raindancer Restaurant in Perth, NY. The Friends of Sanford Stud Farm is a not-for-profit organization in unison with the Town of Amsterdam formed to help oversee the restoration and preservation of the former Sanford Stud Farm as a heritage center because of its historical, architectural, and cultural significance.

Last night that mission took a giant step forward as Dan McEneny, representative from NYS Parks and Recreation National Register Unit, announced the Sanford Stud Farm will be formally listed on the NYS Historic Places registry next month. The Sanford Stud Farm will then be nominated for the National Historic Places registry so the history will not be forgotten.

Master of Ceremonies last night was Tom Foster standing in for Board President Scott Friers who was home with the flu. Past FSSF President L.F.”Sam” Hildebrandt gave the keynote speech which included funding and restoration initiatives. Jim & Janice Kelly, Sheri Brown and Ron & Audie DeCaprio were presented with the 2012 Raymond Pischel Volunteer of the Year Award for exemplary contribution and efforts on behalf of the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm.

We also heard from Cecilia Tkaczyk, newly elected State Senator for the 46th District, who pledged her support for the cause.

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Categories: Amsterdam, historic preservation, History, Politics, Sanford Stud Farm | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Amsterdam Celebrates Mardi Gras!


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The Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation proudly hosted a Mardi Gras Dance Party fundraiser at the Creative Connections Arts Center last night. With a crowd of dedicated Riverlink Park Concert fans in attendance,the turnout was fantastic. This was the major fundraiser for the Waterfront Foundation who bring free concerts to Amsterdam every Saturday during the months of July and August. Jeffrey Broussard and the Creole Cowboys brought the house down with Zydeco music that kept the dance floor full the entire night. Café Nola’s Creole creations even got the OK from the native Louisianans in the band.

The Art Center was transformed to a Mardi Gras inspired showcase. Special thanks go to Emily Gavry who painted the huge Bourbon Street mural that made the room come alive and to Marie Gavry who created the bead and mask centerpieces that graced each table and inflated balloons Saturday morning. Thanks to Evan Gavry who set up the audio equipment, partly owned by Evan with some rentals, and provided audio mixing the entire night. Thanks also to the City of Amsterdam for providing use of the Creative Connections Arts Center.

The Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation Board members responsible for organizing, promoting and running this fundraiser are Paul Gavry, Denise and Robert Terry, Jerry Skrocki and Dave Blaze.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Celebration, Entertainment, Music | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About that Art Center…


Around this time last year, the City of Amsterdam, NY realized it owned a building recently vacated by St Mary’s Hospital Outreach Center. Several organizational meetings were held by Mayor Ann Thane to get public comments on just what to do with this building. There were several great suggestions including a Community Recreation Center. Through a series of missteps that did not include required approval from the Common Council, a handpicked committee was formed with the intended purpose of managing and running an Art Center. This committee then became a private entity that would have control of a city owned property again without any advice from the Common Council, the legislative body for the City of Amsterdam. Creative Connections became very non-communicative, refusing to hold public meetings and would not answer any of my email inquiries. Aside from a couple of art shows, there was little action from this committee or programming for the public.

Throughout this process, I recommended to both the Mayor and the Creative Connections Committee, that they get approval from the Common Council as required by law,before proceeding any further. My suggestion was ignored creating a great deal of animosity.

My earlier blog entries describing these occurrences can be found here and here.

At last nights meeting of the Amsterdam Common, a resolution was presented for approval that transferred funds to pay for furnace repair, carpeting and painting of the Creative Connections Arts Center. This brought about a long needed discussion by Council members about why they were never consulted regarding the use of this building.

I commend Alderman Valerie Beekman for standing up to the Council with a direct criticism of the way the Art Center has been handled, at the same time expressing the importance of continuing to move forward and do things the right way as an example to our kids. She pledged to donate the rest her salary to pay for expenses incurred.

Left out of today’s Recorder article describing last night’s Council meeting, was my formal request that one of our Aldermen propose a resolution dedicating the building at 303-305 East Main Street as a Community Recreation Center. The approval of this resolution would, by law, put the management under control of the City Recreation Committee and would allow them to directly receive funding and grants for programs and improvements. This would increase public confidence in the center by providing a documented, public flow of funding with no appearance of impropriety. It would also open the center for use by the entire community and allow the Recreation department to charge a usage fee, relieving some of the tax burden.

I believe my suggestion was taken seriously and that we will see some movement on this proposal.

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Alderman Valerie Beekman authoritatively asserts that the Art Center be handled the right way as an example to our kids.

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Amsterdam Recreation Director Rob Spagnola explains the Art Center repairs and upgrades to Amsterdam’s Common Council.

We also discovered at last nights meeting that the security camera systems donated by the Buddhist World Peace and Health Organization last July were finally being installed by Michael R. Parillo. An example of the mounting device designed by Parillo is displayed in the next photo between Corporation Counsel Gerard Decusatis and Alderman Joe Isabel.

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Corporation Counsel Gerard DeCusatis, Alderman Joe Isabel, Alderman Valerie Beekman, Alderman Gina DeRossi

There is still time to buy tickets to the Mardi Gras Dance Party Fundraiser sponsored by the Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation on Saturday, February 9, 2013, starting at 5:30pm. All proceeds go to fund the FREE 2013 Amsterdam Riverlink Park Summer Concert Series. You may buy tickets directly from the website www.riverlinkconcerts.com.

 

UPDATE: A Show Of Support

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Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Law, Music, Politics, WPHO | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Vertigo


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Feeling a bit embarrassed and sore today as I write this blog entry. With forced hot air heat and no humidifier, it tends to get a little dry in my bedroom on the second floor. About 4:30am I got out of bed to get a drink of water in the downstairs kitchen, the good filtered water from the refrigerator dispenser. Still half asleep, my disabled left arm reached for the handrail as my right foot missed the top step on the back staircase. The stairs are rather narrow, steep and (thankfully) carpeted. My arm never quite got a hold of the handrail as I began traveling down the fourteen steps laterally, bouncing my left buttock and right scapula alternately off each stair until I reached the bottom. My first planking experience was sort of surreal. My mind whirled as my naked body hurled towards the bottom of the staircase. Was this the end? What a dull way to go! I could have at least put some clothes on. I left my phone in the bedroom, how can I call for help? Then that 70’s commercial started playing in my mind, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

Thankfully, the worry was for naught. A little soreness, some carpet burns and this blog entry are all that remain to remind me never to do that again!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Pets, Photography | Tags: , ,

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